Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blog Tour & Review: Branded by Abi Ketner and Melissa Kalicicki

Are you ready to be Branded?
review


I feel like I've hit the dystopian jackpot! Out of all the dystopian books I've read this book is tied for the number one spot. The authors spare no details when it comes to describing this dictator ruled society where people are accused of crimes and sent to the Hole. The judicial system as we see it is no more and the Hole is a place for all accused sinners whether they are guilty or not. Lexi's father was a huge advocate in trying to end the rule of the Commander. What I thought was a simple cut and dry story turned out to be this complex riddle just waiting to unfold. I'm usually good at spotting the plot twists before they happen but I went into it blind. Very rarely do I love every single character...even the villains. These characters were on point! I've always said that it takes a really talented author to kill off a character and I was not disappointed. I cried along with them. Their writing had this way of bringing out such raw emotion that I had to take a break in between to recompose myself. OH and can I tell you you that I love gore? I live for it. Thank you for making this as realistic as possible.

My favorite characters always wind up being the dog. Zeus is such a goofball and totally overprotective...maybe even a little crazy. Maybe he gets it from his owner. Cole, Lexi's guard. It's like a star-crossed lovers kinda thing. The complexity of Branded just rocked my world and then some. I can't believe I have to wait for books two. They're lucky that it didn't end in a huge cliffhanger or some fighting would be had!

ren




excerpt


I turn on the faucet for a long while only to discover ice-cold water rushing out. The water never warms and I begin to understand. The Commander thinks he can wash away my soul by freezing me to death. He thinks he can destroy me by stripping away my possessions. But he can’t and I won’t let him take my memories, my ambition, and my pride. He thinks I’m so easily broken. The Commander doesn’t know anything about me, what I grew up with, what I endured—the father I lost, the mother I hate, the brother who walked out of my life, and the stepfather I was forced to accept. He thinks since I was rich, making me poor will cause me to give up. What he doesn’t understand is that, after my father passed away, I grew up behind walls of hatred. I had nothing, but had everything at the same time. I owned expensive clothes, enjoyed good schooling, and lived in a nice home. But my body was just a shell protecting an empty, desperate heart. My life was a colorful fa├žade. I had so much time to sit and think. I spent the majority of my life between four walls. I was abandoned, neglected, starved, betrayed, and abused. I’ve already been treated like the scum of the earth, so the Hole is nothing new. He wants to erase every sign of my existence on this earth, but I won’t let that happen. He can strip me naked, but he’ll never reach my soul. It’s personal, completely personal.



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And these teasers....LOVE THEM!!!


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About Abi and Missy




Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.







Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Tour Review and Giveaway: A Foolish Plucking by Dee Wilbur

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A Foolish Plucking by Dee Wilbur
Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery
In their book, A Foolish Plucking, Dee Pipes and Charlie Yates, writing as Dee Wilbur, are again telling the truth about Richmond, Texas (as well as a few lies). They’ve expanded Jon Miller’s area of operations to include Liberty, Texas, Dee’s home town. She demanded equal time with Richmond so much of the story is centered in Liberty. But not to limit themselves, they’ve also had some of the story take place in Victoria, Texas. You can’t confine a great man like Jon Miller.

–It’s all fun and games ‘til someone gets a conviction–

Gary is a lush and a womanizer. On that everyone agrees. But is he a murderer? The police sure think so. Gary denies it, and the police don’t have a corpse. But they do have the big fight at the country club, his wife’s blood behind the bed, in the shower drain, and in the back of her Escalade, and Gary’s lack of an alibi. The jury agrees with the police.

Gary’s mistress leaves Dayton with Gary’s child and moves to Richmond, to be nearby for her once a month visits with him in the Vance Unit (a Texas State Prison in Sugar Land). She hears of Jon through Lulu, her new boss, and enlists his aid in trying to get Gary a new trial.

In the meantime Jon and Sandy are dealing with a family problem. Why haven’t Jon’s brother and sister-in-law ever shown up at any of their events. It isn’t because Sandy’s cooking is bad.

All in all it stirs up a nice little brew of a mystery that’ll keep you busy for an afternoon or two.

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review

*** 4.5 Stars ***


Sometimes a reader needs a refreshing break from zombie, romance, and grisly paranormal genre. A cozy mystery was just what I needed for this past weekend being cooped up in the house sick. That the story takes partly place in my home town doesn’t hurt at all. Or that I loved the first book I read by the author duo that makes up Dee Wilbur. Their books can be stand alone, but it does help knowing some of the back story.

The main dude is a handsome, recently married lawyer named Jon. Jon and his wife are having a few issues with Jon’s brother and his family who near show up and in pops a new client. Gary is currently locked up for murder. Gary is a very unsavory fellow and the only one tooting his innocence is his mistress and the mother of his child. Although Gary is strung up by the jury and convicted, evidence pretty much in the bag, and an icky person in general, Jon takes on the case. What follows is a frolic of small town gossiping, local intrigue and vendettas, and the fun relationships and friendships that can only be built in small towns like Richmond and Liberty.

The characters in this series are fun and original. If you need a bit of a break, but still need a bit of hair raising intrigue and small town shock, definitely pick up this fun and easy evening read.

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excerpt
A tall, striking brunette dressed in jeans and a bright green sweater walked in the front door of Lulu’s Flower Shop on Morton Street in historic downtown Richmond, taking the sign out of the window as she entered.

“Hey, what are you doing?” bellowed a voice from the rear of the store.

“It says ‘Help Wanted Experienced Floral Arranger, Apply Within.’ Well, that’s me. I’m Melissa Kynett, formerly from Dayton, now from Richmond. I worked for ten years picking up posies and puttin’ ’em in a basket before I moved here.”

“I’m Lulu, and I own this shop. Let’s see what you can do.”

“I need a casket spray in fall colors, no chrysanthemums, ,” Lulu continued, sizing up the young woman. “And a dozen red roses for a centerpiece. They’ve got to be ready to go out the back door in thirty minutes. I’m gonna go next door and get a sandwich. Be sure to answer the phone and listen for the bell that sounds when a customer comes in.”

“Nothing like a trial by fire,” Melissa said, picking up the clippers and glancing around the work room.

“If you’re good, you should have no trouble. If you’re not good, I don’t want you. Be back in a little while. Try not to waste too much. Good luck.”

***

Twenty-five minutes later, Lulu returned. Melissa sat behind the desk reading a paperback novel.

“What’s the matter? Couldn’t cut it?” sniped Lulu.

“Look before you leap, or yap,” said Melissa.

A beautiful casket spray of greens, golds, yellows, and browns lay on the cutting table. A square, gold box held one dozen red roses in four rows of three. The arrangement was stunningly elegant in its simplicity.

“O.K. You got the job. Two weeks of paid vacation; one week available after six months.”

“I’ll take it, but I get to take one Friday a month off,” she answered, too overconfidently for one who had just gotten a job. “If I have to, I’ll work another day or do something else to make up for it.”

“Why do you need the Friday off?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I got time. You can tell me as we deliver these. You’ll need to start learning where places are so you can do the deliveries,” said Lulu. “Now what makes you think you need one Friday off each month?”

“I lived in Dayton, Texas, most of my life. I worked as a florist, and then I had a little shop of my own. There was this guy, really good looking who would come into my shop several times a year to buy flowers for his wife. One thing led to another after my boyfriend jilted me, I started going out with this guy.

“Well, then my old boyfriend came back through town, and we had a one-night stand for old times’ sake. Wouldn’t you know it, he brought me a present. I got the clap, and gave it to Gary, who bought the flowers for his wife. So along with the roses, he gave her an STD, as the socially elite call it. We all got treated with a bunch of high-test antibiotics and got to talk to the public health epidemiologist. And we all got over it, but she was pretty pissed off at him for a long time. Said she was positive she got it from him.

“About a year after our shared health experience, Gary’s wife disappeared,” Melissa continued.

“Yeah, I heard about it. Didn’t he kill her after the Valentine’s Day dance? It made Fox and CNN. The case went on, it seemed like forever. I remember when his mistress was interviewed on T.V. Yipes, that was you,” Lulu said, looking at her passenger more closely.

“Yeah, pouring my heart out. I never really did think he did it, but they found her blood in the bathtub drain, on the wall behind the bed, and in the back end of her SUV. They said the DNA matched perfectly. They never did find the body, and Gary maintains to this day that he didn’t do it.

“About a month or so after Gary was charged, I turned up pregnant. Seems he’d given me another present. The guy’s always giving me something. Since he’s taken up residence at the Vance Prison Unit in Sugarland, I moved to Richmond with my daughter.”

 

author
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Dee Wilbur is the pen name of Charles Yates and Dee Pipes.

A Texas native, Charles (Wilbur) Yates, Jr., was reared in a small Texas town, Rosenberg. He graduated from Rice University in Houston with a B.A. and Ph.D. in Biology. He received the M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He was in the private practice of radiology for thirty years before retiring in 2001. He has been married to his wife Sally for fifty years. They have four adult sons and eight grandchildren. He now tends his garden in Richmond, Texas.

Also a Texas native, Beatrice (Dee) Pipes grew up in another small Texas town, Liberty. Her degree from Rice University is a B.A. in English. She holds two patents from her work at Compaq Computer Corporation. She currently runs a company that helps other companies with marketing, project management, and other tasks. She has been married to her husband Bryan for over thirty-five years.

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giveawayThe authors are giving away four electronic copies of A Jealous God, the first book in their series. Open internationally, 18 and over, please! The giveaway will run 5/1/14 – 5/30/14.


Click here to enter the Rafflecopter.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Tour Review & Giveaway: Taking Angels by C.S. Yelle

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TakingAngels
Taking Angels by C.S. Yelle
(The Angel Crusades #1)
Publication date: March 26th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Book 1 in The Angel Crusades Series by CS Yelle

Britt Anderson went along with everything the doctors said for nearly four years, but she was still dying at eighteen. The cancer had won leaving her without a future, without any options, and without control. No control, except for how she would leave this world. As Britt tries to end her life by going into the frigid waters she realizes her mistake. She struggles to get back to shore, to cry out for help, but her atrophied muscles are useless and the frigid water steals the breath from her chemo-scarred lungs. Despite her father’s attempts to reach her, she flies over the waterfall.

When Allister Parks finds Britt’s fragile body on the riverbank something calls out to him. Ignoring the warnings of his sister, Allister brings Britt back from the edge of death. The only problem is that an Eternal like Allister isn’t allowed to touch those who have already passed from this world. It is forbidden; an infraction punishable by death.

As Britt relishes her new cancer-free life and senior year of high school, her very existence threatens Allister’s place in this world. Allister struggles to keep Britt a secret from the Eternal Council and out of the hands of the only Eternal who already knows the truth: the one who stole her guardian angel.

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review

** 4 Stars**
In the bloom of her adulthood at 18 years old, Britt is dying of cancer. On a last camping trip with her parents, Britt attempts to end her misery and is instead saved by a mysterious stranger. Thus starts her crazy transformation and entry in to the supernatural world. With an inner glow and pull towards those of the supernatural world, Britt finds herself entwined in a race to save the boy she loves and the friends and family she loves. Ultimately sacrificing much of herself and her former life, Britt is faced with a multiple of choices that that can save her or those she cares the most for.
A fun mix of angels, an immortal race, and the evils of both of the races, Falling Angels is a fun young adult paranormal adventure. Britt is a strong female lead and I definitely connected with her at the beginning of the book. The mystery that surrounds her healing will keep readers intrigued and the supporting characters and their backgrounds help keep the book moving. My only complaint is every new male character seems to gravitate toward/fall in love with/long after Britt and she sometimes plays on those feelings to get what she wants. It’s a bit of a tug of war between the three main boys in the story, but her love for Allister prevails in the end. Fun YA story!



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author
CSAuthor

C.S. Yelle was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN, the “almost” middle child of six.  He attended Grand Rapids Senior High School where he enjoyed music and sports.  He received his BS in Chemistry from Mayville State University, Mayville, ND in 1987.  He taught 7-12 Science and coached for six years in several North Dakota schools and currently works as an Executive Account Manager in the Water Treatment Industry where he has been for nearly seventeen years.  He is the father of four and grandfather of one.  He writes novels, screenplays, and an occasional short story.  He has been writing seriously for over ten years and plans to continue until his fingers are unable, maybe longer.  He currently resides in a Minneapolis, MN suburb with his wife Jennifer and their rat terrier, Holly.


Author Links:






giveawayBlog Giveaway:
(1) ebook copy of Taking Angels. Open internationally. Random pick from comments on this post, to be drawn June 10th, 2014. Posts until June 9th, 2014 will be accepted. Thanks!



Tour wide giveaway
Open INTL - Ends May 25th
--25$ Amazon Gift Card
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bestie Review: Evolution: SAGE by S.A. Huchton

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S. A. Huchton does it again with "Evolution: SAGE"! In book #2 of the series, we meet up with Candace again, but this time she isn't the same. In the begining we meet a shattered "Candy Cane" that believes everyone is afraid of her because of her ability, but truth is she's more afraid of herself than everyone else is. With the help of "Jackass" Jackson she starts to get back to her old self. I couldn't help myself but to be captivated by the story line of the ANGELS getting super charged with a second round of DNA manipulators. Why be a super hero when you can be a super super hero? Along with the new dose comes a second round of extreme hormones, and this time Candace falls madly in love even though she tries not to. The sexual content had me a little on, to be honest, because the descriptions had my mind visualizing myself as Candace. I only hope that the Author would write the series again, but in the perspective of a different character, maybe as Jackson, so we can feel what another character feels. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves a great read, but I would tell them they must read "Evolution: ANGEL" first. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars because as we all know I hate cliff hangers.

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author
A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. Her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread was released as a full cast audiobook podcast, becoming a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. After releasing short fiction of steampunk, noir fantasy, and other varieties, she released the first three books of the Sci-Fi Romance Endure series in 2013. All three books of the Evolution series will be released in 2014, as well as a Steampunk Fantasy novel, Master of Myth (the Antigone’s Wrath series, book 1), which was the first place winner of the Crested Butte Writers’ contest, The Sandy, in 2012.

When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at Designed By Starla.




Bestie Review: Shattered Promises by Jessica Sorensen

I'm pretty sure this book is PERMA FREE on Amazon. Go pick it up!
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In Jessica Sorensen's "Shattered Promises", we meet a young college senior, Gemma, that feels a connection with the stars. Gemma grew up with two "Foster" parents that she had no connection with. So, without knowing anything about her past, Gemma grew up completely disconnected from her memories and emotions. Suddenly emotionless Gemma starts to feel and dream, and that's when her life gets flipped upside down. Gemma soon finds out that everything she believed to be true was all a lie to cover up a secret that is inside of her. I loved how innocent Gemma was, and how she couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't because every thing that was going on she had imagined in her dreams. This book had vampires, werewolves, the walking dead, and so much more. I am into Science fiction, and this book had everything I love about it. I recommend this book to anyone that likes a little science fiction with some sex.

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author
Jessica Sorensen

Jessica Sorensen is the author of The New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers, The Secret of Ella and Micha, The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, and Breaking Nova, which are New Adult Contemporary novels.  She also writes Paranormal series, including the Fallen Star Series, Shattered Promises, Darkness Falls, and the Death Collectors. She loves writing and reading and is an avid watcher of TV series The Vampire Diaries and Modern Family.  An immense music lover,  Jessica immerses herself in her music as she writes.  She has a broad taste in music, and a list of favorite songs that goes on for miles!  A few of her current favorite bands are Chevelle, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Brand New, Death Cab for Cutie, Flight 409, and Nirvana.  Some of Jessica’s favorite “watch it over, and over again” movies include Anywhere but Here, Juno, Pride and Prejudice, The Hangover, and Bad Teacher.

Network with Jessica!  Follow her here:
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jessica-Sorensen/165335743524509
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/#!/jessFallenStar
Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4601855.Jessica_Sorensen


http://jessicasorensen.com/


 

 

 

Monday, May 19, 2014

If the Boots Fit: Unofficial utopYA Guessing Game & Giveaway!

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Howdy y'all! The lovely Carlyle Labuschagne came up with a brilliant idea to show our love for utopYA! UtopYA is the first-of-its-kind convention for women writers of contemporary and supernatural YA and NA fiction, and their fans! UtopYA is held in Nashville, Tennessee...or what I like to call NASH VEGAS, home of country music! And what goes hand in hand with country music? COWBOY BOOTS!!! They come in all different shapes, size and colors! Not only do we have a kick ass giveaway for you to enter, but be have a cool matching game for fun. We have split it up into groups to make the guessing a bit easier. All you have to do is match the boot up to the author, blogger attending UtopYA. You do not need to guess to enter the giveaway and it's just for fun. Answers are listed below each picture.



 I hope to see you all at UtopYA 2014!


To see what UtopYA is all about, visit http://utopyacon.com/


and for tickets visit http://www.eventbrite.com/e/utopya-2014-registration-7219041347



See if you can guess which boots belong to their author/blogger!



group1Answers: Casey Bond- #3, Krystal Wade- #4, Laura Howard- #1, Melissa Simmons #2


group2Answers: Kris Seek- #4, Nichole Greene- #3, Shana-#1, Tia Bach-#2


group3Answers: Bethany Lopez-#3, Elizabeth Kirke-#4, Carlyle Labuschagne-#2, Danielle Bannister-#1


group4Answers: Anna Cruise-#3, Alison Pensy- #4, Susan Burdorf-#5, Amy Evans-#2, Ren-#1


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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Broken Skies by Theresa Kay

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review
adventure
"I'm going on an adventure!" I feel like Bilbo! Jax's brother Jace is taken by the E'rikon's, an alien race, and leaving behind one of their own, Lir. What I thought would be a simple human versus alien story turns into this complex, dystopian/sci-fi world that's nothing short of spectacular. Jax sets out on this quest to save her brother from the alien city with the help of Lir. What an adventure it was. I'm left reeling and what could only be described as emotional whiplash.

I liked how strong Jax was despite her need for an emotional crutch. And what can I say about Lir... I kinda love and despise him right now. My mind is still trying to grasp the everything that was thrown at me. :::I can't even:::cant

Broken Skies has easily taken top spot for my favorite alien book... And that's saying something since the Lux series was holding strong for the longest time. It also ends in a cliffy! Boy I love those cliffhangers. I'm so excited to find out what's next for the crew.

renauthor7751265The only person she knows who had a subscription to Writer's Digest at eleven and was always excited to write research papers, Theresa has been putting words to paper since a young age. She writes predominantly in the sci-fi and urban fantasy genres. Residing in central Virginia, she juggles two kids, a husband and a full-time job in addition to her writing and in her free time she reads almost anything she can get her hands on.

Ok, enough talking about myself in the third person… I love interacting with readers, so if you want to shoot me a line, you can connect with me on Facebook and Tumblr Even if it’s not about my books, I like chatting about my (many) fandoms, books and reading in general, or just about anything really.