Book Spotlight: Autumn Rose by Abigail Gibbs

AUTUMN ROSESynopsis:

International sensation Abigail Gibbs draws us even further into the dangerous and romantic world of the Dark Heroines with AUTUMN ROSE, book two of her breathtakingly magical paranormal series.

Somewhere in a sleepy seaside town in England, Autumn Rose is living a seemingly quite life. But, buried deep under the surface are dark secrets. Autumn’s been dealing with a lot — her grandmother is dead and the whirling social scene of London in which she was brought up is a world away. To make matters worse, she’s shunned and condemned at her new school, all because of the swirling marks on her skin that prevent her from blending in.

At school, the appearance of a handsome young man sends her world in turmoil. He shares the same markings as Autumn, and knows many of the secrets she’s tried to keep hidden. His arrival at school thrusts her into the limelight, with the unexpected popularity bringing danger as her secrets threaten to come to light. And, Autumn keeps dreaming of a human girl who is about to be seduced by a very dark Prince. Time is her enemy, and she must figure out how to save the human before it is too late.

AUTUMN ROSE continues Abigail Gibbs phenomenal Dark Heroine series with an alluring story of romance, hidden secrets, and captivating magic.

http://harpercollins.com/book/pre-order.aspx?isbn13=9780062248756  

About the Author: Author Abbigail Gibbs. Photograph by Felix Clay.

Abigail Gibbs was born and raised in deepest, darkest Devon, England. She is studying for a B.A. in English at the University of Oxford and considers herself a professional student, as the real world has yet to catch up with her. Her greatest fear is blood and she is a great advocate of vegetarianism, which logically led to the writing of her first novel, The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire. She splits her time between her studies, stories, and family, and uses coffee to survive all three.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAbigailGibbs

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AuthorAbigailG

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6518554.Abigail_Gibbs

HarperCollins: http://harpercollins.com/authors/40144/Abigail_Gibbs/index.aspx

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Book Spotlight: The Rogue Returns by Leigh LaValle

rSynopsis:

THE ONLY THING LESS TRUSTWORTHY THAN A ROGUE…
Lady Helen Gladstone has siblings to protect and creditors at her door. There’s only one way to stave off disaster—to find the fabled fortune that her deceased brother buried years ago. Her experience with her lying father and gambling brother has left her able to spot a scoundrel at ten paces. Unfortunately, the scoundrel she encounters is a lot closer than that…and he’s planning to make off with her treasure.
…IS A LADY WITH NOTHING TO LOSE
After years of exile, Roane Grantham is eager to begin a new life without the law on his heels. First, he needs gold—his gold, buried one drunken night long ago. But he doesn’t count on a petite, bold-as-brass blonde laying claim to his hoard.
Forming an uneasy alliance, Helen and Roane adventure through the high peaks of England, battling treasure hunters, violent storms, and dangerous terrain. But can they escape the growing passion that lays claim to their hearts?

About the Author: Leigh LaValle Pic

Leigh LaValle lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. When she is not writing, mommying, or reading, she is rarely seen cleaning, and more often found hiking or, when she is really lucky, in the white powder of the ski slopes. She is also a devoted yoga practitioner and instructor.

Website:  www.LeighLaValle.com

Email:  leigh@leighlavalle.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/leigh_lavalle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leigh-LaValle-Author/145899828812251

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5432973.Leigh_LaValle

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Book Review: Grave Destinations by Lori Sjoberg

Grave Destinations (eBook)Synopsis:

She’s sexy-fierce, resourceful—and will do anything to protect victims as innocent as she once was. But this kick-ass reaper never bargained on meeting her not-quite-human match…or putting their very souls on the line.

A luxury Caribbean cruise is Ruby Dawson’s idea of hell even under the best circumstances. Too many bad memories bubble up—especially of the wrenching injustice that made her a reaper. It doesn’t help that Jack Deverell is making this routine soul-collecting job twice as difficult with his devilish good looks and not-so-innocent questions. Now, as several unscheduled, unexplainable deaths throw passengers and crew into a panic, Jack becomes the prime suspect. The only way Ruby can save him is to challenge the decades-old curse threatening his soul. And as a malevolent unstoppable force turns their immortality into a fatal weakness, Ruby and Jack must risk their fragile humanity to save Fate’s delicate balance and their own unexpected destiny…

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EF51IZC

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grave-destinations-lori-sjoberg/1116524334?ean=9781601830050

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/grave-destinations

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/grave-destinations/id686497496?mt=11

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-gravedestinations-1343130-140.html

About the Author: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

After completing her first manuscript, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at her day job, and the creative half writing sensual paranormal romance. Grim reapers are her specialty, but she loves to write about all creatures of the night.

