Monday, December 2, 2013

Charisma Blog Tour--Another Hit for Hall!

I'm half way through this one and absolutely loving it! Seriously, if you like adult contemporary you'll love this one! Be sure to scroll down and enter to win a SIGNED copy of Charisma!


In the aftermath of a violent incident and near death experience, Sarah Lange is plagued by heavenly voices and dogged by a desire to return "home". Frightened by her desire to terminate her existence on earth, she checks into a trauma center in Malibu, California and meets Dr. David Sutton, an intellectual, a scientist, a reductionist and someone who believes in nothing beyond his immediate experience. David’s world is as divorced from mystery and magic as Sarah’s is alive and animated by it. Their sessions open up a dialogue about the separation of worlds—one easily defined and explained and one unknowable and waiting on the other side of human experience. Even as his faith in his profession fades, David struggles to bring his disturbed patient back to the real world. In a desperate effort to define herself, Sarah "escapes" and David must decide how far he is willing to go to save a patient and ultimately himself.

About Barbara Hall: 

Barbara Hall is an award-winning author, screenwriter, vocalist and television producer. She was the executive producer of the hit CBS drama “Judging Amy” and the creator of “Joan of Arcadia”—the highly successful television series in which she reinvented the Joan of Arc legend in the form of Joan Girardi, a teenager who keeps encountering God—as both a cute boy and a lunch lady.  

As a child growing up in Chatham, Virginia, Barbara Hall had a single vision: moved to write by the isolation and frustration of a small Southern town in which she lived. The youngest of three siblings, she often collaborated on stories with her older sister. Hall knew by the age of eight what career path she would lay out for herself. Hall attended James Madison University, gaining a myriad of awards during her completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

An accomplished author, Hall wrote three young adult novels including: “Skeeball and the Secret of the Universe”, “Dixie Storms” and “Fool’s Hill” as well as the mystery “House Across the Cove”. Her other novels include “A Better Place”,  “Close to Home” and “A Summons To New Orleans”. Hall’s literary work has also been recognized by the American Library Association Best Books & Notable Books.

In the realm of television, Hall has been nominated for three Emmys (“I’ll Fly Away,” “Northern Exposure”) and a Golden Laurel from the Producers Guild of America, receiving a Humanitas Award, NAACP Image Award and TV Critics Association Award. “Judging Amy,” earned numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for its cast and crew, was nominated for New Program of the Year at the 2000 Television Critics Association Awards  and won Favorite New Series at the 2000 TV Guide Awards.

Not confining her talents to the written page, Barbara Hall is an accomplished musician, vocalist and a founding member of the alternative country rock band—The Enablers. The Enablers album, Come Back Soon, is available via her website at

Barbara Hall lives, writes and creates in Pacific Palisades, California with her daughter Faith.

Connect with Barbara: 

Book Trailer

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER TO WIN! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Kailmeyra Series Gets a Makeover!

Hi all!
I'm so excited that today is the day I get to officially introduce the new Kailmeyra Series book covers. When I joined the merry band over at Raven Key Press, the first thing they requested to change were the covers. My incredible literary manager, Italia Gandolfo, submitted the request to Michael Canalas, oh-my-god-incredible-graphic-designer-extraordinaire, and boom-shacka-lacka this is what he came up with!


I absolutely ADORE the new covers! Even better, I took the opportunity to fix a few things in the books that had been bothering me, and I added a few scenes along the way.

So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive! We're still plugging away at trying to get the soft covers up and running (a logistical nightmare, but that's a post for another day :-), but hopefully we'll have them live pretty soon!

Best news is that if you purchased the ebook through Kindle, the update should automatically show up on your device. #win/win.

I'd like to take a sec and thank you all for being so supportive. Your positive feedback and encouragement is what keeps the fires burning! :-)

An update about the third in the series, The Heart of the Ancients. The cover designer is working on the jacket even as we speak, and we are starting serious rounds of editing. I promise we'll have it up and running as soon as we can!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Kennedy Imperative

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's Assassination. Some will remember where they were when a shot was fired from a book depository. Some will vividly recall the graphic footage of that fateful day. As for me, Kennedy reminds me of my childhood kitchen table. 


My father had a fascination with the Kennedy era. He's a conspiracy theorist by nature (even though he'd never admit it). I came from an extremely intelligent home, where dinner was a family affair. Every night, discussions over plates of pasta or meatloaf and mashed potatoes were really debates more than anything. We'd discuss everything from a woman's right to choose to the hunger crisis that so affected Ethopia at the time. Values were challenged. Beliefs forged. Character molded by the sheer act of communication. My father is still to this day one of the most complex people I've ever known. Through the years, one of the most favored topics was President Kennedy. 

And so when Leon Berger's new trilogy came out, I did what every self-professed book snob does  ... I went to Amazon and opened the look inside. After the first few pages I pre-ordered the entire series for my father for Christmas (all three books in the series are on the way even as we speak :-).  

I'm sure dear old dad won't mind if I have a little looksy first before I wrap them in pretty paper and attach a bright red bow. After all, he'll need someone to hold a lively discussion on New Year's Eve, right? 

If you are history buff that loves it when a writer has enough talent to weave fiction into reality, you have to check the series out. 

Here's the info on the first book. And the best news? The ebook's only $3.99! 

The Kennedy Imperative (BOOK 1 OF A TRILOGY: BERLIN 1961)
While the construction of the Berlin Wall challenges JFK with the first major crisis of his Presidency, young CIA agent Philip Marsden is sent on his first mission across into East Berlin. As the tanks face off at Checkpoint Charlie, he uncovers the difficult truth about his Russian-born mother.

About Leon Berger: 
After an extensive globetrotting career based in London, New York, Singapore and Beijing, I'm now fortunate to be able to spend more time at home in Montreal indulging in my twin obsessions of writing and photography.
Since returning from abroad, I've had 10 books published, with many positive reviews in national and international media as well as some exceptional reader feedback. Several have been translated and two have won major awards.

My largest and most ambitious writing project to date is THE KENNEDY TRILOGY, my newly released series of political thrillers based on the 3 major crises of the JFK era, Berlin, Cuba and Dallas.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: 3 Gates of the Dead by Jonathan Ryan

Sometimes, the most evil things come from the most holy…

Conflicted with his faith in God and the hypocrisy of the church, Aidan Schaeffer, a young assistant pastor, is in a constant state of spiritual turmoil. When Aidan learns that his ex-fiancĂ©e is the first victim in a string of ritualistic killings, he finds himself in the middle of an even deeper fight. Tormented by demonic threats and haunted by spirits, Aidan throws himself into investigating Amanda’s death; all the while supernatural forces have begun to attack the people around him. The more questions he asks, the more he is drawn into the world of a mysterious Anglican priest, a paranormal investigation group and a rogue female detective investigating the murders. As the gruesome rituals escalate, ancient hidden secrets and an evil long buried threaten to rip Aidan’s world apart.

Chirenjenzie had the honor of being part of the cover release for 3 Gates of the Dead back in the spring. Now, I'm super stoked to announce that it's available for all the world to enjoy! Here's my review:

While I'm typically not a fan of horror, Ryan absolutely blew me away with 3 Gates of the Dead. It's entirely creepy and disturbing ... and that's a good thing.

We start off with Pastor Aidan Schaeffer who's having a bit of a faith crisis. Actually, it'd be a huge faith crisis considering he's the associate pastor of an Ohio church, and pastors are supposed to believe in God. As if that's not enough, he finds he's suddenly suspected of the ritualistic murder of his ex-fiancee, Amanda.

After being cleared of the charges, he sticks around to help the smexy Detective Brown work through the increasingly disturbing clues. With the help of some paranormal investigators and a priest you can't help but love, Aidan struggles to piece together the clues left by Amanda before the next murder occurs. Is it just some nutcase at work or is there something much more sinister at work?

Ryan does an exquisite job in creating a novel that covers every element of storytelling to its fullest. Sharing the horror limelight with the likes of Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft can't be easy, but Ryan knocks it out of the park with 3 Gates of the Dead! Trust me when I tell you, you'll never look at footprints in the snow the same way again!

If you like horror, suspense, and all things paranormal, you're definitely in for a treat!

I have to recommend giving this book a try even if you aren't a horror lover. The writing is excellent, the characters a rich and unique. This is the kind of novel that leaves you thinking about it for months afterward. And that, to me, is a great read! Definitely worth 5 bloody footprints!

~ Izzie

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Premier Digital Publishing is Giving Away Ebooks!

One of our favorite indie publishers, Premier Digital Publishing, is giving away 5 free ebooks to two lucky winners! If you haven't checked them out, they have some great books by incredible authors! Click on the pic to see their catalog, and the rafflecopter is below that.

Whoot! Gotta love a good giveaway!

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No Way Out is Amazing!

Book Blurb: 

When a powerful firebomb destroys part of an art gallery in an exclusive London district, FBI Profiler Karen Vail is dispatched to England to work with Scotland Yard. But Vail soon discovers that at the heart of the bombing lies a 440-year-old manuscript that holds clues to England's past—with content is so explosive that a group of political radicals is bent on destroying it at all costs.

The trail leads Vail to a notorious fugitive who appears to be planning a major attack on London and the United States. Soon she finds herself on the run from the British security service, Scotland Yard and a group of internationally trained assassins—all determined to silence her…all tightening the net to ensure that she’s got no way out.

National Bestselling author Alan Jacobson has crafted an intelligent, twisting thriller destined to be talked about long after the last page is turned.

My Thoughts About the Book: 

Karen Vail is a true tough chick. Her tough demeanor really plays well throughout, and the authors mad writing skills really brings the setting to life. I've never been to England, but now I want to go! 

I won't go past the back of the book blurb, but just know that if you are an adventure/thriller reader, you'll love this book! I'm going back to the first in the series now and reading them in order straight through! :-D 

Hey, don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway. You get a signed copy of the book PLUS $50 bucks. :-) 
Much love, 

About Alan Jacobson:

Alan Jacobson’s literary career has been marked by a number of events, but none was more significant than an accidental meeting 20 years ago while researching his first novel, "False Accusations," at the California Department of Justice's crime lab. Jacobson struck up a conversation with FBI agent Mark Safarik, a profiler at the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit and Agent Safarik subsequently invited Jacobson out to Quantico to tour the Academy.

With the FBI’s help, Jacobson immersed himself in the world of serial killers, rapists, bombers and arsonists. Over the course of seven years, Jacobson made numerous trips to the BAU, had countless hours of conversations with Agent Safarik and his partner, attended FBI training courses, shot submachine guns with the Academy’s head firearms instructor, edited four published FBI research papers on serial offenders and parsed serial killer interviews with Agent Safarik.

Jacobson was finally ready to write his third novel, the first featuring FBI Profiler Karen Vail—the national bestseller, "The 7th Victim." Oozing sharp wit and sarcasm, Vail means well but is human and makes mistakes. The head of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers association described Karen Vail as “a cop you'd go through a door with"—a phrase used to describe a colleague with whom officers trust their lives when bullets are flying.

“No Way Out” is the 5th Karen Vail FBI Profiler novel, which takes place after a terrorist attack in England. Vail journeys overseas, unearths a 440 year-old manuscript, a terrorist plot, and a cadre of assassins who would like nothing more than to make Vail ancient history.

Connect with Alan here: 

A little about the book: 


Tour Schedule: October 1- Chirenjenzie
October 2 - Elizabeth Isaacs' Blog
October 3 - Mindy Ruiz'Blog
October 4 - Asteria's Blog
October 5 - Dru's Book Musings
October 6 -Talk About Books
October 9 - Lilliputian's Journey
October 10 -A Book and a Latte
October 11 - Readful Things
October 12 -Geek Goes Rogue
October 13 - Ethan Jones Books

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Author Interview: Connie L Smith

Hi all. It's Catherine, and I'm so excited to have author and fellow Kentuckian Connie L. Smith on the blog today! Her debut novel, Essenced just hit the shelves this summer and is quickly gaining momentum. Here's a little more about this YA Urban Fantasy with a hint of Paranormal Romance:

Essenced (The Division Chronicles: Book One)

Years ago, demons were forced out of the earth’s realm by a band of supernatural fighters, banished from the place and its people in the aftermath of a horrific war. It should’ve ended there – would’ve – if not for the final demon’s claw snagging on the open portal. What felt like victory became only a reprieve, the winning warriors understanding that the tear would spread, and the demons eventually would escape exile. It was only a matter of time, and a need for future defense – a question of genetics and essences, magic and power.

Now centuries later, a new army must bind together – one of teenagers with inhuman potentials and abilities…

Sounds fabulous, right?! Here's more about the brilliant mind behind the magic!

* What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I read a lot, bake, sew, and listen to a bunch of music that’s outdated.

* What was the inspiration behind Essenced?
I don’t know that there was an actual inspiration behind it. I mentally add characters when I’m watching TV or movies (or reading books), and sometimes those characters develop a story all their own. That’s pretty much what happened with AJ and the beginnings of this story.

* How many books are in the series, and what can we expect in book 2?
There are three books in the actual trilogy, but I’ve already written a prequel novella, and you can probably expect at least one spin-off book. Once you finish book one, it’ll be obvious where book two starts off. I think of Essenced as more of the building blocks for the rest of the series. You’re getting to know the characters, and the characters are changing from average high school/college students to warriors. There’s action involved, but Emblazed (book two) has more in the way of physical altercation and battles. Though, as I mentioned, Essenced isn’t without those things. It’s more intense, and it’ll get even more intense into book three, physically and emotionally. I don’t want to give out too many spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read Essenced, so I’ll just leave it there.

* What made you pick YA?
I’ve really gotten addicted to it, to be honest! A good amount of what I buy and read these days is YA/NA. With this plot, and the transition that these characters have to go through, it seemed more interesting to have them be in high school or early college. They’re not even finished growing into human adults, and now they have to change into something entirely different. Not to mention high school can be a pretty dull place. It’s good to pretend fictional characters can lead more exciting lives than I had back then. Or now, really…

* What authors inspire you and why?
R.A. Salvatore is the author that got me into reading. I fell in love with his Legend of Drizzt series, and have been hooked on reading and fantasy since. He has a way of telling a story that’s just so fluid. I also like Terry Pratchett, and the humor in his books. Becca Fitzpatrick is a newer one that I like, along with some other contemporary authors. I like writers that can pull me into a story, and who create characters that I still think about after I close the book. I’d like to think that all of those different influences show up in my books, but I guess every reader will have to make that call.

* Some authors gear up with their favorite tunes or choke down large quantities of caffeine before tackling a writing session. What, if anything, does your ritual consist of?
Mine’s actually really boring. My ideal writing time tends to be around 1-3 in the afternoon. I’m an aunt, and my nieces and nephew could come barreling in after school any time after that :) I turn on a fan to block out any noise away from my room, and I start typing. I do have a Diet Dr. Pepper or a bottle of water somewhere near. Thirst is no fun. I multi-task though, so don’t be surprised if you see a tweet pop up when I should be writing.

Rapid fire questions: 

* Favorite book character – Of all time? Wow… Probably either Patch from Hush, Hush or Durzo Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. At least those are the ones that come to mind. I might decide differently later!
from the

* Plotter or Pantser – More of a plotter, though I didn’t have an outline for this novella I recently finished. And I tend to veer away from the outline from time to time.

* Choice of superpower – Jedi!!!

* Your life's theme song – Currently “Too Much Month at the End of the Money” by Billy Hill.

* Top 5 favorite reads this year –
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang was good, though I haven’t had a chance to read the second book.
Abel by Elizabeth Reyes, but I could’ve easily said Hector. I’ve been addicted to Elizabeth’s books since I read Forever Mine.
Boundless by Cynthia Hand. I loved this trilogy, and the ending (mostly) was pleasing. I won’t go into my Christian Prescott ramblings on this blog :)
The Last Threshold by R.A. Salvatore. I’ve been a little iffy about the last few of his books based on Drizzt, but I thought this one was much better than some of the others over the last few years. Plus it sets the readers up for such good things!
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard. I can’t guarantee that I read this one in 2013 – it might have been late 2012 – but I liked this book. A siren in love? Yes, please.

I feel like I should give you honorable mentions! So many were left out!

***Essenced will be free on Amazon September 19-20th, so don't forget to grab your copy!!!

Connect with Connie here:

Friday, September 6, 2013

September Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Kindle Fire September 


Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7″.
Kindle Fire HD 7″ Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Authors/Bloggers

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Candace's Book Blog
  4. Every Free Chance Book Reviews
  5. Author Lori Verni-Fogarsi
  6. Ketch's Book Nook
  7. Author Rachael Renee Anderson
  8. Author Karey White
  9. Buku-Buku-Didi
  10. Author Marcia Lynn McClure
  11. Author Bella Street
  12. Brooke Blogs
  13. Author Anna Kyss
  14. Author Ednah Walters
  15. These are but Shadows
  16. The Real Bookshelves of Room 918
  17. Fae Books
  18. Magical Manuscripts
  19. Chair in the Shade
  20. The Book Bellas
  21. Page Flipperz
  22. Romance Schmomance
  23. A Bookish Escape
  24. bookitty blog
  25. Author S.A. Larsen
  26. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  27. Jessabella Reads
  28. Author Jennifer Laurens
  29. Bea's Book Nook
  30. Books 4 Tomorrow
  31. Meredith's Musings
  32. Libby's Library
  33. Author Deanna Roy
  34. Word to Dreams
  35. Bookhounds
  36. Diva Book Nerd
  37. Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf
  38. Author Kim Cresswell
  39. Author Inger Iversen
  40. Author Elizabeth Isaacs
  41. Lori's Reading Corner
  42. Author Lena Sledge
  43. Author Kerry Taylor
  44. Author Brinda Berry
  45. Author Niecey Roy
  46. Author Kary Radar
  47. Author Josh Baker
  48. Author Helen Smith
  49. Author Annette K. Larsen
Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7″ HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).
There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire.
Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway.  Details can be found here.
Ends 9/30/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Loving Book Pins! A Thousand Perfect Things Blog Tour

Book Blurb:
In an alternate 19th century, there are two warring continents on an reimagined earth: the scientific Anglica (England) and magical Bharata (India). Emboldened by her grandfather’s final whispered secret of a magical lotus, Tori Harding, a young Victorian woman and aspiring botanist, must journey to Bharata, with its magics, intrigues and ghosts, to claim her fate. There she will face a choice between two suitors and two irreconcilable realms.
In a magic-infused world of silver tigers, demon birds and enduring gods, as a great native mutiny sweeps over the continent, Tori will find the thing she most desires, less perfect than she had hoped and stranger than she could have dreamed.

Okay, so everyone knows I love Pinterest! I've been playing lately with all kinds of new pins, and so I thought I'd show you some from Kay's new book, A Thousand Perfect things! If you like them, repin them to your board. :-) If you like a book, you should try making some pins for it. It's super fun, and they get great repins!

OH, almost forgot. Don't forget to scroll past the pins and sign up to win a $50 gift card and a SIGNED copy of Kay's book. Whoot! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kay Kenyon

Kay Kenyon is the author of eleven science fiction and fantasy novels, including The Entire and the Rose series that was hailed by The Washington Post as “A splendid fantasy quest as compelling as anything by Stephen R. Donaldson, Philip Jose Farmer or yes, J. R. R. Tolkien”. Kay’s newest work “A Thousand Perfect Things” blends the reason of the Victorian Age and the magics of an alternate Earth.

Connect with Kay here:

Tour Schedule

August 28 - Asteria's Blog *Review & Giveaway
August 29 - Behind a Million and One Pages *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 1 Author Jonathan Ryan *excerpt & Giveaway
September 2 - Chirenjenzie  *Favorite Pinterest Pins & Giveaway
September 3 - Dave-Brendon's Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 4 - Mindy Ruiz *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 5 - Elizabeth Isaacs' Blog *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 6 -   Hooked in a Book *Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
September 7 - BlKosiner's Book Blog *Interview & Giveaway
September 8 - Delphina reads too much *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 9 - A Dribble of Ink *Featured Article
September 10 -Lilliputian's Journey *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 11 - Mom With A Kindle *Author Interview & Giveaway
September 12 - A Dragon's Love *Review & Giveaway

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Blog tour: WINTER SHADOWS by Casey Bond

A coming of age story following Claire, a young lady struggling to find her place in the world after losing her mother to cancer. After a corrupt American government declares a pandemic and forces residents into quarantine encampments, Claire and her father, along with other members of their Church and community, go into hiding in a cave system in rural West Virginia. While coping with the losses of her mother, home, friends, sense of safety and normalcy, Claire begins to pick up the pieces of her past, finding a new normal despite the darkness surrounding her.

While adjusting to a new environment, and the group of people she finds herself surrounded by, Claire is faced with several important decisions that will influence the path her life will take. Who can she trust? Who should she love? How can she survive? Forced to choose between Ethan's steadfast, mature love and the love of mysterious and dangerous Colin who appears. Claire learns the difference between infatuation and love. She becomes self-reliant and strong. Despite her newfound confidence, and the isolation in which she resides, evil is able to find her. While fighting against it, she reestablishes her faith in God and opens her heart to the possibility of love.

Winter Shadows, releases Oct. 29, 2013!

Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and two beautiful daughters. She graduated from Hurricane High School in 1999 and received her Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, Legal Studies in 2003 from Marshall University. You can reach her at her website/blog at, Twitter @authorcaseybond, or find her on Facebook and Pinterest!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Rant About Romance

Can  I just rant for a sec?


Seriously, I've read so many books this summer I can't count them. I tend to choose one genre and read it until I'm sick of it, and this summer it's all about NA/Adult romance.

It started when someone challenged me to read 50 Shades and I actually liked the storyline (although I really thought the writing was mediocre and I could've done without the butt play, but that's just me), what I did love was Christian's complex character and his struggles psychologically. And I loved that Anna could reach past his issues and help heal the little boy inside. Cheesey, I know, but true. I loved it.

That set my summer reading stage for a series of  cheep ebooks and Freebies that I downloaded to the good ole Kindle. Some of them were great reads, others left me  shaking my head wondering why people think that sounding like a bad 70s porn is romantic, but that post is for another day.

What's really driving me nuts is that the majority of smexy reads either center around Washington State or have control freak billionaires that constantly need their egos stroked.

Really, people.

Writers, hear me. Edward and Christian were not adored by fans because they were past the point of beautiful  and had more money than I have dirt. No, they were loved by millions because they wanted to protect and take care of their woman, being with the love of their life made them want to be a better man (or vampire, as the case may be), and, most importantly, these guys went out of their way to put her needs first.

It wouldn't have mattered if they were from the freaking mountains, liked to shave bunnies for fun, and didn't have two nickles to rub together. Maybe if they smelled like bad B.O. instead of some heady mix of manly scents and nature. Still, I think some readers may even have been able to look past that.

Can we please understand the premise here?

What drew millions of readers to these books were the actions of the men. Now I'm not speaking for the entire female population, Lord knows there are the cynics and extremists of the world already pissed at me for even attempting to find a commonality in a romance's success. It seems to me though that women who love these books want to feel adored. They want to feel as though they are the only one that can meet their man's needs. They want to be valued, respected, and cherished with a good dash of I-think-you're-the-sexiest-thing-alive-and-I-have-to-have-you-now added in.

See, in real life, woman are the ones that make sure everyone's needs are met. They usually are the last to eat, the last to bed, the one who buys generic for themselves but top of the line for the rest of the fam. They usually make do with what's in the closet while the hubby and kids get new clothes. These readers in real life go without in so many ways, and so they are attracted to a story where the protagonist's needs are important to the leading man. In short, these readers really just want someone to give a  flying rats ass if their emotional and physical needs are being met at all.

So, dear writers, here's my challenge to you. Write me a steamy story about a guy who isn't orgasmically good looking, doesn't live in Seattle, and actually works for a living. He can have hang ups and issues (although can we please tone down the I-can't-be-touched-and-I-need-to-control-your-every-breath thing). Let him fall for a girl who is beautiful to him. Maybe her hips are too round, or, I don't know, she has uneven boobs ... something. Write their story and let him overcome his hardships and want to be a better man for her. Let him love her, cherish her, but still throw her down and show her who's  boss every now and again. Let him find his way past her emotional barriers and truly adore her spirit, and allow her to do the same for him.

Now that's a story readers will flock to!

*End of Rant*
Whew! I feel better.

I think I'm going to start reading either sci-fi or YA for a little while.

Love Ya!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: MYSTIC CITY by Theo Lawrence

 Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself. 

So I totally lucked out and snagged an ARC of MYSTIC CITY at Half-Price Books. My review is for the ARC since I don't know what (if any) changes might've been made. Here we go!

The Good: I absolutely can't praise Theo's writing style enough! Can we say beautiful and the perfect example of Show don't Tell and Avoid Passive Voice. The descriptions are stunning. Each scene is brilliantly set and fully fleshed out. The characters are so unique, and you can totally connect with them in a real way. I'm generally not a dystopian fan, but MYSTIC CITY isn't the typical dystopian... at least, it isn't the struggle-every-moment-for-life kind. It's more futuristic than anything. I'm not sure what genre it's classified as anyway.

The progression of our protag's life is perfectly paced. Aria grows and changes throughout the story, going from the (non-cliche) rich girl to the caring young-woman who's willing to risk her comfortable life and promising future. And not just to win the guy but to save her city. Talk about an inspiring female lead! 

Our male lead, Hunter, is intriguing and by far the most mysterious part of the entire story. He proves himself to be swoon-worthy! He's not the kind of  guy you love to hate or admire because he's so wholesome. But he's real and genuine. Nothing about him feels fake or forced. He's the kind of boyfriend you would've actually wanted at 17. Too bad it's not that clean-cut for Aria.

The Mediocre: As the plot moves forward, there isn't a lot of "surprise" going on. I kept thinking, "Where's the mystery? What's the twist supposed to be here?" Really, it felt more like a contemporary novel with a futuristic setting. Like we know the obvious hurdles our characters have to overcome, so where's that *gasp* moment??? The outstanding writing and interesting characters kept me reading, but there were a few places where I just skimmed because it wasn't exciting. I will say there was one epic twist at the end I didn't expect which was fabulous! I love surprises! I just wish there could've been more.

Another issue I encountered was Aria's reaction to certain people in her life. Something epic would happen, and she was just like, "Meh. Okay." And while I get Lawrence's intent to keep her low key so she wouldn't give up the ghost so early, even her internal reaction was disappointing. Still, it wasn't enough of a let-down to stop reading. Also, Aria's best-friend Kiki is kind of annoying. I wish she would've been more likable. I'm a big fan of heroic secondary characters. I feel like they should really enhance the story and bring out a lot about plot and why our lead is the way they are. If you're going to the trouble to bring them up frequently, there needs to be a reason for them. Kiki was more like that irritating person you hang out with for the sake of obligation. She and Aria were so different in ways that would cause two people not to want to spend time together. I LOVED Hunter's bromance though.

