Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness

Note: The Book of Life is the third and final book in Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy. The first and second are A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. These are not standalone books, and I would highly encourage you to read them in order. There are many characters, so it’s best to read the books close together so you can keep track of all of them.

In Book 1, A Discovery of Witches, we meet Diana, a witch, and Matthew, a vampire, as well as the numerous witches, vampires, daemons and humans who secretly populate our world. Matthew and Diana are both researchers and professors, and they have stumbled upon Ashmole 782, an ancient book that contains all the secrets of how the world’s many creatures are connected. In Book 2, Shadow of Night, thanks to Diana’s magic, she and Matthew time travel back to Elizabethan London to uncover the history of the book and meet many creatures who will aid them in their search for knowledge. Finally, in Book 3, The Book of Life, Matthew and Diana (now married and expecting twins) return to the present to destroy those who are determined to get to Ashmole 782’s secrets before them and use them for evil purposes.

The Book of Life is a worthy successor to the two previous books in the series. We see Diana grow much stronger in her confidence as a witch, and therefore in her powers. She begins to realize that she can’t hide from her identity any longer and must use her magic to fulfill her destiny. We also see Matthew grow stronger as he constantly strives to control his blood rage and overcome his guilt over his history as the family’s “assassin.” Yes, this vampire has a conscience, and it controls him more as his love for Diana grows. Matthew and Diana must unite their unique powers and strength to destroy Benjamin, a vampire whose blood rage has gone out of control, as he mercilessly kills humans and creatures alike to conduct his research into how certain witches and vampires, like Matthew and Diana, are able to reproduce. Fair warning: Many of Benjamin’s torture scenes are tough to withstand.

Despite being 550+ pages (in my library’s hardcover version), I tore through this book as the plot turns kept me mesmerized. Would Diana and Matthew be able to uncover the secrets of Ashmole 782? Would their twins be born as vampires or witches? Would the various creatures ever find peace together or would they continue to destroy each other? And would Diana be strong enough to save them all … especially her husband from the hands of Benjamin? Fortunately, all of these questions were answered satisfactorily by the end of the story. The Book of Life is filled with action and suspense, and I hope that Harkness will write a spin-off series so we learn more about the future of some these characters!



2014 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Disclosure: I checked this book out from my local library. No products or compensation were provided for this review.



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chicken Soup for the Soul Giveaway: Three Books in Three Days!

If you’re a fan of Chicken Soup for the Soul books, you’ll be excited to learn that I’m giving away three books in three days on my other blog, Susan Heim on Parenting! I’ll be listing them on the right sidebar here, so be sure to check the list daily. The first giveaway, for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen, has gone live and can be accessed HERE. These real stories by real people are truly inspirational!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Dangerous Season, by Olivia Hardin ~ Just 99 Cents on July 28 Only!

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The characters of Bend-Bite-Shift and For Love of Fae all converge in A Dangerous Season (For Love of Fae Trilogy, Book Three). JUST 99 CENTS RELEASE DAY SPECIAL ~ ONLY GUARANTEED TODAY!!!

 

* iTunes * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

Description:
Pain, joy, death, life, magic: All of it fits. Or does it…

The faery realm is in a frenzy now that the Women on the Hill are no longer united in power. The fabric of life as the fae know it is changing, and with it the dynamics of friends, lovers and neighbors.

Devan will risk both her life and Kent’s love to locate her missing father. Nicky must follow Gerry headfirst into danger as she runs from the new demons within herself. Doc and Jill choose an ally in the cold war between faery factions as Robin struggles to help McKenna recover from a loss that could cripple her forever. Kristana and Langston seek answers and follow a ghost into enemy territory, while Rooney confronts the challenges of Belle’s growing powers and the path revealed for their lives.

A collision of forces could create a new order between the faery and human realms, but will everyone survive the fallout of the cataclysm?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fire in the Woods, by Jennifer M. Eaton: Cover Reveal and Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and eBook #M9BFridayReveals

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Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
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When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. But David’s not here to find a girlfriend; he’s from another planet. And if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel. 
But her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met? 
Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea, especially since her dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it; it just means she can't get caught. 
Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. After all, she can't really fall for a guy who’s not exactly from here. 
As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she's to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.

add to goodreads
Title: Fire in the Woods
Publication date: September 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Jennifer M. Eaton
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Jennifer M. Eaton
Corporate Team Leader by day and Ranting Writer by night, Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped-up poodle.

Jennifer hosts an informational blog, “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes),” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.
Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.

Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book, but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively … creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)

Just Desserts Book Tour: Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and Italian Dessert Set

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When her friend Julia needed help forming a revenge plan against her ex-boyfriend, Ava was happy to lend a hand. She never expected that in the course of making Liam pay, she'd be the one to fall hard ... for the one person who was absolutely off-limits. Crushing on the guy who humiliated her best friend is definitely against the girl code.

Besides, Ava has goals. Her life is all about graduating with honors and landing the perfect job. And Liam Bailey -- sweet-talking, complicated son of a well-known local politician -- isn't part of those plans.

But Liam doesn't give up easily. And he doesn't intend to let their friends' opinions, his parents' disapproval or Ava's past get in the way of what he wants -- Ava's heart.

Buy the book:

Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Smashwords/iBooks


About the Author


Tawdra Kandle has been a writer since the invention of the pen. Her first published work appeared in Child's Life magazine when she was 13. After a brief, thirty-year hiatus, she published a young adult quartet, The King Series. More recently, she's released contemporary and paranormal romances in both the adult and New Adult genres. Tawdra lives in central Florida with her husband and children, of both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair.

Follow Tawdra:

Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Newsletter/Website

Follow the tour here!

One lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card and an Italian Dessert Set! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Second Chance Bride Book Blast: Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card

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After being jilted, practically at the altar, Genie Wainwright heads to Hawaii to escape the well-meant pity party her friends and family are bound to throw on her behalf. What she never expects is to find someone to help her mend her broken heart.

Donnie Taylor, owner of the posh Sapphire Bay Resort, has no interest in marriage—until he meets an unforgettable guest at the hotel. What starts out as a kindhearted gesture brings Donnie something he never expects—love!
Buy on:
Amazon | B&N | iTunes (Preorder on Aug 15th)

About the author:

Author Sandra Edwards
NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Sandra Edwards writes award-winning romance in a variety of subgenres such as paranormal (mostly time travel and reincarnation), contemporary, and suspense. She lives in the U.S. (west coast) with her husband, two kids, four dogs and one very temperamental feline. Sandra's books often push the envelope and step outside the boundaries of conventional romance. For more info on Sandra's books, visit her website at www.sandrawrites.com. Sign up for Sandra's NEW RELEASE ALERT at http://bit.ly/1k31XDr.


Follow Sandra:

Facebook | Twitter


Read the Reviews
Mama's Got Flair
My Mismatched World
For Him and My Family
The Mama Chronicles
Totally Random Family Gal
Niki's Book Blog

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card from the author. Open INT 18+. Fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter. Ends 8/10/14 @ 11:59 PM EST.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Spotlight: "The Dance of the Spirits," by Catherine Aerie ~ Winner of the Prestigious 2014 eLit Award

Synopsis:
The story begins in the spring of 1951 at the height of the Korean War. Caught in the thick of the fray is US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men, who are forced into a retreat after acting as a rearguard for their breaking unit. Despite a fierce defense of their positions, the US troops are eventually forced to give the field to the Chinese. During the chaos, Wesley finds himself lost in a forest. He discovers the dwelling of a local Korean peasant, where he encounters a female Chinese soldier-surgeon, who, unbeknownst to him, is Jasmine Young. He nearly kills her, but refrains from doing so out of the presence of a Red Cross armband on her. After the two part ways, Wesley eventually enters a deserted Buddhist temple and manages to identify directions from his previous knowledge on Asian architecture. He led his men as they fled southwards. However, Jasmine is also revealed to have sought shelter in the same temple. At daybreak, she is found by her own respective army, and assigned to be in temporary charge of a makeshift field hospital. However, massive casualties, wretched conditions, and dire shortages of supplies and bare necessities make it more of a futile morgue. Jasmine is sent to a new field hospital where she saves the life of a young avid officer, Tin-Bo Song, who was also once her family’s favorite servant boy in the past.

Before the war, Jasmine had been the pampered daughter of a wealthy, but also complicated family. Her life is punctuated by experiences of wealth and plenty on the one hand, and family misery on the other. Throughout Jasmine’s young years, her mother continually encourages her to become a doctor so that she will be self-sufficient and not have to depend upon an unfaithful man, as has Jasmine’s mother. Into the mix of family life is added Tin-Bo, a street waif whose ability to learn quickly makes him a favorite amongst the servants of Jasmine’s mother. When communism comes to China, Jasmine, to save her family’s honor, goes to the war in Korea. While there, she meets Wesley. Through the death and misery of a war-torn land, Jasmine and Wesley find love, while Tin-Bo concludes that Jasmine is to be his or she is to belong to no one else.

