Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Forever Man by Pierre Ouelette (4.5 stars)

About The Forever Man: A Near Future Thriller

• Alibi e-original (Random House)
• 340 pages

From the author of The Deus Machine and The Third Pandemic comes a fast-paced thriller about the power of harnessing life itself—and the deadly secrets it conceals.

Portland, Oregon, was once a beacon of promise and prosperity. Now it’s the epicenter of a world gone wrong, its streets overrun by victims and hustlers, drifters and gangsters. Lowly contract cop Lane Anslow struggles to keep afloat—and to watch out for his brilliant but bipolar brother, Johnny, a medical researcher. Lane soon discovers that Johnny is part of an experiment veiled in extraordinary secrecy. But he has no idea who’s behind it, how astronomical the stakes are, or how many lives might be destroyed to make it a reality.

Now Johnny’s gone missing. To find him, Lane follows a twisting trail into a billionaire’s hilltop urban fortress, a politician’s inner circle, a prison set in an aircraft graveyard, and a highly guarded community where people appear to be half their biological age. Hunted by dueling enemies, Lane meets a beautiful and enigmatic woman at the center of a vast web of political and criminal intrigue. And behind it all is a sinister, desperate race to claim the biggest scientific prize of all: eternal life.

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It's a new world with new societies and currency, but some things never change--sometimes we want what we can't, or shouldn't, have. Lane and Johnny are brothers on very different paths, but Johnny's involvement in some shady experiments puts both of them in danger. 

When Johnny goes missing, Lane is determined to find his brother. Unfortunately, this sends him down a perilous path. Saving his brother may not be an option when all is said and done.

This book pulled me in from the very eerie beginning. I can't give away much, but I will mention it starts with a grave. Each page revealed more details in the intricate maze of storyline. At times, it became a bit too convoluted and frantic, but I never lost interest for even a moment.

Highly successful as a thriller, keeping me guessing and surprised by the twists and turns, I was shocked to also feel emotionally attached to these characters. The ending left me sad and heartbroken, and there were some really deep themes.

A thrilling read!

Rating: 4.5 stars

About Pierre Ouellette 

Pierre Ouellette entered the creative realm at age thirteen as a lead guitarist for numerous bands in the Pacific Northwest, including Paul Revere and the Raiders, and later played with such jazz luminaries as saxophonist Jim Pepper and bassist David Friesen. He has had two novels published in seven languages and both optioned for film. He has also authored two biotech thrillers published in paperback under the name Pierre Davis, and directed and produced The Losers Club, a documentary about struggling musicians. Ouellette lives in Portland, Oregon, where he now devotes himself exclusively to writing fiction and playing jazz guitar now and then in a little bar just down the street.

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Please visit other stops on The Forever Man blog tour page.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flowering Series Blog Tour -- Reviews

About The Flowering Series 

Flowering is the story of Jack and Lily. They’re college kids with their own issues, who manage to find each other. What starts as physical attraction and sexual awakening becomes so much more. Jack is troubled, with a past that makes it hard for him to see the future. Lily comes from a perfect world where she’s expected to play the role she was given. When they’re together, though, Jack becomes someone even he cares for, and Lily becomes whole.

This series is about growing up, about “flowering” into the person you become. It’s also about love and how it starts with one chance encounter and turns into a lifetime. Jack and Lily don’t have it easy, but they have each other. They’re not billionaires or rock stars or undercover agents; they’re just college kids looking to be a little less alone in the world.

Now complete in one volume. Includes the short stories, "Her Brother's Best Friend" and "Morning Glory;" the novels, Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, Blue Rose, and Orange Blossom; and the novellas, Star of Bethlehem and Ambrosia.



I read the following: Star of Bethlehem (novella), Orange Blossom, and Ambrosia (novella).

Let me start by saying I made the mistake of reading the three out of order, reading Star of Bethlehem after Orange Blossom and before Ambrosia

In Orange Blossom, I found myself swept away by Lily and Jack's story. It's a roller coaster ride of deep emotion as Jack struggles with his past and uncertainty about his commitment to any kind of future. Lily grew up with an overbearing mother who made Lily feel imprisoned by expectation.

When the two come together, they finally find the missing piece to their life puzzle. But will it be enough? I don't want to reveal too much, but Jack is in an extremely dark place and it hurt me to my very core. It was so hard to read at times. Don't worry, though, it's not all depression--there is some extremely hot sex between these two as well. Part of what makes it hot is their connection and trust in one another.

So caught up in this couple, Star of Bethlehem felt like a step backward--actually it was, since this story happened before Orange Blossom--and was jolting. Yet, I think I wouldn't have cared for it without the necessary background I picked up through Orange Blossom. Knowing some of the history between Lily and Jack helped.

All was forgiven by the time I read Ambrosia--a beautiful ending to a very poignant story. I'm going to say very little about this novella, because to do so would give away the beauty of what it is for fans of this couple. There were tears, both joyful and sad.

Overall, I think readers who appreciate very adult emotions and heat will love this couple and this series. However, I want to be clear: there are some heavy themes and intense sex scenes.

Star of Bethlehem (4 stars)
Orange Blossom (4.5 stars)
Ambrosia (4.5 stars)

About the Author

Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She's written works in various genres - romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn't as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she's been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships - romantic, familial, friendly - because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn't matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future - human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah's stories. Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun. 

When Sarah isn't writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.

Follow the entire Flowering Tour HERE
This tour is brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours!

Note: I received complimentary copies for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rise Up: Volume 2 Release Day Blitz

About Rise Up: Volume Two

“We all know how fragile life is, especially when faced with a life threatening illness.” ~Nic, Flirty and Dirty Book Blog.

Fiction introduced us. Reality binds us together.

Stephanie Thomas—co-founder of The Indie Bookshelf—has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. Stephanie isn’t only a blogger; she’s a loving wife, and mother to three young boys.

In the independent author community, we have an extraordinary network of fellow authors, and readers. A special group of people who bridge this gap—helping authors connect with readers—is book bloggers. These men and women dedicate hours upon hours to reading and reviewing our works, and spreading the word to help us reach new readers.

Now, one of these women needs our help.

100% of the proceeds of the Rise Up anthology (volumes one and two) will go directly to Stephanie and her family to help them on this unexpected leg of their journey together.

Inside the pages of this collection, you’ll find amazing works of fiction. But please remember the reality, and help support Stephanie and her family.

Included in Volume Two of this collection are the following novels:

* 1. Always There - Carol Ann Albright-Eastman
* 2. Republic - Charles Sheehan-Miles
* 3. Seeds of Hate - Melissa Perea
* 4. In The Fields - Willow Aster
* 5. Bar Crawl - Andrea Randall
* 6. Totaled - Stacey Grice
* 7. Running from Forever - Ashley Wilcox
* 8. Crossing Paths - Melanie Stinnet
* 9. Going Home - Rhonda Dennis
* 10. Never Goodbye -  Kerri Williams
* 11. Without Boundaries - CJ Azevedo
* 12. Binds - Rebecca Espinoza
* 13. The Forgotten Ones - Laura Howard

Buy Links (others coming soon): Amazon

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Not Born Here: Stories from Marsden NC by Dennis Sinar (4.5 stars)

About Not Born Here: Stories from Marsden NC
(from Amazon)

A collection of short stories about a fictional Southern town, Marsden N.C. Humor, foibles and heartwarming stories make the town real and the inhabitants memorable characters. The characters move through their days in a small town a daughter learns a secret about her dead mother, women goes through the stages of love, hopeful, love found and just as quickly lost. Roger learns something new about his wife's Jimmylegs and offers fine points on judging a chili competition.

From the Back cover: Marsden is a fictitious town in coastal Carolina. The characters are familiar to anyone who has lived in a small town, alive with personalities and foibles. The stories come from everyday experiences told in a uniquely Southern style. The topics are diverse--a supernatural experience between a daughter and her dead mother to the challenges of judging the annual chili cookoff. 

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Buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Fans of Southern literature, rejoice! Beautifully written with strong voice, Not Born Here is an engaging look into the lives of a small town. Each story is woven together to form an exquisite tale of interesting and diverse characters. When pieced together, it flows into a more novel-like read.

I'm from the South--North Carolina to be exact--and this book took me down memory lane, where I landed in my grandmother's lap listening to her amazing stories. It's like reading dairy entries from several members of a richly connected town. You'll laugh and cry, but most of all you'll feel part of what's happening.

