Thursday, June 30, 2016

Release Blitz! Igniting the Spark by Michelle Irwin

Title: Igniting The Spark
Author: Michelle Irwin
Release Date: June 30th
Blog Tour: July 10th - July 17th
Release Boost: July 30th

Death beckons, calling Evie Myers to the darkness. She isn’t ready to leave, and Clay isn’t ready to let her go.

After fighting back from the brink, Evie’s life is forever altered. Together with Clay, she finds a home and sanctuary within the fae community. Everything has changed, and life is perfect. Or so they believe.

They soon learn their trip into the heart of the Rain kicked off a revolution, and Clay is called back into the fold. But when Evie needs Clay the most, one mission will risk it all.

When her happy ending hangs in the balance, and everything looks lost, how will Evie find the strength to fight for what she wants the most? 

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Other Books In the Series

Book #1: Through The Fire

Life could have been different for Evie Meyers. If only she wasn’t a freak.

She wouldn’t be hiding from the Rain, a secret organization intent on destroying all supernatural creatures. Neither would she have run from Clay, the object of her desire.

Her hope for love and a normal life shattered when Clay stumbled onto her biggest secret and revealed one of his own in the process—he’s a soldier for the Rain. Learning that Clay was a threat to her survival, Evie had no choice but to flee.

Now Clay’s back—battle-scarred and mysterious—and the attraction between them is undeniable. Stuck on opposite sides in the war between humans and the supernatural, there seems little hope for a happily ever after. Caught between what her heart wants and what her head knows, something has to give. What will she choose? And what price will she have to pay?


Book #2: Rise From Ash

Love has cost Evie Meyers everything. Wounded and alone, she has no choice but to learn how to survive without becoming the monster she is thought to be by the man she loves.

When she discovers a cryptic message from that very man, Clay Jacobs, her mind is thrown into turmoil. It’s second nature for Evie to run, but there is no escaping the memories of their time together. While she is certain it’s a trap, she longs to discover the true meaning of his words. With heart battling mind, her choices send her on a collision course with what was once lost, leaving her life hanging in the balance.

Can Evie rise from the ashes of her charred dreams, or will she burn in the attempt?


Book #3: Into The Rain

Evie Meyers and Clay Jacobs have found paradise in the remote wilderness. Hidden away at the ends of the Earth, they are certain no one can find them. The illusion is shattered when Evie’s former lover Aiden crashes into their sanctuary.

The tension caused by the fae’s arrival escalates when they discover the reason for his presence. An ever-present foe has kidnapped someone precious to his court, and he needs Clay’s help for the rescue. The mission will take them straight into the Rain. The path is a dangerous one, filled with dark secrets and old lies.

With echoes of the past surrounding them and a shadowed threat lurking nearby, both Evie and Clay must put their trust in the hands of an enemy. How will they find a way to reconcile their prejudices and make it out alive?

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Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.

Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Review! Country Angel by Erin Trejo, 3 Cranky Stars

Country AngelCountry Angel by Erin Trejo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*** 3 Cranky Stars ***

The potential is there, but there were a few reasons I couldn't find a way to give it much more. Let's have a little overview of the basics before I really dig into it all.

Jules is a small town farm girl, dating the captain of the football team and singing karaoke on the edge of town every once in a while, but really has never had any dreams beyond that. Really smal town girl....such a small town girl that she has never been outside the boundaries of her small town, even to the next town over.

Knox is a mysterious stranger who settles on the farm next door to Julia's family. Her momma makes an apple pie to welcome him, and sends Jules to take it to him. Early on we get some info from his POV, of why he has run away to a farm in the middle of nowhere, from fame and fortune in LA. Not so subtle hints of tragedy and guilt hit in the intro and tease throughout most of the book.

Jules seems to know exactly where her life is headed in that she will marry the town hero; captain of the football team, good looking, smart enough (or athletic enough?) to earn a college scholarship, but turns it down, and be a farmer's wife, much like her mother, in the town she has lived her entire life in. Jules assumes he refuses the scholarship because he knows his place is home and farming, but it doesn't seem they have ever discussed this. Skimming back over the intro, she says her parents encouraged her to go to college and see the world, however the way we see her parents throughout the rest of the book makes me really question that. At one point Jules says she can't leave her mom to her father's abuse. However, as events come about presenting her the opportunity to hop on a plane and go across country, she does so without a second thought.

Knox has run away from the fame and fortune he had known as the singer for one of the most popular band's in the world after tragedy strikes leaving him the only remaining living member. Many moments of Knox's story are quite poignant, and even manage to bring a tear or two to this jaded reader's cynical eyes. His survivor's guilt is really well written.

Jules loves to sing and write songs, but is scared to sing in public. But all-American hero boyfriend takes her to the edge of town to sing "karaoke" in a bar on the edge of town on a regular basis. The bar owner wants her there because he knows she will bring a crowd, and an older man from the "house band" plays backup for her - apparently her original songs, but I can't swear to that. Everything about this seems to be thrown together to further a plot line later in the book, and it seems we are supposed to suspend disbelief on so many things because it is such a small town.

I am currently a "big city" gal, and have been most of my life, but I have small town roots. I think one of my issues with the story is the way the small town is portrayed as so disconnected from the rest of the world. The "stranger" in town not being warmly welcomed by everyone is very believable, but not a single person recognizing this very famous singer who has been all over the news due to the tragic accident that killed everyone else in his band is a bit of a stretch for me.

The fact that Julia/Jules has never been even to the next town is even more unbelievable to me. Her amazing boyfriend never took her out to eat? What about away games for the football star? Did she only go to home games? Her parents never go out of their small town for anything? Even if just to get some supplies at a lower price? These things really don't sit well with me. One of my grandmother's never drove, and was from a town of 400, but she got out on a pretty regular basis, and into her 90's kept up with current events on the news and pretty much everyone else in town had internet. While many things about small towns rang true, such as everyone knowing your business, others just didn't and as I reflect back on the book that dichotomy really bothers me. I can't really go into the other side of this without delving too deeply into spoiler territory, but there is a great flip-flop to this that is made more unbelievable by the way the small town, and especially the small town heroine, are portrayed.

However there were parts of the story that truly touched me, beyond the rock star's tragedy and his struggle to acceptance and beyond. And though I couldn't relate to a number of things in the heroine's basic makeup, I still found myself getting caught up on her emotional roller coaster with Knox. There were incredibly sweet, touching and funny moments as Knox tries to become a farmer, and his friendship with a local boy was refreshing as well.

Many of the "townies" (my word) had great personalities, such as the 80 year old store owner, and the charming and wise Mrs. Masters. One particularly poignant quote from her led me to a personal connection: " You kids these days don’t realize the magnitude of a life. When you find that one special person you make it work no matter what.” Mrs. Masters picks her box up and stands, heading inside. I watch as she walks away with her memories. I want those memories and I want them with Jules." Mrs. Masters is absolutely adorable and she reminds me of my other grandma. My cousin's wife recently told me a story the of the first time she met my grandma. Her now husband was bringing her "home" for the first time so all the aunts and cousins and such could have a bridal shower for her. As they are driving down main street, Jan watches the tiniest little old lady park her car and walk across the street, with a bright purple t-shirt and big hat to go with her big smile. Jan tells her then fiance, "Oh isn't she the cutest thing?" and Bob tells her, "That's Aunt Edna." This kind of small town connection I can absolutely relate to, and there were many of those kinds of moments. I am just not sure that they outweigh the ones that I can't wrap my head around.

I almost hate to mention that I also found numerous spelling and grammatical errors in this, to the point of distraction. There were also many moments of "head hopping" - going from one character's point of view to another without clarifying the change.

I would really like to rate this book higher, because as I said at the start of the review, the story has a lot of potential. If the author would ever choose to re-edit and rework it a bit, I would be happy to reread it and reconsider my rating and review.

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Release Day Blitz! Trinity by M. Never.

Release Date: June 29, 2016
Cover Design: Marisa-Rose Shor / Cover Me Darling
Photo: Cassy Roop / Pink Ink Designs
Model: Michael Hornat
Genre: Erotic Romance
Two seductive strangers. One scandalous night. A trinity of temptation.
It was only supposed to be a single encounter. A night stripped of sexual inhibitions. We were never supposed to become romantically involved. But they were alluring and irresistible. They were also the enemy. Their company wants to take the one thing that means anything to me. Now, I'm navigating a dicey path. Loving two men who can destroy me in a multitude of ways. They can shatter my heart, wreck my dreams, but worst of all, demolish the only place I've ever called home.

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About the Author
M. Never resides in New York City. When she's not researching ways to tie up her characters in compromising positions, you can usually find her at the gym kicking the crap out of a punching bag, or eating at some new trendy restaurant. She has a dependence on sushi and a fetish for boots. Fall is her favorite season. She is surrounded by family and friends she wouldn't trade for the world and is a little in love with her readers. The more the merrier. So make sure to say hi!  
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New Review! Trinity by M. Never, 3.5 Cranky Stars

TrinityTrinity by M. Never
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*** 3.5 Cranky Stars ***

The title of this book says it's all. This is the story of Jenn, Chase and Shane. A misfit of a girl, an architect and a lawyer.

They meet at a party at a restaurant she manages. After several shots later kinky times ensue. In the stairwell. My back hurts thinking about it.

This book doesn't have much in the way of plot think of a soft core porn movie. The boys are already a couple and are looking to add a third to their life. Which is where Jen comes in. There is some drama and insta love and one jerk face boss. Throw in a caring old man and a quirky best friend and this book has it all.

The sexy times in this book had some steam but I wanted to get this girl some ice for her naughty bits. A few words made me cringe but that's all on me because I'm weird like that. Keep in mind this book is a novella so it's quick but the sex with the steamy boys isn't. So pick it up but be warned it's mainly erotica in my book which is all good. Enjoy!!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New Review! Beautiful Sin by Terri E. Laine and A.M. Hargrove, 4 Cranky Stars

A Beautiful SinA Beautiful Sin by Terri E. Laine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She's got it bad got it bad she's hot for preacher. I went into this book not knowing much about religion or its terms so it was a challenge.

This is the story of Haven and Cannan. The first chapter of this book made me cringe and made me angry for the innocence lost and this was Cannan's chapter.

Havens life was just as bad living with an abusive uncle who never wanted her. One night she seeks out the church for help and is turned away by Cannan who is an altar boy at the time who just experienced his own tragedy.

Fast forward many years and new lives later they meet again. She holds such animosity toward him and he doesn't remember why.

He's a Catholic priest who took his rites. He is married to the church. Despite his love of God he feels he has to pay repentance for past sins.

She is an upcoming artist. She decides to leave her life in New York for a new career in Chicago. They managed to forge a friendship that turned into more.

This book was difficult for me because I don't base my life in any religion. So it was a learning process to say the least. It seems the author did her research on this subject. The story was good and at times it kind of dragged a long. It was kind of bothering how he went from a God fearing living his life by the rule priest to an ass smacking hair pulling religious Christian Gray.

Besides that a good book if you can handle religious themes and it ends on a good note.

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New Review! A Writer's Guide Story Structure & Beyond: The Humorous Edition by Mary Frame, 5 Cranky Stars

A Writer's Guide Story Structure & Beyond: The Humorous EditionA Writer's Guide Story Structure & Beyond: The Humorous Edition by Mary Frame
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great read for writers who are just starting out or want to further develop their craft.

Easy and accessible, it doesn’t overwhelm or bombard you with information. Rather, it gives helpful tips on how to on everything from structure, plot, development of characters, and overcoming writer’s block.

Delivered in a humorous way, there is plenty to relate to as the author gives you insight into what she’s encountered on her writing journey and how she’s overcome it. The work gives clear examples and techniques to implement from the start to the finish.

We review a lot of books and they all fall somewhere on the spectrum. We’ve seen a lot of really good books – books that could have been great with a little more development.

If you’re an author or someone interested in writing, do yourself a favour. Pick this up. You won’t regret it.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

New Review! Sword Chronicles by Michaelbrent Collings, 5 Cranky Stars

The Sword Chronicles: Child of the EmpireThe Sword Chronicles: Child of the Empire by Michaelbrent Collings
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was asked to read this book for The Twisted Book Curmudgeon. All I can say is this is a five star book. If you are looking for a great fantasy book to read this is it.

The author takes you on a journey of the rebirth of the main character, who has no name in the beginning. She is a strong, young girl who lives in a world where "kill or be killed" is the norm.

From her lowly beginnings as a "dog", which is a sort of gladiator who must fight to the death as entertainment for the masses, she becomes a talented warrior and is given the name " Sword." All the while she dreams of a man and woman who once loved her.

The twists and turns and action in this plot made it impossible to put down. The lines between good and evil are blurred with each character Sword encounters. Who are the good guys and who are the bad is really questionable.

There is no real evil in the story. It seems the characters believe their motives are pure. The plot moves quickly and flows seamlessly - a pure joy to read.

Written for young adult reads I would say about sixth grade and up based on the sophisticated plot twists and inference used in this story. I really think adults would enjoy this book as well.

Throughout the book, I found myself intrigued by Sword and her adventures. Unlike many series, the story ends with so much explained. Yet, there is so much more I really want to know. I love when a book stays on your mind and you can't wait to read more.

I am so looking forward to the next book.

With thanks to Lilac Reviews

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