There were several parts where I just skimmed through the story because it wasn't interesting. It didn't move the plot forward and felt more like a placeholder than an integral scene. There were maybe a total of 20 pages or so that could've been entirely culled, and no one would miss them. 

Conclusion: Based on the originality of the story, the lead characters, and the writing, I'd give MYSTIC CITY 5 Hats, no problem. But due to the slow plot at times, the mediocre secondary characters, and the lack of page-turning mystery, I'm going to say 4 Hats: still an awesome read and recommendation but not without a couple of flaws. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Win a Kindle Fire!

All right,
I know it seems like we've been doing a ton of giveaways this summer and not many reviews ... but everyone seems to be going crazy with giving away great stuff and so we can't help but pass it on!

One of our own Chirenjenzie bloggers is giving away a Kindle Fire! Enter below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 5, 2013

Indie Bookfest 2013 Ipad Mini Giveaway!

Indie BookFest 2013 is all day long event (starting at 8:00 AM and ending at 5:00 PM) celebrating Indie Authors and Artists and their freedom of expression. Join some of your favorite Indie Authors for a day filled with book signings, sessions, and lots of good food and great fun! You won't want to miss the sessions throughout the day, where several panelists will be speaking on a variety of topics relevant to writing, publishing, promoting your books, and all things indie.

Indie BookFest 2013 will be held at the Buena Vista Palace in Buena Vista, FL, on August 3rd, 2013 ... just minutes from all the Disney and Universal parks! Everyone attending Indie BookFest 2013 will have access to special room rates while staying at the Buena Vista Palace. Turn this one day event into a fun little getaway and indulge in the sunshine and parks while you are visiting the Orlando area.
Register for Indie BookFest 2013
Sessions, refreshments, morning gourmet coffee bar, lunch, & much more? = $20
Fun hanging out with a great group of your favorite Indie Authors? = PRICELESS!
Eventbrite - Indie BookFest 2013

Not only is Indie BookFest going to be a day filled with a lot of fun and fabulousness, but it will also be a time to come together and help a local organization, A Gift For Teaching. We will be raffling off an AMAZING prize to one lucky winner, so be sure to come prepared to purchase a few tickets, rub a lucky 8 ball, and by doing so, help out local teachers and children in the process!
** Be sure to bring in some school supplies to be entered to win another wonderful prize ... everyone who donates will receive some special Indie BookFest swag!** 
Learn more about the 2013 charity Indie BookFest will be featuring HERE. We hope to see you all on August 3rd in Orlando, it is sure to be a great time!
Indie Bookfest is proud to announce that along with our stellar line up of over 45 indie authors such as: Shelly Crane, Kristie Cook, Tabatha Vargo, Amy Miles, Michelle Madow, Shanora Q. Williams, Quinn Loftis, C.A. Kunz, Tiffany King, G.P. Ching, Rachael Wade, Tawdra Kandle, Sarah Ross, and MANY OTHERS, that Isaac Marion (Author of Warm Bodies) will be a special speaker at the event! 
Eventbrite - Indie BookFest 2013

Be sure to stop by the blog and show your Indie pride and love of books by picking up one of these AWESOME tees! All proceeds go to finance the event! 
(Click on the pictures below to go to the blog to purchase!)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Trstan's in the Next Round!

We're casting our VOTE for TRISTAN KNIGHT from the Soul Savers Series by Kristie Cook AND YOU SHOULD TOO!!! Help support the underdog in the #NACrushTourney by VOTING FOR TRISTAN!!!

We're supporting Tristan 100% in the New Adult Crush Tourney and we need YOUR help by casting a vote! It's easy, only takes a minute. Follow the link below, check out the Advocate post that Lisa from A Life Bound By Books created, including the fan video, then at the bottom of the page cast your VOTE!!!

(Voting closes TODAY - Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 11:59PM EST / 8:59PM PST)

After voting, share that you've voted for Tristan on Facebook and Twitter using the following -

I voted for Tristan Knight in the #NACrushTourney & SO SHOULD YOU!!