Tuesday, September 2, 2014

House of Wonder + Giveaway





My Review

House of Wonder is a charming, endearing read. Jenna and her family may be different but I like different. I would not call them weird as I would call them quirky. Which is what makes them unique. I like the way the author gave both Jenna's mother, Silla and brother, Warren mental illnesses but did not make them debilitating with them. Rose was such a doll. She helped to liven things up in the story. The relationship she and Warren had was a good one. Also, I like that the author slowly revealed Silla's past and how it affected and shaped her into the person she was now. It really gave me a good insight into who she is as a person and helped me become closer to her as well.

While Warren may not have said much in the story, he was still an very important person in this book and one to listen to. You just had to have patience. The budding romance between Jenna and Bobby was great. I like that they took things slowly and let it develop into something. They made a cute couple. I look forward to reading the next book by this author.


I have 1 copy to give away. US. Leave a comment with email address. Winner chosen Sept 7

What the Heart Wants Launch Day Blitz + Giveaway








What the Heart Wants by Jeanell Bolton

The love he left behind . . .
Laurel Harlow was once the princess of Bosque Bend, Texas: every door was open to the only daughter of the beloved minister and his well-bred wife. Then scandal rocked their family-and those same doors slammed shut. Now preparing the family mansion for sale, Laurel wants nothing more than to put the past behind her and move on. But when Jase Redlander appears on her doorstep, sixteen years after he left her heartbroken, she can't turn him away . . . especially when he needs her help.
. . . is the only thing worth coming home for

Jase never intended to come back to this one-horse town. But then his teenage daughter runs away, headed straight for Bosque Bend and the woman he once loved. The moment Jase sees Laurel again, he knows he never should have left all those years ago. There's a secret she's keeping from him, though-he's certain of it. Over the course of sunny days and sultry nights, Jase aims to find out what it is. And this time he'll show Laurel that this bad boy can be the man of her dreams . . . if she'll let him.


Excerpt
"Your hair is soft as silk," Jase said, weaving his fingers slowly through the sable strands and watching them fall back in place. She’d worn it the same way as a teenager, he remembered. Sixteen years ago, the style had looked sweet and wholesome, but now it looked incredibly sexy.

He moved his hand along the nape of her neck and traced the curve of her ear, enjoying the way she trembled in response.

"I thought you hated me." His voice was a low-pitched whisper. In fact, he’d spent his last few days in Bosque Bend expecting to be thrown in jail before finally realizing Laurel hadn't told anyone about their encounter.

Cold comfort. The shame of everyone knowing she’d been touched by Growler Red’s lunkhead son probably would have been even worse than what had actually happened.

She looked at him in surprise. "I never hated you. I was in love with you, but I was too young for what you wanted back then." She rolled over on her stomach and looked at him through coyly lowered lashes. "But I’m all grown up now."


Jeanell Bolton is an active member of the Austin chapter of Romance Writers of America. She has three children, one husband, and one dog. She lives on five glorious wooded acres in the boondocks of Georgetown, Texas. In past lives, she has been a teacher, an activist, an artist, a journalist, and a chorus director, but she is now settled into writing about deep, dark romances which end up happily ever after, which is how it always should be.



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Poached is a fun, entertaining, barrel of laughs!

Teddy Fitzroy’s back for another zoo mystery—this time it’s a koala caper—in this action-packed follow-up to Belly Up, which Kirkus Reviews called “great fun.”

School troublemaker Vance Jessup thinks Teddy Fitzroy’s home at FunJungle, a state-of-the-art zoo and theme park, is the perfect place for a cruel prank. Vance bullies Teddy into his scheme, but the plan goes terribly awry.

Teddy sneaks into the koala exhibit to hide out until the chaos dies down. But when the koala goes missing, Teddy is the only person caught on camera entering and exiting the exhibit.

Teddy didn’t commit the crime—but if he can’t find the real culprit, he’ll be sent to juvie as a convicted koala-napper.



My Review

Poached is a fun, entertaining, barrel of laughs! I could not stop reading this book. I had a really good laugh during the koala death scene. Don't worry it is really not that bad and no "real" koalas were hurt during this part. Teddy is not that great of a spy/detective but this is what makes this book so much fun to read. It is because of all of the trouble that he finds himself in that makes things interesting. Any kid who reads this book is going to want to live at an amusement park. In fact, the idea sounds fun that I would want to live at one as well. There were many eccentric characters in this book. The author did a good job with this book. Keeping it fun but also easy to read for the targeted audience of the younger readers. I had so much fun reading this book that I am going to go back and check out the prior novels.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mercy with B.J. Daniels + Giveaway


Mercy by B.J. Daniels

Harlequin; August 26, 2014
352 pages; $7.99 U.S./ $8.99 CAN.
ISBN-978-0-373-77895-9


For U.S. marshal Rourke Kincaid, there’s the law…and then there’s his law. When the two don’t agree, he always trusts his instincts. A killing spree has gripped the Northwest, showing a strange connection that only he sees, and now the old rules of justice no longer apply. Forced to turn rogue, he goes deep undercover to track his mysterious female suspect to a quiet, unassuming café in the wild, isolated mountains of Beartooth, Montana.

But encountering Callie Westfield complicates his mission in ways he never expected. As suspicious as she seems, her fragile beauty and sexy charm get to Rourke. Then the gory crimes begin anew. With his heart suddenly at war with his instincts, he has only two options. Either turn Callie over to the law, or put everything—including his badge and his life—on the line to protect her.


My Review

This is the fifth book in the Beartooth, Montana series. Each book can be read as a stand alone novel. So you can jump into this series now with Mercy or read then all starting with Unforgiven. This book had the right amount of romance and mystery. My issues were that Callie did not connect with me right away like Rourke did. Also, the story seemed to drag because it seemed like while nothing was literally repeated, it did seem to repeat itself. When it came to the mystery. For someone as smart as Rourke who has been doing his job for a long time, I thought he would have figured out the truth sooner. The reason that I did not connect with Callie right away is because she was timid. I wanted her to be more outgoing. Although she did make up for it later in the book. The romance between Callie and Rourke was steamy but like a PG to PG-13 type of rating. A good quick read.



 
Praise for





New York Times bestselling author



B. J. DANIELS
"Daniels is truly an expert
at Western romantic suspense."
RT Book Reviews on Atonement
"Will keep readers on the edge of their chairs from beginning to end."
Booklist on Forsaken
"Action-packed and chock-full of suspense."
Under the Covers on Redemption
"Fans of Western romantic suspense will relish Daniels’ tale of clandestine love




played out in a small town on the Great Plains."



Booklist on Unforgiven
 
 
Also available from
B.J. Daniels
and Harlequin HQN
ATONEMENT FORSAKEN REDEMPTION UNFORGIVEN

 
 
 
B. J. DANIELS
 




 
If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as "unsold and destroyed" to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this "stripped book."
 
 




Recycling programs for this product may not exist in your area.





ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77895-9






Mercy






Copyright © 2014 by Barbara Heinlein






All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereinafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage

or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher, Harlequin HQN, 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario M3B 3K9, Canada.






This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

This edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. For questions and comments about the quality of this book,


pleaseHYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com" HYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com"contactHYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com" HYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com"usHYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com" HYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com"atHYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com" HYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com"CustomerSeHYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com"rHYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com"vice@HaHYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com"rHYPERLINK "mailto:CustomerService@Harlequin.com"lequin.com.

® and TM are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its corporate affiliates. Trademarks indicated with ® are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and in other countries.


 

 
Printed in U.S.A.



 
 




I joke that this book tried to kill me. I realize now that the ones that really grab me are the ones that I struggle with and end up loving the most. This one grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. So this book is dedicated



to the man who saw me through it, even the three a.m. trip to the hospital with my f irst migraine.




To my husband, Parker, who takes good care of me so I can just write. I couldn’t be more grateful for your loving support or the wonderful meals you cook me



or the patience you have deadline after deadline.
I couldn’t do this without you. I love you.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

rourke breathed in the sweet, mysterious scent of Callie Westfield as his mouth took possession of hers again.




She moaned, sending his already pounding heart drumming harder. He wanted this woman, wanted to get under her skin, wanted to know her intimately. He knew how dangerous it was. He didn’t care. She’d


 
 
been a mystery to him for too long. Now she was in his arms, her mouth opening invitingly to his, her breath mingling with his, her tongue—

Callie suddenly pulled back, her gaze locking with his again. He was breathing hard. He didn’t want to let go of her.

She took a breath, her cheeks f lushed. Her arms moved from around his neck. She pressed her palms against the front of his shirt—but she didn’t push him away, and he didn’t loosen his hold on her, afraid if he did she would slip away.

He watched her catch her breath, her dark eyes search- ing his face before her gaze locked again with his.

"Tell me I’m not wrong about you," she whispered. "Tell me I’m wrong about you," he wanted to plead, but instead he said, "I guess that depends on what

you’re thinking about me right now."

Her smile was slow, her eyes bright with moonlight and desire. "That you’re going to break my heart."
"I hope not. I sure don’t want to."

She cocked her head, studying him. "You don’t know how much I wish I could read your thoughts right now." "You would be disappointed. I don’t think much with you in my arms, and when you’re kissing me, my only thought is your mouth." The truth of that made him smile. He certainly wasn’t thinking like a U.S. marshal. He could hear Laura’s warning. Don’t get too close. He realized he could have just kissed his first

serial killer.

"Have you had your heart broken before?" he asked, curious as both a man and a marshal.

Callie pushed back gently, still studying him. He loosened his hold, and she slipped from his arms, turn-


 
 
ing her back to him. He took a deep breath, mentally kicking himself for spoiling the moment. He let the breath out slowly as she picked up her empty beer bot- tle and glass.

"That was probably a mistake," she said, her back to him.

"If you’re talking about that kiss, nope, that was definitely not a mistake."
She turned to look at him, eyes narrowing. "And if
I was talking about something else?"

He wanted to say that only time would tell. Instead, he joked, "The mistake was stopping kissing. But then, maybe it wasn’t."
She smiled. "I’ll bite. Why not?"
"Because if we hadn’t stopped, you would have wanted to make love in the moonlight by the lake."
Callie laughed. "Is that right?" "I’m certain of it."
"What about you?" she asked, cocking her head to the side.
"Oh, I think you could have persuaded me, but I
prefer to wait until the third date—not the first."
She chuckled. "You’re considering this a first date?" He grinned and rubbed his thumb slowly along his
lower lip. "First kiss. First date, don’t you think?" Shaking her head, she smiled at him. She had a
great smile. Sometimes it even reached her eyes. "Think you can sleep now?" he asked.

She nodded slowly. Was that disappointment or re- lief he saw in her eyes?

"Good, then you don’t mind if I follow you as far as town," he said, taking her glass and bottle from her


 
 
and picking up his own. "I would hate to see you run into Carson Grant again tonight."



laura couldnt Sleep. Like a scene out of a Poe tale, she could hear the trunk under her bed calling to her. Giving up fighting it any longer, she climbed out of bed and dragged out the trunk.




She realized she had no choice but to open it. She had to see what was inside. Her fingers trembled as she pulled out the key to the padlock, and then in a fit of terror, she shot to her feet to pace back and forth. Her mind listed all the reasons she should have de- stroyed the contents.

Reaching for her phone, she started to call her psy- chiatrist, but stopped herself. She knew what he’d say. The same thing he had been saying all along. She had to face her past, shine light on those dark holes of blank memory from her childhood and face her fears.

She stopped pacing to stare at the trunk. Why hadn’t she burned everything like she’d planned? Because she had to know all of it. Her mother had saved it for her. Saved it for this moment when she came face-to- face with her past.

Wasn’t it possible there would be something in the trunk that would prove Callie was the killer?
If she had any hope of saving Rourke…
But she feared it was too late. "No, it won’t be too late until he finds himself tied to a bed and a knife to his throat," she said to the empty room.

Her mother had hidden this trunk in the basement. Locked it so no one else could see what was inside. Maybe especially her sister, Catherine?


That thought made her head hurt. She saw the clock
 
 




by the bed. She didn’t have any more time. If there was something in that trunk…

Moving to it, she fished the key to the padlock back out of her pocket and bent down to insert it into the lock. It snapped open, feeling icy cold beneath her fin- gers. Removing the lock, she told herself it wasn’t too late. She could still burn the contents.

She thought of Rourke and felt a weight on her chest that made it hard to breathe.

With a curse, she reached down and grabbed the edge of the trunk lid and lifted it. The old metal creaked, re- minding her of her mother’s wheelchair. For just a mo- ment, she saw the pillow in her hand, the spot of blood on it, the blood on her mother’s lip… .

Laura threw off the disturbing image as she looked down into the trunk at the jumble of papers. Off to one side of the loose papers, she spotted what at first looked like a book.

With trembling fingers, she picked it up. A diary. Her mother had kept a diary? She opened it to the first page, her fingers trembling.


In her mother’s handwriting was Westfield 1987–88.

when rourke reached town after following Callie back, he parked on the main drag in front of the café. Originally he’d planned to just make sure she got in- side her apartment without any trouble.




But after parking, he decided to walk the perimeter to be certain Carson wasn’t hiding in the dark like he had been earlier lying in wait for her.

As Rourke made his loop around the café, he was surprised to find that Callie had gone up to her apart- ment, turned on the lights and then come back down.


 
 
She was waiting for him at the bottom of her outside stairs.

Moonlight played on her face, making her dark eyes bright. Her hair, which she’d had pulled back earlier, now framed her face, the raven locks against her pale skin. She couldn’t have looked more beautiful. Or more desirable. He felt a tremor inside him like nothing he’d ever felt before. Red f lag warnings were going off like fireworks in his head.

She smiled, and the moment he stepped to her, all he could think about was kissing her again. His mouth took hers hungrily, the kiss all passion and need as he pulled her into his arms. Lifting her off her feet, he pressed her against the side of the building. He could feel the soft curves of her body, the heat she radiated warming the October night.

Neither of them must have heard the vehicle approach- ing. Before they knew it, they were caught in blinding- bright headlights. Ducking back into the shadow of the building, they burst into nervous laughter, desire spark- ing like fireflies between them.

"Third date, huh?" Callie said, sounding as breath- less as he felt.

The light glowing in her apartment just yards away drew him like a moth to a f lame. He knew how dan- gerous this could be, and yet…

"I suppose we could consider this our second date," he said, his voice husky with desire. "Maybe if I left and came back…"

She laughed and gave him a playful push. "Don’t get ahead of yourself, cowboy."
"Go out with me tomorrow night. Dinner in Big
Timber. Say yes."


 
 
Callie took only a moment to consider. "Yes," she said, then raced up the stairs, stopping at the top to look back at him before disappearing inside.

He watched her go, asking himself if he hadn’t just made a date with a serial killer.






B.J. DANIELS, a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, wrote her first book after a career as an award-winning newspaper journalist and author of 37 published short stories. That first book, ODD MAN OUT, received a 4 ½ star review from Romantic Times magazine and went on to be nominated for Best Intrigue for that year. Since then she has won numerous awards including a career achievement award for romantic suspense and numerous nominations and awards for best book. Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, and two Springer Spaniels, Spot and Jem. When she isn’t writing, she snowboards, camps, boats and plays tennis. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Thriller Writers, Kiss of Death and Romance Writers of America.


