Thursday, May 26, 2016

Play Your Heart Out

Play Your Heart Out
Crystal Kaswell
(Sinful Serenade #4)
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
He parties like a rockstar.

She’s there to make sure no one finds out…
Jess James has her eye on the prize. She is finding the money to pay for law school. Period. She is starting a new life on her own. Period. And she’s absolutely staying in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from the people who expect her to lie for them. It doesn’t matter how lonely she gets on her own, how exhausted she is from working overtime as a cocktail waitress, or how deep the knife wound in her back cuts. She is going to be a lawyer, whatever it takes.
Only she doesn’t have what it takes. She can barely afford to pay her rent.
Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has enough to pay Jess’s rent and buy her a small island in the Caribbean. The famous, talented rock star has everything… except the one thing his manager wants. Pete rose to fame as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that his ex slept with his best friend, he needs to stop screwing his way through Los Angeles to keep his reputation clean. Pete works hard, and parties harder… and the sweet, blond waitress is exactly the girl he needs on his arm if he wants to keep the record company happy.
Their arrangement is simple: he pays her tuition, she plays his girlfriend. They’ll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they’re alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her moaning his name.
Jess is good at keeping up appearances. She can play the enigmatic rock star’s girlfriend. But Pete shouldn’t play games with a girl who’s been broken before…
Previous books in the series:

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My eyes find Pete’s. There’s an earnestness to his expression. I feel like I can trust him. Like I can talk to him.
That might be worth lying to everyone else.
His hand slides under my skirt. My thoughts fade away. My shoulders and back relax. I want to feel the way I did at the park, like there’s nothing in the world but the two of us.
Sex first. Decision second.
I lean in to whisper. “Do we have to stay to talk?”
“Have to clear something with Aiden but I can do it after.”
Mmm. After. I nod. “Yes please.”
“Yes please, what?”
I can hear the smile in his voice. “Yes, please… will you… Do I have to say it?”
He chuckles. “I’ll get you there.”
His fingertips skim my thighs as he pulls his hand back to his lap. He pulls back enough he can stare into my eyes. I still can’t figure out what the expression in his deep brown eyes means, but damn if I don’t like staring into them.
They’re gorgeous eyes.
That vulnerability returns. He blinks and it’s gone. I shift backwards, breaking his touch. But it’s too loud to think.
Pete stands and pulls me to my feet. He nods goodbye to his friends then leads me to the back of the VIP area. There’s a roped off area with a NO ENTRANCE sign. He scans the room. A cocktail waitress has her eyes on us. More likely, she has her eyes on him. She licks her lips hungrily.
He could easily take her home. But he looks at her with apathy. He doesn’t want her. He doesn’t want any of the gorgeous models in this place.
He wants me.
Pete leans in to whisper. “Wait for me on the balcony. I’ll lose her.” He motions to the closed door in the corner of the roped off area.
He wants to do this on a balcony? Damn. First the bar bathroom then this. He has a thing for public sex.
I should say no. I’m going to be a lawyer. I can’t get caught having sex in public.
I try to force the word to my lips but it refuses. “What if we get caught?”
“This is private property. They’ll ask to leave. That will be it.” His eyes meet mine. “We can hold off till we get back to your place.”
I shake my head. I don’t want to hold off. I want him. Now.
I trust his assessment of the situation.
“No. Let’s do now,” I say.
He nods.
I wait for him to grab the waitress’s attention and I sneak past the velvet rope. The door to the balcony is frosted glass. You can’t see in or out. I turn the handle and check my footing. All good.
We’re overlooking the alley. No one can see us, not from the street, not from the club.
No one is going to catch us. Not on camera—it’s too dark for that.
Thoughts swirl around my brain. I like Pete. Find him interesting. Hell, find him fascinating.
Can I play his girlfriend without falling in love with him?
I press my hands into the smooth metal railing. It’s the only cold thing here. The sounds of the street—conversations and cars—flow into my ears, competing with the music coming from the club.
There’s only one thing I know: I can’t leave without being with him.

Author Bio:
Crystal Kaswell writes steamy new adult and erotic romance books. She loves when flawed characters fall head over heels for each other. Especially if they fall into bed first. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Forbidden Wish

The Forbidden Wish
by Jessica Khoury

Book: Stand Alone

Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: Fabruary 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Print
Source: Borrowed
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world... 

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

My Review: Okay I'm a fan of Jessica's work. However, I wasn't a big fan of Aladdin, but why not read it anyway. 

It did take me a bit to get into the story, but once I did, I couldn't put the book down. Jessica gave us a new look into Aladdin and I just loved it!

Zahra is an old and powerful Jinni. She was a Queen once in her own right. But ever since she was put in that lamp, nothing has been the same. She's seen it all, and in the end, all she wants is her freedom. And that may just happen. The King of Jinni has decided to grant her freedom, if she can find his son. 

Zahra takes the chance. But in the process she never expected to fall in love with a human. Thats breaking the first rule. And frankly Zahra just doesn't care. Aladdin found her lamp and let her out. He went from a thief to a prince to falling in love with Zahra. The whole process leading to the end was just amazing. I saw these two grow. I saw a new world start to change. Change their thoughts on Jinni and the way things are done. A new queen is crowned and things are looking brighter. But when it came to the end, Jessica brought out the feels. She knew just how to rip at them. When Zahra made the forbidden wish, I couldn't take the feels. And the know she was able to defeat the king and become an even stronger jinni, just knowing it was all due to her loving Aladdin. 

I just loved this book. I can't wait to read more from Jessica!

My Rating:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Curse of the Gargoyles

Curse of the Gargoyles
by Rebecca Chastain

Book: Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles #2

Publisher: Rebecca Chastain
Pub Date: May 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon   

Mika was trying to save a gargoyle, not doom the world...

Mika Stillwater isn’t known for her skills with combat magic. As a gargoyle healer, she spends her days mending broken appendages and curing illnesses in the living-quartz bodies of Terra Haven’s gargoyles. But when a squad of the city’s elite Federal Pentagon Defense warriors requests her assistance in freeing a gargoyle ensnared in a vicious invention, Mika jumps into the fray.

No one could have predicted that her involvement would ignite a chain reaction set to destroy the city, the world, and magic itself.

Brimming with epic magic and loveable gargoyles, Curse of the Gargoyles is the second story in the mesmerizing Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles trilogy. Fantasy fans young and old will delight in this highly original world and exciting, action-packed adventure.

My Review: Mika has a great skill. Using her magic to heal gargoyles. But when the pentagon needs your help, can you really say no? Mika agrees to help, but she didn't really know what she's in for. It should be go in, take care of the gargoyle and be done. Well.....she kind of started some trouble. The city and magic world may be doomed. 

So now she needs to undo this mess somehow. Find a way to keep the world safe and be more careful with these gargoyles. But not all gargoyles are like this, she will prove this. Save the world. Go back to her life healing gargoyles and just being more careful. Much easier said than done of course. 

Mika has grown even more in this book. The details and pace are even better than the last. Its just one of those books where you can easily tell that you'll be hooked. 

My Rating:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Guardian of Paradise

Guardian of Paradise
by W.E Lawrence

Book: Stand Alone
PublisherW.E Lawrence
Pub Date: September 2015
Genre: Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

In 1888, Kira Wall, surviving daughter of missionaries swept away in a tsunami, lives a primitive, but enjoyable life with natives on an isolated island in the South Pacific. But her serene world is turned upside down when an Australian merchant ship, commanded by the sinister Captain Darcy Coleman, arrives with an overabundance of modern and lavish goods. Kira suspects ill intent. Chief Ariki refuses to listen to Kira’s warning, forcing her to uncover the real plan of the captain on her own. Unfortunately, she has a distraction. A six-foot tall, blond, and handsome distraction. Trevor Marshall, doctor and botanist, hopes to find exotic plants on the island to research new cures and medicines. He is dedicated to science, but when meeting the strong-willed, beautiful Kira Wall, he’d prefer to spend time researching her—all night.

