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Ready to Wed – Cindi Madsen

Happy Tuesday darlings!

After my unseemly wallowing in unemployment, I am getting back into the swing of things with a new book review! The lovely folks at Entangled Publishing offered me a chance to review Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen. And as always, I lept at the chance. Not only is Cindi a lovely person, I enjoy her writing, so it’s always a pleasure.

In a nutshell:

Dakota Hallifax is 100% type A. (Having those tendencies myself, I appreciate this.) So being a wedding planner is readytowedpretty much the perfect occupation for her. But how do you plan the biggest wedding of your career when your wedding just crashed and burned with a no-show groom?

Just when Dakota is sure that her life is a total mess, her childhood best friend Brendan West moves back to town. He helps her pick up the pieces.

The Good:

There’s a lot that I loved about this book. I’m a total sucker for happily ever afters, and this book has an awesome one. No, I won’t tell you what it is.

Beyond that, I like Dakota. I can relate to being something of a control freak and can sympathize with her mother issues. I also like the fact that in spite of the utter blow of having her fiance stand her up at their wedding (mental note: do not get married on a cruise, because awkward if it doesn’t work), she doesn’t completely fall apart.

True, I wanted to slap her when she actually considered giving the jerk another chance, but really, who can blame her? Been there, done that.

Then there’s Brendan. Who doesn’t love a genuinely nice guy? Especially one who swoops in with a nice broad set of shoulders just when you need them? It doesn’t hurt that he’s a hottie and wears suits to work 😉

Jillian, Dakota’s catering bestie, is awesome. She’s all snarky and no nonsense. She’s the kind of friend that everyone needs at least one of. Completely supportive in every way, but doesn’t pull punches or sugarcoat things.

I also love her color coding system for bride moods. It’s kind of awesome and I may just steal it for my personal mood ring.

The Bad:

There’s that whole getting stood up at the altar thing, that’s bound to give any girl (or guy!) nightmares about getting married. Just breathe through it and keep reading! It works out.

Overall:

This is a great read. It hits you in all the feels and I admit to getting a tad weepy there at the end. I hope to see Jillian’s story at some point in the future.

Where you can buy:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Perfection Challenged – Jade Kerrion

[Since I had the privilege of posting about the other books in the lovely Jade Kerrion’s Double Helix series, I was eager to help spread the buzz about Perfection Challenged! Happy almost release day, Jade!]

Perfection Challenged, the thrilling conclusion to Jade Kerrion’s multiple award-winning, bestselling DOUBLE HELIX series, will be released on September 17th and will be available in paperback and all electronic formats. Beta readers have declared Perfection Challenged “the best of the four books…the perfect ending to an amazing series.”

If you’ve never picked up the DOUBLE HELIX series, keep on reading for a special offer on Perfection Unleashed, the book that launched the DOUBLE HELIX series.

PERFECTION CHALLENGED

An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre has survived abominations and super soldiers, terrorists and assassins, but he cannot survive his failing body. He wants only to live out his final days in peace, but life and the woman he loves, the assassin Zara Itani, have other plans for him.

Galahad, the perfect human being created by Pioneer Labs, is branded an international threat, and Danyael is appointed his jury, judge, and executioner. Danyael alone believes that Galahad can be the salvation that the world needs, but is the empath blinded by the fact that Galahad shares his genes, and the hope that there is something of him in Galahad?

In a desperate race against time and his own dying body, Danyael struggles to find fragments of good in the perfect human being, and comes to the wrenching realization that his greatest battle will be a battle for the heart of the man who hates him.

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PERFECTION UNLEASHED Perfection Unleashed

Recipient of six literary awards, including first place in Science Fiction, Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and Gold medal winner in Science Fiction, Readers Favorites 2013.

 

“Higher octane than Heroes. More heart than X-Men.”

Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted—a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.

When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives—the in vitros, clones, and mutants—collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab’s search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.

FOR A LIMITED TIME, E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR JUST $0.99 (Discounted from $2.99)

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

To be the first to receive news of Jade Kerrion’s latest book releases, sign up for her New Release Mailing List. If Perfection Challenge makes it to the bookstores before September 17th, you’ll be among the first to know.

