Danielle Annett
win a digital copy of CURSED BY FIRE
ends 3.27.15

Cecy Robson
win a $25 GC
ends 3.28. 15

Tonya Kappes
win a digital copy of A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING
ends 3.31.15

Stacey Kennedy
win a Fetish Fantasy Sub & Dom kit!
ends 3.31.15

Cecilia London
win an ebook of DISSIDENT
ends 3.31.15

Chris Karlsen
book, swag & GC
ends 4.2.15

March 26, 2015

Shelley Liked It: The Infinite by Lori M Lee

Series: Gates of Thread & Stone # 2
Format: E-Book, 378 pages
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.
Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.

To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.

In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.

THE INFINITE is the second installment in the Gates of Thread and Stone series by Lori M. Lee. For Kai, our 17-year old protagonist, things have changed over the course of the past several months. She is no longer living a sheltered life believing that she's an orphan. She's the daughter of Kronos, father of time, who just happens to be one of the 70 Infinite in the world.  

She's become more involved with the new chosen leader, Kahl Miraya, but other things in her life have become that much more puzzling. For instance, her powers to manipulate the threads of time have gone on hiatus, and she hasn't told anyone she's having issues, or that she's having intensely vivid nightmares. With Kronos sitting in the wings ready to pass the baton to Kai, it is time for her to fully come to grips with her abilities, and the fact that connecting to the so called River, is not only necessary, but can save her life.

With a new leader in place, there's the question of who is in charge of a rebel faction of trouble making sentinels that won't bow down to her, and the fact that Reev, Kai's brother, may be part of the rebellion. But, the most important item on Kai's to do list, is to find a way of bringing back Avan memories of when he was human, and cared deeply for her. With Avan now being the Infinite called Conquest, this mission is more difficult than Kai could ever imagine. 

While we were already introduced in great detail to Ninurta and a brief visit to Etu Gahl in Gates of Thread and StoneTHE INFINITE expands upon the world that Lee has created. With the surprising arrival of a visitor from a land called Lanathrill, the presumption that those who live in Ninurta were the only survivors of the Rebirth, is shattered into little pieces. What's more surprising, is that they ask Kahl Miraya for assistance in dealing with a rather large problem.  

After Kai accepts a position as adviser to Miraya, she, along with Mason, travel to investigate what Lanathrill needs, and if they can actually help them. What does the leader of these people, Kahl Emryn, really want? Are they serious about needing help, or are they into much more nefarious ideologies? How could a entire nation of people not come forward sooner, and let Ninurta know they exist? What's even more bizarre, is that there is yet another land not to far off, Peshtigo, that none of the Ninurtans heard about! 

If you haven't read Gates yet, then let me suggest that you do. I love when characters grow over a series. I love that Kai doesn't necessarily think about herself first before doing things like trying to save Mason's life after a brutal betrayal. Or, how about not letting Reev or even Avan fall too far down the rabbit hole where they won't ever come out? I do appreciate Kai's struggles after killing an important character in Gates. Had Kai just shown up without any emotional baggage in THE INFINITE, I would have been rather shocked. 

So, let's talk about the boys, shall we? First, I adore Mason. I love that Lee makes him a much more important participant and friend to Kai. However, I would have preferred less time spent with Avan, and more time spent with Mason. I think Mason is being used at this point, and I don't think it's fair to him, especially since he's put so much effort into helping Kai. I do hope that the third installment is a bit kinder to Mason.

How about Reev? Kai's brother is still by her side, still the rock that keeps her head straight, and still loves her even knowing about her abilities, and how powerful she could be once she learns to grasp them fully. I think Reev gets the shout-out for the most understood character in the book. He's been with Kai for almost 10 years, and never once wavered in is love for Kai.

I supposed I should talk about Avan now. Wow, where to even begin? Avan is not the Avan from Gates. In fact, I would dare say that he's a pod person who is inhabiting the body that Avan once owned. I can't say that I don't like Avan. After all that he put himself through for Kai, he deserves a bit of a break. And yet, I do want to scream at him, or Lee, for making him such a grumpy sod who breaks Kai's heart at every turn.

I was surprised to learn that there WILL be a third installment. When you read the synopsis, it reads as though this was the last book. THE INFINITE is an action packed story that I read fairly quickly. There are more than a few betrayals and surprises in this book, and the secondary characters introduced from Lanathrill, are more than enough to keep your interest, while breaking your heart into little pieces. 

Other Book In series, along with my thoughts:

Follow Me: Gizmo's Reviews Blog | Facebook | @GizmosReviews | Goodreads

March 25, 2015

Gush & Gripe: I'm a Horrible Fangirl!

My name is Braine, I love books and worship my favorite authors. 
But I'm a terrible fangirl. 

I used to be a good fan. I would stalk authors via Facebook, go out of my way to get updated with whatever it is that's going on in their lives, their books, chat with fellow fans, eagerly put their new releases et al on blast. But as the blog grew and life progressed, not only has my time for fangirling whittled, I also became less and less enthusiastic about my Fandom membership.

TIME: Blogging itself is demanding, book blogging is a totally different animal! We spend an average of maybe 10 hours (or more) preparing for a post, from reading, researching, linking up, and other necessary add ons to make the post pretty, informative, and uniquely our own. But it doesn't stop there, after the post is up, you then have to blast it to the World Wide Web via social media, review sites, and visit other blogs to promote your post or encourage comments or page views back to yours. Put it all together and the hours put in on just one post is more than an average work day for a normal employee. Factor in your responsibilities outside the blog and you barely have enough time to do other stuff. And that includes fangirling for me. So I'm behind book news and either get my updates from the grapevine or make the effort to look it up myself.

FREE LABOR: Let me start this section with a little disclaimer: I do love my authors, and I don't really mind pimping them. Great work deserves recognition and its meant to be shared IMHO, and I will help spread the word so other people can experience the same greatness I did. 

That said, in my years for blogging, I've been part of various street teams. And though some of them are really fun, supportive, and encouraging, some aren't as good as I hoped it would be.

I've been part of a few teams (which I've already quit) wherein I felt like its using its members for free labor. Like I'd get an alarm for a task I have to do for the day, and this is EVERYDAY, and should I fail to complete a certain number of task, my membership is in peril. I mean, that's fucked up, right? It's not like they pay me to do shit! 

CRAZY AUTHORS: We've all heard, or maybe even came across first hand bad author behavior. There was a time when a blogger friend said something a certain author didn't like, the latter got upset and basically sicced her fans on my friend and they started harassing her on FB & Twitter. I felt bad for her, but that was also a good lesson on picking your battles wisely.

FANDOM: This is the most overwhelming part. Let's face it, we've all encountered some rabid fans in some shape or form. You know, the type whose realities are displaced and they think the characters they read are real and should you try and critic the books and its characters you'll get your head but off? And it doesn't end there, some of these fans are so competitive and obsessive they'd crawl up the author's ass and live there. For what?! The worst is if the author isn't doing anything, moderate or otherwise, so it's safe to assume they condone such behavior. Major turn off for me.

True story, I used to follow Karen Marie Moning's FB page... Until shit went down between fans and everyone started arguing who they think should play Jericho Barrons in the movie.  It got so UGLY KMM had to interfere, boot out a few followers, and release a statement about the drama! Now I understand why J.R. Ward has strict and set rules for her own Facebook page. Fandom is good until it gets psychotic!

My friend, Jenese, of Readers Confession book blog, also runs and moderates a BDB fan group on FB am I can tell it's not the easiest group to corral. She has to virtually police her members round the clock because some fans take it too far, too much, too often, to the point where it's excessive and not in a good way. Some of these people need to get a real life, be with real men, and stop imagining having sex with make-up beefy vampires who won't even look their way twice if they were real. 

Now if I made the mistake of saying that in the group, I'd be dead now. And as I'm opinionated and can be a bitch, but abhor drama and confrontation, I just lurk, like, laugh, and sometimes share when I feel like it. You can't argue or win when there are crazies involved. Best to just shut
up and let them win.

To conclude, I think I'm a great fan. I (also think) give fair reviews and do my part in helping my favorite scribes get their work noticed. I still belong to a HANDFUL of street teams, because I love the ones I follow and they've been great to their fans and followers IMO. I just don't want too much strings attached especially when my efforts are not being acknowledged. So until I have an extra amount of time, and/or get a wild hair on my ass and find myself ready to fist pump with other fans, I'll squeal like a piglet on my space, on my terms, in my time. 

This is Braine, I'm a good fan, but a terrible fangirl, and I'm okay with that.

March 24, 2015

Suped Feature: Manwhore by Katy Evans + Giveaway

Manwhore | Katy Evans
Romantica | Gallery Books
March 24, 2015

Is it possible to expose Chicago’s hottest player—without getting played?

This is the story I've been waiting for all my life, and its name is Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint. Don’t be fooled by that last name though. There’s nothing holy about the man except the hell his parties raise. The hottest entrepreneur Chicago has ever known, he’s a man’s man with too much money to spend and too many women vying for his attention.

Mysterious. Privileged. Legendary. His entire life he’s been surrounded by the press as they dig for tidbits to see if his fairytale life is for real or all mirrors and social media lies. Since he hit the scene, his secrets have been his and his alone to keep. And that’s where I come in.

Assigned to investigate Saint and reveal his elusive personality, I’m determined to make him the story that will change my career.

But I never imagined he would change my life. Bit by bit, I start to wonder if I'm the one discovering him...or if he's uncovering me.

What happens when the man they call Saint, makes you want to sin?

Braine (B): Hi Katy! Congrats on Manwhore!
Katy Evans (KE): Hi Braine! Thanks so much for having me over. :)
B: Of course! My pleasure ;)

B: What is a Manwhore and is your manwhore, Malcolm, the king of them all?
KE: A manwhore is a man who is an absolute glutton of women, all types, all kinds and flavors. Malcolm Saint is a very renowned billionaire playboy in Chicago, and being a "manwhore" is only one of the many things people say about him. Women flock him wherever he goes; and he's not the kind of man to deny himself any pleasures. But the 'real' Malcolm Saint is not exactly what people say he is, and that's the dilemma my heroine, Rachel, has when she's tasked to investigate juicy things about him. He is definitely a very juicy man, but he is also a very complex, elusive, and interesting man - there is so much more about him than people "say."

B: One of those complex types, eh. I'm sure your fans will be all over Malcolm. Readers love your leading men. Can you tell us more about Malcolm Saint? Is he more of a sinner than a saint?
KE: Malcolm Saint is definitely a sinner, and he's not apologetic about it. He works hard and plays hard, rewarding his endless business hours with equal party time. What's very interesting about him is the character traits that he has that make him so admirable, so strong, and so intoxicating. As Rachel, my heroine, starts peeling off the layers about him, she's fighting an attraction she feels that becomes stronger and stronger as she gets to know him.

B: Women have, and always will, be attracted to the bad boy. Do you follow a formula for your heroes, and is there someone in particular that inspired Malcolm's character?
KE: I love bad boys. My favorite bad boys are the ones who are rebels and loners but who end up simply being misunderstood and are hiding a good man inside. Malcolm was definitely inspired by this man I saw on TV who has a huge social media following and is an absolute player and womanizer. I was very intrigued when I visited Chicago and saw him mentioned on TV. He awakened my curiosity and it ran away from me ever since.

B: Who is this dude?!?! Anyway...

KE: In bad boy reformation, it all falls in the female. Rachel Livingstone must be a hardass to come after Malcolm Saint. Aside from the task at hand, what makes Rachel relatable or likable?
Rachel is a great heroine. What I most like about her is that she's very human. She's not perfect, but she has dreams, and fears, friends, a family, is hardworking and determined. She's young, so she's still innocent about so many things, including thinking that she can actually handle a task like exposing Malcolm Saint and end up unscathed.

B:How is MANWHORE similar & different from Real?
KE: MANWHORE is different than Real, it's a little bit more modern, focused more on the 'real' world and a modern woman's attempt to balance everything that she wants in her life - a career, her friends, her family, her fun time, and surprisingly, the fact that she's found love in the most unexpected place. The similarities between them would probably be the connection between the hero and heroine. As in all my books, the hero and heroine's connections is palpable and powerful, the kind that makes you hold your breath. I still LOVE every minute I spend with Malcolm and Rachel as I write their sequel now!

B: What kind of shenanigans are we going to see here?
KE: Oh lots of fun things. Night clubs, yachts, lots and lots of kissing and making out, online stalking, corporate offices, Rolls Royce rides, and more!

B: What's the heat level of MANWHORE?
KE: It's a very hot book! It's not the explicitness that makes it sexy but the intensity of the make outs and sex scenes that definitely make it a ten for me.

B: Is there a series plot and will there be a different couple featured in each book?
KE: YES! Manwhore is a series, the first 2 or 3 books will belong to the same couple - Malcolm and Rachel - and eventually I might like to write a single title book for a few of their friends.

B: Two books! I can tell these two are about to go through a world of shit! What is MANWHORE in one word?
KE: Intense.

Last book you read & how is it?
I just finished reading S.C. Stephen's THOUGHTFUL for the second time and I loved it, as always. Shannon is brilliant!

Ultimate girl crush?
Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Meryl Streep - I love these women so much! For their beauty but also their notable strength.

Person alive or dead you want to meet and what will you ask him/her?
I'd love to meet Michelangelo. He was a man completely devoted to his art, obsessive, compulsive, and brilliant. I'd love to meet him and ask him if there were anything about his life that he'd change if he were to live it all over again.

Type of Book you will NEVER write?
I would be pretty bad at nonfiction, I think. But I'll try anything FICTION!

A place in your city where we should check out?
The River Walk in San Antonio, a must if you're in the city!

This was fun, thanks so much for having me, Braine!

Katy Evans grew up with books and book-boyfriends until she found a real sexy boyfriend to love. They married and are now hard at work on their own happily ever after. Katy loves her family and friends, and she also loves reading, walking, baking, and being consumed by her characters until she reaches “The End.” Which is, hopefully, only the beginning…


March 23, 2015

Girl Crush Mondays: Instagram Edition feat. @MyStyleVita @AIMEESONG @ellenmgadarna @chrissyteigen

Instagram. The first and last thing I check everyday. Seriously, this app is my favorite because it's just photos (usually) and it's feeding my love pf books, fashion, food, and motivational snippets. 

Here's a few of my favorite femmes:

Jessica Camerata is from GA and I love her Southern street style. Plus she's not super skinny so I can identify with her style more.

Aimee Song not only takes fab photos donning high fashion pieces, she's also a foodie! She takes amazing food pictures and honestly, I look forward to those more than the fashion ones.

A video posted by Ellen Adarna (@maria.elena.adarna) on

Ellen Adarna is an actress from my home country, the Philippines. I follow her purely for Girl Crush-Lady Boner purposes.

I don't care whether or not she actually eats the food she makes or not. Chrissy Teigen is not only funny, has a potty mouth, and a foodie, she's also inspired quite a few of my own homecooked meals! Check out her food blog Delushious for recipes and food inspirations.

Special mention to Lupita N'Yongo (intelligent posts), Ciara (music snippets), and Emma Roberts (she reads!) IG accounts. 

How about you, do you follow any interesting females on Istagram?

P.S. Here's an incentive because you suffered thru this Sapphic post