Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ambuzzador: The Paladin Prophecy Book Trailer + ARC Giveaway!


The Paladin Prophecy's book trailer is perfect! I watched the book trailer before reading the story, so I felt as though I knew what I'd be getting into. It's a very realistic representation of the story's plot and the suspense and action that's found on each page. Not only does the video show glimpses of Will's journey and what he's up against, but it shows it in startling detail. I love the quality of the trailer, too. My first thought after watching it was: "Wow, I could totally see this story becoming a movie!"

So, tell me what you think of The Paladin Prophecy's book trailer, or the book, and you could win a Paladin Prophecy ARC! There are also invite codes to automatically earn a free book when you join Random Buzzers up for grabs! The HeadBuzzer is adding very special books to the store so join ASAP!


Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.

Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school . . . and is being followed by men driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee to the school. There he begins to explore all that he's capable of--physical and mental feats that should be impossible--and learns that his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that has lasted for millennia.

Co-creator of the groundbreaking television series Twin Peaks, Mark Frost brings his unique vision to this sophisticated adventure, which combines mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.

*Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's*

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review: ROUGE by Leigh T. Moore


Cheveux Roux #1
by Leigh Talbert Moore
Publication Date: November 2012
Pages/Format: 300; Paperback, ebook
Source: Blog Tour

Trapped in the underground theater world of 1890s New Orleans, Hale Ferrer has only one goal: escape. But not without Teeny, the orphan-girl she rescued from the streets and promised to protect. Freddie Lovel, Hale's wealthy Parisian suitor, seems to be the easy solution. If only his touch could arouse her interest like Beau's, the penniless stagehand whocaptures her heart. Denying her fears, Hale is poised to choose love until an evil lurking in their cabaret-home launches a chain of events that could cost her everything.
Mature YA/light historical/theater romance
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords
Leigh Talbert Moore brings readers a new taste of the New Adult genre. The first book in the Cheveux Roux Series is a slinky romance set in 1890s New Orleans that drives hope and desperation through readers like missiles. Rouge takes readers to a time and place where being on the bottom of the social scale means limited opportunities and just about no hope of moving up. It's even worse for Hale Ferrer since she's of mixed race and a woman. Her best options are to keep singing in the theater, where she also lives, and to marry. Hale has her eyes set on rich French gentleman Freddie Lovel. Her drive to move on to a safer life with orphan Teeny keeps her focused. Until she meets Beau, that is.

I've never truly been a fan of  a determinedly loyal character that would do anything to keep their promises while forsaking all else. Thankfully, Hale had a more reserved loyalty that wasn't overdone or prone to the alienation of her loved ones. Moore's characterization of Hale was well-rounded and pleasantly level in intensity. I didn't always agree with Hale's choices, because sometimes she seemed a little obsessive and acted as though she let her emotions rule her at the wrong moments. She remained a steadily balanced character throughout the plot.

Rouge is an extremely interesting story and overall light read, but might leave you feeling averagely satisfied. The story has strong emotional waves and a general sense of intrigue that drives interest, but it doesn't last too long after the story closes. It is a story that readers can get into and fall in love with, some might even finish contemplating on what might come in the next installment. 
*eBook copy provided in exchange for an honest review and blog tour purposes*

Add ROUGE to Goodreads


Signed Print copies of Rouge for US readers, e-book copies for International readers. (the quantities will show up on the rafflecopter)
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a freelance editor when time permits, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps.

Leigh loves hearing from readers! Stop by and say hello:
Blog | Facebook | Amazon Author page | Goodreads

Monday, November 26, 2012

{Blog Tour} Lawyers Lovers and Lies by Linda Pohl


by Linda Pohl
Publication Date: August 2012
Pages/Format: 247; ebook

Charlene Williams, a recent law school graduate, thinks her prayers have been answered when she is offered a position at one of New York City’s most prestigious law firms. But her dreams are quickly shattered when she finds out that Alex Andrews, the firm’s senior criminal lawyer, wants far more from her than her legal expertise.
A gorgeous, powerful, manipulative man, Alexander is used to getting whatever he wants. Targeted as his next conquest, his words and actions make it quite clear that if Charlene doesn’t start playing by his rules, she’ll be lucky to be licking stamps in some lowly legal aid office.
With no witnesses to substantiate Alex’s escalating abuse, it’s his word against hers. Consumed with fear and the possibility of losing her job, Charlene is faced with a choice to retreat or to meet this ultimate challenge head on. Risking everything, she decides to build the greatest case of her life in an attempt to expose Alex as the predator he is.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N


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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

{Review} Never Seduce A Scot by Maya Banks


The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1
by Maya Banks
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages/Format: 372; Paperback, Ebook, Audio
Source: Netgalley

Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.
Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

{Review} The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley


A Tweed & Nightingale Adventure #1
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Pyr
Pages/Format: 280; Hardcover, ebook
Source: Publisher
An alternate 1895... a world where Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace perfected the Difference engine. Where steam and tesla-powered computers are everywhere. Where automatons powered by human souls venture out into the sprawling London streets. Where the Ministry, a secretive government agency, seeks to control everything in the name of the Queen. It is in this claustrophobic, paranoid city that seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed and his conman father struggle to eke out a living. But all is not well...

A murderous, masked gang has moved into London, spreading terror through the criminal ranks as they take over the underworld. as the gang carves up more and more of the city, a single name comes to be uttered in fearful whispers. Professor Moriarty.

When Tweed’s father is kidnapped by Moriarty, he is forced to team up with information broker Octavia Nightingale to track him down. But he soon realizes that his father’s disappearance is just a tiny piece of a political conspiracy that could destroy the British Empire and plunge the world into a horrific war.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's

Sunday, November 18, 2012

{Blog Tour} PROMO: Romance in the Rain Anthology

Romance in the Rain (A Seattle Anthology)

Authors: Kristine Cayne, Dawn Kravagna, Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, Clare Tisdale, Marianne Stillings
Publisher: Kristine Cayne
Release Date: October 15, 2012
Pages: 360

From the pioneer days of Seattle through the smoke-filled clouds of WWII and into the present, Romance in The Rain takes readers on a journey with four generations of the strong-willed and passionate Caldwell family. The anthology of six novellas is a collaboration of the Seattle-based Rainy Day Writers group.

Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell—By the spring of 1853 Englishman James Caldwell has traveled thousands of miles in a quest to find a place to call home. Newly settled Seattle isn’t that place and he’s ready to move on again when widowed Mattie Jensen marches into his life as somber as a cloudy day. But James can see through the solemn haze to Mattie’s strength and passion. Now he has a reason to stay, if he can just convince Mattie to take a second chance on love—and him. (22,000 words)

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings—With the world at war, Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service pilot Lt. Charlene (Charlie) Thompson faces personal battles as well. Pearl Harbor left her a widowed bride, certain love would never come again – but battle-scarred Capt. Joe Caldwell has other ideas for the beautiful lady flyer, if he can just keep her safe from the secret saboteur who's already taken the life of Charlie's best friend. (17,000 words)

Love Phantom by Dawn Kravagna—University of Washington, 1983: A great place to get an education and meet single men. Drama major Kara Caldwell prefers to hide behind the characters in her plays, yet feels pressure to live up to the example set by her brave and witty grandmother, a veteran of WWII. Can she learn to overcome her reticence and prejudices to discover which guy truly cares for her--and who is just putting on an act? (17,000 words)

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw—No sooner did Chef Ivy Turin wish to meet the perfect man than Sam Rockney walked into her restaurant. But is the sexy Seattle quarterback for real or is there something wrong with Mr. Perfect? (17,000 words)

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale—Seven years and one broken heart later, JD Caldwell returns to Seattle to pick up the pieces of his old life, never imagining he will fall for Maya—the mysterious woman who lets him into her house and bed but keeps the door to her heart tightly closed. When their summer fling takes an unexpectedly serious turn and Maya gives him his walking papers, JD has to decide whether their love—and his legacy—is worth fighting for. (21,000 words)

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne—When Seattle is struck by a devastating earthquake, technical rescue firefighter Jamie Caldwell must save his estranged wife and daughter from the wreckage of a collapsed building. He's defied the odds hundreds of times, but will his luck finally run out for good? (24, 000 words)
Romance in the Rain Excerpts
Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell
After telling the dog to stay, he steered her away from the Jensens’ cabin, towards the woods to the south. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
“Giving me the time of day. You were gone for such a long while, I wasn’t certain you’d come back.”
“I had to fight my better judgment.”
James laughed. He couldn’t put on airs around Mattie if he tried.
Final Approach by Marianne Stillings
"You were there." Caldwell's voice was quiet as though he were speaking to a timid child. He took a step toward her. "You saw it, didn't you. Didn't you, Charlie?" Another step. And another. Suddenly, he was standing before her and she was standing, too, and his arms came around her as she pressed her head against his strong shoulder and for the first time in a year, she felt safe. Safe enough to relive the agony—and let it go. Safe enough to let someone be strong—so she could be weak. Safe enough—to cry.
And so she did. 
What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw
"Somehow I can’t picture you as a nerd.” You’re too perfect, Ivy silently added, fingering the amulet at her throat.  It hummed under her fingertips as the vendor’s words skated across her mind: If you truly want to find the perfect man, and restore your faith in true love, then this necklace will be your good luck talisman.” She dropped her hand, shaking off the crazy notion. It was merely a coincidence that she wished to meet the man of her dreams and Sam showed up. The necklace had nothing to do with it. Right?"
Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale
A shadow crossed the window, and JD looked up in time to see a seagull fly by. Beyond the downtown high rises,  the waters of the Puget Sound lay brooding, glazed by morning mist. Much as JD hated starting over again, he realized that if he had to, he'd rather do it here than anywhere else. Seattle was his home; he belonged here.  Maya and her beach house had helped confirm that for him.
Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne
Adrenaline surging through her system, Erica hung onto the doorjamb as the quake rocked the old courthouse. The building swayed and groaned, windows rattled and shattered as the earth continued to tremble. Cracks raced across the ceiling and plaster dust showered down, covering everything in a thin white film. She’d lived in Seattle all her life but had never experienced a quake as powerful as this one.
And her daughter was all alone.
Writing fiction is difficult and lonely and more often than not, the "normal" people in your life don't understand the writing process and can't fathom why you are possessed and obsessed with finding the perfect word or phrase that says exactly what you want to say right where you want to say it. Only other writers comprehend and accept that kind of torment.
To fill this need to surround herself with like-minded obsessive-compulsive self-doubting lunatics, in 2005, Marianne Stillings, who writes Romantic Suspense, established what came to be known as The Rainy Day Writers.
There were only two requirements for joining the group: You must be serious about writing and getting published, and any criticisms of co-members' work be honest, gentle, and kind.
Over the years, the membership has changed; some people moved on, others joined. The group we have now has been stable and constant since 2009. The Rainy Day Writers are a family.
All giveaway ends November 22, 2012 at midnight. Make sure to only enter the giveaway you are eligible for.

Giveaway for US residents only.
Grand Prize:
- 1 autographed copy of Deadly Obsession + SWAG
- 1 autographed copy of Deadly Addiction + SWAG
- The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, by Julia Quinn (autographed copy)
- Blood Trinity, by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- 1 e-book copy of “Falling Angel” by Clare Tisdale
- 1 handmade shell necklace by Clare Tisdale
- A handmade afghan crocheted by Marianne Stillings
- 1 autographed copy of AROUSING SUSPICIONS
- 1 autographed copy of SATISFACTION
- 1 autographed copy of KILLER CHARMS
- 1 bag of truffles from Seattle Chocolates
- 3 chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates
- $15 Starbucks gift card
- 1 autographed copy of Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl by Dawn Kravagna

Prize #5: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy Accidental Cinderella, by Nancy Robards Thompson
- 1 print copy Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels, by Sarah Wendell
Prize #6: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy The Angel in My Arms, by Stephanie Sloane
- 1 print copy The Naughty List, by Donna Kauffman, Cynthia Eden and Susan Fox (autographed by Susan Fox)
Prize #7: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy Tsunami Blue, by Gayle Ann Williams
- 1 print copy A Tale of Two Demon Slayers, by Angie Fox (autographed copy)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway for both US and International residents.
Prize #1:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
- 1 ecopy of The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser

Prize #2:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of Unraveled by Courtney Milan
- 1 ecopy of Unlocked, a novella by Courtney Milan
Prize #3:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of One Night in London by Caroline Linden
- 1 ecopy of Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett
Prize #4:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
Prize #8-10:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction
- $10 Amazon or B&N giftcard
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Prize #11 US and International Giveaway
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Ambuzzador: Jumping Into the Mind of a YA Dude + Paladin Prophecy Chapter Sampler

In the last couple of years, as I moderately progressed into the role of avid reader, I kept my distance from books written solely in the male perspective, much like keeping my distance from succulent shrimp coated with that awful coconut batter. Any novel featuring a male MC, whether in a contemporary, fantasy, science-fiction or romance genre, I purposely overlooked for the sake of reading what I knew would surely keep the interest of my girly teen mind. I wholeheartedly regret my decision to limit myself from exploring the mind of the opposite sex. I could say that I only wanted to focus on reading books about teen girls, because I felt I might have had an easier time relating to the main character and her plights. In actuality, it was because I forgot how easy it is to fall into the dangers and mishaps of a story no matter who's telling it.

Fast forward to today and I'm pleased to share that my girly (though not technically a teen any longer) mind has been opened to the awesomeness that comes with jumping into the mind of young adult boys. Or males? No, dudes! Yes, jumping into the mind of young adult dudes, I've read the sensitivity, the logic, the cleverness, the vulnerabilty and brute strength of a young male mind. But never have I ever wanted to actually get up and become more active or study or do everything better, until Will West!

Cover of The Paladin ProphecyWill. Will West. His calm demeanor in a stressful, life-threatening or life-changing situation is absolutely admirable. His ability to run at a well above average pace, when he's not trying to, is astounding. He's probably the most physically-capable fifteen year old I've ever read about, and frankly, I'm quite jealous of him. The list of rules Will's father made for him keep him steady throughout his journey. His following of these rules without complaint really show his character. What fifteen year old wants to follow life saving rules when he doesn't know where the danger lies? That list of rules shapes Will's personality into one of order, instinct and oriented with the goal to survive. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a list of rules to keep my life organized and free from stress! Those rules even list ways for Will to keep a positive attitude, like "#17: Start Each Day By Saying It's Good To Be Alive. Even If You Don't Fell It, Saying It-Out Loud- Makes It More Likely That You Will." I picture myself back in high school and wonder how much more easier it would have been to get up every morning, without grouching and groaning, if I'd had those words to live by!

The most absorbing aspect of jumping into this YA dude's mind is his intelligence and personality under pressure. I'm not implying that any of the other male perspectives I've read were unintelligent or total spazzes when it came down to the wire, but Will West has a way about him that shows volumes of maturity. It could be the fact that whatever is so special about him causes him to be such an extraordinary individual, but Mark Frost seems to distinctly write Will with a casual air that makes Will seem unaware of his untested abilities. Will's life takes a total tailspin and he makes snap decisions about his next moves without hesitation. Reading him in action makes me think of the Bourne movies I love so much wherein Jason Bourne seems to know, by instinct, where to go next, what to take with him, and how to get there. Above all, Will doesn't hang up on irrational emotions or worry. He knows urgency, but he acts with a reasonable patience and diligence that makes me so excited to be reading his story!

Thank you Mark Frost, for creating one of the YA dudes that cements my interest in reading the male perspective! If there's even the tiniest population of readers out there that do not believe me when I say girls will love books for boys, read The Paladin Prophecy! I've learned it and they will, too: jumping into the mind of YA dudes is not so bad after all! :)

Read a chapter sampler of THE PALADIN PROPHECY:

Use this link to share the chapter sampler with your friends --> The Paladin Prophecy

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Chosen of Gaia by M. Mariz - FREE on Amazon!

THE CHOSEN OF GAIA will be free on Amazon again for a limited time!


by M. Mariz
Genre: Young Adult | Science Fiction
My Review: 4 Doves
Add The Chosen of Gaia to Goodreads

Fifteen-year-old Albert has just received an invitation that could transform his disappointing life completely – a chance to belong to an advanced and hidden society that only reveals itself to a select few. Immersed in a new world of mind-boggling technology and intriguing peers, Albert will overcome his fears enough to ignore a few suspicious details. But soon he'll find his family dragged to the center of a scandal that threatens to tear them apart and erase their very identities. A conflicted Albert must find the strength to challenge authority by relying on his newfound allies and gift for Revelation. Prepare for adventure, humor and suspense in this fast-paced tale of a “normal” family striving for their place in a “perfect” world.

Get your FREE copy of The Chosen of Gaia from Amazon on these dates:
  • November  17th -18th

M. Mariz is an actress, lawyer and writer with more than 20 plays produced. Her debut novel The Chosen of Gaia (Sept. 28, 2012) was inspired by her own Revelation dream.
Born in Rio de Janeiro and currently living in Southern California, Mariz writes screenplays and novels in both Portuguese and English. The artist has more than 15 years of acting experience, encompassing works in theater, television and movies. She has multiple plays and sketches featured in theaters, including a teenager play that was performed by young Brazilian celebrities all over the country, and has written many other plays for different Brazilian companies to present work-related themes in a funny, entertaining way.
She lives with her husband in Orange, California, where she is constantly developing ideas for new stories to tell.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

{Review} Hunter and Fox by Philippa Ballantine


A Shifted World Novel
by Philippa Ballantine
Publication Date: June 2012
Publisher: Pyr
Pages/Format: 277; Paperback, ebook
Source: Publisher

In a world that is in constant shifting, where mountains can change to plains and then to lakes, Talyn is the hunter for the Caisah, and a wreck of a once-proud person. She has lost her people, the Vaerli, and her soul working for the man who destroyed her people. All unknowing, she carries within her a Kindred, a chaos creature from the center of the earth that wants to help bring the Vaerli back to power. However, she has lost the ability to communicate with it.

She must also deal with the machinations of Kelanim, the mistress of Caisah, who out of fear will do anything to bring Talyn down. Little does the Hunter know that salvation is looking for her, and it wears the face of gentleness and strength. Finn is a teller of tales who carries his own dreadful secret. He sets out to find answers to his path but ends up in the city of Perilous and Fair where he meets Talyn. He knows the danger and yet is drawn to her. Their fates are bound together.

Meanwhile, the Hunter's lost brother Byre is searching for his own solution to the terrible curse placed on the Vaerli. He sets forth on a treacherous journey of his own, which will intersect in the most unlikely place with that of Talyn and Finn.The ramifications of this encounter will be felt by all the people in Conhaero, from the lost Vaerli to the Caisah on his throne.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review, Giveaway: The Memory Thief by Emily Colin + Guest Post on the 'Ideal Book'

Click banner for full schedule!


by Emily Colin
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages/Format: 432; Paperback, ebook
Source: Paperback

Reminiscent of On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah, readers will adore Emily Colin’s unique and beautifully written debut novel, where one man’s promise to return drives an exquisitely passionate, unforgettable tale of love lost and found.

When Madeleine Kimble’s husband Aiden dies in a mountain climbing accident, Maddie can only think of his earnest promise to return to her and their young son. Aiden’s best friend J.C. feels great remorse over his inability to save him, but J.C.’s grief is also seasoned with the guilt of loving Maddie through the years. Meanwhile, across the country another young man wakes up in a hospital and finds that his memories have been wiped clean, and replaced with haunting dreams of a beautiful woman and a five year old boy whom he feels driven to find. What Nicholas Sullivan discovers upon his journey is utterly unexpected—and it will change all of their lives, especially Maddie’s.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's
Emily Colin shattered my assumptions about The Memory Thief from the very first sentence. This novel is more than a romance with a little tragedy to shake up the plot. Colin builds the lives of these characters with such finesse and detail that feels so real I'm starting to wonder whether the story is really an adaptation of a real life experience! The Memory Thief is captivatingly written, taking perspectives from three key characters and connecting them throughout the novel with grace and continuity.

Aidan and Maddie have a bittersweet history that makes getting to know them a roller coaster ride of emotions: love, joy, grief and more feelings I couldn't begin to describe. Their story also has a complicated twist involving Aidan's best friend, J.C. J.C. proves to be a rock for Maddie when Aidan doesn't return from their big mountain climb, and to my perspective his presence was heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. His role in The Memory Thief  is just one of the things that brought many tears to my eyes because he had his own issues in dealing with Aidan's loss, yet he put Maddie and her son, Gabe, before himself. The family dynamic between Aidan, Maddie and Gabe was adorable. I love that Colin gave little Gabe an unforgettable role in the plot. His occurrence, along with a couple of other characters, gave this novel a positive vibe that could have been focused with darkness and grief, instead. Gabe was one of the spearheads that helped move this story along very imperceptibly.

Another spearhead was Nicholas Sullivan, who's perspective readers will find quite enjoyable and inspiring. Nicholas' life changed as he awakened from an accident to find that he can't remember anything about himself, except for his name. While trying to place the pieces of his life back together he realizes that the memories of a woman and child and mountain climbing are the keys to the answers he seeks. I had no idea where Colin would take Nicholas's side of the story but I am thoroughly impressed with where it led. I didn't anticipate the turns that Nicholas brought about in the story, but it made me smile to see the resolution Colin employed to keep this part of the story as realistic as possible. Through all the tears and grief and anger the characters felt, I felt a strong thread of suspense keeping me glued to the pages. While I was able to see from every side of the story, I never felt as though I was waiting for the characters to play catch-up. Colin's pacing is fluid and keeps the story engaging for readers so they'll never feel lost or a loss of interest.

The Memory Thief is a contemporary novel with just a dash of mysticism, but I didn't finish the novel focused solely on the impossible events. Emily Colin didn't let the powerful love story become overshadowed or watered down by the surrounding events and actions. The beauty in her words and characters gives one much to think about, but the story doesn't loose its ability to entertain. The Memory Thief will affect me for many years to come, and I certainly hope Colin will pen another hit soon!
*Copy of the book provided in exchange for an honest review and blog tour purposes*

Add The Memory Thief to Goodreads


            In the beginning—before I put pen to paper or fingers to keys—there exists what I like to think of as Ideal Book.
            Ideal Book is a thing of beauty. It’s brilliant and witty, engrossing and suspenseful, with a flawless plot that keeps readers up until the wee hours of the morning and characters so real that you can feel them sitting next to you, obligingly turning the pages. Destined to win critical praise and grassroots support alike, Ideal Book is an unpretentious classic whose prose sings with the unapologetic power of Aretha Franklin and the visceral sexiness of Steven Tyler. In a word, Ideal Book is—as its name suggests—perfect.
            And is the case with most perfection, it is also an illusion.
            The other day, I came upon my seven-year-old son having a complete meltdown. He’d been trying to design a three-dimensional helmet entirely out of paper, a fantastical construction that he could cut out, tape together, and wear. He could envision it perfectly—but when it came time to sketch his prototype, reality fell short. Again and again he tried, until finally he crumpled his latest attempt and crumpled to the floor, sobbing like Bette Davis in Now, Voyager. “It’s not perfect,” he wailed. “I can’t draw a helmet, and drawing is my best thing! Everyone is perfect but me!”
            I empathized completely.
            When I write, I do my best to recreate what I see so well in my imagination. I fall in love with my ideas, with the possibilities that they imply—and, as the cliché goes, so often love is blind. It’s hard to realize that, sometimes, what I’ve put down on paper doesn’t reflect the vision that I see in my mind’s eye—that, like my seven-year-son’s helmet, my work is far from perfect—even if writing is my best thing.
            Each time I sit down to write is an act of faith—that I won’t let the blank page intimidate me, that I’ll be able to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat again, conjuring words from thin air. That even though I know my work will fall short of perfection, I’ll hold Ideal Book in my imagination, not with despair or contempt but with an unfailing sense of hope. That even though the book may not take the direction I expected—though I may wander off the beaten path for so long that I doubt I’ll ever find my way back home—I’ll discover something curious and beautiful along the way.
            This is how I wrote The Memory Thief, which I revised and restructured and revised some more until I thought I might have destroyed the book entirely. I hadn’t, as it turned out. Oh, the book I originally wrote is gone, this much is true. I burnt that baby to the ground, in a deliberate act of arson. And it hurt me to watch it burn, like I’d taken a match to Ideal Book in all its naïve and spellbinding glory. But from the ashes rose the creation that became the finished novel, the one Random House believed in enough to publish.
No, the story wasn’t quite what I’d originally envisioned, back when it was just me and Ideal Book, sitting in a coffee shop in the moments before I turned on my old laptop and typed the words that would begin The Memory Thief—the ones that fell to the cutting-room floor long before the manuscript found its way to print: “The dream was always the same.” It was better than that, imperfections and all …  because it was real.
To bastardize Robert Browning—or perhaps just to inject his words with a bit of 21st-century gender equality: “A woman’s reach ought to exceed her grasp—or what’s a heaven for?”

Thank you so much, Emily, for stopping by and sharing about your 'Ideal Book'. I'm sure many aspiring authors will appreciate your experience!

EMILY COLIN is the Associate Director of the DREAMS Center For Arts Education, a nationally award-winning nonprofit dedicated to building creative, committed citizens through high-quality arts programming. Prior to DREAMS, she served as Editor-in-Chief of Coastal Carolina Press, and co-founder of Carolina Women’s Partnership. She also works closely with the North Carolina Arts Council. In Though Colin is not a mountain climber—she’s actually afraid of heights—she spent innumerable hours doing research for THE MEMORY THIEF: shadowing Outward Bound instructors as they scaled cliffs in Colorado’s Rifle Canyon, conducting reconnaissance missions in an indoor rock-climbing gym closer to home, and speaking with alpinists who took on Alaska’s Mt. McKinley—and lost. For more information, please visit the author’s website at

Connect with Emily: Website | Twitter | Goodreads



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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

{Review} RENEGADE by Nancy Northcott


The Protectors #1
by Nancy Northcott
Publication Date: November 6, 2012 (ebook)/December 18, 2012 (print)
Publisher: Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing)
Pages/Format: 384; Paperback, ebook
Source: Netgalley

She Follows the Rules
As the mage council’s sheriff for the southeastern United States, Valeria Banning doesn’t just take her job seriously, she takes it personally. So when a notorious fugitive and supposed traitor risks his life to save hers, she has to wonder why. To find the answer, she’ll have to put everything on the line, starting with her heart.
He Breaks Every One of Them
As a mage, Griffin Dare is sworn to protect innocents from dark magic, which is how he finds himself fighting side by side with the beautiful Valeria Banning. But when the council finds out the two have been working together, the pair must run for their lives–from the law, the threat of a ghoul takeover, and a possible council mole.
Now They are Each Other’s Only Hope
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: The Wild Ones by M. Leighton


by M. Leighton
Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Pages/Format: 330; Paperback, ebook
Source: eARC

Passion as hot as midnight in the South and love as wild as the horses they tame.

Camille “Cami” Hines is the darling daughter of the South’s champion thoroughbred breeder, Jack Hines. She has a pedigree that rivals some of her father’s best horses. Other than feeling a little suffocated at times, Cami thought she was pretty happy with her boyfriend, her life and her future. But that was before she met Patrick Henley. “Trick” blurs the lines between what Cami wants and what is expected of her. He’s considered the “help,” which is forbidden fruit as far as her father is concerned, not to mention that Trick would be fired if he ever laid a hand on her. And Trick needs his job. Desperately. His family depends on him. The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and Trick and Cami are drawn to each other despite the obstacles. At least the ones they know of. When Trick stumbles upon a note from his father, it triggers a series of revelations that could ruin what he and Cami have worked so hard to overcome. It turns out there’s more to Trick’s presence at the ranch than either of them knew, secrets that could tear them apart.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
For all the hype surrounding The Wild Ones, I expected a unique, hard-hitting contemporary romance that would knock me out of this world. Instead, I experienced a mediocre romance that, although tempered with hot and spicy scenes, didn't wrap around my brain and stick with me long after reading the last word.

Cami is the daughter of a successful business man in the horse breeding business. Trick was on his way to college graduation when familial duties took him off his course. The two meeting in a crowded bar sets off a whirlwind relationship that takes many tears, and much heartbreak, to reach a blissful happy ending.

M. Leighton produces original premises that always draw me in, but the stories never fill me quite completely. Cami and Trick were the epitome of superficial attraction that set my teeth on edge over and over again. As soon as the story opened, I saw that it would be another tragic case of 'I only like you because you're hot'. I felt that there was no depth in their connection as both Cami and Trick danced a lustful tango throughout the novel. Neither of the two characters, whose thoughts we read in an alternating pattern, exhibited outstanding characteristics that warranted such an obvious display of instant attraction. I liked that Trick, at least, had direction in his passion for horses. It was something that grounded him and made him a more likable character.

While I found myself anxious to see where, and how, Cami and Trick's families collided, I could not find it within to invest myself in them. Something niggled in the back of my mind as I read, telling me that I should've been feeling some sort of sympathy or heartbreak for whatever complications were haunting this story's hero and heroine, but the characters' actions and attitudes just couldn't get me to care so much. Between the disappointing characterization and the juvenile dialogue, the only saving grace for The Wild Ones is the idea of a couple of inexperienced youths with enough gut to stand up and fight for their love.
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review and blog tour purposes*

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

{Review} FORGOTTEN LYRICS by Amanda Hocking


A Watersong Story #0.5
by Amanda Hocking
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages/Format: 60; ebook
Source: Free For a Limited Time on Amanda's Website!

Don’t miss this imaginative new short story set in the magical world of Watersong—a realm of enchanting beauty…and terrifying secrets.

Aggie is a mythological creature on a secret mission. Lydia is a young woman from a magical family with no real powers of her own. And Daniel is a high school boy who’s made it his duty to protect his deeply troubled older brother. Then one fateful night, their lives collide in a terrifying accident that changes them all forever. And beneath the surface, the ripple effects of the accident will have more impact than anyone could ever guess...changing not only their future, but the fate of an entire town.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Forgotten Lyrics is the perfect novella to introduce readers to the world of Amanda Hocking's Watersong Series!  Even readers who have already gotten a taste from the first book in the series, Wake, will benefit from the back story that Forgotten Lyrics provides in suspenseful and dangerous tones. 

Forgotten Lyrics takes us back five years, highlighting a fateful event briefly mentioned in Wake. The emphasis on the accident that left Daniel with scars on his body, and a deep understanding for the duty to take care of one's sibling, does more than strengthen his character. It introduces us to another piece of history mentioned in Wake, that of the sirens Penn, Thea, and Lexi. I think this story will either increase or decrease the readers dislike of the mysterious sirens. Aggie seemed to be on the verge of giving the sirens a good name, but her moments of graciousness are greatly overshadowed by her sisters' vile attitudes. I'm glad Hocking decided to give readers a greater look into the sirens' past, because knowing what truly happened to their fourth member is a grave eye-opener.

