Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review & Author Interview: Scrying for Summer by Katherine McIntyre

Title: Scrying for Summer
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Genre/Age: Paranormal Romance/Adult
Series: Philadelphia Coven Chronicles (Book Two)
Publisher: Loose ID
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺✺.5
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisJev was looking for an adventure, however she wanted the usual variety of stomping out nasty fae in the city as an enforcer of the Philly Coven. Instead, handsome as sin Liam O'Reilly shows up on her doorstep dropping news of the worst organization of fae they'd dealt with on the rise again. Except, he's a traitor, an asshole, and the absolute last person she wants to work with. 

However, the longer they work together, the more the fire between them burns, turning from rage and irritation into something primal. And as she gets to know the real Liam O'Reilly behind the charming smiles and sexy lines, he becomes so much deadlier. Because the protective, self-sacrificing man underneath his facade is just the sort she could fall for.


Author Interview with Katherine McIntyre


  • Brief introduction? In 3 sentences or less, tell me about yourself.

For zodiac lovers, I’m an Aries-Taurus cusp, but for the rest of you all, I’m a neurotic and enthusiastic book lover who’s a massage therapist by day and author by night. 


  • What genre do you write and why?

I write paranormal romance the most, because as someone who grew up bingeing on fantasy novels, it’s not a far stretch. I absolutely adore the combination of contemporary reality with magic and weird, which is the main reason I would always choose urban fantasy and paranormal romance over any genre.


  • Is writing your day job? If not, what else do you do?

I’m also a massage therapist! What I love about writing and massage is connecting with people. I’m a big mushy, gushy empathy at heart, so I adore finding out what makes people tick and bringing them all together. 


  • Any hobbies?

I turn all my hobbies into jobs, but I have cycled through a lot of them. Over the years, I’ve learned to brew beer, make soap, roast coffee, and blend teas. I also used to be really proficient with drawing, painting, and singing. If it involves being creative, chances are I’ll adore the pursuit.  


  • Do you have a favorite book or author?

The author who guarantees a fun read that will make me laugh is always, always Ilona Andrews. I adore their books. When I’m looking for the sort of stories that make my heart ache, that have such gorgeous prose it near brings me to tears, I go to Sarah J Maas or Maggie Stiefvater. 


  • Do you write one thing at a time or have multiple projects going at once?

I would normally say I write one thing at a time and simultaneously edit one, but last year and this year has me changing my tune a little bit. Last year I still only wrote one thing at a time, but I edited multiple projects at once, and this year I’m writing two things simultaneously, so we shall see how that goes. 


  • What book that you’ve read has had the biggest effect on you?

I’m always being affected by what I read, but I have to say most recently, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas inspired me in a real way. I read both books in the series incredibly fast, and they resonated on this level that encourages me to dig deeper in my own stories and to find those truths that affect you to your very core. 


  • What’s on your music playlist?

I actually make new playlists for each book. For Scrying for Summer, I listened to a really eclectic variety of music. Some of the stuff was super nostalgic 80s songs like “Boys of Summer” and “Listen to Your Heart” while others were picked for their relaxed feel, ska/reggae fusion bands like Sonic Boom Six and Knock Out. And I had to include some old industrial club songs from my goth days since the main character Jev is a club kid. 


  • What is your least favorite part of the writing and publishing process?

The querying and submission cycle. Most of the other sections have their monotonous parts mixed in with the joy of it all, but no other section tends to wear me to the bone like querying and submitting. The anxiety of waiting on a response that can make or break if your book is getting published always gets under my skin. 


  • Do you use an outline or just jump right in?

My outlines would make plotters cry. I jump right in with at most, a couple bullet points to guide the way. While some folks would swear this is blasphemy, the method works incredibly well for me. I tend to be honest and straightforward, so the subtle deception of a twist doesn’t tend to work with my personality. The way I’ve accomplished twists in my stories is by experiencing them—I roll on ahead until I realize this thing HAS to happen, or I get that brilliant moment of inspiration mid-scene and surprise myself in the process. 


  • Do you ever dream or daydream about your characters?

All the time. Less dream, per se, but definitely daydream. A lot of times scenes will come to me when I’m thinking about how they’d handle something, or the hilarious banter they’d be having. 


  • What is your next project, after this?

Rising for Autumn, book three of the Philadelphia Coven Chronicles released on February 7th, and I just submitted the final book in the series, Waking for Winter to my editor. With the Philadelphia Coven Chronicles wrapped up, I started working on a paranormal romance with shifters and a young adult space opera. Both have been a blast to write so far, and I’m hoping before the end of the year I can get another manuscript picked up.

