Sunday, December 25, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: "Will Of Fire" by Yasmin Fazli

Elle knew that unraveling the secrets on Acryen would be difficult, but she didn't know that it would be deadly. She knew this from the scars on her body and the heat in her eyes. 
Three months have passed and what was meant to be an easy journey across the ocean has turned perilous as she's come to realize that they've boarded the wrong ship--a slaver's ship run by a cunning and devious man known only as Captain Red. Elle can't help but find herself drawn to him and repelled at the same time. Yet, when a powerful hurricane hits the ship and Elle's life is in danger, Peter's hidden powers awaken, and now, they're in trouble. The stakes are much higher than before, and Elle's afraid that the only way out is with blood.
Elle must find the necklace awaiting in Gyoar before an elf meets her end, a quaid falls prey, a mother commits treason, and a king masks his mistake. But above all, she must find it before her fate is sealed in ashes. 
Because where hope lies, fire breathes.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

So, I loved book one, Will Of Hope, but I wondered where the series could and would go. After a long wait, I finally held the book in my hands (well, in my Kindle). And the wait was more than worth it. I could easily see the improvement in Fazli's writing as she matured along with her characters. Elle was a lot more well-rounded, and Peter was, well, he was still book boyfriend material! His character is by far my favorite, though I really loved her new villain, Captain Red.
This book has everything one would want in a YA fantasy tale, but without common character tropes that could get old. I love that it's in multi POVs, as those are my favorite to read. And while I can't really connect on a personal level with Elle or Peter, I could still enjoy them and follow their story easily.
I have one thing to say: I need book three!!!

5/5--fun, fast, and inventive.

Purchase Will Of Fire on Amazon!

BOOK REVIEW: "Turbulence" by E.M. Whittaker

One calculative move changed her life forever.
Aviere Mye thought that she'd left street racing behind after her work as poisoner and apothecary for Charm City's crime syndicate earned her a place in the Underground.
When she is handed an opportunity to race again, she seizes it, hoping to find answers about her husband's disappearance. But the Underground had its own plans for her. A string of murders set the authorities on her trail, forcing her to work with Keith Travis, a rogue agent with the FBI, to apprehend the culprit responsible for the crimes.
With only seven days to complete the assignment before a bomb explodes, can Aviere survive both Travis and the Renegades?

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Coming upon a paranormal mystery with perfect male-female dynamics that don't include romance should be put next to "impossible" in the dictionary. Not anymore. Turbulence, the debut effort from indie author Whittaker is a start-to-finish thrill ride of monsters, magic, mystery, and a distinct lack of romantic interest. I don't even ship the main characters, Mye and Travis: they work together with barely concealed hostility and that's it. They have a rapport that works well for the genre and engages the reader. I really felt like I was reading about two real people.
The action is well-written, fast-paced, and descriptive. Possibly some of the best action scenes I've read lately. The characters are realistic, and the plot moves along well enough and ends where some things are resolved but you know another book is coming.
I liked Travis right away, I think he's my favorite character in the story. His attitude, the way he thinks, they all flow really well. I loved reading his POV, though Mye is an enjoyable, adrenaline-filled joyride of a character. She's brutal, ruthless, and at times I wondered if she cared about anything other than action. She's great.
My only issue with the story was how some of the dialogue flowed. There were a lot of repeated phrases; it got to the point where I couldn't read the word "Christ" without cringing, and that was by chapter two.
All in all, this is an excellent debut effort and I can't wait for book two!

Purchase Turbulence via Amazon!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Release Blitz/Book Review: "Stolen Breath" by Mia Hoddell

Stolen Breath
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: Sports Romance/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December 5th 2016
Pages: 344

My name is Zeke Lawson, but you probably know that already because everyone’s heard of me.

I’m the bad boy of Formula One.
The player.
The heartbreaker.

At least that’s what I allow people to believe.

The truth is too precious to be tarnished by reporters, and no matter what my fans think, they don’t deserve access to every detail of my life. It’s just a shame Nadine Hadley doesn’t see it that way.

She’s writing the feature every driver longs for on me—the one that can make your career. The only problem is she wants more than I’m willing to give her … and she’s playing dirty to get it.

