Friday, October 28, 2016

Domestivated Velociraptors Anthology ~ Release Blitz

Title: Domesticated Velociraptors Anthology
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy /Fantasy Short Stories

What would the world be like if you could hire Velociraptor rides for your daughter’s birthday, race them through jungles, or buy them at the local pet store? Fourteen authors from around the world delve into the prospect of domesticated Velociraptors in these stories full of adventure, wonder, and possibilities. Come explore realities where Velociraptors protect the land, take over kingdoms, and get tamed by grandmothers in the second anthology from the Midnight Writers.








About the Midnight Writers:
The Midnight Writers is a writing group whose goal is to help authors become better writers. They met during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and have since started producing an annual anthology, and started a podcast where they interview authors and share writing advice, particularly for the newer writer. Get more information on their website, http://MidnightWritersSociety.com, on Facebook (http://Facebook.com/TheMidnightWriters), and Twitter @MidnightScribes.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly ~ Review


Title: We Are Unprepared
Author: Meg Little Reilly
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Length: 352 Pages
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Ash and Pia's move from Brooklyn to the bucolic hills of Vermont was supposed to be a fresh start—a picturesque farmhouse, mindful lifestyle, maybe even children. But just three months in, news breaks of a devastating superstorm expected in the coming months. Fear of the impending disaster divides their tight-knit rural town and exposes the chasms in Ash and Pia's marriage. Ash seeks common ground with those who believe in working together for the common good. Pia teams up with "preppers" who want to go off the grid and war with the rest of the locals over whom to trust and how to protect themselves. Where Isole had once been a town of old farm families, yuppie transplants and beloved rednecks, they divide into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools.

**********
A book based on the storm of the century, a story that has been in the making for months, a storm that is set to change the very geography of the East Coast. I really wanted to see what this storm had in store and how our characters and their small town would weather the storm. I love survival stories, and this one seemed like it would be especially good.

Unfortunately, the storm never seemed to arrive. Well, it did eventually, but it took far longer than I expected. Instead we had a story about a couple that really shouldn't have been together, and the way they come together and then fall apart all over again. I found it difficult to like Ash or Pia, so relating to their struggle. But we still had the storm (the anticipation of which was doing a number on everyone).

But it kept taking so long for it to get here! Only the last third of the book was about the storm itself and its aftermath. Once we get to this part, I started to enjoy the story much more. There was excitement, some coming together, and some tearing apart. It really was the story of the century, with a perfect combo of devastation. It seemed to last forever, and the recovery was still ongoing. I loved this part, I really needed it to come sooner though.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

All Her Secrets by Kate Avery Ellison


In this near-future psychological thriller, a wealthy inventor's daughter and a guy from the wrong side of the tracks are entangled in a revenge kidnapping and imprisoned in a mountain cabin to await ransom. They must trust each other and work together if they want to escape, but they're both keeping secrets. And secrets can be deadly.

Title: All Her Secrets
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 9780998103907

Nothing is as it seems in this psychological YA thriller set in a not-too-distant future.

A GIRL WITH SECRETS

Eighteen-year-old Victoria, the daughter of inventor and visionary-genius Bill Faraday, was almost murdered by a stranger four years ago. She's been trying to forget the incident ever since.

When Victoria discovers something that might explain why she was brutally attacked, she heads home from college to uncover the truth. Then, she’s kidnapped.

A GUY FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS

Sam’s just a poor kid from Toivo, an experimental utopia gone wrong, but he knows who Victoria is as soon as his cousin Craig drags her from the trees. He doesn’t want anything to do with what appears to be a revenge kidnapping, but Craig has a gun and needs someone to take the fall if things go wrong.

A DESPERATE PLAN TO SURVIVE

Craig and his buddies imprison Sam and Victoria in an abandoned mountain cabin to await ransom. Putting aside mistrust for tentative friendship, Victoria and Sam conspire to escape together, and the close quarters ignite a startling attraction between them. Then they discover strange tunnels beneath the cabin. And what they find inside the tunnels proves more bizarre.

With a plan in place to escape, freedom seems within reach. But Sam and Victoria are both keeping secrets about their past.

And secrets can be deadly.

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon

Excerpt:

You’re never prepared for the sound of someone breaking down your front door.
The wood splinters, the sound like a bone snapping. The doorknob hits the wall. My adrenaline is a gunshot to my chest.
BAM.
For a moment, I am perfectly still, the frog in the flashlight beam. My book falls onto the covers with a muffled thump. My hands are shaking and my vision is blurry. I can’t breathe right. This doesn’t feel real, but I know it is.
We have a security system, state of the art, but it doesn’t go off. Why doesn’t it go off?
More splintering sounds, a loud thud, a slam. Footsteps.
I hear voices.
I run toward the window. It doesn’t have a latch. It isn’t supposed to open. Of course not. I hit it with the heels of my hands, but I know the glass won’t break, because it is bulletproof.
They had to have heard that. I have to get out of here now.
I kick the glass so hard I fall back on the bed. When I push myself up, somebody’s in the doorway.
Everything slows down and becomes painfully distinct.
He’s not tall, but he’s muscled, with a blunt, square face. The dark shape of him in my doorway is foreign and wrong, like a spider in the shower. He’s blocking the hall, and behind him, I barely hear the shatter of things falling in the kitchen over the roaring of blood in my ears.
He’s looking at me, and I’m looking at him. My mind jumps ahead to what is going to happen next, but then I stop thinking about that because I’m not going to give up yet. The feeling surges inside me, a wave of fierce and terrible protest.
He yells something to someone in another room, but I can’t understand him. My brain has stopped processing language. Instead, I’m seeing the room around me. The exits. There’s no door out except the one he’s standing in. I can’t run through the walls.
I’m trapped.
The world slows down. Time feels like cement, and every eye blink takes a thousand years. I reach behind me and grab anything I can reach—a hairbrush. It’s the most worthless weapon in the world, but I clutch it to my chest like it’s a knife. I’m thinking, WHERE IS MY CELL PHONE?
I can’t breathe.
A girl steps into the doorway beside the guy. She has dark brown hair and a flawlessly beautiful face, but her smile is angry. A toboggan hat is pulled down almost to her eyebrows, and she’s wearing slouchy torn jeans. She’s chewing gum, and she blows a bright pink bubble as she points at me. Her fingernails are painted sky blue.
They come around the bed. I back up to the wall. My heart slams against my ribs.
Fight, flight, or freeze. Those are my options. I can’t flee, so fight or freeze?
I pick fight.


About Kate Avery Ellison:


Kate Avery Ellison decided she wanted to be an author when she was five years old, and with hard work, determination, and the support of loved ones along the way, her dreams of telling stories for a living came true in 2011 with her first novel, The Curse Girl, and continued with her Amazon bestselling series The Frost Chronicles and numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. She loves putting a dash of mystery in everything she writes, an ode to her childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes, and she can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever she can.

Kate wishes she could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, she makes her home in humid Atlanta with her husband, son, and two spoiled cats. When she isn’t dreaming up her next novel or holed up writing it down, Kate can be found binging her favorite shows on Netflix, reading on her Kindle, building intricate train track configurations with her toddler, and playing board games with her husband and friends.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Kate Avery Ellison is offering one (1) lucky winner a $25 Amzon Gift Card and five (5) runner-ups an eCopy of one of her books (winner’s choice)! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

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Skid by Tracey Martin


Title: Skid
Author: Tracey Martin
Publisher: Leap Books
Genre: Young Adult, Haunting, Romance
Release Date: October 24, 2016
Tag Line:
While mourning the death of her sister and learning to live with chronic pain, a teen girl investigates a ghost story in a Connecticut orchard and finds unexpected love.
Blurb:
Sometimes when you lose control, you find yourself.
It took Gabrielle ten seconds to skid on black ice.
Ten seconds to wreck her car and her back.
Ten seconds to ruin her Olympic dreams.
Ten seconds to kill her younger sister.
Eight months later, Gabrielle's haunted by guilt, dependent on drugs to numb her pain and alcohol to numb her brain. Then Erik Tennyson crashes into her. Soon Gabrielle's immersed in the ghostly legend surrounding the Tennyson orchard, convinced that her sister is linked to its mysterious origins.
If she can just discover the truth, maybe she can put her sister's spirit to rest.
But as Gabrielle grows closer to Erik, her world skids out of control once more. Instead of appeasing the dead, she starts to do the thing she fears most: she remembers how to live.


"SKID is my favorite kind of story, one that acknowledges that life gives us pain and joy, love and sorrow in equal measure. I rooted for Ellie every step of the way!" -Jennifer Mason-Black

About Tracey Martin:

Tracey Martin wanted to be an astronaut, a doctor, and an actor, possibly all at once. Instead, she studied psychology , and that led her to have an epiphany–imaginary people are way more fun than real ones. And so she became a writer. Her books include Another Little Piece of my Heart, the Miss Misery series, and the RedZone dulogy.

She likes her coffee simple, her music epic, and her movies to contain explosions. A city girl at heart, she doesn’t understand how she and her husband ended up living in New Hampshire, but writing keeps her off the mean, small town streets.
Follow Tracey on Twitter and via her website.tracey-martin.com, @TA_Martin
Follow Tracey Martin:  Website | Twitter

Friday, October 21, 2016

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale


Title: Everything We Keep
Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Genre: Adult, Thriller
Length: 306 Pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keepexplores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.
Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.
As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.
**********
I loved this book until the epilogue. Then I wanted to throw the book - not because of anything wrong - I know it was just a personal preference - but OH MY GOD it made me so mad. Now, this could be seen as a good sign. It takes a lot for me to have that type of reaction to a book. I was so drawn into the characters and their lives that I felt like they were my friends. Good thing!!

I learned a lot about memory and what it can and can't do. It's quite fascinating, and from my simple research partner (Google) the author did a great job of portraying the circumstances. As Aimee comes to grips with what has happened to her fiance, we learn right along with her, and it was a great way of relaying information without doing just a big info dump on me.

Everything We Keep is an incredible emotional ride. I felt everything in the spectrum right along with Aimee and even James (the little bit we get to see). Right before the end, I was frustrated with life, but satisfied with the way Aimee had reacted and sorted things. Then the last two page....and the almost throwing. I want to say those pages ruined the book for me, until I tried to explain it all to someone. Their comment, "If it touched you so deeply, then it was a good book."

And they were right. This was a book that was beyond amazing and engaging. But if you read it, be prepared. It is not what you are going to expect. I could tell you the story, and it still wouldn't be what you expect. You have to live this one to truly experience it.


Spooktacular Giveaway Hop 2016


It's that time of year again! The creepy crawlies and ghouls will be coming out to play. Trick or treat and all sorts of sugary goodness that I try to hide from the kiddos so I can have some after bedtime. The cool weather and shorter days are also perfect for reading!

To celebrate the changing of the season and a time when all creatures are made possible with fun and inventive costumes, I have a paperback copy of Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter just looking for a new reader. Sorry, but due to shipping expenses, I'll have to limit this to US only. This is a new copy (I got two somehow). This is an amazing upper YA/NA paranormal story with an incredible twist on zombie lore with a bit of a romance as well. Fair warning - if you win, you may find yourself needing to buy the rest of the series as soon as you finish - and you won't regret it!



We'll make it super simple to enter. Just do what you can from the Rafflecopter below. For the bonus leave a comment entry, tell me what your favorite zombie story is!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Time to get hopping!! Follow along for more fun giveaways.


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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris


Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: B.A. Paris
Genre: Adult, Psychological Thriller
Length: 304 Pages
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?



**********
If this book doesn't make you examine the relationship of every single one of your friends, then I don't know what will. Jack and Grace seem so perfect together, everyone is jealous of their relationship and closeness. They are inseparable, and their friends just think that it's so cute and wonderful. Well, maybe not everyone, and it definitely isn't wonderful.

Grace is a prisoner in her own life. Unable to do anything on her own, and looking forward to a future of fear and torture for not just herself, but her handicapped sister as well. This fall into a non-existence happens quickly, in fact it happens overnight. And she never saw it coming, and now she can't get out.

Grace will have to use every last ounce of her resolve to find a way out, and she'll find herself doing things she never thought she would. This book will really get into your head and stick around for awhile. The way everything comes together and flows was very powerful and moving. There's more to this book than I could ever accurately describe without giving the whole thing away completely.

If you enjoy thrillers, suspense, or psychological stories, then this is one you will need to read.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict


Title: The Othe Einstein
Author: Marie Benedict
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history.

What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century.

In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever.

A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe,The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.




Well, I guess I don't know history as well as I thought I did. The Other Einstein could mean a couple things here. The more obvious "other" Einstein being Mileva Einstein, Albert's first and brilliant wife. It could also refer to the "other" Einstein being Albert himself, and a side of his life and personality that isn't often shown in your traditional histories. Both aspects of this Other Einstein are fascinating and not what I expected at all.

Mileva is an incredibly brilliant woman - possibly more so than Einstein himself - and she is unable to resist the charm of a young Albert at school. They seem to be the perfect couple, their wit and personalities complimenting each other while the intellects feed off each other's thoughts and ideas. It seems as if the stage is set for quite an amazing happily every after.

But soon things begin to change, and this was the part that I found quite fascinating. Watching the change in their relationship as it morphed into a completely different thing than when it first began, it is hardly recognizable. At times the changes were quite subtle and hard to notice, while others were shocking in their suddenness.

This was a great historical story that takes you deep into Western and Eastern European culture. At times the events were just a tad drawn out without a lot of momentum to them, but perhaps this was just to show the times where their lives seemed to come to a stand still. Definitely a book I would recommend.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*


Friday, October 14, 2016

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter


Title: The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8)
Author: Karin Slaughter
Genre: Adult, Crime
Length: 416 Pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.

Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them.
 


The author of the acclaimed standalone Pretty Girls returns with this long-awaited new novel in her bestselling Will Trent series—an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges the Georgia detective into the darkest depths of a case that just might destroy him.

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.

Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI’s newest medical examiner and Will’s lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn't belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished . . . and who will die soon if she isn’t found. 

Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city’s most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers—a man who’s already gotten away with rape, despite Will’s exhaustive efforts to put him away.

But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will’s troubled past to the case . . . and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends—and even the suspects he pursues.

Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a searing novel of love, loss, and redemption. A seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller, it marks Karin Slaughter’s triumphant return to her most popular series, sure to please new and diehard fans alike..



**********
The Kept Woman is the eighth book in what (it appears to be) a very well-written crime/thriller/detective series. I may have to go back and see where it all began (not sure yet), but I'll definitely be watching for what's coming next. As we farther along in the series, there is some catching up to do with relationships and histories of the characters. The author does a pretty good job of keeping you just in the loop without going overboard for people who may have already read the first seven books.

Will Trent has his cliche moments, but he manages to keep himself out of the category with some great personality which is showcased in his interactions with the other members of his team and the people in his life. This personality and history comes to be very important as he begins to investigate the latest murder.

The pieces of this murder weave together in an amazingly intricate way, but manage to not get convoluted or overly complex to the reader (even one who is starting the series in the middle). I loved how all the pieces drifted from place to place until suddenly there was something that resembled a picture in front of you. But it didn't end there. The picture still needed to be developed and Will Trent didn't just jump to a solution. 

The best part of this was how each piece of the puzzle was finally discovered by several people. Without the team working together it would have never happened. Trent may be our leading character, but his team of supporting characters are excellent.  A great read for someone looking for more than just another episode of CSI or Law and Order. This takes the whole crime thriller to another level and I loved it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Membrane by Michele Corriel


Title: Membrane

Author: Michele Corriel
Publisher: Leap Books
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: October 11, 2016

Blurb:
In the multi-verse people may look familiar, but no one is who they seem.

In a small town in Montana, Sophie lives with her quantum physicist mother, and her equally brilliant, but dangerously obsessed, step-father.

Her father disappeared years ago under mysterious circumstances, but Sophie is still haunted by memories of him that seem so real she swears she feels his presence one night as she drifts off to sleep.

Realizing that somehow her missing father is trying to send her a message, Sophie decides to take a big risk.

With her friend, Eli, Sophie must discover what strange experiment her father did and understand the startling impact it has on her world and another, just across the membrane dividing the multi-verse. 


About Michele Corriel:
Michele Corriel lives and works in Montana's scenic Gallatin Valley, surrounded by seven mountain ranges. 

Her work is as varied as the life she's led, from the rock/art venues of New York City to the rural back roads of the Rockies. With her fourth book just out from Leap Books, she's also a prolific freelance magazine writer with articles regionally, nationally and internationally. Michele has received a number of awards for her non-fiction as well as her poetry. She also enjoys teaching, presenting writing workshops and speaking on panels across the country.

When she's not writing you may find her on the golf course, hiking or slogging her way through the snow on what some people like to refer to as "skis." You might also find her in the kitchen creating exciting new flavors or recreating classics. 


Follow Michele Corriel: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Monday, October 10, 2016

Motley Education by S.A. Larsen


Title: Motley Education 
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Leap Books
Genre: Middle Grade, Paranormal
Release Date: October 10, 2016

Blurb:
Ebony Charmed has never seen a fire giant. She’s never chatted with ginormous ravens, been friends with a light elf, or held a relic vital to the underworld in her hand. Her less-than-average spirit tracking genes are enough excitement for her, but cause her to be the bane of sixth grade at Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically and Celestially Gifted. Her parents argue so much about her inabilities that her dad moves out of the house. And she would never survive without her best friend, Fleishman, even though he’s scared of his own shadow and insists on bringing his slimy, legless lizard everywhere they go.


That’s all about to change when Ebony receives a stick to transform for her Deadly Creatures & Relics project. If she does well, her success might reunite her parents. And with Fleishman’s help she’s sure to win. But strange things begin to happen. Mystical doors appear and a crusty rock giant steals the glowing stick. Even worse, a girl from school vanishes and Hela, Queen of the Underworld, reveals the stick’s true identity—named Gillingr, it’s used to guide spirits to their next destination. Ebony realizes there’s more at stake than simply getting her parents back together.

The two friends must brave the nine doors of Yggdrasil to find Gillingr before spirits are lost, the Well of Urd dries up, and Ebony loses all hope of uniting her family. But a dark elf lies in wait for them and he has other plans … plans that include creating a new world of spirits without them in it.



About S.A. Larsen:
S.A. Larsen is a writer, reader, and Maine-iac ice hockey fan, who has watched more hockey games than she could ever count. She loves books that open up secret passageways and hidden worlds to inspire and challenge the heart. Her debut novel for middle grade readers, Motley Education, will be published October 10, 2016 by Leap Books and her debut young adult novel, Marked Beauty, is set for release late 2016.
She can be found in the land of lobsters, snowy winters, and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty years, four children (yes, they all play hockey), a playful pooch, and two kittens.

Follow S.A. Larsen Website | Facebook | Twitter