Thursday, September 29, 2016

Follow Friday: Is there a book/series that everybody seems to love, but you can’t stand? Why?

Prompt of the week
Is there a book/series that everybody seems to love, but you can’t stand? Why? 
via Heather Fowler @ Blood Thirsty Muses

Oh yes, that's me! Hating books that everyone loved! I can think of two series now. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. 

I was drawn to Nightshade's cover, loved it. Saw lots of five-star reviews from the bloggers I was following then. As for Fifty Shades, my friends made me read this book. I didn't want to but when a guy-lawyer-friend asked me to, I thought I had to. I was intrigued that this book was recommended by a guy lawyer.  

Oh well, I hated the main characters in those series. Calla - for being insensitive and indecisive.  My heart hurt for Ren, I was constantly wishing Shay to die. Anastasia for being a weakling and the fact that this is a BDSM version of Twilight, total meeeh!  

How about you? Happy Friday!

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Free Kindle Download: Hard Habit to Break: A Chicago Love Story Novella by KT Webb

Hard Habit to Break: 
A Chicago Love Story Novella
by KT Webb

About the book:

Olivia shouldn't be checking out the sexy older guy at the coffee shop. She should remind herself what happened the last time she was drawn to a man.

Olivia should know better than to start something that could ruin both their lives.

The trouble is, sometimes the things we shouldn't do become the hardest habits to break.

Download Free Kindle

Book Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The Glittering Court 
by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Razorbill (March 28, 2017)

Kindle Edition
File Size: 2095 KB
Print Length: 403 pages
Publisher: Razorbill (April 5, 2016)
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Ratings: ★ ★  

My thoughts: 

*Sigh, deep sigh* This just didn't work for me. When the first 10 chapters were released last year, it seemed so good. I liked everyone and really thought this would be the best RM book after Succubus and VA. When this came out .... after re-reading the initial chapters, it suddenly felt meh. I was constantly bored, I struggled understanding the 'new' world / society RM created. I don't even get why the main character would runaway from an arrange marriage only to go to a court known for arrange marriages! Hmm, I just realized I don't remember the main character's real name. Yikes! If you are buying because it's RM's, sorry I wouldn't recommend this. Give it a pass.

About the book:

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands… 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday Rewind: Guest Author│Laurie Roper's Travels to the Sixth Dimension

As a fashion director, publicist, journalist, teacher, staff developer, parenting coach, seminar leader, good friend, loving daughter, major party girl in the 70’s – I've certainly had many incarnations even in this life.  These varied vocations and avocations speak to that fact.

I was born with memories of past lives, and began seeing some complex algorithms and number codes appear before my eyes, even as a child.  I decided something was up, and not getting any pertinent feedback, I finally started to delve into the mystical side of life as a young adult, studying metaphysics, sacred geometry, eastern religions' alternative healing therapies, astral projection, and all sorts of "woo woo" stuff – things which are usually described as anything outside the conventional line of thinking.

Finally, I experienced an epiphany at the tender age of 45, when I began studying Keylontic Science – the science of multi-dimensional anatomy, ascension, DNA activation and high level quantum physics, to explain how we got here (planet earth, that is), where we came from (somewhere not from planet earth), who we really are (the bigger picture, as we are not just our physical body for sure),  and where we’re ultimately going.  That could be a choice of a few options! 

With an "ahhHa!" and a big light bulb that tortuously zinged above my head, because sometimes you have to experience a little pain to be reminded, I realized I myself was an indigo – that first wave of conscious people who began to reincarnate on this planet about 100 years ago.  One of my missions would be to share the information with the new incarnates – those kids who recently choose to be born here in this space and time.  They too, have special talents, and they are even more gifted than the "old guard".  These young adults and little ones can blow your mind with their wisdom and talents because they need to share the  knowledge which will change our destiny.  They must 'step up to the plate’ ASAP!
So, fortuitously, I figured, instead of having them wait until they reached their 40's to put the puzzle together, I undertook to write a trilogy of self-help books for young indigoes as a wake-up call, in order that they may understand their abilities and use them wisely.  Now, if that’s not a cool mission, I don’t know what is!  Granted, I get a little help from my personal mentors off-planet, and I’d be delighted to share the credit with them in my new book, but they prefer anonymity for now.  

Travels to the Sixth Dimension: A Journey Through Hyper-Space is the first of a trilogy for youngsters who have the innate wisdom to know there is more to life than meets the eye, and have a thirst to know why we are here, how we got here, and where we’re going.  It’s full of heart and humor as TeTe fills in the gaps with irreverent and quirky comments to deliberately get Jackson thinking and questioning.