Author Q&A for B.J. Daniels Mercy

Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming release, Mercy?
I’ve never done a serial killer book because I like murders that are more personal. When I began writing MERCY (I write by the seat of my pants without any idea where the story is going until the characters tell me) I saw the opening and thought, "What is this about?"
The next thing I knew, I was on the trail of a possible serial killer with my rogue U.S. marshal Rourke Kincaid. I loved his perseverance (something writers know well.)
He took me for quite a ride before the book was finished. I ended up in the hospital at 3 a.m., 20 degrees below zero outside, with my first migraine. MERCY, the 5th book in the Beartooth, Montana series, became the book that almost killed me – and my first serial killer book.
How did you come up with the title?
At the end of the first chapter, my killer is telling her victim to "Beg for mercy." But to me the title is more about having been given mercy (compassion, love, understanding) at some point in our lives and how that makes us the people we are.
When I was doing research on serial killers, I became fascinated by how one person in the same type of family situation becomes a killer and the other person doesn’t.
The cover illustration overlooks a small town. Can you tell us how this cover sets the tone for the book?
I write about small towns because that’s what I know. The Beartooth series takes place in and around a small Montana town where everyone knows everyone else – and their business. But there are always secrets. Also, things work differently in places where everyone knows each other, so I have more leeway when it comes to even how law enforcement operates.
You said that the books that you struggle with the most are the ones that you end up loving the most. Can you talk about the writing process for Mercy?

You mean the book that tried to kill me? I do love this book though because of it. It was hard to write, but they say write what you know. I often write about characters from dysfunctional families. I grew up in one though I later realized there were families a whole lot worse than mine. Instead of becoming a serial killer, I became a writer. We both live in fantasy worlds where we settle scores, get revenge, make those in the wrong get what they have coming to them (at least what we think they have coming to them.)



Where I struggled with MERCY was giving the reader enough information and yet not giving away who the killer really was. I didn’t want any of them to be the killers at one point. I cared too much about them and what they’d been through. I kept telling myself that I was wrong about who I suspected. There had to be someone else who did the killings. Talk about denial.

Also this book took a twist I wasn’t expecting. I think all authors draw on their own life experiences. A lot of me and my life ends up in my books. I grew up with a mother who was…somewhat psychic. It scared her. I often wondered how that ability (who knows how strong it was since she fought it) would shape a person’s life – or torture that person.

So it was bound to end up in one of my books.
 

Was there a scene in this book that was harder to write than others?
I often struggle with the action scene during the climax. I just feel as if every fight scene has been done. It’s easier to figure out how the good guys get the upper hand than the choreography of the fight.
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
I loved creating all of the characters. I felt I knew them by the end. That’s why I didn’t want any of them to be guilty of the murders. They all wanted to be good people, but they were flawed and struggling with the hand they’d been dealt. We all know it isn’t fair to blame your childhood once you’re an adult, but that childhood is what shaped you and some people fight and fight to overcome it and just can’t.
Can you tell us a bit more about the town of Beartooth, MT and the people who live there?
They are mostly rural people who appreciate where they live and don’t want it to change. They are often suspicious of newcomers. I know when I moved to a very small Montana town eight years ago, people kept asking me why I’d done such a thing. There are always those who dream of going to a bigger city. They are usually the ones who never leave though. So Beartooth and the community around it are people who know each other, who depend on each other and take care of their own.
How do the dual locations of Seattle, WA and Beartooth, MT add to the story?
It’s interesting but when people leave Montana for the big city it is often Seattle. It is surprising how many Montanans end up there because of better paying jobs.
But in this story you have a marshal who is like a fish out of water in a small town like Beartooth. Of the two women in the story, most people go to a big city to disappear but Cassie came to a small Montana town. Laura is a prime example of someone leaving Montana for greener grasses.
How much research went into portraying a serial killer?
I can laugh about it now but a year ago the first week of September I took a whole stack of research books on serial killers and headed for the mountains. I was off the grid for a week and did nothing but read about serial killers. I swear between the grizzly bears that wandered through camp and the serial killer true stories, I had nightmares.
Did things get too real when writing this book?
They did get too real in this book. I remember interviewing Tim Cahill years ago when I worked for the newspaper. He was writing Buried Dreams: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer, the story of John Wayne Gacy. I remember him telling me that his wife hated it when he came home after interviewing Gacy. He said it was impossible not to bring it home with him and that thoughts of it lasted for years.
Did you base the character of Callie Westfield on anyone?
I base my characters on no one and everyone. I’ve known people who did well in life and others who didn’t. I’ve always been curious about what made them the way they were.
Callie had a classic serial killer background. One characteristic of a serial killer that I found very telling in my research was the person’s relationship with his/her mother. The mother seemed the key.
Can you tell us a little bit about Rourke Kincaid’s internal struggle? If you have ever loved someone you shouldn’t, then you know what Rourke is going through. Love picks us sometimes, not the other way around. It is hard to go into something like that with rational thinking. You know you shouldn’t for so many reasons and yet when you see that person, all rational thought goes out the window.
Also don’t most of us think love can conquer all? Even as we are getting in deeper, we make excuses. We tell ourselves that we’re fine, that we can get out at any time. Or worse, that the other person will change.
If this wasn’t true, then there wouldn’t be so many bad relationships where the warning signs were apparent before the couple went into it – and yet they couldn’t seem to help themselves.
Who would play Callie and Rourke in a movie?
I would love Amy Smart for Cassie and Alanna Uvbach for Laura. For Rourke…Paul Walker!
 
What is the best advice you received when writing Mercy?
To not give up. It is hard sometimes. I would go home after work and tell my husband that this could be the book that never gets finished. He always says, "Oh, you’ll be fine. You always finish them." He’s not helpful.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
I hope they enjoy the mystery and the romance and it takes them away for however many hours it takes them to read it. I don’t kid myself. I write escape fiction. It’s okay too if I scare them a little. Mercy intrigued and scared me. Ultimately, there are some people who can’t be saved – or let loose on the rest of society.
 
What is your next project?
The Beartooth, Montana series continues with the six-book series: The Montana Hamiltons. The first book, WILD HORSES, will be out in March, followed by LONE RIDER, in July. It is the stories of the six Hamilton sisters. Their father, Senator Buckmaster Hamilton, is running for president of the United States. But as each of his daughters find romance – and trouble – it threatens his candidacy. The future of the country hangs in the balance by the sixth book because Buckmaster has a mystery of his own.

www.bjdaniels.com

 

 








 




I have 1 copy to give away. US. Leave a comment with your email address. Winner chosen September 6th

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Beautiful Ashes Book Blast + Giveaway

the beautiful ashes


Title: The Beautiful Ashes


Author: Jeaniene Frost


Expected Publication: August 26th, 2014




 About The Beautiful Ashes

 In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

 Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

 Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

Buy Links

Amazon | BN



 goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

My Review

This is a great first book to a new series. It had the right mixture of action, an other worldly world, tons of demons, a sexy hero and love interest, and a strong female heroine. I like that the romance did not happen all the time. In fact, there was not a bunch of sexual tension between Ivy and Adrian. Don't get me wrong as I don't mean that they were not right for each other or that I was not feeling them as a couple but that it was not always there in my face. Which when they did hook up for the first time, it was that much better. It felt more real and believable. I like that Ivy just rolled with the punches. She doe not over react to anything, even her first encounter with a demon hound or finding out that she looked like a cross dressing drag queen grandpa. To find out more you will have to pick up a copy of this book yourself. I can't wait to read book two and see what happens next. The Beautiful Ashes is a lovely, paranormic read with kick-ass characters!

 

 About Jeaniene Frost: 



 Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the upcoming Broken Destiny series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.

 For information on Jeaniene's books, reading the first 20% of each book free, book trailers, deleted scenes, creature mythology, and more, please visit: www.jeanienefrost.com







Excerpt: 

 "What is that?"

 Adrian’s voice startled me. For a second, I was disoriented, the dream clinging to me as it always did. Yes, I was in a car, but I wasn’t the unknown woman driving away from her baby. That wasn’t real. The glare Adrian leveled at my chest was, though.

 "Is that a mirror?" He sounded horrified.

 I looked down. My locket was open, the mirrored side facing me. At some point while I was sleeping, I must’ve opened it. Adrian’s hand shot out, but this time, I was too fast for him.

 "Don’t you dare," I snapped, holding it out of his reach. "It’s the only picture I have of my sister after you left everything I own back at that hotel in Bennington!"

 He lunged again, actually letting go of the steering wheel to reach the side of the car where I held it. With a sharp yank, he wrested the locket from my hands. I tried to snatch it back, but he shoved me into my seat with one hand, finally grabbing the steering wheel with the other.

 "Are you crazy?" I shrieked. "You could’ve gotten us killed!" If this hadn’t been a lonely stretch of desert road, our careening into the next lane might’ve had permanent consequences.

 "You’re going to get yourself killed," was his chilling response. Then, still pinning me to my chair with that single hand, he held my locket up.

 I gasped. Something dark poked out of the small mirror, like a snake made of blackest smoke. It disappeared when Adrian smashed the mirror against the steering wheel, but an eerie wind whistled through the car, ruffling my hair and stinging my nostrils with its acrid scent.

 Adrian muttered a word in that unknown language, and I didn’t need a translator to tell me it was a curse.

 "What was that?" My voice was hoarse.

 He threw me a pitying glance, which frightened me even more. If he wasn’t angry, we must really be screwed.

 His next words proved that. "Brace yourself, Ivy. You’re about to meet a demon."

 Logo2.png

 



 



 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion




Derek Hough, the dashing Emmy Award-winning fan favorite, and only four-time champion of the hit ABC reality show Dancing With the Stars, tells the inspiring story of his life and career, and shares insider tips of how he transforms his celebrity dance partners into confident, charismatic champions.

For eleven seasons, millions of people have tuned in to Dancing with the Stars to watch Derek Hough, the talented, consummate competitor whose skill and commitment have made him the show’s all-time champion. Whether he’s dancing with an Olympic gold medalist, an internationally renowned recording star, or a celebrated actress, Derek instills in each of his celebrity partners a deep passion, respect for hard work, and an irrepressible joie de vie spirit.



Now, for the first time ever, Derek opens up about his life and the lessons he’s learned on and off the dance floor, revealing how he went from bullied boy to ballroom boss. He details how his experiences have taught him to embrace a positive outlook, and shares the insights he’s gained working with celebrity partners, along with never-before-told, behind-the-scenes stories from the show.

Throughout, Derek spills the real secrets of learning to dance—connection, respect, and cooperative commitment—and demonstrates how he draws on the lessons of dance and competition to embrace and overcome the daily challenges we all face.


 
 
 
My Review
 
Of course like any one else in the world, I am familiar with who Derek Hough is. In fact, my one co-worker and I like to talk Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). So I wanted to read this book. First off what I learned but already knew is that Derek is humble, kind, a hard-worker, and talented. In essence, Derek is just like the person you see on television. This is so refreshing. A big part of this comes from his family upbringing. For example there was a quote by his mother that I liked:
 
"Derek, I don't care what you do. You can be a garageman, a mechanic, a plumber-whatever you want! Just be the best at it."
 
While this book was a memoir, it was also a guide book or rule book on how to live your life. One lesson at a time. It was nice to read all of the different people share their experience being and working with Derek. Of course, if you are a fan of DWTS and are looking for some juicy gossip, you will be disappointed. This is not that type of book.

Erotic Tempting Nights






1,001 EROTIC NIGHTS PART 2: BARBARIAN’S CONCUBINE by Lisa Cach
 
SUMMARY:
After Clovis becomes king of his tribe of Salian Franks he reunites with Nimia. He soon realizes how useful her Phannic gifts will be, and with her help, plots to take down Soissons. She is in love with Clovis, however, and while he says he loves her, too... there is a calculating coldness in his eyes sometimes that makes her wonder if he knows what love is.

Sygarius, meanwhile, is outraged that Nimia fled, and he too has realized that she has useful powers. He wants her back. And he is prepared to fight for what’s his.
 
 
EXCERPT:
Terix heaved a put-upon sigh. We’d had this same argument a hundred times over the past month and a half as we fled from Sygarius and toward . . . toward . . . Well, that was the issue. Toward what? The only answer that had any meaning—to me, at least—was to find my lost people, the Phanne. And the only clue I had to finding them was the story that a tattooed man named Maerlin had once met my onetime lover (and only one time, gods rot his betraying heart), the Frankish prince Clovis, on the shore of the channel. Maerlin had told Clovis that he was of the Phanne and going to Britannia, and that Clovis must remember this fact, for someday it would give him what he sought.
 
An annoyingly mysterious statement, that.
 
“He’ll want more from you once we’re on his boat. You’ll have to give it to him, too,” Terix tried.
 
I hoped so.
 
Hades, what had come over me? This was not the Nimia I was familiar with, for most of her life untouchable and untouched, the consecrated sexual-toy-to-be of Sygarius.
 
Or maybe I was the same Nimia: I had spent those untouched years lusting for the feel of another’s hand on my skin. Perhaps it should be no surprise to anyone, least of all myself, that once my virginity was gone I would seek to gorge myself on that which I had so long been denied.
 
Jax was the first attractive opportunity to do so. How convenient for me that we needed his help.
 
“Better a cock rubber . . .” I said, reviving an old joke between us.
 
“Than a pot scrubber,” Terix answered, but then made a face. “That was only funny when we were slaves with no choice.”
 
“There’s never a choice for the likes of us. Not here in Gaul, anyway, with Sygarius hunting us. We have to get beyond his reach.”
 
Terix threw up his hands. He knew I wasn’t going to be dissuaded. “It’s your cunny.”
 
“My cunny isn’t part of the deal, you know that.” At least, not yet it wasn’t. One look at my tattoos, and no matter how horny Jax was for me, he’d be a lot hornier for the ten-soldi reward. “It’s the only way, Terix.”
 
Terix turned his shoulder to me, and made grumbling comments to his cup of mead that I chose not to decipher.
 
I slid my gaze to Jax, and sent him my answer in a small smile and a nod.
 
Jax rose at once, leaving his friends to their dice and drink. He wove through the crowd, coming toward me with an easy, natural confidence, his arms relaxed, his narrow hips and sinewy frame moving without hurry, but with purpose. A sudden certainty came to me that a man who moved through a crowd like that, with no sign of either arrogance or caution, was a man who didn’t blink at killing anyone who got in his way.
 
A shiver ran down my spine and landed in my loins. I was a fool if I thought I was in control of this situation.
 
My cunny pulsed in response to the thought.
 
“All is agreed?” Jax asked when he reached me. His Latin had an accent I couldn’t place; I guessed that he’d not grown up amid Romans. How old he might be, I couldn’t say: deep crow’s-feet spread from his eyes, and grooves ran from the edge of his nose to the corners of his mouth, but a life on the water would do that to even a young man. His hair hung thick and dark brown, and his teeth flashed white in his tanned skin.
 
I nodded.
 
He took my elbow in a gentle grip and guided me from the tavern into the scorching heat of the day. The sun felt like flames on my skin. My stomach fluttered as I realized this was happening; I was going alone with Jax to the stables. I had agreed to suck his cock in exchange for his agreeing to take us on as paying passengers, and he was not a man who would let me change my mind.
 
 
Link continuing the excerpt to XOXOAfterDark:
 
 
 
 
TEMPT ME ETERNALLY by Gena Showalter
 
SUMMARY:
 The huntress becomes the hunted in this sizzling paranormal romance from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Gena Showalter, previously published as part of the Deep Kiss of Winter anthology with #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole, now available as a stand-alone ebook!

With only skin-to-skin contact, Aleaha Love can change her appearance, assuming any identity. As an AIR (Alien Investigation and Removal) agent, her newest mission is to capture a group of otherworldly warriors. So imagine her surprise when the hunter becomes the hunted, and she’s taken captive by dangerously seductive Breean, a golden-skinned, iron-willed commander, who threatens everything Aleaha stands for—and makes her want to be only herself, for the first time in her life.
 
EXCERPT:
They were coming.
 
Warriors unlike any other. Monsters of unimaginable power. Otherworlders. Fierce creatures with the ability to look inside your soul, glimpse your greatest fear, and present it to you with an unrepentant smile.
 
Should’ve stayed home, Aleaha Love thought. ’Cause we’re gonna get spanked. Hard. And not in a good way. Instead, she’d answered her cell and her captain’s call to action, and now found herself crouched in the middle of a gnarled forest, staring into a snow-laden clearing, moonlight shooting bright amber rays in every direction as flakes wafted in the breeze like fairy dust.
 
Though she wore white from head to toe, had a pyre-gun stretched forward, and was burrowed in a drift as cover, she felt exposed. Vulnerable. And yeah, damn cold.
 
What in the hell did I get myself into?
 
“Everyone in position?” a voice whispered from her headset.
 
A whisper, yeah, but it startled her. She managed to cut off a yelp, but couldn’t stop tremors from sweeping through her. Steady. She’d never hear the end of it if she accidentally fired her weapon before the fight had even begun.
 
“Premature weapon ejaculation,” they’d say with a chuckle, and she wouldn’t be able to deny it.
 
One by one, twenty teammates uttered their assent. They had wicked cool nicknames like Hawk Eye and Ghost. Her turn, she said, “Lollipop, in place.”
 
She rolled her eyes. “Dress her up and watch her play bad alien, delicious cop,” the boys had laughed before giving her the stupid moniker her first day on the job. “Naughty lawbreakers will want to taste her, not outrun her.”
 
That had been, what? Five weeks ago, she realized with a jolt. Oh, how life had changed since then. From hiding in the shadows, afraid of what she was, to working cases with New Chicago’s elite team of smart-asses, content with her somewhat pampered existence. A pampered existence she didn’t deserve and hadn’t earned, but whatever. No guilt for her. Really.
 
“Need someone to snuggle against, Lolli?” a quiet, amused male voice asked. Devyn, supposedly a king of some sort and a self-proclaimed collector of women. He wasn’t really a member of Alien Investigation and Removal but was a special contractor, as well as the man who’d once wired her gun to blow bubbles rather than fire at target practice.
 
Word on the street, he was more powerful than God and deadlier than the devil, though no one would tell her outright what he could do. He was an otherworlder, that much she knew. That, and most of AIR’s flunkies kept their distance from him. They feared him, which only heightened Aleaha’s need to keep her own secrets.
 
She, too, was different.
 
She didn’t know whether she was human or alien. Or both. She didn’t know whether there were others like her or not. She didn’t know who her parents were or why they’d abandoned her on the dirty streets of the Southern District—a.k.a Whore’s Corner—of New Chicago, and she didn’t care. Not anymore. All she knew was that she could assume anyone’s identity with only a touch. That person’s face became hers; their height became hers; their body became hers.
 
For years, she’d lived in fear of being found out, of being hunted and tortured for her unnatural ability, afraid that everyone who looked at her saw the truth and knew she wasn’t who she claimed to be. But she couldn’t drop the mask. As herself, she was wanted for theft, assault against a police officer, and more theft. And then maybe kinda sorta murder. Not that she was culpable. He’d deserved it.
 
She’d rather lose a limb than spend any more time in jail.
 
Her fear of discovery was waning, though, and she was settling comfortably into her newest life as Macy Briggs. Maybe one day I’ll even be worthy of it. Again, not that she felt guilty. Really.
 
But with Christmas only a few weeks away . . . ugh. Worst. Holiday. Ever. Her “friends” would bake Macy’s favorite foods, not Aleaha’s. They would give her gifts meant for Macy, and reminisce fondly about good ole days she knew nothing about, and she would have to smile through every minute of it. And yeah, okay. Fine. Then she would feel guilty.
 
“What, ignoring me?” Devyn said with another of those snarky laughs. “Wasn’t like I was going to ask to feel you up or anything. I mean, I was just gonna surprise you with my handsiness.”
 
God, she was on the job, yet she’d lost track of her thoughts. Mortifying. “Can you take nothing
seriously?”
 
“Hello, have you met me? I take making out very seriously.”
 
All the men on the line snorted in their attempts to muffle their laughter. They might be wary of him, but they couldn’t help but enjoy his perverted sense of humor.
 
“Fuck you, Chuckles,” she said, trying not to reveal her amusement. Irreverent bastard.
 
“Excellent. We’re on the same page, because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do to you.”
 
Give herself to Devyn? Not in this lifetime, and not because he wasn’t attractive. If anything, he was too attractive. Hell, he was total screw-like-ananimal perfection. Tall, with dark hair, wide amber eyes, and skin that glittered like a jewel; there was no one else like him. There was a recipe for his smile, though: wicked desire dipped in acid, wrapped in steel and sprinkled with candy. The recipe for his laughter? Well, that was wicked desire tossed in the gutter, wrung out in a whorehouse, and slathered with scented body lotion. Women threw themselves at him constantly, and he ate it up like they were his own personal smorgasbord.
 
They probably were. Thank God she wasn’t in the market for a boyfriend. Or, rather, a lover, since that’s all someone as fickle as Devyn could ever amount to. Macy—the real Macy—had been dating a piece of scum Aleaha was still trying to lose and she didn’t have the time or patience to throw anyone else into the mix.
 
“Temper, temper,” Jaxon Tremain chided. He was one of two agents who hung out with the sexy otherworlder, and the resident smoother. There was something unnaturally calming about his presence, as if he could slink inside a person’s psyche and wash away her fears. “Would you kiss me with that mouth?”
 
“Funny,” she said dryly.
 
She could hear the others chortling and snorting with more surprised amusement. Someone said,
“Soliciting kisses from women, Jaxon? Mishka will kill you for that.”
 
“If by kill you mean seduce, then yeah,” Jaxon replied. “You’re right.”
 
Mishka was Jaxon’s wife and a hired killer who possessed a robotic arm. Aleaha had only seen her once, but that had been enough to scare ten years off her life. Never had she seen eyes so cold or heard a voice so uncaring. Of course, the moment Mishka spied Jaxon, her entire demeanor had changed. So had Jaxon’s, for that matter. Usually he was as con- servative as a priest. One glance at Mishka, though, and he’d morphed into gutter man.
 
Aleaha had marveled at the change in him, a change she was witnessing once again. Empathetic as he was, perhaps he was veering onto the perverted track now to get her mind off the bloody massacre sure to begin. Apparently, though, she didn’t need help today. She couldn’t concentrate worth a damn. What was wrong with her?
 
“Well,” Devyn said, drawing the spotlight back to him. As always. “Be a good lollipop and answer the man. Will you kiss him or not?”
 
“I could give you a list of all the things I’ll never do to you with my mouth,” she muttered. “How ’bout that?”
 
Devyn laughed, and, yep. It was wicked desire. “She reminds me of Mia when she talks like that. Tell us, Lolli, is that list for everyone or just Jaxon?”
 
“All right, team,” Mia Snow herself interjected before Aleaha could reply. “Save it. You know I only want you to stun these men. Do not burn them. I repeat, do not burn them. An open wound will bleed and that will spread their infection. And believe me, I will kill every single one of you myself if that happens.”
 
There was a moment of frightening silence. Infection. What a delightful reminder. Not only were the warriors coming here vicious, there was a possibility that they were bringing the plague with them.
 
“Good,” Mia continued. “I’ve got your attention. Solar flare approaching in ten.” She was inside a van about a mile away, watching the action on a night- vision monitor with a handful of backup agents. “Nine.”
 
Aleaha tensed. A few months ago, a big case had busted wide open and AIR had learned that otherworlders were traveling to Earth through interworld wormholes that initiated with solar flares. Then, a few weeks after that, another case had come to light. Members of a race of aliens known as the Schön had descended, their bodies carriers of a virus that passed to humans through their blood and ejaculate. This virus turned men and women into cannibals. Their queen—or living host of this sickness—was on her way here, due to arrive in the near future.
 
Tonight, ten members of her horde were supposed to utilize one of those wormholes. Their purpose: to smooth the way for her. Which meant, destroying AIR.
 
“Six.”
 
Shit. The countdown. Despite the frigid temperatures, sweat beaded on Aleaha’s brow, dripping from the brim of the white cap she wore. Stay calm. You have to stay calm.
 
“Five.”
 
Though her résumé claimed she’d worked as a cop for more than two years, this was actually Aleaha’s first mission.
 
What seemed forever ago but had only been a few months, she’d stumbled upon the body of a woman who’d been raped and killed in a back alley—a woman she’d recognized as Miss New Chicago’s Finest in Uniform calendar girl, Macy Briggs.
 
She’d almost walked away. The higher the public profile, the more scrutiny she received. But . . .
 
Already tired of the adult-toy-store clerk identity she’d previously stolen, Aleaha had seized the chance to better herself, hiding the body and shifting so that she was an exact match to Macy’s appearance, thereby claiming the woman’s life as her own.
 
Only later had she learned that Macy had applied to AIR and been accepted. To back out would have looked suspicious and changing identities yet again hadn’t appealed. So she’d done it. She’d attended that first day, then the next. And the next. They’d watched her suspiciously, as if they knew the truth, but they had never accused her and she’d realized she was probably paranoid. Soon they’d even relaxed, accepting her as one of their own. Now, here she was, done with trials and on mission one.
 
“—was actually your warm-up,” Mia said, cutting into her thoughts. “Ten. Nine.”
 
Shit. She’d missed the end of the first countdown? She was practically begging to be killed tonight.
 
“Seven. Six.”
 
Oh, God. What if she did, in fact, die out here? What if she lost everything she’d worked so hard to gain? Her gun hand shook. You have to stay calm, damn it.
 
With bouts of extreme emotion, she shifted from one identity to another without any control. “Four. Remember, guns set to stun and only stun.”
 
Her pyre-gun was already dialed to the proper setting, so she curled her index finger around the trigger and swallowed the hard lump in her throat. Breathe in, breathe out. You do know how to fire a weapon, at least. A skill she’d learned from her only true friend, Bride McKells. A vampire, and her champion. They’d been separated more than a decade ago, chased apart by cops who’d caught them breaking into homes for food, and Aleaha hadn’t been able to find her since. She’d never stop looking, though.
 
“One.”
 
Link continuing the excerpt to XOXO After Dark: