Friday, May 30, 2014

The One: A Review

Description (goodreads):


The highly anticipated conclusion to Kiera Cass's #1 New York Timesbestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is the perfect finale for fans who have followed America's whirlwind romance since it began--and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth'sDivergent, Ally Condie's Matched, or Lauren Oliver's Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen--and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

My Review (Spoiler ALERT):

I literally finished this like, five seconds ago.

And it was awesome.

I have to admit though, there was one point in which I was going to throw it across the room, and I even skipped ahead (SOMETHING I NEVER DO) to see if America would end up with the right person.

Once I was satisfied, I went back and finished the book and was very surprised at how the ending came about. It was NOT what I was suspecting.

Throughout this series, I did not like America. Nope. I know, weird, right? To dislike the main character in a first person POV series, but still love the story. Well, that's what happened.

Until this book. Mind you, I still didn't like a lot of what she did. She should have told Maxon about her relationship with Aspen long before she did. I hated the way she clung to Aspen as a safety net. And then... then she pulled herself together and I actually began to like her.

Which kind of blew my mind.

I think the big turning point in which I began to connect with her was during the Convicting. I love the choice she made and the way she came about it. More importantly, I loved how strong she became. She finally stood up for what was right and denied the harsh, somewhat crazy demands of King Clarkson. Throughout everything, I think she will end up as a great queen--now that she's finally stepped up and stopped complaining and juggling between Aspen and Maxon.

And Maxon, I have loved him throughout this series, he's really the only reason (besdies the compelling story and it's idea) that made me keep reading. I hated him for a bit in this book.

Which kind of blew my mind.

Yet, after finishing the book (and loving him again) I know why he acted the way he acted. America was terrible to him, always playing his with his emotions, lying, and holding back. He had every right to be angry with her and do the things he did. America deserved it.

I love Maxon, he's kind and he will be a far better king than his father ever was. He's awesome. For the longest time I thought that America didn't deserve him, but I know that America is the only one who makes him happy. And Maxon deserves to be happy. And I wanted them to end up together, so it all worked out.

This series was so much fun to read. I really hated Aspen and now my hate for him is somewhat quelled. (His secret romance with Lucy was abrupt and sort of weird to me, I wasn't expecting that). I think my whole emotional attachment, most of them not a positive one, is why I loved reading this series so much. My heart pounded, I screamed, jumped out of my seat, cried, etc. Kass has a way of with words that bring out one's emotions. And the fact that I got so involved makes me want to congratulate her. I know I've had my qualms with this story and the characters, but I can honestly say that I love this series.

Everyone ends up happy, dang it! I freaking love happy endings!! And it feels like a long time since I've read one.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Unbound: A Review

Description (goodreads):

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she's struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn't easy -- not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she's really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She's sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she'll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

My Review:

Wow. Well, let's just say I thought there wasn't going to be a third book and then I read the very last page and now I am not so sure, but that's all right. I like this series and am excited for a potential third instillation.

So... Where to begin? (This might contain spoilers, they won't be bad or very revealing, but beware)

I loved the air of mystery throughout this one. The suspense and fear for Mac's well being and the confusion behind her nightmares and black outs about Owen Chris Clarke really throw you off trail. Throughout a third of the novel I was constantly trying to identify who the bad guy was and who was the reason for Mac's paranoia.

And then I found out and went. WOAH. That's NOT what I was expecting. Why? Well, read the first book. I really don't want to spoil anything.

Next I would like to take time to appreciate the characters. Characters are what make a story. If you don't care for them, well, then why keep reading?

Mackenzie Bishop is a kick-butt, don't mess with me kind of girl. I realize that her life is built around lies, but there is a reason for that. And what makes me connect with her? She hates it. She hates the lying. Yet she does it to keep the system of keeping the dead separated from the living, aka The Archive, a secret--as it should be.

There were times when I doubted her in this book. When I thought, no, her mind couldn't have been changed that easily. And thankfully, I turned out to be right! She stayed true and held out for the good side, swooping in and saving the day. Okay, it wasn't that nice and easy, but the fight was real. It even had my heart pumping! I could see the action, hear the explosions and the surrounding chaos. It was fantastic. And Mac stayed strong until the end.

I also loved Wesley Ayres. I love how he is an anchor for Mac. Even though they had been through tough times together, a lot of it masked by lies, he understands. He is a Keeper also, but he still finds it in him to trust Mac. To believe in her. I think that is another reason why Mac remained so strong in her biggest trial yet. She had people who trusted her, who had faith that she could and would do the right thing.

Which brings me to Roland, the Librarian. I think he is my all time favorite. He has been there for Mac since her first day introduced to The Archive. He is one of the more real Librarians who knows what's going on in the real world, and how Mac needs a way to work around the rules in order to keep everyone safe. I love his faith in her, the way he never doubts or regrets his decision to name her a Keeper. He is Mac's mentor. He can never replace Mac's Da, but he does a heck of a job helping keep her head screwed on tight. When he came to Mac in her delirium from lack of sleep, brought her to The Archive, and gave her a place to sleep without nightmares, my appreciation and love for him solidified. We all need people like Roland in our life, and Schwab did an amazing job of creating a character who was so realistic, it's almost as if he were real.

I'm still not sure what I think of the ending of this book... It sort of bothers me in a way. I want to know exactly what Mackenzie is thinking, what she is inferring to. Now that I think about it, I'm sure there will be a third book. After all, we still don't know Wesley's first name ;)

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

Source: I borrowed this from a family member. Which in no way affects my review. All thoughts are my own opinion.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice GRAND FINALE

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours


It's the Grand Finale for THE ROSE GARDEN TOUR for

Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice

by Heidi Ashworth


Roses in the Miss Delecourt Series



It all begins when the Dowager Duchess of Marcross sends her grandson, Sir Anthony Crenshaw, to accompany her niece, Miss Ginny Delacourt, to their country estate to check on the roses. The Dowager is concerned since her neighbor is keen on stealing cuttings from her spectacular rose garden for Rosehaven, his rose-inspired country home. On the way, they have a carriage accident and are held up by highwaymen but it isn't until they are quarantined at Rosehaven for the pox that Ginny's and Sir Anthony's love begins to bloom.


Thus the series begins...

Launch - Author Interview




What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?
I hope that they develop a lingering affection for the characters and that they get something more from it than pure entertainment. I hope that my stories illustrate what it means to truly love someone rather than to simply be infatuated or "in lust" and that there is a realization that great relationships require work and sacrifice.


Kelly P's Blog - Excerpt


Colin opened his mouth to reply, but his attention was abruptly born away by the sight of a young maiden's face as it appeared at the door of the carriage.  She was breathtaking, her heart-shaped face possessed of a pair of large, impossibly green eyes set off by arched brows, black as the hair that curled along her temples.

"If you have had your fill," Sir Anthony drawled, "you had best look away.  You are utterly defenseless in the face of such beauty."

Pieces of Whimsy - Author Interview





Tell us a little bit about your book, Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice.



Miss A is a traditional regency romance (i.e. clean and sweet) about a man who is determined to stay away from women for the time being and a woman who is engaged to be married to another. They feel an instant attraction for one another but neither feels themselves free to pursue it. However, they also feel safe to spend time together since it is clear that they can never be anything but friends. As they draw closer to one another, each must learn to trust in spite of betrayals in their past. It is my most romantic story yet!


Brooke Blogs - The Betrothal

A Maid suitable for marriage
The Regency era is known to be one of the most romantic of all time. One reason for this is the manner in which people became betrothed. Though regency romance novels abound with tales of formally arranged marriages, it was not a time period known for an overabundance of rigid strictures. It was this very freedom from constraints that made the regency the romantic period we so love. Though it was not unheard of for a gentleman to approach the father of the maiden he favored to beg his permission prior to offering marriage to the young lady, it was not required or even particularly the norm. And though there were bound to be fathers who were incredibly controlling and who wished to arrange the marriages of their daughters, it was most likely a rare occurrence.


My Ereader and Me - Tens List

1. I have an identical twin.
2. I am one of eight children and the sixth of seven daughters–all from the same two parents.
3. I am obsessed with pink roses...


Coffee Books & Art - Author Interview


Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters lives / lifestyles?


Yes, I had to do research about India since this is where the heroine was born and raised. It was very interesting. Of course I have done quite a bit of research with regard to the regency era from my first book going forward. It is an endless source of fun for me.


I Am A Reader - Characterizations

Though it is tempting to choose from pictures of famous people, I steer away from that. My characters are very real people to me and I simply can't think of them as such if they look and (inevitably) behave like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Once I have decided the color of my characters' eyes and hair, I spend time googling "men with brown hair and gray eyes" or "women with red hair and blue eyes". It is rare that I find a photo of a person that exactly matches up with what I think he or she should look, however, I have had more luck with period paintings. Though a representation of a real person can never look like the people I imagine, I enjoy selecting illustrations of people who come close.





The Wonderings of One Person - Author Interview


What was the inspiration for Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice?

Prism RoseI knew that I wanted my next book to be set in Miss Delacourt’s world. I had just finished writing The Lord Who Sneered and found myself wondering what happened to a gentleman to whom Julian, Lord Trevelin briefly refers. This gentleman had been engaged and found it necessary to break the engagement, something that was rarely done by the male in the regency period. I wondered what happened to him and decided to make him the friend of Sir Anthony (the hero in my first two books) which made it possible to go back to the beginning of our association with Sir Anthony and Miss Delacourt and have some fun with that. The theme of the book, that of how our appearance says nothing about who we are inside, is one that I touched on in The Lord Who Sneered and could not stop thinking about. This theme is pivotal to the plot of Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice.


The Written Adventure - Excerpt


She supposed it was to avoid the debacle of their last waltz that he took such great care to hold her at arm's length. Yet, she wished he would grasp her so tightly that she could not be faulted if she were to rest her cheek against his chest, her head tucked under his chin while he spun them about the room. There was a peace she felt in his arms that was unlike any she felt, even in the embrace of her papa, in whose presence she felt like a child no matter her years. The mere existence of her intended husband served only to remind her that she must lend her strength to others whilst fearful that the strength demanded should run out before it was no longer needed. As she compared one circumstance to another, she was astonished to learn that, in the arms of Mr. Lloyd-Jones, she was exactly enough.




"I love books that transport me back to old English times. Regency romance is one of my favorite genres, especially when an author writes in a way that scenes just come alive in my head. This was a book that filled my head with beautiful visions and played out like a movie...

This was a fun, diverting read. Clean and proper, just like I like them."

Mommynificent - Review

"I absolutely loved this book. It is the perfect novel for any fan of Jane Austen looking for a light-hearted escape and a fun and highly romantic read...



I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend it for any and all Jane Austen lovers, and I highly look forward to reading other books by this author..."

Rose #13



"From the first page of this romance, I was completely smitten. This is a completely clean historical romance, and the story is simple but well-written. Although the ending is assured, the author quite deftly included a bit of tension right before the conclusion. That extra measure alone has made me a super fan of this author! In addition to this, the writing style is quite reminiscent of the classic authors such as the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen. I had to remind myself that this is a book written by a modern author because it is unlike the vast majority of historical romances I have read."



"I really enjoy this time period and the characters in this story are delightful! I love the references to Miss Delacourt...

I loved the mystery and suspense element, which wasn't the main theme. It added a little flair to the ending and was just the right touch to the story."


Laughing With Lizzie - The Regency Era



The regency is a time period full of drama and romance. Very much like the second decade of the 1900′s in America (think flappers and prohibition) its fashions, culture and sensibilities were vastly different from those just prior and just after. It was a period of transition in England, the only country which experienced “the regency” (this same time period is referred to as the “empire” period in France and was the tail end of the “colonial” era in America) and had its own fashions, (ankle-length muslin dresses were worn primarily during this time) language terms (what was known as a reticule in the regency was a pocketbook, bag or purse shortly thereafter) and what we would call fads (the rage for all things classical Greek in dress and furniture comes to mind).


What is your favorite flower?

This is also one of those exceptions: roses (though I really love tulips, daffodils, impatiens...sigh, there are so many gorgeous flowers!) But roses are, hands down, my favorite. Yes.


Bookworm Lisa - Review

"The book explores a myriad of emotions. There is love, betrayal, guilt, jealousy, compassion, kindness, etc. Each emotion is portrayed well. I felt empathy for the character's in their trials. I felt that the time period was well portrayed. The characters were well developed and believable.

This is a great book to read in the summer. It is light and engaging."

Mel's Shelves - Review

"I was sure the ending would be happy but it almost seemed like an impossible situation. How would loyal, determined Elizabeth get out of an engagement to a blind man? There are some twists and turns and I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. The entire book was enjoyable and what I love the most is that it's 100% clean!!

This is the first book I've read in the Miss Delacourt series, and even though it's #6, I didn't feel lost at all. I'm sure there are some references and characters that I didn't quite understand so it would be fun to read again after I've read the other ones!"


"Mr. Lloyd-Jones, I must beg you to stop!"

"Why?" he asked as he tossed the hat to the ground and took her hands in his. "Are my attentions so unwelcome?"


"No!" she said so quickly that he felt he had reason to hope. "That is to say, there is naught in your manner or your character that I find in the least unwelcome. If I were but free," she said, shaking her head, her eyes wet with tears, "but it is of no use. I have made my choice and I must abide by it."



Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice
by Heidi Ashworth

Adult Historical Romance

Ebook, 274 pages

April 24th 2014 by Dunhaven Place Publishing



Mr. Colin Lloyd-Jones and his friend, Sir Anthony Crenshaw, make a pact to avoid the fair sex during the course of an entire season in order to nurse their wounded hearts. As they shake hands on it, they have no idea that one would soon be off on a trip to escort a young lady to the country and the other soon to fall head over heels in love with Miss Elizabeth Armistead. Sadly, Miss Armistead is only interested in those she trusts not to become so besotted with her beauty that they cannot see her true self. Prior to meeting Colin, she had only met one man fitting that description and she has promised to be his bride. However, Mr. Cruikshank is not due to arrive in London for a full month. Can Colin convince Miss Armistead that he loves her for more than her beauty before her betrothed's ship arrives on British shores?


Purchase from Amazon.


Heidi Ashworth, author of the popular Miss Delacourt series, including the award-winning Miss Delacourt Has Her Day, is a busy wife and mother who's grateful for a bit of peace and quiet in which to write. An unapologetic anglophile, she is determined to return to England to see the home of Jane Austen, a landmark she missed during her first trip across the pond, though she knows Lord Byron's house to be a suitable substitute. She's smitten with books, chocolate, and roses, not necessarily in that order, and is never averse to a round of Guitar Hero.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

- US Grand Prize: $50 Amazon gift card and paperback copy of Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice

- 3 ebooks of Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice (US and open INT to these countries: England, Canada, Belguim, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Italy, France, Japan, and Australia)



a Rafflecopter giveaway





Prism Book Tours
Are you a blogger and want to receive information about new tours? Go HERE.
Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Moving Too Fast LAUNCH



On tour with Prism Book Tours


Launching the REVIEW & EXCERPT TOUR for

Moving Too Fast

Destiny Bay Romances: Sweet Editions

by Helen Conrad


Special Price!
Moving Too Fast is only $0.99 for Kindle from now until Sunday, June 1st!





Intro to Moving Too Fast
From Author Helen Conrad

“Winning isn’t everything-it’s the only thing.”



Injured racecar driver Grant Carrington lives by those words and Carrie Harlow is afraid he’ll end up dying by them. She resists him at first, instinctively seeing that he’s dangerous to know. He needs her skill as a physical therapist, and she lives to heal. But he lives to win. That puts them at odds right from the beginning.



Grant is probably the hardest hero I’ve ever written. He puts on a gruff, rough shell to protect himself from the vulnerability he feels after being injured. His past is littered with old emotional pain and a history that makes him think he doesn’t deserve to be loved by a woman as good and loveable as Carrie. It takes patience and courage for her to work with him—but she heals his heart at the same time she heals his body, and in the end, he realizes that accepting and giving love makes him the biggest winner of all.



I hope you enjoy these books—and be on the lookout for the next three which will be released soon!


Moving Too Fast

Destiny Bay Romances - Forever Yours
(Sweet Edition #3)
by Helen Conrad

Adult Romance

Paperback & Ebook, 165 pages

March 28th 2014 by Doorknock Publishing


A sweet old-fashioned girl

isn’t what Grant Carrington is looking for. A man who lives for speed and danger, he’s only slowed down because he’s been forced to by an injury. Carrie Harlow isn’t his type, but he needs her in order to heal. She knows she’s playing with fire, but she feels she can help him and she goes for it—even though she knows she’s endangering her own heart as she fixes his.

Recipe for Carrie's Chicken Picatta included.

Purchase from Amazon.


[Pin, share, or tweet this image for an extra entry in the giveaway.]




Image of Helen Conrad



Helen Conrad is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 90 romances (over 15 million copies sold) published under various pseudonyms with Harlequin, Silhouette, Loveswept, and others. She is currently revamping and rewriting much of her backlist—mainly into the Destiny Bay Romances Series. The first six, the Forever Yours Series, are being rewritten as Sweet Editions.



Website - Facebook - Goodreads





A Little About the Destiny Bay Romances: Sweet Editions
From Author Helen Conrad

"The Destiny Bay Romances take place in the sort of beach town I've always loved--and now I live in one! But writing about beach towns came first and this series is centered on the rich, influential Carrington family living along the California Coast, and in Hawaii. These are good-looking, fast-driving, hard-hitting men and women whose impulses lead them into trouble every time--and inevitably to fall in love.

The original series includes language and love scenes that aren't, for the most part, especially harsh and explicit--but some of my readers from my years writing sweets for Harlequin as Raye Morgan have asked if we couldn't have sweet and clean versions--and I thought--what a good idea! 

These are basically the same stories...but with the conflicts softened a bit, the language cleaned up, and no explicit love scenes. There are still a few adult situations, but they're muted. Consider these the PG versions. 

I hope you enjoy them!"



Tour-Wide Giveaway


- US Grand Prize: $20 Amazon gift card and paperbacks of Run Run RunawayA Little Blackmail, and Moving Too Fast

- INT Grand Prize: $20 Amazon gift card and ebooks of Run Run RunawayA Little Blackmail, and Moving Too Fast
- 2 sets of ebooks of Run Run RunawayA Little Blackmail, and Moving Too Fast (INT)



a Rafflecopter giveaway





The other stops on this tour:



Run Run Runaway
May 12 - Book Intro


May 13

May 14

May 15

May 16

May 18

Prism Book Tours
Are you a blogger and want to receive information about new tours? Go HERE.
Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

The Dragon Egg Tour!! Guest Post


dragonbanner

    The Dragon's EggThe Dragon’s Egg (Relics of Mysticus- Book Three) by H.B. Bolton



    Sure, the glass castle floating over Evan’s head makes him uneasy, but that’s the least of his worries. With each step inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, he must battle against his worst nightmares. One after the other, wispy smoke-filled bull sharks come at him — he must remember they’re only illusions pulled from his imagination by those dreaded shadowlike hands. If only the vengeful dragon circling above was also an illusion and didn’t have his mind set on destroying the one person who can control him: Emrys.

    Inside the castle’s glass tower, Emrys sleeps in an eternal slumber, and Evan’s uncertain whether he can save the great wizard. Especially now that Emrys’ former student, the Lady of the Lake, has joined forces with the cunning immortal Alamaz. Together they have already stolen the Dragon’s Egg, but their greed doesn’t end there. The Siren’s Pearl calls to them, and that means only one thing … Atlantis is in trouble.

    Join Evan, Claire, and Dunkle — along with a few other unlikely heroes — as they travel across the realm of Medieval Legends, float through the Ancient Isle of Avalon, plunge inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, and be there when Atlantis rises once again.




















