Book Review: Legally Undercover by Rachel Kall

Title: Legally Undercover
Author: Rachel Kall
Narrator: Crystal Sershen
Audible.com Release Date: November 11, 2013
Listening Length: 8 hours and 21 minutes
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense

Blurb:

Attorney Alex Popov’s dream of partnership is put to the test when she’s pulled into a top-secret investigation involving arms dealers and one of her clients, Rodrigues Capital. The only good part about her association with the secretive organization is her client contact, Pedro Martín. She’s drawn to him, but he’s hiding something.


When Jacob shows up as a new attorney at Alex’s firm, it’s clear Pedro isn’t the only one with secrets. As Alex tries to determine Jacob’s true identity, she’s drawn closer to Pedro and deeper into the mystery of Rodrigues Capital and its shadowy networks.


Everyone has an agenda. In a world of lies, where no one is what they seem, Alex puts everything — even her dreams of partnership — on the line for love.


Kayla's Thoughts:

When it comes to audiobooks, the first thing I really look for is a good narrator. The narrator is pretty much everything to me, because even if the story is amazing, an annoying narrator can completely make the reader uninterested. However, in Legally Undercover I did not have to worry about that. Crystal Sershen did a phenomenal job. AND she did voices. YAY! I LOVE VOICES! Sad, but true.

Alex Popov is very good at her job. So good that when she is given reign on a very hush-hush account, she does everything in her power to make the client happy so as not to jeopardize her own position at her firm. But things could get a bit heated on that regard when a new attorney shows up. You see, Alex can just feel it in her bones that something is not right. Whether he is there to compete for the higher position she herself wants, or whether it is just something about his character, she just does not like him.

However, the truth will come out, and secrets her new client is keeping will cause her and this new attorney to work together in an intimate environment that is uncomfortable for Alex yet absolutely necessary to bring evidence and a possible terrorist plot to light.

Alex will face a past she has not forgotten about in ten years. She will also fall for a man who is a pawn in a game bigger than himself. And she will discover a betrayal that could possibly mean her death.

This book was interesting and full of action and intrigue. I actually wanted to tear my hair out a few times because of the main character Alex, because I thought she was naive. But I was gladly mistaken. She is just one of the good guys trying to make sure the bad guy gets caught. Her naivete is not really naivete at all, but a sense of wanting to see justice done and knowing who to trust. Will definitely be checking out more of Kall's works in the future.


Verdict:

This book was interesting and full of action and intrigue. I actually wanted to tear my hair out a few times because of the main character Alex, because I thought she was naive. But I was gladly mistaken. She is just one of the good guys trying to make sure the bad guy gets caught. Her naivete is not really naivete at all, but a sense of wanting to see justice done and knowing who to trust. Will definitely be checking out more of Kall's works in the future.

Links for Book:


Author's Bio:

Rachel Kall writes romantic suspense. She enjoys writing spicy and suspenseful stories to keep readers guessing. Rachel also loves to read every day while doing cardio. Her favorite genres are romantic suspense and contemporary romance, but she's always open to an amazing story in any genre. Rachel is a member of Romance Writers of America, KOD, and Georgia Romance Writers. She loves animals and is active in animal rescue. She enjoys adding loveable pets to her stories. She lives in Georgia with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats. She is represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.


Links for Author:

Book Review: Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton


Title: Ghost Hand
Author: Ripley Patton
Publication Date: November 28, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Series: First book in the PSS Chronicles Series. Book two, Ghost Hold,
recently released September 2013.

Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche
Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was
born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a
little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local
cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's
calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it.
And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible,
Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men
bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.

*Ghost Hand was selected as a semi-finalist for The Kindle Book
Review 2013 Best Indie Book Award in the YA category.

**Ghost Hand was just nominated for the 2013 Cybil Awards in the Speculative Fiction YA category.


Kayla's Thoughts:

Olivia Black's life is pretty much as normal as it is going to get. The fact that she has a ghost hand does cause quite a few stares and disbelieving glance, but since she has dealt with it since she was born, it is really nothing new to her. So when her hand suddenly starts to act seemingly on its own, even she is quite freaked out.

But a strange boy who is new to town doesn't seem at all surprised or disturbed by her hand's sudden actions. In fact, he doesn't seem disturbed by her hand at all and the fact that you can see right through it and it glows blue. BLUE!!! Normal hands do not do that. So why isn't he running in the opposite direction?

These are the very thoughts that I imagine running through Olivia's mind in the beginning of this book. How can a person so new to town be so calm around something so unexplainable and rare? As the pages turn and the plot unravels, Olivia finds that he knows more about her condition than he lets on. In fact, he may know enough to save her from a fate worse than death in her supposedly safe little town.