One of my favorite stories was Julia and the Ducks. Here a daughter, still devastated by the loss of her mom, is able to communicate with her mom again through the most unlikely source. Through this interaction comes a deeper understanding of what happened. 

Not Born Here is equal parts heart-warming and humorous. I highly recommend it to fans of Southern literature and to readers who appreciate memorable characters with great flair, no matter where they are from. In our hearts, we all share similar disappointments, fears, joys, trials, and achievements.  

Rating: 4.5 stars


I'm so excited to offer a Kindle copy to one lucky reader. Please enter below.a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author
(from Amazon author page)

I'm a retired physician working on my right brain function by writing fiction. Not Born Here, my first book, is a collection of short stories about familiar characters, their lives and challenges in a small southern town of Marsden, North Carolina. According to one reviewer, Not Born Here is a "witty, colorful preservation of local flavor, uniqueness and language spun by an accomplished storyteller."

Note: I was the proofreader (through Indie Books Gone Wild) on this book. Still, a positive review was not requested or guaranteed, and the opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Shattered Secrets by Krystal Wade (4.5 stars)

About Shattered Secrets
(from GoodReads)

After being kidnapped, hogtied, and stuffed in the trunk of a car, seventeen-year-old Abigail Nichols' boy problems seem unimportant. 

She couldn't be more wrong.

The boy who saves her holds her heart.

But Derick Crawford also holds secrets.

Magical beings who guide human emotions are fighting an invisible war dating back to the dawn of time, and Abigail's one of them. The more she learns of her heritage, the less she wants to know. Armed with a very old, very massive book to teach them about their history, Abigail and Derick run away to a place where they think they can be safe and happy, only to have their troubles secretly hitch a ride.

Her history book is in a sharing mood, and it tells her to keep a secret of her own.

But has she put her trust in the wrong place?

And will the world survive if she has?

Through July 31, 2014, you can enter to win a copy in a GoodReads giveaway


Abigail Nichols thinks her biggest problem is trying to figure out Derick's reaction to their kiss, and why he's been avoiding her. Then, she's abducted by strangers with crazy stories and everything changes.

Everything she thought she knew, even about her parents, proves to be wrong as she discovers who she is and what role she will play. She and Derick end up on the run with only a book to help them figure things out. Lives hang in the balance while they decide who, or what, to trust.

So, wow! There are so many elements done well in this story. Memorable characters you can root for. Check. Keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat action. Oh yeah! Interesting and creative paranormal abilities. Yep. An amazing world with intriguing complications for our own world. Nailed it.

Within the first few pages, I was entranced by the characters--as if I was in their world and they were manipulating even me. Plus, I love the conflict of finding out you have amazing abilities but not knowing who to turn to for guidance--even the most obvious choices, like friends and parents, are suspect. 

Oh, and I love that Derick is gifted but also confused about who to trust. Usually, the pattern is for the main character to be new to his/her abilities but falling for the experienced, knows-everything counterpart. I can only hope Derick and Abigail grow closer and end up trusting the same people--and the right people.

I highly recommend Shattered Secrets to readers who want a romantic couple to root for in the context of a captivating fantasy world plus characters with original (and intriguing) paranormal abilities. Book two can't get here soon enough! 

Rating: 4.5 stars

About the Author
(from Amazon Author Central)

Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers - who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas - sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read.

How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?

Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.

Find out more about Krystal: website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pinkaboos by Laura & Jake Gosselin Spotlight & Giveaway

Helping Children Fight Fear Since May 2014!

Be Sure to Check out the Fearless Giveaway Below! Enter just by commenting!
(see details below this post)

This is going to be the best year ever for best friends Bitterly, Abyssma and Belladonna as they are starting a new school year at Fright School! As young frights they'll learn how to chase aware the fears of little human girls by entering their dreams and teaching them how to overcome nightmares. 

But when Bitterly, the most promising fright, is faced with a school bully and some nightmares of her own, she finds help from the last place she expected-the little girl whom she has sworn to protect. Pinkaboos is an empowering new chapter book series for girls and young readers (6-9) that presents the challenges of childhood through the thrilling and magical world of the Pinkaboos. 

Praise for the Pinkaboos chapter books from the author of Monster High: "Facing fears has never been so much fun. The Pinkaboos are ah-dorable!" -Lisi Harrison, author of The Clique, Alphas, Monster High, Pretenders.

(Chapter book for ages 6-9)


Laura Gosselin - After receiving her undergraduate degree in English from Cal State University Long Beach in California, Laura Gosselin completed her MFA at Stony Brook Southampton. She has since served as a reporter for a local newspaper in New York, an editor for a national magazine in Vancouver, Canada, as well as senior copywriter for a marketing firm. She currently lives in southern California with her husband and daughter where she works as a creative consultant for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Jake Gosselin completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology at the University of Toronto before heading to New York where he finished his MFA in English and Writing at Stony Brook/Southampton College of Long Island University. He currently lives in Southern California where he works as an author, freelance writer and website producer for

Connect with The Pinkaboos Team at their:


One lucky reader will win a Kindle along with a Kindle copy of The Pinkaboos!
For a chance to win the Kindle,  share your best anecdote on how your child overcame fear!

-We don't need a novel, just simply share how your little hero conquered their biggest fear or helped someone else conquer fear.-

In addition to the Kindle, each blog on tour will be giving away 5 copies of The Pinkaboos: Bitterly and the Giant Problem just for leaving a general comment below!

And don't forget to leave a way for us to contact you if you win!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Killing Me Softly by Devyn Dawson (4 stars)

About Killing Me Softly
(from GoodReads)

When Tate was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, he never imagined he'd meet anyone who understood him.

Holland's best friend, Andy, died six months ago, leaving her alone and friendless. Her father is bi-polar and takes six pills twice a day to keep it under control. Life is complicated and her dad is too needy for her to go out and have any fun.

One night her co-worker convinces her to go out to see this new musician, a guy in the Air Force who's amazing on the guitar.

He walked on the stage and sang a haunting song that touched her soul. From the way he held the guitar, to the way he flashed her a crooked smile, she knew she had to know him. Without warning, music will be the thing that ties their lives and their hearts together.

This story is about heartache and love. Holland finds her heart beating again in the arms of Tate. This book is a CLEAN New Adult - No Hard Core Cussing - No Sexual Scenes.

Devyn is the author of the bestselling series - The Legacy of Kilkenny and The Light Tamer Trilogy. She's an avid reader and lover of all things that go bump in the night.

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Enter to win a copy on GoodReads

Buy it on Amazon

*** It's only 99 cents for a very limited time. Please check the price before purchasing. ***


A best friend often gets us through the hardships of life and becomes like family. For Holland, that person was Andy. One senseless car accident took Andy's life, and Holland was left to face her troubles--her mother abandoned her and her father is bi-polar--alone.

Tate is stationed at Tinker Air Force Base and sings in bars at night, but he's so much more than that; he has a plan. Holland's drawn to him, but her father has expressly forbidden her to become involved with anyone in the military. As she struggles to keep Tate's affiliation from her dad, he declines deeper into his disease. Can she find a way to have her own life and take care of her father?

Poor Holland. She's been through so much. Unlike most young people her age, she can't focus on her dreams and wishes because of her ailing father. Then, she also loses her best friend. Her interactions with her father broke my heart (as did her sense of loss over losing her best friend). Some days, he'd be okay and she'd revel in the normalcy. Without warning, he would take a drastic turn and be harmful to himself and often others. 

Tate wants to follow his dreams before some family promises come into play. When he and Holland get a chance to sing together, magic happens. Unfortunately, Holland's dad is getting worse and ultimately takes matters into his own hands. It's an emotional roller coaster ride until the very end.

Killing Me Softly is so much more than a sweet romance, although it's certainly that; it will capture your heart and take you on an emotional journey. Plus, I love that Devyn Dawson takes on such meaty subjects and still remains clean. I find her characters are very real, both in their desires and their heartache. 

Rating: 4 stars


I've thought of myself as a writer for as long as I can remember.  I played grown-up with my family, until everyone grew up and left me to figure out what I really wanted to be.  Jumping over the cliff, I took a leap of faith and wrote my first full length novel, The Legacy of Kilkenny.  My love of young adult books, helped mold me into the writer I am today.  The books I write, reflect the types of books I enjoy reading.  Every story I write will have a huge twist at the end, one that often leaves the reader in shock (no pun intended, if you know me, you know why I say that, LOL).  Thank you for considering to read my books.  Happy reading!

Note: I received a copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.