At this time I will no longer be taking any new review requests or participating in any memes. There will still be author interviews, blasts, guest posts and occasionally reviews posted (as I climb through by TBR pile!!). Life is kind of hectic and I have to focus on a few other commitments before coming back full-time to my blog. Thank you to everyone that has supported me and I won't be gone forever. I will still be around on my social media sites!

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS


My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

Purchase my book Images of America: Detroit Lakes HERE

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Moon Spell by Samantha Young

Series: Tale of Lunarmorte, Part 1
Publication Date/Publisher:March 2011/Createspace
Source: Author
Format: E-book

Entwining Greek Mythology and the supernatural comes easy to Ms. Young. Moon Spell is a wonderful combination of both and kept me flipping these pages. I had a little trouble with the beginning but as we voracious readers know, the first book in a series slams you with the entire history to bring us up to speed for future books.
Young’s heroine is Caia who has lived separate for her pack called, Pack Errante. She has been protected until she is ready to face her destiny. Now that Lucian has killed The Hunter (who eradicated Caia’s family) and assumed the Alpha position it is time to bring her back and face their future together.
Caia does her best to integrate back into the pack and Lucian believes that she will connect better if she attends a semester of school with lykans her own age. Caia is not a normal lykan, however. There is something very different about her and Lucian knows. He also knows that they are destined to be together and the sizzle between them is palpable every time they are in the same room (HOT, HOT, HOT). Lucian is very Alpha and sometimes that gets him in trouble with the VERY independent Caia. Young’s supporting cast of characters make for some great reading. Sebastian, who is also falling in love with Caia, is such a sweety!! Caia also starts to realize what she has been missing out her entire life. She may be independent but she has always dreamed about having a family.
Things are not safe for Caia. Her uncle, who is now very aware that she is still alive, wants her dead. Because of Caia’s mixed heritage, she is a HUGE threat to her uncle and he will stop at nothing to see her dead. At the same time, Caia is coming into her special powers and realizing how powerful she really is.
The twists and turns leave you breathless and anticipating the climax. Caia’s growth from a quite, reserved little girl into a strong, powerful woman equal to her Alpha is intense and dramatic and flows naturally throughout this book. Moon Spell is worth the read and you will fall in love with Young’s characters, evil and good. I look forward to this story continuing. A strong 4 of 5 stars!

PURCHASE MOON SPELL

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guest Post: Linda Hawley


Linda Hawley
Lately I've been asked, "What's dystopian?" A dystopian society is one that is repressed, and controlled by a specific group, like a government. Dystopian is the opposite of utopian. Very often, dystopian stories are set in the future. Dystopian fiction is a subcategory of science fiction. There are dystopian novels, and dystopian movies. Here are six examples of dystopian movies: The Matrix, Minority Report, The Island, I Robot, Total Recall, and Blade Runner. Here are six examples of dystopian novels: The Road, The Giver, I Am Legend, A Clockwork Orange, The Time Machine, and (my new novel) Dreams Unleashed.

In Dreams Unleashed, the story begins in the near-future year of 2015, and continues forward from there. As a reader of dystopian fiction, I always wonder how things got so bad. What caused it? Some authors never explain this back story in their fiction. I didn’t want to leave my readers hanging in this way, so in book one of my trilogy, I explain how things got the way they are (in the year 2015). In books two and three, the story carries forward, because the reader already knows how governments started controlling their citizens.

I really love writing about events occurring in the near future (5-10 years away). I want these future events to be grounded in my stories, so that readers can relate to them. I do this by using current events and technology that is present today. I embellish them a bit, and then imply their effect on the future dystopian society. It’s essentially a re-wrapping of events/technology, using my own imagination of possible future implications.

I am a fan of the old Alfred Hitchcock movies. He had a way of empowering the viewer to figure out the story, by giving clues along the way. He did finally expose villians, but only after he weaved through unexpected twists and turns first. In his movies, there was meaning in everything. I use Hitchcock’s style in my writing, and do everything possible to make connections everywhere. Everything means something in The Propecy trilogy. Expect the unexpected is my mantra. I want readers to be able to pick up my novels for a second read, and find that they are making new connections that were missed the first time. This “gift that keeps giving” is common is dystopian fiction, and it’s something I love about it.

In good dystopian fiction, the author creates very strong characterizations, to get readers invested in the story. Unfortunately, some dystopian authors rely too heavily upon plot, and don’t offer up enough well rounded characterizations. Readers want characters to be memorable and multidimensional, but also want a plot propelling the story forward. I think it’s a balancing act as a writer, and a significant challenge when writing in the dystopian genre. 

Writing in this genre is dramatic, but also filled with hope. It’s the juxtaposition that inspired me to write dystopian. If you haven’t read dystopian before, Dreams Unleashed might be a good dip in the pool, with it’s light science fiction. 

The print version of Dreams Unleashed will be published this week.

You can read a free sample of Dreams Unleashed at Amazon 

The eBook version of Dreams Unleashed is available for purchase NOW for $2.99 (for all eBook readers) at:  Smashwords   /   Amazon  /   Barnes & Noble 

Linda’s website   /   Linda’s blog

Dreams Unleashed (The Prophecies)Synopsis of Dreams Unleashed
It’s the near-future year of 2015, where technology governs life. In this dystopian world, governments control their citizens by tracking them with RFID. The right to personal privacy does not exist. The heroine, Ann Torgeson, having been trained by the CIA as a paranormal spy at nineteen years old, has enhanced abilities. Twenty-five years later, she lives a double life: first, as a technical writer for a tidal energy company in the Pacific Northwest, and second, as a member of the worldwide anti-government subversive organization, called GOG. When Ann’s vivid dreams turn real, she questions whether the doorway between her subconscious and reality has been permanently altered. When she starts to dig into her past, her present begins to unravel, leading the reader through events that twist and turn everything upside down. Question everything you know is essential in this trilogy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ARC Review: Heart of Evil by Heather Graham

Heart of Evil (Krewe of Hunters)Heart of Evil
by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters, Book 2
Publication Date: June 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Format: E-ARC

Heart of Evil is the second in Ms. Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series and focuses on Jake Mallory and his past love Ashley Donegal. Ashley is the current owner of Donegal Plantation and has stumbled upon a murder scene. The scary part is that the victim is displayed much like her ancestor had been. Something is not right and the “Krewe of Hunters” are called in for advice. Ashley is hesitant at first because she knows Jake is part of this paranormal special investigative unit and is unprepared for facing him yet again.

Jake is now officially part of the special FBI unit and when he hears that Ashley is in trouble nothing will stop him from helping her. With the aid of the entire team they must solve who is after Ashley and why. As the team has learned that the dead are more than willing to help the living if they just listen. Someone close wants revenge and will stop at nothing to get it and if anyone gets in the way they will become alligator food.

Suspenseful with smatterings of paranormal elements makes Heart of Evil my favorite book of this series so far! I wasn’t sold on the first book in this series and was unsure about how the second book would be. I was extremely happy with how it turned out and can’t wait to read the next one! I am giving this book 4 of 5 stars!

PURCHASE HEART OF EVIL

PURCHASE PHANTOM EVIL

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway #5

The week has come to an end and so has my Blogoversary! Thanks to everyone for visiting, commenting and entering my giveaways! You may have noticed that my giveaways were for US/CA only and I apologize to my International followers for this. All these books I had on hand and due to funding shortage, all that I could swing this year. I do have contests throughout the year from authors that are International and hope that you will enter those.


For the last day of my Blogoversary I am giving away a SIGNED copy of Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr + SIGNED Bookmark & Bookplate and a Swag package. Wicked Lovely was a book that I won (along with all her books in this series) but since I have already read it I will pass it along! Just enter below!!


GIVEAWAY RULES (complete rules HERE)
  • This contest is open for US/CA only.
  • You MUST be a follower to enter.
  • Please complete the form below - comments are nice but they will not count.
  • EXTRA ENTRIES: Tweet/Post Giveaway
  • The contest will end on July 8, 2011 at 11:59PM CT; 2 winners will be selected and contacted thereafter.
  • Once the winners have been contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam folder!).
  • Books will be shipped by me.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway #4


Well, looks the week is coming close to being done! I have only one more giveaway that will be posted tomorrow to end my week long celebration of my 1 year Blogoversary! It has been fun reading the comments from you guys and I appreciate all your support!

Today's giveaway is two books from the Historical Romance genre plus a really nice book thong that was made by a friend of mine!
The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane (my REVIEW)
The Countess by Lynsay Sands (my REVIEW)
Book Thong

Both books are gently used and Sloane's book is an ARC.
Check out all the Giveaways at the top of this page!

GIVEAWAY RULES (complete rules HERE)
  • This contest is open for US/CA only.
  • You MUST be a follower to enter.
  • Please complete the form below - comments are nice but they will not count.
  • EXTRA ENTRIES: Tweet/Post Giveaway
  • The contest will end on July 8, 2011 at 11:59PM CT; 1 winner will be selected and contacted thereafter.
  • Once the winner has been contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam folder!).
  • Books will be shipped by me.

Review: Earl of Darkness by Alix Rickloff

Series: Heirs of Kilronan, Bk 1
Publication Date: December 28, 2010
Publisher: Pocket
Format: Paperback

BLURB courtesy of Goodreads
From the moment Aidan sees her, Cat’s spirited beauty enchants him, but her uncanny abilities are what he truly needs, for Cat can understand the mystical language in the diary he inherited from his murdered father. So Aidan makes an offer: translate the book or be thrown in prison as a thief. And as Cat slowly deciphers each page, she and Aidan are drawn together by passion . . . and into the violence of the Other world that is the Kilronan legacy. Can they defeat those who seek the book, or are their lives in even greater danger than their hearts?

MY THOUGHTS
Catriona O’Connell “Cat” is tasked with stealing a diary from Aidan Douglas, Earl of Kilronan. This sets into motion an adventure that keeps you turning these pages and wondering about the mystery of Other and their strange world. Men and women who have a mix of Fey and human blood are considered Other and must hide or face persecution. Cat must rely on these powers to survive in the slums of Dublin. She is caught by Aidan and is given only one choice, either translate this mysterious diary of he will throw her in jail. Aidan knows what she is and needs to use her for her abilities. What he didn’t plan on is falling for the vixen. She captivates him and he doesn’t know how much longer he will be able to keep his distance.

As they discover the secrets they find themselves being targeted and must live to be able to solve the mystery of the diary. To do this they must accept the help of the Amhasdraoi, who Aidan absolutely abhors but as a falls head of heels for Cat, he must protect her and he can’t do it himself.

Fast-paced and full of mystery and interesting characters makes Earl of Darkness a delicious read. Cat is a feisty heroine and Aidan is just plain yummy!

RATING: 4 STARS

PURCHASE EARL OF DARKNESS

*Book was provided free from the publisher in hopes of a review. This has in no way influenced my opinions.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway #3


And continuing the Blogoversary giveaways I have two gently used Historical Fiction books by Carolly Erickson! If you missed the last two they are GIVEAWAY #1 and GIVEAWAY #2!





GIVEAWAY RULES (complete rules HERE)
  • This contest is open for US/CA only.
  • You MUST be a follower to enter.
  • Please complete the form below - comments are nice but they will not count.
  • EXTRA ENTRIES: Tweet the giveaway
  • The contest will end on July 8, 2011 at 11:59PM CT; 1 winner will be selected and contacted thereafter.
  • Once the winner has been contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam folder!).
  • Books will be shipped by me.

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: The Warrior's Witch by Stacey Kennedy

A Warrior's Witch
Series: Otherworld Romance
by Stacey Kennedy
Format: E-book
Rating: 3 STARS

BLURB
A murder has brought Talon, Master of Guardians, and his Witch, Zia, Master of Witches to Chicago. The manner of death appears to be a suicide, but Talon is not ready to close the case. To avenge the Guardian who is linked to his past, he agrees to take on the assignment, and find out who killed her.

As they dive deeper into the investigation, they find themselves entering a world where BDSM is the norm. A lifestyle Zia is not comfortable with. Rattled by this new development, Zia is more than ready to return to the Otherworld. But things are about to take a twist. As they meet with members of the BDSM club to gain clues, one vampire stands out among the rest—a young woman who has appeared to be enslaved by another. Now, not only are they hunting a killer, they will have to discover why supernaturals in Chicago seem to be under someone’s control. 

The mission brings not only danger, but also forces Talon to deal with decades old guilt that corrodes his soul. Every event that unfolds only deepens his fight and pushes him to face an ultimate choice—what is more important, his duty to the Otherworld, or the Witch he holds closest to his heart?

REVIEW
A Warrior's Witch (An Otherworld Romance)Whitlyn, a former great warrior/guardian to the Otherworld, is discovered dead in her apartment. Talon, Master of Guardians, is called in to investigate. This becomes extremely personal for him in that she is the mother of his son, Kyden, the greatest gift that he has ever received. He will find out who did this and he will make them pay. Helping Talon is his witch, Zia, who is the love of his life. We met lots of other supernaturals such as the Master of Vampires and Patriarch of the Wolves who all work to keep the Earthworld and the humans living there safe. Their main goal in this moment is discovering who poisoned Whitlyn and is controlling other supernaturals.

A Warrior’s Witch has a lot of elements to wade through to get to the core of this story. The core is Talon and Zia’s love for each other and how they must overcome their own insecurities and embrace their relationship. What I liked about A Warrior’s Witch was the passion that Talon and Zia have for each other. It is evident in every word that is written and you feel it. What I didn’t care for was I had I tough time with the names that are unusual sounding and similar sounding. There were times that I forgot who was who.

You are taken from Chicago to the shores of Scotland to the Otherworld and Kennedy does know how to create a fantastical world filled with interesting creatures. I will read another book by Kennedy and hopefully I can immerse myself in her characters and they will become familiar to me and not so confusing.

ABOUT STACEY KENNEDY
Loves the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genre and loves a series more!! Her novels are lighthearted fantasy, heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. She loves to hear from her fans so find here at www.staceykennedy.com or find her on Facebook or Twitter!! 

GIVEAWAY
One lucky winner is going to win a select book from Stacy Kennedy's back-list!  To enter just read my rules HERE and fill out the form below! No need to be a follower but it is much appreciated...:) Contest ends July 4, 2011 at 11:59 CST. Book will be sent from the author.


 Next Stop: June 23 – Asian Cocoa http://www.asiancocoasblog.com/

*Book provided from author via The Bookish Snob Promotions as part of a blog tour. This in no way has influenced my review and my opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Bag of Bones

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page!

Bag of Bones"Kia," I said, "Season's beginning." But that made me feel like crying again, so I got out of the car and slammed the door hard behind me, as if I could keep the sadness inside that way. ~pg. 105

BLOG CREATED JUNE 20, 2010