Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cover Reveal: Tirade by Cambria Hebert

Tirade
(Heven & Hell series #3)
by Cambria Hebert
Release Date: November 30, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Formats: Paperback & eBook

Back


Synopsis:
Betrayal burns. Death hurts and the clock ticks…

Minutes and hours stretch into days. How long can Sam survive being confined in Hell? I have a plan… a plan with a lot of holes. I need someone who can make up for my weaknesses, someone who possesses the power that I lack. Riley is supposed to be off limits. He’s dangerous, he’s mean and he’s not to be trusted. But I do.

Beelzebub is on a tirade, bent on revenge. I took what he wants and sent him into the flames. I will wear the scars of his punishments forever. But scars don’t scare me anymore.

On my way to free Sam I find my true path, a secret place and new allies. But in Hell nothing is easy… and everything is cruel. The only thing left to do is survive.


Book Trailer:





About the Author:
Author. Blogger. Latte Sipper.
Cambria Hebert is an author who wrote her first book at the age of fifteen. It was terrible. But the passion for writing never went away so years later when she opened her laptop and started typing she worked until she wrote a book that she hopes everyone will be as excited about as she is.

Cambria is obsessed with werewolves and is terrified of chickens (they are creepy!)She is an animal lover that would choose coffee over food and her favorite TV show is the Vampire Diaries (Hell-O Damon!)

Please visit her blog and her author website:
http://www.cambriahebert.com

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Proud Member of Team Heven and Hell!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Madly Series by M. Leighton Blog Tour: Series Review & Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Madly Series Tour! This tour is brought to you by AToMR Tours. Thank you to M. Leighton for providing the books to review. Right now you can get the first eBook in the series, Madly, online for FREE!! There is also a tour-wide giveaway for some nifty goodies: SIGNED Paperbacks on Madly, Madly & Wolfhardt, and Madly & The Jackal, Swag pack, and a Madly t-shirt. US/CA only.

**Note: I am providing reviews for each book in the series thus far. Each book builds upon each other so if you have not read the previous book there may be spoilers just in the synopsis. However, I do not include spoilers of each book in my reviews because what fun would that be?

Madly
Madly series, #1 - a novelette
by M. Leighton

Synopsis:
Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is.

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants.

In order to save her home, the lives of her family, and all of humanity, Madly must learn to wield her exceptional powers and recapture the Lore before it’s too late and all is lost. But Madly’s only help are her two best friends and the Sentinel, Jackson Hamilton, that threatens both her heart and her destiny. Madly has loved Jackson as long as she can remember, but he is the one thing even a princess can’t have. Can she resist love to become the queen she was fated to be? Or can she find a way to have both?

This novelette introduces you to Madly and prepares you for the quest of a lifetime.

My Thoughts:
This is a great introduction to the series. Bringing Christian mythology, Roman mythology, and a touch of the Brothers Grimm, M. Leighton has created a story that is riveting as well singularly unique. Madly James is a mermaid and a princess at that. She attends school in the small town of Slumber, a place where fairy tales and reality reside. When the unthinkable happens and Madly's home in the sea is compromised, she and her friends must race to find a way to return the Lore back to their prison.

I love Madly. She is a genuinely likable character. She is brave and courageous and will stop at nothing to help the ones she loves. Her best friend and roommate Jersey is a kick! Everything that comes out of her mouth is so random and had me giggling. Aiden is Madly's betrothed. He is of royal lineage and is the appropriate mate, but nothing ever is that simple... This leads me to Jackson, Jersey’s older brother, Sentinel for Atlas. All I have to say is OMG! He is hotness personified and has been Madly's crush since she was just a kid and the completely inappropriate choice. But that doesn't change the feelings that keep swirling through Madly's mind and body.

This is only a novelette and I have to admit that when it ended so abruptly I actually yelled at my eReader. M. Leighton has a knack for leaving off right when things are getting good. Thankfully, I already had book two waiting in the wings because I had to see what would happen next. I have to say, this book has made me a serious fan of M. Leighton's writing. She has a way with words that will leave you breathless!

Five Stars for Madly!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★



Madly & Wolfhardt
Madly series, #2
by M. Leighton

Synopsis:
Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants.

The first spirit to arrive is that of Ulrich Wolfhardt, a man that was once obsessed with wolves and a young maiden he would follow through the woods. After a bite from a wolf, Wolfhardt’s obsession with the girl became an unnatural hunger and the young maiden’s grandmother cursed him with a fate worse than death. And now he’s back…with a vengeance and a bite that can infect others as well.

Madly must learn the identity of Wolfhardt’s descendant and stop him before he kills again and spreads his curse across the earth. But the only person strong enough to help Madly is Jackson, the Sentinel who vowed to protect her and the one person capable of breaking her heart. Can Madly resist forbidden love long enough to save the world from Wolfhardt? Or will she have to sacrifice her heart and her destiny to save the ones she loves?

My Thoughts:
Picking up right where Madly left off, Wolfhardt begins at a frantic pace. Madly must find the Lore, Ulrich Wolfhardt and his descendant before he gets to the Strauss maiden's descendant. I love the way that M. Leighton brings together mermaids, werewolves and a whole cast of supernaturals that usually aren't combined. What is more, is that she does it well. Every detail is explained and believable to the progress of the story. I love the reinvented tale of Little Red Riding Hood! 

The main focus of Madly & Wolfhardt is finding the Lore and entrapping them in Madly's pearl to bring back to Atlas and it is exciting and pulse-pounding. But, at the heart of the story is the burgeoning relationship between Madly and Jackson. Jackson is infuriating in his aloofness at one moment and meaningful gazes the next. He is Madly's first, and only true love, and her girlish feelings and insecurities are very apparent. Every interaction between the two of them left my heart humming and my head swooning. The intensity of their feelings is vividly painted, yet restrained. There is nothing explicit, yet each scene left me - a married 30 year old woman - blushing and needing to stick my head in the freezer! 

However, Madly is still betrothed to Aiden, despite the fact that neither of them has actually linked to one another. In fact, Aiden has his eyes set on someone else all together. I am interested in finding out what this means for both Aiden and Madly and their potential future love lives. Again, M. Leighton's writing is exquisitely delicious. I can't get enough of her characters, especially Jackson - sigh. I also really like the expansion of powers that Madly is wielding. She is powerful and becoming a force to be reckoned with. I can't wait to read the third book in the series. Yes, we are left with another cliff-hanger. That seems to be consistent in all of M. Leighton's books, though. I am now a complete and total Fangirl of this series.

Madly & Wolfhardt earn a well deserved Five Stars!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Madly & The Jackal
Madly series, #3
by M. Leighton

Synopsis:
How deep does love run? Deeper than the ocean? Deeper than memory? Deeper than magic?

Following their plan to save Atlas, Madly and Jackson return the spirit of Wolfhardt to his prison beneath the sea. But even the best laid plans couldn’t account for the surprises they find. This time, Lore aren’t their only challenges.

Madly is special in ways no one could have guessed and dark forces seek to control her. They want her power, but first they must weaken her. They need her beaten. Vulnerable. Near death. And alone. But that task isn’t an easy one with Jackson at her side. The strongest of their kind, the only way to separate Jackson from Madly is to destroy his love for her, to erase it from his mind. And his heart.

Is it possible to steal Jackson’s love from Madly? Or is their love the only truly unbreakable thing?

My Thoughts:
This is my favorite book in the series thus far! This book is completely captivating and I could not put it down until I devoured every word. Madly and Jackson are now somewhat together and must journey to Atlas to help her family and all the inhabitants from complete decimation by a man and his monster. But that is just the beginning. Whomever the traitor is, has it out for Madly personally, and will stop at nothing to get to her. But death would be a welcome release from the pain that this Lore inflicts upon Madly. 

So many things take place in Madly & The Jackal. Madly and Jackson have finally admitted to their feelings and have made a commitment to each other. I can't tell you exactly what happens, but it is HUGE! They are blissfully happy, but in a second, all that is taken away. What is worse is that she can't/won't tell anyone about it. She wanted to keep her relationship with Jackson under wraps for the time being. I think she should have at least confided in Jersey. But despite the soul-crushing, heart-wrenching actions of Jackson, Madly stays (somewhat) strong. She is still determined to find the people who are responsible for releasing the Lore in the first place. I would have curled up in a ball and never come out of my room. 

Where in Wolfhardt the evil nemesis was the Red Riding Hood wolf, in Madly & The Jackal it is two sets of villains. The first is Rumple and the monster Leviathan who are terrorizing Atlas. The second is a version of the famed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde which is a really interesting spin on the old classic. And now there are musings of a Sea Witch who was thought only to be a legend, but is she really? So many questions are left without an answer and I can't even guess what M. Leighton has in store for Madly next. But I have come to expect and accept the cliffhangers...well, not really, but I'll get over it.

This book went from YA to Upper YA/New Adult and was intense - like needling a cold shower intense! Not to mention that I went through the whole emotional gamut: laughing one minute and on the verge of tears the next. Madly is growing up and becoming the woman and ruler that she is destined to be. Her powers are changing and she is finding that what she is able to do isn't quite normal for a mermaid - even a royal one. I can't wait until book four is released. As it is, there isn't even a cover for it yet, but I shall be stalking M. Leighton's site for any updates.  I LOVE the covers to these books. I can't wait to see what #4 will look like.

Madly & The Jackal is an outstanding book! M. Leighton is now one of my favorite authors.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Playlist for Madly & The Jackal
http://pl.st/p/23178828299


FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of these books from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.


Find these books and more by M. Leighton

About the Author:
I was born and raised in the United States, and I’ve lived in several of the fabulous fifty. Though I currently live in the deep South, I spent much of my childhood up North and hope to return there one day. A few other things about me: I believe that sometimes you have to look really, REALLY hard to find the good in people, but it's there. I believe that I'm shrinking (I swear five years ago I was two inches taller). I believe my husband is quite possibly one of the most amazing men in the entire world (I can't be sure because I haven't met all of them). I believe coffee and chocolate, when combined, could be the basis for world peace. I believe that Jesus rocks and communism doesn’t. I believe that white makes me look fat and black collects lint. I believe summer's too hot, winter's too cold and fall was made for football. I like dogs better than cats and the first movie in a trilogy is invariably the best. But most of all, I believe that love conquers all.

M. Leighton Social Media links: Facebook     Blog     Twitter


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"Waiting On" Wednesday: Chosen at Nightfall & Whispers at Moonrise


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's book that I am eagerly anticipating is...

Chosen at Nightfall
(Shadow Falls, #5)
by C.C. Hunter
Expected Publication Date: April 2013
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

This is the fifth book in the Shadow Falls series. Book four, Whispers at Moonrise hasn't even been released yet, but I had to share the awesome cover that C.C. Hunter revealed this week on her blog. I have my ARC of Whispers at Moonrise and can't wait to share my review with all of you!

Whispers at Moonrise
(Shadow Falls, #4)
by C.C. Hunter
Expected Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Published by St. Martin's Griffin

Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4)

A breathtaking new installment of the bestselling Shadow Falls series for young adults by rising star C. C. Hunter!

