Thursday, November 30, 2017

0 From Writing Advice to The Literary Dating Show. Check out these clips!

Advice for aspiring writers 


Patrick Bateman (AMERICAN PSYCHO) & Amy Dunne (GONE GIRL) | BOUND, the literary dating show

Jamie Ford (author of Love and Other Consolation Prizes) | What I'm Reading

The writing tools authors can't live without

Author Christopher Rice (RAMSES THE DAMNED) on the ideal writing space and taking risks

Author Erin Chack (THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING) on simple words and bookmarks

Monday, November 27, 2017

0 Review: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN 1250141397
Available @ Amazon


Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way? 

My Thoughts

Pride and Prejudice plus mistletoe plus Melissa De La Cruz equals holiday bliss. I picked up Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe one night to read a chapter or two and ended up practically reading the whole book in one sitting. De La Cruz is a master at creating novels that are hard to put down. In this book, she re-imagines Pride and Prejudice in a modern-day setting with characters you'll fall in love with.

Darcy Fitzwilliam left home to make a name for herself. And she did. She wanted to get as far away from Pemberley, Ohio as possible. She hasn't come home in years, but when her mother falls ill, she hops on a plane and goes back to her old stomping ground just in time for her parents annual Christmas party. With a few drinks under her belt, Darcy kisses Luke Bennet. Someone she definitely does not want to end up with. But she can't stop thinking about the carpenter. She's a big city gal and he's a small town furniture designer. Is it just a one night stand, or could this be exactly what Darcy needs.

I love that De La Cruz swapped genders for the main characters. I've read many Pride and Prejudice variations, and this small detail really made it fresh. She managed to capture the essence of Jane Austen's character while making them her own. I highly recommend this book for cozy winter reading. This is a fun novel that will keep you warm through the holidays! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

0 Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

0 Soul Bound Excerpt and Narrator Interview

Author: Jas T. Ward

Narrator: Edward Mittelstedt

Length: 8 hours 46 minutes

Series: Soul Bound, Book 1

Publisher: JTW Publishing

Released: Oct. 6, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Death May Be The End...
But Love Doesn't Give A @&%#.

Jace Camden is haunted by his past. One that has many believing he got away with murder. He's run from it, trying to start a new life in a new town. But his past hasn't let him escape and it's determined that his future will not be a long one.
Death will demand it's due.
And his late wife will make sure that debt is paid.
Kitt Thomas' life is in a rut but that changed when she looked into the sad, haunted eyes of Jace Camden. Something about his wounded soul called to her--like a flicker in a very dark cave she should have had the sense not to step into.
But his past will make sure she is no more part of Jace's future than life is.
Because he's soul bound.
And that's a bind that can only be broken by death.

It's not about the Happily Ever After...
It's about surviving the read.

Jas T. Ward has always used writing as a necessary escape. With a past that is marred with a difficult childhood and domestic violence as well as being homeless as an adult, Ward lost her creative voice when she lost her soul mate to suicide.

Finding that creative voice once again in writing in social media via blogs and creative writing groups, it was the fans that encouraged her to put her literary weavings to paper for them to enjoy.

Ward lives in Texas with her dog and cat- Author Dog Pumkin and Writer Kitty Orleans and is the proud parent of three independent children.


Narrator Bio

Eddie was born and raised in California. At a young age, he loved to create cartoon-like caricature voices and perform them to anyone who would listen. His friends and family told him he should be in the voice-over industry when he grew up.

He currently works at Oceaneering International near Baltimore, creating software control systems for both remotely-operated and autonomous underwater vehicles.

His dream of being a voice actor was forgotten until recently he came across a friend who is a narrator for Audible. The possibility of being in the voice-over industry was rekindled, and after harassing his friend incessantly on the details of becoming an Audible narrator, you find Eddie's story here today.


Soul Bound: The Warrior is currently available on the Adopt-An-Audiobook page for interested reviewers!

Q&A with Narrator Eddie Mittelstedt
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • About a year ago I was in this online boardgaming community and played against a gentleman named Christopher Meyer. At one point during an online game, he casually mentioned that he should have been editing his audio book that he was narrating instead of playing games. My ears immediately went into prairie dog mode, and started asking him a bajillion questions about it. It took me a few months after that to set up some rudimentary recording equipment and narrate my first book. It was terrible and I will claim it unless you force me.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I am a rabid audiobook listener. I have a two-hour commute each day in the car, so that provides a lot of dead time. I focus on listening to books with narrators that fit my style and voice, and try to pick out small things that each narrator does wrong or does right. This makes me hyperfocus on my own performance and reading style, and allows me to pick up new things that I think are really cool that the narrator has done.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • By far my favorite aspect is recording. This is the easiest part of the process, and the most fun. I dread editing, where you have to listen to every sentence and get the timing between them just right, listen for errant breaths, etc. It’s tedious, boring, long, did I say boring? Many established narrators farm out this work to editors, thereby allowing them to concentrate on simply the recording. Someday I’ll be in that position, and when that happens I’ll know I have hit my stride.
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • Character voices. I can do a multitude of voices, from Gizmo the Gremlin to Kermit the Frog, to a lot of things in between. I think being able to do character voices add a level of complexity to the listen, as you can create memorable secondary characters to support the plot.
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    • The audition script blew me away. I had just finished narrating a dark fantasy romance under a pseudonym and I was still in a “romance narrator” mode. So I started looking for other romance titles that caught my eye. The premise of Soul Bound itself is fascinating - I lived in a haunted house for about 5 years so anything paranormal or supernatural catches my eye. So after reading the audition script and seeing how dark and broody the main character was, I had to audition for it.
  • Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
    • I really connected with Jace. We’ve been through similar situations (I won’t tell what aspects) so I really felt for the guy, and felt I could read his story with all the suppressed emotions that I have to give.
  • What type of the review comments do you find most constructive?
    • I read all of my reviews. I like the positive ones of course, but I really look for the negative reviews that provide constructive criticism. The ones that say, “Narrator sucked” sucks as reviews. Why did I suck? What did I do that caused you to hate it? Let me try to improve it for the next time. I have one review where the writer literally compared my voice to Tattoo of Fantasy Island. While I disagree with that to some degree, there’s not much I can do about it. Those types of reviews bother me. Was it a compliment or an insult?
  • Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
    • Stephen King. I grew up with his books. I bought “It” the week it was released in hardback and read it from cover to cover in 5 days. Also, Joe Abercrombie. His “The Blade Itself” series is an amazing read. I love his writing style.
  • If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
    • The Gunslinger by Stephen King. It’s already been done by the amazing George Guidall, but that book blew me away when I read it in my first year of college. That opening line: “The man in black fled across the desert, and The Gunslinger followed.” Such a brilliant statement. So much packed in there.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I can see some people thinking that way, but for those of us with long commutes and therefore long periods of pointless non-productive dead time, audiobooks are a godsend. When you drive, you enter a trance-like state anyway. Getting sucked into the story being read to you in this state, you are like a sponge to the story, the action, the emotions. I love it.

Nov. 21st:

Nov. 22nd:

Nov. 23rd:

Nov. 24th:

Nov. 25th:

Nov. 26th:

Nov. 27th:

➜Sign up as a host here

Monday, November 20, 2017

0 Review: Ready Player One

 June 5th 2012 | Broadway Books | 9780307887443


It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

A world at stake. 
A quest for the ultimate prize. 
Are you ready?

Steve's Thoughts

I am a child of the Eighties. I graduated High School in 1986 and grew up on the pop culture of that era. Michael J. Fox, the Brat Pack, Duran Duran, and Atari is where I wiled away hours upon hours. And that is why I loved Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. If you are a child of the Eighties, a gamer, or a dystopian, sci-fi nerd like me then get this book. It is a super fun read.

The plot is simple. The world is a mess. There is a mega rich dude that dies with no heir. He created “The Oasis,” a virtual world where most everything happens now. He has placed an “Easter egg” in that world and whoever finds it gets his fortune and control of his company. USA Today called this book “Willy Wonka meets The Matrix” and that is pretty accurate. Wade Watts is the main character, an eighteen-year-old, high school senior by day and a “gunter” (person who devotes themselves to locating the egg) the rest of the time. He is poor, parentless, and lives with his aunt in the “stacks”, the area where they have literally stacked mobile homes on top of each other to make room for the increased population in the cities. Wade, Parzival as his Oasis character is called finds the first key to Halliday’s egg and that’s when the fun and adventure begin.

This book was a jaunt down memory lane for me. It contains so many late 70’s and 80’s references that it would fill up the whole review to mention them all. Suffice it to say that it was a lot of fun to have my trivia knowledge tested many times throughout the book. If any of the above strikes a chord with you, go get this book.

Monday, November 13, 2017

9 Do you #loveaudiobooks? Check out my recommendations and enter to win a few of your own.

Holiday travel season is about to begin, so weather you're flying, driving, or taking the train, it's a great season for audiobooks A good audiobook speaks volumes. and if you need some help picking some out this holiday season, I have a few suggestions.

I know I recommend this series often, but it's just so awesome that it fits in practically every list I make. If you're traveling with kiddos, this audiobook would be perfect. Jim Dale narrates the entire series. He does an amazing job!

If you think the movie is great, you should read the book! Agatha Christie is the Queen of Mystery and it's no secret why. The girl knows how to write! There are many recordings of this book available, but the two narrators I would recommend are Dan Stevens (from Downton Abbey) and Kenneth Branagh. They both do an excellent job.

I've read Jane Eyre about ten times in my life, but I had never listened to it in audiobook format before. So this year, I decided to re-read Jane Eyre as an audibook. It's narrated by actress Thandie Newton, and she's brilliant! Listening to an audiobook of books that you've read before gives you a new experience, almost as if you're reading the book for the first time.

Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the Man Booker Prize, is a pretty fantastic book. It has "166-person full cast features award-winning actors and musicians, as well as a number of Saunders' family, friends, and members of his publishing team." Don't quote me on this, but I think it has the largest cast ever for an audiobook. It's well worth a listen!

Perhaps you're looking for something with a little more romance and humor in it? Then may I direct you to practically anything by author Julia Quinn. She writes the best books! And she has the best narrators too! How to Marry a Marquis is narrated by Rosalyn Landor. She brings Quinn's characters to life. This is a highly enjoyable series. Though not really safe for kids. You better wear earbuds with this one.

The Gentleman was one of my favorite audiobooks that I listen to this year. I even gave it to my husband to listen to even though this is not his usual kind of book. He LOVED it! It's hilarious! It's narrated by Samuel Roukin and John Keating, who seem to embody the characters perfectly! This book is always high on my recommendation list.


Thanks to the Audio Publishers Association, One lucky person will win a fantastic selection of 10 audiobooks (TBD by the publishers) that have been generously donated by Galaxy Press, Hachette Audio, Harper Audio, High Bridge Audio, Macmillan, Penguin Random House Audio, and Post Hypnotic Press, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster Audio, and Tantor Audio.

To enter you must be at least 13 years old. This giveaway is open to US/Canada addresses only. Please read our giveaway policy before entering. Click here for a direct link to the form. Also check out more audiobook recommendations from this blog tour by going to: Good luck!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

3 Release Blitz of HOOKED ON A WITCH by Zoe Forward

from award winning author Zoe Forward
Hooked on a Witch Tour Graphic
Zoe Forward
Series: Keepers of the Veil Book 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: September 11, 2017
Hooked on a Witch
The witch hunter can't fall for the witch.
Pleiades witch Shannon Randolph has been framed for a theft she didn't do. She has one week to return a stolen relic to the god it belongs or she will be executed. What's worse? Evil magic-wielding wackos are coming out of the woodwork after her to get it. But the biggest danger is Merck. This sexy, dangerous witch-hunter who understands all forms of magic might be her only hope. Enlisting his help may require she be a very naughty witch.
The moment Shannon strolls back into Jason Merck's life he's in trouble. There's something about the witch he can't resist, but he must. The witch hunter cannot date the witch.
" entertaining and spellbinding tale of two destined soul-mates overcoming incredible supernatural odds...I cannot wait to see what's next in future installments."
- Romance Junkies
"...this is a very exciting adventure that will hold you on the edge of your seat...This is a fun exciting series, which I wholly recommend."
- The Reading Cafe
"...a great series for lovers of all things magic and deity related."
- Gothic Mom Reviewers
"I could not put this book down....If you love witches, warlocks, Gods, Goddesses, then I highly recommend this story to you."
- Astronimamkm Mary, Goodreads
"This is a fast-paced and action-filled book...a neat twist at the end, this book was thoroughly enjoyable. Definitely recommended by me."
- Archaeolibrarian
"...a captivating story filled with passion, action, and danger...a great mythology that was basically an extension of Greek mythology mixed in with witches!"
- All Things Urban Fantasy

Purchase Links

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Hooked on a Witch. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
"I know a lot about magic, darlin'. I know who likes black magic and who does only good magic." That was a truth stretch. He only knew when someone killed, thanks to the visions. When close to a person who used magic, he could usually detect what kind they'd practiced most recently. From her, though, he couldn't tell anything, probably because his balls were in a wad.
"I think you like the hint of badness that comes from being a called a witch." He waited, hoping she'd fill him in on how much badness was black magic and how much was sexy wickedness. The latter he could handle and would be a willing participant. Her using evil magic, maybe not a death ritual yet, but still, the darker side of magic, he didn't want to hear.
"So, you're the Santa Claus of the magic world with a naughty-and- nice list?"
"This Santa kills those on the naughty list and doesn't bring gifts to those who behave. Which list do you think you're on?"
She glared, but didn't answer. "You kill people like necromancers? They always use death energy for power."
He wanted to hit his head on the steering wheel. Would she just answer the question? "Sometimes. They don't always need a death ritual, though."
"I guess it makes sense there'd be someone out there designated to keep this in check. I haven't run across very many truly evil magical people. Sounds like a dangerous job. How do you find them?"
He shrugged.
"Why am I not on your kill list if you think I'm a bad witch?"
His heart hammered his ribs to the point of pain. Best to just throw it out there. "Do you and the other six Pleiades witches do evil things that put people at risk or kill people?"
She frowned and shook her head. "We try not to get noticed. Hurting people would definitely get us noticed. However, one of us is an ex- MI6 agent who still goes after the lowest of the low in society. Guess that counts."
She hadn't said she wouldn't do it at some point in the future, but at least she hadn't misused magic yet. His shoulder muscles loosened. "I'm sure you could be a wicked witch..."
Her cheeks flushed and she muttered, "Wouldn't you like to know."
Yeah, he would.

Other Books by Zoe Forward

Don't miss the other books in the Keepers of the Veil series.
Seven human descendants of Pleiades goddesses live as the chosen guards of the veil between our world and that of the ancestors. Hunted by witch hunters they must be protected. If one dies, the veil falls, allowing the dead to cross. Their ultimate protector is their destined mate. Only, finding him is a task the gods never make easy.

Protecting His Witch

His Witch to Keep

Playing the Witch's Game


Hooked on a Witch Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from November 8 - 14, 2017.

About Zoe Forward

Zoe Forward
Award winning author, Zoe Forward is a hopeless romantic who can't decide between paranormal and contemporary romance. So, she writes both. Her novels have won numerous awards including the Readers Choice Heart of Excellence, Golden Quill, Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Booksellers Best Award.
When she's not typing at her laptop, she's tying on a karate belt for her son or cleaning up the newest pet mess from the menagerie that occupies her house. She's a small animal veterinarian caring for a wide range of furry creatures, although there has been the occasional hermit crab.
She's madly in love with her globe trotting conservation ecologist husband who plans to save all the big cats on the planet, and she's happiest when he returns to their home base.
Official website:
To receive regular updates from the author, join Zoe Forward's newsletter.
Connect with Zoe Forward on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

0 #Rosemarked Blitz #Giveaway

Hi Everyone!

This is Livia Blackburne, and I'm thrilled to share ROSEMARKED with you at long last. There are a lot of elements to this book, including a love story, a spy story, reflections on trauma and mortality, medical ethics, and political intrigue.  Perhaps because of this, my research for the book was equally eclectic, from archery and stick fighting lessons, to chats with memory researchers and soldiers, and lots and lots of reading, including books about leper colonies, hospice care, and PTSD. Hopefully, I wove it all into an entertaining and thought-provoking story!

This story centers on Zivah, a talented healer with an incurable illness, and Dineas, a traumatized soldier. The two couldn't be more different, and I had a lot of fun writing their unlikely love story.  In order to work together, they both have to let go of their own prejudices and preconceptions. It's a painful process, with fights and misunderstandings, anger, laughter and tears, but in the end, they both come out as stronger people.

To celebrate the ROSEMARKED release, I’m offering 3 lucky winners a ROSEMARKED swag pack, which includes a copy of ROSEMARKED and a signed bookplate! Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate. Best of luck, and happy reading!

The first in a duology, ROSEMARKED (Hyperion | On Sale November 7, 2017) by New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne follows a healer and a solider on a high-stakes mission to spy on the Empire to uncover a deadly secret. With sizzling chemistry and a heartrending ethical dilemma, this thrilling fantasy with nuanced characters will capture fans of An Ember in the Ashes and The Lumatere Chronicles.

New York Times best-selling author LIVIA BLACKBURNE has a PhD in neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neural correlates of reading. She still blogs on the intersection of writing and brain science, and she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. Livia is also the author of Midnight Thief, an Indies Introduce New Voices selection, and its sequel, Daughter of Dusk.

ROSEMARKED by Livia Blackburne 


 Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

Also by this author…
New York Times Bestseller 2014
Indies Introduce New Voices Pick
2015 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee
Ebook:  Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

Ebook: Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Kobo

Monday, November 6, 2017

3 Review and Giveaway: Death in the Stacks

By Jenn McKinlay
November 14th 2017 | Berkley Books | 9780399583759


Lindsey Norris and her staff are gearing up for the Briar Creek Library's annual Dinner in the Stacks fund-raiser. The night of dinner and dancing is not only a booklover's dream--it's the library's biggest moneymaker of the year. But instead of raising funds, the new library board president is busy raising a stink and making the staff miserable. 

Although Olive Boyle acts like a storybook villain, Lindsey is determined to work with her and make the event a success. But when Olive publicly threatens the library's newest hire, Paula, Lindsey cracks like an old book spine and throws Olive out of the library. 

The night of the fund-raiser, Lindsey dreads another altercation with Olive--but instead finds Paula crouched over Olive's dead body. Paula may have secrets, but Lindsey and the rest of the crafternooners know she's not the one who took Olive out of circulation. As the plot thickens, Lindsey must catch the real killer before the book closes on Paula's future . . .

My Thoughts

With eight books, A Library Lovers Mystery series has been going strong since 2011. And yet, Death in the Stacks is my first introduction to this wonderful world of books and mystery. I was a little worried jumping into the eighth book without reading the previous ones, however my fears were soon put at ease. From the opening page I felt like I had been along for the ride the whole time. 

I have to admit I'm pretty jealous of the main character, Lindsey Norris. In the first chapter we meet her riding her bike on a beautiful fall day to the Briar Creek Public Library, where she works as the town librarian. From the description it sounds like the perfect place to work for a book lover. Her staff ranges from studious to quirky all-around good human beings. I found myself envious of her work environment. That is until Olive Boyle walks in. Olive is a blight on the buttock of humanity. I found myself hoping she was the one who would get murdered. And as if the author heard my wish, she did in fact get bumped off. 

The lists of suspects in the Olive Boyle murder could fill an entire encyclopedia. Olive ruled with fear and intimidation. And it seems everyone has a motive. However before Olive died, she hinted that one of the library's employees, Paula, had a dark past and was a danger to the public. Not only that, some of Paula's actions after the murder make her look a little guilty. Lindsey doesn't want to get involved in the case, but she believes in Paula's innocence. So, she puts on her metaphorical Sherlock hat and with the help of her Watson—a.k.a.Robbie—she begins her investigation.

I found myself enamored with the New England town of Briar Creek and its residents. Well, most of them anyway. Jenn McKinlay has written a cozy mystery that will leave readers guessing as to who the real killer is. I love all the bookish mentions and also learning about crafternooners. I even love that in the back of the book she had a reader's guide for The Talented Mr. Ripley, a book they read in the crafternooners, plus recipes and a knitting pattern. It may even inspire you to start your own club. Death in the Stacks is a great book to read with friends, a book club, or by yourself. Either way, you'll be entertained.


Thanks to Berkley Books, I have a copy to give away to a lucky reader! You must be at least 13 years old to enter. This contest is open to US addresses only. Please read our giveaway policy before entering. If you're having trouble with the form, click here.


To Read, or Not To Read Copyright © 2010-2019 - |- Template created by O Pregador - |- Powered by Blogger Templates