Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Blog Tour: Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson


Buy the book: Amazon US

Title: Take This Regret
Author: A.L. Jackson
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
Target Audience: Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance / chick lit
Length: 242 pages

Story: There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives.  For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth.

Christian Davison has a plan for his life.  He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm.  Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.

After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life. 

For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.

When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgivable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate.  Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?

They say everyone deserves a second chance.

Thoughts and impressions: The decision to read this book was one of those spur of the moment things. It’s a very different sort of story to what I normally read but of course reading is all about expanding your horizons. I’m not the sort of person who really keeps to a limited reading sphere, so I figured I’d take a chance on the book!

When Elizabeth falls pregnant, Christian gives her an ultimatum: him or their unborn child. She chooses the child and walks out of his life. Six long years later, a chance meeting between Christian and a young girl draws him into the life that he’d turned his back on, the life that includes fatherhood. A small taste of what he had up until that moment never known is enough to make him crave it and he muscles his way into his daughter’s life, despite knowing that Elizabeth is less than comfortable with this change.

The story mostly focuses on the excursions that the three of them make as a family, showing the reader just how Christian is growing as a person in order to embrace the new role that he has taken on. He’s actually a very interesting character and I enjoyed observing his evolution from spoilt rich kid to doting father, even if I did often find the interactions between Christian and Lizzy (his daughter, not to be confused with Elizabeth, the mother). I suppose this reflects on my relationship with my parents. It’s a healthy relationship, but we tend to show our love through actions rather than endless direct proclamations.

Elizabeth was another matter entirely. She started off as a woman willing to make a difficult choice and ready to face the consequences of it. Unfortunately, while Christian evolved, I felt that Elizabeth devolved. Christian hurt her and she never got over the pain of his betrayal. I get it. Considering his actions, her reticence around him was taken too far and just ended up as a lot of repetition about how he’ll just hurt her again so she should keep her distance – but it’s so hard! I lose all respect for her when she held Christian accountable for her actions and made him responsible for them not having sex. When she then takes out all her fears on her daughter while claiming to be protecting her, she became a weak-willed character that was a shadow of the strong woman she’d been; a character I could not stand.

I understand why this is in the story but it just didn’t work for me personally. What’s more, once Elizabeth lost my respect, she failed to regain it before the story ended so I parted ways with her feeling dissatisfied with her character, and because of this ultimately with the story as a whole.

My copy of the book also had some formatting issues and I’d come across sentences like:

“He could wanted, but it would never change what he discarded us and he had no right in our likes. apologize all he did. He had”

Sometimes I could reconstruct these broken sentences but others I had no idea where the fragments were supposed to fit in. I couldn’t say for sure whether I missed anything important because of this.

Style: The style in the story was actually very heavily on the tell side. Both characters would often tell us the low down of their actions rather than show us the events.

The author also had a habit of using some weird syntax with constructions such as:

“He’d just disappeared in the middle of the night from our lives forever.”

Final verdict: As mentioned in the review, I found myself rather on the fence about this one. It was one that I enjoyed but at the end of the day I didn’t enjoy it as much as other readers, with different tastes to me, will do. It had certain shortcomings, Elizabeth’s character in particular, that I couldn’t get over.3.5 stars

Extra notes: Both bad language and sex are present.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Get to know the author:

1. Describe your book in ten words or fewer.

What one man would do for a second chance.

2. With such a large number of books out there, what do you feel sets your apart from all others?

Even though I write in the contemporary romance and paranormal romance genres, my books tend to be very emotional. My hope is that a reader will get so into my characters that they feel what the character feels.

3. Tell us a bit about your influences and just how / why these authors and / or their work inspire(s) you.

Even though I write in a very different genre, the author who has inspired me the most is Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander. Her writing style helped me see that I didn’t have to write in a box.

4. How did the seeds of this story come to you?

I had a vague sense of Christian when he first popped in my head. I saw a man who was living a life he didn’t want to be living. I began thinking about him and his situation, and finally the plot of the story clicked into place.

5. Which five books would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
  1. Bible. This one was easy.
  2. Survival guide. Knowing me, I’d eat something I wasn’t supposed to on the first day. 
  3. Shakespeare anthology.  I’ve always wanted to spend more time studying Shakespeare. Guess there’d be no better place than on a deserted island.
  4.  Shadowbound by Erin Kellison. Total guilty pleasure, but one of my favorite books.
  5.  Twilight. Another guilty pleasure. I could probably read it a thousand times and never get bored.

6. Who was your first book crush? (Or if you’ve never had a book crush then who is your favourite character to read about?)

My first crush had to have been Ashley Wilkes. Gone with the Wind was one of the first romances I read in elementary school. I was hooked.

