December 31, 2014

Fire and Water by Andrew Grey ~ Blog Tour: #Review

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the Fire and Water Blog Tour hosted by RBTL Book Tours. Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule. 

Title: Fire and Water
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 15th 2014
Formats Available: eBook & Print
Source: Copy for Review

Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Dreamspinner Press


Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn't surprised when gorgeous Terry won't give him and his ugly mug the time of day. 

Overhearing one of the officers comment about him being shallow opens Terry's eyes. Maybe he isn't as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what's on her mind. Turns out, she's Officer Red's aunt.

Red and Terry's world collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won't take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected - if they can see beyond what's on the surface.

I haven't read too many M/M romances but plan to start, and Andrew Grey is a wonderful author for me to start with. Fire and Water is just one of many books he has written, and I definitely plan on reading more of his novels. When I checked out his page on Goodreads, I was impressed with the number of books he's written! I'm so glad to have been introduced to this author.    

Red is a delicate soul which sharply contrasts with his hardened physical build and presence. He's such a good guy and has faced terrible tragedy with losing his parents and dealing with people's reactions to his disfigured face. He's been living an isolated life, keeping his distance from other people out of fear they'll judge him based on his appearance, which most do.  

Terry is younger than Red and less experienced in life overall. He's left a bad relationship behind him, but his ex just won't let go. He's extremely attractive and knows it, using his looks so far to get what he wants in life. Once he meets Red however, he begins to question the choices he's made.   

Red and Terry make a good match, cheesy at times, but I thought they were good for each other with Terry bringing out a braver side of Red and Red bringing out a less judgmental side of Terry. I enjoyed Fire and Water quite a bit and would have have rated it higher than a four but felt the characters rushed into a physical relationship before they got to know each other. I had been hoping their attraction would simmer for a while longer while they learned more about one another. 

I love Andrew Grey's writing style and am looking forward to delving into more of his titles. I recommend Fire and Water to anyone who enjoys M/M romance and to anyone who is looking to start reading the genre as long as you don't mind the characters jumping into a physical relationship. I think you'll agree with me that Andrew Grey is an author you'll want to read more of like I do.   

My Rating:


About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew's hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty clothes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing). He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world's most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Blog Tour organized by:

All I Want for Christmas Are Books!! ~ Feature & Follow #59

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where two blogs are featured. Click the links above to follow the hosting bloggers and featured bloggers. Enter your own post's link in the linky, then hop around to as many blogs as you can - find new blogs to follow and gain new followers as well. Mingle and make some new bloggy friends! :D

Follow me any way you'd like 
as long as you keep coming back, lol! ;) 

I do like bloglovin' & GFC follows :D

Q: What books did you give other people this holiday season? - Suggested by Alison Can Read   

A: Santa brought my son (age 5) Transformer comic books and a really awesome Star Wars book that counts up to ten then starts counting by twenty-five up to 100. 

For my daughter (age 12), we bought her comic books for her birthday & Santa brought her more for Christmas -  Deadpool, Spider-Man, Superman, Star Trek, Batman. She also got some manga books from my mother-in-law - Attack on Titan and Black Butler. 

Santa brought me Feed by Mira Grant, Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry, a Supergirl comic book, and a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble! Already spent my gift card, lol. I renewed my membership and bought Horns by Joe Hill, the beauty pictured below, and These Broken Stars.  


What books have you given this holiday season? 

December 30, 2014

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff ~ #Review

Playlist for the Dead
by Michelle Falkoff

Expected Publication: January 27th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Genre: YA Contemporary  

A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend's suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel. 

Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam - listen and you'll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend's story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp's The Spectacular Now, Playlist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you - and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it's about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find. 

Having read 13 Reasons Why, I initially thought about that book when I read the synopsis for Playlist for the Dead. I did worry it would be too similar, but it stands on its own two feet with Sam's voice in narrating, the mystery surrounding Hayden's death, and the things Sam learns about himself as well as Hayden. Playlist for the Dead is not only about suicide but also friendship, growing up, bullying, and finding your own path amid the pressures from parents, school, and even your friends. 

The story surrounding Hayden's suicide is messy and complicated, and that's how suicide is. There's never just one reason why a person feels that's their only option; instead there's a myriad of them, and sometimes one event can push that person off the ledge much like the saying about the straw that broke the camel's back. 

I felt the weight of Sam's guilt settle over me as I read. That was realistically done and as Sam unravels the mystery, he finds more and more people who are also secretly blaming themselves and wrestling with their own guilt, wishing they could have done something to change the outcome. This is one of those times where you wish badly for a rewind button.

I believe Hayden felt hopeless about all the bad things happening in his life and didn't have any fight left in him to keep trying for the good. Topped off with the events the night of the party, that was his last straw. Obviously he must have been thinking about suicide as a way out for a while - people don't just wake up one day and kill themselves. It's a slow progression downhill with a lot of time spent struggling, and thinking about all of this just made me feel so much empathy for Hayden.  

I decided to make the playlist on Spotify and listen to it all the way through then listened to each song for each chapter while I read. I wanted to get into Hayden's mindset when he had made the list. Most of the songs are ones I love already, and I swear I was dissecting lyrics like crazy! I loved the references to Star Wars and especially Donnie Darko along with other geekery sprinkled throughout the story. Geek speak links directly to this girl's heart!  

No, the answers weren't found in the playlist but it's what led Sam to new experiences and new people. I think it was also a way for Hayden to reach out to Sam after he knew he'd be gone, a way to say good-bye and show him there was more going on with him than Sam realized. I think Hayden wanted Sam to understand how important it is to listen to people, which Sam learns along the way. We all want to be heard. We want to be understood. We don't want to be lonely.

I ended up being torn on how many stars to rate Playlist for the Dead. What it came down to for me was I felt something was missing from the story, something I can't quite put my finger on, but it's what made the difference between my feeling that this is a four star read rather than a five star. I do know one part of the mystery could have been wrapped up better. I thought there was so much potential there that wasn't used. 

My Rating:

Indie-Visible ~ Literary Justice for All! ~ @IndieVisible4

Indie-Visible 2.0 Soft Launch

Hooray! We here at Indie-Visible are thrilled to be (soft) launching our site!

So, who the heck are we anyway? Indie-Visible is an awesome collaboration backed by a super talented team of writers, bloggers, and freelancers in the publishing industry, who you can meet here and here. Indie-Visible's BookHub is an online magazine where readers can connect with their favorite authors in fun, innovative ways.

BookHub will have a variety of columns, including Indie Book Recommendations, Interactive Contests, and all sorts of activities aimed at getting to know talented authors and their books. If this interests you, be sure to click on the subscription link below!

 In the PubHub, writers can get tips on a variety of writing and publishing elements, as well as build their dream publishing team by selecting from our endorsed list of freelancers.

Our goal is to provide the perfect "Hub" for writers, where an environment of expertise and professionalism will offer high-level support in all phases of the publishing process and beyond. If this interests you, be sure to click on the subscription link below!

In addition to BookHub and PubHub, Indie-Visible has another AMAZING (Top Secret!) program set to launch in February. Keep your eyes out for an announcement sometime in January.

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December 19, 2014

This Broken World by Eric R. Asher ~ Release Day Blitz

Hey guys, I'm so excited to bring this Release Day Blitz to you! I adore this series, and if you haven't started it, this is a perfect time to do so.

This Broken World officially drops today! 

Vesik, Book 4

An ocean of darkness lives in the journal of Philip Pinkerton. Ancient things with no place in our world are rising from the Abyss. Ezekiel, the arrogant, mad god has called us into battle. Does he think we can't touch him, or does he know we can't? I wish I knew. The world's only hope lies in a forgotten weapon, the strength of our allies, and one necromancer of questionable ancestry. Yeah, this is going to end well. 

“When did you learn to scale an incantation without a modifier?” the Old Man asked. His tone was full of humor. He wasn’t expecting an actual answer. He already knew the damned answer.
“I …” I stared at the frozen earth, speechless.
“You didn’t use a modifier, and yet you clearly used a minas art.”
I looked up at him with wide eyes. “I could have turned this entire field into an ice rink.”
“And yet, here we are.”
“Crazy old bastard,” Dell muttered as he stretched out on the rock again. “He could have killed us all.”
“Have you ever seen your master do that?” the Old Man asked.
“No,” I said. “You and Ezekiel and Edgar are the only people I’ve seen use non-verbal incantations.”
“You still spoke, but you internalized the modifier. Even that could be enough to give you an advantage in a close contest. And the sword.” He nodded at the blade.
I let it collapse in on itself and stared at the old hilt.
“Admittedly,” the Old Man said, “that is not likely to damage a demon to a significant degree. There are still times where a soulsword is your best bet. I would suggest using someone else’s soul for that.”
“That’s the path of a dark necromancer,” I said.

“That is the path of a man who survives.”

Eric is a former bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

Do you want to stay in the know with the goings on of the fabulous Eric Asher?  
Then be sure to sign up for his Newsletter. 

Catch up on the rest of the series!!




December 18, 2014

The Letting by Cathrine Goldstein ~ Blog Tour: #Review & #Giveaway @cathrinegold

Welcome to my stop on The Letting Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours! Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule. 

Title: The Letting
Publication date: December 15th 2014 
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 335
Genre: YA/NA 
Source: Copy for review


Purchase: Amazon

What if the Devil doesn't know he's the Devil?

This is the question Veronica "Ronnie" Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.

Kidnapped by Phoenix's rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought...

Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?

How would it feel to find out that what you thought you were doing was patriotic and serving your country but was actually causing hundreds of deaths? This is exactly the predicament Veronica (Ronnie) finds herself in when she's caught by a group of rebels out in the woods, and her world has effectively been turned upside down. 

In The Letting, humans have gone nearly extinct after heavily relying on technology to do everything for them - so much so they've forgotten how to have human-to-human contact. One of the reasons this book was chilling to me was that we are very reliant on technology right now. I've heard many people say they'd rather deal with a machine than another human being, such as using a self checkout line at the grocery store rather than having a clerk check them out. So many times I've seen each member of my family sitting in the same room but each of us are staring at our individual cell phone or laptop screens.

I was dying to know what kind of process the Letting actually is especially once I realized what the names of the cabins refer to. You're kept in suspense for a while as to what it entails because Ronnie herself has been in the dark about it. I liked not knowing because it allowed my mind to run rampant with all kinds of horrifying possibilities, and when I found out what happens to the young girls after Ronnie has prepared them at camp - well, it's terrifying to think about.

The way Ronnie talks about these girls "paying their debt to society" by being part of the Letting makes it sound like they've done something wrong and are being punished. In our society, that's what we say about people serving time in prison, that they're paying their debt to society. So it gave me chills when she talked about the girls this way without realizing what was going to happen to them. 

Phoenix is the leader of the rebels who capture Ronnie in the woods, and he was a terrific character. I looked forward to seeing if the two of them were going to work together to bring down their corrupt government, and if they ended up working together, how they were going to do it and if they'd end up successful. 

On the other hand, I hated Gretchen, Ronnie's friend. I think she's a coward and probably one of the worst friends in the history of friends. I have a hard time reading about weak female characters, and she's definitely one of the weakest I've come across in a while. Ugh!   

The world Cathrine Goldstein has created in The Letting is terrifying because it's so realistic but also hopeful for the very same reason. Hope is something Ronnie struggles with as she comes to terms with how she's been used and how she plans to retaliate in order to save the lives she wasn't able to before. The Letting had me riveted, and I can't wait to find out what happens next.    

My Rating:

Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it's because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, THE LETTING.

Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant - like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it's now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski...and, above all, my husband and my girls. 

I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I'm also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre. 

Blog Tour organized by: