Thursday, 25 April 2013

Icons by Margaret Stohl

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside – safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions – which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses – may actually be their greatest strengths.

Release Date 9th May 2013

Dol lives in the countryside with Ro and some other survivors. Survivors from when the Lords landed and the Icons dropped - no one has seen the Lords or know why they're here, no one knows the purpose behind the Icons. But Dol and Ro, along with Lucas and Tima, were all born on the exact same day and they all survived The Day ..... for a reason.

I really enjoyed this new YA from Margaret Stohl. Having only ever read a short story by her, this was my first time to see her world and character building - and I enjoyed them both.

I'm not sure what this would be classed as - it's not dystopian and it's not post-apocalyptic - it's aliens invading, killing people and taking over the world. All ruling systems collapsed and the Lords took over. I liked all the characters, Dol was really interesting - she has her problems and she has ..... gifts, gifts that she, Ro, Lucas and Tima all have in common and all need to understand to help the world.

I'll be looking out for the next book in the series - and maybe I'll bump Beautiful Creatures up on my TBR list.

Book Depository: Icons
Amazon UK: Icons

Clockwork Mafia Blog Tour - Seleste deLaney Guest Post

Last month, I reviewed Clockwork Mafia by Seleste deLaney - the 2nd book in the Badlands series. The book is due out on the 29th of April and Seleste has agreed to grant this wee blog with her beauteous presence as part of her blog tour for the book's release.

Once Upon a Time…

Alternate history is kind of a tricky thing. As the author, I know how many things played out that came before the books, but those snippets of history are hard to fit into the novels and novellas without screaming info dump. One part of the world of the Badlands that I’m often asked about is how, in a penal colony, did women come to rule. So, sit back and grab a mug of the libation of your choice, and let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, the United States decided to set aside their issues with the British and steal a page from their playbook. The cost to care for criminals began overwhelming the states and they looked to Britain and the Australian penal colony as inspiration. True, the states didn’t have access to a large island nation, but there were large tracts of wild lands west of the Mississippi…

It soon became commonplace to banish violent criminals and repeat offenders to the land across the river. As the move proved successful—few returned—more and more convicts were sent away. Eventually, their women and children started to follow—determined to keep their families intact.

But the area was rough and proved deadly in many ways, not least of all the abundance of violent men. Families determined to survive began training their children—especially the girls, who were most at risk of violence—in weapons and fighting. These warrior women bred more, and the Border Guard unofficially came into being before the monarchy.

Soon enough, the reformed criminals realized the guards weren’t enough. They needed real prisons where the men could be reformed. And for that they needed rulers.

Imagine, if you will, a council of men—all former convicts—sitting around trying to figure out who gets to be in charge. Within a very short period, arguing and fights erupted. At that point, the warrior women surrounded the group and drew their weapons. A single woman strode to the center of the assemblage and announced her ascension to the throne. The women had decided she was most fit to rule and if the men had a problem with it, they could take it up with her guards.

There were a few attempted rabble-rousers over the next few years, but they were dealt with via swift and permanent justice. The new nation had no room for softness at the time. But before he was put to death, one of the men was quoted as saying, “These were bad lands when we were sent here, and they’ll never be anything but so long as women rule.” With that, the Badlands were born.

Clockwork Mafia:
Inventor Henrietta Mason is retiring from airships and adventuring to return home to Philadelphia. Determined to erase all trails leading to her late father's duplicity, she dismantles his lab and removes all records of the Badlands gold. While in the city, she can't resist the lure of a charity gala but winds up regretting the whole experience. Well, everything except a heart-racing dance with a certain U.S. Marshal.
His career and vengeance on the line, Carson Alexander must prove a connection between Senator Mason and the mafia. He lucked out happening across Mason's strikingly beautiful daughter, only to have her slip through his fingers. On a desperate hunt to track her down, he never expects his search to take him into the brutal Badlands.
With a mechanically enhanced enforcer after them, only Carson knows the extent of the danger they face. He'll have to win over Henrietta's trust, and her heart, before it's too late...

Buy at:
Carina Press
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
All Romance Ebooks

If you aren’t going to be able to see her next week at the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention—or even if you are—you can also find Seleste around the internet:
Facebook Page
Facebook Profile

Sunday, 21 April 2013

How Beauty Loved the Beast by Jax Garren

It's all been leading to this.

Jolie Benoit has become a skilled agent of the Underlight, relying on her savvy to complete assignments while Sergeant Wesley Haukon was out of commission. But an unexpected clue to the Order of Ananke's diabolical scheme rattles Jolie, and she turns to Hauk for comfort.

It's been years since Hauk took comfort from the touch of another person, though his love for Jolie is deep and powerful. Uncomfortable in his skin, scarred by a terrible fire, he is unable to give in to the pleasures that Jolie so desperately wants to grant him.

Meanwhile, the Order is lurking in the shadows — and when they strike, the blow is swift and terrible. Hauk and Jolie scramble to fight for their community, but with the future of the Underlight threatened, no one is safe. And Hauk will never be the same ...

Release Date 13th May 2013

After the events in How Beauty Saved the Beast, Hauk is recuperating but gets better just in time to save Jolie from a group of Ananke's people. They discover a plot is underway involving the people of the Underlight (just as they're about to get sexy time with one another) so they have to figure out WHAT the plot is and how to foil it, all at the same time as starting a relationship with one another. Hauk find he's unable to get comfortable enough with Jolie to let her see the real him ... but Jolie has fun showing him how he can trust her. Just as he finally gets comfortable with her, the Ananke peeps decide to launch their plan and try to ruin all the fun.

I really, really liked this series, and I say like 'cos I can only assume that this is the last? It kinda seems that way with the ending but don't quote me on it.

I loved Hauk as the hero - he's different from the usual sexy, long haired and perfect body hero that you get in a lot of romances. He's scarred - physically and emotionally - and has a lot of issues to work through if he wants a proper relationship with Jolie. As for Jolie, she's a "meh" type of heroine - I like her but there are times where I don't like her as well but those things work in making her a good heroine, 'cos you can't always have a leading character that the reader will instantly love. A bit of love/hate makes for a better reading experience.

Like I said, I believe this is the last in the series. If you haven't read any of them, pick them up - the first is How Beauty Met the Beast, 2nd is How Beauty Saved the Beast and this is the 3rd. They're a nice quick read with a little mythology mixed in and a wee twist on Beauty and the Beast.

Amazon UK: How Beauty Loved the Beast

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Win a Kindle Fire (US only) or $100 Amazon giftcard or $100 paypal cash (International)

Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer has launched a new site aimed at bringing you the best Kindle Ebook Deals and Steals.

Each day on you'll find a new list of available ebook deals (most for under $3).

And of course there will be lots of  Featured Freebies too!

To celebrate the launch of the new site she is giving away a Kindle Fire, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

Win a 7" Kindle Fire (US only)

Or $100 Gift Card (International)

Or $100 in Paypal Cash (International)

Giveaway Details 

1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" (US Only), $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 in Paypal Cash (International).

Ends 5/5/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $100-$159 US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Ruby by Jeffe Kennedy

Danielle Sosna has no problem denying herself in order to achieve her goals — after all, that attitude landed her a dream job at Vogue Paris. But in New Orleans for one last assignment before heading overseas, she's faced with the most decadent of temptations. Seductive Cajun chef Bobby Prejean takes Dani's strength of will as a challenge, and offers her a night of wild indulgence — if she will agree to obey his every command ...

Dani can't resist Prejean's invitation to join him in a world of carnal desire, complete with fetish costumes and masks. Determined to keep her emotional distance, she gives Prejean everything but her name. A night becomes a week, as she spends Mardi Gras suspended ... in the delicious space where pleasure meets pain.

Too late, she realises the cloak of anonymity has not protected her — and that chasing her dream might come at the expense of her heart.

Release Date 13th May 2013

Dani has a new job in Paris but has one last job before she leaves. It's during this job, she enters Prejean's restaurant and he gives her an offer she can't refuse - be his until dawn and agree to to everything he says. She agrees but finds herself in it for more than the kink. After a week of sex and kink and discovery, she has a decision to make - stay or go?

I think I enjoyed this one more than Platinum or Sapphire - not sure why, maybe just because it was all about BDSM in this one but also about the voyeurism. And using food in sex? Yes, please. Who doesn't like the idea or sticky, messy sex? *looks around* Anyone?

The story has a little more than the first 2 books as well - what do I mean by "a little more?" - I have no clue, I just know I liked the story more. I do really like this series, it's all about discovering yourself and your interests - which is what life and relationships are really all about. You always learn new thing about yourself and this series covers it.

Carina Press: Ruby
Amazon UK: Ruby

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Maya Delaney is a skin-walker - a supernatural who can 'Shift' into the shape of a cougar. But her gift comes with a terrible cost. With every transformation, she risks losing touch with her human nature - for ever.

Maya and her friends are on the run from the people who experimented on them and transformed them into supernaturals in the first place. They know they must confront their enemies if they are to have any hope of a future. In order to succeed, Maya will need to use her dangerous, unpredictable powers - but the price of freedom could be too high a price to pay ...

Maya, Daniel and Corey are on the run and trying to stay that way whilst also trying to get their friends back. In order to so that they, at some point, have to confront the cabal that took them in the first place. Maya has to come to terms with her powers and the fact that they might make her revert (become more cat than person) like Annie, Rafe's sister. They all face their own memorial services and see what their "deaths" have done to their families - but Maya has family she was unaware of that she can deal with - a means to an end to help her get her real family back.

So we finally see Maya and her friends meet up with Chloe and her friends in this book, it's not really that big a deal actually. They don't get up to much together, just running and then meeting with Sean Nast. I know a lot of people are constantly whining on Kelley's board about Chloe coming back so this will make them happy. Personally, I don't have a favourite but Maya does call to me a bit more than Chloe, perhaps due to the fact that she stand up for herself more than Chloe ever did.

This is the finale in the Darkness Rising trilogy, also the finale to Kelley's YA series - unless she decides to revisit it at a later date (which I hope she will, I love this world and the secrets and the kids coming to terms with things). This was long awaited, anticipated and also feared - it was one of those books that arrived and I thought "Oooh, I can't wait to read this" but at the same time I also thought "If I read it, it means the series is over" but I can never bring myself to NOT read a book like this (even for a little while to make the fantasy last a little longer) from an author like Kelley. I adore both too much - I love Kelley, I love her books and I love her world and characters and the fact that both adult and YA Otherworld series are over is painful for me to write.

Any longtime readers of my blog will know just HOW much I love Kelley and there will never be a bad word come out of my mouth (or fingers) about her. If you've never read her books - go do it. If you like YA, start with the Darkest Powers series - you don't technically HAVE to but it just helps set the story. If you like adult, try her Women of the Otherworld (or just Otherworld in the later books) series. As sad as I am about these 2 series ending, I'm looking forward to Omens coming out.

Book Depository: The Rising
Amazon UK: The Rising