Reviews:
“An often engaging tale of a flickering moment of love during a forgotten war.” – Kirkus Reviews

“It’s a moving tale, almost an epic along the lines of The Last Emperor or Farewell My Concubine.” – Amazon

“Perhaps that’s the great strength of The Dance of the Spirits: not only are their encounters striking, but the evolution of their passion is a slow dance that reflects the resilience of the human spirit and its ability to grow, change, and find connections under impossible conditions.” – Midwest Book Review

Visit author Catherine Aerie on her website at www.catherineaerie.com and on Facebook!




This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

New Release: Jaded, by Michelle Bellon

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New Release!

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To what lengths will a man go for the woman he loves?

Reed Dartmouth will learn the answer to that question time and time again throughout his relationship with Jade Montgomery.

When he first meets her as a young, gentle boy, the heartache from losing his mother only a year before is still fresh and painful. Jade is different from anyone else he’s ever met: tough, sassy, and even a bit cruel. But she’s also the same as he is: she knows what it’s like to lose a parent.

Their friendship begins, and a bond like no other is formed. Time passes, and Reed learns that not only are Jade’s parents dead, but they were murdered, and she’s made an oath to one day bring them justice -- no matter the price.

As they grow older, their love evolves, but for Jade, old habits die hard, and she can’t stop hurting those she loves the most. Even in the midst of searching for her parents’ killers, passion ignites and jealousy burns as Jade tests Reed’s devotion for her. Will she push him too far?

Buy on Amazon

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Michelle Bellon

About the author:

Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their four children. She drinks ungodly amounts of coffee and has an addiction to Chapstick.

She works at a surgery center as a registered nurse, and in her spare time writes novels. She writes in the genres of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won three literary awards.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | LinkedIn

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Check out Michelle's Other Books

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas in July Giveaway Hop: Enter to Win "A Christmas Gift for Rose," by Tricia Goyer (Hardcover)

Announcing the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop
July 22nd to 31st

Every blogger participating in this hop is giving away a Christmas-themed book or a gift card to buy one. For my giveaway, I am offering a lovely hardcover copy of the novel:

A Christmas Gift for Rose
By Tricia Goyer
About this book:
Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work.

Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind -- Englischers? When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.

Enter to win a hardcover copy of A Christmas Gift for Rose, by Tricia Goyer, through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on July 31, 2014.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Western Roundup Giveaway Hop: Enter to Win "Journey to Riverbend" by Henry McLaughlin (Paperback)

Welcome to the Third Annual Western Roundup Giveaway Hop! Every participating blogger is giving away a book in the western genre or sub-genres, whether it's cowboys, wizards on horseback, magical beings in the Old West, or pioneers on a wagon train, historical or contemporary! For my giveaway, I am offering a paperback copy of:

Journey to Riverbend
by Henry McLaughlin

About this book:
Michael Archer might not have been able to save Ben Carstairs, but he vowed to carry out Ben's dying wish: to be reconciled with his father. What he doesn't know is that Sam Carstairs -- the most ruthless businessman on the frontier -- has no use for his own son, much less a man of God seeking reconciliation.

Soon after arriving in the booming town of Riverbend, Michael meets the stunning Rachel Stone while waiting for Sam to return from a business trip. Beautiful yet guarded, Rachel is running from a past as dark as Michael's, and the last thing she expects -- or thinks she deserves -- is a chance at love.

When word reaches town that Sam has been kidnapped on the stagecoach home, Michael joins the search posse. But the trail ahead is more dangerous than any had imagined, and making it back alive will require Michael to face his past and overcome his deepest fear.

One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of this book! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now hop around to the other blogs participating in this hop for the chance to win more Western-themed books!







Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show, by Steve Bryant: Cover Reveal and Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and eBook #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
by Steve Bryant

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
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Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10-year-old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember. 
But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know. 
Like the rest of Lucas’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?
If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them. 
When a ghost hunter determines to shut down the show, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time, and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show's enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family? 
Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.
add to goodreads
Title: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
Publication date: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Steve Bryant
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals. (His most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle.)
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)

Current Impressions Book Blitz: Giveaway for an eBook and Bookmark Swag Pack!

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Title:  Current Impressions
Series:  Never Forgotten #2
Author:  Kelly Risser
Published:  July 18th, 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count:  approx. 82,000
Genre:  NA Paranormal Romance
Recommended Age:  13+





Synopsis:
After an emotionally draining year, Meara Quinn is not the same carefree and innocent girl. Graduation is over. Taking a leap of faith and temporarily separating from her one love—Evan—Meara joins her father on a journey to learn more about who she is.

Too bad life is not all starfish and seashells. Meara gains magical abilities, but she’s forced to undergo intense training so she knows what to do with them. Her father chooses her aunt and Kieran as her trainers. And Kieran—a powerful male who’s not from their clan—has the unnerving ability to infuriate and intrigue Meara at the same time.

While Meara begins her new life, Evan endures with her memory and the knowledge that he will see her in July when his internship begins. Although excited about gaining real world experience, it’s the thought of seeing Meara that really drives him. Unfortunately, Evan finds it hard to focus on anything when he’s suffering from vivid nightmares and screaming headaches.

When Meara and Evan reunite, everything seems to fall back into place. The summer appears to be perfect. Then two of her father’s guards are found dead, and foul play is suspected. The façade melts away. Someone is targeting them, and Meara must discover who it is and why. She turns to Evan to help her, but when he gives her the hot and cold treatment, she’s left feeling alone and confused.

As the puzzle pieces move into place, will Meara be able to solve the mystery in time to save her clan and her relationship?

Current Impressions Excerpt  – Evan’s Dream

Bits of blue flashed in the corridor as she ran. The rest of her dress blended into the shadows. She’s fast, Evan thought and struggled to keep up with her.

“Meara, wait!”

She turned a corner. When he lost sight of her, the walls began to close in and pain pierced his brain. He clasped his head and ran. She was here. He would find her.

He turned the corner and once again caught the flash of blue ahead. He sped to catch up. She was quicker than he remembered. She ran with a strength and grace he never noticed. Still, he was faster, stronger. She glanced back over her shoulder as the distance closed between them. He reached out with a hand to grab her arm. His fingers grew into talons and cut angry, red strips into her flesh.

“Get away from me,” she screamed. She sunk to the floor and wrapped her arms protectively around herself. Thin, red trails coursed down her arm. With the realization that it was his fault, his veins frosted over. He did that. Hurt her. Hadn’t meant to. Hands. What happened to his hands?

He held them out. They shook, but they were only hands, not talons. Had he imagined the whole thing? No, or her arm would be fine.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Just go away,” she cried. She hung her head, her hair falling in a riot of curls. It couldn’t hide the tears that shone on her cheeks or the fear in her eyes.

“Meara, it’s me.” He moved to crouch before her. She shot up and pressed herself against the wall, turning her face away from him.

“I said get away from me!” she screamed.

“Meara—”

Her scream cut through him, doubling the piercing pain in his head. What the hell was the matter with her? Why was she afraid of him?
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About the Author:

Kelly Risser knew at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up. Unfortunately, Fairytale Princess was not a lucrative career. Leaving the castle and wand behind, she entered the world of creative business writing where she worked in advertising, marketing, and training at various companies.

She’s often found lamenting, “It’s hard to write when there’s so many good books to read!” So, when she’s not immersed in the middle of someone else’s fantasy world, she’s busy creating one of her own. This world is introduced in her first novel, Never Forgotten. Never Forgotten, a YA/NA Fantasy, will be released by Clean Teen Publishing in the Summer of 2014.

Kelly lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. They share their home with Clyde the Whoodle and a school of fish.



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Clean Teen Publishing Links:


Giveaway Details:

There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • Reader's choice of Clean Teen Publishing eBook and bookmark swag pack. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Beach Reading Party and eBook Giveaway (10 Winners)!



You're invited to our Summer Beach Reading Party!

Come on over,  pour yourself a drink, relax and enjoy these great summer reads!


After a hard day at work, caring for children, or gardening, you deserve a night of pleasure! 
Open your Kindle or turn the pages of these great books for summer. 
Whether you're enjoying the sun on the beach reading or simply curled up in your favorite chair, let us tempt you with these awesome summer reads... 

 beach ball

Young Adult Summer Reads


fledgling
(FLEDGLING IS CURRENTLY FREE)


into the light  the girl who swam to atlantis  entertaining angels 



dolphin

Hot Summer Romance Books


Sisters in Love  Lovers at Heart


(SISTERS IN LOVE / LOVERS AT HEART ARE CURRENTLY FREE)


whole latte love  home again  the curvy girls club  Game of Love  Taken By Love


surfing

Thriller / Adventure Beach Reads


the collector of dying breaths  the stream

These awesome authors have come together to offer a super combined giveaway!


summer beach reading


Check out the prize packs you could win below the Rafflecopter form.
Giveaway ends on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 11:59pm EST


Enter Below & Good Luck!