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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cover/Excerpt Reveal – Just for Fun – Rosalind James


Just for Fun
Author: Rosalind James
Series: #4 in the Escape to New Zealand series
Release Date: 8 December 2012

Description:
What if the person who broke your heart turned out to be the only one who could mend it?

Nic Wilkinson is a responsible, organized, disciplined rugby player at the top of his game. Emma Martens is a sometimes-scattered, often-emotional, and always-broke would-be designer with a big chip on her shoulder where Nic’s concerned.

They have no history together, except one perfect week. Nothing in common anymore, except the most important thing of all.

Getting together again would be messy. Complicated. Scary. And, just maybe, worth every risk.

Excerpt:
“Mum!” Zack burst in through the front door. “It was brilliant!” He kicked his shoes
off impatiently, dropped his rugby boots next to them before struggling out of his jacket. Nic
followed him in, grabbed the jacket and hung it on the brightly painted rack next to the door
when Zack would have dropped it on the floor.

Emma reached out for a hug that, Nic saw, the boy was still willing to give his mother,
at least here at home. Her eyes met Nic’s as she looked over her son’s head. How did she
always look so soft? So . . . pettable? She was wearing another sweater, that was all, he told his
troublesome libido. Another light, lacy one, prettily trimmed once again. A pale pink cardigan
with pearly shell buttons, edged in cream, over a long stretchy top and leggings. She looked like
an invitation to cuddle. Like the best blankie ever.

“Can Nic stay for dinner, Mum?” Zack asked excitedly, offering a welcome distraction
from his wayward train of thought. “He could help me tell you all the things we did. We’re
having spaghetti!” he told Nic. “It’s really good.”

“Can’t, mate. Sorry,” Nic put in hastily at Emma’s instinctive shake of the head. “But I’ll
have a glass of water, if one’s on offer.”

“Sit down,” Emma told him. “Please.”

Nic slipped off his own shoes before heading to the couch with Zack. “Cheers,” he said
as she came back from the kitchen to hand each of them a glass, then took her own seat in a
small armchair next to the couch, the only other option the little room offered.

“You look tired,” she said abruptly. “And bruised. Are you OK?”

“Just a bit confused on the sleep schedule, still,” Nic admitted. “I took a wee pill on the
flight home, but it never works that well.”

“It’s a long way, Mum,” Zack put in. “South Africa’s really far.”

Nic took a long drink of the cold water, looked around for something to set the glass
on. “Coaster?”

“Just put it down,” Emma told him.

“Don’t want to spoil this,” he said, looking more closely at the coffee table. The simple
rectangle had been transformed into a forest of ferns, with native birds peeping out from
underneath fronds, perched in trees. The parson-throated tui making a meal of red fruit, the
colorful, stumpy takahe on the forest floor, tiny fantails darting overhead.

“You can’t,” Emma assured him. “It’s all enamels. Everything in this house is pretty
indestructible.”

“Did you find the ruru yet?” Zack asked him, leaning forward.

“Don’t tell me,” Nic said. “Let me look.” Zack watched him eagerly as he searched and
finally pointed triumphantly to a notch in a tree where the owl blended into the bark. “There.”

“You did this too, eh,” he asked Emma. “Nice.”

“I did everything. That’s my decorating theme. Things I made.”

“I like it,” he assured her. The warm colors of the lounge seemed to cocoon them. Two
walls were a rich caramel, the others a warm yellow. She didn’t even paint every wall in a
room the same color, he realized. Well, at least in the kitchen it was all the same. Purple. He
wondered what color her bedroom was. How it looked. And found himself wishing, against
every better impulse, that he could see it.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Cover Excerpt

 

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Audiobook Review – The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein

The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkein

Narrator: Rob Inglis
Run Time: 11 hours and 8 minutes
Publisher: Recorded Books

Book Description:
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Review:
So I am probably one of the few people who had never read or listened to the Hobbit prior to this audiobook. Growing up I was never really into fantasy books – that is something that I have only started getting into in the last year or so. Of course, during college, I did go and see all three of the Lord of the Rings movies when they came out – so when I heard that the Hobbit was going to be released in December, I thought that this was a perfect time to read/listen to it (since I have a personal rule to always read the book prior to seeing the movie). As a side-note, in college, it was funny, that my one room-mate and I had christened our room, the Hobbit hole…mostly because we were the two shortest people in our company (ROTC and all that jazz), and it gave us some laughs…

Upon finishing it, all I can say is, why the heck did no one force me to read/listen to this sooner. I laughed so much while I was driving and listening – I’m actually amazed I didn’t have an accident or anything like that. I think that a lot of my enjoyment was tied up in the narration of the audiobook (but I will touch on that in a few moments). I do think that there was a lot of meandering, and times where chunks of words could have been cut out – but I also think that if that had happened, some of the magic might have been lost.

And on to the narration – I cannot imagine anyone better than Rob Inglis to narrate this book. As soon as I started, I was sucked into his narration. His singing of the various ditties through-out was perfect (I wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out). And his Golem voice – I seriously felt like I was in the movie theater seeing Golem as he was in the Lord of the Rings movies (although, looking at the cast list, I can see that it wasn’t him). My mind is still boggled at how he managed to make all of the dwarves sound different through-out – especially with how similar many of the names were – I know that I would have been likely befuddled.

This is an audiobook that can be enjoyed by all – lovers of Tolkein and newbies; young and old. Listen to it!

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Audiobook Review

 

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Review – Got Game? – Stephanie Doyle (@StephDoyleRW)

Got Game?
Author: Stephanie Doyle

Book Description:
Oh, Yeah. Game On! The world of professional golf is rocked when the new ranking system allows Reilly Carr – the country’s best female player–to compete with the big boys. Now everyone wants to know if she will or won’t play in golf’s premier event…The American.

But her tough choices are complicated further when Luke Nolan – her on again, off again lover – suddenly decides now is the time to turn their friends-with-benefits set up into a real relationship!

If she’s going to make the cut she’ll need to battle her game, the press and most of all her heart. The stakes have never been higher.

Review:
I have to say upfront that I loved Reilly as a character – she was a tough, no nonsense, work her ass off kind of girl. Having worked in a male dominated career for the last eight years, and dealing with people who try to skate because of certain characteristics – I find that i am often drawn to characters i books that reflect more of what I would like to see – in this case, a woman who shows the guys how it is done. True, she won’t ever be able to completely match them, but getting out there and doing her best is what I liked.

I liked how the relationship between her and Luke was re-kindled (since I am a sucker for young love rekindled). Although her brother and best friend drove me a bit nuts. The whole bickering, make-up, break-up thing just doesn’t do it for me. So i’m glad that everything worked out on that side of the house in the end.

I have to admit that I kind of figured out the suspense angle before it was revealed, but i think that the author did a good job of making it obvious without being too much so (if that makes sense…). I’ll definately be looking forward to reading more books by Ms Doyle in the future (can’t remember off the top of my head, if i have read any by her in the past or not…). Solid 3.5 stars overall.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Book Review

 

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Promo Blitz – All The Right Moves – Ever Leigh



Title: All The Right Moves
Author: Ever Leigh
Genre: New Adult / College Romance
Date to be Published: January 2013

Author Information
Ever Leigh
Website
Twitter
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Life for Lilah had become too predictable. Convinced she needs a bit of a challenge and change of pace in her life, she moves away for college and embarks on a new journey of self-discovery.

A college town, new friends, and a new romance with a mysterious older guy that may prove to be an even bigger challenge then she bargained for!

Note: Not suitable for younger readers. Contains mature content including sexual situations.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway
(Click on the link to enter, wordpress blogs can’t show the image)

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Promo Blitz

 

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Audiobook Review – The Lifeboat – Charlotte Rogan (@charlotte_rogan @RebeccaGibel)

The Lifeboat
Author: Charlotte Rogan

Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
Run Time: 7hrs and 47 minutes
Publisher: Hachette Audio

Book Description:
Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she’d found. Will she pay any price to keep it?

Review:
So I have to say upfront, that I originally started reading this book in print and kept getting distracted. I know that it wasn’t a very long book, but for some reason at that time, it just wasn’t clicking. But after seeing the good review that my friend Naomi gave it, I decided to give it another try and put my name on the reservation list for the audiobook (and FWIW, having to wait for it to come in when you are 45th on the list sucks! I think it took about 4 months for it to come in…).

Being a psychologist in training (if I ever finish this damn PhD), I loved the way that the author managed to intersperse different ideas into the novel. Yes, it was a story of survival – but there were so many other elements – the idea of hope and giving up – can you survive when you think there is nothing more out there? How various people emerge different roles in situations of high stress. The notion of group think in a scenario like this? Stockholm syndrome and how it can affect people’s behavior, both during and after events. And so many more – but don’t worry, I won’t be too much of a dork – but it did hit my enjoyment button in all the right places. I enjoyed how she used flashbacks to tell most of the story – it is often a hard writing style to pull off, but it was well-done. My only gripe I had was the ending was fairly obvious – I was able to figure out what was going to happen about half-way through – but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book.

Rebecca Gibel is a brand-new audiobook narrator to me, and I can tell you for sure that it won’t be the last time I listen to something done by her. There was something melodic about her voice, that I was just sucked in. It was a relatively short audiobook and because I enjoyed the narration so much – I sat in my car at work one morning and listened to like another 15 minutes of the book (much to my co-workers disgust because she was waiting for me to get coffee – don’t worry, she gave up and went by herself ;) ) I did like how she was able to draw on a variety of accents that encompassed the different countries of origin of the passengers. As the majority of the book was told from Grace’s perspective, I wasn’t really able to tell how well she did male voices, so that is going to be something that I am looking out for in the future listens. But overall, totally worth it. I would give both the narration and the book itself 3.5 stars, but rounding up to 4.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Audiobook Review

 

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Review – Funnel Vision – Chris Kridler

Funnel Vision
Author: Chris Kridler

Review Copy Provided by Author

Book Description:
Kansas photographer Judy Hale loves to chase storms, but at the heart of her passion is a fear she longs to quell, born of the tornado that destroyed her childhood. Handsome, devil-may-care tornado researcher Jack Andreas wants nothing better than to forget the past in his dangerously close encounters with the twisters he chases for science. He also chases women, and when he and Judy meet, sparks fly.

But Judy and Jack have dueling destinies as they cross paths with Judy’s sister Shannon, a directionless coquette; a clueless newbie storm-tour operator named Brad Treat; geeky, likable chaser Robinson Marvell; and a bevy of other storm chasers as they pursue the gorgeous, violent storms of Tornado Alley. Their stories intertwine as they chase the monster storm that forces Judy to confront her deepest fears and Jack to find the courage to face the ultimate twister.

Review
I’m always bummed when a book that I was looking forward to reading didn’t quite live up to the hype that I had placed on it. For me, Funnel Vision was one of those books. I have to admit, that since Twister, came out when I was in high school, I have been intrigued by storm chasers and what they do, and even considering getting into meteorology at one stage (unfortunately, my science grades in college were just not good enough). So when this book was offered up by the author in one of my goodreads groups, I was intrigued. The premise sounded entertaining, and since it was based on the authors experiences, I figured it would be a good read. Here is, for me, where it splits…the story regarding the storm chasing itself, I really liked. I thought that the author did a good job of detailing the adrenaline that these chasers must feel – both the official ones and the non-official “Weekend Chasers” (I don’t know if that is the right term, but it works for me). I think I might have enjoyed it more, if the drama of some of the characters lives had just been completely left out of it (and this is coming from someone who is an avid romance reader – yes, I admit it).

It was mostly the character interactions on the personal level that bugged me the most. When I see the phrase in a description, “sparks fly” I am expecting some kind of tension, interaction, development of a relationship, but for me, it was more like sparks fizzle. That and the development of the character as a skirt-chasing playboy – just pissed me off. Especially when you think that (hover here for spoiler). I also threw the book across the room at that point, I was so fustrated. Yes, I know that it wasn’t specifically marketed as a romance, but the description kind of led me to expect more. I guess if you don’t like the touchy-feeley romance stuff, you might like it, but if you are a romance reader, I would avoid it (and I don’t say that lightly). I also had an issue with how an issue played out later in the book, but I am waiting on a response from some law enforcement friends with an answer to my question before I vent…but essentially (hover here for spoiler)

But I am having a hard time rating this book, I would probably only give it 2.5 stars overall, mostly because of the issues that I mentioned above – but at the same time, it was very well written and you could tell how much the author knew about the topic, so I am conflicted. I may end up changing my review, but right now, I am going to leave it at 2.5 stars. But I am curious about what the author might write in the future.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Book Review

 

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Audiobook Review – The Warlord Wants Forever – Kresley Cold

The Warlord Wants Forever
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: #1 in the Immortals After Dark series

Narrators: Hagan Verret and Simone Fomhar
Run Time: 3hrs and 58 minutes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Description:
Nikolai Wroth, once a ruthless human warlord in the 1700s and now a general in the rebel vampire army, needs to find his Bride, the one woman who can render him truly alive. As a turned human, he doesn’t enjoy a heartbeat or breaths and is consequently weaker than fully blooded vampires. He wants his Bride for the power she will bring him and can hardly believe it when his heart beats for Myst the Coveted, a mad, fey, mythological creature.

Myst is known throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, part chillingly fierce warrior, part beguiling seductress who can “make you want her even as she’s killing you.” She has devoted her life to protecting an ancient, powerful jewel and to fighting the vampires, and she now sees a way to torment one—for with Wroth’s heartbeat comes consuming sexual desire that can only be slaked by her.

She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen the jewel which commands her, giving him absolute power over her. While he possesses it, he can make her do anything, and he plans to in order for her to experience first hand the agonizing, unending lust she’d purposely subjected him to for half a decade. Yet when Wroth realizes he wants more from her and frees her, will she come back to him?

Review:
So in all honesty, I needed to start another series like a hole in the head…I mean, seriously – 20+ series in progress right now, and I decide to start one that has 12 books currently and more to come…yeah…anyways, I want to say that maybe I read this book a while ago when it was part of an anthology. I know that I have the anthology on the shelf somewhere…but I was blanking on the story itself…enter the audiobooks that are slowly being released. Being as the audiobook was just under 4 hours long – it was perfect to finish out a weeks listening because I started another chunky read.

Anyways…meandering back on to the book…I liked the world that the author developed – there wasn’t a whole bunch of fact dropping, but rather just little tidbits of information bit by bit. And I still had some questions left at the end of the book, which I’m hoping are answered in later ones in the series. When it comes to mythology, I am always glad to see new beings making appearances – there are only so many times that the major gods/goddesses’ can be written about – so the use of the Harpies was unique – off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other books featuring them as primary characters (if you have any ideas, please let me know)…

As for the narration, ummm, yeah, I will be on the look-out for both Hagan Verret and Simone Fomhar in the future. I haven’t listened to anything narrated by them before, but I was impressed. I had read a few reviews where the listening didn’t really enjoy Hagan’s narration – but I enjoyed it. Although, I do have to say, after listening to the next book in the series – Robert Petkoff is as good, if not better. I really liked the range of voices that both of the narrators were able to put into the characters and found them all easily distinguishable. I’m looking forward to reading/listening to the other books in the series.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Audiobook Review

 

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