Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: Find Once More by Trisha Leigh

Hi all!

It's been a long time...




Author: Trisha Leigh
Title: Return Once More
Release date: 20th of October 2015
Series: The Historians #1
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, Sci-fi, Historical
Published by: Bloomsbury Spark
Pages: 289 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.

Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.

Review:

On the outside this potentially looks like another recipe for an irritating heap of illogically established suppressive regime topped with a special snowflake unexplainably badass heroine dystopia overdramatic annoyance. The True match trope and the surprisingly positive reviews, however, made me pick to book up and, I’m a person who’s not afraid to admit when she’s wrong, I ended up really loving this story. I guess, it has something to do with the fact that it’s not 100% dystopian, it’s walks the line, but the historical aspects, being heavily slanted towards sci-fi and the charming romance part had me forgetting that it does share some traits with my most disliked YA genre.

I actually really liked the heroine, Kaia, yes, she made some selfish and questionable choices, but they were all in the scope of believable and even reasonable in her state of mind, considering all the suspiciousness in the academy, unexplainable occurrences and people close to her acting all hush-hush and making extremely questionable decisions. Plus, she was a rebel at heart and I appreciated it not coming across as forced, breaking some rules kind of came naturally to her and worked well with the setting. Her taking action, being bold and not this goody goody girl whose transactions are totally out of character, were things I enjoyed about her. I’m also truly surprised that I didn’t find her face-palm-worthy in any scene, even when she made capital errors.

From other characters, I was intrigued by Kaia’s brother Jonah, the actual and initial rebel in the family, and to deepen my impatience to know more, my questions didn’t end up finding answers to the mystery of what he was really up to, at least not in the first book. Kaia’s other friends were kind of just there and for plot purposes only, at the moment, but I guess they will be given actual noticeable characteristics along in the series. Oz, the True companion of one of Kaia’s friends, was the inspiration for Katy Perry’s song “Hot and Cold,” because that’s how he came across, at least from Kaia’s perspective, I’m, however, in no way whining, because he was a total rubrics cube, intriguing and addicting, but frustrating all the same. As with Jonah, I wasn’t fully clear on what he is really up to and with whom does he actually stand.

The romance between Kaia and her True match, the already over two thousand years dead Egyptian soul mate, was somewhat fairy tale-like, a tragic one, but fairy tale nonetheless. Even though, technically, their love story felt superficial and too insta-love, emotionally, it didn’t feel unreal and out of the blue. There was something natural about their connection, despite the low amount of short meetings, more kissing than talking and the humongous time and culture difference. There wasn’t much development for his character, though the author tried quite admirably to flesh him out, but it didn’t bother me since he was supposed to be this dream guy and tragic love interest. And knowing too much might tarnish the fantasy. To be totally honest, I actually rooted for another guy…

Beware that this book ends with a gasp-worthy cliff-hanger, which I kind of suspected, because the topic in question had so many details off, that there was bound to be something very smelly fishy there. And voila, the end revelation filled the gaps in my suspicion, then again, it in turn was responsible for creating a million more. Oh, well, I can’t complain, because I’d gladly read more from this series.

The world created for the story was excellent, the world-building was detailed, made sense, at least, when not diving in too deeply (then it didn’t, of course, anymore, to some degree) and, overall, wasn’t too crowded with information or difficult to grasp and fall into due to being too foreign or illogical in its base concept. The mystery of what shady dealings were going on in the academy and amongst the historians, unfolded very effectively, holding the tension high, and I was kept guessing with Kaia till the picture was made cleared bit by bit. The notion of one’s True match, however, pegged some questions, like how do they have the DNA of every living persona who has ever been born, but I found the idea quite romantic, entertaining and possessing a huge potential for epic star-crossed or true eternal happiness love, so I tried not to nit-pick.

I was quite impressed by how authentic the historical details and backgrounds came across. Instead, as many other YA authors opt to do, the story showed and didn’t tell. The far back in time events, places and people felt real in the context of the book and I got the impression that the characters actually were in a time long before their own, not just told that and having to unquestionably believe that it’s so. Information snippets about the weather, air, clothes, buildings, politics, etc, were enough to successfully make me convinced about the exotic and historical locations, without falling to the black hole of too technical and descriptive. There has to be more than just saying the story takes place here or there, eg. with Paris as the setting, several authors I’ve read, simply mention the Eiffel Tower, and that is deemed sufficient to make the reader feel it, but more elaborate writing and appropriately created atmosphere has to be there to enforce that belief as well.


4 stars!

LIIS

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dynamis - Supernatural Chronicles Cover Reveal and Giveaway! #supernaturalchronicles #dynamis

Happy Tuesday!

Be ready, Dynamis is here!!!



I am glad to present you the cover of Dynamis - Supernatural Chronicles! 10 great authors are coming with out with novellas! I have read books written by these authors and can tell you, that you don't want to miss this. 




 




Supernatural Chronicles: New Orleans

Beneath the brow of Bourbon and French architecture, the iris of New Orleans swirls with flecks of worlds and beings unknown to mankind. Come with us as we chronicle their journey—each supernatural race must hunt for an offering in hopes of saving their own.

Skinwalkers, Wolves, Vampires, Dragons, Succubi, Witches, Necromancers, Cupids, and Asgardians are all in danger of losing control as an uprising darkness threatens to rip the veil that protects them all from the great beyond.

 Ten original novellas, following each supernatural race as they fight an elusive enemy, are written by New Adult authors Lila Felix, Kristie Cook, Brenda Pandos, Delphina Henley, Julia Crane, Jamie Magee, Morgan Wylie, Kallie Ross, S.T. Bende, and Rebecca Ethington.

Come join them for the hunt and discover hidden treasures inside. ~ The first supernatural chronicle will be release October 26th, and then weekly until the final release December 21st. Every week a different paranormal’s story will be told, and a relic will be revealed. Readers will be able to join in the hunt and win prizes. Whether you love witches, angels, or werewolves, New Orleans is being flooded with the supernatural this Fall. A boxed set will be available in early 2016, following the individual publications. Anyone that enjoys reading New Adult Paranormal won’t want to miss this release of novellas.  

Titles Include:
Supernatural Chronicles: The Skinwalkers by Lila Felix
Supernatural Chronicles: The Wolves by Kristie Cook
Supernatural Chronicles: The Vampires by Brenda Pandos
Supernatural Chronicles: The Dragons by Delphina Henley
Supernatural Chronicles: The Succubi by Julia Crane
Supernatural Chronicles: The Witches by Jamie Magee
Supernatural Chronicles: The Necromancers by Morgan Wylie
Supernatural Chronicles: The Cupids by Kallie Ross
Supernatural Chronicles: The Asgardians by S.T. Bende
Supernatural Chronicles: The Noir by Rebecca Ethington


 

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway  


Join the Facebook Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/434753706727619/


About Dynamis

The unseen force within, Dynamis, was something the Greeks knew to be vital, vigorous, powerful, positive, enterprising, magnetic, and above all passionate. We are the authors who strive to weave our stories from this great unknown.


Thanks for coming by and happy reading!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter - Review Tour!

Hi!

I am glad to be part of the review tour of The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter! I was very happy when I was picked to feature the book and the author. The tour is organized by HQN Books and by Rock Star PR and Literary Consulting and by the author.




My post is going to include a review, information about the book and the author and also an excerpt. Let's start with the review!



Title: The Hotter You Burn
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers (can be read as standalone)
Publisher: HQN Books
Publishing date: 28th of July 2015
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Adult: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Received an ARC from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary:


New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers tale featuring a troubled playboy and the woman he can’t resist…

Beck Ockley is ruthless in the boardroom...and the bedroom. He's never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his, meaningless sex keeps the demons at bay. His motto: One and done. No harm, no foul.

Harlow Glass is the most hated girl in town. The beautiful artist is penniless, jobless and homeless. When she sneaks into Beck's home—her ancestral estate—for food, she's shocked by his early return...and her immediate, sizzling and intense attraction to him.

For the first time in Beck's life, he can't get a woman out of his mind. All too soon, friendship blooms into obsession and he'll have to break her heart...or surrender his own.





My review:

I loved this book! It's a second book written by Gena Showalter that I have read and I truly enjoyed it! The Hotter You Burn is well-written, easy and fun to read and has some adorable characters! I have to admit that I have fallen in love with Gena's writing style. The dialogue is funny and quirky, the characters relatable and interesting and the story flows and the pacing is great! She is genuinly a fascinating and gripping storyteller. I read the book practically in one sitting and couldn't put it down, it was a true page-turner for me.

The story is about Harlow and Beck. Harlow is a reformed high-school bully who has paid heavy price for her actions. Living in a small town the forgiveness from others is very slow to come. She is homeless, jobless and without a penny. she lives in a tent on the grounds on Beck's house. The house, which used to be her family's. beck is a sucessful business owner whose relationships to women is one-and-done. I loved the beginning of the story when they meet, it was both funny and a bold start of the book. Harlow is breaking in to Beck's house and getting caught while stealing a pie. From that scene onwards I was sold!

Beck is very attracted to Harlow but he tries to convince himself that she isn't for him. He even goes that far, that he decides to find her a decent boyfriend! He can't get her out of his head though. Harlow has to fac a lot of enemity from everyone who lives in the town, but she tries and she tries hard. There were moments in the book where I thought: come on girl, move to a bigger place and start a new life, but harlow is persistant and that is one of the things I admired about her. She wasn't a dormat, she had a lot of backbone and walked through the difficulties with her head held up and with feistiness that I adored.

I think the best part of the book were the dialogues, the characters and the huumor in it. Despite dealing with some heavy issues the characters are facing, the book has a positive taste, there is hope and happy endings and I enjoyed it a lot!

Definately a good and entertaining and romantic book to read! I highly recommend it! And as said, I love Gena's writing! Can't wait to the next book in the series!

5 stars!


Thanks goes to the HQN books and to Rock Star PR and Literary Consulting for providing me with the review copy1 And please, do read the excerpt, you will get a great example of what is waiting for you in the book!



THE HOTTER YOU BURN

GENA SHOWALTER
$7.99 U.S./$8.99 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77969-7
ON SALE 7/28/15


About the author:


GENA SHOWALTER


Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose works have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.


Links:
B&N: http://bit.ly/1BKwtec


Social Media Links:








THE HOTTER YOU BURN excerpt:


“I’m leaving, that’s what,” Harlow said. Determined words, snotty tone. She attempted to wrench herself from Beck’s grip.

“Oh, no.” Beck merely tightened his hold. “We’re going to have a glass of sweet tea while you two crazy kids get to know each other better.”

Harlow anchored her hands on her hips. “You know what? You’re right. We are going to get to know each other. But your presence is unnecessary, Beck. Leave.”

“Not gonna happen.”

“We don’t need—”

He cut her off, whispering, “If you and West get married and live happily ever after, you’ll have to get used to having me around.”

She snapped her mouth shut, then lifted her chin and grumbled, “That’s a very sad point.” She flashed a too-bright smile at West and eased into the chair Jase had vacated. “I’m game if you are.”

Beck vibrated with irritation as he carried a pitcher of tea and three glasses to the table and settled between the pair. “My girl here has certain ideas about the kind of man she wants to end up with,” he explained, “and I’d like to know if the two of you are compatible.”

Understanding dawned on West’s features, a smile nearly breaking free. He cleared his throat and donned his most uncaring expression. “Sure. Whatever.”

Beck poured the tea, handed out the glasses, and Harlow clutched hers as if it were a lifeline.

“Kick us off, sweet pea,” he said. “Tell my good buddy Lincoln—that’s his first name, in case you didn’t know—a little about yourself.”

“Well.” There was a slight tremor in her voice. “I’m twenty-six, and I’ve never been married.”

“Would you like a medal?” West muttered, while staring down at his cell phone, playing one of the games he’d created.

She glared at Beck, but he merely arched a brow.

Don’t make plans with men you don’t know.

“Yes, actually, I would like a medal, considering I’m hot but don’t realize it, which makes me even hotter.” The tremor had vanished, the snotty attitude firmly in its place. “It’s a miracle no one’s snatched me up. But then, most men are idiots, so…”

West smiled, realized his mistake, and glowered at his screen.

Beck braced elbows on the table. “You’re suggesting outward beauty is all that matters.”

“Hardly. My personality is hot, too. But Beck, darling.” Sugary-sweet tone now. Too sweet. “You aren’t part of this get-to-know-you session, even though you insist on being a total third wheel, so do us all a favor and zip your stupid lips.”

Then, she dismissed him. Looking to West, she traced her fingertips over the collar of her shirt, so feminine Beck’s every masculine instinct growled, hungry for the next meal. “So. Lincoln. How old are you?”

West played the video game a little longer before deigning to answer. “I’m twenty-eight, but I’ve got the stamina of an eighty-year-old coma victim. Horrible lover. Even worse cuddler.”

“Well, those skills can be taught,” she said, reaching over to caress his shoulder. “Anyway, you’re quite young to be so successful. It’s impressive.”

It was impressive. Beck wasn’t sure where he would have ended up without the guy.

West shrugged. “I work hard,” he said, then added, “probably too hard. I tend to ignore the people in my life. Especially women.”

“Well, I understand how taxing such a busy work schedule can be, and I commend you for it.” She gave his shoulder another caress, and Beck almost jerked the two apart. “I hope the lucky ladies in your life are as understanding as I am.”

“I guess,” West said and shrugged again.

“Wow, just look at these muscles, West. You are amazingly strong, aren’t you?” She cast another narrowed glance Beck’s way, presumably to make sure he was watching as she scooted her chair closer to West’s. “You know,” she said, the tip of her finger toying with the rim of West’s glass. When she caught a bead of condensation, she brought it to her lips and sucked, causing Beck’s groin to twitch behind his zipper. “I have a skill of my own, but it’s quite naughty.”

West glanced up, phone forgotten. “Do tell.”

“Yes. Do.” Beck simmered with renewed anger—even more desire. He smoothed a lock of hair from Harlow’s face. One touch, but he was greedy for more.

Her breath caught, but she leaned away from him, getting closer and closer to West, until her mouth was poised at the shell of his ear. In a husky voice low enough to be considered a whisper but loud enough for Beck to overhear, she said, “I’m super good at parking.”

Stick a fork in me. Im done. Done with the conversation. Done with watching the object of his obsession doing her rock-solid best to arouse another male. “West doesn’t need to hear about that. Let’s go—”

“Even boys from two counties over dreamed of making out with me in the backseat of their trucks,” she continued with an effortless sensuality. “I’m very bendy.”

Beck slammed his glass on the table, tea sloshing over the sides of the rim. “Harlow here is looking to settle down forever,” he barked. “She thinks you’d make an awesome groom.”

“Marriage?” West sneered with distaste. “Me? Hell, no. Never.”

“He’s all for others tying the knot, but when it comes to himself he thinks the Newlywed Game should be called the Dig Your Own Grave game,” Beck explained, relaxing now that the conversation had taken a new direction.

Harlow unveiled a brittle smile. “Maybe you just haven’t met the right person, Lincoln. You don’t mind if I call you Lincoln, do you?”

“Call me whatever you like, but I have met the right person.” His voice cracked. “She died.” He stood, his chair skidding behind him, and strode out of the kitchen.

Harlow rounded on Beck, all hint of supple, willing female gone. “I hope you’re happy with yourself. You did this.”

“Me?”

“Yes, you.” The words were nothing more than a hiss. “You wanted me to know I can’t win the affections of anyone else, that I’m stuck with you, destined to be your newest conquest.”

“Stuck with me?” he snarled.

“Yeah, that’s right. You aren’t the prize you think you are, Beck Ockley, but maybe West is. Maybe he’s worth fighting for. Maybe, unlike you, he has a heart and the ability to care for someone other than himself.”

“I have a heart. I care.”

She didn’t seem to hear him, plowing ahead. “You know, there are plenty of guys in town. Why focus all my efforts on just one? I’m sure lots of guys would like a chance to get to know the new me. I can bring them back to my RV—”

My RV.”

“—and practice being married, just the way you suggested.”

Beck would burn the RV to ash first.

Too far gone to fight his sense of possession, he hooked his foot around the bottom of her chair and forced her chair closer, closer still. Their thighs touched, and she gasped, perhaps at the force he’d used, perhaps with a desire of her own.

He grabbed her by the waist and easily hefted her onto the table, on his feet and between her legs a second later, glaring down at her.

“I want you, and it’s past time I showed you how much. You’ll keep your sweet ass parked on this table and you’ll show me your skills. Me. No one else.” And then his hand was cupping the back of her neck, drawing her forward.


------------

Thanks for coming by and happy reading!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne - Review and Author Interiew!

Happy Wednesday!

I am participating at Redemption Bay blog tour and I am happy to feature Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne on the blog. The blog tour is organized by Little Bird Publicity, by Harlequin Books and by the author. This post includes the review and a Q&A with RaeAnne Thayne and also information about the book.

Let's start with the review!


Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Title: Redemption Bay
Series: Haven Point Series
Publishing date: 30th of June
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Genre: Adult: Romance
Pages: 384 pages
Source: From Little Bird Publicity and the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

Summary:

A young mayor will do anything to save her town, even if it means welcoming back the man she blames for almost destroying it in REDEMPTION BAY (HQN Books, July 2015, $7.99 U.S./$8.99 CAN.), the second book in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s enthralling Haven Point series.

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her hometown of Haven Point. It may be small, but it’s never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick.

Ben was her childhood hero until he closed his family’s boat factory, leaving the town’s economy in shambles.
But now his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. Her natural instinct, fueled by all these years of resentment, is to fight him at every turn. For Haven Point’s sake, however, McKenzie must grit her teeth and be as welcoming as she can manage—a task further complicated by her fierce attraction to Ben and her discovery that he is renting the lake house next door to hers.
For Ben, being back in Haven Point evokes all the dark and ugly memories of his childhood. What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer him? Yet seeing Haven Point through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it’s least expected.

REDEMPTION BAY is available wherever books are sold and through Harlequin.com.

RaeAnne Thayne
REDEMPTION BAY
$7.99 U.S./$8.99 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-78506-3

“[Thayne] engages the reader’s heart and emotions, inspiring hope and the belief that miracles are possible.” #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber



“Thayne’s beautiful, honest storytelling goes straight to the heart.” —RT Book Reviews


My review:

I love stories and books about small places in beautiful surroundings and when you add a good love story where characters get over some issues from their past and they are capable of solving and creating a new future for them, then it's definitely for me! Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne offered me exactly that. The book was well-written with lovable characters and with a great low-burn romance in it.

Plot:

Meet McKenzie and Ben who meet under dire circumstances. McKenzie is the mayor of a town which Ben destroyed, at least this is what McKenzie is thinking. She blames Ben for closing down a boat factory which left hundreds of people without jobs. Now, when Ben is back in town and he is responsible of deciding the future of the place McKenzie loves - Haven Point - McKenzie understands that she needs to do whatever it takes to push Ben into loving Haven Point, so he would make the right decision and bring some new business to the town. Both Ben and McKenzie need to face the demons from the past and deal with the, whether they like it or not and decide what to do with the building attraction between them.

First of all, I loved the descriptions of Haven Point and its people. The lake, the surroundings and the descriptions of these in the book made me really love the place! It's heart-warming to read how loyal and decent the characters are and it's simply beautiful. Being from a small place myself, I could easily relate to the small-town-life issues like secrets and gossip, but also loyalty, friendships and generally, the dynamics of the close-knit society. I loved it! It made feel like being back at home.

I also liked the writing style and the pace. I enjoyed, that the romance was not like many insta-loves between the main characters in many books. I enjoyed how it slowly developed, starting from attraction and admiration and growing into something stronger than just physical relationship. It was fun to read about two grown people who have endured a lot in their lives and that the author didn't paint flawless peachy world around them. It felt real when reading and I think it's a great gift given by the author to her readers. The story also gave hope and faith and positive feelings about that everything is possible. It went straight to my heart.

Characters:

I loved McKenzie inside out. She was a beautiful person with beautiful personality: strong, goodhearted, kind, stood up for her beliefs - simply adorable. She is woman that everyone would love to have as a friend. I also adored Ben. I felt his pain, all that he had suffered and the pain he went through when finding out the truth about his family. There were also lots of interesting supporting characters which were well-written and with their own background stories which gave added value to the story. They were believable and easy to relate to.

Generally:

I highly recommend Redemption Bay. it's beautifully written and it touches your heart. Loved it!


5 stars.


About the author:


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.

Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor.

Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine.

RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at raeannethayne.com.




And now, ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the author of Redemption Bay, RaeAnne Thayne!

Q: REDEMPTION BAY is the 2nd book in your new Haven Point series. What would you tell someone who is coming to Haven Point for the first time? Is there anything you want first time readers to know before they jump into REDEMPTION BAY?

A: Haven Point is a series of books that explores healing in its various forms -- healing hearts, healing bodies, healing families and healing a town. Haven Point – on the shores of beautiful Lake Haven, a few hours from Boise, ID – has seen some tough times and suffered some losses, but despite all the challenges, it's a place where people care about each other.

Q: When a natural disaster hits, the whole town works together to avoid catastrophe. Do you live in a place where people help each other out like this? It’s inspiring to read about!

A: I definitely live in a community like this and feel incredibly lucky. Huge, dramatic events like house fires or floods seem to bring out that compassion and caring in everyone and it's wonderful to witness people come together to help in whatever way they can. I've witnessed many situations similar to the events of Haven Point, when an entire community rallies to help out neighbors. Just as touching to me, though, are the constant small and simple acts of kindness I see around me every day.

Q: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Do you ever use real people as inspiration for your characters?

A: Oh, absolutely. I've never created a character whole cloth from an actual person but I'll take bits and pieces of people I've met or read about and incorporate that into my characters. I loved that part of being a journalist – the chance to be out in the community meeting new people and interviewing them. I learned early that everybody has a story and everyone faces both struggles and triumphs.

Q: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve ever gotten from a reader?

A: I once had a teenage girl tell me she used to hate reading until she and a girlfriend read one of my earlier books together and now she loves to read and is always finding new authors. I could quit writing today and be perfectly happy, knowing that I've helped someone discover the joy that can be found inside a book.


Q: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to experience? If so, how?

A: My voice has changed quite dramatically over the years. I sold my first book to Bantam Loveswept twenty years ago, when I wasn't quite thirty, and I've since written fifty more. At the time of that first sale, my husband and I had one daughter and my life experience was very narrow. The week I sold my fifth book to Loveswept a few years later, I gave birth to our second child who was born with multiple severe disabilities. I became his caregiver and advocate and by necessity, my worldview shifted instantly.

I am a much different person than I was in my early days as an author. I have learned that life is hard. It's filled with pain and disappointment and sorrow but also laughter and spring flowers and dear friends. I think I write from a place of hard-won experience, knowledge that I couldn't have imagined in my twenties when I first dreamed about writing novels. 

I write characters now who have been through sometimes unbearably difficult things but eventually they discover that the world is still a place of joy and wonder.

It took me about twenty books before I began to recognize the core message in each of my books, no matter how disparate the characters, plot or conflict – that we are each here to learn how to take care of each other. In REDEMPTION BAY, I think McKenzie has already learned this but Ben discovers through the course of the book that he can't truly be happy when he keeps the world at a safe distance, not letting anyone close.

--------------------------------------
Thanks goes to RaeAnne Thayne for the Q&A and to the Little Bird Publicity making it happen.

Happy reading!


 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: Deep by Kylie Scott

Hi all!

The fourth book in a highly recommended romance series!




Author: Kylie Scott
Title: Deep
Release date: 31st of March 2015
Series: Stage Dive #4
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Contemporary
URL: http://kylie-scott.com/
Pages: 271 in e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man she's ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible... but will it lead to a connection of the heart?

Review:

Unpopular opinion alert!

This series is without a doubt one of the top of the tops in rocker romance. The endearing characters, the five-star humor, the noteworthy sharp and entertaining dialogue, the swoony moments... everything is excellent and all together they create an irresistible combination.

With the current fourth book in the series, I had some trouble. Unexpected pregnancy stories always are a hit or miss with me, either done as "right" as possible, walking on the narrow edge of irritating, or falling to the pit of ridiculous angsty unreasonable sticky mud. This book had one foot in the pit and the other on solid ground. What annoyed me, and I'm not trying to make excuses for anyone's behavior, I'm imagining myself in the position and I can't judge someone if I can understand their reasoning. I respect Lizzy for how fast she settled with the idea of having a baby, was ready to make sacrifices and was prepared to raise it on her own. I didn't appreciate the fact that she couldn't grasp that, while she could pull herself together quickly, not everyone is as up to the challenge as fast as she. Having a baby together does not mean that you become a traditional family in a second, all the existing problems don't disappear, especially if the baby is a result of a one-night-stand and there wasn't a stable relationship beforehand to begin with. Relationships need trust, time and commitment and a baby is not a band aid to hold the wounds together while everything is hurting or nonexistent on the inside. They were nowhere near even 10% of a secure and understanding relationship. Not everyone is a natural hen mother and can adapt as fast, some need time to get use to the idea and sulking and expecting true everlasting love, because he's the baby-daddy is so naive, simplistic and unrealistic that I got annoyed. Having a baby is not synonyms with a healthy functioning relationship. It's not as he left her without support and cut her loose or denied anything her or the baby, Ben just needed time to digest and I can emphasize with that, not eveyone is an instinctual parent right off the bat, especially if you value freedom and fear commitment as he did. Then again he was insensitive, evasive and a douche for leading her on and not providing her with concrete answers on if there was hope or what was the actual nature or their relationship. They were all over the place. They could have just sat together and put down both of their expectations, because the baby won't wait and they were both equally responsible for the situation. 

Generally, Lizzy was likable, but she should have wallowed less and just flat out left Ben if she was so unhappy with him not jumping in front of the altar with her. Seriously, leave the guy, that usually brings them to their senses faster and they come running back if you show some hard as metal backbone. She was also slightly dull, because her life seemed to revolved around school, her sister and dreaming about Ben. He remained somewhat distant to me in the book, it may be to due to his private, observing and introvert character or I simply couldn't connect with him overall. I have to admit, though, that they made an adorable couple when they weren't being whiney, talking past each other, misunderstanding and wallowing in angst. The text messages were cute, the general feel of their relationship was pleasant and they were to some degree a charming couple with a lot of promise. The sister drama, I felt was unnecessary, it was just there for a final conflict. I would have enoyed if Ben and Lizzy had figured everything out on their own account without some involuntary push from the scandal sister.

It was awesome to catch up with the other couples of the series and I loved observing how and where their relationships had developed towards. Mal and his scary yet kind of cute obsession with his sister-in-law was hilarious and comically over-the-top.

Overall:

Despite me not enjoying this fourth installment as much as I was hoping for various reasons, that might be completely nonexistent to most all others, I still consider it better than a lot of the other sexy romance books flooding the swoony book market in the last years. I don't know if it's the end of the series, but if it is, then I will sorely miss it!

3 stars!

LIIS

Monday, July 6, 2015

Classic Review: Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer - 5 Star Review!

Hi all!

Some classical romance this time!




Author: Georgette Heyer
Title: Devil's Cub
Release date: 2011
Series: Alastair-Audley #2
Published by: Ajakirjade Kirjastus AS
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Historical
Pages: 320 in paperbook format
Source: Bought from a local book store

Summary:

Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal is a bad lot a rake and seducer, reckless, heedless, and possessed of a murderous temper. He is known by friend and foe alike as the "Devil's Cub." Yet as the handsome and wealthy heir to a Dukedom, he is considered a good prospect on the marriage market. Vidal currently has his eye on the young, lovely, and unintelligent Sophia Challoner, and Sophia's greedy mother is more than happy to encourage his dubious attentions.

When lovely, saucy Mary Challoner had practiced her hold deception upon the hot-blooded, fiery-tempered young Marquis of Vidal--substituting herself for her young sister he had thought to carry off to France--she had little notion he would grimly hold her to her part of the bargain. Now he had left her, and she was alone, a stranger in a strange land, prey to the intrigues of glittering, heartless, 18th century Paris.

Only one person could rescue her--the Marquis himself. But how could she ever trust this man? How could she even hope to overcome the contempt in which he held her? And how could even the sudden flowering of her love ever bridge the terrible gap between them?

Review:

I’ve never read any books by this famous romance author, furthermore, I hadn’t even hear of her, even though she is supposedly a widely known, loved and productive writer. I only noticed her books because they had such gorgeous historic covers that I got curious, and I’m very grateful I did. Reminiscent of Jane Austin, but taking things several steps further in the entertaining aspect, my first meeting with her stories was incredibly successful. I kept asking myself oh where had she been before in my life and how could this author fly under my radar for so long. And I call myself a quite knowledgeable reader, I’m ashamed.

The context, story and the high society portrayed in the book was on the outside so proper, discreet and well-mannered, but it was a thin facade and couldn't for long hide the fun and shameless scandals, dastedly deeds, wittiness and quirkiness of the characters. The dialogue was also sharp, sassy and a joy to follow. The story read like your typical historical romance, but with heaps more refinement and minus the lovely dovely rated scenes. In a sexual sense, the book was quite tame, but other wicked non-polite actions and thoughts weren't uncommon, especially for our bad boy hero Dominic. Killing, not being a bit bothered by it, leaving the body to lie there, ruining or trying to ruin young pretty girls, not giving any thought on what others would think of his actions, careless gambling and so on. The first scenes of the first chapter, where you get a without restraint honest and flat-out cold and slightly cruel picture pained of him, is a very effective introduction to this "evil" hero. He had a devil may care, a freezing show-not-remorse, no care or consideration for mostly anyone except himself and his desires attitude. Despite these not so appealing characteristics, he was very intriguing and I thought he was awesome in a non-awesome way, you know you shouldn’t like him, but can’t help but. I did adore his relationship with his mother, he was such a charmer with her and she chose to turn a blind eye to his faults.

I thought the humor in the book was noteworthy, it had top notch banter covered with a veil of sophistication, dripping with sarcasm, full of japes, had spot on comic timing and simply made the story colorful and enabled the characters to be interesting. Prim and proper people in historical romance bore me greatly (well, in every other genre as well). The character immersed with and representing the word "funny" was the uncle of Dominic, though unintentionally most of the time I presume, but he was such a random, jolly old wacky fool, that I couldn't even get annoyed with him blabbing about the most ridiculous things in tense situations or at the most inappropriate moments. For example, him wanting, trying to buy and get the load of wine home was hilarious. I also enjoyed the combo with him and Dominic's mother. I also have to mention the Duke, the hero's father, who had quite a distinct and carefully hidden sense of humor, but most of all, he had such a powerful all silencing and scary/chilly presence that you actually felt it through the book, a mammoth of a character.

I really appreciate opposites attract couples and good girl/bad boy romance, but it has to be brought across as believable and natural. The story itself is nothing overly original and I would have hoped to see more time spent on the couple getting to know each other, creating romantic tension (it feels kind of wrong saying sexual tension in this context for some reason) and growing on each other. Nevertheless, I thought they were adorable together and I loved Dominic being head-over-heels smitten with her. It requires a though cookie of a girl to put up with his attitude, lifestyle and nastiness and she proved to be just the girl to get him to put someone else's needs and wants before his own for once. Mary was humble yet brave, sweet yet she didn't hesitate to pull a gun on Dominic when he was "begging" for it. The final tying of loose ends was to a degree too convenient and there were some silly easily avoidable obstacles and misunderstandings, but I can turn a blind eye to that since I genuinely enjoyed this story.

Overall:

I discovered a great classic historical romance writer and have bought four of her other books already. A must read for all lovers of the genre!

5 stars!

LIIS

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Freedom to Read Giveaway!

Hello everybody!

It's been a while. Summer is usually a time for me when I read a lot and write slightly less. but, for this occasion, I am usually always posting, because it's an important cause for me. Time to celebrate Freedom to Read!!!

http://www.bookhounds.net/



When I grew up, I did not have freedom to read whatever I wanted to. There were long lists of authors which were right out forbidden and which were not only considered as not suitable reading for the existing political system, but you could get into serious trouble if you read "wrong books" or "wrong authors" or spoke the "wrong words". Luckily, that has changed and since the beginning of early 90s when the independence of Estonia was restored, you can read anything your heart desires and then some. You learn to value your freedom when you have experienced not having it.

Therefore, let's celebrate the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop! This hop is organized by Bookhounds and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I am truly glad to be part of it.



So, what can you win? There will be 1 winner you will receive an amazon gift card of 10$.

To participate, you need to fill in the following Rafflecopter form.

Happy hopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find the other participating blogs through the link below.
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