Verdict:

I absolutely devoured this book. The story is one that I have never read before, and I could not get through each chapter fast enough. All in all, it was a phenomenal read and I am definitely going to have to check out the second in the series, Ghost Hold, really soon.


Author's Bio:

Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a YA paranormal thriller series.


Links for Author:

Book Review: Model Citizens: Riding for a Fall by Henry Pepper


Title: Model Citizens: Riding for a Fall
Author: Henry Pepper
Publication Date: October 10, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense


Blurb:

Model Citizens is the wild, illegitimate, daughter of Melrose Place. This erotic thriller unfolds during one dramatic week in the exciting world of the Super Model.

When Angela Durand and Joanne Hart use sexual blackmail to win the world's most prestigious modelling competition, they become instant Super Models and overnight celebrities.

The glamorous Los Angeles high life is at their fingertips. Multi-million dollar modelling contracts. Rich and famous boyfriends. Private jet travel. The best manager in the business.

What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, including a boyfriend who is the greatest NFL footballer in American history and a psychopath. As Brett's life runs off the rails, his dark and perverted behaviour threatens to destroy Joanne and Angela's careers, ruin their lives and steal their sanity.

Packed with sexual indulgence, larger than life personalities, fast-paced drama and glamorous frocks, Model Citizens is a gripping reminder that, when it comes to the business of fashion, even the most powerful women in the world can still be reduced to living like candles in the wind.

Only love can save Angela and Joanne from being destroyed by the dark side of LA.

Kayla's Thoughts:

Angela Durand and Joanne Hart are two very different personalities drawn to one another in this glamorously intimate novel of fashion, fame, and the pride that cometh before the fall. Angela is more the shy and down-to-earth girl from France, while Joanne, a California girl at heart, is more headstrong and confident. But however different they may seem on the outside, on the inside they want the same thing. To be Super Models. And with a bit of blackmail, they succeed at this high-in-the-clouds aspiration. But their success may also be their undoing.

Now Angela seems like a sweet girl throughout this entire book. She is very open-hearted and wants what is best for her best friend/lover Joanne. But Joanne, however, seems very conflicted. She has achieved the fame and fortune, but there is a sliver of a chance that she could lose it all. And that sliver's name is Brett.

Brett is Joanne's on-again-off-again boyfriend who plays for the NFL. Cool, right? Well...it would be if he wasn't a psychopath. Yeah...that is a definite cause for concern. And everybody but Joanne has pretty much realized this concern. She is pretty much stuck in the whole denial stage of their whole relationship. In fact, sometimes it seems that she loves who he is and what he does to her, even though what he does and makes her do is not normal. Not normal at all. But as Angela points out many times in the story, if she doesn't accept that his actions are wrong and leaves him, Joanne can just forget about modelling any more, because he could be the death of her.

Brett might go just a bit too far to keep Joanne in his clutches, and the sad part is, Joanne might not try to stop him.

This book has many wonderful attributes to it - the storyline, the characters, the ending...especially the ending - but I think my favourite has to be the cover. It screams elegant old Hollywood to me. It is eye-catching, and breath-taking, and the black and white just works.

Verdict:

Model Citizens was a great read. It showed us the glamorous side of fashion, a behind-the-scenes look at what fame sometimes costs, and a bit of how karma is a fickle mistress. I absolutely loved every single minute of it.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Henry Pepper is a writer, screenwriter, broadcaster, advertising scoundrel, and descendant of Sir Walter Scott.

Model Citizens is his debut novel and according to Mr. Pepper was based on true stories. He explains, "While researching the book, I met a number of famous models in London, New York and Paris who were kind enough to tell me about what really goes on behind the scenes."

Links for Author:

Book Review: A Kiss by Design by Christy Hayes

Title: A Kiss by Design
Author: Christy Hayes
Series: Kiss & Tell, Book 1 
Publication Date: December 7, 2013
Genre: Romance, New Adult and College


Blurb:

What's a girl to do when her best friend is making a mistake? Stop him, of course.

College sophomore Emily Dilbert has been best friends with Dylan Chamberlain since they were kids. All she wants if for him to be happy and she knows him better than anyone. That's why when she finds an engagement ring in his backpack she has to stop him from marrying the wrong girl.

Dylan Chamberlain has been in love with his brother's girlfriend, Emily, since the second grade. When his brother asks for help planning a surprise proposal, Dylan knows it's time to bury his feelings and finally let Emily go. Too bad his heart refuses to cooperate.

All of Emily's attempts to lure Dylan away from his girlfriend fail, forcing her to turn up the heat on their friendship. Will Dylan reveal his long-buried secret and tell Emily how he feels? Or will Emily be forced to use any means necessary to show him the error of his ways?

