Teaser Blitz- Dukes of Desire

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A little late on releasing this but so it goes 🙂

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Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Published: October 17, 2017
Pages: 364

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Synopsis:

A LADY OF LIGHT
Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping.  Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos.  When one of the masked-and-nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him…only to find she may have been atrifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them.  Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans.  But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER…AND DESIRE
Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involes herself in his life—and bed.  Soon he’s drawn to both to her quick wit and her fiery passion.  But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters.  Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?

Buy the Book!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vaN4MI
B&N: http://bit.ly/2uBw5Gh
iBooks: http://apple.co/2uBCbGL
Google: http://bit.ly/2u2o8YW
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2uBsEiB
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2uw1hpD


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About the Author:
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series.Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

 

Social Media Links:

                                                            Author Page     Twitter   Facebook    BookBub     Amazon

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Cover Release- Defiant Attraction

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Defiant Attraction comes out November 16th!

 Title: Defiant Attraction
Author: V.K. Torston
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Erotic Romance

Release Date: November 16th, 2017

Synopsis:
Dan might be the enemy of my enemy, but I’m not sure that makes him my friend. He’s definitely not my ‘step brother’, no matter what everyone at school says. Honestly, I don’t know what he’s supposed to be to me. Or what he’s becoming…

Fact: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

 In the yearbook, I’ll be Sophia Ramos: Valedictorian. Years of honor roll certificates, AP classes, and lugging around an obnoxiously large cello case are about to finally pay off. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll escape these decaying suburbs for a top university across the country.

The problem? A few years ago, my mom met someone just as broke, just as drunk, and just as impulsive as she is. Approximately five seconds into their relationship, they decided it would be an excellent idea for him—and his son, Dan—to move in with us. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t).

Now I share a house with none other than Daniel Cole. Even though Dan dropped out two years ago, he’s still the tattooed, bad boy, heartthrob, legend of St. Anthony’s Academy. He and I aren’t supposed to have anything in common.

Living together means war. First, Dan and I were at war with each other. Now, our rivalry is giving way to an unlikely alliance—two opposing sides teaming up against a common enemy: our respective parents.

Which is to say, we’ve been hanging out.

Question: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

Here’s the thing: My brain is a complex organ. One hundred billion neurons, each with an average of seven thousand synaptic connections to other neurons. My brain is my ticket out of here.

My heart, by contrast, is a pump. It moves blood around.

I know Dan is off-limits. I know I shouldn’t do something I’ll regret. And I know how much is at stake (my family, my future).

So why can’t I stop thinking about him? Those inscrutable jade eyes. The smile that can say a thousand different things at once. That tattoo curving across his abs…

Even though I know better, I feel that pounding in my chest. And it’s getting harder to ignore.

But if I follow my heart, I can never go back.

Answer: There is no such thing as an immovable object.


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Author Bio:
V.K. Torston is a millennial and ‘cool aunt’ to a brood of nieces and nephews. She was born and raised in San Francisco, attended university in New York City, and aspires to one day live in London. A veteran of the independent music scene, she began writing nonfiction in her late teens. Then she realized that making up stories was way more fun than coming up with endless synonyms for ‘frenetic’ and ‘danceable.’ Her hobbies include drinking too much coffee, making up stupid songs, and ranting about current events. Defiant Attraction is her first novel.

Twitter: @vktorston        Website: www.vktorston.com        Goodreads Author Page

 

Reaper’s Property (Reapers MC, #1)

Reapers Property

Author: Joanna Wylde
Published: January 9, 2013
Pages: 306

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

Synopsis:
Marie doesn’t need a complication like Horse. The massive, tattooed, badass biker who shows up at her brother’s house one afternoon doesn’t agree. He wants Marie on his bike and in his bed. Now.

But Marie just left her abusive jerk of an ex-husband and she’s not looking for a new man. Especially one like Horse—she doesn’t know his real name or where he lives, she’s ninety percent certain he’s a criminal and that the “business” he talks with her brother isn’t website design. She needs him out of her life, which would be a snap if he’d just stop giving her mind-blowing orgasms.

Horse is part of the Reapers Motorcycle Club, and when he wants something, he takes it. What he wants is Marie, but she’s not interested in becoming “property of”. Then her brother steals from the club. Marie can save him by giving Horse what he wants—at home, in public, on his bike… If she’s a very, very good girl, she’ll get lots more of those orgasms only he can offer, and he’ll let her brother live.
Maybe.

Review:
This book is not at all what I thought it would be. I’m not even sure why I kept reading the book. 

Marie is a mess and someone who constantly makes bad decisions. Her brother Jeff doesn’t help matters with his involvement in a motorcycle gang. Especially when he steals from the gangs. Now Marie is held hostage, paying for her brothers crime through sex, while Jeff scrambles to come up with the money he owes. 

Horse is a gang member who wants Marie. He is big, dominating, and has a temper. His idea of the’tribe’ is difficult to accept. I think the way it is described in this book, it comes out more sexist and demeaning towards women.  

The further I read the book, the more irritated I became. Marie doesn’t understand Horse’s lifestyle and when he asked her to be his ‘old woman’ she said no. Instead of giving her time, he punishes her by making her feel like a prostitute. And what’s worst is she feels like it’s her fault. Her fault that she is now a “quick fuck” instead of a respectable woman. Talk about manipulation.  The sex scenes are demanding and close to being uncomfortable to read. A couple scenes resemble/came too close to rape than I was comfortable with. And most of the interactions between Marie and Horse are beyond dysfunctional. 

In the end, I couldn’t finish the book. I surprised myself with how far I did read but I would not recommend this book to anyone. Although, keep in mind my view on this is not the norm. There are a ton of positive reviews and maybe something to think about when considering this book. 

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Author Spotlight- R.S. Dabney: The Soul Mender

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With critic reviews like, “Superbly written, this novel took over my life until I finished it” (review from GoodReads reviewer), this up incoming book is sure to catch your attention. I had the opportunity to chat with R.S. Dabney about her book, The Soul Mender, and ask her a few questions about her book and being a writer.

When did you know first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
When I was seven years old I was placed in the lowest reading level that second grade offered. While my friends were reading the Boxcar Children and Charlotte’s Web, I was forced to improve my comprehension and phonetic skills reading Bob books and other remedial literature. As a competitive and energetic child, I hated being at the bottom. So I spent the next few weeks devouring every book in the lowest level, every book in the middle level, and topping it off with a blast through Little Women. Within the month, I was reading in the highest group. But more importantly, what started out as a competitive drive to better myself turned into a lifelong love of books. First with reading, then with writing.

Thinking back, I’ve been creating stories and poetry since that fateful year. I have a vivid memory of writing and illustrating a bunch of books during that time period. A couple of months ago my mom found a few, including my prized copy of The Crystal, one of the first stories that left my mind and bled onto the page. I was eight years old when I wrote and illustrated The Crystal. The writing is poor, the use of clichés sickening, and the ending definitely leaves something to be desired. (Maybe it’s good for an eight-year-old? I’d have to consult my teacher friends.) Despite all of that I’m still proud of that book because I’d like to think I was motivated twenty years ago, while holding a finished product in my hands, to do it again someday. Maybe if I hadn’t had that special moment as a child connecting with a story I’d written, The Soul Mender Trilogy would never have come to fruition.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
The Soul Mender tells the story of Riley Dale, a young woman who is cast into a parallel universe where good and evil seem to have switched places, and everyone, including those she loves most, have an opposite. As her list of enemies grows, Riley must ally with the only people willing to keeper her safe—her lowlife countersoul, and the opposite soul of a serial killer in her world.

What inspired me to write The Soul Mender Trilogy (I was still in college at the time—the same age as the main character, Riley Dale.), and what I hope comes across in a non-didactic way, are my own frustrations with the world and how xenophobic and intolerant many of us have become or have always been.

I grew up in a small, predominantly white town in Southern Utah, but color, religion, politics, etc. never caused me to hate or dislike anybody. I was raised to see everyone simply as people on different journeys in different places, but all with the same core human DNA. When I entered the real world and suddenly heard people using the “N word” and talking about killing Muslims for fun, I felt horrified. I couldn’t figure out where that kind of hate came from. So naturally as a writer, I decided to make up an origin for that hate, in the deepest sense of origin, as well as a possible solution.

Overall, this story is about tolerance, empathy, and the world being a solid shade of gray vs. black and white. I put my characters through a lot of hell over the course of three books because the struggle of empathy and love for self and others is often a steep mountain to climb. I hope this doesn’t make it sound like I’m a pessimist. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I like to think I’m a realistic optimist who understands that a glorious happy ending and real change can only come about through deep hardship and pain.

Plus, as a reader, I’m drawn in much more to struggle and hardship than I am to an easy slide through life. Who isn’t?

And like most authors, I write what I like to read.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
What I hope comes across in an underlying message, is my own frustrations with how intolerant we as a society are, both to people who look different from us, and even those who look the same, but money, family and life have dealt them a different hand. My message is one of acceptance, both personal and external. I think it’s important for people to learn to love and forgive themselves, and I also think it’s important to reconnect with an empathy I think is increasingly disappearing from our society. By turning things inside out and having each character be both good and bad, it forces us to take a new look at good and evil, right and wrong, and humanity at its most basic.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
I am inspired by anyone who has the gumption to put themselves through the grueling and emotional process of writing a book, and then sharing it with the world to be judged. If you have ever written a book then you inspire me.

More specifically though, I will narrow it down to four authors.

At the top of my list is Stephen King. Not just because of his book On Writing, which provided guidance and motivation to me throughout my entire writing process, but also because of the amazingly terrifying yet beautifully written tales he has shared with us. I am awed by his flawless dialogue and creative descriptions and find myself reading his books as study guides just as much as for pleasure. I’ve always thought that if Stephen King read my book and liked it, I’d officially have made it.

Next on the list is J.R.R. Tolkien. When I was young my dad read The Hobbit to my sister and I, and never in my life had I been so taken away to a world of magic, dragons, and unlikely heroes. I used to write spin-off books with Bilbo and his wife Bilaboa (What I named her. I’ve gotten more creative, thank goodness!), and would send them on journeys to vanquish new forms of evil. In college I read The Lord of the Rings trilogy and again found inspiration in Tolkien’s grand telling of good conquering evil and the unlikely heroes who saved the day.

The insanely creative brain of Roald Dahl taught me it’s okay to let your feet leave the ground—to suspend reality to create unique stories that really stretch a reader’s imagination. I was fascinated as a child by an immense peach filled with talking insects; by a giant that blew dreams into children’s rooms. And by an anthropomorphic fox who cleverly outwits some not-so-nice farmers. If anyone taught me that there are zero limits to your imagination, it was Dahl.

And finally, J.K. Rowling. I was eleven when Harry Potter came out. And I spent the next few years attending Hogwarts with my new best friends. I think I read each book at least seven times. Never before and never since have I read a book with such well developed characters who you not only cared for, but really felt like you knew.

These four authors have set the bar high in different areas and provided me with a place in the literary world to aspire to. King with his descriptions and dialogue. Tolkien with his world building, plots, magic, and heroes. Dahl with his infinite imagination. And Rowling, with her exceptional character development and ability to create emotion in her readers.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
If you aren’t one of the lucky (and yes talented) authors who gets picked up by a major publishing house, I can’t stress enough the importance of having other people read your work, and by other people I mean quite a few, and more than just family members. Many times I’ll pick up a self-published book that could have been great if it had just been edited a little bit more. Sometimes it’s the grammar, sometimes it’s the continuity. My biggest piece of advice to new authors: don’t go it alone. It is so much more fulfilling with a strong support team. And I promise you, we are out here looking to help!

One other bit of advice I have to offer:

To those thinking of writing a book, or to those in their first, second, eighth, or tenth year, I want to pass on the most important thing I have learned thus far. Without being a New York Time’s Bestselling author, or when someone gives you two stars and says you aren’t worth a damn, it can sometimes feel like you are failing, or not living up to your vision of success. That is why it is important to stop and take inventory of your accomplishments any time you begin to feel less than your expectations—to pause and say “Wow, I’ve made it this far.”

Because this far, whether it be a few chapters on paper, a completed first draft, a self-published book, or a movie deal on your series, is impressive, and you should be proud.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this summer?
If you enjoy The Soul Mender, then my first recommendation is to read The Peace Keeper, book two in the trilogy, and if you still can’t get enough, the third and final book will be available at the beginning of 2018.

Shameless plugs aside, I just finished reading Dan Simmons’ The Terror, and if you love a well-written mythological thriller, I can’t recommend this story enough. Yes, I know it has been out for ten years, but AMC is releasing the TV series version sometime this year, so if you are one who likes to read the books before you see the story unfold on screen, check it out. Also, reading about men freezing in the arctic can help cool you down on a hellacious summer day.

Another book I couldn’t put down was Julia Joseph’s YA Urban Fantasy novel, The Broken, the first book in a trilogy about a young girl born powerless into a family of gifted demon fighters. This is a perfect summer read, for teens and adults alike, and the sequel is supposed to drop next year so you won’t have to wait too long to find out what happens next to Rose and her friends.


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Published: March 23, 2016
Pages: 380

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis: In a wild escape to avoid becoming the sixth victim of the elusive Rocky Mountain Murderer, twenty-two-year-old Riley Dale finds herself flung into a universe parallel to her own, where Las Vegas is known for its churches, terrorist attacks are initiated by the United States, and peace can be found in the darkest corners of the globe.

As the deadly visions that have haunted her since childhood become real, Riley is confronted with the implausible story of a world split in two and the stark contrast between good and evil in people she thought she knew.

Racing deeper into the mystery of the new world, Riley discovers the explosive truth about her ancestors who have been hunted for thousands of years because of a single mistake made long ago.

And now it’s her turn to pay for that blunder.

Pursued by both the government and a clandestine sect of assassins, Riley must ally with the only people in the parallel universe willing to keep her safe—the drug-addicted, prostituting other half of her soul, and the counter soul of a man who tortured and killed five young women.

Short Excerpt:
Grains of sand whipped across her face, burning her eyes. Riley took a step forward but found no relief. Oh, God, it’s happening again. The wind howled as she groped blindly ahead, trying to find something to grab onto. She glanced down and saw in horror that she was completely naked, the sand searing red marks into her soft flesh. Riley tried to cover herself but quickly realized that she needed her hands to shield her eyes.
Squinting into the tempest, she caught a glimpse of the figure she’d originally mistaken for Gabe. He was tall and muscled, with golden curls that flew in the wind like a nest of swarming yellow vipers.
The stranger stood in front of the most bizarre tree Riley had ever seen. Ghostly silver branches twisted and swirled around each other, creating an impossible maze that stretched forever into the sky and in both directions as far as she could see. The crown of the tree glittered with sterling leaves and sapphire fruits that hung still, unaffected by the violent storm.
The man took a step toward the tree, his armor creaking and moaning. A sword, forged of blinding steel that flickered with the flames of a thousand small fires, hung by his side. He clearly didn’t know she was there.
“Hello!” She ran toward the light of the blade. “Help me. I need help!” She had to go to the man. There was no one else. If he wanted her dead, she couldn’t hope to escape anyway.
The armored man turned, startled. “How did you find me?” His hand flew to the hilt of his sword, and there was a sound of scraping metal as he drew the weapon from its scabbard. “How did you find this place?”
“Please. I’m so scared. My eyes. Please.” She cradled her nude body with her arms, tucking her head low into her chest. It was humiliating to stand in front of this man, naked and begging.
“You cannot be here.” He took a step toward her, sword pointed at her hunched figure. “I would have seen this coming.”
What is he talking about? “I think I’m dreaming!” Riley shouted. “I fell asleep or passed out or something. I was in class and then here. I can’t control it. It just happens. Please, I have to get out of here. Wake me up. Do something!” She glanced up and met the piercing stare of the lone warrior. He had Gabe’s eyes. She took a step backward, away from the fiery blade pointed at her throat. “Please,” she whimpered again, shrinking further into herself.
The man continued to stare, a mixture of determination and confusion etched on his stone-like face. “I will send you back this one time, but you must forget what you have seen and never attempt to return.”
“Yes, okay, anything. Just please!”
The howling of the wind grew to a roar, and each blast of sand felt like razors tearing small pieces of flesh from her body. Riley collapsed onto the ground, writhing in pain. The man stepped closer until he stood towering over her crumpled figure. He hoisted his weapon high into the air.
He’s going to kill me!
She raised her arms to shield her head and caught a glimpse of the strange tree, still unscarred by the surrounding gale. Firelight from the sword danced off the tree’s gilded leaves. It would have been a beautiful sight under different circumstances.
“You are a danger to us all,” the man declared. “Your presence here threatens what’s left of the balance of humanity.” He plunged the sword downward, and Riley’s world went still and black.

***

Someone screamed. The harsh noise reverberated through her aching skull. Make it stop. It stopped. Light broke through the darkness, and fuzzy shapes moved around the perimeter of her vision. Riley felt her chest rise and fall with labored breaths. Her entire body ached and quivered as if someone had scrubbed her clean with glass shards. She struggled to sit up and felt hands gently push her to the floor.
“Miss Dale?” The voice was soft and gentle. “Can you hear me?”
Riley felt herself nod. Her vision cleared. Faceless forms suddenly had features. She was lying on her back in the History of the World Wars classroom. The voice she’d heard was her professor’s.
“Oh, thank God,” Dr. Reitz said with a sigh. “Riley, we’ve called for an ambulance. You’re going to be okay.”
She winced. “No. I—I’m fine. I just need air.”
“But you fainted. You’ve been out for a good five minutes.”
That’s all? The vision, if that’s what you called it, was coming back to her—the sand, the tree, the strange man with a sword. “Forget and never attempt to return.” It was an odd request, as she’d never meant to go there in the first place. But where was there, anyway? And who was he? This was the first time someone had spoken directly to her in a dream, and it added an entirely new level of terror.
“Please, I don’t need an ambulance. I need rest. It’s just stress from finals.” Riley looked up at Dr. Reitz, feigning confidence.
He studied her for a moment, obviously wanting to argue, but he held back. “I strongly disagree. However, the decision is yours. Please get someone to drive you home, and be ready to take your final tomorrow.” He stood and cleared his throat. “Everyone put your things away. We’re pressed for time and need to get started.”
Riley didn’t want to stick around to wait for him to change his mind. “I’ll be here tomorrow. Thank you, Dr. Reitz.”
She hurried from the room and burst through the doors of the building into open air. Rain pelted her face as she turned it skyward. Cool water soaked through her clothes within minutes, and she groped gratefully at the sodden garments. At least I have my pants.
It had been years since these dreams had haunted her. Sure, she had dreamed since then, but not like this—not the dreams where she smelled an assailant’s breath or woke up soaking wet, gasping for air. These dreams exhausted her, terrified her, even made her sick. When she was younger, she’d gone to a doctor, who excused them as night terrors triggered by anxiety. He told her she needed to find ways to “create stillness within each day” so her anxieties would not terrorize her at night.
The last nightmare had happened at fourteen. In that instance she’d found herself on an airplane plummeting from the sky, filled with doomed passengers. As the lights flickered, the cabin, reeking of urine, grew smaller with each shriek and helpless sob. Riley awoke from that dream with a black eye, singed hair, and news that a plane heading from Atlanta to Los Angeles had crashed in the desert, leaving no survivors. After that the dreams had ceased. Until now. And this time he’d known she was there.
She found a bench and sat, taking deep breaths, trying to calm down. I had a nightmare, or a daydream. It doesn’t mean anything. It can’t mean anything. It’s one thing for a plane to crash, but a man with a flaming sword and a tree made of precious gems and metals? That’s not real. It doesn’t exist. I’ve got too much going on. That’s all.
Still, something was off. A danger to the balance of humanity? What does that even mean? Her mind flashed back to the men on the cliff and the bruises on her body. Eight years ago she had dreamed of the chaos on the doomed flight, but she’d woken in her own bed with only traces of the experience on her body. This was different. She was no longer just a bystander but the protagonist of the story—a story she wanted no part of.


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R. S. Dabney’s passion for reading, writing, and exploring thrilling stories about unlikely heroes conquering evil started at a young age, culminating in the completion of her first novel, The Soul Mender. Her favorite books span every genre, and she likes to describe her work as having something for everyone: a sprinkle of suspense, a dash of adventure, and a whole lot of good versus evil.
 
R. S. grew up running around the red rocks and ravines in the deserts of southern Utah—building forts, fighting battles, and living the lives of all the characters she and her friends created. Now she lives in a different desert with her husband and pets, and when she isn’t lost in another dimension wrecking havoc on her characters, she enjoys mountain biking, exploring the desert, and eating way too much Mexican food.
 
The second book in the trilogy, The Peace Keeper, is also available online. The third and final installment will release in early 2018.
Facebook         Twitter        Authors Page     Insta: @rsdabneyauthor

Hope you were able to check out her book and Happy Reading 🙂

My Favorite Mistake (My Favorite Mistake #1)

My Favorite Mistake

 

Author: Chelsea Cameron
Published: August 27, 2013
Pages: 400

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

Synopsis:
Two secrets. One bet. Who will break first?
Taylor Caldwell can’t decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him. On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he’s a tattooed, guitar-playing bad boy. Maybe that’s why Taylor’s afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn’t want to get burned, so she needs him gone before it’s too late.

Hunter himself has been burned before, but Taylor’s sexy laugh and refusal to let him get away with anything make her irresistible. Determined not to be kicked out of her life without a fight, Hunter proposes a bet: if she can convince him she either truly loves or hates him, he’ll leave the apartment;and leave her alone.

But when the man behind Taylor’s fear of giving up her heart resurfaces, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.

Review:
The book opens up with a very upset Taylor and an easy going Hunter. Taylor has a strong personality and she can be dramatic at times. It was a little ridiculous how upset she got with having to share a room with Hunter. But as you can imagine, she hates him. Honestly, it seems like she hates everything. Her character was really difficult for me to like. Yes, she is strong. But her strength comes across more as raging bitch than independent capable woman. Some of her reactions and the way she handled herself was just embarrassing.

It takes a while for me to grasp Hunters character and I don’t think I every fully grasped it before putting down the book. But the deal Hunter strikes with Taylor is odd – he will move out if Taylor proves to him that she either hates him or loves him. Not really something you hear from someone you just met who and told to someone who has made it very clear she doesn’t like you. 

In the end I gave the book my best try but couldn’t finish reading it. Taylor’s immaturity and tendency towards unnecessary violence was a HUGE turnoff. 

 

Author Spotlight: Mitch Reinhardt, Wizard’s Key (The Dark Wolf Saga, #1)

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Wizard’s Key is one of those books I really wish I had the time to read. I did however have the privilege to interview the author, Mitch Reinhardt, and ask him a few questions regarding his book and being a writer.  

When did you know first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
That’s a bit of a tough one for me to answer.  I’ve always had a very active imagination.  I would see scenes in my mind, just like watching a movie and I filed them away.  Finally, in my late forties, I decided to do something about it.  I wish I had started sooner.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
‘Wizard’s Key’ is the first of four books that will comprise The Darkwolf Saga.  It’s a middle grade/young adult book about three teenagers who are thrust into a new world full of magic, monsters, knights, wizards, druids, and werewolves!  All they want to do is return home but there are many dangers in their way.  I’ve had the story buzzing around in my head for a long time.  It just wouldn’t go away.  I kept coming back to it and writing notes on paper or whatever I could find at the time.  I didn’t think it was something I could ever finish, so I just continued collecting my notes.  Eventually, I made up my mind to commit and write the first book.  I wrote the first draft and was so proud of it, I really was.  I didn’t know much about the process, so I enlisted the services of a freelance editor and she gave me a lot of good advice for writing my second draft and editing it.  When I go back and read that first draft I laugh and cringe a bit because I made every mistake imaginable when I wrote it.  That’s part of the process, just get it out on paper – or on your favorite word processor and then you go back and make it better.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
First of all, I hope the reader is entertained.  I want them to find themselves walking beside the main characters step of the way.  The message of the series is one of friendship and hope and how people who may not get along well can eventually become friends and learn to work together.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
Oh wow, now that is hard to answer!  I can name a handful of the authors who inspired me and whose books I still enjoy reading.  Stephen King, Terry Brooks, Hugh Howey, J.R.R. Tolkein, Fred Saberhagen, J.K. Rowling, Dean R. Koontz, John Flanagan, and more.  As you can see my taste tends to extend from Science Fiction to Fantasy to Horror.  I would like to add that Stephen King’s book, ‘On Writing’ is a must read for anyone who wants to write.  It’s thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring, and full of fantastic advice.  I keep it on my desk as a reference.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published? Read, write, and read some more.  I think it’s important to read books in other genres to broaden your exposure as well.  Make up your mind that you want to do this and then make the time to do it.  We all have schedules with jobs and families, but if you have that desire write, to create something from nothing, you will find the time. There’s no secret or silver bullet to writing a book.  If you commit yourself to writing you will get it done. Remember learning to write is a process, enjoy it!

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this summer?
‘The House of Bradbury’ by Nicole Meier was an excellent read as was ‘The City of Mirrors’ by Justin Cronin.

Excerpt:

Sawyer kept his eyes on the samurai armor as he walked around a stack of large crates. He was completely out of sight when Geoff heard a loud thump followed by Sawyer’s “Ouch! Damn, that’s heavy.”

Geoff’s heart nearly stopped.

“What happened? Are you okay?” he called with a higher pitch to his voice.

“Yeah, yeah,” grunted Sawyer. “What the hell is this?”

Sawyer held his hand out from behind a large stack of crates and beckoned Geoff to come over. Geoff hurried around the crates and saw Sawyer standing in front of a large object covered with a single white sheet.

“It’s huge. It must weigh a ton. I almost broke my toe on it.” Sawyer lifted the sheet from the tall object to expose a gray stone archway. It stood over seven feet tall and was cracked and chipped, and from the black, sooty residue that covered one side, it looked as if it had been in a fire. Even in such a damaged state, Geoff could see remnants of once beautiful carvings all around it. There were small figures that reminded him of gargoyles, and he was sure he could make out part of a dragon’s head at the top.

“What is it?” asked Sawyer.

Geoff ran a gloved finger along the cold, gray surface and shook his head. “I don’t know. I’ve never seen it before. It looks like either a doorway or perhaps it was once a window or mirror, maybe from a cathedral or something.”

“It was hidden behind all these crates. It must have taken a lot of big guys to bring it up the steps and put it here.”

Geoff looked at Sawyer. He was right. It would have taken a small army to heft this heavy stone archway and drag it up the steps, something Geoff would certainly have known about.

“How did they get it in here?” asked Geoff. “Look. You see this archway is much bigger than the door.”

Sawyer looked back at the door that led into the study and then back at the archway. “Yeah, you’re right. Maybe they used a crane and brought it in through a window.”

“No.” Geoff shook his head. “I would have noticed that. And besides, they would have had to take out most of the wall in order to get this thing in here.”

Sawyer shrugged with his arms out wide. “You got me. I have no idea how it got here, unless the Great Pumpkin left it last Halloween.” Geoff smiled and chuckled a little. He had never spoken to Sawyer this long and he liked Sawyer’s sense of humor. Geoff stepped closer for a better look at the carvings, “I’ve never seen this kind of sculpture before. I wonder who carved it. It’s very detailed.”

Apparently already bored with the archway, Sawyer walked back to the desk and peered into the box Geoff had been rummaging through earlier. “Looks like a bunch of rocks and dirt,” he said as he gently sifted through the bags and small boxes. He picked up the rectangular box and read aloud, “Characteristics do not match other artifacts found in the surrounding sediment and area. What characteristics would that be? Geoff, can I open this?” Geoff pulled his attention away from the archway and looked at Sawyer. He recognized the box Sawyer was holding. “Yeah, sure. Go ahead. It’s just some old rusty key inside, but be careful with it.”

“Key to a treasure chest, maybe?” asked Sawyer with exaggerated excitement. Geoff chuckled again and watched Sawyer open the box and pick up the clear bag containing the earth-encrusted key. He turned it over and looked at the other side.     “Yep,” said Sawyer. “Just an old key.” He was about to place it back in the box when Geoff noticed he stopped and examined the key more closely.

“Hey, Geoff, this reminds me of some of the carvings on that archway,” he said as he walked over to Geoff and held the key up for him to see. Geoff took the key from Sawyer and looked at it.

“No. There, on the other side. Doesn’t that look like a dragon or snake to you?” asked Sawyer as he pointed to the small shape that caught his attention.

Geoff looked closer. The shape did indeed look similar to the carvings on the archway. He slowly opened the bag and removed the key. It weighed next to nothing in Geoff’s hand and it was as cold as the stone archway. He held the key up to what appeared to be the partial carving of a dragon’s head on the archway.

“Yep,” said Sawyer. “I thought so. I bet whoever carved that archway also made the key.”

“I think you’re right,” said Geoff. Now this was more like it, he thought. Geoff loved a good mystery and Sawyer had discovered an extraordinary one. Sawyer’s keen eye had revealed a connection between the key and the archway, but what exactly was their connection?

Geoff felt his heart pound and the hair on the back of his neck seemed to be standing up. A tingling sensation enveloped him, giving him a warm, energized feeling.

“Uh, Geoff,” said Sawyer, “what’s going on?” Geoff looked at Sawyer, who was backing away with an alarmed expression on his face.

“What’s happening? I feel strange. Sawyer, what’s happening to me?” asked Geoff

Sawyer pointed. “Whoa! Your hair…it’s standing up! And what’s that sound?”

Geoff raised his hand and felt his head. His hair was indeed rising from his head. He heard a slight rushing sound, like wind whistling through a keyhole. Suddenly Geoff felt a movement in his hand and he quickly looked down at the key he was holding. Bits of dirt and stone were starting to crumble and flake away right before his eyes, but there was something else—something beneath the fragments of stone and earth. It was smooth and white.

The doorbell rang.



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Published: December 19, 2016                    Pages: 284                         Add to GoodReads
Where to Buy: Amazon

Synopsis: The dirt-encrusted key didn’t look like much, but when bullied teen Geoff inadvertently activates it, he is suddenly thrust into a strange and beautiful world. It doesn’t help that he’s accompanied by Sawyer, his chief tormentor at school, but there is a silver lining in that intelligent, compassionate Jane is also with them. Soon the three teenagers encounter evil orcs, majestic unicorns, dangerous trolls, and a mysterious elven druid who doesn’t care for humans. Together, they must make their way back home before the new world they find themselves in erupts in war. Along the way, they’ll be tested to the limits of their endurance—and discover hidden powers deep within. But will those powers be enough to stop the ravenous werewolf that is stalking them?


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Mitch Reinhardt
Mitch grew up in the central Piedmont region of North Carolina and is currently a Business Analyst for an international software firm. An avid animal lover, he enjoys hiking, tennis, classic movies, and, of course, writing. He lives with his faithful coonhound, Murphy, who doubles as a proofreader – when he isn’t sleeping or digging in the backyard. Wizard’s Key is the first book of The Darkwolf Saga series.

 

To learn more about the series, please visit www.mitchreinahrdt.com


I hope you are able to check this book out. If you do, let me know what you think! Have a Great day 🙂

Someone Like You (Oxford #3)

someone-like-you

Author: Lauren Layne
Published: December 6, 2016
Pages: 228

Stars: 3 out of 5

Add to GoodReads

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Links to Other Books in Series:
Irresistibly Yours
I Wish you Were Mine (Oxford, #2)

Synopsis:
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

Review:
You know what they say about forbidden fruit.. Well, that’s Daisy. Emma’s identical twin sister. She is tough, gorgeous, and broken. Lincoln on the other hand is a tight box of secrets. Secrets even his friends don’t know about. But somehow Daisy is able to uncover these secrets within days of knowing him. Lincoln is the flirt, the kind of guy who can easily put a room at ease. If you’ve read the previous two books in this series, then you know just how good looking Lincoln is. But like Daisy, Lincoln is broken. This book is about finding the courage to fix what’s broken. 

One thing both Lincoln and Daisy have in common is the masks they wear and hide behind. When both Lincoln and Daisy meet, the encounter is both flirtatious with an acknowledgment of the walls or boundaries each other put up. Not at all what I expected in the opening chapter. 

The tone of this book is heavy and the chapters are tinged with sadness as you turn each page, waiting to discover the hidden secret. And when it comes, there is no triumphant moment. Because Lincoln’s secret is heartbreaking. Part one of the book is mostly heartbreaking. The ending brought tears to my eyes. 

Part two of the book starts off on a lighter note. I found myself smiling and enjoying the possibilities to come. But then we get a closer look into Daisy’s secrets and I find myself feeling a mix of hope and sadness. I honestly can say part two flew and by the end I had mix feelings. I really wish I could say more here, but that would be giving too much away. 

The rest of the book flows in a similar way, happy moments sometimes tinged with sadness. The sex scenes are hot and fun. And as far as Lincoln goes, there is only so much understanding I can give. Simply put, he messed up. And I don’t think I would be as understanding as Daisy. There was one scene at the end of the book with Kate’s voice (can’t say more without giving too much away) that had me rolling my eyes. 

Overall I enjoyed the book but this wasn’t my favorite book in this series. I probably won’t ever buy this book because it’s more of the read it once and that’s enough. The book just had too much sadness and not enough sassy banter.