Monday, April 29, 2013

Cege Smith Author Interview/Giveaway:

Hi everyone! We haven't done a giveaway in a while so it's awesome that author Cege Smith has been generous enough to offer up FIVE ebook copies of her book, Heiress of Lies! She was also nice enough to answer a few questions for us about the book and her writing process! Below is the blurb, cover image, interview and rafflecopter for the giveaway!!! Check it out and don't miss this chance! :)

Blurb:

Blood never lies, but people do…

With the King of Altera on his deathbed, all eyes are on his only child, eighteen-year-old Angeline Robart. Called from her studies to return to her father's side, the Crown Princess is kidnapped en route by Connor, a mysterious rogue who has been waiting a long time for the chance to change his destiny.

Facing the consequences of a freak accident that even Connor could not prevent, Angeline is forced to travel a dangerous path to regain control of her fate and her kingdom. Her impossible choice requires her to rely on Connor, who epitomizes everything generations of her family tried to destroy.

As the last of the Robart bloodline, Angeline discovers that enemies she thought long conquered have been lying in wait for just such an opportunity as her father's death to turn events to their advantage. Worse yet, by uncovering those secrets, Angeline must confront the possibility that no one ever expected her to take the throne in anything but title alone.

As her bond with Connor grows stronger, she realizes they have far more in common than she ever expected, and that could make him just the ally she needs.
                                                                             * * *

Alright now it's time for the interview!!!

1.) where did you come up with the idea for your book?

I cringe to admit that the idea came during my Twilight phase. I've loved vampires forever though, so it really was just a matter of time once I started writing to craft a vampire tale. This story started off completely different, and I had an unfortunate incident where I lost that first draft. When I went back to rework it, I was out of my Twilght phase and it took on a pretty cool and interesting spin. The world of Altera and the characters who live there came alive in a new way.

2.) is there a character of yours you like more then the rest? Why?

I've published twelve individual stories now in various formats (novel/novella/serial) and Angeline Robart, our heroine in Heiress of Lies, remains my favorite character of all time. I am drawn to strong female characters in general, but Angeline's character has the extra layer of complexity in that she is royalty. With that comes a whole different level of responsibility and intrigue, and how Angeline deals with all of these things being thrown at her is part of why I think readers are drawn to her just like I am.

In the end, she's human and susceptible to the same emotions we all are so we get to see her vulnerable softer side. But she's been raised from day one knowing that she was going to be queen someday. She doesn't get to have a regular life and she was never a regular girl. I worked hard to make sure that her character was still likeable despite her rigidity around her responsibility to her destiny.

3.) was there a scene that you enjoyed writing more? Why?

There is a scene where Angeline comes face to face with someone she never expected to meet. The revelations from that encounter ripple through not only this book, but the subsequent books in the series. I think about that scene often, and it has sparked my interest in possibly writing a parallel standalone book also based on Altera once the Bloodtruth series is complete.

4.) what's your writing process like?

I am a pure play pantster, which means that I pretty much always write on the fly. Although I follow a very linear process writing each scene in order, most days I have no idea what's going to happen next. I tried once to plot out a novel, but what I found was that by the third chapter my characters were going off script and doing their own thing. So far what I'm doing is working for me, so I'm not going to fix something that isn't broken!

5.) Why did you choose to write the genre that you do?

I write in the genre that I read most often (paranormal) because it's what I know best. What I've enjoyed doing in all my series though is giving a twist or bringing a different spin to the traditional mythology around the paranormal creature I'm featuring. I feel like it keeps things fresh for me.

6.) how did you come up with character names?

Usually I just make them up and change them later if they don't feel right. I will go look at baby names though for inspiration if I'm stuck- and not just the current year but I'll pick a random year like 1925 and see what names were popular then. I always find one that strikes a chord.

7.) is there anything else you'd like us to know that we didn't cover?

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to put my work in the hands of readers and hearing about how much they love these characters like I do. This is a great job!

Thank you for having me!!

Thanks so much for doing this, Cege! Alright everyone you know what to do now! Sign up below in order to be entered for the chance to win a copy of this awesome book!!!!


Secret Weapon by Opal Carew

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

There’s only one thing hotter than a man in uniform…when he takes it off.



Threesomes and men of the law have always been two of Janine’s biggest turn-ons.  So when her boyfriend offers to invite one of his buddies from the police force into their bedroom, it’s an offer she can’t refuse.  But when the extra man shows up, the last thing she expects is for it to be Sloan Granger—a man from her past.



Janine is the one woman who Sloan’s never been able to forget, and now that their worlds have collided, he has a second chance to win her back.  Even though she refuses to let him back into her life, he’s determined to change her mind—no matter what the cost.  His love for her has always been his greatest weakness, but this time, it’s also his most powerful weapon….

