Posts Categorized: Book Tour

Blog Tour – Undertow by Michael Buckley

May 4, 2015 Bonnie Book Reviews, Book Tour, Early Review, Giveaways, Read in 2015 3 Comments

I received this book free from Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour – Undertow by Michael BuckleyUndertow by Michael Buckley
Series: Undertow #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on May 5th 2015
Pages: 384
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eARC
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


four-stars
*Amazon Purchase links are Affiliate links*

For fans of Rick Yancey and Marie Lu, Undertow is book one in this much-anticipated, genre-breaking, breath-catching new trilogy for teens from New York Times bestselling author Michael Buckley in which a 16-year-old girl is caught in an epic clash of civilizations when a society of undersea warriors march out of the ocean into modern-day Coney Island.

First, we feared them. Then we fought them. Now they might be our only hope.
Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s best chance for survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga!

About Michael Buckley

New York Times bestselling author Michael Buckley was born in Akron, Ohio. He tried his hand as a stand-up comic and lead singer for a punk rock back before attending Ohio University. After graduating with honors he moved to New York City to be an intern on the Late Show with David Letterman which led to stints developing programming for Discovery Networks, MTV, MTV Animation and Klasky Csupo (producers of Nickelodeon’s Rugrats). Today he lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Alison, and their son Finn.

‘All of them were in a state of metamorphosis. Tails became legs. Fins sank into flesh. Gills vanished, causing their owners to choke on their first breaths of air. There were elderly creatures, babies, teenagers, and families, all climbing onto the beach, eyeing us with wide-eyed wonder. At first they numbered in the hundreds, then thousands, until eventually I could no longer see the sand for all the bodies.’

Three years ago, a mysterious species of ocean-dwellers emerged from the depths of the sea to take their place on land. Since those three years, the creatures that call themselves the Alpha have set up camp on the beaches of Coney Island leaving the humans in the dark as to their intentions. In an attempt to integrate the Alphas into society and to hopefully suppress the ongoing intolerance they face, the government has negotiated that some of their children attend public schools. Lyric Walker has a secret which has caused her to keep a low profile in an attempt to avoid close scrutiny. The disclosure of this secret could mean her death yet when she’s assigned to personally work with the prince of the Alphas she becomes fearful that her secret won’t be secret for very long.

Undertow is strongly reminiscent of one of my favorite movies, District 9where a race of aliens arrives on Earth in an attempt to find refuge. It’s nothing like you would expect since it focuses less on the invasion itself and more on the prejudices and hatred that these different species face. The injustices that they suffer. Undertow takes a similar route with these creatures that are immediately forced to undergo an intolerance that no species should ever have to endure. It was also reminiscent of the racial desegregation during the American Civil Rights Movement when black students became allowed to attend “white schools”, just with another species of course. Regardless of who the “foreigner” is though it showcased just how rampant xenophobia can become in our narrow-minded society.

‘Its skin is swamp brown and highlighted in eggplant purple; its mouth is a huge gaping hole. Teeth lean in all directions like tombstones in an abandoned cemetery. Its empty eyes are calm and black, offering little evidence of life or intelligence, and a long, wormlike appendage dangles from the top of its head to its bottom lip, ending in a bright, glowing bulb. It grunts and clicks and barks at us.’

The most interesting aspect of this tale was the descriptions and detailing of the sea creatures which only added to their alluring mystery. There are various different clans among the Alphas which are basically different forms of the same species and they’re all interesting (and sometimes terrifying) in their own way. The Alphas were fierce and ferocious creatures and the mystery surrounding their appearance on land remains a mystery for the greater part of the novel. That mystery possessed an interesting twist that I thoroughly enjoyed and can’t wait to see how it pans out in the next installment.

Undertow is more than some science fiction invasion story. It’s a story about family and honor, of respect and deference.  And about overcoming prejudices and not standing for intolerance. Undertow was a most appealing tale and a tenacious start to this trilogy.

5 winners will receive a prize pack that contains an Undertow beach towel, beach bag, bookmark, a finished book. US Only.

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This post was a part of the ‘Undertow’ blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.
Be sure to check out the other tour stops below!

Week One:

4/27/2015- Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf– Interview
4/28/2015- Mom With A Kindle– Interview
4/29/2015- Moonlight Gleam Reviews– Book Trailer Post
4/30/2015- Word Spelunking– Review
5/1/2015- Bewitched Bookworms– Book Excerpt

Week Two:

5/4/2015– For the Love of Words– Review
5/5/2015– Novel Novice – Guest Post
5/6/2015– The O.W.L.– Review
5/7/2015Library of a Book Witch– Review
5/8/2015– Literary Meanderings  – Sneak Peek of Book 2 Post

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The Stars of Summer Blog Tour

April 30, 2015 Bonnie Book Reviews, Book Tour, Early Review, Middle Grade, Read in 2015 9 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Stars of Summer Blog TourThe Stars of Summer by Tara Dairman
Series: All Four Stars #2
Published by Putnam Juvenile on May 5th 2015
Pages: 336
Genres: Contemporary, Foodie Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: All Four Stars

four-stars

It’s not easy being an undercover restaurant critic—especially when you’re only twelve years old!

With her first published review under her belt, Gladys Gatsby is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and reviewing. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley. As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy: she struggles to pass her swim test and can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches. The worst part is she can’t seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper and sneak away for her latest assignment—finding the best hot dog in New York City. But when it turns out her hot dog assignment was a dirty trick by a jealous reviewer, Gladys’s reviewing career may be over forever.

About Tara Dairman

Tara Dairman is the author of ALL FOUR STARS, which was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and a Mighty Girl Top Book of 2014 for Teens and Tweens. She is also a playwright and recovering world traveler. She grew up in New York and received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College. After surviving the world's longest honeymoon (two years, seventy-four countries!), she now lives in Colorado with her husband and their trusty waffle iron.