What I really love about Forgotten Lyrics is that it opens up the world to the certainty of a more substantial supernatural community. Lydia's grandmother Dalia has special senses that put her in the know with any supernatural creatures that may come her way for help. She becomes a temporary bridge between Daniel and the sirens that will beg the question: what is so special about Daniel? It's a question that will haunt the back of readers' mind, even into the next book of the Watersong Series, Lullaby!

*Read FORGOTTEN LYRICS free on Amanda's website for a very limited time! If you miss your chance to read it free, Forgotten Lyrics is available as an ebook for only $1.99!*

Check out my reviews for WAKE (available now) and LULLABY (coming November 27th)!!

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Connect with Amanda: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review: FIRST LIGHT by Samantha Summers

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Project Five Fifteen #1
by Samantha Summers
Publication Date: May 18, 2012
Pages/Format: 342; Paperback, ebook
Source: Blog Tour

What do you do when you've always dreamed of a hero; your knight in shining armour, only to find when he arrives he isn't a hero at all? ... He's a killer.

Ronnie Rose is trying to cope with the loss of her father; now it looks like she might lose everything else that's dear to her too. Huge debts threaten to destroy her family, her childhood home and her future. Only one person cuts through her pain. Kalen Smith has just moved to town. He's trouble and everyone knows it. He and his mysterious friends keep to themselves and the town likes it that way. But when Kalen mourns at her dad's funeral, Ronnie wants to know why and her investigation plunges her into a dangerous world of murky government secrets, with deadly consequences. Ronnie knows she should walk away from Kalen before it's too late. Problem is, she's falling for him... Can we choose who we fall in love with?
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Thursday, November 8, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review: Allegiance by K.A. Tucker

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Casual Enchantment #3
by K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: September 2012
Pages/Format: 322; Paperback, ebook
Source: eARC

Evangeline finally got what she longed for – the cursed pendant off her neck and Caden in her arms - only it has come at a steep price. An unknown poison now courses through her body, slowly morphing her into something no one but the Fates can foresee. She has her suspicions though...and, if she is right, it will spell certain ruin for her and Caden. She won’t last long enough to realize that though, if Viggo and Mortimer uncover the treasonous secrets she keeps from them– that Veronique is now free of her entombment and in the torturous clutches of the Witches and the Sentinel or that she is protecting a Sentinel within their very midst. Always the naive human caught in the midst of the vampires’ web of deceit, Evangeline is now weaving her own dangerous web in order to keep her friend alive, rescue Veronique, and stop a seemingly inevitable war from starting. But can her honourable nature handle the depths of duplicity for which she must go to be in league with the Vampires? Dark and gripping, full of angst-riddled scenes, Allegiance will have readers anxiously turning pages to find out if Evangeline can survive this spiralling disaster.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
The Casual Enchantment Series is three stories along and getting gloomier and gloomier. At this pace it seems as though K.A. Tucker just doesn't want to give Evangeline a happy ending. Evangeline is still denied her desire for a forever with Caden even though she found a way around certain death from the cursed necklace, gifted by the witch-vampire Sofie. Sofie's sister has been unlocked from her frozen state, but no one but Evangeline knows. Julian's big secret puts Evangeline in a tight spot with Caden and Amelie. To top it all off, the witches and Sentinel have taken over Viggo and Mortimer's New York residence, leaving the strong, jolly vampire Bishop broken and without his mate. Allegiance continues Evangeline's story, alternating chapters with Sofie, as their world comes closer to mirroring the demise of Ratheus.

Evangeline is no longer the sweet, naive girl I admired from Anathema. She's become a childish liar with a troublesome attitude. She focuses on everything wrong that's happening or might come to happen, which adds to the gloomy tone of the novel. Evangeline is at the center of the plot, but she doesn't handle anything. I'd have much more respect for this new version of Evangeline is she stepped up and actually did something that helped her friends out of their bad situation. All the characters turn to Sofie to work her magic. Sofie's Casual Enchantments are the reason everything has turned out so wrongly in the first place. But of course, it's the fault of the Fates for why her spells don't end up the way they should. I didn't really like the characterization, mostly Evangeline's, and the direction of the plot, since Anathema and Asylum, is not what I expected.

I would still recommend Allegiance because Tucker is a very original author. I have yet to see anything similar to the Casual Enchantment series and must give kudos!
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review and blog tour purposes*

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New to the Casual Enchantment Series? Get your free copy of the first book in the series, ANATHEMA, free!