Kayla's Thoughts:


Emily and Dylan...what can I say? Well, for one thing, Dylan is a sweetheart. He is totally willing to disregard the feelings he has had for Emily since they were children in order to give her the happiness he so believes that she wants to be a part of. But, seriously dude, family is family and love is love, and sometimes family is just not enough when you truly love someone. I felt so sad for him throughout some of this book. He truly is conflicted. He does not want to hurt anyone, but yet everyone could be hurt if he decides to follow his heart. But the person he truly loves could be the most hurt if he just decides to back off and let her be. Poor guy cannot win either way.

Emily, I believe, is a girl lost in the comfort and familiarity of her current relationship with Dylan's brother. So lost, in fact, that she cannot see the truth that is right in front of her. That fact that Dylan is her confidante, her heart, her shoulder to cry on. He is her rock, whereas in contrast, she has yet to truly confide in her current boyfriend. Love sometimes takes a while to hit us, and in Emily's case, it has definitely taken a while.

The Three Amigos: Shelby, Kayla, and Reagan. I loved these girls to death. They were witty, supportive, sarcastic when the need arose, and even plotting little minxes when the occasion called for it. They are the delicious filling in this word-filled cake, and I adored every moment they hit the page. They each reminded me of me in some way, and I just could not get enough of them. Every woman has a friend, or two or three, that resemble at least one or even all of these girls, and what would we do without 'em?

Now, I guess I had better talk a little bit about the boyfriend in the middle of all this mess. Dylan's brother, Zach. Throughout this book, Zach seemed to me to be a bit in the same predicament as Emily. He is blinded by the comfort and familiarity of his and Emily's relationship. I think that might be the initial reason why he decides to propose in the first place. I won't dare to call him inconsiderate or an air-head, but I will say that this book does not really shed him a good light. It's not a bad light, but I was put in a position to dislike this character. Or at least root for Emily and Dylan more. I cannot wait for Book 2 when Zach's point of view will be shown. Who knows, the roles might be reversed. I might begin to like Zach more and see his way of thinking. I just know that I have vowed not to be biased until his story is released.

Verdict:


I loved this book. It was a very entertaining read and had me glued to each page in anticipation of what was going to happen next. 

Links for Book:

Author Bio:


Christy Hayes lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, their two children and two dogs. She has a journalism degree from the University of Georgia and is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Women's Fiction Chapter of Romance Writers of America. She's been writing seriously since 2004 and made the decision to indie publish in 2011.

Christy writes romance and romantic women's fiction from her little basement office in the South. She's cooked up all kinds of trouble for her flawed characters when she's not driving her kids to one sporting event or another or walking her pesky rescue mutts through the neighborhood.

Author's links:

Blog Tour: Book Excerpt and Giveaway: His Perfect Game by Jenn Langston

His Perfect Game

Hello everyone! Krishna here. Christmas is coming up, are you guys excited? I hope you are because this will fun-filled Christmas! Anyways, today Journey with Books is featuring a historical romance titled His Perfect Game by the author Jenn Langston. You guys will know a bit about this book and there's a giveaway for all of you down below. Don't miss it!

His Perfect Game

Book Blurb:

Greyson Thorpe, Viscount Merrick, wants respectability above all else. Knowing the fastest way to achieve that state comes through marriage, he challenges Hammond Everett, the Duke of Donetic to a card game. After winning the match, the duke agrees to exchange his daughter’s hand in marriage for the forgiveness of his debts.
       
Willimena Abigail Everett had no desire to marry after experiencing the violent nature of men at her father’s hand. When Viscount Merrick arrives, she has no choice other than to obey her father and marry him. Will she be able to set aside her previous beliefs about men and judge her husband by his own merits?
       
After obtaining good social standing, Greyson sends his bride to the country; however, he finds himself missing her. Following her to the estate, he discovers she had been living a double life. Will he discover her secrets and control his burning desire for her at the same time?

Book Excerpt:

“The weather is quite gloomy,” Lord Merrick commented.

Abigail nodded. His generic observation would have been humorous had she not been so nervous about what she had to do. “This situation is unorthodox, is it not?”

“Yes.” His eyes met hers and captured her attention.

Never in her life had someone been so focused on her. She was seen by many, but noticed by none. His awareness of her brought out a longing she thought she’d left in the past. She wanted to be her own person, someone worthy of being noticed, not an ornament her father brought out and displayed.

Her indecision fled with her nerves. Powered by her newfound desire, she stood and watched as he did so as well. As she took the three short steps toward him, he kept his emotionless expression fixed upon her. Before she lost her boldness, she placed her hands on his chest and pressed her lips against his.

The kiss only lasted a second before he reeled back, but Abigail could still feel the warmth of his mouth. The experience proved more pleasant than she expected. Her eyes fell to his soft lips, and she realized she wanted to kiss him again.

“What are you doing?”

“T-trying to entice y-you,” she stuttered. Her gaze moved away from his mouth, but her thoughts had not.


Buy Here:


About the Author:

Jenn Langston

Jenn Langston graduated from the University of Houston with a BBA in Accounting and a minor in European studies. Although working as an accountant and mother, she still finds spare time to write. She has always been fascinated with London during the 1800s, and her historical romances express her love of the time period.

When not writing, Jenn loves spending time with her husband and three children. Some of their favorite activities include camping, bowling, and visiting the museum. She also loves reading romance of any kind, and normally is seen with her Kindle close by her side.




Giveaway:

Jenn will be awarding a digital copy of "His Perfect Game" to two a randomly drawn commenters during the tour.

Just answer this question:

If you have the chance to go back in time, which era would want to be in and who would you want to meet?

For more chances of winning follow this tour here:

Follow this tour here

Release Day Blitz: Sparks by RS McCoy




Sparks
by RS McCoy
New Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance


Blurb:


"Everyone in the world has a spark, a light inside that guides them, keeps them alive.”

Myxini School for Children specializes in training young men and women who have powerful sparks. Strikers are taught to manipulate fire. Trackers learn to find animals in the most formidable terrains. Handlers are instructed in communication with large predators. But forty years have passed since the last time they had a Reader – a student with the ability to read minds.

When Lark Davies enrolls at Myxini, he knows there aren’t many like him, but he doesn’t realize just how rare his abilities really are. He thinks nothing of being asked to keep his spark a secret; after all, he can barely control it. Thoughts and emotions flood unbidden into his mind until he can scarcely walk or hold a conversation. But just when he needs it most, his ability fails him.


Larks meets Khea, a small frightened girl who mysteriously insights his protective nature. He has no explanation for the curious strength of their relationship, and it doesn’t help that she is one of the few people in the world whose thoughts can’t be read. As he struggles to get to the root of their unique bond, Lark begins to unravel more power than even his mentor expected, but in the process makes himself a target to political leaders eager to take control.

Buy Sparks on Amazon for $3.99:


Teaser:


Wearing only my loose brown pants, I crawled into the most comfortable bed I had ever known and sank into the soft down pillows. I had just started to drift off when I heard a knock at the door. I’m going to kill Avis.

“What do you-“ I started until I realized it wasn’t Avis. It was a stunning blonde with blue eyes. Khea.

“I’m sorry to wake you. I just- I had to see you.” Her arms moved to wrap around my waist and hold me tight as I questioned if I was really sleeping or not.

“Uh, do you want to come in?” We both knew the rules about being in someone else’s room after hours, so I pulled her in and sat down on the edge of the bed, still a little surprised she was there.

In the dim light her hair looked a little darker, but her face was still sweet and there was no denying that the last two years had done her well. Who would have thought such a beautiful young woman would come from that skinny little girl in Lagodon?

“How’d you know I was back?” I asked her, trying to appear less tired or shocked than I was.

“A friend told me.”

“I didn’t think you-“ Cared? It wasn’t the right word, but I was beyond amazed that she was interested in my whereabouts. I hadn’t seen her since that night at the Moonwater and it had changed everything for me since then. But for her, I wasn’t aware that she had been affected in any way.

“Ride with me tomorrow?”

“Uh, yea, of course.” It was a struggle to cover how little I wanted to wait. I would have given anything to have her stay.

A wide smile erupted across her sweet lips as she said, “meet me at the lake at noon.” With a lingering kiss on my cheek, she walked back through the door and disappeared into the dark stone corridor.

What just happened? I hadn’t seen her in person in years, and we were hardly close before that. And now she arrived in my room in the middle of the night and kissed me on the cheek. Was it a kiss like a friend would give another? Or more? I couldn’t make any sense of it, but there was only thing I was sure of. I would be at the lake at noon if it was the last thing I did.



Praise for Sparks:

"...spellbinding..."


         "...fantastic characters..."

                        "...imaginative and creative..."


                                             "...simply could not put it down..."


Connect with RS McCoy


About the Author:



RS McCoy didn’t ever plan on being a writer. With a career teaching high school science, writing is the last thing she expected. But life never goes the way you think it will. While battling cancer, she picked up her laptop and let the words flow out. One year later, her first published fantasy novel has been released on Amazon and her second novel is in the works. She is a wife, mother of one with another on the way, a scientist, baker, gardener, and life-long science fiction and fantasy addict.





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Blog Tour: Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Path Unchosen by Kim Cleary


Hi everyone! Krishna here. Welcome to Journey with Books! We're featuring Path Unchosen by Ms. Kim Cleary. You'll get to know more about this intriguing book and there's a giveaway all of you shouldn't miss. So read on and have fun. 


Series: Daughter of Ravenswood #1
Author:  Kim Cleary
Publication Date: September 7th 2013
Genre: Dark Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Blurb:


When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, but that’s a challenge when a beautiful otherworldly man, who claims to be her guardian, saves her life.

Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on a spirit she raised, but new zombies attack—zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he’s not trying to set anything right. To save her own life, and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy has to figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.

Book Excerpt:

I shouldn’t still be here.
The sisters find jobs for everyone before their eighteenth birthdays, but mine came and went, unnoticed, two weeks ago. 
I blew hot breath on my hands and crunched across the frost-covered ground. Chickens clucked and pecked at my heels until I filled all the feeding troughs. There was no point in pestering the sisters about why they’d forgotten me. They would just find even worse punishments for me. I would have to leave and find work on my own. I couldn’t bear spending the rest of my life doing mundane chores around St. Stephen’s Orphanage. 
I picked the eggs out of the laying baskets, wiped them clean, and then placed them in the bucket. Twenty-three eggs today. At least Cook would be pleased. 
In the last basket, instead of an egg, a lump of brown fur nestled amongst the hay. I groaned so loud the noise would have scared a healthy rabbit away. I lowered the egg bucket and leaned forward. My breath formed a cloud of white air that hung over the limp body.
I carefully lifted the rabbit from the prickly straw bed, but it sagged glassy-eyed and dead in my hand. I stroked its silky fur and whispered to the cold body. Butterflies squirmed in my stomach, and an army of tiny feet danced across my skin. I rubbed my finger gently where I thought the rabbit’s heart might be. It felt right, like I had to do it. 
A heavy weight pushed against my chest. What was happening to me? I forced myself to focus, but the effort drained me. I sank to my knees and sagged against the bowed shelf.
The rabbit twitched and seemed to whisper back to me. I jerked up straight. Its eyes flicked open and looked right into mine, and its back feet kicked into my wrist as it squirmed to get free. I eased back onto my heels and sucked deep breaths into tight lungs. 
“Judy!” Sister Margaret hurried across the shed. “What are you doing? Are you hurt?”
I couldn’t let her catch me again. This happened once before, a month ago when a dead otter wriggled off my lap right in front of Sister Beatrice. I’d ended up locked in the library for the rest of the day and overnight.
I let the rabbit go. It darted under a pile of hay and, I hoped, out through the hole at the bottom of the shed. 
I scrambled to my feet and grabbed the bucket. “No, Sister, I’m fine.”
“Then why are you dilly dallying? You’ll be late for the guest speaker. Give me that.” She snatched the bucket from my hand. “No time for breakfast. Go directly to the hall.”
I raced along the tiled colonnade, trying to tuck bits of stray hair into my ponytail as I ran. With a bit of luck I wouldn’t be the last one to clatter into the hall. I turned the corner and reeled back. 

About the Author:

Kim writes urban fantasy for anyone who longs to discover they are extraordinary. She writes about hopefulness and determination, and about heroes who push through extraordinary situations and obstacles, one step at a time. Magical friends and gorgeous guys help, or hinder, in one adventure after another.

When not writing, revising, or thinking about writing, Kim gardens, plays with her dog, chats on social media, catches up with friends or cooks an Indian feast. She is a member of Writers Victoria, Romance Writers of Australia, The Alliance of Independent Authors, and a certified chocoholic.

Kim grew up in Birmingham, UK, studied medieval history and psychology at Adelaide University in South Australia and has worked all over Australia and in London. She now lives with her husband and an adorable Cocker Spaniel in Melbourne, Australia.

Giveaway:

-A signed copy 
-2x 20$ Amazon Gift Cards
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All New Kindle Fire HDX 7" December Giveaway


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Day 5 of UtopYA Authors' Holiday Giveaway!

Hello, and welcome to the Unofficial UtopYA Authors Holiday Giveaway!

What is this giveaway all about? Getting you -- the readers -- into the holiday spirit! Each day there will be a new prize pack being given away, loaded with awesome authors all united by the fantastic YA/NA Convention, UtopYA! We hope you'll love our prize packs, but that's not all that's being given away. To top off the holiday spirit, we're giving away TWO, that's right, TWO fully loaded Kindle HDs! Two lucky winners will receive Kindle HDs, loaded with EVERY book being given away in the giveaway prize packs! So what are you waiting for? Check out today's prize pack, and enter to win one of twenty-seven fantastic prizes! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! :)

Without further ado, here are the amazing books in the Day 5 Prize Pack after the jump!


Book Review: Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson

Welcome one and all to Journey with Books. Kayla here with a review of the book Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson, Book 1 in the Water Keepers series.

Title: Deep Blue Secret
Author: Christie Anderson
Release Date: July 29, 2011; 2nd edition (April 14, 2012)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Book Blurb:

California teen Sadie James thinks her life couldn't get any better. She has great friends, an energetic mother she adores, and the beach practically in her own backyard. But her carefree life is turned upside down when she's rescued by a mysterious and strangely familiar boy who won't even tell her his name. Each time the boy appears, Sadie's unexplainable attraction to him deepens along with her need to unravel his secrets. The boy is there to protect her, but as wonderful and exciting as it might be to have an irresistible boy with crystal green eyes protecting her every move, every minute of the day...why does Sadie need one? As Sadie finds answers, she realizes her life isn't as perfect as she thought. Not only is she caught in a world of dangerous secret agents she never knew existed, but it turns out her true identity may be the greatest secret of all.


Kayla's Thoughts:


Sadie is a girl who has a wonderful life. Boys love her, she has a best friend who would do anything for her, and her and her mother are immensely close. So if this is indeed the case, why isn't she happier? Sadie has been having bouts of depression and sadness. At first, they occurred quite a ways apart, but lately they have been getting closer and closer together with less and less time of true happiness in between. What could possibly be wrong with her? An encounter with a strange boy with sparkling green eyes could be the answer.

Rayne was assigned to keep Sadie safe. And he does just that when he saves her from drowning. She is only a job for him. Like any other assignment, he must keep a professional attitude towards her. But that becomes hard when they seem to forge a bond together. A bond that, in Rayne's eyes, is just the effect of his saving her. It is nothing to worry about, so long as he keeps his distance, which becomes harder and harder to do.

When a criminal of Rayne's world finds out about Sadie and threatens her life, Rayne will do anything to protect her. And in the process, he might just find how deep this bond really goes.

Verdict:

I absolutely loved this book. The descriptions of Rayne's eyes (which are very important to the story, by the way) and even Sadie's (again, important) are so vivid and beautiful. The characters are very realistic. The places and situations are described to the point where I feel like I am actually there. This author did an amazing job writing this, and I cannot wait to check out the other installments of this series.

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Author Bio:

Christie Anderson has gone from a BA degree in Latin American studies at Brigham Young University, to pizza delivery driver, flight attendant, and office manager, to finally finding her true passion in writing. She enjoys movies, books, music, and being outside in the sunshine whenever possible. She misses the ocean like crazy, but is terrified of waves. She loves animals, and she's dabbled in photography, drawing, and golf (although that doesn't mean she's any good at it). She's still trying to convince herself she likes to cook.

Christie grew up in Southern California and recently moved to Colorado with her husband, where she spends hours upon end staring at a computer screen while dreaming about new characters, plot twists, and other worlds.

Author's links:

Blog Tour: Author Interview and $50 Giveaway: Compromising Miss Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson

Compromising Miss Tisdale

Hi everyone! Krishna here. Welcome to Journey with Books. Today we're featuring a novel titled Compromising Miss Tisdale by the author Jessica Jefferson. We'll know more about the author because she agreed to do a short interview and we'll know more about this fabulous book. There's also a giveaway for all of you lovely people down below. Don't miss all the fun and just read on!

Author Interview:

  • Where do you get your best ideas?
My past.  Every piece of fiction I write is rooted in something from my reality. 

  • What do you do to relax?
Bubble bath and my kindle.  Ahhhhh. 

  • Do you write about what turns you on?
Not particularly.  If I did, the hero would do the grocery shopping.  Ooo – double coupon day?  Tell me more, hot stuff. 

  • If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
Do you like take-out?  Actually I like to go all out and I cook. My momma taught me.  

  • Are you a romantic?
I think so.  

  • Do you listen to music when you're writing?
Yes.  For each book I create a playlist.   The last book I wrote the final 50 pages were written listening to Pink’s, Just Give Me One More Reason on repeat.  


Compromising Miss Tisdale

Book Blurb:

 Ambrosia Tisdale is the very picture of propriety and the epitome of what a respectable young lady should be. Haunted by a memory and compelled by her family, she pursues perfection to a fault.

The Earl of Bristol, Duncan Maddox, has returned to London after years of familial imposed exile. As the second son, he has led a life filled with frivolity, leisure, and a healthy dose of debauchery. Now his older brother has died, leaving the family’s flailing legacy in Duncan’s unwilling arms.

At the behest of his uncle, Duncan is advised to do the one thing that could provide instant fortune and respectability – he must marry. But there is only one prospect who meets the unique requirements to solve all the Earl’s problems – the lovely Miss Ambrosia Tisdale. But securing the prudent daughter of a Viscount’s hand proves to be more challenging than this scandal ridden second son of an Earl has bargained for.

With scandal, extortion, treachery, and even love itself threatening to keep him from his goal, will Duncan succeed in compromising Miss Tisdale?

Book Excerpt:

He stepped forward, a twig snapping under the force of his right boot.  

 She startled and turned. 

She had been crying.  Even in the shadows he could see that her eyes were red and face blotchy from the trails of tears.  For once, Miss Tisdale did not look her best, and in that imperfection he found her to be the most enticing she had ever been. 

Duncan fell into her eyes, endless pools framed with wet clumps of black lashes that drew him towards her.  And then her lips, already full, now swollen from her sobbing, parted slightly.  
He was lost.  God help him, he was no longer intoxicated by brandy alone, but rather the beauty of one woman.  

Duncan reached up and cupped her face in his hands.  Without any words or pretense, he simply swooped down and kissed her.  It wasn't a gentle kiss, nor was it rough.  It was certain and decided.  He kissed her ardently, holding her face and savoring the salty taste of her tears still wet on her lips.  

He waited for it to stop, for her to slap him or push him away.  But then she did something totally unexpected.  She grabbed his arms and kissed him back.  The action left him disarmed and completely infatuated.  This was the woman from the library whom he had come to remember.  And her kiss was not tentative as it once was - but now firm and without trepidation.   




About the Author:

Jessica Jefferson

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it – almost Chicago.  Jessica originally attended college in hopes of achieving an English degree and writing the next great American novel.  Ten years later she was working as a registered nurse and reading historical romance when she decided to give writing another go-round.    

Jessica writes likes she speaks, which has a tendency to be fast paced and humorous.  Jessica is heavily inspired by sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy to transport the reader into a story they miss long after the last page is read.  She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read her random romance musings. 


Giveaway:



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Blog Tour: Book Review and Excerpt: Enhanced by Courtney Farrell


Hi everyone! Krishna here. Journey with Books is featuring Courtney Farrell's new dystopian novel titled Enhanced. You'll know all about this book and my thoughts about it.

This blog tour was organized by Innovative Online Blog Tours.



Book Blurb:

Michelle was born into the Institute’s eugenics program, where doctors breed people like livestock. One powerful man decides which children grow up, and which disappear. Culls are dumped in the slum outside Institute walls, and those kids never come back. Michelle has survived every purge, and she’s about to win a luxurious life as a breeder. When her brother and her boyfriend are both mysteriously culled, despite their high scores, she goes over the wall to find them. Alone in the ghetto, she’s in trouble until handsome, streetwise Dillon stakes a claim to her. She’s mortified because the Enhanced see Norms as little more than animals. But the doctor is using the missing boys in a twisted experiment, and she needs Dillon’s help to stop him. Michelle must rescue the boys, but a plague is spreading, the doctor is after her, and Dillon isn’t thrilled to help her find her lost boyfriend.
Enhanced is a a well written Dystopian novel which makes a reader really think about social and moral issues without deviating from the teenage angst which makes the book entertaining.

Enhanced turned out to be an okay read for me. The plot was really good but I think it could have been delivered much better if it didn't jumped from scene to scene. It felt a bit rushed. There were times when I was enjoying one scene from the book but it suddenly ended without proper closure and that makes it a bit confusing. The transition and pacing of those scenes wasn't smooth at all.

The characters are interesting. Reading from their point of views was fun. Michelle is really an interesting character. She's trapped inside a world where she had to be really careful with what she says and do. I loved her strength and her courage. She's scared but shes faces her fears head on for the people she cares about. She has loyalty and that makes here quite endearing to me.

The romance part of this book is okay too but there were times when I couldn't connect to the characters' feelings. Maybe it's because of how the scenes jump from one after another that I couldn't truly connect with the feelings of romance that this book was trying to convey. The romance felt rushed and forced although it got better at the end, it could have been much better with more feelings and time.

I think one great parts of this book was the action and sci-fi. I think it was well done and well though of. It was fun and thrilling to read.

Verdict:

Overall, Enhanced by Courtney Farrell was still an enjoyable read despite its setbacks. It had a lot of potential for greatness but it fell short in a few areas but other than that the book is still entertaining and enjoyable. It's the kind of book that makes a reader think because it has a lot social and moral issues and it surprises a reader quite well because its unique plot. I recommend this book to all Dystopian and Sci-Fi fans. I think you'll appreciate the thrill, action and suspense this book offers a reader.

Book Excerpt:

 The little redheads shifted uncomfortably. Finally, one looked up at the teens. "Don't tell," she pleaded. "We just come here sometimes to look for-"

"They were both here too," interrupted her sister, elbowing her. "And there's no rule-"

"Shhh!" Sylvia cut them off. "Look."

Far away, men appeared in the alley. They moved slowly, keeping to cover when they could, like predators. Rosa walked along the top of a pipe with her baby on her hip. She climbed down and looked inside it, then nervously checked the dark mouths of other pipes.

"Euuw," Michelle murmured, as Rosa crawled inside one of the dark holes. "There've got to be spiders in there. Why would anyone….”

But then they saw why. As Rosa backed out of the hole, careful not to bump her baby's head on the rim, she dragged a large black duffel bag from its hiding place. She slung the long strap over one narrow shoulder. It looked heavy. With the baby on one hip and the bag on the other, the girl used the rim of the pipe to pull herself up. She moved off slowly, away from the oncoming men.

"She doesn't see them," said one triplet.

"She's baiting a trap, just like last time," said another.

"No, she's alone. Plus she brought the baby, and she didn't last time. She wouldn't use her baby as bait."

"A trap?" asked Sylvia, sounding concerned. "For who?"

"For the tattooed men," Sara answered. "The mean ones who…"

An awkward silence fell. The little girl tried again. "They…they catch women, even little girls sometimes, and…"

"Rape," Jennie said bluntly. "That's the word for it. Rape."

"Oh my God," Michelle said, meeting Sylvia's eyes.  They both automatically looked out the window. Rosa hadn't made it very far.

The little redheads looked stricken. Two of them stared down their sister. "I know, I found it in a book," Jennie said defensively. She glared like it was all her sisters’ fault. "They'll get those men, those girls will, just like last time."

"Jennie, she's alone, take a look for yourself," exclaimed Susan. "Don't be daft!"

"What?" Sylvia asked. "They got the men how?"

"They sent one girl in alone," Sara said. "But they hid all around her. She limped."

"Faking," a sister interjected. Sara nodded.

"Then when the men attacked, they shot them, from their hiding places."

"With arrows, and they threw big rocks," Jennie finished.

"There was blood everywhere and one girl…"

"Died."

There was a long pause.

"And lots of the men were hurt too, and three or four of them didn't get up when the others ran away," Sara said. “They were dead."

"Dead." Jennie echoed. "Definitely dead. Served them right.”

In the alley below, the men were coming closer. The little mother worked hard, boosting the bag over pipes and clambering after it with her baby. After a while she took to setting the boy down and tossing the bag over each pipe, then carrying him over. The men spread out and began to move faster.

"They're coming! Go! Go now!" shrieked Jennie out the window. Rosa looked up in surprise and spotted the girls at the window. The she whipped her head around and saw the men. They were far away, but closing, moving a lot faster than she could over the obstacles. Rosa dumped the bag in the mouth of the nearest pipe, grabbed her baby, and took off as fast as she could.

"Shut up, Jennie!" Sara screamed, punching her sister’s shoulder. She was hysterical and making a lot of noise herself. "The guards will hear you, they'll come, and then what? The gate, the gate, just like our-"

Susan grabbed Sara’s wrists. "Shut up, please, please!"

Michelle and Sylvia just stared, not sure what they were talking about. Outside, Rosa was about even with the window and losing ground fast. The baby slowed her down and she wouldn’t leave him. The men encircled her, cut off her escape. She looked up, searching for a way up the wall, and found none. Rosa bent down, whispered in her baby's ear, and dropped him at the entrance to a pipe. He was afraid and wouldn't go in alone. She pushed him in, but he crawled back out. His cries echoed weirdly off the tall metal wall.

The men came closer. Against thirteen of them, Rosa had no chance. She yanked a metal pole out of the rubble and brandished it, swinging it at whoever came closest. A short, powerfully built man closed in and grabbed for the pipe. She faked high, and then slammed him in the knee. Screaming, he went down. The others tightened their circle around her, blocking her escape. The baby crawled underfoot, getting in the way while his mother tried to defend him. Rosa caught one more with the pole, right in the head, but then the others swarmed her, grabbing arms and legs and throwing her down on her back. Michelle screamed, forgetting the guards, forgetting everything except the horror in the shadows.

Sylvia ran across the room and slammed her hand on a red button that Michelle hadn’t noticed before.

"What the hell," Michelle started to say, but then a computer panel slid open, lit with a yellow glow.

"Ramirez, Sylvia Eve," Sylvia screamed into the screen. A red dot appeared. Sylvia leaned in, pressing her eye to the retinal scanner.

"Condition?" The computer voice sounded utterly calm.

"Emergency! Open panel!" Sylvia cried.

"Authorized, Ramirez, Sylvia, emergency intrusion alert," the computer responded coolly. A panel slid back, exposing an array of sleek weapons on the wall. Sylvia grabbed a long rifle and thrust it into Michelle's hands, then took another for herself.

Sylvia clicked over a little red button on Michelle's rifle. "Safety's off now. It's loaded. Put the laser dot where you want the bullet, pull the trigger. It'll recoil. Make short bursts."

"Are you out of your mind?" Michelle had never even seen a real gun before, let alone used one.

Sylvia got right in Michelle's face. "Look. Outside. Now."

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About the Author:


Courtney Farrell was once a molecular biologist, but her habit of daydreaming destroyed far too many experiments. As it turned out, writing down the movies behind her eyes was a lot more fun than lab work. Courtney is the author of fourteen nonfiction books for young people, mostly on social and environmental topics. She lives with her family on a Colorado ranch where they support a barn full of freeloading animals, including a fat draft horse and a bunch of crazy chickens. Enhanced is her first novel.

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