Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Hitler's Secret by William Osborne

Hitler's Secret
By: William Osborne
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 352
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

Otto and Leni thought they were safe: They escaped -- barely -- from war-torn Europe and are living as refugees in England. But now the Crown has recruited them: Great Britain wants them to go back. As spies!

Dropped behind enemy lines, Otto and Leni embark on a top-secret operation. Code name: Wolfsangel. Their mission? Capture the one person who can defeat the ultimate evil of Nazism! Der Fuhrer has destroyed Otto's and Leni's families, but what if the tables were turned? What if Hitler's ultimate legacy was in their hands?

Breathless pacing, nonstop action: By the screenwriter of Goldeneye, HITLER'S SECRET is a cinematic tale of revenge with an unexpected twist. A note by the author explains the truth behind the fiction and lets readers know what really became of history's greatest villains.

I try to read as many books as I can that is set during the 1940's. It is one of my favorite time periods. When I saw Hitler's Secret on netgalley, I knew I had to read it. It is definitely a read that many middle graders would enjoy!

Both Otto and Leni escaped a Nazi Germany. While in Great Britain, they are both asked to go back so they can be spies. Their job is to find the one thing that can help the Allies win the war. I wasn't a fan of Otto. I never felt a connection to him, and I didn't like his personality. Leni was a cool girl though. She was strong, and I admired her.

While I didn't enjoy the story as much as I was hoping I would, I think young children and teenagers will find Hitler's Secret an action packed story, especially for the ones who love history. But I think even if you hate learning or reading about history, you can enjoy this one!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Kiss Me in Paris by Karpov Kinrade

Married to Your Co-Author: 5 tips to staying happily married while writing a book together

Many couples would find it hard to work together day in and day out, with desks just a few feet apart, particularly if their job involved subjective creativity and intense deadlines. We (Kimberly Kinrade and Dmytry Karpov) have worked together like this since we moved in together, after several months of long distance dating. This dating involved constant phone calls and 24/7 internet access, so even then, we were nearly always together. While we have our own projects, as full time writers we are always involving each other in everything, from design, to music, to story ideas. We've written a few short stories together in the past, but Kiss Me in Paris was the first full-length novel we co-wrote together. The journey was an intense one. It was the first contemporary romance either of us had written (since both of us come from fantasy/paranormal writing), and we wanted it to be more than just a love story. We wanted Kiss Me in Paris to be a novel that would evoke deep and varied emotions from its readers, that would make you laugh and cry and fall in love, all the while living vicariously through Cade and Winter as they learn to follow their dreams, heal from the past and open up to each other and to life. So how did we do it and still live our own happily ever after? Here are 5 tips we learned to surviving the creative process while married.

Get on the same page, figuratively speaking.

If you're going to co-author with someone, you have to share the same vision for the book, the characters and the plot, or it's dead in the water before you even start. This was actually the easy part for us. We're a lot alike, and our writing style and approach to novels is very similar. We couldn't have done it if not for that. We rarely disagreed about the novel's content. When we did, we asked for outside opinion (usually from our editor, Tracy Riva, or our awesome beta readers) and discussed the pros and cons of our different approaches. The approach with the most pros always won out, but we often found creative ways of fulfilling the intent of the other person, even if not in the exact way they'd wanted.

Learn to compromise.

When you're writing a book with someone else, you can't always have it your way. You have to work together, not just on the content of the book, but on the speed with which you write, edit and release the book. We learned to comprise. Kimberly really pushed to get the novel finished, while Dmytry really pushed to keep editing. We balanced each other out, and finished a high quality product. It's never good to launch before the book is polished, but also, you have to know when to let it go and move on, otherwise you'll spend your whole life on one book. Together, we created a book that we can both be proud of, even if we did have to delay the launch a few times. During this, we both acknowledged what the other person brought to the table, and how together we were doing something we couldn't have done on our own, at least not in the same way.

Play to your strengths.

Every writer will have their own strengths, and in a co-writing situation, you need to play to those. In our case, Dmytry is the faster outliner and Kimberly is faster at prose. We also each enjoy those parts of writing more, so that's how we divided our tasks. We'd talk through the book, the characters and the story and make sure we both contributed to the big picture of what happened, then Dmytry would write detailed outlines for each chapter. He also added a lot of dialogue, as he is very good at writing dialogue. Kimberly would then flesh out the chapters, add prose, add more dialogue and even scenes and tweak as necessary. We would then re-read the chapter together, changing and editing and adding and deleting, until we were both satisfied that the chapter was a 10. Once we'd done that level of editing on it, we sent it to the first round of editing, then beta readers, then editing some more. At the last, when we knew the content was exactly what we wanted, we sat together for two days straight and read through every single word of the book OUT LOUD. We then polished and perfected the prose, and sent it once again to our two editors for a final review. It was an intense process, and there were nights we lost our patience, but it was worth it in the end. By playing to our strengths and using our team well, we created a book we're very proud of.

Balance real life together.

There's a unique factor in co-writing with your spouse that you don't run across in co-writing with someone else. That is real life. You know, three kids, dishes, dinners, cleaning the house, unclogging the toilet, doing laundry, mediating disputes and investigating mysteries (who really did take that 28 cents minion #1 says was stolen?)… these things don't disappear when you're writing a novel. But we were both so busy and had so much work. Neither of us wanted to stop our work to, you know, feed the minions. But we had to. Because it's our other job, and also, starving minors in your care is still illegal. This isn't the Hunger Games. So we had to delegate tasks, support each other and also, let some things go. Our house is never perfectly spotless, but when we're on deadline, let's just say we turn a blind eye to, oh, everything. As long as the living room where we write isn't a mess, we ignore the rest.

Don't mix business and pleasure.

This is the hardest one for us, but probably the most important. Our marriage and our business are two different things, as overlapped as they might often be. When we disagree about something in our book, we can't let it become personal and affect our marriage. But when it's 4 a.m. and you've been working for three days straight and you're tired and grumpy and stress-eating and the other person disagrees with you. Well, it's hard NOT to take it personally and blow up. We usually handled this with humor. Because what else can you do? We have the best job in the world, and we're both hard workers and very ambitious, but we're also ridiculously in love. So, we snap, and then we laugh and hug and kiss and maybe take a break to, you know, research a few of the steamier scenes we're writing for the book. Because we can. We're married. Through it all, the greatest part of working together was seeing our dream for this book realized as early readers responded with such enthusiasm to our 'book baby.' We learned a lot about ourselves and our marriage, and about writing and life, while creating Kiss Me in Paris, and we're super excited to tackle our next big project, Kiss Me in Cairo. And this next book will likely hold its own set of challenges. Neither of us have been to Cairo (whereas Kimberly studied in Paris), it will be more mystery/romance, and we want each Kiss Me book to be romance, but also be unique unto itself. But we've never backed down from a challenge, and we work so well together, that in the words of Barney from "How I Met Your Mother"… Challenge Accepted.

About Kiss Me in Paris
Kiss Me in Paris by Karpov Kinrade

No one knows my secret. Ever since high school, ever since I started living in fear, no one has known the true me. But then I met him, and I couldn't hide anymore. He became my hero, saving me from the villain of my past. He became my friend, his smile a blanket of warmth. And he scared me. Because he, this beautiful man, he might become more. Then he'd see the real me, and I couldn't let that happen. My name is Winter, and what I desire most I can't have. Flashes of the night I was drugged rush back to me. His strong arms carrying me through the streets of Paris. The feel of his heart beating as my head rested against his chest. The soft press of his lips against my forehead when he thought I was asleep. Oh shit. I'm falling for the cowboy. Cade. But we can't be anything more. He has his own secrets. His own darkness he keeps hidden, like the letter he keeps with him everywhere he goes. The letter he refuses to open. * * * Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance Full length novel: 87, 000 words Kiss Me in Paris is a standalone novel in the Kiss Me Series. Travel the world with the Deveaux sisters as they find love, and trouble, in all the right places. Kiss Me in Paris is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, and KoboAdd it your Goodreads to-read shelf here!

About Karpov Kinrade

Kimberly Kinrade and Dmytry KarpovKarpov Kinrade is the pen name for the husband and wife writing duo of bestselling, award-winning authors Kimberly Kinrade and Dmytry Karpov. Together, they write fantasy, paranormal, mystery, contemporary and romance and hook readers into new and exciting worlds that will leave you laughing your ass off, crying your heart out and falling in love. Look for more from Karpov Kinrade in the Kiss Me series, Seduced Saga, the Forbidden Trilogy and more coming soon. They live with three little girls who think they’re ninja princesses with super powers and who are also showing a propensity for telling tall tales and using the written word to weave stories of wonder and magic. Become a member of the Street Team for Karpov Kinrade. Connect with Karpov Kinrade on Facebook. Connect with Kimberly online: TwitterGoogle+PinterestAmazonGoodreads. Connect with Dmytry online: TwitterGoogle+AmazonGoodreads.

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Release Day Launch~Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Mephisto Mark by Trinity Faegen

The Mephisto Mark
(The Mephisto Covenant # 3)
By: Trinity Faegen
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Pink Publishing
Pages: 200
Source: Netgalley/Blog Tour

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. 

Orphaned at six and sent to live with abusive relatives in Bucharest, Mariah learned early in life to box up violent, agonizing memories and put them in permanent mental storage. Now almost nineteen, she has a paying job, a tiny apartment, and a plan to attend university. She loves her independence and is steadily overcoming her past, but when an enigmatic stranger walks into the pub where she works and the trajectory of her life changes yet again, she begins to wonder if she’ll run out of mental shelf space.

The only females unafraid of the Mephisto brothers are the extremely rare Anabo, born without Original Sin. Over one hundred years ago, Phoenix was first to find one, but he made a fatal mistake and she was murdered by his oldest brother and enemy, Eryx. Phoenix soldiered through the next century wrapped up in grief and guilt, his only outlet planning takedowns of those who pledged their souls to Eryx. When one of his brothers brings Mariah to Mephisto Mountain, he’s torn between his instinctive, powerful need to pursue her, and his certainty that he can never have her.

Drawn into the world of the Mephisto, Mariah sees the pain and misery Eryx unleashes on humanity, and the boxes in her mind begin to fly open, one by one. All that keeps her from slipping off the edge is her unlikely, sexually charged friendship with Phoenix. He’s incredibly screwed up; she’s completely broken. It would take a miracle for them to find happiness. Then Eryx brings the war for Hell to a whole new level, forcing Mariah and Phoenix to make a choice that will bind them together for all eternity, or rip them apart forever.

I read The Mephisto Covenant a few years ago and loved it so I was so glad to have the opportunity to read The Mephisto Mark. I have always been intrigued by Phoenix so I couldn't wait to finally be able to read his book!

Trinity Faegen is such a talented writer. The way she can take this confusing mythology and turn it into something that is easily understandable is amazing. Since it's been a few years since I have been in this world, it was nice to be re-introduced to it, without having information overload.

I absolutely loved Mariah. She has been through so much in her life, but she is still so strong and honest. I love the bond she has with her sister, and how she was so protective of her all these years. Phoenix is so strong and protective as well. He too is damaged and broken from his past. Even though he didn't always make the right choices, he always tried to do the right thing. I really liked the two of them together. They are both carrying so much baggage, so it was nice that they could be together and help each other through everything.

This is a series that is not to be missed!


Watching Mariah shout her triumphant joy as she came closer to me at breakneck speed, my want, my need to join her was a physical thing that coiled around me and squeezed so hard, I was breathless.

Her stop was flawless. She was breathing hard, laughing up at me as she moved her goggles to her cap. Her eyes were bluer, I could see her glow, and her scent was beautiful. My brothers and Sasha skied up just behind her and looked at me with obvious anxiety. They knew I was pissed.

Mariah didn’t. I bit back what I wanted to say to them and instead said to Mariah, “I wish you weren’t a liar. That whole I’m poor thing really had me going. Clearly you’ve lived in Switzerland your entire life and trained with the Olympic team.”

“This is the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s such a rush! And the mountains are beautiful, and all the snow.” Still breathing hard with exertion, making her breasts rise and fall, she looked down at my boots. “Where are your skis?”

Peeling my gaze away from her chest, I focused on her eyes. “I don’t have skis.”

“What? Why? Go get some and ski with me.”

“I’d love to, but I have to work on—”

“Are you scared? I mean, it’s dangerous, I guess, but it’s not like you’re ever permanently hurt. If I get hurt, Sasha says she can fix me.”

The only thing in the world I was scared of was what I could do to her if I wasn’t constantly on guard. She was so wounded. I had to keep that front and center in my mind at all times. Had to be careful and not step over a line. Not only my words, but actions and even thoughts.

I fought to keep from looking at her breasts again. Jesus, that dream had me undone. I wished I could see her as I saw Sasha – like a sister. I’d never, even once, had a sexual thought about Sasha. Strange, because honestly, I had sexual thoughts about most women. Except for the Luminas. I was a son of Hell, but even I couldn’t have impure thoughts about angels.

Would this low hum of sexual awareness disappear once Mariah became a Lumina? Could I then see her as a beautiful girl and not a hot woman I’d sell my soul to see naked, to touch, just once? I cleared my throat and said, “I assure you I’m not scared of skiing.”

“Then work later and ski with us now.”

I leaned down and whispered, “You’re away from the mountain, at risk.”

With her face scarcely two inches from mine, she whispered back, “They think I don’t know, but Sasha is keeping Eryx front and center in her mind. He’s in Washington and I’m nowhere on his radar. Come on, Phoenix, don’t worry so much. Go get some skis and do this with me, just for a little while.”

“I’d rather take you home.”

“Three more hours until dark, then I’ll go back and stay there until it’s safe for me to leave again.”

I knew I should say no. It was a needless risk. But the look on her face, the sound of her laughter – I wanted to hear it again and again. I sighed. “All right, fine, but the second you ski too far away from any one of us, we’re going back. Capice?”

She grinned at me and my heart thudded hard against my ribs. “Let’s race.”

I groaned, then we all popped down to Mountain Village so I could get some skis. And food. I hadn’t eaten and was starving.

We went in the Blue Dog Grill and ordered crab claws, chicken kabobs, and burgers. Mariah ate almost as much as Sasha, who ate far more than an ordinary human girl because of Mephisto. I wondered if Mariah was too poor to buy food? She obviously relished what she ate, seeming to enjoy every single bite.

When we were back up on the slopes, she beat me twice, I beat her twice, and Jax said we had to have a tie-breaker, which is how we wound up at the top of the most difficult run at Revelation Bowl. I looked down at the almost vertical drop, at the tiny figures that were Jax and the others waiting for us at the bottom, and asked her, “Are you sure about this?”

“You’re chicken, aren’t you?”

“They say chicken in Romania?”

“It’s a worldwide euphemism for cowards.”

“I doubt that.”

“Look it up.” She schussed left ski, then right ski, gripping her poles, focused on the slope. “Are you in, or not?”

This was going to be epic. “I’m in.”

“Prepare to lose, my friend.”

“I’m out of practice.” I was never actually in practice. Until today, I’d skied four times my whole life, and those were related to a takedown back in the fifties. I learned, practiced, then we did the takedown, and my skiing career was over.

“Excuses already? You must think you’re going to lose.”

My competitive nature roared to life. “Not hardly.”

“Okay, on three.”

We counted together and as soon as we both said three, I pushed off. Just as I’d thought, it was incredible. Exhilarating. I risked a glance at her and saw she was laughing. We were neck and neck, moving faster and faster. I could see Jax and the others clapping and yelling. I’m pretty sure they were all rooting for Mariah, which only made me want to win that much more.

Unfortunately for my manhood, she smoked me, probably because I tried to be tricky and jumped a mogul instead of skiing around it. My landing almost sent me crashing, and by the time I’d regained my balance, she was ten yards ahead, and I never caught up.

When we were with the others, she pulled off her goggles and hat and high-fived Sasha. And she laughed. For the first time in a thousand years, I didn’t mind losing. I’d do it over and over, just to hear her laugh.

About the Author:

Author of the RITA winning Pink Files series, Stephanie Feagan has had a love affair with romance novels since she was eleven and discovered there are kissing scenes in Victoria Holt books. She spent a lot of time in her closet with a flashlight, reading as fast as possible to get to the end, only to start a new book and begin the whole Leave-Me-Alone-I’m-Reading cycle all over again. She still stays up until the wee hours to finish books, now courtesy of a lighted e-reader which she believes is mankind’s greatest invention ever.

Stephanie also writes Young Adult and New Adult paranormal romance as Trinity Faegen. A practicing CPA who loves travel, books, new pencils, old keys, and smart guys, she lives in the oilfields of west Texas with her engineer husband and a mean cat. She’d love to hear from you. She answers to Stephanie, Trinity, Hey Lady, and Mom, and can be reached at or
She’s aware the similarity between her pseudonym, Faegen, and her real name, Feagan, confuses pretty much everyone, herself included. Since so many mispronounce Feagan as FEEgan instead of FAYgan, she thought she’d mix it up when she took a pseudonym and make it easier on people. Now people say FayEEgen, and spell it wrong. Next time she takes a pen name, she’s totally going with Smith or Jones.


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Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones

Wild Boy
By: Rob Lloyd Jones
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

In the seedy underworld of Victorian London, a boy is born and abandoned. Snatched up by an unscrupulous and abusive showman, Wild Boy, covered in hair from head to toe, becomes a sideshow freak. Isolated from other children and wickedly abused by the cruel master who bought him, Wild Boy becomes an avid observer, developing Sherlock Holmes–like deductive skills. Although he is tormented and insulted, kicked and spat at, his quick mind takes in everything he sees. When a murder occurs at the fair, Wild Boy is hastily accused. Can he use his powers of deduction to save himself? And will the talented and spunky young acrobat Clarissa be with him — or against him? Readers will be swept along by the cinematic pace, immersed in the vivid historical setting, and gripped by suspense as they wait to find out if a better fate could possibly await someone so very different.
As soon as I read the synopsis on netgalley, I knew that I had to read this book. I have always been intrigued with the circuses and freak shows of the 1800's. Wild Boy is a quick, middle grade mystery that I think children and adults alike can enjoy.

The hairy boy with no name has spent his whole life alone and abused. He doesn't think his life can get any worse so when he's asked to join the freak show he agrees. Now with name, Wild Boy, he performs in the show. He acts like a beast and gets beat up, but at least it's on his terms. Spending his life alone, he is very observant of people. He can figure out whole histories just by looking at them. When a murder takes place, and he is the number one subject, it is up to him to figure out who the real killer is before they can kill again.

Since Wild Boy is a MG, the mystery isn't too hard to figure out, but I think children will have a fun time trying to find the answers. Wild Boy definitely had a hard life, but he never acts like a victim. The hidden messages are easy to see and I think they are perfect for young children who are just becoming teenagers.

I really enjoyed Wild Boy. It is a fun and quick read and I definitely recommend it! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: All of You by Christina Lee

All Of You
By: Christina Lee
Pub. Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Intermix Books (Penguin USA)
Pages: 214
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He's irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she's perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother's bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won't accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.
What made All of You so different from the other New Adults I have read is that the guy, who had a hard life wasn't a jerk or a slut. Bennet was far from a jerk or a slut. He was a sweet guy who happened to also be a virgin. This alone made me want to read it since it's usually the other way around. I appreciated Christina Lee's original portrayal of the characters.

I loved the first meeting between Avery and Bennet. She kept trying to flirt with him and he just didn't want any part of it. Since in other books it's always the slutty boy trying to get the shy girl, I absolutely loved this! When Avery and Bennet finally did speak to each other, the connection they had with each other was undeniable and scorching hot!

I enjoyed the first half of the story a lot more then the second half. I think the reason for this was because while the characters had a great connection, I did not feel any connection to them. This forced me to lose interest. But the writing was fast paced and very easy to get through. Sometimes I find that many NA stories drag on, and I liked that this story was short and sweet.

I would definitely recommend All of You to anyone looking for something a little different in the NA genre. 

3.5 stars rounded up to 4. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Charming by Elliott James

(Pax Arcana # 1)
By: Elliot James
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

John Charming isn't your average Prince...

He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is — until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right?

While I didn't enjoy Charming as much as I was hoping I would, it was still an enjoyable story. The premise is definitely enough to draw readers in, but I think the book could have been a lot more then it was.

I loved the idea that John Charming came from a line of Charmings. While John isn't in that life anymore, he still knows how to handle himself if anything evil comes his way. After being kicked out of the knighthood, he lives a quiet life as a bartender. He doesn't want any trouble until he learns that there are vampires in his town.

I really liked John and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Everything he loved and cared about was taken from him, turning him into an almost empty shell. I loved learning about the history of the Knights and about the monsters and how to kill and fight them. I did have a problem with the amount of knowledge we received though. There were pages and pages of information overload and I feel like it took away from the actual story.

I really liked Sig, the Valkryie vampire hunter. After what happened to John's fiancé, I liked that he was able to trust Sig. The two of them had a really nice connection.

Even though there were things that I did not like about Charming, it definitely was an original read, and I am interested to find out what happens next. Plus, that cover is amazing!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cover Reveal: Four Seconds To Lose by K.A. Tucker

I am so excited to be revealing the cover for K.A. Tucker' book, Four Seconds To Lose. I was fascinated by Cain, the sweet strip club owner with a heart of gold in Ten Tiny Breaths and I can not wait to read his story!

Four Seconds To Lose
(Ten Tiny Breaths # 3)
By: K.A. Tucker
Pub. Date: November 4, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books

Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine year old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with the staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control…and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that.
Twenty-two-year old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her doesn’t need to complicate her life with romance.
Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, that those feelings may not be unrequited—but losing him when he finds out what she’s involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.

About the Author: 

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Pre-Order Links:


The first book in the series, Ten Tiny Breaths releases in paperback on September 24, 2013. This is series that is not to be missed! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: The Impersonator by Mary Miley

The Impersonator
By: Mary Miley
Pub. Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

In 1917, Jessie Carr, fourteen years old and sole heiress to her family’s vast fortune, disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, her uncle Oliver Beckett thinks he’s found her: a young actress in a vaudeville playhouse is a dead ringer for his missing niece. But when Oliver confronts the girl, he learns he’s wrong. Orphaned young, Leah’s been acting since she was a toddler.

Oliver, never one to miss an opportunity, makes a proposition—with his coaching, Leah can impersonate Jessie, claim the fortune, and split it with him. The role of a lifetime, he says. A one-way ticket to Sing Sing, she hears. But when she’s let go from her job, Oliver’s offer looks a lot more appealing. Leah agrees to the con, but secretly promises herself to try and find out what happened to the real Jessie. There’s only one problem: Leah’s act won’t fool the one person who knows the truth about Jessie’s disappearance.

Set against a Prohibition-era backdrop of speakeasies and vaudeville houses, Mary Miley’s Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition winner The Impersonator will delight readers with its elaborate mystery and lively prose.

I am so happy that Minotaur Books and Netgalley sent me an email highlighting this story. Even though the cover is intriguing I probably would have just passed it by and I would have never read this gem. The Impersonator is a fast paced story with great characters and a great mystery!

Leah has worked almost her entire list as a vaudeville performer. After a few nights of seeing the same man in the audience, he finally introduces himself and makes her a very interesting offer. If she can pull off being the long lost Jessie and fool Jessie's entire family, she will get Jessie's inheritance and split it with Oliver. While the story itself wasn't very original the way Mary Miley pulled it off was. As Leah spends more and more time being Jessie, she realizes how important it is to her to find out what happened to the real Jessie. I loved putting all of the clues together and trying to figure out what happened!

I really loved Jessie's family. Each and every one of them was definitely a character! They weren't perfect, but flawed and realistic. They might have made mistakes, but they all did love each other (well, maybe not all of them!).

I loved the vaudeville aspect! Though I was familiar with what it was I never really gave it much thought. I enjoyed watching the You Tube links that the author provided at the end of the book. I also enjoyed getting an inside look at life in vaudeville through Leah's eyes.

The Impersonator is a wonderful story and I am so glad that I got the opportunity to read this. I highly recommend it! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Blitz: Review, Excerpts & Giveaway ~ Ruin by C.J. Scott

(Summer in Winter # 1)
By: C.J. Scott
Pub. Date: August 21, 2013
Publisher: Self
Pages: 124
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

Kate Bell isn't perfect. Not even close. The things she got up to in college would cause her parents to fall off their pedestals in shock. Home for the summer vacation, Kate settles in for a long, boring break in the tiny backwater of Winter with folks who still treat her like she's twelve.

Then Ben Parker arrives and suddenly Winter gets interesting. He's hot, mysterious and good with his hands. Kate falls for him instantly, but her cop father warns her to stay away. But how can she stay away from someone as compelling as Ben? Someone who thinks she's perfect just the way she is?

When Ben's secrets catch up to him, not only is Kate's heart in danger of being broken, but Ben's entire future could be ruined.

RUIN is a new adult contemporary romance intended for mature readers. It contains strong language and sexual situations.

What first drew me to this book was it's cover. How can it not? It's beautiful! The combination of the cover and the synopsis made me so excited to read Ruin. I went in it with high expectations, and I am happy to say that all of those expectations were met.

Kate Bell is home for the summer. She hates the small town that she is from, but continues to visit to keep her parents happy and see her best friend Jane. Thinking it's going to be a long and boring summer, she is very surprised when a stranger, Ben Parker walks in to the diner. Ben is super quiet, but gorgeous, and Kate will make it her mission to get to know him!

I wasn't a huge fan of Kate. I found her annoying and dramatic and it was really hard finding any type of connection with her. I really liked Ben though. It was pretty easy to figure out the mystery behind Ben and why he was in the town of Winter, but I really enjoyed learning all of the specifics of his life. My heart absolutely melted for this boy and what he's been through.

Ruin was a really short and quick read. I definitely wanted more of this story because I enjoyed it so much! I really loved the romance between Kate and Ben. It was so sweet and very different from other NA romances out there.  C.J. Scott's next story is about Jane and I can't wait to read it! 

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble  

I also have an excerpt to share as well!

He gave me a sad smile. "I'm not a monk, Kate. If you kiss me...I can't stop there."

His words probably had the opposite effect to what he wanted. It spurred me on, because now I knew he was on the brink of giving in. On the brink of falling into the abyss with me.

I touched his face. His jaw was rough from his stubble. A small muscle pulsed against my fingers.
"Kate, please," he whispered. But he didn't pull away. Didn't stop me getting closer.

I stroked his lower lip with my thumb, and he groaned deep in his chest.

"Ben," I murmured.

He brushed my hair off my shoulder. His fingers caressed my neck, sending tiny tingles racing down my spine. My heart hammered against my ribs to the tune of kiss me, kiss me, kiss me. I wanted this man. Wanted to know him intimately.

My head told me it was impossible that I could feel this way after such a short time, but my heart was ignoring it, lost in a mad, chaotic rhythm of its own.

Ben's hand cupped my hip, his other pressed against my back. It was all the encouragement I needed. I closed the final small gap between us until I was crushed against his body. It was hard and ridged, warm.

Our lips met in a kiss that turned my legs to jelly. My knees buckled, but Ben's arms circled my waist. He held me there, firm yet gentle, like I was something precious. I felt dizzy and weightless. The world spun one way and I the other, out of control. I didn't care. It was exactly what I wanted to feel. Exactly how I'd always imagined a kiss should feel.

Yet I wanted more. The kiss filled me with longing that clawed at my heart. It wasn't enough. Not nearly enough.

About the Author:

C.J. loves reading stories that take her away to another world. If she’s in the middle of an amazing book, she’ll keep reading while cooking or cleaning (when she can be bothered doing either).

She likes interesting artwork but can’t paint, sketch or make anything more complicated than a snowman from plasticine. She enjoys beautiful gardens but hates gardening. She also hates housework, cooking (see above) and writing about herself.

C.J. loves connecting with readers. The best place to interact with her and other fans is via her Facebook page. That’s where she posts teasers and other stuff from her books.

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook

Enter below to win 1 ebook copy of Ruin, provided by the author! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Review: Only Between Us by Mila Ferrera

Only Between Us
By: Mila Ferrera
Pub. Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Self
Source: Author

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

Last semester, Romy escaped from an abusive relationship with the guy she’d thought was the man of her dreams. This semester she’s putting herself back together, determined to reclaim her passion for art and for life. When she signs up for a painting class at the local art co-op, the possibility of passion becomes very real -- in the form of her teacher, Caleb. Both mysterious and seriously hot, Caleb bares his soul on his canvases, and Romy’s fascinated by what she sees.

Caleb is just trying to keep his head above water. Caring for his traumatized, unstable sister is getting harder every day, and his paintings are so dark and bleak that no one is buying. Teaching classes at the co-op is no longer enough, and now he’s going to have to sell more than just his art to the wealthy, sex-starved women in his classes. But when Romy comes along, she makes everything more complicated. She sees the truth in his paintings -- a truth no one else has realized, until now.

Romy and Caleb might have a real shot together -- one that could heal them both. But when ghosts from their pasts re-emerge, determined to keep them apart, will they be strong enough to hold on to each other?
This is the first book I have read from Mila Ferrera, and it definitely won't be the last! Only Between Us is a wonderfully written story with an engaging plot and beautiful characters.

To find the person she once was, Romy signs up for painting classes. This is where she meets Caleb, her painting teacher. From the first moment they met, there is a hot and undeniable connection between the two. They are both so beautifully broken and my heart broke for them.

I loved Romy from the first page. She used to be this strong person, but after she left her abusive boyfriend, she became a shell of the girl she once was. I loved watching her become that strong girl again! Caleb is trying to care for his mentally disturbed sister, without any help from his family. He blames himself for what happened to her and he tries so hard to give her a good life. He never complains, but things are becoming too much to handle. I usually don't tear up while reading, but Caleb was so sad and so lonely, and I couldn't stop myself from crying for him. He needed to have a happy ending more than anyone else!

Only Between Us is a raw and heartbreaking story. It's completely character driven and I wouldn't have it any other way. I can not wait to read her next book, Everything Between Us, which is in Daniel's, Caleb's best friend, POV. I loved Daniel and I just know his story is going to be just as amazing! 

4.5 stars rounded up to 5.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Scorched by Mari Mancusi

By: Mari Mancusi
Pub. Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 352
Source: Netgalley

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

Don't leave me here... It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she's going crazy. It wouldn't be a big surprise--her grandpa firmly believes there's a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it's begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it...

Connor  He's come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

Caleb  He's everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons.

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head--a dragon that won't be tamed.

Scorched were one of those books that I knew very little about going in, but I loved every single moment of it. Dragons, time travel, hot boys, and wonderfully written characters and plot. There was also the perfect amount of action and romance. It's one of those books that I wanted to re-read the second I finished it.

Trinity lives with her grandfather after her mother died. One night her grandpa comes to the museum that he owns with what he believes to be the last dragon egg. Obviously Trinity does not believe that there is a baby dragon inside that egg, but when she starts hearing voices and a cute boy shows up, she definitely starts to believe something strange is going on.

Caleb and Connor are twins sent from 200 years in the future. Connor wants to kill the dragon before dragons out run the world and destroy everything while Caleb wants to protect the dragon because if humans do things right this time, the dragons can be used for good. You see both sides of the story and it is hard to figure out which one to trust. Trinity also had this same problem. Both boys were loyal and strong and just trying to do what they believe is the right thing.

Trinity was a strong heroine. She learns about a completely different future than her own, and through everything she stays strong. She wants to do what is right, but her bond to her dragon makes it difficult. I loved this bond she had with her dragon, Emmy.  And I loved Emmy. I want an Emmy of my own! The dragons and their histories were a character all on their own.

Scorched had plot twists that I did not see coming and I loved learning about the future and how the dragons were involved. I can not wait for the next book in this wonderful and original series! 

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