Archive for October, 2012

Book Review: Intimate Strangers

Title: Intimate Strangers
Author: Anne M. Strick
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Createspace
Published on: January 5th 2011
Buy: Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | B&N

This wonderful book is the first to focus on one aspect of man’s inhumanity to child that has crossed my path many times: that confusing world of adoptions. Anne M. Strick artfully sets up parallel adoption scenarios that immerse the readers in the very heart of the characters – birth parents, adoptive parents, and most importantly, the hearts of children themselves. With this book, she gives us the impetus to legally, practically and morally move to fulfill for our children the promise of the Pledge of Allegiance – “With Liberty and Justice for All!” Heart-catching, suspense, hot tears and hot sex.

Review:

Brilliantly written, this manifest for better rights for children, specifically adopted children, is a must-read. Intimate Strangers starts with introducing us to the two protagonists: Georgie and Dru. Although very different from each other, they formed an unlikely alliance back in college, when they both signed up for law school. Georgie is outgoing and social, ambitious, a woman fully aware of her sexuality, and not afraid to dive into relationships based only on sex. Love, that’s something completely different for Georgie, and something she does have trouble with. The only man she ever felt anything close for is Macauley, but he never wanted anything beyond the bedroom.

Georgie’s history is riddled with secrets, most of them painful. She lost a child, and that loss has been dragging her down ever since. By working at an adoption center, she tries to give other people the happiness she lost when her son died. Her life story is a moving account of a woman who keeps getting knocked down by life, and who keeps struggling to get up.

Dru is another story alltogether. Being raised by a Mom who bordered on the lines of insane, she tries to blend in, but always stands out. Timid and scared, she can also be passionate and brave. She’s a contradiction of emotions, which makes her one of the most intriguing characters I’ve read about all year. She has a problem with caring for anyone besides her dog, an issue sterming from her less-than-perfect childhood. It’s not that she doesn’t care for people in general – she’s obviously very involved in her job and helping out – it’s just that she can’t let anyone in. Her house is a safely-crafted haven she made for herself, an escape from the world outside.

When Georgie and Dru hear about the Timmy Janus case, they decide to help out. Timmy Janus was adopted about three years ago by a couple who raised him with love and care. But now, his biological Dad, who is a no-lifer, who abused his Mom while she was pregnant and who hasn’t cared for the kid ever since he was born, wants him back. As they eagerly await a DNA test, hoping it proves the man is not Timmy’s biological Dad and therefore has no claim on him, Georgie and Dru do whatveer they can to help out. But the case brings back things they thought they’d hidden years ago, emotions they never wanted to experience again. It will change them, their friendship, and the way they look at life forever.

Then Macauley, Georgie’s long, lost love, returns back in the picture, and she must come to terms with what she’s been hiding for him as well. As Timmy’s uncle, he’s very involved in the case, and interviews people all over the country in hopes of raising enough awareness so the judges would rule in their favor. One of the people he choses to interview is Georgie. Can she tell him the truth, or will she fall back on lies?

The worst part? In the USA, the Timmy Janus case would probably be ruled in favor of the biological Dad. When reading that – it’s added to the back of the book – I almost started to cry. We live in a justice system that cares not for the well-being of our children, but that cares about the ‘rights’ of people who didn’t want the child at first, and were abusive to the child’s mother. This makes me wonder what’s wrong with our world.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy through Enchanted Book Promotions. I received no monterary compensation for this review. This review tells my own opinion about this book.

October 29, 2012 at 12:58 am Leave a comment

Release Day Party The Bone Knife

We’re celebrating the release day party of The Bone Knife today. The Bone Knife is a YA Fantasy Short Story by author Intisar Khanani, who you can find on Thorn The Novel Website.

We’re hosting a giveaway for a $20 Amazon Gift Card, spread across all blogs participating. Scroll down to participate!

About The Bone Knife

Title: The Bone Knife
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: YA Fantasy, Short Story
Blurb: Rae knows how to look out for family. Born with a deformed foot, she feigns indifference to the pity and insults that come her way. Wary of all things beautiful, Rae instantly distrusts their latest visitor: an appallingly attractive faerie. Further, his presence imperils the secret her sister guards. But when the local townspeople show up demanding his blood, Rae must find a way to protect both her sister’s secret and their guest. Even if that means risking herself.

