Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two New Mindjack Novellas in the Mindjack Series by Susan Quinn

The Handler (Mindjack Origins)

It’s time for Julian Navarro to fulfill the mission left to him by his dead parents: to spark a revolution that would allow mindjackers to live freely in a mindreading world. While his ability allows him to mentally control the instincts of others, Julian wants to win jackers to his cause with words, not weapons. But when his first recruit has a secret—and bloody—history, Julian has to decide how far he’ll go to ensure his revolution isn’t snuffed out before it begins.

The Handler is a short novella (9,000 words or 30 pages).
The Scribe (Mindjack Origins)

Twenty-three-year-old Sasha is in search of a mindjacker Clan that won’t force him to use his unique skill—he can’t face the prospect of erasing any more souls. A revolutionary Clan leader offers him a chance to serve a higher purpose, but Sasha’s wary that it’s only a trick to use his ability. When a beautiful female jacker seeks refuge with them, and her former Clan leader wants her special skill back at any cost, Sasha has to decide if there are any causes worth the cost of using his ability one more time.

The Scribe is a short novella (12,000 words or 40 pages).

MindGames_Cover100OpenMinds_cover_100ClosedHearts_Cover_100The Handler Cover 100VThe Scribe Cover 100V

So, so happy to have the chance to tell you about these two short novellas that go along with the Mindjack Series by Susan Quinn.   I have reviewed the first two novels, Open Minds and Closed Hearts  here on my blog.  (Titles are linked to my reviews if you want to check them out.)  I loved them.

I just love when authors give us these novellas.  For me, it serves two roles.  First, it feeds me need to read more in between the actual full length novels.  A little snack at intermission.  :)   Second, it gives me a glimpse into the lives, emotions and history of individual characters.  It's awesome.  Now I love Julian and Sasha even more.

These two novellas are fantastic.  Julian and Sasha are both introduced in book two of this series and if you have read book two you will be wondering about them both.  I sure was.  Your heart will break just a little for Sasha.  Well, maybe a lot.  

My thanks to Susan Quinn for allowing me a chance to read and review these novellas.  Love, love, love.  I cannot wait to read the next installment in the Mindjack series, Free Souls.  

You can find links to purchase all these books at the authors website HERE.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Blaze-ing YA Giveaway!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On Tour with Fall of Eden by Michele Poague + Giveaway!

Myths are but shadows of a greater truth.

What is the Healing Crystal and who is the rightful heir? Is it a religious object or a powerful weapon? Does it belong to a fallen line of kings or to the colonists of Survin? Should its fate be left in the hands of the young and inexperienced Kairma or to Narvin, the last descendent of a line of kings?

Kairma holds the Crystal and believes she will become the next leader of Survin, while her younger sister Kinter, believes she, not Kairma, is the rightful heir. Narvin believes the Healing Crystal is the Star of Genesis, a powerful relic his ancestors have been seeking for centuries.

Determined to possess the object that will return him to his glory, Narvin is unwavering in his quest to possess it, and Kairma is caught in a fierce race across barren deserts and rugged mountains to a shattering finish where the winner must decide the fate of the world.

The first words out of my mouth are going to be "holy epic long book"!  Yes, wow.  I guess I didn't realize that this was an epic fantasy.  Meaning very long.  This is not your typical sit down and breeze through it book.  But if you are an epic fantasy fan, you will love this book.

I was very confused in the beginning.  There were so many character and they all had odd names that I had a hard time keeping track of who was who.  It took me awhile to remember and feel like I almost had a grasp on the characters.  I did not read the first book in the series and that could be a big contributing factor to my confusion.  

There is something that kept pulling me back to this book.  Kairma leads her little band of followers on quite a journey through all sorts of terrain.  Being chased by an evil man with no care for anything but himself and the power he seeks, makes the journey even more intense.

I felt bad for Kairma.  The whole book she is trying to be a leader, trying to make good decisions.  She feels a lot of self doubt but she continues on.  There were a lot of things that did not endear me to Kairma but I really felt for her plight and the weight she carried on her shoulders.  It seemed there was always something or someone working against her.  The moment where she wonders why she can't catch a break is the moment I connected with her.

If I talked about all the characters, I would be here for a week, so I'm going to leave my character talk with Kairma.  :)  But I will say I love Ris and Collin.  I'm rooting for the White Ones.

I enjoyed this book.  I don't think epic fantasy is my favorite go-to genre so I was pleasantly surprised by much of it.  As with most epics, this story is not over yet.  There is more to come and (fingers crossed) good things for Kairma's people.

Content:  mild swearing, some sexual situations (crass talk, rape)

Grand Prize Giveaway
As part of the tour, Michele is generously offering 3 AMAZING giveaways to the blog readers. The first winner will receive signed copies of the entire Healing Crystal trilogy. The second place winner will receive a signed copy of Fall of Eden as well as a $10 gift certificate and the third place winner will receive a signed copy of Fall of Eden.

To enter to win these prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form provided.
Open from September 8 to October 8.
Must be 13+ years of age to enter
US mailing addresses only

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Born Michele Rae Jeffryes in Newman Grove, Nebraska, Michele Poague has spent most of her life in Colorado, South Dakota and Nevada, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, since 1984. When she is not writing novels, researching a story, traveling, or working at her full time job as a nightclub manager, Michele volunteers her time as an advocate for the Libertarian Party.

For more information and to connect with Michele Poague please visit any or all of the following network links:

· Website:

· Blog:

· Facebook:

· Twitter:

· Goodreads:

· Youtube:

Tour Page:


Purchase Links:

· Amazon:

· Barnes & Noble:

Other books in series:

· Heir to Power:

· Ransom:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay

All will be revealed for fans who have breathlessly awaited the sizzling sequel to Juliet Immortal. This time Romeo takes center stage and gets one chance, and one chance only, to redeem himself.

Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.

Whew!  Romeo Redeemed is intense and full of heart stopping action, romance and well, everything.  Stacey Jay really does know how to write a book.

I really couldn't help but wish for the best for poor Romeo.  He's the underdog, tormented for centuries.  Foolish choices and deception brought him to where he is now and of course the only thing that can save him is love.

Romeo is so good at lies.  Even to himself.  I love the transformation happening inside Romeo throughout this book.  I couldn't help but become emotionally invested in these characters and their story.  

A few bothersome things though, for me.  This is just a personal preference here so take it for what it is.  I wasn't a fan of all the language.  Every swear word was covered in this book.  Not a fan of that.  This book did not need it.

The other thing I'm not a fan of is the sex between the characters.  I didn't think it was necessary.  It was sometimes a bit creepy (Romeo is like seven hundred years old) and very lust motivated, not love motivated.  Ariel is 16.  Hum.  Not the message I would send out to teenagers.

I am a fan of the story line idea though and I'm a fan of Stacey Jay's writing style.  I loved the ending.  My heart was pounding and I was all in.  I plowed through this book like there was no tomorrow.  The ending left me satisfied and happy.  :)

My thanks to the publisher, Random House for allowing me to read and review this book.  And of course, we all love NetGalley.  Thank you!

I would recommend 18+ for this book and series.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer Review & Giveaway

Seventeen-year-old Alexandra spends so much time helping others realize their dreams that she never has time for her own. An expert ocean diver and reluctant maker of wedding cakes, she longs to leave roses and frosting behind to study oceanography. Alex’s mother won’t have it—needy and dependent, Mom can’t run the family wedding cake business on her own.

No matter what Alex does, things only get worse for her. When she saves a man's life while scuba diving and becomes the local hero, Mom's angry with Alex for going diving at all. Mom discourages Alex's new friendship with Jeremy, a fun and insanely wealthy boy who happens to have a secret. Then, Alex's best friend, Zack, a hunky island guy, starts to take an interest in her as well. The problem is, he's dating another girl. If she doesn't do something fast, Alex will spend her life making wedding cakes and be buried in her "Sue's Wedding Cakery" apron with a spatula in her hand. The Wedding Cake Girl features a colorful island setting, dangerous underwater diving adventures, a family of billionaires, and lots and lots of buttercream. The book is Alex's journey toward not only finding love, but learning how to step forward and take control of her own life, a rite of passage that faces all young readers.

Here is another book with the ocean side setting that I love.  In this book, Alex is a scuba diver which honestly scares me!  I've never done that because I've only been snorkeling and I almost hyperventilated doing that!  Alex goes scuba diving one day and ends up saving a man that got himself caught in fishing line and was going to die.  (see?  That's exactly why I should never scuba dive!)  Alex doesn't want anyone to know she saved the man because her mother would be furious and take away her scuba gear.  Alex's mother is deathly afraid of her scuba diving.  

The relationship between Alex and her mother is interesting.  We see how over time Alex has taken over the responsibility while her mom becomes more and more dependent and unwilling to do so many things herself.  It's a tricky situation and Alex grows increasingly frustrated and dissatisfied but she doesn't really know how to change things.  

I think the thing I liked the best about this book was how all the problems or challenges in this book were not overcome alone, but because of other people helping each other.  Alex wants things to change but it is because of other people helping her that she achieves her goals.  

The following is a quick excerpt from the book:

Mom stands at the kitchen counter in her pink apron that says "Sue's Wedding Cakery, Santa Margarita Island." She’s experimenting with a new frosting. The kitchen smells like a bank of fresh wild mint growing along a stream.

On my good days, I think of Mom as "The Caked Crusader," whose mission in life is to fill the world with perfect wedding cakes. On my bad days, I think more like my friend Zack who, after we saw the film Titanic, began calling Mom "The Iceberg."

"Why?" I had asked him.

"Because she's in your way."

He didn't have to remind me what happened to the Titanic.

I enjoyed reading this book.  The setting was awesome and Alex was a great main character.  My thanks to RABT for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour.

Content:  There is some mild swearing, profanity and some sexual situations.

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Author Bio:
Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles near a large rotating neon chicken head with her daughter and her dachshund Taco.

Contact Links:

Twitter: AnnePfeffer1

Purchase Links:


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Blemished, Review and Giveaway!

A beautiful world comes at a price...

In a world filled with stunning clones Mina Hart is Blemished. Her genes are worthless and that takes away her rights: her right to an Education, her right to a normal life and her right to have a child.

Mina keeps a dangerous secret which she never thought she could share until she meets Angela on her first day at St Jude's School. But their friendship is soon complicated by Angela’s adoptive brother Daniel. Mina finds herself drawn to his mysterious powers and impulsive nature. Then there is the gorgeous clone Sebastian who Mina is forbidden from even speaking to…

The Blemished is a frightening take on a fractured future where the Genetic Enhancement Ministry have taken control of Britain. It will take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance and rebellion.

My thanks to Reading Addiction Blog Tours for allowing me to be a part of the tour for The Blemished.

How about that cover?  I think it's so pretty.

Any fans of YA dystopia out there?  This will be another to add to your list.  What makes so many dystopian books great is that they take "real" issue we have now, like cloning, and throw it into the future where it is ballooned into something especially frightening yet realistic.  The Blemished is set in a world of clones.  Anyone not cloned is said to have blemished genes, unwanted and worthless, because of weaknesses both physical and mental.

Mina lives among the Blemished and lives a lesser life.  Although she doesn't have riches and is constantly put down and bullied, Mina still has a kind heart.  I really love that.  There is a scene where Mina realizes that there are people out there, not far from her, who have even less than she does.  I think sometimes when we are feeling low or picked on, it's always good to remember that there are probably people out there who have even less than you.

I'm so glad I get to share an excerpt with you from this book today.  This is one of the scenes that really stood out for me probably because I felt the humiliation and violation right along with Mina.  

I entered the classroom. It felt wrong. The chairs were arranged differently – pushed together into a circle. The rest of the Blemished girls stood around unsure of where to sit and why the strange arrangement. In the centre of the circle was a single chair as though one of us would be the focus.

“Everyone take a seat except Miss Hart.” Mrs Murgatroyd’s voice made me jump. There was a hard edge to it, even colder than usual. I shivered. “Miss Hart, I believe there is a place for you in the middle of the circle.”

With shaking legs I stepped through a gap between two chairs and made my way to the centre. I turned and eyed each of my classmates in desperation while Mrs Murgatroyd looked down at me with a strangely tense smirk on her face. It was as though she was mentally battling with an inner conflict. It made her look frightened and cruel in equal measure. With my chest feeling tight and my breathing coming out in rasps I took my seat in the circle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Angela’s concerned face.

“For today’s lesson I needed an example, which is why you see Miss Hart at the centre,” said Mrs Murgatroyd as she slowly walked around the outside of the circle. “Today’s lesson is about boys. You see, there are some among you who seem to have had some experience in this area. Isn’t that right, Miss Hart?”

“I… I… suppose,” I stuttered.

I tried to rein in my emotions, to concentrate and be in control. I couldn’t use my gift in front of all these people. It would be too obvious. I glanced down at my hands hoping that she wasn’t going to beat me in front of the class. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Billie shaking her head and remembered what she had said in the garden.

“Angela Dixon?”

“Yes, Miss,” Angela replied with a shaky voice.

“Tell the class how a good Blemished girl should behave around members of the opposite sex,” Mrs Murgatroyd instructed.

“Not to look at them directly. Modestly,” Angela recited.

“That’s correct.” Mrs Murgatroyd never stopped her laps of the chairs with slow paces and her hands folded behind her back, the picture of control. “And why is that?”

“Um, we don’t want to give them the wrong idea,” Angela replied quietly.

“That’s correct,” said Mrs Murgatroyd. “You are not here to mate. Your genes have been proven unworthy. You are here as servants to the GEMs, which is your rightful place. And if you are lucky and behave appropriately for a Blemished then you may even get a job. Now Angela, could you tell me one more thing? How should a Blemished girl behave in the company of a male GEM?”

“W… we shouldn’t talk to them. Or look at them. Unless we are spoken to,” she answered quietly.

“Excellent,” Mrs Murgatroyd said. “Now, class. I would like you to answer together. Should you talk to a GEM boy?”

“No,” said the class in unison.

“Should you reveal your hair to a GEM boy?”


I didn’t join in the chant. At this point the tears began to roll slowly down my cheeks and my lips trembled so badly I couldn’t open them.

“Should you let a GEM boy touch you?”


“And how about you, Miss Hart? Should you let any of these things happen?” Mrs Murgatroyd moved into the centre of the circle and bent low to speak to me. I felt her hot breath on my cheek.

I shook my head feebly in answer.

“Yet you did. Didn’t you?” She yanked at my headscarf and began to unwrap my hair. Her pointed nails scraped on the back of my neck and her rough fingers pulled my head back and forth. “Do you think you are better than everyone else in this room?”

“No,” I said hoarsely. I could barely see through my tears now. I shut my eyes against the stares of my peers.

“Then why do you act like it?” she said cruelly. She grabbed my hair and pulled my head back. “You bring everything on yourself, Miss Hart. When will you learn your place?”

On the last word she yanked my head back even further and pulled a pair of scissors out of her jacket pocket. The rest of the class gasped. I stared at them – wide-eyed. For a horrible moment I thought she might stab me, but then she did something almost as awful. With a ghastly smile on her face Mrs Murgatroyd cut chunks out of my hair; big, uneven, ugly chunks. I watched in horror as the long strands fell to the floor.

Uugh.  Awful, right?  This gives you a really good taste for the book though.  I really enjoyed reading it.  It had those tense action scenes and those moments of romance too.  What a great start to the series.  There was a bit of a cliff hanger so I'm anxious to see where Mina and friends end up and what is going to happen.

Content wise, there is some swearing (mostly hell and the B word) and a few instances of profanity.

I'm so happy we get to have a giveaway for this book today.  The giveaway is open to all and ends on 10/5.

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Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.

Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, PANK magazine, Apex Magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story ‘Vampires Wear Chanel’ is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales. The Blemished is her first full-length novel.

Contact Links:

twitter @sarahdalton



Purchase Link

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Demons by Heather Frost

Kate’s life is far from normal. She can see auras, her boyfriend is immortal, and her powers make her a target. But now that the Demon Lord is hunting her, things are about to go from dangerous to truly deadly. Packed with action, mind-blowing plot twists, and characters you can’t get enough of, this is a fast-paced, heart-pounding read from cover to cover.

Can I just tell you that when I found out I could be a part of the blog tour for this book, I was doing the squee-ing happy dance.  Seriously.  I was so happy.  (Thank You, Cedar Fort!)  When I finished Seers I knew the next book, Demons would be on the top of my to-read list when it came out.  

Demons is just jam packed with tension and action.  I literally blew through this book.  I loved, loved, loved it.  But the ending?!  Oh, my.  Heather Frost, why did you have to do that to me?!  That was just plain mean.  I do not know how you are going to work out the next book to resolve this for me but I'm just about desperate to find out.  I hate cliff hangers like that.

If I were to start telling you about the characters in this book I would definitely be using the word love WAY too much.  Kate, hot boyfriend Patrick, Tony, Grandpa?  Love.  All.  In this book I could just feel Kate's desperation.  Her love driving her to do anything to save Patrick.  

As a reader, one thing that I always love is when my emotions become involved.  To me that speaks of not only a great story but excellent character development and writing.  My emotions were ALL over the place with this book.  I was excited, I was frustrated, I was sad and I was anxious.  I am sold on this series and I want more.  Yesterday.  Please.  

This was a clean read.  No swearing, no sex.  Some violence and tense situations.

You can buy Demons at Cedar Fort or Amazon.

Heather Frost was born in Sandy, Utah, and raised in a small Northern Utah town. She is the second oldest of ten children, and she has always been an avid reader and writer. She graduated from Snow College and is currently attending Utah State University. She enjoys playing the flute, listening to all types of music, and watching a wide variety of movies. Ever since she wrote her first short story—at the age of four—she has dreamed of one day becoming an author. Demons is her second published novel. Visit to leave her a message, or learn more about her and the Seers Trilogy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tour & Giveaway for Faith, Hope and Gravity by Merrill Osmond & Shirley Bahlmann

"Faith, Hope and Gravity" is the spiritual, magical adventure of teenage Liam Kane as he discovers some of the same lessons Merrill Osmond learned as the world-traveling lead singer of the Osmond Brothers. Merrill, like Liam, was often misunderstood for his visionary quests to understand those who looked for answers to life's questions.

Liam's talents gain him international notoriety as "The Prophecy Boy" who swims with dolphins, dreams of a mysterious red door, and champions those who are misunderstood.

Surviving kidnapping, near-drowning, and imprisonment ultimately leads to the discovery that despite inherent differences, when people respect one another's unique abilities, the thread of commonality that runs through mankind grows ever stronger.

Turn the pages and join the unforgettable journey.

This book will take you on an unexpected and interesting journey.  It's not like any other book I've read.  There were so many inspiring messages to be found within these pages.  

There were times I felt like shouting at Liam.  "No, Liam.  No!  Please don't do that."  And then there were moments that I was just proud of Liam.  I think that's probably the life story for all of us though.  We all have those moments of weakness and misunderstanding. We get hurt and angry.  I loved the overall message from this book though.  Each of us have unique gifts and abilities.  Learning to accept and love each other for who we are and what we can do is the most important thing.  It will bring us together and make us strong. When things don't go the way you think they should, trust that things will work out if we keep trying.

As I said before, this is an interesting book.  It made me think about how we view each other, especially people that think or act differently.  This book is squeeky clean.  I'm glad to be a part of this book tour.  

You can purchase Faith, Hope and Gravity at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Merrill Osmond is a world-class entertainer, producer, author, motivational speaker and renowned lead singer of the Osmonds. Merrill and his siblings have produced 47 platinum & gold records and Merrill has written the lyrics for five #1 hit records. Merrill is a co-founder of the Osmond Foundation, which originally produced “The Children’s Miracle Network” Telethon. He has produced presidential inaugural events for both Reagan & Bush. Merrill is excited to release his first novel, Faith, Hope & Gravity.
Shirley Bahlmann has written a wide variety of genres, including historical fiction, novels, biographies, how-to, and how-not-to books. One of her favorites is a children’s book titled “When the Chicken Crossed the Road” which comes with instructions and a chicken-colored washcloth so you can roll your own chicken! Shirley finds the most annoying thing about being a prolific writer is sleep, because she’d rather be writing.

Merrill Osmond is kindly offering up a couple of his musical CD's for a giveaway.  There will be two winners.  Yipee!  :)  
This giveaway is open to US entries only

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Monday, September 17, 2012

On Tour: A Life In the Service by Roberta Pescow

Jenny accepts the fact that she was born into a domestic race for a life of domestic work. In return for this loyal service, the householders provide food, protection and shelter. Jenny's earthy spirituality and gentle nature allow her to be content with her lot, even when her situation is far from ideal. But during a terrifying fire, Jenny accidentally becomes separated from her master and mistress.

Out on the street with no identification, Jenny finds herself an unlikely fugitive with no protection from a dangerous world. The experience shakes her beliefs to the core and causes her to question everything she has ever known. Follow Jenny's adventures in strange world of inequality that is a lot closer to home than you think. This novelette is approximately 12,000 words in length.

This is a super quick read.  I wasn't sure exactly what to expect with this novelette but I can say that I was pleasantly surprised.  It wasn't at all what I was expecting.  I love when books can change my way of thinking and this one accomplishes that in a few short pages.  

It's hard to review such a short book, especially when you don't want to give everything away.  I will say this though.  This is a book worthy of the few minutes you will spend reading it.  Jenny's adventures really are a lot closer to home than you may realize.  And, at the end, you may just want to go back and read it again with new eyes.

Purchase Links:

Barnes and Noble

About the author: Roberta Pescow is a freelance writer with articles featured on over 200 websites nationwide. She is also a jazz singer with Narrow Escape Duo, performing at venues in and around Northern New Jersey. Roberta is a proud mother of two, and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. As a long time vegetarian, she has a deep love and respect for all creatures. When she gets some free time, Roberta also enjoys sculpture, photography, reading, swimming and quiet time with family, friends and her beloved dog, Summer.
Contact Links: 

Tumblr (book site I just started)

Narrow Escape Duo website

Facebook for Narrow Escape

DeviantArt (photography)

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tour & Giveaway: All Things Different by Shawn Underhill

Late in the summer of 2005, starkly independent Jake Thornton was on the verge of turning 16, expecting little more than his driver’s license in the fall, and the continuance of the quiet life shared with his father. So when 14-almost-15 year old Sara moved in next door and began vying for his father’s attention, Jake wasn’t exactly thrilled, and couldn’t quite understand his father’s motives for allowing it. But certainly he never anticipated the dramatic shift their lives would take as a result.

As the summer fades and autumn takes over, friendship between the two teenagers begins blossoming into a bond, until fate steps in once more, threatening to tear them apart as quickly as they’ve come together. The decisions that follow, and the emotive tale that results, opens Jake’s eyes to the simple yet life altering truth, a truth that Sara has understood all along: that love—not the feeling but the action—is the most powerful force in the world.

Here is an excerpt from All Things Different:

Outside I headed straight to the shop. In passing I saw a thin mist rising from the lake. My heart was beating nicely. I gathered the fishing gear while Dad turned over the boat and put the floats in place before the seats. I was cold but warm inside and very excited, hurrying to the point where I was getting clumsy in my cold-fingered excitement.

I stepped out the side door of the shop with my hands full of gear and my head full of early-morning promise. Then I stopped dead in my tracks. Sara was there. She’d gotten to my old man while I was inside. I hadn’t heard her over the commotion, but there she was, sure as hell, with my father helping her fasten a life vest over a yellow sweatshirt. I watched for a moment, taking slow, deep breaths.

“Hi, Jake,” she said as I neared them, smiling in bright-eyed, tight-lipped triumph. Her hood was up with the strings drawn, and her head was partially immobilized due to the bulky, ugly orange life vest.

I said nothing and dropped the poles and tackle box into the center of the boat. The tackle box gave a semi-satisfying thud against the bottom. Sara jumped slightly.

“Here,” Dad said, ignoring me. Leaning before her, he pulled the hood strings a little snugger. “You don’t want that cold wind in your ears, where you’re not used to it. Once it warms up, you won’t need it anymore.”

“Thanks,” Sara said, smiling very big.

“We don’t have another pole,” I said. “The reel on the spare is broken.”

“She’ll use mine,” Dad said.

I climbed into the bow and took my seat facing forward. At the time I would’ve bet a thousand bucks that she was making faces behind my back. Ha-ha, I won!

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started reading All Things Different.  This is labeled as a YA Contemporary and I don't tend to read a ton of books in this genre.  It took me a couple chapters to settle in to the writing and the story but I was really pleasantly surprised by how I felt about this book.

I think I mostly enjoyed learning to love Sara through Jake's eyes.  It is a process and involves all sorts of complications and emotions.  As Jake learns more about Sara and her struggles he feels protective and responsible to help her.  His feelings of love evolve over time and I really felt like I was a part of that journey with him.

This book is beautifully written.  I could picture the scenery of the book so clearly.  The lake, the house, the forest surrounding them.  It was beautiful in my mind's eye.  I love when a book can provide me with such clear pictures.

One of the things I loved in this book was how these two men accept and draw Sara and her mother into their family circle.  While things seem to fall apart for Sara, I never had a completely hopeless feeling because I really believed in Jake and his Dad.  They were solid and trustworthy and I knew they would be there for Sara.  I guess it's the real feelings in this book that I connected with.  All Things Different was a pleasurable read and a happy surprise for me.

I love the quote at the beginning of the Goodreads description because I feel like it helps sum up the book so well and explain the title.  :) 

"I know that the night is not that same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist." ~ Ernest Hemingway

Content wise, there was some swearing and Sara and Jake sleep in the same bed together for most of the book.  That "sleeping together" evolves into more than sleeping over time but it is never mentioned in the book or talked about.  Sara has been abused so there are many difficult issues dealt with in this book.

Contact Info for Shawn Underhill:

Twitter: @shawnunder

Purchase Link

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck

With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling Tiger's Curse series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all.

AAAHHH!  We've finally come to the end of the Tiger's series.  It's the most bitter sweet thing ever.  It's so hard to say goodbye to characters that you've been invested in for YEARS now but on the other hand, it is so nice to finally have an ending with no desperate cliff hangers.  There is something to say for closure.

This book took my emotions all over the place.  It was an awesome ride and I was fully invested from the beginning to the end.  I love how all the gifts were brought together and how all the pieces of the puzzle finally fit.  This was a fantastic ending to a fantastic series.  One of my very favorites.  My daughter loves these books.  She's read them so many times I've lost track.

I love Ren, Kishan and Kelsey.  I really can't say too much about the book without giving away the surprises and such, but I am satisfied and mostly happy at the ending.  :)  I'm so glad I own all these books so I can revisit this series whenever I want.  

I'm love Colleen Houck's writing and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Last Wish of Summer by Phillip Overton

As the sun prepares to rise on the last day of summer, three friends find themselves totally unprepared for the events that are about to take place around them. For Tanya it is a chance to find peace three years after losing her parents in an auto accident. Deciding she simply can’t continue blaming God for her loss, she places a heartfelt poem in a bottle and throws it into the sea on the eve of her birthday, granting her birthday wish to whoever finds it.

Early the next morning, her best friend Anton and his buddy Johnno find the bottle washed up on the shore and set about putting it to the test. When Johnno falls for the new waitress at the cafĂ© where Tanya works, it stirs up feelings of jealousy in Tanya. Surely Johnno couldn’t be the man that God had in mind for her? Suddenly, strange wishes are beginning to come true, but is it all a coincidence? Or is God about to change people’s lives for the better?

Welcome to Kings Beach, where the forecast for the last day of summer promises to be hot, hot, hot, with a definite change in the air.

So happy to be a part of this tour with Reading Addiction Blog Tours.  They make reviewing so easy.

What would you do if your every wish could be granted?  It sounds pretty awesome, right?  Find a bottle with a poem inside and the next thing you know, all your wishes are coming true.  Well, turns out wishing is a bit more tricky than you might think.

I'm always up for a beach setting in a book.  It's like taking me instantly to my happy place.  The idea of finding a message in a bottle that grants wishes is cool.  I love how the characters realize that wishing for things effects other people and could ultimately change lives and not always for the better.  Those "I wish" moments happen often, I think.  I wish I didn't have to get up so early.  I wish it would cool off today.  I wish you would just listen to me. (I'm thinking of my kids here.  I think that wish comes out of mouth about 10 times a day!)  

While I enjoyed this book and it's message, I didn't feel like I connected emotionally with the characters.  I mostly felt like I was on the outside looking in.  But, like I said, I did enjoy the book.  It was easy to read and had an interesting wish/consequence thing going on.  If you follow my blog and reviews, you know that I'm a girl that appreciates a clean read and I really found that in this book.  It was so nice to be able to read it through and not worry.  One of the MC's is Christian and she offers up some prayers in the book but I never really felt like the book became preachy or anything like that.

Overall, a good book by Phillip Overton.  As summer is coming to an end right now, it was the perfect book to pay tribute to that.  :)  Enjoy this excerpt from Last Wish of Summer and find the giveaway at the end of the post.

Johnno grabbed the bottle and turned it upside down. The letter caught in its neck. Then with a bit of prying using his car key, he was able to gently pull the letter from the bottle and let it fall onto the table. It lay there wrapped only with a small hair ribbon tied in the centre. Anton reached across to untie it as Johnno stood the now empty bottle back in the centre of the table.

“Well here goes.” Anton said as he uncurled the two pages and held them up for his friend to see.

The pages were cream in color, decorated with a border of flowers entwined along the edge of each page in black ink. At the top of the first page before the letter began, was a small turquoise colored love heart someone had painted, again in what appeared to be nail polish. It left a slightly oily stain around the edges which only added to the letter’s charm. Around them, the air filled with the scent of women’s perfume that wafted up from the page. With their curiosity now firmly aroused, Anton and Johnno huddled in closely and began to read.

To whoever finds this,

If I’ve washed up on your distant shore,

From a land far over the sea.

Please tread carefully on the morning sand,

And know you’ve set me free.

Wrapped in my mother’s ribbon,

This letter is but a token.

A plead to let her see the world,

From a young heart torn and broken.

A turquoise heart that was my Aunt,

Left footprints in the sand.

Her magic just a memory,

You now hold in your hand.

So I light a candle for my Dad,

But this gift I give to you.

He always told me to make a wish,

So today may all yours come true.

It’s time to live, to find true love.

Before the winter’s scorn.

Somewhere it’s always summer,

May my true love’s arms be warm.

P.S. Please return me to the sea at sunset.

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Phillip Overton’s writing has been compared to none other than Nicholas Sparks (, and his latest novel Last Wish of Summer offers readers the perfect book to spend a summer’s day reading at the beach. In a book that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, it manages to weave the wholesome, virginal qualities of the main character Tanya with her band of misfit friends in their pursuit of being able to reason why a washed up message in a bottle is somehow granting their every wish come true. Often in a manner that is both coincidental and strangely bizarre.

Just as a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel will appeal to people of all ages, so too will this story that follows the adventures of a group of twenty-something’s on the last day of summer. The book not only manages to cut through any pre-conceived ideas we hold on morals, body-image and social status, but delights in helping us discover what may already be right under our nose to begin with.


Twitter: @phillipoverton

Links to Buy (currently paperback only)


Barnes and Noble
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pushing the Limits Review + Giveaway

"My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has...welll...issues. How do you think I am doing?" - opening line of Pushing the Limits

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. Echo and Noah couldn’t be more different, but they find themselves united by a common goal: to sneak into their court- ordered social worker’s case files in order to learn the truth about themselves and their families. What they didn’t count on is falling in love -- and now Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Wow.  Okay.  I've been following reviews for this book and everyone just RAVES about it. Seriously, 5 stars on Goodreads and lots of love.  I can totally see the love for the story line and the characters.  McGarry is a fantastic writer who created a powerful story that will break your heart but in the next beat, give you hope that broken hearts can mend.  I love the imagery of the scars, both seen and unseen.  So many of us carry those unseen scars and thank heavens for the people who look deep enough to see them and love us anyway.

There are just mounds of problems presented in this book.  The social scene of high school, drug use, minor alcohol use, the foster care system, mental illness, suicide, death, marital affairs, teenage sex... It is at times overwhelming that so many issues were hit so hard.  But I also recognize that any and all of those issues belong to so many of us.  We can all connect in some way with Echo and Noah.  (awesome names, btw)

While I can recognize the value of the message and even appreciate much of this book I would be lying if I said that I loved it.  My biggest problem with the book was the swearing.  I was honestly floored by the extreme use of the F word.  I counted 64 times that the F word was used.  64!  Are you kidding me?  In one book?  For young adults ages 15-25?  I'm sorry, but I think that is insane.  I know that the author was portraying a character and he was rough around the edges.  I know what she was going for.  I still think the repeated swearing was overboard.  For me, it completely detracted from the story.  Now, before I get tons of hate comments, I know that this is MY OPINION and not necessarily shared by everyone else.  I know that I am in a minority as to my offense at swearing.  But, this is the forum to share my opinion and I have people who follow my reviews that would care to know this.  Especially if their kids are thinking of reading this book.  Along with the F word, every other swear word was used, many, many times.  There was also frequent profanity (God or Jesus used as an exclamation).

Harlequin Teen is generously offering up a copy of this book to one reader.  The giveaway is for US/CAN only.  If you've been dying to read this, now is your chance!

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Here is a look at the trailer of Pushing the Limits
And here are some purchase links if you are interested:
Barnes & Noble
Indie Bound
Check out Katie's website:
About author Katie McGarry:
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and she remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. Katie loves to visit schools and talk to teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reading Clean Giveaway Hop!

I seriously love giveaway hops.  They are so much fun.  This is one I knew I had to join in with because I just love a good, clean read that I'm not afraid to hand right off to my kids. I just finished reading a book that I absolutely loved.  Here it is:
This is actually the second book in this series.  You can find my (love) review HERE.  If you haven't read the first book in the series, Witch Song, I will give you the option of choosing that book if you win.  
I will be gifting the book through Amazon as an ebook so that I can keep this giveaway open internationally.  If you don't have a Kindle, you can still read the book on your computer or other device through the Cloud Reader.

If you have time, take a look at the sidebar to see if there is any other giveaways you are interested in entering.  I've got a few going on right now.  :)

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Have Fun Hopping!

Review: Witch Born by Amber Argyle

Brusenna thought it was finished.

She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong.

She was wrong.

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands.

Some things can't be saved.

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.

Including her life.

Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to be able to read this book.  (think happy dance, happy.)  I really enjoyed the first book, Witch Song, and I've been waiting for this second book.  

As much as I enjoyed Witch Song, this book, Witch Born completely blew me out of the water.  I LOVED it.  Honest to goodness, love.  The writing is beautiful and it put all kinds of gorgeous pictures in my mind.  The cover of this book is just perfect for one of the best most beautiful scenes in the book.  Well, at least I thought it was.  :)  If I had a list for "cover love"  this book would be on it.

Brusenna (Senna) is a character I admire and genuinely like.  She has strength of character and she tries to do good with the power and talents that have been entrusted to her.  Senna just keeps trying no matter who tries to tell her otherwise.  It's that resiliency that I just love.  And Joshen?  Yeah.  He's a hero.  There were so many great characters in this book.  I always love a book with strong cords of loyalty in the midst of deceit.  This one really pulled that off.

I got so worked up over this book.  Seriously, I was all tense and turning pages like a madwoman.  The last third of the book left me exhausted.  :)  I was getting really worried there for awhile but I'm happy to say that I made it.  To the end.  And I am happy.

I just love Amber Argyle's writing style.  I hope she is madly writing at this very moment because I'll need something new from her very soon.

Love, love, love this book.  LOVE.  Today is release day!  Go and find this book.  (or check out the Clean Reads Giveaway Hop that starts tomorrow, or ahem, later today, and enter here to win a copy!)

You can buy Witch Born at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Squeeky clean.  Nothing to report on that front.  Hurray!