Thursday, May 28, 2015

DeepFreak & Q&A with author Mars Dumont

Q&A with author Mars Dumont


Who is Mars Dumont?

Mars: Actually, Mars Dumont is not a real person, it's two people.

Venus: Hi, I’m Venus Dumont. We think of ourselves as a band. Originally we tried to think of a band name like “Liquid Mars” but it sounded too goofy so we came up with a nome de plume using his first name and my last name.


So how does writing together work?

Mars: I'm color, Venus is form.

Venus: Basically I sketch out the story line and Mars writes. But we switch roles. When it gels we both know it. Until then it can be a real struggle.


Do you argue?

Venus: Fight? Us? You bet! There's the whole male-female swing of the book. I work out the romance and Mars focuses on the cyberpunk and the conspiratorial angles. When Mars starts gagging on my love scenes I get really mad. But the general rule is if one of us thinks it's bad, it is bad.
Mars: And then there's the editing. Venus is brutal: if it isn't absolutely necessary it's out. Weeks, sometimes months of effort on the cutting room floor. Without so much as an apology.


How do you keep on the same page, so to speak, how do you keep from working at cross purposes?
Venus: We have a routine, we write by day and at night we read out loud to one another. When you read out loud whatever isn't working is glaring. Once the characters are well defined they write themselves.

Mars: We also keep picture boards. We're both visual people. We try to collect inspiration for every character, outfit and setting. If we can see it we can convey it. If we aren’t seeing the same thing then we haven’t worked it out well enough. But when we get into a groove it’s like magic. We go to places where neither of us could get to on our own.

Do you both write all the characters or does Venus write certain characters and Mars write the others?
Venus: There’s a lot of back and forth but once the characters are well defined they write themselves. I never felt like we wrote this book. It’s almost like we were channeling the story. Sometimes I re-read and I just don’t know where it came from.

Mars: Really? Really??? I read it and I am reminded of three and a half years of some of the most demanding work I’ve ever done.

Venus: But it was fun!

Mars: Yeah, it was fun.


About the Author:

Mars:  Mars was born in Poona, India. His father was a biologist, and research grants took his family to Mexico City, Silicone Valley, Stockholm, and finally New York City. After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, Mars traveled around Europe and spent time in London and Prague. He finished his undergraduate studies at Columbia College, with a major in art history and a minor in physics, and then got a Masters degree at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture. Mars then spent many years doing architecture as a day job and playing electric guitar (for The Shameless Sycophants, Dark Blue and Linoleum Blownapart) at night, in clubs ranging from CBGB’s to the Knitting factory. Mars holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an Elder Brother rank in Tiger Claw Kung Fu. Mars Dumont speaks three languages: Czech, Spanish and English. Remaining creative is, as far as Mars is concerned, the most important thing in life.

Venus: Venus’ unique style took form in New York City with summers on Block Island under the supervision of her advertising mad man art director father and her gourmet cook mother. Their home was a gathering place for artists and intellectuals. As a child she wrote and illustrated her own books. Venus’ affinity for art and design eventually took her to Italy where she studied for a number of years. Although she has lived and worked as a designer in New York City for most of her adult life, she still retains close ties with friends in Florence and a love of everything Italian. Venus has a soft spot for Italian style anarchy and humanist centered dissidents. She also likes to dabble in the mysteries of Astrology and Tarot and draws on the archetypes to develop the characters in her books.

Title:  Deep Freak
Author:  Mars Dumont
Published:  January 6/15
Length:  434pgs
Genre:  SciFi
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

A magical mystery tour of virtual reality and beyond. Love, politics, conspiracy, and fluctuating space-time coordinates all come to a head when a huge solar flare disrupts the event horizon between parallel universes.

Living in simulated reality, SIM, is all the rage in the mid twenty-first century. But just when it seems that illusion has triumphed and Reality has become irrelevant, Reality throws a curve ball.