      
    The Serpents Ring


      The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus- Book One)


    Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum … that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods.

    Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous fish and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.




    tricksters-totem-cover-low-res-200x300The Trickster's Totem (Relics of Mysticus - Book Two)
    Life has returned to normal for fourteen-year-old Evan and his older sister, Claire. That is until Dunkle, a clever but stinky little imp, pays an unexpected visit to their school. He has come to take the siblings back to Sagaas, the mythical realm of the gods. Once again, a Relic from the ancient Mysticus Orb has fallen into the wrong hands. Only Evan and Claire, with their unique mystical abilities, can help find it.

    Through the power of the Trickster’s Totem, a coyote trickster has escaped. His laughter echoes throughout the realm, as he spreads mischief and mayhem. He burns an entire crop of popcorn, carves his grinning image into sacred artifacts, and things really get interesting when he shape-shifts into Evan’s friends.

    Claire and Evan must capture the Trickster, retrieve the Totem, and be careful not to become sidetracked by robotic Steampunk animals, “sweet” pixie-like Pains, and a problematic mermaid … all while dodging Mothman-like aces. Most surprising, Evan discovers the true reason dragons exist in the Native American Spirit World.





    Guest Post

    My dream review by H.B. Bolton

    Review was given by J.K. Rowling.

    H.B. Bolton is an author after my own heart! I’m elated to have discovered her wondrous book series, Relics of Mysticus, where ordinary teens are transported into multiple realms of mythology. Although The Trickster’s Totem is a sequel to The Serpent’s Ring, readers can easily jump into this new adventure without having to read the books in order. I’m not sure, however, why would anyone want to.

    Bolton had a way of pulling me into her mystical world, and The Trickster's Totem reached out and grabbed me in the first few lines. Siblings Evan and Claire have just returned from Asgard and are re-adjusting to their normal routines. But their lives abruptly change when in the middle of school, Dunkle, an odiferous imp, arrives with bad news. The Trickster’s Totem fell into the wrong hands and has been used to release the Coyote Trickster, a mischievous creature from the Native American Spirit World. The Trickster has already set fire to a field of corn to make popcorn, carved his devious face into totems, and created menacing toys in his own likeness.

    Evan and Claire have an unspoken responsibility to protect the Relics of Mysticus, as well as retrieve them when they’re stolen. Their powers and bond are put to the test when they are lured into a trap by robotic Steampunk animals, invited to “tea” by menacing pixielike Pains, and manipulated by a problematic mermaid … all while dodging Mothman-like aces.

    The Trickster’s Totem contains a multitude of underlying morals that are cleverly hidden beneath a fast-paced and entertaining quest. Speaking of which, I am not a fan of bullies and appreciated Bolton’s playful spin on dealing with one such crude, bothersome teen. I was happy Evan used his mystical power to put a halt to the bully’s antics. In fact, I know of a young wizard who would have acted in the exact same manner, even if it would entail being banished from school.

    So far, I’ve enjoyed this author’s spin on Norse myths and Native American legends, and look forward to following Evan and Claire along their future adventures. I’m especially anxious to see how Evan’s character develops from being an innocent — and somewhat snarky — young man into a young adult.

    Perhaps, when it’s time to create the world of the founders of Hogwarts, I will consider conspiring with this up-and-coming author.

    In any regard, I give The Trickster’s Totem Five Golden Snitches!


      


     About the Author:
    A magical part of H.B. Bolton’s childhood was being swept into worlds of enchanting
    characters, fantastical creatures and extraordinary powers—simply by picking up a book. As a mother and a teacher, she was compelled to create imaginary worlds of her own in order to share them, not just with her children, but with all children. H.B. Bolton lives in Florida with her supportive husband and two highly spirited children. Shh, can you keep a secret? Not only does she write books for the young-at-heart, adventurous sort who yearn to dive into a good young-adult fantasy story, she also writes spellbinding, heart pounding women’s fiction. These particular books are written under the name Barbara Brooke, but that’s another story, altogether.

    Connect with H.B. Bolton here:




    Giveaway:
    $25 gift card (Int), paperback set of all 3 books (US), ebook set of all books (INT)

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Sunday, May 25, 2014

    A Little Blackmail Excerpt!

    On tour with Prism Book Tours


    Welcome to my tour stop for the

    A Little Blackmail

    Destiny Bay Romances: Sweet Editions

    by Helen Conrad


    Special Price!
    A Little Blackmail is only $0.99 for Kindle from now until Sunday, May 25th!



    A Little Blackmail

    Destiny Bay Romances - Forever Yours
    (Sweet Edition #2)
    by Helen Conrad

    Adult Romance

    Paperback & Ebook, 172 pages

    March 28th 2014 by Doorknock Publishing


    Sometimes you have to break the rules to right a wrong.

    Janet Cardona is usually a by-the-book good girlbut when Matt Carrington won't give her cat back, she sees red. Rules mean nothing when there's an animal to be saved. So when she's caught in a burglary and blackmailed for it, she finds she can't refuse. Matt only needs her to pretend to be his wife for a day or two so that he can run a scam he's involved in. But once the pretense gets going, he begins to yearn for the real thing. Now Janet has to decide if she can let herself fall for a con man.

    Recipes for Crab Open-faced Sandwiches and Basic Asian Soup included.

    Purchase from Amazon.


    Excerpt:



    She waited, heart pounding, in case anything inside was going to react, if any alarm was going to go off. There wasn't a sound. Holding her breath, she pushed a little more. The door glided smoothly, leaving a six-inch opening. Janet stared at it, waiting, her heart beating furiously. Perhaps Alexander would come to investigate on his own. Then she would scoop him up, head for the drainpipe, and down to her car. In minutes, this whole episode would be behind her, like a bad dream.

    Matt's handsome face flashed through her mind, but she shoved it away. That was a dream, all right, though perhaps not such a bad one. And she'd never been much of a dreamer. Reality was her style. Time to get back to it.

    She waited another moment, still hoping for the best. But her luck wasn't quite that good. "Alexander," she whispered at last. "Here, kitty, kitty."

    There wasn't a sound. Was she going to have to go in and find him? "Here, kitty, kitty," she hissed just a little louder.

    "Who's there?" Mavis's voice split the night.

    Janet reeled backward, her heart in her throat. It was all over. She'd been caught.

    "Who is it? Who's there?"

    Would she have enough time to make it down the drainpipe? Or should she jump for it? One look over the edge of the balcony wiped that idea from her head. It was a long way down and a rocky landing. It would have to be the drainpipe.





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    Image of Helen Conrad



    Helen Conrad is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 90 romances (over 15 million copies sold) published under various pseudonyms with Harlequin, Silhouette, Loveswept, and others. She is currently revamping and rewriting much of her backlist—mainly into the Destiny Bay Romances Series. The first six, the Forever Yours Series, are being rewritten as Sweet Editions.



    Website - Facebook - Goodreads





    A Little About the Destiny Bay Romances: Sweet Editions
    From Author Helen Conrad

    "The Destiny Bay Romances take place in the sort of beach town I've always loved--and now I live in one! But writing about beach towns came first and this series is centered on the rich, influential Carrington family living along the California Coast, and in Hawaii. These are good-looking, fast-driving, hard-hitting men and women whose impulses lead them into trouble every time--and inevitably to fall in love.

    The original series includes language and love scenes that aren't, for the most part, especially harsh and explicit--but some of my readers from my years writing sweets for Harlequin as Raye Morgan have asked if we couldn't have sweet and clean versions--and I thought--what a good idea! 

    These are basically the same stories...but with the conflicts softened a bit, the language cleaned up, and no explicit love scenes. There are still a few adult situations, but they're muted. Consider these the PG versions. 

    I hope you enjoy them!"



    Tour-Wide Giveaway


    - US Grand Prize: $20 Amazon gift card and paperbacks of Run Run RunawayA Little Blackmail, and Moving Too Fast

    - INT Grand Prize: $20 Amazon gift card and ebooks of Run Run RunawayA Little Blackmail, and Moving Too Fast
    - 2 sets of ebooks of Run Run RunawayA Little Blackmail, and Moving Too Fast (INT)



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    Run Run Runaway
    May 12 - Book Intro


    May 13

    May 14

    May 15

    May 16

    May 18

    May 26 - Book Intro

    May 27

    May 28

    May 29

    May 30

    Jun 1

    June 2 - Grand Finale

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    Saturday, May 24, 2014

    The Iron Queen: A Review

    Description (from goodreads):

    My name is Meghan Chase.

    I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

    This time, there will be no turning back.

    My Review:

    I just... Wow. This one I think is by far the best in the series. The Iron Queen is action packed and full of emotional turmoil. I LOVED IT!!

    First off, I totally knew who the Iron Queen was going to be, which I suppose, if you've read this series, is obvious, but you never know. Needless to say, I liked how that turned out.

    My favorite thing about this book was how I got to see the real side of Ash and Puck. Since this is from Meghan's POV, it is sometimes hard to discern how other characters really are, because we just see how Meghan perceives them.

    Puck is still the fun loving, crazy prankster who is always there to make you laugh, but he also has a serious, devoted side. He cares deeply for Meghan, but he understands how Meghan's love for him is not like her love for Ash. I was so proud of him when he backed down and that he had the strength, love, and loyalty to Meghan to not force her on the path of a love triangle. That he respects Ash and still cares for his old friend. In fact, one thing Puck said almost brought me to tears (yes, because I get emotionally attached to my books) was when he admitted that Ash was still his best friend.

    I mean, how awesome is that?

    After centuries of fighting each other, Puck and even Ash himself, still hold their old friendship dear. Even if it is buried deep down inside their stubborn selves, it's still there.

    And Ash. Man, he is probably one of my favorites now. His whole life he has been forced to endure a life without emotion. To exist, but not to live. And yet, when he met Meghan, he found the strength to break free of this cage. In the previous novels we have seen glimpses of the real Ash, but in The Iron Queen, I felt that I really got to see Ash. He allowed himself to feel again, allowing for him to fight for what was right. He knew that defying his mom, Queen Mab, would have its repercussions, but he also knew that it was the only way to help Meghan win the war. Sure, since we read this from Meghan's view, we think that he does it all for her, and yes that is a MAJOR part. BUT! I know that he also doesn't want to see his home, his people, or his friend Puck and Puck's people destroyed. Ash truly does have a heart and I now know that he is not the same faery he was in the very beginning, but a good one--one willing to sacrifice everything, even the thing he loves most, for the greater good.

    Meghan Chase became even cooler in this one. I loved how she bounced back from being a tad whiny in the second book to becoming the woman she needed to be in order to overcome her enemies. She fought for those she loved and always did her best to make it right for them. She never backed down, even when she was absolutely terrified. And who wouldn't be? If the existence of everyone and everything rested on your shoulders, wouldn't you be afraid too? And yet, Meghan still has the courage and strength to overcome her deepest fears. She's kind of awesome.

    Grimalkin... I got a HUGE grin when he told Meghan not to die. Haha. It's that funny cat's way of saying he cared for her. I know Grim takes care of himself and mostly does things for his own gain, but he freaking went to the Iron Realm for Meghan. Iron poisons faeries like him. And yet, he found a way to come along. I know he cares for Meghan, Ash, and Puck. He is their undeclared mentor after all. Or at least, that's how I see him. He is the one solid, non-freak-out one among them. He always knows what to do, but he also lets the others figure it out for themselves, even if it frustrates them. Grim has never led them down the wrong path, and he is a cat who could do just that if he wanted. BUT HE DOESN'T. That's why I love him. Because he is the one thing that keeps everyone going, even if they don't recognize it.

    I once again praise Julie Kagawa for creating such a compelling, gripping story. I can't wait to read The Iron Knight. The ending to The Iron Queen was fantastic, but also unexpected! I won't share, but sheesh. I need to read the next book!

    I give this a 5 out of 5!