Monday, August 25, 2014

Be My Hero, by Linda Kage - Release Day Review


Synopsis

Eva Mercer’s a mess. She’s single, nineteen, seven months pregnant, and living off the good graces of her cousin. In the midst of a complete attitude overhaul—or at least trying to change—the last thing she wants to think about is men. She’s done with them. For good. Or at least she was until Pick.

For ten years, Pick Ryan has dreamed about this girl. He knows how she smells, what it’s like to hold her in his arms, how she tastes when he kisses her. But he’s never actually met her. He doesn’t even know her name. He just knows she’s the one. It’s his brand of luck that she would walk into the bar where he works on the very day he gets married to someone else.

Pick and Eva come from completely different worlds, and yet the connection they share draws them together too tightly to matter. Nothing can keep them apart—except maybe a three-month-old boy whose life depends on just that. And so, their love becomes forbidden.

Fred's Notes

So, yeah, I always like to do some research when I'm doing a review, and I thought it would be fun to look up the word "hero," since it's become kind of generic for "the good guy," or sometimes even just the male MC, regardless of his nature.  Per Wikipedia (only willing to take this research thing so far, lol) "[a]ccording to Eric Partridge in Origins, the Greek word Hērōs "is akin to" the Latin seruāre, meaning to safeguard. Partridge concludes, "The basic sense of ... hero would therefore be 'protector'."  Well, that suits Patrick Jason Ryan (aka "Pick,") right down to the ground.  From the get-go of this dramatic, sometimes dark, but always sweet story, he's out there in full on defender mode, extending his protective instincts on behalf of the small, the abused and the vulnerable.  It doesn't always work out that well for him, and he's got the scars, dents and demerits to prove it, but nothing is gonna deter that big ole heart of his.  The metal he's sporting might be piercings, rather than shining armor, but there's no mistaking his nature, once his hero sense is activated by the predicament of the defenseless in distress.

But hoo-boy, this here Pick fellow sure doesn't look like a hero, right?  Okay, he's handsome enough (it is a romance, c'mon), but in an unconventional way, with a face full of "hollow dips and lines," punctuated by the aforementioned piercings.  And his rap sheet doesn't add a lot of luster to his resume either.  But that's the beauty of this story (and this whole awesome series, really) - nothing is what it seems at first blush.   One of the things I love about Linda's imaginative stories is that they always have more twists than a bag of Twizzlers.  Eva's pregnant (this happens a lot in Lindaland, btw), but she's not with, or in love with, the baby-daddy.  And Pick's married, but he's not in love with, or even with, his "wife."  And those very basic premises of the plot are not the only surprises Linda has up her apparently capacious sleeves. It turns out there's a reason Eva is so distrustful of men, there's a reason Pick falls so hard for her at first sight, and there's a reason she needs a hero, just when he's around to "pick" up the pieces.  

I didn't especially like Eva back in The Price of A Kiss, the delightful first book in this series.  She was kind of a B, and a conniving one at that, not above sabotaging her cousin Reese's happiness just for ... well, for whatever.  But there's so much more to her story than that, it turns out, and her believable growth as a character and person is one of the real delights of this read.  Linda has a knack for keeping it fresh and real feeling - I think it comes from her seeming effortless ability to play with genre conventions in a way that's fun and still emotionally impactful.  And no doubt about it, this book is an emotional read at times, as these two fatefully and fitfully find their way into each other's wary and war-weary arms.  Some dark events undergird and permeate this read, but I think they're handled sensitively and with the gravitas and respect they deserve.   Reading Linda reminds me a bit of  Shakespeare's comedies, where misunderstandings, secrets, hidden identities, overheard conversations taken the wrong way, and a host of other events are nonetheless unable to keep two soul-mates apart.  There's a palpable sense of relief and cathartic closure as our two heroes (that's right, they both deserve that title) overcome every crazy obstacle fate (and Linda) throw at them (sorry if this is a spoiler, but if it is you're in the wrong genre my friend).    As Pick so eloquently says at one point, "My happily fucking ever after certainly wasn't going to come to me, so I guess I'd have to keep working my ass off to make up one of my own."  Well said, sir, and well done.  A hero's salute to you, and to the enjoyment of reading the latest installment of this clever, rich and rewarding series.


Who's That Girl?

I grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now I live in Kansas with my
husband, daughter, and our nine cuckoo clocks. My life's been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part my world, and I'm so happy to finally share some of my stories with other romance lovers.  (That's Linda's officical bio - I happen to know that she's also a librarian, which makes her all the more awesome and admirable!) 