Flirtatious smiles, skimpy dresses, sex: Nadine is using my reputation against me, and it’s working. No man could resist her, especially when she swears not to print my story.

So now I’m in too deep.

I want her more than anything, yet falling for a journalist may cost me the one thing I vowed to protect. Although, that seems insignificant when compared to another issue I face this racing season.

Did I forget to mention someone is trying to kill me?

*Each book in the Chequered Flag series can be read as a standalone and is complete with a HEA.*


Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | iBooks Kobo

What reviewers are saying:

"Filled with romance, suspense, chemistry and mystery." Melissa: HEA Fanatics on Chameleon Soul

"I wasn't prepared for the full emotional journey this book takes us on ... Hands down, this will be one of my favorite reads of the year." Mignon Mykel on Chameleon Soul

"To say I was absorbed in this story would be an understatement." Jess: Nerdy, Dirty & Flirty on Chameleon Soul

 "I've never had a book effect me the way this one did. From the mystery and danger to the realness of everything Raine and Teo go through, this is one book that had tears rolling and love pouring from my soul." Amanda Barbee: The Magic of Books on Chameleon Soul

"Their story will have you gasping with bewilderment, worrying about the emotional roller coaster the two have endured, and cheering for happily ever after these two both deserve." - Amy: Pages Abound on Twisted Mind

"Twisted Mind made my heart race. What a great love story of two people trying to move on from a hurtful past." MAustin: Alpha Book Club on Twisted Mind


Stan stood as I moved to sit down and held out his hand.

“I’m afraid I have to head off, but you have my number if you need to discuss anything.”

I shook his hand and, with a final pointed look at Zeke, Stan left.

“Are you going too?” I prayed he’d say yes so I could head home early. I needed to regroup after the shock he posed to my system.

“Yep, but you’re coming with me.” Zeke signalled for the bill while I remained standing, dumbfounded. He paid, and only when he started to slide out of the booth did I find my voice.

“Why would I do that?”

“Because you like your job and wouldn’t want me making a complaint to your boss.”

I planted a hand on my hip. “You wouldn’t.”

“Sure I would.”

Really? You’re blackmailing me?”

Zeke stepped out of the booth, forcing me to wobble back on my heels. “I prefer to think of it as gentle persuasion. After all, your boss wanted personal, didn’t he? For that you’re going to need to be my shadow. If you’re not, you aren’t doing your job.”

“You’re unbelievable. Where the hell do you even need to go?”

“First we’re going to get you some new shoes, then I need to meet up with some triathlon buddies.”

I picked up my file and followed him from the restaurant, irritated. “You do triathlons?”

“See, I’m being helpful. You wouldn’t have known that if it hadn’t been for me.”

“I can think of a few things you are, and helpful isn’t one of them.”

Zeke chuckled. “One of them is sexy, isn’t it?”

I grumbled in response, choosing to change the subject so we didn’t stroll into dangerous territory. “Why are we getting me new shoes?”

“Because the ones you’re wearing are too big. You’ll slow me down or break your neck trying to keep up with me.”

“I’m fine, you worry about yourself.”

“You’re getting new shoes, princess. Deal with it.”

As if to prove his point, I tripped over the kerb as we crossed the road. This time I was sure I’d hit the concrete, but Zeke’s arms locked around me and pulled me upright. He didn’t need to say I told you so, his expression said it for him, and I resisted the urge to slap the smirk off his mouth.

“See? Why are you wearing these death traps anyway? I’ve never seen you look so … not put together.”

I huffed. “Mine broke on the way to work and these were the only ones someone could lend me.”

Zeke set me safely back on my feet and took my hand. I glanced down at it then up at him. The gesture felt unfamiliar and personal, not something I associated with Zeke. As if reading my thoughts, he explained, “In case you fall again.”

“Sure, because the only thing you’re interested in is my safety.”


About The Series 

Chameleon Soul (Chequered Flag #1)

I have it all: my dream career as a Formula 1 driver, more money than I can spend, crowds who cheer my name "Teo Coates," and an endless supply of beautiful women to warm my bed as I travel the world.

I should be happy. I should love my life.

But none of it means anything without her.

One year ago, the love of my life broke off our two-year relationship via a phone call. No explanation, no apology, and no sign it was coming. She shattered me…ripped out my heart. And the worst part is that I couldn’t stay to fight for her without losing my career.

However, now the racing season’s over, I’m back, and I intend to reclaim my girl’s heart.

There’s just one problem.

The girl I left behind no longer exists. Plagued by fear, something has broken Raine Wilkins to the point where she’s struggling to cope with each day. It’s going to take all of my skill to gather the explanation I was denied a year ago and persuade her to reveal her secrets. But if there’s one thing I can guarantee, it’s I never lose. I returned to the UK with one goal: win back the girl I love, and nothing and no one will get in my way.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo
(Only 1.99 for Stolen Breath's release)

Twisted Mind (Chequered Flag #2)

She’s toxic.

Everyone tells me to leave her—that she’s going to destroy me.

But things aren’t that simple.

Elora’s pregnant with my child and I endure her twisted games of manipulation and violence to protect my unborn baby. I never predicted she would do the unthinkable or that she was cruel enough to kill.

Yet she did, and now everything’s spiralling out of control.

The light-hearted jokester on the race track isn’t a part I can play anymore. The Dustin Coates everyone loved is no longer me. I’m merely a grief-stricken man who’s barely able to function.

At least until Tazia Nixon moves in next door.

She soothes my aching heart and helps me forget. With every second I’m around her, I can feel myself being revived.

However, beneath her eternal optimism is a distressing past, and the lies are starting to unravel around me. I should have protected my fragile heart from her when I had the chance because now it’s too late. Someone out there wants to destroy me, and the odds are stacking up against us. They know Tazia can break me beyond repair, and they aren’t afraid to use her.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo
(Only 1.99 for Stolen Breath's release)

About the Author

#1 Amazon bestselling author Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything romantic, and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.

Mia has written over ten titles including her Seasons of Change series, the Chequered Flag series, the Elemental Killers series, and her standalone novels False Finder, Not Enough, and Bet On Me.

Her favourite genres are contemporary romance or romantic suspense, and with an ever growing list of ideas she is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them. She also designs book covers on her website M Designs and is the organiser of Virtually There Book Fest.
You can follow Mia on:

Or sign up to her newsletter for the chance to receive ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content first.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

RELAUNCH: "Convenient Fall" by Jerica MacMillan

convenient-fall-relaunch-banner   players-of-marycliff-university-book-2-3  

Convenient Fall

Players of Marycliff University

Book 2

Jerica MacMillan

New Adult Sports Romance

Relaunch Date: December 6, 2016



Sleeping with your roommate is a bad idea, right?
Megan Davidson is scrambling to find a new place after Abby, her roommate and best friend, decides to move in with her boyfriend Lance. With just a week until classes start, the open spot left in Lance’s old house looks like her best option. She moves in with Matt and Chris, hot football players who are shameless flirts and notorious players.
Chris Watkins is playing his final season of college football before life as he knows it is over. He’d dreamed of going pro, but the NFL never scouted him and now he’s in self-destruct mode—not bothering to go to classes or even try to graduate. With everything falling apart, he can’t even lose himself in the jersey chasers that are always hanging around. Megan caught his attention over the summer, and with her constantly under his nose, he can’t get her out of his head.
Sparks fly when these two finally give in to their attraction. Will these roommates turned lovers manage to keep things light and easy like they planned? Or will their flame burn hotter than anyone is ready for?
If you love steamy college romance full of hot athletes, fiery heroines, and chemistry that melts the pages, get Convenient Fall now!

