Friday, April 25, 2014

Release: Stone of Destiny by Laura Howard





Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy Book 2)


by Laura Howard

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Blurb:


Allison thought it was crazy enough when she found out her father, Liam, wasn't entirely human. But now she has to join his magical allies to unravel his former mistress's plans. Aoife wants to keep Allison's parents apart forever.

Despite Allison's efforts to keep Ethan, the only guy she's ever cared about, out of this supernatural mess, fate keeps throwing him back into the mix.

Will Allison be able to find the amulet that holds the enchantment Aoife placed on Liam and destroy it? Are Ethan' s feelings for Allison strong enough to endure the magic of the Tuatha De Danaan?

Links:




The Forgotten Ones

Book One in The Danaan Trilogy


About Laura:

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Riot by Sarah Mussi

Title:  Riot
Author:  Sarah Mussi
Genre:  Young Adult/Mystery and Thriller
Publisher:  Hatchette Children's Books
Publication Date:  1st May 2014
ISBN:  9781444910100
Stand Alone/Series:  Stand Alone
Pages:  352 pages
First Lines:  Mothers from problem families should feel 'ashamed'.  They are damaging society and should stop getting pregnant, according to a senior government advisor.

Synopsis:

A hard hitting, near future thriller from the author of SIEGE
Years of cuts have devastated Britain: banks are going under, businesses closing, prices soaring, unemployment rising, prisons overflowing. The authorities cannot cope. And the population has maxed out.

 The solution: forced sterilization of all school leavers without secure further education plans or guaranteed employment. The country is aghast, but the politicians are unshakeable. No more free housing for single parents, no more child benefit, no more free school meals, no more children in need.

It's time for the young to take to the streets. It's time for them to RIOT.

My Thoughts:
After reading some of the various short reviews I was a bit worried I wouldn't like Riot.  The idea of sterilization amongst school leavers had me interested but a bit wary.

I hit 11% of Riot and was pretty much hooked.  There is one part that involves a baby that I really didn't like but apart from that, I was flying through the pages wanting to find out what happened next.  The book follows Tia the main character also known as Anonymous or EVE.  She's part of the resistance to the Snip bill they are trying to bring in for uneducated youths leaving school and without jobs.  She's also the daughter of the man trying to bring in the snip bill.  While the riots she helps organize with ADAM are meant to be harmless, the first time we see her protesting, it turns violent, ending in bloodshed and an injured Tia.

In steps Cobain.  A yob as the book refers to.  As I don't live in England I had to Google this. "a rude, noisy, and aggressive youth." is the meaning that Google produces. but Tia soon learns this is not the case with Cobain when he saves her more than once.  

The scary thing about Riot is that it is only set in 2018, and most of the topics that are brought up in the books, seem quite possible.  Although, I couldn't see a government bringing in the Snip Bill on Teenagers.  It wouldn't be so far fetched in doing this to prisoners etc.  So it felt realistic enough to me.

I really enjoyed reading Riot. The beginning does throw you a little when it starts with a patient being snipped, but once you keep reading all the blocks fall into pace.

I'd definitely be interested in picking up more books from Sarah Mussi to read.

Book received from:  Net Galley



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Guest Post: Shades of Avalon

Enchanting Powercourt


I spend a lot of time scouting locations for Shades of Avalon. It involved a decent amount of traveling and taking photographs to refer back to later. Not all of these locations made the final book, but this was one location I knew would be included from the beginning.

Although I don’t name it, for the estate house, terraced gardens, and ballroom in the final scenes, I took inspiration from Powercourt in Wicklow.

From Wikipedia by Schcambo

I took a couple of small liberties with descriptions, which is why I didn’t name the estate. Most notably, the statue of Triton in the center of Triton Lake was replaced with Poseidon fighting a sea serpent. I was inspired by some of my favorite pieces at Powercourt— Poseidon, The Laoco├Ân, and Triton.

Powercourt was the location for dozens of movies back as far as Henry V in 1944 and more recent television shows such as Camelot and The Tudors.

Stonework at the top terraces and sloping steps into the Italian gardens


Chorus Gate -17th Century.  Entranced to Walled garden mentioned in the book

Set against the Sugar Loaf Mountain , this 47 acre estate was originally a castle and is renowned for its landscaped gardens, inspired by the Palace at Versailles, among other inspirations. The terraces took 100 men 12 years to complete. The grounds contain hundreds of trees and plants from all over the world, some grown nowhere else in Europe. There is also the pet cemetery, the walled garden, the Pepperpot Tower , the intricate gates, water features, and an extensive array of exquisite statues of mystical creatures and Gods from all around Europe.

To read more about Powercourt Estate and see pictures, please visit the Powerscourt Website.




The Shades Series (book #2) 
Publisher: Omnific Publishing 
Paranormal Romance 
Summary 
Ben Pryor grew up as an average kid in Camden, Maine, unaware of the supernatural storm brewing in his Celtic blood. However, at nineteen, as the last born in the royal line of the beings that once ruled Atlantis, Ben has eagerly embraced his newfound abilities and birthright.

When Caleb, his sister’s mate, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, the prime suspect is the last remaining member of the overthrown corrupt Guardian Council.

With the discovery that an old acquaintance has been keeping secrets and the future Ben was so sure of shifting before his eyes, the situation becomes more complicated, the ransom for Caleb too high.

 In the sequel to Shades of Atlantis, Ben will delve deeper than he ever imagined into the magical old ways of the Guardians, the secrets of Excalibur, and the truth behind the legend of King Arthur.





About the Author 

Carol Oates came into the world on Christmas morning, in an elevator. Raised just across the street from the childhood home of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, it was only a matter of time before Carol’s love of all things supernatural would emerge.

She began experimenting with fiction at school and keeps the notebook containing her first unpublished novel in her desk drawer. Over three decades later, all her stories still begin life scrawled on paper.

When not writing, Carol can be found exploring history with her son. Luckily, he shares her love of old buildings, castles, and tombs.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

In My Mailbox (149)


In My Mailbox is a weekly post created by The Story Siren.

For Review:
Bought:

N/A

What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson Excerpt 3

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson



Synopsis

Have you ever wanted someone, something, so badly to be true that you'd overlook every shred of evidence to the contrary?

Enter Wade Crawford - the dazzling, urbane, hotshot magazine editor of Meter.  With gorgeous hazel eyes, strong shoulders, a chiseled face, and long blondish hair, he was everything that Allie ever thought she wanted in a man and a husband.  Until she realised he was anything but.

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Manny, The Idea of Him explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be.  For anyone who's let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, The Idea of Him is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 19 FOCUSED AND FRUSTRATED

He had no doubt betrayed “us” again in some form or fashion because things were going on around me that he was lying about. He would do that in the future. I would either smile through or ignore the signs in the future. I would feel angry and lost and alone in the future. I would tear up photos again in the future that represented romantic ideals.
“It doesn’t mean what, Wade?”
 He didn’t answer my last question; I just heard his rattled breathing on the other end of the line. I looked around at the mess in front of me. How the hell was I supposed to finish my work with this bizarre, awkward, unfinished, hurtful conversation looping in my head?
 “Wade,” I said. “I can’t do this now.”
 I hung up and suddenly I was back in that mangled plane, in the snow, desperate for a protector. Was Wade just giving more of the same unsafe feeling I’d wanted to get away from? And it hit me that I hadn't so much forged a new life in marrying Wade; I'd simply come full circle. Strange how we often seek what we hope to escape.

You can check out more of Holly Peterson by visiting the sites below: 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Awesome Morganville News!!


I can't believe this hasn't happened sooner!!


But yes I've come across a post from Penguin Teen about the Morganville  books being turned into a web series adaptation.  Awesome right?!!


They already have a partial cast including Amber Benson as Amelie.  See the rest of the cast here!

So to keep up with the news make sure to check these pages below out:





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson Excerpt 2

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson



Synopsis

Have you ever wanted someone, something, so badly to be true that you'd overlook every shred of evidence to the contrary?

Enter Wade Crawford - the dazzling, urbane, hotshot magazine editor of Meter.  With gorgeous hazel eyes, strong shoulders, a chiseled face, and long blondish hair, he was everything that Allie ever thought she wanted in a man and a husband.  Until she realised he was anything but.

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Manny, The Idea of Him explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be.  For anyone who's let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, The Idea of Him is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 8 PULLED TOWARDS THE EDGE

While he was coming to quick terms with the idea that he’d finally found an attractive woman who cared about his world of nonstop news and gossip, right away, I knew that I too certainly liked the idea of this Wade Crawford man before me. He fit a need. His enthusiasm for life and work would soften my losses: my father in a plane to the ravages of an untimely blizzard and James to a burning obsession to save every child on the other side of the world.
 New York glimmered around us that night, the way it can when spontaneity falls perfectly into place. After dinner, Wade escorted me to two downtown parties filled with cigarette smoke and writers. Someday I hoped to be like his writer friends who wrote long magazine stories and books that they’d mined from their souls. It was clear from every angle that Wade’s non-stop joie-de-vivre was more than contagious. He was sheer fun, and full of the possibility of escape, of renewal even.

He dropped me at my stoop at dawn, kissing me tenderly on the lips and disappearing into the early morning glow. As I watched him bounce down the street, all I could think was that he had Daddy’s electricity and confidence. And that suited me just fine.

You can check out more of Holly Peterson by visiting the sites below: 

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson Excerpt No. 1

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson



Synopsis

Have you ever wanted someone, something, so badly to be true that you'd overlook every shred of evidence to the contrary?

Enter Wade Crawford - the dazzling, urbane, hotshot magazine editor of Meter.  With gorgeous hazel eyes, strong shoulders, a chiseled face, and long blondish hair, he was everything that Allie ever thought she wanted in a man and a husband.  Until she realised he was anything but.

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Manny, The Idea of Him explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be.  For anyone who's let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, The Idea of Him is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 28 SIMMERING SITUATIONS 

My heart ached as if Tommy were the love of my life and I’d just this very instant lost him—neither of which was remotely true. However, a woman in a failing marriage who is hanging onto the idea of some secondary guy, and what he will do to save her, feels crazy enough to flail herself all over the nearest train tracks Anna Karenina-style. Believe me, I know. That’s exactly where I was that night.

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH HOLLY PETERSON: 

Why did you write this book?

I wanted to write about the phenomenon of falling in love with the “idea” of someone versus the reality of the actual person across the dinner table from us. I think it’s something we all have done. Once we are in a relationship, sometimes we delude ourselves into being happy, yet something doesn’t feel quite right. When reality hits, we must confront our fears of being on our own, and that can be frightening. Our fears of being on our own often propel us into staying with the wrong person. I know I’ve personally fallen for the “idea” of someone numerous times because I have an idea in my head of what I want that person to be and how I’ll feel with him: the cool guy with the long hair will make me cool, the stable, appropriate guy will make me feel safe…I even fell for a Frenchman over how his cashmere blazer felt on my cheek! All that stuff doesn’t count in the end: the only thing that matters in my mind when it comes to love is an accompanying true friendship and deep intimacy.

Your first book, THE MANNY, was a New York Times bestseller and was also set in present day Manhattan. How much of what you see around you is also in this book?

I have written a fair amount of journalistic pieces on big money in New York. Money is deeply psychological in that it drives people to act insane and say the craziest things. Every time they do, I put the quote in a little book I carry around and use in my fiction. I have now written two romantic books that primarily focus on relationships but that have modern day Manhattan as a lively, current backdrop. The characters in my books are composites of people I know and the events are based on real things I’ve definitely seen with my own eyes.

You’re a journalist who’s worked at ABC News and written for magazines like Newsweek. How does that come into play when you’re writing fiction? 

I am trained journalist by trade first and foremost. When I write a fictional scene, everything must be real and believable and accurate or it doesn’t feel right. That’s the joy of writing social satire in fiction. It’s all real, but it’s all so funny. A friend of mine told me that fiction gets you closer to the truth because you don’t have the constraints of journalism when writing it. As a reporter, you often don’t have access to dinner parties or events or your interview subject doesn’t say the quote clearly and you are constrained by your access and sound bites. In fiction, you can write the living room cocktail party, go into the bedroom, relay the conversation in a totally realistic way that is technically very truthful and that is very liberating for me.


What was your greatest career mistake as a journalist? 

While at ABC News, I once did a big piece for Peter Jennings declaring that the Internet would amount to nothing. You can find it on my website under the writings tab and ABC News icon. Brilliant prediction. The main character in THE IDEA OF HIM is a hard-driving businesswoman with two young children, and she struggles to balance her home life with her career. Is that a struggle that came from a real place? What woman doesn’t struggle with work, home, and family? Even women who don’t have a “paying” job work hard in a zillion ways that aren’t financially recognized: they maintain the value of the family’s home investment, help local charitable and religious institutions, and keep their neighborhoods and schools safe and the best they can be. So, yes, I write at 4am to avoid a barrage of email interruptions, yell at the Verizon repair man, cry when my boss yells at me, and worry non-stop about the emotional health of my children, their progress in school, and long term happiness and stability that I’m supposedly grounding for them. Who wouldn’t be nuts trying to do all this? We all are. I tried to depict a lot of this in THE IDEA OF HIM with Allie’s struggles so that people who read it can relate, cry, nod, and laugh.

In this book, the protagonist female character is not leading towards happiness with a man as her goal. Tell us about that. 

I believe a lot of women’s fiction and tons of romantic comedies in Hollywood don’t get published or produced because executives feel women have to “get the guy” to be fulfilled and for the audience to leave happy and “relieved.” I did not want to add to that “fiction” and I wanted to write about the opposite: a woman finding strength on her own. How does she find what makes her most happy at work, at home, and in her personal life? The proverbial knight in shining armor or kissing Colin Firth in the rain is a nice, neat way to end a story for sure, but I wanted to write about the power within to make ourselves feel okay, safe, and, yes, happy. Lots of time in life to find the right guy who isn’t an “idea”, but first let’s focus on ourselves and what we want for a moment and prioritize that before we leap for the next or most convenient man to hopefully do it for us.

You can check out more of Holly Peterson by visiting the sites below: 

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