Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Something Wicked Comes.... The Diviners


Happy Halloween! 

To celebrate I will be giving away a Hardcover copy of The Diviners by Libba Bray. The Diviners is a mystery mixed with the occult and serial killers - totally creepy - and totally perfect for Halloween!



Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Supernatural Travels with Libba Bray
*Check out the entire Diviners website!

Episode #1
Episode #2
Episode #3
Episode #4



About the Author:
Website      Twitter      Facebook      Tumblr
What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer-in-headlights feeling? It's not exactly like I'm going to say "I was born in Alabama…" and somebody's going to jump up and snarl, "Oh yeah? Prove it!" At least I hope not.

I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor. I could tell you the facts–I lived in Texas for most of my life; I live in New York City with my husband and six-year-old son now; I have freckles and a lopsided smile; I'm allergic to penicillin.

But that doesn't really give you much insight into me. That doesn't tell you that I stuck a bead up my nose while watching TV when I was four and thought I'd have to go to the ER and have it cut out. Or that I once sang a punk version of "Que Sera Sera" onstage in New York City. Or that I made everyone call me "Bert" in ninth grade for no reason that I can think of. See what I mean?

God is in the details. So with that in mind, here is my bio. Sort of.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Gameboard of the Gods


"Waiting On" Wednesday (WoW) 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...


Gameboard of the Gods
Age of X, #1
by Richelle Mead
Expected Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Published by Dutton Adult



Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1)

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love everything Richelle has ever written. I especially love her adult books, particularly the Succubus series. Richelle has a way of bringing myth, religion, and satyr to her works and does it flawlessly. I am excited to see what she does with the dystopian genre. Vampire Academy was really great, but I think Richelle's strength is in her adult works. She doesn't have to hold back and can really bring a story to life: the good, the bad, and the downright naughty.

What do you think, will you be adding this book to your TBR? Have you read anything by Richelle Mead? Are you a fan of her YA or Adult novels?  And what are you waiting on this week?

Reaping Me Softly Tour & Giveaway!


Welcome to my stop on the Reaping Me Softly Tour! This tour is brought to you by AToMR Tours. Thank you to Kate Evangelista and Omnific Publishing for providing the book to review. There is also a tour-wide giveaway for your very own eBook! Giveaway: The author is giving away (10) eBook copies of Reaping Me Softly! The rafflecopter link is below along with the linky to see other spots on the tour.


Reaping Me Softly
Book 1
by Kate Evangelista
Published October 30, 2012
Published by Omnific Publishing
Format Reviewed: eARC from Omnific (pre-edits)


Synopsis:
Ever since a near-death-experience on the operating table, seventeen-year-old Arianne Wilson can see dead people. Just as she’s learned to accept her new-found talents, she discovers that the boy she’s had a crush on since freshman year, Niko Clark, is a Reaper.

At last they have something in common, but that doesn’t mean life is getting any easier. All while facing merciless bullying from the most powerful girl in school, Arianne’s world is turned upside down after Niko accidentally reaps the soul of someone she loves. This sends them both into a spiral that threatens to end Arianne’s life. But will Niko break his own Reaper’s code to save her? And what would the consequences be if he did?

Reaping Me Softly


My Thoughts:
I love the updated take on Reapers that Kate Evangelista has created. No longer are the days where the image of the reaper is a shrouded figure pointing the way to the afterlife with its scythe. Nope, now they wear Armani, or if they are truly demented, clothing that Madonna discarded in the 80s. And their scythes? They match the reaper's personality and are unique to each. And the biggest image squashed? That reapers are skeletons or something ugly to be afraid of. They are beautiful, just as Death is beautiful; a beacon to guide souls to their true homes. 

Arianne has had it rough for the past few years. Her sister Carrie's kidneys are failing, Arianne almost died while trying to donate her kidneys and woke up able to see dead people. Not your usual seventeen year old girl problems. To add to her distress, while she was coming to terms with her sister's illness, she turned to someone who continues to plague her even though things had been over for a while. For the most part, she only has Ben, her next door neighbor and best guy friend. And a huge crush on Niko, the hottest guy in school. But Niko isn't who he seems to be, and when Arianne finds out who he really is, she must decide what is more important: life or love.

Reaping Me Softly was an extremely engaging read. Once I picked up the book, I couldn't put it down. I couldn't help but feel for Arianne. She has a life that revolves around the hospital where her sister lives and everyday is a waiting game. She is being bullied by resident mean girl Darla (who reminded me a bit of the vampire Darly via Buffy, school girl uniform and all!) And then finally after years of gazing from afar, Niko notices Arianne and the chemistry is palpable. Both of them feel a connection and if it wasn't for Arianne, Niko may have let himself fade away - suicide for reapers. But now he has something or someone to live for. Until he reaps her sister. 

Arianne is an interesting character. She puts so much on her shoulders. And when Carrie passes, she just lets go. Part of it from losing her sister and another part losing Niko. I want to feel sorry for her, but at other times I want to smack her to remind her that she is still alive and can live the life Carrie could not. Letting herself waste away is selfish for so many reasons. Niko is a sexy conundrum. Why is he just now noticing Arianne? He has been in school with her for years and it isn't like she isn't noticeable; she has bright red hair that looks like flames. And why all of a sudden does he fall instantly for her? He risks his existence for her, but why? I would have loved a little more insight into what he sees in her other than her beauty. And then Ben. He is probably the most infuriating character of all. His actions are baffling.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Reaping Me Softly. I love Kate Evangelista's writing. However, even though they are completely different, I can't help but compare this book to her first novel, Taste. While the writing is more solid in RMS, Taste was a more memorable read for me. But that is just my personal opinion.  Kate has a way with building worlds and every image is crystal clear. She is very talented at putting the reader in the story. The last thing I will say is that I NEVER pictured the ending. Um, what?? But, it does leave the story open for the next book in the trilogy: Unreap My Heart. When is that coming out again??

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

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

About the Author:

Website     Facebook      Twitter     Goodreads     YouTube

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Messenger Blog Tour & Tour Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on The Messenger Tour! This tour is brought to you by AToMR Tours. Thank you to Pamela DuMond for providing the book to review. There is also a tour-wide giveaway for some nifty goodies! Giveaway: The author is giving away (1) print copy of THE MESSENGER to US addresses. Open International giveaway is (5) eBook copies of THE MESSENGER.


The Messenger
(Mortal Beloved, Book 1)
by Pamela DuMond
*Formerly Titled: The Messenger's Handbook
Release Date: April 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction

Synopsis:
Infinity. Life. Death. Rebirth. Some souls are meant to be together, but pursuing true love can be dangerous and often deadly. When sixteen-year-old Madeline falls in love with Samuel, a boy who lives hundreds of years before she is even born, she will risk her very existence to be with him.

Madeline’s from present day Chicago when she is pushed onto the train tracks, and accidentally time travels to a bloody war between the Natives and the colonists. She falls in love with a Native boy, Samuel. But, she’s living in the body of a colonial girl and their romance is a crime that carries harsh punishments.

Madeline discovers that she is meant to be a Messenger, a traveler who if properly trained, can slip through time's fabric at will. The Medicine Woman mentors her. But Madeline doesn't fit in this world. She’s different from the other colonists. Rumors of witchcraft and spying arise. Deadly Hunters, dark-souled predators as well as skilled time travelers, crave Madeline's powers. Can Madeline find the way back to her future? And will that future include her one true love, Samuel?

The Messenger (Mortal Beloved, #1)


My Thoughts:
I am a huge fan of time travel books and The Messenger did not disappoint! Madeline has had a hard time ever since her mother vanished in a car crash. Madeline was in the car when it crashed and only remembers the fear of the car falling and that her mother was no where to be found afterward. Her family had her mom legally declared dead so they could move on, but somewhere in the back of her mind, Madeline isn't sure of what really happened. On her birthday, her father gave her a book that her mother made for you ten years earlier; a book that she remembers her mother working on, but only finds it to be nothing more than an album. But it is so much more.

Madeline is a Messenger but she doesn't know what that is. It isn't until she is almost killed that she blacks out and wakes up nearly 300 years in the past. 1675 to be exact. Everyone thinks she is this girl named Abigail, except for one medicine woman who believes her story. I knew right then that this medicine woman was going to play a big part in the story because who just believes someone when they say they are from the future? As she lives the life of an upright colonial woman, she sees things that make her sick: a reverend who is supposed to be holy using his power unethically, people who jump to condemnation and live through fear and suspicion and the ravages of a war and the treatment of the local Natives. All of this makes Madeline angry, but she can't do anything about it. She just wants to get home.

Along the way, Madeline meets Samuel, a gorgeous boy with whom she falls for. However, they should not be together because he is part native and the fact that she isn't from his time. But despite the hindurances, they do fall in love and through that find enemies. Samuel promises Madeline that no matter where or when they are, they will find each other again. He is a Healer and they are part of a duo - a Healer to work with a Hunter. However, Hunters hunt Messengers. And the Hunter that appears in Madeline's dreams is there with them.

This is a fantastic story that I could not put down. The writing was easy and flowed well and I never once had to stop because of bad grammar. My main issue with this book is that there are so many questions left unanswered. I'm not sure if this was done purposefully so that we have to read on or if things were just glossed over. I would love to know more about what it means to be a Messenger. What are they, why are they and why are they hunted? And how do healers fit into the whole equation. Also, the idea of reincarnation is used and never discussed why or how. Are all souls reincarnated? Is there a reason people meet back up in other lives? You see, so many questions. And I want answers, dang it!

Despite my previous issues, I really found The Messenger to be an exciting and engaging read. I was enthralled by Ms. DuMond's characters and her vivid descriptions of the world around them. I will definitely be reading book two as soon as she presses print! For those who like The Immortals series by Alyson Noel, Timeless by Alexandra Monir, or The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller - The Messenger is a must read!

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

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



About the Author:
Pamela DuMond is the writer who discovered, pitched and sold the real-life Erin Brockovich story to Hollywood. Erin Brockovich the movie was nominated for four Academy Awards.

In grade school Pamela was an A student but stuttered and was bullied. Reading became her refuge. She devoured every thriller and mystery she could get her hands on and eventually wrote her own. When she was twenty-two years old she finally started talking. Her brother swears she hasn't shut up since.

Pamela writes comedic sexy Cupcakes mysteries: Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys (An Annie Graceland Mystery) was published by Krill Press in 2010. She published Cupcakes, Sales, and Cocktails – A Novella in 2011 and Cupcakes, Pies, and Hot Guys in 2012.

***Giveaway***

The author is giving away (1) print copy of THE MESSENGER to US addresses.
Open International giveaway is (5) eBook copies of THE MESSENGER.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Waiting On Wednesday: Hollow by Richard Denney


"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...



Hollow

by Richard Denney
Expected Publication Date: Summer 2013
Published by CreateSpace

Hollow

In a dystopian future, sixteen year old Leah Munro has been sold to a rich woman in a crippling manor. Soon Leah discovers that there is something eerie and mysterious going on around the home, and with the help of three other girls, she attempts to uncover what is truly happening... what lies behind all of the plexiglass windows and the hideous screams in the middle of the night? Leah will soon find out.

Something readers might enjoy... This book does not contain:
A love triangle, A Bella Swan, and there is no romance what-so-ever.
Hope you enjoy Hollow when it comes out!

-R.D.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First off, the cover is beautiful!! It is ethereal and flowy and if you look closely, you can see the creepy house behind her. Another thing that makes me want to read this, is that it is a book with a teenage female protagonist written by a male author. This is something you don't see very often. And finally, this is a self published book that has already grabbed my attention way early from an author that I know nothing about. The synopsis peaks my interest and I am excited to get my hands on this! Plus, the quote from Goodreads on the page by the author had me in stiches!

What are you waiting on this week? Will you put Hollow on your TBR list?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bruxa: The Secret Within - Tour & Contest


Thank you for visiting my stop on the Bruxa Tour hosted by Bewitching Book Tours. Please check out my review as well as an excerpt from the novel. Also, a Thank You to A.F. Costa for providing the the code for the book to review. To celebrate the tour, Bruxa will be on sale for $1.99 on Smashwords with the code: XD36B. In addition, there is a contest for a custom made bracelet! See below for details on where to go to enter!

Bruxa: The Secret Within
by A.F. Costa
Published: April 25, 2012
Genre: Paranormal YA
Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 1463704275
ISBN-13: 978-1463704278
Format Reviewed: eBook (code provided by author)

Synopsis:
Gabriella is no ordinary seventeen-year-old girl. She is the last to carry her mother’s rare bloodline of Bruxa, an ancient secret order of witches.

Settling into her late father’s estate, she is welcomed by a phantom presence that resurrects within her, a secret curse her father took to his grave ten years ago. Gabriella finally finds a sense of belonging and gains the affections of high school’s most desired boy, Joey Davale. Her newly found life becomes derailed when she learns her whole existence has been a lie, and the boy she’s falling for, is designed to destroy the very thing growing inside of her.

Forced to conceal this truth, Gabriella embarks on a secret life that will drive her into the arms of Alvero, the embodiment of her darkest fear. Her newly found heritage traps her in a dangerous web of lies between two worlds and two loves. Her life will become more dangerous than she ever imagined. As the age-old battle between witches and vampires collide, will she fall prey to her heart or welcome the predator inside?

The Intense and stylized, A.F.Costa’s debut is an alluring live wire full of intrigue and forbidden love. Bruxa: the secret within, powerful vision of witches and vampires will challenge your understanding and leave you craving more.

Bruxa



My Thoughts:
Gabriella is sent to live with her Godmother while her mother makes last arraignments with her latest sale. She finally gets to attend a normal school with both boys and girls. Previously she only attended an all girls Catholic boarding school and has had no social interaction with boys. Now she lives next to one of the hottest guys in school, yet he seems to be completely put off by her. Not to mention that she may have outed her secret to him. Oops! But things are not always as they appear and she learns that Joey isn't as normal as she had thought. And come to find out, she isn't who she thought she was either.

Bruxa is a very original story. The author A.F. Costa has woven witches, vampires, Christianity, and the Knight's Templar together into something completely different from anything I have ever read. There aren't many books where the witches believe in God, but in Bruxa God created the witches for a very specific purpose. I had a hard time making this idea stick because it is just not done, but what Ms. Costa has written is definitely interesting and I kept reading.

I felt for Gabby as she came to terms with what she is and the secrets that were kept from her. She is a very naive character, but that just makes reading about her that much more fun. Seeing her fall for a guy for the first time was cute and you can't help but root for her. I don't know if I love Joey, I think there is more than he is letting on... As for Alvero, well you will have to find out for yourself.

There are a few issues with copy editing and formatting, mostly grammar issues with incorrect word usage i.e. whose instead of who's. And where there should be a break, it only changes paragraphs. I had to go back a few times to make sure I didn't miss something. However, the issues were minor and did not take away from the story.

I am looking forward to seeing what will happen when Gabby turns 18! I really enjoyed this unique take on witches and the paranormal genre. I am hoping that in book two there will be more magic and more romance!


★ ★ ★ ★ ½
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.


An Alvero Exclusive:
I should have never tempted fate, like a magnetic pull, I had this eternal desire to see her in the flesh. It had been year since I last seen this child, the thought of Matthias creating life saved me from my never-ending darkness.

I could always sense her as I quietly watched from a distance, with her mother’s protective magic gone, I leaped at the chance to see her. I knew she had grown-up, nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to catch sight of. In all my 600 years I have never desired anything more, the very thing I use to hunt and kill has possessed me fully.

I can destroy her at any giving moment, but she welcomes me, it’s as if she hold my soul. She has bewitched me. Her very essence quenches my thirst and I have no desire to feed, I feel alive and human again, when I am near her. It kills me to hide in the shadows as another gains her affections, I hate that I can’t bring myself to face her. I fear she will remember, the night I first saw her 10 years ago, the night that forever changed our worlds.


Bruxa Playlist:
The Requiem- Linkin Park
Rusted Wheel- Silversun pickups
Secrets- OneRepublic
The Royal we- Silversun pickups
Dark side- Kelly Clarkson
Leave out all the rest- Linkin Park
Runaway – Linkin Park
Catch and Release - Silversun pickups
Valentine’s Day- Linkin Park




Contest!
Bruxa: The Secret Within Tour
Discover the Secret at www.af-costa.com for
Contest rules
Four lucky wins will receive one these custom-made Bracelets
Contest ends November 28 2012

Happy readings,
A.F.Costa




About the Author:
Website      Twitter      Facebook
A.F. Costa has been creating vivid, imaginary worlds before she could even pick up a book, so it was only natural for her to put a pen to paper the moment she learned to write. Growing up with rich Latin superstitions and strong spiritual beliefs sparked her interests for the paranormal world.

Captivating small audiences with her campfire stories resurrected her passion for writing, but seeing her same passions for reading and writing developing in her son has inspired her the most.

