Fresh Face Friday: Eternal Service by Regina Morris

Today’s Fresh Faced author is Regina Morris.  Her new book, Eternal Service is currently out and was one of the best paranormal romances I’ve read lately.  Be sure to check out my review further down.

17238145Book Blurb: (courtesy of http://www.reginamorris.com)

When Raymond, part of a covert special ops team of vampires who protects the President of the United States, teams up with a federal operative of the human female persuasion–who has no idea that vampires even exist–will his mission or his heart be compromised first?

Career military woman, Alex Brennan, is being offered the promotion of a lifetime – and with it a romance that she has desperately been seeking. Does she dare accept the position as Director of the Colony, an elite group of deadly creatures of the night and risk a dangerous romance with a man who isn’t even human?

Review:

Eternal Service was a wonderful paranormal romance.  Regina Morris knows how to draw you into a story and keep you begging for more.  Eternal Service focuses on the idea of a secret detail that protects the President and few other officials.  This detail called The Colony is comprised of vampires with varying abilities.  Some are pure bred, others are half-breeds and others are turned humans.  The story centers around Raymond, the head of the Colony and an almost 200 yr old vampire, and Alex a career military woman who becomes the liaison between the Colony and the President.  There love affair grows quickly but also has obstacles to overcome.  Within the love story is also the political thriller of vampires trying to infiltrate the Supreme Court.  It is the Colony’s job to prevent that from happening.

This was a wonderfully written book.  I believe this has the potential to be a phenomenal series.  Alex and Raymond’s love story is enthralling.  It makes me want a vampire of my very own. The side characters are also phenomenal.  Brandon and Matt are great as the conspiracy theorists and Sterling and Sulee are wonderful as Raymond’s family.  But, it wasn’t just the love story or the characters.  It was the entire concept that was done so well it was believable.  The conspiracy theorists out there probably have even thought of this theory.  The mixture of a political thriller and a paranormal romance was skillfully done.  Both parts were equally represented and flowed very smoothly.  Overall, I would say this was a home run for Regina Morris.  I can’t wait to read Sterling’s book next.

ReginaMorris_125x220Author Bio: (courtesy of http://www.reginamorris.com)

I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and two children. I enjoy meeting with my monthly critique writing groups and meeting other writers in the Austin area through the WLT events.

I have lived in many different parts of the world. I graduated high school in Germany and I attended the University of Texas at Austin where I received a degree in Computer Science with a minor in math.

Besides writing, I am an amateur portrait and sports photographer. After enjoying a career in the software engineering business, I discovered that writing is in my blood, and had to put pen to paper!

Please connect with me through various social medias. You can click the Contact tab above, or click here and be redirected there.

My plan is to blog a book for my fans to enjoy, to announce any availability of my books to purchase, and to share with you any tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way that may be of interest to others who would like to see their work in print.

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Review: Brink of Eternity by Caris Roane

Today I am lucky enough to be reviewing Caris Roane’s novella Brink of Eternity.  It is part of her Guardians of Ascension series.  This was a great series I have been introduced to through reading this novella.  Be sure to check out the rest of my review later in my post.

z 3 jpeg - Book Cover - BRINK OF ETERNITY -  Caris RoaneBLURB:

Cover Blurb:  BRINK OF ETERNITY

Novella:  approximately 153 pages

Discover powerful winged vampire warriors, the Guardians of Ascension, and the women they’re sworn to protect! 

Warrior Gideon swore he would never see Elise Jordan again even though they’d been passionate lovers for two years.  Her human nature couldn’t survive in his ascended vampire world; she would be vulnerable to attack on every front if he tried to continue a relationship with her.  But when Elise starts having visions of the future of Gideon’s sister hunted by death vampires, Gideon can no longer ignore that Elise is in her Call to Ascension, her call to become a vampire.  Though determined to keep her at bay, the infamous breh-hedden, an all-consuming vampire bonding ritual, wraps him up tight and demands that he protect Elise.  As he strives to keep her alive during her Rite of Ascension, love threatens to overwhelm his carefully ordered, war-weary world.

Reader, please note:  BRINK OF ETERNITY was published under a different cover, same title, in July of 2011.  The content is the same.

Review:

Brink of Eternity is a novella in Caris Roane’s Guardian’s of Ascension series.  This was my first introduction into this series and now I am going to have to put Caris Roane’s books on my TBR list.  I absolutely loved the idea of a mix of vampire and angel like characters.  In this novella you get a peek into the world of the Guardian’s and those that have paranormal powers who may ascend.  I loved the levels of Earth and the different Warriors.  The story itself really pulled you in and you wanted to hold on till the very end.  Even in the end you wanted to know more.  I loved Gideon and Elise.  Gideon, the incredibly sexy Warrior,  is reminiscent of characters from the Lords of the Underworld and Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Elise is the perfect match for such a strong-willed hero. There love story, though short, can definitely compare to any of the other paranormal romances out today.   Caris Roane’s ability to construct the world and characters is so good that you won’t want to stop with this novella.  You are going to want to read all of her books if you haven’t already.

I’d like to thank Caris Roane for stopping by today.  I’d also like to thank I.O Blog tours for allowing me to host one of the tour stops.  If you’d like to learn more about Caris Roane you can click on any of her links below.  If you’d like to learn more about Brink of Eternity and the other Guardians of Ascension books you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

z 1 jpeg - Photo - Caris RoaneBIO:

I was ten when I first watched an old movie version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and loved it!  Movies led to books, which led to writing and after a good long while, publishing.  I wrote sweet Regency romance for Kensington for 19 years and recently fell in love with paranormal, although I’ve always had a thing for vampires.  I currently write paranormal romance for St. Martin’s Press but I self-publish as well.  Building an online platform has been an enormous but rewarding challenge.  I think all the changes in publishing will alter how authors approach the business going forward and I for one am thrilled to have so many options.

Caris Roane has published over fifty Regency romance novels and novellas under the pen name, Valerie King.  In 2005, Romantic Times gave her a Career Achievement award in Regency Romance.  Having had a long-time love affair with vampires, Caris tackled the paranormal genre and built a unique vampire world based on ascending dimensional earths.  Her series is called Guardians of Ascension.

Her most recent self-published project, The Blood Rose Novella Series, launched in May of 2012 with the first title:  Embrace the Dark. 

Currently, Caris is working on a new vampire series set to launch in the Fall of 2013:   WARRIORS IN CHAINS with the first novel, BORN IN CHAINS.

Website:  http://carisroane.com/

Blog:  http://carisroane.com/journal/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/caris.roane?ref=tn_tnmn

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/carisroane

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3500801.Caris_Roane

 

Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her two cats, Sebastien and Gizzy.

Promo and Review: For the Love of Hades by Sasha Summers

Sasha Summers has stopped by today to promote her new book, For the Love of Hades.  She is also offering an awesome tour wide giveaway.  This unforgettable paranormal romance between Hades and Persephone puts a new spin on the Greek Myths that you may know.  Be sure to check out the rest of my review later in this post.

compressedFor the Love of Hades
Loves of Olympus, Book 2

Sasha Summers

Genre: Romantic Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

ISBN:  978-1-937254-83-4

ASIN: 978-1-937254-84-1

Number of pages: 309

Word Count: 78,500

Cover Artist: Jeannie Ruesch

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/LXx52Vve8hY

Book Description:

Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, has no patience for living things or his Olympian brethren. His purpose is order, administering justice to those who enter his realm, and keeping the balance decreed by the Fates. Meeting Persephone sways his focus, her gentle sweetness threatening his control. But he will not be tempted.

Poseidon’s scheming wreaks havoc upon Persephone. Hades has no choice – he must rescue her.

Hades awakens something within the Goddess Persephone. She feels no fear from his brooding presence. In truth, she’s never felt so alive. Every stolen moment together only confirms her instinct: he is meant to be hers. Such a powerful union suit will face opposition – from Olympus, her troubled betrothed, the Fates, even Hades himself – but she is determined to win his heart.

Excerpt:

Hades glanced at the lily propped atop the mantle. The blossom was bright white against the black silk to which it was pinned, light against the darkness. He reached up, tracing one petal with an unsteady finger. He saw the tremor, cursed it, and clenched his hand, drawing back from the flower as if it had burned him.

Turning abruptly from the fire, he made his way to his chair and sat heavily. There was a sweetness to his burden, but it was no less a burden.

He leaned forward, rested his elbows on his knees and covered his face with his hands.

What had he done? How could he make amends now that his heinous act had been hidden so long? Using his powers to aid a mortal would seem trivial in comparison with the offense he’d committed against Demeter. Against Olympus.

And yet, he felt whole.

The raw emptiness that he’d held at bay, for nigh on an eternity, no longer threatened to consume him. Having her here, with her constant laughter and endless conversation, had changed his world irrevocably.

If not for her, he would have remained bitter and angry. He would not have interfered at Cyprus. He would never have thought to champion the mortal, Ariston…

“My lord.” Her soft voice interrupted his thoughts.

He lifted his head from his hands, surprised.

Persephone stood, beauty to behold, watching him with wide green eyes. In the blazing firelight her hair glowed copper, warm and rich. Her face, normally alight with smiles and laughter, was drawn. Was she not fully recovered? Or did the tension between them tire her as well?

His voice revealed nothing. “Persephone.”

Her steps were cautious, but she made her way to him. “Aphrodite?”

So she had seen Aphrodite. “Has gone.” And she should have gone with her fellow Olympian. He should have insisted she do so. He swallowed against the lump in his throat, ignoring the tightening in his chest.

“I thought as much.” She stood so close he could see the front of her tunic. The fabric trembled, thundering in time with the rapid beat of her heart.

Was she disappointed? Was she ready to leave him… his realm?

She should go. She should have gone weeks ago. He knew it was right. Yet knowing it did nothing to soothe his agitation. He clutched the arms of his throne, clinging to control.

“I’ve not asked you for anything in my time here.” She paused. “Have I?”

He shook his head once. No, she’d seemed happy, though he had little knowledge of true happiness, he supposed. His gaze found shadows beneath her eyes and a tightness about her mouth. He was a blind fool.

Have you been miserable? He could not ask the words aloud, fearing her answer.

Her voice was no steadier than her pulse. “Nor would I trouble you now, if my need were not so great.”

“What is it?” he asked. His voice sounded harsh to his own ears.

She sank to her knees, glancing at him with an almost timid gaze. Her hands lifted, wavered, and covered his hands. He stiffened, stunned by her actions. She touched him… He swallowed. The feel of her hands upon him squeezed the air from his lungs.

“Show me mercy. Show me the same mercy you’ve bestowed upon the mortal… the soldier Ariston.” Her hands clasped his tightly.

He would not reach for her, he could not. No matter how he might want to.

“Have I been cruel, that you feel the need to beg for anything from me?” His words were a harsh whisper. She shook her head and he continued, “Then why do you kneel before me?”

“It is a selfish request, one that may turn you from solicitous to,” she paused, her cheeks growing red, “… sickened.”

Was it possible for him to feel so towards her?

He stared at her hands, wrapped about his. He would not meet her gaze. He would not reveal his damnable weakness to her. He could not risk losing himself in the fathomless depths of her green eyes. “Ask me,” he murmured as his traitorous eyes sought hers.

She drew in a wavering breath, ragged and labored. Her whispered words were thick.

“My lover… Release him. Release the man who loves me, please.” Her eyes sparkled, mesmerizing him while his heart, so newly discovered, seemed to shudder to a stop once more.

Review:

Sasha Summers is such a masterful storyteller.  She has taken the myth of Hades and Persephone and knocked it on its head.  Hades is traditionally thought of as the bad boy of the Olympian Gods.  Here he is portrayed as just the most chaste and dutiful of Gods with a painful past.  The real bad boy in this series is Poseidon.  Also, Persephone is not just a victim anymore.  Persephone truly falls in love with Hades and she is not really kidnapped.  Many of the well crafted lies are told by Hermes to cover up what is really happening.  And what is really happening you may ask…its just a wonderful immortal love story.  Sasha Summers does an excellent job in taking the basic myths and twisting them into a more realistic portrayal.  In doing so the love story shines.  I would recommend this book if you like the Greek Myths.  Also, be aware that this is book 2 in her Loves of Olympus series.  You are able to read this book without having read the first book, Medusa A love story.  But, after having read this one I definitely have to go back and read Medusa’s story.

I’d like to thank Sasha Summers for stopping by today and Bewitching Book Tours for giving me a spot on this tour.  For more information about Sasha Summers be sure to click on her links below.  For more information about For the Love of Hades and/or Medusa A love story you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.  Be sure to click the link below to enter the awesome giveaway!

lilynecklaceGiveaway:

I am jealous for anyone who wins these awesome prizes. The prizes are one white lily pendant (image attached-US only), one signed paperback set of Medusa and Hades (USA/Canada only) and one $15 Amazon or BN Gift Card (winner’s choice).  To enter just click on the link. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YmExMTJmZmM0NTczY2U4Y2JhMWU1MGJkZGZiMWE4OjE5Mw==/

Author Bio:

Sasha Summers is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe.

Sasha

She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

Sasha is an active member of RWA and several Texas Chapters. A self-proclaimed movie-addict, she is full of all sorts of useless movie tidbits and trivia.

Website   Twitter   Goodreads  Facebook  Blog   Pinterest

 

Fresh Face Friday featuring Falling in Love by Stephen Bradlee

Today I am featuring Stephen Bradlee and his book Falling in Love.  This is an intimate portrait of a woman’s addiction and fight to have a normal life.  Be sure to check out my review after the book blurb.

finalBook Blurb:  (Courtesy of http://www.fallinginlovethebook.com)

Sherry Johnson is young, beautiful, bright and athletic.  She has everything going for her, except for one thing. 

She is addicted to love. 

Her life is a vicious circle of nightly trysts and morning regrets. 

Her addiction got her kicked out of college, cost her the love of her life and has left her in complete despair.   

But still Sherry keeps falling in love.

And falling.  And falling.

Finally, as Sherry struggles to pull herself up from a bottomless pit, she realizes that she will have to learn to love the one person she has loathed for most of her life.  

Herself.

Based on the True Story of a
Young Woman’s Battle with Sex Addiction

Review:

Falling in Love is a story about just what the title tells you with a few exceptions.  Sherry falls in love a lot.  She also hates herself most of the time afterward.  Her self-esteem is in the bottom of the barrel and uses sex as a filler for the intimate connects she thinks will validate her as a person.  This is one of the reasons why her relationships continually fail.  While in love with one man she goes out and gets drunk and sleeps with another or many other men.  Her compulsion is self-destructive in all aspects of her life.  From her inter personal relationships to her professional to her familial relationships they all become tainted and/or destroyed from her continual self-destructive behavior.  She decides to run away to New York City to find her mother’s best friend in the hopes that she will help her locate her mother.  In the process she becomes part of a sex addicts support group.  We follow Sherry through her trials of trying to stay sober and also sober in an abstinent way.  Like many others who go into recovery there are slips and trips that push Sherry teetering on the edge of survival.  In the end, Sherry shows how even when you’re struggling if you take things one day at a time you can slowly learn to love yourself and in turn share yourself with those around you.

Stephen Bradlee does a phenomenal job with this book.  Having not been in situations like Sherry I was worried I wouldn’t be able to relate to her struggle.  This is not a problem in any way.  From the beginning of Sherry’s story you are thrown into her life like it was your own.  You feel her pain, torment, struggle and love.  Her pain really cuts into the reader and its very cringe worthy.  You will cry when she finally tells her story to those that became important to her and you will fight with her every time she has a challenge.  I have learned from this book that any addiction is a day-to-day struggle whether it is sex or alcohol or drugs.  I admire Sherry’s story and I hope that anyone who is struggling with an addiction will find the hope that is the underlying success in this story.  I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a good read where your constantly fighting for and cheering for the character.

Author Bio: (Courtesy of http://www.fallinginlovethebook.com)

Stephen Bradlee is the pen name for a Hollywood film executive. 

He has ghostwritten celebrity autobiographies and has worked primarily as a script doctor. 

He is married and lives with his wife, their daughter
and their dog.

Guest Post and Review: Forever Clan by January Bain

I am welcoming January Bain today.  She has stopped by to promote her book Forever Clan.  January will be talking about how difficult it is to be human vs a supernatural being such as a vampire, shapeshifter or any other being.  Her book Forever Clan is great paranormal romance.  Be sure to check out my review after January’s takeover.  So without any further adieu I welcome, January Bain.

It’s Hard To Be Human

It is hard to be human which is maybe why I like to immerse myself in imaginative vampire lore. And immerse myself I do. I’ve lived their lives 24/7 as I get the gift of experiencing the richness of this parallel world. Okay, my human life probably suffers for my obsession at times, but fortunately I have a loving, tolerant husband and three independent cats that like to watch me tap away at the computer. I think they find the rhythm of the keystrokes soothing—just my take as I used to like the sound of my grandma’s knitting needles clicking away while I sat beside her. I even used that memory in my third book, Forever Clan, for the heroine’s Scottish ma.

But I digress. Why is it so hard to be human? Well, we cannot heal ourselves as quickly as vampires can. Imagine being healed overnight as you sleep from a wound that would kill a mortal. I’d like that gift! And for those of you that know me well, you can imagine how I would want to share the gift of healing after reading my first novel in the series, Forever Man.

Vampires have it better on the strength side of the equation also. A drink of blood and they are full of energy. And if the blood comes from a blood bank concoction there would be little guilt, I’m just saying…

Vampires can shape-shift at will. Not a bad ability to have. Imagine the havoc one could bring to bullies, child molesters, murderers and other such evil people.

Vampires can live forever. Okay, this sounds good but what about the fact that if you have regrets in life you have to live with them FOREVER. But then maybe vampires (at least the uncivilized ones) don’t carry this guilt. But mine do for the most part, so maybe it’s also hard to be a vampire at times. But they can’t complain too much as they get to live forever, for heaven’s sake!

I hope you follow the journey of my vampires, angels, and Fae that exist in the pages of the Forever Series. I love to hear from readers and writers alike!

Fondest Regards,

January Bain

forever clan ecoverBook Blurb:

Forever Clan is the third book of the Forever series. It takes us into the lives of Sunday Rose St. Clair and her mother who live in Caithness, Scotland. Sunday Rose has come home to look after her ma after her da has died and meets up with, Sean Cameron, a recently turned vampire who has been staying with Winter Kennedy and Aiden Hightower. They fall madly in love and soon Sunday Rose is expecting a baby.

The prophesied Dhampyre, a half-human, half-vampire child, is a serious event in the twenty-first century and one that many vampires of the Orca of World Vampire Clans are fervently looking forward to. But Sunday Rose’s very survival is at stake from the rare birth of such a child and many dangers exist for its arrival in this rarefied world that has only a veneer of civilization protecting it from collapse…

 

Excerpt:

The shadows had deepened during her time in the cottage. The night chill, bringing with it heavy fog, was rising. She pulled her sweater close, buttoned it and tramped off down the road. A sudden wolf howl erupted so near she could almost feel its hot breath on her neck. It stopped her dead, her heart beating as rapidly as a humming bird’s, all her senses attuned to the piercing mournful sound. Wolf attacks were rare, but they did happen. Why hadn’t she heeded her mother and left for home sooner? Her disquiet grew and caused her to pick up speed. Was there someone or something following her? A rustling in the bush close-by sent her feet racing down the lonely country road. She had not been the track and field champion of her senior class for naught! She had just made the path leading to the last fifty yards to her home when a hand on her shoulder startled her into spinning right round, her heart nearly stopping in her heaving chest.

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to frighten you but I heard a wolf howl and I needed to see if you were safe.” Sean’s confident and reassuring voice filled the night and she slumped back in relief. He reached a hand out to steady her and she somehow managed to fall into his arms.

His smell was overpoweringly intoxicating to her as he pulled her closer, murmuring into her hair, “Sunday Rose…”

Unbidden, she brought her face up to his and kissed him. The energy crackling between them could power a major city, Sunday Rose thought, falling into a parallel dream-like state as she savored the intoxicating taste of his sweet willing lips. It was the front porch light blinking off and on that finally drew them apart.

“I have to go, my ma is…waiting.” Her breathless words caused Sean to nod his understanding. He let her go with obvious reluctance, appearing to fill his nostrils with her scent one last time.

Review:

Forever Clan was a great paranormal romance.  I have grown accustomed to this genre.  I tend to read a lot of these types of paranormal books and I have acquired quite a distinguishing taste.  Forever Clan has left a positively wonderful impact.  The story was well-rounded and thought out.  But, it wasn’t just the story but the characters that leave the strongest impact.  Even though it is quite tough to believe in the world we live in that you can fall madly in love with in three days Sean and Sunday Rose’s love is felt through the pages and will turn you into a believer of true love.  Sean, Sunday Rose, Winter and Aiden all are believable and draw you into the story with their love and feelings of loss/pain.  I enjoyed the two complimenting storylines of Sunday Rose’s Dhampir baby and Winter’s kidnapping.  I did find though that I had wished I read the other two books, Forever Woman and Forever Man.  I would recommend that you read those first before jumping into this story.  With reading those first you will have a better understanding of the back story than just jumping headlong into a story which seems to be partially already begun.  Overall, this was a wonderful paranormal romance.  For anyone who likes a good vampire love story you will enjoy Forever Clan.

I would like to thank January Bain for stopping by today and Reading Addiction Blog tours for allowing me to host her.  For more information about January be sure to check out her website below.  For more information about Forever Clan you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

ButtonAuthor bio:

January Bain, Storyteller, hails from Ashern, Manitoba, Canada. Married to the love of her life, her husband Don, she has combined her love of romance with her interest in vampires to create the FOREVER series of books. She teaches high school Computer and Business courses during the day and writes in every spare moment she possibly can. You can usually find her up at five AM!

If she could be a super character, she has said it would be “super-teach” endowed with the gift of healing like the heroine in her first novel, Forever Man, to help heal broken spirits. She hopes her characters will touch your heart. She loves to be approached about the journey of writing and can be reached at www.januarybain.ca

 

Young Adult Corner: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

For my first Young Adult Corner I chose Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.  This was a phenomenal book.  I had recently read Colleen’s Slammed and Point of Retreat and was not disappointed when I fell in love with this story and its characters.  I know this book kinda skirts the genre of Young Adult and New Adult, but I was so moved by this book I wanted to share it.  ***Warning: This book does contain very strong material.  Recommended for 17 and older***

2940016106731_p0_v1_s600Book Blurb: (courtesy of Barnes and Noble)

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Review:

Hopeless is a book that will affect you mind, body and soul.  The subject matter is heavy and there is a lot adult subject matter, but you have to keep in mind these are still two teenagers.  I know I forgot that at one point.  Hopeless begins with Skye and her best friend Six sneaking guys into their bedrooms. Very typical teenage girl behavior.  Skye though never went any further than kissing with all of the guys because she never truly feels anything for them.  She basically does it as something to do.  She doesn’t get any feeling doing this, in fact she lays there and counts the stars on her ceiling.  This is her same M.O until she meets a guy in the super market.  This is Holder.  Rumors swirl around Holder and Skye can’t get away from her feelings for him.  Yes, she begins to have such strong feelings for him that it drives her to distraction.  As there love story begins a history that Skye never knew about unfolds with Holder leading the way.  But, even Holder doesn’t know the worst of Skye’s past.  Holder and Skye’s past hurts begin to truly heal with the love they share as a balm.

This book truly rips your heart out only to put it back in and rip it out again.  I know this sounds horrible, but even as your sobbing uncontrollably you are turning the page for more.  The story was phenomenal.  It will leave an indelible mark on me.  Skye and Holder though still teenagers have experienced such pain and loss that some adults have never faced.  Their characters were so well written you could really see them as if you were watching a movie on T.V.  Breckin, Six and Karen also add as counter balances on what could be an incredibly lopsided story.  Colleen Hoover handled the subject matter with extreme delicacy yet truthfulness.  The aspects of molestation, suicide and teenage sex are so powerful that not just anyone can write such a moving and touching story.  I must say that this is one of the best books I have read that covers such controversial and strong subject matter.  Overall, this book is fully deserving of being 1 on any bestsellers/must read list.  If you haven’t read it yet then you must go out and read it today!  Be prepared…you will need tissues.

Belated Freshed Face Friday Featuring Time of Death by Ellis Vidler

Sorry for the belated post, but I figure better late than never.  Today, I am featuring Ellis Vidler and her book Time of Death.  This is a suspenseful intrigue with romance splashed between events.  Be sure to read my full review below.  Let’s welcome Ellis and her book Time of Death.

6607892Book Blurb: (provided by http://www.ellisvidler.com)

While visiting near Charleston, South Carolina, an artist draws
scenes of murder she can’t explain.

Alex. The artist. After a tree falls on her house, she joins her aunt on an
unspoiled island, but something wakens her family psychic streak. She draws
eerily accurate scenes of violence, but she knows nothing about them.

Connor. The prosecutor. He’s building a case against a drug lord one piece of evidence at a time. For him it’s personal, and he can’t risk a relationship with a witness, especially a psychic who’ll blow his case out of the water.

Rollins. The killer. He’s a cog in a much bigger wheel, and the witness to his acts of
violence threatens his operation and his life. He’ll do anything to see that doesn’t happen.

Review:

Time of Death was a different type of book than I am used to reading.  There was a lot of intrigue and suspense that you might find with a James Patterson or David Balducci novel.  I would say a major difference was that Ellis added a romantic aspect that those other suspense/thriller writers don’t always include.  It added a nice dynamic.  I was even surprised there was a touch of paranormal to the story also.  Alex’s psychic ability adds a twist to the story.  Which in turn affects all aspects from the suspenseful car chase to the romantic relationship between her and Connor.  The story felt almost like a hodge podge of sorts.  Many different kinds of genres in just one story.  Not many authors can pull that off.  Ellis does.  Her dynamic story telling skills and skillful manipulation of the characters was excellent.  I enjoyed the Alex, Connor and Isobel.  Those three characters were very well-rounded and you could feel a real connections with them.  I would say that my only real criticism about this book would be the switching back and forth of the narrator.  It would see-saw between Alex, Connor and Rollins.  I truly believe the book would have been a bit smoother without that jumping around.  With the jumping around as a reader you’re not quite sure what to focus on.  I am personally not a big fan of more than two voices in a book so it was difficult for me sometimes.  But, overall this was an excellently written novel and i would recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading authors like James Patterson.

9868298Author Bio: (provided by http://www.ellisvidler.com)

As a child in the South, Ellis spent long, hot days imagining herself an Indian or pioneer or musketeer. At night she (and her whole family) read. From Tarzan and D’Artagnan to Anne Shirley and Nancy Drew, she lived them all. No angst in her childhood. So what did she do as an adult? Write fiction, what else? She loves creating characters and making them do what she wants, but mostly they take off on their own and leave her hurrying to catch up.

All her stories have some degree of romance and a lot of suspense. Time of Death, a suspense novel about a psychic artist who sees too much, was released in November. And before that, Cold Comfort, her new romantic suspense. Her first book, published by Silver Dagger Mysteries, was Haunting Refrain. The second was The Peeper, a suspense novel co-authored with retired LEO Jim Christopher. (He’s a terrific storyteller!)

Ellis is an author, editor, and speaker. She grew up in North Alabama, studied English and art at All Saints College for Women, and thoroughly enjoyed studying creative writing under the great Scott Regan. She taught elements of fiction at a community college. Her home is now the South Carolina Piedmont with her husband and dogs.
Click here to contact Ellis.

New Year’s Revolutions!

Yes, the title is correct.  I am going with revolutions instead of just plain old resolutions.  I know I am a week late, but I figure better late than never to give you all an insight into where I will be strive to take my blog.  Please don’t panic…I don’t plan to completely upend my blog but I am going to start doing some new and different things.  But, also keep doing everything that has been successful this year.

First, I plan on adding some new additions.  I am adding Fresh Faced Friday to my blog.  This will introduce you and me to a new author.  Most of these I am choosing from review requests…so, authors out there if you want to be spotlighted then request a review and you will have an entire day just for you.  Another, new addition is going to be my Young Adult Corner.  I have started to read quite a bit of the Young Adult Genre so possibly weekly/bi-weekly I will post a review or author spotlight on Young Adult Corner.  Lastly, I plan on possibly adding on some contributing reviewers.  That way I can have a wider variety of reviews and you will benefit with more books, blogs and opinions!

What will stay the same will be the competitions, giveaways, blog hops (one coming in February) and tons of book reviews.  I know this doesn’t sound like much of a revolution, but change is always after a revolution!  These changes/additions will be awesome and I hope you look forward to enjoying them as much as I do in giving them to you.  So, here is to a new and exciting year for The Book Maven!  Viva La Revoluccion! 🙂

Fresh Faced Friday featuring Dangerous Heart by Sara Lynn Hoyt

Today is my first addition to the blog this year.  Every Friday, starting in January, I will feature a new author (at least to me).  Most of these authors have come to me asking for an honest review.  This first feature is a fantastic historical romance.  Sara Lynn Hoyt definitely doesn’t disappoint.  If you are like me and like a little danger in her tormented hero and a bit of a plain beauty in your heroine you will love Sara Lynn Hoyt’s Dangerous Heart.  Be sure to check out my full review below.

16178671Dangerous Heart

Philadelphia, 1838
Penelope Kincaid believes she is a unremarkable, unlovable girl, especially when she sees herself in her father’s disapproving eyes and his constant comparison to her perfect little sister. All she’s ever wanted is to be loved by her father the way he loves her sister. So when a friend’s brother agrees to marry Penny she believes all her problems are solved. Her father must approve since her new fiancé is rich and of the right social standing. Finally, her father will see that she is worthy of his love.

Cord Vandenberg believes he can never escape his own tortured past. Instead, he will save his best friend from a similar fate whom he believes is being married off to a social climbing gold-digger. Cord vows to stop Penelope Kincaid from ruining his friend’s life. In his attempts to break the two apart, he discovers that Penny’s heart is true, and her kisses are sweeter than wine. She is the only person who can pull him from his darkness, but she is engaged to his best friend. He is tortured by both the thought of hurting his friend and losing Penny forever.

Review:

Dangerous Heart is set in the early 1800’s Philadelphia.  A time not long after the war of 1812 but way before the Civil War is about to break out.  It is still a time when status and money make a difference in both a woman’s and a man’s world.  Penny is considered plain by her father.  She is the eldest of two but is not the favored daughter.  She is from Pittsburgh but is visiting Georgianna, a from school, and experiencing Philadelphian society.  This society is fashioned after the ton of English society.  Penny doesn’t have any prospects for marriage but sees marriage as a way of escaping her father’s abusive ways.  While visiting with Georgianna that she suggests that if Penny were to marry Georgianna’s brother, Thomas then both Penny and Thomas’s problems would be solved.  Seeing as Thomas sees Penny more like a sister than a prospective bedmate they both fall into the trap of possibly marrying for convenience.

Enter Cord Vandenberg, Thomas’s best friend and confidant.  Cord is a dashing handsome rogue who is more alcoholic than any woman would want in a man.  Penny first runs into Cord in the park after running after her wayward bonnet.  Not knowing who each other is they have an immediate spark of attraction that sears the image of the other in their minds.  After a horrible first real meeting and misunderstanding at Georgianna’s ball.  The begin to really develop true feelings even if Cord originally started out by trying to be devious.  Penny’s genuine nature charms Cord and Cord’s smoldering good looks and tormented  soul draws in Penny.  The love story between these two characters feels very genuine and real.  Even the obstacles that are placed in the way of their happens can’t stop two hearts that are meant to love one another.  This is definitely a historical romance for the books.  If you want to read a regency like romance set in the New World then you will enjoy Dangerous Heart.

I was extremely impressed with Saralynn Hoyt’s Dangerous Heart.  Her writing was very fluid and yet concise.  She is able to draw you into the story and drive you to want to learn more about the characters.  You feel their emotions and fall in and out of love with them just as they do each other.  Being from the Philadelphia area I really enjoyed the setting even if it was almost a couple hundred years ago.  Also, I must say that for an independently published book this was well-edited and did not have glaring errors either grammatically nor structurally that some independently published books tend to have.  I would whole heartedly recommend Dangerous Heart and the phenomenal writing style of SaraLynn Hoyt.

Princess-SherylAuthor Bio:

Sheryl Hoyt writes as Saralynn Hoyt.  She has been writing nearly all her life.  She is recently published independently and is doing all of this on her own.  She was recently spotlighted in Time Magazine.  After reading about SaraLynn I don’t feel I can do her justice by summarizing her story.  So click here to see SaraLynn’s story told in her own words.

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

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Favorite Book Series

Eternal Guardians by Elisabeth Naughton Dark-Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward Lords of the Underworld by Gena Showalter Lords of Deliverance by Larissa Ione discovery of witches love at stake
The Fallen Angels by J.R. Ward Fairy Tales by Eloisa James Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost Fever by Karen Marie Moning Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
Mercedes Thompson by Patricia Briggs Midnight Breed by Lara Adrian The Hollows by Kim Harrison Witch by Carolyn MacCullough westfield wolves
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