July 31, 2013

Braine Reviews: Twilight Hunter by Kait Ballenger

Series: Execution Underground 1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: HQN books
Source: Publisher
Genre: PNR
Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but what happens when danger collides with desire?

Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face-to-face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy.

Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind-or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace’s skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both.

TWILIGHT HUNTER, is the first book in Kait Ballenger's high velocity series, Execution Underground. After getting our toes wet in Shadow Hunter, we now go knee-deep into a world where supernatural creatures are being policed and hunted by a group of sexy, Alpha hunters. In TWILIGHT HUNTER, the case is about a slasher serial killer whom the Execution Underground, headed by Damon Brock, suspects is a werewolf. The case is led by Hunter, Jace McCannon, and in one of of the crime scenes he came across werewolf, Frankie Amato and it was insta-hate for Jace as soon as his eyes laid on Frankie. However, the Fates seem to have a different plan for him because that same night was Frankie's mating cycle. As Jace is a half-breed, Frankie's "beast" chose him and now they're stuck together as mates. While Jace is trying to untangle himself from his mess, the serial killer's next target is Frankie and he's getting closer and closer and it's only a matter of time before he gets her.

I had so much fun reading TWILIGHT HUNTER. The lead characters Jace and Frankie, are your quintessential PNR heroes, headstrong, aggressive, badass and oh so sexy. Jace has his own demons and I like how KBallenger didn't turn him into a tortured soul, all bitter and mad at the world. Frankie is such a delightful character to follow too. She's Alpha of the Rochester pack, all soft on the outside complete with wicked Salsa moves, and tough as nails when on Alpha mode. This one scene where she beat and broke someone's neck in a span of maybe minutes, had me kissing her feet in awe. The chemistry between these two are sizzling from the start, despite Jace's loathing for werewolves, he can't deny his body's reaction to Frankie. I love how Frankie was so patient and tolerant of him despite Jace's foot-in-mouth disease, staying by his side until Jace accepted the supernatural half of himself and embraced it to his advantage.
My name is Francesca. I'm Italian, born and raised here in Rochester. I own a dance studio and when I can I teach salsa classes myself. my favorite color is red, but I look best in blue, and I have long walks on the beach.
Aside from the main characters, I also love the villain, Robert, and his evilness. If I were watching the story unfold on the screen, I'd say my skin would be crawling over the delight in Robert's eyes as he zone in on his prey and preps them for the torture he's going to put them through. See, Robert doesn't only take pleasure in maiming and dissecting his victims, he's a necrophiliac too! The clincher is his connection to Jace. I can't say what but I'll leave it at jaw dropping. P.S. I love how the big reveal happened.

What stood out to me the most was Execution Underground the agency. These group of men may have the same goal but they have their own cliques inside the group. It's every man for himself the Hunters loyal to the cause but not on each other. I love a solid brotherhood but we also know that men, Alpha males in particular, have big egos and KBallenger used that flaw to apply a little discord within Execution Underground. I am not a big fan of their leader, Damon Brock, and seeing him go head to head with Jace (point to Jace! Hi5!) was surprising at first but refreshing. I would think as the leader, Damon would stay neutral despite his personal opinions about Jace yet he went ahead and instigated the discord before sitting Jace down to get his side of the story. I'm really excited to see how this group will grow as a team given that they're divided within. 

I love the plot of TWILIGHT HUNTER, it's fast paced and character driven. The myth had a touch of Norse and the backstory was short and succinct keeping the story focused on Jace and Frankie. I also like how KBallenger's darkness, getting all graphic and gross about those mutilated bodies of Robert's victims and really made Robert one sick psycho. The conflict was layer upon layer of intrigue and mayhem, usually ending in people getting beat up or someone dying. My craving for some bloody aggression (reading back to back with Kait's BFF, Kate SeRine's Along Came A Spider) was so sated my head needs a good burp! And for the purpose of comparisons and forceful convincing, Execution Underground reminded me a lot of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series with all these sexy brawling men and broken loyalty within the group. 

Now I'm excited to read book 2, Immortal Hunter. We get to meet, David, and his lady love Allsun O'Hare and I have a feeling these two will put us through the proverbial wringer. Can't. Wait!

Other books in the series

Pre-order Twilight Hunter

Kait Ballenger is a full-time paranormal romance author, wife, bellydancer, graduate student, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published, award-winning author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series. With a B.A in English from Stetson University, Kait is currently earning an M.F.A in Writing. Kait believes anything is possible with hard work and dedication. One day, she hopes to be a bestseller and to see her novels on the big screen. Look for the next two books in her page-turning Execution Underground series: Twilight Hunter, book one (August 2013) and Immortal Hunter, book two (January 2014).

Follow Her!

July 30, 2013

Gush and Gripe: Goodbye Sookie

Goodbye, Sookie, & thanks for the memories!

And so it's done. Finished. Finito. 

After 13 books and several novellas and shorts in between, we bid Sookie Stackhouse of Bon Temps, Louisiana adieu.


The first time I read Deadlocked I DNF'd it but as I was curious to read how CHarris ended the series, I gave it another go and it was OK. Dead Ever After wasn't any different, if not worse. It was well... 


I realized Sookie's series stopped being fun a looong time ago and it's a shame! I have an emotional attachment to Southern Vampire Mysteries or Sookie Stackhouse because it provided a much needed comedic relief at a time when my personal life was a frickin' tragedy. Personally, things started going downhill after book 5, Dead As A Doornail, and I wish CHarris stopped when Sookie and Eric got back together. I wish she didn't drag that pointless relationship further and gave Team Eric the run around.

So like most fans I'm a little disappointed. No satisfaction from the last two books or so and don't even get me started on True Blood! Ugh! 

My dissatisfaction stems not from who Sookie ended up with. The girl's been through every kind of preternatural male with matching heartaches and have been on the brink of death several times. As long as the bitch is happy I'm all for it.  

My disappointment revolves around the lack of CLOSURE. First of all, the build-up for Eric was there from the start. Til Deadlocked the idea was still dangled in our face. Dead Ever After screwed that up in epic proportions I have no words! Sookie and her fans deserved more than that! Eric deserved more than that. He's a thousand-year old Viking for chrissakes, he's got balls the size of Jupiter but unfortunately, he felt a little emasculated. No bueno.

And the ending! WTH was that?! After all the "monsters" Sookie went head to head with, those are the best group of characters CHarris can gather to boost Sookie's heroine status and be her crowning glory? Pathetic.

My only take away is that at least the series is finally over. CHarris can no longer add damage to the series by dragging it out unnecessarily. I wish the series was concluded sooner than later, ended it with a bittersweet bang instead of the the resounding big sigh of relief from the fans.

Have you read Dead Ever After, if so, what's your take on it? 
What's the worst series ending you've ever read?

Tour Stop + Giveaway: The Hunt by K.C. Falls

Hooked (The Hunt)
K.C. Falls
New Adult
Two people, an ocean, a big fish and a small monkey. She doesn't trust herself and he can't remember when he trusted anyone. 

(Lara) A spoiled man-whore was a bad idea even for a girl who majored in bad ideas. It was the monkey's fault I didn't take my own advice. Mrs. Dalloway caught me way off guard. She stripped him down to his bare humanity and wouldn't let me throw a blanket over that naked soul. Everything he did was contradicted by all that he was. The little white-faced princess on his shoulder never missed a chance to point that out. Mrs. D was a shameless charmer but honest to her bones. She forced me to look at the truth of him until the reality of Morgan had me hooked.

(Morgan) I agreed too quickly. I thought she'd be a punctured, tatted up, street-smart bitch with the kind of balls it took to hang in a major league pressure cooker of a go-to South Beach restaurant. The only thing I guessed right about was the 'nads. She had 'em but the package was all wrong. There were waves where I expected spikes, soft where I was looking for hard. Then she schooled me about dear dad's precious art collection and I realized street wasn't her only kind of smart. Mrs. D--who knows every wart on my blemished spirit--surprised me with a rare nod of approval. It's usually a good idea to listen when your best friend has something to say. Even if your best bud is a monkey.

Hooked (The Hunt) is a new adult romance that unfolds in a trilogy, each featuring a high energy adventure that escalates Lara and Morgan's relationship with physical and emotional challenges. It is intended for mature readers due to explicit content and language.

Author Links

K.C. is giving away a KINDLE FIRE to one very lucky follower!

Good luck!

Tour organized by

July 29, 2013

Love It: Along Came A Spider by Kate SeRine

Series: Transplanted Tales 3
Format: EGalley
Release Dat: August 1, 2013
Publisher: eKensington Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Romance - Urban Fantasy
When Trish Muffet is attacked at a grisly crime scene, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is Nicky “Little Boy” Blue. But since walking away from everything two years before, Nicky’s been doling out vigilante justice as “The Spider,” taking on the vicious predators of the night in hopes it’ll lead him to his ultimate target – Vlad Dracula. And he needs Trish’s help.

Although Nicky’s renegade style goes against everything Trish stands for, she’ll do what she must to bring Dracula down. With danger stalking her, Trish knows the only person she can count on is the one man who has the power to leave her breathless. There’s no way she’s letting this spider frighten her away.
Oh, man! Oh, man! Oh, man!

Transplanted Tales just keeps getting better and better! In fact ALONG CAME A SPIDER, the latest series installment, is better than Pringles! Once you pop open the book, it'll take a lot to make you stop! I know I sound like an advertising cliche but it's so true. I slept late last night not by choice but because I can't put the darn book down until I've reached THE END. 

Anyway, so here's what happened the Tales' neck of the woods in Chicago...

ALONG CAME A SPIDER is Beatrice Little Miss Muffet and Nicky Little Boy Blue's HEA and if you're following this series, you know that it's only a matter of time before these two hook up. Aside from their palpable chemistry and sexy bedroom gymnastics, Trish and Nicky's adventures are simply thrilling. For starters, Trish's nightmares and hallucinations thanks to Vlad Dracula were terrifying! Getting pulled under your bed, finding yourself in a grave, throwing up blood and hearing voices? These scenes gave me goosebumps! I don't like the idea of someone pulling my leg while I'm sleeping much less drag me into the darkness! And if that isn't enough, Trish and Nicky are being chased by corrupt Agency cops because they're close to discovering their shenanigans and connection to Dracula. Trish and Nicky have had one too many close calls complete with raining bullets and mangled Tales and these scenes are heart stopping! I felt my eyes going on overdrive trying to keep up with the story! 

The conflict is layered and I like how KSeRine started relaying the mystery on two different directions only to have it meld brilliantly towards the end. Trish and Nick's relationship issues coupled with seemingly numerous villains made the story fast-paced and a breeze to read. The dialogue is peppered with superb humor through funny catchphrases and self-deprecating remarks. All the characters, including the cameos and names dropped, are so fleshed out I can hear each of their distinct voices in my head clearly.

Speaking of other characters, I don't know how it's possible but Red Little is even more intimidating now that she's preggers with Nate Grimm's baby than before. Lavender Seelie and Seth are stronger than ever even if Seth is yet to win over her imperious mother-in-law. KSeRine also made new additions to the cast my favorites being the Soprano-like Three Little Piggs and Ulrich Rumpelstiltskin who's all Queenly spinning gold in his jewelry shop giving Sir Elton John a run for his glitter. Trish and Nicky's scenes with Rick and his lover, Truman, were LOL funny, I hope we see more of them in the future. Lastly I hope the next novel is Gideon's HEA. I don't know what is it about these fairies but Gideon has my heart right now. He's so noble and his heart so golden he needs a woman to give all that love to! I'd volunteer myself but I think he's not into Ordinaries.

Transplanted Tales is one badass fantastical amusement park I can't get enough of it! Not only are the tour guides iconic fictional characters but KSeRine's reimagined world is filled with so many bewitching stuff: gun toting heroes, nail-biting suspense, heart stopping close calls, terrifying villains, fairy magic, lots of sexy lovin' and everything else in between! ALONG CAME A SPIDER IMO, is the most action-packed volume in the series so far and KSeRine amped it up by adding a superhero element to the story in Nicky Blue. Everybody loves a vigilante and Nicky Blue is definitely someone I want to come to my rescue when I cry for help.

I don't know how KSeRine does it because she and her Tales are far from slowing down! The world keeps on growing and growing and its a gift that keeps on giving. If you haven't read ANY of the books yet, I'm sorry to tell you but you're MISSING OUT so do the right thing and catch up NOW.

Books in the series

Pre-order Along Came A Spider
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) faithfully watched weekend monster movie marathons while growing up, each week hoping that maybe this time the creature du jour would get the girl. But every week she was disappointed. So when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed that her characters would always have a happily ever after. And, thus, her love for paranormal romance was born. 

Kate is a member of Romance Writers of America and of Indiana RWA and has been a finalist in the Fire and Ice Contest (2010), the Finally a Bride Contest (2010), and The Emily (2012). She is represented by Nicole Resciniti with the Seymour Agency. 

Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project.

Fan Girls & Boys Welcome

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Along Came a Spider
Copyright 2013 Kate SeRine
           I woke slowly, gradually becoming aware but not sure what had awakened me. I opened my eyes and scanned the room, searching the heavy shadows. Birds chirped outside the window, alerting me it was morning, but thanks to the blackout shades, the room was still plunged in darkness. I also heard soft snoring. Frowning, I turned my head and saw Nicky lying on the pillow beside me. He was still dressed and on top of the covers, but his arm was lightly draped across me.

           My stomach did its little fluttery thing at the realization that instead of leaving once I’d fallen asleep, Nicky had stayed at my side while I slept, watching over me and keeping me safe. If someone had told me a week ago that I’d be in Nicky Blue’s house, sleeping in bed with him, I would’ve called her a liar—plus another couple of names that were even less complimentary. Then again, if someone had told me a week ago that I would be jumped by vampires, attacked in my apartment by a seriously pissed off ghost, and psychically invaded by Dracula himself, all in the same week, I wouldn’t have believed that either. Guess life was just full of surprises. . . .

             Feeling a sudden shift in the air, I shook off the last remnants of sleep and squinted into the darkness. There was a heaviness in the room that I couldn’t quite place. All the hairs on the back of my neck jumped to attention, and my blood went cold. No, wait—it wasn’t my blood. It was the temperature in the room itself that had plummeted several degrees. Next to me, Nicky shivered in his sleep.

          I swallowed hard, then whispered, Nicky!My breath came out as a frosty mist that curled before my eyes.

          Shit. Not good.

          In a panic, I tried to get up, but I was completely paralyzed. I tried to call out to Nicky again, but all that came out was a strangled rasp. As I lay there, completely helpless, the shadows swirled and shifted, slowly taking form as they moved toward the bed. A moment later, the silhouette of a woman took shape at the end of the bed. I felt the mattress dip down by my feet as the shadow-woman put one knee on the mattress and then another and began to creep toward me.

In the next moment she was straddling me, her face just inches from mine. I was trembling so violently, I couldn’t believe the shaking hadn’t woken Nicky. As if the phantom had heard my thoughts, she glanced over at where he lay, then ran a ghostly finger from my forehead down along the bridge of my nose until she reached my lips. “Don’t bother trying to call for him,” she said, her voice edged with amusement. “He can’t hear you. It’s just you”--her finger continued down my chin and along the edge of my throat--“and me.”

          I wanted to look away, close my eyes, pretend this was just a dream, but I couldn’t. It was as if she was controlling me.

          She chuckled, a low, throaty sound. “No, silly girl, it’s notme controlling you.” She bent forward until her lips were near my ear. “It’s the master,” she whispered, her breath an arctic blast on my skin. “You tasted the blood of one of his children. And now you are his.”

          My eyes went wide, remembering how, in desperation, I’d bitten the vampiress the other night, how her blood had flooded my mouth when my teeth had broken her skin.

          “You weren’t the one he was hoping for,” she giggled, “but after meeting you face to face last night, he thinks you’ll be a lovely addition to the family.” She shifted and pressed her lips to mine in a slow kiss, then grinned down at me. “Oh, we’re going to have so much fun. . . .”

          She turned her head to regard Nicky for a moment, her blonde hair sweeping across my face. “What do you think,” she taunted, “should we bring Mr. Blue into the family, too? He’d be such a delightful plaything for the other girls. So handsome and strong.” She giggled again and gave me a lascivious wink. “They’d enjoy sucking him dry in more ways than one.”

          Fury so powerful engulfed me, it shattered the hold over me. My arm shot up and grasped her throat, and I flipped her onto her back, now sticking my face into hers. “You and whatever vampire whores Dracula has recruited will stay the hell away from Nicky Blue, or you’ll have to deal with me.”

          The ghost merely laughed, her eyes twinkling with amusement before she dematerialized and reformed beside the bed, safely out of my reach, proving just how empty my threat was. She adjusted her fluffy pink sweater and pulled her mini skirt down a notch before giving me a patronizing grin. “I’ll be seeing you soon, sweetie!”

          “Don’t count on it,” I hissed. “I’ll take on that son of a bitch Dracula any day, any time. You tell him to bring it on.”

          She suddenly swooped forward, her face morphing into a horrifying replica of Sebille Fenwick’s rotting corpse, somehow knowing about the nightmares that had plagued me for the last few months. Then she grabbed my throat and squeezed. I clawed desperately at her ghostly hands, doing nothing more than scoring my own skin with my fingernails.

          “Do not underestimate the master,” the phantom warned, her breath rank, making me gag. “You are his, Trish. And you’ll be joining him very soon.

          With a parting cackle, she flung me backward, but instead of hitting the mattress, I kept falling, the darkness growing deeper. Screaming, I threw my arms out to my sides, desperately grasping for anything to stop my descent. My nails dug into something soft and foul. Was it dirt? Just when it felt like I would fall forever, I suddenly hit bottom, and the air was forced from my lungs.

          “This isn’t real,” I panted, squeezing my eyes closed with relief. “It’s just a dream. It’s all just a dream. Wake up, Trish.”

          But when I opened my eyes again, I was still lying at the bottom of a freshly dug grave hundreds of feet deep. “It’s just a dream,” I ground out, balling my hands into fists. “Wake up!”

 ​I suddenly felt an arm snake under my back and around my shoulders. With a gasp, I rolled toward my unexpected companion in the grave and found myself lying on top of him, his blazing red eyes burning into my soul. “What the—”

“Hello, little one,” came the low, hypnotic voice, the tendrils of sound wrapping around me, drawing me closer.

          I was still screaming when his fangs plunged into my throat.

July 28, 2013

Braine Reviews: Persephone's Orchard by Molly Ringle

Series: The Chrysomelia Stories
Format: Mobi
Release Date: June 28, 2013
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Source: Publisher
Genre: New Adult - Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

The Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she's pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate.

Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she's tainted with the Underworld's magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.
PERSEPHONE'S ORCHARD, book 1 of Molly Ringle's The Chrysomelia Stories, is, you guessed it! An uptake on the Greek mythical tale about Persephone and Hades. Sophie Darrow is Persephone reincarnated, she's a freshman in college and this exciting time in her life is shadowed by Adrian and his claims that she's the Greek Goddess Persephone reborn. To convince Sophie, Adrian Watts aka Hades, fed her some pomegranate juice hoping that it'll jack up Sophie's memory. And jack up it did! The days following Sophie's ingestion of the seemingly harmless juice she starts dreaming of her past lives til she dreamt being Persephone, daughter of Demeter and Zeus, and how she fell in love with the God of the Underworld, Hades. But being a part of the legendary Greek Pantheon isn't as fine and dandy as we assume. An extremist group called Thanatos knows their secret and have been hunting and murdering the reincarnated Gods to keep the balance f nature. Now Sophie is on the run and it's now up to her, Adrian and the rest of the immortals to stop Thanatos from annihilating their kind.

PERSEPHONE'S ORCHARD is a fantasy novel filled with MRingle's enchanting version of how the Greek Pantheon came to be, starting with the Goddess Rhea. I'm a myth junkie and take personal offense when I read a bastardized version of the original myths. MRingle loosely based hers to the original story and I liked how she re-imagined the entire thing! The Greek Pantheon has to be one of the most popular pagan Gods, they've captured our imagination because they're as flawed as the rest of us which made their dysfunctions relatable. MRingle made them even more human by having her Gods start as mortals born with superhuman abilities until they're given the gift of immortality. However her version is more subdued than the original, her immortals more reasonable and not easily swayed by impulse and the intensity of their emotions. So in a way, her characters are more likeable but not as entertaining than the original versions. 

PERSEPHONE'S ORCHARD is categorized as New Adult but IMO it reads more like YA/Literary Fiction. Inasmuch as the myth and world building are interesting enough to keep me reading, there's not enough emotional tension to get me invested. The action-adventure part is also at a crawl pace, the gaps between the Thanatos' attack was far in between and slow to build. The first time they made their presence felt, they were all bark and not much bite and this went on for a while. When the Thanatos finally showed their hand, it was towards the last third of the story and was softened by more of Sophie's regression sessions. Which is unfortunate as there's nothing more exciting and entertaining than a bunch of right-wing extremists drunk on their own righteousness.

As for the characters, the leads Sophie and Adrian were too chill and even-tempered to provide much excitement. Sophie in particular I find too stoic. Her skepticism about the whole thing was watered down for my taste and she's not as spunky as her counterparts. Adrian didn't appeal much to me either, as the God of the Underworld, he didn't have the characteristics one associates with Hades. I didn't care much for their love story either, though I loved MRingle's version of Persephone and Hades' forbidden love, it didn't carry over Sophie and Adrian's. 

Overall I feel neutral about PERSEPHONE'S ORCHARD. Though I love the myth, backstory and world-building, I didn't care much for Sophie and Adrian's storyline. Sophie's dreams/regression/remembering took the attention from present time. At times I wish MRingle just write past to present and add mini-cliffhangers to build the suspense on each of Sophie's lives until the timeline reaches the present. But these are just my opinion, PERSEPHONE'S ORCHARD is a good read but to set your expectations a little bit, this is more like Raven Boys than your usual YA or NA fantasy novel.

Release Day Blitz: Patriotic Duty by C.J. Pinard

We here in Talk Supe simply LOVE men in uniform especially if they are the book hero! So if you're like us, here's another book you must add on your TBR list.

Patriotic Duty
C.J. Pinard
July 28, 2013
Military Contemporary Romance
Newly divorced party girl Cara Reid wants to have fun. Much too young to even be a divorcee, she and her bestie, Miranda, set off to have fun and maybe a few casual hookups and live life. One night at a military bar, Cara meets Riley Forrester, a hot Army soldier who makes her melt with one look of his deep ocean blue eyes. But Riley is only staying the summer in California and then has to go back to Colorado at the end. Cara tells herself he’s just a summer fling and is determined to enjoy herself and let him go once the summer is over. But once Riley receives orders he wasn’t expecting, she’s forced to make a decision on whether she’s going to be there for him when he gets back, or move on with her life. What she wasn't expecting was to fall so hard for the beautiful soldier boy and now she's faced with accepting her feelings or letting him go.

Purchase links to follow

C.J. is a west coast native currently living in sunny Florida, USA. An editor of over 40 books, C.J. has writing in her blood, and hopes people will lose themselves for a little while in the fantasy and fun of her stories.

Fan Girls & Boys Wanted

July 27, 2013

Bought Borrowed and Bagged #60

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 

swag from Lindsey Piper

from Publishers, Authors and Tour Organizers

*Midnight Brunch at Casa Dracula is no longer FREE

Big & Small
WITCHES OF EAST END the upcoming Lifetime series based on the book with the same title by Melissa de la Cruz is scheduled to premier on October 6, 2013 at 10PM EST.  The myth of the series is based on Norse myth with a hint of the Salem witch trials. The lead characters are a family of witches who are actually Norse Goddesses in disguise, living in East Haven (the Hamptons).

I am a little apprehensive about this series being on the Lifetime channel because I'm afraid they'll make it more romantic than it really is. I'm also not a big fan of Jenna Dewan but to be fair, I think she can pull of Freya.
The series stars Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, M├Ądchen Amick and Rachel Boston. 

Last Week's Reviews

Check out these other fabulous blogs that participate in 
Bought, Borrowed & Bagged:

NOTE: Future participants, please use your BB&B LABEL LINK instead of the individual post link.

July 26, 2013

Braine Reviews: Moonbeam by Tim O'Rourke

Series: Moon Trilogy 2
Format: Mobi
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Author
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Winter McCall and Thaddeus Blake flee the burning mansion. Both are hunted by two relentless police officers and vampires. With time running out, Thaddeus leads Winnie towards Scotland, where he believes the Moonbeam, a precious stone with the ability to destroy those that hunt him, is hidden.

But Thaddeus has held the Moonbeam before and with it came betrayal, madness and murder. Will the Moonbeam protect Thaddeus, last of the werewolves, or is he truly the only surviving member of his race?

With her journey fraught with danger and haunted by Ruby Little, Winnie struggles with her growing feelings towards Thaddeus and what her life and she has become.
MOONBEAM, book two of Tim O'Rourke's Moon Trilogy, picks up where Moonlight left off. After a failed attack by vampires, Winter McCall and Thaddeus Blake ran for their lives. Destination? Scotland to retrieve the fabled Moonstone that can destroy vampires. But Winnie and Thaddeus' escape is not without a hitch. The carnage that they left in Thaddeus' mansion is now a crime scene and the detectives are hot on their heels with Thaddeus' face plastered all over the news. On top of this, Winnie was bitten by the vampire, Michelle, and her vivid dreams about Red Little are getting more and more frequent and all too real. 

MOONBEAM felt like a *gasp* transition volume to me. Let me break it down.

As this series is a trilogy, the backstory though essential, took up much of MOONBEAM's plot. The history of the Moonstone, which is entwined to Thaddeus' backstory, was a tad too long. There are several chapters dedicated to this and I felt like it stunted Winnie and Thaddeus' storyline. Winnie's character for instance went through some major changes and the character contrast due her transition wasn't as stark and compelling as I wanted it to be. On top of this, new "villains" are introduced and because they had limited face time, the threat they post to Winnie and Thaddeus was dulled. 

But aside from my very subjective opinion about the plot, I do love the myth and Tim's world building. These are two of Tim's stronger points and like his other works, Moon Trilogy, enjoyed the same inspiration Kiera Hudson did. The details were succinct but rich and his world building is very believable and eloquent. The violence, graphic descriptions and bloodbath was consistent with his Tim's other series like Black Hill Farm and Vampire Seeker

Despite my moderate thoughts about MOONBEAM, I'm now even more interested to see how Tim's going to end this trilogy. I feel like there's so much more to the story that's yet to be told and I'm hoping that the third book won't be too cramped with events to "make up" for the lack of progress in Winnie and Thaddeus' story.

July 25, 2013

Tour Stop + Giveaway: Undescribable by Shantel Tessier

Shantel Tessier
Samantha Hall needs a fresh start

Broken hearted and alone in a new city, Samantha begins to build a new life for herself while working as a bartender. Focusing on her new friends and rebuilding her broken life, Samantha is content.

Until she meets him – attorney by day and a cocky, foul mouth playboy by night. All girls want Slade Long, but not one has ever been able to keep his attention for long. Having a different woman in his bed every night is how he prefers it-no emotion, no connection.

Until he meets her - an angel with the sweetest voice he has ever heard and the most enticing green eyes. Samantha makes him second guess his actions and has him wanting something he didn’t know existed. How can a man who has never been in love, be so sure? Can real love happen this fast?

Burned by her past, Samantha struggles to keep up with the overwhelming passion she feels for Slade. She knows that he will be nothing but trouble to her already fragile heart, but how long can she continue to deny the love that she feels for him?

Will Samantha let Slade prove his love is real, or will she push him away?

She thought she knew love…… He thought he never wanted love….. Together they will show each other what they can’t live without.

What inspired you to write Undescribable?
I have had a book idea in my mind for quite a while. This past Christmas when everyone was trying to figure out what they wanted to do for their New Year’s resolution. I told myself I was going to take that step to making it happen. I have always loved to read and it just felt like it was the right time for me to write my own book.

What books have most influenced your life most?
I don’t think I can narrow it down. Every book I have read has had an impact to my life in some way. Some leave me in tears and others leave me smiling and laughing. You either compare your life to what you just read, or it makes you feel grateful for the life you have.


Which author has influenced you the most? 
There are several; Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, Teresa Mummert, J. Sterling and many more. I follow them all on Facebook and they are always thanking their readers, showing their gratitude. I want to be that way. I want to show my readers that not only did I write a novel, but that this novel will be nothing without them. The readers are what makes this journey worth all the ups and downs.

What book are you reading now?
Right now, I am not reading anything. I have been too busy trying to get Undescribable ready for the readers. Although, the last book I read was Safe Word by Teresa Mummert. I loved it!

When did your desire to write start?
When I was young. My grandma still has little stories that I wrote back when I was a kid. I love to read, I could read a book a day. So many books have stuck with me throughout the years. I wanted to touch readers like I have been touched. When I started writing Undescribable it was a small idea, that idea has become a dream. That dream is becoming a reality. I couldn’t be happier for the world to meet Slade and Samantha. I hope that everyone loves them as much as I do.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up! This has not been an easy journey. I have had days where I cried and just wanted to give up and days where I smiled so hard my cheeks hurt. The closer I get to self-publishing, the more freak outs I have had. It is a roller coaster ride, but it is worth it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. The only person that can hold you back is yourself.

What can readers look forward to in the future?
I am already halfway through writing book two in the Undescribable series. I want to have it out before the New Year. I know as a reader, I hate having to wait forever for the next book in a series. So, I am going to try my hardest to get the rest of this series out there soon.

Who or what inspires you?
Music. I have to listen to it while I’m writing.

If you could be a superhero, what supernatural power would you choose?
To live without sleep. Being a mother and wife, there are not enough hours in the day. Trying to write, clean house, cook dinner and spend the time with my family. There is never enough time for everything or everybody.

Which is your favorite movie?
I love to go to the movies. I can watch anything from chick flicks, to horror, to action. Doesn’t matter. Just give me a Coca Cola Icee and some popcorn, I’m good to go.

Undescribable Playlist Final

What kind of music do you like?
I listen to everything from country, Rock, or dubstep. I am just not a big fan of rap.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to publish a book?
Not everyone is going to like your book. That’s okay. Don’t be afraid to write what you want because you are afraid of the feedback you may receive. So far I am hearing great things from my readers who have received ARC’s of Undescribable. Nothing feels better than getting a review that makes you cry when a reader tells you how much they loved your book. I promise all the tears you will shed and all the doubt you have will be worth it.

Do you have a message for my blog’s followers?
I want to thank Casey at Hardcover Therapy and everyone else who has wanted to help me out with this Blog Tour. And all the readers who have messaged me how they can’t wait for Undescribable to be released. The support from all of you has been overwhelming and I am truly grateful. It has warmed my heart knowing readers are as excited as I am about this story that I have put my heart into. Thank you. I hope that you all have a chance to read Samantha and Slade’s story. Feel free to contact me, I would love to hear from all of you. <3

Purchase Undescribable

I'm a Texas born girl who now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with my high school sweetheart, and our three year old little princess. I consider myself extremely lucky to be a stay home wife and mother. When I'm not reading or writing, I spend my time with friends and family.

Follow Shantel
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Tour organized by