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, March 29, 2012

Paranormal Romance Review: My Lord Vampire by Alexandra Ivy


cover via author website
Reprint Date: January 30, 2012
Publisher: Zebra
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

FIRST LINE
Gideon glided through the vaulted marble corridors of the Great Hall.

The vampire Nefri divides the magical Medallion that created the Veil (a utopia for all vampires) into three pieces and places them into the care of three women for safekeeping after rogue vampires decide to go after the Medallion’s power. In My Lord Vampire, we follow the arrogant Gideon Ravel on his rescue quest of one of the woman holding the Medallion, Lady Simone Gilbert. Simone has a dark secret of her own and there is a reason she wants everyone to believe she is the “Wicked Temptress” and remain apart for others. The first vampire traitor, Tristan, has located Simone and it is Gideon’s mission to protect her from him. Gideon is instantly attracted to Simone which makes protecting her just that much easier.

This first installment of Ivy’s republished Immortal Rogues trilogy fell short for me. There is little romance and the characters just weren’t strong or unique in my mind. I did think that the premise of having the vampires living behind a Veil different but the story doesn’t touch on this alternate world much. If you are looking for a light, quick paranormal read with the standard mysterious vampire then I think you would enjoy this.

PURCHASE MY LORD VAMPIRE
Amazon  /  Book Depository  /  Barnes and Noble Kensington

Hurry over to FACEBOOK and enter for you chance to win a heart lock pendant from Tiffany's. Contest ends March 31st!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Guest Post: author M.J. Rose


M.J. Rose: I've been fascinated with lost fragrances since long before I started writing The Book of Lost Fragrances... since I found a bottle of perfume on my great grandmother's dresser that had belonged to her mother in Russia. Here is one of those lost fragrances that stirs the senses and the imagination... (researched and described with the help of the perfume writer Dimitrios Dimitriadis)


RAVEL - FAUN

Parfums Ravel was established in the 1940's in Nice, France, and opened a subsidiary company in New York shortly thereafter. A good example of mid-century perfumery, Ravel's Faun became the first and perhaps most esteemed of almost 20 scents launched by this all-but-forgotten brand. A citrus-rich aldehydic opening belies a heart that is more intense in nature… a rich plummy nucleus is married effortlessly with a green, slightly mossy facet. It is earthy and damp, evoking images of a moist forest floor. A raw, animalic note lumbers up from beneath that feels furry and leathery in equal measures. Faun feels both earthbound and slightly ethereal… a genderless perfume that could have been enjoyed by both sexes. Unfortunately, by the late 1950's, Ravel closed its doors indefinitely, leaving behind a portfolio of scents that are rarely seen or heard of today.

SYNOPSIS:
A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra--and lost for 2,000 years.

Jac L'Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances--and of her mother's suicide--she moved to America. Now, fourteen years later she and her brother have inherited the company along with it's financial problems. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing--leaving a dead body in his wake--Jac is plunged into a world she thought she'd left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother's disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend the House of L'Etoile has been espousing since 1799. Is there a scent that can unlock the mystery of reincarnation - or is it just another dream infused perfume?

The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra's Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet's battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac's quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

AUTHOR BIO:
M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her next novel THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES (Atria/S&S) will be published in March 2012. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook.

Be sure to check out the other stops on The Book of Lost Fragrances Virtual Book Tour and follow it on Twitter using the twitter hashtag: #LostFragrancesVirtualBookTour

Thursday, March 22, 2012

True Crime Review: Never See Them Again by M. William Phelps


cover courtesy of Kensington Books
Publish Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Kensington Books
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

 FIRST LINE 
(may differ from final copy)
It was just after six o’clock on the evening of July 18, 2003.

This is my first true crime by M. William Phelps and I wasn’t disappointed. Phelps offers insight into the brutal slaying of 4 teenagers that no newspaper could articulate. The timeline was laid out so that someone like me (who isn’t from the Houston area and never heard about this crime) could follow easily. Each time that I put the book down the story stayed with me, beckoning me to finish.

Phelps starts his book with the discovery of the 4 teens and takes the reader thru clues that were right there but because of mislabeling and an understaffed police department, the discovery and conviction of the killer doesn’t come to pass until October, 2008. The reader feels the hopelessness and frustration that family members went through. One thing that is obvious is that there were a few people that never gave up and because of them the killer was eventually caught.

I will definitely be picking up another book written by Phelps. Caution to some people, Phelps goes into vivid detail of the crime scene and it is not for the faint of heart.

PURCHASE NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN

Monday, March 19, 2012

Author Interview: John Connell


photo provided by Sea Lion Books
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in Massachusetts outside of Boston with my wife Kim and our children Bailey and Max. Our dogs Chewy and Jed hang out in my studio with me while I’m working. I’m 42 yrs old and have been fortunate enough to be a professional artist for over 20 yrs . 

2. Can you tell us about your graphic novel Carnal: Pride of the Lions? 
Carnal is a big world that will be displayed in latter books, I wanted the first book Pride of the lions to be a close up focused look at a pride struggling for survival and they discover something that will threaten all of Africa.

3. What was your favorite part of the writing process of Carnal: Pride of the Lions?
That has to be when I’m doing something else like driving to the gym or hanging with the family not thinking about the book at all and a solution to a scene or idea pops into my head for Carnal, I can’t write it down or sketch it fast enough. This being my first book the writing process is new made a lot of mistakes the first time around that I learned a lot from that I wont make on book 2.

4. Where did the idea of Carnal: Pride of the Lions come from?
The idea for Carnal came to me in a nightmare about 10 years ago. It was about a giant humanistic rhino fighting of a pack of humanistic Hyenas . It was such a cool image in my head I was just going to do a painting of the nightmare image. As time passed I turned it into a story of how maybe the Rhino and other animals became humanistic. It seemed like a cool solid unique story that I was passionate about turning into a book but I’m a terrible writer. I let the idea sit for a few years. I would do pieces of art for it hear and there and write down outlines of how the book would be written. But 2 yrs ago I made a promise to myself that this wouldn’t be a half finished project. That I would see it all the way through and be able to see it at stores and on bookshelves. Jason Bergenstock is part of Carnal and helps me write and put my thoughts into words. 

5. Who was the hardest character to write?
Well she hasn’t really made an appearance yet in book 1 but that would be Kuma. She is evil squared. I want to portray her differently than your typical bad guy. It is presenting a real challenge.

courtesy of deviantART
6. What is the most interesting comment you have received so far concerning Carnal: Pride of the Lions?
I’m thrilled to get any positive feedback on Carnal, It’s pretty damn exciting to read good reviews, but this one line from a review stuck with me. It stuck with me because I worked really hard to make the daily life and struggle seem real to the reader and some one noticed “The details that went into the minutia of the day-to-day within the culture are superb. The characters are fleshed – out and the reader buys right into them. Within two pages into the book I was sucked in and became a huge fan.” That was from the Pullbox.com.

7. What has been the best advice you have ever been given?
It is a saying my head Jiu Jitsu instructor keeps saying when were training is “keep trying to improve your position” When your in a bad position in Jiu Jitsu you keep incrumently trying to improve your position. I apply that to my work ethics also. Learn from my mistakes and keep trying to improve and persevere.

8. If you could ask yourself any interview question, what would you ask, and how would you answer it?
I would ask what would you differently on your next book and what did you learn from your first?

I’m hyper critical about my work. I’m never happy or satisfied. I learned a lot about the process of writing and even how I should go about doing the art and page layouts.

9. When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do?
Drink coffee eat a sandwich put a Netflix on , have my dogs chilling behind me . I like a bunch of stuff going on. I’m in front of my computer close to twelve hours a day. I get stir crazy.