Connect with Jade Kerrion: Website / Facebook / Twitter

ONE – LeighAnn Kopans

View the electronic details here.

OR

Get the paperback version here.

I am cheerfully setting work aside to do a very, very long overdue review. I’m sure by now, we’ve all gathered that I love to read. I set my reading goal for the year at 150 books, but to be perfectly honest, I blow it out of the water. I’m also discovering that I like doing the whole review thing as well. Mostly because I want other people to like the books I like.

In this case it isn’t JUST about the book, although it’s freaking amazing. It’s also about the author. LeighAnn Kopans is one of the lovely people I stalk follow on Twitter. She is the very definition of awesome. ONESweet, inspiring, encouraging, supportive, and just generally a terrific person.

Does this really make her book better?

Hell yes, it does. No amount of love will make a bad book, good. But it definitely makes a great book, better. Because you sit there reading this terrific novel and in the back of your head the whole time is the knowledge that you know the author (even if it’s just through Twitter) and she is a truly fantastic human being. My joy in her success made reading ONE an even better experience.

Fortunately, for those of you who don’t follow LeighAnn around like a puppy, ONE is completely amazerful all on its own!

The Blurb:

When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin’s mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub’s internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed.  Now it’s up to her to decide if it’s more important to fly solo, or to save everything – and everyone – she loves.

The Good:

The story is amazing. A fun, different take on superpowers. I read through it super fast to the exclusion of all else. There were many glares and sighs as my nose was stuck to the screen of my Kindle, but it was so worth it. Seriously, if I had all the moneys I would buy copies of this to just leave lying around for people to pick up.

This isn’t your usual spandex wearing superhero story. It goes deeper. I love the fact that in order to fly, you need a combination of powers that work together. I’d honestly never thought of it, but it makes perfect sense. Which is part of the draw for me. It makes me think: Oh yeah, that’s totally how that would work if we had superpowers.

LOVE IT!!

I also love the characters.

Merrin is such a great heroine. She’s smart, strong, and she knows what she wants. She loves fiercely and fights like hell to save her family. I just want to hug her.

Elias is totally swoon worthy. He’s the sort of boyfriend every girl should have in highschool. He’s sweet, confident, supportive.

The best part about their relationship, for me anyway, is that neither of them loses their sense of self. Yes, they’re in love and they can do amazing things together. But Merrin never gives up being herself or tries to be different to make Elias happy. Theirs is a healthy relationship that makes me all kinds of happy.

No bad. Just read it. You won’t be sorry!

Take it Like a Vamp – Candace Havens

This review is so horribly overdue, I cannot EVEN begin to say. All I can do is apologize profusely for the lack. Work blew up like nobody’s business and I’ve been running to exhaustion since about mid-May. Again, my deepest apologies to the ladies at Entangled and to Ms. Havens (whose work I really enjoy).

I could fill the whole blog post apologizing, but really, no one is here for that. Nor should you be!

View the details here.

In my fogged and totally out of it brain, it took me a minute to remember the book and why the name Candace Havens was so familiar. Well DUH. She was one of the authors featured in A Riveting Affair – A Steampunk Anthology. All the squees. I really love this woman’s work! I reread the first line of Take it Like a Vamp and immediately remembered the entire story. It’s pretty darn groovy.

Casey’s best friend is a super hot guy, and really, who doesn’t wish they had one of those! Hers also happens to be a vampire, a rather high ranking one at that. Naturally, Casey doesn’t believe that she is good enough for the hottie but still manages to end up right in the middle of a vampire power struggle with said hottie wrapped around her little finger.

I know what you’re thinking, but the truth is, no. Vampire stories never get old. They’re a whole lot of fun to read and this one is no exception. TakeItLikeAVamp

The Good:

I love Casey. She’s a terrific character. While she has insecurities, they aren’t enough to where she lets people walk all over her. She’s got some serious fight going on. One of the things that I really enjoy about her as a female lead is her strength. Yeah, her man is all kinds of alpha and intimidating, but she holds her own and stands up to him. Repeatedly. She insists on a partnership. For this alone I could totally kiss the author. In a non-creepy way, honestly. It isn’t just Nick she stands up to, though. She also kicks some serious ass when his psycho ex (from like a hundred years ago) shows up and tries to take a bite (literally) out of her.

Nick is the hottie, head of the council, vampire. He’s a pretty good guy, who has fallen in love with his neighbor. It’s sort of cute how he tries to resist her, being a vampire and all. But boy, does he jump at the chance to have Casey, when he has to get married, or else. He’s kind of a dumbass for not just telling her straight out from the get go that he thinks she’s amazing, but guys are silly like that sometimes, and where’s the fun in

Now, I know that I should be all swoony over Nick, and don’t get me wrong. He is totally swoon worthy, but his bff Linc totally steals the show. He’s got all of Nick’s swooniness and a smart ass sense of humor on top of it all. Every alpha male needs a best friend who keeps him grounded and tells him how things are without sugar coating, and Linc is that guy. I’m pretty sure he has his own book, but if he doesn’t yet, he really needs one!

The Bad:

There’s not a lot that I could pick out that irked me in this one.

Casey, while initially down on herself, really came into her own and shined like mad by the end of the book. Her self-esteem improved, but NOT just because she had a man. So there was nothing there to piss me off about her. I related on all kinds of levels. She’s really a wonderful character.

Overall:

Candace Havens had already impressed me in A Riveting Affair and she did so yet again with Take it Like a Vamp. I really enjoyed this and am seriously considering another read through. The writing is great and the characters develop really well. Especially my girl Casey! I highly recommend giving it a read, you won’t be disappointed!

Two Weeks Til ONE!!!

Two weeks till One

That’s right! ONE will be all official and stuff in just two short weeks. I ❤ Leigh Ann a bunch, she’s a sweetie and I’m totally stoked to be able to tell everyone how much I love her book. Seriously, it’s awesome!

And I have the comic to prove it!

part4-2

If you would like to see the rest of them, you can find them at the blogs of all the lovely people below! There will be more coming up, so keep your eyes on Leigh Ann’s twitter 🙂

Tuesday, May 28th – Installment #1

Jolene at Pen and Muse

Catherine Scully

Amber Maudlin

Kat Ellis

Wednesday, May 29th – Installment #2

Clare Davidson

Jessi Shakarian

Rebecca Mahoney

Thursday, May 30th – Installment #3

J.A. Ward

Elyse G (@brainywordsmith)

Jamie Krakover

Friday, May 31st – Installment #4

Jani Grey

JC Lillis

Rachel Solomon

Monday, June 3rd – Installment #5

Megan Whitmer

Helen Boswell

Michelle Smith

Love Me Playlist – Diane Alberts

Hello lovelies!

One of my very favorite people is guest posting today. Not only does this give me all kinds of awesome tingles, but it gives all of you a peek inside Diane’s head while she was writing Love Me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was sweet lovemeand left me all misty eyed. You can pick it up here. Besides, what’s not to love about those abs? *sucks it in and adds about a zillion crunches to the To-Do list*

 

Playlist for LOVE ME 

Hello, and thank you so much for letting me stop by to talk about my newest release from Entangled Publishing! Love Me is the second book in the Take a Chance series, and it’s about Thomas, an emotionally scarred man; and Brianna, a woman who’s already had it all…and lost it.

I thought I’d tell you a little bit about what I think is the perfect playlist for this pair—or, at least, what I listened to most while writing this book.

  1. Back To December—Taylor Swift
  2. I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing–Aerosmith
  3. Better than Me—Hinder
  4. It’s Been a While—Staind
  5. Freshmen—The Verve Pipe
  6. Hallelujiah—Rufus Wainwright

Those are the top six songs I played while writing this book. Listen, read, and enjoy!

Thanks so much for having me here today!

Jenna Bennett on Tall, Dark, and Divine

Good morning my lovelies!

I promised you a treat today and here it is! I reviewed Tall, Dark, and Divine the other day (loved it!) and today I have the privilege of hosting a guest post by the author, Jenna Bennett. She’s an absolute darling and I am eagerly setting aside some moola to read more of her work.

I mentioned that my favorite character was Dion(ysus) in part because he’s hilarious. It seems that Jenna agrees with me, because he is in most of her favorite scenes.

If you like what you read here (and I’m sure you will) you can find Tall, Dark, and Divine here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Entangled Publishing

Kobo

iTunes

About Jenna:

Jennie Bentley is the author of the New York Times bestselling Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, while Jenna Bennett writes the USA Today bestselling Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification. Jenna is also the author of various forms of romance, from contemporary to futuristic, and from paranormal to romantic suspense, including the award-winning Fortune’s Hero, first in the Soldiers of Fortune series, and JennaAuthorPic3winner of a 2012 SFR Galaxy award for best Enemies to Lovers story.

A former Realtor® and renovator and current full-time author, Jenna/Jennie lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with a husband, two kids, an African dwarf frog, a goldfish, and a hyper-active dog. Originally from Norway, she has spent more than twenty years in the US and still hasn’t been able to kick her native accent.

Where you can find her:

Website: http://www.jennabennett.com/

Blog: http://jenniebentley.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bennett_Jenna

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Bennett-Jennie-Bentley/192400104127600?fref=ts

And now *drumroll* the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or scrolling down to read 😉 ):

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Top 5

I love to laugh.

Most people do, I guess, so that makes me no different from anyone else.

But that’s one of the reasons writing Tall, Dark and Divine was so much fun. I’ve written close to twenty books by now, some of them more and some less laugh-out-loud funny. They’ve all had their own brand of enjoyment. But TD&D was probably the best for sheer number of ROFL moments. I cracked myself up writing, and that’s always a good sign.

A large part of the reason why the book is so LOL funny is Dionysus, Greek god of wine and debauchery, owner of the bar in which the characters in the book hang out.

The hero in TD&D is Eros, Greek god of love, and Dion is Eros’s best friend. And their exchanges are pretty damn funny. Unlike Eros, who is the hero and as such has to be somewhat perfect, Dionysus doesn’t have to impress, and so I didn’t have to hold back when it came to writing him. He’s foul-mouthed, opinionated, sexist, and your classic a**hole alpha male, and he’s also a ton of fun to write and read.

Here’s a snippet of conversation, lifted from chapter 3, of Dion trying to talk Eros out of the funk he’s been in since his ex-wife, Psyche, left him.

Warning: there are a lot of f-bombs in this book, so if that isn’t your thing, you may want to stop reading now.

“I think you oughta get back on the horse,” Dion said, and brought him back to earth.

“Horse?”

“Saddle. You know what I mean. Find a woman and remind yourself what you’ve been missing.”

Eros shook his head. “I’m never getting involved with a mortal again.”

“I’m not saying you get involved with her,” Dion said. “You tried that. It didn’t work.” He shook his head. “We’re gods, man. We’re not meant to stay with just one woman.”

Right.

“You gotta spread the gift around, know what I mean? Every woman deserves a night in the sack with a god.”

“Sure.” Whatever. “But I’m the fucking god of love, Dion. What’s the world coming to, if the fucking god of love just wants to get fucked?”

“Seems to me you already did,” Dion said.

And then there’s this one, after Eros walks Annie home – Annie is the heroine – and ends up in bed with her, and then goes back to Dionysus’s Bar looking for Harry Mitchell, the guy he intends to set Annie up with.

“He left a few minutes after you walked out. Why? Were you gonna hurt him?” He looked delighted at the prospect.

The thought had crossed Eros’s mind. However— “No. Annie told me she wants him. I’m gonna get him for her.”

Dion tilted his head and contemplated him. “What did you do wrong?”

“Nothing,” Eros said. “It was before.”

“Before you showed her paradise. You did show her paradise, right?”

Eros shrugged. “She seemed to enjoy herself.”

“Not exactly the rousing confidence I was hoping for,” Dion said, “but it’ll do. So you took this woman home and nailed her, and she let you, and even kept her shoes on while you did—”

“That wasn’t deliberate.”

“Sorry to hear it. Even so, what makes you think she still wants Harry?”

“She said she did,” Eros said.

“Before you fucked her. And seeing as you’re the fucking god of love, when you fuck someone, they stay fucked, right? They don’t want anyone else afterward.”

“Will you knock it off with the fucking?”

“When I’m dead,” Dion said, and added, “which will be never, since I’m immortal.”

Of course, Eros hasn’t thought through his plan for putting Harry and Annie together very well, and as a result, their first date is a bit of a disaster. Annie works in a dog bakery, selling peanut butter bones to dog owners, and Harry owns a Schnauzer, Fiona. Annie has used Fiona as an excuse to talk to Harry, and when Harry shows up for the date, it’s with Fiona in tow. They end up walking to the dog park, where Harry buys Annie a hot dog and a Diet Coke. And this exchange takes place:

She waited for him to start talking to her—he had asked her out, after all, not vice versa—but when the silence lengthened and he didn’t speak, she said, “Fiona looks like she’s having fun.”

Harry nodded.

“How long have you had her?”

“Two years,” Harry said, around his hot dog.

“Is she your first, or did you grow up with dogs?”

Fiona was Harry’s first.

“Did you always want one?”

“I heard chicks like dogs,” Harry said.

Annie blinked. “Is that so?”

“Well.” Harry shrugged. “Look at you.”

Harry does wise up eventually, with the help of Eros and his golden arrows, and realizes that Annie is the only woman for him. By that point, Eros has realized the same thing, of course, and things come down to a big showdown in the Plaza Hotel, with arrows flying and people getting shot. And not always the people who should be shot, either.

“Now!” Dion said, and Eros let go of the arrow. It zinged through the air with a high-pitched whine, over the heads of the other diners—almost getting lost in the elegant upsweep of a Park Avenue matron’s hair and narrowly missing a tuxedo-clad waiter—before hitting Brita in the shoulder.

Fuck.

“Oops,” Dionysus murmured, as the Cretan goddess of hunting stopped in her tracks. Eros lowered the bow, cringing.

After a second, she turned to look at him, and he felt the force of her glare all the way to his soul. Moron.

“Sorry,” he mouthed. Brita scowled.

“Shit.” Dion’s hands flexed. “Guess we’re done for. Sorry, man. It was a good try, but—”

“Shut the fuck up,” Eros growled. 

In front of them, Brita reached up to pull the arrow out of her shoulder. She turned to Harry with it in her hand. It looked like she hesitated for a second, before she lifted it and plunged it into Harry’s chest.

Eros held his breath. For a second, nobody moved. Harry’s eyes widened. He clutched his chest and staggered. In slow motion, his jaw dropped and his eyes widened. And then they rolled back in his head and he crumpled to the floor.

And finally, after Brita slings Harry over her shoulders, like Robin Hood with his steer, and walks out of the Palm Court, Eros and Annie work things out between them. It necessitates a trip to Zeus, head of the Olympians. Zeus and his wife Hera live in a row house on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, and Eros needs some special ambrosia from Zeus, ambrosia that will allow him to keep Annie with him forever.

Unfortunately, Zeus doesn’t seem too inclined to play.

Dion shifted. “You’re joking.”

His father glanced at him. “It would solve the problem.”

“For you, maybe. You’d love for Ross to give up his immortality. You’ve always been worried that he’ll challenge you for top god one of these days. He’s the god of love, and everyone wants love. You’re just the god of thunder, and nobody cares about that.”

Zeus’s nostrils flared. On the TV screen, thunder boomed and lightning flashed. The players scattered as hail the size of snowballs pelted the field.

“Big deal,” Dion said. “So you can make it snow.”

So there you have it. My Top 5 favorite moments from Tall, Dark and Divine. Hope you’ve enjoyed the quick view into the book!

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HAH! You thought that was all, didn’t you? Well you’re WRONG! This is part of a whole big thing, blog tour, giveaway, the whole nine yards! Tall Dark and Divine Banner

Here’s the deets and how to enter!

Prizes (who doesn’t love prizes?)

1 Sweet Prize Pack including a “Follow Your Passion” bracelet, a Sugar Cookie candle, and a eBook of Tall Dark and Divine (US ONLY)

3 eBooks of Tall Dark and Divine (International)

How to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway