Monday, March 31, 2014

0 Review: The Midnight Witch

Title: The Midnight Witch
Author: Paula Brackston
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: March 25, 2014
Paperback, ARC, 352 pages
ISBN: 978-1-250-00608-0
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Source: Publisher





Goodreads Summary
Lilith is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes the title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her charming fiancé and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt.

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves.

To tell him will risk everything.


My thoughts:
From the author of The Winter Witch and The Witch's Daughter comes another paranormal tale set in the 1900's before World War I.  Lilith's father has just died and she is left bereaved. With her great loss she gains great responsibility as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And that's not all she has on her plate. Her brother is addicted to opium, her mother is depressed, and she's engaged to a Viscount who in all ways is her equal, but she doesn't love him. In fact she is in love with someone much different from the world in which she belongs. 

Bram is an artist. From the moment he first lays eyes on Lilith he can't stop thinking about her. He knows how different they are, but he doesn't care. Bram and Lilith fall in love, but there are dark things that want Lilith and that will take everything from her to get what they want. Including killing the people she loves.

The Midnight Witch is an intriguing  read. It kept me captivated with its mysteries. I love the time period that it's set in. There were times that I was frustrated with Lilith. She had a lot of power but she's a bit naive. So many things that happened to her she could have been avoided if she just talked to one of the elder witches. I also liked her conflict between Bram and Louis. Louis should be right for her, and he's a nice guy, but there's no chemistry between them. But in the world they grew up in, he's a perfect catch. Also he's a witch, so he'd understand what she's going through. Bram is none of these things, yet they have perfect chemistry. Duty verses love is a heavy theme in this book.

All in all this is a good read. It had it's ups and downs but I found it mostly enjoyable. I wasn't too fond of the ending, but it wasn't bad. I wouldn't mind reading more  books by this author.

My rating:

0 Interview with Nancy Kelley

Sebastian Montgomery never thought he’d inherit a title. Quite comfortable in his role as the family black sheep, he has made a life for himself as one of England’s most valuable agents against Napoleon. Now he will be expected to remain at home as the Earl of Lisle, fulfilling all manner of domestic duties... starting with finding a wife and ensuring the continuance of the family line.

Kitty Bennet met Seb when he was just Mr. Montgomery and quickly developed a crush on him–feelings she now assumes will remain unrequited, as an earl is out of her reach. Sebastian however has no interest in a grand alliance. If he must marry, he will choose a wife with the capacity for intelligent conversation. Kitty’s gift for witty banter draws him to her; any affection he feels for her is simply an added bonus.

But their potential happiness is threatened by someone they don’t even know: the man who killed Sebastian’s grandfather and uncle. When the danger becomes real, Sebastian realizes that, almost against his will, he has fallen in love with Kitty. Can he solve a decades old family mystery in time to keep her safe



1. Elizabeth is witty, Jane is sweet, Mary is studious, and Lydia is flirty. What word would you use to describe Kitty?

This is a hard question to answer, because my Kitty has grown out of the character she was in Pride and Prejudice. In Pride and Prejudice, Kitty is very much the invisible sister, only remembered for her ill-timed coughs. Against His Will takes place roughly two years later, enough time that Kitty has grown into her own personality.

The word I’d use to describe her now is curious. From Jane, she’s learned a little of when to be quiet and from Lizzy, she’s learned to pay attention to her surroundings. She’s not the clever person who knows all the things, but she’s the one who, in the midst of a ramble (because she’s still Kitty Bennet after all!), will come out with a surprising insight.

2. Compare and Contrast Sebastian Montgomery and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Both men are hardworking, loyal to a few, and not understood by most. Neither suffers fools gladly, though Sebastian is more patient with Mrs. Bennet than Mr. Darcy is.

Sebastian is dead clever--like, genius level intelligence. Like Darcy, he lost a parent when he was young, though his father was no great help to the family. Unlike Darcy, his place in the extended family has never been secure. His father married against his grandfather's wishes, and the two men were estranged before Seb was born. (And that fact is where our story begins...)

Darcy has a vulnerability that Sebastian doesn’t. Based on his behavior, it’s a fair guess that he’s been used for his money and position before. Sebastian has made his reputation entirely on his own, which gives him a different kind of confidence when he deals with other people.

3. What is Kitty's biggest challenge in Against His Will?

Kitty is the forgotten Bennet sister. Look at your first question—we have a ready description for everyone but her. Two years later, she’s grown up quite a bit, as Jane Austen said she did, but she still feels the sting of all the criticism leveled at her by her family. Her biggest challenge is the same one we all face. She has to figure out who she actually is, and learn to be satisfied with the answer.

4. Which Pride and Prejudice character do you have most in common with?

When I take the “Which Austen heroine are you?” quizzes, I get Elizabeth Bennet about half the time. (The other half I get Emma.) I think I probably am a blend of the two. Like Lizzy, I enjoy laughing at the follies of those around me. Like Emma, I tend to direct my friends—though hopefully I’m not as clueless as she is!

5. What are you working on next? Any plans for more of Austen's characters? 


As for Austen, I have a few things planned! First, I’m working on a Christmas novella that wraps up the Brides of Pemberley series. That will come out in November. I also have a vague idea for a project I’ve labeled “Pride and Prejudice with elves.” The plan is to write the rough draft for that in early 2015. 

Against His Will is available in stores now. To find out more about Nancy Kelley check out her website: http://nancykelleywrites.com/

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2 Legend/Prodigy Giveaway


Legend Synopsis
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Prodigy Synopsis
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.
It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. 
But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
In this highly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller Legend, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action. 
About Marie Lu
New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu (www.marielu.org) graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one boyfriend, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.




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Saturday, March 29, 2014

0 Don't Blink: Doctor Who Rewatch


If you're just joining us, we're re-watching Doctor WhoI know that Doctor Who has been around for 50 years, but for time sake we're going to start with series 1 of 2005. If you've not watched it, but have wanted to. Here's your chance. We're watching via Netflix, so join us if you can. This week we're watching Series 3, episode 9 and 10.






Title: The Family of Blood
Written By Paul Cornell
Directed by: Charles Palmer
Original Air Date: June 2, 2007

So last week we left off with a cliffhanger. This week's episode is probably the second saddest Doctor Who episode ever! The Doctor saying goodbye to Rose is still number one in my book. 

The school is under attack and the boys are called to take arms. World War I is on the cusp and the boys have been training in a way for military action. I liked the whole commentary that reflected how many felt about boys being sent off to war. They're taught that it's glamorous in a way. So everyone's running around and fighting and The Family gets the TARDIS:



They're calling to the Doctor only he's not the doctor. He's John Smith. John Smith has no desire to be the Doctor. He just wants to be a teacher and love Joan Redfern. Only they need the Doctor. So Martha and the kid that stole the watch have to convince him to change back. 





But still the Doctor is resistant. Even Joan has started to see that he must change back. Then they share the most heart-wrenching moment.





While they're both touching the watch that isn't a watch, they see their lives lived out together. And it's wonderful and sad at the same time. Because they're life is happy and as the Doctor he can never have a life like that. 

So you know that the Doctor is going to change back, and he does. Then he takes care of the Family in quite a nasty way. He doesn't end their lives, but prolongs it in the most miserable way he can think of. The Doctor thanks Martha for taking care of him and they fly off in the TARDIS. 

Life Lesson: Scarecrows are scary henchmen. 

Title: Blink
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Hettie MacDonald
Original Air Date: June 9, 2007

This is one of the freakiest Doctor Who episodes of all time. And very confusing to try to explain, so I'm going to use more images than usual. Also it's written by Steven Moffat, so people are going to die. 

Meet Sally Sparrow. She's the heroine of this episode. Sally goes into a old house looking for old stuff when she finds this: 

So she tells her best friend and they return to the house the next day. Her friend gets touched by a Weeping Angel statue and is transported back in time. Meanwhile Sally is answering the door and receives a letter from her bestie who is now deceased. Which freaks Sally out. Also she's taken a key out of an Angel's hand (though she doesn't know what's she's done).

The a bunch of crazy stuff happens. You'll really just need to watch the episode. 



So basically your fine as long as you don't blink. Which is impossible to do. Go ahead, try it. How long can you go without blinking? A minute? Two? 

So Sally has the key, she finds the TARDIS, the get inside the TARDIS, and the the Angels start to attack.

However, the Angels are not too bright, because they forget their one rule. They can't look at each other. Stupid Angels! And then this happens:


Oh you might be wondering where the Doctor is in this episode. The Doctor and Martha are trapped in the past without the TARDIS. Sally is their only hope from keeping the Angels from sucking the life out of the TARDIS. Now thanks to Doctor Who I am now afraid of statues. 

Life Lesson:

Friday, March 28, 2014

1 The Midnight Witch Feature and Giveaway


"The dead are seldom silent. All that is required for them to be heard is that someone be willing to listen. I have been listening to the dead all my life."

Lilith is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes the title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her charming fiancé and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt.

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves.

To tell him will risk everything.

Spanning the opulence of Edwardian London and the dark days of World War I, The Midnight Witch is the third novel from New York Timesbestselling author Paula Brackston.




Thanks to St. Martin's Press, I have a copy to give away to a lucky reader. I'm reading this book right now so trust me, you're going to want this book!

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0 Honor Reclaimed Cover Reveal and Giveaway



Honor Reclaimed
by: Tonya Burrows
Release Date: 5/27/2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Website: http://www.tonyaburrows.com/
Blog: http://www.tonya-burrows.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyaburrows
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonyaburrowsauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Tonya_Burrows
Newsletter: http://tonyaburrows.us6.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=e03d7c5ec1a8fdc67db99bac3&id=3cafb9c112

Author Bio: Writing has always been my one true love. I wrote my first novel-length story in 8th grade and haven't put down my pen since. I received a B.A. in creative writing from SUNY Oswego and I'm now working on a MFA in popular fiction at Seton Hill University.

When I'm not writing, I spend my time reading, painting (badly), exploring new places, and enjoying time with my family. Give me a good horror movie over a chick flick any day. (And, let's be honest, I'll take a bad horror movie too!) I'm a geek at heart and pledge my avid TV fandom to Supernatural and Doctor Who. I'm also a big fan of The Voice. What can I say? Guilty pleasure.

I share my life with two dogs and a ginormous cat. I'm from a small town in Western New York, but I suffer from a bad case of wanderlust and usually end up moving someplace new every few years. Luckily, my animals are all excellent travel buddies.

Synopsis: Former Marine scout sniper Seth Harlan is new to HORNET and anxious to prove he can still do his job despite an ongoing battle with PTSD. He remembers all too well what it's like to sit inside an enemy camp, praying for rescue and waiting for death. So when a black ops soldier contacts HORNET to rescue a buddy who was left behind, all sorts of nasty memories strain his newfound stability.

When an interview with a runaway Afghan child bride leads photojournalist Phoebe Leighton to an arms deal involving a suitcase bomb powerful enough to wipe out a mid-sized town, she realizes this is one battle she can't win on her own. Forming an unlikely alliance with a ragtag team of military and government delinquents, she meets Seth, a sniper carrying as many emotional scars as physical, who impresses her with his steely will and ignites passions within her she thought long dead.

Suddenly this mission is about a lot more than an abandoned soldier. Racing against the clock, Seth, Phoebe, and the rest of HORNET struggle to stop that bomb before it reaches it's final destination: The United States.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18594360-honor-reclaimed
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1fxVRI1
Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1kSdBWz

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

5 Review and Giveaway: The House At The End of Hope Street

Title: The House at the End of Hope Street
Author: Menna Van Praag
Publisher: Penguin
Published: 25, 2014
Paperback, 320 pages
ISBN: 978-0-14-312494-8
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Publisher





Goodreads Summary:
When Alba Ashby, the youngest Ph.D. student at Cambridge University, suffers the Worst Event of Her Life, she finds herself at the door of 11 Hope Street. There, a beautiful older woman named Peggy invites Alba to stay on the house’s unusual conditions: she’ll have ninety-nine nights, and no more, to turn her life around. Once inside, Alba discovers that 11 Hope Street is no ordinary house. Past residents include Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker, and Agatha Christie, who all stayed there at hopeless times in their lives and who still hang around—quite literally—in talking portraits on the walls. With their help Alba begins to piece her life back together and embarks on a journey that may save her life.

Filled with a colorful, unforgettable cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a wholly imaginative novel of feminine wisdom and second chances, with just the right dash of magic.

My thoughts:
I knew when I picked up this book I was going to like it. What I didn't realize was how much I was going to love it. Menna Van Praag, author of Men, Money and Chocolate: What More Could There Be To Life, has written a delightful novel about women who are on the verge of giving up and offering them a second chance. 

This story centers around four women: Alba, Carmen, Greer, and Peggy. They're all from different walks of life. Summoned to 11 Hope Street by a house. A magical house. The house gives you what you need not what you want. It's been the home to many famous women and has inspired, encouraged, and loved them along their way. 

"No rent, no bills. Your room will be your own, to do with as you like." She smiles, and Alba can almost hear the old women's papery skin crinkle. "But take care of the house, and it'll take care of you."

The House at the End of Hope Street is a book I'll want to read again and again. You'll recognize many of the famous patrons, and for those you don't the author has included a guide at the end. I loved the women. I loved their stories. I didn't want this book end. I do know that I will be reading more by this author. This is definitely a book to add to your TBR pile.

My rating:


Thanks to Viking I have a copy of this book to give away to a lucky reader. This giveaway is open to US addresses only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. 


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0 John Dreamer Feature and Giveaway



About the book: 

Andy wasn’t usually sure about much, but she was absolutely certain this was the weirdest day of her life as she stood stranded in the middle of a great white room with six strangers. Well, they were mostly strangers. She could have sworn she’d seen the guy with the green eyes before, and maybe that was why he kept staring at her. When a man calling himself the Guardian appeared and said they had come to make their deepest dreams come true, they embark on an adventure none of them ever imagined—where anything is possible—and the consequences of their actions would change them forever.

“Many of us have found ourselves in a place (our “Great White Room”) where we question the path we should take in life. I would have loved to have a “Guardian” like this to guide me through the process… This is what I like the most about this book, anyone can relate to it… it is heart warming, emotional and so much fun to read!” – Amazon Review

John Dreamer is about overcoming your fears, your obstacles, and your demons to go beyond what you think you are capable of to find love and happiness. It’s about changing your life for the better and living your dreams.






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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

0 Review: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Title: A Natural History of Dragons (A Memoir By Lady Trent)
Author: Marie Brennan
Publisher: Tor
Published: February 4, 2014
Paperback, 352 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7653-7507-0
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Publisher





Goodreads Summary: Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age.

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.


My thoughts:
I love the Victorian era and I love dragons. Put those two together and you get A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. Brennan brings us the story of Lady Trent, though she's not Lady Trent just yet, and tells it in the form of a memoir. I know that thought sometimes will turn people away, but please don't. You'll miss a great book. Because even though it's written in Memoir form it's really exciting.

Lady Trent has been fascinated by dragons since she was a little girl. She had an affinity for science, but it was frowned upon in her day. Ladies were encouraged to be curious not knowledgeable. Which is frustrating to her and me. Lady Trent journals her struggles and curiosity and finally the greatest adventure of her life. She joins her husband on an expedition to research dragons. But it's not a simple trip. There is danger, mystery, and intrigue. 

I enjoyed this book cover to cover. Brennan includes illustrations of dragons that go along with their findings. Lady Trent is an endearing character. You can easily sympathize with all her character has to go through. Although sometimes her curiosity was her downfall, it's also her saving grace. After I read the last page, I immediately wanted to read more. Lucky for me the next book The Tropic of Serpents is out now! 


My rating:


0 Ley Hayley's Favorite Books


I’ve always loved to read. Ever since I was a kid, books have always been my favorite things. My room has constantly been packed with bookcases that were packed with books so tightly that it was hard to get one book out without pulling every single one out first. It was amazing. And it still is.

Since I love to read, it’s kind of hard to pick my favorite books. But I’m going to give it a try.

1. The Lord of the Rings (probably because I’ve read it so many times)

2. The Harry Potter Series (again, probably because I’ve read it so many times)

3. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

4. The Other Boleyn Girl

5. Across the Universe Trilogy

6. Grave Mercy

7. The Hunger Games Trilogy

8. A Discovery of Witches

9. Shadow of Night

10. The White Queen

I could honestly go on forever about my favorite books because I have so very many. I have a bookcase full of them actually.

The Lord of the Rings is my favorite novel (and I consider it all one book even though it’s broken into three separate books) because J.R.R. Tolkien was an amazing and wonderful writer. His world and his characters are fantastic. I love reading the books so much that I actually have read the novels fourteen times. The first time I read The Lord of the Rings was in 2000, and I’ve read them once a year every year since then. Soon it will be time to read them again.

I love stories that don’t end after just one book. Ones that are detailed and that I can fall into for a long time. I don’t want great stories to ever end.

Reading has always been my favorite thing to do. I suppose that’s why I want to be a writer.


About the book:
Seventeen year old Rosalind Rowan was born a princess, the apple of her father's eye. She loves the thick forests and lush meadows of the Forested Land. She is sometimes selfish and reckless, but she is also kind and loves fearlessly. Rosalind-who is known to everyone but the Queen as Rose-is desperately in love with Gavin Ashford, the dashing and intriguing son of an important lord. She wants nothing more than to marry Gavin and live in a country manor, far away from court. Because once her older sister marries, Rosalind must take up the position of Regent of the Forested Land. But things aren't always simple. When Rosalind uncovers abilities she should never have and sickness tears through the kingdom, the ordered world Rosalind thought she knew threatens to crash around her.

Author of The Forest's Heir, book 1 of The Elemental Royals Trilogy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2 Paper Phoenix Feature and Excerpt



Author Bio:
I grew up on the Gulf Coast, in the Panhandle area of Northwest Florida. A land of salt marshes, pine forests, barrier islands, and moss-hung oaks, the Panhandle is nothing like the tropical image most people have of Florida. I used this backdrop, and the era of the 1950's, as the setting for Hurricane Season.
In time I moved on to other locales, and used them as settings for other mysteries: The San Francisco Bay Area (Paper Phoenix), France (Magic Mirror, A Temporary Ghost), Venice (Venetian Mask), and India (The Fault Tree). I have written seven mysteries, all of them originally published under the name Mickey Friedman. (I've now switched to Michaela Thompson, my original name, because many people seem to think Mickey Friedman is a man.)
Besides writing mysteries I have worked as a college editor, a reporter and columnist for a San Francisco daily newspaper, and a freelance writer and journalist.
The Florida Panhandle is still a big part of my life. My husband and I have a place on the beach near my home town, and we go there to vegetate every chance we get.

Buy the Book!



First comes divorce, then comes murder… 

…or at least sweet thoughts of murder. Maggie Longstreet has plenty of them after slimy, ambitious Richard trades her in for a more recent model. She’s so depressed she can barely get out of bed when Larry Hawkins, a seemingly not-at-all depressed acquaintance, commits suicide out of the blue. Suddenly Maggie goes on high alert, remembering something her evil ex said about Larry—something highly suspicious. 
And from there, it's just a short segué to a bracing new development: 
“When some women get divorced they go back to school, I thought. Some do volunteer work at the hospital, or join communes and learn to birth calves. Some have affairs with inappropriate men. My new interest is burglary. Maggie Longstreet, former wife and mother, past president of the Museum Guild, now starting a career as a second-story woman.” 
Fortunately, Maggie isn’t alone in her adventure—a very attractive, much younger man proves a lot more fun than Richard ever was. In fact, the real delight of this witty, sly mystery is seeing Maggie come alive again after a suffocating marriage. Set in the’70s, it has a bit of that Mad Men feel of women on the brink of something big. And completely unexpected. 
You know Maggie’s going to be okay when she says: “I’d rather have had one of those cute little guns with a mother-of-pearl handle, but this (diamond pin) would have to do. I concealed it in my hand. At least now I was armed—or pinned.”

Excerpt:
Larry Hawkins, 35, editor-publisher of the People’s Times, a weekly newspaper devoted to local politics, was found dead this morning in an alley outside the Times offices at 1140 Cleveland Street, a police spokesman said. Hawkins, an apparent suicide, had fallen from his office window on the building’s seventh floor. A note was found, the spokesman said.
Hawkins, self-styled “gadfly” of the City’s political establishment, was a well-known local figure. The People’s Times began publication three years ago. Hawkins is survived by his wife, Susanna, and two sons.
I put the paper down. So Larry Hawkins had committed suicide. I must have seen him a hundred times, maybe more— a slender man about five feet four, with a Byronic profile and a tumbling, unkempt headful of black curls, a rather attractive air of grubbiness about him. Although he was known to feel that anyone connected with City Hall was a natural adversary, there were people who considered it chic to flaunt their liberal tendencies and hound’s-tooth cleanliness by inviting him to their parties. Perhaps they wanted to show they weren’t afraid to let a righteous radical journalist loose in their china closets, no matter how out of place he might look and be.
Why he attended these gatherings I don’t know, unless he was in search of stories. I doubt that was the only reason. I think he got some sort of thrill from swaggering into an impeccably dressed group wearing his dirty beige corduroy jacket, his patched jeans, and his cracked boots. His moral superiority was evident always. He showed it: in his contempt for all of us, the establishment he despised and excoriated week after week in the Times. After a perfunctory handshake for his hostess, he would usually station himself as close to the food and drink as possible, watching everyone with quick, dark eyes. And the next week, likely as not, one of his fellow guests would turn up in the pages of the Times as having given the City rest room contract to a toilet paper firm owned by his brother-in-law.
I wasn’t thinking about Larry now, but Richard. When I closed my eyes, I could see his long fingers curving around the telephone receiver, see his straight, navy blue, impeccably tailored back. I could hear his voice saying, impatiently, “Sure, I agree Larry Hawkins is a pain in the ass. . . .” I had stood in the doorway of the study, wearing the same salmon-colored peignoir I was wearing now. It was the end of October, and Richard was going to leave me.
Richard was nothing if not civilized, so he had waited until after I had my first cup of coffee, and told me over the raisin toast as we sat at the kitchen table having breakfast. Picking up crumbs and rolling them between his fingers, he broke out phrases like “better for both of us,” and well taken care of,” and “haven’t really communicated in years.” There wasn’t a word about his law student lady friend. I truly don’t remember the occasion very well, even now.
Once he said, “Can’t you understand, Maggie?” and reached out to touch my arm. I pulled back as if he had scalded me and knocked a jar of quince preserves off the table. Typical of Richard, to let other people make his messes for him while he watched, bemused at their clumsiness. As well as I remember, I hadn’t said a word up until then, except a polite “You are?” when he said he was going. After the preserves jar broke, it seemed extremely important that it be cleaned up thoroughly and immediately. While I got up for paper towels, the phone rang.
There’s an extension in the kitchen, but Richard said, vehemently, “God damn it to hell!” and went to answer it in the study— glad, no doubt, to escape the sight of me bending pathetically over the preserves. When the floor was clean, I looked around for him. I must have been in shock, because I had forgotten about the phone call, and when I didn’t see him it occurred to me that perhaps, having informed me of his intentions, he had simply left, not feeling the need for further elucidation. Dazed, I wandered into the living room and heard his voice coming from the study. I stood in the study door and saw Richard standing next to the desk, his back to me. His voice was irritated, emphatic. He said, “Sure, I agree Larry Hawkins is a pain in the ass. But you can absolutely take my word for it, we won’t have to worry about him much longer.” I turned around and walked back to the kitchen.
Now, I picked up the paper and read Larry’s obituary one more time. We won’t have to worry about him much longer. No. We certainly won’t.

3 The Shadow Prince Is Free For A Limited Time + Giveaway



Today is release day for THE SHADOW PRINCE by Stacey O'Neale! Help us celebrate the release of this amazing novella and enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card!




 Every sacrifice has consequences.
Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission: Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king. Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?




Available for FREE on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Also available in PRINT from Amazon



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Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland.
When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging,
watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and
hanging out with her husband and daughter.
Her career in publishing started as a
blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes
young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books
always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.
Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on
Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You
can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

Monday, March 24, 2014

3 Ignite Book Blast and Giveaway


Set fire to your passions with heart stopping suspense, adventure, and intrigue from Ignite. Each Ignite title features to-die-for heroes and kick-butt heroines on an emotional roller coaster ride toward love. With new books and new passions exploding every month, every Ignite novel is one you can’t put down until the last page is turned. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.


Today I'm happy to be featuring Ignite's March Releases!!


Pretty Reckless by Jodi Linton

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!
 
Deputy Laney Briggs has long been considered reckless, but when a dead body turns up and her ex, Texas
Ranger Gunner Wilson, decides to stick his boots into the town’s first murder
case, she’ll be damned if she lets him trample all over her turf—and her life. His
ability to undermine her libido is only outdone by her constant urge to butt
heads with him. But when the bodies pile up, Laney has to ask the lethal bad
boy for a hand—and a truce in exchange for his help. It might not be the best
idea, but Laney has always been pretty reckless… 





Lie By Night by Cathy Marlowe

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!



Cole Stewart’s mission to protect close friends from a pharmaceutical mastermind takes an unexpected turn when Emma Bailey runs head first into his investigation. Months ago he spent one night falling in love with her before a misunderstanding came between them. Now she’s not only a danger to his heart, but her brother is one of his key suspects.
In their race to protect the people they love, Cole and Emma betray each other’s trust time and again, not realizing that trust—and their growing love for each other—is the only thing that can save them all.





You Again by Ashlee Mallory

Special $0.99 Introductory Pricing!




In high school, Allie McBride thought the sun set around her friend Sam Fratto’s smiles. Now she’s older, wiser, hotter, and teaching at the same school they grew up in. When Sam joins the faculty, she has a chance to make good on the crush that got away. But when a dead body turns up on school grounds, they realize there might be a murderer in their midst. The heat keeps getting hotter between Allie and Sam, but more might be in danger than their hearts…











 

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