7. Let’s imagine that your book’s getting turned into a movie / tv series. Woo! Which actors can you envision playing the lead roles?

Ooo…this is an easy one. Christian would be a black-haired Chris Pine and the perfect Elizabeth would be a blonde Scarlett Johansson.

8. What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not reading or writing)?

Most all of my free time is spent with my family. I spend a ton of time watching my boys (and holding my breath) at the skate park, going to the movies, or going out to dinner.  And of course I LOVE a night out with the girls.

9. If you could visit your destination of choice, which plane would you be on in the morning?

Anywhere on the Mediterranean Sea.

10. What’s your least favourite chore to do around the house?

Ugh, folding laundry!

11. Does bacon make everything taste better?

The only place Bacon belongs is on a BLT.

12. Anything else you’d like to share with us all? Extra points if you make us giggle!

Just want to say thank you to Rea for having me on!

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I wish you the best of luck with your future career as a published writer and look forward to seeing the book you churn out next!

The author:

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

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

Monday, 30 July 2012

Blog Tour: Sneak Peek of Vestige by Deb Hanrahan


The book:

Buy the book: Amazon US ; Barnes & Noble

Civil Authorities have issued a Civil Danger Notification Until Further Notice.

The following message is being transmitted by the request of The United States Government. An unknown number of citizens have gone missing. Authorities are trying to locate the missing persons. Residents are asked to stay in their homes. If you must go out, do not travel alone and carry proper identification.

Please do not call 911 to report missing persons. Emergency Call Centers and local law enforcement agencies are no longer fully staffed. The United States Military has been dispatched to assist local authorities.

This notification applies to all receiving this broadcast. Please stand by for further instructions.

Vestige is the first book in a two book series.
"This is the first book in a two book series. This book contains strong language that may be offensive to some."

The Sneak Peek:

By the time the lunch bell rang, Micah was certain that everyone had chilled, so he made his way to the school courtyard and to their usual table. As he approached his friends, he could see that Jess was crying, and then he noticed Dustin’s arm draped around her shoulder.

“Hey Jess...What’s going on?” Micah put his hand on her shoulder and pushed Dustin’s arm off.
Dustin grinned at Micah. “Just comforting your girlfriend...”

“Jess...seriously...what’s wrong?” Micah wedged himself between Jess and Dustin, forcing Dustin to slide over several inches.

“My family...my little brother and sisters are gone. The police think some cult kidnapped them...all of them.” Jess buried her face into Micah’s shoulder and continued her sobbing. “Oh Micah, what am I going to do? This is the worst day of my entire life.”

Micah put his arm around Jess and kissed the top of her pink head. “So...I guess we’re not babysitting.”

Jess stopped crying, lifted her head, and glared at Micah. She pushed his arm away, picked up her things, and marched off. Amber shot Micah a disgusted look and ran after her friend.

“Smooth,” Cody said.

“What? I didn’t mean anything by it. I just wanted to know,” replied Micah.

“Yeah right, jackass,” Dustin said. “You just wanted to know if you were still going to get some. Don’t you care about anyone but yourself?” Dustin smirked.

“What makes you think Micah’s getting any? This kid is still a virgin. Isn’t that right, Micah,” mocked Cody.

“It’s none of your business,” said Micah.

“Jess tells Amber everything, and Amber tells me everything,” said Cody.

Micah tried to change the subject. “Are we going to the park after school today?”

“Nah, man. I have to look for my dog,” Cody said. “He ran away or something. He’s been missing since last night. I let him out around 8:00, and when I went to let him back in, he was gone. I bet my dad left the gate open on purpose. He hates that dog.”

“That’s weird. My neighbor’s dog ran away too,” Dustin added. “He was yellin’ that dog’s name all night, ‘Daphne...Daphne.... Where are you girl?’ What a douche. I didn’t sleep at all.”

“I saw a lady looking for her dog this morning,” Micah said.

“Maybe the same cult that took Jess’s little brother and sisters took all the dogs too.” Dustin laughed.
Micah thought about the dog from his dream. It was still so clear. It seemed as if it had actually happened. He could almost feel the pressure of the dog’s teeth on his hand. He looked down at his open palm and gasped at the sight of two small bruises. Were those teeth marks? He turned his hand over and saw a matching pair on the opposite side. At first, Micah stared at the marks in disbelief, but then he thought about his hasty departure that morning. He must have grabbed a rough piece of wood or scratched himself on a nail.

“Let’s meet at the park tomorrow morning,” concluded Cody. “Micah, did you hear me?”

Micah snapped back to reality. “Yeah, sure...park...tomorrow morning.”

“Wanna ditch?” Since Micah wasn’t going to see Jess after school, he wanted to skip an afternoon of total boredom. He couldn’t stand the thought of sitting in the auditorium for another three hours.

“Nah, me and Amber are in the library together. She’ll be pissed if I ditch without her,” replied Cody.

“I’m in the cafeteria.” Dustin looked at Micah. “Jess is too.”

“Asshole,” Micah muttered.

“You’re on your own, Micah.” Cody stood and headed towards the school. Dustin gave Micah one last smirk and followed Cody.

“Fine.” As Micah slinked away in the other direction, he wondered where he should go. He couldn’t go home, and since he only had a fiver, he couldn’t hang out at the arcade. He eventually settled on the park.

Ever since Micah was a kid, he loved the park. It was just so…ordinary—an ordinary place where ordinary parents played with their ordinary kids. It became his refuge from the crazy. He would watch these ordinary people and take mental pictures, and these pictures would sustain his daydreams for as long as he needed them to do so. These people gave him hope that maybe one day he might have an ordinary family of his own.

The author:

Deb lives with her husband and three teenagers in the Chicagoland burbs. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Chemistry, she worked at a nuclear power plant for five years. She then left her career to stay at home with her kids.

Seemingly, overnight, she went from being crazy-busy to having way too much time on her hands. With her husband working long hours and her kids pursuing their own lives, she decided to write that novel she always wanted to write. Vestige is her second novel.

The Cover Wars: The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

Tara of Basically Books and I decided to get together to do a weekly meme where we would compare covers of the UK editions of books with those of the US editions.

The aim of this is to just have a bit of fun. We put ourselves in the position where we see both of these books side by side in the bookstore. Which would we choose? Why that one and not the other?

This week we will be comparing the covers of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist.

US cover                                         UK cover

Rea says: This is one of my absolute favourite books. It won’t appeal to all readers, but it is so very different and a fabulous gentle fantasy / steampunk. Both covers depict something from the book: the US one has the train that they’re always taking to get to the mansion where the secret society holds all their meetings; the UK one has the masks that everyone’s always wearing to conceal their identity. I think the UK one fits the feel of the story better, and obviously it worked for me as it’s a book that caught my eye when I was browsing for one to just pick up at random at an airport. UK for me.

Tara says: I don’t really like either cover. The US one has misty weather and a train track with people there, which seems very boring to me. The UK one is a lot more interesting; it’s bold and in your face and the mask on the front is very appealing. UK for me.


Week 28:     US: 4     UK: 15     Draw: 8
Do you want to join in too? Here’s how:
Step 1: Copy and paste the Cover Wars image.
Step 2: Copy and paste our intro or write your own but it must link back to both of our blogs.
Step 3: Copy and paste the US and UK cover images.
Step 4: Compare the two.
Step 5: Either use our score or keep your own score.
Step 6: Post it and share it!
Thanks and have fun!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Promo: Hacienda Moon by KaSonndra Leigh

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Buy the book: Amazon US
published today!

The blurb:

Love, obsession, and betrayal, the most powerful human emotions, are spun together in this gothic novel. Tandie Harrison is a police medium who has just suffered a divorce after losing both her psychic visions and her daughter in a car accident. When she leaves New York City to start a new life near her hometown, she moves into the alluring plantation house, Chelby Rose, and falls for its charismatic caretaker, Eric Fontalvo. Their burgeoning affair ignites a centuries old curse, ensnaring them in a web of danger, deceit, and intrigue. Soon Tandie learns that in placid Bolivia, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected.

Hacienda Moon is a seductive tale of one woman’s journey to confront the demons of her past and find the courage to face her future. It is a mesmerizing novel that explores the deepest depths of human nature, and the characters will hold and haunt you long after you have read the final chapter.

The sneak peek:

"How many months has it been since you last had sex?" Frieda asked Tandie while taking a drink. She nearly spit out her Bahama Mama as she glanced around the club full of people, thankful they sat in a place where a rock band was playing. "It's okay to say: 'Frieda I haven't had sex in ages. Jack was a royal bastard who made me feel like the ice queen. So I never wanted any.' "Frieda took another swallow of her drink. 

Even Tandie had to laugh, even though she was glad to be the designated driver. “Must we talk about something like that in a club?”

"Like that? Do you mean to say sex? Let me hear you say it?" Frieda teased.

Tandie rolled her eyes upward. "You know what I meant."

“If we weren’t in a club, you would still clam up. Mental note to me: Must take my bestie out more often before she forgets how to have any kind of fun at all. Deal?”

“All right, deal. Anything to keep you quiet.” Tandie glanced around, taking in the club scene. She hadn’t been anywhere near a dance floor like this one in almost six years. Getting involved with someone hadn’t even crossed her mind, especially while she still grieved for Breena. In the presence of a cute guy, she either stuttered or dropped her tampons at his feet.

“Frieda Tyson. You made it,” a dark-haired woman with a braid sweeping her waistline announced. A gangly man stood behind her, scoffing. Dressed in an apron, he was the thinnest male Tandie had ever seen. Spiky brown hair gave him a rock star look and the thick-rimmed glasses he wore reminded her of a movie she couldn't quite finger.

Frieda stood, embraced the woman, and stepped back to admire the huge diamond on her left hand. “Whoa! You must’ve really whipped it on him, Shania.”

“It was those tips and pointers you gave me. Now I know why you’re such a good therapist.” The two women exchanged laughs, while the gangly man standing behind them shook his head and sighed.

"Excuse, me," he said to Tandie and Frieda, "Shania, can you tell me where to sit this box of glasses. It feels like I'm holding an elephant."

"Gus, my fearless multi-tasker. Meet my co-worker, Frieda, and her sidekick I haven't met," Shania said. Her voice was light and her carefree attitude made Tandie want to know more about her.

Frieda turned to Tandie. “This is my good girlfriend, Tandie Harrison. She recently moved back here. Keep an eye on this chick, Shania. She intends to be a bestselling author.”

“Ah yes. I’ve read one of your non-fiction pieces. I especially enjoyed the one where you explain how you channel psychic energy. Excellent piece of literature,” Shania said and turned to Gus. "Put those over behind the wet bar. Those are for the Geisha celebration next week."

"It's about time," he muttered and turned to Tandie and Frieda, "Nice meeting you ladies. Try not to be strangers." His eyes were locked on Tandie, making her feel uneasy.

“Thanks,” Tandie said. Gus nodded and moved on toward the bar.

Tandie's gaze drifted off to the right side of Shania. The man sitting at the bar, the same man she’d run into at the airport a week ago, had his gaze locked on her. Tandie looked away, pretending not to notice him. But each time she glanced back in his direction he was still watching. Her breath hitched, and her pulse increased. It was the same feeling she experienced before when she last saw him.

Hugging her shoulders, she suddenly had the urge to leave the area. Frieda and Shania were engrossed in their own conversation, so Tandie had no problem slipping away.

She had wanted to investigate the rooftop dining area ever since they arrived. She headed up the steps leading to the balcony, taking in a quick breath when the cool nighttime wind bit into the top Frieda made her wear. A July night at the beach sometimes packed the same ice-cold punch as a September one. There were fewer people sitting at the tables.

Leaning on the rail facing the ocean, she took in the black view and listened to the waves sloshing against shores invisible in the nighttime hours. Something rode the waves in the distance. At first glance it resembled a cruise ship sailing along fully lit. Tandie moved over to the telescope attached to the rail and glanced at the ship. Inside the lens, the ship’s form changed. It was more like a blurry silhouette of a ship. Straining to focus on it, Tandie stretched her eyes until they felt dry. And then like magic, the ship disappeared completely from view. No lights, blurry outlines, no nothing. “Whoa. Too much Bahama Mama tonight, I think.”

"Nope. It's not your wine. Not that you'd be the type to get drunk," a woman's deeply accented voice said from behind her. The woman dressed in a red shirt and black jeans was pretty in a gothic kind of way. Her dark red lips blended in with her deep auburn tresses; but her eyes lined with mascara reminded Tandie of a burglar. "There's really a ship out there, but only certain ones of us can see it. Creepy isn't it?"

The woman studied the ocean, lost in her thoughts. Tandie always attracted strangers who would suddenly start spilling all their secrets. It had been that way for her ever since she was a little girl. But this woman along with the disappearing ship she had just seen succeeded in making her jittery. The chill in the air increased and the thin cottony blouse she wore did a lousy job of blocking any wind.

"Wow. It's really cold up here. I'm heading back inside."

"Don't you wanna know why you can see it?" the woman asked.

An invisible force stopped Tandie in her tracks. There was no way this woman could be talking about the ship she just saw. "Not really, I’m good," Tandie answered truthfully, turning to study her face.

"We can see it because I'm touched by death. And you…" she turned and narrowed her eyes at Tandie. "You got the witches mark. I can smell dark magic on somebody all the way from my house."

Feeling a bit anxious, Tandie turned to go back inside the club. The woman moved in her path and stepped closer to her face. "You stay away from what's mine, witch. Do you hear me?"

"I don't even know you. It would be hard to take something from a person I don't even know," Tandie said, inching back toward the telescope. She really wished her psychic intuition still worked.

"Abby! What's going on?" a male's deep voice said behind the woman. She flashed a bright smile just before she turned around and said, "Not a thing. We girls were just having a little chat."