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Sullivan waited until his girl got a good grip on Megan's arms and stepped backward as fast as he could in the water. It was enough that Megan lost her balance and Chris couldn't keep her upright with the other chick dragging Megan down by her arms.
She came up laughing, pushing her hair out of her face and wiping the water out of her eyes. She splashed water at his chest. “You let me fall off!”
He grinned down at her. “I couldn't help it! You got taken out.”
She poked out her lower lip in a fake pout that only lasted a second before she smiled again. “We're supposed to be a team. That means we go down together. Aren't football players supposed to understand the importance of teamwork?”
“Are you questioning my loyalty?” She laughed at him, and he grinned back, his eyes on her mouth. Her lips were plump and red, begging to be kissed. He loved the way she looked, her hair wet and slicked back, her face lit up with a smile.
“It looks like they're going again. Do you want to keep playing?”
Megan's voice pulled his attention back from his wandering thoughts. Giving in to his lust with her was probably a bad idea. Unless maybe she was interested too …
She gestured at the others. “Are we going to play again?”
Man, she was distracting. He nodded once and grinned. “Let's go.”
He dropped down again and she climbed back on. He suppressed a sigh as he realized this was the closest he was going to get to feeling her thighs around his head, and it wasn't from the direction he wanted. But she was his roommate. He needed to remember that.
They played two more rounds of chicken fight. They lost the next round early but won the one after that. Megan sat on his shoulders with her arms raised. “Whoo! We won!”
He laughed, then maneuvered her so she turned and slid down his front. They were pressed together for a moment, her breasts squished against his torso, the bare skin of her belly against his lower abdomen. Megan looked up into his face, and he saw her brown eyes get darker. He dropped his eyes to her lips. They were parted on an indrawn breath and he wanted to kiss them so bad.
She broke the spell of the moment, stepping back, breaking the contact between them, and he immediately missed the feel of her body pressed against his. “Thanks. I had fun.” She glanced over her shoulder toward the shallow end, then looked back at him. “I’m, um. I'm going to go get a drink.”

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Add to Goodreads


Other Books in this Series


Summer Fling

One summer is all they have ...
Lance is a notorious player on and off the football field who never sees a girl more than twice. But with graduation now behind him, his days of carefree flirting are numbered. As soon as his summer internship is over, his parents expect him to return to Texas to take his place in the family business. He’s done everything he can to delay the inevitable, and he’s determined to live it up his last summer as his own man.
Abby comes from a world where men don’t stick around. Lance’s interest does nothing but put her on guard, especially when she finds out he’ll be leaving in less than two months. With two years left of college and a mom who relies on her for everything, Abby doesn’t have the patience for relationships that are doomed from the start. But Lance's persistence wears down her defenses. Abby convinces herself they’ll just have a summer fling, and she’ll be able to come through unscathed.
Will Abby be able to maintain her distance? Or will they both be heartbroken when the summer ends?
If you love steamy college romance featuring hot athletes and sassy heroines, check out this first installment in the hot new series everyone is raving about!

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About Jerica MacMillan

Jerica MacMillan is a lifelong reader and lover of romance. Nothing beats escaping into a book and watching people fall in love, overcome obstacles, and find their happily ever after. She was recently named a semi finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2015 contest.
Jerica is living her happily ever after in North Idaho with her husband and two children. She spends her days building with blocks, admiring preschooler artwork, and writing while her baby naps in the sling. Join her Book Club at and get a free book!

Monday, December 5, 2016

BOOK REVIEW/RELEASE DAY: "Legend Of Love" by Lisa Kessler

The Prophecy - “Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse.” 
Callie O'Connor's life has never been the same since the Muse of Epic Poetry came alive inside of her. Now she's on the other side of the country, working as civilian psychologist for the Navy, and leading her Muse sisters in their quest to reopen the Theater of the Muses.
But nothing could have prepared her for Hunter Armstrong. He's a Navy Seal, driven, confident, and dangerous. And he plans to do more than just protect her.
The gods couldn't have picked a better Guardian. But as Hunter soon discovers, Callie has some skeletons of her own in the closet, and loving her could lead to his destruction.

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I couldn't wait to read about Callie, because the Muse of Epic Poetry had to be one dramatic lady with epic inner monologues. Callie is a great character: she's a leader, smart, if just a bit dour at times. But upon meeting her Guardian something gets awakened inside of her and really gives her this intense spark.
Hunter, the Guardian, is someone I know a lot of readers will be swooning over. He's a Navy Seal, sexy, and full of confidence. He's an alpha male if I ever saw one. I didn't like him as much as all of Kessler's other leading men, but he's still a great character and exactly what one would think of when they think of a Guardian.
The plot has a lot of danger, secrets revealed, and more mystery than its predecessor. I love the Kronos followers the most, however, because you can feel their malevolence through the page as you read. They are an endless source of mystery, and that is where my only issue with this book comes to play: I wanted more. I know it's a paranormal romance, but I think this book could have done with more danger than sex. Kessler writes some of the best dark characters and plot lines I have ever read.
Her books are always a treat, and Legend of Love is no different! Bring on book three! (But first I need Sebastian's book in the Moon Series, please. hahaha)

4/5--a fun, sexy, slightly dark read.

Purchase Legend Of Love as an ebook wherever books are sold!

Friday, December 2, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: "The Frost Bloom Garden" by Romarin Demetri

As if the Supernatural London Underground couldn’t open up any further, Romarin is immersed in different cultures, struggles, and factions— including the revelation of her first dangerous foe—that make the hidden world what it is: treacherous. As a detective in pursuit of a Jack The Ripper type killer, Romarin’s sole purpose is to destroy evidence of their secret world, reminding her of how blurred all of their roles are, and that the price for that could very well be one’s life. With rumors of a safe haven, an island where people like her can go to be free and understood, perhaps she won’t need the cure she vehemently seeks. A cure for a broken heart however, that’s another story. And then a cure for a burning heart? That’s just impossible.

I received an ARC from this author in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, so I absolutely loved the first Supernatural Underground book when I read it a few months back. It was different while still retaining a feeling of familiarity, and Demetri took those feelings and brought them to book two.
I read this book in two feverish sittings, always wanting to know what would happen next. I have this unfortunate habit of predicting some things, which I did here, but that in no way dampened my love for this book. The things I expected made it seem all the more familiar and welcoming. Something about this series and its characters just feels like home for any paranormal fan. Romarin (the character, not the author) is likable and realistic, and I really loved the supporting cast of characters. Each one is necessary and entertaining in their own way. The plot of this book was excellent, but it was the characters that really made me love it.
I can't wait to see what happens next!

5/5--fun, fast-paced, and exciting!

Purchase The Frost Bloom Garden via Amazon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

BOOK REVIEW/INTERIVIEW: "An Other Place" by Darren Dash

There is An Other Place... where time and space are fluid... where the moon changes colour and savage beasts run wild... where love is a perilous proposition and the dead are swiftly forgotten... where sandmen offer sanctuary and the Alchemist rules over all.

When Newman Riplan’s flight into the unknown turns into a nightmarish slide between worlds, he must explore an unnamed city where unpredictable terrors are the norm. By the end of his first day adrift, his life has spun completely out of his control, but the most mind-twisting and soul-crushing revelations are only beginning. As he desperately searches for a way out, he starts to realise that the city isn’t in the habit of releasing its captives. And it seems to have a plan for him...

I received an ARC of this copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, this might be a lengthy review. This might be a rambling review. But that's what you get from me when I've read what is, by far, the best book of 2016. Possibly the best book of this decade (but as that isn't over yet, I don't want to be too presumptuous).

We know Darren Shan as the author of horror fiction for teens (and adults). We know Darren Dash as an author of more modern, realistic tales for adults. This new Darren Dash book is like neither person.
We meet Newman Riplan, a party boy with his partying friends in Amsterdam. After imbibing in every vice imaginable, Newman's friends decide to send him on a plane to an unknown destination, to give the overworked man a needed vacation for a couple of weeks. On the plane, he chokes and blacks out because of a peanut. When he wakens, his fellow passengers are now wax dummies. He is the only living soul on the plane.
What happens after is a long tale of one man's living nightmare as Newman finds himself in The City (that's all it's called), a place where humans have no idea who they are apart from first names, drones (what were formerly the humans on the plane) are a source of nourishment, income, and used as slave robots, werewolf-like creatures terrorize the town on a semi-regular basis, and electricity is nonexistent, as is glass.
This story was touted to be similar to the works of Kafka, and I am inclined to agree, but not just Kafka. This is bastard love child of Kafka and Rod Serling, throwing in a dash of Ray Bradbury for good measure. It's not just the eerie overtones of the story, the barely disguised panic you can feel seeping from the words to your mind, or the royally effed up nature of the way the inhabitants of the City live that grab you. Despite Newman being one of the least likable protagonists I have ever encountered in fiction, you become immediately invested in his life, his story. You want to know if he ever gets back to his world, an other place than the City, if he goes mad, or if he assimilates and blends in with it all.
There are a few things that stuck out in my mind, some metaphors that have to do with sex, barbarianism, creationism, and the latent animal instinct every human being has within them. I wish I could say more, but spoilers are a big no-no here at KSR. I will tell you that this book not only entertains you for hours (and I am already trying to see if I have time for a reread), it really makes you stop and think about EVERYTHING. Were the drugs a part of the reason why Newman winds up where he is, or was it just the choking? (A question you'll really be asking in the last two chapters.) Is sex really so animalistic, and are creation and procreation really such disparate things? Is the desire to be different, to stand out, a downfall, or is it worse when you adapt to society and become like "them"? Is love so fleeting and tangible? How important is time, the past, or the future? Is it more blissful to just live in the "now"? Are we really all just "drones" here in our world?
It's rare that I get a book that has my mind going like this, and you can't imagine the pleasure this gives me. I'll probably think of a million more things to add to this review and complain that I can't.
All I can say is that if you don't read this book, you're doing your brain a great disservice. This is about society, pack mentality, creationism, and so much more, all wrapped up in one crazy package.

5/5--brilliant. Just brilliant.

Purchase An Other Place via:

Official site (has all purchase links for every retailer/country)


1. When I started the book, I didn't like the protagonist very much, but I understood him. Was he intended to be the "everyman", thrown from normality into surreality, so to speak?
Yes. I know Newman isn't especially sympathetic, but that was deliberate. Things were going to be hellish enough for the reader, without having them feel too much for the main character too! But I also wanted Newman to be "real" and someone that readers could identify with, and I hope that readers will see sides of themselves in him and cut him some slack. Newman isn't who we would like to be, but I think he's very like how many of us actually are, especially in our twenties, focused on a successful career and living the good life. I don't think Newman is a bad guy per se, just someone who's a bit too selfish and ignorant of other people's feelings.

2. I understand the concept of time in the city, but what was the reasoning for you having characters fall in and out of love so abruptly?
The book is, for the most part, a way for me to look at where I was at that stage of my life, to try and make some sense of it, and hopefully help myself become a better person. Yes, in a weird kind of way, it's a self-help guide! I wrote the first draft of the book way back in 1998, when I was in my mid-twenties, before any of my books had been released. It was an incredibly creative and productive time of my life -- my brain was firing in all sorts of weird and interesting directions, and I was typing away like mad -- I think wrote first drafts of seven different books one year, and that was while editing drafts of other books too. But socially I was leading a very withdrawn life. I have slight OCD (well, think it's slight, though others might disagree!) and I was giving way too mcuh to that side of myself in the 90s. I wasn't quite at Howard Hughes levels, but I could see myself going more and more that way. I spent my days writing and watching movies and TV shows, and doing very little else. I had strict schedules in place that I almost never deviated from. I didn't engage much with other people. I felt I had to jolt myself out of this, or risk cutting myself further and further adrift of the rest of the world, and An Other Place was my unusual way of digging myself out of a hole of my own making. Hence the emotionally withdrawn citizens of the city, who behave like machines in many ways -- they're mirror images of myself, and as Newman tries to understand and connect with them, I was trying to understand and connect with the people in "our" world. 

3. Trying not to give spoilers, was it intentional for you to equate sex with animalistic nature, and draw such a fine thin line between creation and procreation? If so, why?
I've always been interested in sex and creation, in looking at what drives people sexually, and how we try to control our sexual urges in order to create a "civilised" society. I also like to ask the big questions, such as "Where do we come from?" and "What's the point to it all?" As I already said, I was quite cut off in my twenties, not interacting much with other people, which meant I wasn't having any sexual interactions, which meant... well, to phrase it in terms of the book, I spent pretty much every day "doing a Newman!" i.e. I was masturbating a lot! I wondered (and still wonder, looking back all these years later) if that played into my creative spurt. I had no internet connection in 1998, so I had to use my imagination to stimulate myself, and perhaps the fact that I was using my imagination so much meant that I was boosting it, which resulted in more intriguing stories. I decided to play with those thoughts and incorporate them into the story, making masturbation a central pillar of the city's structure. Those aren't the sort of plot lines that I find myself conjuring up as a man in his forties, but I'm my mind was so fertile and downright strange back then, as it led me to explore some far-out regions of my brain!

4. In this story, I noticed a theme in two instances where the "outsiders" were the ones who always left their marks on the city. Was that also intentional, or did it just happen as you were writing? If it was intentional, what is your stance on how so many "outsiders" from our society have shaped our culture?
I think outsiders often can have a big mark on the world. Most people live normal lives, where they stick to well-worn paths, but we need creaive geniuses and madmen to define those paths in the first place, to test the world and explore its limits and parameters, and push them back if they need pushing back. I've always felt cut off in certain ways from the world around me, but I don't think that's automatically a bad thing, as it allows me to see the world in a different way and bring something new to the table. Newman was my way of looking at this, and also of asking myself, "OK, let's assuming you have he power to change the world, but in what ways do you want to change it?"

5. Can you tell the readers a little about your idea for the sleeping pills in the city that Newman takes?
I think we sometimes deny ourselves a lot of the wonders of the world by living life too safely and prescriptively. If we stick to schedules and the rules too closely, we don't ask questions or uncover new truths. I guess this was me trying to challenge my OCD. The people in the city taking sleeping pills to sleep without any bad dreams is sort of a reflection on how I was using my routines to disengage with the world around me. It "worked" to an extent -- the way the sleeping pills work in the book -- but sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones and push ourselves in directions which don't feel natural.

6. What got you interested in alchemy?

I've just always been fascinated by the idea. That's what writers are, really -- alchemists of the mind. We take in masses of observations of the world around us, then play with them and feed them back to the world in the shape of new stories. I'm interested in people who change the world -- we're all alchemists in one way or another, those of us who don't simply go where everyone else goes, but who try to change the world in one way or another.

Monday, November 28, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: "An Exaltation of Larks" by Suanne Laqueur

"We're so alike, you and I. It's no wonder we kept finding each other."
September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he's long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."
Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I've been reading Mrs. Laqueur's books since her first release, and may I say it is a privilege to be one of her ARC reviewers. Her stories are not simply love tales or fluff novels. They're meaningful, filled with introspection, love, humanity, and life. They burst from the page into your mind and Exaltation is no different from the predecessors.
It's not easy to review this book, as giving spoilers is a no-no for me, but yet I still need to convey the beauty and warmth in this story borne of tragedy.
This storyline spans over 20 years, between two horrible acts of war, which alone makes the characters relatable. We don't have the typical lead characters here, either, with Latinos being two of the three main ones.
The story is emotional and dark, but light as well, if that makes any sense. Some of the topics touched on were risky for any author, but Laqueur writes them beautifully and effortlessly. Her writing is not lyrical, it is pure power. You feel the emotion of every word.
Jav is my favorite character, I thought that he was so real, so 3D, he could leap from the page. Alex also gained my sympathy and love as the story went on.
While the book does do some flip-flopping with POV and timelines, it should not hinder your reading experience.
Laqueur will, decades from now, be considered one of the greats right up there with the Bronte sisters and Austen.

5/5--Amazing and touching.

Purchase An Exaltation of Larks via Amazon.

BOOK REVIEW: "Prohibition Inhibitions" by TL Travis

The Sebastian Chronicles is a series of 5 Erotic Paranormal Novelettes that will take you through each century since Sebastian Benoit’s Vampiric inception.
In book four, Prohibition inhibitions, our beloved vampire Sebastian has found himself in 20th century Chicago, a town at war with itself.
He shows his true colors to the local crime families, and they in turn stay out of his business. This book ties up many loose ends for Sebastian, finally allowing closure. But will he ever find true love, does it even exist?

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

So, I've been reading these books since the series began, and I can't believe how much better each one gets. For book four, we head into my hometown of Chicago during Prohibition, and I must say that either TL did her research or is just generally familiar with the city, because it is so spot on! I have had to deduct points from books before for being historically inaccurate (as I did with book one of this series).
So, Sebastian is up to his old tricks, but someone new named Nadia comes around to teach him some new ones. This is the first real mention of BDSM sex in the series, and it is well written and accurate without being romanticized or blown out of proportion.
New and old characters are seen here, including the incredibly sexy Lorenzo. I love how Sebastian is so unapologetically bisexual in a time when that would mean his death or castration and imprisonment. TL might not have given him a lot of character development, but she gave him character depth underneath all that sexuality!
I'm really sad that there is only one book left: I'm gonna miss this guy!

5/5--sexy, dark, and entertaining.

Purchase Prohibition Inhibitions via Amazon.


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Sunday, November 20, 2016

PRE-ORDER: "An Other Place" by Darren Dash

An Other Place by Darren Dash​ (the alter ego of Darren Shan Official​), is available for pre-order! It will go live December 1st and is so, so worth the read! Definitely the best book of 2016 in my opinion.

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

There is An Other Place... where time and space are fluid... where the moon changes colour and savage beasts run wild... where love is a perilous proposition and the dead are swiftly forgotten... where sandmen offer sanctuary and the Alchemist rules over all.
When Newman Riplan’s flight into the unknown turns into a nightmarish slide between worlds, he must explore an unnamed city where unpredictable terrors are the norm. By the end of his first day adrift, his life has spun completely out of his control, but the most mind-twisting and soul-crushing revelations are only beginning. As he desperately searches for a way out, he starts to realise that the city isn’t in the habit of releasing its captives. And it seems to have a plan for him...

“This is, by far, the best book of 2016, possibly the best book of this decade... the bastard love child of Kafka and Rod Serling, throwing in a dash of Ray Bradbury for good measure. 5/5 -- brilliant. Just brilliant.” Kelly Smith Reviews.

“Darren Dash has opened a new artery of terror... unlike any book I have ever read... hints of The Twilight Zone, Pines, and Station Eleven.” The Literary Connoisseur.

“This book really did blow my mind... each page turn was both chilling and thrilling in equal measure... the conclusion left me with goosebumps. 5/5!” Rachel Hobbs, author.

"An Other Place is a deliciously quirky novel that is surreal and powerful in equal measure. This is by far Dash’s best work to date. It is challenging and absurd, artistically brave and politically conscious, but this abstract painting of a novel is one thing above all else… completely original." Books, Films & Random Lunacy.

“You can try and try but you will never guess the ending nor even 5 pages ahead as to where the story is going to take you.” Daniel Davies, Goodreads.

“This story had me hooked from the get go... an ending that sent my mind into a spin. 5 stars.” Reviews And Randomness.

“This book is utterly unique... I was amazed at how well Dash could create this baffling world from scratch and draw me into it so completely. 5 stars.” A Place In Which Jessie Writes.

"I have never read anything like An Other Place. It is truly a one of a kind... twisted and very disturbing in some parts. 5/5." Jessica Boehm, Amazon.

Monday, November 14, 2016

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: "Gems of Gratitude" Anthology

Gems of Gratitude
Releasing November 14th, 2016

Author List:
Alana Madden
Chrissy Moon
Christie Stratos
Elizabeth Horton-Newton
Karen J. Mossman
LG Surgeson
Lily Luchesi
Markie Madden
Jennifer Roche

From the Gems of Strength authors comes the second book in the Gems of Sisterhood series! The theme of this book is, of course, gratitude!
Meet Detective Cara Solino, a young woman following in her father’s footsteps. Can she solve the case he was unable to?
Find out how Chloe’s mother discovers a way to keep her daughter’s dream alive under the worst possible circumstances! Read about young Lady Iona, a child of the Elven Forest, as she struggles to give her daughter a fighting chance in a harsh world.
Cheer on Sharliss as she finally takes control of her own life, and becomes a better person. Meet Julie, who gathers information on history, and Jody, an elderly dog whose time to cross The Rainbow Bridge is near. These stories and more are within these pages, just waiting for YOU!

Purchase Gems Of Gratitude via:

Check out some teasers for a few of the stories featured in the anthology below.