Author Spotlight – Tara Thomas: Darkest Night

Happy Release Day Tara Thomas!! Darkest Night is the first in a brand new series called Sons of Broad. With it’s recent publish, reviewers are already going crazy over this book:  

Sexy and dangerous – a perfect reading combination!” – Cynthia Eden, New York Times USA Today bestselling author

“Thomas delivers a sexy, smart and emotion-packed thriller that will have you begging for her next book.” – Bestselling author HelenKay Dimon


Darkest Night_Cover

Published: February 27, 2016
Pages: 352

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Synopsis:
In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER
Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE
Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women, the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…
When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?


Tara Thomas

Tara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.

She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel The Master earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards.

 

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Keep an eye out for my upcoming review of this book. I can’t wait to read it!! Comment below if you’ve read the book or are just as interested as I am. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

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Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires, #13)

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For the most part, I’m not going to give a normal review of this book. I love this series and there are plenty of people out there writing reviews and giving away all the exciting details. I’m not going to do that. Besides, if you’ve come this far in the series then you already know how great and bittersweet this book is going to be. 


Blade Bound

Author: Chloe Neill
Published: April 25, 2017
Pages: 384

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Amazon
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Other Books in this Series I have Reviewed:
Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires, #12)
Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires, 12.5)

Synopsis:
Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined. As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

Review:
The book opens up to the day before Merit and Ethan get married. But as this magical day unfolds, unease fills the air as Gabriel prophesy unfolds. In case you are wondering, this is the prophesy of Ethan and Merit having a child. The author has been teasing us about this prophesy almost since the beginning of the series and it’s finally here!! 

I will admit, I have been waiting for a long time to hear more about this prophecy. And now that it’s finally come and gone, I’m left with a little disappointment but mostly content. There were parts of this book that I though were a little over the top but overall I am really pleased with how Chloe Neil ended the series. 

Ethan and Merit really came into themselves in this book. Throughout all her adventures, Merit has struggled with who she is. And Ethan has been a big part of that struggle, until now. I absolutely love the chemistry and the dynamic between Ethan and Merit. This series is one of my all time favorites!

This book gives the reader everything you want- closure, love, and amazing action. Acceptance and overcoming fear is a huge theme of this book. And I can’t wait for the spinoff. If you haven’t read the first book in this series, I honestly don’t know what you’re waiting for! 

Author Spotlight – Darin Colucci: Everything I Never Learned in School

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Life has really gotten busy for me but I wanted to take the time to highlight this book. This isn’t a book I would typically review but with a new year I thought someone might be looking for a new perspective on life… 

I was lucky and was able to ask the Darin about his book, this is what he said:

I’ve always been interested in “success” and in particular, whether there is a science to it.  I mean, why is one person more successful than another?  Is it education, native intelligence, wealthy parents, luck … what’s the determining factor?  After decades of study, learning, discussion, and application, I felt like I cracked the code.  And much to my amazement, it wasn’t any of the factors previously mentioned.  It was actually a simple formula.  But as I point out in the book, just because something is “simple” doesn’t make it “easy.”    Anyway, once I figured out what had eluded me for so long, I was anxious to explain it to anyone who was interested.  So I decided that the best way to reach as many people as possible was to write a book.  And doing that very thing (sitting down to write a book)  was an example of the main emphasis of the book itself: Never let fear or inexperience stop you from pursuing your dreams.

I had never written anything like this before but just accepted and believed that I could.  So I sat down and wrote page 1 … and then page 2 … and so on.  And that’s something I tell aspiring writers.  The very best thing you can do is come up with your idea, and then sit down and write page 1.

Don’t Give In To Fear. 

It doesn’t matter that you’ve never written before, and it doesn’t matter that you don’t know how to write a book.  The more you give into that the further you will be from writing The End.  When you actually sit down to do it, you’ll find that it’s easier than you thought and all your worries will dissipate. And once you’ve finished, be relentless in pursuit of getting it published.

Dr. Seuss was turned down by 40 publishers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul was turned down by 45.  Just persevere.  Steve Jobs once said that the main difference between successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs is perseverance.

“No” is not a Stop Sign … It’s a Yield Sign.  Look both ways, and then keep going.

 What message or lasting thoughts do you want the reader to take away from your book?  
Of all the wonderful, positive feedback I’ve received, my favorites are: 1.) It all just made sense to me for the first time in my life.  I understood it like I never did before, and 2.) It gave me real hope that I could live a life of my choosing instead of one that just happened.  I couldn’t ask for a better takeaway from readers.  That’s exactly what I wanted people to feel … and then apply.

 What book had the biggest impact on you?
The book that had the biggest impact on me was written 90 years ago by Napoleon Hill, called Think and Grow Rich.  It really is a remarkable book, but it’s dated.  It’s actually difficult to read and understand the first time through.  That book requires patience, dedication and a lot of introspection.  I’m not running it down; I loved it.  But my idea was to write a how to succeed book more simply and in a way that would be more fit for our time.


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Published: April 24, 2017
Pages: 140

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis:
There are some lessons that can only come with age and experience; lessons that make us look back and say, “If I only knew then, what I know now.”

And while they’re essential to providing answers about ourselves, how we approach life, and even our professional aspirations, there’s no doubt we wish we’d had those answers long before we got to that point in our lives.

In Everything I Never Learned in School: A Guide to Success , author Darin Colucci aims to help new college graduates, aspiring entrepreneurs, and those with an immense desire to be successful, navigate life’s stumbling blocks by sharing a few insights on how to reach your goals and keep happiness along for the ride.

A straightforward, practical guide for every high school and college student in America, Everything I Never Learned in School: A Guide to Success is made for the relentless spirit within each of us who yearn to get the most out of life.

Filled with easily understood rules for success, humorous and poignant stories, and life lessons, this book demystifies and breaks down success in a way that anyone can understand, including:

Building a Strong Financial Future Scaling the Corporate (or Career) Ladder Finding Confidence and Letting Go of Insecurities Achieving Goals that Matter to You How Success and Happiness Should Always Be Intertwined And So Much MoreWinner of a 2017 Eric Hoffer Award in the category of Self-Help and Semi-finalist for Book of the Year for the Online Book Club, this is a rare, candid look what life can offer us if we only have a few answers before we get there.

If you’re ready to learn how to be successful, and want to live life to its very fullest, get a copy of Everything I Never Learned in School: A Guide to Success today. You’ll be happy that you had the right answers to help you through the obstacles ahead.


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Passage From the Book:

“Your mind is a powerful tool. Your mind can convince you that you are capable of great feats and that the arrival of success is nothing more than a matter of time – or it can convince you that success will never happen for you no matter how hard you try because in your hear of hearts you believe that success is something that other people attain. In either instance you are correct.  Success is a choice we make.”


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For the past 23 years, Darin Colucci has been a successful trial attorney in Massachusetts, often representing plaintiffs in high-profile personal injury cases. In recognition of his work in this field Newsweek.com recently named him one of the ten best personal injury attorneys in America. He is one of the founding partners of Colucci, Colucci, Marcus, & Flavin and makes his home in Duxbury, MA, where he lives with his wife, Lorna and his son, Jackson. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and Suffolk University Law School where he was a staff member and comment editor of the law review. He has been a commentator on WBZ radio in Boston and, along with his firm, has been recognized numerous times by the publication Super Lawyers.

Darin has also written several works of fiction, been a successful investor, an entrepreneur, and inventor who recently designed a safety mechanism to stop wandering in daycare centers and Alzheimer units. In addition, he spent 12 years as a college football coach. During that time, he gave dozens of speeches to young adults on such subjects as success, integrity, mind-set, and the importance of attitude.

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I think this book would be a fascinating read. Comment below if you read the book or are interested in reading the book. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires, 12.5)

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I don’t normally read novellas, I’m not sure why but I usually don’t. I think the reason I decided to read this one is because I know this series is coming to an end and I absolutely love this series. But this book was too short. 


Phantom Kiss

Author: Chloe Neill
Published: January 19, 2017
Pages: 80

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
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Other Books in this Series I have Reviewed:
Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires, #12)

 

Synopsis:
Vampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear that their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.

But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House—and targeting vampires—they realize that their being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl—and he won’t stop until he’s killed again…

Review:
Phantom Kiss offers a more intimate glimpse into Ethan and Merits romantic life, which I loved! The book opens with Merit and Ethan’s engagement party. And we all know how much Merit enjoys a good party, especially one involving her family. But the night quickly turns from a social party to one of business when they find out graves are being disturbed and ghosts are being summoned. I had a hard time seeing why Merit and Ethan would be called about this. I know it was explained in the book, but I guess I’m having a hard time making the connection. 

The rest of the book goes by quickly. Did I mention this book was too short? I didn’t love the book but that’s mostly because of the short length. Phantom Kiss included most of the characters that Chicagoland Vampires fans love and didn’t contain anything essential to the overall plot of this series. Again, not something I would buy but something that was pleasant to read. 

Author Spotlight- Josie Jaffrey: The Solis Invicti series

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“Jaffrey takes on vampires, their world and their power has me awestruck! This one is blazing bright at the top of my growing hidden gem pile.”  With reviews like this, I can’t help but be curious about these books. This is a four book dystonia, paranormal romance series with book four being released on August 5, 2017. I had the opportunity to chat with Josie Jaffrey about her series and ask her a few questions about what it takes to be a writer.

When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
I’ve been writing stories all my life, but it wasn’t until I had written the first book in the Solis Invicti series in 2014 that I started to think about writing seriously. Even then, I didn’t really think of myself as a writer until I was on the third book of the series.
I strongly believe that writing is not something you choose; it chooses you. I have books in my head that want to escape, and I feel as though I don’t have much choice now but to let them out onto the page.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
A Bargain in Silver is the first of four books that together form the Solis Invicti paranormal romance series (all now published and available on Amazon). The series is set in London, in a world in which the human population has been decimated by a blood-borne virus. In the wake of the zombie apocalypse that follows, a vampiric race called the Silver seizes control. Without the protection of the Silver, humanity will soon cease to exist, and without uninfected human blood, the Silver will perish. A necessary symbiosis is the result, but the power of the two races could not be more unevenly balanced.

The protagonist of the series is Emilia, a twenty-something barmaid with an insubordinate and reckless approach to the new order. In the first days following the collapse, she struggles to accept that her life has changed irrevocably and that she is powerless to reclaim it. That recalcitrance brings her face to face with the highest ranks of the Silver, resulting in danger, intrigue and a dash of romance.

I’m a big fan of paranormal romance, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for in the genre. I wanted something grittier, with more fluid relationships, and something that wasn’t set in the USA (I live in England). My imagination plugged the gap for me, and that was the genesis of the series.

Can you tell me more about the series?
All four books follow the same protagonist as she struggles against the zombie apocalypse and, primarily, the incarceration that is pushed onto humanity by the vampires who now protect her. There is a strong romance element to the novels (there is some sexual content), but I didn’t want it to be linear. I’ve taken the opportunity afforded by a four-book series and have played with a few common tropes that irritate me (primarily instalove), together with a few that I really enjoy (like scent-marking and bonding). There are love triangles, aggression and drama, but there is also an eventual HEA (promise!).

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
There isn’t a moral to the series as such. Instead, the books examine issues of power and control, and how they affect the dynamics in human relationships. Vampires are a great medium through which to explore those sorts of questions, for obvious reasons. But more than anything, I just hope that readers will enjoy the story.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
This is such a difficult question to answer! There are lots of authors I could name, but if I have to choose one I’ll say Michael Marshall Smith. He writes intensely thought-provoking and often twisted stories. My favourite is More Tomorrow, a harrowing and bleak short story with an ending so full of understated horror that I’ll remember it till the end of my days. I aspire one day to write something as powerful.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
Keep reading, and keep writing. I think it’s easy for new authors to get so caught up in the business of writing that they never actually write. How many people do you know who say ‘I have this idea for a book…’, but then never do anything about it, or start but don’t finish? The naked truth is that you’ll never be a writer unless you can complete a piece of work, so just do it. Worry about everything else later.

Beside your series, are there any other books you would recommend reading this winter?
I have a huge stack of books awaiting my attention over Christmas, and I can’t wait to get going on them. Top on my list are a couple of Gail Carriger novellas. My recommendation for anyone who hasn’t read any Gail Carriger would be: read Soulless, and do it immediately. I love her books, and will automatically buy anything she writes.


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Published: January 3, 2015
Pages: 368

Series: Solis Invicti

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis:
If the price of safety is slavery, would you bargain your life?

A Bargain in Silver is book one of Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London.

A deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience. It’s not a deal that Emmy’s willing to make, but as her world burns around her she finds herself in the arms of the enemy and the line between oppressor and saviour begins to blur.

After an attack by the infected, Emmy is rescued by the handsome Drew who introduces her to the world of the Silver. Desperate to escape subjugation and confused by her attraction to him, she gathers what remains of her surrogate family and plans to make a break for freedom.

But despite her efforts to resist, she is drawn further into the intrigues of the mysterious Silver through the agency of their ruler, the Primus: Solomon. Emmy refuses to submit to the cold and detached Primus and an attempt on her life makes it clear that he is unable to protect her from the political machinations of his race.

As the connection between them deepens she must choose between her desire and her will to rebel, but can she trust his intentions when everyone is after her blood?

Short Excerpt:
His beautiful blue eyes bored into mine.

“What would you have me do?” he challenged. “Would you rather I lied? That I use clever arguments to convince you this is something you want? That I manipulate you into believing the reality of this arrangement to be other than it is?” 

I looked down at the table.

“We have to drink blood to live,” he continued, “and it has to be human. There’s no way I can make that concept more palatable to you, if you’ll excuse the pun. Life as you knew it has changed, Emilia. We have always been here, moving amongst you, it was just that you weren’t conscious of our presence. Now, with the Weepers multiplying, consuming and replacing your kind, we can no longer hide.”

“Isn’t that a little disingenuous?” I said, remembering Jeff’s theory about the lead time that would have been required for the level of organisation the vampires had displayed. “Aren’t the Weepers just an excuse for you to act?”

“We have been waiting for an opportunity for some time,” he acknowledged with a tilt of his head. “I know you want things to return to how they were,” he continued, “but that is not in my power to give. Your world is gone. You’re fighting for a life that no longer exists. There are difficult decisions to make, sacrifices, simply to save what little remains to us. I am trying to salvage an existence for your race, a new world for both of our races. There could be a place in that world for you, if you’re willing to look for it.”


2Josie lives in Oxford, England, with her husband and two cats.  When she’s not writing, she works as a lawyer, specialising in intellectual property and commercial law.  She also runs a video book review club, The Gin Book Club, through her website.

The first book in the Solis Invicti series (A Bargain in Silver) is Josie’s debut novel.

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Hope you are able to check out the first book in this series. Comment below if you have read any of the books from this series. I can’t wait to hear what you think! Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