Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Blitz: Inevitable by Inger Iversen


I already read this book and let me just tell ya it's amazing. Also, my review of it will be up tomorrow on March 1st! ;)





Inevitable by Inger Iversen 
(A Love and War) 
Publication date: February 28th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


A Love and War stand Alone
These DO NOT NEED to be read in any order

I crashed and opened my eyes . . . there you were, fierce and protective, and I knew . . . I just knew it was you all along.

Ex-Marine Trent Reed has been shot at, in a coma, and placed in war zones, but when his best friend calls in a favor, he is faced with the most dangerous situation yet—to be the best man. Trent’s turbulent past with races other than his own taints his view on the interracial marriage, and he’s none too happy to deal with the ill-tempered maid of honor. To accept the position means understanding that his friend is soon to be out of his life—for good.

Tough-girl Teal Lofton has struggled all of her adult life, from her weight to the color of her skin holding her back in work and love. When she agrees to be the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding, a hormonal bride and a jerk of a best man who she is strangely, yet wildly, attracted to, amplify those struggles.

As tensions and tempers rise, Trent disappears with the wedding rings and Teal braves a snowstorm to bring them back, determined to fix yet another problem. But a tragic accident brings together the unlikely pair, forcing them to face the prejudices of their pasts. In doing so, Trent and Teal embark on an inevitable course of self-discovery and passion like they’ve never experienced before—until a secret from Trent’s past threatens to destroy it all.





       Excerpt:
Ice-cold air slapped Teal in the face just as hard as Trent’s refusal to sit upfront. Her arms and ass were sore from the long drive and she was ready to karate chop the shit out of this freaking country bumpkin. “What the hell is wrong with the front seat?” She slammed the door shut.

“What the hell is wrong with the back seat?” He countered, mimicking her tone.

Oh hell to the mother fucking no. She didn’t have time for this. Being maid of honor meant dealing with a bridezilla, not the ornery country ass best man. Words bubbled to the surface. Words resembling, get your damn ass up in this vehicle or I’ll leave you here to freeze your ass off alone. Instead, Teal opened the back door to show Trent that there was no room in the back for him.

Her phone rang. She placed her finger up, hoping to hush him from speaking as she answered the call. The indignant look on his face gave her a bit of satisfaction.

“Didi, I swear to all that is holy, if you give me any bad news I will flip out.” The wedding planner and close personal friend was supposed to show up at South Hampton Inn on Wednesday—a day earlier than everyone else. The weather had other ideas though, and had trapped Didi on I-95, making her several hours late. When she’d finally arrived, she crashed and slept. Teal couldn’t blame her. That’s exactly what she wanted to do when she got there.

“I just got up and so far, everything is good.” She paused to talk to someone, presumably a hotel employee. “Now, we are missing a few things, but Jan-Erik says you have them with you?”

A few things? Shit, Katie forgot a bunch of things. “Yeah,” Teal turned around to see Trent moving the boxes with the stemless drink ware out of the backseat and placing it on the floor of the passenger’s side.

Anger simmered over in her chest. “Didi, I’m going to let you go. I need to kill a man.” She disconnected the phone even as Didi stammered on the other end about a sheet cake and not having bail money. “What the hell are you doing?” Teal screeched.

He made as if her voice was unbearable placing his hands over his ears and wincing. “Are you always so loud?”

“Loud? Look, it is freezing out here.” She watched as he closed the front door and got in the back. “So, let’s go . . .” she finished, realizing she was now the hold up.

As if she hadn’t even spoken, Trent shut the door and buckled himself in.

She headed around the SUV and got in while muttering under her breath. Teal wasn’t in the mood. She was hungry and tired, and by the time she made it to South Hampton Inn, it’d be damn near close to six in the evening if not later. Taking a deep breath, she removed her gloves and started the SUV, turning the heat on full blast. After the vehicle had a chance to warm up, she pulled out of the parking spot and headed toward the road.




About the Author:

Inger Iversen was born in 1982 to Anne and Kaii Iversen. She lives in Virginia Beach with her overweight lap cat, Max and her tree hugging boyfriend Joshua. She spends 90 percent of her time in Barnes and Noble and the other ten pretending not to want to be in Barnes and Noble.







Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: Embers of Starlight by Sonia De Leon

Title: Embers of Starlight
Author: Sonia De Leon
Series: Trafficked #1
Publication: February 9th 2015
Genre: New Adult ~ Romantic Suspsense ~ Dark Realistic Fiction
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 1/5

 

**This book contains non-gratuitous scenes of sex without consent, drug usage, violence, and ends on a small cliff-hanger**

Sometimes the saddest stories have the happiest beginnings. My reality is that in my short twenty-three years of life, I've experienced passionate love and crushing heartbreak.

I thought I made all the right choices, but in the end, those decisions led to my demise.

Now I'm being held against my will, forced to work in a sex trafficking ring. I've accepted that I will die in this place.

This is how my story began.




Sometimes you read a book and you wonder what the hell the main character did to deserve all the shit happened to her or him. This is what I felt with this book. Tula really goes through the worst of the worst. From her father and sister being killed to her mother getting mentally ill and trying to kill herself twice to ending up with an abusive husband and being sold. I know these things happen but it was all so farfetched. 

The start of the book was actually pretty decent. I liked it up until she met Adrian. I just didn't trust the guy. He seemed like a very shady guy the way he all of the sudden started paying attention to Tula, giving her so many expensive gifts. And the fact that she cheated on Adrian with her best friend Sam was really the point where I started really disliking the story. I couldn't see how Tula and Sam couldn't be together if they really loved each other. I actually really liked Sam. He's a pretty nice guy. But they were all acting so stupid. And don't even get me started on Adrian and Tula getting married while se was only nineteen years old. Two years later she gets pregnant but of course the baby dies after a few months. Meanwhile Adrian is abusing Tula and it only gets worse. Eventually Adrian sells Tula and that's where the human trafficking comes in. 

I do get that this book is supposed to be a warning to women about abuse and human trafficking but it was just poorly written. I don't know... maybe if the book was a bit longer with more character building it would've been better. I also didn't like how this story is told over six years. It all went way too fast. I really couldn't connect to Tula because her character usually was a little indifferent about the things happening to her. Sure, she cried but it felt all so unemotional. I also felt like the actually trafficking part (even though it's horrible) came so late into the book. 

I mostly do like books like this, though usually they're more romantic so I think this book wasn't just for me. I really dislike writing one star reviews but I honestly couldn't like this book. The only possitive thing for me was Sam and how I finished the book pretty fast.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Cupid by Jade Eby & Kenya Wright

Title: Cupid: A Dark Erotic Romance
Authors: Jade Eby and Kenya Wright
Publication: 
February 11th 2015 by Empty Pavements Press
Pages: 263
Genre: Adult ~ Erotica ~ Dark Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

 

The papers call him Cupid.

The masked man who’s murdered five.

His specialty is in broken love and he shows no signs of stopping what he does best: killing.

Diana Carson is determined to find out who Cupid really is with the financial backing from millionaire, Asher Bishop.

Together, they’ll embark on a journey to find Cupid, but can they do it before they destroy each other? And is the hunt worth the kill?



Cupid was a good read. A really really good read. I flew through it in no time. And I'm still a little reeling from the way it ended. My god, it was intense and I can't wait to find out what's going to happen next. 

This story features the beautiful and intelligent Diana Carson. After the murders of her cheating husband and other rich men, Diana starts to investigate the homicides. With help from the seductive millionaire Asher Bishop she hopes to find the killer she nicknamed Cupid. But she soon finds out there's more to Asher than meets the eye.

The story really walked the fine line of disturbing and alluring. Sometimes it was even quite creepy. Even now I can't quite decide if I'm so fascinated by Asher because he was so ominous or because he was so enticing. It was probably a bit of both. There were a lot of times where I was thinking how crazy Asher seemed but then the next moment I'd be swooning for him.

I haven't entirely made up my mind about Diana. I mean, I like her. She's very smart, witty and pretty great to read about but I couldn't quite get a grasp on her yet. I hope to find out more about her in the next part. 

Jade Eby and Kenya Wright are both new authors to me but I have to say I was really impressed by this book. The writing was amazing and really drew me in. Especially the "Cupid" points of view were interesting to read for me. 

So would I recommend this book? Hell to the yes! It's a pretty dark story and I'm not sure if Cupid can be a redeemablecharacter but I'll absolutely keep following this story. The next book is so very much needed! 






About Jade Eby:

Once upon a time there was a little girl who fell in love with books then she grew up to write her own.

Jade has participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) seven times and enjoys copious amounts of coffee. When she's not writing, she enjoys trashy reality T.V. and reading everything she can get her hands on.

Mommy to two dogs and two naughty kitties, she feels like she might be on her way to having a zoo. You can find her on almost every social networking site that aids in her procrastination.


About Kenya Wright

Kenya Wright has published books in fantasy, cyber punk, and romance. She currently resides in Miami with her amazing children and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on her head at night.







Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: Beyond the Cut by Sarah Castille

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
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Beyond the Cut by Sarah Castille

Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club #2
June 2nd 2015 by St. Martin's Paperbacks

 

She’s Holding on Tight.

As a teen, Dawn Delgado ran from a life on the streets straight into the arms of Jimmy "Mad Dog" Sanchez, a biker who promised to be her knight in shining armor. But his love was just another cage. Ten years later, Dawn is determined to start over again—and be the kind of woman, and mother, she was meant to be. Could it be that Cade "Ryder" O’Connor, a member of a rival club, is the answer to her prayers?

Will He Give Her the Ride of Her Life?

A loyal member of the Sinner’s Tribe, gritty outlaw Cade is another hard-living, hard-riding biker who’s willing to sacrifice everything that defines him—because that’s what losing the cut means. Dawn can’t deny the full-speed attraction that blazes between them, or the safety she feels in his leather-clad embrace. But will Cade’s love lead her down the road to her dreams? Or will she arrive at yet another dead end?



Dawn and Cade's story! 
I already loved these two characters — especially Cade ;)  in the first book, Rough Justice, so I'm super excited to read it this one. And that cover is just to die for. Someday I'm going to buy these books in print. I just have to!




What's your WOW pick of the week?
Leave me the link to your post so I can stop by!




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Prisoner of Poseidon by Mary Bernsen

Title: Prisoner of Poseidon
Author: Mary Bernsen
Series: Villain's Love #2
Publication: February 9th 2015
Genre: Adult ~ Paranormal ~ Romance
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4/5


Ursula knew no other life than one as a slave. Could the gentle touch of a stranger be enough to convince her there is more?

Sold to Poseidon at the age of seventeen, Ursula spent the next four years serving as his submissive concubine. She loves him with a fierce loyalty, but she dared to defy her king for the first time by refusing to kill a spirited young girl when he ordered it. Now, she must find the escaped trespasser and return her to Atlantis or lose her own head.

In Greece she finds Hercules, the missing girl's former employer. He introduces Ursula to a world of new experiences and freedoms that she has never before known. Though thrilling and intoxicating, her new lifestyle could only be temporary. She must finish her quest and return to her master before she finds herself addicted to this new, softer love of a stranger.



Prisoner of Poseidon was a great book. I actually ended up liking it a little more than the previous one, Spawn of Medusa (even though that was also a very enjoyable read). So it's official, I'm a fan of this series and I hope another one will be released also.

The main reason for liking this book a tad more than the first book was basically the romance. I wasn't a fan of it in Spawn of Medusa but I loved the relationship between Ursula and Hercules. I was already a fan of Hercules back when I read the first book so I wasn't surprised that I ended up loving him even more. 

At first I wasn't so sure about Ursula because in the first book she acted pretty crazy because of her devotion to Poseidon (that rat bastard...) but I quickly came to like her once Poseidon let her go on her quest. She seems to get her spark as well as a spine back once she meets and gets to know Hercules. 

The thing that I like so much about these books is how the main characters (both in this book as well as the first one) are very flawed. They're not exactly nice people (though they're good deep inside) from the start. Ursula sets out hunt down and hurt Ambrosia because Poseidon tells her to but eventually she does the right thing. And of course I'm a huge fan of the Greek mythology.

So all in all, Prisoner of Poseidon was a book I thoroughly liked and actually finished in less than a day. I just wanted to know how it was going to end, I enjoyed it that much! 





About the Author:

Mary Bernsen is a southwest Florida native currently living in Punta Gorda with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband. She is the Amazon Best Selling Author of The Roman Mongrel, Healing The Bayou, and The Villain's Love Series. She spends her days creating characters on the good side of twenty-five because she is in serious denial about the fact that she is now on the bad side of it.




Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Spotlight: Alora by Megan Linski

Book Spotlight

Check out my book spotlight for Alora and look at that cover. It's really a pretty one. The wolf is beautiful!






Alora by Megan Linski
Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Word Count: 41,600


For hundreds of years, Alora has been queen. Ruling over the most remote regions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she spends her summers riding upon a wild stallion, her winters as a winged wolf, never aging, forever at an eternal sixteen. 

This is what it means to be an Anmortal. 

Centuries pass until the arrival of something new in the woods, a small boy named August. Alora watches through the years as the child grows into a young man. Slowly she finds herself falling for him, unable to tame her wild heart. Madly in love, she ignores the fact that humans and Anmortals can never be together...a mortal cannot love a creature that lives forever. 

Distracted by romance, Alora doesn’t notice that there is a monster lurking in the shadows, a hunter who is determined to make Alora his prize. With no time left to run and no way out, Alora is about to make the most challenging decision of her life. What's more important...her true love, or her freedom?





Excerpt:

PRELUDE

Shadows moved in the small cabin below him. Smoke furled from his tunneled mouth as he perched hungrily in the trees, the branches bending underneath his metal claws. The light from his one eye scanned over the situation quickly, but he dimmed it before he could be noticed. She couldn’t know that he was here. 

His mouth nearly dripped oil from the lust. This was it. The past three years, the pastthree hundred years, he had been waiting, plotting and planning, carefully drawing out each moment. This would be the hunt to end them all. In minutes, the last Anmortal would be his. 

She was too predictable. It was ridiculous to think that she would imagine that the boy would listen to her, but that would only give him more time to make his move. There! That was it…the wolf had crashed through the window. He had her right where he wanted her. 

Leaping down from the trees, he used the large bulk of his body to bring down the wall of the cabin and cause the entire house to crumble inward. He heard the screams of the boy and the terrified howls of his prize as they gazed upward at him in terror.

There were three of him, the two humans and the Anmortal. It would be so easy to take the Anmortal now, but to do so would be to lose what he really wanted. He instead focused on the one next to her, the small teenager with fear flooding her eyes.

With ecstasy he smiled, opening his mouth wide and scooping up the cowering human below. She nearly slipped away, knowing of his plans, but he crunched his jaws down upon her leg and heard the satisfying, tantalizing snap of the bone. His mouth savored, but he denied himself. Human flesh never tasted half as sweet as Anmortal, and if he wanted the Anmortal, he needed the human. 

He was heading towards the lake and pillaging through the forest before his little darling could even stop to breathe. She would follow. If she loved the boy, and he knew that she did, she would give chase.

He wouldn’t need force. She would give herself to him willingly.




About the Author:

Megan Linski is the owner of Gryfyn Publishing and has had a passion for writing ever since she completed her first (short) novel at the age of 6. Her specializations are romance, fantasy, and contemporary fiction for people aged 14-24. When not writing she enjoys ice skating, horse riding, theatre, archery, fishing, and being outdoors. She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and is an active fighter against common variable immune deficiency disorder. She lives in Michigan.





Sunday, February 22, 2015

Phantom Moments: Introduction, Gaston Leroux - Phantom of the Opera and Phantom's Dance


So you all might know that I'm a huge fan of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical and any retellings of it. This is in honor of that.




So let's start at the beginning with the book by Gaston Leroux. 


Yep. That's my copy of it. It's not my favorite cover ever but I like it because it looks like a painting.
I read the book in the summer of 2013 and loved it. I haven't read many classics but it's one of my favorites so far. I actually always regretted not reviewing the book. I think it's a bit hard to review classics because some are so well known but maybe I can use this as an excuse to re-read it sometime.

Here are two other covers that I love of the book:


For those of you who don't know (I can't imagine that many people don't...) The Phantom of the Opera was written by a frenchman and (obviously) written in french so the original title is: 
Le Fantôme de l'Opéra

I just love the sound of the title in french and I do know some french but I'm really not that good with it so I probably won't ever read it in the original language, sadly enough. 


About the author:


Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux was a French journalist and author of detective fiction.

In the English-speaking world, he is best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, 1910), which has been made into several film and stage productions of the same name, such as the 1925 film starring Lon Chaney, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical. It was also the basis of the 1990 novelPhantom by Susan Kay.

Leroux went to school in Normandy and studied law in Paris, graduating in 1889. He inherited millions of francs and lived wildly until he nearly reached bankruptcy. Then in 1890, he began working as a court reporter and theater critic for L'Écho de Paris. His most important journalism came when he began working as an international correspondent for the Paris newspaper Le Matin. In 1905 he was present at and covered the Russian Revolution. Another case he was present at involved the investigation and deep coverage of an opera house in Paris, later to become a ballet house. The basement consisted of a cell that held prisoners in the Paris Commune, which were the rulers of Paris through much of the Franco-Prussian war.

He suddenly left journalism in 1907, and began writing fiction. In 1909, he and Arthur Bernède formed their own film company, Société des Cinéromans to simultaneously publish novels and turn them into films. He first wrote a mystery novel entitled Le mystère de la chambre jaune (1908; The Mystery of the Yellow Room), starring the amateur detective Joseph Rouletabille. Leroux's contribution to French detective fiction is considered a parallel to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's in the United Kingdom and Edgar Allan Poe's in America. Leroux died in Nice on April 15, 1927, of a urinary tract infection.




Let's talk about some of the retellings I know of Phantom of the Opera next.
I've read only three so far, but there are many many more out there. 

So let's start with my favorite one!

Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard

Not surprising this is my favorite Phantom retelling so far. The book is sweet yet dark at the same time. Readers who've read it will definitely know what I'm talking about. On the one hand we have Christine, who's a kind person, talented and a little naive and on the other hand we have Erik, who's mysterious, also talented but has a very dark side. And to top it all we have a great set of secondary characters like Raoul, Jenna and Van. 

More about the book:


Title: Phantom's Dance
Author: Lesa Howard
Publication: April 6th 2014 by Boot in the Door Publications


Christine Dadey's family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy's finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she's told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she's willing to do to cope with it. Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world's stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik's face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he's lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine. Drawn in by Erik's unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik's declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine's hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik's shadowy past jeopardizes Christine's unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge. 

Purchase:

Also available for audiobook on:



What other reviewers said about Phantom's Dance:


5 stars:

"The plot is extremely well written and there is a flow that will definitely keep you hooked "


Mishma
4 stars:


"Phantom's Dance is a captivating and beautiful story about ambitions and how dangerous obsessions can be."


4 stars:

"It was a refreshing version of the main story and it took place in the modern world. I can definitely recommend it!"







I'm not the typical author. I didn't always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I'd just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I'd written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.





Soooo... I really want to hear you guys' thoughts about this Phantom post. It's a bit different from what I usually post about I think. So please don't hesitate to comment. 

Do you love Phantom of the Opera too, whether it's the classic book, musical or anything else? Do you know any good retellings? Feel free to tell me!

And finally... there's so much more I was planning to include in this post. I planned to talk about the musicals and other things too but I realized this post would be way too long. So I'm going to make this a monthly thing until I have absolutely nothing to talk about about anything that concerns The Phantom of the Opera.

Also, you can win an e-copy of Phantom's Dance along with a book of choice from TBD on my new blog design giveaway here. Be sure to stop by!

Until next month! 






♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!