Thursday, 28 July 2016

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Saving Sophie by Cate Beauman


Welcome to the blog tour for Falling for Sarah and Saving Sophie by Cate Beauman!  The tour runs July 1-29 with reviews, excerpts, interviews and guest posts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.

Falling for Sarah is only 0.99 cents for a limited time!



About FALLING FOR SARAH:

 Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she's found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood's A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee... until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss.

Sarah's world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband's memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won't stop until he has what he prizes most.

Only 0.99 for a limited time!

 About SAVING SOPHIE:


 Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.

Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.

Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.

Amazon | Barnes&Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Paperback



My Musings :

I received a free copy via CBB Book promotions in exchange for an honest review.

I had previously read Falling for Sarah so I was eagerly awaiting to read this book. When I finished, I had more admiration for the author since this one surpassed even Falling for Sarah . I believe this is my new favourite in this series.

Sophie had my heart from the beginning. Her daring escape and her indomitable spirit to better herself had my attention and my wishes. She was spirited and vulnerable and she touched my heart easily. Stone, on the other hand, didn't make that good an impression at the story's beginning with his uninvolved attitude. But Sophie softened him up and this made me like and near the end love his character.

And did the author leave out the other familiar characters? No! all the beloved people are included and make their appearance as per the story and I had fun reading all the developments in their lives. This family of people sure do know how to lift up the readers' spirit. The antagonist was perfectly crafted for Sophie and I was intrigued by this character. I felt he could have been given more scenes in the tale.

The plot and the story were all planned well and the scenes flowed well. There were a couple of scenes near the end which had me banging my head because of Sophie's actions. I was literally groaning while reading that part and this has made me revise my opinion about Sophie a bit. The story touched all my soft spots. The author's writing style had me identifying with the emotions of the protagonists. It was a very fast read and except for the foolish actions near the end, it was a fantastic read too. This has further increased my appetite for this series. I am looking forward to checking out the other book. In the meantime,I recommend this book to contemporary romance lovers with a dash of intrigue and thrill.

My rating : 4/5


About the Author:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series. For information on Cate's new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter at: http://www.catebeauman.com/author/home.html#!newsletter-sign-up/c9td


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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Song of Sovereign and Song of Sparrows by J D Wright





Song of Sovereign (Songs of Everealm #1)


Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: July 2016

Blurb :
Princess Sarita has everything. Loving parents, a castle fit for royalty, fine clothes, loyal friends, and an exciting job as a scholar of magic. At eighteen years of age, one might think that she would be content with her position. But one thing has always been missing from her life... full magic, itself.

When a strange old woman gave Sarita a secret spellbook as a child, her entire life was changed. The book contains spells, songs, and stories. But most of all, it provides a path to gaining full magic, the only thing that Sarita still needs to feel complete. And now, she has finally prepared to leave her home in search of the Stones of the Divine, the final ingredient she needs to gain magic.

Gabrielle has been known as the sister of a knight and best friend of the princess for as long as she can remember. Now an experienced healer's assistant, she is desperate to find her place and purpose in Junacave. An adventurous mission to help Sarita locate a mystical stone may be just the change in her life that she is looking for.

King Cassidy is still alone, but not for a lack of trying. His attempts to convince the Princess of Junacave to marry him over the past ten years have been for naught. And being twenty years old, with no heir, he is running out of time. If he can't win the heart of the princess, he may have to face a future without the love of his life.

Adventure, romance, and magic await as we travel through Everealm with royalty, wizards, fairies, and more, in the fantasy-romance Songs of Everealm, a five book series by J.D. Wright, author of the Everealm Series.

Note: Adult Content

Songs of Everealm Series is the second series set in the fantasy-filled Everealm. It begins 8 years after the conclusion of the first series, the Everealm Series.

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Buy Links:
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My Musings : 

 I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I have followed Everealm series very diligently and so I was very happy when Songs of Everealm came along. I was ready to follow the characters because I hadn't had my full of them yet. The way the author has continued the world along with the kids of the main characters from the previous series is very interesting and fun. Only negative is that this can not be read as a standlone. The previous series is strongly recommended to be read since the characters are entwined with their backstories.

