Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Unforeseen Heartbeat by Maureen Mayer

Second Chances Book #2
Publish Date:  February 23, 2014

From Goodreads

Used… Broken… Confused…

It only took one drunken mistake four years ago for Maddie Harrington to learn that when you fully give yourself over to a man, you should never expect anything in return. Since that night, her views on love have become distorted, believing men would only want her for the pleasure her body could bring them. She in turn finds herself hooking up with random guys, but never keeps them around long enough to see if there could possibly be something more.

That is…until Hunter Bryant enters the picture.

When the handsome pre-med student shows up in the right place at the right time, captivating her with his stormy gaze, she immediately pushes him away, thinking he’s no different than any other guy. The deeper Hunter delves into her life, trying to break through her iron-clad walls, the more she begins to question whether she is truly capable of opening her heart up to another man.

Maddie soon finds herself forced to make a difficult decision, one that will forever change both of their lives. Will she shut Hunter out of her life for good or will she finally open up her heart and allow herself the life she never dreamed she deserved?

My Review:

Oh My Gosh… I was lucky enough to read book 1, Unreliquishing Liberty, and book 2, Unforeseen Heartbeat back to back.   I highly recommend this.   The characters from book 1 are carried over and have big parts in the second book.   This can be read as a standalone, but knowing the history will add so much to the story.

Maddie is broken.  She is sassy and sweet, but not so trusting when it comes to men.   She has put herself into the thought that she will never meet the right person, so one night stands are her only option.   Then she meets Hunter.   He refuses to have a one night stand, showing her how much more she deserves.   I cannot decide if I like the almost sex scenes or the actual sex scenes better, they were both absolutely amazing. 

Robbie, Maddie’s gay roommate, was one of my favorite characters.   With him and his boyfriend walking around naked most of the time, I was laughing at all the nicknames Maddie was able to come up with for him.   Their friendship was perfect.  He took care of her like only a roommate and friend can.  Standing by her when she didn’t know which end was up and helping her find her way to her happily ever after.    I am hoping Maureen Mayer will share more of Robbie in future books in this series.


I definitely recommend you read this book.  

Purchase Links 
Amazon:   |   AmazonUK:   |   Barnesand Noble:   |   Paperback:

Author Bio:

Maureen Mayer was born, raised and currently resides in Buffalo, NY with her loving and supportive family and boyfriend of 9+ years. She’s always had a love for the outdoors, and when the city isn’t buried under snow, she can be found hiking, fishing, camping or lying on the beach. She’s a sucker for off-color humor, but holds a sweet spot for sick and twisted horror films. When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in bed with her kindle, diving into a steamy romance novel and falling in love with the latest book boyfriend.

Author Links:
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Relinquishing Liberty by Maureen Mayer

Second Chances Book #1
Publish date:  August 25, 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Liberty Davis’ life is turned upside down when her brother took his life.  She was left to pick up the pieces of her family and putting her own life on hold. 

Four years later, now twenty years old, Liberty has decide to start living for herself again and make a fresh start.     She found a job and a place to stay with Brett and Maddie, they quickly become her new family.   What she doesn’t expect is Shayne.  Shayne has a reputation for being a player.  Liberty is falling for him, hard.   Dealing with her past and his past could pull them apart, Liberty will have to make a choice of whether to follow her heart or give up on Shayne.

My Review:

I absolutely loved this book.   Once I started reading I could not stop reading.    I laughed and I cried and, oh, those steamy scenes.   The pace was perfect, speedy but not skipping over the important parts.  I knew that I would be up late having to finish and make sure the right guy got Liberty.

Liberty is my favorite type of character.   She is family orientated, but able to stand on her own and stand up for herself when needed.   She also knows when to rely on her man.  The fact that she had a rough history, but was not shy about sharing it with those important to her made her a heroine to me.   What she went through would break many people but in her case it managed to make her stronger.  

Shayne Thompson made me tingle.   He is absolutely amazing.  With his history he had to fight to win Liberty.  I was hoping for him to come out the winner, but knew that either way he would come out a better person.  The scenes with him wooing Liberty are my absolute favorites in this book.  


I will certainly recommend this book. 

Purchase Links
Goodreads   |   Amazon   |    Barnes and Noble

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Burning Star Spotlight, Review, Dream Cast & GIVEAWAY

The Burning Star
Re-Release Date: March 23, 2014
Original Publication: May 23, 2012
Buy Links:

Blurb:
*This book is a re-release and revision from the original book. Please be aware that some things have been added, deleted or changed.*

Kay’s journey of a lifetime started in the woods outside of Asheville, North Carolina. It was there that the 17 year old met a beautiful man along with a monster. The chance encounter led her to an unbelievable world that shouldn’t exist; a place where myths and fairy tales were real, and in some cases, deadly. Kay knew she would have to brave this new world if she hoped to find a cure for her terminal cancer.
With a strange yet beautiful cast of characters that she would meet along the way, Kay uncovered truths that would change her life forever. However, before it was all over, it would become clear that Kay wasn’t the only one with problems.
Yet another 17 year old young woman was fighting for her freedom and her life.
Kira had lived in a magical world that Kay had only dreamt of. Despite this, her life had not been filled with many good things. As a matter of fact, she considered her empty, emotional solitude the only positive aspect of her life. She fought daily battles to escape abuse and torture.
Trained to be an expert assassin, she was charged with kidnapping Kay and delivering her to Kira’s master, Lord Donovan.
As the two young women set forth in their journeys, their paths would cross in unimaginable ways. The only question that would remain was who would come out alive and whole in the end?
WARNING: This is a upper ya/young adult/new adult fictional story that includes some explicit language, graphic violence, and mild sexual situations. Recommended for ages sixteen and up.

MY REVIEW:


Kay and her mom, Carli, move to Asheville, North Carolina to find treatment for her terminal cancer diagnosis. The first day there Kay goes for a walk and is thrown into a world of werewolves, fairies, goblins, and many other mystical creatures.

Kay has never had a boyfriend and has never been kissed. When she moves to her new home she meets not one, but two teenage boys who want her attention. Ryan saves her from a monster dog and makes a date for the very next morning. Nick comes to install the satellite for their TV and is instantly attracted to her. Who will she fall for in the end?
The Burning Star grabs you before the end of the first chapter. This book has mystery, romance, and mystical creatures. Everything I love in books.

Although I really liked Ryan, I am definitely cheering for Nick, the underdog. The antics between the two boys for Kay’s attention bring back many teenage memories. Nick chooses to leave his home and his family to travel with Kay and my heart soared, true teenage infatuation.

I truly loved Kay. At 17 she learns her whole life was a lie and yet it doesn’t bring her down. She barely misses a step. She manages to return to the life she was born to live and still stay strong and brave. A young girl I can hope my daughter to grow up to be, minus all the mystical stuff.

I have already passed The Burning Star on to my teenage daughter and made my sister read it. Book two of this series cannot be written and printed soon enough. It has been a long time and lots of books read since one has captured my attention and heart this much.

About the Authors:
Crystal and Melissa often live half their lives with their heads in the clouds dreaming of alpha military hunks, werewolves and kick ass heroines crazy enough to chase after creatures that they unquestionably should know better than to chase.

Their first YA novel, The Burning Star, was released in May 2012. Big Bad Bite is their second novel, but their first adult paranormal romance. They are now working on their next two novels, Walk On The Striped Side and Secret Maneuvers. With these projects underway, they are looking forward to showing the rest of the world their crazy stories, heroes and heroines that often plague their minds until written, and hope you will join them on their journey!

WEBSITE   |   FACEBOOK   |     TWITTER   |   YOUTUBE  |   GOODREADS

The Burning Star’s Dream Cast Part One
Kira And The Man Who Wants Her
The characters (and the story) for The Burning Star came to me in a rush. There was no slow buildup of plotline or development. Nope. It was like BAM! Here we are, and you will tell our story. So, here is part two of The Burning Star's Dream Cast. You can see part one of the dream cast on Proserpine Cravings April 16th blog tour post.

Kira is an anomaly of characteristics. She’s emotional broken, but she’s been trained her whole life to be a fighter. She’s a slave in a sense that her ‘adoptive father’ Lord Donovan has turned her into a lethal assassin. So she’s a mixture of both strength and weakness. Delicate, but hardened to life. Pixie like features showcasing unbelievable beauty, but counterbalanced by hollow eyes that lead to a hollow soul.

When dream casting Kira, Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys on Game of Thrones came to mind. Graceful beauty with a core of steel. In all honesty, she’s so broken that she’s willing to sacrifice everything for peace, including death. There’s someone who can pull her back from the edge, but there’s no way for her to whether he wants to honestly care for her as he claims, or use her as everyone else has so far.

Prince Kane, son of Queen Mab of the Fae Winter Court is hundreds of years old. He’s seen many things so far in his lifetime, but nothing intrigues him as much as one young almost eighteen year old Kira does. Some might judge him for the age difference between them, but Kira’s physical age doesn’t match up the age of soul.

The sadness and despair he can see lingering in her eyes, he knows she’s lived enough to fill his hundreds of years in her short age span. So he’ll keep some appropriate physical distance between them until after her birthday, but he’s not going to stop from showing his interest in her. Not because he’s impatient, but because he’s worried about her. The young woman with the honed reflexes of an expert killer seems more likely to welcome death for herself than to continue on with her life. He has to find a way to help her out of her desperate situation before it’s too late.

When writing Kane I saw him quite clearly as Orlando Bloom in his role as Legolas from Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit. Long blonde hair, ethereal eyes and a toned physique of a trained warrior.

That’s all for this dream cast ladies! I hope you enjoyed it. Tell me, if you’ve read The Burning Star, do my picks match how you envisioned the characters? And if you haven’t read The Burning Star yet, maybe you’ll tell me what you think of my picks anyways? A huge thank you to Charlotte here at A Novel Review for letting me stop by today!

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Blog Tour Giveaway: (USA Only Giveaway due to shipping!)
1 Signed Paperback of The Burning Star by Jessie Lane
17 Signed Paperbacks:
Shelly Crane: Significance, Accordance, Defiance, Reverence, Independence
Helen Boswell: Mythology, Mythology Wicked
Quinn Loftis: Elfin, Prince of Wolves
Heather Hildenbrand: Dirty Blood, Cold Blood
Alivia Anders: Illumine
Carrie Butler: Strength, Courage
Alyssa Rose Ivy: Flight
Erica Stevens: Kindred, Ashes




Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week 16 of 52

From Goodreads

Gwen Harrison:
The beautiful, high-born daughter of an English duke came to America to take over her sister-in-law’s matchmaking business. But just because she’s the boss doesn’t mean she can’t fantasize about making her own perfect match with bodyguard Neil MacBain. Will the enigmatic man who haunts her dreams cost her more than she bargained for?

Neil MacBain:
The retired Marine can’t deny the effect blue-blooded Gwen has on his troubled soul or his battle-hardened body. But as a client, Gwen is off-limits—until a threat from Neil’s past returns…and Gwen is caught in the crossfire. Now to keep her safe he will risk it all: his career, his life…and his heart

I have read and enjoyed Fiance by Friday by Catherine Bybee.    This giveaway is for a gently used, it actually still looks like new, printed copy of Fiance by Friday.     Unfortunately it is only open for US followers. 

Please check back every Sunday for the next giveaway.   I plan on doing one book each week, some will be ARC's,  some will be finished copies.  All books will have been read by me and enjoyed. 
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Walk on the Striped Side by Jessie Lane

Series:  Book Two of the Big Bad Bite Series
Published February 25, 2014 by Jessie Lane
From Goodreads:  

Elena Demos’s life has been turned upside down. Her mother has passed away, leaving Elena and her two half-sisters to deal with their mother’s will and the crazy stipulations it contains. For the three sisters to inherit the substantial amount of money left behind, they have to go to work with two aunts they’ve never met, in the family business they’ve known nothing about, Amazons Inc. If that isn’t bad enough, she runs into the man who once broke her heart, and it’s only their first day on the job.

Gage Ivanov is a stupid beast. He let the woman who should be his mate go because she couldn't be told of his Other identity. Now, Elena’s back, but she refuses to give in to his demands for her to be his mate. The timing for all of this couldn’t be worse, either, because Gage and his circle of friends are trying to subdue a rogue pack of wolf shifters in Germany who threaten to out the Others to the world of humans. Will he be able to juggle the oncoming conflict and win back his mate?

My Review:

I cannot even tell you how long I have waited for this book to be released.  Jessie Lane did not disappoint.   From the very first page I was hooked.  I stayed up late, I read all day, I could not put this amazing book down.   The immediate attraction between Gage and Elena was apparent.  When they were separated, towards the beginning of their story, I was so upset.  The fact that they were mates, meant to be together for the rest of their lives meant that they should be back together, and soon!  

The details shared in this book were perfect.   There was enough back history that if a reader just picked up this book, without reading the first one, they would be able to enjoy and follow along easily.  But on that comment, I have to say you should read Big Bad Bite first.  The fact that it ended without finishing the story, leaves me anxious for book three. 

Elena is awesome.  She had the balls to stand up to the Alpha Gage, but was understanding and open enough to love him and realize that he was the one meant for her.    She was quirky, especially about that dang spider (which I loved, but totally understand her fear).   She was smart.  Not only military smart, but she understood the lifestyle that he was forced to be and the world he had to live in.  


There was hot and steamy, smooth and sexy, and tough and rumble.  Every page of this book was absolutely perfect.   Once again Jessie Lane did not disappoint.    They gave me everything I was hoping for and more, now to get them moving on the next book in this series.  I need more!  

Purchase Links
Author Links
Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook



Friday, April 18, 2014

What Inspired Me To Write Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom


I wrote short stories for years before trying my hand at a novel. In my short stories, the main characters
are usually trying to leave eastern Washington, just as I did only days after I graduated from high school. My stories are far more autobiographical. It wasn’t until I’d been away from my homeland for over a decade or more that I slowly began to miss it. I thought why not write a character, for the first time, who misses eastern Washington instead of another one who is desperately trying to flee it. What if a California girl, who attends an art high school in Sacramento and lives in a midtown apartment surrounded by theatres and ethnic restaurants is suddenly sent north for the summer to eastern Washington to live with her fundamentalist aunt and uncle in a trailer park surrounded by sagebrush and potato fields? And what if, instead of hating it, the girl falls madly in love with the landscape, her aunt and uncle, and the Native American neighbor boy? I wanted to write a novel about a woman who had turned her back completely on her past, including her family, her faith, and the landscape that had shaped her. In doing what Lot’s wife had been unable to do, however, this woman left her daughter without any connections and no sense of herself. Steal the North is a novel of reclamation: a daughter’s journey to steal back her birthright. The idea of birthright—I believe that was the spark.

When I first started writing Steal the North, I planned to narrate the entire book in the voice of Emmy, my sixteen-year-old protagonist. That didn’t last long. Reuben, for instance, the Native American neighbor boy, jumped off the back steps of his sister’s trailer and insisted I let him tell his own story. His chapters were the easiest to write because I just let him speak. I think he brings much to the novel, and I am so glad he insisted. If Emmy and Reuben’s love story—the beating pulse of the novel—had been narrated solely by Emmy, the tale would have been too one-sided, as would have been my representation of eastern Washington. Reuben brings a whole culture to his chapters and a richer, more complex look at the eastern half of my home state. Their love kept me inspired and moving forward.


I grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church. A few of my short stories deal with this large aspect of my childhood. But they didn’t quite get it out of my system. I needed the length and depth of a novel to further explore this. Spirituality is a strong theme in Steal the North. Oddly, I kept coming across parallels while writing this novel between the Christian church and Native American spirituality and culture. The healing ceremony that brings Emmy to eastern Washington for the summer doesn’t seem as bizarre after Reuben explains that his people still have healing ceremonies at the end of the twentieth century. Reuben admits he is a “sweat lodge junkie.” His confession makes Emmy’s conflictions with purity seem not as ridiculous.  I did not set out to equate these two very different religions and cultures, but I kept finding parallels. If nothing else the Native American spirituality in Steal the North tempers the harsher Christianity. In reality, many tribes have melded their native religion and Christianity. This melding drove the early missionaries nuts. I find it beautiful.

Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom

A novel of love in all its forms: for the land, for family, and the once-in-a-lifetime kind that catches two people when they least expect it

Emmy is a shy, sheltered sixteen-year-old when her mom, Kate, sends her to eastern Washington to an aunt and uncle she never knew she had. Fifteen years earlier, Kate had
abandoned her sister, Beth, when she fled her painful past and their fundamentalist church. And now, Beth believes Emmy’s participation in a faith healing is her last hope for having a child.

Emmy goes reluctantly, but before long she knows she has come home. She feels tied to the rugged landscape of coulees and scablands. And she meets Reuben, the Native American boy next door.

In a part of the country where the age-old tensions of cowboys versus Indians still play out, theirs is the kind of magical, fraught love that can only survive with the passion and resilience of youth. Their story is mirrored by the generation before them, who fears that their mistakes are doomed to repeat themselves in Emmy and Reuben. With Louise Erdrich’s sense of place and a love story in the tradition of Water for Elephants, this is an atmospheric family drama in which the question of home is a spiritual one, in which getting over the past is the only hope for the future.

Buy your copy of Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom