Saturday, August 31, 2013

**Sidekick Showcase ~ #9**

Sidekick Showcase (previously known as Sidekick Saturday) is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in this week's type
• Share a picture (if possible) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• Put your link in the Linky thing and comment


This week, Jaclyn has selected The Walking Dead as the theme. And my pick is:

Cyrus Kerrick
from the Blood Ties series by Jennifer Armintrout

Yes, Jennifer Armintrout, not to be confused with Jennifer L. Armentrout. I'm gonna let y'all in on a secret...I never would have read JLA if I hadn't read JA and gotten them confused! LOL

Okay, about the Blood Ties series...I can't remember, honestly, how I came upon this series! But I loved it! Again, it was something I read soon after Stephenie Meyer had pulled me out of my reading comfort zone. I'm gonna admit that I'd chosen one character from this series and had my post ready to go...but while looking for quotes for that character, I realized I kinda liked a different character even more! LOL What does it say about me that I chose the bad guy over the good guy?? And this was a difficult decision for me because there are SO many choices for this theme. So I, once again, went with a series I don't hear much about. :)

I believe this series is categorized as Paranormal Romance, but it's really more urban fantasy with some horror thrown in. It's very dark and gritty. And it's a unique take on vampires. This series is intricately written with a strong cast of characters. I think I'd compare it to Kim Harrison's The Hollows or Rachel Vincent's Shifters, in that while there is a main character, the whole cast plays such prominent roles, the main character's role is not so.

Cyrus is a vampire. He's quite ruthless and perverse, when we first meet him. And he's one of the characters that you hate at the beginning but end up loving over the course of the series. In the first book, The Turning, Cyrus is a very self-centered. He sires Carrie, the MC, and manipulates her at every turn to get what he wants. You see, when a vampire sires a fledgling, they have a blood tie. This blood tie give the sire a certain amount of control over the fledgling. And Cyrus wasn't opposed to using this tie, or anything else he could think of, to control Carrie. In the next book, Possession, Cyrus has experienced an interesting turn of events. He's much more vulnerable in this book, and here is where my feeling toward him began changing. He becomes a much more sympathetic character. In Ashes to Ashes, the dynamics change even more between Cyrus, Carrie, and Nathan (the third in this not so loving love triangle). And in the end, with All Souls' Night, I found I wanted Cyrus' story to continue.

“I'm sorry I'm not more cultured. I'll watch PBS. And cut people open for fun. Will that be better? Will you be less embarrassed to be my fledgling then?”  --Cyrus, The Turning

“Look, I'm very sorry for any wrong I've committed, intentionally or accidentally, against any member of your pack or kennel or whatnot. I mean that truly and sincerely, from the very core of my being. But I'm tired. Please imagine what it's like to be raised from the dead by a deranged vampire-motorcyle-gang-religious cult, only to be dragged across the country in a van driven by your ex-lover and fledgling who hates you and no longer sympathizes with the human need for waste elimination. I have neither the energy nor the inclination to write a ten page statement officially apologizing for the evils of my past, and if you expect me to, kindly throw yourself beneath the wheels of a moving train.” --Cyrus, Possession

“I have to go. I have a finite amount of life left and I don't want to spend it arguing with you.”  --Cyrus, Ashes to Ashes

"Did she? That is disappointing. I suppose I'll just have to go back to my cell without the pleasure of Dahlia's company. Perhaps I can slam my hand in the door over and over again to compensate for that loss."  --Cyrus, All Souls' Night

"Do you really want me in your life again? Won't it destroy the perfect solution I provided you with my death?"
My heart lurched in my chest. "You think I wanted you dead?"
He couldn't meet my eyes. "It certainly made your choice easier. Which one to pick, your sire or your fledgling?" --Cyrus and Carrie, All Souls' Night

**Cover Reveal ~ Darkness Watching ~ Emma L. Adams**

Hey y'all, I hope your weekend is off to a great start! I'm thrilled to be a part of the cover reveal for Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams. I like this cover, particularly the frost-looking border. And the premise sounds exciting too! :)

This reveal is organized by Xpresso Book Tours.

Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams
(Darkworld #1)
Publication date: September 30th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy


Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her,  and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book,Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Friday, August 30, 2013

**Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Stay with Me ~ Elyssa Patrick**

Happy Friday, y'all and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Elyssa Patrick's Stay with Me. My stop includes my review, Elyssa's Stay with Me playlist, and a giveaway! To follow all the stops on the tour, click here.

Additionally, I'm able to offer an ecopy of Stay with Me to one lucky commenter. Yay! Simply leave a comment for a chance to win. This giveaway is open internationally and ends on September 6th. The winner will be chosen randomly.

This blog tour is presented by Book Crush Book Reviews.


Stay with Me by Elyssa Patrick
With Me #1
Release Date: August 30, 2013
Genre: NA Contemporary

With one look, I’m his . . .

With one touch, he’s mine . . .

With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .

I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.

When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.

But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.

Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.

Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.

Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.

Stay With Me is such a sweet story. It made me smile and it warmed my heart. And it delivered on all those elements I love so much about the New Adult genre.

Hailey Bloom has been a celebrity since becoming the Gerber Baby. That launched a career in acting, singing/playing the guitar. Living in Hollywood, she grew up way too fast and at 18, she had a startling eiphany. She didn't want this life anymore. Actually, she didn't know if she ever did. So she defies her mother, whom has always pushed her in this life of celebrity, and her friends, whom she finds aren't truly friends, and heads to Vermont to attend college and more importantly, find herself.

I really liked Hailey. She's a very strong young woman, which is evident in her surviving her celebrity life. But it's also evident in her leaving that life to figure out what she really wants. She's independent and has been for awhile but like anyone her age, she has moments when she wants someone else to take care of her, reassure her. I liked seeing the two sides of Hailey - the celebrity side who's confident and witty as well as the real Hailey, who's not quite as self-assured and trips over her words with Caleb.

Caleb Fox *sigh* is incredible. From their first encounter, he steps in as Hailey's protector - but not in the typical hero way. By that I mean, he doesn't act like a caveman or treat her like a helpless girl. He sees something special in Hailey, herself, not the celebrity and he sets out to get to know her. One thing I love about Caleb is he unknowingly gives Hailey something she's never really had - stability. He's always there for her, always stands by her - shows her she's not alone. He's such a loyal guy! Oh, and ladies, he just made me swoon so often with some of the things he did with and for Hailey.

Since this is the first in a series, we are also introduced to a colorful cast of characters. Ms. Patrick did an outstanding job of fleshing out these people while remaining true to the story she was telling. I adored Daphne, Caleb's younger sister (he actually has 3). She made this perfect best friend for Hailey in that they'd both experienced things no one their age should but it made them kindred spirits. They were both trying to figure it out - because their lives had kinds derailed. Then there are Caleb's roommates, Jamie and Nick, and their friends Griff, Kai and Dylan. We don't see Kai and Dylan too much but Jamie, Nick and Griff - well, I can't wait for their books. ;) They each stole a little piece of my heart.

As for the drama, it was created with this secret Hailey had. A secret that, when revealed, she was certain everyone would hate her - particularly Caleb. I have to say that I was proud of how Caleb handled things when the secret was revealed. But I also have to admit to feeling kinda letdown by the secret. I didn't see it as quite the big deal Hailey thought it was. And I felt like everything was tidied up a bit too quickly and neatly. It didn't pack the emotional punch I thought it would. But now that I think about it, maybe it didn't bother me too much because, like Caleb, I'd gotten to know the real Hailey and understood she wasn't that person.

Stay With Me was a feel-good read for me. I was pleased with how it ended and knowing I'll be seeing Hailey and Caleb in the future books makes it even better. And I eagerly await reading everyone else's story!

On a side note, I really appreciated Ms. Patrick's nods to both Amelia Peabody and the question to who is the best Mr. Darcy...I am forever firmly planted on the side of Colin Firth! ;)

**I received an ecopy of this book, as part of the tour, in exchange for an honest review.


Playlist for Stay With Me

Someone Like You - Adele

Gravity – Sara Bareilles
Starry, Starry Night – Don McLean
Dancing Queen - ABBA
Catch My Breath - Kelly Clarkson  
Make You Feel My Love - Kris Allen
Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
Everything I Do I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
Falling Softly – from the Broadway musical, Once
My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
Something – George Harrison
To Show Me Your Love – Mike Schmid 
(this is the song that plays in the book trailer)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elyssa Patrick writes sexy, emotional contemporary romances and New Adult. She is currently working on her next novel. 

**Cover Reveal ~ Forty Nights ~ Stephanie Parent**

Y'all...I can't wait for the release of Stephanie Parent's Forty Nights! CANNOT.WAIT!! This is the second and final book in the Neima's Ark series. I reviewed Forty Days earlier this year and it was phenomenal! So I'm a little excited for the sequel...And I LOVE the cover! What do y'all think?

This reveal is presented by YA Bound Book Tours.

Forty Nights (Neima's Ark #2)
by Stephanie Parent
Release Date: September 2013
Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber Designs

Summary from Goodreads:
Neima, her family, and her grandfather Noah have found themselves trapped aboard an ark as a great flood destroys all life in the world. As their time aboard the ark lengthens, food begins to run out, wild animals grow restless, and family tensions become as much of a threat as the flood outside. In the second and final installment of Neima’s Ark, the stakes are higher, the conflicts are greater, and Neima finds herself facing a choice as impossible as the destruction all around her.

Forty Nights is a continuation of the story begun in Forty Days, and it’s recommended that you read Forty Days first for the best experience. Forty Nights does, however, contain a character guide to refresh readers’ memories. The Neima’s Ark series is a historical, feminist re-imagining of the story of Noah’s Ark rather than a religiously oriented one, and the novels are best suited for readers who are comfortable with new interpretations of biblical stories.

***Forty Days is currently FREE!  Get your copy!***

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles 
because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.

**Cover Reveal & Giveaway ~ Villere House ~ Leslie Fear & C.D. Hussey**

I'm excited to be participating in the cover reveal for Villere House by Leslie Fear and C.D. Hussey. This premise for this one sounds kinda creepy and really exciting! 

This cover reveal is presented by Literary Mania Reviews

Villere House by Leslie Fear & C.D. Hussey
Blood of My Blood #1
Expected Release: Early Fall 2013
Genre: Paranormal

The last thing college senior Lottie Boyd expected while on spring break in New Orleans was having strange, yet vivid dreams of a 19th century young widow, desperately trying to save her dying little girl. When doctors are unable to do more, the beautiful woman in Lottie’s dreams is forced to go beyond her beliefs for one last attempt. 

Compelled to find answers, Lottie is drawn toward the historic Villere House of Voodoo, where she meets the owner, Xavier Villere. She is attracted to his intriguing creole good looks, but his skepticism of his family's century-old link to Voodoo and the occult keep pushing her away. 

It isn’t until Xavier begins experiencing unexplainable events from his own past that he begins to understand why he must help Lottie with hers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leslie FearLeslie has always been an avid reader and when she began posting reviews, she went back to her roots and started writing again. She is also a singer/musician and was a member of a local group which performed in the Dallas/FT. Worth area in the early '90's.

Leslie lives in Texas with her husband, two great kids and a pug.


C.D. HusseyWhen not writing, C.D. Hussey enjoys a career as a professional engineer. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, teenage son, and two cats.

Besides exploring the world of Human Vampires, C.D. also enjoys writing fantasy romance. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

**Feature & Follow ~ #31**

Happy Friday and 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 of 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:
The Whimsical Mama
I Read, Ergo, I Write

This week's question: 

If you could only have ONE book for the rest of your life, 
what would it be?

Hands down, my Jane Austen anthology! I don't consider this cheating since it IS one just happens to contain all her works. :) And since I missed out on last week's selfies, I combined this week's and last week's questions. :) Not the greatest photo, but I took it of myself so what do you expect?!?

What about y'all? What would be your ONE book??

**Review ~ Demons in the Big Easy ~ Jamie Marchant**

Demons in the Big Easy
Title: Demons in the Big Easy
Author: Jamie Marchant
Release Date: January 4, 2013
Source: I received an ecopy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Adventurous in her youth, Cassandra built gateways between Domhan and its parallel realm of Earth. Now she’s too old for that kind of thing. But something is making it easier for demons to pass into Domhan. Not only that, but their behavior becomes inexplicable: whenever Cassandra banishes one, it laughs at her rather than resists, and it promises it will soon devour her essence and that of every resident of her small village. Cassandra is certain such a thing is impossible, for strong wards protect her village. 

But then Cassandra’s granddaughter Aine falls through an unstable gateway. Cassandra is the only one within a hundred miles capable of creating a gateway and bringing Aine back. Despite her aching joints, Cassandra goes after her, and the gateway lands her in New Orleans. But something goes wrong with her tracking spell, which indicates Aine exists in four different places at once. As Cassandra struggles to find the true location of her granddaughter in the Big Easy, she discovers the source of the demons’ confidence. Now, with an unlikely pair of allies—her timid granddaughter and a homeless man who may or may not be crazy—she has to not only save her granddaughter but also prevent both Domhan and Earth from being overrun by demons.

Demons in the Big Easy is a quick read. I was impressed with the amount of world building and character development Ms. Marchant packed into such a short story.

Cassandra is a witch and resides in Domhan, a realm connected to Earth. Travel between realms is done through gateways - either magically created ones or randomly occurring ones. Cassandra has always stood as sentry for her village, protecting it from demons who might cross the veil.

Cassandra's granddaughter, Aine, feel through a random gateway. To get her back, Cassandra and Caronwyn, Aine's twin sister, travel through a gateway to the city of New Orleans. There they meet Jake, a homeless man who believes he's crazy because he can see demons.

The story revolves around Cassandra, Caronwyn, and Jake's search for Aine. Their search entails dealing with zombies, demons, voodoo, a cruel mother and one very power hungry man. Sound about right for New Orleans? :)

Demons in the Big Easy managed to pack in some action, build some suspense, and keep me entertained. My only complaint is that I wanted more! :) 

Jamie Marchant

Jamie Marchant lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband, son, and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. Her first novel The Goddess's Choice was released in April 2012 from Reliquary Press. She is hard at work on the sequel, tentatively titled The Soul Stone. She also has published a novella, titled Demons in the Big Easy. Her short fiction has been published in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, and

**Blitz & Giveaway ~ Aberrant ~ Ruth Silver**

Hey y'all! I'm excited to be a part of the blitz for Ruth Silver's Aberrant. I have all the important details about Aberrant, an excerpt, and a giveaway!


Aberrant (Aberrant )
by Ruth Silver
Release Date: 04/17/13

Summary from Goodreads
In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker
accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.

With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

Joshua  and  I both headed  out  of  the council hall with  Jacqueline leading  the way. The line  of  young men had barely dwindled.  I avoided  their  stare,  their curiosity  as  they slowly  proceeded forward,  giving  the  attendant  their  name.  I  wondered  how they knew about me and more importantly what they knew. Jacqueline walked a few feet ahead of us, giving us privacy to talk. I silently thanked her for still respecting us and our wishes. She was probably the only one in Haven who liked us. I didn’t know if I should be relieved or angered by  the recent news. I could  feel  the whispers, like tingles against bare skin as we walked further from council hall and rounded the corner. I was grateful to be out of sight from all those curious stares. "I guess we should consider ourselves lucky," I remarked. I didn't feel lucky. I tried to sound upbeat, but everything was quickly falling apart around us.

Joshua scoffed at the idea. "Lucky? I wouldn't go that far," he emphasized. "This is how it  starts. Eventually,  they'll make it  a crime  for  us  to  see  one  another." He  sounded disgusted. 

"They  sort  of  already  are,"  I  remarked,  trying  to  understand the  council's decision.  "I  think  they  just  want  to  make  sure I'm protected."  Though  I  didn't  quite understand  how  setting me  up to meet multiple  bachelors was  any  form  of  protection. It seemed as if they only wanted to keep Joshua away from me. The one person I could trust, implicitly.  I  knew  the  rules  were  different  because  I  was  different.  They didn’t seem particularly bothered by Joshua having a girl in his room. It didn’t seem fair. 

"Seems  like  they  don't  really  care  what  we  think  at  all," Joshua  retorted as we headed into our building. "Were you okay last night? I worried when Landon escorted you out of the dormitory." 

I walked  slowly  up  the  stairs,  Jacqueline  just  a  few  feet  ahead of  us. "Aside from being locked in  a  room with  no windows."  I sighed. "At least they're giving me freedom from the tech center and a real bed. I should be grateful," I mocked. I didn't feel grateful, but I knew his mother at least tried to make it easier for me. As soon as we crested the top stair, I froze in place. The building shook with an alarming intensity as the first drone flew low overhead. The downstairs chandelier swayed and I held onto Joshua's arm and my eyes widened in terror. "What do you think is going on?" I asked watching the movement grow  stronger  as vibrations echoed through the dormitory. A nearby painting affixed to the wall crashed to the floor, the glass breaking. I could feel the ground quake beneath my feet as Joshua grabbed my hand, refusing to let go. 

"We're being attacked." It wasn't a question. Together, we jogged briskly down the hall toward our rooms. I didn't know how much time we had. All I knew was the government was here, and they were searching for me!

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Ruth Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She has written under three unique pseudo names and penned well over a 
hundred stories.

She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor's in 
Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, "Deuces are Wild", which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories.

Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She runs her own book blog and also enjoys photography and traveling.

Her favorite YA genre is a mix of Dystopian & Fantasy which is evident in the upcoming release of her latest book, Aberrant. Slated for release April 2013 by Lazy Day Publishing, it is the first in a trilogy.