All Four Stars series

Early Review – All Four Stars by Tara Dairman

All Four Stars (All Four Stars #1) by Tara Dairman {PurchaseMy Four Star Review!}

“Find the best hot dog in New York City.

Leave no street corner unvisited, and no dog untasted!”

Gladys Gatsby is now twelve-years-old and there isn’t anything she’s more enthusiastic about than delicious foods. Since that incident with the blowtorch (it really was only a small fire), Gladys has convinced her parents to allow her more opportunities to improve her skills in the kitchen. Gladys also continues to review for the New York Standard even though it’s becoming increasingly difficult to come up with excuses to visit restaurants in the city. Her newest assignment seems to her to be a strange and difficult one: find the best hot dog in New York City. The situation becomes even more difficult when her friend Charissa gives her a summer pass to her parents day camp, Camp Bentley where she ends up in charge of the lunches which she finds to be both exciting and stressful. Will Gladys be able to continue juggling all the things she has going this summer and still manage to somehow the perfect hot dog?

Gladys is back and still just as adorable. The Stars of Summer has our heroine undertaking a monumental task with discovering the perfect hot dog. I thoroughly enjoyed the exploration through multiple cultures from Iceland to even South Africa. Hot dogs are shockingly common in far more places than just the United States! Her descriptions of the exotic foods she gets to sample will once again leave you wishing you could share in her adventure of the taste buds. And while her adventures did often feel a bit lacking in credibility (attending an awards show in New York City minus any parents? She is only twelve…) I admittedly found myself so completely lost in the cuteness of it all that it was easy enough to overlook and just sit back and enjoy. The friendships Gladys has developed since All Four Stars are incredibly touching and most notably was the inclusion of the two boy-girl friendships. With multiple secondary yet still well-developed characters, Dairman has managed to bring to life a full cast of characters this time around that will only enhance future installments in this series.

 The Stars of Summer is once again another addition to my well-loved list of foodie fiction stories. In addition to the most appetizing sounding foods, you’re treated to one of the most adorable children in fiction. In addition, there’s a light and charming sense of humor throughout. Most highly recommended.

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This post was a part of ‘The Stars of Summer‘ blog tour.
Be sure to check out the other tour stops below!

Monday, April 27: Katie/Bookish Illuminations
Tuesday, April 28: Aeicha/Word Spelunking and Emma/Awkwordly Emma
Wednesday, April 29: Sylvia/A Baked Creation
Thursday, April 30: Bonnie /For the Love of Words
Friday, May 1: Lisa/Fic Talk
Monday, May 4: Lucy/The Reading Date
Tuesday, May 5: LAUNCH DAY!
Wednesday, May 6: Dahlia/Daily Dahlia
Thursday, May 7: Karen/For What it’s Worth
Friday, May 8: Jen/Pop! Goes the Reader
Monday, May 11: Stephanie/Kitchen Frolic
Tuesday, May 12: Brenda/Log Cabin Library
Wednesday, May 13: Michael/Project Mayhem and Wendy/The Midnight Garden

Image Credits
Author Photo/Tiffany Crowder @ Crowded Studios
Blog Tour Button/Kristin Rae
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Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway! The Deepest Poison (Clockwork Dagger Duology 0.5) by Beth Cato

April 24, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Early Review, Read in 2015 2 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway!  The Deepest Poison (Clockwork Dagger Duology 0.5) by Beth CatoThe Deepest Poison by Beth Cato
Published by Harper Voyager on April 28th 2015
Pages: 48
Genres: Steampunk
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

Octavia Leander, a young healer with incredible powers, has found her place among Miss Percival's medicians-in-training. Called to the frontlines of a never-ending war between Caskentia and the immoral Wasters, the two women must uncover the source of a devastating illness that is killing thousands of soldiers. But when Octavia's natural talents far outshine her teacher's, jealousy threatens to destroy their relationship—as time runs out to save the encampment.

 

Fans of Beth Cato's debut, The Clockwork Dagger, will love this journey into Octavia's past—as well as an exclusive excerpt from the sequel, The Clockwork Crown!

About Beth Cato

Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair outside of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a number-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham.

‘Before I found Miss Leander, I had been the most powerful medician in Caskentia. My aptitude at a young age even enabled me to have an audience before the late King Kethan. Now it was as though I wore the customary headmistress title of Miss Percival simply because I had borne the name for so long, the way one wears shabby clothes because of sentimentality and good fit.’

The Deepest Poison is a short prequel story that introduces Octavia Leander, a young, powerful healer. Told from the point of view of her teacher, Miss Percival, it’s clear from the start that there is severe animosity between the two due to Miss Leander’s abundant powers. This story takes place at the front line of battle between Caskentia and the Wasters, the two healers must work together to uncover why soldiers are coming down with a deadly sickness.

To me, a good prequel story is a brief snippet that encourages your interest in a new series. While I’m sure that this prequel will reveal some future plotlines, it can be read before or after the full-length novels. I haven’t yet read The Clockwork Dagger so I went into this new world blind, however, my interest is definitely piqued. I loved the introduction to both main characters albeit short and sweet and the magical aspects of the story were most interesting and I look forward to them being delved into further.

‘The world of The Clockwork Dagger isn’t Earth, but it’s based on World War I and its aftermath. I made an effort to ground non-magical details in medical and military reality.’

What I loved most was discovering that this world and the ongoing war is built around the model of World War I. It’s always so fascinating to be in the know of what influenced an author to write such a story. The brief glimpse of this world is certainly intriguing and while your answers aren’t all answered, this was still a most satisfying prequel.

Winner will receive one copy of A Clockwork Dagger. US Only!

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This post was a part of ‘The Deepest Poison‘ blog tour.
Be sure to check out the other tour stops below!

