Monday, July 28, 2014

Serenade by Emily Kiebel

Suddenly the voice she prized is now dangerously seductive.

Lorelei Clark’s only concern was her future as a classically trained soprano, that is, until the day her father was tragically killed. Shattered by his death, she hesitantly accepts an invitation from a mysterious aunt to visit her lavish oceanside home in Cape Cod. She quickly discovers that her aunt and the two women who live with her are harboring a frightening secret – they are sirens, terrifying mythical creatures responsible for singing doomed sailors to their deaths. Even more astounding, Lorelei is one of them.

In this new world where water comes alive at her touch and an ancient power pulses beneath the tide, the most important rule Lorelei must learn is that a siren never interferes with fate. When she breaks this rule by rescuing a handsome sailor who should have died at sea, the sirens vow she must finish the job or face grave consequences. Finding herself inexplicably attracted to him, she must fight to keep him safe from the others, even if it means risking her own life – and her heart – in the process.

My Thoughts: 

As part of the BookSparks Summer Reading Program Serenade is the last book for the month of July.  This is a Young Adult mythical story of a siren, Lorelai, and how she comes into the life she has been kept from growing up.  

Lorelai is a character that I loved.   When she heads to her aunt’s house to escape herself after her father’s death, I could see her grow up.  She came into herself and realized what was supposed to be her life. Watching her struggle with the fact that she is a siren, something that cause death, is heart wrenching.   She is strong and knows right from wrong.  She is working her head around being able to lead people to death just by doing what she loves to do, sing.  

I love the setting, East Coast, with the cliffs and rolling waves.  I could hear the waves and feel the spray of the salt water.   The mansion like house with the high ceilings, yet warm kitchen was present in my mind.    Emily Kiebel is a master at descriptions and making the book come alive.  

I will recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great Young Adult book. 

Praise for the book:
“An absolutely haunting and lyrical read. The captivating use of music and a darkly seductive magic will have readers singing its praises and longing for more.” —Colleen Oakes, author of Queen of Hearts
“Emily Kiebel seamlessly blends reality and fantasy. Serenade hits resonant and real emotional notes, while at the same time enchanting the reader with a rich, fantasy mythology.” – Kayleigh Roberts, BOP and Tiger Beat
“Serenade will surprise you at every turn! Emily Kiebel’s novel is the perfect blend of supernatural self-discovery and a poignant story about the bonds of family.” – Jessica Hickam, author of The Revealed

Buy the book
·         Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1sOHlVf



About the author:
Emily Kiebel was raised in Colorado and went on to study classical music and English at Concordia University. She found a love for singing early in life and now sings professionally and directs a local church choir. In her spare time, she can be found exploring the natural beauty of the great outdoors with her beloved dogs, Ginny and Diggory, cooking for friends and family, traveling or dragging her friends along to obscure historical sites. Serenade is her debut novel.

Connect with the author:
·         Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1plaRTH
·         Website: http://emilykiebel.com/
·         Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1n6yXwD



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Introducing Jessica Scott & a GIVEAWAY



Excerpt from BACK TO YOU by Jessica Scott

“So, to what do I owe the honor of this visit?” she asked, minimizing her e-mail to be able to focus.
“Don’t throw me out of the office,” he said, trying to keep his voice light. “But I need to talk to you about Trent’s case.”
Laura leaned back in her chair, folding her arms over her chest, and started counting to ten.
“I know you’re having a hard time with him.”
Laura sucked on her top lip for a moment before answering. “I wouldn’t necessarily call filing for divorce a hard time.”
“And that’s what I need to talk to you about.”
“Patrick…”
“Just hear me out, okay?”
She ground her teeth but after a moment nodded.
“Listen, there’s no case against Trent. It’s weak at best. With the Article 32 about to start, we have a good chance of getting it stopped here before it goes to court-martial. But I need to plant doubt that the allegations against him are true.” He met her gaze. “I need you to do that.”
Laura chewed on her bottom lip, playing his words over and over in her head, not understanding what he was asking of her. “What do you mean, you need to plant doubt?”
“The primary witness against your husband, PFC Adorno—”
“Oh, we’ve met,” Laura said dryly.
Patrick’s smile was humorless. “Yes, well, that’s part of the prosecution’s problem. She’s alleging that Trent was inappropriate but the problem is that she and Lieutenant Randall were caught in their shenanigans downrange.”
Laura frowned. “So you think this is a ploy to get herself out of trouble?
“Her and her husband. If they were working together to steal the missing weapons systems, then what better way to get out of trouble than to make this stuff up against Trent? Takes the focus off her and her husband completely.” Patrick leaned forward, tapping his index finger on the desk. “If I can cast Trent as a sympathetic family man who would never do anything like what she’s alleging, this case is all but dismissed. I’m not attacking her. All I have to do is make Trent look better than the story she’s telling and we’ve got a win.”
“And you need me to paint on a happy face and be the loving wife.”
Patrick shook his head. “No, I need you to be one half of a loving couple. And I need you to do it publicly where everyone can see it—in the PX, in the chow hall, everywhere. I need the officers on this board to believe exactly what I’ll be telling them on the day of the hearing.”
She looked down at her empty ring finger, absently rubbing the bare skin beneath the bandage. “Everyone knows that we’re having problems, Patrick.”
“Then make sure everyone knows you’ve fixed it.” He leaned back. “I wouldn’t ask you to do this if I didn’t think it was our best shot at getting this whole thing thrown out.”
She looked up at him. “Why didn’t Trent ask me to do this?”
Patrick swallowed and looked away. “He refused to drag you into this,” he said quietly. “For what it’s worth, I don’t in a million years believe the allegations against Trent. I don’t think he would ever, ever be unfaithful to you.”
Laura pressed her lips together in a flat line. “You’re wrong, Patrick. He’s been cheating on me for years. It was just with the army instead of another woman.”
“Laura—”
“Let me think about it,” she said quickly. “I won’t say no out of hand but I can’t make this decision on a whim.”
Patrick leaned across the desk, gripping her hand. “I know this is hard for you, Laura. I know what I’m asking you to do.”
She said nothing for a long moment and he gave her a sympathetic but firm smile. “Give it some thought, okay?”
When she was alone, she sat there, staring at the picture of her family. Wondering how she was going to bring him back into the kids’ lives and then rip him out again. What he was asking wasn’t fair. He had no idea what this was going to do to her family.
She glanced at the photo on her desk as she typed furiously, trying to get ahead of the flood of e-mails in her inbox.
There was a quiet rap on her office door. “I’m not here,” she said quickly, looking up.
Her fingers froze on the keyboard. Her heart stopped in her chest.
Trent stood in the doorway. He had a duffle bag slung over his shoulder. His glasses hid the darkness of his eyes. There was a streak of dirt on his cheek. An assault pack hung limply from his left hand.
A thousand emotions ripped through her all at once, rioting for supremacy as she drank in the sight of her husband.
Ex-husband, she reminded herself. Or at least he was supposed to be.
She wished that this were a normal homecoming. One where she would rush across the small space and crash into him. His arms would come around her and she would inhale the strong spicy scent of his skin. Feel the heat of his touch. Savor that first, wild kiss.
Instead she had this. This empty chasm between them, echoing with loneliness.
And she had no idea how to cross it.

Meet Jessica Scott
WHO? Jessica Scott, author of the Coming Home series, including BACK TO YOU (on-sale July 29).

WHAT? What do you enjoy doing other than writing in your spare time?
I’ve discovered that I really enjoy playing softball with my daughters. They both played for the first time this year and it’s really fun to watch them get better.

WHEN? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Um, I always wrote but I didn’t start writing seriously until 2007. After I finished that first book, I was hooked!

WHERE? Where do you write?
Wherever I can find the time. Usually in an old recliner that I’ve had since my girls were babies but I can really rock some serious word counts at Barnes and Noble cafes. Something about the smell of books and coffee lol!

WHY? Why do you write?
Because otherwise, they’ll give me medication for the voicesJ. Kidding. I really have these stories in me that I enjoy putting on the page. It’s fun for me and, well, if you enjoy what you’re doing, then you’re not really working, are you? 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

BACK TO YOU by Jessica Scott Q&A

July 29, 2014; Forever Mass Market

Check out my review here...

 He's in for the fight of his life . . . 
Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family-so he deployed again. And again. And again...until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs ...if she'll have him

. . . to win back his only love.
Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried-and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?

Buy Links:
B&N   |   IndieBound   |   Books A Million   |   iTunes   |   Amazon

About the author:
USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas. She's pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

Social Media Links:
Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads


Friday, July 25, 2014

The XYZ Affair by Mary Billiter

Published June 1, 2014 by Koehler Books

Mystery writer Dani Quinn hasn’t been home for years. Once she put Casper, Wyoming, in her rearview mirror, she expected it to stay a distant childhood memory. But when her second marriage ends and a University teaching job in her hometown is offered, the single mom loads her three children in her Suburban and heads West. Casper, which many locals refer to as the “Ghost Town,” holds its own ghosts that emerge when Dani returns home.

When human skeletal remains are unearthed during renovations on campus, the University tries to keep the story buried. But skeletons and secrets are too irresistible for any mystery writer to ignore, and Dani finds herself in the center of a decades old mystery. She gets help from Chris Gorham (aka Gorm) her parent’s hot new neighbor, who follows the Code of the West and offers to help the newly divorced damsel in distress.

But Gorm has hidden secrets that Dani unintentionally unburies along with the skeleton. Dani recognizes the Greek letters, XYZ, on the fraternity ring found with the skeletal remains, and the mystery suddenly hits too close to home. Why the ring and the bones have been shelved by the University is just one of the many questions she has. The answers may cost not only her job, but her life.

My Thoughts…

I love the idea of finding a body on campus and then having to find out who they are.    Dani is a great character.   She is witty, emotional, and knowledgeable.   She was easy to relate to and I loved getting to know the whole cast of character in The XYZ Affair.    As her relationships with her parents and with Gorm is shared throughout the book, I would find myself feeling sorry for her.   She was twice divorced, unsure of her current relationship, and had a dad who was incredibly tough on her.    Then on top of that she had to handle her father’s failing health and finding a body that definitely had some ties to her dad.   It seemed like everything was piling up on her.   


This is a shorter book; I read it easily in a few hours.   If you are looking for a quick and easy read I would recommend checking out The XYZ Affair. 

Buy Links

 Other fun facts about Mary Billiter and The XYZ Affair


 And it was the only work of romantic suspense they featured in their "books we love that hit the shelf" - here's a link! She was proud of that national review.
Mary was recently a guest blogger on USA Today & here's link to that! 


  


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Then Came You by Jill Shalvis

Animal Magnetism #5
Publish July 1, 2014 by Berkley

Veterinary intern Emily can’t believe she wound up in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho, instead of the Los Angeles clinic she had always imagined. Now she has to put her plans to move to L.A. on hold for a whole year while she fulfills the obligation of her vet school scholarship.

Then Wyatt, her gorgeous one-night stand from a Reno vet conference, introduces himself as her new boss. And Emily is just as drawn to his seductive looks and quiet strength as she was on that very steamy night. She soon learns that Wyatt isn’t just a laid-back doctor, but a delicious alpha male tempting her away from her carefully laid-out plans...

My Thoughts:

Alpha Male, who doesn’t love a good Alpha Male??  That is exactly what Wyatt is.    From the very first time I met Wyatt, I knew he was the good guy.  He wasn’t a love them and leave them type of guy.  His issue is that he never got the chance to make choices for himself growing up so he doesn’t want to take that away from the people around him.  The fact that he had two sisters who couldn’t seem to keep their nose out of his business made me laugh and smile so many times, especially when they were right and even he knew it.

Emily need someone to push her a little to make the choice to stay with Wyatt and in Sunshine.    She was so focused on her plan that she couldn’t see what was right in front of her face.   The fact that everything she wants is in Sunshine and she wants to leave made ma shake my head.   I did love that she had a plan, that she knew what she wanted in life and went for it.   Even achieving most of it.   I didn’t love that she kept her past close to her, not sharing with Wyatt what made her who she is.     Honesty is the biggest part of any successful relationship and I fell like Emily was not able to be honest with Wyatt through most of the book.    


This is the first book by Jill Shalvis that I have read, but I can guarantee that I will be checking out more of them in the near future.  I definitely recommend this book to all my fellow romance lovers. 

Book Links

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Love Beyond Time by Dante Craddock

Power of Love Quartet #1
Published May 16, 2014 by Fountain Blue Publishing

Ashley Brannock has always thought she was just an ordinary woman, like so many others. She has a loving boyfriend. A great job. She has everything she could have ever wanted. But she has always felt that something was missing. She’s never quite been able to pin down what it is. All she knows is that it’s been there her whole life.

Then the dream begins, throwing her life into total chaos. She must now find the answers to the dream. Why her? What is it showing her? The answers will open a whole new view of the world to her. This new view will reveal to her that love can go beyond time.

My Thoughts…

The paranormal of A Love Beyond Time intrigued me.    The fact that Ashley has memories from a man who lived and died so long ago and how real they felt kept me reading.  I wanted to know who the man was, why was his memories coming to her, and who was Alex.   The fact that Ashley did not let these memories go, she did what she needed to find out the answers that she really needs.  Then she follows her heart and traipses across the US to find the love of her life, who she has never met.    Ashley kept me entertained and wondering what she was going to find herself into next.

I really enjoyed watching Ashley and her best friends, aka the EVA’s, interact.   Their friendships were the truest kind of friendship.   They had each other’s back no matter what the situation was.  They knew when to push and when to step back from each other.   Even across the country they could interact and support each other when needed. 


I could not put the book down.  I truly enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the rest of this series.  

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