* * *

I wasn't as impressed with this one as I was with another of Opal Carew's books. There wasn't very much story line, and what little there was sort of fell by the way side. I wanted to know more about Ben, Sloan, and Janine and the way their lives used to be, but we weren't given very much. The sex scenes were good, but sometimes even those felt over the top and forced. I couldn't really connect with Janine, and she never really took the time to think anything through. Being impulsive is one thing, but she wrote Sloan off right away and didn't bother giving her emotional self a chance. I couldn't really figure out why all of these guys were falling for her. The physical I get, but emotionally...I'm not sure why they were in love with her because she never really showed much personality. Sloan also seemed like a major push over half the time, and if it was for a good reason then I wouldn't have a problem with it, except, again, he kept doing all of these things for Janine and I couldn't understand why or what was so great about her. All in all, I wasn't overly impressed with this one, but if all you want is a toooon of sex scenes, then this is for you.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Unhinged On Sale!

To celebrate my new teen paranormal novel, I've dropped the price down for the weekend! So from now until Monday it'll only be $1.99! Get your copy now before the price goes back up! So far Unhinged has gotten seven 5 star ratings! Thanks to everyone who's read and reviewed!!! :) For those of you who don't know what the books about, here's a blurb, as well as a link where you can go purchase your copy for any kind of e-reader!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303574

Spencer Perry lost everything the day her boyfriend died. Even when he came back as a ghost, she was never able to return to her old self. Determined to find a way to bring both of them back--him from the dead and her from her depression--Spencer hops a ride with a Reaper across the river to the Underworld where she meets the god of the dead. Hadrian isn't what she expected Hades to be like, but when he agrees to a deal that can get her Micah back, she puts all caution aside and accepts. Too bad she didn't realize that she'd also just accepted a lot more than one gorgeous yet frustrating god. Bad things are happening all around her, and now she not only has to worry about keeping Micah's ghost status a secret from their friends, but also figure out who's behind all of the accidents. All signs point towards Hadrian, but something about that just doesn't feel right to her. Something that she hopes has nothing to do with her growing attraction towards him.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Take Me, Break Me (Pierced Hearts, #1) by Cari Silverwood

Review by Tempest.

WARNING: this is NOT a teen fiction book! This is for 18+.

Blurb:

Jodie is scraping the barrel trying to stay afloat. An idea arrives that could rescue her finances and bring her together in a kinky way with a man she never gave up on. She's terrified and fascinated, and tempted as hell.

Capture fantasies rule her eBook. Re-enacting one in a documentary would surely be irresistible viewing to millions of women?

But Jodie and Klaus discover that underneath an ordinary man dark desires may lurk. What will win in the end? The man and lover, or the monster?

Warning: Capture fantasy; dubious consent; anal play; M/f as well as one m/f/f/m scene; BDSM themes including caning, spanking, bondage, and needle play. Also contains one beginner Dom who is exploring sadism but is still working out how and when to stop.


* * *

This was an amazingly well written book. Considering the content, it's not for everyone, but I quickly became enraptured by both characters. Neither Jodie or Klaus have ever done anything like this before, so their reactions to it take them by surprise. We're able to get insight into each of them, and how they feel about their situation. For Klaus, there's a lot of guilt over what he's doing, and how much he's enjoying it. Jodie ends up feeling more free from the experience. While I'm not into half the stuff that they are, especially not the needles, I never once found myself judging them, which to me says volumes to Silverwoods skills as an author. It was easy to get sucked into the emotional side of things, and offered fresh insight into the darker side of BDSM. What I loved most about this book was that it wasn't just an erotica. While there was tons (and I do mean TONS) of sex, the entire book explores how people feel in these situations, how they get involved, and how they might react. It gave a better understanding of the how and the why people get into the BDSM world, and did a great job showing that there's nothing wrong about it as long as things are consensual. I think it's a good book to check out for someone who's curious about that kind of life style, because a lot of different things happen in it. There were a few things I realized weren't for me just by reading this. I'm definitely glad that I read this, and am now a huge fan of Cari Silverwood!  



Monday, April 22, 2013

Cora: The Unwilling Queen by Amy Hutchinson

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

What if the ancient story of Persephone and Hades wasn't just a myth?

Cora Dell has, up until her junior year, lived the ordinary life of an ordinary teenager. But that was before the dreams started-vivid dreams of another world and a darkly seductive stranger who whispers intriguing promises into her ear. When her dreams turn into nightmares, however, she suspects that her nightly journeys into this foreign world may be more than fantasy. With the help of her two best friends-and an unexpected ally-Cora struggles to find a solution that will keep her safely in the world she calls home.

* * *

It was really hard for me to decide what I wanted to rate this book. I was torn between three stars and four...In the end, I think it's more like 3.5, but seeing as how we can't do that, I went with 4. The idea behind this book follows a little more closely to that of the myth of Persephone. Hades, we don't actually know his name so I'll stick with that one, finds Cora (somehow) and decides that he wants her to be his next queen (for some reason). In order to get her, however, he has to make a bargain with someone. I won't tell you who, or go into too many details about the book because I don't want to give anything away. Basically though, Cora has to make a choice to either stay in the underworld and marry him or return to her world, the latter of which is not as easy as it sounds. I read the book in one day, so it's a quick and easy read, however there were a few problems that I had with it. For one, most things are said, "there is" and "I will" and "I did not". This made it so hard for me to stay in the story. Most people say, "there's" "I'll" and "I didn't", so it wasn't very believably that the characters felt the need to say every single word. It got frustrating really early on. Another thing was how easily she started liking Soren. They barely new each other. The connection between them was interesting, and I hope it'll be explored more in the next book, but it was still off putting in this one because it felt too much like inst-love. Not believable. Their journey through the underworld...was why too condensed. It was rushed, and that was another thing that made me shake my head and think, "this is a little too hard to buy into". The ring? Too easy. And again, with no explanation. We didn't get enough answers in this book I feel, and I really really hope that we get them in the next book. I would have also liked to see more scenes with Hades in it, and more interactions between the two of them. It felt like the characters fell by the way side because I never got to actually see them. I think the author had a really clear image of who these people were and what was going on, and because of that we weren't given as much knowledge of it. I am still looking forward to reading the second book, especially after how this one ended. I would recommend this to anyone who's interested in mythology, because it does still stick closely to the actual myth, while adding in some interesting changes.



Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.


* * *

This was one of those books that keeps getting better and better. At first, I started off thinking I was going to give it only two stars. The first hundred pages I didn't find very interesting, and it seemed to just drag on and on. I got annoyed with Perry for being so jealous that his brother caught food, especially because someone who really did want the best for the tribe wouldn't care how they were fed. However, I got over that the more we got to know Perry and Vale. Aria's worry for her mother made sense, but initially I didn't like her much because she went about finding out about Bliss in all the wrong ways I felt. Then by page one hundred I was going to give it three stars, by page one hundred and thirty it was four, and from pretty much there on it turned into five and stuck. This book ended up being phenomenal. The characters were all colorful and well rounded, and what's more believable. I could see exactly where each one was coming from, and the author never failed to keep each one in lines with their personality. I hate it when a writer warps a character and has them do something the reader feels they just wouldn't to suit their own needs. That didn't happen a single time in this book. I was pretty impressed by how easily the story flowed, and all the pieces clicked together, even ones that I weren't aware were pieces at all. I love Perry, and Aria, and even Roar. Being that I'm also not a huge fan of dystopian fiction, I'm really excited that I fell for this book so hard, and I can't wait to read the next one. I also ended up really liking the flip from POV from Aria and Perry. At first it seemed slightly tedious, though I've always loved multiple POV, but then it grew on me. The ending...wow, if it hadn't ended like that I was going to be so mad! :) All in all, I highly recommend this book! Just remember what I said about getting at least one hundred pages in first. It might seem to be going slow, but it picks up and doesn't stop rolling after that. In the end, everything, even the slow parts, make sense and it becomes obvious that they were very necessary.



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Buying MacKenzie's Baby by Kim Rees

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Flat broke and desperate, Kate Hartley runs to her ex-husband for help. However, his help comes with a high price. One she cant refuse. The morning after a high society party finds Kate Hartley in her ex-husbands bed. Just a stupid mistake; something to put behind her Until she discovers that she is pregnant. Mack had never wanted children; had only married her in a rush of lust. Kate knows this. Nothing would drive her to ask anything of him. Nothing. But shes homeless and flat broke. And it isnt only her welfare now. However, Mack has his own agenda. Kate had fooled him once; married him for his money. Whored herself It was why he had divorced her. But now his grandfather has threatened his mothers home if Mack doesnt marry and produce an heir. He had vowed never to marry again. But Kate Hartley is his only choice. And pay back can be sweet Warning: This book contains explicit sex.

* * *

I'm a huge fan of Kim Rees (also known as Kim Knox). It started with reading her book, Dark Dealings and falling in love with her character Heyerdar, who to this day, still stands as one of my favorite male leads of all time. However, this book was slightly disappointing. It's not the only book that I've read under her name Rees, one which she uses to write contemporary romances, and I really liked the last one that I did. There were just a lot of issues I had with the characters in this one. For one, the female lead comes off weak and a major pushover throughout the entire book. Even in the end when she finally sums up enough courage to tell him off, she only gets a few sentences out before dropping it altogether. Every time he comes and they start arguing, finally talking about the things that upset them, she counters with "I'm tired" and immediately wants to just go to bed. This is fine the first few times, but to have it happen each and every one...It got frustrating, especially because all they had to do was sit down and talk it out like adults. The male lead wasn't much better from the get go. Mack was a jerk, plain and simple. Later on in the book, once things are spelled out and explained, I found myself forgiving him a little, but it would have been helpful to get a sense of his emotions for Kate earlier on. Instead, because whenever we were thrown into his head we saw only how much he hated her, I ended up hating him. It makes sense that they'd both fall for her sister after all the proof that she'd supplied, and it's clear from the beginning that it's something like this that's torn them apart, but it was still far too frustrating for me to watch Kate act. She'd swoon for him even thinking that he was having an affair with her little sister. What? We also never find out why he'd kissed Fran in the streets that day. Or let her kiss him I guess. Kate should have confronted him early on, but she didn't. She was between a rock and a hard place, sure, but I don't know, she still seemed like too much of a wuss. I didn't hate it in the end, because like I said once all the pieces snap together you can explain their actions (mostly) the only problem is I had to put them all together myself, which sort of makes me feel like I was making excuses for them. It's ok that he believed her crazy sister because she had pretty good proof, though rationally he could have asked her a little better, etc. Things like that. If you're a fan, I'd still read it. I ended up giving it three stars which means I still liked it so...and the very second we start seeing Mack actually thinking good thoughts towards her you start to like him. The ending is worth it, but the rest of the book is frustrating.



Surrender (Bound Hearts, #1) by Lora Leigh

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Book 1 in the Bound Hearts series

Cole has wanted Tess for years. And he's warned her of this several times. He's also warned her HOW he wants her. Tied down in his bed, under his domination, surrendering to his desires . . .
* * *
Short review, sorry about that. :) But this book is an erotica so WARNING for those of you too young or not into that kind of thing. That's also why this is so short, I won't give anything away or get into inappropriate details. And trust me, this book had many. ;)
This was a really good book about accepting who you are. Despite the fact that Tess's mother has done everything in her power to make her daughter feel dirty and wrong for her desires, Cole somehow manages to convince Tess that she's not disgusting for wanting the things that she does. All in all, I loved the characters, and the way that they reacted to one another. Tess was a strong female lead who was unsure of herself, but she never came off as naive or a push over, which was good.  It was a short read that packed a lot of punch. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series, though I'm not sure how I feel about reading about her mother...who I hate. :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

His to Command by Opal Carew

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Kate is a modern businesswoman who knows exactly how to run her well-organized world. But underneath her professional exterior lurks a secret that she’s been running from for years—a fierce desire to be dominated that both exhilarates and terrifies her.  And there’s only one man who’s ever tempted her to lose control.

Powerful executive Matthew Pearce gave Kate her first taste of what it means to surrender completely at the hands of a dominant man, and she's never been able to forget. Though she’s spent years trying to outrun her feelings for him, a chance encounter changes everything . . . and this time she might not be able to escape. Deciding to give in to her deepest desires, Kate agrees to spend a week at Matt’s mansion exploring her submissive side under his masterful instruction. Just when she starts to fall deeper and harder for him than ever before, a terrible secret from his past threatens to tear them apart, and Kate must decide whether to finally trust Matt with her heart . . . or leave him behind forever.

* * *

I really liked this book! It's the first by Opal Carew that's I've read, and I definitely plan on reading more by her! Originally, this book was released in six parts, but I bought the book in its entirety. While I can see where it would have been split into sections, I'm glad I read it all together. And I literally did. I finished the book in a day. I loved Matt and Kate, as well as that we were able to see into both of their minds. The pieces of their story were believable, and it was understandable where they were each coming from. The outside forces that tore them apart...anyone would have fallen for it, and it was very well thought out. The only issue I had with the book was how Kate accepted herself so quickly. The second he says he'll give her a week to help her, all of a sudden it's almost like she's not afraid at all. Her fear had a lot more to do with what happened in the past, and I would have liked to see her tackle her own insecurities a little better. However, the ending was amazing, and I loved that the tables turned and we got to see that she could step up and he wasn't afraid of stepping into the submissive role for a change. It really showed that he never had any intentions of controlling her, as well as that he wasn't opposed to switching it up every once and a while. Control freaks aren't my type, so I was glad to see he wasn't one. It made their love feel more real and solid. There was enough throughout the book to keep my interest, and the sex scenes were well written. I found another book by Opal Carew and plan on reading it as soon as possible, that's for sure. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a good read with steamy scenes and complex characters with internal struggles.



Borne (Fireborne Trilogy, #1) by K.A. Tomasovich

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Maya has just lost everything: her parents, her home, her life. Now she must start over in the mysterious forests of the Catskills. While trying to fit in at her new high school, she befriends another lost soul, Cayne. Together, they must solve the riddle posed by the discovery of a long-dead aunt, an enigmatic grandmother, a monster in the woods, and a unique, glow-in-the-dark feather. Somehow, Maya must have the courage to discover not only who she is, but what she is.

* * *

This book had an interesting premise, one that I spent a good part of the story trying to figure out right along with Maya. I picked up on the clues, especially the few in the forms of letters that we were given and she wasn't, but was never really clear on what exactly it was her family descended from. Up until the very end, I was unsure, which made the discovery well worth it. The major problem I had with this book is that time moves way too quickly. It's already months in by the time we get to the end, and yet almost nothing has happened. Cayne's brought in to live with them almost immediately, and there's no room for us to see any actually relationships forming between the two of them, or between Maya and her brother. There's one point in the book where her brother snaps at her for not giving their grandmother and Jakov a chance, however, in the beginning he felt the same way about them and it's unclear what's changed his mind. When he finds out the weird things his sister can do, he thinks it's cool and strange, and then the two go off to class like it's no big deal. It just didn't seem like characters reacted in a way that was believable most instances, which threw me out of the story. If you find a scary monster in the woods, are you still going to camp out there? What? Can it not claw it's way through the thin walls? Another thing, is that the tense constantly changed. It would slip from past to present, which was also annoying. Back to Maya, she makes assumptions when she should be thinking more level heatedly, and doesn't make them when the situation calls for it. For instance, she found photos in an abandoned cabin and automatically assumed that it meant Jakov was a killer. Because he couldn't possibly have just been in love with the girl from the pictures, right? Then, when her book turns back up mysteriously in her locker, she doesn't even think to assume it's from the guy who'd taken it in the first place. I understand there are certain things that characters can't know in order to move the story along, but if their reactions (like turning a blind eye) seem forced, then it doesn't work. I gave this book three stars, despite my little rant, because the concept in the end was different and more original then some of the other stuff out there. I've never read the myths that it's supposedly based off of (at least that's what I read in another review, so I apologize in advance in I'm misinformed about that) but now I want to. Cayne's part in all of this is also something that I want explored. All in all, I fell that with some touch ups on the tense, and then maybe the lengthening of some scenes and condensing of most others, this book get a lot better. I'm glad that I read it and I would recommend to anyone who has a few hours to sit and read about something other then vampires and the usual. 



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Heir Untamed (Latvala Royals, #1) by Danielle Bourdon

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Desperate for work to avoid eviction from her Seattle apartment, photographer Chey Sinclair accepts a rare opportunity to travel abroad and photograph Latvala Royalty. Encountering the Royals for the first time, Chey experiences an instant attraction to Mattias, second in line to the throne. He's charming, confident—and taken.

During a horseback ride to clear her head, Chey finds herself in a scuffle with Sander Fisk, head of security. Rugged, determined and sharp tongued, Sander is infuriating as well as intriguing.

Faced with conflicting emotions and a mystery unfolding in the castle, Chey must decide between men: a Prince of Latvala, or an arrogant rogue.

She discovers the hard way that this particular fairy tale was more than she ever bargained for.

* * *

Before I start the review, just want to say sorry for all the shorter ones lately guys! :/ All of the books I've read over the past week have either been so complex (or easy) that I didn't want to say too much and give away integral plot info, oooorrrr I loved them so much I couldn't find enoguh wrong with them to say anything more then it was great! :) Happens sometimes. Anywho, just wanted to explain the shorter reviews as of late, who knows, I'm not liking Under The Never Sky so much right now, so maybe a lengthier review is in my furture. ;)

This was a fun almost Cinderella-like story about a photographer who's just about to be evicted (and who lost her parents nine months ago in a car accident) who suddenly gets invited to photograph royalty in their own country for four months. Of course, once there, she ends up developing an attraction for one prince, and something more with another man. From the get go it's obvious that there's more to Sander then we're being told, but the plot really could go one of two ways, neither of which I'll spell out for you because I don't want to give away the book. However, it was interesting trying to discover which direction it would end up taking. As far as love triangles go, there really wasn't much of one in this book. The blurb makes it sound like there is, but trust me, between her and one of the male leads there really isn't anything but mutual attraction, which neither of them even ever act on. While slightly predictable, I found that the dialogue and the plot moved smoothly, making it an all together enjoyable read. There were times where I found myself yelling at Chey for being stupid and a bit naive, but I got over it quickly when it happened. I bought the second book right after finishing this one, so it was worth it. Besides, this book is currently being offered as a FREE ebook download on Amazon, so those of you who think this might be interesting should really go and grab a copy. If you want to just sit down, enjoy an easy read with romance and a splash of royalty involved then this is for you.



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Daynight by Megan Thomason

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.

Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series

* * *

I tried really hard to like this as much as everyone else seemed to. Unfortunately, something about it just didn't click with me. I found it really hard to get into, what with all the back tracking and the multiple points of view. Usually, I love multiple POVs, but for some reason it just got a little too much for me with this book. Half the time I just wished we'd stuck in Kira and Blake's head to narrow it down some. Also, there were a lot of times where we'd be in a moment and the character would be recalling what had just happened a few hours before. It felt too much like through this I was being told what was going on instead of shown, which made me lose interest. Over all, I loved the idea behind this book, and the set up of the SCI and what they're all about. It was definitely a grabbing concept, I guess I just wish there was more to Kira in the beginning. Certain places felt forced, and then in others it was like information was just being heaped on me. It got better further into the story; that and the concept is why I'm giving this three stars instead of two. A lot of people liked it, it just wasn't for me, so I still suggest you all checking it out. If I had to put it by numbers, I think about forty percent in was where it picked up for me, so all you have to do is make it halfway and it's better.



Monday, April 15, 2013

The Surrender of Persephone by Selena Kitt

Review by Tempest.

WARNING: I took a break from all the teen fiction I've been reading lately to read this, which is a book NOT intended for those under the age of 18 or those who don't like to read erotica. Just so you know :)

Blurb:


Sheltered Persephone, Goddess of Spring, never gets to do anything- thanks to the suffocating love of her mother, Demeter. Sephie is being carefully groomed to follow in the footsteps of the two -virgin- goddesses, Athena and Artemis, and while they sure do have a lot of fun together, she longs for something deeper-and darker. When Aidon, the God of the Underworld-generally known as Hades-appears in his chariot to claim Persephone for his bride, the young goddess gets more than she wished for.
Held captive in the Underworld, she suddenly longs to return to the safety and security of her mother-s protection, but the dark and commanding Aidon binds her to him, claiming her bit by glorious bit as his own.  Her coming of age is one of sexual awakening as she learns the bondage her new master imposes fulfills her darkest desires.  Persephone finds herself submitting to and obeying AidonAidon, as she submits to his domination and surrenders as his wife and prepares to rule as his Queen.

* * *

This was an interesting, more sexual retelling of the myth of Persephone and how she got to the Underworld (a.k.a, how she was kidnapped by Hades). Selena Kitt is a good writer who definitely knows how to write erotic fiction. I won't giveaway the book by telling you all the different things that Persephone and Aidon "try out" together, but there are a lot. Like, A LOT, A LOT. There was definitely loads of variety in this book. It was also interesting seeing how these characters would be perceived in a setting like this. I loved how the author threw in tons of other myths as well, making it seem like they were taking place right then and the rest of the gods where discovering these things as they happened. It made it fun for me, as someone who knows a lot about Greek mythology, to see the familiar characters in the beginning and know where they'll end up. I was constantly wondering how Kitt was going to fit it into what she had going already, so that helped to keep my interest throughout. The only problem I think I had with it was that as a goddess, Persephone seems pretty useless. She couldn't even stand up for herself against a mortal. I just couldn't really see how she was a god. However, that wasn't really the main focal point of this story, so it's easily over looked. If you've got some time and want to read something steamy, this is a good book to choose!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wicked Kiss (Nightwachers, #2) by Michelle Rowen

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

My kiss can kill.

I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that's changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone's soul…or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don't…I hurt myself.

Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I'll kill him. Then there's another boy, one I can't hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They're both part of a team of angels and demons that's joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I'll be able to help Bishop—or if I'm just another part of the darkness he's sworn to destroy….

NIGHTWATCHERS: When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising…


* * *

I love this book. It was amazing, and half of me is super glad there were only two books in this series because that ending was phenomenal, while the other half is upset because it means...well, it's the end. I'm seriously going to miss Bishop and Kraven probably more than a person should miss two imaginary characters. They've definitely made it to my favorite's of all time list (which actually isn't as long as you might think). There was very little about this book I didn't like. One thing was that in the beginning, Sam was a bit naive towards certain things. It was obvious that the suicides were all connected, and it was a little annoying that she didn't figure that out earlier on. I mean, someone who'd gone through all that she just had should have had a more open mind. However, I loved the twist that came a little later, how different it ended up being. Rowen does a great job of leading the reader down a dark ally, and just when you think you've figured out what creepy crawly is waiting for you at the end, BAM. This was one of the main things I loved about the first book as well, and I'm so glad to see that that didn't change. The new additions to the cast were great. They each had real purpose in being there, and we weren't just bombarded by what these purposes were from the get go. We discovered new things about each of them, and about what was going on in the city, little by little, which helped to keep my attention. Just like with Dark Kiss, I consumed he first half of the book in one sitting. I had to forcefully stop myself because it was four in the morning and I had work the next day, but all I wanted to do was finish reading. I'm so picky about books about angels (I used to hate them, but have recently developed a slight addiction to all things involving the afterlife, including angels and demons) and I've got to say that the Nightwatchers series is by far, hands down, one hundred percent, the BEST angel books I've ever read. Ever. I would sum it up more, but I seriously don't want to give anything away. I will say that the ending was phenomenal. I was twenty pages away from it being over and scratching my head thinking, how the heck is she going to pull this off in such short time? I apologize for my doubt in you, Michelle Rowen. And I can't tell you how ecstatic I am that Kraven got to hang around too. I would have been seriously pissed if he hadn't been. I'm so glad that I read these books, and I HIGHLY recommend them to EVERYONE. Seriously, anyone who likes paranormal, plot twists, and interesting characters should check this out. It never ends up where you think it's going to, which is great, and once you start you won't want to put it down!



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Collector (Dante Walker, #1) by Victoria Scott

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

He makes good girls...bad. Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

* * *

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. It sounded interesting and funny, so I figured why not give it a shot. I'm so glad that I did. Dante is witty and, well...bad. But also oh so good, if you know what I mean. Despite the fact he starts off as a total jerk, there are still redeeming qualities that slip through his tough guy act. Getting these glimpses really helped draw me into the story, as well as hope that he could somehow find redemption at the end. The first couple of chapters, where everything is just beginning to be explained, are a little slow. Don't let it stop you though, because fifty pages in I was hooked. There were also enough twists within this story to keep me on my toes. Just as I thought I knew where one aspect was going something else happened to prove me wrong. Charlie was vastly unique in comparison to most of the other female characters being portrayed in young adult novels now-a-days. She wasn't "beautiful" or secretly gorgeous yet hidden behind glasses and messy hair. For all intensive purposes, she was actually not very attractive on the outside at all. Which is what really helped drive home the fact that internally, she was beautiful enough to attract a demon. I loved that Scott went the whole nine-yards with her outer appearance. At first, even I was a bit turned off by what Charlie looked like, so it's no wonder that she isn't very popular in school. However, she easily won me over with who she is, and how she treats others. The duality of these two characters--the physically attractive having the ugly personality and vice-versa--was amazingly portrayed here. Often that's attempted and ends up coming off more cliche then truthful, but with this book it was totally believable. I'm very interested in reading the second book, and I can't wait to find out what happens between Charlie and Dante, as well as all the other characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a little action, romance, and a lot of laughs. Seriously, this book is hilarious almost 99 percent of the time. Scott's definitely perfected dry humor down to a T.



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Unhinged Release!!!

A few things to tell you all! For starters, my new Teen Paranormal book has finally been released!!! Unhinged is a modern story telling of a girl named Spencer who enters the Underworld from Greek Mythology in an attempt to get her deceased boyfriend back. It's a stroy all about dealing with death, as well as touches base on some well known mythological tales! Here's the cover, a blurb, and a link to both where you can purchase a copy and the goodreads:


Spencer Perry lost everything the day her boyfriend died. Even when he came back as a ghost, she was never able to return to her old self. Determined to find a way to bring both of them back--him from the dead and her from her depression--Spencer hops a ride with a Reaper across the river to the Underworld where she meets the god of the dead. Hadrian isn't what she expected Hades to be like, but when he agrees to a deal that can get her Micah back, she puts all caution aside and accepts. Too bad she didn't realize that she'd also just accepted a lot more then one gorgeous yet frustrating god. Bad things are happening all around her, and now she not only has to worry about keeping Micah's ghost status a secret from their friends, but also figure out who's behind all of the accidents. All signs point towards Hadrian, but something about that just doesn't feel right to her. Something that she hopes has nothing to do with her growing attraction towards him.


 Buy here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303574

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17735501-unhinged

In other news, some of you might have noticed a new page link at the top! That's for Independent Edits, and any of you out there looking for an editor should really check it out. Jami has helped me with this book, and did a great job with editing it! She's looking to work with other independent authors at affordable prices! :)

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1) by Michelle Rowen

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

I don't do dangerous.

Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back.

Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me....

NIGHTWATCHERS

When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...


* * *

Deciding what to rate this book was actually really hard for me. On the one hand, I read more than half of it in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down. On the other hand, there were things about it that I didn't really like so much. Yet, at the same time, the thought of giving it less than five stars didn't sit right with me so...Usually I save the five star rating for books that I LOVE, as in, can't live without kinda love. While this book was amazing, I'm not sure if my devotion goes that far. I did love the plot; this was probably the most interesting telling of a story where demons and angels have to work together. I really liked the main character as well. There were a few times where she does something that I get frustrated about, but within the next twenty pages she always seems to make up for it. I like that. It gives her depth but also makes sure that we know she's not an idiot. She's confused because of her situation and doesn't know who to trust. I do feel that the blurb is a little misleading when talking about how she's this "goody-goody" because that's not really her. At all. She's not terrible, but she isn't the (excuse the pun) little angel that the blurb makes her out to be either. For one, she's shoplifted before. Not really something someone who's boring and "ubber-careful" would do. I also don't think someone "ubber-careful" would get that close to a complete stranger in the beginning. The person that Sam actually ends up being though, I really like her. She keeps saying that she doesn't have enough courage, yet she's constantly walking into the fray. I felt that there was a really could portrayal of inner battling going on. She wasn't quite sure who to trust or who to be. The relationships between her and the others, as well as the others among themselves, was really interesting. I love Bishop and Kraven both. There were a lot of plot twists as well, some that seemed obvious and turned out not to be, and others that I didn't really see coming at all. In the end, we were left with just as many answers as questions, yet at the same time were given enough to feel satisfied but still wanting more. I bought the second book almost immediately after finishing this last night so that says something. I guess the fact that I can't really think of that much more to say about it proves that I did love it, because that always happens with a book that I really like. I don't want to give too much of it away. Again though, for those of you who might be avoiding this because it seems like Sam is just another one of those "quiet, meek, goody-goody girls" don't buy into it. She really isn't. Is she a badass? I wouldn't go that far (though she does have her moments) but it's clear that this first book is about her coming into her own. I feel like in the second she'll probably leave even more of that sugar sweet cliche good girl behind. I've been reading a bunch of books on angels lately, and I've got to say that this is probably my favorite so far. The only downside might be the insta-love that takes place, but then again...the guy is an angel. I can't be all that sure I wouldn't fall instantly in love with a hot knife wielding angel myself. ;)




Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1) by Wendy Higgins

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


* * *

I ended up really liking this book. The plot was interesting and unique, and for the most part the characters were all very colorful. Turns out quiet Anna Whitt is more than she seems, which she discovers after going to a concert with her best friend Jay. I loved how the author incorporated being an empath with this story line, and it was very interesting in the beginning seeing how Anna dealt with being able to see and understand others emotions through colors. The blurb describes her as an, "ultimate good girl" and for the most part this seems to be true, so much so that there are times where I got really frustrated with her for being so naive. Then again, once I got to know Patti better, I couldn't really blame Anna any longer. I suppose if I was in a similar situation, I'd attempt to keep us away from temptation and anything "bad" as well, but it seemed like Patti had never heard that age old adage about needing to allow your child to make mistakes and give them room to breathe otherwise they'll end up rebelling. While Anna didn't rebel per say, she definitely began coming into her own and keeping things to herself. Which is also something we know from the start that she did. For Anna, it's clear there's a big difference between lying and withholding information. Though there was one point in the book where she actually says she doesn't lie even if someone asks her she's ok and she's not, yet a handful or so pages later she ends up doing just that to Jay. He asks her if she's alright and she lies and says she is. That bothered me a little. Either make her ok with telling little white lies, or don't mention it at all. There's really no both ways with something like that, because then it makes it feel like Anna is actually lying to me, the reader. The middle of the book with the road trip was probably my favorite part. Higgins pulled off writing the timeline for that perfectly. I didn't feel like any of it was rushed, or took too long. It explained what was going on, focused on the important interactions between the two of them, and skated over (while still supplying enough details that I knew what they were doing) those parts that didn't bear a full on display. Which was probably why the end of the book was so disappointing for me. Kaidan sends her away and she goes, for one that makes it feel like all that progress she'd just made was moot. Then they don't talk for a while, talk again, don't, etc. etc. She pretty much "realizes" that it's over between them two or three times, which just seemed repetitive. I also really hated that the last part of the book rushed through four or five months. That felt pointless to me. I understand that the author wanted to get the main "bam" moment of the plot to fall on New Years, but it just didn't work for me at all. I felt like not only was I missing a lot of what was going on in their lives, but it also seemed ridiculous how poorly she was still reacting to not being with Kaidan by then. I couldn't buy into it, which sucked. That's also why I dropped from five stars to four. If the ending wasn't so rushed, I might have loved this book instead of just really really liked it. Certain points of the plot line other than this seemed forced as well, like characters are just doing what the author wants them to instead of what their personalities imply they would, however most of these are easily looked over, and don't deter from enjoying the story. For an interesting twist on the Angel/Demon concept, I do recommend this book. Even with the ending I was pulled right into the story, and can't wait to find out what happens next.