Hoppy Easter Giveaway Hop: The Espressologist


For this giveaway hop, I'm giving away a copy of The Espressologist by Kristina Springer. 
I recentely read and enjoyed this book. It's a cute and quick read!

Link to Goodreads


As usual I'm going to keep this fairly simple.
  • Fill out the form to enter
  • Entries must be received by April 5th at 11:59pm (EST)
  • Open internationally
  • Winner will be selected via random.org
  • Winner will get to choose the format they want the book (ebook vs print)

UPDATE: The winner (BookLady) has been chosen and notified. Thank you all for entering!

Down to You (The Bad Boys #1) by M. Leighton



Goodreads Summary:

The scorching tale of one girl, two brothers and a love triangle…that’s not. Olivia Townsend is nothing special. She’s just a girl working her way through college so she can return home to help her father run his business. She’s determined not to be the second woman in his life to abandon him, even if it means putting her own life on hold. To Olivia, it’s clear what she must do. Plain and simple. Black and white. But clear becomes complicated when she meets Cash and Nash Davenport. They’re brothers. Twins.

Cash is everything she’s always wanted in a guy. He’s a dangerous, sexy bad boy who wants her in his bed at any cost. He turns her insides to mush and, with just one kiss, makes her forget why he’s no good for her. Nash is everything she’s ever needed in a guy. He’s successful, responsible and intensely passionate. But he’s taken. Very taken, by none other than Marissa, Liv’s rich, beautiful cousin. That doesn’t stop Olivia from melting every time he looks at her, though. With just one touch, he makes for forget why they can never be together.

Black and white turns to shades of gray when Olivia discovers the boys are hiding something, something that should make her run as far and as fast as she can. But it’s too late to run. Olivia’s already involved. And in love. With both of them. Both brothers make her heart tremble. Both brothers set her body on fire. She wants them both. And they want her. How will she ever choose between them?

My Thoughts:

Down To You is a smoking hot book! It had me giggling, blushing, and downright fanning myself. It’s also one hell of an in your face love lust triangle but not in such a way as to take away from the book. The brothers, Cash and Nash, are very different and for a while I had a hard time choosing which one I wanted Olivia to end up with. It wasn’t a clear cut choice like with a lot of books but I did figure out which one was better for her much sooner than she did.

I think my only nitpick (because I do love a good nitpick) for this book is a touch of annoying character syndrome that floats around. It’s a common disease that seems to be infecting some of the general book population. Its symptoms vary a little but overall brings about the same outcome. Character has been burned badly and because of it they doubt themselves and others….to a fault.

Aside from the nitpicking, I really did love the book. It has an interesting storyline with a unique twist. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking to add some spice to your day.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

Down To You on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
M. Leighton's Blog 

The Palaver Tree by Wendy Unsworth

Goodreads Summary:

Africa; beautiful, serene ... and often, deadly. Lives and fortunes change in the blink of an eye. Now that she is alone, volunteering at a school in the Central African Republic of Ducana seems like everything schoolteacher Ellie Hathaway needs. Here is the opportunity to get away from the sleepy Cornish village where recent tragedy still haunts her and with it comes the chance to help the children's charity her friend has worked so tirelessly to promote. But dark forces and ambitions are in play long before Ellie’s arrival in the dusty town of Limba. Even as she begins to believe she can at last find true happiness, she realises that something at the school is very wrong. Is this really the place of loving and giving she had first thought it to be, and is headmaster, Gabriel Cole, really their guardian angel? With so many questions left unanswered Ellie struggles to decide what she must do, but then political chaos descends and suddenly Ellie finds herself more alone than she had ever imagined she could be....

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book once it started to pick up. It had a slow start and took me awhile to really get into it. However, once it picked up I had trouble putting it down.

I liked the characters and enjoyed reading their story. There is a lot about politics in this book, which isn't something I usually go for. In this case it worked for me. Overall I really think this story is worth reading and quite enjoyable.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Add it to Goodreads
Buy from Amazon

Bookmark Swap


Wendy and I both received bookmarks from the swap.

Jen's bookmarks...

 


Thank you Marie, they're awesome!


Wendy's bookmarks....


We've heard from a few other people who have received bookmarks. If you've received bookmarks but haven't let us know, please email us or comment on this post. We just want to make sure that everyone gets bookmarks :)

Wendy at Wall-to-Wall books has also created a post with the bookmarks she's received. You can see those here

Shelf Candy Saturday (43): Branded (Fall of Angrls #1) by Keary Taylor

Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by A Night's Dream of Books



Goodreads Summary:

Jessica had the nightmares for as long as she can remember. Nightmares of being judged by people who have died, of being branded by the angels. Her friends and family think she's crazy because of it all. Yet she carries the mark of the condemned, seared into the back of her neck, and hides it and herself away from the world.

But when two men she can't ignore enter her life everything changes, including the nightmares. The two of them couldn't be more different. She will do anything to be with one of them. Even tell him the truth about angels, why she never sleeps, and the scar on the back of her neck. But one of the two has set events into motion that will pull her toward her own judgment and turn her into the object of her greatest fear.










My Thoughts:

This is a fantastic cover. It is eye catching with the blend of colors and I love the difference from the distortion to the wings in the reflection. It is so much better than the other cover!

Add to Goodreads
Buy for FREE on Amazon and only $.99 on Barnes & Noble

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

Goodreads Summary:

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

My Thoughts:

I had heard a lot of positive things about First Grave on the Right so I was thrilled when I won a copy from St. Martin’s Press.

I started reading it on a Tuesday and, like a dummy, I forgot it at home when I went to work the next day. DOH! I was really hooked in the story so I did like any book addicted, borderline book hoarder would do…I made a special trip to a local bookstore to buy copy of it just so I could keep reading.

It’s such a good book with some great characters! I loved reading about Charley, Ubie, Cookie, Garrett, and Reyes. I’m all for smart assery and snark so Charley was by far my favorite character. She’s definitely not afraid to kick a ghost when they’re down….literally…although it’s not as bad as it sounds, haha.

I definitely recommend picking this up if you’re looking for a book with ghosts (etc.), action, mystery, and some sizzle.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

First Grave on the Right on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Darynda Jones' Website


It's Here!!


It's here! Pas De Death has released and I am officially (fictionally) dead!!  I am lucky enough to be a murder victim in this book and I can't wait to see what happens.


Amanda Brice talks about how I came to be a murder victim, in Pas De Death, on C.C. Hunter's blog. You can also read the first chapter as well as enter to win a copy of Pas De Death.

I also answered a few questions over on Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood today.




Pas De Death (Dani Spevak #3) 
Goodreads Summary:

Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak is back home in New Jersey for the summer. What was supposed to be a simple day trip into New York City to visit her friends at the Manhattan Ballet Conservatory turns deadly when Dani discovers that the world of professional ballet can be cutthroat - literally.

Book Links:
Codename: Dancer (Dani Spevak Mystery #1) on Goodreads, Amazon, & Barnes and Noble
Pointe of No Return (Dani Spevak Mystery #2) on Goodreads, Amazon, & Barnes and Noble
Pas De Death (Dani Spevak Mystery #3) on Goodreads, Amazon, & Barnes and Noble

Author Links:
Amanda Brice's Website
Amanda Brice on Goodreads

Nightfall by Lois Gresh

Goodreads Summary:

NEW ADULT PARANORMAL ROMANCE WITH A ZING! CAN TRUE LOVE CONQUER BAD BLOOD? Forbidden love, yearning desire, and seduction.

Born from an ancient voodoo priestess clan, Alexandra Leveau falls in love with sexy vampire Vadim Blerinc. But these two are a dangerous match, and making love could literally kill them.

And then local townies begin to die. Can Alexandra and Vadim save the people around them? Can they overcome the curse that has hung over their families for centuries? Can true love conquer bad blood?

My Thoughts:

I was very quickly pulled into this story. The characters were amazing. Alexandra being a descendant/connected to the Voodoo Priestess Marie Leveau was fascinating to me. All the legends surrounding Marie have always held my interest and I loved the spin Lois has taken in this book.

Vadim is the sexy vampire that had me smitten from the beginning. His restraint was phenominal as was the chemistry between these characters.

I am looking forward to reading more of Lois's work in the future and I highly recommend Nightfall to fans of PNR and New Adult alike.

Nightfall on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Authors Website

Cover Reveal: Eye of the Soul by Terri Rochenski

Eye of the Soul (Pool of Souls #1)
by Terri Rochenski

Release Date: October 7, 2013
Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Fantasy

Back of the Book 
 

Escape.

That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Forever.

Eye of the Soul on Goodreads

Author Links:
Goodreads
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

Dark Genesis Blog Tour: Reviews & Giveaway

 No memories. A foreign world. One epic adventure.

 


Dark Genesis is a new YA paranormal fantasy from the creator of the Hunters of the Dark series.  You can get your copy of Dark Genesis now for FREE by filling out the Rafflecopter below.  Everyone who enters also has a chance to win a $40 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble – it’s your choice!! This is an international contest and everyone who enters can choose their e-format of choice to receive their copy of Dark Genesis for free from Smashwords! And did I mention the $40 gift card?!

Here's the synopsis:

"Alyssa opened her eyes to darkness. And in the first flash of light provided by a gathering storm, she could make out a ring of bodies surrounding her.

With no memory of who she is, Alyssa stumbles into a dark world populated by witches. The witches are powerful, and demonstrate frightening powers, but even more terrifying are the monsters who rule over the land. Vampires, werewolves and other awful creatures of the night have taken over, forcing the witches behind stone walls, afraid to venture outdoors. But Alyssa finds that as she kills certain monsters, memories return to her, memories of a life on Earth, and the boy she left behind.

The quest to collect her memories and piece together the puzzle of what has happened to her is a daunting one, with betrayals and sacrifices every step of the way. But Alyssa is determined to fight for a world that is not her own, destroying powerful monsters along the way, so that she can return home to the boy she is coming to love through the memories she recollects."

Book Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords


Reviews:

Jen's Thoughts

Dark Genesis is this exciting meld of urban fantasy and fantasy. I’m normally not one for fantasy so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it. Boy was I WAY off base there! Dark Genesis had its hook in me from the beginning and by the end I was very surprised how much I ended up loving it. I don’t say this often but this is a book I could easily see myself rereading. To keep me from gushing too much, I decided to list some of the things that I liked and didn’t like.

Likes
-The easy way the reader is introduced into the world. One of the reasons I’m not as much of a Fantasy fan is because stories can quickly get weighed down in details. I don’t like having to fight my way through a book.
-The action and adventure of Alyssa’s quest and the characters she meets along the way.
-That my jaw dropped at a couple of the twists...although now that I'm thinking about it the one twist makes complete sense!!
-That the author made me physically react to something happening to someone that I wasn't really attached to. Ok, that one is vague but I don't want to spoil any good parts :)

Dislikes
-
-
That’s right, I can’t think of anything for the dislikes. I did find an error that threw me off a bit but the author has already corrected it so it’s hardly worth mentioning.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5



Wendy's Thoughts


This book was simply amazing! It was easy to fall into this world and quickly become absorbed in the story. It isn't often in fantasy or paranormal books, that an author is able to completely hold my attention without a ton of world building. I did not have that issue here.

This book is definitely one I highly recommend. I couldn't put it down it was just that enthralling. I think this is a MUST READ!


Overall Rating: 5 out of 5



Author Interview

We have Dave Ferraro (DF) here to answer a few questions.

(AR) Do you have any authors that inspire you?

(DF) Growing up on Christopher Pike books, I would say that he really has inspired me.  His books, especially comparted to the slasher books out there at the time I was reading YA as a teen, were really imaginative.  Sometimes I would even think his books were downright weird.  But they were always interesting, and you could tell that he was writing something that was really fascinating to him, he was always so enthusiastic.  I want to show that same passion in my writing, and I like stories that are a little twisted and dark and just out-there.  And if I don't please everybody, that's okay, because I feel like I will find my audience by just writing what I want to write.

- - -

(AR) When did you know you wanted to write?

(DF) I fell in love with YA with the first book I picked up.  I didn't read much when I was little, just a book here or there.  Then, I had to go on a family trip to North Dakota and stay with some relatives for a long weekend and I brought a Christmas gift with me, a set of four YA books.  There was a Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine and Diane Hoh book included, along with another author that I don't remember.  But I went through all of them that weekend, and if I didn't know I wanted to be a writer at that point, I at least knew that I was a lifelong YA fan.

- - -

(AR) What are you currently working on?

(DF) I'm working on the fifth book in my "Hunters of the Dark" series, which follows a group of monster hunters.  This particularly book takes place in Egypt, where the hunters learn the origin of the shape-shifters, and battle some crazy-powerful villains.

- - -

(AR) When you read what genre to you generally prefer?

(DF) I read a lot of YA, mostly fantasy and paranormal romance.  I love dystopian stuff and any sort of supernatural story.  I also try to read a classic every month, and I read plenty of graphic novels.

- - -

(AR) Which character, in Dark Genesis, was your favorite to write?

(DF) I love digging into the heads of my protagonists, but I have a lot of fun writing villains.  One villain in "Dark Genesis," The Ice Queen, is just so deliciously evil and cold-hearted that it was a blast to write.  And it helped that her appearances were punctuated by really cool scenes of her using her powers.

(AR) I know a couple of the Ice Queen scenes will definitely stick with me for quite a while!

- - -
(AR) It’s becoming more common for people to associate books and music. Have you come across any songs that remind you of Dark Genesis?

(DF) I listen to music when I write, and it's easily the most influential thing on my writing.  I tend to lean toward singer/songwriter material, like Anya Marina, and dark, moody stuff like Lana Del Rey.  While writing "Dark Genesis," I listened to my stand-by classical music a lot, "Bella's Lullaby" and "Blood Theme" from Dexter, as well as "Crows + Locusts" by Brooke Fraser and "Billy the Kid" by Dia Frampton.  The song that reminds me the most of "Dark Genesis," however, would have to be "Maybe a Pirate Stole Her Soul" by Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden.  It sort of feels like a girl lost in a crazy world.

- - -

(AR) What’s your favorite line or quote from Dark Genesis?

(DF) “The valkyries have come for the brave, who died in battle,” Eric had said.  And the fire roared beneath the floating embers, as if in encouragement, to claim their rightful places in the skies above, as heroes of the battlefield.

- - -

(AR) Thank you so much for stopping by!!



Tour Giveaway

One lucky entrant will also win a $40 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (their choice), which will be selected at random by the Rafflecopter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Stops:

Sunday, March 10th:

Dreamland: A Teen Fantasy
Lizzy's Dark Fiction
Oops! I Read a Book Again
SupaGurl Books
Wholly Books

Monday, March 11th:
Falling For YA
I Talk Books
My Pathway To Books
Paper Breaths
A Purrfect Read

Tuesday, March 12th:
Book-Marks the Spot
Doodle's Book Blog
Fantasy Book Chick
Ginger-Read Reviews

Wednesday, March 13th:
Dark Obsession Chronicles
Tana Rae Reads
Vamps, Weres and Cassay
Writings, Musings & Other Such Nonsense (Stop #1)

Thursday, March 14th:
Icy Cold Reads

Friday, March 15th:
Mom in Love with Fiction
Paranormal Book Fan
Pinky Just Listen
Writings, Musings & Other Such Nonsense (Stop #2)

Saturday, March 16th:
At Random

To Be Determined:
Book Addict
Give It To Cupcake
Joie de Lire
Lili Lost in a Book
My Book Boyfriend
Primrose Musings

Friday Favorites: Animals

 
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of our favorite things.
 
We all talk a lot about books on our blogs, but what about other things we like? Friday Favorites is a meme hosted by Epic (Chocolate) Fantasy that gives book bloggers a chance to gush about something other than novels. This week's topic is animals.
 
Wendy
 
I love animals! My favorites are alpha shifters lol. Seriously though I adore wolves of all kinds and I collect all things wolf (even books). Bengal and Siberian Tigers are both gorgeous animals too. Other animals I find fascinating, although scary as hell are sharks and snakes. Yes I said snakes. I think they are amazing animals and I am not afraid to handle them in a controlled setting, but in the wild...oh no!
 
Jen
 
Like Wendy, I also love animals! I'm a huge fan of werewolves and shifters in books. I'm a dog lover and have a fur baby named Kirby. And because I love showing him off, here are some pics...
 
 



 
Cats are ok too as long as they keep their talons and fangs to themselves, haha. In other words, I do like cats but I have a niggling in the back of my mind that keeps telling me that I could be scratched or bitten any second. I don't mind being around cats but I try to keep them away from my face.
 
And because Wendy mentioned sharks, I would LOVE to swim with sharks someday!!! In a cage of course haha!
 
 
Past Friday Favorite Posts
Jen & Wendy posting here @ At Random (TV Shows)
Jen posting @ GReeps Through the Shelves (Songs)
Jen & Wendy posting here @ At Random (Foods)
Jen posting @ GReeps Through the Shelves (Actors)
Jen & Wendy posting here @ At Random (Cities)
 

Queens of Random

Random posts of random things from the Queens of Random.


Bookmark Swap Update (see original post)



Just a quick reminder, if you’re participating in the bookmark swap today is the deadline to have bookmarks mailed out.


Bookmark Giveaway Winners (see giveaway post)

1st place winner is…
Bella’s Bookshelf


2nd place winner is…
Miki


3rd place winner is…
Josie H


Congrats everyone!!


 
February’s Contest Winners

Just a quick note to all of the Blog birthday giveaway winners:

I will be sending your prizes out tomorrow if all goes well. I had planned on sending everything sooner but time has gotten away from me.

Posts on Pages (2): Book Quotes


Posts on Pages

Who handwrites things these days? Not many people I'm sure. I'm a big list person so I'm always writing (and rewriting) lists, etc. and I thought it would be fun to do a series of Posts on Pages where Wendy and I will hand write blog posts. Please excuse any messy writing or white out marks :)

The topic of our second set of Posts on Pages is book quotes.
You can check out Wendy's post here.

If you missed our first Posts on Pages you can find them here and here.

- - - -


I love book quotes but I have a very bad habit of not writing them down when I come across them. I mostly rely on Goodreads to find quotes but when I was hunting for quotes for Posts on Pages I came up short. I only have two for you but hopefully this will encourage me to start writing them down as I go.

"Grim Reapers are to die for."
-Tshirt worn in Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) by Darynda Jones

"My crazy's working a lot better than your sanity."
-Touched by an Alien (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #1) by Gini Koch

Posts on Pages (2): Book Quotes


Posts on Pages

Who handwrites things these days? Not many people I'm sure. I'm a big list person so I'm always writing (and rewriting) lists, etc. and I thought it would be fun to do a series of Posts on Pages where Wendy and I will hand write blog posts. Please excuse any messy writing or white out marks :)

The topic of our second set of Posts on Pages is book quotes.
Stop back tomorrow for Jen's Posts on Pages.

If you missed our first Posts on Pages you can find them here and here.

- - - - -




"I can't be the star in your sky when you're the only star left shining in mine."
~Kristen Ashley, Rock Chick Reckoning



"One day you will kiss a man you can't breathe without, and find that breath is of little consequence."
~Karen Marie Moning, Bloodfever



"Tears could not be equal if I wept diamonds from the skies."
~Kim Harrison, Black Magic Sanction



"There's so much love in your life, but you don't recognize it. You won't let it in. That's why you feel so lonely, baby. Don't you get it. It's not them. It's you. You don't see it."
~Olivia Cunning, Hot Ticket



"It wasn't just me, and it wasn't just him, it was what we were together that was the exception."
~Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster




Cover Reveal: Cold Blooded (Jessica McClain #3) by Amanda Carlson

I loved Blooded and Cold Blooded by Amanda Carlson so I am thrilled to have the privilege to be a part of the Cold Blooded cover reveal!!




Blooded (Jessica McClain #.5)
Full Blooded (Jessica McClain #1)
Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain #2) - Due out April 23rd

Series Links

Author Links


And now for the cover reveal!!!




Cold Blooded (Jessica McClain #3)
by Amanda Carlson

To be released Fall of 2013

"Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked. 

On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early.

Arriving on the Vampire Queen’s doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team.

The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn’t realize is just how soon she’ll have to cash it in."


I love this cover, especially the moon and building in the background!
And of course I'm loving the blue :)

Fatal Intent by Ryshia Kennie - Double Review

Goodreads Summary:

An expedition into the Borneo rain forest is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for entomologist Garrett Cole. It’s this trip that could finally make her a star in her field. But when her team’s guide is found dead and headless on the banks of the river, Garrett’s dream trek suddenly becomes a nightmare. Lost in the heart of the jungle, she must fight to maintain her composure while leading a panicked team of scientists to safety.

When sexy and rugged Aidan arrives in the jungle looking as if he belongs, Garrett has no choice but to accept his help. But Aiden is more than she bargained for – a man of few words and fewer answers, as comfortable in the jungle as the mysterious native tribesmen. As the days pass and passion flares between them, Garrett wonders if Aiden’s good intentions are just another of the jungle’s illusions.

In a land rife with predators and a killer still on the loose, can she trust the one man who claims to be their rescuer?

Wendy’s Thoughts:

It has been a long time since I have read a romantic suspense, but I really enjoyed this one. It was great to be able to travel to the Borneo Rainforest within the pages of this book. I was more captivated by the mystery in this book, or the "who-done-it" rather than the romance. I was kept guessing and it took me awhile to figure it out. Overall this was a good read and I would read it again.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5


Jen’s Thoughts:


It was nice getting to read a book set in such a beautiful yet extreme location with many many dangers. Can you imagine being with a group in the rainforest and then realizing you no longer have a guide?! I don’t know how I would react but I would hope I’d do half as well as the main character, Garrett. She was the rock for the group when they all knew there wasn’t much hope of finding their way to help.

This book has a good storyline and the mystery aspect of it kept me guessing up until the point where two major hints were dropped. I do have to nitpick just a bit though. While the storyline was good I was just a little disappointed with the book. I felt like I was just reading it instead of experiencing it. I didn’t feel the tension or the danger like I wanted to.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Fatal Intent on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Ryshia Kennie's Website