Toronto, Ontario-based stylist A.F.Costa has been showcasing her creative abilities for over sixteen years, working with some of the best in the industry. As it is with her visual creativity, A.F. Costa brings the same passion to her writing. In Bruxa: the Secret Within, you‘ll discover an innovative world of witches and vampires like no other, blending Latin, Portuguese and Hebrew folklore into a modern day love story with an unforgettable twist.



Friday, October 19, 2012

Cover Reveal: Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four by Nya Jade & Giveaway!

Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four
A Shapers Novel, #1
by Nya Jade
Cover Art by PhatPuppy Art
Expected Publication: November 2012

Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four (A Shapers Novel, #1)

The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.

As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.

Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself–and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.



Stalk the Author Links:
Twitter      Facebook      Website


*****Giveaway!!*****

Giveaway:
Singer-songwriter Nya Jade is celebrating the upcoming release of her debut YA novel, Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four, with a Tiffany & Co. gift card giveaway!!
  • (2) $100 Gift Cards. US only
Tiffany & Co. gift cards are redeemable at all Tiffany & Co. locations, as well as at tiffany.com.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Of Blood and Bone Tour

Thank you for visiting my stop on the Of Blood and Bone Tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring. Please check out my review as well as an excerpt from the novel. Also, a Thank You to Courtney Cole for providing the eARC for review.


Of Blood and Bone
The Minaldi Legacy, #1
by Courtney Cole
Published: September 16, 2012
Published by Lakehouse Press
Format Reviewed: eBook (eARC from book tour)

Synopsis:
Luca Minaldi is powerful, rich and mesmerizing. But he is also a reclusive enigma. He lives in Malta, a fairytale-like place filled with sunshine and sea, beauty and secrets. And Luca’s darkest of secrets is the best kept of them all.

Eva Talbot is spending the summer in Malta to finish up her doctoral dissertation. When she meets Luca, a mysterious and handsome shipping magnate, there is an instant attraction. He has a disturbing and beautiful energy that she has never felt before. But she senses the darkness that lives within him.

Eva is hired to care for his mother, a woman who suffers from dementia, but it is Luca who Eva will eventually risk everything to save. She desperately wants to reach inside of him and fix what is broken, while at the same time, she knows that she is falling for him. Her life becomes a swirling chaos of darkness and romance, of secrets and mystery. And the question that emerges will become the most important answer of all.

Can she save Luca from the darkness that plagues him without losing herself?

The answer is a matter of life or death.

Of Blood and Bone (The Minaldi Legacy, #1)

My Thoughts:
While spending the summer on the Island of Malta working to complete her dissertation in psychology, she meets Luca Minaldi. Actually, he happened upon her while she was screaming from an encounter with Malta's resident giant spiders (Ewww!). Her initial impression of Luca was that he is gorgeous, but that he was different - he radiates dark energy like an electrical storm. And one minute he is rational and then the next he is ruthless. She can't quite figure him out which is odd because that is what she does; she reads people based upon first impressions. But Luca is an enigma and Eva decides that she must get to know him. 

Eva spent some of her childhood years in Malta with her father and loves the people, the beauty of the island, and knows that this will be the perfect place to work on her doctoral work. Little did she know just how much she would learn. Luca's mother is a recluse and has been since her husband passed five years earlier. She has fits, hallucinations, and believes that her son is evil. Luca hires Eva to help his mother, even though she is not licenced to practice in Malta. However, once Eva starts working with Luca's mother, she finds out that there is more to Luca's wealthy family that meets the eye. They are cursed. But not all of them, just certain men, but Luca is, like his father and grandfather before him. Eva thinks that the idea is just the ranting of an old, paranoid woman. But after one night of rough sex that Luca can't remember Eva knows something isn't right. And more than that, Eva is falling for Luca and she wants to help. Most importantly she wants to find a rational, scientific reason for what is happening. 

Eva is Light to Luca's Darkness. When she is around his darkness dissipates. I love that she is a stubborn, independent woman and isn't easily swayed by anything. She is able to see people for what they are, a talent she learned while studying people's minds, and uses her intelligence to her advantage and doesn't play it down. Luca is dark and brooding and knows that he isn't normal and that he has blood on his hands. But he doesn't know why, only that he is cursed, but he doesn't know why or how it works. Adrian, Luca's friend and employee, is one of the only people to know of the curse outside the family. His family has worked for the Minaldis for years helping each generation's cursed one. 

Of Blood and Bone is Courtney Cole's debut adult novel. I haven't read any of her young adult novels yet, but this is decidedly different from anything that would be considered YA. The language is more mature as are the dark and sensual sex scenes which makes this an adult novel. The plot flows beautifully and each character you are introduced to, no matter how inconsequential, you feel a connection. I really liked that there wasn't too many flowery descriptions. Everything is very blunt and when something is expanded upon, it is because of the dark psychological workings of the mind. There are many difficult issues discussed in this book and may be hard for some to read.

When I first agreed to review this book, I had thought that it was going to be a Paranormal Romance, but I was wrong. It is more Psychological Thriller mixed with a taste of Gothic Mystery. I loved everything about this book. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. I never would have guessed the ending, even though I tried! I can't wait to read the next installment in the series. Courtney Cole has written a dark tale of suspense and mystery that is bizarre yet enthralling. The way she brings the feeling of an old Gothic style romance and horror together is extraordinary. I recommend this novel to anyone who likes creepy, suspenseful mysteries. Definitely a perfect book for October!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Favorite Passage:
"We find her perched like a bird on a window sill, staring out over the estate. Her white filmy dressing gown hangs over the ledge and I can see from here that there is a beautiful view of the sea and moon form where she is sitting. But she isn't enjoying it. Her face, which is normally lovely I am sure, is twisted at the moment into something unrecognizable as a human. I can't help but suck in my breath at the eeriness of this situation."
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.

Excerpt:
“Evangeline,” he says softly, his dark eyes glued to mine. “I’m so sorry about the other night.  I wish I could remember.  I wish I could take it back.”
“I don’t,” I tell him honestly.  “I really don’t.”
He gazes out the window for a scant moment more, seemingly deep in thought, before he crosses the room to me.  He kneels in front of me and looks into my eyes.  In this moment, he is as vulnerable as I’ve ever seen him, as I’ve ever seen anyone. He’s completely open to me, hiding nothing.
I want so desperately to kiss him.
“I can’t,” I tell his dark eyes, praying that I don’t fall into them.  “I want to kiss you right now.  But I can’t. You’re my patient.  There are ethics…”
Luca shakes his head, his hands on my knees and his gaze upon mine.  “You aren’t my doctor, Evangeline.  You’re my friend.  I’m simply talking to a friend who wants to help me tonight.  You’re not licensed to practice medicine in Malta, remember?  So where does that leave your ethics?”
He smiles wolfishly and waits without moving.  He’s offering himself to me.  I know that.  And it is against his better judgment. He has told me that, as well.  Yet here he is, on his knees in front of me.
I suck in a breath and inhale the air that is so charged with everything that Luca is.
Whatever that is.
It is dangerous on many levels.  I know that.
I reach out unsure fingers and trace the top of his shoulders, moving over the contours.  They are so broad, yet so slender at once.  He’s perfectly built.  Strong, lithe and powerful.  I drop my head.  I know that I don’t want to resist him anymore.  For the first time in my life, I’m going to do something that my heart wants to do, not what my head tells me to do.
I grip him tighter with my fingers and pull him to me.  He folds in between my knees, pressing me to his chest.  I can hear his heart thumping rhythmically against mine as my fingers linger on his warm back.
He dips his head and presses his forehead to mine, staring into my eyes.  His are a smoldering and stormy black.
“I’m afraid to get close to you,” he tells me.  “I’m afraid for you.”
“I’m not,” I whisper.  “I’m not afraid of you.  Kiss me, Luca.”
Even I can hear the thick desire in my voice and Luca hears it too.
He groans and covers my mouth with his own, muffling the sound with my lips.  He is pressed so close that he seems to absorb me.  Every plane of his body is against every plane of mine.  I don’t know where he stops and where I start, but it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is him and me and this.

About the Author:
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.
She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.
Courtney Cole's website | twitter | facebook | facebook fan page



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Sundering Blog Tour


BB Book Tours

Thank you for visiting my stop on The Sundering Tour hosted by The Bookish Brunette. Check out a preview of the first two books and my review of the final book in the Swarm Trilogy. Also, make sure to enter the giveaway at the end!

The Swarm Trilogy consists of three books: Sleepers, Afterlife, and The Sundering. This trilogy along with The Cloud Prophet Trilogy plus a novella combine to make the The Song of Eloh Saga.

Sleepers
Book One in The Swarm Trilogy
by Megg Jensen

Synopsis:
An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.

Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?
Sleepers (The Swarm Trilogy, #1)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Afterlife
Book Two in The Swarm Trilogy
by Megg Jensen

Synopsis:
The fire inside Lianne threatened to consume her, but she fought back and won. Unfortunately the collateral damage of her decisions won’t stop haunting her. She embarks on a secret trip to find Mags and return her son, but her search leads her into another nest of lies.

Everyone’s safety is in Lianne’s hands as the Malborn, an enemy more fearsome than her own people, looms over them. Will Lianne be able to unravel the secrets in time to save the ones she loves the most? Or will her lack of faith in her own decisions lead to disaster?

Afterlife weaves some of the favorite characters from the Cloud Prophet Trilogy (Anathema, Oubliette, and Severed) into The Swarm Trilogy as Lianne comes face-to-face with a character introduced at the end of Severed.


Afterlife (The Swarm Trilogy, #2)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Sundering
Book Three in The Swarm Trilogy
by Megg Jensen
Published October 1, 2012
Published by: 80 Pages
Format Reviewed: eBook (provided by author)

Synopsis:
After defeating the Malborn and losing the person she loved most, Lianne escapes to Chase's homeland. With her appearance forever marked by death, Lianne feels like a monster both on the outside and the inside. She retreats into herself, fearful of what she's become.

But she can't hide forever.

The Malborn, damaged but not broken, send a deadly message to Lianne. They are coming for her and now she's brought danger to a peaceful land that believed they'd driven the Malborn from their shores forever. Lianne must force herself to trust again and make the ultimate sacrifice to save everyone she loves. In a world ruled by whoever harnesses the most powerful magic, no one can be trusted – no one is safe.

The Sundering (The Swarm Trilogy, #3)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Thoughts:
After picking up right where Afterlife left off, Lianne is devistated from losing Bryden. He was the single most important thing in her life and losing him has left her bereft of all emotion. Not only was he killed defending her, he was killed by Lianne's mother! Her world has become colorless, just like her eyes and hair. She is empty. However, she has a job to do and though it pains her to move on, she knows that she must. Enter Chase, the new potential love. Chase is a nice guy. He tries to help Lianne in any way he can and supports her, but he isn't Bryden and never will be. But, he does help her come out of her shell so that she can learn to live again. I like Chase, he is that great guy friend that is always there waiting for the girl.

The Malborn are still on the warpath, and Lianne wants to find a way to stop them from even attemting a come back. She finds hidden secrets and realizes that she must make sacrifices and difficult decisions. Lianne is a strong female heroine that does not back down for anything. I love that no matter what is happening to her personally and emotionally, she fights for what she believes in and never stops. Lianne has grown from the first book Sleepers to now. She is stronger and though she is still stubborn and impulsive, the things she does aren't as illogical as before. I wasn't sure if I was going to like her or not, but after finishing the trilogy, I can relate to her more. 

Overall, I liked the series. Megg Jensen is talented at world building, which is what makes her novels so interesting. The characters are not always easy to relate to or even understand sometimes, but I was so intrigued by the whole of the series that I had to keep reading. The Sundering closed the series nicely. While I would have loved certain aspects to be elaborated upon, I am happy with the way things turned out. If you haven't read the series, get on it! Also, make sure to read the rest of the books in The Song of Eloh Saga.

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

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.


**Purchace links for this book and all other books written by Megg Jensen**

About the Author:
I’ve been a freelance parenting journalist since 2003 and began writing YA novels in 2009. I co-run DarkSide Publishing, am a member of SCBWI, and I blog about writing while juggling freelancing, volunteering, and family life. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband, two kids, and our miniature schnauzer, Ace.




~~~~~~~~~~~Giveaway~~~~~~~~~~~
A medieval prize pack:
  • A hand-stitched pillow made from a tapestry fragment. I actually watched the owner of RavenStone Castle put it together!
  • A handmade pouch from Idiorhythmic Designs. The owner, Raechel, lives in my town so I was able to select the perfect bag (and if you read The Sundering, you know why this bag is important).
  • A set of postcards and a bookmark from Mystic Moon Media.A copy of the entire Song of Eloh Saga in your choice of ebook format (contains: The Initiate, Anathema, Oubliette, Severed, Sleepers, Afterlife, The Sundering)
    A $25 gift card to Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: Touching Eternity by Airicka Phoenix

Touching Eternity
(A Touch Novella)
by Airicka Phoenix
Expected Publication Date: December 20, 2012
Synopsis:
What would you choose?

She had everything but freedom.
He had nothing but his loyalty, his wits and his training.

She was a prisoner, a disease, not fit for the world, and she didn't know why. But she did know she wasn't allowed to die, she wasn't allowed to live and she wasn’t sane.

He was a soldier, a protector, but his foundation will be tested when he must destroy the only light in his dark world.

Thrown together, prisoner and keeper, their rebellion will splinter through time, changing the course of history and the fate of the world. Their love will challenge their greatest enemy and immortalize them forever.

Loyalty. Freedom. Love.

What would you risk?

"Let me die."
Pain darkened his eyes. "Never."

About the Author:
Airicka Phoenix is the author of TOUCHING SMOKE and TORRID, a short story as part of the Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology. When she's not hammering away at the keyboard, she can be found banishing pirates or crawling through the attic looking for lost treasure with her kids. She loves baking, gardening and reading. She also likes to travel and take pictures of everything she comes across. When asked, Airicka describes herself as a sarcastic basket case that has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, old movies and really bad jokes. She loves to laugh, make friends and write. If she could have one wish granted, it would be to spend one day as a fly-on-the-wall inside Stephen King's mind. If she could have two wishes granted, she would ask for a castle dedicated entirely to her overwhelming collection of books. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Winners of the Blitz Giveaway!


Congatulations to:

First Place Winner: godfellsilent 
- You have won the entire series so far - a total of 5 eBooks!
Second Place Winner: Brandi Franklin 
- You have won books 1-3!
Third Place Winner: schellstar 
- You have won books 1&2
Fourth Place Winner: laurie 
- You have won books 1&2

I will email each one of you who left me your email personally However, two of you didn't leave me any way of contact so please get back to me asap!


Thank you to everyone who followed throughout the week! Make sure to enter the main Heven & Hell Giveaway for the big prizes!!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Heven & Hell Week Wrap-Up & 24 Hour Blitz Giveaway!!


Whew! What a week! I can't believe it is over & that this is my last Heven & Hell Week post. Sad :(

Thank you so much to the author Cambria Hebert for helping me put together this whole shebang! Cambria was generous enough to supply the big giveaway prizes, the Character Spotlights, Pictures, and she created the banner and button! And most importantly, she wrote the awesome books that I had the privilege to read and review. If you haven't read all of her books, I suggest you rectify that immediately! 

Also a huge thanks to my readers and followers. I am so thankful to have all of you to share my love of books and reading with.

~Krista @ Breathe In BooKs

Recap of Heven & Hell Week

With the Author:
Interview with Cambria Hebert
Guest Post by Cambria Hebert with Exclusive Tirade Sneak Peek!!

Extras:
Waiting On Wednesday: Tirade

Reviews:
Before
Masquerade
Between
Charade
Bewitched

Character Spotlights:
Heven
Sam
Kimber
Cole
Riley


The Heven & Hell Week Giveaway:
This even has its own page! Look up and to your right. Yup, right there.
Prizes: Book Charm Necklace, Signed copy of Charade, Signed Swag
This giveaway will end on October 18.
I will contact winners by email if you have won.
Please respond within 48 hours. If you do not, I will have to pick another winner.


Whose Team are you on? 
I think we need some girl buttons here! I am totally for some girl power and we gotta show them our love too!


Cambria Hebert
Cambria Hebert
Cambria Hebert


A Shout Out to all my fellow Heven & Hell Street Team members! You are all awesomesauce!!





!!!!!~~~~~And now for the 24 Hour Blitz Giveaway!!!~~~~~!!!!!

To enter all you have to do is answer a question and leave the answer here in the comment section. I will pick the winner using Random.Org. This is open to International and US entrants over the age of 13. 
Must be able to receive a Gift from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
The giveaway will only last 24 hours so you better hurry!


  • Breathe In BooKs will be giving away the entire set of the Heven & Hell Series in eBook format to one lucky winner! 



  • Second and Third place will be receiving one or two eBooks from the series depending on what book you need/want. 

The question:
"What was your favorite thing about Heven & Hell Week? And what books in the H&H series do you own and which ones do you want? If you already own them, who would you give them to?"
**Also include an email or facebook link or something so I can reach you if you win!



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