Linda Links

And Check Out This Awesome Rafflecopter Giveaway! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks so much to Tasty Books Tours for including me in this awesome celebration!

Link to Follow Tour:  http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/be-my-hero-by-linda-kage-surviving-love.html 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some Beautiful News for Every Ugly Word, by Aimee L. Salter!

A New Amazon/Alloy Entertainment Imprint Launches Today, with Aimee L. Salter's Every Ugly Word and Two Other Titles!

So ... some pretty exciting news for long-time friend of the blog, Aimee L. Salter!  Here's the Press Release announcing the creation of a new imprint, where Aimee will be among the first three titles issued: 

Today, Amazon Publishing and Alloy Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Television Group, announced a digital-first imprint that will focus on young adult, new adult and commercial fiction.
The new imprint, named Alloy Entertainment, will be part of Amazon Publishing’s Powered by Amazon program. Powered by Amazon enables publishers and authors to leverage Amazon’s global distribution and personalized, targeted marketing reach.
Alloy Entertainment, a division of the Warner Bros. Television Group, develops and produces original novels, television series and feature films.  All titles in the new Alloy imprint will have the advantage of being part of group that aggressively supports and promotes its properties.
In fact, more than 75 of AE’s books have been on The New York Times bestseller list, including The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Luxe, Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, and The 100.
Every Ugly Word will be one of the first of three titles to be released under the newly launched imprint.
Alloy Entertainment will also look for opportunities to develop acquired titles as television series, feature films, and digital entertainment.

Every Ugly Word


Every Ugly Word (f/k/a Breakable) follows 17 year old Ashley who is relentlessly bullied at her high school and by her own mother, and is helplessly in love with her best friend, Matt, who is bullied by his father.

She seeks help by looking to her future self, “Older Me” who supports her through it all and teaches her to love herself. But is she really seeking “Older Me” or is she looking within herself for the answers?

When Ashley looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been her support system through her relentless tormentor’s bullying, her unstable mother at home, and her forlorn love for her longtime best friend. But when Ashley discovers “Older Me’s” betrayal, she is targeted in the worst way and impends her last chance with Matt. She’s done with hearing every ugly word.




About the Author

Aimee L. Salter writes novels for teens and the occasional adult who, like herself, is still in touch with their inner-high schooler. She never stopped appreciating those moments in the dark when you say what you're really thinking. And she'll always ask you about the things you wish she wouldn't ask you about.

Visit Aimee’s Website: http://www.aimeelsalter.com  
Like Aimee on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AimeeLSalter
Follow Aimee on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Aimeelsalter


About Alloy Entertainment
Alloy Entertainment, a division of the Warner Bros. Television Group, develops and produces original novels, television series and feature films. More than 75 of AE’s books have been on The New York Times bestseller list, including The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Luxe, Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, and The 100. AE has successfully adapted several of its properties into hit television shows for broadcast across multiple networks, including The CW, ABC, ABC Family and Nickelodeon. Current Alloy Entertainment television series include Pretty
Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and The 100. AE feature films include Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 & 2, Sex Drive and The Clique, with several additional projects currently in development including Sisterhood Everlasting, The Merciless and The Brokenhearted.

About Amazon.com
Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking.  Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.


Advance Praise for Every Ugly Word

"Original. Authentic. Heart-breaking....Officially one of my favorites!"
-- Cora Carmack, New York Times Bestselling author of Losing It.

"A gripping story about a teen facing her demons with twists you won't see coming, Every Ugly Word is a chilling and heartbreaking debut with raw emotion searing every page. I couldn't put it down."
 -- Katie Sise, author of The Boyfriend App.

"Every Ugly Word is a punch to the gut from chapter one. The tension and mystery build through every page to an inevitable showdown that left me breathless. With a splintered protagonist you can't help but root for, you'll battle through the worst of humanity's ugliness to emerge at the end dirty and broken and full of hope."
 -- Mary Elizabeth Summer, author of Trust Me, I'm Lying.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Witch Hunter Olivia by T.A. Kunz


Happy Release Day!



Synopsis

In the town of Piedmont Pointe, where paranormal is the norm, a girl can easily get herself in over her head with a single wrong move. Unfortunately for Olivia Adams, she’s about to make several.

Starting over is never easy, but it seemed like the only option to Olivia. The decision to turn her back on the Guild of Witch Hunters, the very group she devoted her entire life to, was one of the hardest things she ever did. It meant leaving her family, her friends, and her old identity behind forever. Coming to terms with what caused her to abandon her duties in the first place was even harder.

While trying to lay low and stay off the Guild’s radar, Olivia finds herself thrust back into her old ways after unknowingly interrupting an assassination hit on a powerful witch. What follows is the last thing she ever thought she’d agree to do—protect the very thing she was groomed to hunt.

To complicate things even further, Olivia begins to develop feelings for a tattoo artist who also happens to be half warlock, and no matter how hard she tries to fight it, she can’t resist her inescapable draw to him. Olivia’s forbidden relationship isn’t her only issue though, because once the mystery behind the assassination attempt starts to unravel, she’s forced to choose sides when the loyalties still tied to her past life are tested again.


So much for the idea of a fresh start.


Purchase Links!

Add Olivia to your tbr on Goodreads today!

And use these purchase links, live today!

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo

Who's That Author?

Author T.A. Kunz has always had a fondness for reading thrilling mysteries and action-packed urban fantasies. So, it was no surprise when T.A. decided to write stories that they’d fall into one of those two genres. T.A. lives in Central Florida with two fur babies and a mechanical engineer who also happens to be quite the culinary badass, which there are no complaints about. Being a self-diagnosed caffeine addict, many joke that T.A.’s addiction to Starbucks coffee will likely be their downfall later in life.





Find and follow T.A. here:

Website - www.takunz.com  

Twitter - @AuthorTAKunz

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Rise Up - Indie Authors Against Cancer, A Benefit Collection


Rise Up, Volume One - An Awesome Collection to Support Beloved Blogger Stephenie Risner Thomas


“We all know how fragile life is, especially when faced with a life threatening illness.” ~Nic, Flirty and Dirty Book Blog.

Fiction introduced us. Reality binds us together.

Stephenie Thomas—co-founder of The Indie Bookshelf—has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. Stephenie isn’t only a blogger; she’s a loving wife, and mother to three young boys.

In the independent author community, we have an extraordinary network of fellow authors, and readers. A special group of people who bridge this gap—helping authors connect with readers—is book bloggers. These men and women dedicate hours upon hours to reading and reviewing our works, and spreading the word to help us reach new readers.

Now, one of these women needs our help.

100% of the proceeds of the Rise Up anthology (volumes one and two) will go directly to Steph3nie and her family to help them on this unexpected leg of their journey together. 

Inside the pages of this collection, you’ll find amazing works of fiction. But please remember the reality, and help support Stephenie and her family.

Included in Volume One of this collection are the following novels:

What Happens Tomorrow - Elle Michaels
Insipid -- Christine Brae
Bouquet Toss -- Melissa Brown
Can't Go Home -- Angelisa Stone
Point of Submission by Remy Landon
Breakaway by Lindsay Paige and Mary Smith
A Love by Any Measure by Killian McRae
Discovering Lucy - Laura Dunaway
Something's Come Up - Andrea Randall and Michelle Pace
By A Thread - RL Griffin
Honest Love - CM Hutton
Serendipity - Stacey Bentley
Haven from the Storm - Sarah Dosher
Damaged - Nina D'Angelo

Amazon Purchase Link

Maybe Maby, by Willow Aster - Release day!

releaseday_MaybeMaby


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Happy Release Day to Willow Aster!

BUY YOUR COPY OF MAYBE MABY

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

Mabel Armstrong is on the verge of giving up. But just when things feel bleakest, there seems to be a shift in the universe. People come out of the woodwork. Her ex won’t leave her alone. An old friend finally tries to become more. Even the cute guy at the coffee shop starts paying extra attention.

Maybe Maby is a heartbreaking, and at times, hilarious story about coping with loss, finding love in New York, and learning to recognize hope in the middle of it all.



Teaser 5 - for release day



Excerpt

I take off running with him not far behind. When we reach the stairs, he swoops me up, takes the stairs two at a time, and tosses me on the bed. He stares down at me.

“Now what?” he asks.

“Let’s not sleep with our clothes on tonight.”

His shirt is over his head with one yank from the back. I lean up on my elbows to watch.

“Your turn,” he says.

“Your pants are still on.”

He unbuttons them slowly and takes his sweet time pulling them down. His thumb loops under the waistband of his boxer briefs and my mouth waters waiting for him to take them off. He says something, but I don’t hear any of it.

“What?” I ask.

“I said—are you sure?” He puts his hand over his mouth and looks at me, his eyes narrowing. After a long pause, he says, without conceit: “When we make love, it’s gonna change things. I want to know if you’re ready for that before we do.”

I move until I’m on my knees in front of him. “Things have already changed for me. I’m ready … if you are.”

He grins and pulls my dress over my head. “Haven’t you been hearing me? I’ve been ready for you for a long time, Maby Armstrong.”

His hands travel down my chest and he unhooks my bra, sucking in a breath when it falls to the ground. He smiles at my yellow thong with black skulls.

“You’re so edgy,” he smirks, getting on his knees while he pulls them off. He looks up at me. “I plan to spend a lot of time in this general vicinity.” He waves his hand over the area from my lips to my thighs. “And especially here,” he whispers, pulling me into his mouth.

I hold onto his hair for dear life. I nearly fall back on the bed, but his hands are gripped on both cheeks, keeping my buns of nothing close to steel in place.


AboutTheAuthor
Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, and Maybe Maby. She lives with her husband and two kids on a tropical beach in paradise. Well, at least part of that is true … the rest is Story Lala Land, where Willow spends most of her time.






Sunday, June 29, 2014

Underworld's Daughter, by Molly Ringle



A few years ago I purchased a lovely little lot of books at an auction, and among them was a beautifully bound edition of “Chrysomela, A Selection from the Lyrical Poems of Robert Herrick.” The poems were chosen and introduced by Francis Turner Palgrave, the famous anthologist, and I enjoyed reading the charming and quaintly antiquated prose of his preface. One phrase in particular struck me as being quite apropos of Molly’s style, as well as of Herrick’s poems:







[T]he power to describe men and things as the poet sees them with simple sincerity, insight and grace: to paint scenes and imaginations as perfect organic wholes; -- carrying with it the gift to clothe each picture, as if by unerring instinct, in fit metrical form, giving to each its own music; beginning without affectation, and rounding off without effort; - the power, in a word, to leave simplicity, sanity, and beauty as the last impressions lingering on our minds ...
Let me give an example of why I find Molly’s prose (and okay, maybe it’s not “metrical,” technically, lol, but it IS lyrical!) so enchanting, and so powerfully able to pull you into the emotional world she’s created:

Lute music rose from somewhere near, and the smell of sweet incense and drying autumn leaves curled into the darkening sky. Her feet moved that direction, the domestic magic of a mortal city pulling her in.
Like our dear friend Francis said, simple, vivid and graceful. I love that about Molly’s evocative way with words.

This is the second volume in Molly’s Chrysomelia series (the series’ title is what made me think of the Herrick book, obvs), and it’s not a stand-alone, but rather a welcome continuation of the story that began in Persephone’s Orchard, the first book in the series. It begins, like the first book,in media res,  only this time the “res” is one of sweet intimacy and tenderness, the culmination of the tentative and touching relationship between Persephone and Hades (the originals). And the narrative again moves between the remembered past of Hades, Persephone and their peers, and the story of Adrian and Sophie, the contemporary counterparts of their ancient incarnations. Things aren’t easy for Adrian and Sophie (relationship status: complicated) this time around. The story starts with Sophie feeling “betrayed, or at least left out,” when inveterate trickster Niko bestows the gift of immortality on two others by stealing and sharing with them the underworld orange Adrian meant for Sophie. And Thanatos, the deadly antagonist whose violence ended the first book, has stepped up its game in ways that rock the characters' stability and emotions. The addition of more characters and points of view make this a deeper and more rewarding reading experience than Persephone’s Orchard, in some ways. The character of Hekate (she’s the titular Underworld’s Daughter, btw) both in the past, and in the now, is richly imagined and endearing, full of mystery, grace, intelligence and emotion. She’s just a really cool person, and an awesome addition to the cast. Dionysos (and his contemporary counterpart) is a fun and kind of frustrating character, full of fun and frivolity but also fractured and flawed in ways that make him/her, real and relatable.

“The past is never dead, it’s not even past,” said Faulkner, and that would be a fitting epigraph for this series, in which the events of the past echo and resonate in the now. Molly’s artfulness in setting patterns of relationships and events in ways that illuminate each other, create foreshadowing and dramatic tension is an especially enjoyable element of the book (cf. Demeter confronting the newlyweds in the Underworld with Sophie’s dad discovering Adrian in her room over Thanksgiving break, just for one delicious example).

So just to be clear, I loved this book. But be forewarned, it is the second volume in a three book series (“Frodo was alive, but taken by the enemy,” remember?), and as such, there are unresolved story lines and emotions at the end. I can’t say I was disappointed exactly, but man, it is going to be a long wait till next June.

Who's That Girl?

I’m a huge Molly Ringle fan, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a link to my interview with her from a
couple years ago. Take a read, learn about her other amazing books, and first literary success, winner of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Award for worst first sentence!



Giveaways!

Last but not least, please enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance at winning one of two sets of Persephone’s Orchard and Underworld’s Daughter: the entries are simple. You’ll need to follow (or already be following) three people on Twitter: me (@flybrariman); Molly (@MollyRingle) and Michelle Halket, Molly’s editor at Central Avenue Publishing (@CentAvePub). I’m including Michelle because (a) she’s awesome, and (b) because Central Avenue Publishing has lots of other cool authors you should check out (one of their books I really liked was Across the Hall, by N.M. Facile, here’s my Goodreads review!). And just in case you don’t win my Rafflecopter, Central Avenue Publishing is running a really cool one, with some extra swag thrown in (that Greek coin necklace looks really cool, right?)(the picture is of all their swag, mine's just for the books).  Good luck to all, thanks for entering!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase Links

Amazon Barnes & Noble

For a limited time, Grand Central has priced Persephone's Orchard at $.99, so on the off chance you don't win one, this would be a great time to buy!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Release Day to A.L Jackson as we celebrate her new book Come to Me Softly!!

CTMS Release Celebration Facebook Banner

ComeToMeSoftlyCover.Final

Synopsis


From the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Me Quietly comes

a scorching new adult romance in the Closer to You series.



A second chance at life…

A second chance at love…



Jared Holt never thought he deserved either—until he found both in the arms of Aly Moore. Aly has loved Jared for as long as she can remember, and she’s more than ready for the future they’re making together. But Jared can’t help remembering his own family. And he’ll never forgive himself for what happened to them. How can he allow himself the very happiness he once destroyed.


To live a life worthy of Aly, Jared knows he has to stop running and finally put his past to rest. But when he decides to face his demons head on, he encounters more than he bargained for: a dangerous mix of jealousy, lies, and dishonest intentions. When those intentions threaten Aly, Jared loses all control, giving into the rage that earned him his bad boy reputation years before. And he’ll fight to protect her no matter what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.

Trailer
*Enjoy the trailer created by the wonderful Becca the Bibliophile*



BUY YOUR COPY OF COME TO ME SOFTLY


Be sure to join us for the Come to Me Softly Read Along Party! We’re kicking off the celebration on June 24th with a ton of prizes, then the read along begins. Daily prizes all the way up to grand prize on July 2nd!

Grand Prize: Coach Bag stuff with A.L. Jackson Goodies!

Read Along Party Grand Prize

JOIN THE COME TO ME SOFTLY READ ALONG PARTY!

Join the Facebook Event

Giveaway

Come to Me Softly Release Celebration Giveaway!

Grand Prize: Coach Bag, Kindle Paperwhite, and A.L. Jackson Swag

Second Prize: Come to Me Quietly Custom Charm Necklace

Third Prize: A.L. Jackson Swag Pack


BUY BOOK 1 IN THE CLOSER TO YOU SERIES

come to me quietly


Aleena Moore is content with her life. She has goals and dreams and an easy smile. She also has a secret she holds locked inside.



Jared Holt believes he doesn’t deserve to love or be loved. He destroys everything he touches. Haunted by the mistake that shattered his life, he’s fled from the memory of that pain.



Jared doesn’t know why he’s compelled to return, but finds himself drawn back to the place where it all began. The exact place where it ended. When he runs into his childhood best friend, Aleena’s older brother Christopher, he agrees to share Christopher and Aleena’s apartment while he looks for a place of his own.



Aleena is no longer the little girl Jared remembers from his past and evokes feelings in him he never wanted to feel again. Terrified of destroying her, he fights to keep her away. But her touch is something he can’t resist—the touch that sealed his fate.



Their pasts are intertwined and their futures uncertain. The only truths they know are the secrets they whisper in the night.

AboutTheAuthor

AL Jackson New Author Pic

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled, When We Collide, If Forever Comes, and Come to Me Quietly.



She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.



Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.




Look for Come to Me Softly and When We Met: Behind Her Eyes coming soon.







Instagram @aljacksonauthor

Pinterest @aljacksonauthor