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I read and review all YA books and also adult paranormal/fantasy/chick-lit. I love to participate in author interviews, guest posts, blog tours, and giveaways.
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426. Crave by Melissa Darnell: Review

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (October 25, 2011)
eGalley: 416 Pages
Series: The Clann #1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Melissa Darnell's Website | Blog
From Goodreads. Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….

Review by Kate
CRAVE, by Melissa Darnell, is a fantastic paranormal teen romance mixing witches and vampires and the disastrous consequences that come for this young couple. Darnell sets up the stage for a wonderful series and I am anxious for the next book already!

Savannah and Tristan were best friends growing up but they were split up by their families. A powerful family in the community, The Clann, shunned Sav and made their children do the same. Sav never really understood why until freshman year she got 'sick', AKA turned into a vampire. Her family explains that her mother is a witch and her father is a vampire and she is manifesting more of Daddy's genes. Along with typical high school issues, growing up vampire proves an unwelcome addition to her life.

I liked the way Darnell started the story off and slowly revealed more about Sav's past with Tristan and the Clann as the book wore on. I felt bad for Sav because of how the family's in the Clann treated her with no explanation. Tristan is the black sheep of his witch family and steps out from the pack to reach out to Sav again. Their forbidden romance proves to be utterly lovely but extremely dangerous for the both of them. I really enjoy romances where the couple actually knows each other on a deeper level. I'm not too keen on 'love at first sight', since it rarely happens in real life, so I really appreciated the story between these two teens.

The paranormal element was really intriguing. I loved the idea of a witch and vampire and I was interested to see what happened between the two when Sav started to 'crave' Tristan's blood. I wanted to know more about her father's side of the family but I have a feeling that the next book will dive deeper into that part.

Overall, a great start to the series and I will definitely keep my eye out for the next book!

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427. Lost In Time by Melissa de la Cruz: Review

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read any of the books in the Blue Bloods series, there may be spoilers ahead.

Publisher: Hyperion (September 27, 2011)
Hardcover: 342 Pages
Series: Blue Bloods #6
My Reviews of the Series: Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations, The Van Alen Legacy, Misguided Angel, Bloody Valentine (Blue Bloods Novella)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Melissa de la Cruz's Website |  Twitter
From Goodreads. After their beautiful yet brief bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force are forced to separate. To fulfill the Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler travels to Alexandria to search for Catherine of Siena and the Gate of Promise. But Schuyler quickly discovers that everything she believed about the Gate to be wrong. Meanwhile, Jack makes the difficult decision to return to New York to face his twin and former bondmate, Mimi. But instead of a bitter reunion, he is faced with a choice for which there is no good option.

Mimi, with a most unexpected travel companion in Oliver Hazard-Perry, jets off to Egypt, too, to search for Kingsley Martin, her long lost love. With all roads leading to Hell, Mimi learns that not all love stories have happy endings. But she'll have to put her own feelings aside if she's going to save her crumbling Coven.

Review by Kate
LOST IN TIME, by Melissa de la Cruz, is the next installment of the Blue Bloods series. Packed full of action and suspense this book leads our beloved characters to the point of no return and set's up the next and final book in the series.

This book enveloped me from the start, I could not put it down! This book shifted POV's between Schuyler, Mimi, and Allegra. Schuyler had her problems looking for the Gate of Promise along with coming down with an illness she wrongfully diagnosed. Mimi and Oliver traveled to Hell (literally) to find Kingsley but when they arrived getting him out proved to be more of a problem then Mimi thought. Melissa took us on a trip to the past with Allegra and her love affair with Stephen Chase (Schuyler's biological father). All of these story lines culminated into an awesome battle and the beginning of the end for this series.

As much as I have loved the Schuyler/Jack story in the previous books, I found myself anxiously awaiting Mimi and Allegra's stories more. Throughout the books, I've gained a liking to Mimi as she has grown from spoiled brat to spoiled brat in love (which brought her down to Earth... a teeny bit). The chemistry between Mimi and Kingsley is stunning to read and I yearned for them to be together again!! And I really enjoyed getting more background on Allegra before she went into a coma.

I don't want to ruin too much of the book because it is that good! Fans of the series

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428. Shelter by Harlan Coben: Review

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (September 6, 2011)
ARC: 304 Pages
Series: Mickey Bolitar #1
Genre: YA Mystery
Harlan Coben's Website | Facebook | Twitter
From Goodreads.A young adult debut from internationally bestselling author Harlan Coben

Mickey Bolitar's year can't get much worse. After witnessing his father's death and sending his mom to rehab, he's forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools.

A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey's train-wreck of a life is finally improving - until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn't who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury - and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.

First introduced to readers in Harlan Coben's latest adult novel, Live Wire, Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. With this new series, Coben introduces an entirely new generation of fans to the masterful plotting and wry humor that have made him an award-winning, internationally bestselling, and beloved author

Review by Jess
SHELTER, by Harlan Coben, is a debut first Young Adult novel full of mystery, shocking revelations and lots of secrets.

This is the first novel I have read by Harlan Coben and I must say I was impressed. He writes well and the plot was interesting, but I found that his characters fell a bit flat and they didn't have too much depth. I couldn't really get to know them. Also, I felt that Mickey was a bit too mature for his age, I mean some of the things he's gone through could do that to you, but even after that, a 16 year-old boy is still a 16 year-old boy!

Ashley and Mickey click and fall in love but one day she goes missing. Mickey cant let it go. With all of the personal losses in his life, he wont let her go...and honestly I was so glad that he chose to go after her!

As much as Mickey doesn't want to get close with his Uncle, he is so much like him through what glimpses in my opinion you get of his Uncle. He is a strong character, I just wish I knew him better. When it came to Ashley, I liked her story, I just wish there had been more to it.

I do see myself reading more from Harlan Coben and his Mickey Bolitar series. Well done Harlan Coben.

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429. The Lost by Caridad Pineiro: Review & Giveaway {Bewitching Book Tours}

Today I am hosting Caridad Pineiro, author of The Lost, with a review and giveaway. Enjoy!

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever (Hachette Book Group)
Date Published: August 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0446584614
ISBN-13: 978-0446584616
Purchase LinksAmazon Print | Kindle
Book LinkYou Tube Book Trailer
Adam Bruno is no ordinary millionaire. The heir to an ancient race possessing a dark, powerful magic, he can shapeshift and create energy. His gifts make him a living weapon and have forced him to live in seclusion. But now an inhuman force hunts down Adam-just when he finds someone who makes him feel more human than he ever imagined possible . . .

Home from combat in Iraq, Bobbie Carerra wants only peace, yet soon joins Adam in a terrifying battle against paranormal enemies who hide in plain sight. She's drawn to his strength of mind and body; he's attracted to her courage and intoxicating energy. Their scorching passion can either transport them to the heights of ecstasy or-if Adam's powers rage out of control-destroy them. But when an invisible brotherhood tightens its nets and someone Adam trusts betrays him, only a heartrending decision can save them.
Review by Kate
THE LOST, by Caridad Pineiro, is an exciting and passion-filled start to a wonderful new series. This is the first time I've read a Pineiro book and I have to wonder why I've never come across her work before!  I was immediately thrust into a new world with people and their awesome powers and I was intrigued to see where the story took me.

Talk about strong female characters! Whew! Bobbie, a Marine, is recovering from a massive trauma in Iraq and is just getting her life back together. She meets Adam and he sweeps her off her feet and into more trouble. They work together to figure out who wants Adam and why their connection is so electric. I really loved these two characters. On their own they are layered and dynamic but when you bring them together it is magic on the page.

I loved the world-building that Pineiro created. I was intrigued by the powers that some possessed and I was definitely interested to see why they were so interested in Adam. It was a world on top of our world and it really ramped up the level on how much I liked this book.

Pineiro has a brand new fan and I can't wait to read more!

Check out what some other's thought of the book:


"Pineiro's new series will excite readers, new and old...Her characters and red-hot writing had me looking for the nearest cold shower. THE LOST is an excellent beginning to a new series that will have readers counting the days until the second Sin Hunters book is released."~ 4 Stars RT BookReviews

An excellent romance story and the paranormal aspects really held

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430. The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsh: Review

Publisher: Scholastic Books (September 1, 2011)
ARC: 288 Pages
Genre: YA Dystopian
Jeff Hirsh's Twitter | Goodreads
From Goodreads.The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost

Review by Jess
THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE, by Jeff Hirsh follows a young boy who was born after the collapse of the world as we know it and trying to find his way through the ruins of what used to be. Full of hardship and determination this book is a pretty quick read!

My expectations for this novel were high after seeing that Susanne Collins gave a blurb about it and I wasn't disappointed! I am a big dystopian fan and was eager to read this, and it was different. I was kind of expecting it to be about a bunch of people dying from a plague but Hirsh really focused on the aftermath and presented it in such an interesting way.

Stephen as a character was great. I think was really caught my eye was his love for his dad. His dad slips into a coma after an accident, and he just really wants to take care of him, and this community takes him in. A very NORMAL community, and I really like the idea of the community, I could see it so clearly in my head.

I wont lie, I love myself a good heroine...but I was glad for the change up with a male protagonist. Nowadays it is mostly girl main characters (and that's definitely not a bad thing! :] ) but Hirsh gave a us a strong teenage boy to lead us in his adventures and hardships! I was very impressed by that.

I look forward to more from Jeff Hirsh and I highly recommend this book, especially for dystopian lovers!

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431. If You Hear Her by Shiloh Walker: Blog Tour

Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 25, 2011)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Series: The Ash Trilogy #1
Genre: Adult Romance Suspense
Shiloh Walker's Website | Blog | Twitter
From Goodreads. A CRY IN THE WOODS.

The scream Lena Riddle hears in the woods behind her house is enough to curdle her blood—she has no doubt that a woman is in real danger. Unfortunately, with no physical evidence, the local law officers in small-town Ash, Kentucky, dismiss her claim. But Lena knows what she heard—and it leaves her filled with fear and frustration.

Ezra King is on leave from the state police, but he can’t escape the guilty memories that haunt his dreams. When he sees Lena, he is immediately drawn to her. He aches to touch her—to be touched by her—but is he too burdened by his tragic past to get close? When Ezra hears her story of an unknown woman’s screams, his instincts tell him that Lena’s life is also at risk—and his desire to protect her is as fierce as his need to possess her.

Review by Kate
IF YOU HEAR HER, by Shiloh Walker, is the phenomenal kick-off to a great adult suspense series. I will read anything that Walker writes because her characters and plots are flawless and thought-provoking. In her newest trilogy she creates a spine-tingling thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. And as always, her love scenes and romantic chemistry is steaming hot!

This book starts off the Ash Trilogy with a bang. Lena, a blind chef, and Ezra, a detective on medical leave, team up to investigate after Lena hears screams in the night. They have an immediate connection that runs deep emotionally and physically and is undoubtedly electric. I really loved the dynamic between Lena and Ezra. Ezra has a troubled past that keeps him secluded in Ash, Kentucky, but when he spots the gorgeous Lena his heart begins to beat again. It was interesting to have a blind character as one of the MC's. I was interested to see how Walker would handle that but as usually she was flawless. Walker's descriptions of Lena's life without sight was definitely unique. Lena is a strong woman and her adaptability shows her willfulness and courage to live her own life on her terms. And the love scenes between Lena and Ezra were definitely passionate and steamy!

Along with the main story, Walker included many of the other townspeople in this story. I read the summaries for the rest of the series and the characters introduced in this book will definitely be back for books two and three. Right off the bat I was a little confused with the introduction of many characters but eventually they all wove together in my mind as the story took shape.

The suspense in the story was definitely heart-pounding. The 'bad guy' is a nasty dude and reading his scenes and what he did to women made me really hate him. As I always say, if an author can make me loathe a character then he/she has done his/her job in my mind!

Overall, great book and great introduction to a series that I will be placing high on my list of books to read this coming year. Fans of Walker will love it and if you haven't experienced this awesome author yet, this series will surely get you hooked!

432. Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite: Guest Blog & Giveaway

Today I have Ann Hite on the blog for a special guest post and giveaway. Enjoy!

A Peanut Butter Sandwich With A Glass of Sweet Tea
(Embracing Our History)

There’s nothing like a good old peanut butter sandwich followed by a big glass of sweet tea. It’s pure heaven. I should say ice tea because here in Georgia the sweat part is assumed. Now, I drink mine with a slice of orange. Yes, my granny would just roll over in her grave if she knew I polluted my tea with such a thing. She’d also roll over if she knew I only use a cup of sugar per gallon. It’s not real tea if it ain’t syrup.

There was a time in my life when I only drank unsweetened tea, and I would have rather died than admit I ate peanut butter. These were what I now call my smart years; the years I spent trying to outrun my southern roots. I wanted no part of tall tales, superstitions, and folklore. I think some of my attitude came from my granny, who was the first in her family to move from a rural area to the big city of Atlanta. I stripped all traces of an accent from my words. I spoke only proper English. When I wrote stores, I never allowed my characters to speak as true southerners. Nope, these stories were the most intelligent stories you ever read. I even got quite a few published. But they never settled well with me. Something was missing. I sure didn’t have a bit of fun while writing them.

And then one day I found an old photo of Granny and my great aunt. I thought of those Sundays once a month spent at my great aunt’s house in the foothills of the mountains. We’d sit in the living room with its high ceilings and homemade furniture and sip syrupy ice tea from jelly jar glasses leftover from the depression. I’d find a corner next to one of the large potted plants and sit quietly until I became part of the rose wallpaper. Soon the women—there was always a roomful of grown cousins—began to cast their spells. My great aunt would pull out her spittoon and offer Granny a dip of snuff, which she would take to my fascination. The talk would turn to the real stories. One of my favorites was how my great grandmother came home not feeling well from a trip she made to Atlanta with my great grandfather. She felt so bad she went straight to bed at two in the afternoon. This was unheard of in her days. Two days later her whole head turned black, and she died. Folks believed my great grandfather had a spell conjured on her so he could marry a new wife, which he promptly did three months after my great grandmother’s death.

It became plain that my southern background held enough characters to last me a lifetime if I’d only embrace their stories and allow them to speak. I’ve never regretted coming to know these voices. Sometimes their tales are so vivid I’m driven to believe in ancestral memory.

So, that’s why you won’t catch me teaching my characters from Black Mountain how to use proper English or grammar for that matter. I found there is a lot of ways to express what we as writers and storytellers have to say. Getting caught up in the perfection of it all has too high of a price. You see I’ve spent way too much time eating dry, stringy roast beef at a fancy set table. When I could have had a peanut butter sandwich and been happy as pie. My lesson was creativity and a long sought after writing voice. Now, when I get a hankering for fried corn, green beans seasoned with bacon grease, or hot buttery cornbread, I

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433. The Call From Within by Eri Nelson: Guest Post & Giveaway {Bewitching Book Tours}

Today I have Eri Nelson, author of The Call From Within, on the blog for a guest post and giveaway. Enjoy!

Where does an Author/Indie Author know where to base their plot?

Worlds can be of whatever the author might want to make them. However they have to be somewhat plausible to the audience. Course it might help to be as detailed in your notes as to your ideas as possible. Even if you are not planning on sharing them with the world, so to speak.

For me there was nix on having to create a world. No for me I chose a place where I felt my characters could merge onto the earth easy enough. In doing so I had to do a bit of research.

I wanted a reserve somewhere that would be protected thus a realm where perhaps the unknown could be preserved. When I found one mountain base I seem to have found my particular spot in which to embed my plot line. Keep in mind there was still more research in which to derive before I could just write it all out on the screen.

But where does one go for research? Well for one hermit bound individual, the internet is a perfect start. It can even give you photos of your designation so you get a firmer grasp of your home you are now creating on the terrain.

Nevertheless do not just trust the internet for Intel. Go to your local library where books upon books can lay at your finger tips. The point is to gather as much as you can even if you have no plans to write on or about it. In collecting all you can, you in turn feel it within your being. Hence creating throughout your pages and thus making it easier and more subtle a task in which to form.

Wish to learn more? Maybe even discover how one Indie Authors characters came alive? Then I hope you will continue to follow all the incredible blogs that have allowed me to post my single adventure into the world of writing.

Thank you so much I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read for this brilliant scope in which to speak with you and your followers. It has been magnificent!

Best Wishes
Eri Nelson

Thanks Eri for stopping by!

Publisher: EAN LLC (August 3, 2011)
File Size: 166 KB
Dearhart Clan is a series of fast paced books that dabble in the world of paranormal and remain in the erotic pulse of what can only be classified as a primal fantasy. If it’s a typical romance you’re looking for you won’t find it in this series.

Eri Nelson writes in a darker world where heat and need are the forefront for a slipping existence. There is not time for all the tenderness love deserves but if you’re imprinted to another you are far beyond those mortal requirements.

Our author is driven by swift action packed intrigues that often leave you wanting more. As she writes each new book into the series the number of pages might increase but the action never lets you feel the increasing distance to the final page.

The Call Fr

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434. Destined by P.C. & Kristin Cast: Giveaway

Destined (House of Night Series #9)
Available now, just in time for Halloween, from St. Martin's Press is the ninth book in the House of Night Series, Destined, by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

In celebration of the release of "Destined", I am pleased to present a new book trailer and a special giveaway!

About Destined:

"...Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…"

Book trailer:

&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://rafl.es/enable-js"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;.

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435. Fallenwood by Leslie D. Soule: Guest Post & Giveaway {Goddess Fish Promotions}

Today I have Leslie Soule, author of Fallenwood, on the blog for a guest post and giveaway. Enjoy!

What is your favorite and least favorite part of writing fantasy?

Hello there, everyone! Well, let’s see. We’ll start with my favorite part, since that’s easier. My favorite part of writing fantasy is that you can include really anything you want that’s in keeping with the genre. For example, if I want to write about dragons with crystals set into their heads that shoot green flames and belch rose-scented perfume, it would be strange, but I could write about that and have it be part of the story I’m telling because it’s fantasy. Fantasy is a very free genre in that way, for a writer – very liberating.

The difficult part is also my least favorite part – making the magical/fantasy aspects actually make sense to the world you’re creating. In essence, you have to create ground rules for your fantasy world if the magic is going to be “real”, meaning that you have to explain its origin, how it works, who can use it and why, etc. The use of magic in a novel, opens up a whole can of worms and you have to start thinking about the story a bit scientifically rather than just artistically.

Fantasy is a great genre though. I absolutely love it. What I did with Fallenwood, and I would recommend it to aspiring authors as well – is that I first started by writing down things I liked, concept-wise, or names or types of characters, and then I could start thinking about how they’d interact and what kind of adventures they’d go on. Write about something you like, rather than something you think would be published or that other people would like, because if you’re not interested in the writing, it will show. Also, the main thing with writing is to keep at it, and you can’t do that if you’re not interested in the material yourself.

Thanks for having me here today!

-Leslie D. Soule

Thanks for stopping by Leslie!!

Publisher: Decadent Publishing (March 4, 2011)
Fallenwood—a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 23-year-old Ash is thrust into the middle of Fallenwood’s power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough on Ash, who is locked in grief for her stepfather. Now, the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal—the catalyst for all the land’s magic. As the kingdoms prepare for war, Ash must look inside to find the power to save the world, and herself.


The dragon’s eyes glowed, for a flickering moment, with white light.

“Ash,” the dragon continued, “Welcome to Terra Illumina…or as it is more commonly known, Fallenwood.” Then a fierce roaring laugh erupted from the stone, as though the dragon thought the new name a joke. “A dark, difficult,

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436. True Grime by Natasha Deen: Promo Spot & Giveaway {Partners In Crime Tours}

Today I am hosting a promo spot and giveaway for the True Grime Tour, sponsored by Partners In Crime Tours, be sure to check out the awesome giveaway too!!

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Mystery
Publisher: Blueberry Hill
Publication Date: August 2011
Purchase Links: Amazon | BarnesAndNoble | Smashwords
Grime cop and teen fairy Pepper Powder lives for one thing: protecting the human species from magical zealots who seek to eradicate them with Violent Illness of Unusual Resistance and Strength (humans call them “viruses,” but their mistake is understandable. The very young often get their words wrong.). When a terrorist leader releases a necrophage bomb, it not only decimates Grime headquarters, it turns Pepper into the magical world’s first fairy amputee—but she’s not going to let a little thing like a missing leg stop her. To catch her criminal, and prevent him from unleashing a VIURS in one of the human world’s biggest shopping centers, West Edmonton Mall, she goes undercover as a human. But once Pepper's theories of humanity collide with the reality of bullies, cliques, and environmental destruction, will she still believe humanity's worth saving?

About the Author: When I was little, there was only one thing I wanted to be: a superhero. But there came a day when my dreams were broken, and that was the day I realized that being a klutz was not, in fact, a super power, and my super weakness for anything bright and shiny meant a magpie with self-control could easily defeat me in a battle of wills. I turned to writing as a way to sharpen my mental super-hero skills. I don’t get to orbit the earth in a space station (and thank God, because I get sick on merry go round), but I do get to say things like: “Stand aside! This is a job for Writing Girl!!”

Connect with Natasha : Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Website

Check out tomorrow's stop at Gelati's Scoop for a Review


Until November 30

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437. Hide'N Go Seek by Dale Mayer: Giveaway {CBLS Promotions}

Today I am participating in a Giveaway Barrage for Dale Mayer's new release Hide'N Go Seek. Check out the giveaway here and the other stops on the 2 day tour. Enjoy!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Allromanceebooks.com | Smashwords
BLURB: A twisted game of Hide’n Go Seek forces an unlikely alliance between a no-nonsense FBI agent and a search-and-rescue worker.

Celebrated search-and-rescue worker Kali Jordon has hidden her psychic abilities by crediting her canine partner Shiloh with the recoveries. But Kali knows the grim truth—The Sight that she
inherited from her grandmother allows her to trace violent energy unerringly to victims of murder. No one knows her secret until a twisted killer challenges her to a deadly game of Hide'n Go Seek that threatens those closest to her.

Now she must rely on FBI Special Agent Grant Summers, a man who has sworn to protect her, even as he suspects there's more to Kali and Shiloh than meets the eye. As the killer draws a tighter and tighter circle around Kali, she and Grant find there's no place to hide.

Are her visions the key to finding the latest victim alive or will this cruel game.



Twenty minutes later, Kali made her way to the kitchen. She fed Shiloh on the deck in the morning sunlight. Running her fingers through her shoulder-length hair, she remembered last night's painting. She headed to her studio to take a look. She'd almost reached it when apprehension washed over her.

The door was closed.

She never closed the door after painting. It wasn't good for the wet canvases, besides, the room only had a small window so the paint fumes built up fast. A frown wrinkled her forehead. Had she simply forgotten? She had been deadly tired last night.

Bolstering her courage, she pushed the door wide and flinched as the fumes rushed out almost
stinging her nose. "Oh gross."

Holding her breath, Kali crossed to the window, shoving it as far open as it would go. Fresh air
surged into the small space. She'd love a huge studio, except painting wasn't exactly a full time career for her – no matter how much she'd like it to be. It was a release for when depression and madness overcame her soul. Maybe later, when she no longer did rescue work, she could indulge her art as a creative hobby instead of as an outlet of pain and turmoil.

Walking around the easel, Kali stopped midstride.

The painting stood where she'd left it. With surreal and strangely enticing clarity, blacks and purples and browns popped off the canvas. Heavy paint splotched at places, then thinned and stretched across the top.

She stepped back and frowned. Up close, besides the heavy amount of paint, the pic

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438. Craved by Stephanie Nelson : Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway {Bewitching Book Tours}

Today I am hosting Stephanie Nelson, author of Craved, on the blog for a guest post, review, and Kindle Giveaway. Enjoy!

Craved Casting Picks, by Stephanie Nelson

A lot of people ask me if Craved was to be made into a movie, who would my ideal cast be. As an author, who created characters out of thin air, no movie star looks exactly like what I had in mind. But If I had to choose……

Megan Fox would play Gwen Sparks

Matt Bomer would play Aiden Blake(Sigh!)

Sara Paxton as Fiona Bennett

Taylor Kitsch would play Micah Reynolds

Ryan Phillippe would play Ian Despereaux

Camilla Belle would play Penny

That is one very attractive cas

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439. Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard: Review

SPOILER ALERT. If you have not read The Lying Game there may be spoilers ahead.

Publisher: Harper Collins (August 2, 2011)
Hardcover: 309 Pages
Series: The Lying Game #2 (My Review of The Lying Game)
Genre: YA Mystery
Sara Shepard's Website | Twitter
From Goodreads. My perfect life was a lie.

Now I’d do anything to uncover the truth.

Not long ago, I had everything a girl could wish for: amazing friends, an adorable boyfriend, a loving family. But none of them know that I’m gone—that I’m dead. To solve my murder, my long-lost twin sister, Emma, has taken my place. She sleeps in my room, wears my clothes, and calls my parents Mom and Dad.

And my killer is watching her every move.

I remember little from my life, just flashes and flickers, so all I can do is follow along as Emma tries to solve the mystery of my disappearance. But the deeper she digs, the more suspects she uncovers. It turns out my friends and I played a lot of games—games that ruined people’s lives. Anyone could want revenge . . . anyone could want me—and now Emma—dead.

Review by Kate
NEVER HAVE I EVER, by Sara Shepard is the highly anticipated sequel to her newest series The Lying Game. Emma is still playing Sutton but someone knows that she is not who she pretends to be. Lurking around every corner is Sutton's killer and the games he/she plays with Emma get downright dangerous.

This book was un-put-downable! Shepard has the talent for weaving intricate mystery plots that will make your head spin. There isn't too much I can say without ruining the plot, but Shepard did help eliminate some of the questions I had about who killed Sutton. But along with those eliminations came more suspects and a killer cliffhanger! I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series to understand who really killed Sutton and why.

I loved that Emma and Ethan are getting closer. They are absolutely adorable and I love that Ethan is the only person who is constant in Emma's life and understands who she really is. I also liked getting a better background on how evil and manipulative Sutton was and how her 'ghost' is handling the revelations as well. Overall, this book is FILLED with heart-pounding suspense and action and I loved each second of it. Shepard truly has me hooked on this series!!

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440. Small Blogs, Big Giveaway! (4th Edition)

The Biggest International Bookish Giveaway Online

62 prizes split between 5 winners + 6 Gift Card Giveaways!

Follow the event on twitter

HOSTS, Feat. Authors & Other Giveaways

Organized by: *Reading Romances
* Having Other Giveaways During The Event 

*Can't Put It Down

*The Magic Attic

Bona Fide Reflections

*Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

My Cute Bookshelf

A Writer's Life With Liz Fielding

No Page Left Behind

*Close Encounters with the Night Kind

*Sweeping The USA

*Frugal Experiments

Alexa Loves Books

I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read

Romance Around the Corner

Coffee Beans & Love Scenes

So Many Books, So Little Time

*Sexxy Blogger
Thank you to our featured authors:
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441. Circle of Desire by Carla Swafford: Guest Post & Giveaway {Goddess Fish Promotions}

Today I have Carla Swafford on the blog for a special guest post and a chance to win a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card! Enjoy!

Thank you, Kate and Jessica, for inviting me to your blog. You’re living on the edge by allowing me free rein in deciding what to post. But I’ll behave and do what I love to do more often than I like to admit. Make up lists. Yes. My OCD is showing. To make it a little less dry, I’ve decided to let my two main characters in Circle of Desire, Olivia St. Vincent and Collin Ryker, help out.

Carla: Olivia, what are the top five traits you look for in a hero?
Olivia: Well, let’s see. I never imagined falling for a man who talked in a near whisper most of the time. Though I must admit, when he talks, a room full of arguing operatives shuts up in seconds. That’s a man who can lead.
Carla: So number one would be a commanding voice.
Olivia: More like number five. The voice helps get my engine running, but it’s not number one.
Carla: Olivia, don’t forget this needs to stay PG. So no physical traits to be included in the list.
Olivia: I’m hurt. You don’t trust me?
Carla: Let’s say I know you too well.
Olivia: Very well then, let’s get to it. Trait number four: a hero must be comfortable with handling weapons of all types. You know how I love guns, especially sniper rifles, the more powerful the better.
Carla: So an expert in weaponry. I guess, when it comes to a trait, it would fall in the category of being protective. That would be number four. Three more to go.
Olivia: A hero must be honorable. He would never take advantage of those weaker.
Carla: Now we’re getting somewhere. I agree totally. That would be number three. So you think Collin is honorable?
Olivia: Humph! Who said we’re talking about him? I thought you wanted to know about heroes.
Carla: Collin is certainly hero material. He could’ve killed you instead of bringing you into his organization, the OS.
Olivia: He could’ve tried.
Carla: Olivia?
Olivia: Oh, okay. Yes. He handled it rather well the time I held the sniper rifle on him and accused him of betraying me to The Circle, though he did eventually hand me over to them.
Carla: You know he didn’t have a choice. Your ex-boss would’ve killed the two OS operatives he held hostage.
Olivia: Yeah, yeah. Don’t beat me over the head with it. Collin’s all noble and a bag of chips.
Carla: You sound almost jealous.
Olivia: Everyone thinks he’s God’s Gift to the universe and I’m evil incarnate. Wouldn’t you get tired of being painted like that?
Carla: I’m sorry. You’re right. Let’s continue on with our list.
Olivia: Alright. Number two. Hmm, this is getting more difficult. I can’t include body parts?
Carla: No. Physical. Traits.
Olivia: Don’t get snippy. What is it that you call a hero who’s a push over when tears are involved?
Carla: Maybe you’re thinking compassionate.
Olivia: Sure. Compassionate. I like how it goes along with passionate.
Carla: Ooolivia.
Olivia: That’s not a body part. Geez. You’re no fun.
Carla: Let’s move to number one. What’s the most important trait?
Olivia: Easy. He must be intelligent.
Carla: Smart. I agree.
Olivia: Collin was smart enough to fall in love

35 Comments on Circle of Desire by Carla Swafford: Guest Post & Giveaway {Goddess Fish Promotions}, last added: 10/24/2011
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442. The Secret Circle 1.05: "Slither"

This episode opens with Nick getting Melissa up from bed to go to school. She claims she has a headache and Nick tries to wake her up. She throws him off him and apologizes but she doesn't feel well. She turns and we see the snake demon under her skin. ICK!
Cassie and her Grandmother talk about what happened the night before when Heather got hit by the car. Grandma tells Cassie that Heather and Amelia were good friends growing up. Cassie evades any questions about the night before, but reveals she was with Faye and Diana. Grandma is happy Cassie is making friends. She tells Cassie that she can open up to her about anything and Cassie just leaves. RUDE!

At school, Melissa is twitchy and doesn't understand why. Diana and Cassie talk about the previous Circle being spell bound from the 'Elders' so she doesn't want Cassie talking to her Grandmother about their Circle.

In Dawn's office she talks to Charles about Heather. They make plans to meet that night under the Blood Moon so they can attempt to get their powers back to protect the kids.

In the hallway, Diana informs Faye that their parents are dating, she is not pleased.

Melissa is at her locker and does a flip out against them. (We can assume possession?) Nick helps demon-Melissa up and she tells him that she needs his help digging up her family's Book of Shadows in the woods. She says it will be their secret. Later that night, Nick digs up a suitcase under Melissa's supervision.

At dinner, Cassie and Grandma are having awkward conversations. They find Amelia to be a common ground. Cassie asks why Amelia left and Grandma says that she was never honest with her and she wishes she could have helped. Cassie gets a text and rushes out on dinner.

At the witch house, Faye arrives after Melissa calls her there. Nick is confused because he thought it was supposed to be their secret. Melissa reveals she was using Nick to dig up the case so that Faye and her can share the book. Demon-Melissa is awkwardly sensual with Faye and tells her that nothing can come between them.

At the docks, Dawn and Charles cast a spell under the Blood Moon to gain power back in their crystals. They are unsuccessful.

At Diana's house, Adam and her share a home cooked meal. A whipped cream fight ensues and soon enough they are in the bedroom. Oh-lala!

Cassie arrives at the house and Demon-Mel informs them that they need the whole circle to get the case open. Cassie wants to open it and Demon-Mel goes all deep voice and creepy. Cassie calls Adam and Diana to see where they are. The suitcase is moving on its own and Cassie asks what is in the suitcase. They see the snake-demon inside Melissa's head. Faye, Nick, and Cassie figure out that the demon i

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443. The Vampire Diaries Episode 3.05 Recap: "The Reckoning"

Recap by Jess
THIS WEEK'S EPISODE SEEMED TO HAVE CHANGED EVERYTHING! The way last weeks episode ended we knew we were in for something crazy this week! There was no room for disappointment.

Matt is alone working out in the very dark high school and he keeps hearing these sounds, so he goes to investigate, he thinks he hears something from a classroom and enters, and to his surprise, lots of mousetraps go off and there is a very displeased Caroline. Surprise Matt, it's senior prank night! Honestly? How could you forget senior prank night?

Elena heads off on her own so she can glue Alaric's desk shut, but she doesn't quite make it there. She rounds a corner...hello Klaus. Klaus drags Elena down the halls of her school into the gym, where he sends everyone away, except for two humans he wants to play with a little bit.

Damon and Katherine
Damon pulls over the car, then throws the keys away and demands answers from Katherine. She tells him she has the necklace Klaus is looking for...it's leverage. She also has a plan...and it includes Jeremy who is unconscious in the trunk.

Everyone minus Caroline and Stefan
Elena and Klaus are in the gym, waiting seemingly for Bonnie and Matt to enter, and when they do, Klaus lets Bonnie know that it is her fault that Elena is still alive, and that caused a problem for him, so she needs to fix it. After Rebecca took down Caroline she dragged Tyler into the gym to join the pow-wow. Klaus explains that he needs his hybrids to work and they don't because they always die in transition. Klaus feeds Tyler his blood and snaps his neck. Bonnie needs to work fast.

Katherine, Damon and Jeremy
Katherine knows that Klaus is running from someone, and Katherine's friend Pearl knows who, Damon points out that Pearl is dead, Katherine says that she only ever told one person, and that was her daughter...Anna. Damon points out that she is dead, too. But...he doesn't know that Jeremy can contact the dead.

Klaus, Elena and Stefan
Elena and Klaus are in the gym and Stefan enters. He comes to pledge his allegiance to Klaus and tell him that he will do whatever he wants. He also throws in that Elena means nothing to him at all anymore. As Elena is telling Stefan that Klaus wont hurt her, he back hands her and she ends up on the floor and Stefan attacks Klaus. So much for Stefan not caring! Klaus compels him to stop fighting him and simply obey everything he says. Then he goes on to kill the two innocent kids Klaus kept to play with.

Damon, Katherine and Jeremy
They are waiting for Jeremy to contact Anna. Finally she appears for him, but she doesn't want to help until....Damon bashes Jeremy's head off of a picnic table...Anna still cares about Jeremy. She reveals that the information they are looking for is...Michael...a vampire who hunts vampires. And it would be a very bad idea to wake him up.

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444. The Dragonfly Prophecy by Jacquelyn Castle: Interview & Giveaway

Today I have Jacquelyn Castle, author of The Dragonfly Prophecy, on the blog for an interview. Also be sure to enter for a chance to win the book, open Internationally!

At what point in your finance day job did you decide to drop everything and write for a living?

I would love to say that I "quit my day job," but I haven't been able to do that just yet. Hopefully that will happen soon so I can do what I LOVE and have a real passion for - writing! I try to make time in my schedule to write each and every day. Sometimes I even wake at night when I can't find an extra minute in the day!

Did you do any research for The Dragonfly Prophecy? What did that entail?

Yes. I researched a lot about mystical things like auras and palm reading. I'm a spiritual person, but not as much as Paige is in the story, so I knew some things about universal energy and dreams. The original title was "Dream Me Awake" until I read up on dream interpretations. That's when I discovered the meaning of dragonflies and wove that into the story. I wanted to have something real to tie the supernatural parts to.

What character(s) came easy to you in TDP? Any of them that were tough to navigate?

The easiest characters were Paige and Aunt Fay. Paige, because she's a little like me, or how others perceive me: quirky, fun, whacky, and spiritual. Aunt Fay because I modeled her after my sister. Aunt Fay's house is actually my sister's house, which was such an inspirational place to write. Most of this story was written in "Lexi's room" with the river running outside the window and the breeze blowing the scent of the flowers through the window. Sometimes, I'd get so absorbed in the writing that I felt like I was Lexi!

The hardest character to navigate was Lexi, the heroine. I tried to convey her teenaged angst, her annoyance with her parents and her insecurity and show that she had typical teenage issues. Then I wanted her to overcome them, and find that she was always a strong and capable young woman who could handle whatever came her way. I hope I accomplished that!

What do you love about writing YA? Have you tried your hand a writing adult?

I love writing YA because I consider myself a "young soul." There's always a part of my life in all of my YA stories and it's fun to reflect on those times and then change them around if they weren't all that interesting! In YA it's easier to create whatever world I want for my characters and entertain the reader with magical, almost unbelievable tales. I find that kids aren't quite as demanding in their reading as adults are. They don't analyze it, they either like it and will devour it or they don't and it winds up in the Goodwill bin.

I have written adult and I'm almost finished with my first Sci-Fi Adult Novel. It was so much fun to write and very creepy at the same time because, you never know, something like that could happen someday. Authors a century ago didn't think people would be reading their works on Kindles. So anything's possible!

What is a book in the past year you would recommend to an avid reader?

Just one? That's so not fair! I would recommend Kill Me if You Can by James Patterson. I'm only a few chapters in, but it is so hard to put down! For YA I'd recommend any or all of the House of Night books. Call me if you want the full list!!!

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445. Ashes by Estevan Vega: Review {Teen Book Scene}

Ashes (Arson # 2)
Publisher: StoneGate Ink (September 11, 2011)
Format: eBook
Series: Arson #2 (My Review of Arson)
Genre: YA Paranormal
Estevan Vega's Website | Twitter
From Author Website. More than three months have passed since Arson and Emery were taken. Taken and then separated.

And experimented on.

Salvation Asylum is more like a prison than a psychiatric facility. Unknowingly, Arson has become a vital instrument in a campaign set to genetically alter mankind. Enraged, confused, trapped, and unable to fully manifest his abilities, he wonders if he will ever see Emery again. His new existence is one crawling with questions. Is Grandma alive? Where does the fire come from? Can he become more than a monster?

In Ashes, book two of the ARSON series, nightmare and reality collide as Arson must embrace what he is and the haunting realization that there may be others out there, others like him.

Review by Kate
ASHES, by Estevan Vega, is the thrilling sequel to the Arson series that will keep your eyes and hands glued to the pages. We pick up right where Arson left off, where Arson and Emery are trapped in a strange facility that seems to be doing experiments on supernatural occurrences in humans. Along with following Arson and Emery's stories, Vega artfully jumps from character to character to give the reader a wide look on this phenomenal and unique story.

It's hard to believe how young Vega is when reading his stories. His vision not only covers the teen characters but expands to the adult characters with ease. We not only read about what the two main characters are feeling throughout their ordeal, we also see the ripple effect of their disappearance in other characters. I really liked the story between Emery's parents and getting to understand the motivations of the scientists in the Sanctuary. The swift POV changes were really fantastic to read.

I liked getting the detailed story of Arson's birth and how that affected him while in the Sanctuary. Vega slowly unraveled this story and towards the end turned it into something unexpected but really awesome. Overall, fans of the series will not be disappointed and I'm excited to read more from Vega.

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446. Something So Right by Elyse Mady: Interview, Review, & Giveaway {Kismet Book Touring}

Today I have Elyse Mady, author of Something So Right, on the blog for an interview. Enjoy!

What was the first romance book you remember reading and loving? Which one made you want to start writing romance?

I honestly don’t remember. My mom didn’t read them, although my grandmother did. I seem to remember them being very pink and very vapid and the love scenes could have been written in Greek, for all the real-world experience my 13 year old self had. Then I started reading Harlequin Presents. I loved the English settings and the fabulous wealth of it all. Penny Jordan was one of the authors I read and reread. I remember that much. My first novel was a Presents. It was rejected. I am happy to report that it now languishes on a floppy disk, hopefully never to see light of day.

Never say never! :)
Do you ever fall a little bit in love with your romantic leads? Does your husband ever get jealous of the heroes you write?

Of course I do. You have to love the characters or how can you bring them to life convincingly? I like decent men. The men in my life have, almost to a person, been honest, forthright men who admire and respect women and have a great sense of humour. And I’m not just talking romantically. My father, my brother, my male friends. I know a lot of really fantastic men. So it’s hardly surprising that those are the men I model my characters after and that I write about. Each of the men I write about has something I find attractive and usually the hard body and the killer smile are towards the bottom of that list, hard as that may be to believe.

As for the spousal jealousy thing, his only real concern is that I’m giving away his best, ahem, moves during the romance bits. I’ve assured him that all names (and moves) have been changed to protect the innocent.

If you could cast your leads for Something So Right in a Hollywood movie, who would they be?

Rachel McAdams for Lily Carver. Tahmoh Pennikett for Sam Denning.

And since they’re both Canadian, they’ll pronounce it a-bowt, and not as rumour continues to insist, a-boot :)

Awesome choices! I love Rachel McAdams and she is fabulous at any role.
When you have down time what type of books do you love reading? In the past year which books were your favorites?

I read a lot of historical fiction. You can see that on my Goodreads book list. I also read a lot of non-fiction, which is a bit of a busman’s holiday, since a lot of research is required for my historical books but I do love research, so it’s hardly a hardship. I also enjoy science fiction, contemporary romance, mysteries and screenplays.

Heck, I think it would be fairest to say that if it’s printed, I’ll probably try tackling it at some point. I’m in a long term relationship with the written word! :)

I hear ya, and even if it's digital printed it can't hide from me!
If you could spend a day with one author alive or dead who would it be and what is one question you are dying to ask?

Dead or alive? Stephen King for the ‘not’ dead (although given his usual subject matter, that might be up for some debate). He’s such an interesting writer and his books have become so much more than just ‘genre’ fiction over the past 40 years. A day of brain-pickage would be wonderful.

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447. Dearly Departed by Lia Habel: ARC Review

Dearly, Departed (Dearly, #1)
Publisher: Del Rey Books (October 18, 2011)
ARC: 471 Pages
Series: Dearly #1
Genre: YA Steampunk/Horror
Lia Habel's Website | Blog | Twitter

From Goodreads.

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune, and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
Review by Kate
DEARLY DEPARTED, by Lia Habel, is a really fantastic mashup of steampunk and zombie horror. This book takes place in New Victoria where a zombie-like takeover is imminent. The general public has no idea what is to come, and our heroine is unwillingly thrust into the thick of it. Habel weaves a romantic and dystopic tale that will leave you dying for more.

At almost 500 pages this book is a little daunting at first, but once I started reading I flew right through it. Habel tells the story from multiple POV's that give a wide overlook of the bigger story. I obviously loved Nora and Bram's POV because I loved their relationship. I found myself scratching my head and wondering how I could like a living person (Nora) and dead-zombie (Bram) as a couple, but the technology in Habel's world that brought the consciousness back to some of the bitten made it always seem that they were both on the same level emotionally and physically. I'm interested to see where their relationship goes in the next book.

Habel created a pretty awesome supporting cast too. I loved the banter between the other zombies Chas, Ben, and Tom. They all took in Nora as if they'd been friends for life and I found that quite unique. Also, Nora's living friend, Pamela had the greatest character development leap of everyone. She strived to be everything Nora was but when the zombies attacked she stepped up in other ways that made her a really fantastic person and fighter for humanity. I cheered for her the whole time!!

Overall, this book was a great intro to the series. There was passion, horror, action, and nail-biting suspense that make this almost 500 page book seem like it was only 100 pages, it's that good! Can't wait for number two!
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448. Always A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough: Guest Post & Giveaway {Teen Book Scene}

Today I have Carolyne MacCullough, author of Once a Witch and Always a Witch, on the blog to talk about some of her Book Picks. Enjoy!

Author Book Picks, by Carolyn MacCullough 

Sometimes people ask me what is my favorite book. And I seriously wonder who could ever answer that question since how can you have just one favorite book. I even hate that “if you’re stranded on a deserted island and can take only three books with you for the rest of your life” kind of question since it’s impossible to choose three books. So, thank you for asking me about my favorite books and not putting a limit on them. Okay here comes a list (in no particular order).

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Wow. Just wow. One of those books that makes me wish I could write half as well as he does. All about the love of a parent and child and redemption and hope set against this bleak and desperate backdrop of a post apocalyptic world. Amazing.

Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip. It’s a retelling of one of my favorite, favorite, favorite fairytales—the Scottish one of Tamlin. Gorgeous lush writing. Take a look at these few opening sentences: They said later that he rode into the village on a horse the color of buttermilk, but I saw him walk out of the wood. I was knelling at the well; I had just lifted water to my lips. The well was one of the wood’s secrets; a deep spring as clear as light, hidden under an overhang of dark stones, down which the briar roses fall white as snow, red as blood, all summer long.

Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor. Three dark and wonderful stories of a kiss and how dangerous a kiss really can be. They’re all delicious and dangerous and wonderful.

The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. I read these books over and over when I was a teenager. Two great heroines, sword fights, midnight rides across the desert, horses, and spells and magical swords. These heroines are so strong and powerful and so resourceful and they seemed liked girls I would be friends with.

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I would feel remiss if I didn’t include these classics. They’re brilliant.

The Passage by Justin Cronin. Oh, this one is a page-turner. Government experiments gone awry, a new breed of vampires unleashed upon the world causing the apocalyspe. And one strange little girl who seem to hold the key to everything. I’m hooked. And mad that I have to wait so long for the sequels.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman. This is fantastic. Sort of like Harry Potter crossed with The Secret History by Donna Tartt. A secret magic schools for wizards, the study of magic, and strange worlds within worlds.

The Harry Potter books. All of them. Love them all. Enough said.

Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key. I grew up on all of Alexander Key books and loved them all. This one is particularly good because it’s for everyone who ever felt different or out of place in the ordinary world and wondered why.

Well, I should probably stop here, but my list could go on and on. I hope you check out
some of these if you haven’t already!

Thanks for stopping by Carolyn!

449. Laura Bickle Guest Post {Bewitching Book Tours}

Today I have Laura Bickle, author of the Anya Kalinczyk series, on the blog for a guest post about writer's block. Enjoy!

Writing Through the Block, by Laura Bickle

I often get asked about how to deal with writer's block. We all have times when we get stuck on a project, and it's difficult to more forward. It's like swimming in molasses. Finishing even one paragraph can seem like an insurmountable obstacle. But I've found a few tricks over time that help put my brain in gear and get me moving forward. Hopefully, they'll work for your creative projects, as well:

-Change where you're writing. Sometimes, I get stuck in a rut and feel chained to the desk. When that happens, I know it's time to grab the laptop and move to the couch or go outside. A simple change in scenery can often kick-start the creative process.

-Change how you write. I usually type on a computer. But if I'm feeling blocked, I keep a selection of notebooks and pens handy. Writing longhand can sometimes jar new ideas loose.

-Outline where you've been or where you're going. If I'm stymied on a plot point, I go back and outline the story so far. This process usually helps plot points to fall into place, and I begin listing ideas for where to take the story in the future.

-Do research. This one's a tempting procrastination. As a research hound, I can fall into a rabbit hole of research on the internet for hours. But it's sometimes necessary to generate new ideas. And I'm always amazed at the new ideas I come across browsing the stacks in the library, often by pure happenstance.

-Meditate. If I try to wipe all thoughts out of my head and focus on doing nothing, the creative mechanism sometimes winds back up again.

-Listen to music. I find that music often keeps the critical parts of my brain occupied, which increases flow.

-Write crap for 1000 words. I make a deal with myself that I'll be allowed to write complete and utter dreck for an hour or so. Sometimes, good stuff comes out of that.

-Take a half hour break to walk. Physical activity can often get the blood and creative juices flowing.

-Play some cards. I keep a Tarot card deck handy. If I get stuck, I draw some cards at random and free-associate with the images I see.

-Play the 'what if' game. What if my character is cursed? What if I set something on fire? What if the car blows up? Playing the 'what if' game, scribbling down ideas in a list, can often yield surprising results. Nothing is off limits - the more outrageous, the better.

-Bribe yourself. I often promise myself a treat if I can slog through the next chapter. Maybe it's a brownie or a new lipstick. But my inner child really likes treats...and will occasionally work for them.

-Butt in chair. Ultimately, I think it boils down to just doing it. I set an egg timer and force myself to sit at the computer for an hour. Eventually, I cave in and get bored enough to actually write. Sometimes the results aren't bad.

Writing is hard work. It doesn't always flow effortlessly, like water. But the stuck bits have valuable lessons to teach about motivation and pushing forward. And I'm not above using some tricks to get there.

Great advice Laura, thanks for stopping by!

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450. The Legacy of Kilkenny by Devyn Dawson: Guest Post & Giveaway {Bewitching Book Tours}

Today I have Devyn Dawson, author of The Legacy of Kilkenny, on the blog for a character interview with Pru Phelan and giveaway. Enjoy!

I had the opportunity to sit down with Pru Phelan the alpha’s daughter in The Legacy of Kilkenny. We sat down in her favorite coffee shop on the edge of Oklahoma City.

In The Legacy of Kilkenny, you and Oakley teach Abel how to fight and protect himself. Who trained you?

I’ve been around the pack my entire life and physical fitness is imperative for survival. Parker is one of our trainers in martial arts. I’m one step away from earning my red belt in Okinawan Karate. Parker has the title of shihan, a grandmaster of weaponry and an owner of a red belt. I’ll beat him though, I will take my test as soon as I get back from Paris. Basically, we all have areas that we excel in, so we all work together.

Okay, I have to ask…what is your favorite sport?

Basketball! Can you say Thunder? Thunder up baby, all the way!

I love the fact that you’re so confident in the book. You seem to have a real grasp at the task at hand and you’re very focused. What do you think influenced you to be so confident?

My mom Dolly is a strong woman and she has this wonderful soft side too. I’m probably more like her than my father, he is the strong quiet type. I mean, yeah he is the alpha and we’d be a fool to doubt his strength but I can honestly say I’m not the quiet type. *laughing*

Everyone wants to know what it’s like to dream walk. What does it feel like to step into someone’s dream?

She picks up her coffee cup and takes a big drink, looking around the 70’s throwback room. In the beginning it was a very odd feeling. You know that feeling that you’re doing something sinister but you can’t help yourself? Have you ever been on a really scary ride, like that one that you stand up on this big circle and it spins around going up on its side… and when it feels like you can handle the spinning, the bottom drops out? It is like that.

Wow! Have you ever walked into a *eh hem* naughty dream?

No! Oh wow, no way. The closest I’ve ever come to something like that would be one of the guys, and I’m not say which one…..well, he was making out with the lady from 7-11. I left just as quickly. I couldn’t look him in the face for a week!

Have you tried to go into a dream and couldn’t?

Oh have I ever. It isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. I don’t dream walk every night though, only when I want to mess with someone or get information that couldn’t wait. I try not to interrupt anyone in the pack, but sometimes it just happens. I’ve got better control of it now, but when I was younger I was popping in and out of everyone’s dreams. There is a way to block me from walking on you, but the only person I’ve shown it to is my dad. As you know, I don’t really advertise that I dream walk so we should keep it just for your readers.

Speaking of things not to advertise, tell me about the tattoo behind your ear.

I’m sorry, that is something I don’t talk about. Sorry.

Everyone wants to know more about that hottie Oakley, he’s your bodyguard correct?

Yes, Oakley is my bodyguard. That sounds silly doesn’t it? I hear from everyon

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