Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cover reveal & news! JUST A LITTLE NUDGE


This book doesn't come out until February 17th, 2015, but I love the cover too much to not share it with you lovely folks. Just a Little Nudge is a 40,000 word novella, and the start to a new psy agents series. It takes place in the same world as the Arcadia series, and you will see some characters crossover, but it is definitely not for a young adult audience! Think of it as an adult spin-off series.





Book description:

Marley Sexton never aspired to be a stripper. She even chose the stage name Misty Showers as a joke, thinking she’d make a few quick bucks and move on to greener pastures. Three years later, Marley’s still stripping. It’s the only job she can land that will put a dent in her mother’s mounting medical bills.

It’s also the only job where she feels justified parting fools from their money with a little talent she calls nudging.

As psychic powers go, nudging isn’t impressive. Marley can’t get people to do anything they’re not already inclined to do. Useful for making a seedy customer grab a larger bill from his wallet, but not strong enough to ditch a drug cartel that’s on her tail.

Marley is in over her head. She’s not big on trusting people, especially a strange man with a gun, a badge, and a story that doesn’t quite add up. JC Moreno figures out that Marley may have taken the nudge a little too far. But how? Whoever the guy actually works for, one thing’s for certain. He has a history with the cartel and an agenda of his own. Although the suspicion between Marley and JC runs both ways, maybe they can work together to both get what they want…if they don’t get killed in the process.

**** Recommended for ages 17+. Contains naughty things like f-bombs, violence and sex. ****



Want to read it before 2/17/15? Just a Little Nudge will be included in the Psychic Storm bundle with nine other awesome urban fantasy authors, which releases on 2/3/15. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Release! WHAT THE HEART DESIRES by @Kelli_McCracken. #AmReading

╰☆╮Book Release Party╰☆╮

What the Heart Desires 
(Soulmate Series, Book 4)
by Kelli McCracken



SYNOPSIS

Torn by desire, will loving her mean the death of him?

Dylan McBride's Seeker abilities have always kept him a step ahead of his father. But one step isn't enough when it comes to his wife and child. His confrontation with his father leaves him questioning everything he knows, from his life with Heaven, to his part in the Supreme Trinity.

Layne is growing stronger, as is his Seeker. The more time he and Heaven share, the more he's able to control his Keeper abilities. But when new secrets emerge, he's forced to face the truth, as well as the emotions he keeps buried.

Among the death threats, constant hiding, and birth of her child, Heaven struggles to keep the peace between her soulmate and Keeper. More lies are exposed, threatening to destroy all that she loves. Will she be able to deny the truth once it's discovered, or will she give in to What the Heart Desires?

CATCH UP WITH THE SERIES

What the Heart Wants (Soulmate Series Book 1)

What the Heart Needs (Soulmate Series Book 2)

What the Heart Takes (Soulmate Series Book 3)

Author Bio

Kelli McCracken’s love affair with books began long before she could read. She didn’t let anything stop her from creating stories, even as a child.
That same passion still exists within her today. She is an artist by nature, a curator of characters. Kelli McCracken does her best to give each story and character great depth.

“It seems like all I do is write…and listen to Layne. He’s constantly whispering something naughty in my ear, like being dipped in chocolate. Now I want a Kit-Kat. Welcome to my zany life, where #SanityIsOptional, romance is required, and liquor is most definitely quicker. I love talking about my characters. Hope you like hearing about them.”

When she isn’t chasing kids, working on crafts, or sneaking off with a bottle of wine, Kelli spends her time writing.  Of course, it can’t be all work and no play. Once procrastination strikes,  you can usually find her hanging out on Facebook, Pinterest, or Spotify. Be sure to stop by and say hi. She loves chatting with readers.

LINKS

Kelli McCracken’s Website: http://www.kellimccracken.com/
Kelli McCracken’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliMcCracken

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Audio Book Review: FEARLESS by @Tawdra

Every gift has consequences. . .

Tasmyn Vaughn didn't expect much when her dad's job moved them to a small town in Florida; it was just another new school. But King is a town founded by magic and steeped in mystery, and soon Tasmyn's ability to hear others' thoughts is the least of her worries.

There's Ms. Lacusta, the science teacher who just might be teaching more than chemistry, and then there's Nell Massler, the ultimate mean girl whose extracurricular activities include blood rituals. And she wants Tasmyn's blood next.

Entangled in a web of first love, quirky and secretive townsfolk, magic and blood spells, she discovers the town's secrets aren't just bizarre, they're deadly.



I listened to the audio version of this book. It's an excellent start to a fun YA series. The history of the town is really cool, and I can see how this can feed into many fun plot lines with unique characters. I almost wish more was done with the whole carney thing, but this is just the first book, and I'm sure we will get more of that later.

The love story between Tas & Michael was a little rushed for me, but that might be because I am a little tired of the whole "soulmates" thing. But teens do tend to fall in love quickly, so maybe I'm just being a crotchety old lady. I do have to say that the author did a great job of creating an emotional chemistry, while still keeping to a heat level that is appropriate for a YA audience.

Best of all, the writing of this story was really solid. There is nothing worse that poor editing pulling me out of a story, even in an audio format. That never happened here.

I hope the rest of the series makes it to audio!

Overall, I give FEARLESS...

Plot - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Character Development - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Love Story - 3 (Sorry, I'm jaded. You kids better get off my lawn!)
Narration - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Concept - 5 bookmarks

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Sophie Turner (Tasmyn), Hunter Parrish (Michael), Madalina Diana Ghenea (Ms. Lacusta), Lucy Hale (Nell)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sex, Consent & Witch Hunts.

I've subscribed to Alex Day's YouTube channel for a few years. I found him smart and humorous. Recently, there has been a lot of controversy over his alleged mistreatment (not the right word, but close) of girls that he has had sexual dealings with. A few girls have come forward on social media to say they felt pressured by Alex, and they did not feel they could say no. Alex has responded by saying he had no idea at the time that these girls were not as into it as he had been. I have two things to say about this.

First, we all need to have more discussion about the meaning of consent. If you are in a situation with another person that you do not want to be in, you have a responsibility to say NOPlease understand that you always have the right to say no, even if you have said yes before in the past. 

On the flip-side, it is not enough that your sexual partner "didn't say no". They need to give you an enthusiastic YES. If the person you are with does not seem as into it as you are, stop and ask. If you are not comfortable enough to talk about sex with your partner, you have no business having sex with them.

Second, beware of witch-hunts. There are three sides to every story - his perception, her perception and the truth. I do not know what that truth is, or where the truth falls on the spectrum between his side and hers, nor is it for me to judge. Unless you were a witness to the behavior, how can you judge? So if you don't like Alex anymore, then don't watch his videos, but be careful when you are using social media to bully people. Karma has a way of ricocheting on you.

Will I continue watching Alex's videos and supporting him? I don't know. But I'm hoping this situation will lead to more discussion over these two issues. Charlie McDonnell recently posted this very honest video on the issue of consent. I hope you will take a few moments to watch it and share.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: ROOK by @jcandrijeski 5 Star psychic read!

The world is dying. Everyone feels it, and yet, no one knows.
They said that when the end was near, a Bridge would come, and lead them out of the darkness of that dying world.
Allie Taylor's life was relatively normal...
Until Revik showed up.
And told her she was that Bridge.

ROOK: Allie's War Episodes 1-4

"You are the Bridge..."

Like most humans, Allie spent her life distancing herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth in the early 1900s. Then she catches her boyfriend in the arms of a hot band groupie, and Allie goes from San Francisco artist slacker to the girl wearing the GPS anklet.

That's the least of her problems, though, compared to the shock of discovering who--and what--she really is.

Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out that her blood may not be as "human" as she always thought. Through Revik she learns the truth: that Seers are nothing like she thought, that the world is nothing like it appears to be...and she has far more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe.


  
This book is so different from what I normally read, but damn, I was glad I picked it up! I started reading it on a Friday night, and could barely put it down long enough to sleep. The story has a metaphysical bent, making it different than other urban fantasy books, almost giving it a sci-fi feel. The psychics are not exactly human. The world-building is rich and beautifully complicated. Must have taken the author forever to flesh it all out.  

I grew to really love Allie. Everything Allie knew about herself and the world was shattered over night. But Allie handled it well, I thought. You could see her mature into a woman over the course of the book.

I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Allie and Revik. There is no insta-love here. Revik kind of treated her like crap by not explaining things well to her and having too high of expectations for her. I struggled between wanting to both strangle and kiss him at the same time. The chemistry grows to a slow burn over the course of the four episodes. In fact, even by the end of Rook, they still are not 100% solid. I love that because their relationship feels more realistic to me. You can’t expect people to fall madly in love while the world is crumbling around you.

Overall, I give Rook...

Plot - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Originality - 12 bookmarks (I don’t care if it is only a 1-5 scale. This was so inventive!)
Character development - 5 bookmarks
Romance - 4 bookmarks (only because it is still growing)

Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Goran Visnjic (Revik), Rooney Mara (Allie), Olivia Munn (Cass), Dave Franco (Jon), Aaron Eckhart (President Caine)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pre-Order the final book in the Arcadia series. Releases 9/30! #AmReading


Less than two weeks before ARCADIA'S CHOICE will pop onto the Kindles of all who pre-ordered it. Release day is September 30th!!! Get yours today, and tell your friends. (Don't have a Kindle? It is also available on Smashwords in all formats!)



"In this final installment, Ryan has brought all her characters full circle in a story that will sweep you up, and not let go--not even after the last page. She [Ryan] has seamlessly blended action, romance, paranormal elements alongside a truly tight plot into one helluva story. This is one book (and series) not to be missed!" Shannon Mayer, author of the Rylee Adamson Series and the Nevermore Trilogy

Some gifts just aren’t worth it.

Arcadia is sick of being used and abused for her psychic gifts. It was bad enough to be exploited by a madman, but when the users are closer to home, she must decide how far she is willing to go for others, and when she needs to watch out for herself.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NINE BY NIGHT Newsletter Subscription Drive & Giveaway!!!! #AmReading

Soooooo....this happened last weekend.




Yes, you are seeing that right. Our box set, NINE BY NIGHT, was #1 on Barnes & Noble NOOK this weekend. Woot, woot! We also came pretty close to cracking the Amazon Top 100, which is HUGE!!!! 

So as a thank you, we NINE BY NIGHT authors are hosting a fantabulous giveaway to share our success. Enter to win over $500 in gift cards, book swag and other prizes. All you have to do is sign up for our news letters -- and since we all write urban fantasy, so that's pretty cool, right? 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you haven't picked up NINE BY NIGHT yet, you can do so at the following retailers: 










Thursday, August 7, 2014

Readers benefit when authors work together #AmReading

Readers may not be aware of this, but the book industry is unique from most other businesses in that authors love to support other authors. I’m sure this seems strange; authors are after all, direct competitors when it comes to selling their products (books). It’s not like you see Coke and Pepsi joining together for cross promotions. So why does it work so well for books?

It comes down to the readers. Readers don’t read one book, love it and then never read another book for the rest of their life. No, they read a book, love it and try to find another book they will love just as much. For this reason, the more active readers are, the more books they read, the higher book sales are for everyone.

Recently, I was asked to participate in a book bundle called Nine By Night that consists of nine novels, written by nine urban fantasy authors, priced very low at 99¢. Why would authors do this? I mean, it’s practically giving our work away. Easy. Because each of us brings our own fan bases to the table, and we are able to introduce our fans to other great authors. “Collaborating with other authors is a great way to connect with new readers and cross-promote. Plus, it's fun to hang out with other people who write in your genre!” says author Althea Sharp.

You might think getting together nine creative-types to work on a joint project like this would be difficult, but the Nine By Night experience has been great! Each of us has different strengths we bring to the table. Some of us are good at the technical work of formatting and publishing, while others are stronger at marketing and promotion. “I always learn something new when I collaborate with other authors,” says author Boone Brux. “Seeing how others they approach writing or a new release inspires me to tweak my own approach.” The diverse group gives us a lot of talent to draw from.

When asked about how the collaborative experience has been for her, author Lindsey Buroker said, “This is my first time doing a collaborative project, but I've been impressed with all the work people have done already. There's only so much you can do in terms of marketing and promotion on your own, but we have an opportunity to reach a much greater audience since nine people will be plugging the bundle to their email lists and social media contacts. It's already been a great experience!”

For readers, book bundles are great because they give an affordable way to discover new authors that they might otherwise not have taken a chance on. Since most bundles are organized by a common genre or theme, it’s less risky to purchase a bundle when it contains at least one author that you already are familiar with.

Nine By Night: A Multi-Author Urban Fantasy Bundle of Kickass Heroines, Adventure, & Magic is available now everywhere e-books are sold.



Get Nine By Night today for only 99¢









Sunday, August 3, 2014

RELEASE DAY!! Nine books, Nine Authors -- 99 cents!! #UrbanFantasy




Nine books. Nine bestselling authors. Nine heroines that take names—and chances—while confronting dark foes, whether by force of arms or magic, that threaten their entire world.
Over two-thousand pages of epic reading await! Let the adventures begin.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, SM REINE, WITCH HUNT –– Shaman on the run. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead...for the right price. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she resurrects someone for the wrong client, she ends up on the OPA's most wanted list.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, C.J. ELLISSON, DEATH’S SERVANT –– Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his werewolf alpha one too many times. He returns to Virginia to find work and meets a young waitress, Raine. As their relationship progresses, Jon's embroiled in more intrigue than he bargained for and a danger bigger than he can handle.

From bestselling author, LINDSAY BUROKER, TORRENT –– When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn't imagine herself stumbling across decapitated bodies in old mine shafts or learning that monsters are real…

From bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP, SPARK –– What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley's life might look easy, but she's part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world.

From bestselling authors BOONE BRUX and C.J. ELLISSON, DEATH TIMES TWO –– The V V Inn has a ghost problem. New grim reaper, Lisa Carron, accepts the job. She quickly learns the hotel is full of the dearly departed—and she’s working for vampires. Throw in Asa, a young vamp hot enough to melt the Arctic ice, and Lisa realizes she’s way out of her element.

From bestselling author, JC ANDRIJESKI, ROOK: ALLIE’S WAR EPISODES 1-4 –– Like most humans, Allie distanced herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out her blood may not be as “human” as she thought, the world is nothing like it appears to be...and she has more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe.

From bestselling author, ANNIE BELLET, JUSTICE CALLING –– Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress. Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she's finally safe. As long as she doesn't use her magic…

From bestselling author, JESI LEA RYAN, ARCADIA’S GIFT –– Teenager Arcadia (Cady) Day’s family tragedy unleashes a hidden power. After experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, her home life crumbles. As her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…


From Urban Fantasy author, KARA LEGEND, WILD NIGHT ROAD –– One innocent hex sets off a chain reaction of trouble among the shifters of the Kinraven that threatens war between werewolves, seraphim and witches. Lilith Darke will do anything to be free of her seraphim master. All hell breaks loose when rival packs face off only to discover a new, deadly threat that will take all their magick to survive.

Get yours today for only 99¢!








Friday, July 25, 2014

JUST DESSERTS Book Blast and Giveaway! #FridayReads

JustDessertsTourbannerJustDessertsSWCover   When her friend Julia needed help forming a revenge plan against her ex-boyfriend, Ava was happy to lend a hand. She never expected that in the course of making Liam pay, she'd be the one to fall hard. . .for the one person who was absolutely off-limits. Crushing on the guy who humiliated her best friend is definitely against the girl code. Besides, Ava has goals. Her life is all about graduating with honors and landing the perfect job. And Liam Bailey—sweet-talking, complicated son of a well-known local politician—isn't part of those plans. But Liam doesn't give up easily. And he doesn't intend to let their friends' opinions, his parents' disapproval or Ava's past get in the way of what he wants--Ava's heart.

Buy the book:

Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Smashwords/iBooks

 

About the Author

Tawdra Kandle has been a writer since the invention of the pen. Her first published work appeared in Child's Life magazine when she was 13. After a brief, thirty-year hiatus, she published a young adult quartet, The King Series. More recently, she's released contemporary and paranormal romances in both the adult and New Adult genres. Tawdra lives in central Florida with her husband and children, of both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair.

Follow Tawdra:

Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Newsletter/Website
  Follow the tour here!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: SECRETS (PsyCop #4) by @JordanCPrice #AmReading

Victor Bayne's job as a PsyCop involves tracking down dead people and getting them to spill their guts about their final moments. It's never been fun, per se. But it's not usually this annoying.

Vic has just moved in with his boyfriend Jacob, he can't figure out where anything's packed, and his co-worker is pressuring him to have a housewarming party.

Can't a guy catch a break?

On a more sinister note, Vic discovers there's absolutely no trace of him online. No trace of anyone else who trained at "Camp Hell," either.

Everyone Vic knows has signed a mysterious set of papers to ensure his "privacy." The contracts are so confidential that even Vic has never heard of them. But Jacob might have.



Another wonderful installment in the PsyCop series! This time Victor discovers his co-workers, friends and even his boyfriend Jacob are keeping secrets from him. Why can’t Victor be Googled? Why is there no record of the infamous Camp Hell or any of its former residents online? In this day and age, that’s a scary thing. The worst part is that everyone seems to know the answers except Victor.

On top of trying to piece out what people are hiding from him, Jacob is stuck investigating a crime so horrible, that it’s taking a serious emotional toll on the usually tough-as-nails detective and his relationship with Victor. I think this is the first time we get to see Jacob’s flawed side. The way he chose to deal with his emotions pissed me off. I also thought Victor was a little too quick to forgive once he figured it out. That said though, I’m glad the boys worked out their issues, and were playing nice by the end.

Overall, I give Secrets...

Plot - 5 bookmarks
Character Development - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Horror Elements - 5 bookmarks

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Matthew Gray Gubler (Victor), Channing Tatum (Jacob), Michelle Rodriguez (Lisa), Cherry Jones (Carolyn), Boyd Holbrook (Crash)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cover Reveal - NINE BY NIGHT #AmReading #UrbanFantasy

Another fabulous cover by Damonza! What do you think?

NINE BY NIGHT



About NINE BY NIGHT

"From vampires to empaths, to the grim reaper himself, this bundle will keep you on the edge of your seat. I dare you to try and put it down!" SHANNON MAYER - author of THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS and THE NEVERMORE TRILOGY

Nine books. Nine bestselling authors. Nine heroines that take names—and chances—while confronting dark foes, whether by force of arms or magic, that threaten their entire world.
Over two-thousand pages of epic reading await! Let the adventures begin.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, SM REINE, WITCH HUNT –– Shaman on the run. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead...for the right price. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she resurrects someone for the wrong client, she ends up on the OPA's most wanted list.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, CJ ELLISSON, DEATH’S SERVANT –– Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his werewolf alpha one too many times. He returns to Virginia to find work and meets a young waitress, Raine. As their relationship progresses, Jon's embroiled in more intrigue than he bargained for and a danger bigger than he can handle.

From bestselling author, LINDSAY BUROKER, TORRENT –– When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn't imagine herself stumbling across decapitated bodies in old mine shafts or learning that monsters are real…

From bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP, SPARK –– What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley's life might look easy, but she's part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world.

From bestselling authors BOONE BRUX and CJ ELLISSON, DEATH TIMES TWO –– The V V Inn has a ghost problem. New grim reaper, Lisa Carron, accepts the job. She quickly learns the hotel is full of the dearly departed—and she’s working for vampires. Throw in Asa, a young vamp hot enough to melt the Arctic ice, and Lisa realizes she’s way out of her element.

From bestselling author, JC ANDRIJESKI, ROOK: ALLIE’S WAR EPISODES 1-4 –– Like most humans, Allie distanced herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out her blood may not be as “human” as she thought, the world is nothing like it appears to be...and she has more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe.

From bestselling author, ANNIE BELLET, JUSTICE CALLING –– Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress. Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she's finally safe. As long as she doesn't use her magic…

From bestselling author, JESI LEA RYAN, ARCADIA’S GIFT –– Teenager Arcadia (Cady) Day’s family tragedy unleashes a hidden power. After experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, her home life crumbles. As her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…

From Urban Fantasy author, KARA LEGEND, WILD NIGHT ROAD –– One innocent hex sets off a chain reaction of trouble among the shifters of the Kinraven that threatens war between werewolves, seraphim and witches. Lilith Darke will do anything to be free of her seraphim master. All hell breaks loose when rival packs face off only to discover a new, deadly threat that will take all their magick to survive.


NINE BY NIGHT releases 8/03/2014 on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other e-book retailers. 


Nine By Night

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: MEATWORKS by Jordan Castillo Price @JordanCPrice #SciFi #Amreading

Desmond Poole is damaged in more ways than one. If he was an underachiever before, he’s entirely useless now that he’s lost his right hand. He spends his time drowning his sorrows in vodka while he deliberately blows off the training that would help him master his new prosthetic. Social Services seems determined to try and stop him from wallowing in his own filth, so he’s forced to attend an amputee support group. He expects nothing more than stale cookies, tepid decaf and a bunch of self-pitying sob stories, so he’s blindsided when a fellow amputee catches his eye.

Corey Steiner is a hot young rudeboy who works his robotic limb like an extension of his own body, and he’s smitten by Desmond’s crusty punk rock charm from the get-go. Unfortunately, Desmond hasn’t quite severed ties with his ex-boyfriend, and Corey isn’t known for his maturity or patience.

Meatworks is set in a bleak near-future where cell phone and personal computer technologies never developed. In their place, robotics flourished. Now robots run everything from cars to coffee pots. Taking the guesswork out of menial tasks was intended to create leisure time, but instead robots have made society dependent and passive.

Desmond loathes robots and goes out of his way to avoid them. But can he survive without the robotic arm strapped to the end of his stump?



Wow. Just wow. Once I started reading Meatworks, I couldn’t put it down. That’s not to say the novel was always comfortable. There were times when I felt like I was watching a speeding train headed for the edge of a cliff. But dang, it was worth the ride. Let me just start by saying this is not a romance. If you are a reader who likes weddings and puppies, you’ll have to look for them somewhere else. The closest you’ll get here are some re-hydrated sea monkeys.

Desmond Poole is a beautifully written anti-hero. More than just flawed, this guy is a hot mess! While he’s not the most likeable character I’ve ever read, his vulnerability really shines through--even when he doesn’t want anyone to see it, or admit it to himself. I do believe this is the first science fiction novel I’ve read where the main character is a total Luddite when it comes to technology, and that was one of Desmond’s most endearing traits. He lost his dominant hand, and has a robotic prosthetic that, because of his aversion to robotics, he doesn’t know how to use. But just when you start to feel sorry for him, he does something completely despicable.

The supporting cast isn’t much better. Corey is a hot little guy Desmond meets at the amputee support group. He’s fun and a bit wild, but also moody and immature. Then there is Desmond’s ex-boyfriend, Jim, who on the surface appears to be a well-adjusted, productive member of society, but under his veneer is just as flawed as the others. While Desmond and Jim broke up before the accident, Jim, a social worker, has made it his do-gooder mission of the year to “help” Desmond and assuage some of his residual guilt from the break-up. I know this sounds like the makings of a love-triangle, but really, it’s nothing that sappy. Like I said, this is not a romance. Even if there is some boy drama and a couple hot sex scenes.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the quality of the writing. Jordan Castillo-Price writes prose the way some writing poetry, each sentence carefully constructed for maximum impact. Her setting details were so gritty, I could see the story like a film in my head. She also used action to convey character brilliantly. My favorite example of this is the hamburger wrapper. Each day, Desmond stops by a burger joint and eats the sandwich on the way home. He then tosses the greasy wrapped over his neighbor’s fence, so his lawn-bot will have to come out to clean it up. This small action of tossing the wrapped in his neighbor’s yard says so much about Desmond’s contempt for the robotic helpers as well as for other people.

Meatworks is a dark and gritty story that sucked me right in. Desmond is the perfect anti-hero, masking his vulnerability in a tough fa├žade, ten inches thick. His bent toward self-destruction is, at times, disturbing, but you won’t want to put this book down.

Overall, I give Meatworks...

Plot - 5 bookmarks

Character development - 5 bookmarks

Writing quality - 5 bookmarks

Love story - PSYCH!!!! How many times do I have to tell you this is not a romance?


Dream cast (Otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - A really punked out and dirty Channing Tatum (Desmond), Jake Bass (Corey), William Levy (Jim), Cate Blanchett (Pam)

Find Meatworks here:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: THE BODY IN THE WOODS by @aprilhenrybooks #NewRelease

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series, The Body in the Woods is full of riveting suspense, putting readers right in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.



I found the premise of this book incredibly interesting. I love the idea of a young adult mystery series centered on Search and Rescue volunteers. Honestly, I didn’t know much about this organization when I started reading, and now I kind of want to volunteer. (Except for the small problem of I hate the outdoors... Maybe they have an S&R division that focuses on shopping malls.) The book is the first in a planned series, and I can see so many plot ideas that could come out of this idea. Not to mention, the story is set in Portland, Oregon, which is one of my favorite cites.

The story revolves view points between four characters: the three S&R volunteers and the killer. As a general rule, I don’t like it when the killer gets a view point because it usually gives too much away, as it did here. The killer only had a couple of POV scenes, and I really think the story would have been stronger if they were left out. The details and info those scenes provided could have been worked in another way.

Which brings us to the three teenage sleuths: Alexis, Nick and Ruby. Each of the characters was well-developed and flawed (which I like). In real life, Nick and Ruby would have driven me nuts. The character I identified with the most was the frustrated Detective who obviously regretting giving his cell number to these kids. But if you put aside my curmudgeon ways, these characters were well-drawn and believable. I’m interested in where they will go in the rest of the series.

Overall, I give The Body in the Woods...

Plot - 4 bookmarks
Character Development - 4 1/2 bookmarks

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - A younger, blond Laura Prepon (Alexis), Jaden Smith (Nick - mostly because they both annoy me), Molly Quinn (Ruby) 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE by @JuliannRich1 #Amreading #LGBT

Two boys at Bible camp; one forbidden love.

That is the dilemma sixteen-year-old Jonathan Cooper faces when he goes away to Spirit Lake Bible Camp, an oasis for teen believers situated along Minnesota's rugged north shore. He is expecting a summer of mosquito bites, bonfires with S'mores, and photography classes with Simon, his favorite counselor, who always helps Jonathan see his life in perfect focus.

What he isn't expecting is Ian McGuire, a new camper who openly argues against phrases like pray the gay away. Ian is certain of many things, including what could happen between them if only Jonathan could surrender to his feelings. Jonathan, however, tosses in a storm of indecision between his belief in God and his inability to stay away from Ian. When a real storm hits and Ian is lost in it, Jonathan is forced to make a public decision that changes his life.



It’s hard to think of a more awkward setting for a gay love story, but I love it! The pray-the-gay-away people completely creep me out. I can’t imagine being a young man, just figuring out who he is, and be subjected to these people. That said, a huge positive about this book is the author didn’t vilify religion or God. She offered a very balanced view, giving different interpretations of biblical arguments for and against homosexuality. Jonathan is able to find a way to be comfortable with himself inside his faith. That’s a difficult and powerful thing.

The relationship between Jonathan and Ian was a little fast, but very typical of teenagers. It wasn’t “insta-love” at least. There was also good, realistic chemistry between them. Being the only two gay boys in the camp, you might think they gravitated to each other out of convenience, but I never got that feeling here.

My only problem with the book is there were a few times I wanted to smack Jonathan upside the head for the way he treated Ian. I get it that he was conflicted and scared, but he should have talked to Ian about it rather than pushing him away. Though this too is probably typical of a teenage boy. I also didn’t really buy the characters of Dawn and Simon. They almost seemed too understanding and perfect.

Overall, I give CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE...

Plot - 4 bookmarks
Character Development - 4 bookmarks
Love Story - 5 bookmarks (I like how it ended. Not a HEA or HFN, but realistic.)
Handling of Sensitive Subjects - 5 bookmarks!

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Dylan O’Brien (Jonathan), A younger Prince Harry - my go-to for HAWT redheads (Ian), Peter Dinkledge (Simon), Alexander Ludwig (Jake), Jeanette McCurdy (Bethany)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: STRANGER ON THE SHORE by Josh Lanyon #Mystery #Amreading

Twenty years ago, little Brian Arlington was kidnapped from his family's Long Island estate and was never seen again. The trail went cold, but investigative journalist Griff Hadley has always thought there was more to the story—much more. When the Arlingtons' patriarch invites him to stay at their estate to research his true crime book, Griff can't say no. It's the story of a lifetime.

But not everyone is happy about Griff's presence. Relatives and staff alike regard him coldly, including Pierce Mather, the Arlingtons' attractive lawyer, who is more than a little wary of Griff's motives.

When a stranger shows up claiming to be the long-lost Brian, Griff and Pierce are united in their suspicions. Startled to have found an ally in the buttoned-up lawyer, Griff soon realizes it's hard to keep a professional distance. Even in the midst of a groundbreaking investigation, even in the face of a shocking family secret…



I wanted to like this book. I really did. I love the concept. Cold case mystery involving a missing child and one of America’s most wealthy families? Cool! Unfortunately, the execution of mystery fell short for me. The clues were so painfully obvious right from the beginning that I spent most of the time pissed off at the characters for not figuring it out. Rather than creating tension, I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall. I kept hoping there would be some twist at the end to prove me wrong, some big pay-off to wow me...but the end was just sort of meh. Coincidence as a plot point just doesn’t do it for me.

I also thought the romance lagged. The attraction between Griff and Pierce wasn’t believable. I feel like there needs to be more than, “Oh, you’re gay too? Let’s go!” Pierce was a jerk to Griff even after they hooked up. And Griff taking it from him made him seem weak. If you are going to have a highhanded Alpha male, you need someone to put him in his place.

I don’t want you to think I hated this book. It was okay. The prose was strong, and like I said, I loved the concept. I guess I just expected more from Josh Lanyon.

Overall, I give Stranger on the Shore...

Plot - 2 1/2 bookmarks
Character Development - 3 bookmarks
Romance - 3 bookmarks

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Jamie Bell (Griff), Armie Hammer (Pierce)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: A CASUAL WEEKEND THING by AJ Thomas #AmReading

Doug Heavy Runner left the life of an openly gay Miami police officer and returned to his home on the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother got sick. In the two years since she passed, he’s carved out an empty life as a small-town deputy, relying on out-of-town one-night stands to keep him sane. Then he meets Detective Christopher Hayes, and they share a wild night so incredible Doug breaks his own rule and allows a one-night stand to grow into a weekend of amazing sex.

When Christopher travels from San Diego to Montana to deal with his abusive brother’s suicide, he doesn’t expect to find the man he spent the weekend with to be handling his brother’s case. He certainly doesn’t mind spending more time with Doug—but then an arsonist destroys the house Christopher inherited from his brother, and Christopher and Doug discover they are the primary suspects.


As they investigate, they discover Christopher’s dead brother has set them on the trail of a psychotic pedophile who will stop at nothing to silence his last victim. However, the search for the victim goes horribly wrong, leaving Doug hospitalized and Christopher at the mercy of the killer….



Just finished the audio book of A Casual Weekend Thing by A.J. Thomas. Great story, but I almost couldn't get through it because of the narrator. He had the least sexy voice ever. For some books, that would work fine, but he made all the guys in this book sound like creepers. I see there is a second book out. I hope when Dreamspinner produces the audio version, they chose a more appropriate reader.

As far as the story goes...I enjoyed the characterization. Christopher and Doug were interesting, thought I really wish the author would have left off the lame back story and nightmares for Doug. It felt like an afterthought, and didn't really add to his character or the plot. I liked his struggles with prejudice as a Native American. That was enough. No need to try to make him more damaged.

The plot moved quickly. There was enough mystery to keep me guessing. The love story was handled well. I liked that it showed even relationships with sleezey beginnings can find their happily ever after.

Overall, I give A Casual Weekend Thing...

Plot - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Character Development - 4 bookmarks (I'm just going to go ahead and pretend Doug's stupid back story with the boy from college didn't exist.)
Love Story - 5 bookmarks (Felt very natural.)

Dream cast (Otherwise known as who I pictured while reading/listening) - This was tough, because the narrator had me picturing Ron Jeremy. I suppose if I were reading this book my brain would have pictured Adam Beach (Doug) and Cam Gigandet (Christopher).