Week One:
April 20 A Dream Within A Dream (Review)
April 21 Curling Up With A Good Book (Interview)
April 22 LuLo Fan Girl (Review)
April 23 iFandomsCollide (Guest Post)
April 24 For The Love of Words (Review)

Week Two:
April 27 Taking It One Book At A Time (Review)
April 28 Brooke Blogs (Guest Post)
April 29 Insane About Books (Spotlight)
April 30 Bibliophilia, Please (Review)
May 1 Goldilox and the Three Weres (Review)

Me, My Shelf & I

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Book Tour Review – Little Beach Street Bakery (Little Beach Street Bakery #1) by Jenny Colgan

April 9, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2015, TLC Book Tours 6 Comments

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review – Little Beach Street Bakery (Little Beach Street Bakery #1) by Jenny ColganLittle Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
Series: Little Beach Street Bakery #1
Published by William Morrow on March 31st 2015
Pages: 448
Genres: Chick-Lit, Foodie Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


three-stars

In the bestselling tradition of Jojo Moyes and Jennifer Weiner, Jenny Colgan's moving, funny, and unforgettable novel tells the story of a heartbroken young woman who turns a new page in her life . . . by becoming a baker in the town of Cornwall

A quiet seaside resort. An abandoned shop. A small flat. This is what awaits Polly Waterford when she arrives at the Cornish coast, fleeing a ruined relationship.

To keep her mind off her troubles, Polly throws herself into her favorite hobby: making bread. But her relaxing weekend diversion quickly develops into a passion. As she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, each loaf becomes better than the last. Soon, Polly is working her magic with nuts and seeds, chocolate and sugar, and the local honey—courtesy of a handsome beekeeper. Packed with laughter and emotion, Little Beach Street Bakery is the story of how one woman discovered bright new life where she least expected—a heartwarming, mouthwatering modern-day Chocolat that has already become a massive international bestseller.

About Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan is Scottish born and bred, born in Ayrshire in 1972, but currently lives and works in London. After graduating from Edinburgh University, Jenny worked for six years in the health service whist moonlighting as a cartoonist and doing stand-up in the outer fringes of London’s comedy circuit.

When Polly’s long-term relationship comes crashing down and with it the business they’ve built together, she’s left to start over completely from scratch. With so few options available to her, she agrees to rent a run-down flat with a leaky roof on the island of Polbearne. She finds solace in utilizing her baking skills and filling the air of the island with the enticing smell of freshly baked bread.

St Michael's Mount.jpg
St. Michael’s Mount
Source

Polbearne, a quaint seaside village off the coast of England, is based off the actual island St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. Colgan’s descriptions of the village were thorough, detailing not only the people and their way of life but of the town itself and the sole causeway being the only way to come and go on the island. While the people in the village weren’t always the most friendly (since they saw Polly as an outsider), the village itself sounded like a such a lovely place to reside with its small shops on cobbled streets and a ruined yet still charming castle on the top of a hill overlooking the island.

Polly’s ever-constant baking was also given much detail and constantly left you craving delicious breads. After one particularly tasty sounding chapter I became determined to also become a master bread maker. Long story short, I failed miserably. Bread is FAR harder to bake than Polly makes it sound like just so you know! I didn’t actually attempt any of the recipes included in the story (Cheese Straws, Sweetcorn Fritters, Cinnamon Rolls, Focaccia, and my favorite: Shortbread) but I’m determined to try again. Someday.

This fun little foodie novel is not without its fill of drama though. Polly immediately begins butting heads with her landlord who is the sole baker on the island and Polly’s freshly baked bread is hampering her sales. Her landlord has her own personal history that ends up being told as a side-story. Polly also gets involved in some romantic complications that ends up being something akin to a love square. While I’m not a fan of love triangles and especially squares in general, what really disappointed me with this one in particular was the lack of chemistry between Polly and any of the men. What I loved most about Polly was her empowering story of hitting rock bottom and finding the strength to not only make a living but to find out who she is while being on her own again. The romance element wasn’t completely necessary in my opinion and especially not that many romances. It made it all avoidably messy and I would have appreciated a much more simplistic story in that regard.

I don’t know how I’ve failed to mention the best part of the story this far into my review! When Polly moves to Polbearne she unintentionally takes on a new pet which she names Neil. Neil, the puffin.

Neil was by far the cutest addition to the story even though he was unrealistically tame, but whatever! Now I want a pet puffin.

Little Beach Street Bakery is a sweet, entertaining tale about learning to navigate the harsh realities of life and finding what you’re passionate about. It’s the perfect read for foodie fiction fans and readers simply looking for a light-hearted read.

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This post was a part of ‘Little Beach Street Bakery‘ blog tour.
Check out the other tour stops below!

Tuesday, March 31st: Bibliotica
Wednesday, April 1st: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, April 2nd: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, April 3rd: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, April 7th: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, April 8th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, April 9th: For the Love of Words
Friday, April 10th: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Tuesday, April 14th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, April 16th: Walking With Nora

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Book Tour Review – Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan

March 19, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2015, TLC Book Tours 1 Comment

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review – Fiercombe Manor by Kate RiordanFiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan
Published by Harper on February 17th 2015
Pages: 416
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


three-stars

In this haunting and richly imagined dual-narrative tale that echoes the eerie mystery of Rebecca and The Little Stranger, two women of very different eras are united by the secrets hidden within the walls of an English manor house

In 1933, naive twenty-two year-old Alice—pregnant and unmarried—is in disgrace. Her mother banishes her from London to secluded Fiercombe Manor in rural Gloucestershire, where she can hide under the watchful eye of her mother’s old friend, the housekeeper Mrs. Jelphs. The manor’s owners, the Stantons, live abroad, and with her cover story of a recently-deceased husband Alice can have her baby there before giving it up for adoption and returning home. But as Alice endures the long, hot summer at Fiercombe awaiting the baby’s birth, she senses that something is amiss with the house and its absentee owners.

Thirty years earlier, pregnant Lady Elizabeth Stanton desperately hopes for the heir her husband desires. Tormented by the memory of what happened after the birth of her first child, a daughter, she grows increasingly terrified that history will repeat itself, with devastating consequences.

After meeting Tom, the young scion of the Stanton family, Alice becomes determined to uncover the clan’s tragic past and exorcise the ghosts of this idyllic, isolated house. But nothing can prepare Alice for what she uncovers. Soon it is her turn to fear: can she escape the tragic fate of the other women who have lived in the Fiercombe valley . . .

About Kate Riordan

Kate Riordan is a British writer and journalist who worked for the Guardian and Time Out London. She is also the author of Birdcage Walk and is already at work on her third novel. Born in London, she now lives in the Gloucestershire countryside.

‘Fiercombe is a place of secrets. They fret among the uppermost branches of the beech trees and brood at the cold bottom of the stream that cleaves the valley in two. The past has seeped into the soil here like spilt blood.’

In 1932, twenty-two-year-old Alice Eveleigh finds herself pregnant by a man she thought she loved but is already married to another. In an attempt to spare the family scandal, her mother sends her to stay with an old friend, Mrs. Jelphs, at Fiercombe Manor in the English countryside until the baby is born and they can give it up for adoption. With nothing to do to keep her occupied, Alice gets drawn into the curious history of the Stanton family and the previous residents of Fiercombe that seemingly disappeared without a trace. Discovering a diary kept by Elizabeth Stanton which details her pregnancy only increases her curiosity and the more she finds out about her, the more she fears she’s destined for the same fate.

‘Elizabeth. That was the first time I saw her name. What did I think, if anything? I’m sure I traced the letters with my finger; perhaps I even whispered it under my breath, the hiss of the second syllable, the sigh of the last. But that was all. My interest in her and the estate’s history was fleeting then – a faint glimmer of intrigue that glowed and then dimmed again, though not before it had lodged itself at the back of my mind, ready to be brought out later.’

This book had everything going for it: Gothic setting in the English countryside, the dual-narratives/timelines that inevitably collide with one another in the end, and even a creepy Rebecca-esque housekeeper. It was everything I should have loved, and I did, for the most part. The issue I have with most dual narratives is the fact that one is most generally always more interesting than the other, as is the case with Fiercombe. Elizabeth’s narrative set in the late 1800s centered around the common affliction that was terribly misunderstood of puerperal insanity, a form of postpartum depression. It’s always difficult reading about medical issues being misconstrued in the past resulting in far worse instances than should have occurred. But Elizabeth’s narrative was not only terribly sad but it was gripping and truly haunting. Alice’s narrative involved her trying to uncover information about Elizabeth, having formed something of a mental kinship to her from her diary since most of Elizabeth’s writings were during the time when she too was pregnant. The attempt to join the two narratives together wasn’t exactly convincing, and Alice’s fears were tame in comparison to Elizabeth’s genuine ones, although my interest in finding out what happened to both women never seemed to wane.

Fiercombe Manor kept me fully invested to the very end with atmospheric writing and a haunting past revealed piece by piece.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton {PurchaseMy Review}
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier {Purchase}
The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio {PurchaseMy Review}

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This post was a part of ‘Fiercombe Manor‘ blog tour.
Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.

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Book Tour Review – The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan Mallery

February 26, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2015, TLC Book Tours 1 Comment

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review – The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan MalleryThe Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #1
Published by Mira on February 24th 2015
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


four-stars

Susan Mallery, the New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters, is world renowned for her "insightful, funny, and poignant" stories (Booklist). With her brand-new Mischief Bay series, she brings vivid color to the story of three friends on the brink of a new life. 

Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time.

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all.

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.

About Susan Mallery

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has won the hearts of millions of readers around the world with books described as “immensely entertaining, intensely emotional” (RT Book Reviews), “hilarious” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and “heartwarming” (Publishers Weekly). One major retailer recently described her as “the queen of romantic fiction.” While she deeply appreciates the accolades of critics and booksellers, Mallery is even more honored by the enthusiasm of her readers and the word-of-mouth that catapults her toward the top of the bestsellers lists time and again.

Mallery lives in not-so-sunny Seattle with her husband and a toy poodle who makes her laugh every day and who’s not even a little bit impressed by her growing fame.

Nicole, Shannon, and Pam are three friends that are thrown some unexpected curve balls in life with only their friendship to help keep them afloat. Nicole’s husband has quit his job unexpectedly to pursue his dream of being a screenwriter leaving her to care for their child, the household and still maintain her full-time job. Shannon has dedicated her life to her career, sacrificing anything and everything especially romance, but when she goes on a blind date she finds herself rethinking her priorities. Pam has quite the perfect life but thinks her marriage could benefit from a little excitement, unfortunately, her perfect life is thrown into an emotional upheaval when she’s forced to experience true loss.

This is my first Susan Mallery book but I was most pleased with this heartwarming story. I don’t often read contemporary stories because I typically like to escape to a world unlike my own, but sometimes it’s comforting to read stories that you can truly understand and appreciate on a personal level. This was certainly one of those types. All three women managed to possess a certain characteristic that I could relate to despite the variation in ages among them. Nicole’s amount of responsibilities becoming a stressful burden on her, Shannon’s desire to connect with her new boyfriends family and the difficulty of being a step-parent and Pam’s struggle to stay strong in the face of adversity. It was at times a sad tale but in the end managed to become a truly inspiring story of perseverance and the true power of friendship.

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This post was a part of ‘The Girls from Mischief Bay‘ blog tour.
Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.

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Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway! The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan Mallery

January 29, 2015 Bonnie Book Tour, Excerpt, Giveaways, TLC Book Tours 65 Comments

Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway! The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan MalleryThe Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #1
Published by Mira on February 24th 2015
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girls of Mischief Bay

Susan Mallery, the New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters, is world renowned for her "insightful, funny, and poignant" stories (Booklist). With her brand-new Mischief Bay series, she brings vivid color to the story of three friends on the brink of a new life. 

Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time.

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all.

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.

About Susan Mallery

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has won the hearts of millions of readers around the world with books described as “immensely entertaining, intensely emotional” (RT Book Reviews), “hilarious” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and “heartwarming” (Publishers Weekly). One major retailer recently described her as “the queen of romantic fiction.” While she deeply appreciates the accolades of critics and booksellers, Mallery is even more honored by the enthusiasm of her readers and the word-of-mouth that catapults her toward the top of the bestsellers lists time and again.

