Friday, June 29, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Burn Mark by Laura Powell

An action-packed drama full of East End gangs, witches, and a modern day Inquisition.

In a modern world where witches are hunted down and burned at the stake, two lives intersect. Glory is from a family of witches, and is desperate to develop her 'Fae' powers and become a witch herself, though witch-activity carries a threat of being burned at the stake. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition with a privileged life very different from the witches he is being trained to prosecute. And then one day, both Gloryand Lucas develop the Fae. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together.

Publisher:Bloomsbury Children's Books
Pub Date:June 19, 2012

“Crime noir meets paranormal romance in this addictive thriller … Political intrigue and class warfare, inquisitorial office and coven politics are densely detailed without overwhelming the characters or slowing the pace as the narrative builds to a tense climax so cinematic that readers will find themselves mentally casting the film version. This smart, stylish series opener raises the bar for paranormal fiction, leaving readers impatient for the next installment.”—Kirkus Reviews(starred)
My Thoughts:
This was really an amazingly interesting read. I enjoy books where the author incorporates the supernatural into history and makes it common knowledge. Powell has created a parallel world in which witchcraft, also known as “the fae,” is a known trait. She’s developed an entire witch history. It’s brilliant really, and she’s done a fantastic job of developing this world. Her two main characters, Lucas and Glory, are fantastic as well.

Lucas is the son of a High Inquisitor and has plans to become one as well.  He has a history when it comes to witches, but also a healthy respect. His background and attitude match pretty well, and when he is suddenly forced into a new path in life involving the fae his reaction is noble but also character building. When he meets Glory, his entire perspective is altered.

Glory is the total opposite of Lucas. She’s rough around the edges, was raised in a criminally inclined coven, and has no love for the Inquisition. Glory cannot wait to get the fae. Powell does a great job of developing her character. Glory’s dialect reflects her upbringing and is in sharp contrast to Lucas’s. Even the description of Glory’s appearance with her badly dyed hair, ragged clothing, and bright lipstick matches her station. It’s just always better when a character’s entire persona is accurate.

Overall, the story was well developed and interesting. I’d definitely recommend this read to fans of the supernatural and crime dramas. It’s not a love story, although there is definitely the possibility of a love element developing.

LAURA POWELL spent most of her childhood with her nose in a book. She went on to study Classics at Bristol and Oxford, and then spent five years working in the editorial departments of both adult and children's publishers. Laura is the author of two thrillers for teen readers, Game of Triumphs and Master of Misrule.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Imprint: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: June 05, 2012
ISBN: 9780802723703
Everyone dies, but the world lives on. What if you got a another chance at life and love?

When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider. As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet-an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both.

Cynthia Omomolu
C.J. OMOLOLU majored in English at U.C. Santa Barbara because she liked to read, not because she liked to write. She later discovered that the voices in her head often have interesting things to say. Her most recent book is Dirty Little Secrets, about hoarding and family secrets.

My Thoughts:

To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book very much. However, I ended up getting sucked in to Cole's story, and I kept turning the page just dying to know about her past lives. I mean, when she finds a carving in stone that's centuries old that reads "for eternity" who wouldn't be intrigued by that?! Omololu did a wonderful job crafting Cole's story and her relationship to Griffon was fascinating to me. All the little nuances that were just under the surface created the perfect air of mystery, and at times, I really thought I knew what was going to happen, only to find out that... nope, surprise! Cole's past lives are are viewed in pieces that allow Cole and the reader only a small glimpse of what happened and of course, Cole comes to many wrong conclusions.

Griffon is a mystery. He helps Cole, but also keeps things from her. Omololu did a great job of developing Griffon's character. Griffon's memories of his past lives play a vital role in his characterization, and he has this "old man" feeling to him. By that, I simply mean that Omololu has given him a mature quality while still keeping him seventeen. He truly is a fabulous character with the perfect balance of experience and youthful mistakes.

There are elements to Transcendence that are not resolved and barely touched upon in this story, which has left me craving the sequel. I absolutely cannot wait to find out what happens next, because there is only more mystery and challenge ahead for Cole and Griffon.

Overall, Trascendence is an excellent read. I would definitely recommend it to those who love books with mystery and secrets, and the reincarnation element is artful and fascinating. This is certainly a story to add to your bookshelf!

**Listen to the playlist and see the book trailer HERE.

Get the Book

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


From Bloomsbury:
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Imprint: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: June 05, 2012
ISBN: 9780802728302
Tracy Deebs first introduced readers to half-mermaid Tempest Maguire in Tempest Rising. Now Tempest returns and once again must choose between the family she loves and her destiny in TEMPEST UNLEASHED.

Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother's clan within the ocean's depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side-which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest's old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest's two loves-Kona and Mark, sea and land-will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

My Thoughts:
Oh the mermaids! It is a quickly rising genre these days, and the first book in this series, Tempest Rising, is one of the first mermaid novels I read. And I really enjoyed it. But Tempest Unleashed was even better. There is some serious conflict building in TU and Tempest rises to the challenge brilliantly and stays in character with her past decisions from book 1.

Of course the love triangle continues, and it is even more complicated this go around. Tempest is in love with Kona and Mark, which further complicates her feelings about being torn between land and sea. Her feelings regarding the boys are like an extension of her feelings about being a mermaid versus living on land with her family. And after some seriously bad events, Tempest is forced to evaluate what she wants, who she wants, and what she is willing to give up.

This was a fun read with some dark undertones. The mermaid and human worlds were pretty equally balanced and the internal struggle Tempest is experiencing is well developed. The love triangle is well developed. The outcomes at the end of the book leave the reader with enough closure, but remains open enough for Tempest's story to continue. Great read.

TRACY DEEBSis the author of Tempest Rising and the co-author of The International Kissing Club(under a pseudonym, Ivy Adams) for teen readers. She collects books, English degrees, and lipsticks. She has been known to forget where-and sometimes who-she is when immersed in a great novel. She is a writing and literature professor at Austin Community College.

Buy the book:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Finding Time To Write… I NEED YOUR HELP!

So, I’ve been thinking long and hard about this question…
How do I find time to write?     
This has always been difficult for me. I (Britney) have this great idea in my head that keeps morphing as I jot down little notes here and there and have every intention of turning these little “jots” into something more. But then… well, life happens. I have to work, then I need to do the dishes, then I need to fold laundry, then I need to bathe the dogs, then clean the bathroom because the dirty dogs got it all dirty (go figure), then I cook/eat dinner, then I fold more laundry and so forth and so on. By the time I’m done with my daily routines all I want to do is sit down with someone else’s book!

So, then I tell myself I will work on it this weekend. Then, the husband has numerous appearances, plans, etc. going on so I fail to actually sit down in front of the computer. Sigh…  So, here’s my question for you guys.
How do you make time to write? How do you get yourself started?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Help Share the Love with Kristie Cook and Tristan

Help Share the <3 with author Kristie Cook and Tristan!
Please welcome Kristie Cook to the blog today! She is going to share some fun and how you can help!


Did Tuesday's tease have you wondering what "Share the <3" is? Have you seen the #TristanK3 hashtag on Twitter and buzz on Facebook and wondering what's going on? The scoop is finally here!
Let's take a step back for a minute. You may or may not remember last January when I made a pledge to donate $500 to The National Domestic Violence Hotline if any of my books made it (again) to the Top 100 All Kindle Paid titles list. You more likely do remember that just a couple weeks ago I announced that I was getting close to selling my 100,000th book and I'd be celebrating in some way or another. And if you've read Promise, you surely remember that Tristan wanted to teach a certain wife-beater a lesson.

Well, I'm rolling it all into one for something super-cool that I hope you'll help with. Rather than waiting to hit the Top 100 list again, I'm going to donate that $500 to The Hotline when I've sold my 100,000th book. Sometime this month I'll be clicking that donation button. But I'd love to make it more than $500 and this is where you can help. For every 1,000 books sold past the 100,000 mark, up until July 30, 2012, I'll donate another $100.*

Having direct experience with domestic violence in my family, this cause is near and dear to my heart.I've heard the stories from my grandmother who left an abuser in a day when women did not leave their husbands, regardless of the reason. I've seen the bruises and injuries on loved ones whose hearts fell for the wrong person. Fortunately, most were able to pull themselves out. But not all. In fact, one person close to me died before she could get out.

Not everyone can escape these situations easily. Not everyone knows how to leave with children and lives intact. Not everyone has family or friends close enough to run to. But with The Hotline, they do have a support network. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated, not just by me, but by those whose only hope is this one phone number that could save their lives.
So what can you do? Share the <3! How? Well, you can...
  • Buy a book, of course, if you haven't read the Soul Savers Series. Remember, Promise and Genesis are only 99c but these purchases are going to a great cause. (And be sure to keep your receipt - see below for why.)
  • Gift any of the Soul Savers books to someone you think would enjoy the series (again, keep your receipt - see below). All the retailers offer an ebook gifting program.
  • Encourage friends to buy any of the Soul Savers books between now and July 30, 2012 (again, see below for a bonus if they do).
  • Tweet, blog, Facebook and otherwise spread the word about the Soul Savers Series, the Share the <3 campaign and/or The Hotline (use #TristanK3 hashtag - I'll be checking these out and jumping in as often as possible, maybe even with goodies).
To add to the fun, I have presents!Email me** a receipt for any of my books with the purchase date between today and July 30, 2012, and you'll be entered to win weekly giveaways of signed books by me and various author-friends who have so generously donated, as well as to win a grand prize at the end (specific prizes TBD). Gift receipts count!

For everyone who makes a donation to The Hotline for $5 or more and emails me** a receipt and their shipping address, I'll send you a 4-pack of Soul Savers bookmarks. For the first 25, I'll also throw in a Soul Savers can-coozie.

I'd love to see this campaign go viral to help raise awareness and funds to support The Hotline so more women and children can feel safe, something most of us take for granted. Will you please help?

*Up to a total of $2,000. Examples: If, by July 30th, I've sold 105,000 books, I'll donate an extra $500 for a total of $1,000. If I'm at 110,000 books sold, that's another $500 I'll donate, for a total of $1,500. If I'm at 115,000+ books by July 30, I'll donate $2,000!!!
**Email me at kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Cover of Lies BeneathLies Beneath

By Anne Greenwood Brown

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

My Thoughts:

Wow, great debut here! I love it when authors take a different approach to common mythical creatures, and Brown has done that with LIES BENEATH. The mermaid myth, in my opinion, is wrought with smilie, happy, warm, sweet mermaids. Thank you Disney. Don't get me wrong, I loved THE LITTLE MERMAID, but there's something about taking that sweet enticing smile, and hiding a vicious, murderous creature beneath it that just does it for me.

I was not sure what to expect going into LIES BENEATH, simply because I haven't read very many mer-stories; but the first line had me hooked. “I hadn’t killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.” I mean, how can you resit a book that starts like that?! Calder was a very interesting character. His battle with his nature, his sisters, and his own emotions was intense, and I loved the way that he came to realizations about himself and how he actually felt so suddenly. It made it very real. I often felt like I was making the split second realization with him. I didn't know what he was actually going to do, and I really enjoy it when characters can keep me guessing.

There were a couple of aspects of Brown's world that confused me, and I think could have been a little better developed; however, I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to enjoy a different aspect of a previously uncommon myth.

Purchase This Book

About the author:
ANNE GREENWOOD BROWN grew up sailing the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, leaning over the rail and wondering, with a lake that big, that ancient, what amazing thing might flash by. Now she knows. Lies Beneath is her first novel.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Monday, June 11, 2012


Last Rite (Personal Demons, #3)
ARC copy reviewed
In this final installment of the thrilling, edgy Personal Demons series, the battle between Heaven and Hell has become critical, and Frannie Cavanaugh is right at the center of it.

With the help of the powerful angel Gabe and demon-turned-mortal Luc, Frannie has been able to stay one step ahead of the forces of Hell. But when the demons killed Frannie's best friend and destroyed her brother, they raised the stakes. If Frannie wants to keep her family and friends safe, she knows she has no choice but to go on the run.

Their best defense is the power Frannie has been struggling to master, but her attempts to hone her skill go horribly awry. If Frannie doesn't learn fast, the consequences could be devastating--even apocalyptic.

What happens when you can't outrun Hell...or trust the ones you love?

My Thoughts:
Well, wow! I didn't exactly see all that coming! I mean, Last Rite was packed with action. Especially a HUGE final battle between Heaven and Hell, which I think we all knew had to happen. I have to say, I'm pretty happy with the way things turned out. I think each character served his/her purpose, and we finally see what Frannie's actual purpose is.

I love that Frannie is anything but perfect. She is fearful, and reckless, and not completely smart at times. However, she is also brave, and loving, and devoted. She has her flaws, and believe me we see them in Last Rite, but she has her strengths as well. And she fights. Hard! She makes mistakes, and screws up, and yes, more people die, but she accepts her purpose and ultimately makes a HUGE difference.

I'm also going to go ahead and say it... I'M SO TEAM LUC! I love me some reformed Demon Boy. And he really shines in Last Rite. Let's face it, things did not go so well for Luc in Original Sin, and things are rocky at the beginning of Last Rite, but he's Luc! So, expect great things from him.

Gabe on the other hand... my heart broke for him. And Matt, well, also not so good. I mean, he's a demon now. But expect surprises from both of these boys. And new characters, and old character, and some very surprising secrets that are revealed. Don't miss the final chapter in the Personal Demons trilogy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

BLOG TOUR + Giveaway: Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

Crazy Dangerous Character Playlist

I never ever listen to music while I write.  But I’ll give some of the characters a song:

Sam Hopkins - has to be Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne’s famous song, “I Won’t Back Down.”

Jennifer Sales - What else but “Crazy Girl,” by the Eli Young Band, written by Liz Rose and Lee Brice?

Jeff Winger - Taylor Swift’s “Mean,” ought to do it.

Sam’s Dad - Well, this isn’t exactly right, but Amy Grant’s “House of Love” has a wonderful line it that I love and that sort of fits, “You think you’re in your darkest hour, when the lights are coming on in the house of love.”  Great line.

Award winning author,screenwriter and media commentator Andrew Klavan is the author of such internationally bestselling novels as True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, andDon’t Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas. Andrew has been nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award five times and has won twice.His books have been translated around the world. His latest novel for adults,The Identity Man, has been praised by Nelson Demille as “fast paced,intelligent and thought-provoking; a great read!” Television and radio host Glenn Beck says “Andrew Klavan never disappoints…one of the best illustrations of the power of redemption that I’ve ever read.” His last novel Empire of Lies was about media bias in the age of terror, and topped’sthriller list. Andrew has also published a series of thrillers for young adults, The Homelanders, which follows a patriotic teenager’s battle against jihadists. The books have been optioned to be made into movies by Summit Entertainment, the team behind the mega-successful Twilight film series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feature: BELLA LUCIA by Joanne Troppello

Bella Lucia by Joanne Troppello:

After being married for six years, Gwen and Lucas DeStefano are dealing with the pain of a childless marriage and trying to trust God for their future.  On a weekend getaway to the Poconos, they attempt to relax and renew their marriage, but witness an event that turns their lives upside down.  They see a body dump in the woods while they are on a hike and their lives become entangled in a web of suspense and God’s ultimate blessing in the form of a little baby girl, named Bella Lucia. Will Gwen learn to trust God with childlike faith and wholeheartedly accept His plan?

Det. Marc Abrams is assigned to the murder investigation of Sabrina Reysen and he will do whatever it takes to find her killer. He has his suspicions and is pleasantly surprised when he meets Samantha “Sam” Collins, the attractive US Marshall assigned to protect one of the witnesses in this case. Will Det. Abrams find the killer before it’s too late and is the attraction between him and Sam strong enough to survive?

Joanne Troppello

Joanne Troppello is an author of romantic suspense novels.  She has published three books: Shadowed Remembrances, Mr. Shipley’s Governess and Bella Lucia. Currently, she is working on her new writing project, The Paradise Redeemed Series. Joanne is married and loves spending time with her husband and family. She enjoys interacting with readers at The Mustard Seed Blog.

Author Contact Links

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Guest Post: Author Joanne Troppello - Have You Been Inspired Lately?

Hello lovely followers! Today we have a special guest blogger treat, author Joanne Troppello. Here's a little more about Joanne -

Author Bio:
Joanne Troppello is an author of romantic suspense novels.  She has published three books: Shadowed Remembrances, Mr. Shipley’s Governess and Bella Lucia. Currently, she is working on her new writing project, The Paradise Redeemed Series. Joanne is married and loves spending time with her husband and family. She enjoys interacting with readers at The Mustard Seed Blog.

Author Contact Links

Please join me in welcoming Joanne to the blog!

Have You Been Inspired Lately?

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to a small group of young aspiring writers and I came away from that afternoon very inspired myself.

It was very encouraging to see young people with such a strong desire to follow their dreams. They asked me about writing, the publishing industry, marketing your work and so many other questions—however, the main thing I took away from that moment was to get back to basics.

Yes, as authors, we strive to write the best books and we work hard to market our name and get in touch with as many readers as we can, but are we making sure not to lose ourselves in the process? That’s what I found myself asking as I drove home. I told the students to always strive to be true to themselves and not to try to mold their work to fit a specific publisher’s wants. If they remain true to themselves and write from their hearts, they will find the right publisher who is looking for exactly what they have to offer. The search may take time, but if this is their dream to get published, I told them to persevere and not give up.

I handed out some information on writing websites, tips for writing, ideas on how to journal and some other useful starting points and they seemed to really appreciate the help. One comment from one of the students that really impacted me was that she said—this is my dream and I’m going to make it because I’m not giving up…simple but so true and words for every author to live by.

I’ve been writing for a long time now and every now and then, it’s good to rock the boat and learn from young people—people who still know how to dream. I’m trying to keep that dream alive in my heart…the dream of a 15 year old sophomore student – when my English teacher so impacted my life and I knew this was IT for me. I wanted THIS. I wanted to be a writer and nothing was going to stop me. It took a while for me to get here and I have so much further to go, but I’m here for the long haul and want to enjoy the ride and all that God has in store for my life.

Has anything inspired you lately? I’d love to hear about it.

Thank you so much for joining and sharing with us Joanne.
You can answer Joanne's question in the comments. I have to admit, I'd love to hear your responses as well. And check back tomorrow for a feature on Joanne's latest novel Bella Lucia!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,

behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

Hardcover, 375 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Harper Teen

My Thoughts:
This is quickly becoming my new favorite series. I absolutely fell in love with Delirium, and I've been so excited to read Pandemonium. I actually re-read Delirium and then read Hana just before reading this one, and I'm so glad I did. The wounds from the 1st book were still fresh, just like Lena's pain, and it made the events in Pandemonium that much more intense.

Pandemonium is formatted a little differently than Delirium, and it really works best for the telling of this part of Lena's story. The chapters alternate between when Lena first arrives in the Wilds and events happening in the present, which is 6 months after she flees Portland.

Lena's whole life changed after Portland. Nothing is what she was expecting, and surviving the Wilds without Alex is excruciating. She learns to push back her past. Hide it. "The old life is dead" as her new ally Raven says. She learns the harsh realities of the Wilds, the secrets and fears of the homesteaders. She becomes one of them, and then, she becomes part of the Resistance.

The Resistance has picked up and events are happening all around the country in which they are staging explosions, freeing prisoners, and generally starting unrest. Lena's in a new city, with a new identity, a new past, and a new purpose. But when things go wrong at a rally, Lena is faced with difficult circumstances, and her past begins to resurface. She loved someone once. Can she love again? But most importantly, can she hold on to love, or will it once again be ripped from her?

This sequel is packed with more suspense, more deceit, more uncertainty, and more exhilaration than book 1. The new characters in Lena's life all play their roles, while she finds some surprising connections, she also uncovers some serious information. And the ending will leave your heart racing and begging for book 3!

Buy the books:

Friday, June 1, 2012

REVIEW: HANA (Delirium 1.5) by Lauren Oliver

Hana (Delirium, #1.5)
Lauren Oliver's riveting, original digital story set in the world of her New York Times bestseller Delirium.

The summer before they're supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss.

But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line.

In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will come to understand scenes from Delirium through Hana's perspective. Hana is a touching and revealing look at a life-changing and tumultuous summer.

My Thoughts:

Some of you may know that Delirium is one of my favorite books. It is beautiful and scary and inspiring and Lauren Oliver brings all of those things to her short story Hana.  We get a unique glimpse into Hana's world while Lena is falling for Alex.

It was really fascinating to find out what was going on in Hana's life during Delirium, and also eye opening. Throughout Delirium Lena feels that Hana is more beautiful, more daring, more brave; however, after glimpsing Hana's story, it's more like the opposite is revealed.

It's a short story, so I do not want to give anything away even though it retraces the time period of Delirium there is a brand new view here. And after all is said and done, I'm so sure I like Hana anymore.

This is a must read for Delirium fans and I strongly suggest reading it right in between Delirium and Pandemonium.

Get Hana Here