10. What is coming up next for you?
Book 2 then book 3 and so on. There are some other really exciting upcoming possibilities for Carnal but I don’t want to jinx them by mentioning it now. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will all happen for Carnal.

ABOUT JOHN CONNELL
John Connell is a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston. He is a freelance artist working in many mediums, from oil paintings to digital art. His clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

AUTHOR LINKS

photo courtesy of Sea Lion Books
ABOUT CARNAL
The first graphic novel in the Carnal series, Pride of the Lions takes place on the continent of New Africa and focuses on three main species of humanistic animals.

After the Great War decades earlier between the hyenas and the lions, the victorious and once united lion prides now lay scattered across the land, torn by civil unrest over territory disputes and food shortages. The hyena clans that survived the war were forced deep into the Earth and now live in a massive underground city under the control of a terrible witch. The buffalo race is indifferent to most other species and have walled themselves off from the rest of the kingdoms. Humans have lost their hold on the African territories long ago and live as a simple, nomadic species.

The first book opens with Long Eyes, an old sapphire-eyed lion who is determined to save the lion kingdom and rescue his warrior son, Oron, who has gone missing. Long Eyes believes Oron is the key to uniting the prides. A young lioness tracker named Omi is sent out with the protection of two lion brothers to locate the missing warrior, but what they find is something that may unravel the very foundation of life for all species.

PRE-ORDER CARNAL

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins


image courtesy of GoodReads
Publish Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Book
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal

 FIRST LINE
Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom.

Sophie Mercer was only trying to help a fellow student. Now because she has outed herself as a witch (for the 19th time) and her mother has no choice but to ship her only daughter off to Hecate Hall, a boarding school for wayward supernaturals. Not knowing who her father is, she is met with hostility from many of the students. But that is the least of her worries. Students are turning up dead and trying to figure out who is doing this is very important, considering Sophie could be next on the list. Also, a coven of witches want her for their fourth. And these witches you do not want to cross.

One of the suspects is Sophie’s own roommate, Jenna, the resident vampire. Vampires are new to Hecate and are considered beneath the “elite” supernaturals. Also suspected is a group called The Eye of God. Their job is to hunt down and kill supernaturals in order to protect the human world but because supposedly they shouldn’t be able to breach the spell that protects Hecate.

The reader is taken on a very imaginative journey of discovery. Discovery of who Sophie actually is, what The Eye of God are about and the reader discovers that sometimes you need to accept people that may be slightly different than you. The author takes interesting characteristics out of Roman and Egyptian history and weaves them into the plot of Hex Hall.

I couldn’t stop flipping the pages on this one. Even though it seems to be the same old storyline that we have been seeing a lot in the YA genre but I thought the aspects that were thrown in added the extra needed to keep the reader enthralled. Thought it was a very strong first book and I do look forward to the next installment.

PURCHASE HEX HALL

Monday, March 12, 2012

Help Publish the Last Witch Series!

photo courtesy of author's site

A little about me and a lot about this project:
My name is Elizabeth J Kolodziej and I have been writing about the paranormal all my life (cliche, I know) however, I didn't know until my early twenties that my writing might be something other people want to read too! Go figure. Writing is my passion and I found that I also love the marketing, publishing and everything that goes into the process of getting a book printed. It's said that most indie authors won't sell more than a 100 copies of there book. In one year I sold, not gave away, but sold over 1,000 copies of Vampyre Kisses.

I was very lucky to have a family that believed in me and sponsored me when I needed it. Sadly, March 22nd 2012 will be the one year anniversary of my father, David Kolodziej, death. Without him in my life I have had to fight and work long hours to get the money for my books to be printed. Now, it is getting to the point where I'm running out of ways to get the money for publishing and marketing Witch Devotions, the third book in the Last Witch Series. Because it is the third I want to be able to give this book everything it deserves. A terrific cover (with a live model), creame paper, advertising on websites and much more.

Details of the Plan
Witch Devotions is done and just about ready for print. I have already put together the marketing plan for Witch Devotions, which will entail: 
  • Button advertising on five big sites that are book blogs or book related sites.
  • Setting up a blog hop AND a blog tour
  • Blog radio spots during the month of release
  • Book reviews from places like RT BookLovers, Kirkus, Amazon Vine, Apex, Reader Views, etc.
  • Making a book trailer
  • Release "party" on bittenbybooks.com
And much more. I have never done something as big as this for a marketing plan since I have never had enough money to do it. Most of my marketing for my series was free. I know this series is great though and with the third book out it will get so many more readers. That is if I can get your help.
cover courtesy of author's site
Synopsis for Vampyre Kisses
Vampyre Kisses is an enthralling story about a young woman named Faith, who was content with her life, but deep down craved more excitement. Then a mysterious man named Trent enters her life and everything changes. Surprising to Faith, Trent is a green-eyed vampire from Ireland. She is even more surprised to find out that she is a witch, and the last of her kind.

Faith finds out that she is destined to restore her witch line and becomes more powerful as she gains confidence and knowledge, but danger lurks everywhere. Especially when unknown assailants steal the most important gems from the vampire master and werewolf royalty.

Now surrounded by a world full of mystifying vampires and werewolves, can Faith gain enough power to help her friends and rescue the stolen gems?
cover courtesy of author's site
Synopsis for Werewolf Descent
Last witch in the world, Faith Scott, and her Irish vampire boyfriend Trent have just come back from fighting for their lives to recover the Vampiric Blood gem and Werewolf Moon gem. Thinking they could finally relax and work on the romance growing between them, they now meet a mysterious psychic vampire named Vincent who has his heart set on being with Faith.

Soon bizarre killings of Zou Tai’s werewolf pack begin, with rumors of an alchemist possessing the famed philosophers stone being the assailant; which, causes Faith to turn to Vincent for help in figuring out why the werewolves are being murdered.

It isn’t long before all those around them test Trent and Faith’s love, along with their abilities, once again. It is all Trent can do to keep Faith safe by his side while both go up against a deadly alchemist, deceptive gods, and having to rescue the werewolf prince; yet, after a deal with the God of Werewolves will Trent be able to save himself too?

Working synopsis for Witch Devotions:
With Trent gone, Faith feels that she can not go on without him. The pain grows so intense that she even shuts out her friends and loved ones to be alone; unsure of what to think about the supernatural world anymore. However, on a trip to see Gordon she realizes what she can do to make the pain go away. A spell.

The spell ends up back firing and Faith, last witch in the world, has now forgotten the past six months. All the memories of vampires, werewolves, and guardians have vanished. And the first to find her is Louis, her mother’s close friend and slayer.

With webs of lies and deceit falling upon her ears, Faith doesn’t know what is up and down. Then Louis gives her the option to become a slayer and she takes it, thinking vampires are evil. Along with the Goddess Circe interfering, Lilith still missing and Faith unable to remember Trent no one knows what will happen next!

Then walks in Patrick who has a secret about him that he doesn’t even realize. Through him Morgan finds out where Faith is and fly’s to Vegas to save her, but Faith is more untrusting that a rabid wolf.

Are these vampires and werewolves telling her the truth? Is she a witch in love with a vampire? Or will she proceed with being a slayer? The coin is still up in the air…and Faith doesn’t know where her devotions lie.

Along with this series, I write short stories and novellas under my own company name and other publishers. To learn more about me, my books, and see reviews please go to www.vampyrekisses.com

What about money left over?
I'll be amazed if there is BUT for such an occasion know that the money will go into the next book in the series and getting it published.

I hope you will contribute!

<3's and fangs,

Liz ^_^

I pledged my dollar...how about u? 

BLOG CREATED JUNE 20, 2010