Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SUNNY - RELEASE DAY BLITZ: "Five Weeks" by Dannika Dark




Five Weeks
(Seven Series, Bk #3)
By Dannika Dark 

Blurb:
Izzy has always loved the freedom and adventure of life on the road, but she’s recently decided to settle down—as much as a rogue wolf can. When her boyfriend gets her a job working at a hot Shifter bar, she runs into the last person on earth she expected to see again.

Jericho isn't the famous rock star he once was, though he still plays in a local band and loves to party. Beautiful women come and go, but music is his only passion—until a sassy redhead named Isabelle Monroe shows up unexpectedly.

Fate reunites two former friends living with one foot in the present and the other in the past. But will they have a future when one of them is forced to choose between life and death? Old habits die hard, and sometimes the toughest addictions to shake are the ones that control our hearts.




Available for purchase at 


      


Excerpt


Monday, July 28, 2014

SUNNY - RELEASE BLITZ with Excerpt: "Lead" by Kylie Scott

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Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.
 


Lead
(Stage Dive #3)
by Kylie Scott

SUMMARY:
As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.
Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

Amazon // B&N // iTunes



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The Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott:


Lick (Stage Dive #1): Amazon / B&N / Goodreads
Play (Stage Dive #2): Amazon / B&N / Goodreads
Deep (Stage Dive #4) available on January 6th, 2015: Amazon / B&N /Goodreads


Check out more of Kylie's work:
 

Excerpt:

“Lena, you seen my old black Led Zep shirt?”
“Nope.”
“You sure?” His brows became one dark cranky line. The scratches on his face were healing well, thank goodness. Though it didn’t reduce my desire to throttle his mother on a daily basis.
“Yes. I haven’t seen it.”
Can’t find it anywhere…”
“And this is a surprise, how?” I slipped my hands into my back jean’s pockets. “Jimmy, you own more clothing than Cher, Brittney, and Elvis, put together. Things are bound to go missing.”
“Sure you haven’t seen it?”
“For goodness sake, what do you think, Jimmy? That I stole it to sleep in or something?” I laughed bitterly. Sure as hell, the truth deserved a good mocking. I’d sunk so despicably low.
I hadn’t even meant to steal the stupid thing, but the shirt had been mixed up with my laundry a few days ago. It’d been the first top I laid my hand on after stepping out of the shower, ready to go to bed. Without thought, I’d put it on and it’d been so soft, the scent of him lingering beneath the laundry detergent. Every night since, I’d found myself in it come bedtime. My shame knew no limits. And no, I still hadn’t quit. The words still hadn’t come even close to leaving my mouth.
He frowned. “No.”
“That I have some deep secret longing to feel close to you resulting in my stealing your shirt like some creepy perv?”
“Course I don’t fucking think that,” he replied crankily, reaching up to grip the top of the doorframe. All of his bulging muscles stretched the arms of his white T-shirt in the nicest way. It was all I could do not to start drooling, my heart beat taking up residence somewhere down between my thighs. And who could blame it? Not me. Maybe if I got laid, this would go away and things would return to normal. It’d seemed safer to avoid rubbing up against any men just in case I got carried away and started dating again. This new situation, however, changed everything.
“Well, of course not! That would be crazy.” And wasn’t that the god’s honest truth? Cray-zeee. Lock me up and throw away the key because it wasn’t like I didn’t know better.
“Just can’t figure out where the hell it could be.”
Angels couldn’t have smiled as innocently. They might have tried, but they would have failed, the dirty-mouthed, winged, little liars. “Jimmy, I don’t know where it is. But I’ll look around for it later, okay?”
“Yeah,” he said, and then added as an afterthought, “and stop looking at me weird.”
“I’m not!”

About the Author: 
Kylie is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Goodreads | Website      
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

SUNNY - ARC REVIEW: "Poison Promise" by Jennifer Estep



SUMMARY:
In book eleven of her New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series, author Jennifer Estep continues “one of the best urban fantasy series going on the market” (Fresh Fiction).

Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.

There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…

Poison Promise is book 11 in the Elemental Assassin series. 

The joy of reading a long running series is the attachment I feel toward the characters. I love Gin and her friends. I love her overwhelming need to protect them.  Each book brings a spotlight to one of those relationships.  This time we, the reader, get a little more into the dynamics between Gin and her sister, Bria.  Jennifer Estep does a fantastic job of revealing the love, competition, resentment, and admiration in a relationship between older and younger sisters.  I don’t know if she has a sister, but she nailed this one on the head. This struggle happens all within the context of Gin battling an evil gangster and the emergence of a new super villain. 

Beauregard Benson is flooding the streets of Ashland with a new drug called Burn.  It’s highly addictive and seems to affect Elementals especially hard. Benson is not a new criminal in Ashland, but he is making his move to become a big player.  Benson is not only a drug pusher, but considers himself a scientist noting with Mengele-like eeriness the pain and suffering as he pumps the drugs into his subjects.

Bria is desperate to bring Benson down and the stress brings certain emotions to the surface. Being on opposites side of the law, she and Gin have a conflicted relationship already and the pressure of this pursuit results in a painful confrontation for both.  This is not the first time they have clashed, but this one is unexpected considering things are going well between them.  Gin is different too. She is tired of constantly looking over her shoulder and fighting for her life.  Her weariness makes her think twice about engaging with Benson.


As this conflict resolves, a new one emerges.  We learn the identity of M.M. Monroe.  This sets up a whole new set of challenges for Gin and for me, restarts the series.  M.M. Monroe promises to be a worthy adversary for our beloved Gin and I am looking forward to this epic conflict.  


A fantastic addition to the Elemental Assassin series, Poison Promise is a heart-satisfying story with dramatic turns and suspense.  Highly recommended.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

SUNNY - REVIEW BLITZ: "Dark Secrets" by Madeline Pryce




Welcome to the Release Blitz for Dark Secrets, book two in the Dark series by Madeline Price.  Since reading Dark Cravings, I have been anxiously waiting for this book! 

The worst moment of Micah’s life was when Ella nearly died in his arms. Her miraculous recovery should have been the start of their future. Unfortunately, a new demonic heritage, the Shadow Agency’s corruption and Julian, the vampire who turned Ella, are testing their relationship. Despite hotter-than-ever sex and a variety of new places and positions to explore, Micah begins to wonder if a relationship based on lust can survive for more than a few scorching-hot months.

Ella has forgiven, but not forgotten, the fact that Micah once plunged a dagger through her heart. Everything with Micah is passion, excitement and an uncontrollable desire to explore his body in a variety of very satisfying ways. But as buried secrets, ongoing lies and murderous deceptions pile up, Ella is reminded that she and Micah’s relationship was based on a curse. In order to forge a future together, Ella and Micah will have to face down their personal demons—and prove that love and trust are more than just words.

 
I had a little anxiety before I started this book.  I really, really, enjoyed Dark Cravings and I wondered which direction the author would take this story.   Book two in a series is a little tricky, especially if it is a sequel to a romance.  After all, the hero and heroine are already together.  The conflict introduced to separate our pair has to be such that either or both sides are redeemable. We already love them together, what will happen to them to separate their love? I am happy to say that Madeline Pryce delivers and then some. 

Ella is struggling with her new role as a vampire queen.  Her primal nature is to conquer and control with no regard to blood and death.  But her humanity keeps her darker side balanced. But for how long?  What kind of leader will Ella be and will there be room for Micah? Micah is seeking the truth behind a newly revealed family secret. It haunts him and impacts his self-esteem. This journey casts uncertainty to Micah and Ella’s relationship.

The writing is crisp. The tone is both serious and humorous; the pace is quick and intense; the love scenes are erotic.  I thought the hospital scene in the original book was hot, but this has one of the most intense shower scenes I can remember reading. It is fiercely passionate and emotional.

I enjoyed the direction the author took this story.  She drew me in, took me to a fantastic and satisfying place and then, BAM!  She knocked me for a loop. It is a highly entertaining read and I found myself smiling (when I wasn’t gasping in surprise) throughout the entire book.
An ultimately satisfying sequel, Dark Secrets is a perfect companion in this potent PNR series.  I would not recommend it as a stand alone, but it is essential as a sequel.


Series Reading Order
Dark Cravings (#1 Ella/Micah – 85k)
Dark Innocence (#1.5 Hannah – 45k)
Dark Secrets (#2 Ella/Micah – 85k)
Dark Vengeance (#2.5 Castro – 45k) – release date coming soon!
Dark Promises (#3 Ella/Micah) – Spring 2015


Madeline Pryce wrote her first novel when she was ten, penned with neon-pink ink in a loose-leaf binder. Captivated by romantic literature, yet intrigued by the paranormal, she continues to develop her own voice, writing the kinds of stories that inspired her as a teen.





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Thursday, July 17, 2014

SUNNY - BOOK REVIEW: Twisted Miracles by A.J. Larrieu


SUMMARY:
Cass Weatherfield’s powers come with a deadly price.

Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her…and the one she left without saying goodbye.

When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina—Cass’s childhood friend—is missing, Cass vows to help, which means returning to New Orleans to use her dangerous skills in the search. But finding Mina only leads to darker questions. As Cass and Shane race to learn who is targeting shadowminds, they find themselves drawn to each other, body and soul. Just as their powerful intimacy reignites, events take a terrifying turn, and Cass realizes that to save the people she loves, she must embrace the powers that ruined her life


Urban Fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read.  I enjoy complex, well-written world-building - mostly because it requires a kind of imagination that I just don't have.  I want strong, interesting supporting characters. I want suspense and I want at least a dash of romance (okay, usually more than a dash).  I'm pleased to say that Twisted Miracles gives me all of that and then some.

A.J. Larrieu brings us into the world of the shadowminds where there are healers, guardians, and enforcer all gifted with supernatural powers. And like in all parts of society, there is good and evil in their kind. 

Cass Weatherfield is a telekinetic.  She can move objects in her sleep, she can transport and most unusually of all, she can pull energy from life around her to enhance her powers.  Without having any of this knowledge as a child, she grew up alienated from the world, moved from foster home to foster home until she meets Shane, another shadowmind and future boyfriend.  From Shane and his Uncle Lionel, Cass learns more about this hidden world, but it doesn’t help when she is involved in a tragic accident.  An incident that makes her run from her adoptive family. It is only the disappearance of Shane’s sister (and Cass’s best friend) Mina that brings her back to New Orleans and involves her in a deeper mystery with a serial killer.

I'm biased toward stories that are based in the South.  Having now visited New Orleans, I can imagine the places about which the author writes.  But more than that, stories in the South seem more sultry - the warm winds, the humidity, the exotic scents. Characters seem to have extra flavor as well.  The author offers up a good crew of side characters that enhance the story:  Lionel, another shadowmind and father figure to the kids; Bruce, a normal human with the superpower of optimism; Mina, bereft of her powers, must now learn to cope; and Jackson, another shadowmind living in San Francisco, who helps Cass discover and start to harness her special strengths. 

I also took note of a subtle, but not often included, element in this story.  Shane and Cass are an inter-racial couple.  The focus of this book is not about their inter-racial relationship or about race and racism, but it acknowledges that Shane is of mixed race and the author chooses to make that relevant.  A.J. Larrieu chooses to acknowledge their diverse experience.  I believe that in order to normalize diversity, we must acknowledge varying experiences, not ignore them.  So, when Cass's foster mother, Kate, meets Shane for the first time, Cass can hear the subtext of what she is saying: 

"It hadn't taken her long to forbid me from seeing him.  'Think of your children, Cass,' she said.  'Would you want them to got through life like that?' Like that was Kate-code for black."  

This is done with a subtle hand, but to me a significant inclusion and one I truly appreciated.

My one small critique is that I would have like to learn more about Shane.  We know he’s protective, brave and passionate, but his story starts with Cass.  I’d like to learn more about his story and his point of view.  Maybe an novella from his perspective?


IN A NUTSHELL:  If you are interested in checking out a fresh voice in the Urban Fantasy genre, or if you just want a darn good story, don’t miss out on this book.