Website: www.lorisjoberg.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLoriSjoberg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lori_Sjoberg

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6574214.Lori_Sjoberg

My Review:

This is a 2nd book in a series, but I was assured you don’t need to read the first to enjoy the second – and they were right! I adored this book. I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal romance recently and this one really stands out for three reasons: The Relationship, The Setting and The Mystery. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, and although I’m not really into murder mysterious, there was enough paranormal in there to keep me happy as I Agatha Christie’d my way to the end.

From a writer’s perspective, the relationship between Jack and Ruby was built up nicely, along with the tension of the overall plot. There was never a point where I wanted to stop reading (a good sign you’re enjoying a book) and the story was very imaginative and different from the normal paranormal romance where the two main characters are instantly attracted to each other and never really seem to individually ‘come alive’.

The front cover could prove a little misleading with a surfer on it. There’s no real obvious paranormal edge to it and it might not inspire the more visual reader to pick it up. I keep saying how over-crowded and competitive this genre is and a front cover should represent the main points of the book – getting across to the potential reader why they should pick it up. Don’t get me wrong, surfer dude is good, but there really should be more made of the Reaper angle (I realise there is one on the surf board, but I only picked that up when I really stared at it) and Ruby deserves to be on the book cover too.

Overall I’d give Grave Destinations 5 out 5 stars. If you can’t afford to go on a cruise this year – at least pick up this book and do a bit of supernatural murder mystery indulgence. Go on, you deserve it!

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Book Review: Paranormal Nights – Anthology

Paranormal Nights CoverSynopsis:

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling authors C.J. Ellisson and Celia Kyle have teamed up with SEVEN more sizzling Bestselling paranormal writers to create a pulse-pounding read like no other! Eight stories. Some of the hottest authors in the industry. One place.

WOLF PROTECTOR by Milly Taiden: A woman with a secret. A man with one desire. A case that pushes them to the edge…

WHY THESE TWO by Jackie Ivie: Reika has found her mate.  Darryl Bailes.  He’s big.  Brawny.  Black Ops trained.  Brutal.  And stubborn.  He’s not interested in being anyone’s mate – especially a vampire’s.  Well.  The knives are out.  Challenges made.  And somebody is going to lose.

DEATH TIMES TWO by C.J. Ellisson and Boone Brux: The V V Inn has a ghost problem, one that requires the help of Lisa Carron, resident Alaskan grim reaper. Tasked with helping her, fledgling vampire Asa soon realizes that not only can she provide the dead a peaceful passing, but offer him solace in a way no other woman can.

HUNTER’S BLOOD by Marianne Morea: Revenge. It’s what Lily Saburi craves since the brutal murder of her best friend. A vigilante bent on striking a blow for humanity against the shadowed world of the supernatural, one bullet at a time—until she meets Sean Leighton, Alpha of the Brethren. Sexy, powerful, Leighton is charged with destroying anything threatening his pack, and that includes Lily. Dangerous passions ignite and confuse, but can they rise above hate and distrust to find love?

A WICKED PRELUDE by Calinda B: Chérie Manhattan has sworn off men – until colliding with the sexy, blond, hotter than Hell, Cam Tyson. Her choices: play it safe, yet unfulfilled? Or take a chance on love? Evil demons are heading her way. Will she take the plunge into passion or fall prey to her doom?

DRAGON’S HONOR by Mina Carter: It was supposed to be a simple job. But the Paranormal Protection Agency don’t do simple…So Shadow-dragons Baron and Duke are uncover. As humans. Redcaps and trolls attacks pale in comparison to the most startling revelation of all: the woman they’re protecting is Baron’s mate.

PLAYING THE ODDS by S.A. Price: A shadow demon grifter looking for a big score meets a sexy stripper with the ability to grant luck to anyone she deems worthy. She is everything he’s ever wanted, and he is everything she’s been told to stay away from. But he knows she’s the answer to all his problems, and plans to show her that a life with a card player is worth taking a gamble on.

NIBBLED BY THE VAMP by Celia Kyle: Wren Minix knew vamps were real. Totally.  But mean fairies?  Fairies weren’t supposed to be mean!  But they are, and she really thought she was gonna become fairy dust if it hadn’t been for the super hunky vampire that saved her.  Had she mentioned hunky?  And, hey, giving him a little snack in return was no bigs.  He helped, after all.  Except she wanted one nibble to turn into two and then…oodles.

Available Now!  ONLY $0.99 UNTIL 1/15/14

Amazon – http://j.mp/pn-zon
Kobo – http://j.mp/pn-kobo
All Romance – http://j.mp/pn-are
Bookstrand – http://j.mp/pn-bs

My Review:

I do love a good anthology. I truly feel that they’re a great way of finding authors, and for authors to find their audience (its why I’m in so many myself;)

Again though, there are some stories in there better than others, but this will always happen. Readers will choose their favourites and hold all others against them. Death Times Two was probably my favourite due to it’s developed plot and fast pace, it was also very well put together in terms of writing and how the whole story weaved together perfectly.

From a writer’s perspective, there could have been some serious slashing of parts of some stories and there were some characters in there that could have done with a bit of a make-over. In fact I stopped reading two stories simply for that reason alone – nobody likes a confused character or one that its easy to take an instant dislike too – unless you’re writing a survival horror!

The front cover is a half naked man, which I never mind and I can see how difficult it would be to show all the creatures/ troupes from each story – so I think that this kind of works. I also think it was a nice thought to have all the authors of equal font size on the front. All too often a ‘big’ author gets top billing and over shadows the other just as talented authors that are also included. This way the reader gets to decide on who they want to read and it’s not dictated to them by the publishers.

There weren’t anything really new in this anthology, however as paranormal romance goes, it does what it promises. Overall I’d give Paranormal Nights 4 out 5 stars – a nice introduction to some talented authors.

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Virtual Book Tours: To tour, or not to tour?

book

Well, if you’ve been reading my blog (if you haven’t – where have you been?) you’ll have noticed that I do a lot of book reviews and author interviews. The interviews are mainly because I’m an incredibly nosy person, but the reviews tend to be either Netgalley related (If you haven’t joined yet and you love reading – what are you waiting for?) or for virtual book tour companies. I started looking at these sites when I got the release date for my own book and decided to join a few to see how they worked and which of the many companies offering this service provide the best value for money.

I must admit, I’m having quite a bit of fun doing these tours. I’ve met some truly lovely people and been introduced to some awesome authors and books – ones I’d have never found on my own. The whole thing appeals to my organised ‘anal’ side, and it doesn’t hurt to have related content almost every day for this blog.

Now, I’m not reviewing the companies who do this, but from my sidebar you can see the ones I tend to favour and I’d encourage you all to have a click through and perhaps join as a tour host or invest in a tour for your own book. And let me know your thoughts as comments on this post.

I see a number of the same authors out there who are dedicated to using these services and repeat business must hopefully mean they’re seeing fairly decent results in the interest levels in their books. The basic equation here is that bloggers have followers, and followers might buy your book.

Most tour companies will offer a service that includes: reviews, interviews, spotlights, and guest posts. You can pick and choose from this menu, but I’d advise you to go ‘tapas style’ on it and try a bit of each to see what you like the most. Reviews can be the scariest of all, what happens if a blogger hates your book? To be honest, this is a natural part of being an author anyway – not everyone will like your work – accept that, move on, suck it up… Do you like everything you read? No. I certainly don’t. But did bad reviews hurt ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? No, it unfortunately did not!

With more and more books being released it can be hard to get yours to the front of the reading pile. And this isn’t all down to your publishers either; as a modern author part of the job is keeping social and having a decent online presence. Whether you like it or not, we are living in an increasingly digital world and blanking it is not just rude but utterly career stunting. Authors need to get their work out there, and yes this can be time consuming – so virtual book tour companies could be a clever solution for you to do just that whilst keeping your precious time on the thing you actually want to do – going down the pub, oh wait I mean write!

Book Review: Symphony of Light and Winter By Renea Mason

SymphonyofLightandWinter_ByReneaMason-800x1200Synopsis:

One woman. Seven men. All bound by one man’s undying devotion.

Fundraiser Linden Hill has a knack for reading people. She always knows which conversations will put a prospect at ease, which drink will loosen a patron’s lips—or his wallet, and how cleavage will make a donor sweeten the deal. She’s even foreseen her dateless weekends four hundred and sixty-four times in a row.

But ten years after watching life drain from her former mentor’s and first love’s eyes, her skills for divining the predictable are lost. When Cyril returns, he’s still gorgeous, but this time he’s beyond human, far less dead, and pissed. His lack of memory drives him to desperate acts, and his turbulent re-acquaintance with Linden pulls her into his war with a creature hell-bent on his destruction. His group of six supernatural men share a tantalizing secret, but despite the hunger, it’s love that leads her to sacrifice everything to save him…

Buy Links

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Symphony-Light-Winter-ebook/dp/B00DI9DMN2/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

BarnesandNoble.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/symphony-of-light-and-winter-renea-mason/1115751958?ean=2940016769806

AllRomanceeBooks.com

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-symphonyoflightandwinter-1223873-340.html

Kobo.com

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Symphony-of-Light-and-Winter/book-tsrzyKC1XkahOlFggCuesA/page1.html?s=5SwqI-eHDECBq4H4ufblnQ&r=1

 About the Author: 

Renea Mason

Renea Mason writes steamy romances to help even out the estrogen to testosterone imbalance caused by living in a house full of men.

When she isn’t putting pen to paper crafting sensual stories filled with supernatural lovers, she spends time with her beyond-supportive husband, two wonderful sons and three loving but needy cats.

She is also a founding member of the http://coffeetalkwriters.com/

 Contact or follow Renea Mason

http://www.ReneaMason.com

http://www.Facebook.com/ReneaMasonAuthor

http://www.Facebook.com/symphonyoflightandwinter

http://www.Pinterest.com/ReneaMason

http://www.goodreads.com/ReneaMason

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/reneamasonauthor

https://twitter.com/ReneaMason1

S.ReneaMason@gmail.com

My Review:

I do love a good supernatural romance novel and this does tick all the boxes. Interesting plot and concept with main characters that are strong yet flawed.

Before I read it, I did a sneaky Goodreads check and found that most reviewers gave it 5 out 5 stars, so I thought ‘wow, I can’t wait to read this’.

I must admit, and this is just my personal opinion, I didn’t like the (near the start) scene with the two main characters when they almost do the nasty in the ladies’ toilets. Not for the writing, that was flawless, but more because it danced a very fine line between passion and rape. I get that there was tension and attraction going on, but Cyril certainly becomes an unattractive man in my eyes for his aggression in that opening gambit.  From then on, I really didn’t want them to get together, and that reader need is very integral to any romance – paranormal or not.

From a writer’s perspective it was was written exceptionally well and the plot flowed nicely and kept me reading. There were nice touches of humor in there too. However, if I hadn’t been reading the book for a tour, I’d have stopped after the toilet scene – which would have been a massive shame to have missed the rest.

The front cover is pretty, but ultimatly doesn’t say much about the book – the title is lovely though, and is unique and very apt to the book itself.

Overall I’d give Symphony of Light and Winter 4 out 5 stars. Impecabbly written paranormal romance.

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Book Review: Dangerously Hers by A M Griffin

dangerouslyhers_msrSynopsis:

Jess hates aliens. After the invasion that destroyed Earth, the extraterrestrial bastards sold her to a brothel as a sex slave. She may have escaped but the old memories and fears still linger in the dark corners of her mind. Supposedly Sonis is just the place for her—somewhere safe, where she can heal and start fresh. She’s almost hopeful…until she meets Rasha, her new boss.

Rasha, captain of the Sonis Royal Guard, is a warrior through and through. He’s huge, sinfully sexy and could have any woman on Sonis—but the woman he wants is Jess. He’s very much an alien and Jess knows she should hate him or at least be wary, but whenever he’s around, she loses control. She tells herself it’s only sex—amazing, mind-blowing sex like nothing else she’s ever experienced—but there’s something about Rasha that shakes her soul. The feel of his skin against hers, the look in his eyes as he touches her—they make her want to believe it’s possible to find love and begin again.

A Romantica® science fiction erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave Ellora’s Cave

About the Author: Loving Dangerously Banner

A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

Website:  http://www.amgriffinbooks.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/amgriffinbooks
Twitter:  http://Twitter.com/amgriffinbooks

My Review:

I haven’t read many sci-fi books generally, but the idea of a romance/sci-fi really intrigued me. Dangerously Hers is the 3rd book in a series, and to be honest, that doesn’t matter as each book seems to concentrate on a different set of characters brought from the side-lines of the previous books – a brilliant idea in itself!