Audrey is a SIMdesigner and an artPrank hacktivist. When her friend Dano disappears, Audrey is forced into the gritty world of Real to find him. People disappear all the time in this dystopian near future. But then there are Type III disappearances, so when the young Milan also vanishes, but this time right before Audrey’s eyes, the quest for the disappeared takes a whole new turn and Audrey finds herself unwillingly thrust on a bizarre existential odyssey. Real? SIM? Or hallucination? Nothing is what it seems.
Meanwhile, Milan wakes floating in midair before the floor suddenly comes up and crashes hard into him. He looks around and at first the room does nothing. Then it wakes up. Myllan is on the other side, a place where people meet in Astral, not SIM, where luminescent mushrooms grow in the snow, and the weather knows what you are thinking.

Excerpt:

Gravity is a convention in SIM. Otherwise you’d puke. Distance? That’s optional.

High-voltage energy escalated as avatars shifted from one group of friends at the noLine to another. Sometimes instantly. Warp speed was the preferred method of transference, but way overplayed. The black Madonna, the one with the stars of the cosmos shimmering in her bare breasts, wore the music of the spheres like a halo. She rose like darkness and cast her shadow as she traveled. Way fuKool. With an avatar like that you could get past the bouncers. Holding a ticket wasn’t enough. You couldn’t just buy your way into this phantasmagorical fabFreak Switch hauteMode mecca. You had to be inducted.

My Review:

Dumont’s premise is unique & catching. She had me intellectually and imaginatively captivated. The mix of future & technology is brought to life in a manner that caught my attention and had me wanting to know what happens next. That said, I found the style that the story was written in to be very distracting. I felt as if the author was going for a gritty feel to the tale, which she did achieve in a manner, but it was done in a manner that I found hard to get into.

The characters are fetching. The unique circumstances that they found themselves in drew me to them almost as much as the situations they find themselves in. Both them and the world that they live in were brought to life in a way that was larger than life.

As a whole, this was an enjoyable tale that brought a futuristic world to life in a fetching manner. It was a unique tale that allowed my imagination to escape for a while.


And, be sure to enter these fantastic tour wide giveaways!


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The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy

Title:  The Talon of the Hawk
Series:  The Twelve Kingdoms #3
Author:  Jeffe Kennedy
Published:  May 26/15 by Kensington
Length:  352pgs
Genre:  fantasy
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

A HEAVY CROWN

Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…

My Review:

Kennedy brings her world to life with a flare that allows readers to easily picture it. The tale was remarkably intriguing and kept my attention. What a wonderful ending to this trilogy. I love how everything wasn’t tied up in a pretty bow, but yet all of the loose ends were tied up, leaving openings for the series to continue. The pacing of the novel was great, neither racing forward at breakneck pace nor lagging.

I appreciated the fact that not all of the characters in this novel were loveable. The mix of characters that we get to know kept me on my toes and made it all seem so much more real. The strength of character in the min players of the novel was fantastic.

This was a great story that took me away from reality for a while. And for those who haven’t read the rest of the series, don’t worry. It’s a great story in and of itself as well.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brokedown Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Title:  Brokedown Cowboy
Series:  Copper Ridge #2
Author:  Maisey Yates
Published:  May 26/15 by HQN Books
Length:  368pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

There are lines best friends shouldn't cross, but in Copper Ridge, Oregon, the temptation might be too much…
If practice makes perfect, Connor Garrett should be world champion of being alone. Since losing his wife he's concentrated exclusively on his family's ranch. Until his dear friend Felicity Foster needs a place to stay and Connor invites her to move in temporarily. That's what friends do—and Liss is his rock. What friends don't do? Suddenly start fantasizing about each other in their underwear. Or out of it…

Since high school, Liss has kept her raging crush in check. Another few weeks should be a breeze. But helping Connor rebuild his life only reinforces how much she longs to be a part of it. One explosive encounter, and she'll discover that getting what you always wanted can feel better than you ever dreamed…

My Review:

This was an emotionally turbulent yet extremely rewarding novel. Yates kept me captive from the first page to the last (and now I’m counting down the days for the next in the series). I laughed and cried in turn while becoming part of the world that was unfolding before my eyes. Yet, the story was also about so much more than simply the relationship between the main characters. Every aspect of the story made it more believable and loveable.

Yates has multifaceted character development and complexly realistic characters down pat. The main characters of this novel are no exception. I love how who they are today is built directly upon where they came from. The fact that this isn’t just Connor’s second marriage, but that there’s a big old twist in the relationship makes it more interesting. It also makes it that much more heartbreaking and harder for the characters to come to grips with. I really felt for both of the main characters, if in completely different manners. But these fantastic main characters are backed up with some intriguing individuals in their family & friends circle who truly fill out the story nicely. I really enjoyed the roles that they play in this novel. Yates not only brings her characters to life, she also brings ranching and farm living to life in a big & realistic manner. I loved getting to know these characters better in their home surroundings.

This novel was definitely a great addition to Yates’ series. It was heartfelt & funny, while at the same time tackling some very tough and sensitive subjects. It’s a must read for anyone who enjoys a good romance.


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Cover Reveal - Madison's Song by Christine Amsden

Her voice is enchanting; his soul is black…

Madison Carter has been terrified of Scott Lee since the night he saved her from an evil sorcerer – then melted into a man-eating monster before her eyes. The werewolf is a slave to the moon, but Madison’s nightmares are not.

Despite her fears, when Madison’s brother, Clinton, is bitten by a werewolf, she knows there is only one man who can help. A man who frightens her all the more because even in her nightmares, he also thrills her.

Together for the first time since that terrible night, Scott and Madison drive to Clinton’s home only to discover that he’s vanished. Frantic now, Madison must overcome her fears and uncover hidden strengths if she hopes to save him. And she’s not the only one fighting inner demons. Scott’s are literal, and they have him convinced that he will never deserve the woman he loves.


*Stand-alone companion to the Cassie Scot series


Ebook Release: July 15, 2015
Tentative Paperback Release: September 15, 2015




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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Healed by the Dragon part 4 by Jessie Donovan

Title:  Healed by the Dragon #4
Series:  Stonefire Dragons #13
Author:  Jessie Donovan
Published:  May 28/15
Length:  129pgs
Genre:  paranormal romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Will Lochguard survive the attack? Will Finn and Arabella finally get their happy ending?

This final installment answers those questions, and more.

36,500 words / 18+, explicit language and sexual situation / No Cliffhanger

My Review:

As usual, Donovan brings her world to life in a very vivid and inescapable manner. Her descriptions paint the Lochguard lands in a manner that allows you to picture each and every aspect of it. The intense chemistry between Ara and Finn is inescapable from the 1st sentence. It mixes with the suspense and danger for a very heady mix.

The closer look at the DDA strategies helps put the dragon clans in the wider perspective of the world as a whole. The contrast between humans, dragonshifters & dragon hunters becomes ever more apparent here. Not only that, but the characters’ interactions with them, and each other, really allowed me to get to know them on a deeper level.

This story was intense and absolutely unforgettable. It was a fantastic ending to Finn & Ara’s tale while also adding a great deal to the series as a whole.


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Yeild to Me by Sarah Castile

Title:  Yeild to Me
Series:  Club Excelcior #1
Author:  Sarah Castille
Published:  May 27/15 by Sarah Castille
Length:  106pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

No-holds-barred attraction...

Amateur MMA fighter, Marcy Foster is determined to win the state championship. But dark secrets and a broken trust mean there's one submission she just can’t master. Fortunately Club Excelsior has hired a coach who knows all the right moves.

Sexy, confident and commanding, fight consultant Jax demands control, both in and out of the ring. But once he has Marcy against the ropes, Jax knows he’s in too deep. He has the dominance to give her what she needs, but once he unleashes her hidden passions, there's no going back.

Under Jax's skilled hands, Marcy submits to her deepest desires. But when her personal and professional worlds collide, she is forced to face a brutal truth — yielding to her darkest needs may be the one thing that costs her the fight...and her heart.

*This novella was originally published in the New York Times bestselling anthology, Unraveled, and now contains 50% new content*

My Review:

I love Castille’s take on MMA & the look at women fighting. It’s empowering without going overboard. The theme of accepting who you are and using it to your advantage also heightened my enjoyment of the story. I was absolutely entranced by Castille’s writing. I simply couldn’t look away. Not only is the story well written & edited, the plot is solid & exciting. Her narrative and descriptions bring this novella to life in a very vivid and enticing manner. The fight scenes are just as vivid and captivating and the erotic ones. Castille takes an extremely unique look at the world of domination and submission, creating a unique niche for herself in a flooded market.

The dual perspectives in this tale gives a well-rounded impression of the main characters and their stories. The contrast & similarities between the two makes you see how they’d make a great couple, while their antagonism towards one another sets the chemistry aflame. Backed by the family and loyalty at Excelsior, these characters really make you want to come back for more.

Castille’s work never fails to captivate her audience but she steps above and beyond with this one. It is a fantastic start to a series that I will be avidly following. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to others.


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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Sheikh's Secret Babies & Bon Appétit and a Book with Lynne Graham

Bon Appétit and a Book 
THE SHEIKH’S SECRET BABIES

***

LYNNE GRAHAM’S
Machboos
Serves 5

Ingredients · 1 tablespoon curry powder, medium or hot
· 4 bay leaves
· 11/2 tablespoon paprika
· 2 cardamom pods
· 4 cloves
· 5 black peppercorns
· 1/4 tablespoon crushed dried lemon
· 1 cinnamon stick, broken into a few pieces
· 3 teaspoons cooking oil
· 2 large onions, chopped
· 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
· 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
· 2 chicken stock cubes
· 1 whole skinned chicken, cut up
· 700ml water
· 400g basmati rice, washed in water a few times

Method
Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: 1hour, Ready in: 1hour and 20 minutes

Mix the curry powder, bay leaves, paprika, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, crushed dried lemon and cinnamon stick into a bowl. Add the cooking oil to a frying pan and fry the onions on medium heat. As the onions are almost half way to becoming brown, add the bowl of spices to the onions and mix together thoroughly.

After a few minutes, add the chopped garlic. Once the onions are brown, add the tomatoes, chicken stock cubes and chicken. Fry the chicken until it’s fully sealed. Continue to fry the chicken for about 5 minutes on medium heat after the meat is sealed. Add the water, stir well and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink at the centre, stirring every few minutes. Taste the juice and add salt accordingly.

Once the meat is fully cooked, and enough salt added, add the rice. Bring it up to the boil, stir it every 3 minutes for approximately 6 minutes. Then turn the gas down to the lowest flame possible, put a lid on and allow it to slowly simmer, stirring every 2 minutes. As the rice is cooking, the water will slowly disappear.

When you can see the water is almost completely gone, taste the rice to see if it’s fully cooked. If the rice is still not fully cooked, add a little drop of water, allow it to cook further. Taste again, and continue this process until the rice is fully cooked (carefully add a little water at a time to avoid soggy rice)

Once the rice is fully cooked then it's simply a case of just serving and enjoying with friends and family!

It’s delicious with yoghurt, chopped mint and a fresh cut salad.


You can use beef instead of chicken, just cook the meat until it’s fully cooked. The rest of the cooking remains the same.

About the author:

LYNNE GRAHAM’S first book was published in 1987. Today she is the bestselling Mills and Boon Presents author with sales of 26 million books worldwide. Born of Irish/Scottish parentage, Lynne Graham has lived in Northern Ireland all her life. She has one brother. She grew up in a seaside village and now lives in a country house surrounded by a woodland garden, which is wonderfully private. Lynne first met her husband when she was 14. They married after she completed a degree at Edinburgh University. Lynne wrote her first book at 15 and it was rejected everywhere. She started writing again when she was at home with her first child. It took several attempts before she sold her first book and the delight of seeing that first book for sale in the local newsagents has never been forgotten. www.lyneegraham.com.

Praise for Lynne Graham:
“Secrets, betrayals and misunderstandings fill every page of Graham’s remarkable re-do romance. The melding of cultures, exotic desert customs and locales are unforgettable.”  –RT Book Reviews

“The romance was passionate, angst ridden and so intense.”  –Harlequin Junkie

“I have always been a fan of Lynne Graham as she is one of the authors who instilled in me the love for the Harlequin romances…”  –Maldivian Book Reviewer’s


Title:  The Sheikh's Secret Babies
Series:  Bound by Gold #2
Author:  Lynne Graham
Published:  April 21/15 by Harlequin
Length:  192pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Twin royal heirs!

Prince Jaul of Marwan's royal duty is to marry a suitable bride. But first he must divorce the woman who betrayed him. Locating his estranged wife? Easy. The intense passion still burning between them? Manageable. Discovering he has two royal heirs? Impossible!

Devastated when her handsome prince deserted her, Chrissie Whitaker's beautiful twin babies were the only balm to her broken heart. Now Jaul will stop at nothing to claim his legitimate heirs, but can Chrissie forget their painful past and recognize him as her husband in every sense of the word?

My Review:

What happens when those you trust most betray you? What happens when you need to rebuild afterwards? Graham has taken these questions and created a heartfelt novel surrounding them. She provided an intriguing look at the clash of cultures and the ensuing prejudices. Readers really got a feel for what it’s like to be caught up in the middle of it all and how a single misunderstanding can be so life altering. They also experience the differences in culture for themselves as Graham takes them from London to Marwan in a manner that makes you feel as if you’ve actually been there. On top of that, she weaves in the notion of a second chance romance and some hot & steamy chemistry to keep readers on their toes.

I quite enjoyed getting to know the main characters in this novel. They were such complex individuals dealing with personal, interpersonal, and political difficulties. Jaul’s realization that he may not always be right clashes directly with his authority as king, making him seem just that little bit vulnerable and so very real. Chrissie’s need to do right by her children supersedes her own needs to the extent that you can’t help but fall a little bit in love with her. At the same time, her love for her husband, regardless of the past, is heartwarming.

Graham has taken a story that transcends the ages and turned it into something magical. She has created characters that are believable yet beyond what most of us live in the everyday and shown how love really is worth the trouble. This is definitely a second chance romance well worth reading.


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Meeting the Boss by Vickie Valentine

Title:  Meeting the Boss
Series:  Billionaire Obsession #1
Author:  Vickie Valentine
Published:  May 10/15
Length:  54pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

When I landed the best bartending job in downtown Chicago, the rules were clear as the Grey Goose martini I mixed for him. Don’t sleep with the patrons. I had no problem with that. Money didn’t impress me.

But Damon Baxter’s eyes did. Midnight blue, just like the name of his nightclub. The way they undressed me made me consider risking the most sought after job in the service industry. Nailing the position had been hard. Obeying the rules? Even harder.

Good thing I like it hard. I was never one for following orders. For one night with him, I would have sold my soul to the devil.

And that’s exactly what I did.

My Review:

This is definitely a steamy story! The instant attraction between the characters is so blatant that you can’t help but feel it. But Valentine’s story is about more than simply that. I appreciated how well she developed the bar that the characters find themselves in. I enjoyed the bartender lingo that was used consistently throughout. It really helped me get into the main character’s mindset & see things from her point of view.

Valentine has definitely created some memorable characters to carry this story forward. I can just picture Damon’s very ruled and ordered life being blown apart by his sexy heroine. These two characters also fit very well together. It was easy to see how they complement each other, without being seamless.

My final thoughts? Bring on the next instalment please! I can’t wait to see how this relationship develops.


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Faery Tales - Six Tales of Magic and Adventure, an Anthology

Title:  Faery Tales - Six Tales of Magic and Adventure
Series:  Faery Worlds #3
Author:  Phaedra Weldon, Anthea Sharp, Jenna Elizabeth Johnson, Alexia Purdy, Julia Crane, Amy Patrick
Published:  May 17/15 by Fiddlehead Press
Length:  444pgs
Genre:  YA Fantasy
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

*All new, exclusive stories!* Six brand new tales of adventure, love, and treacherous fey magic from six award-winning, bestselling authors. Enter these fantastical realms where dark powers lurk and the ordinary world can be transformed in a heartbeat to a place of wonder—and danger. From the hidden fae folk dwelling among mortals to the challenges of babysitting a malicious fairy, these tales will cast their enchantment over you!

THE MORRIGAN – Phaedra Weldon
Irish folklore student Tam Kirkpatrick finds himself the focus of dark Faery forces intent on stealing his shillelagh. The catch is—Tam never knew he had one, let alone that he was the son of a Leprechaun. Now he must find his shillelagh and claim his heritage, before it’s too late.

THE SWAY – Amy Patrick
A member of the Dark Court, Vancia has spent her life among humans—together but separate, hiding in plain sight. Now Pappa says it’s time to put her glamour to use against the unsuspecting humans and worse, agree to an arranged political marriage with the reclusive Light Elven prince.

HOW TO BABYSIT A CHANGELING– USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp
When a mortal boy is exchanged for a hideous faerie creature, Marny Fanalua steps up to help her friends in their battle against the Dark Court.
*NOTE * The events in this novella occur simultaneously with Feyland: The Twilight Kingdom. Reading the complete Feyland Trilogy first is recommended if you would like to avoid spoilers.

FAELEAHN – Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Meghan and Cade are ready to pledge their souls to one another in a traditional bonding ceremony of Eile. While sharing their news with friends, the faelah bounty hunter and the princess of Erintara grow even closer as their love is reflected back to them by those they hold most dear.
*NOTE* The events in this novella take place after the conclusion of Luathara, the third book in the Otherworld Trilogy. If you wish to avoid spoilers, you might want to read the first three Otherworld books (Faelorehn, Dolmarehn and Luathara) before reading.

ARRANGED – Julia Crane
Magick’s been restored on earth but it comes at a crippling price. With the planet on the brink of destruction, an unlikely pair must work together to try to bridge together a lifetime of hatred. Will their forbidden romance bring their worlds together or tear them apart?

WITHOUT ARMOR – Alexia Purdy
The Unseelie are up to no good… My name is Benton, and I hunt the darkest of creatures in existence. Especially when they get unruly and try to invade my home, the human realm. Betrayal, broken hearts and uncharted magic…I never saw it coming.

My Review:

This is definitely a winning anthology for YA fantasy lovers. I love the different worlds that these authors develop and take you to. You’ll be living in Technicolor while enjoying these fun filled and imaginative stories. The characters come to life so that you can really get to know them. And the entire collection is so well written. Each author’s individual style really shines through. I enjoyed all of the stories in this anthology. But I’ve got to say, the Feyland novella has left me stoked for the upcoming summer release in the series! Not only did I enjoy these stories and characters individually, but combined they made a captivating anthology that was the perfect escape from reality.

If you like one or two of the authors in this anthology, it’s a great way to get your hands on their works while experiencing some fantastic writing by other authors. And if you’re a YA fantasy lover who’s never read any of these authors yet, it’s the perfect way to delve into these worlds.


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Rough Justice by Sarah Castille

Title:  Rough Justice
Series:  Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club #1
Author:  Sarah Castille
Published:  February 3/15 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Length:  384pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  own
Rating: ★★★★★+

Back Cover Blurb:

From bestselling author Sarah Castille comes a scorching new series featuring red-hot, hard-riding bikers and the women who can’t help but love them…

IT TAKES A GOOD, STRONG WOMAN

Raised in a motorcycle gang, tough, beautiful Arianne Hunter has always dreamed of a normal life. But no sooner does she escape her father’s domineering grasp than she wakes up to find herself in a rival gang’s clubhouse—at the mercy of the dangerously sexy Jagger Knight.

TO TAME A MAN WHO’S HELL ON WHEELS.

The alpha leader of the notorious Sinner’s Tribe, Jagger Knight is all muscle, all biker, and all man. But somewhere inside this hard tattooed outlaw, Arianne senses a kindred spirit—and she can’t ignore their tempestuous attraction. Can she beat him at his own game in a revved-up blaze of glory? Or will their passion spark a war that’s the end of the road for them both?

My Review:

I am without words. Castille has officially left me speechless. I could barely put this one down while reading it and now I can’t stop thinking about it.

Castille’s raw and to the point writing brings this rough and tumble world to life in such a manner that you not only experience the life, but can also feel the tension and danger that these characters face every day. She doesn’t speak of MCs in abstract terms, but rather as if you’re part of this world.

Castille writes hot sex and even hotter characters. Jagger and Arianne definitely hold their own in this one. She is the type of character that you want to be, even if you don’t want to life the life. Jagger is the ultimate bad boy hero. They’re also genuinely nice individuals whose stories make them oh-so-very-real. She also brings the entire MC to life, not just her main characters. I felt like I’d met all the brothers.

This novel was exquisitely real. Castille took me on the ride of a lifetime and I can’t wait to get back on it!


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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Crossing Lines by Elley Arden

Title:  Crossing Lines
Series:  Cleveland Clash #2
Author:  Elley Arden
Expected Publication:  May 25/14 by Crimson Romance
Length:  192pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Party girl and standout wide receiver Jillian Bell sees no problem with her “no rules” lifestyle as long as she’s scoring on the field. But her sexy new offensive coordinator doesn’t see it that way.

Former marine turned successful restaurateur Carter Howl agreed to whip his father’s undisciplined women’s full-tackle football team into shape out of guilt. But the job comes with more trouble than he bargained for thanks to one spitfire of a wide receiver who challenges his every play.

When Jillian’s little sister begs her to come back to their small-minded hometown and be on her best behavior at a family event, she unexpectedly enlists prim and proper Carter to help her keep her cool. But two days and one pretend engagement later, this straight-laced former soldier is doing all sorts of things he normally wouldn’t. Is the wrong girl the right girl for him?

My Review:

Arden has definitely done it again. She has penned a novel that will stand up against the best of the best. The wildly romantic (and at times steamy) relationship between the two main characters is so genuine that you can’t help but get caught up in it. She also brings in some intriguing outlooks on life and conforming to what others expect that made it all the more interesting. Arden’s intricate descriptions, that are wound up in her upbeat narrative, bring this world to life in such a vivid manner that you feel as if you’re experiencing it all with the characters.

Arden has created a cast of characters that not only carried this novel forward with a flair rarely seen, but who also hold a piece of my heart long after the story is over. This is the mark of fantastic character development. These individuals became so real for me that I not only don’t want to let them go, but truly can’t. There were times when I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry right alongside Jill. Others when I wanted to fight her fight with her. Carter’s situation put him between a rock and a hard place, where he needed to discover what he really wanted before he could go for it. Their situations were the same yet so very different that I couldn’t help but draw parallels and comparisons. The supporting cast was also uniquely crafted. The lack of support that these two had made them shine all the more brightly.

Arden never fails to create wonderful tales that capture your heart and your imagination. This novel is no exception. It was a fantastic, heartfelt novel that held me throughout.


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The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter

Title:   The Darkest Pleasure
Series:  Lords of the Underworld #3
Author:  Gena Showalter
Published:  July 1/08 by HQN Books
Length:  368pgs
Genre:  paranormal romance
Shelf:  borrowed
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her--even defy the gods.Danika is on the run. For months she's eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won't rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can't forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear....

My Review:

Showalter has created a fast paced, intriguing novel that can definitely hold your attention. With battle scenes that are just as vivid & real as the erotic moments are, readers will be thrilled with the well presented format of this novel. While the plot of this novel in and of itself was quite intriguing, what really got me hooked was the minute shifts in the overall plot of the series. The changes that Danika brings in allowed me to get a better picture of the overall hierarchy of the characters and of the history/mythology behind the stories as a whole. The distinction between ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ is quite blurred. It depends what direction you look at it from.

Danika is definitely stuck between a rock and a hard place here. The decisions that she has to make and the things that she feels are in direct contradiction to one another. It’s definitely a heady mix. Reyes’ difficulties with his demon really make you feel for him. I think I’m in love with Reyes. I love the fact that he’s the type of guy who has been through hell & back (daily, for centuries) yet doesn’t evoke pity in readers. Sure, I feel sympathy for his situation, but he isn’t the type of guy that you could ever pity. His strength of character and need to do what’s right for those he cares about, regardless of what others say or believe, is astounding.

This is definitely a welcome addition to the Lords of the Underworld series. Showalter really develops the who’s who and why’s of the series while also providing readers with a fantastic tale in and of itself.


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Friday, May 22, 2015

Her Rock Hard Viking by A.J. Tipton

Title:  Her Rock Hard Viking
Series:  Her Elemental Viking #4
Author:  A.J. Tipton
Published:  December 18/14
Length:  58pgs
Genre:  paranormal romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Rock hard was never so literal. Carr, once a proud Viking warrior, was cursed to be the very island he invaded. But when a gorgeous woman parachutes into his life, everything changes. Will her sexual healing finally bring him release? Or will he give up his last chance at humanity to save her?

Becca never thought to pack sexy lingerie for this trip. She’s a botanist on the hunt for a miracle cure to save her family. What’s a woman to do when she discovers her remote island is actually an extremely passionate Viking? Go with it.

This steamy tale for mature readers contains sexy vine and waterfall action, an omniscient bartender, and a love passionate enough to make the earth move.

NOTE - Each book in the "Her Elemental Viking" series stands on its own and can be read in any order.

My Review:

This short is quite well written. Tipton takes an intriguing concept and makes it into an erotically entertaining story. This unique look at Viking lore and botany kept me hooked throughout. Tipton took the everyday and turned it on its head. At the same time, she made it very easy to picture the beauty of this island, including the flora, fauna, and its lone inhabitant. To top that off, I really enjoyed getting to know the characters. Our heroine’s need to save her nephew but guilt over the cost and our hero’s selfless sacrifice took an already hot story and made it emotionally rewarding as well.

This was a very hot, quick read that was a pleasure to enjoy. It’s a great addition to Tipton’s Her Elemental Viking series that is well worth the time.


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Soul Slam by Allie Burton

Title:  Soul Slam
Series:  Soul Force #1
Author:  Allie Burton
Published:  November 13/15
Length:  322pgs
Genre:  YA paranormal
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

A sixteen-year-old on her first heist to steal an ancient Egyptian amulet inadvertently receives the soul of King Tut...and the deadly curse that comes with it. And Olivia is not alone at the museum. A member of a secret society, Xander believes it is his place to inherit King Tut's soul and justly rule. He knows nothing about the society's evil plan to control the world or the curse. Now, he must deal with the female imposter who stole the amulet. Xander convinces Olivia they must form a temporary partnership. The two teens develop a connection, and together they must figure out how to end the curse before it turns deadly. On the run, unable to touch because of the curse, and managing the male soul inside her female body, Olivia must learn to trust Xander. As the mystery surrounding the amulet unfolds, Olivia and Xander start to fall for each other. But is love enough to save them and the world from destruction?

My Review:

Burton combines the raw, grittiness of life on the street with all of the intrigue of Egyptian mythology to create a YA treat that is fun for all ages. She develops her world well, allowing readers a big insight into what’s going on. The mix of mythology and history created a fantastic backdrop for this fast paced and creative story. I did find that the first bit of the story flew by and I found myself trying to catch up, but once I did it was a great tale.

Both major and minor characters in this novel were a joy to get to know. The main character was a real treat. The multifaceted character development made her real on so many levels. The contrast between what she’s been through and what she’s going through was shocking, but really shows how strong of an individual she is. I also appreciate the fact that she’s age appropriate for a YA novel. The characters surrounding her were quite fun to get to know as well, and everyone was not only real, but important to the story.

This was a quick yet quite enjoyable read for me. I found that the pages flew by. It was a fantastic start to Burton’s series.


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