Here’s a sneak peek into Waking for Winter:

“She set her kettle on the stove and rummaged around her tea canister for the remaining bag of black peach in there. At this hour of the night, the wintry sky grew crystal, and those stars glinted like shards of ice. She leaned against her counter, sucking in breaths at a one-two cycle as she waited for her water to boil, trying to settle her nerves in the process. Even a nice warm cuppa and a good book couldn’t banish the way those icy fingers clawed into her heart. 

A knock sounded on her door.

Adrenaline rocketed through her veins as she shot from her perch on the defensive. Nothing good arrived after midnight.”


Quick Fire Questions… And GO!
  • Favorite color? Purple or red!
  • Favorite food? Cheese—really, anything with cheese
  • Favorite dessert? Chocolate chip cookies
  • Favorite vacation spot? Ireland
  • Favorite movie? The Last Unicorn
  • Favorite song? Since I love too many songs to choose, I’ll pick my favorite song to belt out annoyingly loud: The Final Countdown.
  • Favorite season? Spring. Nothing strikes my soul like seeing the first flash of purple as a crocus blooms on fallow ground or the first warm day as the fragrant freshness of blooming life travels with the breeze.
  • Favorite show to binge watch? I have a couple: Parks and Rec, Arrested Development, and Scrubs
  • How many pets do you have? 3 cats, who are all tiny assholes in their own right.
  • What do you drive? A lime green Ford Fiesta that I adore.
  • Do you have a pet peeve? The actor Nic Cage and the word chuckle.
  • What is your biggest fear? Failure.
  • Are you a night owl or early riser? Early riser, while my husband is a night owl, which is hilariously confusing at times.
  • The beach or the mountains? Mountains—I’ve got that pale Irish skin that makes too much sun exposure miserable.

Thank you to Katherine McIntyre for sparing some time to answer my questions!


**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

A traitor finds redemption and love...

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Liam doesn't have a lot of fans at the moment. When the safety of his mother was at stake, he had done some pretty shady things that led to some fairly deadly consequences. But when a friend needs his help, Liam knows he has to try to save him. Taking out a really bad guy in the process is a bonus.

Enter: a witch named Jev. Liam seeks out the one person he thinks might be willing to assist him and is surprised when she actually agrees. Sure, she may despise him. But he needs her quick wit and her magical abilities, not her approval.

However, the mission isn't an easy one. Evil creatures lurk at every turn and soon our pair is sent on a treasure hunt to find pieces of a missing genie lamp in order to save Liam's friend. Hordes of pixies, feral beasts, and a ruthless enemy stand in their way. It's one paranormal battle after another.

This is the second book of the series and another great read! I think I might have liked this one just a little bit more and only because the snarky banter between our couple was highly entertaining. The romance was pretty hot, too. I was caught off guard by some surprise kisses that made me smile. Liam and Jev were a good pairing of two headstrong characters with soft hearts.

The paranormal world was even more vast in this book with the addition of some new supernatural beings. There were a couple of repeat offenders, too, like the pixies. But even if I hadn't read the first book, I doubt I would have had trouble following along as the world-building isn't really all that complicated and the author does a good job of keeping us up to speed.

I found the first book to be on the wordy side and this one was, too. It's just this author's style of writing and it didn't bother me much this time around. It mostly occurred during the action scenes, in which every detail was meticulously described. But some action scenes were longer and some shorter. There was a decent balance this time around.

In closing...
There were tiny clues dropped that hint toward the next pairing for the third book. I am all for this coupling and eager to read it! 4.5 suns! 



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Friday, February 24, 2017

Promo & Tour: Dirty Deeds by A.J. Nuest


Title: Dirty Deeds
Author: A.J. Nuest
Genre/Age: Romantic Suspense/Adult
Series: Likely Story Series (Book One)
Publisher: Lyrical Press
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisAn Eye for an Eye

As owner of Dirty Deeds, a tech-savvy company specializing in the age-old art of revenge, Eden Smith knows first-hand that secrecy is critical. But when a dead body washes up on the shores of Lake Michigan clutching her business card, Eden’s well-constructed world begins to fall apart. Apparently, she’s not the only one with a passion for payback, and staying alive to outsmart a killer has become her most important job of all. 

A Game for a Game

Hardened homicide detective Kelly Riordan is convinced Eden Smith is hiding more than she’s willing to admit. Years on the force have taught him that nothing is what it seems, and that couldn’t be truer than when it comes to investigating the alluring owner of a revenge-for-hire business. But revealing her past could put everything Eden has worked for in jeopardy. And trusting a man like Riordan goes against the very instincts that have kept her alive this long.



Get in on the Scheme!

With: A.J. Nuest

As a general rule, I have what most would describe as a bubbly personality. Yeah, I know. I’m one of those good-girl types whose childhood resembled The Brady Bunch. But wait, it gets better. Because I’ve been lucky enough to have this same idyllic setting follow me into adulthood. I’ve been married to the same awesome guy for almost twenty years, have two amazing kids who blow me away on a daily basis and a set of dear, dear friends I’d be lost without. Overall, my life is normal, except—admittedly— for my chronic case of a writer’s overactive imagination.

It wasn’t surprising to me that, prior to delving into the world of romance suspense and writing DIRTY DEEDS, the first book in my A Likely Story series, I’d have to do a little research. Truth is, I have a hard enough time keeping secrets, much less channeling a set of characters who live in the revenge-for-hire world of disguises and schemes. Um…who knew washing a cheating ex-boyfriend’s underwear and tossing a small square of fiberglass into the dryer would make him itch for days? Or that taking bleach to said ex-boyfriend’s front lawn and spelling out a few choice words for the neighbors would destroy his grass, like, forever? This was news to me.

But I gotta admit, sitting down with Eden Smith and tapping into the more wicked side of my personality to write DIRTY DEEDS was also extremely…liberating. I’m a woman, after all, and I knew there was a devious side buried way down deep. Setting aside the rules so I could come up with the best way to exact some well-deserved revenge was just downright fun.

But this has also left me curious. Are you a good girl like me, willing to let the universe dish out its own brand of Karma? Or do you take matters into your own hands like Eden, and exact revenge in the best way you see fit? Do tell! 



Multi-published, award-winning author and editor AJ Nuest resides in Northwest Indiana with her loving husband, two beautiful children, and a bevy of spoiled pets. Her four-part serial fantasy romance, The Golden Key Chronicles, was recently named the RONE Time Travel Romance of 2015 by InD’tale Magazine, and her contemporary romantic comedy, She’s Got Dibs, won First Place in the Heartland Romance Author’s Show Me the Spark! Contest, 2013. For more please visit her at ajnuest.com.

B&N: http://bit.ly/2lkGYXw
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2lkqHBI
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2lkqRci


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: A Sailor's Delight by Beverly Ovalle

Title: A Sailor's Delight
Author: Beverly Ovalle
Genre/Age: Romance/NA
Series: The Santiago's Series (Book Two)
Publisher: Midwest Dragon Press
Format: ebook via Reading Alley
Rating: ✺✺✺.5
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisLee Santiago went from one mistake to the next. When a friend dies, exposing his mortality all too well Lee’s family steps in to force him to make something of himself. He can’t be a party boy all his life and if he wants to sign his life away, it will be on the dotted line. He doesn’t even have time to say goodbye. Anyway it was only a drunken one night stand.

Isabelle was always the good girl. Until that night. When the man she’d always worshiped finally noticed her. She couldn’t say no. She’s heartsick to find out he doesn’t remember it. Isabella’s life crashes around her when the results are in. The truth comes out and she has nowhere to turn. She looks for Lee, but he’s gone.

Will he be man enough to step up and face the consequences when he learns the truth?

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

One night can change everything...

Image result for ruh roh gif

When Lee wakes one morning, he finds a girl laying next to him and he has no memory of their night together. He doesn't even know who it is because he's so quick to get rid of her that he doesn't bother to look. Little does he know, he just spent the evening with the one girl he's always wanted. And by carelessly shoving her away, he made the biggest mistake of his life. But before he can fix it, tragedy strikes and Lee is left shaken to his core and reevaluating his life choices, leading him to enlist in the Navy.

Izzy doesn't have time to rejoice the fact that her dream of being with the guy she's pined for has finally come true. She has a funeral to attend and then Lee disappears, altogether. But it isn't until she finds out that she is expecting his baby that her world finally crashes down. And when Lee finds out, they each have some tough choices to make about their futures.

This book had several great moments and even a few gut-wrenching ones. The pacing started out quick but was slower, overall. There was a nice amount of character development but not very much face time between our couple. They spend over half of the book apart. I would have liked to see them struggle to become a couple more than just witnessing their decision to be together. The romance was good, though, when they finally did come face to face and there was plenty of conflict to keep things interesting in the meantime.

As prior military, myself, I am always wary of books with military characters. Why? Because no matter how much research an author does, they always seem to get something wrong in regards to terminology or procedures. This is one of those themes in which you really have to live it to know it. And as prior Navy, myself, I always seem to notice any discrepancies.

In this case, it was clear that the author knew what she was talking about. I even took a peek at her biography and saw that she, too, was a veteran. This definitely showed in her writing as the details about boot camp graduation stood out to me. Even the bit about getting a custom omelet made me smile. That was always my favorite part of galley breakfast. P.S. I always got my omelets with just cheese. *chuckle*

I did have a few mild issues with the way the story was told. For one, I am used to dual POV books and those usually pick up where the other leaves off, giving us a real-time experience throughout the story. This one followed its own rules and sometimes continued on but other times backtracked and actually repeated snippets of the story. The repetition became annoying. Yes, there are two sides of the story but we don't really need to see every single moment from both sides.

The other thing I noticed was how the story included literally just about every waking moment. In detail. I don't mind some downtime. It's necessary to keep a story from becoming too jumbled and it gives a reader time to breathe. But needing to know every single move that a character makes, from their meals to their showers, over and over... It becomes tedious to read all of the mundane daily tasks.

In closing...
A pretty good read with likable characters. 3.5 suns!

Review: Masquerade by Chloe Clark & Hazel Kelly

Title: Masquerade
Author: Hazel Kelly & Chloe Clark
Genre/Age: Romance/Erotica
Series: None
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via KindleUnlimited
Rating: ✺✺✺
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisCassie Harrington may be a chronic overachiever, but leaving her comfort zone doesn't come easy. 

So when her best friend invites her to a sexy masquerade party because she wants to check some kinky stuff off her Bucket List, she agrees to go- but Only as Ruby's chaperone. 

Under No circumstance is Cassie hooking up with a masked stranger. 

Especially not that guy at the top of the stairs whose broad shoulders and deep voice alone are enough to make her knees buckle. 

Yeah, definitely not that guy. 

**Author's note: This standalone contemporary romance contains no cliffhanger, no cheating, and is sure to give you lots of warm fuzzies in all the right places.


Another amazing read from Hazel Kelly! (Plus Chloe Clark!)

Image result for catwoman dark knight gif

As you probably know, Hazel Kelly has become on of my top ten favorite authors. I always enjoy her stories and knew this would be no different. But this book was a surprise, even for me.

Cassie agrees to attend a sex party but has no plans to actually participate in the activities. Or even watch them. She will just keep her distance until her friend finishes with whatever naughty situation she gets into and then Cassie can forget this ever happened.

That is, until she meets a tall stranger with broad shoulders and a dark mask. Her world turns upside down because she suddenly wants more of what he had to offer, despite the fact that she has no real idea who he is and the only way to contact him is by attending another of the scandalous parties.

But as fate would have it, the truth always comes to light in the end. A chance encounter reveals the identities of our couple and both of them find that they can't simply move on to another. They want each other even though being together, even casually, can cause serious problems in their normal lives.

This was one steamy story. It starts out with a bang and left me itching to find out who the masked man was. And even though the sex is spectacular, I actually found the romance to be the best element of this book. I was surprised by our mystery man's affectionate side. It was great to see a man who knows what he wants and doesn't want to play games to get it.

In closing...
Hot love making that leads to real love. Four steamy suns!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Blitz: International YA Giveaway


During the blitz, readers will find out about the authors, their books and their amazing international giveaway. Four winners will receive a selection of best selling paperbacks, hard cover editions and the all new Amazon Echo Dot!

International giveaway is open to US, Canada, The United Kingdom and Australia

Link to Giveaway: http://bit.ly/2jPpOhK

Presented by: Melissa A. Craven, Michelle Madow, Kristin D Van Risseghem, Kelly St Clare, Norma Hinkens, J.A. Culican, Raye Wagner, Siobhan Davis, Anna Santos, Sarah K. Wilson, Michelle Bryan, Erin Hayes, Kelly Carrero, Karen Tomlinson and Heather Hamilton Senter. 



Melissa A. Craven
Emerge: The Awakening
Allie has always believed life is simple.
You’re born. You live. You die.
But she's about to learn those rules don't apply to her. For years, she has suffered as those around her avoid her at all costs, too intimidated to get to know her. It's left Allie feeling like an outcast for fifteen years.
When an unexpected move brings Aidan McBrien crashing into her life, he doesn’t shrink from her touch. With Aidan, she will discover what true equality means and she'll finally have a friendship unlike any she's ever known.


Karen Tomlinson:
A Bond of Venom and Magic
Magic awakens. Darkness stirs. The Wraith Lord is hunting.
For Diamond Gillon the war raging in the South seems a remote danger, until her home is brutally attacked.
Catapulted into a terrifying new world in which legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned and half-blood fae have no rights, Diamond is drawn ever closer to her saviour, Commander Hugo Casimir. But Hugo is a heartless killer, owned by the cruel immortal fae queen; a queen who will murder her own people for magic...


Sarah K. Wilson:
The Ex-Pacifist
Vera and her bodyguard, Roman, are connected by the computers in their heads and can silently coordinate. The downside? They’re on an impossible mission set by a vengeful emperor who would prefer to see them both dead. Not many sixteen-year-olds have to fight an entire empire for survival – and not many would be so good at it.


Norma Hinkens
Girl of Fire
A smoking hot new science fiction tale of dark dealings and treachery in space. In a high-stakes story of shocking secrets, a gutsy heroine with grit and personality takes on the seedy Galactic underworld of cutthroat body poachers and double-crossing space pirates!


Kelly St. Clare
Fantasy of Frost
The veil I've worn from birth carries with it a terrible loneliness; a suppression I cannot imagine ever being free of.
Sometimes it takes the world bringing you to your knees to find that spark you thought forever lost.
Sometimes it takes death to show you how to live.


Heather Hamilton-Senter
To Make a Witch
Being the good girl doesn’t always pay off.
Lacey McInnis is hoping to make a fresh start in New Orleans—she’s also hoping to forget she almost became a powerful witch, and that she almost sold her soul to do it. But when the tomb of the Voodoo queen Marie Laveau is desecrated, and then a gruesome murder is committed in the very heart of Westover Academy, Lacey will need to decide if she's ready to become the witch she was always meant to be.



Anna Santos
Save Me
Jacob is a gargoyle with a curse, waiting for decades for his soul-mate. When he saves a beautiful werewolf girl from near death, he finds the one he’s been looking for. But true love comes with a price and, in Jacob’s case, it can cost him his very own existence.



Erin Hayes
How to be a Mermaid
All Tara ever wanted was to be a mermaid. So she takes a year off between high school and college to don a fake tail and tour aquariums across the country in a professional mermaid troupe. Everything's great until she meets a gorgeous real-life merman named Finn. Suddenly, what she thought was a dream turns out to be a nightmare -- she's turning into a real mermaid herself.


Michelle Madow
Elementals
MAGICAL. ROMANTIC. ADDICTING.
Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods... but she doesn't know it until she moves to a new town and discovers a dangerous world of magic and monsters that she never knew existed.
"Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson with an added twist of teenage angst, hormones, and uncertainty... I am officially HOOKED!"


Siobhan Davis:
Saven Deception
In a futuristic undersea city, Sadie falls hard for captivating Logan — only to discover that he comes from another world! Action, romance and intrigue combine in this addictive page-turner. "The X-Files meets Twilight and blows them both away!"



Siobhan Davis:
True Calling:
For Ariana Skyee, Planet Novo was everything it promised to be until the authorities introduced "The Calling" as their response to repopulation. Now, all seventeen-year-olds are to participate in this Bachelor-style pageant to find their perfect match, marry, and have children. "Fans of Matched and The Selection will really love this book ... it's amazing!"



Kristin D. Van Risseghem:
Swords & Stilettos
17-year old Zoe needs to devise a kick-ass plan to save the world ASAP. Otherwise, Armageddon starts the day she turns eighteen—and if that happens, everything is going to hell. Literally.
"Swords & Stilettos; an absolute winner. Could not put it down!"



Michelle Bryan:
Strain of Resistance
Bixby and her crew of survivors lost everything on the day the world was invaded by the alien predators. Their homes. Their families. Everything they held dear. No more. This is the story of their resistance.


Kelly Carrero:
Severed Wings
Luciana dreams of being normal. In reality what she is, is far from normal. But feeling other people’s pains does that to a girl. That is until she meets the one man that makes it all go away. Now, Luciana must decide if she should trust her feelings and believe in the man from her dreams who says he’s a Soul Collector and she was the girl he refused to collect.