Sarita is all grown up in this book. I was surprised and delighted with the changes in her as well as the similarities with her childish self. Her friendships remain the same. She is loyal and full of spirit. She doesn't settle for anything less than her wishes. Her relationship with Cassidy is still full of competition. I love the way they banter and dance around each other.

The part which shocked me was the rift between Oliver and Gabby and their other halves. I was upset at first and then realised that there is quite a story behind them. And of course, meeting Calli and Garrison, their total opposites is very informative and fun. The author knows how to deal with the romance part of the stories. She shows the real emotions and feelings without compromising the richness of the relationships.

The quest leading them all over Everealm is fun and funny. It shows their devotion for each other and also plays the adventurous part of the tale. I wish though there might have been obstacles in their path since they are royals gallivanting around the realm.

I loved meeting the older characters too. They have matured and are indulgent with the protagonists. I loved getting to know the few new characters too. Emery left quite an impression on me. I was naturally suspicious of her and I am glad that my feeling turned out false. I actually hated Calli in the beginning but as the story progressed I started to like her. I hope she turns out good in the sequel.I felt sort of sad for Garrison. I hope there's someone for him.

All in all it was a book which had my attentions from the start to the end. I can never get tired of Everealm and her characters!

My rating : 5/5






Song of Sparrows (Songs of Everealm #2)


Genre; Adult Fantasy
Release Date: July 2016


Blurb: 

The journey across Everealm to find the magical stones has not come without its challenges. After being plagued by unwanted guests, disagreements, and accidents, Princess Sarita is beginning to wonder if her dream of gaining magic is a fantasy that can't come true.

Along the way, new friends and rekindled sparks between old flames have caused quite a stir within the group. As a new wizard joins the effort and gives the princess a reason to continue, the quest for the next stone ensues...

As the sun rises over the ridge, our story continues into the Song of Sparrows!

Adult content. Intended for mature audiences.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon

My Musings :

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

The last book ended at a very interesting scene and I had been looking forward to reading the sequel ever since. The author knows how to prolong the agony of the reader and also quench their thirst for romance, magic and action. The story continues in this book along different paths.

I have been aggravated by Sarita and Cassidy at times but not as much as in this book. They are so stubborn and they had me cursing most times. But I feel when they get together finally it's going to be fireworks! I believe the lady does protest too much. And then there are Gabby and Oliver whose getting back together seems to be going on like a mini serial. And the way Gabby behaves has me thinking that she hasn't grown up that much. I wish it will be resolved without any more angst.

There is a new love pair whom I never even dreamed of getting together. The more I think on them, it makes more sense. Calli and Jake are made for each other. I loved their hilarious and annoying interactions and I can't wait for more of them. They are cute! I am happy that Calli has her kind of happy ending and Jake also has his turn in the spotlight. The ending hinted at a new pairing and that one I will be happy to read about since they are an unlikely pairing and I can almost hear the future fireworks!

The magical part isn't anything new except the ironic surprise. I love the way the author has written the magic system. It's unique and easy to follow. I can say that any author who knows to sprinkle together romance and magic and get a good book to the reader has my full attention. Now I am going to reread both series till the sequel is released.

My rating : 5/5


Meet the Author :



Writing has always been a hobby of mine, beginning as a young child. It was a way to cope with losing my father at seven years of age. I started with poetry and was featured several times on the amazing poetry blog, Autumn Leaves, by Sondra Ball. My love for poetry soon led to writing songs in middle school and beyond, which I still do occasionally. Music has always been an important part of my existence, so writing songs came naturally to me. In high school, I started my own novel, however, life got in the way and I never finished it.

Fast forward many years later and I find myself married with three children, absorbed in my busy life with commitments to my family, work, school, church, and charities, among other things. One day I came across my old binder, with notes from my first novel, and it was with those notes that I conjured up the elusive Everealm.

I write to please readers such as myself, who have a love for fantasy and romance, but like a little danger and sex in their reading. I wrote the book with a mature audience in mind, who can appreciate a hearty imaginary world with magic and the unknown, but want more than fluffy love stories with wizards in them. They want the romance, magic, and danger, all wrapped into one.

Author Links:
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Monday, 25 July 2016

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Dancing with Demons by Nidhie Sharma



DANCING WITH DEMONS
by
Nidhie Sharma



Blurb

Karan Pratap Singh is on the brink of winning the Amateur Boxing Championship, when in a moment, he loses it all. His fall from glory seems fuelled by ruthless arrogance and an out-of-control anger management problem. That, however is just symptomatic of a deeper issue. Buried under layers of his fractured subconscious lies a childhood secret he cannot come to terms with.

Sonia Kapoor is a beautiful, volatile young woman with a secret that torments her at night but a secret that she feels no guilt for.

When fate throws Karan and Sonia together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir up trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. But, is redemption possible without forgiveness?

Dancing with Demons is a fast-paced action drama of love, loss and resurrection.

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My Musings : 


Sports romances have always been a favourite of mine and boxing in itself is a lure. I have always been fascinated by that sport and it has played a big role in me picking up this book. The author has delivered a really great read with this book. 

The blurb is fascinating enough to reel in a reader and the book name is in itself another bait because it is so aptly named. I was instantly wondering about the protagonists and their stories.

The story starts off with the end of Karan's boxing journey and promptly leads us further into the life Karan has carved out for himself with the help of Madan. And then enters Sonia into the storm that is Karan's life. How they fall for other and how they work out their future are what kept me interested till the end. 

The protagonists, Karan and Sonia, both of them, are very strong characters. They both have had bad luck and they are right now dealing with their personal demons. They are both determined and passionate and angry. There's so much passion and anger that both of them ignite when they interact. This does lead to some misleading scenes which help in breaking them apart and then finally making them come together. 

The author has treated the story with the right amount of expertise. Her knowledge and passion for boxing are seen in the technical details. The story itself is finely crafted especially Sonia's backstory. Karan's story is out there for us right from the start. Sonia is the mystery there and each layer is expertly peeled to show the entire face of Sonia near the end. The plot is fast paced and had me turning the pages eagerly awaiting the next scene. There is an air of anticipation while reading the book. 

The book not only satisfies my appetite for action but also for emotion and romance. The romantic aspect was a bit lacking in the sense that there could have been a bit more personal connection between them. The chemistry is hot enough to ignite the pages. The reader's emotions are easily engaged by the characters. 

Another positive point for the story was the visualization aspect. The scenes are very easy to imagine and that's because of the author's writing style. She shows rather than tell and it shows! I for one can easily imagine this book being made into a movie.

A very interesting face paced sports romance drama inspite of the ending being a tad abrupt. 

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review via The Book Club*

My Rating : 4.5/5


Watch It...


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


The Book Club introduces Nidhie Sharma to you

1. Tell us a little bit about your background. When did you start writing?

My journey into the world of storytelling began way before I graduated with honours in English literature and was offered scholarship by the university. The early formative years took me into the world of the Panchatantra and classic English literature while I also watched my mother paint. At the same time, I got introduced to the joys of adventure sports too since my father was in the Armed forces. On hindsight, I think these early influences shaped my storytelling ability, albeit in a visual way.

I read voraciously through my teenage years and graduated to Booker prize winning novels quickly. I think reading good literature is hugely instrumental in widening mental horizons and giving the reader an ability to comprehend complex characters, their emotional and physical graphs, along with a unique insight into the geo-political landscape of the times the novel is set in. All of this is a fantastic bedrock and training ground for good writing.

I started experimenting with poetry and short stories initially, and a lot of the early writing during my childhood happened under the open sky in my garden, lying on the grass, dreaming about heroes, action and adventure.

At the age of twelve, I had written what might now be called a Novella. It was about the daily exploits of a girl and her group of friends and how they explored a new part of the nearby jungle every day, in search of wild animals, thrills, and adventure. It was autobiographical of course and my delighted parents had it printed and bound into a small book. They treasure it to this day.

Studying English literature in college helped me enormously in comprehending and interpreting works of literature and soon after, I started to write book reviews for national newspapers. I also wrote short stories every single day during those college years and I think that has helped me hone my craft.

I realize now that writing a drama set in the world of combat sports, which most critics have called visual and action packed, is no accident. Dancing with Demons is a sum total of all my early influences and experiences.


2. How would you describe your book Dancing with Demons? What prompted you to write a book on boxing?

‘Dancing with Demons’ is a gripping romance drama set against the backdrop of combat sports in India. It is the story of two fallen souls who must vanquish their inner demons to become the people they were destined to be. When the story begins, Karan Pratap Singh, an  angst-ridden boxer and the mysterious and volatile Sonia Kapoor are angry and emotionally damaged by their pasts and when fate throws them together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. "It was some night. Thunder and lightning playing, chasing one another like two furtive, carefree lovers, oblivious to the havoc they were wrecking. Sonia put her hand out of the window as the bus started to hurtle down the highway, to Mumbai. A sliver of lightning fell on the trees just ahead of them, setting a large bush on fire. Then thunder roared again... Perhaps this was an appropriate setting for what was to follow...two tumultuous lives on a head-on collision course.”

This book explores if redemption is possible without forgiveness and also delves into the depth and unsaid connection that Karan and Sonia have with each other. In fact, Sonia’s poems in the novel throw light not only on self-love and forgiveness but also on the passionate and intense relationship that these two anti-heroes share.

“I know I’m not easy to love
On somedays there’s no God above
And maybe it’s a messed up world
Into which we have been hurled
And maybe I remind you of you
So Love yourself darling, to love me too”

Overcoming one's limitations or demons is essential in order to fulfill one's true potential. That is the real core of this story. The good thing is, millions of people find a way to battle and overcome their inner demons. So there is hope for everyone and 'Dancing with Demons' is about that hope. It's about the light at the end of the tunnel.

This novel is a fast-paced story of love, loss and resurrection for both Karan and Sonia.  

3. What prompted you to write a book on boxing?

I was brought up in an army background that exposes you to adventure and the outdoors very early on. Having studied in various army schools across India, I trained in karate, horse-riding and attended adventure camps. Camping, trekking, hiking along with all the unforgettable misadventures shaped my love for the outdoors.

As a teenager, I watched live boxing matches as well. They fascinated me no end. Two men beating the hell out of each other while spectators egged them on. I noticed that every time a boxer bled in the ring, the audience cheered even louder. Human reaction to violence only shows how deep and primal that instinct is and this totally fascinated me back then. I started to watch boxing championships on the internet. Soon I was following the sport like a fan and started going for the big fights to Madison square garden while I was studying filmmaking in New York. I met boxers and coaches out of curiosity and interest. I spent time inside boxing gyms and also started to train and spar.

Personally, I love the raw athleticism in this sport and the fact that it is a skillful craft, needing strategy and forethought . Also, when the boxers fight, it is almost like a dance in the ring, lyrical and rhythmic, and that has drawn me to it visually as well. Given my exposure and interests, I think the stage to write Dancing with Demons, was set long ago.

4. What inspires you to write?

A lot of things actually but my mother’s abstract paintings have been my greatest inspiration. Almost nothing inspires me more than a work of art, even a great piece of music for that matter. The outdoors and the sight of a rising sun sometimes triggers the need to put pen to paper. Since I enjoy observing life and am particularly fascinated by human duality and contradictions, I spend a lot of time creating complex and flawed characters and then throwing them into a world I am familiar with. The writing that follows is automatically organic and un-manipulated. Ultimately for me, it’s almost always about exploring and learning something new through the process of creation.

5. And do you ever have a writer's block? What do you do to get rid of it?

I am very passionate about the stories I want to tell and on most days I don’t feel the block but when I do, I think discipline helps. I’ve realized through personal experience that showing up in front of that laptop every single day is the only way to beat it.


6. Who are your favourite writers and poets and have they in anyway motivated you to be better at your craft? If so, how?

My favorite writers are Rohinton Mistry, Ian Mcewan, Maya Angelou, Kiran Desai, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Samuel Beckett, John Donne and T.S Eliot, to name a few. The unparalleled quality of their writing is a huge motivation for any young storyteller and I’m no exception. Like I mentioned earlier, my journey into the world of writing began with reading good literature and I strive every single day to better my craft.

7. Apart from writing what are your other interests?

I enjoy the outdoors, adventure sports, photography, watching plays and music of all genres.

8. You are also a filmmaker, how do you juggle between both the crafts?

The first step for a Writer-Director like me is to put an interesting story in place and once that is accomplished, then it’s all about visually interpreting and executing it.

As a filmmaker, I think I  am lucky to have a unique advantage by virtue of being a novelist too. It has given me a deeper understanding of story, characterization, plot, subplots, genres, mood and tone,  all of which are an essential part of building an engaging narrative, be it for a movie or a novel. I also have greater understanding of the source material (the novel) and the training to adapt it for the screen. Infact, I have already finished adapting ‘Dancing with Demons’ into a screenplay and thoroughly enjoyed the process.

Although Cinema and literature are principally two different mediums, both aim at telling an interesting story well and despite their own unique challenges and audiences, I think it is possible to straddle them equally well if one has the talent, passion and training for storytelling.

Personally, I fell blessed that I am able to juggle between these two crafts and I’m having a lot of fun doing so.

9. Finally, what is your next novel going to be about and where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I write every single day and am sure the next story will find me soon enough.

The journey for ‘Dancing with Demons’ is still on and my full focus and energies at the moment are on directing the film.

I am a filmmaker-novelist and that’s all I know, so that’s where you’ll find me even five years down the line.



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Saturday, 23 July 2016

Book Musings - The Lively Library & An Unlikely Romance by Niranjan Navalgund

Title : The Lively Library & An Unlikely Romance
Author : Niranjan Navalgund
Genre : Fantasy
Source : Free copy from the author 

Blurb :

Unknown to Nayan, the library he inherits from his deceased father, is a mysterious place. Hiriya Halepu, Pu.Nayaka, Kapshi and and many others live there. They have a secret world with celebrations, romances, pangs of separation and conflicts. This is the Book-World. As two souls in this world fall in love, they encounter a strange predicament that separates them from each other. Things go from bad to worse when an unknown enemy sends a threat of destruction to this whole mysterious world. They call their resolute protector, Helmine, who unravels many unknown facets of this world, in an attempt to save it from the danger. The lovers struggle to find each other, and Helmine tries hard to decipher the threat messages. But will she be able to save this world from destruction? Will the two souls in love be united? There are no easy answers. Because, this is no ordinary Library, this is the place where books come to life.

My Musings : 

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

When I first read the blurb, I was intrigued with the way the author had depicted it. I also had the wrong impression that it would be suitable for kids. I was so wrong. I realised that as soon as I started reading the book. Usually, a book can be categorised by age. But this one can be read by all - readers and rare readers and in all age brackets. The readers would love finding references to some of the books they have read while others would get a chance to get to know new books to try out.

After the pleasant surprise, I was easily sucked into the realm the author has created in this tale. It wasn't as simple as it was portrayed. The book universe is as complex and diverse as ours. If books become humans, they would definitely be as shown in the book. I loved reading about the various levels of characters among the books and how they all interact with each other. I especially loved referring back to the Glossary when reading terms associated with the fantastical realm of books. Few of them were familiar and the author has done a good play on words based on Indian languages.

The romance aspect of the book took me by surprise. I so didn't see that coming! But I delighted in reading about the love story. The mystery part of the tale was quite interesting. The codes and their deciphering were fun to follow. And the author did touch on a good subject - banned books.

The story was too short for my taste but I enjoyed reading it an hour or two. The length seemed to fit the story though I felt somewhat unsatisfied with the ending. I felt it was a bit abrupt but it seemed to be open ended. The writing was quite good. There was good flow between the scenes and it was quite good for a debut.

All in all, it was a surprising fantastical story about the books' realm. And I for one would never look at libraries the same way! I docked half a star for the length and the ending. Other than those 2 points, it was definitely a book worth reading about books.

My rating : 4.5/5

Floryie

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Falling For Sarah by Cate Beauman


Welcome to the blog tour for Falling for Sarah and Saving Sophie by Cate Beauman!  The tour runs July 1-29 with reviews, excerpts, interviews and guest posts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.

Falling for Sarah is only 0.99 cents for a limited time!



About FALLING FOR SARAH:

 Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she's found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood's A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee... until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss.

Sarah's world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband's memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won't stop until he has what he prizes most.

Only 0.99 for a limited time!

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My Musings :

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I usually don't read widow/best friend romance. It's rare that I check it out. The stalker part of the blurb was what got me interested in this book. And I am super glad because I have come to love this series after reading the book.

The characters are memorable in this book from the protagonists to all the side characters. The protagonists, Sarah and Ethan have so much history between. Jake's death and the subsequent years were hard on them both. But they emerge happier out of the situation. Sarah is emotional while Ethan tends to shy away from complications. Sarah battles her guilt and her broken heart bravely and that endeared her to me.

 I preferred Sarah to Ethan because of his romantical unavailability in the majority of the book. I loved meeting the people in Ethan's office. They are all one big family and that feeling of oneness permeated all the interactions among them. Kylee is super cute in her scenes with Ethan and it is one aspect of Ethan which I loved about him. For all his faults, he really loves Kylee like his own daughter.

I get that both had unique situations so they were feeling guilty and that lead to the block in their romance. But I felt it was overly drawn it. They could have resolved it sooner but I feel on the other hand that without that disruption between them, the stalker situation would not have played out beautifully. The stalker is introduced in the beginning itself. The author has perfectly plotted the stalker's part with small touches of intrigue. I didn't see the way the stalker would play out the climax. It was done with a delicate touch. 

I went through all the emotions in this tale. It had me crying, laughing and feeling fear at all right places. The author does know how to hook her readers and get them to follow the series. I for one am going to check out the other books too!

All in all, it was a very good read and I would recommend it to contemporary romance lovers without hesitation. I have taken off 0.5 star because of the prolonged stubbornness of Ethan!

My rating : 4.5/5

 About SAVING SOPHIE:


 Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.

Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.

Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.

About the Author:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series. For information on Cate's new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter at: http://www.catebeauman.com/author/home.html#!newsletter-sign-up/c9td


GIVEAWAY:

$25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Ends August 3rd

Prizing is provided by the authors, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Blog Tour / Book Musings - The Empty Room by Sarah Clemens




Mystery/Romance
Date Published: July 23, 2016
Publisher: Off the Page Publishing

Blurb : 

The small town of Eastbrook, Maine seemed like the kind of close-knit community where newlyweds Dean and Elizabeth Montgomery could begin their lives together, and the 1930s Victorian seemed like the house they’d always dreamed of owning. The only condition for purchasing the property was that it was sold in “as-is” condition. But when the couple arrives in Eastbrook, they receive anything but a warm welcome from the local residents. And when they realize that as-is condition meant that the previous owner of the house had left every worldly possession behind, the dream of the small town life starts to take a mysterious turn. Day after day, Dean and Elizabeth uncover more truths than they could have ever imagined, or ever wanted to know about the secrets that were hidden in the small town of Eastbrook. And as neighbors become growingly hostile with every encounter, this young couple searches furiously to uncover what the residents are trying to hide. But what they find instead is that the home they thought they were getting a good deal on has a much higher price than they could have ever known, and that some secrets are better off hidden.



My Musings: 

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

The blurb was intriguing enough to capture my attention. The cover too promised a mystery or suspense tale and I was looking forward to the read. Boy, was I surprised with the story!!! And I mean that in a very good way.

The story started off in a bland way actually with the introduction of Dean and Elizabeth. It was a narration at the beginning which eventually turned into dialogue laden chapters. The characters were well written. Dean was a person with dry humour which could be seen in the various interactions between Elizabeth and him. Elizabeth was his perfect counterpart with her cheerful attitude. 

All the other characters were very creepy and the town had a wierd feel with all the staring and non cool conversations. Actually I started thinking it might be a horror tale after all especially with the presence of Rose. The story is very short actually. It took me only an hour or two to read the e-book. The middle was a bit slow and it was essential for the story and the ending. The climax blew my head. Though there were indications, I wasn't able to put them together to know because I was totally immersed in the superficial layer of the story. The author's writing in that aspect is very good. She had my attention scattered with her story telling. 

The ending was the part which convinced me that I had to give a 4.5 star rating for this book. I so wasn't expecting it and it had me feeling sad. It isn't often an author makes me feel poignant. I seriously have no words to describe the ending. I can only recommend this book for a poignant short read. I enjoyed and I think others will too,if given a chance.

My rating : 4.5/5

Meet the Author :



Sarah J Clemens is the author of the debut novel, THE EMPTY ROOM. She began writing THE EMPTY ROOM in 2008 and formed her own publishing company in 2016 called Off the Page Publishing. Sarah was born in California and now lives and works in Boise, Idaho. In addition to writing fiction, she is a legal assistant with an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

Contact Information

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Release Day Launch - The Secret Language of Stones by M J Rose

TheSecretLanguageOfStones-RDL Banner    

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a stunning historical Gothic romantic suspense published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, releasing today! Written to be a total and complete standalone novel, THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is the second title in M.J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune Series. Sexy, compelling, and seductive, be sure to grab your copy today!

      The Secret Language of Stones - RDL Teaser 1    

Excerpt:

The war had stolen all our dreams. Women who were supposed to have had houses full of children, would probably remain childless; men who otherwise might have made their fortunes, were now dead in the trenches. Even if I was brave enough to go searching for love, my chances of finding it were slim.
“I went to Le Figaro,” I said out loud. “I met a receptionist who has quite a crush on you.” A moment passed in silence. Just about to be convinced yet again that, yes, I’d imagined it all, I felt an almost breeze blow through my room. There should be nothing suspect about a breeze. Except it was impossible. There were no windows here. Yet it brushed my face, ruffled my hair. The very air moved. I smelled limes mixed with…I sniffed again…mixed with verbena and a hint of myrrh.
Why there?
“Now that we’ve met, I wanted to read your columns.Who did you write them to?”
At the time I didn’t know. Now I think maybe, I wrote them for you.
“Me?”
I think we were supposed to meet but I messed that up.
“What do you mean?”
It’s all my fault, I misread the signs, I delayed issuing orders…
The words ceased. Silence. And then I heard what sounded like a sob.
“Jean Luc, what do you mean about us meeting? About messing that up.”
I think if I hadn’t made those mistakes in the field I would have come back to Paris and visited your store and looked at the jewelry and seen something to buy for my mother and would have met you.
I put my hand up to the talisman to touch it. To touch him?
“But now you won’t.”
No.
“I’m sorry.”
Yes. Me too. For you. For so many many things.
I didn’t say anything.
Don’t cry.
He could see me?
“How did you know I was crying? So you really can see me? Where areyou?” I was so frustrated and confused.
Until you started to make the talisman I was asleep, floating…and then the closer you came to completing it, the more aware I became. When you touch it, you come into focus. Through fog. As if there is certain distance between us. Yet more clearly thanmakes any sense, considering I am a world away from you.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered. “And I am a little afraid.”
And then, I felt, or I thought I felt…no…I did feel his hand brushing myhair off my forehead.
I don’t want to make you afraid.
His touch made me shiver and begin to tremble.
I can’t bear for you to be afraid of me. You, here, it’s the only time since…since ithappened I don’t feel as lost.
I tried desperately to quell the shaking. Pressure increased against the spot he’d cleared. Not lips, no. But a force suggesting lips. Perhaps from the shock, my shaking stopped.
When I kissed you just now, you felt it, didn’t you?
I nodded.
And now, do you feel this?
Somehow he’d taken my hand. I looked down and saw nothing but myown hand in my lap. I didn’t feel flesh. Instead, it was as if I was holding smoke.
And where our hands met, my skin warmed to his touch.
I can’t stay.
“What do you mean?”
It takes an effort to be here. So much effort. Have to…learn how to…
He continued speaking, but from an even greater distance. His voicefading.
“Jean Luc?”
Silence.
And then, my tears came. As if I’d known him for years and just found out he’d died. I glanced down at my hand again. It looked no different from before and yet was cold. I touched my right hand with my left. Trying to find where his amorphous fingers had lain, trying to pick up a sense of him. But there was nothing there.

"The most powerful book I've read this year! Seductive, compelling, and beautifully written." ~New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster

 

“THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a unique, hauntingly romantic love story that could only come from the imagination of M.J. Rose. This absorbing, richly rendered novel is one you’ll want to savor.”

~Lara Adrian, New York Times bestselling author of DEFY THE DAWN

 

   

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

 As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).


And Don’t Miss the First Book in The Daughters of La Lune Series, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS!

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound


A dazzling mix of history, mystery and mystical arts . . . Rose’s paranormal historical bewitches from start to finish. Her amazing ability to make her story line believable and her extraordinary protagonist relatable result in an unforgettable psychic thriller.” (Library Journal (Starred review))

“An exciting mix of adventure, intrigue, and romance in this thrilling historical tale.” (Booklist)

“Haunting, spellbinding, captivating; Rose’s story of the power of love and redemption is masterful. More than a romance or ghost story, this is a tale of a young woman learning to embrace her unique qualities…So carefully crafted and beautifully written, readers will believe in the magical possibilities of love transcending time.”  (RT Magazine (Top Pick))

“Rose follows up The Witch of Painted Sorrows (2015) with Sandrine’s daughter’s story, set against the tragic yet exquisite canvases of Paris, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution, and offers fascinating historical tidbits in the midst of bright, imaginative storytelling and complex, supernatural worldbuilding. A compelling, heart-wrenching, creative, and intricate read.”  (Kirkus Reviews)

   

The Secret Language of Stones - RDL Teaser 2    

Daughter of La Lune Pendant
 Giveaway!

We’re celebrating the release of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES by giving away a beautiful Daughter of La Lune pendant. Designed by Cadsawan Jewelry, the silver pendant contains a labradorite, a magical stone excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition, and psychic abilities.


   

About M.J. Rose: New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president. Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Book Blast - Rachel Laine by Jennifer Peel


Rachel Laine (The Women of Merryton #3) by Jennifer Peel
Rachel Whitney’s life changed forever when Drew, the son of her twin sister, Sydney, was placed in her arms—and there he stayed. At twenty-two, she had no idea what she was doing, but in that moment, she knew that raising Drew was what she was meant to do with her life.
Fiercely independent, Rachel makes her own way managing her family’s insurance agency. Decidedly against introducing any men into her life, or Drew’s, she protects her heart against all romantic entanglements. But what she didn’t count on was a letter from her sister that leads a famous secret to her door eight years after her sister’s death. A secret with the same eyes as her son’s.
Desperate not to get the courts involved, Rachel allows Drew’s previously unknown father, Andrew Turner, into their lives, and to her surprise, little by little into her heart. But for Rachel, taking that step could open her family to a firestorm of media attention that not even Merryton can protect them from. Is love worth the risk? Or will Andrew’s fame and ambition ruin their chances?
amazon
Excerpt 
With reluctance, I answered. “Hello.”
“Hey, Rachel Laine.”
“Andrew, why are you calling?”
“If I didn’t know better, I would think you didn’t want to hear from me.”
“Imagine that,” I responded.
His laugh came through, loud and clear. “I wanted you to know I made it safely to Chicago.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way—”
He laughed even louder before I could finish.
“—but why would I care?” I got in.
“Ouch. That hurts, Rachel Laine. You know, when I use that line on you, at least I follow it up with a compliment.”
“Yes, and I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear a man tell me all weekend he’s not interested in me.”
“It wasn’t all weekend.”
“Why are you calling?”
“I wanted to check in with you, because of the weather.”
“That’s nice of you, but we only got a few inches, and we’re used to the snow up here.”
“Yeah … of course you are. So, what did you guys do today?”
“We went to church and then overdosed on super hero movies.”
“Sounds great.”
“It was.”
“Aren’t you going to ask how my day was?”
“Are you being serious?”
“It’s only polite.”
“Okay … How was your day?”
“It was horrible. My first flight got cancelled and then I had to wait for hours in the airport for the next available flight, and to top it off, I had to fly coach.”
“Oh, how terrible.”
“You’ve seen how long my legs are. They don’t belong in coach. And now I find out I could have been watching action movies with you guys all day.”
Was this guy for real? I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not. “And what makes you think you would have been invited?”
“Why do you think I would have waited for an invitation?”

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Praise for the Book
“You nailed it!!! These books keep getting better and better each time! I looovvved it!”
“How is it possible that you just keep getting better? I swear this one is my favorite.”
“I literally got lost in Merryton again. It is one of my favorite places to visit.”

Author Jennifer Peel
Jennifer Peel is the mother of three amazing kiddos. Wife to her one and only for the past twenty-one years. Lover of late night talks, beach vacations, the mountains, pink bubble gum ice cream, tours of model homes, and southern living. She can frequently be found with her laptop on, fingers typing away, indulging in chocolate milk, and writing out the stories that are constantly swirling through her head.



Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 7/28/16
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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