Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: Blackbird @dtdyllin

TITLE: Blackbird
AUTHOR: D.T. Dyllin
RELEASE DATE: July 27th, 2015
PUBLISHER: Tik Tok Press 
FORMAT: paperback & ebook
SOURCE: complimentary copy in exchange of an honest review


Two lost souls, one broken love story…
After years of struggling and enough losses to give her material for a lifetime, Kylie James has finally made it to the top of the country music charts. Nothing will stand in the way of her career. Not even threats from someone who seems to have too much information about her private life. Kylie’s seen it all before and she won’t let it slow her down again. But her manager isn’t as blasé about it. 
Much to Kylie’s dismay, Noah James, her ex-husband is called in for security detail. He’s the best of the best and with Kylie’s life possibly being on the line, Noah doesn’t trust anyone else to do the job. 
Kylie and Noah’s relationship is steeped in pain and regret. Young love turned sour before its expiration date. Forced to spend time together, can a wounded veteran and a country star make their love work the second time around? Or will they both continue to be their own worst enemies and completely destroy their last chance at happiness?


AMAZON | B & N


D.T. Dyllin is a bestselling author who writes both paranormal and contemporary romance. Anything with a love story is her kryptonite. Her obsession with affairs-of-the-heart is what first drove her to begin twisting her own tales of scorching romance.

D.T. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Black & Gold for life, baby!) She now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband and two spoiled German Shepherds.
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | 


'Blackbird' is a story about second chances and always stay open to love. A famous country singer has a secret "stalker" that leaves creepy gifts in her room. Her manager decides to call the "big guys", who happens to be her ex-husband. As you can imagine the situation is not ideal at all. After ten years without seeing each other, now they will have to face the pain of their breakup and the consequences of their time apart.

Kylie is a great character. As a musician, she uses music to express her feelings so the book has a special musicality. There are lyrics from time to time that help the story to move on and they make it easy to understand how she is feeling inside. Noah is a veteran and he has a lot of baggage that brings into the story.

As always in D.T.Dyllin's books, there is tons of sexual tension and the characters can't keep their hands off each other. Sparkles fly and the chemistry is undeniable. They will have to work things out and overcome the past because Kylie’s life could be in danger.

The plot is well built. The writing is very good and you have to watch out to every detail because there are little hints about the ending.

I need to make speak about this on a side note because Dara deserves not only a round of applauses but also our greatest admiration. She talks about many mental illnesses in this book and it’s not a minor thing. PTSD is never an easy topic. And body dysmorphia is so common in our days, mainly because media makes us believe that beauty is more important than anything. I love how she talks about the topics and how good they’re integrated with the story.

Overall, ‘Blackbird’ is a great contemporary romance. It’s a standalone so you won’t be waiting for a sequel.



Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Tour: 9 Letters #TRSoRPromotions



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Meet Luke Crawley in Blake Austin's debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love!


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Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife's tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps.
Until the letters arrive on Luke's doorstep.
Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back.
Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she's ready for something different--something true. She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he's different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts--one letter at a time.
Discover Blake Austin's debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.



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I was about twenty minutes early for my shift, but I got up to the bar, grabbed a rag, started wiping it down, bussing some dishes.
"Damn, Luke," Jake said, watching me work. "You win the lotto or something? Royals win the pennant last night and I forgot to watch?"
"I'm just in a good mood, that's all," I said.
I thought about it a moment longer, decided I should tell him more. Impart some wisdom learned from my not-particularly-advanced years.
"When everything's dark for so damn long and your eyes get used to it," I said, "just a little glimmer of sunshine lights up the whole world."
He nodded, then grabbed a bus bin and headed back into the kitchen.
Warren though, Warren wasn't impressed. He was sitting by one of the daytime barflies, but he'd stopped talking and was just watching me. I was on thin ice, and I knew it. I couldn’t afford to lose my job. A heartbroken, drunk, angry widower is probably as unemployable as the average ex-con.
I came on at the end of the day shift. Warren liked tending bar during the day, because it meant just shooting the shit with the regulars. That day I had a smile for every customer, sparse words of wisdom like day drunks want to hear. Tending bar wasn't my dream. But to hell with letting that make me lazy. I kept the place clean, I poured drinks like I cared.
I was getting into the swing of it when happy hour kicked in and a few more people filtered through the door. Couple of middle-aged bikers, a retired couple that parked their RV out front.
The door swung open again, letting in a little bit of that early-evening cold, and I glanced up to see a crowd of three women, with two men. One of the women was a reddish blonde, radiant. Sort of stole the light out of the room. It was Rae. Our eyes met and her smile gave the room back its light.
She'd been in jeans at the shelter, but she was in a blue dress now and she looked damn fine in either. Took my mind right off Maggie, faster than I thought it would be possible. I met her eyes, and she gave out a little gasp and giggle. I was probably smiling in surprise myself.
The crowd came over to the bar. I'd thought the other four were two couples, but I realized pretty quick that the black girl with the afro was dating the quiet white guy in a beard and glasses and tattoos, and that the other guy was trying to impress Rae. He had a John Deere hat, but his clothes were way too clean for me to buy it that he worked on a farm. I hated him, right off. I probably would have hated him if he was the best guy in the world, though. The other girl, she was tall, latina, and for some indiscernible reason was interested in the poser farmer.
Most of the time, I'm awful at reading people. But for some reason, at work I can tell you everything about everyone who walks in the door. About who's into who, about who had a bad day at work. Who wants to get drunk and miserable, who wants to get drunk and happy, who wants to get drunk and start trouble. Maybe it's some magic of the job, maybe it's just how people carry themselves at a bar. Helps with tips, that's for certain. You wingman right, and the money flows in.
Warren, he likes to upsell them drinks when he's doing that. Get them excited about the top shelf. Not me.
"Hey, Rae," I said.
"Luke," she said.
John Deere looked at me like I was the scum of the earth. And maybe I was, but if I was the scum then he was... I don't know, something worse than scum. Wannabe scum.
She introduced me to her friends. Nicole had the afro, her boyfriend was Eric. The girl with bad taste was Irina, and John Deere had some name but honestly it went in one ear and out the other. He was John Deere to me. Yeah, maybe I'm an asshole.
"So, how do you know this guy?" Deere asked, tossing me a look that said I clearly wasn’t good enough to be friend with someone like Rae.
"Oh, he came in just the other day. Adopted the sweetest dog, a bloodhound." She turned to me, flashing that dimple high on her cheek. "How is he? You guys call a truce yet?"
"King's great," I said. "I mean, he's probably at home right now, eating everything I've ever owned, but I figure I was due for a purge anyway, right?"
It was a lame attempt at humor, but Rae laughed.
"What can I get you all? Friend of Rae's is a friend of mine."

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Blake Austin is a guitar playing father of one, who lives in Los Angeles. He's written music for as long as he can remember and was inspired to add book writing to his repertoire. 9 Letters is his debut novel.
For updates: Follow Blake Austin on Facebook here:  http://on.fb.me/1ZUj6sR



'Nine Letters' is the story of Luke, a twentyish widower that after a year of losing his wife still has a hard time dealing with life. It all begins to change when he receives a box with 9 letters from her late wife. From then on, he will meet new people, start new adventures and adopt a lovely dog. A story about love, loss, and where we go after losing what matters the most.

The story has a constant rhythm and uses time jumps to the past. This way we get to know the love story between Luke and Emily. They met in high school and their story is charming and sort of innocent, yet you can see he really loved her and still does. We need to witness this in order to understand his present pain and why his life is a mess.

Luke has an excellent voice, a book told from a male POV is not common and sometimes they are alternated with female ones but here we have an exclusive masculine narrator. He tells the things as he sees them and is honest and raw.

For a moment after reading the blurb and the first chapters I was afraid it was a similar story to one popular book that became a movie (I'm sure you know which one) luckily, it was nothing alike. The letters are her wife's last words, final thoughts and the last advice she will give him. Most of them are not sweet or romantic, their only purpose is to help Luke with the pain and make him forgive himself and life.

The book is an emotional ride without being too depressive or cheesy and this last point is really important. There are numerous books about loss and grieve out there and many of them will make you cry. '9 Letters' is different because I think it purpose is not make you cry by talking about death or unbearable pain, for me this book is about a real man and his path to normalcy.

I know the book is labeled as romance but I wouldn't put it in that category. There is some romance linked to Rae, the female character of the book but she is there for moments and her role is not to help him. I like that the author created a character who show us that sometimes healing depends entirely on us, people can be there for us, friendship and love will help but, in the end, is us who have to take the reins of our fate and decide to move on.

$20 Winner’s Choice Book Retailer Gift Card & Signed Paperback (1 Winner)



THANK YOU!
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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: Boston's Quest

TITLE: Boston's Quest
SERIES: Holoquest #2
AUTHOR: Shanae Branham
RELEASE DATE: June 17th, 2015
FORMAT: Paperback & EBook
SOURCE: complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review


The external drive containing the information for building a hologram machine is stolen and sold on the black market. Now someone has connected a new hologram machine to the Internet, forcing people to fight for their lives in an online fantasy game. Trapped inside this deadly scenario, seventeen-year-old Boston Manning learns that her weakness for tolerating abuse is stopping her from unlocking her elven powers. Can she overcome her character flaw or will she die trying?

I am a professional writer with a bachelor's degree in creative writing and a minor in grammar. I have also attended several years of classes and workshops in screenplay writing at the Los Angeles Screenplay writer's Expo.

I love suspenseful, action-adventures and clean, young adult, romance stories. I was born and raised in a small town in Idaho. I am the second out of six children. When I was in my early 20's my mother was killed by a drunk driver. This one incident drastically changed my life. I have always had a passion for reading and writing fiction. Owing to a life long struggle with Dyslexia, early teachers discouraged me from pursuing a career in writing.

As I have spent over twenty-five years transforming my language disabilities into professional writing skills, God has honed my insatiable passion into an incredible vision.

My Christian upbringing has instilled within me the belief that "...with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37). This has sustained me through the hard times. Because of my dyslexia, I have had to learn the structure of the English language like math, syntax building block upon syntax building block.

I am grateful for this weakness because it has developed in me a skill and love for diagramming sentences, which unfortunately is becoming a lost art.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS| AMAZONGOOGLE+




'Boston's Quest' is book two in a YA sci-fi series. It has all the elements to be a really good sci-fi thriller; there is suspense, danger, friendships, and romance. The writing is really good. It has a changing POV which gives us a more complete and wide view. However, the book never really blows up and it ends with a cliffhanger so we need a new book to get some answers.

After the events in book one, Jason is trying to move on. His brother still hates him and Boston is dealing with all as she can. But the danger is not over yet, someone is after witnesses and victims of Dr. Paden’s crimes. They will once again have to play for their lives and save the people they love.

Jason is not my favorite character. I understand his fears but he becomes this stubborn boy that doesn’t think about his actions or the consequences. Then we have Boston, she needs to put herself first. It’s clear her mom is not a good person and despite I understand why she wants to help her I hope things change for next book.

Now let's start talking about the plot. It’s very solid because the gaming world is flawless; the author did a great job creating a world where virtual reality is a reality. I think the technology sounds believable and it gives more solvency to the story.

I do have to say this… I've read 'DiSemblance' (book one) three years ago so at first I couldn't remember all the facts, luckily the author named a few things and everything rushed to my mind. But if you don't have a good memory, you need to read one book after the other.

I would recommend it to people who read the first book. If you like YA sci-fi you should try with book one.




Monday, February 22, 2016

Review: Air @artofstory

TITLE: Air
SERIES: Elemental Journey #2
AUTHOR: Caroline Allen
RELEASE DATE: October 11th 2015
PUBLISHER: Booktrope Editions
FORMAT: Paperback & ebook
SOURCE: complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review


Turbulence opens this second book in the Elemental Journey Series as Pearl Swinton, now in her twenties, uproots from the Midwest and flies to Tokyo, where she has no job, no friends, and no home, a place where she hopes to lie floating above the culture. But how will she survive with her mystical visions in a country so foreign from everything she knows? 
Pearl lands at a Jesuit mission and is magnetized to the ethereal missionary Usui. After she is forced to leave, she is thrown unprepared into the complicated world of Japanese culture and must learn to maneuver friendships, understand love, and balance the intensity of working at one of the city’s largest newspapers. When she stumbles upon Usui living as a homeless man, a journey begins that draws Pearl deep into Japan’s hidden homeless underworld. Having given up any connection to civilization to “find himself,” Usui brings Pearl face to face with her own homelessness and challenges her to begin the painful journey of understanding her visions and finding herself. In the end, hope flies on the paper wings of thousands of origami cranes. Pearl is called to her own mysticism, not just for herself, but for a world where the loss of magic may well be the real threat. A fundamentally radical work of art, Air tackles core issues facing individuals coming of age in today’s world. How can anyone feel safe and at home on a planet threatened by escalating violence and devastating climate change? Where, truly, is home?


AMAZON | B & N

Caroline Allen worked in newsrooms in Tokyo, London, and Seattle, and as a travel writer through Asia. She is now a novelist and visual artist who lives in Oregon. She is the founder of Art of Storytelling, a coaching service for writers.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON| INSTAGRAM |

'Air' is the story of Pearl and her journey to Japan. She decides to leave her hometown and take the risk of living in a strange land. With no friends, no job and minimum money to survive, she jumps into a plane despite some fears.

Her adventure in Japan is full of surprises, turns, and diverse people. She first meets Usui (a Jesuit missioner) who gives her a place to live. After a while, she lives and works with a Japanese-American girl and then finally she finds a job at a newspaper. There are many events in between but I'll leave you to read about them.

Pearl is a strange character. I wanted to like her but it was hard. She is trying to figure out her place in the world and her struggle is relatable. She is an outsider in a new land, where the culture is totally different to hers and she needs to figure out how to make it there. She has some qualities like her strength in hard moments and her empathy is a good trait. However, she is voluble to say the least. For moments, she isn't afraid of taking her life by the horns, but there are moments where she seems conformist and people do what they wish with her. Also, she has this visions and she doesn't know the reason behind them. I liked the narration of them, they had a poetic aura and are colorful.

The story, in general, is good and the plot is clear. The writing is flawless, the dialogues sound real and the rhythm is steady. I liked that the story is set in the eighties, I don't think this story would work in today's world with all the technology and massive communication.

For me, the book was difficult to read because the atmosphere is a bit dense for moments, I mean: there is a sensation of sadness and despair in the story that leaves the pages and submerges you in a dark mood. It's a good thing if you think about how powerful the author's words are but it's a bad thing if you ended up feeling a bit blue after reading it.

This is book two in a series. I didn't read the first book and I think that was one of the reasons I couldn't fully enjoy the story. I'm sure Pearl growing was notorious from book to book but I missed that evolution. Also, despite there are some references to events from the past, I would have liked to witness them to know her better.


Friday, February 19, 2016

February Fiesta (Giveaway) @fieldinghannah


Dreaming up ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’ - by Hannah Fielding


A British newspaper described my debut novel Burning Embers as ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’. Of all the reviews of my work, I think this most perfectly encapsulates the essence of my fiction. I write ‘grand romance’ – epic, sweeping, evocative, dramatic, emotional; the kind of romance that makes you feel.
My writing careers has been greatly inspired by the romances that Hollywood used to make. In my mid-teens the highlight of my week was my father taking my sister and me to the cinema to see the latest release. I would beg to see the same film over and over – and I would fall so much in love with the characters I would walk about for weeks afterwards in a hazy dream.
A family friend who visited sometimes contributed greatly to my starry-eyed passion: Omar Sharif, star of Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Funny Girl (1968). But the day I remember most vividly was when, aged fourteen, I gate-crashed a party in the hope of meeting some of my heroes.
My family and I were holidaying at our cabin in Montazah, Alexandria, at the same time that an international film and television festival was taking place at the nearby Hotel Salamlek. My sister, my cousins and I hid in the bushes and watched, wide-eyed, as Hollywood icons were chauffeured to the door of the hotel and disappeared inside. Such brief glimpses were not enough. We found an open window and sneaked inside!
In moments we were mingling with the great and good of Hollywood, looking resplendent in their eveningwear. Heedless of our own childish attire, we began approaching actors. They were incredibly benevolent, though Roger Moore (of James Bond fame) declined to kiss my sister, saying, ‘But, baby, I’m married.’ Meanwhile, I was hunting for Gardner Mackay, star of Adventures in Paradise, whom I most wanted to meet. I asked a man in a tuxedo whether he had seen Gardner. His response: ‘Why do you want to him? Don’t you want to meet me?’ I had no idea who he was at that time, so I had no interest in him and politely backed off. Some months later, I realised my mistake when I saw that actor on the big screen – it was Richard Burton, formidable actor and husband of Elizabeth Taylor.
To this day, when I write romance I think there is a lot of that fourteen-year-old girl spirit in me: adventurous, impassioned and colourful. But these days, I never let an attractive hero slip through my fingers!

Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

To date, Hannah has published four passionate, evocative novels: Burning Embers, a ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalusian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade. She is currently working on her fifth book, Legacy, which will publish this spring.



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Release Day: Loving Lies (review & Giveaway)

RELEASE DAY!!!
'Loving Lies'  is available and if you like historical romance, you need to read this book.
I liked it so much that I'm giving a copy to one lucky reader.

TITLE: Loving Lies
SERIES: Dangerous Desires #1
AUTHOR: Tina Donahue
RELEASE DATE: February 16th, 2016
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Press
FORMAT: Paperback & ebook
SOURCE: complimentary copy


Deception knows no limits. Passion knows no bounds.
When she is kidnapped, Senorita Isabella knows the men have been sent by her uncle in a murderous attempt to control her family’s fortune. But when she is rescued by a dashing and mysterious warrior, Isabella can’t imagine why a stranger would risk his life for her—until she discovers her rescuer believes she’s someone else…
Fernando de Zayas loves nothing more than the cry of battle. Defying death is his way of life. But when he discovers his betrothed has been kidnapped, he rushes to her aid—never suspecting that spirited beauty would soothe his warrior heart…
With her uncle’s minions close on their heels, Isabella finds herself drawing closer to Fernando. But as the desire between them builds, her secret could keep them apart forever… 

AMAZON | B & N | KOBO | iTUNES | MORE

Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Kensington, Samhain, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Decadent, Luminosity, and indie.Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels (Adored; Deep, Dark, Delicious; Lush Velvet Nights) were named finalists in the EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic romance, was chosen Book of the Year (erotic category) at the French review site, Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet NightsDeep, Dark, Delicious (erotic romance) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away (erotic romance) captured second place in the NEC-RWA contest. And The Yearning (erotic paranormal) was honored with an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. She’s featured in the 2012 Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON|  PINTEREST |
'Loving Lies' is a remarkable historical romance. Isabella has been kidnaped and it's about to be sold as a slave when she is rescued by a mysterious man. What begins as a case of mistaken identity ends up as a story of romance, desire, and danger.

They will travel together to her father's castle but Isabella will do anything to delay the trip. The risk of revealing her secret is constantly tormenting her and it becomes harder and harder to be honest because her feelings for Fernando start to born. They will face many threats along their journey but passion will be their biggest obstacle.

Isabella is a strong and brave woman. She stands out among women because she is not afraid of risking her life while fighting for her family and what she believes is right. Fernando is too hard to describe for words. He is a handsome, tough, intelligent and sexy man. He accepts Isabella as she is and loves every part of her. They have an undeniable chemistry and are compatible in many ways.

The historical element is excellent. The author chose a time frame and uses historical facts and data from that era to create a perfect setting for the story. The references are easy to follow if you have a basic knowledge of History. And I think it was great to use some Spanish words.

I need to talk about the erotic aspect of this book. The passion and fire running through the pages are too much. Anytime Isabella and Fernando are together there is a current of electricity that makes your skin burn. Every scene is unique and magical. The author uses different scenarios but each one has the same intensity and excitement.

If you like historical romance and erotic is something you like, YOU MUST read this book.



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