The captain thwarts Kira’s attempts to call him out at every step, turning the village chief against her. With only Trevor and her best friend Malana by her side, she stalks the captain and his officers through the dense, predator infested jungle, toward the island’s inactive volcano. Frustrated by her failure to reveal the captain’s true intentions, Kira begins to think maybe she’s wrong about everything. Then an explosion and earthquake bigger than anyone on the island has ever seen renews her resolve. Was the blast natural or man-made? She is determined to prove it was the captain’s doing. Kira races against time and the island people’s naivety to stop the captain from destroying her home and killing everyone she loves.

My Review: This was a mix feels for me. In a lot of ways I wanted to read this book, and then in some parts, it wasn't my usual read. But I dove in and was really shocked! Full of surprises and details to love.

Kira is on an isolated island. Things are actually nice and shes happy with the life shes got. But her world is going change very quickly. Her happy a calm days, aren't going to be around for a while. When Captain Darcy shows up, things get rowdy. 

Here he comes with a ship full of goods. But whats the catch? Why would a ship with all these good just show up on this random island? There must be a reason, because when have you seen something like this where the Captain really had no ill meaning? 

Anywho, Kira isn't having any of it. And when she isn't taken seriously, she decided to find out on her own. Although she's going to need to find a way around Trevor. A really cute doctor, who is ready to research her all night long. After all, Kira is much more interesting than some plants. 

In the meantime, Kira doesn't stop. She will figure out what is going on. It even gets to the point where people are hating and turning against her. Yet she continues on, even if that means she only has Trevor and Malana by her side. But Kira is so determined, she would still do it, with or without anyone by her side. The closer they get, the more dangerous it seems. The faster they need to move against the clock. The details and suspense is so perfectly done. Its hits the high points at the perfect moment. You can't help but enjoy this book and its characters! Very well done by Lawrence and I can't wait to read more books by the author!

My Rating:

Cure of the Gargoyles

Curse of the Gargoyles:

Mika was trying to save a gargoyle, not doom the world...

Mika Stillwater isn’t known for her skills with combat magic. As a gargoyle healer, she spends her days mending broken appendages and curing illnesses in the living-quartz bodies of Terra Haven’s gargoyles. But when a squad of the city’s elite Federal Pentagon Defense warriors requests her assistance in freeing a gargoyle ensnared in a vicious invention, Mika jumps into the fray.

No one could have predicted that her involvement would ignite a chain reaction set to destroy the city, the world, and magic itself.

Brimming with epic magic and loveable gargoyles, Curse of the Gargoyles is the second story in the mesmerizing Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles trilogy. Fantasy fans young and old will delight in this highly original world and exciting, action-packed adventure.

Don’t miss the riveting adventure that starts it all: Magic of the Gargoyles!

Magic of the Gargoyles can be found at:

Amazon, Everywhere:

Rebecca Chastain’s bio:

Rebecca Chastain is the international bestselling author of the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, among others works. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in Northern California with her wonderful husband and three bossy cats.

Here are a few places you can find Rebecca on the Internet:

Twitter: @Author_Rebecca or

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Forever and One Week

Forever and One Week
by Caroline Cairn

Book: Spirits of Saoradh #2
Publisher: Caroline Carin
Pub Date: April 2016
Genre: New Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

The Spirits of Saoradh, who carry the guilt of a crime they committed when they were alive, now spend their ghostly days in the Void, dark nothingness where time and space are distorted. Until they get bound to a human. As often as needed, that human can call them to the real world, ask them to grant a wish, then send them back to the Void. The Spirits also have to follow strict rules or be punished, unaware that they can earn their redemption through a selfless sacrifice.

Spirit Logan despises the obedience he has to show to his humans, and prefers the enjoyable solitude of the Void. For three years, he has managed to threaten them into severing their bond, thus having his memory wiped of their existence. Except his latest human, an emotionless woman with a secret past, isn’t scared of him. Worse, she doesn’t care about his ability to make wishes come true.
Tessa, a twenty-six-year-old nursery teacher in Fort William, Scotland, doesn’t expect a sullen ghost only she can see and touch to burst through her solid defences. Both dismayed and intrigued, she offers Logan a deal he can’t refuse: to live with her in the human world for one week, at the end of which she will agree to release him.
Slowly, Tessa braves through the safety of her detachment towards people to show Logan some kindness. But the more her feelings deepen, the more Logan increases his distance…

My Review: When your dead, you carry all the guilt that you had when you were alive. Its tough, even for just a spirit, that's got to suck. At some point they get bound to a human, and once that happens then the human can call them at anytime and get a wish. They they just get sent back to the void and forgotten until called upon again. 

As it started, I had mixed feelings on this. I wasn't sure how it would go. At first it seemed to go fine, but it took me a few chapters in to really get caught in the story. Once I was hooked, I just kept going until the last page. Yup, sat there for a few and just finished it. Now thats usually a sign of a good book! The characters were done well. You'll easily like them and some maybe not as much.  Though Tessa is hands down my favorite. 

The author has some real talent and its so worth the read!

My Rating:

And here's an excerpt to convince you even more...

“What the hell do you want?”
The sharpness of his voice didn’t shock her as much as him turning up in her dining room. She presented the coffee tin to the Spirit lurking in the shadowed corner. She didn’t notice herself pressing on the metal until it created a dent.
“I would like a full one, please.”
If he could fill the can with the same beans he had used the last time he had granted her wish, she would cry in happiness. His coffee had tasted like smooth chocolate with a hint of bitter nuttiness. The fruity flavour of her usual brand had suddenly vanished to blandness.
“Are you asking for freaking coffee again? Are you serious?”
Her extended arm began to ache. “Please, and I need some painting supplies, too.”
He crossed his arms. She couldn’t watch the expression on his face as it was bathed in darkness, but his posture was relaxed. “I thought you didn’t need me.” The sarcasm was drenched in triumph.
She brought the empty tin to her chest. He hadn’t been cross at her for her lack of reaction yesterday. He had been cross because he had been unable to rebuff her. “I take it you won’t give me anything.” She threw the tin in the bin.
Feet spread out in front of her fridge, she opted for the last of the yoghurts, the lemon flavour one she hated. Why the supermarkets insisted on using this vile fruit in their value range, she had no idea. Paper lid removed, she tucked into her breakfast without enthusiasm, standing in the middle of the room. 
“Are you kidding me?”
She carried on eating, bracing herself for what was to come.
“Hey—” He grunted with annoyance. “Hell, I don’t even know your name.”
“Tessa.” The slightly acidic and too-sweet yoghurt churned her stomach.
“Well, Tessa, you need to wish for it. I can’t get you anything until you use the proper word. Say it.”
She plunged her spoon in the foul creaminess. “What’s the point? You’re going to refuse me anyway.”
His arms unfolded as he levitated, crossed-legged, elbows wide. His fingertips drummed his thighs with increasing speed. “Try me.”
She didn’t bother replying. She knew his kind. People who had to have their way because they considered themselves so much smarter than others. Tessa dealt with them with casual indifference, because that meant they wouldn’t search for trouble. They would leave her alone.
But him?
He grated that part of her she had put to sleep a long time ago.
She didn’t like it.
Not one bit.
Yet it compelled her, like a chickenpox itch you know you shouldn’t scratch but can’t resist.
Once she had dropped the empty yoghurt pot in the bin, she proceeded to wash her spoon, aware of a glare cutting a hole at the back of her head. She wiped the cutlery dry with slow movements, blew on it then polished it. The sound of fingertips on denim was getting louder in her ears. So he was getting frustrated.
She couldn’t wait for his next move.
Water running from the tap, she rinsed her sponge, soaked it in a lavender-scented cleaning spray and wiped every nook and cranny, from the sink to the kitchen counter, with deliberate fussiness. She lifted her kettle and her toaster, pushed her plant to the left, then back to its place, and scrubbed those pesky corners. The cupboard doors were next, after a few more sprays of lavender.
If I started singing, would that be too much?
His hoarse breathing had turned into a low growl.
But she was too far gone to stop. So when her wrist got captured by a powerful hand, an unexpected thrill coursed through her.
“Say it,” he ordered. “Say how much you wish for coffee.”
His grip was painful. Implacable. It brought her back to reality, chased away that stupid excitement she never should have pursued. Logan was just like everyone else. No doubt he would resort to violence because she had taunted him. Because she hadn’t done as she was told.
So she shut herself down, and let him pull her to face him.
“Jesus Christ, not again.” He yanked his hand away from her.
Images of her mother flashed like a nightmare. She had to concentrate to keep her vision focused on him.
“How can you go from provoking me to this lifeless thing?”
She rubbed her wrist, where his print had marked her flesh. He could scream as much as he wanted and take out his anger on her. A calm resolution had flooded her senses. It shielded her soul. Nothing would hurt now. The soft glow of his eyes had intensified to blazing gold, a sheer contrast to his reddening face. His eyebrows were so low they could cast their own shadow over his cheeks. And his lips…
A painful twinge hit her in the throat.
His bottom lip was cut, the blood dried up as a crust. But it was his neck that had her stumbling back against her sink. It had two perfectly parallel, crimson crevices crossing from one side to the other. She was no expert, but these scars were fresh, and made by a razor-sharp blade. She could swear it.
His tirade halted abruptly.
He seemed to hesitate between retreating in the corner and standing his ground. That he chose the latter didn’t surprise her.

“That’s none of your business,” he replied to her silent question.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Perfect Ruin

Perfect Ruin
by Lauren DeStefano

Book: The Internment Chronicles #1
Publisher: Simon
Pub Date: March 2015
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Print
Source: Borrowed
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

On the floating city of Internment,you can be anything you dream - a novelist or a singer, a florist or a factory worker... Your life is yours to embrace or to squander. There's only one rule: you don't approach THE EDGE. If you do, it's already over.

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city and her home, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. There’s too much for her on Internment: her parents, best friend Pen, and her betrothed, Basil. Her life is ordinary and safe, even if she sometimes does wonder about the ground and why it’s forbidden.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, Judas is being blamed for the murder, but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find—or whom she will lose.

My Review: This was a whole new world and I was excited to dive in. I've read other books by Lauren and just loved them.

However, it did take me a few chapters in, before I got hooked. After the slow start, it picked up and I couldn't put the book down.

I liked the idea of this story. Just somehow a giant piece of the Earth was taken and put up into the sky. Now this new place has a new name and a king. Just don't get close to edge, you'll fall down and then thrown back up. Kind of odd how strong these winds are that you can just be thrown back. And each person comes back with a different issue. Odd, but somehow it all worked.

Everything seems perfect. Morgan is a great character and is about to learn what the world is really like. She's sheltered. Most people on Internment are sheltered. Life just seems too good. Nothing too crazy happens. She goes to school, hangs with her friends, goes home. Even her brother lives in the apartment upstairs. And well, everything is great. Up until the murder that is.....this was the turning point. Not just for the story to start unfolding, but the point where things finally grabbed my attention. 

My Rating:

Danny and Andrew Guest Post

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. 

Serenity has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog Danny—Danny the Dog—to toot it for me. He always has an attitude and usually does not speak highly of me. But please understand that we co-exist as the old Soviet Union and the United States once co-existed. We tolerate each other. So without further ado, here’s Danny.

Andrew took me away from chasing cars (so much fun) to help him out here. For a person who works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you a little about how Andrew and I co-exist (to use his word).

Good morning, dog fans. It is I, Danny the Dog . . . here to make your humdrum lives bearable with one of my accounts of life with Andrew. He takes a lot of looking after and he can be a pawful at times. It also takes a lot training to get him to obey properly. So without further delay, here’s my narrative.

Those of you who know me know of my affinity for hot dogs. Yummy! And what you should also know—if you were paying attention—is that Andrew gave me a hot dog every morning after I had taken him for his walk. As I have stated, yummy! But a dog has to try out new things, so a while back I stopped eating said hot dogs. Well, not entirely. I’d eat half of it and leave the rest on the dock. That was my way of telling Andrew I thought it about time that we experiment with new cuisines.