Author Bio

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Her approach to writing reflects her lifelong love for stories from different cultures. Her next project is a companion trilogy to her debut novel Thorn, with Rae as her new heroine.

Links

Intisar’s Website and Author Newsletter | Goodreads | Facebook |
Twitter: @IntisarKhanani

Giveaway

We’re hosting a giveaway for a $20 Amazon Gift Card. This giveaway is international! Fill in the Rafflecopter form to participate.
Click here to participate!

October 25, 2012 at 12:16 am 1 comment

Book Tour: Guest Post by author January Bain for Forever Woman Tour

Paranormal romance author January Bain is dropping by the blog today to talk about her latest release, Forever Woman.

Guest Post: Ideas behind the writing of Forever Woman

What if you had an incurable disease? Maybe you too would think that becoming a vampire might be your best bet. Winter Kennedy has moved to Nome looking for vampires only to find Aiden Hightower. She doesn’t expect to fall deeply in love, but fall deeply and passionately in love she does. This unplanned action gets in the way of her desire to become a vampire and soon she is confused as to what direction her life should take. Can she burden her new found love with the knowledge that she will die within two years, barring a miracle? Watching her dear mother die a horrible death only two years earlier has left a deep mark on Winter, and is what has driven her to make desperate decisions regarding her own fate.

Adding to this confusion is Ellie Stone’s proposal (Aiden’s married sister) to heal Winter of her fatal disease. Ellie is the real deal. She can heal others at will. However, it leaves her drained and very weak for days after. And her new pregnancy complicates the matter.

The arrival of the vampire that Winter had purposely called up before falling in love, Christopher St John, further complicates her life when he desires her as his new mate. The pressure on Winter is enormous, but after much internal turmoil she chooses Aiden over eternal life.

On the eve of Winter and Aiden’s marriage, Christopher whisks her away to his lair atop a mountain in Alaska where he changes her into a vampire after receiving a special sanction to do so. Devastated by the turn of events and blaming herself for her actions, Winter is lost until she finds solace in discovering cures for human diseases in her new home.
Will Winter make her way back to her beloved Aiden? Read Forever Woman and find out!

Excerpt from Forever Woman

The murmur of voices was silenced in an instant by the ancient magistrate’s unearthly cold stare as he stood with full authority, blacked-hooded and paper-white, and read from the book of punishments, his voice heralding the full power of the Condita, the Vampire Establishment.

“It is our character and our will that makes and mars our lives. Your defense that you were not aware of the edict against Human feeding falters as it does not justify the excessive crime of random acts of terror against humans. Modern Vampire lore is clear on this point, as it is written.”

And with a short pause for emphasis, continued his diatribe in the echoing tone of an inhuman mountain of stone. The more astute members of his audience felt an infinitesimal flicker of his savoring the silence before his final pronouncement began.

“Therefore, it is the verdict of this court that the vampyre, Katrianna Ivanski, in absentia, for her crimes against the Condita, be chained for no less than twenty four hours to the punishment polus in the central courtyard of the templum. May the Confuto have mercy on your undead soul.”

Forever Woman

Title: Forever Woman
Author: January Bain
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Champagne Books
Publication Date: October 1st 2012

What if you had an incurable disease? Maybe you too would think that becoming a vampire was your only choice. What wannabe vampire Winter Kennedy didn’t count on was falling in love with a human after making contact with an ancient vampire of the Pharaoh Clan.The vampire, Christopher St. John, won’t accept that she has changed her mind and whisks her away to his Alaskan mountain top home. Will her true love, Aiden Hightower, be able to rescue her from her final fate?

Author Bio

January Bain, Storyteller, hails from Ashern, Manitoba, Canada. Married to the love of her life, her husband Don, she has combined her love of romance with her interest in vampires to create the FOREVER SERIES of books. She teaches high school Computer and Business courses during the day and writes in every spare moment she possibly can.

If she could be a super character, she has said it would be “super-teach” endowed with the gift of healing like the heroine in her first novel, Forever Man, to help heal broken spirits. She hopes her characters will touch your heart. She loves to be approached about the journey of writing and can be reached at her website.
LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

October 20, 2012 at 12:30 am Leave a comment

Release Day Party: Deliver Us

Today is the release day party for “Deliver Us”, a suspenseful mystery novel written by author Santino Reynolds, who blogs on As Write as Reyn.

You can NOW purchase your copy of “Deliver Us” or, if you’re feeling rather lucky, you can participate in our giveaway! We’re giving away 5 eBook copies of “Deliver Us”.

About Deliver Us

Title: Deliver Us

Author: Santino Reynolds

Genre: Suspense, Thriller

Publisher:Senzuri Books

Publication Date:October 19th, 2012

“I caused this, because I’m too afraid of…him.”

“I caused this, because I sat back and let life pass me by.”

“I caused this, because I let my anger and beliefs get the best of me.”

Three strangers share with you, the events that took place ten months ago that changed their lives forever.

Javier escapes his abusive relationship with Rick. But can he trust his traveling companion as they head to Arkansas for safety?

Ryan dreams of the world outside of Arkansas; his only way out is college. Meanwhile, Ryan’s friend returns for the summer with a shocking gift. Can Ryan stop dreaming and focus on the nightmare brewing around him?

Shawn is a family man whose hate becomes all too consuming. He pays the price for his hatred, but how much will revenge cost him?

Listen to three stories unfold and collide as Javier, Ryan, and Shawn share their thoughts, a twist you’ll never forget, and their fate.

Author Bio

Finding your passion can be quite a long journey, as proved by Santino Reynolds. The Chicago-born young adult traveled over fifteen states, living in many of them. From behind a desk to behind enemy lines, Santino’s vibrant list of accolades includes: becoming the Musclemania middle-weight bodybuilding champion, becoming an Iraq war veteran, learning sign language and so much more. But none of those titles filled Santino with the passion he has for story-telling. Santino first began writing short horror stories at the age of eight. However, his first full length novel was a romance inspired by a close relative “coming out” to him. As he continued to write, romance became more of a background and his love for horror took center stage. Even though the genres may change, Santino Reynolds never will. Remnants, hints and allusions to his earlier works are always evident in his latest books. Try to find the House Of Cards reference in Deliver Us. Santino now resides in Arizona and continues to write horror novels. His lifelong dream is a collaboration with the living legend George A. Romero.

For a list of fun facts and full biography be sure to stop by his website at http://www.AsWriteAsReyn.com and stalk him down on his Twitter handle @AsWriteAsReyn

Author Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

We’re giving away 5 eBook copies of Deliver Us. This contest is international. The lucky winners will be contacted through email.

Please fill in the Rafflecopter form on Enchanted Book Promotions to participate.

October 19, 2012 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

Book Review: The Saint’s Devilish Deal and Giveaway

Title: The Saint’s Devilish Deal
Author: Kristina Knight
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Published: October 1st 2012
Esmerelda Quinn has been looking for a place to belong since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was young. The closest thing to home has always been Aunt Constance’s villa in Puerto Vallarta, so after a string of hotellier jobs, she’s coming home to run the villa.

Santiago Cruz has called the villa home for as long as he can remember. In between surfing events, Constance has always had a room for him. Color him surprised when Constance leaves him with a joint interest in the villa – along with her niece Esmerelda.

Esme isn’t thrilled to share ownership of the villa with the the youngest Cruz brother – especially as the Cruz family has been after the villa for years. But Santiago has grown up while she’s been away and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall – all over again.

Review:

The Saint’s Devilish Deal is a delightful contemporary romance novel about the ups and downs of ex-lovers Esmeralda and Santiago. While they shared some passion and love in the past, that relationship didn’t end well. It ended with a broken-hearted Esmeralda and Santiago running from his past. But now they’re back in the place they grew up, ready to take care of the small hotel of Esme’s aunt Constance, and ready to face the past, once and for all. While Santiago deals with his guilt over letting his Dad hurt his mother, Esme must come face to face with her parents committing suicide and leaving her alone. Will these two damaged people, who clearly have deep feelings for each other, end up in a passionate love affair, or spend the rest of their life alone?

Esme was a great character to read about, particularly her sometimes witty dialogue with Santiago. She seemed rather stuck-up at first, but my view of her quickly altered as she and Santiago (or Saint as she calls him) began to interact more. They do make a nice couple. Santiago is a great catch as well. I liked how he sometimes used Spanish while talking, and how he always seemed so relax, as opposed to Esme, who came across as a lot more serious. The author had a great way of describing both characters, their interactions, and their physique – I could actually picture them in my head.

The book has a very ‘summery’ feel. They’re on an island, running a hotel, surfing, teasing each other, and making bets with each other over various things from running to hotel to doing adventurous stuff. But underneath those layers of sun, heat and love, run ancient family secrets, loss, suffering and sorrow. That’s what attracted me the most about this book. It talks about the harsh stuff in life without shedding the light, sunny, happy feel I had when reading it.

A definite must for romance fans.

Giveaway

The author was kind enough to offer an eBook copy of her debut novel, “What A Texas Girl Wants” for giveaway, as well as a $5 Amazon/B&N Gift Card (winner’s choice) and some author swag. This giveaway is across all blogs participating in the tour.

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter form.

If the link doesn’t work, please participate on one of the other websites:

Book Excerpt on Sik Book Reviews

Author Interview on Majanka’s Blog

Book Review on I Heart Reading

October 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm Leave a comment

Book Review: Deliver Us and Giveaway

Title: Deliver Us
Author: Santino Reynolds
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Senzuri Books
Publication Date: October 2012

“I caused this, because I’m too afraid of…him.”

“I caused this, because I sat back and let life pass me by.”

“I caused this, because I let my anger and beliefs get the best of me.”

Three strangers share with you, the events that took place ten months ago that changed their lives forever.

Javier escapes his abusive relationship with Rick. But can he trust his traveling companion as they head to Arkansas for safety?

Ryan dreams of the world outside of Arkansas; his only way out is college. Meanwhile, Ryan’s friend returns for the summer with a shocking gift. Can Ryan stop dreaming and focus on the nightmare brewing around him?

Shawn is a family man whose hate becomes all too consuming. He pays the price for his hatred, but how much will revenge cost him?

Listen to three stories unfold and collide as Javier, Ryan, and Shawn share their thoughts, a twist you’ll never forget, and their fate.

I enjoyed reading Deliver Us. It’s been a while since I tried a suspense novel, and this one was an enjoyable read. I liked the characters and their own little quircks, and I enjoyed how in the end all their seperate stories came together. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of suspense novels or thrillers. It’s not scary, but it has a fair dose of suspense and action to keep the story going.

Three characters meet due to a series of strange coincedences. We’re introduced to Ryan first. Ryan works in a car repair shop, but dreams of going to university. He’s saving money to do so, but meanwhile he’s a little envious from his friend Tom, who did get to go to college and escape the small town they grew up in. Tom comes back with a shocking revelation though: while being in college, he found out a startling truth about himself, namely that he’s gay.

Next up, we meet Shawn, who works in the local dinner and gets rather irritated when a young gay couple walks in one night to have some fries and drinks. Shawn is an old-fashioned sort of block: he’s against ‘being gay’. As a devout religious person, he interpretes the Bible rather strictly, and prefers it when gay people stay away from him. He even goes as far as to state they should get the hell out of his town. While I personally have serious problems with these kinds of statements, they’re rather befitting for the character of Shawn. He acts like he still lives in the 1970s. Sometimes I wished I could just knock some sense into him, or knock him over the head with a giant umbrella. Unfortunately, Shawn isn’t just a man of words either. Encouraged by his relatives, he’s willing to take the law in his own hands and do something about the gay people crossing into his ‘territory.’

As you’ll probably understand, I disliked Shawn right away. There was nothing likeable about this character either. The next character introduced to us, Javier, was an entirely different person though. I liked Javier instantly. When we meet him the first time around, Javier is trying to get away from his abusive boyfriend with some help of his best friend Claire, who also happens to have a crush on him. Talk about a complicated situation. When Javier finally manages to escape – with a bruised eye, nonetheless – that’s only the start of his troubles. After Claire drives drunkly and ends up crashing their car, they’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no solution in sight.

As can be expected, the characters end up meeting each other, and this doesn’t always end well. Ryan’s best friend’s sexuality may bring him in severe trouble, and Javier’s abusive boyfriend isn’t about to give up on him just yet. Chased by their past and the differences between the people society wants them to be and they want to be, Javier and Ryan must face a danger they never saw coming, while Shawn faces a dark side of himself he never knew he had.

A lot of work was put into the characterization of these characters, and it shows. They each have very distinct personalities. The characters drive this novel, although the plot was definitely enjoyable as well. If you’re in need of a good suspense novel, give this one a try.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy through Enchanted Book Promotions. I received no monterary compensation for this review. This review tells my own opinion about this book.

Giveaway

I’m giving away an eBook copy of Deliver Us, thanks to the author, publisher, and Enchanted Book Promotions. Leave a comment below to participate.

You can gain additional entries as well.

Mention in your comment how many additional entries you receive and for what.

October 13, 2012 at 12:35 am Leave a comment

Book Review for “Just Remember to Breathe” by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Title: Just Remember to Breathe
Author: Charles Sheehan-Miles
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publication Date: August 30th 2012
Purchase: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | B&N

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

Book Review

I requested Just Remember to Breathe because I was in the mood for some simple, uncomplicated romance. This book doesn’t give you that at all – major bad judgement on my part. What it does give you, is the complex life story of two college students struggling to keep their head above the water. There is nothing uncomplicated here: everything is complicated, and choices one has made in the past clearly affect the present. The characters are dynamic and intriguing, their personalities anything but generic, their life stories anything but simple. There is romance here, but it’s a heartwrenching romance, the kind that leaves your heart bleeding as the two characters keep on bickering for reasons that shouldn’t matter yet somehow do. A tough read, one that will make you cry and laugh at the same time, but one that will definitely leave you breathless.

Alex fell in love with a boy named Dylan several years ago, when they went to Tel Aviv to spend the most beautiful weeks of their lives together. Afterwards, they tried to keep up a long-distance relationship, but with 4000 miles between them and their histories and future even further apart, that’s not easy. Dylan enrolls for the army, and Alex goes off to college. After having drunk too much one night, she breaks up with him through Skype, only to regret it seconds later. But Dylan disappears off the face of the earth. No more Skype calls. No emails. Nothing. And Alex, suffering from a broken heart, is left to pick up the pieces. But after she returns to college after a summer away with her family, she runs into Dylan at school. They have the same work assignment, and switching is not an option. Forced to work together, they must set some ground rules, before they both break each other’s heart again.

Dylan on the other hand, feels undeserving of Alex. His father was an aggressive alcoholic, and although his Mom has cleaned up her act, his home life isn’t exactly spectacular. In fact, those weeks spent in Tel Aviv were the best weeks of his life. The army is harsh and brutal, and shortly after Alex broke up with him, a mission goes horribly wrong. Dylan’s best friend, Roberts, is killed instantly, and Dylan’s leg gets hurt severely. On top of that, he suffered some brain damage – he can’t remember basic words sometimes, and he’s suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. The man Alex once knew and loved is long gone, and in his place is a war-hardened veteran who feels more guilt than one person can bare. Can Dylan stand it to face Alex again, after how they broke things off?

The more these two spend time together, the clearer their bond becomes, and the underlying tension between them rises. They’re from very different worlds, but they’re meant to be together. The only person stopping them is themselves. There’s a love story here that grabbed my heart – it was so charming and sweet, yet so bitter and hurtful. Dylan was one of the most intriguing NA characters I’ve ever read about. It doesn’t happen very often that you come across a war vet in a NA novel. I definitely applaud the author for having the courage to take on such sensitive topics as losing one’s best friend in war, survivor’s guilt, PTSD and war in general.

You need to read this book primarily for the characters. Their voices are very authentique, and they come to live on the pages. The book reads like a movie script – fast and fluent, and never once does the pace drop. A must-read for all new adult romance fans.

October 9, 2012 at 12:36 am Leave a comment

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