I really loved this book. I was surprised at how easy it was to slip into this alien world and fall in love with such foreign characters, and even the exotic setting itself. Jess was a beautifully flawed heroine who had been through so much already, and to follow her on her journey was a pleasure. I wasn’t sure about love scenes with aliens, but the author manages to make it just as acceptable as human/human scenes.

From a writer’s perspective the flow of the book was amazing and I actually felt myself drawn to reading this over other giving my usual time to my own writing (naughty author!) The descriptions were perfectly balanced and the spicy scenes were legitimately placed and executed.

The front cover is a little bland compared to the intricacies of the plot, however even an alien six pack is worth a wanton sigh from readers.

Overall I’d give Dangerously Hers 5 out of 5 stars – you have to read this book, whether you feel it’s your genre or not – just try it, you won’t be disappointed.

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Book Review: The Genie Smolders by Kellyann Zuzulo

182148171Synopsis:

Feel the heat of a long-awaited reunion…

Zubis. A jinni. A creature of fire. A lover who touched her body and soul like no man ever could. He swore to love her forever. When their enemies closed in, they were torn apart. The only token of their love was the child she carried and a broken heart.

To be a family, Bethany is determined to find Zubis again. But there are forces at work that condemn the very existence of their baby daughter, Fia. She will never be safe without her father’s ferocious power to protect her and the ancient magic of a mother’s prayer.

When Fia is taken,Zubis and Bethany are reunited in a storm of heady desire and deadly intrigue. Together, they reignite a smoldering love that has the power to set two worlds
on fire.

About the Author:8562fd0b5a810ad8956e08.L._V389820383_

Kellyann Zuzulo writes fiction about genies. Her combination of research and personal experience (ask her about that one time the genie set fire to her Kindle) bring the world of the jinn to life.

THE GENIE IGNITES, a paranormal romance novel, is Book One of the Zubis Chronicles from Boroughs Publishing Group and is a finalist in the 2013 Abalone Awards, which recognizes “Outstanding Ethno-Cultural Romance.” Book two, THE GENIE SMOLDERS, will be released in Spring 2013. Her paranormal romance series, 101 Nights, starts with TO HAVE AND TO HOLD and will tell the story in five installments of a beautiful genie trapped in the wild suburbs of New Jersey.

Kellyann’s first novel, A GENIE IN THE HOUSE OF SAUD: ZUBIS RISES, was a winner in the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Kellyann contributed the story STAR LIGHT, BLOOD BRIGHT to the anthology SEVEN SOULS A LEAPING, which was selected by Joyfully Reviewed as one of the best of 2011.

Kellyann is a member of the Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Backspace Writers Group, and a regular contributor to The Pop Culture Divas blog. A former journalist, Kellyann lives on the East Coast with her husband, three children, and two jaunty terriers, Djin-Djin and Dixie.

My Review:

I must admit that I didn’t know that this was a second book in a series – I much prefer to read novels in order, however I don’t think you need to with this one, as it catches you up along the way quite nicely.

Jinn are an interesting paranormal creature to write about, and I must admit that they are one of my favourites – ever since I watched ‘I Dream of Genie’ when I was a little girl.  There’s a lot of world building in the book and sometimes I got a little confused and frustrated to have unknown words thrust into paragraphs – it was a little jarring and kind of takes the reader out of the scene – but maybe this happened because I jumped in at book two?

From a writer’s perspective the opening scene was hard to get into. It’s basically a Jinn hassling an old nun and quite a number of info dumps which seemed to simply repeat the same thing over again. If I hadn’t have been reading this book for a tour, I would have given up there. The Jinn is a bully and nothing much happens for a number of pages. I pushed on, and to be honest, I’m really glad I did. If I’d have stopped reading I’d have missed out on this new world and it’s characters. Once again I’m guessing that the opening scene makes more sense after reading the first book – but even mid series the opening chapter should really contain the beloved characters as, even regular readers will have spent time apart from them, and need them to cling onto when starting the next installement.

The front cover doesn’t really tell you much and, I know I harp on about this a lot, I think that’s a big mistake from a marketing point of view. Some readers might overlook a good story if the cover is boring. And with this series there is soooo many cool aspects that can be used to make a beautiful and alluring cover.

Overall I’d give the Genie Smolders 3 out 5 stars – a different paranormal romance that successfully strays from the traditional vampires and werewolves.

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