Mallery lives in not-so-sunny Seattle with her husband and a toy poodle who makes her laugh every day and who’s not even a little bit impressed by her growing fame.

I’m thrilled to be a part of the Exclusive Excerpt tour for Susan Mallery’s new book and series, The Girls of Mischief Bay. Be sure to check out the full tour list below as all excerpts are in sequential order and each stop has a separate giveaway opportunity for you to win the fabulous prize pack!

The Girls of Mischief Bay Excerpt Tour:

Monday, January 26th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, January 27th: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, January 28th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, January 29thFor the Love of Words
Friday, January 30thThe Romance Dish
Monday, February 2ndRead – Love – Blog
Tuesday, February 3rdPeeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, February 4thBook Mama Blog
Thursday, February 5thBook Reviews and More by Kathy
Monday, February 9thBooks a la Mode
Tuesday, February 10thSatisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Wednesday, February 11thAlways with a Book
Thursday, February 12thAs the Pages Turn
Monday, February 16thA Bookish Escape
Wednesday, February 18thWhy Girls are Weird 
Friday, February 20thFrom the TBR Pile

 

Chapter Two

Pam walked through from the garage to the main house, Lulu keeping pace with her. In the mudroom they both paused. Pam fished her small handbag out of the tote, then hung the larger bag on a hook.

The open area served as a catchall for things that otherwise didn’t have a home. There was a built-in storage unit with plenty of hooks, shelves and drawers. The latter were mostly filled with Lulu’s various clothes.

Now Pam eyed the lightweight sweater her pet wore and decided it would keep the dog warm enough until bedtime. Like the rest of the family, Lulu wore PJs to bed. Pam didn’t care if anyone laughed at her for that. She was the one Lulu cuddled next to under the covers and she wanted her dog wearing something soft when that happened.

They continued through the house to the kitchen. Pam pulled her cell out of her purse and stuck it on the side table by the hall, then checked on the Crock-Pot she’d left on that morning. A quick peek and stir confirmed the beef burgundy was coming along. She added the vegetables she’d already prepared and stirred again, then went out the front door to collect the mail.

The day had warmed up nicely. February in the rest of the country could mean snow and ice. In Southern California there was every chance it would be sunny and seventy. Today was no exception, although she would guess it was closer to sixty-five. Hardly reason to complain, she told herself as she pulled the mail out of the box and started back toward the house.

Mischief Bay was a coastal community. Tucked between Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach, it had a small pier, plenty of restaurants, a boardwalk and lots of tourists. The ocean regulated the temperatures and the steady light breeze made sure there wasn’t much in the way of smog.

She and John had bought their sprawling ranch-style home ages ago. Jennifer, their oldest, had been what? Three? Pam tried to remember. If Jennifer had been three, then Steven had been a year and she’d been pregnant with Brandon.

Oh, yeah. She had been pregnant all right. There’d been the charming moment when she’d thrown up in front of the movers. Brandon had been a difficult pregnancy and she’d been nauseous a lot. Something she brought up every so often—when her son needed a little humbling. As all children did, now and then.

She paused to wait for Lulu to do her business by the bushes and studied the front of the house. They’d redone much of both yards a few years ago, when they’d had the house painted. She liked the new plants that edged the circular drive. Her gaze rose to the roof. That had been replaced, as well. One of the advantages of having a husband in construction—he always knew the best people.

Lulu trotted back to her side.

“Ready to go in, sweet pea?” Pam asked.

Lulu wagged her feathered tail and led the way. Pam glanced down at the mail as she walked. Bills, a letter from an insurance agent she’d never heard of—no doubt an ad—along with two car magazines for John and a postcard from the local high school.

Pam frowned at the postcard and turned it over. What on earth could they…?

Lulu walked into the house. Pam followed and automatically closed the door. She stood in the spacious foyer, afternoon light spilling onto the tile floor.

But she didn’t see any of that. She didn’t see anything but the stark words printed on the postcard.

Class of 2005. Fellow Cougars—save the date!! Your 10-year high school reunion is this August.

There was more, but the letters got blurry as Pam tried to make sense of the notice. A ten-year high school reunion? Sure, Jennifer had graduated in 2005, but there was no way it had been ten years, had it? Because if Jen was attending her ten-year reunion, that meant Pam was the mother of a woman attending her ten-year high school reunion.

“When did I get old?” Pam asked, her voice a whisper.

Involuntarily, she turned to stare at the mirror over the entry table. The person staring back at her looked familiar and yet totally wrong. Sure the shoulder-length dark hair was fine and the irises were still hazel-green. But everything else was different. No, not different. Less…firm.

There were lines around her eyes and a distinct softness to her jaw. Her mouth wasn’t as full as it had been. Ironically, just last November she’d turned fifty and had been so damned proud of herself for not freaking out. Because these days fifty was the new thirty-five. Big deal, right?

John had thrown a huge party. She’d laughed over the gag gifts and had prided herself for achieving the big 5-0 with grace and style. Not to mention a pretty decent ass, thanks to the three-times-a-week classes she took at Nicole’s studio. She hadn’t felt…old. But that was before she had a daughter who had just been invited to her ten-year high school reunion.

Sure, she’d had kids young. She’d married John at nineteen and had Jen when she’d turned twenty-two. But that was what she’d always wanted.

She and John had met at Mischief Bay High School. He’d been tall and sexy, a star player on the football team. His family had a local plumbing company. One that worked in new construction rather than fixing stopped-up toilets.

John’s plans had been set. He was going to get his AA in business from Mischief Bay Community College, then work in the family firm full-time. He would start at the bottom, earn his way to the top and buy out his parents by the time he was forty.

Pam had liked how he’d known what he wanted and went after it. When he turned his blue eyes on her and decided she was the one to share the journey, well, she’d been all in.

Now as she studied her oddly familiar and unfamiliar reflection, she wondered how the time had gone by so quickly. One second she’d been an in-love teenager and now she was the mother of a twenty-eight-year-old.

“No,” she said aloud, turning away from the mirror. She wasn’t going to freak out over something as ridiculous as age. She had an amazing life. A wonderful husband and terrific kids and a strange little dog. They were all healthy—except for Lulu’s ongoing issues—and successful and, best of all, happy. She’d been blessed a thousand times over. She was going to remember that and stay grateful. So what if she wasn’t firm? Beauty only went skin deep. She had wisdom and that was worth more.

Text Copyright © 2015 by Susan Macias Redmond
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.

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One lucky reader will receive the California Dreamin’ Prize Package which includes the following prizes:

A Pacific blue beach towel
Pure Paradise body cream
Luxury moisturizing bath bar from the San Francisco soap company
An autographed copy of EVENING STARS by Susan Mallery (the first book with a character from Mischief Bay)
Flip-flop tea candle holder
Map of Mischief Bay
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY Post-It book
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY bookmark
Handy bath mini-tote
Susan Mallery lip gloss
Susan Mallery 3D luggage tag
Susan Mallery pen

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below.
Open to U.S. and Canada residents only
Giveaway ends February 12th, 2015

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This post was a part of ‘The Girls from Mischief Bay‘ excerpt tour.
Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops and the tour stops for the upcoming review tour.

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Book Tour Review – Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes #2) by Anthony Horowitz

December 19, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2014, TLC Book Tours 2 Comments

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review – Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes #2) by Anthony HorowitzMoriarty by Anthony Horowitz
Series: Sherlock Holmes #2
Published by Harper on December 9th 2014
Pages: 304
Genres: Detective, Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel

three-stars

The game is once again afoot in this thrilling mystery from the bestselling author of The House of Silk, sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate, which explores what really happened when Sherlock Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty tumbled to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls.

Internationally bestselling author Anthony Horowitz's nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty--dubbed the Napoleon of crime" by Holmes--in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls.

Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. Moriarty's death has left an immediate, poisonous vacuum in the criminal underworld, and there is no shortage of candidates to take his place--including one particularly fiendish criminal mastermind.

Chase and Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes's methods of investigation and deduction originally introduced by Conan Doyle in "The Sign of Four," must forge a path through the darkest corners of England's capital--from the elegant squares of Mayfair to the shadowy wharfs and alleyways of the London Docks--in pursuit of this sinister figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty's successor.

A riveting, deeply atmospheric tale of murder and menace from the only writer to earn the seal of approval from Conan Doyle's estate, Moriarty breathes life into Holmes's dark and fascinating world.

Sherlock Holmes Series

The House of Silk (Sherlock Holmes #1) by Anthony Horowitz {Purchase – My Review}

About Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is the author of the international bestseller The House of Silk and the New York Times number one bestselling Alex Rider series for Young Adults. As a television screenwriter he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle’s War, both of which were featured on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery. He regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was awarded an OBE for his services to literature. He lives in London.

“But the man had hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. A criminal strain ran in his blood.”

Professor Moriarty is a criminal mastermind and nemesis of the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes. Moriarty brings to life occurrences following the disappearance of the duo after they vanished into the mist of Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland. Picking up the narrative of this story is Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase who has traveled to Europe intent on following the trail of an American criminal by the name of Clarence Devereux who supposedly intends on taking over Moriarty’s criminal activity now that he’s gone. When the trail leads Chase to Reichenbach Falls where Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard is investigating the incident, the two inevitably team up to assist one another.

Leaving Switzerland, Chase and Jones travel back to London intent on determining the identity of Devereux but shortly into their investigation, the brutality begins. Their first key witness is brutally murdered as well as his entire household with no apparent reasoning behind the extravagant violence. Unfortunately, this ends up being only a sneak peak as to what’s in store for the rest of their investigation.  Dark and dangerous, the longer the search continues the more mysterious things begin to appear. The mystery felt very jerky and was missing a cohesive flow in comparison to Silk. The evidence that Jones would find which inevitably took them to the next location to search for more clues felt like they were being pulled out of thin air rather than when Holmes would discover evidence and would then rationalize how he came to that conclusion it always led to an a-ha! moment that lacked perfect sense once explained. Jones modeled his life and habits after Holmes and made a decent attempt at learning his tricks of the trade and while he might have transformed himself into a clever copy he was still highly identifiable as far from the real thing.

Watson played narrator in Silk and did a superb job, but in Moriarty, we’re given Frederick Chase and suffice it to say I definitely missed Watson. It’s easy enough to compare the two books (Silk definitely comes out on top) however, the two are so vastly different in several regards that it’s a disservice to do so. When comparing Moriarty to the original canon, it’s bound to disappoint, however, judging on its own merits it’s a fairly solid mystery with an incredibly shocking twist that makes you rethink everything that came before. I had my suspicions that all was not as it appeared, and I was right, but my guesses were still far from the truth.

It’s not necessary to enjoy this story even if you haven’t read all of the Holmes classics, however, I would definitely recommend you’re at least familiar with The Sign of the Four and especially the short story The Final Problem. Moriarty definitely felt less authentic as a pastiche than Silk did but for Holmes fans looking for anything to scratch that itch, this will satisfy it albeit temporarily.

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This post was a part of the Moriarty blog tour.
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Book Blitz + Giveaway! Bold Tricks by Karina Halle

December 17, 2014 Bonnie Book Tour, Giveaways 0 Comments

Book Blitz + Giveaway! Bold Tricks by Karina HalleBold Tricks by Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #3
Published by Forever on December 16th 2014
Pages: 352
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Romance-Suspense
Format: Paperback
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Come Alive, Shooting Scars, Bold Tricks

The third and final installment in Karina Halle's USA Today bestsellingArtists Trilogy, now available in mass market paperback.

The Faster They Live, the Harder They Fall . . .

Raised by con artists, Ellie Watt has a lot of crazy childhood memories-but none crazier than being scarred with acid by the demented crime boss Travis Raines. Now Ellie is a full-grown woman who lives for revenge, and Travis is a full-blown drug lord who kills for pleasure. The sadistic bastard has kidnapped her good friend Gus as well as her mother, whom he's been holding as prized possessions in his heavily guarded lair. And Ellie has only one chance in hell of getting them out alive-using two dangerous men who love her to death . . .

One is Camden McQueen, a talented tattoo artist who's made a permanent mark on Ellie's heart. The other is Javier Bernal, her fiery ex-lover who's busted more than a few heads in his time. From the crime-ridden streets of Mexico City to the predatory jungles of Honduras, this unlikely trio forms an uneasy alliance in the deadliest game of all-a gun-blazing battle to the finish that will pit enemy against enemy and lover against lover. And Ellie must choose the right man to trust . . . or die.

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and the USA Today Bestselling author of Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, and other wild and romantic reads. She lives in a 1920s farmhouse on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1) by Karina Halle {Purchase}
On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy #1.5) by Karina Halle {Purchase}
Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy #2) by Karina Halle {PurchaseMy Review}
Bold Tricks (The Artists Trilogy #3) by Karina Halle {PurchaseMy Review}

Today marks the release of the final installment of Karina Halle’s ‘The Artists Trilogy’ in print (and with an awesome new cover to complete the collection!!) I’ve already had the pleasure of reading this entire trilogy and it is hands down one of my favorite Dark Contemporary Romances. Check out below for an excerpt for the book and also a giveaway opportunity!

The motel room was a lot nicer than the one we stayed at before. Sort of a Best Western, middle-ground quality of place. No roaches on the floors, no geckos on the wall. Shit mattresses, I discovered as I pounded my fist on the bed, but I didn’t care.
Camden had just put the final box on my bed, Violetta sprawled out on hers in a state of drug-induced euphoria, when I noticed Javier lingering at the doorway.

“I’m going to be meeting Dom in about twenty minutes,” Javier said to me. “Is that enough time for you to get ready?”

I frowned and he quickly added, “You know he’ll want you there, if this is going to get anywhere. I figured you might want to shower and look nice.”

He rapped his fingers along the doorframe, his mouth opening as if to say something else, then he turned and walked off.
Camden eyed me. “I’m going with you.”

“You might be kind of drunk, Camden,” I told him, though the determination in his voice warmed me like the finest cognac.
“I’ve never felt better,” he said, enunciating each word. His eyes, my god they were still such a clear fucking blue, even in the pallid light of the hotel room. They bore into me with such startling clarity, sending shivers down my back like trailing fingertips. He would be coming with me.

I wished he’d be coming in me. A vision of us in this hotel room, alone, him nailing me to the bed, the headboard banging, slammed into my head.

“Are you okay with that?” he asked.

I suppressed the thought, the flare of heat between my legs, and smiled quickly. “Yes, of course.”

Meanwhile Violetta’s head flopped to the side, her arm still bound to her stiffly in the sling, and started snoring lightly. I motioned to her. “Do you think it’s safe to leave her here?”

He watched her for a few moments, blinking a few times, before saying, “I think she needs to sleep it off.” He went and sat down on my bed. “I’ll be here when you get out.”

I grabbed my bag of clothes I had brought out of the car and brought it into the bathroom. I had a quick shower, trying to rub off all the grim – both real and imagined – with the flimsy hotel soap, then picked through my clothes. Everything that had been in my trunk was musty and wrinkled, some even dirty. I had a packet of unopened (and decidedly unsexy) Hanes underwear, a bra, another pair of jeans, a pair of gladiator sandals that I thought were dressy enough, a pair of Timberland hiking boots, a plain white tee shirt, a couple of wife-beaters, a coral-colored blouse, a plaid shirt, and a light blue tank dress that went to the ground. I wasn’t exactly known for my fashion sense and even with the cherry blossoms covering the scars on my leg, bringing me beauty that I didn’t have before, I didn’t see myself branching out anytime soon. Dressing up in my old clothes for Javier hadn’t exactly helped either.

I slipped on the tank dress, opting to go commando for the evening, and put on the sandals. I looked at myself in the mirror. Once again, I felt like a different person was staring back at me. This me, this Ellie, was tired and hardened. I rubbed the residue mascara away from under my eyes and applied a new coat. My skin was brown from the sun now and I didn’t need much else.

When I came out of the bathroom, Camden straightened up on the bed. I felt strangely shy in front of him, especially as his eyes trailed up and down the length of me.

“Do I look okay?” I asked him, feeling the need to say something. “I mean, if you can see me, that is.”

He bit his lip and stared, a multitude of emotions flashing through his eyes, too fast for me to pick up on each individual one. I thought I saw lust in there – maybe that’s what I wanted to see.

When he still didn’t say anything, I walked over to the dresser where I had my clutch purse left over from the other night at Travis’s and rifled through it for my lip stuff. His silence at my back was a heavy weight, laden with too many uncertainties between us. It was eating at me, burning through me, rendering me with a lead heart. There were so many things I had to focus on, to worry about, fucking impossible things, and yet I needed him to tell me I looked beautiful. I needed him to tell me I was something to him.

I heard him get off the bed and walk toward me, that heaviness, that warmth that he brought with his bones, teased at my back. He stopped, close enough to touch me, and I was about to turn around, perhaps to do something foolish, when he crouched down.

“How is my art?”

His hands found my leg, one of them lifting the hem of my dress, the other slowly moving over the cherry blossom tattoo. I sucked in my breath, holding completely still, trying to contain my nerves that were firing wildly as his fingers ran along the ridges of the ink. He touched me gently over every vine, leaf and petal, until I had to supress a shaky moan that that tried to escape from my lips.

“It feels fine,” I said softly when I found my voice.

“It looks beautiful,” he said.

“I had a beautiful artist,” I told him. I turned at the waist and look down at him, my blue dress glowing in his tanned hand, his other one placed firmly around my calf, his strong fingers imparting heat that sunk deep. He was looking up at me, lips parted slightly.

I couldn’t take a second more of this.

I turned and dropped to the ground, my knees rubbing against his.

I grabbed his face, his rough stubble pressing into my palms, and kissed him.

Hard.

There was surprise for a second, a hesitation, a pulse that refused to beat on. Then Camden kissed me back, his soft lips enveloping mine, his mouth opening to give me life. He put his hand behind my head, holding it there with power and control.
My heart was an elevator car, the cable suddenly snapped, and I was freefalling and falling and falling as his lips and tongue and hot, wet mouth took away every inch of my resolve. The more he kissed me, the deeper and longer we found each other, the thirstier I got for him. I felt like if we stopped, I would die, empty on the inside and forever longing.

There are TEN WINNERS. You heard that right. Ten lucky winners will receive the entire Artists Trilogy collection!
Open to US/Canada only.

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The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater Tour Stop: Guest Post & Giveaway!

December 11, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Tour, Giveaways 1 Comment

The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater Tour Stop: Guest Post & Giveaway!The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater
on September 2nd 2014
Pages: 244
Genres: Horror, Zombies
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege

It is silence, not screams of terror, which proclaims the end of the world

Minji Nordim is vacationing in Las Vegas with her small family when she witnesses the beginning of a terrifying apocalypse. When humanity is transformed into mindless drones by a terrifying supernatural event only Minji appears to be immune.

Thousands die instantly, but the other affected people are drawn to the Nevada desert. Nothing stands in the way of the mesmerized. Not fire, not heights, not rubble. As the bodies pile in the streets and the relentless wave of the mesmerized plods into the deadly desert, Minji is trapped in a burning city attempting to rescue her family.

When Minji encounters other unaffected survivors, they band together to survive in a city that is crumbling all around them. With no hope of rescue and the event slowly spreading across the world, Minji and the others must decide who to save among the mesmerized and where to go before the city is in ashes.

Even more unsettling is that Minji senses that the force behind the event is observing them

Can one woman save her family and the world?

About Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.

I’m a huge fan of Rhiannon Frater’s books and I’m happy to have her on the blog today discussing her unusual heroine in her latest release The Mesmerized! The book is available now and is only $2.99 on Kindle up through December 19th!

An Unusual Heroine by Rhiannon Frater

I’m well known for my strong female protagonists in my books. I love a well-rounded female character with strengths and flaws who overcomes obstacles while becoming a better version of herself. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love writing about them. Every time I sit down to write a story, I’m excited to go on an adventure with a new characters and learn all about them.

My characters tend to show up, fully formed, and ready to tell their story. I don’t have to consciously construct them. My muse (aka subconscious) does it for me. Since I don’t base my characters on myself, it’s like meeting someone new. Their personality, quirks, flaws, strengths, and weaknesses are aspects I enjoy discovering as I write. Sometimes they’re so different from me, I have to do a lot of research to make sure I accurately portray the character.

In The Mesmerized, Minji Nordim is a Texan of Korean-Irish descent, a tattoo artist from Austin, and firmly counter-culture in her appearance. None of those aspects of her character were daunting, but her status as a parent gave me pause. She’s a wife and a mother to two small girls. Since I’m not a mother (but a kickass aunt), I immediately faced a whole new challenge.

I’ve written about mothers before, but never had one of my characters dealing with motherhood in the midst of an apocalypse. The closest is Jenni from The First Days (As The World Dies Book 1), but she has lost her children in the beginning of that book. Minji’s situation is very different because she has two living daughters with her and must fight to keep them alive against all odds. Because her husband is also caught in the supernatural event as one of the mesmerized, Minji is on her own in taking care of both her husband and children.

One of the things I’ve learned over time is to listen to my characters. I let Minji lead me through her desperate situation. The level of anxiety she felt while attempting to save her children was pretty intense, and it added a whole new dimension to the story. I swiftly realized that her priorities would be quite different from mine in the same circumstances. I’m married, but I don’t have children. My priority would be to save my husband. Minji has to deal with not only her husband being caught in the event and trying to save him, but also has to ensure the safety of her baby and five-year-old daughters. In fact, Minji’s children heighten the tension of the situation because she is their only hope of survival.

When I sent off the completed manuscript to my beta readers and to my editor at Permuted Press, I worried about whether or not I’d captured the intensity of Minji fight to keep her family alive. Did I accurately portray her motherhood? When the responses from my beta readers and editor were a resounding yes, I was relieved. When the book was released, within a day I heard from a fan who told me this book was extra-special to her because Minji is a mother. The reader could completely sympathize with her, and it made the story that much more terrifying.

Sometimes my characters take me on a journey that I learn from, and Minji definitely taught me that sometimes the toughest woman is the one with children to protect.

dvd-pearl

Be sure to check out the rest of The Mesmerized blog tour for more interviews, guest posts and reviews!

The Mesmerized Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 02, 2014 — Mom With A Kindle
Tuesday, December 02, 2014 — Team Tynga’s Reviews
Wednesday, December 03, 2014 — Addicted2Heroines
Thursday, December 04, 2014 — Horror Tree
Friday, December 05, 2014 — Hell Notes
Monday, December 08, 2014 — Christy’s Love of Books
Tuesday, December 09, 2014 — Lowcountrybooklover
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 — Cabin Goddess
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — For the Love of Words
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Contagious Reads
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Offbeat Vagabond
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Rainy Day Ramblings
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Jess resides here
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Stuart Conover’s Author Page
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Chapter by Chapter
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Ja čitam; a ti?
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Curling Up With A Good Book
Friday, December 19, 2014 — Buy Zombie
Friday, December 19, 2014 — In Libris Veritas

There are two available giveaways! The grand prize is a hardcover copy of The Mesmerized and the other is for a copy of the eBook. Using Rafflecopter, enter below!

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