At a camp filled with vampires, werewolves, and fairies, Kylie Galen has always struggled to figure out what she is. Now she finally knows the truth—but she's left with more questions than answers. She doesn’t have a clue what her heritage means or how to harness her newfound powers. All she knows is that she needs to sort out her feelings for Derek, the sexy half-Fae who just confessed his love, and Lucas, her werewolf boyfriend who seems more committed to his pack than to their relationship. All the while, Kylie's dealing with a group of underground rogues who want her dead and a mysterious grandfather who makes it clear he doesn’t trust the FRU . . . or Shadow Falls. Soon Kylie will have to choose: Will she stay with the new family she’s formed at Shadow Falls, or will she leave with her grandfather and embrace her destiny?

What are you waiting on this week? Have you read any of the Shadow Falls series?

I am a proud Shadow Falls Street Team Member! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blame It On Texas Release Day Promo & Guest Post by Christie Craig

Today marks the release of Christie Craig's novel Blame It On Texas, book two in the Hotter in Texas series! I usually don't post or review "normal" adult romance books, but this is special. Why? Well, because Christie Craig is also known as C.C. Hunter, the author of the Shadow Falls series. So as a proud member of the Shadow Falls Street Team I am proud to share all the works from this very talented author.

Blame It On Texas
Hotter in Texas, #2
by Christie Craig
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Published by: Forever (Hachette Book Group)
Formats Available: Paperback, eBook ~309 pages

Synopsis:
Zoe Adams has always been content with her quiet nights at home, sitting alone on her couch munching popcorn and watching tv--until her life turns into a real-life episode of the Unsolved Mystery Hunters show she loves. The story of a kidnapped girl triggers unexplained memories, and Zoe is dead set on figuring out why. Her search leads her to one of the Lone Star state's richest families and to sexy PI Tyler Lopez.

Tyler has sworn off women, especially redheads with killer curves who poke their noses into his clients' personal affairs. Still, he can't deny the attraction any more than he can deny that some of Zoe's crazy story makes sense. But when she becomes a hit man's target, this cold case really starts heating up. Suddenly, Tyler will do anything to protect Zoe-even if it means risking his heart.

Blame It On Texas (Hotter In Texas #2)


*****Guest Post by Christie Craig*****

Ten Things You Will Learn from Blame It On Texas

1. Guys don’t like to play dress up, but when one willingly dresses as a clown for their six-year-old niece’s birthday party—because the real clown canceled—he’s one special uncle. And could possibly make a special hero for some lucky lady.

2. Sometimes, fear itself can do much more damage to us than the thing we’re actually afraid of.

3. Any man who doesn’t cuss up a blue streak when you dump a plate of hot grits on him can’t be all bad. (In fact, he might just be The One.)

4. It’s important to remember the lessons of the past so we can use them when making decisions for the future. But those lessons should never keep us from the future we deserve.

5. Before accusing the sexy guy who pounced, knocked you down, and crawled on top of you of being foreplay impaired, check to see if someone is shooting at you.

6. The southern delicacy of a banana and mayonnaise sandwich may be an acquired taste, especially when a hungry hero chomps down on the delicacy and is expecting ham and cheese.

7. If you think getting caught screaming and dancing on top of a mattress—all while attempting to rescue your cat from an overzealous dog—can be slightly embarrassing, try it while you’re wet from the shower, and as naked as a jay bird. Oh, and you are caught by your possible love interest who hasn’t seen you naked yet, and . . . (yes it can get worse) his two best friends.

8. It’s downright amazing how playing a few rounds of Strip Scrabble can spice up an evening.

9. A family doesn’t always have to be the people who share your bloodline; sometimes, the best families are those we make when we gather together all the people we love.

10. Learning to trust yourself is usually a lot harder than trusting another person. But both are generally required before finding true love.

~~Thank you Ms. Craig for stopping by and I can't wait to read Blame It On Texas!





About the Author:
Website     Twitter     Goodreads     Amazon     Facebook
Christie Craig, an Alabama native, is an award-winning, multi-published writer, multi-published photo journalist, motivational speaker, and writing teacher.. Her non-fiction articles and photography have appeared in almost three thousand national magazines. A Golden Heart finalist, and a finalist in more than fifty RWA-sponsored contests, she has gained a well-deserved reputation for writing romance fiction that has both witty humor and a suspenseful, sexy tone. Published by Silhouette in the 90s, she recently broke back into fiction in a big way, making four book sales in one day. Her seventh humorous single title romance novel, published by Dorchester, will hit the stands in June 2010. Her non-fiction book, co-authored by Faye Hughes, released September 08, is The Everything Guide To Writing A Romance Novel and their second non-fiction book, a humorous self-help relationship book, Wild, Wicked and Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You Are in a Romance Novel is scheduled to be released December 2010. Craig’s latest writing adventure is the sale of a young adult paranormal romance series, Shadow Falls Camp, that will be published by St. Martins Press in the near future. 

Tell Me Something Tuesday #36


It is that time of week again! You guessed it -Tell Me Something Tuesday; a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous author of the Heven and Hell series, Cambria Hebert. If you would like to participate, visit her blog and grab next week's question and add your link. This week's question:

Is your TBR pile out of control? How do you plan to reign it in?

Dude - I cannot tell you how OTC my TBR pile is! Not only do I have books from authors who have requested an honest review, I also have ARCs from NetGalley and from Firstreads to get through and actually post them before the release date! I am booked out to the first week in November. I was sick recently and haven't been able to read as quickly as I would regularly, but I am doing much better and am back on full speed ahead, lol!

I have a strategy to get it all under control though. For the personally requested reviews I have a list of every book in order of date requested. I am just going to go down the line and get my reviews out as efficiently as I can. For my ARCs I have the release date down and I plan on getting the reviews for those out no later than two weeks before that date. I like lists. I just check off each book as I am done and go to the next.

I have tour stops that I am scheduled for, too. Those books get smooshed into the pile and I read those in the same week of the tour stop. I always have my Google calender remind me when those stops are coming up so I don't have to cram. 

And lastly, my library books. The new releases that have come out in hardcover are usually going to be loaned from the library. I want to see if I like the book before I pay full price. I love the library, but the only problem is I only have 3 weeks with each book, which would be fine under normal circumstances because I ready really fast, but when I have others to read, those go to the wayside and currently are being returned because I can't renew them and put back on my order list. 

Coffee is my BFF and I am reading every chance I get. This is a crazy time, but I love every minute of blogging/reading/reviewing. I very grateful that authors have contacted me for reviews and I can't wait to get to the next book!

How about you? Is your TBR pile out of control?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Rapture by Lauren Kate

Rapture
Fallen series, #4
by Lauren Kate
Published by: Delacorte Press June 12, 2012
Formats: Hardcover, eBook ~448 pages
Source: Public Library

Synopsis:
The sky is dark with wings....

Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.

Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this — live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies...and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.

And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her — and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

Rapture is the astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.


Rapture (Fallen, #4)

Cover: The cover of Rapture is beautiful yet foreboding. The image of the sky blackened by the amount of wings is ominous. Yet there is still light shining through bringing hope to the picture. Out of all the covers, it ranks second for me.
“…a million trembling shadows surrounding a great dark orb, their tendrils licking the surface of oblivion like sunspots.”
My Thoughts:
First let me begin by stating that this is the fourth and final book in the Fallen series so my review may contain spoilers from previous books.

I have been going over and over in my head for three days now as to how I feel about Rapture. I liked that there was finality to it, but it just lacked in so many ways. The story jumps in right where Passion left off. Luce is back from her journey with Bill aka Lucifer, and must find a way to stop him from erasing time. Between three groups of fallen angels, Luce, and a merry band of Outcasts, they are on a mission to find three artifacts that will lead them to the exact location of the Fall. Luce, of course, goes with Daniel and almost immediately finds the first artifact. After that though, things got a little bit more difficult.

Luce is finally able to see some of her past incarnations, but there is so much more she is to recover from her memory. Once I found out the big “secret” I wasn’t all that surprised. The more I thought about it, especially after learning more of the origins of the curse, I was like – duh, *face-palm*. Though we do get more information, there were just more questions created. But, the self-awareness the Luce gains was a journey that not all female protagonists take. Well done.
“The past is important for all the information and wisdom it holds. But you can get lost in it. You’ve got to learn to keep the knowledge of the past with you as you pursue the present.”
What I really liked was the background information that was finally revealed about all the different types of angels, fallen angels/demons, Outcasts, the Elders, the Scale, etc… There were some definite parallels to how people react to religion and God, especially the Scale and the Elders who think they know better than everyone else and make it their mission to be the judge and jury. I think they were scarier than the demons.
“If a fallen angel desires to reenter the jurisdiction of the grace of God, we must approach the Throne directly. There are no shortcuts.”
The ending was just disappointing. I wanted more, not just a mere possibility of more. But like I said, there is closure. I did not like that we lost so many characters along the way; some of my favorites at that. And my biggest problem of all was with the identity of the Throne. I am all for creative license, but when you have so much of a story coming from one dogma I think it should be uniform; not throw something in just to be different. But that is just my beef.

Overall, I loved the Fallen series, but I wished things had ended up differently. Lauren Kate created a story that spanned thousands of years and told of a love so powerful that not even death could destroy. Kate’s writing is haunting and beautiful and her insight into life, love and faith is nearly incomparable in the Speculative Fiction genre. I will continue to recommend the series because I do love the story and it is just one of those that just stick with you, that you continue to feel and think about long after reading.
“If I were yours and you were mine, I would want you to be exactly as you are. I would never eclipse you with my desires.”
Favorite Quote:  “There is no darkness as dark as a great light corrupted.”


★ ★ ★ ★
 My favorite speculative fiction series to date! I recommend to those who love romance, action, adventure, and a little hell along the way.


Where to Buy:

Stalk the Author:
Goodreads                                                   Book Trailer

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cover Reveal: Bewitched by Cambria Hebert

Bewitched
(Heven & Hell #2.5)
by Cambria Hebert
Release Date: October 5, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: eBook (for now)

Synopsis:
For years, I accepted that Heven was more popular than me. I never liked it but I lived with it. I walked in her shadow, I stood by her when no one else would. When I finally thought her spotlight was mine things began to change. She began to change. Now she hardly ever calls me back, she spends all her time with her hot new boyfriend and everyone at school thinks she’s back on top. She had it all. But apparently she wants more. She wants Cole – my boyfriend. What’s worse is that it looks like she got him. I’ve had enough and she’s going to be sorry. Why?

Because I am bewitched.


Excerpt:
Working out was for jocks. Homework was for nerds and I wasn’t a jock or a nerd. Yet, here I was, sweating through my favorite Victoria Secret yoga pants and tank with a headache the size of Macy’s. Learning about my powers was hard work. I thought it would come naturally. My brain was hurting from concentrating and my muscles were actually sore from effort. I thought longingly of the potion in the green bottle that Hecate had given me—a little sip would make it that much easier to use my powers, but she took it away. Apparently, I had all the power she wanted me to have. It kind of pissed me off.

In fact, I was feeling pretty disgruntled all around.

I was hot, I was sweaty, my head hurt and my hair was frizzy. Not to mention I had been wearing sneakers far too long. Thank goodness Hecate was gone. I actually had been glad not to be alone after the “bone incident,” but now I was ready for some alone time. I felt stronger.

Feeling strong plus feeling disgruntled equaled somebody was gonna get hurt.

I was standing in my yard near the lake and I glanced up at the moon before heading inside. It was low and swollen tonight—a haunting moon. It sent a shiver up my spine. I thought briefly about going to Heven’s and treating her to a little of what she deserved. I even looked toward the driveway as I walked, but I wasn’t going anywhere looking like this.

I went into the house and began climbing the stairs. Halfway up, I heard a noise in the kitchen and I paused. My parents were still out of town. It wasn’t the maid’s day to be here… unless she came early. Another thud in the kitchen had me spinning on the stairs to see what it was.

“Mary?” I called out. “Is that you?” Maybe she switched her schedule around and I didn’t know about it. Maybe I could get her to make me a latté.

No one answered, and the noises in the kitchen fell silent. I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and listened, wondering if I had heard anything at all. “Hello?” I called again, this time more unsure. This time a fine chill raced up my back.

Suddenly being alone in this big house was scary.

Clink, clink, clink.

Okay, I wasn’t hearing things. Someone was there.

I stepped off the stairs and walked through the foyer in the direction of the kitchen. I heard the cat hiss and I paused again. Clover was too lazy to hiss at a mouse. Something in my stomach turned cold and hard.

I looked over my shoulder at the massive front doors to the alarm keypad and the distress button.

But it was too late for pressing buttons.

Clover burst around the corner with a hideous screech and barreled into me, hitting me in the knees and causing me to stumble. The cat didn’t even stop. I could hear his claws scraping frantically across the tiles. “What the…” I began as I straightened, but then something lurched around the corner after the cat.

It was hideous.

It stood about a foot taller than me with wide shoulders that were uneven looking—one was lower than the other—and a wild mane of bushy orange hair that seemed to create a cloud around its pasty, white face. Its lips were black and it had a nasty row of teeth that had seen a lot of decay. It had large purple circles around its eyes, which seemed to have no color at all.

It looked like a psychotic clown.

I screamed and took a step backward, and the thing grinned. I went running but it lunged and caught me around the wrist, pulling me back. I struggled, kicking out, but it was no use, his grip was too strong.

Without any warning it reached up and snatched my silver pendant right off my neck. “Hey!” I screamed as it shoved me away. I fell onto my butt and stared up at the glittering silver heart as it dangled from the nasty clown’s hands.

Cole had given that to me. It was the last gift he had given me before we broke up.

Anger surged into my chest, making me hot. “Give that back.”

Freaky Clown gave me another frightening grin and ran back into the kitchen, disappearing from sight. I ran after it, running into a solid wall of… offensiveness.


About the Author:
Author. Blogger. Latte Sipper.
Cambria Hebert is an author who wrote her first book at the age of fifteen. It was terrible. But the passion for writing never went away so years later when she opened her laptop and started typing she worked until she wrote a book that she hopes everyone will be as excited about as she is.

Cambria is obsessed with werewolves and is terrified of chickens (they are creepy!)She is an animal lover that would choose coffee over food and her favorite TV show is the Vampire Diaries (Hell-O Damon!)

Please visit her blog and her author website:
http://www.cambriahebert.com





Book Trailer:



Review: Crimson Groves by Ashley Robertson + Giveaway!!

Crimson Groves
(The Crimson series, #1)
by Ashley Robertson
Pubication Date: November 9, 2011
Formats: Paperback, eBook ~282 pages

Synopsis:
Abigail Tate was a normal human girl—until the day Bronx the vampire barges into her life and turns her against her will. Held captive while forced to deal with never-ending cravings for blood, Abby prays for a way to escape. Only when an opportunity arises, it’s with the aid of an innocent human named Tyler—except vampires are forbidden to interact with the unbitten. But Abby quickly learns this human has secrets of his own...secrets that can either help her or get her killed. Only Abby soon discovers that she is the one with the biggest secret of all. 
***June 2012 Extras added to the e-book version only (including the first chapter of the sequel Crimson Flames (book #2 of The Crimson Series)***

Crimson Groves

Cover: The cover is what caught my eye first. The girl on the front’s gaze pierces through you. I l also love the deep blues set against the oranges and deep crimson red. The cover was created by Phat Puppy Art and I have yet to see a cover from them that I don’t like.

My Thoughts:
Abigail Tate has been having a rough time seeing as her ex-boyfriend and her former BFF are canoodling, not to mention she was the one that caught them in the act. She is constantly walking around with a giant black cloud above her head. Things couldn’t get much worse for her, or so she thinks. After an encounter with the deceitful couple, Abby gets a crazed phone call from her father that left her when she was a child telling her that she is in danger. Baffled and a bit ticked off, she ignores his warnings. Enter Bronx, a smoldering hot guy that lures Abby back to his place where he then turns her into a vampire. Not only does he force immortality upon her, he is hell bent on holder her captive and making her love him.

Abby now is a prisoner and refuses Bronx’s advances. But when the chance comes up for her to leave, even if it is will him, she takes the chance to get some much needed air. They go to a bar called Pulse (nice name); a bar for vampires to drink blood from donors who get a rush in return. Here she meets Tyler and he helps her escape Bronx’s clutches and teaches her about abilities that she didn’t know she had. Abby is befriended by donor Lilly and bar owner, Stone; both of whom she may or may not be able to trust fully. But when both Tyler and Stone are falling for her and Bronx is still trying to find her Abby has to use all her wits and guile to keep herself safe. But betrayal is around every bend and Abby doesn’t know who she can trust, but can’t get by on her own.

This is Ashley Robertson’s first published book and a great introduction to her writing. I found her characters to be believable and likeable, well most of them, but I don’t’ want to give anything away… Abby is a realistic heroine, one that is unsure of herself, yes she whines a bit, but she learns and adapts along the way. I really like that there was no getting through to her by Bronx. I am kinda sick of the whole Stockholm Syndrome thing and Abby holds her ground. There is a love triangle between Abby, Tyler and Stone, but I am reserving judgment until the next book. Until then, I am just Team Abby. The one thing that I would have liked to see was just a bit more insight/backstory - whatever you want to call it. I also want to know more about the new world she has been thrust into, but I will have to wait until Crimson Rain.

Vampire lovers should definitely check out Crimson Groves. Ashley Robertson is great at giving readers imaginative stories, strong characters, and keeps you on your toes until the very end. What I like most about Ashley’s writing is that she gives characters real depth. I want to reach in and stake Bronx myself and not every writer can elicit such strong emotions. Bravo! Crimson Groves ended in a way to lead into a sequel, hopefully a series, where we can read more about Abby and her transformation. A captivating read which I could not put down!

Favorite Quote:
“My eyes were hot, dry, like Vegas heat in the summertime. The pressure got more intense. The heat grew thicker, hotter, suffocating. I couldn’t take it anymore. I screamed. I screamed again. Loud – so loud, my voice shrieked with raw fear.”

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.


Where to Buy:

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cover Reveal: Flukes by Nichole Chase


Flukes
by Nichole Chase

Expected Release Date: October 8, 2012
Cover Design by Stephanie Mooney
 Mooney Designs
Flukes

Meena has a secret guarded closely by her family—a secret as dangerous as the sea, and buried just as deep. When court appointed community service workers are assigned to Flukes, the family-owned animal habitat, everyone is on high alert. It doesn’t help that Meena finds herself attracted to sexy-as-sin Blake Weathering, one of the new workers. If he wasn’t so distracting, she might be able to land Flukes a much-needed cruise line contract.

Blake Weathering, the first in his family to attend public school, has developed a tough image. Unfortunately it lands him in trouble. Now banned from his high school graduation ceremony, getting his diploma is dependent upon a community service gig cleaning fish crap. No diploma, no trust fund fortune—and no way to escape his overbearing father. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a mysterious girl with teal eyes who pulls at his heart strings.

When Blake discovers Meena’s secret, they are both thrown into a desperate search for information about her past. Two worlds pull them in opposite directions, and they will have to fight to hold onto all that really matters.



Gorgeous cover, isn't it? I can't wait to read Flukes when it is released. What do you think of the cover?



About the Author:

Nichole Chase is a daydreamer. No, really, just ask any of the math teachers that had the misfortune of seeing her name appear on their class schedule. For years she has had story lines and characters begging for attention, but she resolutely pushed them aside to focus on more normal (read, boring) jobs. Well, no longer! She is currently heeding the voices in her head and frantically writing their stories. Nichole resides in South Georgia with her husband, energetic toddler, three dogs, and two cats. When not devouring novels by the dozens, you may find her writing, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Blog





Cover Reveal organized by AToMR Tours
A Tale of Many Reviews

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Last Degree Blog Tour: Excerpt & Guest Post

Click on the banner above to see all stops on the tour!

Thank you to Full Moon Bites Blog Tours and Dina Rae for the opportunity for Breathe In BooKs to be a part of The Last Degree tour!

The Last Degree
Dina Rae

Series: Book #1
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Paranormal, Political, Suspense, Thriller, Christian
Publisher: Dina Rae
Ebook
Words: 93000

Purchase for only $1.99: Amazon

Book Description: 
The Last Degree is a fictionalized account of how Freemasons and other secret societies set up the world for takeover. Ancient writings foretell a ‘Shining One’ who emerges as the world’s prophet. A murder of a Most Worshipful mason resembles a secret oath. A cop gets too close to solving the crime. Paranoid preppers go underground, preparing for war. 

Headlines such as the Norway massacre, meltdown of the European Union, unscrupulous media, animal die-offs, Middle Eastern unrest, and U.S. shrinking power make the plot relevant to present day. This book is an ode to Christians, Birthers, 2012ers, Truthers, preppers, and/or other conspiracy junkies who enjoy Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, Brad Meltzer, Alex Jones, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.

The Last Degree

Excerpt:
Dwight took off his crown, signifying he was no longer playing King Solomon.

“Sacrifice is expected for ones that you love. Do you love me?” Dwight shouted. “Then bow down before me and offer praise!”

Everyone knelt and laid their head down to the floor, chanting 'Most Worshipful,

Most Worshipful' several times before Dwight commanded them to get up.

In a manic energetic state, Dwight vociferated, “Et vitam impendere vero!” All repeated, with the three new pledges joining in. Minutes later, he began to calm down. “To sacrifice life for truth - that is what we must always do! You must trust me as your Most Worshipful and sacrifice at my command! Are you prepared to do this?” All three pledges nodded.

Dwight pulled the content baby out of Arthur's arms and threw it high into the air. As the baby began to descend, Dwight took his sword and hacked through its neck, decapitating it before it hit the floor. Only the three pledges shrieked in horror. He sinisterly smiled as he picked up the head and body, revealing it was only a doll.

“Don't believe with your eyes, but believe with your knowledge. We are his chosen and will soon be exalted.”

The three men looked down at their hands and tried not to scream. They were covered in blood.

“Sacrifice, my brothers, sacrifice. I will teach you well. You are all Chiefs of the Tabernacle! Let us go and celebrate!” Dwight gleamed.

Check out The Last Degree Prequel as well—Be Paranoid Be Prepared!

*****Guest Post by Author Dina Rae*****

The Rise of the Preppers

Politics aside, we all can agree the world is a very dangerous place.  Some people prepare for the worst.  TV shows such as National Geographic’s Doomsday
Preppers and Discovery’s Doomsday Bunkers highlight a segment of society who believes impending doom is near.  In response, they put all of their time and resources into future survival.  The “prepper” label emerges.

Preppers collect water through cisterns, stock canned food, invest in remote underground living quarters, and practice off-the-grid living.  Their reasons exceed fear, ranging from nuclear war and natural disaster all the way to prophecies of End of Days and New World Order.