Purchase your copy

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Free Kindle Download: Lyric's Accidental Mate by Elle Boon

Lyric's Accidental Mate 
Iron Wolves MC 1 ~ Bite of the Moon
by Elle Boon

About the book:

A tough as nails soldier and a bad girl on a motorcycle with a bite…when they collide, everything changes.

Lyric Carmichael is a shifter in trouble. When a pack of rogue wolves attacks her, she knows she will have to fight for her life. Being a member of the Iron Wolves MC and a wolf shifter, she’s used to fighting, with the odds stacked against her, she’s not sure she’ll make it out alive.

Rowan Shade, a member of the Special Forces has fought many battles, so wading into the fight to save a gorgeous woman is second nature. Being bitten by Lyric in order to save him from a fate worse than death, and finding out there are supernatural beings, is one of the most erotic experiences of his life. He just hopes they live long enough to explore more of this new and wild world.

As Rowan and Lyric explore their new relationship, the danger to the pack intensifies. When they find out one of their own has betrayed them, the strength of the entire MC is needed in order for them all to survive the upcoming battle.

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Guest Author: Using Fiction to Interest Young Readers in Non-Fiction by Henry Herz

Using Fiction to Interest Young Readers in Non-Fiction

I think it's fair to say that parents want their kids to develop both the right-brain creativity stoked by reading fiction, AND the left-brain analytical capacity encouraged from reading non-fiction. Both help round out young minds. Both improve school grades and SAT scores. Both are useful life skills.

Sadly, many young readers view only fiction as fun reading; looking down their cute noses at “boring” non-fiction. This makes fiction the chocolate pudding of the literary banquet table. History, math, and science are relegated to the role of lima beans, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Boy are they steamed!

Now, I love fiction. After all, I write fiction picture books - like the fractured fairy tale, Little Red Cuttlefish recently released by Pelican Publishing. And I moderate fantasy literature panels at San Diego Comic-Con. That said, I've also been long fascinated by history, math, and science. 

So, how do we get kids to use both sides of their brains and eat their literary vegetables? Well, as a parent, I'm not embarrassed to admit that I've resorted to melting cheese on vegetables so my co-author sons eat what's good for them. And why not use the same technique with my writing? 

Little Red Cuttlefish is a good example of this approach. The story is an aquatic retelling of the classic fairy tale. In the original, Little Red Riding Hood is swallowed whole by the wolf - not a very savory outcome (for the girl, anyway). In Little Red Cuttlefish, the plucky cephalopod protagonist uses her wits and natural defense mechanisms to thwart a hungry tiger shark. 

Aside from a more positive message (they were called the Brothers Grimm, after all), the aquatic version is intended to spark young readers' interest in learning about sea creatures, zoology, and science in general. Toward that end, the story showcases the superhero-like abilities of cuttlefish, and an author's note serves up fascinating facts about cuttlefish and tiger sharks, an excerpt of which is below.

Cuttlefish aren’t fish at all. They are members of a class of animals that includes squids, octopuses, and nautiluses. They have a porous shell inside their bodies, called a cuttlebone, which is used to control their buoyancy.

Male cuttlefish have eight arms and two tentacles. Female cuttlefish have only six arms and two tentacles. The arms and tentacles have suckers for grabbing prey. And if that isn't strange enough, their blood is greenish blue.

Cuttlefish have an amazing ability to quickly change the color, pattern, and texture of their skin. Cuttlefish can use this camouflage to sneak up on their prey, which consists mostly of crabs and fish. 

The cuttlefish's ability to quickly change color also helps it avoid being hunted by sharks, dolphins, seals, and other predators. If camouflage doesn't work and it is spotted by a predator, a cuttlefish can squirt out a cloud of brown ink to help it hide.

Now, what kid wouldn't want the superpowers of changing color, squirting ink, and multiple sucker-covered arms? As if by magic, fiction can point young minds in the direction of non-fiction. “Why, yes, I WILL have some broccoli now.”

About Henry Herz:

Henry Herz writes fantasy and science fiction for children. He is represented by Deborah Warren of East/West Literary Agency. He and his sons wrote MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES (Pelican, 2015), WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY (Pelican, 2016), MABEL AND THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (Schiffer, 2016), LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH (Pelican, 2016), and DINOSAUR PIRATES (Sterling, 2017).

Henry and his sons have also indie-published four children's books. NIMPENTOAD reached #1 in Kindle Best Sellers large print sci-fi & fantasy, and was featured in Young Entrepreneur, Wired GeekDad, and CNN. BEYOND THE PALE featured short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Saladin Ahmed, Peter S. Beagle, Heather Brewer, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Gillian Philip & Jane Yolen, and reached #2 in Amazon Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies.

Read more HERE

Purchase your copy

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Guest Author: Fairy Tales and Fairies and Fae (Oh, My) by Henry Herz

Fairy Tales and Fairies and Fae (Oh, My)

Fairy tales are commonly defined as children's short stories featuring fantasy creatures and magical enchantments. Wikipedia artfully states, “The characters and motifs of fairy tales are simple and archetypal: princesses and goose-girls; youngest sons and gallant princes; ogres, giants, dragons, and trolls; wicked stepmothers and false heroes; fairy godmothers and other magical helpers, often talking horses, or foxes, or birds; glass mountains; and prohibitions and breaking of prohibitions.” The fairy tale is such a ubiquitous literary form, that it even has more than one classification system*.

Thomas Keightley indicated that the word 'fairy' derived from the Old French faerie, denoting enchantment. Fae is not related to the Germanic fey, or fated to die. Some authors don't distinguish between Fae and fairies. Other authors define Fae as any inhabitants of Faërie, be they large or small, good or evil. For them, Fae is the broader term encompassing not only fairies, but elves, dwarves, ogres, imps, and all other fantasy creatures. They consider fairies to be Fae who are diminutive and often ethereal, magic-wielding, and/or winged. 

Fairy Islands from Elves and Fairies by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, 1916

Fairies of either flavor have been flitting about literature for centuries. Consider Morgan le Fay in Le Morte d'Arthur, Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Oberon and Titania in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tinker Bell in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, Holly Short in Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl, all the way up to Bloom in Doreen Cronin's eponymously titled picture book and Mabel and the Queen of Dreams (inspired by Queen Mab in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet).

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others established fantasy as the subgenre of speculative fiction that employs magical elements set in an alternative world. Tolkien wrote in his essay “On Fairy-Stories” that fairy tales are distinct from traveller's tales (e.g., Gulliver's Travels), science fiction, beast tales (e.g., Aesop's Fables), and dream stories (e.g., Alice in Wonderland). He felt that fairies themselves were not an integral part of the definition of fairy tales. Rather, fairy tales were stories about the adventures of men and fantastic creatures in Faërie, a marvel-filled magical otherworld. By that definition, The Lord of the Rings is a fairy tale.

By John Bauer from The Boy and the Trolls, 1915
Urban fantasy** is a subgenre of fantasy set in an urban setting, typically in contemporary times. This setting violates Tolkien's definition of a fairy tale, since the story takes place in the “real” world, rather than in Faërie. Thus, Mabel and the Queen of Dreams, though featuring a fairy, is an urban fantasy rather than a fairy tale, or as Tolkien preferred, Märchen (wonder tale).

Regardless of subgenre, I hope readers will find in my story what Tolkien posited for Märchen generally. “Far more powerful and poignant is the effect [of joy] in a serious tale of Faërie. In such stories, when the sudden turn comes, we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart's desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through.”

*Two major fairy tale classification systems are Aarne-Thompson and Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folk Tale.

**Some notable urban fantasy includes the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, Modern Faerie Tales series by Holly Black, Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine, Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, The Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris, The Hollows series by Kim Harrison, The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, Feral series by Cynthia Leitich Smith, The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr, October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, Marla Mason series by Tim Pratt, Simon Canderous series by Anton Stout, and Borderlands series by Terri Windling.

About Henry Herz:

Henry Herz writes fantasy and science fiction for children. He is represented by Deborah Warren of East/West Literary Agency. He and his sons wrote MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES (Pelican, 2015), WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY (Pelican, 2016), MABEL AND THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (Schiffer, 2016), LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH (Pelican, 2016), and DINOSAUR PIRATES (Sterling, 2017).

Henry and his sons have also indie-published four children's books. NIMPENTOAD reached #1 in Kindle Best Sellers large print sci-fi & fantasy, and was featured in Young Entrepreneur, Wired GeekDad, and CNN. BEYOND THE PALE featured short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Saladin Ahmed, Peter S. Beagle, Heather Brewer, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Gillian Philip & Jane Yolen, and reached #2 in Amazon Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies.

Read more HERE

Purchase your copy

Recommended Read: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss 
by Stephanie Perkins

Amazon Ratings - 70%

About the book:

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more.  So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris-until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true.  Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

Book Review (originally posted on April 2013)

It's definitely 5-star for Anna and the French Kiss! Loved this book... SO. MUCH. I initially thought it was a bit teen-ish, that the story is superficial with the teen love being the center of the story. Glad that it was more than that. 

Anna Oliphant believes she's living a perfect life in Atlanta. She has Bridge, the coolest best friend ever and recently, she met the guy of her dreams, Toph. They're almost in a relationship but the romance was cut short because Anna's father, the award-winning novelist, wanted to flaunt his wealth by shipping her off to one of the best boarding schools in Paris. Instead of getting excited, Anna hated it. She doesn't want to leave her old school, not interested in meeting new friends and the fact that she will leave her 3 y.o. brother ... oh she hates her father!

On her first night in Paris, she met Meredith. She seemed cool but when she started talking about her other friends, she didn't think she'd fit with them. She still felt alone and miserable until she met Etienne St. Clair, an English/American guy with an attractive English and French accent. She's falling in love with Etienne but she can't let him know as he's already taken. 

Oh, Etienne St. Clair. Eh-t-yen.... Eh-t-yen. . . You'd go completely gaga over him. Beautiful boy, sweet, charming and the way the author describes the accent - perfect! I also love that this is a French-themed book. I immensely enjoyed the part where Etienne tours Anna in Paris. The story is basically about Anna and Etienne's teen-ish love but what sets it apart with any other books I've read in the past is that the book also focuses on friendship and family. The author provided background stories for each of the character. It was nice to know them all. I read the other day that there is a companion book for Anna and the French Kiss - definitely looking forward to reading that too! I highly recommend this book and I'm sure your money is well-spent on this one.

Purchase your copy

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Recommended Reads (Free Kindle Download): Far Horizons by Kate Hewitt

Far Horizons
Book One of The Emigrants Trilogy
by Kate Hewitt

Amazon Ratings: 5-star 43%

About the book:

The Highlands of Scotland, 1819: On the eve of his departure for the New World, Allan MacDougall asks his beloved Harriet to wait for his return, when he will be established and able to marry her. When his father discovers his intent he insists it is dishonourable, and so Allan must free Harriet from her promise even as he vows to remain faithful himself. Through years of hardship, heartache, tragedy, and betrayal, Allan and Harriet cling to the love that first brought them together--yet it is the treacherous doubts of their own hearts that could prove to be their undoing, and drive them farther apart than ever. 

Far Horizons is a sweeping saga of that will take you from the Highlands of Scotland to the untamed Canadian wilderness and the bustling streets of Boston. Based on actual events, it celebrates the strength of a promise and the enduring power of love. Written by USA Today bestselling author Kate Hewitt, and Book One of The Emigrants Trilogy.

Book Review (originally posted on June 2012)

Far Horizons is the first book to The Emigrants Trilogy. The book is about the love story of Allan MacDougal and Harriet Campbell. The premise of the story is based on true events while all other are just tales the author wove to make it more appealing for the readers. Allan and Harriet (ancestors of the author) got engaged just hours before Allan's family sailed from Scotland to Canada to start a new life. Allan's father, Sandy MacDougal thought it was dishonorable for Allan to ask Harriet to wait for him so Sandy insisted that Allan set Harriet free. Allan then returned Harriet's letters when he's already at the port waiting for their ship to Canada. This made Harriet feel Allan is not sure of his feelings for her. What would you do if your significant other went away, promised to return and marry you but you received nothing from him/her for years. No calls, no letters, nothing that would assure you that someone is still keeping the promise he/she made the last time you talked? 

If you are in an LDR (long distance romance) situation, this book is totally relatable. I've been in that situation decades ago and it was that hard. It was hard to wait for someone who's oceans away. It was even harder for Allan and Harriet because they were just not oceans away, imagine LDR without phones? Letters can only be sent through a ship that sails for months. Letters are delivered and can only be picked-up in ports? Reading this book made my heart ache, every page is truly heart breaking especially the first quarter of the story.  I loved how the author described Scotland and Canada in 1819. The settings of the story surely enticed me to finish the book quickly.

Far Horizons is a great historical romance novel, I look forward to reading the second book. Highly recommended for book readers looking for a great series to start.

Purchase your copy

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday Rewind: Guest Author│One Writer’s Journey to Becoming a Bestselling Author (Cheryl Kaye Tardif)

One Writer’s Journey to Becoming a Bestselling Author

Like most writers, getting published was a long process and a bit of a struggle, and I could have given up any time. But I had a dream—a huge one—and it wouldn’t let go of me. As a teen I yearned to be the next Stephen King or Dean Koontz or James Patterson or Heather Graham.

I queried traditional publishers and received what most authors do—rejection letters. One after the other. I have so many I could probably wallpaper my office twice. After a while, this becomes very discouraging. So I set aside my big dreams for quite a few years. Almost twenty years ago I tried again, this time with a children’s picture book. It went nowhere.

In 2003, I heard about Print On Demand publishing companies. They were similar to the old-style vanity presses but cheaper because they only printed books as readers or authors ordered them. I decided that I wanted to self-publish, and that’s the route I chose. Borrowing money from my mother, I delved into publishing my first novel, WHALE SONG. And I embraced self-publishing fully, even though many warned me it would destroy my chances and career. I set out to prove them wrong.

I published DIVINE INTERVENTION in 2004, hoping it would really take off so I could pursue writing a series. In 2005 I published THE RIVER, a techno-thriller that takes place in an area of Canada’s north that’s nicknamed the Bermuda Triangle of Canada. By this time, I had learned how to have successful book signings and how to capture the attention of the media.

In 2006 my first novel, WHALE SONG, was picked up by a small and new traditional company. It was re-released in 2007. Two years later the company went into bankruptcy after mismanaging funds. Fortunately for me, I didn’t let this stop me. In this time I managed to interest a literary agent from New York named Scovil Galen Ghosh at the time. It has since been renamed.

In 2010, Amazon’s publishing platform, now known as KDP, opened to Canadian writers, and I jumped on the bandwagon. Since then, I have successfully republished all of my works and released an average of three books a year. Around this time, I decided to separate from my agent, thinking I would simply pursue self-publishing. 2011 brought me two Chinese translation deals for WHALE SONG and CHILDREN OF THE FOG.

Then 2012 came along, and Amazon introduced KDP Select, a method for independent authors and small publishers to offer works for free for a limited time in order to gain a strong readership and possible after-sales. And it worked! One of my titles, CHILDREN OF THE FOG, was #4 on Amazon’s overall bestseller list, out of over two million ebooks. That was the year I earned 60% more than my husband did, and he had a six-figure income. It was also the year that a Turkish translation of THE RIVER came out; it was featured prominently at the Istanbul Book Fair that year.

2012 was also the year that Amazon came knocking, along with an editor from a major publishing house and a literary agent from a well-respected New York agency. Amazon offered me a couple of special promotions that were by invitation only. The publisher was interested in CHILDREN OF THE FOG but I chose not to relinquish my rights. Never would I have ever guessed, back in 2003 or earlier, that I would turn down an offer from one of the Big 5! Next, I signed with Trident Literary Agency—my second agent.

2013 was also another stellar income year. It brought me two audiobook deals.

2014 saw the release of the German CHILDREN OF THE FOG, DES NEBELS KINDER, and it immediately made multiple bestseller lists on Amazon in June. This year also brought me a 4-book German deal for THE RIVER and my Divine Trilogy, the last of which (DIVINE SANCTUARY) was originally published in English on June 18th. And there’s a big possibility that by the time this blog post comes out, I’ll have a German deal for my psychological thriller, SUBMERGED. And by the way, remember that children’s book I tried to get published almost 20 years ago? It was published this year.

So how do I feel when I look back over the past 10+ years? I have been on a wondrous journey, with exciting twists and turns, a virtual rollercoaster ride that sometimes made me wince in fear or doubt but also made me shriek with delight. I am truly blessed to be doing what I love, what I’ve dreamt about since I was a teen. I’m not the next Stephen King or Dean Koontz or James Patterson or Heather Graham, like I had hoped to be. I’m Cheryl Kaye Tardif, and I’ve learned that that is the best dream to have—to be uniquely me. J

Cheryl’s Bio:

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author represented by Trident Media Group in New York. Her novels include Divine Sanctuary, Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, Lancelot’s Lady (written under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo) and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls "a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel." Cheryl also has three Stephen King-inspired works: Dream House (short story), Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories and Remote Control (novelette). Cheryl is also the owner/publisher of Imajin Books, a hybrid publishing company.

Booklist raves, "Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border."

Cheryl's website / Official blogTwitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon / Imajin Books 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Book Review: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost
Waverly Family #2
by Sarah Addison Allen

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (January 5, 2016)

Kindle Edition
File Size: 1152 KB
Print Length: 305 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (January 20, 2015)
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

First Frost is a follow-up book to the Garden Spells.

Bay is now 15 years old and is going through a Waverly transition which she seems to be loving and hating at the same time. Like everyone in the family, she inherited a distinct magical talent, knowing things/person where they belong. Knowing Josh is her HEA, it created a huge problem as Josh is the son of her mom's first love and first real heartbreak.

Like the first book, First Frost is beautifully written. The book is so enchanting that I find myself reading it like how Georgina Kincaid reads Seth's books (reading a few pages each day). I didn't want this to be over! My favorite character in the series is Evanelle. My heart bled upon knowing her life story. As for the mysterious stranger, it was a disappointment. I found that part dull and felt cheated. I was kind of hoping something nice to come out of it but it just felt flat. Still, if you are looking for a nice, heartwarming and encouraging story, you might want to pick-up this book.

Purchase your copy

  About the book:

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly.  As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree...and the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies.  Though her handcrafted confections -- rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds -- are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby -- a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney's daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to...if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before.  And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It's where the real story begins.

Free Kindle Download: The Breathless Series Complete Trilogy: Consumed, Taken, Released by Melissa Toppen

The Breathless Series Complete Trilogy: Consumed, Taken, Released
by Melissa Toppen

About the book:

Addison Grant thought she had life all figured out. Attend college, land the job of her dreams, and marry her high school sweetheart. Everything seemed to be falling into place, or at least that’s what she thought.

Having moved from Vermont to Las Vegas with her boyfriend Grayson, the last thing Addison expected was to come home one day to find all of her belongings packed up in boxes and her eight year relationship over.

Heartbroken and lost, Addison finds herself, for the first time, unsure of what the future holds. But a chance meeting with a gorgeous bartender sets her on a path she never expected.

Liam Mason isn’t just your average bartender. There is something about him that doesn’t quite fit but Addison can't put her finger on it, nor can she deny the sparks that fly between them. As much as she tries to fight her quickly forming feelings for Liam, his constant pursuit of her makes it impossible to resist his charms.

When Addison lands a major project at work, she unknowingly sets herself up to discover that Liam is not who he says he is. When Addison learns the truth will she be able to forgive the lies or will she be forced to walk away from the one man who has consumed her entire existence?

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Recommended Read: Fixed on You by Laurelin Paige

Fixed on You
Book 1 of the Fixed Trilogy
by Laurelin Paige

Amazon Ratings: 5-star - 71%

About the book:

Fixed on You is the first book in a trilogy but ends without a cliffhanger. Due to mature material, it is recommended for ages 17+. 

Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither's past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out--move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan. But what Alayna didn't figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He's smart, rich, and gorgeous--the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson's fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it. Avoiding him isn't an option after he offers a business proposition she can't turn down and she's drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she's fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

Book Review originally posted in April 2014

The book tells the story of Alayna, a very intelligent and beautiful woman who is suffering from obsessive love disorder.  Right after finishing MBA, she  hopes to achieve her dreams of getting into the 'upper management level'. She knows what she wants, what to do and definitely what NOT to do. Do not date incredibly gorgeous men. Just focus on work and date 'safe' men. Safe means average men or above average without sparks - fuck and forget type of men. She's been clean for three years until she met Hudson Pierce, her boss.

Hudson needs to break off an engagement with his longtime girlfriend and he believes Alayna is the perfect girl to do it. Since Alayna has money problem and didn't want to disappoint her boss, she accepts the job. Only Hudson cannot be considered as 'safe' and 'average'. She knows it will be a struggle not to fall back to  her problem but she wants to try. 

I picked up this book mainly because I was intrigued by the synopsis. A woman suffering from obsessive love disorder, stalking someone, weird and dangerous behavior, yikes! Read the book and wow, loved it! I read the whole story in 3 hours and double wow, on a weekday! Yay, it was sooo good. 

I liked that Alayna, her character and the situation she is in felt real. Even if I never experienced her obsession over a guy, Alayna's story is relatable. Or maybe because falling in love with someone you 'shouldn't' have I believe everyone can relate to that. It was interesting at the same time depressing to read the story. Aww, the saddest part is falling in love with Hudson, a man who is incapable of loving. I laughed and cried with her, it was such an emotional journey for me reading this book.

Btw, I started the book not knowing (missed that part from the synopsis) this is an erotic romance book, too many HOT sex scenes in here, but I think the story alone is seriously a must read. Definitely reading book 2 soon!

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