For once, Andrew got the hint. He went to the grocery store and came back with something he called “dog treats.” TREATS! I wouldn’t give them to a cat! I suggested he read the label and see where they were made. “China,” he said. I just stared at him until it dawned on him that was the place that, a few years ago, sent over all that dog food that killed so many pooches. “Okay,” says he. “Let me try again.” And off he went, back to the supermarket.
This time he came back with sliced turkey. Double yummy! He explained that all the dog-type treats were made in China, so he had started looking in the meat aisle to see if there was anything I might like. And lo and behold, he finally did something right—boy, do I love turkey!

Now this is the heart-rending part of the story: My training of Andrew.
After turkey came into our lives, Andrew would give me a slice after our morning walk. And I must admit, for a while, I was happy with the single slice. But I was thinking, Why not see how far I can push it? Two slices would be better, three even more better.

I started my campaign by letting loose with a slight bark. Nothing extravagant, just something to let Andrew know that I was displeased with the meager offering. It didn’t take long for him to get the hint. So I was now getting two slices a day. Time to go to work for that third slice.

But you want to know something? Andrew ain’t as dumb as he looks. He started cutting the slices in half . . . like I wouldn’t notice. Well, that set off the War of the Wills. Every morning, I demanded more, and every morning Andrew would fight me until, just to shut me up, I’d get another “slice.” Albeit they were now coming in half-slices, but those half-slices do add up.
So anyway, here we are months down the road. I’ve gotten Andrew up to five slices, or half-slices if you will, and sometimes, if I really push it, I get a sixth slice. I must admit, when Andrew tells me that I am a royal pain in his butt, he has a point. I will not stop my “demand barking” until I’ve gotten as much as I can get from the old guy.

But this morning, I think I might have pushed it too far. Andrew was at his computer waiting for someone to email him. No one ever does, but hope springs eternal—I guess. Anyway, I was angling for a seventh slice when he turned to me and said. “What’s wrong with you? You’ve got it made. I wait on you hand and foot. You’ve got complete healthcare—medical and dental. I take you up to the Tiki hut every night so that everyone can make a big deal about the famous Danny the Dog. For a lowly cur, you’ve got it made! Can’t you just leave it at six slices?”
Boy, was he hot under the collar. And did you notice that he called me “a lowly cur”?
There we stood. Eye to eye (sort of). This was going to be the defining confrontation in our relationship. This contest of wills would determine who would henceforth run the household. The seconds ticked by, then the seconds turned into minutes. Neither of us giving ground, neither of us giving quarter to the other.

Then came the moment of destiny. When the history of Danny the Dog is written, students will be taught that this was when Danny the Dog came into his own.
Andrew stood, and with tears in his eyes because of his defeat, gave me a seventh slice of turkey.
That’s about it for now. I think I’ll turn the podium back over to Andrew.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s new book and make the old guy happy.

This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Serenity for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

And I Darken

And I Darken
by KierstenWhite

Book: The Darken Trilogy #1

Publisher: Delacoret Press
Pub Date: June 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Review: Kiersten is one of my go to authors. Every book she writes, I must have. So naturally I jumped at the chance to get this ARC.

Anywho...Lada is a princess. Lovely, kind, and everything you'd expect. Oh except for the fact that she's now a brutal princess. She wasn't always like that, things were better. Once I learned of her story, I couldn't help but feel for her and have an understating. 

So Lada and her brother Radu, play the game. Do what they need to, while also finding a way to get revenge. They want nothing than to go back home, take back what is theirs, and go back to a life they once knew. Lada is the rightful heir of Wallachia, she will get her home back, show them what a real ruler is and destroy the Ottomans. Because when you hear what the Ottomans did, well you'd want them gone in a heartbeat as well. 

But then you have a toxic triangle. Lada, Radu, and Mehmed. This can make or break the plan. Radu needs to not consider this place home, its not where they belong. Mehmed and Lada may have to hide whatever they may have. They belong to two different lands. They can't do anything, if they want any plan to work.

I can't even begin to tell you how on point the details are. The world building was done so well, you can tell a lot of time had gone into this. The characters are easy to like or hate. I loved this book and already want to read the next one!

My Rating:


Christopher D. Morgan
(Portallas #1)
Publication date: February 28th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Joshua’s life is on the line, as he attempts to navigate through the magical world of Forestium to find the truth about his father. He and his companions will need to use all their cunning to stay alive and avoid the dark forces of the Goat. Will he find the magical orbs and open the Portallas, a magical gateway to other worlds, before he’s killed?
Joshua sets out to learn the truth about his father. Along the way, he finds friends, enemies, adventure, romance and himself.

Q&A with Christopher D. Morgan:

When did you first discover your love for writing?
Actually, not until quite late in life. In fact, I was never very good at English when I was in school and writing was always a chore to be avoided at all costs. Being blessed with unintelligible handwriting wasn’t helpful either. Later in life, however, articulating myself through the written word became something I really started to enjoy.

Do you have a favourite place to write?
Not really, but it does have to be in a quiet environment. I’m very easily distracted. When I’m in the zone, I tend to quietly slip off to a cosy spot and get my nose down into the keyboard. I wrote Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies entirely from the family home. Often on the sofa, but sometimes on the bed or at the computer desk. I haven’t tried going to a writer’s retreat yet. Perhaps I’ll reserve that for a special occasion.

Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?
Oh yes. Typically, I’ll kick off a chapter with brief one-liners that describe the events to come sequentially. There could be anywhere up to 50 or more of these for a given chapter. I do this to map out the scene or chapter and then convert each one in turn into a paragraph or two. This process is repeated until all the one-liners are gone. That’s actually the hardest part, I think. I’ll then scour what’s written repeatedly, fixing and adjusting. Of course, that last part is never truly finished – ever.

Where did you come up with the name Portallas?
Initially, it started quite literally from the word PORTAL. This quickly led to the word Portallas and the idea of having some sort of portal that would link worlds together. An interesting aside is that Portallas actually started out life as Portallus. Unfortunately, was already taken, but was still available, so a hasty name change took place. Despite the master plan I have in my mind, I wrote Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies deliberately to stand on its own merits as a standalone book.

Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
I have a real soft spot for Sarah, as do many others. She embodies many of the characteristics I’d wish for in my own daughter. She’s a strong, independent, resourceful and brilliant young woman – not to mention absolutely beautiful. Of course, she has her flaws. She tend to ramble on a bit (much to the annoyance of Andrew).

Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
I’m still learning as I go but there are some things that I can advise others that may wish to follow in the path: - Go for it. Really, just do it. You may be pleasantly surprised. Even if you fail, it’s better to have tried and failed than to wonder for the rest of your life whether you could have done it or not. - If you are going to publish a book on a budget, don’t scrimp on the editing or the book cover – at least, make those your primary focus. Everything else is expendable when push comes to shove. - Don’t get conned. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, as there will always be people looking to take advantage of someone with a need.

Author Bio:
Christopher Morgan is an author, blogger, IT Manager, graphics artist, businessman, volunteer and family man living in Melbourne, Australia. Much of his time is spent volunteering for his local community. He creates visual learning resources for primary school children, which are marketed through his company Bounce Learning Kids. He is also involved in local civics and sits on various community & council committees.
Christopher was born in the UK and grew up in England’s South East. At age 20, he moved to The Netherlands, where he married Sandy, his wife of 28 years. Christopher quickly learned Dutch and the couple spent 8 years living in the far South of that country before they moved to Florida in 1996. After spending 7 years in Florida, Christopher and Sandy sold their home and spent the next 2 years backpacking around the world. Christopher has visited around 40 countries to date.
Whilst circumnavigating the globe, Christopher wrote extensively, churning out travel journals. He and Sandy settled back in the UK at the end of their world tour, where their two children were both born. In 2009, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they now live.
FORESTIUM is Christopher’s debut novel and is the first in the PORTALLAS series.

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