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June 30, 2013

Braine Reviews: The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz


Series: The Original Sinners 4
Format: eGalley
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary BDSM Erotica
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 


The final book in The Original Sinners Series - The Red Years.

There's punishment-and then there's vengeance.

Nora Sutherlin is being held, bound and naked. Under different circumstances, she would enjoy the situation immensely, but her captor isn't interested in play. Or pity.

As the reality of her impending peril unfolds, Nora becomes Scheherazade, buying each hour of her life with stories-sensual tales of Søren, Kingsley and Wesley, each of whom has tempted and tested and tortured her in his own way. This, Nora realizes, is her life: nothing so simple, so vanilla, as a mere love triangle for her. It's a knot in a silken cord, a tangled mass of longings of the body and the heart and the mind. And it may unravel at any moment.

But in Nora's world, no one is ever truly powerless-a cadre of her friends, protectors and lovers stands ready to do anything to save her, even when the only certainty seems to be sacrifice and heartbreak.




READER'S ADVISORY:
Due to its strong sexual content, this novel is recommended for readers 18 and up.

June 29, 2013

Bought Borrowed and Bagged #56

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. 


Sorry for being MIA last week, I was out on a family vacation and didn't have enough time to make my BB&B so this week's edition is still lean for two weeks.

Bagged
from Authors, NetGalley & Edelweiss





Big & Small
If I haven't read the books, I'd say this is going to be one kick ass movie. The first movie was a little disappointing because Rick Riordan wrote one hell of the story and the adaptation was terrible plot-wise. Maybe I'm a masochist because I'd still want to watch the movie (with my expectations set on LOW) even though I think the actors are too old to get away playing teens plus the dude playing Tyson, Douglas Smith, is too good looking to be a baby cyclops. At least I'll be comforted with the thought that the special effects will be cool.


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.




Blogoversary Party: Enchanted Immortals

Editor extraordinaire and YA author, C.J. Pinard and the rest of her Enchanted Immortals take time out of their tight crime fighting schedules to party with us!



Enchanted Immortals Attend 
Talk Supe’s Blogoversary Party

Portland, Oregon – Present Day


The Immortals were standing in the penthouse of the Murphy Architecture Building, admiring each other’s party attire.

As Kathryn stood on tiptoe to adjust the black bowtie of Jonathan’s tuxedo, he grumbled, “What’s this party for again?”

Kathryn shook her head and sighed. “It’s for Talk Supe’s two year blog anniversary. Do you ever listen to a word I say?”

Thomas laughed. “I’m pretty sure after a hundred years, he’s probably starting to tune you out.”

She snapped her blonde head in Thomas’s direction and narrowed her blue eyes. “Hey, you just keep up that talk. Let’s see if Malina still hears your ass in a hundred years.”

“Touché, Kat. Touché.”

Thomas gasped when a shimmer appeared in the air and Malina stepped into the living room. When would he ever get used to that? She was a vision in a floor-length purple chiffon gown and was carrying a beaded purple clutch purse. Her thick brown hair was up loosely with random curls cascading down to her shoulders.

She walked to Thomas and kissed him on the cheek. “Don’t you look dashing in your tux,” she said, a flirty smile in her whiskey colored eyes.

“You look gorgeous as always,” he said, flushing slightly at her compliment.

Kathryn lifted the hem of her beaded cream dress and walked towards Malina to give her a hug. “Good to see you,” she said, beaming at her.

“Likewise, Kat. Where’s Tyler, won’t he be joining us?”

Jonathan was pouring himself a scotch at the credenza. “Nope. Had to work. Said he didn’t have a date anyway.”

Kathryn pushed up the spaghetti strap that had slid off her shoulder and smirked knowingly, but kept her thoughts to herself.

Thomas raised an eyebrow at Jonathan and pointed to his glass. “Getting the party started early?”

Jonathan tipped his head back and swallowed the amber liquid in one gulp. “Yeah, so? Want some?”

Thomas grinned. “Nope. I’m waiting to see what they’ll be serving at this shindig.”

“It’s hosted by a bunch of chicks, so probably some fruity shit or a bunch of wines,” Jonathan replied, replacing the lid on the heavy glass decanter with a clink.

Kat clapped her hands once. “Yay. I could use a Cosmo.”

“So who are these chicks again?” Jonathan asked.

Kathryn sighed. “I already told you. They write blogs on the supernatural. And the vampires are pissed off ‘cause they found out about the true nature of Night Crawlers and have been blogging about the existence of vampires in Portland.”

Jonathan raised his eyebrows. “Seriously? Where do these girls live? They need to be careful.”

Malina spoke up. “The party’s being held in L.A. but they don’t live there. We don’t know where they live, actually. It’s the Internet, they could live anywhere.”

“Alrighty then. Shall we?” Thomas said, ushering them towards the front door with a flourish.

Malina waved her hand in the air and a portal appeared.

“Or, there’s always that…” Thomas said, shaking his head with a grin.

The four stepped through it and found themselves in a massive ballroom. Crystal chandeliers hung from an ornate ceiling and glittered under the lights. A highly polished wooden floor was littered with beautiful people of all ages, races, and sizes. Kathryn’s eyes were huge a she took in the sight. There were men and women alike that Kathryn was sure weren’t entirely human. She resolved that she would take a listen into their thoughts as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

“Wow, what a beautiful place,” Malina breathed, looking around. She had her arm hooked through Thomas’s.

“I agree. Where are the hosts?” Kathryn asked.

“Where is the bar?” Jonathan asked carelessly.

Kathryn smacked him on the arm and craned her neck. “There they are,” she said, pointing to two beautiful dark-haired women in sleek black gowns. “Now be nice and let’s go meet them. They may need our protection in the near future if they keep revealing the supernatural to the real world.”

Jonathan sighed. “Okay. Then we find the bar.”

Thomas patted Jonathan on the back once. “Yep. But just so you know, I’m not carrying you out of here.”


Happy Anniversary, Debbie and Braine!


These immortals have a Gatsby flair to them, read up and party with these old sports... literally

Check out Enchanted Immortals




  • I started out as an e-book editor, and still am. (NOTE: Editing one’s own work is an impossible task so if you find typos in my book I claim no responsibility!)
  • I have never been to the state of Oregon.
  • My “day job” is not editing, believe it or not; I work with real inmates every day.
  • My grandfather was a published writer, and my great-grandfather was the Editor in Chief of the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1940s.
  • Having three jobs and three children isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I must be insane.


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



C.J. is giving away a signed print copy and an ebook of
ENCHANTED IMMORTALS
to two lucky Supie.

Contest ends July 11, 2013

Good luck!

June 28, 2013

Braine Reviews: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne


Series: Stand-alone
Format: Digital ARC
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary Thriller
Purchase: Amazon  

Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."


TRULY MADLY DEADLY is Hannah Jayne's first YA novel and its a debut with a heart-pounding BANG! The YA market is saturated with cute and wrenching romantic dramas, post apocalyptic worlds and other fantastical stories, it's starting to blend together. Writing a suspense psychological thriller as your first book for young adults is ballsy and definitely refreshing. And I absolutely devoured it, no crumbs whatsoever. That's how good TRULY MADLY DEADLY is.

The blurb gives us readers a good enough clue as far as the plot is concerned. Like I told HJayne, TRULY MADLY DEADLY has a Swimfan/Pretty Little Liars feel to it. In a nutshell someone is obsessed with Sawyer and people who've either hurt her or have ill intentions towards her started dropping like flies, making it look like tragic accidents followed up with curious gifts and creepy notes saying that the deaths were favors done for Sawyer. Ultimately it became really vicious as Sawyer finds herself being framed to the point where her mental stability is being put to question and people are becoming suspicious of her.

The build-up is really great with surprising peaks it will catch you off guard. The identity of the villain is on my list but that's after the obvious ones have been eliminated from the short list so really HJayne kept the clues camouflaged til the end. Even Sawyer never saw it coming! That's how cunning the antagonist and consequently, HJayne is. My only regret is towards the resolution, I guess I was expecting for a more dramatic and violent ending. Nevertheless it didn't dim TRULY MADLY DEADLY's genius for me.

I've felt all the dark emotions one goes through when reading a psych thriller. The fact that TRULY MADLY DEADLY is technically a YA book is immaterial. HJayne cleverly wove a story meant for us to feel scared, paranoid and frustrated. All the hyphens of a great suspense story are present: nail-biting, hair-pulling, jaw-clenching, heart-pounding. HJayne wrote a story about crazy teens but the appeal extends beyond the young adult bracket.

TRULY MADLY DEADLY is one of those books that under promised but over delivered. So if you're eyeing this book, go ahead and get it, its worth your time.




Hannah is the author of the UNDERWORLD DETECTION AGENCY CHRONICLES from Kensington books and the upcoming young adult thrillers TRULY, MADLY, DEADLY and SEE JANE RUN available from Sourcebooks, Inc. When she's not battling the demons of the Underworld or tackling a murderer at Hawthorne High, Jayne kicks her feet up in her San Francisco bay area home and attempts to share couch space with two enormous cats.

Now that you're here, kick up your feet and stay awhile...


Follow Hannah
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter



Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Blood Rule by Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand's werewolf YA series,
Dirty Blood is one of my favorites! So excited that book 4 is coming out soon and here's the cover...

June 27, 2013

Loved It: Prince of Power by Elisabeth Staab

Series: Chronicles of Yavn 2
Format: Digital ARC
Excerpt
Release Date: January 8, 2013

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
This Fight Is Personal...

Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king's beautiful sister, Tyra...and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes...

Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined...

As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that's decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other...

I've read King of Darkness a while back and I must say that I instantly fell in love with Elisabeth Staab's characters, world and writing voice. The story as a whole is easy to get into, uncomplicated but  not without substance, sexy and very entertaining. Some readers have compared Chronicles of Yavn to that other popular modern vampire series set in Caldwell, New York and I have to agree that to a certain extent, Chronicles of Yavn (Yet Another Vampire Novel... yes, that's what Yavn stands for) is reminiscent of them gorgeous warriors BUT as you move forward with the story, you'll realize that though EStaab's world is familiar, it's far from ordinary. 

PRINCE OF POWER is the second novel in the series and the story revolves mainly on Tyra Yavn Morgan, warrior princess and sister to the vampire race's current king, Thad Yavn, and Anton, a wizard and the vampire race's arch nemesis. Forbidden love is the main theme of the story among others, and reading these two navigate through this muddled, impossible romance is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. Tyra and Anton's story worked really well for me because EStaab didn't force their pairing, Thad and the other characters voiced out some of my concerns about Anton like; can they trust Anton not to sell them out as he's a wizard and his kind has been hunting and killing vampires for as long as they can remember?; Are his intentions really pure or is he there to spy on them, looking for vulnerabilities so his kind can have the upper hand?; to mention a few. As a reader, I'm a little wary of the guy but it's hard not to be won over by the wizard.
Maybe one day your kind here will come to trust me.
Anton gradually proved himself and his trustworthiness. His character development is a little painful to witness because he truly is an outsider even amongst his kind especially now that he's involved with Tyra. That face-off with his father, Master Wizard and his number one critic and antagonist is cathartic and heartbreaking, I have to give him props for having balls of steel and sticking to what he thinks is right! The only thing that I have to say about Anton is his slightly annoying hero-complex, I guess he's trying to over compensate the fact that he's a wizard among vampires, still it's so easy to love the guy. He's straightforward with his intentions and is far from calculating, a marvel considering what he is. As for Tyra, she kicks serious ass! She's brawny but soft, tough and a little vulnerable. I guess I just have a weakness for tough-as-nails women.

PRINCE OF POWER and the entire series will appeal to paranormal romance fans. EStaab's plot is layered and though there are lead characters in every novel, the side stories and secondary characters are just as interesting to follow. Chronicles of Yavn has humanized super characters who are well defined. The heroes have their own sorrows but it's not as emotionally dark as their other counterparts so it remains light, entertaining, action-packed and have I said sexy? The world building is excellent, pervasive and believable despite its paranormal aspect primarily because the conflict, though supernatural in nature, is relatable and basic. So if you love PNR/UF, add King of Darkness and PRINCE OF POWER to your TBR and must-read lists, you won't regret it.




Other books in the series
 

 
Purchase Prince of Power










Many thanks to the Talk Supe gang for having me on their blog today, and from me and the Yavn family, happy anniversary! Wishing you many more happy endings in your future, and a lot more happy blogging. J -- Elisabeth



Fiction/Non fiction everybody should take the time to read.

A fiction book I think everyone should read is Sati by Christopher Pike, about a man who picks up a hitchhiker who says she’s God. It was one of the first “adult” books I read waaay back in high school and it had an impact that stuck with me my entire life. It’s hilarious and a little bit fucked-up but it definitely makes you think about the way you look at the world. 



A nonfiction book I think everyone should read is After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back by Nancy Venable Raine. For anybody who knows someone who has survived sexual assault, this book explains the physical and emotional trauma in what I think is a very realistic and tangible way. And for someone who has survived rape themselves, it’s a story that can make the experience less isolating. It also discusses the steps this author took to heal, which can be terribly helpful. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that the chances are excellent that in our lifetime a good many of us will fall into one of those two categories. 




Last book you've read & what did you think about it.
I just finished two: Left on St-truth-be-well by Amy Lane, and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover which Both were awesome but about as different as two books could be. Left on St-truth-be-well is a lighthearted m/m novella about a trip to Florida gone awry, and it was very loosely based on a trip a few of us authors took to a conference. I was lucky enough to be given an ARC but I think it will be out in July. Hopeless was a really well-done, reeeally dark story that I needed Kleenex and a whole lot of standup comedy after finishing. It was a worthwhile read, but I’d suggest those with childhood trauma proceed carefully. 


Fellow author you were so excited to meet in RT.
I was so excited to meet a lot of authors at RT! Meeting Tiffany Reisz was a huge thrill thrill, I fucking loved The Siren and the rest of the books in the Original Sinners series. Total girl-crush on that lady. I also really enjoyed meeting NA author Nyrae Dawn with whom I’ve since become very good friends. Among other things, we share a mutual love of the Spartacus series. 


Are you a purse, shoe, accessory or make-up addict?
Yes. ;) Mostly shoes and makeup. When I find a purse I love, I’m very loyal. I’ve had my favorite Coach bag so long that I recently had to replace the zipper (I like to test the laws of physics when it comes to stuffing things into my purse. The zipper finally gave in). With shoes I like to share the love. There’s an entire section of my closet devoted to my shoes.


Beauty product you swear by.
Help Me by Philosophy which is a gentle nonprescription retinol that helps with fine lines and acne, and BareMinerals ready foundation which will spackle over damn near anything. Love that stuff.


Fill in the blanks: 
I want Pana Hema Taylor to massage my calves. (that was hard! I have a lot of wishes)


Complete the sentence: 
People would be very surprised to find out that I don’t eat sugar. Or if they haven’t read my books, I think people are shocked when they hear me swear. I think it’s the glasses. I seem like some sort of sweet librarian. Then I open my mouth and the F-bomb falls out. A lot. ;)


Favorite comfort food. 
Oatmeal. Which sounds very much like an old lady snack, but I smother it in chopped apples, nuts, chocolate (unsweetened), coconut, cinnamon… By the time I get done it’s more like an unbaked cookie, minus the sugar. Okay fine, so it’s still an old lady snack. I also love Chinese takeout. There.


The happiest place on Earth for you.
In a comfy chair, reading a good book. J


Next appearance/gig/signing.
Next big thing I will be at is the Baltimore Book Festival in Maryland on September 28th and 29th. I’ll also be at the Liberty States con in New Jersey in March and I’ll be at RT2014. I try to keep my travel schedule updated at http://elisabethstaab.com/appearances/



Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in an imaginary world. She believes that all kinds of safe and sane love should be celebrated but she adores the fantasy-filled realm of paranormal romance the best. She lives in the Washington DC area with her family and one big scaredy cat, where she loves to spend time with good friends, go dancing, collect wacky coffee mugs from which to drink her favorite beverage, and sing off-key in her kitchen (when she isn't making characters fall in love, that is).

Stalk her!


Elisabeth is giving away digital copies of any 
Chronicles of Yavn 
(King of Darkness or Prince of Power, winner's choice)
ebook from Amazon plus a set of swag which includes
a postcard, bookmarks, a King of Darkness trading card and a Prince of Power temporary tattoo to FOUR lucky Supies!

Contest open internationally, ends July 11.

Good luck!



Blogoversary Party: Dirty Monsters

And what celebration would be complete without entertainment right? As our blogoversary month winds down, we've asked the Dirty Monsters to perform for our beloved, Supies.



A Letter Arrives for The Dirty Monsters

by Jackie Trippier Holt

Once upon a time, before The Ringmaster had conceived his amazing Plan and before The Boy had run away to join them, Burfoot's Circus troupe had set up camp in a field outside a quaint seaside town in a southern English county. It was around the time of the summer solstice, and the sun had baked the sky a deep blue.

The performers were together outside, getting ready for that night's performance: there was much mending, fluffing, tugging, posturing and chatter; amid this bustle, the rich singing of The Storyteller carried across the camp site, a folk tune that Violet hummed too as she stood within the shady, open maw of the Big Top, patiently waiting for Ruby to finish her hair. The hot pressure of the demon's fingers braiding, the steady, metallic scrapes of Vincent The Saw Man sharpening his props, and even the flap and twang of the canvas and guide ropes, all added rhythm to their preparations and made the moments almost like a dance. These were the family times Violet loved most, these just before the townies arrived.

“What are you opening with?” Ruby asked.

“I thought, the card trick with the Queens and Aces,” she replied, watching The Owl Lady flap her wings at The Illustrated Woman. The demon made a grunt of approval.

“What's a blog?” Zack waddled past, his nose almost touching a sheet of paper in his hands. “Or, good grief, a blogoversary?”

“A huh what?”

Zack stopped and looked up at them, already dapper in his ringmaster finery. “A blog,” he repeated reluctantly, as if he feared it was a dirty word.

“Sounds kinky,” Ruby said confidently. Her palms touched Violet's shoulders briefly. “All done, pussy cat. Want me to brush your tail?”

“Yes please.” Hector, wearing a threadbare velvet ensemble and flip-flops, sidled up behind Zack, his feline ears pricked through his tousled hair. Ruby snorted at his flirting and Violet rolled her eyes, though the tomcat was too interested in reading the letter over The Ringmaster's shoulder to notice. “Oh, cool,” he said. “A blog.”

“Do you know what it is?” Zack asked, anxiously. “They're not going to shut us down or start asking about unpaid taxes and the conditions of the animals, are they?”

He let Hector pluck the letter from his hands. The Cat Boy smiled as he read and Violet's heart jumped a bit. Damn he's cute. “Talk Supe,” he said. “A blog. About witches, vamps, fairies and 'everything else in between'. They fuckin' know about supes. We're famous!”

“But what's a blog?” Zack demanded through his teeth. Then he blinked. “Famous?”

Hector shrugged and handed the letter back, finally raising his gaze to look at Violet, appraising her costume – and the rest – from head to toe. “We're not all supes anyway.”

“Indeed,” said Vincent, who had come to see what the fuss was. “Some of us are just freaks.”

“Or plain old fuck ups.” Hector met Violet's eyes and grinned; a blush tickled her cheeks and she glanced away.

“Watch it, fuck up,” Ruby warned as she moved past. “Some of us are just naturally super.” She walked on to help Dave set up the hot dog stand, passing Bridget, who was carrying bundles of lucky heather in a basket.

“Is there a problem?” Lady Fortunata asked.

“Yes, do tell,” said Vincent.

“Some blogger chicks called Braine and Debbie have been writing about how fuckin' great we are and now they want to come and see the show for themselves,” Hector explained.

Braine,” Bridget echoed, and Violet giggled as she guessed what the fortune-telling fae was thinking. “Are they freaks, like us? Do they want to join the circus?”

“Oh, blogger,” said Zack, as if he'd had an epiphany. “Aren't they like trolls? Only, bloggers probably don't live under bridges … and they're nocturnal and thrive on large amounts of coffee, I think.”

Hector lashed his striped tail and gave The Ringmaster a hard stare. “No,” he said, shortly. “Definitely not like trolls. These chicks have written cool things about us – look!” He jabbed a clawed finger at the letter.

“Pixies, then,” Zack flailed. “Brownies?”

“Let me read it,” Violet said, holding out her hand, thinking this might be important. “If we have special guests tonight, we need to up our game, right?” But Zack wouldn't give up the letter, his eyes quickly rescanning each line as he struggled to understand what was going on.

Hector was peeling his shirt off as he headed towards the caravan he shared with Fearless Henry. “I'm gonna look my best tonight if these bloggers have come all the way across the Atlantic to, ah, experience my performance in the flesh,” he called lasciviously over his shoulder.

“Goddess help them,” murmured Bridget, and took her lucky heather to the ticket booth.

“Oh!” Zack exclaimed, sounding delighted. “I believe they're elementals, from a realm called Blogosphere. I really think we might have some fresh blood for the troupe! How exciting!” He bustled away. Violet could hear hear him marshalling the others to hurry up.

“Fresh blood,” she echoed, thinking that it had been an unfortunate turn of phrase.

“I'll be careful” said The Saw Man seriously, as he stroked an oily rag down the curved blade of his scimitar.




Love the circus?
Let these Dirty Monsters entertain you!

Purchase Dirty Monster


Jackie’s career has been varied: bar maid, fortune teller, market trader, public relations officer, teacher, newspaper and online journalist, copywriter and freelance writer of women’s erotica. Writing for fun has been a constant.

‘Annie, the Doll, its Thief and her Lover’ was her first novel. She is currently working on a series of novellas called ‘Dirty Monsters’; ‘Freaks Like Us’ and ‘Bloody Secrets’ are out now.

Want to be a Dirty Monster?


Jackie is giving away a signed print copy of
FREAKS LIKE US 
to one lucky Supie plus it's personalized to YOU!

Contest ends July 11, open internationally.

Good luck!