Wednesday, July 31, 2013

[Book Spotlight] Russian Dolls by Cristelle Comby

Russian Dolls
Cristelle Comby
Alexandra Neve is a student at University College London whose world suddenly falls apart. When her best friend jumps from the university’s rooftop, she can’t stop herself from asking, ‘Why?’ The police rule her friend’s death a suicide and for them the case is closed — so whom can she turn to for help?

Sometimes the person you need the most is the one you least expect to find, and in this case it’s none other than Ashford Egan, a blind middle-aged history professor, who’s more willing than most to listen to what she has to say. 

Neve and Egan are as different as they come. She’s restless, careless at times, and fearless when the need arises, while he’s almost the complete opposite: a deep thinker with an analytical mind, a highly rational and collected individual.

As they enter the violent world of the Russian mafia, they must overcome their differences and learn to work together. It’s their only chance if they want to survive.

‘Are you all right?’ I ask Egan, when we’re both out of the car. He’s standing tall and looking as collected as he can, but uneasiness surges off him in waves. He’s tensed, listening intently to his surroundings. I guess that the mumble of the nearby officers and the guns, which are checked and cocked, must not help.
My friend gives me a tight nod and we move forward, rejoining the detective who brought us here.
‘Alexandra Neve,’ Langford snorts, on our arrival. He takes off his wire-rimmed glasses and cleans them on the hem of his trench coat. I have to fight an impulse to roll my eyes at his condescending tone; I force a minimal smile on my lips instead. Honey catches more flies than vinegar.
 ‘DI Langford,’ I acknowledge, with a polite nod of my head.
‘And your professor friend, I presume?’ the balding bobby retorts, eying the man at my side suspiciously. I venture that Egan doesn’t need his eyesight to pick up on the contempt with which Langford is looking at him; it’s plain to hear in his voice.
He addresses his subordinate then, levelling him with a cold stare. ‘You’d better be right about this, Matthew.’
With that, he promptly pushes forward, knocking — on purpose, I’m sure—against Egan’s left shoulder. I reach for him. My friend sways a little at my side, but the grip I have on his forearm is firm and he doesn’t lose his balance. Bastard! I think in my head, barely restraining myself from letting the insult pass my lips.
‘What a charming man,’ Egan says through clenched teeth, while rolling his abused shoulder a little.
‘Sorry about that,’ Stenson says. ‘You caught him in a bad mood.’
‘Because he has good moods? I thought that was his default setting,’ I snort and raise my eyebrow innocently when Stenson fixes me with a reproachful stare.
‘All right,’ the sergeant says, moving the discussion to something more constructive. ‘The boat has already docked. They’re unloading it as we speak.’
‘What’s the cargo?’ Egan asks.
‘Bio fuel and a few crates of Russian goods,’ Stenson informs us. ‘We’re going to let them go ahead with it and keep a watch on them from afar. As soon as our targets move in to collect their merchandise, we move in to intercept them.’
Langford gestures in the background for his subordinate and Stenson lets out a small groan.
‘I’ve got to go,’ he says quickly. ‘You two, stay here. Is that clear?’ he demands in an almost military tone. I nod in answer and he takes a step away.
‘No matter what happens, you stay by the car,’ he throws again over his shoulder before joining a group of men clad in bulletproof vests. They’re all massed around the front of a car, over which a large map has been unfolded and Langford is barking orders left and right.

About the Author

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, somewhere between Geneva and Lausanne, where she still resides.

Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Russian Dolls is her first new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the series.

Author Links:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

[Book Review] Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry

Waiting for the StormWaiting for the Storm
Marie Landry
Seventeen-year-old Charlotte O’Dell knows this summer is going to suck. Her mother just died, her sister hates her, and her dad has completely checked out. Fulfilling her mother’s final wish, the family heads to Angel Island for the summer to stay in a beach house her mother once loved. 

After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbor, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…

Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?

Before reading Waiting for the Storm, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like it. I do like Romance novels but really can’t stand the cheesy conversations and endless sappy love. But this book really impressed me. It was well-written, realistic, sweet and deep story that did made me cry couple of times. It’s a book about two tourtured souls finding each other and overcoming those fears and stepping out of your shell to find happiness.

Charlotte O’Dell’s summer was starting out terrible. After taking care of her sick mother, she passed away and the family was tearing apart. Her sister Ella, or as she was now preferred to be called Gabriella, hated her and had nothing to do with Charlotte. Her dad went into deep depression and was getting worse by the day. 

Since her mother’s last wish was for them to go away to Angel Island, they decided to pack and take some time to deal with her death. Charlotte found herself alone, with no desire to socialize or do anything with her life. That is until she meets Ezra, her next door neighbor and a great handyman, who understands her better than anyone. But Ezra holds his own secrets and it might be hard to open him up. 

Ahhhhhh. This book was amazing and there have been many times where it made me cry. And it wasn’t because it was sad or something terrible happened. No. I cried simply because author was able to express emotions through the words that were so sincere, they were really able to touch my heart. Charlotte’s pain and grief were so strong in that book that it made me feel bad, especially since she was a sweetheart! 

Waiting for the Strom is a MUST read this summer! & for us, book bloggers – yes! Charlotte was able to turn to books to help her with her feelings. Here’s a quote from her blog post that really made me love this character:
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, a book will change you. 
It will make you look at the world a little differently, hold your loved ones a little closer, and realize that when love is standing in front of you and staring you in the face, you have to grab it with both hands and hold on tight.

About the Author
Marie Landry is the author of BLUE SKY DAYS (contemporary YA—January 2012), UNDRESSED (a collection of short erotic romance stories—October 2012), THE GAME CHANGER (chick lit—November 2012), and WAITING FOR THE STORM (contemporary YA—April 2013). Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood, she's had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews. For more on Marie and her books, please visit or check out her book blog Ramblings of a Daydreamer (

[Release Day Blitz] A Time Of Dying by Hailey Edwards

A Time of Dying (Araneae Nation, #3)A Time Of Dying
Hailey Edwards
They just might survive...if they don't kill each other first. 

Once the future Segestriidae maven, Kaidi lived a privileged life. Now she spends her nights haunting cities ravaged by the plague. Spade in hand, she stalks rows of freshly dug graves for corpses...and then she takes their heads.

Her new life is caked in blood and spattered with gore, but it's hers. At least until-to her fury-she's caught napping.

A plague survivor by the skin of his teeth, Murdoch risks his neck to solve the mysteries left in its wake. Bodies have gone missing. Guards have left their posts and never returned home.

When he rouses a female dozing among the dead, he's unprepared for the violence of her response. Or his. Beneath the grime, she's lovely. Too bad the blood under her fingernails belongs to his clansmen.

He has no choice but to follow this alluring creature deeper into her world of winged beasts and flesh-eating monsters. She holds the knowledge he craves, but the price is high-and they may both pay for it with their lives.

Warning: This book contains one heroine in desperate need of a bath and one hero willing to wash away her sins. Expect threats, swears and general cursing. Love is a slippery slope, and these two are sliding.

About the Author
Born in the Deep South, Hailey is a lifelong resident of Alabama. Her husband works for the local sheriff’s department and her daughter is counting down the days until she’s old enough to audition for American Idol. Their dachshund, Poochie, helps Hailey write by snoozing on his dog bed in her office. Her desire to explore without leaving the comforts of home fueled her love of reading and writing. Whenever the itch for adventure strikes, Hailey can be found with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen or squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after. She loves to hear from readers. Drop her a line here. You can also swing by her blog or subscribe to her newsletter for all her latest news. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

[Cover Reveal] Exception by Patty Maximini

  Title: Exception 
  Author: Patty Maximini 
  Expected release: October 24, 2013 
  Genre: Contemporary Romance 
  Age Group: Adult 
  Cover designed by: Okay Creations   

ith her life packed in boxes in the back of a U-Haul truck and a promise to her sister, Charlotte, that she’d find a way to let go and be happy, Emily crossed the country to escape the haunting memories of her past. As she settles into her new life, Emily holds true to her promise and begins to open her walls to those around her and overtime, she selectively begins to trust again. However, some wounds are too great to overcome, and between her recurring nightmares and her fear of even the slightest physical contact, she wonders if she will ever heal completely. In walks Taylor, a handsome out of towner, with his own past to overcome. Against all odds, an undeniable special friendship forms almost instantly between the two. Not minding his company or touch, Emily is jolted into realization that he is her healing, her strength, her protection and her escape from her daunting past. He is her exception.

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About the Author
I’m Patty, and words have always been a passion of mine. I’ve always loved to read them, write them and learn them in other languages. Last year, I’ve decided to take that passion and turn it into a book, the result was Exception, my very first novel due this October. Whenever I’m not sitting behind my computer, I’m either enjoying the company of my dear hubby, Alex, and our four four-legged babies or reading. I’m a firm believer in long hand written letters, love of any kind and good stories.

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[Cover Reveal] Only For You by Marquita Valentine

  Title: Only For You (Boys of the South, #2) 
  Author: Marquita Valentine 
  Expected release: September 2, 2013 
  Genre: Contemporary 
  Age Group: New Adult 
  Cover designed by: Marquita Valentine 

  Loose ends left loose for too long tend to strangle. Cole and Violet knew it wouldn’t be easy. They knew their relationship would take work. But when the press finds out about Violet Lynn’s newest boyfriend, they start digging. And when his past come to light, exposing all of his family’s secrets, their relationship begins to fray. Country Music’s Golden Boy, Jaxon Hunter, has it all, except the girl that got away. What she saw, she really didn’t. What she thought happened, he allowed her to believe for reasons so insane that no one would ever have believed him if he had confessed. But now that everything’s out in the open, he’s going to do his damndest to convince her that he’s the only one for her. Now Violet must choose between Jaxon— her first love and the guy she thought had cheated on her—and Cole—the guy who helped her heal and love again. Or will one of them make the decision for her?

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About the Author
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

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[Cover Reveal] A Perfect Mess by Zoe Dawson

Title: A Perfect Mess (A Perfect Secret, #1)  
Author: Zoe Dawson  
Expected release: June 17, 2013  
Genre: Mystery  
Age Group: New Adult/Adult  
Cover designed by: Okay Creations    

I know what you did last summer. 

 Aubree Walker, the perfect girl most likely to succeed, is sure there’s only one person who knows what she did. Booker Outlaw, one of the three Outlaw brothers—all identical, all gorgeous, all from the wrong side of the tracks, and all pure bad boys. He was always the unpredictable one, the one who would be brash enough to make it big self-publishing horror novels on the internet. He promised never to tell, but everyone knows you can never trust an Outlaw. Then a year later, in the middle of the night, she receives a phone call at Tulane. Her aunt, who took her in after her mother’s death, has passed away under suspicious circumstances. Now she has to face that one person who knows all about what she did that summer—sexy Booker. Returning to Hope Parish to lay her beloved aunt to rest, stirs up all those ugly memories. When Aubree starts getting threats, she can’t help but wonder if what she did last summer was tied to her aunt’s death. Afraid, she turns to the only person who knows the truth and Booker doesn’t hesitate to offer his broad shoulder for her to lean on. But Booker has a secret of his own that could crush their fledgling relationship. As the hot, sultry summer days move on, she finds that even a perfectly smart girl can lose her heart to a perfectly bad boy. What is she going to do when someone starts asking questions Aubree doesn’t want to answer? She’s knee deep into a terribly dangerous, wholly life changing, who-can-she-really-depend-on perfect mess. A Perfect Secret Series: Three perfect girls, three perfect
secrets, one unholy trinity.

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About the Author Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic comedy/mystery, new adult, and urban fantasy. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.  
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Monday, July 29, 2013

[Guest Post] To The 5th Power by Shirin Dubbin

To the Fifth Power (Powers, #1)To The 5th Power
Shirin Dubbin
Three years ago, Zola Noite's nemesis killed her sidekick and forced her to watch. The guilt drove her to hang up her cape. Zola knows one thing for certain. She will never be a superhero again. 

Psychologist Dr. Arturo "Fort" Forte specializes in super-powered mental health. He’s the only reason Zola can once again call herself sane—although, truth be told, the heat between them is slowly driving her back to mad.

When three mega-villains escape the prison Fort oversees, all Zola's best laid plans go up in flames. Fort asks her for help, and she can't turn down the man she's secretly come to love. As battles ensue and clues add up, the one thing Zola trusts is called into question: Fort's true agenda and which side he’s on.

Guest Post "Confessions"
 There’s something about a confession that really gets us going. If someone tells us they have a secret we automatically lean in, and our hearts start to pound. What will they say? Will it be sexy? Scary? Scandalous? We have to know. And we love confessions most when nobody knows the truth but us.

With that in mind I thought it’d be fun to see what secrets Zola and Fort, the heroine and hero of TO THE FIFTH POWER, might reveal before the story begins. There are four secret sessions in total. Without question all four are sexy, scary, and juicy—like Fort and Zola themselves. You’ll find the release schedule here.

And now, these are their confessions:

Audio Confession
Therapy Session #: 52
Patient: Zola Noite
Designation: superhero

“This is a recording.

The doctors here at the Archesis Institute require these little audio confessions as a part of the ‘healing process.’

But my mind will never heal. It’s too full of the big empty.

A broken superhero isn’t pretty. She’s not the stuff Hollywood producers bet blockbusters on. There’s no iron suit to fix while swilling bourbon, or a sexy cat-like love interest to save her heart. There are just pieces, shattered on the floor.

Only one person will ever hear this confession. He’s the last one I want to share my darkness with, and the only person I trust enough to allow to see it. He knows the infinite ways being forced to watch my sidekick die shattered my mind. And he makes me feel whole.

Don’t think I don’t know it’s a lie. I recognize the deceit on both our parts. He can’t fix me. Only I can do that. But I like the way he makes me feel. It’s…amazing.

Sitting across from him, telling him everything except what his presence does to me, watching the way he moves—muscles rippling beneath the lines of his suit, eyes the most intense shade of olive green I’ve ever seen behind sexy black glasses. He has a hold on me. I cannot escape him anymore than I can run from being broken.

And I don’t want to.

Being damaged is my penance. Adoring him is my craving. Dr. Arturo Forte. I call him Fort. My fortress. My sanctuary. 

My weakness.

Therefore, when I erase this confession (the doctors should’ve known I have the technology) and re-record it, I will say whatever I must to make him believe I’m cured. And Dr. Arturo Forte will clear me to go home.

Afterward, I will continue to love him in secret. Even as I walk away for good.”

About the Author
Shirin DubbinShirin Dubbin is often called a “chic geek,” and she likes the sound of it. Especially since she’s a closet wallflower (albeit one with a fabulous alter ego).When not working in graphic design or hosting The Fantastic Forum—a celebration of comics & speculative fiction—she writes stories inspired by the art, literature, international cinema, and anime she grew up with. In her own storytelling, Shirin spins tales of sci-fi and urban fantasy with romantic edge. The battle between good and evil, humor, and break neck action are ink to her imagination. Culturally, she’s half American, half British and very southern; right down to the accent and love of grits. Government reports show a residence in DC, but Shirin lives largely on the astral plane and hopes to meet you there.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

[Book Blitz] Nomad by JL Bryan

JL Bryan
A new dystopian novel from the author of Jenny Pox - coming July 26.

They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.

When the conversation turns to time travel, as it so often does, you’ll hear a lot of blather about the risks and dangers. Everyone talks about the risk of universe-destroying paradoxes, but little attention is giving to the risk of universe-destroying fashion decisions.
Don’t fear! We’ve put together this handy guide to what to wear (and not wear!) on your next time-travel escapade.
DON’T wear high heels. If you’re traveling into the past, you may have to escape Nazis or rabid cavemen. In the future, watch out for killer cyborgs and radioactive mutants! Whatever your destination, be prepared to run for your life. We recommend comfortable, well-worn running shoes, with combat boots as a useful second option. If you’re attending a formal event in another century, simply pack those high heels in your carry-on luggage. If you must have high heels, pick the stilettos, as they can double as a handy weapon.
DON’T dress in a silver bodysuit with a clear bubble helmet, especially with antennae on top. People will mistake you for a 1950s-era space alien rather than a time traveler, leading to a variety of potential problems: quarantine, imprisonment, military attack, being a guest on The Today Show, and other horrific outcomes. Dress in a low-key fashion, and save the aluminum-foil outfit for another occasion...or, actually, just throw it away. That silver bodysuit doesn’t go well with your hair.
DON’T wear ankle-length dresses, tight corsets, or other binding clothes. Again, you may need to fight or flee for survival, so jeans or slacks might be your best bet. Short skirts are both alluring and provide ample kicking radius, in case you need to kick in a face or two.
DON’T clash with the time and place you’re visiting. Skinny jeans, for instance, are huge no-no in the Puritan era. That cute cami top may be both comfortable and casually sexy, but if you wear it in Victorian England, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb from another century...a thumb full of licentiousness and sin.
Learn before you get burned! Always study the correct attire and customs of your destination before you travel in time. For help, contact your local vintage thrift shop and/or Halloween store. Remember: the right look at the right time is the right way to go. And you can quote us on that.
If you have additional fashion tips for time travelers, please share in the comments below!

About the Author

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in the metro Atlanta sprawl with his wife Christina, where he spends most of his day servings the toddler and animal community inside his house. He is the author of the Paranormals series and the Songs of Magic series.
His novel Jenny Pox is currently free on KindleSmashwordsAppleSonyKobo, and Nook!    

Author Links:

[Book Review] This Time Around by Ellie Grace

This Time AroundThis Time Around
Ellie Grace
Nora Montgomery left home and heartbreak behind in South Carolina when she moved to New York City after her high school graduation. Now, four years later, she returns home and is forced to confront the past she left behind and the reckless boy who broke her heart. It’s not long before the pieces of her past begin to blur with the present and she realizes that the feelings she had for her first love never really went away. As old dreams resurface and new truths come to light, she begins to question the future she's always planned on.

Jake Harris has spent four years regretting the night he let her get away. When she finally reappears in his life, he is determined to win her back and prove how much he’s changed. She might never forgive him for that night, but if he tells her the truth about what really happened it will shatter the world she thought she knew. If he doesn’t, he might not get a second chance. He’s already lost her once and he won’t lose her again.

They come from two different worlds that are threatening to tear them apart…can they make it this time around?

This Time Around was perfect and that is exactly the reason why it wasn’t for me. 

Perfect guy, perfect girl, perfect relationship that blossoms as soon as they meet again, perfect jobs, almost-perfect parents that at the end turn out perfect.

When I read the summary, I thought that there would be a little more conflict between the two of them since Nora was heart broken all these years. But right when she gets back home, Jake and her patch things up right away and everyone is happy. Of course, the author wanted to show some sort of emotional rollercoaster so there was problem with Nora’s parents and a bitch named Lindsey who was jealous of Nora’s and Jake’s love. But of course it doesn’t stop them with being in puppy-love stage most of the time.

Writing was enjoyable except some moments where the author would say things like ”We made love now” or some of the conversations that they had felt force and unreal. Again, might not be a problem for some people but if you’re someone that’s really picky when it comes to the book, you might notice this as well. 

I did enjoy the book but would loved to see more spice, more raw emotions and not just lovey-dovey kisses. This story did remind me of Notebook (which I loved) but it felt more natural then This Time Around, even if it was very sweet.


About the Author
Ellie Grace is an avid reader, chocolate lover and caffeine addict. When a story popped into her head that she couldn’t seem to shake, she decided to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a writer. When she’s not writing, she’s usually curled up with a book by one of her many, many favorite authors.