Archive for October, 2013

Rec My Weekend #8 – DARK WITCH by Nora Roberts

Posted October 26, 2013 By Jennifer

RecMyWeekend

Rec My Weekend is a way for me to share something I’ve discovered this week, or an old favorite that’s come back to mind. And a way for YOU to help me increase my already-taller-than-me “to be read” pile. Because, really, there is NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY BOOKS!! Feel free to share your “Rec My Weekend” recs in the comments below!

Today I’m posting a review of my very first Nora Roberts book. I’m also making it my “Rec My Weekend” choice. THAT’S HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!

If Nora Roberts isn’t the first author who comes to mind when you think of paranormal romance… I understand. But I’ve discovered that she does, indeed, dip her foot (repeatedly) into those genre waters. DARK WITCH is a fantastic introduction to the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, and it’s the perfect blend of magic and romance. I absolutely recommend it, and I can’t WAIT to hear what you all think when it comes out on Tuesday!!

DarkWitchCoverWith indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland – County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors blood and magic have flowed through generations, and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nana’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives. When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself, and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope-and love-alive.

**You can check out my full review HERE.**

**Click HERE to read an excerpt on Nora Roberts’ website.**

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DarkWitchCoverAuthor: Nora Roberts
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Pages: 368
ISBN #: 9780425259856
FTC Disclaimer: Book was received from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

DARK WITCH is my very first Nora Roberts book. I feel like I’ve joined some massive “Romance Readers Club” and am waiting for my button to arrive, lol!! I only recently discovered that “La Nora” (as she’s affectionately known amongst her longtime fans) wrote paranormal titles. As it turns out, she has at least three paranormal romance series (that I can determine), and other standalone books that have paranormal elements. Considering her worldwide following, and the intriguing writeup for DARK WITCH, I couldn’t resist the chance to check out her storytelling. I am SO glad I did!

I loved this book. LOVED IT!

The amount of information we learn in the first two chapters would simply strangle most stories. I was impressed with the depth of the world-building, the character development, and the clarity in regards to the overall storyline that was presented in such a short amount of space. I KNEW the main characters (or, a version of them), and I KNEW what they were going to face. I even had strong guesses about how things in this story, and the rest of the series, were likely to unfold. You might think, “Why keep reading, if you already knew it all?” It’s because I CARED. In two chapters, I cared about the characters and the storyline enough that I could not put the book down.

The story goes from those first two chapters, hundreds of years prior, to present day Ireland. It’s a big jump, but a seamless one.

Iona Sheehan is the kind of character I love. She’s reached a point in her life where she’s not holding back. She says what she means, she takes chances, she gives 100% of herself, and she FINDS the good in people and things around her. The best way I can describe her is “refreshing”. She comes to Ireland to find family, and a place for herself. She also comes to find some answers. Answers about her history, and her destiny.

Branna and Conner O’Dwyer are Iona’s cousins. They’re the ones who can answer her questions. With them, she learns about the magic she’s inherited, and what joys and dangers it brings. The magical elements in the book are not showy and over the top, although the characters do play a bit with them. Magic doesn’t overtake the story. The magic is built into the character, and serves a purpose… as naturally as hair color or personality. As much as she starts to feel comfortable and at home, Iona also finds herself a target for a creature that has been biding its time, waiting to strip the Dark Witch of her powers.

One of the things that I loved about this book is its balance. There is magic, both good and evil, but there is normal, real life, as well. While Iona’s ease with horses is part of her charm, the scenes that take place at the stables (and with Boyle… humina, humina) ground the story. Boyle, Meara, and Fin may be “secondary” characters, but they compliment the three cousins, and each one adds a necessary element to the story.

The relationships feel real. The familial ties, Irish and welcoming, are strong from the word go. The romantic relationships are exciting, and awkward, and beautiful and messy, and just exactly right. (YES, I wanted to simultaneously hug and throttle them from time to time!!) As much as Iona is free-spirited and anxious to find love, Boyle is bewildered by the idea that she would want him, and completely unsure of how to handle the situation. It was really a joy (for the most part… remember that throttling??) watching these two figure things out.

DARK WITCH is all of the things I love about paranormal romances. There was enough magic and danger to keep me entranced and on my toes. Enough romance to get my heart pounding without it taking over the story. And enough “real life” to keep it relatable. I really can’t think of anything I would change. I’ll probably be reading this again in the very near future, and I’ll definitely be taking off work on April 29th, 2014, when SHADOW SPELL (book 2) is released!

JenniferReviewBannerEmoRating5_Love

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Entangled ‘Embrace’ Prelaunch Blast

Posted October 25, 2013 By Jennifer

Howdy!! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I just love the books that come out of Entangled Publishing. Really fantastic stories. Well, they’re starting a New Adult line called “Embrace”, this is your introduction to their first titles in this line. 🙂 There are both paranormals and contemporaries in this line, so there’s something for everyone. I was able to do a quick Q&A with DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE author Ophelia London, that you can find HERE. (There’s a contest on that post, as well!!)

Ruined finalRuined by Jus Accardo

Hell is looking for a way to break loose…

Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world’s first murderer, he’s plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it’s killing him.

After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can’t outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she’s thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she’s been trying to forget.

Sam strains Jax’s control over his darkness, but running isn’t an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.

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JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied Copy of JusAccardoand was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the bestselling author the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing and is currently working on the first book in a new adult series due out summer 2013. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Website:http://www.jusaccardo.com

Blog:http://www.jusaccardo.com/category/blog/

Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/JusAccardo

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJusAccardo

Definitely Maybe in Love by Ophelia LondonDefinitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London

Her theory of attraction is about to get a new angle.

Spring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

Whatever it takes,” however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly.

Henry is Spring’s only hope at publication, but he’s also the über-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite. Too bad she can’t help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. As they work on her thesis, Spring finds there’s more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice that proves true love is worth risking a little pride.

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Ophelia London is the author of ABBY ROAD, the Perfect Kisses series including: PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE, the upcoming Ophelia London (1)“still working on the title” (Nov `13), and the new adultDEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE (Oct 28th). She belongs to RWA and DARA.

 Website: http://www.ophelialondon.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ophelia_london

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ophelia-London/235557139857428

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/585688-ophelia

 TCK_500Trouble Comes Knocking by Mary Duncanson

It’s hard not to answer when trouble comes knocking

A girl who can’t forget…

Twenty-two-year-old Lucy Carver is like Sherlock Holmes in ballet flats, but her eidetic memory is more albatross than asset, and something she usually keeps hidden. When she notices that something’s amiss at her dead-end job, she jumps at the chance to finally use her ability for good. That is, until, a man is murdered, and she becomes the target of the killer.

A detective on his first case…

Detective Eli Reyes is overbearing, pompous, way too hot for Lucy’s own good, and seems as determined to ruin her relationship with her boyfriend, John, as finding the murderer. He brings Lucy in on the case, thinking she can help him get to the truth, only to cut her loose when he realizes he’s gotten far more than he ever bargained for.

A past that won’t go away…

When memories from her childhood invade her present, Lucy discovers a mystery bigger than she could have imagined. With the killer still after her, and Eli nowhere to be found, she takes things into her own hands, determined to expose the truth no matter what—before trouble comes knocking…again.

Mary Duncanson, who also writes as Mary Malcolm, lives in North Texas with a menagerie of animals and feral roommates. She is currentlyMaryDuncanson looking to adopt a husband, preferably housebroken, preferably as silly as her. When she’s not corraling her household, she’s talking to the characters in her head and hoping they talk back. When she’s not doing all that, she can be found wandering around Central Market with a happy, drooly foodie look on her face. Do not judge her, it is her Mecca. Mary’s been writing since she was a teenager though spent quite a few years studying toward becoming a doctor before she realized she wanted to be a full-time author. Unfortunately, the people who own her student loans still want to be paid for the years they supported her medical dreams. Mary lives on a steady diet of coffee and chocolate and believes, like Eleanor Roosevelt, that people should believe in the beauty of their dreams. She also believes people should ignore the word should because really, it’s kind of a judgmental word. Mary dreams of one day living as a full-time, well paid novelist (hint, hint) and also of one day traveling to Chile to pay homage to her soul mate, Pablo Neruda.

Website: http://www.marymalcolmduncanson.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marysonofduncan

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authormarymalcolm

Hushed_500Hushed by Kelley York

He’s loved her. Killed for her. Yet he may not be able to save her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids. Since then, he’s never stopped trying to shelter her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when skipping from one toxic relationship to another. Archer is always there, reeled in and tossed out, waiting to be noticed.

Then Evan Bishop breezes into town with a warm smile and calming touch, and Archer can’t deny his attraction to him. Evan is the only person who keeps him around without a single string attached. And the harder Archer falls for Evan, the more he sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and once she finds out Archer’s dark secret, she threatens to expose the truth if she doesn’t get what she wants. And what she wants is for him to end his relationship with Evan…permanently.

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Once upon a time, Kelley York was born in central California. And it’s there she she still resides with her lovely wife, step-daughter, and an Kelley York (1)abundance of cats, while fantasizing about moving to England or Ireland. She has a fascination with bells and animals, is a lover of video games, Doctor Who, manga and anime, and likes to pretend she’s a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or at least write about them.

Kelley is a sucker for dark fiction. She loves writing twisted characters, tragic happenings, and bittersweet endings that leave you wondering and crying. Character development takes center stage in her books because the bounds of a person’s character and the workings of their mind are limitless.

Her first book, HUSHED, was released by Entangled Publishing in December 2011. Her second and third books, HOLLOWED and SUICIDE WATCH, were released in 2012, and her next Entangled book, MADE OF STARS, is slated for October 1st, 2013.

Website: http://www.kelley-york.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-York/141005099310291?sk=wall

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elixing

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Q&A with Ophelia London (DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE)

Posted October 25, 2013 By Jennifer

And here we are for part two of today’s spotlight on Entangled’s new Embrace line. DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE is a New Adult, contemporary take on Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Author Ophelia London is stopping by to introduce herself a little bit. 🙂

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to answer some questions for us. Some are writing related, and hopefully at least a little different from what you usually get asked. And some are just fun things to learn a little more about you in general.

Ophelia London (1)Thanks, Jennifer. I’m really excited you asked me to be on your blog!

When you write, do you prefer quiet, or do you listen to music? If you like music playing, what is your preferred genre? Do certain characters have their own personal “soundtrack”?

Oh, yes! This is always my favorite question to answer, because music plays a huge role in my writing process. I don’t listen to it when I’m writing, or if I do, it’s instrumental with no lyrics. (I’m easily distracted.) But I always create a soundtrack to my stories, sometimes before I’ve even started writing. With my new book, “Definitely, Maybe in Love,” the soundtrack is pretty huge because my two main characters—Spring and Henry—are really into music but they have totally different tastes. So obviously I had to make one for each of them, right? And the really fun part is the playlist I made for Henry is actually a playlist he makes for Spring in the book. The songs are pretty smexy, but…you’ll have to read the story to find out why. And PS: I’ll be giving away an iPod with both Henry and Spring’s playlists as part of the Entangled Embrace launch. So keep your eyes posted for that!

Where do you write? In an office, at the dining room table, at a local coffeeshop? Do you prefer to write alone or with a group?

I write at home for the most part. Sitting on my couch with the TV on mute. Sometimes when I’m stuck, I’ll take my laptop on a field trip. My favorite place to go these days is the art house movie theater a few miles away. First of all, the venue is gorgeous and it’s just distracting enough that I can people-watch for a while if I need a break. And plus, I love art house movies, so I usually go when I know something cool is playing. All of October they’ve been showing Hitchcock movies. That’s been really fun.

What was your first vision of your main character? Was it a scene? A “look”? An attitude?

I had Spring’s personality in my head before Henry. Actually, Spring didn’t start out as witty or sarcastic or driven as she ended up. When I wrote the first draft, I was kind of going through a frustrating time with a guy, so I guess I got out some of my frustration through Spring. Once I knew who she was, I set out to make the perfect guy for her, someone who could stand toe-to-toe with her, make her laugh when she needs to lighten up and just love her unconditionally. I’m extremely happy with how Henry turned out. I dare any girl to not fall in love with him!

What was your favorite Halloween costume?

Funny story. When I was in college, I had to direct a play. I was having a hard time getting in sync with my actors, so that year, I dressed up as an old-timey director who’d been murdered by her cast. It was passive-aggression at its best. Heh-heh.

What was harder to write, the first line or the last line? Why?

Hmmm, good question. Probably the last. I usually know exactly how I want to start a story (though my first chapters often change with edits), but I’m so long-winded that I never want my characters to stop talking. Putting that perfect ending on a story is pretty challenging for me.

What’s the strangest thing you came across while doing research for this book?Definitely Maybe in Love by Ophelia London

Hahaha. Another funny story… In “Definitely, Maybe in Love,” Spring wears her hair in tiny braids. But originally it was dreadlocks…which was fine; I’m from northern California so I saw dread all the time. But when I was researching the care of dreads, I came across an article about some kind of fly or bug that are sometimes found in dreads. Nothing against locks, but I couldn’t allow my Spring the tiniest chance of having bugs in her hair. So I changed it to braids, which actually worked out better—plot wise.

If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would be it and what would you do all day?

Henry Knightly, for sure. And if you read about a certain food fight, you’ll understand why I’ll want to spend the day kissing.

What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to learn to do, but haven’t yet?

Chess. It’s been on my list to learn for years.

If you could have one word removed from the English language, from all dictionaries and out of everyone’s vocabulary, what would it be, and why? If you could ADD one word, what would it be?

There are a few derogatory words I hear every once in a while that I can’t stand and wish to never hear again. I don’t want to say any of them here—they’re too terrible. If I could add one word, maybe bootylicious. I use it all the time and think the rest of the world should too. heehee

What is one thing about you that your friends know and you would love your readers to know as well. Or… if you’re in a giving mood… what is one story that your friends LOVE to talk you into telling that you don’t generally volunteer?

There’s one group of friends who love for me to re-re-retell about the time I was in Scotland and my friend and I were talking to a dude playing a bagpipe. He had a reeeeeeally heavy accent and I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, but I was staring at him, concentrating very hard on every word. When he finished, I nodded at him then said to my friend who was standing on the other said of him: “What did he say?” My friend nearly wet her pants laughing, and the same thing happens to her every time I retell it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope this was something different, and that you had fun telling us a little more about yourself.

My pleasure! You asked some really great questions and got me thinking. It was great. Thanks again!

Congratulations on all your successes, and good luck with all you have planned for the future!

Jennifer

********************AND NOW… FOR A CONTEST!!!******************************

Make sure you check out part one of the Entangled Publishing prelaunch celebration. You can see all the titles included by clicking HERE!! This part of Embrace’s launch includes a giveaway!!! Click below for your chance to win awesome prizes from Entangled!!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

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AHEI banner blue & purple proto type 3

Hello, my lovelies!! Welcome to my stop on the “All Hallows Eve Indies Blog Tour”, created by Crystal from Reading Between The Wines, Brandy from Romance Bookworm Reviews, and Jessie Lane. I’m so excited to take this opportunity to share some really awesome news from one of the coolest authors I know. C J Ellisson has brand new covers for her VV Inn series!!! Gone are the playful cartoon-ish covers, in favor of a more “urban fantasy” feel. (I’ll be reading book one, VAMPIRE VACATION, between now and Halloween… I’m guessing the new cover is a closer idea of what I should expect. I’ll let you all know!!) In addition to the new cover love… this blog tour is featuring some really great indie authors on a slew of other blogs. AND… there are prizes galore to be won!! Check out the details at the bottom of this post!

C J’s got these posted right up front on her website, but I snagged them to share with you all here… below the covers is the blurb for book one, VAMPIRE VACATION.

1VampireVacation 2TheHunt 3BigGame .5DeathsServant

Meet Vivian. She’s a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions has created the perfect vacation spot—a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true.

Vivian knows the best performance requires perfect timing, but the powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom minutes before the next arrivals. Always cool-headed, Rafe hides the body, convinced he and Vivian can find the culprit without disturbing their guests.

Juggling the increasingly outrageous demands of their customers while tracking a killer isn’t easy. Will their poking and prodding give them the answers they need, or will it uncover secrets Vivian would kill to protect?

So…. whaddaya think??? Looks good, huh?? I’ve had this book in my TBR for a while, so I’m excited to finally get it read. (And, if any of you EVER get the chance to go hang with C J *ahem*atCoastalMagicConvention*ahem*… DO IT!!! It’ll be an experience you’ll never forget, I promise.) Tell me in the comments what you think of the new covers, and one of you will be randomly selected to win an ebook copy of VAMPIRE VACATION when the tour ends on October 31st!!

Also… Check out the host sites (linked above) for all the other stops/blogs/authors being featured. There will be more awesome posts, and more chances to win at each of them. For now… you can enter the tour-wide contest by clicking on the rafflecopter link below. GOOD LUCK!!!

Grand Prize is a Kindle 7″ HD Fire and 100 books (mostly ebooks!). 2nd Place Prize is for a FUC (Furry United Coalition) t-shirt from Eve Langlais and 19 ebooks! CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

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