Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Marked for Vengeance

Marked for Vengeance (Alyx Rayer Chronicles, #1)Title: Marked for Vengeance
Series: #1 The Alyx Rayer Chronicles
Author: S.J. Pierce
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Synopsis from GoodReads:
Alyx Rayer’s existence in Atlanta, the eternally bustling capital of Georgia, is one of routine and blending in among the worker bees. But her ‘normal’ life is actually a fa├žade for a higher calling; she's a three hundred year old soul, encased in a human vessel and sent from the darkness between heaven and Earth to capture her Marked when summoned by her superiors.

During the initial, routine stake-out of her Marked, a dream prophet named Isaac Walsh, Alyx is thrown for an emotional loop when his allure captivates her heart from two rooftops away. The event marks the very instance when her sense of what’s right and what’s wrong is brutally challenged as her contact with him is strictly forbidden.

While already trapped between honor and desire, her emotional struggles are further challenged by a man in a black suit who continually pops up when she least expects it, his presence evoking a strange response from the scar she was branded with at birth. The scar tingles like a warning beacon, alerting her that something is amiss. Because her superiors never told her what this would mean, or much of anything except what to do when they summon, she can only conclude to try and keep her sanity, and her life, from completely shattering to pieces.

This engaging first book of the series is a Paranormal Romance novel interlaced with twists, turns, and thrilling suspense that is sure to satisfy readers of any genre. 

May not be suitable for YA.

I didn't know what to expect going in to this book. The blurb sounded promising, so I decided to give it a shot. When I read the author's note at the beginning, it made me stop and think. Do we really know who or what walks among us? I know we just survived the Mayan End of the World, but have you seriously given thought to the world as we know it ending? In Marked for Vengeance we learn that there are beings who walk among us - neighbors, coworkers, friends - who were sent here for specific reasons. Some have good intentions and some with evil intentions. I was immediately sucked into this story and trying to uncover its mysteries.

We first meet Alyx, a being whose sole purpose on Earth is to protect her Marked. It is why she was created by her superiors and why she was placed in Atlanta 3 years ago. This is Alyx's third and final lifetime here and at this point she understands all the rules for her kind. However, this time she has a different sort of pull to her Marked - and it's one she's having a hard time ignoring.

Isaac, a widower, father, and artist is just doing his best to get by and raise his son. He has always been plagued by vivid and sometimes disturbing dreams. He typically channels these dreams into his art. His son, Micah, seems to have inherited his father's propensity for dreams, and lately they are coming more frequently and viscerally for both father and son.

One day, Alyx and Isaac meet at the bistro where Isaac works. Isaac feels as though he knows Alyx. Alyx, of course, rebuffs him for she must follow the rule prohibiting contact between herself and her Marked. However, this meeting sets into motion events that endanger not only Alyx, Isaac and Micah, but quite possibly all of humankind.

As we soon learn, the fate of the human world belongs to those Marked. And when evil descends upon Atlanta, it's up to Alyx and the other Angel/Protectors to ensure their Marked's survival and therefore the world's. 

Marked for Vengeance is unique in its premise and well executed in its writing. As the first in a series, we learn much about the central characters and also the world building required for the next books. I think it's well-paced and suspenseful. S.J. Pierce weaves religion and mythology well to create an engaging story. And I'm excited to read the next installment.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What I Did Last Night

So, guess what I did last night?!? Well, I'll give you a involved a witch/demon, an elf, a pixie, a vampire...

Yep, I went to Kim Harrison's book signing for Ever After down at the Tattered Cover in LoDo (that's lower downtown Denver, y'all). I had to brave the snow and cold, but I wasn't missing her this year. So my daughter and I drove down for a night out. It was an amazing night. I got to meet Kim Harrison! I also met some great people, talked about Kim's books as well as other fabulous reads, listened to Kim read an excerpt from Ever After, got to meet Guy, Kim's husband, and listen to some great Q&A between readers and Kim!  

I was a bit starstruck, as I always tend to get when I meet one of my favorite authors. It was an awesome experience and I can't wait to do it again next year!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Second Daughter **Blog Tour**

Hello and welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Second Daughter, by J. Jeffrey, presented by Sage's Blog Tours.

The Second Daughter
By J. Jeffrey

Amazon GoodReads

You try turning out all right after you overhear your mother wishing you hadn’t been born.
It had started out well. Umbrellas tangled. A storybook romance followed. A wonderful wedding. A beautiful, sweet first daughter. They were complete, a family, happy. And then they went and had another daughter.
Her charming and witty father Theodore starts disappearing, then worse, starts coming back. Her once allegedly sweet older sister Regina angrily resents her, and the sisters are at constant war. Her
mother Helen is so busy what-iffing about the life she might have had that she overlooks the life she is actually having. Everyone blames Debra for pretty much everything as the family slowly, then quickly, then one day explosively disintegrates. Along the way there are secrets and lies, heartbreaks and betrayals, plus the dramatic unexpected death of a central character at a pivotal moment. The now young woman finds herself living awkwardly alone with her embittered mother when the phone rings—and her
mother’s secret past suddenly crashes back into the present.
Their life may be about to change forever; or rather, perhaps, revert back to what it should have been all along.
But not exactly because of that phone call, as it turns out.
Because of the remarkable second daughter. For what Debra Gale has is unyielding determination. What she has is an irrepressible capacity to love. And now at last what she has is a chance.
The complex dynamics of a changing family. Mother, daughters, sisters, and the father who both divides and unifies them. That dramatic unexpected death, plus more than the ordinary amount of banana cream pie. Welcome to The Second Daughter: a funny but poignant, unusual but beautiful love story.

About the Author
J. Jeffrey stands about six foot three and likes poetry. He has been known to climb the occasional mountain and tame the occasional lion. He sings opera as an amateur but is trained as a masseur, and he is extremely partial to his wife’s green tea perfume. He drinks too much coffee, and gets lost a lot. Two words: Florence, Italy. Pastry for breakfast, over the crossword puzzle, preferably after noon. Soup for lunch, preferably late afternoon, over another puzzle (the first having been solved). His favorite drink (after coffee) is red wine. He knows a word or two but will not play scrabble. Regrettably, he believes he might be happy if only you would think him as funny as he thinks he is. But most importantly, he is not to be trusted. He writes biographies full of lies, or are they novels full of truths? Such a fine line.

My Review
This book will break you heart. Make sure to have a box of tissues handy when you sit down with it - you'll need it. 

J. Jeffrey has written such a charmingly engaging and heartbreaking tale in The Second Daughter. It is a superbly rendered blend of love, joy, and humor along with sadness and regret. At its heart, it's a story of life.

Helen Faire Gale is a woman who needs her life to be orderly and tidy in all aspects. She leads her life in this manner while preparing for her "long journey to the promised land." Then she meets Theodore Gale - a man who couldn't be further from neat and tidy if he tried. But something about Theodore's lack of order and his spontaneity appeals to her. And somehow this pair of opposites ends up married.

Within their first year of marriage, they have Regina, the perfectly tempered first daughter. Exactly two years after Regina's birth, the second daughter, Debra, comes along. And Helen and Theodore's seemingly perfect world begins to crumble. 

Regina is seen as the quiet, tidy, obedient and smart daughter. She makes a point of living up to those expectations, in between doing everything to torture her younger sister and/or make her appear as the reason the Gales' life isn't going smoothly.

Debra is seen as the loud, clumsy, untidy, disobedient and not smart daughter. She, too, does her best to wear those between trying to love her sister and/or defend herself against her sister's antics.

There is much about this story that I found personally relatable. That may be why I found this story so moving. One element of particular interest this novel illuminates is the difference in people's perception of events - even between those living through the same event. One of the most touching elements of this story for me is the journey Helen and Debra undertake from the moment of Debra's birth. That Helen goes from blaming all her woes on her youngest child - what iffing Debra's existence to her epiphany:

"All I ever really wanted, Dub, was to have a long, meaningful journey somewhere. And it turns out I had one, right here, with you..."

This is a truly unique love story. Oh, there is love between husband and wife, between parents and children but it's the love between a mother and her second daughter that's the highlight here. And it's achingly sad in its beauty.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Unbeautifully Loved *Cover Reveal*


Unbeautifully Loved (Unbeautiful Life # 1)
by Emma Grayson
Coming April 2013

On the run from her dark and painful past, Lexie Todd is finally forced by her best friend Mollie into settling into a new place for the first time in months. Having been hurt in more ways than one in the past, the last thing Lexie is expecting or wanting is to meet someone as persistent and annoying but incredibly gorgeous as Lukas Gunn.

When an incident leaves Lexie banged up and rattled, Lukas knows there’s more to her than meets the eye as something is haunting her to the core making him nothing but determined to make her his and protect her from whatever it is that casts the dark painful shadow behind her eyes.

But when her past shows up and pulls Lexie back into the nightmare she already once escaped while leaving her closest loved ones in danger it’s up to Lukas to save her from her darkest nightmare relived.

Will Lukas be able to save Lexie? Or will Lexie succumb only having known what it’s like to be Unbeautifully Loved?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feature & Follow #11

Welcome to the Blog Hop!

Feature & Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by the talented ladies behind AlisonCanRead and Parajunkee's View. The intent behind this blog hop is to get out there and meet other bloggers and gain new followers yourself. What sets this blog hop apart is the Feature. Each week, two blogs are featured, one at AlisonCanRead and one at Parajunkee's View. So make sure to hop over to those blogs to check out this week's Features.

This week's Features are:
Sugar & Snark
Books Are the Only True Magic

This week's question is: What is the last book to keep you up late into the night just to finish?

My answer is: Mogul by Ginger Voight. I HAD to see how it all would end! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Groupie & Rock Star

Groupie (Groupie, #1)Title: Groupie & Rock Star
Series: #1 & #2 Groupie Romance Series
Rock Star (Groupie, #2)Author: Ginger Voight
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopses from GoodReads:
Into any girl's life a star could fall, but there's a thin line between love and obsession.

Andy Foster never expected lightning to strike when she met the enigmatic frontman of an up-and-coming rock band, but Giovanni Carnevale left her thunderstruck. At first it is easy to use her freelance writing career as an excuse to indulge the steamy flirtation from city to city. As she gets ever closer to making her lascivious fantasies a reality, however, she finds herself entangled in the fake and sometimes dangerous world of celebrity where nothing is as it seems, including the celebrities themselves.

She hangs on to find something real amidst the illusion, while Giovanni balances what he wants against what he fears most. Over three years they come together and blow apart with the same kind of combustible passion. This keeps them orbiting in the others' stratosphere despite new relationships and bitter betrayals. They are bound together by something they can't fight, something that draws the ire of another fan determined to claim Vanni all to herself.

Unknowingly they all race toward a dramatic moment of truth that will leave two people injured, and one dead, with a twist of an ending you may never see coming.

Author of LOVE PLUS ONE and MY IMMORTAL, Ginger Voight once again brings Rubenesque romance to life through a curvy heroine and the sexy rock god who wants her. It is the ultimate fantasy for anyone who has ever indulged a celebrity crush, and wondered "what if" you ever got that one chance to be with your idol. More than a romance, GROUPIE is a sizzling contemporary read that throws back the curtain on the lives of celebrities and the fans who love them.


"Rock Star" is the highly anticipated sequel to Ginger Voight's Rock and Roll Rubenesque saga, which began with the sizzling debut of "Groupie." For those who have been anxious to see what has become of Andy, Vanni and Graham... buckle your seat belts. You're in for a thrilling new ride right through the dark underbelly of fame. 

In the second book in the series, readers get insight into the mind of the romantic hero, Giovanni Carnevale, as he reaches the pinnacle of success as a world wide rock star. Everyone wants a piece of him, but all he wants is the one thing he can't have. He's angry and he's entitled, with ample opportunity to make really bad decisions. The combination proves explosive.

Andy must watch from the sidelines as her beloved Vanni falls victim to grifters, scandals and alcoholism thanks to this self-destructive behavior. Things come to an emotional head when his estranged father comes on the scene just when Vanni thinks things can't get any worse.

Darkness shadows Graham Baxter as he begins his journey as a paraplegic. The powerful mogul bitterly handles this new vulnerability by lashing out at the people who could help him the most. He needs Andy more than ever, pulling her in yet another hopeless direction. Andy is put in the impossible situation of keeping the most important promise she has ever made, or saving the man that she can't help but love.

Author Ginger Voight turns up the scandals, secrets, passion and heartbreak to 11 in a very Jackie Collins type of way. Flawed characters face excess and all the pitfalls that entails. They fight as hard as they can to hold onto anything real in the fake world of celebrity.

First of all, let me say that I love, love, love these books - even though at times I hated them! :) These characters and the situations they are put in/put themselves's like seeing a train wreck about to know it's coming but you can't make yourself look away! And the entire time I was reading these books, I felt as though I was at the highest point on a roller coaster about to go over the edge but never tipped over so I constantly had that feeling in my know that feeling?!? 

These books even come with a disclaimer:

This series features a hero you might find you love to hate, a heroine you may want to slap, and frustrating triangles with dubious fidelity. Those who cannot abide “cheaters,” who need their bad boys to be mostly good, or who must have a HEA at the end of each book, may be advised to look elsewhere.

Without a doubt, there were times in these books where I wished I could reach out and slap any number of the characters! Despite the angst and frustration over their behavior, I still highly recommend reading this series. I haven't had my emotions toyed with in this way in awhile...and I read some angsty books. :)

In Groupie, we first meet Andy Foster. She's an up and coming journalist trying to break into the entertainment industry. While she primarily writes travel pieces, we meet her on her way to cover a band on the cusp of stardom...Dreaming in Blue. Andy is a self-confident, no-nonsense young woman who happens to be a bit more curvaceous that America's ideal. When she meets Vanni, the lead singer for DIB, she really was thunderstruck. It was the beginning of a tumultuous love affair that ends up spanning 4 years. 

Giovanni "Vanni" Carnevale, oh Vanni...*sigh* Vanni is the epitome of a bad boy rock star. He's *HOT*, can sing and makes all the women swoon. He has all the makings of a BIG star. He likes to play with all the ladies but he always makes sure they know that he'll never offer them more than one night. When Vanni and the band sign on with a record label, the future looks very bright. But they didn't realize signing that contract meant selling their souls too.

Enter Graham Baxter - founder of Baxter Mega-Worldwide Media Corporation. Graham meets Andy, whom he's immediately attracted to, and Vanni while in Las Vegas for a rock fest where one of his bands is performing. When Andy turns to Graham for his help with Vanni, it's the start to a back & forth relationship between the two of them which causes profound ripple effects for all. 

Andy is able to rescue Vanni from a bad situation with his record label. She also becomes a fixture with the band as she performs several functions in public relations for the band. Vanni and Andy embark on a relationship of sorts but it's never a public one. Andy deals with a ton of shit to be in the quasi-relationship with Vanni...his womanizing ways, his public girlfriends and his fawning fans. Is it worth it? And then a fan goes too far....

In Rock Star, our couple has to contend with a whole new set of challenges keeping them apart - at least physically. One of Vanni's fans, in a fit of, well, crazy, came after Andy in a violent way. This, on the day when Vanni was finally going to go public with their relationship. Graham was the one who jumped to Andy's rescue and now Andy is captive to him and her guilt over the incident.

Vanni, of course, doesn't take it well that Andy is willing to live with Graham through his recovery; he needs her too, afterall. So he escapes with alcohol to drown his pain while Andy focuses all her energy helping Graham.

Graham, who has fallen in love with Andy, wants to keep her close so he can show her how Vanni's all wrong for her, while he's all right. It hurts him to see Andy run to Vanni again and again, although he knows Andy has feelings for him as well. But he's hurting Andy too by keeping her loyalties divided. If only he could just get her to see the error of her ways...

This book has even more angst and woe (yes, it's possible!) as our star-crossed lovers try to lead separate lives. Vanni gets himself into several jams as he deals with his pain in self-destructive ways. And Andy is continually torn between Vanni and Graham, whom she has come to love although not in the same all-consuming way she loves Vanni. However, nothing seems to be able to keep these two apart. Except, of course, whatever force of the universe that always seems to interfere when things look up for them. 

What I've enjoyed most, I think, about these books is the journey of all the key characters. We wee where they started out emotionally and we get to watch them change and grow - particularly Vanni. I mean, this man has the emotional IQ of a 4 year old, and that may be a stretch. He's selfish and entitled but deep down, he's a good man. And y'all know I love my bad boys to have redeeming qualities! :) Even with Andy and Graham we get to watch as their love grows and changes and that makes it worth enduring all the turmoil and heartache I had to wade through. The range of emotions this series has wrought from me is widespread. I was elated sometimes and saddened others. Nervous, irritated, and giddy. Having body image issues myself, the things that were sometimes said about Andy were insufferable. But the moments of tenderness and love always smoothed my ruffled feathers. What these characters have together is something amazing, despite its flaws.

Oh, and I cannot finish this review without mentioned supporting characters. Y'all know how I love strong supporting characters. And this series has them. From Andy's BFFs Iris, Alana and Jacob to Vanni's bandmates Felix, Iain, and Yael, who all lovingly try to protect Andy. Oh, and Maggie, sweet, strong, Maggie. Now here's a role model for Andy! :) Each one of these characters brought so much to the story. 

Overall, like the disclaimer says, if you like your stories a certain way, you may want to steer clear of these. They will tear your heart out, then gently mend it. And I LOVED.EVERY.MINUTE.OF.THEM!

By the way, I have finished the final book in this trilogy, Mogul. Be sure to check back for its review plus an interview on February  11th.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

WOW ~ Blog Awards

I had something very nice happen to me this week. Actually 2 somethings nice! I was nominated for 2 different blog awards. How cool is that?!? I've never received a blog award before so I am quite honored *blushes* and grateful. I'm going to combine both in this post in the interest of saving time (gotta get back to my book! :) Also in the interest of saving time (since it has been a week and I'm just now getting to this) I'm only nominating 5 per award. I know I'm bending the rules a bit but it was actually quite difficult to find the 10 I did find who qualified and hadn't already received the award...and I stalk A LOT of blogs! :)

I was nominated by Megan over at MegzMaddReadz for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks Megan!! It was very sweet of you to think of me. :)

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Include the blog award logo in your post
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 15 5 other bloggers and let them know about it
  • Share 7 random facts about yourself
(And bloggers, if you don't wish to participate, that's totally kopesthetic. Just know I think your blog is fab! :)

Seven Random Facts about me:

  • I have 2 adorable cats - Skitter & Skat
  • I choose vacations spots from favorite books
  • I've lived in 8 different towns/cities
  • I don't watch t.v. or listen to the radio
  • I've recently begun drinking coffee and I'm totally addicted
  • I have degrees in English and Economics
  • I can look out any window in my house and see pine trees

The second award for which I was nominated is the Liebster Blog Award. Jessica at ThatGirlReads honored me with this one...thanks, Jessica! The Liebster Blog Award is given to up & coming bloggers that have less than 200 followers. The purpose behind the award is to get to know these bloggers. Liebster, in German, means favorite.

There are some rules to follow in order to accept and participate:

  • Tell 11 things about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger that nominated you
  • Post 11 questions for those you are nominating
  • Nominate 11 5 bloggers who have less than 200 followers
  • Inform those bloggers you've nominated about the award

I'm nominating the following bloggers:

Here again bloggers, if you don't want to participate, that's cool. Just know I love following your blog! 

The following are the questions Jessica asked me:

1)  Do you read in the quiet or with music, tv noise, or screaming kids in the background?

All of the above...well, my kids are older now so I usually don't have the screaming but if they're home, I've got background noise. If not, total quiet...nice!
2)  What first prompted you to start reading?

I've always been a reader so I have no idea why I originally started - maybe just because I could. Now I read because I love getting lost in someone else's life. :)
3)  If you could swap lives with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

Wow - there are so many to choose from. I'm gonna go with Elizabeth Bennett simply because I've often told my hubby that I'd have loved to have lived in Regency England and he always says "sure, as long as you were at least middle class." So I'd like to be Elizabeth...and get Mr. Darcy! :)
4)  How do you organize your books? In alphabetical order by title, alphabetical order by author, color coordinated or some other way?

I organize my books alphabetically by genre. What?!? I work in a bookstore! :)
5)  If you could spend a day with an author who would it be?

Again, so many to choose from...Jane Austen, of course. Colleen Hoover? I think she'd make me laugh!
6)  Where is your favorite place to shop for books?

Independent bookstores
7)  What book would you like to see turned into a tv show or movie?

Since I don't watch t.v. and don't see many movies, I have no idea...maybe Kim Harrison's The Hollows series...
8)  Are you the only reader in your family?

No, thank goodness!
9)  What book to movie / tv show do you wish they would have just left the hell alone? Why ruin a good thing with the wrong characters?

I think that of most books. T.V. and movies can never do a book justice!
10)  What book could you just read over and over and over again?

Pride & Prejudice...and Bared to You! *grin* 
11)  What book do you wish you'd never laid eyes on?

Villages by John Updike

My 11 questions for those I've nominated are:

  • What prompted you to start blogging?
  • What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  • What is your favorite genre?
  • Who is your favorite character?
  • Do you read books or ebooks or both?
  • How do you pick your next book to read?
  • Where is your favorite place to read?
  • Have you ever danced in the rain?
  • Where is the farthest from home you've traveled?
  • If you have to give up a sense to lose, which would you choose?
  • What else, besides reading, do you do for fun?
Keep reading & keep blogging! :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grave Intentions

Grave IntentionsTitle: Grave Intentions
Series: #1 Grave Series
Author: Lori Sjoberg
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release: January 3, 2013

Synopsis from GoodReads:
He’s handsome, reliable, and punctual—the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death’s best agent—and now he’s got more than his soul to lose…

One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper—an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good. Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can’t be influenced by his powers—even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living—and a passion he can’t afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he’ll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah...and gamble on a choice even an immortal can’t win.

I like reaper stories and I enjoyed this one. Grave Intentions provided a fresh spin on how reapers move among us and I'm always tickled to find a new spin on a supernatural being. :) I thought Ms. Sjoberg did a great job on creating something unique in that respect.

Sarah is a scientist and although she grew up around events that couldn't be explained - like being raised by a grandma who could talk to spirits - she shies away from anything that can't be scientifically or logically proven. But as her friend said, 

"You know, one of these days you're going to come face to face with something you can't explain through the scientific method."

Sarah had no idea how prophetic that statement would turn out to be.

David is a reaper. It's taken him some time but he's figured out the formula for best enduring his current incarnation. That is too keep all emotions locked down tight. That's a tall order when your job is assisting souls who've experienced untimely deaths to the afterlife .

Fate has a strange sense of humor, it would seem, when she weaves these two souls together. Can Sarah let go of her need for scientific proof? Can David tear down the wall behind which his emotions are concealed?

I found the cast of supporting characters entertaining. Samuel, David's boss was a joy in his snobbery. David's fellow reapers Ruby, Adam, and Dmitri also offered their own charms and I look forward to getting to know them even better in future books in this series.

As I said, I really enjoyed this book. At times, I did feel it was a bit predictable. However, Ms. Sjoberg was still able to wring emotion from me. At one point, I knew what was coming and still I cried! And the ending...even though I thought I knew how things would end, Ms. Sjoberg didn't take the exact path I envisioned (guess my psychic skills are lacking! :) Overall, this was a pleasant read and I will check out the next in the series.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blog Tour ~ Persistence of Vision ~ Interview with Marcus

Musings on Fantasia
Hi everyone, and welcome to my stop on the Persistence of Vision Blog Tour! I'm delighted to share with y'all my interview with Marcus. It was interesting to get into his head! :) I hope y'all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed interviewing him. If you haven't already, you can read my review of Liesel Hill's exceptional debut, Persistence of Vision here. Here is a synopsis of the novel from GoodReads:

In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...

Now, on to the interview...

I'd like to thank Marcus for being here today...thanks, Marcus! :)

BB: What was going through your head when you were saving Maggie from the Arachnimen and she had no memory of you?

M: Mostly panic. I knew i'd have to deal with her memory eventually, but in that moment I just wanted to get there in time to keep her from being killed.

BB: What was your life like before you joined with the BCO?

M: I grew up travelling around with my father and brother. We were nomads. We hunted and gathered and fished to live. My father protected and sheltered us from most of the harsher realities of the world. It wasn't a bad life, by any means, but it was a bit lonely. When my father and I came to Interchron to live, we gained community, friends, and purpose.

BB: Why do you think you don't have memories of your mother?

M: I've wondered that a lot in my life. I should have been old enough to have a few, but perhaps not. As Maggie could attest, memory is a tricky thing. I wish I remembered her, but I must have just been too young when she passed.

BB: When Maggie lost her memories and BCO sent her back to her time, did you hold out any hope that you'd ever see her again?

M: My official answer is no. If anyone asked, I would have denied it. Yet, I don't think we as human beings are entirely capable of giving up hope. Even though I wouldn't have admitted it, I think a small flame of hope survived somewhere inside me.

BB: Why do you feel such a personal responsibility for David having gone to the collective?

M: It's a brother thing. He was younger than me, and it was always my job to shelter and take care of him. I know that is was his choice, but I always wonder if I had loved him more, taught him better, been able to protect him better from the harsher side of life, would he have chosen differently. I failed him as a brother and a guardian.

BB: If you could change one thing - Maggie losing her memories, David leaving, Clay's condition - what would it be?

M: Hey, no fair giving me those choices! They're probably the three most tragic things that have ever happened to me. If I HAD to choose one, I'd probably want to change Clay's condition. After all, Maggie came back, as did David, but we have little hope of changing Clay's circumstances.

BB: What, if anything, do you think you and the team should have done differently to change the outcome of the island attack?

M: That I don't know. We did the best we could. I suppose maybe we should have had more information going in, but we had no way to get more. I'm not sure there's anything we could have done differently.

BB: Is there any memory you hope Maggie doesn't get back?

M: *laughs* That's an interesting question. In the way you mean it, no. There's nothing I have to hide that I don't want her to remember. On the other hand, from what I can tell, some of the memories she lost were painful. Dangerous, even. Of course I want to protect her from that.

BB: Thanks again, Marcus, for joining me today and letting me (and my readers) into your head. :)

M: Thanks so much for interviewing me on your blog today. Everyone stay safe, prepare for the future as much as possible, and watch out for Arachnimen!

Find more about Liesel Hill here:

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Goodreads Author Page:

Feature & Follow #10

Welcome to the Blog Hop!

Feature & Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by the talented ladies behind AlisonCanRead and Parajunkee's View. The intent behind this blog hop is to get out there and meet other bloggers and gain new followers yourself. What sets this blog hop apart is the Feature. Each week, two blogs are featured, one at AlisonCanRead and one at Parajunkee's View. So make sure to hop over to those blogs to check out this week's Features.

This week's Features are:

Reading Under the Willow Tree
On Starships & Dragonwings

This week's question is: Who is your favorite book villain?

I think I'm going to go with Trent Kalamack from Kim Harrison's The Hollows series. He's always getting Rachel into some sort of trouble or saving her when she's gotten herself into trouble. But Trent has gotten under my skin. He does have some redeeming qualities and I just have to say that I love Trent! :)

“The want for that kiss had shocked him more than the interruption, and he fell back into the chair, cool and nonchalant as Quen came in with his questions and demands. He wasn't sure if he believed he'd really helped, but one thing was very clear. He wanted that again, that feeling of standing with her against all odds and succeeding. He wanted it so bad, he was going to risk destroying everything he and his father had worked for. He should walk away. Right now. But as she was ushered out the door under David's arm, all he wanted to do was follow her. What the hell was he doing, falling in love with a demon?” 
― Kim HarrisonA Perfect Blood

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blog Tour - Taste by Kate Evangelista Guest Post, Review & Giveaway

I am so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for Kate Evangelista's Taste! There's a lot going on here today with Kate's guest post, my review, and a giveaway. Don't forget to check out all the blogs that were stops on the tour! :) And without further ado, here's Kate...

Taste Love Triangle
by Kate Evangelista

When I first started writing Taste, I never thought of the love story as a love triangle. It had always been the story of Phoenix discovering by accident that something else went on at her school after hours.

But to be clear, I love writing love stories, so in anything I write there is always a romantic element. This has always been the case since I was in high school.

I love the concept of falling in love.

In Taste, Phoenix stumbles upon Demitri. Well, he saves her from having her flesh tasted by Eli. Their relationship is a tumultuous one because they needed to reconcile one fact: are they just
attracted to each other because of something that happens between them that binds them or is there something deeper beyond their connection? Was it just physical attraction?

I think this is why I like Luka for Phoenix better. He's a more stable choice for her. But, of course, I'm merely the typist of this story. Just because I like something doesn't mean it'll happen. *le sigh*

The love triangle was born several drafts into the story. Slowly, I started seeing that beyond Demitri's and Phoenix's connection, Luka was making an impact in her life and her journey.

I believe Luka and Phoenix have a shared experience. They are both living through issues with their fathers. That's what binds them. They find comfort in each other because of it. The
attraction between them comes from a deeper place than the physical.

Now, like I've written above, just because I like it, doesn't mean it's what happens.

I will be the first to admit that Phoenix isn't the type of make the best decisions in the world. She decides on things based on impulse and whatever situation her curiosity lands her in. And if
you've read Taste, you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, grab your copy now and see what I mean.

Love triangles are complicated situations. A character is pulled in different directions for wholly different reasons. Real life is just as complicated. Sometimes even more so.

What happens between Demitri, Luka, and Phoenix within Taste grew out of several drafts, each one different from the next. There have been several scenarios as to who she ends up with in the
end. My critique partners know this.

At the end of the day, regardless of who Phoenix picks, it's about the journey of how she got there. I may not a hundred percent agree, but it's her story, not mine. I merely want to share with
all of you what happened to Phoenix when she met the Zhamvy that fateful afternoon she broke curfew.

So, I end this guest post by thanking you for hanging out with me. Grab your copy of Taste today. Love it or hate it is up to you. My fondest wish is that you enjoy the ride.

Be rebellious. Take a chance. See what Taste has to offer.

I dare you to break curfew.

Song Credits: “Hunger” © Noelle Pico.
Full Download available at

View photo in messageWhen Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master’s courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Author Website:
Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste:
You can get your own copy of Taste from these retailers

*****************MY REVIEW****************
*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

TasteSynopsis from GoodReads:
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans. When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn't realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

First off, let me say that I don't think the synopsis does this book justice. Obviously, it was enough to entice me to read it but the book is sooo much more!

Phoenix, a girl who feels alone in the world following the death of her mother and the subsequent withdrawal of her father, needs a reason for being. One evening, she awakes in the library realizing she's broken the one rule of the Barinkoff Academy. In her attempt to escape the school grounds without getting caught, she unwittingly discovers that reason.

Demitri, a boy who was born into his destiny and who robotically moves through his life serving his people. He didn't realize something was missing from his life...until he met Phoenix. 

Oh, and then there's Luka...gorgeous, snarky, intriguing Luka. *swoon* Luka is much different from Demitri. He's willing to give Phoenix the answers to all her questions about his race and what goes on at Barinkoff Academy after dark. He's also more than willing to explore his attraction to Phoenix. :) Luka is rather full of surprises, really. He's definitely hiding a lot behind his charming smile and rumpled uniform.

The Barinkoff Academy is keeping a entire civilization. These peoples' existence is in danger and that's where Phoenix comes in. Having been unable to do anything to save her mother, Phoenix is desperate to play a part in helping Demitri's people survive.

The future of Demitri and Luka's people is also threatened by political infighting. Here again, Phoenix plays a key role as she is used as a catalyst in a certain figure's quest for power.

There is also the connection that was forged between Demitri and Phoenix which is solidified once the plan to save Demitri's people is set into motion. *swoon*

This story has it all...action, romance, mystery...and I loved every minute of it! 

Tour Prizes -   At the end of the tour, Kate will give away 5 digital copies and one print copy.  The winners will be selected using rafflecopter on January 17.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

January 7
Guilty Pleasures
My Library in the Making

January 8
Read Your Writes Book Reviews
The Revolving Bookcase
A Dream Within A Dream

January 9
The Readers Roundtable Young & the Restless
What's On the Bookshelf

January 10
Fade Into Fantasy
The Solitary Bookworm
My Life With Boys and Books
Storey Book Reviews

January 11
The Book Whisperer
Book Bitches Blog

January 12
Heart Braking Reviews
Moosubi Reviews!
Open the Page

January 13
Just Me,Myself,and I
Smardy Pants Book Blog

January 14
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews
The Reflections of a Bookworm

January 15
My Life Beyond Labels
Dizneeee's World of Books

January 16
Reality Bites! Let's Get Lost!
Bookworm Brandee
Shh Moms Reading