It was him, the man from the airport and the bar. He strolled toward them. His dark shirt and blue jeans gave him a strikingly mysterious appearance under the balcony’s lights. With his gaze locked on Tandie, she suddenly understood the woman's warning. Sure, he was drop-dead sexy; but it was more like the turn-me-into-a-zombie kind of death. That way I can come back and kidnap you when I'm ready.

"I'm sorry, ma'am. Abby doesn't mean to be this way. We still have to keep child locks on the cupboards because of her."

Abby clucked her tongue. "Don't you dare talk down to me."

"Look, people. I don’t have a clue about who you two are; but y’all need to work out your problems. I'm heading back inside to get my friend. Try to have a good night," Tandie said and headed back into the club before the man could say anything else, and before that woman accused her of being a witch again.

The author:

KaSonndra Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. She likes to write about people doing fantastical things in magical worlds. Her two sons have made her promise to write a boy book next.

She holds the MFA in creative writing, and loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora's Box (good writer's block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.

Twitter: @kasonndraleigh

Friday, 27 July 2012

Blog Tour: Racing to Love by Amy Gregory


Buy the book: Amazon US

This was supposed to be posted yesterday but my internet went down. :( It's still rather rocky but I wanted to try to backpost this. 

My apologies, Ms Gregory, for the slight delay here!

Title: Racing to Love
Author: Amy Gregory
Series: Carter’s Treasure #1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Target Audience: Adult
Genre: Romance / chick lit
Length: 214 pages

Story: From the outside, Molly West had everything, beauty, brains, and a career she'd retired from not once, but twice. Being in the limelight and in a sport that was male driven, she was often surrounded by men. She ignored first the boys, and as she got older, the men. Her cold shoulder and patented not a chance in hell look were usually enough to get her point across. Molly had no plans in changing what was a perfectly good system. That is until she walked into the pits. Carter Sterling had traveled the racing circuit since he was a boy. He'd heard all the old standbys, She's out there somewhere, love comes along when you least expect it. Good things come to those that... Yeah, he'd heard them all. The last place he expected to meet the love of his life was on a pro track. All she did was smile, and he knew, looking into her sapphire blue eyes, Molly West was his. Forever. If it was only that easy. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had a gripping feeling in him. An overwhelming need to protect her-a girl he'd just met. Carter had learned a long time ago that gut feelings are almost never wrong. Molly now held his heart in her hands, but it was going to take a lot more than just love to protect her from the past she thought she'd buried a long time ago.

Thoughts and impressions: I’m going to be honest here: I had a hard time even getting going with this story.

First of all, even as it starts the two characters go against what the synopsis led me to expect of them, specifically Molly. For a woman abused in her youth, with trust issues and no time of day for men, it just didn’t feel natural to me when she immediately welcomed Carter’s physical advances. They were just little things, like laying his hand on her thigh, but it all felt as though it moved far, far too fast. I know it was supposed to be a whirlwind romance but the result of this is that I was not invested in the relationship between the two characters. I missed out on build up of feelings and consequently I wasn’t as interested in the outcome of their relationship as I would have preferred to be. I could have done with an additional 50 pages or so of Molly learning to be more open to the possibilities that Carter is offering her.

Second, the book is written in the third person but in a POV that has access to the characters’ innermost thoughts rather than just observing actions. The POV jumps between characters from one paragraph to the next with nothing to show that such a jump has taken place. Towards the beginning of the book I found it hard to keep up with the seemingly random jumps.

Once I’d actually got into the story, things started to improve for me. But as I eased into the style, I become more aware of the fact that there’s actually very little plot to it at all. Everything focuses on the relationship, but there’s never any doubt about the outcome there so you’re more reading to see their relationship than to watch them overcome the obstacles in their way. This said, there are an awful lot of romance books out there where you see this sort of thing. It’s just that I usually prefer mine with a more substantial plot around the romance itself.

Admittedly there is an attempt at an external threat when Molly starts receiving threatening letters. Unfortunately, this isn’t really explored to the full potential that it presented. All things considered, it resolved far too quickly and easily; the perpetrator’s reasoning isn’t really gone into beyond scratching the surface enough to establish a reason; and other characters’ involvement – however unwilling – isn’t even touched on.

This is balanced by Molly slowly learning to stand on her own two feet and make her own decisions outside of the supportive network that her adoptive family had set up for her when she came to them. She had to let go of the past in order to fully embrace her future. I vastly enjoyed this part of the story! Seeing her stand up to people who claim to have her best interests at heart (but are not listening to her when she tells them that this is what she wants) inspired a feel-good feeling that lasted throughout the rest of the novel.

Carter was possibly a little too on the perfect side, but again this is something you see a lot so I’m willing to overlook it.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Style: The one thing that bugged me the most with this style was the persistent use of “drug”. The past tense of drag is dragged, not drug. Drag is not an irregular verb.

There was another one of my pet hates in here. “I’d never of believed it otherwise.” In this case, the author is aware of how to use the past tense of the conditional as she used it correctly in other places, but it still really, really annoys me whenever I see “of” used instead of “have”.

There was some incorrect word use, such as: “The waiting room of the ER had been overtaken by their friends and family.” Taken over, not overtaken.

And there was some clunky phrasing, such as: “Their whole table let out a collective breath”. I get what the author is trying to say here, but it’s still clunky.

Other than this, once I’d settled into the style, I enjoyed it!

Final verdict: The story was a light, easy read that turned out to be enjoyable despite my initial wariness. I would have preferred more of a focus on external threats, though. 3 stars

Extra notes: Both bad language and sex are present.

Read an excerpt:

“Sometimes,” he whispered, “there’s a bigger plan out there and we don’t have the answers to it.”

“Sure feels like that, huh? It’s kinda scary, don’t you think?”

“Why’s that?” He stroked her back. “You’re not scared of me, are you?”

“No, no, not at all. It’s this. I mean, twelve hours ago life was very different. I was missing home and my family and I wasn’t ready to be gone for four months.”

She couldn’t help the sickening feeling she just had. James. Ugh. She’d thrown the equivalent of a temper tantrum before they’d left town. She had just gotten home from one contract job to find out that two days later she had to leave for another. And this was a long one. When he found out she not only wasn’t mad anymore, but that she was excited about being here—God, he’d never let her live it down. Then he’d lecture her on men.

She had that one memorized, probably because she’d heard it regularly since she was fourteen years old. She only mimicked it verbatim when his back was turned. She loved the man with all her heart, but she had to admit she was a teensy bit worried about how he’d take the news of Carter. Well, more than a teensy bit. She was more like scared to death for Carter’s safety. She bit the inside of her cheek to keep the smile under control. She didn’t want to scare the man off by explaining what was going through her mind at that moment, especially since he’d stuck out the panic attack.

“But now?” he asked in his low, sexy voice, hugging her to him.

He continued to rub her back and rested his cheek on the top of her head. He didn’t know it, but his voice was such a comfort to her. When he lowered it like that, it could almost slip her into a peaceful trance.

“But now, I want time to stand still.” She pulled in a breath of his cologne, his scent like a magnet.

“Me too.”

“We’re moving really fast, Carter.”

She knew it was one kiss, a hell of a kiss, but—one kiss. But combined with other comments he’d slipped in here and there? She knew what he meant when he said she was the one. He was talking about something much bigger than just a weekend fling. She wouldn’t have done that anyway, but he was making this into more. Way more.

Plus, if she had to be honest, he deserved points. Most men would have run like their ass was on fire when they saw her in a heap of tears on the floor. He hadn’t. He’d been sweet, nurturing, and if she wasn’t mistaken, scared to death. He also hadn’t pushed her. He hadn’t made her feel bad when she denied his earlier kiss, he hadn’t pushed her to talk when she wasn’t ready, and he wasn’t pushing for more right now. He seemed happy to go at the pace she was setting.

“Fast is relative. When its right, you don’t measure it, and we aren’t teenagers.” He laughed lightly. “You can’t even consider us young adults anymore, Gorgeous. And look at the thousands of people who go to bed together the first night they meet or have one night stands.”

“That’s not me,” she said softly, then shut her eyes.

“I know, baby.” He had figured out that she was only confident and out-spoken around their big group. When he was alone with her, she was quiet, sweet, and vulnerable. He grinned to himself, completely in love with both sides of her already, but also proud that she trusted him. Seeing first-hand how fast she could throw a wall up against men that wanted to be with her.

“Carter, I have never really had a boyfriend before.” She took a deep breath at her admission.

“Never? I find that hard to believe.”

“No. There was never anyone worth the effort of a long distance relationship. We grew up on the road. Hell, I’m still on the road a lot. You live the same way, you know what it’s like. So why bother? I have been on a few dates over the last few years, but just a date and usually just once. It doesn’t take long to figure out that they’re all just the same. But here…tonight…with you? I’ve been acting like a ditzy, flirty girl. I’ve been hanging on you all night. Uh…your friends are going to think I’m easy.”

“I knew you were the kind of girl to worry about that.”

“I do. Look, it started a fight.”

“There was nothing you did that started that fight. I promise you, Molly. That was all on Martins. He’s a jackass. Don’t you dare feel guilty over that. Please? And as for you hanging on me, you weren’t. But I’ll admit, I like it. I like having your hand in mine, my arm around you. I love your head on my shoulder. I could tell you were able to relax around me. If you consider all that hanging on me, I’ll take it.”

“That’s a man answer.” She softly chuckled.

With her still in his arms, he whispered in her ear in an even lower voice, one with an edge to it, “I am a man.”

Her stomach did another flip flop, but then her mind caught up and her heart dropped. Like you need to remind me? She looked up at him with an eyebrow raised. “Yeah, and I’m sure you’ve got women throwing themselves at you.”

“Not really.”

“I don’t believe that for a minute.”

“I don’t.”

“Carter, you are incredibly good looking and you have killer eyes. So no, I don’t believe you.” A cocky, slow grin danced across his face. “Oh, don’t you look at me like that,” she teased. “You know you’re absolutely amazing, don’t play innocent with me.” His hands slid down to her butt, pulling her as close as he possible could.

“Oh yeah?” He raised his eyebrows up at her a couple of times.

“Yeah.” Her eyes were as wide as saucers, but she wasn’t minding that his hands were on her, and she was loving the crooked grin on his face. It made him appear almost boyish when just seconds before he was—almost—hungry. Boyish she could handle. Hungry scared the shit out of her.



“Am I worth a long distance relationship?”

Her heart went from zero to sixty from the excitement and the fact he really did like her. Karen had always told her there would be someone. She felt her insides go gooey and her cheeks get warm.
Feeling a little braver, she said, “Depends.” She grinned up at him, getting a small thrill off the control.

He squeezed her butt. It was a total possessive move on his part and she knew it. “Oh yeah? On what?”

“On how long it takes you to kiss me again.”

“That I can do, Gorgeous.”

She slid her arms up to his neck and smiled at him. Then she bit her bottom lip. He smiled his slow, sexy grin that kept driving her insane. There went the control, back to Carter—she had no power against that smile. “What? You’re staring.” She giggled nervously. She gave herself a mental slap upside the head for sounding like a goofy teenage girl.

He smiled down at her and she melted all over again. “I’m just…”

“Just making me nervous,” she finished for him.

“I just can’t get over the fact that I get to be the man holding you. I get to be the man to kiss you.”

“I was thinking that I’m the lucky one.”

He leaned down to kiss her and she slid one palm to his cheek. With her other hand, she threaded her fingers through the back of his hair just as she parted her lips to kiss him. When he pulled her even closer to him, she sighed. The move was intentional. He needed her to know how much he wanted her—to feel how badly he wanted her. A part of him needed her to know how hard he was struggling to keep himself under control, to silently prove to her she was safe with him.

He broke the kiss and pulled her tight to him, the man in him wishing she wouldn’t object to going back to his motorhome. But he knew she wasn’t ready for that. He drew back. “Oh my God.” He breathed heavily, just standing there holding her, willing himself to behave. Carter finally caught his breath and pulled away a few inches to look at her before he leaned his forehead to hers. “Oh girl, what you do to me.”

She looked up at him and graced him with the sweetest smile he had ever seen. “I don’t want to let you go,” she whispered.

“So…” he replied just as quietly, “Don’t. Tell me I’m worth it, that you’ll do long distance. Please.”

She reached up to kiss him gently. “You’re worth everything.”

The author:

Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions. When she’s not rushing her oldest daughter to tumbling, her youngest daughter to music lessons, or sitting track-side watching her son practice motocross, she’s taking the few minutes in between to scribble the next pages in her Racing to Love series.

When asked, “When do you have time to write?” Amy Gregory giggles. “In bits and pieces,” she says.

Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you’ll find shining through in the characters she’s created. Her debut novel, Racing to Love, Carter’s Treasure, is set for release June 7, 2012.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I’ve finally found it. – Amy Gregory

Publisher Author Page
Twitter - @AmyGregory548

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Get A Taste: Infinity

Tara of Basically Books and I often read very different books but sometimes find interesting new books to potentially add to the ever-growing monsters that our TBR piles have morphed into. However, we know that we do not have 100% the same taste and we wanted another way of getting a look at these books...

Do you ever feel like getting a bit of a taster for a book you’ve been thinking of reading but aren’t fully sold on yet? Do you feel like sharing a taster for your current read with the world? Well, here’s your chance.

Each week the random number generator will pick a number between 1 and 100 for books with pages or 1 and 25% for ebooks. We figured that these numbers would keep us out of spoiler territory. Open your book to the specified place and pick a paragraph. Share it with the world!

The numbers for this week are:
Page 79 for books
3% for ebooks

My book:

You know, Bubba, I need to pay you to work here. 'Cause if women like that came by often, even if they were total head cases, he definitely wanted a job. Forget Liza and her store that was usually frequented by little girls and their moms. He wanted to work in Hot Woman Valhalla until he died of testosterone poisoning.

Letting out a low whistle of appreciation, he pulled the stakes off the counter and wondered who or what had bled on them. With Bubba's friends, there was no telling.

I read this book without having read any of the Dark Hunter books. I feel like I missed out on quite a lot all the time, but despite this I enjoyed the story! Review should be up some time next week.

Do you want to join in too? Here’s how:
Step 1: Copy and paste the Get A Taste image.
Step 2: Copy and paste our intro or write your own but it must link back to both of our blogs.
Step 3: Find the designated page for the week.
Step 4: Type out a paragraph or so from your book.
Step 5: Post it and share it!
We would appreciate it if you'd leave a comment letting us know where we can find your post. We'll be sure to pop on by and leave a comment!
Thanks and have fun!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Blog Tour: Guest Post by Laxmi Hariharan - The Inspiration Games

The Inspiration Games by Laxmi Hariharan

“It was India which invented the bow & arrow” my Dad blustered over the phone from Bombay, “remember Arjuna’s skill at archery? How he could concentrate till he saw nothing else but the target and shoot it with unerring precision time after time….”  He had just returned from seeing the Hunger Games at his local multiplex, when my weekly Sunday phone call had sparked off this conversation; with him insisting that the cross-bow was an Indian invention.  “Uh! Dad,”  I protested, “not everything in science fiction comes from Indian mythology….” I was, as usual, embarrassed by his well known theme of India shining and claiming ownership of emerging trends. Yet his comment gave me pause for thought. I began to wonder if he had a point?

Lord Rama with his bow from centuries ago!
Katniss in The Hunger Games

Cut to a few years back, when, on one of my annual trips to Bombay, the extended family had trooped off en masse to see Avatar in 3D at the brand new IMAX theatre in Bombay. I sat next to my father enjoying his excitement as he leaned forward to perch precariously close to the edge of the seat, fascinated by the incredible images flashing across the cinema screen.

Avatar inspired by Indian mythology? Who would have thought!

And as the scene with the Tree of Souls which has a neural link to the Na’vi uniting them all as one, unfolded, he gasped in surprise shaking his head; explaining to me later that Ayurveda the Indian system of traditional medicine had a very similar concept of unity.  That, all living creatures are linked to this planet and are one with Earth. The concept of blue people itself was familiar as many Indian Gods are depicted in similar fashion. Flying chariots, Gods teleporting at will across dimensions, powerful weapons of war that could destroy entire armies, revolving discs & guided swords spewing fiery sparks which would return to their owners after hitting its target, illusions which could frighten without hurting, and the massive bow which only Rama could string to win the heart of the beautiful Sita… Hmmm! I had seen these scenes countless times over the years.

Tiina inspired by Goddess Uma (The Destiny of Shaitan)
Amar Chitra Katha (Indian comic books) took over where my grandmother left off, yet what chance did a teenager’s raging hormones stand against tight bodysuits, plunging necklines, fanatical crime fighting and passionate love stories. With the first Superman movie I was in love with caped crusaders – Spiderman, Legion of Superheroes (my personal favourite) Green Lantern, Wonder Woman not to mention Tarzan &Phantom and much later Conan the Barbarian – I lived happily with them for a very long time. And then I stumbled across the gaming world which is proud to borrow from Indian mythology. Take for example Asura’s Wrath an action video game released February 2012. According to the game’s producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, “Asura’s Wrath takes elements from Hindu mythology and blends them with science fiction. In the game, Asura is a demigod fighting to reclaim his daughter from the deities who kidnapped her and banished him from earth.”

Or for that matter Xena the Warrior Princess’ trademark chakram which looks and acts very similar to the famed sudarshan chakra (Lord Vishnu’s deadly weapon of choice – a golden discus which cuts through the target and returns to owner.)

Xena's Chakra

Lord Vishnu's Chakra
Over the years I realised that Hollywood and the West have looked to Indian mythology for inspiration. But time has come full circle, with a brave new breed of Indian fantasy writers seeking to carry on the tradition of the ancient epics. Check out the brilliant Ramayana 3392 AD from New York based Liquid comics and the seductive Devi.

Do you have more examples of western science fiction drawing from Indian mythology? Do let me know.

The author:

Laxmi Hariharan was born in India. She lived in Singapore and Hong Kong and is now based in London. She is inspired by Indian mythology. When not writing, this chai-swigging, technophile enjoys long walks in the woods and growing eye catching flowers. Her debut novel The Destiny of Shaitan is available on Amazon http://tiny.cc/szqsew. Reach Laxmi here:

Twitter: @laxmi

Buy the Book: Amazon US ; Amazon UK