Whatever the belief, they continue to unite, forming their own subculture.  This movement is similar to the ‘70s and ‘80s survivalism, but much more sophisticated in technological advances of supplies, weaponry, and social networking.  They even have their own vernacular.  Here are some of the more popular terms.

BoB: Bug-Out-Bag
Bag packed with necessities when it’s time to take off.  Depending on location, terrain, and weather, the contents vary.  Everyone should have a flashlight, water, lighter, thermal blankets, radios, compass, hard-copy of a map, knife, gun, first aid kit, and cash. (3 days worth is the minimum recommendation)
SurvivalJane.com sells them pre-packed.

Zombie Apocalypse: It’s not just a horror novel term.  When people who are infected and/or insane and become a threat.

PSS: Primary Shelter Site
A hideout.  Prepper favorites-a home or trailer in a remote area, underground bunker, a spider hole (very temporary), and a cave

WROL: Without Rule of Law
No government or law enforcement-Chaos

SHTF: Sh@t Hits the Fan
The moment when a prepper makes the decision to bug out

Those who watch prepper reality TV have seen million dollar bunkers, advanced solar technology, militia sized arsenals, and endless shelves of medical supplies.  Any attempt to prep seems overwhelming.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to prepare.  Dina Rae's The Last Degree uses preppers as her main protagonists of the story.


About the Author:
 Dina Rae is a new author that is here to stay. As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her research on the Yezidi religion and love of art inspired her story telling for Halo of the Damned.
Her other novel, The Last Degree, is a fictionalized account of the Freemason’s role in the New World Order. Dina's grandfather was the Most Worshipful of his lodge. The subject has always held a personal interest.
Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is an avid reader, tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on conspiracy theories. 

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Gathering Dark


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's book that I am eagerly anticipating is...


The Gathering Dark
by Christine Johnson
Expected publication Date: February 12th 2013
Published by Simon Pulse

A mysterious teen boy knows the secrets of Keira’s dangerous hallucinations in this gripping romantic fantasy from the author of Claire de Lune.

Keira’s hallucinating. First it’s a door hovering above the road; then it’s a tree in her living room. But with her parents fighting and her best friend not speaking to her, Keira can’t tell anyone about her breakdown.

Until she meets Walker. They have an electric connection, and somehow he can see the same shadowy images plaguing Keira.

But trusting Walker may be more dangerous than Keira could have ever imagined. The more she confides in him, the more intense—and frightening—her visions become. Because Walker is not what he appears to be. And neither are her visions.

******

The Gathering Dark sounds so spooky. I love the cover and am intrigued at what the story will really be about. What do the hallucinations mean? Who is Walker? I have questions and I haven't even read it yet. 

What are you waiting on this week? Does The Gathering Dark look like something you would want to read?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tell Me Something Tuesday #35


It is that time of week again! You guessed it -Tell Me Something Tuesday; a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous author of the Heven and Hell series, Cambria Hebert. If you would like to participate, visit her blog and grab next week's question and add your link. This week's question:

Were you bullied in school? How do you think bullying has charged over the years – do you think it’s worse now than it was a few years ago?

Yes, I was bullied in school. It is not a thing I like to talk about because it is just a sucky thing, but it happened and still happens as an adult. I was called names, pointed at, been part of the rumor mill...you name it, it happened. I don't know if I was a kid now if I could hack it. The internet and social media has created a whole new medium for bullying. I had a few incidents with my eighth graders when I was teaching that had to do with bullying on MySpace.

Now pictures and evil words can be sent within seconds. I mean, look at the mom who got on her daughter's account and harassed a girl to the brink. Look at the student at Rutgers that committed suicide because he was videotaped without consent or knowledge.

I also think that the tolerance level is come to a point where people are so apathetic to it unless it either one: happens to them, or two: is posted all over the news. Which brings me to the incident with the boys on the bus and the elderly lady. Those kids were bullying her for a while and not until it got on TV did anyone do anything. I think that people need to take a stand and stop giving excuses for why they didn't step in or give the old "it is a part of growing up" spiel, because it is not.


So that is what I have to say for now on bullying. What do you think? Were you bullied?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dominion Blog Tour: Review


A big Thank You to Melody for choosing Breathe In BooKs to read and review Dominion and to YAReads for letting me participate in the Dominion Tour.

Dominion
(Guardian Angels, #1)
by Melody Manful
Published by Authorhouse
Format: eBook - Kindle August 25, 2012

Synopsis:

I Dare You.
Look Over Your Shoulders.
Do You See Them?
They are behind you...
They are always behind you.


Abigail Cells had a nightmare the day before she met Gideon, the new guy in school who has every girl drooling just to be near him. In her nightmare, she was murdered by a magical creature. As she gets to know Gideon, she begins to remember pieces of her nightmare, and was shocked when Gideon turned out to be the creature from her nightmare. Who is Gideon really, should Abby allow herself to fall completely for him, or is he the next disaster waiting to happen?
Dominion (Guardian Angels, #1)

My Review:
I know, you are reading the synopsis and looking at the cover you are thinking "Not another angel book!" But let me tell you this isn't like everything that is out there, and I have read a lot of the speculative romance genre. There are two races of angels/demons called Grandinians and Grantinians. What is different is that they are not just angels, but guardian angels. Melody has created creatures that are invariably different, but have to work together - one trying to keep their charge alive, and the other hell bent on putting their charge in harm's way.

Abigail is a girl who lives inside her head. She is constantly trying to guess at what steps she should take and what exactly she desires. She does do a slight 'damsel in distress' act by putting herself into danger, but she is still a strong character. I understand her inner struggle and that she is a teenager and sees only what is in front of her, but she could have looked a little more at the bigger picture. Abigail isn't just a normal teenager either. She has abilities that are inexplicable, ones she shouldn't have. She hasn't really lived a normal life either with a mom who is a designer and a famous father, she is always being watched by somebody - she even has her own bodyguards.

Enter Abigail's guardians, Gideon and Tristan. Gideon is the bad boy; the guy you want to hate because he is the bad, exciting guy that makes life and love adventurous. Tristan is the good guy; the angel who does right always, and makes it look easy, as if no other choice exists. Tristan is the golden boy, the one who should be the love interest, and should be the easy choice. However, I tend to root for the bad guys, the demons, the fallen ones, even though I know I shouldn't, and Abigail does too. And Gideon makes it hard to guess if he is really who you think he is, or if there is more to the story.

The story has many twists and surprises that will keep you turning pages into the night trying to find out what is happening. The world that the author created was interesting and imaginative. The story was well-written and there weren't any dull points - a big plus! The ending was frustrating!! I would love a book to have an ending that is wrapped in a pretty bow, but this isn't the case. Questions are left unanswered and links between people are never quite connected, but I am hopeful that Melody will give her readers the answers in the sequel. Right, Melody, right?!

★ ★ ★ ★ ½
 I recommend this book to any lover of YA, paranormal and speculative romance.

FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made. *I reviewed an unedited copy of Dominion.

Where to Buy:
Purchase on Kindle August 25th!

Stalk the Author:

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Immortal The Vampires of Berlin Tour: Review & Excerpt


A big Thank You to Lee Rudnicki and Bewitching Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review My Immortal and be a part of the tour. Click on the picture above to see all the other stops on the tour.

My Immortal The Vampires of Berlin
By Lee Rudnicki

Genre:  Horror
Publisher:  23 House
Date of Publication:  March 9, 2012
ISBN-10: 0984645810
ISBN-13: 978-0984645817
Number of pages: 306

Synopsis:
A supernatural adventure set in present day and 1945 Berlin. Our heroine is Eva, a shell-shocked young vampire who is found wandering around in the ruins of Berlin Cathedral on the last day of the war by soldiers.


Excerpt:
Eva sat on the riverbank as the sounds of battle resounded in the distance. She didn't say anything when Sebastian sat down next to her. Nor did he expect her to.
Guten Abend,” he said. “Not the best time for a picnic on the riverbank, is it?”
Eva didn't respond.
Sebastian didn’t believe in vampires until he met one. Until one bit him. Now, the sight of blood excited him and his strength was growing by the hour. He knew what the other men only suspected. Eva was a vampire and he was turning into one himself. He also instinctively knew that their survival depended on Eva, for reasons known only to God—assuming that God was still in Berlin. Somehow, he needed to get through to her. He tried again.
“Eva. Do you understand me? Do you know where you are? Please, talk to me.”
If Eva heard him, she didn't show it. Opening the lines of communication with the young vampire was going to be far more difficult than Sebastian had anticipated. Discouraged, he turned her towards him. “Look at me. That Luftwaffe pilot over there...”
Axel,” Eva said softly.
“Yes. Axel is about to die from burns he got when a vampire torched his face. He got hurt saving you.”
Eva blinked hard and then pointed to the sky. “It’s in the stars, Sebastian.”
Sebastian looked up. There were no stars, only a dark gloom lit by the flash of sporadic explosions. Before he could ask another question, an artillery shell exploded in the river. The freezing water that cascaded over them brought him crashing back to reality.
Sebastian got up and took Eva’s hand. It was time to go.

My Review:
I have been dying (no pun intended) to get my hands on My Immortal for a long time so I jumped at the chance to be a part of this tour. I have to say, it was not what I expected...in a good way. I expected the book to be about vampires - but it was so much more. My Immortal crosses many genres from Historical WWII Fiction to Horror to Fantasy to Mystery. Vampires are a part of the book no doubt, but I would say that it is a book about war with vampires as opposed to a vampire book set during the war.

We start in present day Berlin with a "Professor" known for his books on conspiracy theories. However, what he has in his brief case is so much more than what the pyramids represent or UFOs. What he carries is a dossier on Operation Tristan; Hitler's secret weapon. When a fan of the professor's hacks into his computer to find what he is working on, he is shocked by what he finds and alerts the United States government to the situation. No one can know what is inside the briefcase; in fact, the president doesn't even know what it entails. The CIA attempts to thwart the professor's plan to release the information publicly and a set of events occurs that has you wondering what is so important. What is Operation Tristan? The scene then changes to Berlin, 1945. The German army is losing the war and Hitler will do anything -anything- to stop the Red Army from taking over. 

Lee's writing is superb. He details the atrocities of the war in horrific detail without being overly gory. The interaction between the soldiers was realistic and reminds the reader that not everyone was an automaton; that people did what they had to in order to survive.  Hitler is portrayed as a manic, unstable man who wants nothing more than to see the world burn. The glimpse into his mind is frightening. The vampires were created in the traditional form: they had fangs, no reflection, and incredible speed and strength. And even though they looked human, they were anything but. The story is told from many points of view, which I am generally not a fan of, but Lee's transitions were clearer than some.

Overall, My Immortal was a suspenseful, thrilling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and if you are like me biting off all your fingernails in the process! Through war ravaged Germany, the story unfolds and you will find yourself immersed in Sebastian and Eva's plight. I recommend to history buffs, conspiracy theorists and horror fans alike. 


★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

FTC Advisory: I received this book from BBT in exchange for an honest review. I am never paid or compensated in any way for my reviews. No backroom deals or whispered promises are made.



About the Author:

Lee Rudnicki is an entertainment lawyer, producer, and writer in Los Angeles. Lee has a law degree from the University of San Francisco, a music degree from San Jose State, a Certificate in Screenwriting from UCLA and studied international law at Trinity College, Ireland and Charles University, Prague. Before law school, Lee was a world-class rudimental drummer and drum corps instructor.

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