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Friday, August 30, 2013

Giveaway: Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye By Colleen Collins

Title: Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye
Author: Colleen Collins 
Publication: August 6, 2013 
Genre: Memoir


Synopsis: Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye by Colleen Collins, a professional private investigator and award-winning novelist, is a no-holes-barred, modern-day story about life in the female P.I. fast lane.

Praise: "Colleen Collins's chronicle about her investigative career is completely authentic. She brings her real-world P.I. stories to your e-reader straight from the streets!"  ~ Shaun Kaufman, former P.I. and managing partner, Shaun Kaufman Law

“As an experienced private detective and a skilled storyteller, Colleen Collins is the perfect person to offer a glimpse into the lives of real female P.I.s”   ~Kim Green, managing editor of Pursuit Magazine: The Magazine of Professional Investigators

"SECRETS OF A REAL-LIFE FEMALE PRIVATE EYE features [Colleen's] honest, engaging voice and takes full advantage of the interactivity ebooks allow. Part memoir, part reference, SECRETS delivers Colleen's firsthand experience and looks at the latest resources and equipment private investigators use."  ~Gerald So, moderator of DetecToday, editor, poet, book reviewer

“SECRETS OF A REAL-LIFE FEMALE PRIVATE EYE  is a research must-have.”  ~Holly Jacobs, award-winning author of Steamed, featuring amateur sleuth Quincy Mac

Author Bio:
Colleen Collins is an award-winning author who’s written 22 novels and anthologies for Harlequin and Dorchester. Her books have placed first in the Colorado Gold, Romancing the Rockies, and Top of the Peak contests, and placed in the finals for the Holt Medallion, Coeur de Bois Readers Choice, Award of Excellence, More than Magic, and Romance Writers of America RITA contests.

After graduating from the University of California Santa Barbara, Colleen worked as a film production assistant, improv comic, telecommunications manager at the RAND Corporation, technical writer/editor, speech writer, and private investigator. All these experiences play into her writing.

She’s a member of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) and Sisters in Crime. When not sleuthing, Colleen’s hanging with her two Rottweilers (named Jack Nicholson and Aretha Franklin), her three cats, and plotting or writing her next book. Visit her at http://colleencollinsbooks.com/

Giveaway: This giveaway is for a$50 Amazon Gift Card and is open internationally. The giveaway is sponsored by the Author and/or Worldwind Virtual Book Tours. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter. 

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Excerpt & Giveaway: Ruin by C.J. Scott

Title: Ruin
Author: C.J. Scott 
Series: A Summer in Winter Novel 1
Publication: August 2013 
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Amazon|B&N|Goodreads


Synopsis: Kate Bell isn’t perfect. Not even close. The things she got up to in college would cause her parents to fall off their pedestals in shock. Home for the summer vacation, Kate settles in for a long, boring break in the tiny backwater of Winter with folks who still treat her like she’s twelve.

Then Ben Parker arrives and suddenly Winter gets interesting. He’s hot, mysterious and good with his hands. Kate falls for him instantly, but her cop father warns her to stay away. But how can she stay away from someone as compelling as Ben? Someone who thinks she’s perfect just the way she is?

When Ben’s secrets catch up to him, not only is Kate’s heart in danger of being broken, but Ben’s entire future could be ruined.

Excerpt: 
"Give me one good reason we can't do this," I said.
He crossed his arms over his chest. "You and me...we're wrong together. I'm so sorry."
"I said a good reason." My brain was beginning to work again, but my body still felt numb from the rejection.
"You, this place, everybody...it's all too...perfect."
"What?" It didn't make sense. He was pushing me away because he thought I was perfect. "For starters, I'm so not perfect."
"You are to me."
My breath left me in a whoosh. I blinked at him, tried to work out if he was joking. But he didn't laugh. His eyes twinkled like stars, and then he looked down at his feet. In the instant our gazes had connected, I could tell that he seemed surprised that he'd said it too.
"You don't know me well enough," was all I could manage.
"Yeah," he said. "What's with that?" It wasn't an answer, but I didn't think I was going to get a better one out of him. "Look, Kate. I may not know everything about you, but I can see that you're a good person. You offered me this opportunity without judging me first. Most people would have just let me pass on through. You're funny and kind, not just to me but to Jane and even Mrs. Merriweather."
"So?"
"So...you have this stupid, blind belief that I'm more than I am. I'm not, and I'm not right for you. Not even for a night. Especially for a night. Besides, there are people worrying about you and expecting me to treat you like a gentleman would treat a lady."
"Are you talking about my parents?"
"And Jane. I'm sure the waitress in the diner is worried too, and maybe dozens more townsfolk."
"You're rejecting me because of Winter?"
He pushed off from the wall. I could just make out the flash of anger in his eyes, the grim set of his mouth as he came toward me. "I'm trying to be the good guy here. I gave my word that I wouldn't hurt you, and I'm trying to keep it. Don't make this any harder than it already is."
"Having sex with me doesn't mean you're going to hurt me, Ben."
"Maybe not, but I don't want to destroy the trust everyone has put in me."
I threw up my hands. "It shouldn't be about anyone else! It should be about you and me."
"I can't, Kate. I've come too far to break that kind of promise now, even to virtual strangers."
"What the hell does that mean?"
He shook his head and looked away.
"Okay, Mystery Man, I get it. You can have secrets. Fine. I have no right to ask what they are. We're just two adults attracted to each other, nothing more, so I don't see why we can't act on it. We have one night, Ben. One night to have a little fun together." I poked my finger into his chest. "And another thing. I'm not perfect. Not by a long shot. If my parents knew what I got up to at college, they'd be horrified. I've slept with more guys in the last three years than I care to talk about. I've smoked God knows what, I've skipped class, and last month I woke up in the gutter without any underwear. See? I'm not fucking perfect!"
My tirade was followed by complete silence. Even the birds must have gone to sleep. Then Ben laughed. His chuckle started low in his chest and became a full rumble bubbling out of him.
"You woke up without your underwear?" he said. "What the hell happened to it?"
I tried to contain my smile. My little tirade seemed ridiculous all of a sudden. "I don't know. I never found it. There's a good chance I wasn't wearing any in the first place."
He laughed so loudly I worried he'd wake up Jane and Mrs. M. "Okay, I'll agree that you've got a few personality quirks. But I still think you're perfect."
Tears stung my eyes. "Well," I said, breathing deeply. "I've never been rejected so nicely before. It sucks, by the way."

***To read the extended version of this scene and discover what Ben has tattooed on his shoulder, check out C.J.'s website http://www.cjscottbooks.com

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blue Exorcist by Kazue Kato: Volumes 1-10


Author: Kazue Kato
Title: Blue Exorcist 1-10
Publisher:VIZ Media LLC
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Library

Goodreads Synopsis for Volume 1
Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won't be easy, especially when drawing his father’s sword releases the demonic power within him!


Thoughts:
I read began reading these and once I started, I blew through them rather quickly, then I get to volume 10 and realize that I have to wait until next year before there's more. This is definitely boy manga but I loved it. It's has this cute humor that had me giggling at the characters antics. The main character Rin Okumura learns more about his heritage and his twin brother in this book. He discovers that he has the power to vanquish demons but at possible detriment to himself because the more he uses his flame the more he risks becoming lost and like those he kills. He also learns something new about his brother. My favorite thing about Rin is not only his innocence but he has mad culinary skills. Each volume Rin and crew take on a different evil and begin to figure out themselves. I like how Rin's grown throughout each one as each new task challenges him and those around him to trust his ability. Overall, the artwork is beautiful on the covers and within the work and the writing is fun. If you like action packed manga with hints of humor this is it! 



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Death is but a Dream by Erin Hayes

Title: Death is but a Dream 
Author: Erin Hayes 
Publication: Fall, 2013 
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology


Goodreads 


Synopsis: Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.

Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it's the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.

So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.

With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead

Author Bio:
Erin Gulyas is an advertising copywriter. Erin Hayes is her alter ego that writes book in her spare time. This is the blog of Erin Hayes.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Excerpt & Giveaway: Life, Love & Lemons by Magan Vernon

Title: Life, Love, & Lemons
Author: Magan Vernon 
Publication: August 20th 2013 
Genre: YA Contemporary


Synopsis: When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off. 

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it's crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

Excerpt:
From Monday to Friday it was like everything had changed. Instead of walking through the halls alone with my head down, Kai was always by my side. This, of course, led to some very interesting stares and nicknames from people. I think my favorites were Bonnie and Hyde or Sid and Nancy Drew. Anything people could think of to come up with a couple name for the punk kid and the preppy girl. There were others, but the East High kids could get pretty raunchy when they came up with some of these nicknames.

“Do you still want to go watch Grant and Brody’s band play on Saturday?”

It was that lull after I had fourth period gym class and before lunch. I was leaning against my locker, and Kai pressed his palm against the other locker and faced me.

I still wasn’t sure what to think of Grant and Brody. They were nice and all, but I always felt like they were gawking at me like I was some sort of a zoo exhibit.

“I don’t know, maybe.”

The truth was that I already asked my parents about the concert. Mom just rolled her eyes and couldn’t believe that her daughter wanted to go to some crummy warehouse to sweat with a bunch of teenagers, but Dad was a little more interested. Just by asking about the concert hosted a whole slew of questions about the bands and who I was going with. I especially got nervous when he started asking questions about Kai.

“What do you mean maybe?” He asked as he ran his tongue over his lip ring. We still hadn’t kissed. I was pretty adamant about the whole not kissing until he was my boyfriend thing. But I couldn’t deny how much I thought about his lip ring.

“I mean, maybe I’m busy or something." I twirled a strand of hair around my fingertip.

“What? Are you going out with one of your other boyfriends or something that night?" He leaned in closer. A couple of jocks walked by and yelled some disgusting comment, but I pretended like I didn’t hear them.

“I don’t have any boyfriends at all, so I really wouldn’t be going out with any of them, now would I?" I batted my eyelashes.

“Why don’t you be my girlfriend then?” He traced his free hand down my arm, full-on putting on the charm.

“Maybe," I answered very quickly, almost too quickly, since he blinked really hard.

“What do you mean, maybe?” He tilted his head to the side and he reached down to grab my hand.

“Ew, get a room." A very tall girl with fiery red hair and cat’s eye glasses yelled and then walked over to us.

“Teegan, if you think that hand holding is bad, then you really need to get out more,” Kai quipped, quickly looking from me to Teegan.

“Oh, I saw plenty of that with you and Brynne. Remember I’m her band mate,” Teegan snarled and walked closer. “But when it’s with little Miss Sandra Dee, it’s kind of disgusting.”

She giggled and headed over to a group of girls a few lockers away. Once I caught sight of the group I immediately saw Brynne’s big green eyes glaring in my direction.

“Do you really want to have to keep dealing with that every day? The weird vampire girls and jocks talking about us? Because that’s what you’re going to get,” I said, looking up at him. My cheeks were still hot after Teegan’s comment and I hoped I didn’t look too embarrassed.

He laced our fingers together. “I wouldn’t be still standing here if I didn’t want to be with you." He looked from our hands and back down to me. “Now what do you say, will you be my girlfriend?”

“Maybe." I smiled again.

He started to roll his eyes when I got up on my tippy toes placing my hands on the back of his neck. I slowly pulled him closer as our lips met for the first time. I couldn’t believe how warm and rough his lips were in contrast to the cold and smoothness of his lip ring. Nor could I believe all the people that were cheering as he pulled me closer to fully envelope himself in the kiss. I didn’t want it to end and swear I literally almost melted in his arms when I felt his tongue on my bottom lip.

A large hand thrusted between us, knocking our bodies apart. I got off of my tippy toes and quickly let go of Kai as I turned to see my gym teacher, Mr. Brown, with his large and quite furry hand placed firmly in the middle of me and Kai. He faced Kai with his spit-stained mustache.


“Handshake, Mr. Stone." He took Kai’s hand from mind and shook it senseless. “Handshake!”


Author Bio:
Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.




Giveaway:  This giveaway is for an ebook copy of Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon and is open internationally. This giveaway is sponsored by the Author and/or Xpresso Book Tours. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter. 
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Review & Giveaway: The Letter by Marianne Spitzer

Title: The Letter (Kellie Conley Mysteries)
Author: Marianne Spitzer
Publication: October 2012
Source: Author/Publisher
Genre: Suspense, Mystery
Audience: 17+


Synopsis: Kellie, a young college grad laid off from her first teaching job and besieged by creditors, receives a letter requesting her appearance at the reading of Frederick Malone’s will. What could she have in common with the town’s richest man? Curiosity draws her to the will reading where she learns she has inherited a vast sum. The conditions of her inheritance require she change her name and reside in the Malone mansion. Long considered haunted by the residents of Malone Springs, Kellie, her fianc√© and four friends move in ignoring the rumors. Strange and frightening events begin to plague Kellie before she moves and grow more frightening once she and her friends settle in. Adopted at birth, her adoptive parents killed in an auto accident leave Kellie to investigate her ancestors on her own. What she discovers leads her into more danger and mystery as she learns the true nature of her biological grandfather. Could his evil deeds hurt her from beyond the grave? Who’s responsible for the strange occurrences? What happened to her biological parents? As one solved mystery leads Kellie into another, she and her friends try to solve them all before tragedy strikes.

This book also contains the supernatural/mystery short story "MEGAN'S FEAR."


My Thoughts:  The letter is a fast paced suspenseful read. From the moment I began reading story I was unable to put it down. It was clear from the beginning that big things were in store for Kellie. She is faced with a decision that will change her life forever; in more ways than the obvious. I felt connected to the characters immediately. I kept wanting to yell at Kellie to do what I felt was she should and many of her choices were ones that I would have made and felt others would have done the same given her situation. The twists keep me on the edge of my seat and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Author Bio:
I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children's stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three "spirit" books. I have self-published the second "spirit" book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third "spirit" book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.

Giveaway: This giveaway if for an ebook copy of The Letter by Marianne Spitzer and is open internationally. This giveaway is sponsored by the Author and/or Celestial Book Promotions. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter. 
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August New Release Giveaway Hop




Welcome to our stop on the August New Release Giveaway Hop. Thank you to  Book Twirps and Refracted Light Reviews for hosting this hop. You can enter to win any book that is released in August that is pictured on the list below. Click on the image for more information.  This giveaway is open to US residents only. Don't forget to hop along to the next blog.