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Currently Browsing: giveaway
Apr
25

Geeky Giving Spotlight: April Bundle

Geeky Giving Spotlight: April Bundle What is Geeky Giving? Each month Geeky Giving will produce a bundle of exclusive short stories and novellas. These science fiction and fantasy books by your favorite authors will only be available through Geeky Giving, and 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to Barrow Neurological Institute to research cures for Alzheimer’s, ALS, brain tumors, Parkinson’s Disease, and more. The third monthly bundle will be available starting April 25, 2016, and will be delivered as a thank you for making a donation of at least $5. Know you’re going to want all four bundles? A $25 donation to Barrow scores you every monthly bundle. At the end of this project, there are plans to create a complete anthology of all stories with a special capstone story not available anywhere else. Print and e-book copies will be available. Authors who are already contributing stories to this great cause include: A.C. Wise Amanda Bonilla Edward Ashton Heather Clithroe James Knapp Jeff Somers JY Yang Karina Cooper Mary Robinette Kowal Michael J. Martinez Robert Lowell Russell Shaun David Hutchinson Sierra Dean Each bundle will also feature original cover art created just for this project, including works from Jessica Robinson and Sal V. Cloak. In addition, you’ll have a chance to win amazing swag including: Phoenix Comicon full event passes, signed books from Kelley Armstrong, Michelle Belanger, Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine, Diana Gabaldon, Kevin Hearne, Kameron Hurley, Helen Lowe, Chloe Neill, Delia Sherman, Chuck Wendig and so much more! Learn more about Geeky Giving at http://www.geekygiving.org Donate directly to the cause via https://www.supportbarrow.org/geekygiving Geeky Giving April 2016 Book Bundle Geeky Giving is proud to share it’s third monthly book bundle featuring original science fiction and fantasy works by bright stars within the genre fiction community. The Geeky Giving April volume will be available on April 25, 2016, and includes: “Comfort in Darkness” by Amanda Bonilla–a novella set in the Shaede Assassin world! “Dismantling London” by JY Yang “Coping Strategies” by KB Spangler Would you love to read these stories? Securing your copy of the Geeky Giving April 2016 Bundle is easy. Make a donation to the Geeky Giving project (supporting Barrow Neurological Foundation, read more about why we help Barrow) of any amount over $5, and then follow the instructions in your confirmation email to receive your digital book. Epub and mobi formats available and will be delivered within 48 hours of receiving your confirmation email. Don’t forget: In addition to these great SF/F works, we’ve put together some...
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Apr
19

Review + Giveaway: Selfie by Amy Lane

Review + Giveaway: Selfie by Amy Lane Selfie Author: Amy Lane Reviewer: B. Rating: A What I’m Talking About: The Bluewater Bay series has continually proven to be among the best I’ve ever read, and Selfie, by Amy Lane, is one my favorites to date. Told from the perspective of Connor Montgomery, movie star and grieving “basket case,” it isn’t the tale of a Phoenix rising, or miraculous rebirth. It is, rather, a story about coping and healing, honesty and loss, and loving again. To begin with, Ms. Lane is an undeniable asset to this series, as was already proven with her previous additions, “Nascha” (from Lights, Camera, Cupid!) and The Deep of the Sound. I absolutely fell in love with these characters. Connor is, frankly, a heart-broken mess. He’s also enviably strong, quirky beyond reason, and kind to a fault. My heart ached for him over and over, but I couldn’t stop hoping that he would be okay with everything in me. As much as I liked Connor, though, Noah Dakers, local Philosophy grad and driver/bodyguard/PA/etc. for the studio producing “Wolf’s Landing,” stole my heart and kept it. Noah is gorgeous, inside and out. I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t completely love about him. He’s incredibly astute, patient, funny, brilliantly sarcastic, sexier than should surely be allowed, so loving it hurts—pretty much perfect in all the ways that make me want to read Selfie again and again. While Connor and Noah are the two main characters, it would be wrong to ignore Connor’s former love, Vinnie, as the third. He’s simply always there. One thing that I appreciated a great deal about Ms. Lane’s treatment of his memory is that it changes as Connor tries to find a way to live again. Initially, his perfection is suggested by the enormity of his absence in Connor’s life. But, that idyllic love starts to break down memory by memory, becoming something real—cracked and frayed in places, and giving Connor’s reawakening a weight it might not otherwise have had. Just as important, I think, is that, while Vinnie’s flaws are presented with a stripped-bare honesty, it is done without taking the easy out and completely vilifying him. One of the most beautiful things about Selfie is its treatment of the unquantifiable nature of grief. Through the characters’ various perspectives, Ms. Lane dissects the reality of loss and presents it as a living, evolving entity, unique to each individual, even though common threads may be shared...
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Apr
13

Review + Giveaway: My Perfect Mistake by Kelly Siskind

Review + Giveaway: My Perfect Mistake by Kelly Siskind My Perfect Mistake Author: Kelly Siskind Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: For five years, Shay did everything for Richard and then he dumped her. During those years, Shay changed who she was to please Richard, even leaving behind an amazing job opportunity. Now she and her best friends, Lily and Raven, are in Aspen for a crazy ski weekend, reclaiming the pre-Dick Shay. Kolton and his buddies, Sawyer and Nico, escaped their crazy lives to have some time away on the slopes of Aspen. His boutique outerwear business with Sawyer is taking off and being a single dad is wearing him down. This is the longest Kolton has been away from his 7-year-old son, Jackson, but he needs some time to regroup. When a collision on the slopes literally pushes Kolton and Shay together, neither can stand to be around the other, but they also realize they can’t fight their powerful attraction.  My Perfect Mistake is an enemies-to-lovers romance, with the pair alternating between arguing and making out. The I-Hate-You-But-I-Want-You spark ignites some explosive emotions and leads to passionate sex. Shay and Kolton’s story isn’t necessarily wholly original or written in magical prose, yet their journey gripped me, kept me glued to the kindle, and captured me. Their romance is powerful and absorbing all at once. I was invested in their success, both professionally and romantically, and I enjoyed almost every moment of the book (although I wasn’t happy with the set up for Kolton’s mea culpa). I appreciate that the author doesn’t dumb down the issues surrounding the couple, rather making the characters talk and work through problems. Ms. Siskind excels at the little moments. She finds ways for the characters to express the depths of their feelings in both small moments and grand gestures. For example, early on in the book, Kolton reflects back on the four days he spent with Shay in Aspen. In one paragraph, we learn exactly how much Shay effected Kolton and altered his life on the inside. While he hasn’t changed his routine or lifestyle, he realizes more than ever, he wants Shay in his life… and that Shay has replaced his first love, Marina, as the benchmark to measure all potential dates and mates. It’s well-timed and simply put, packing a powerful punch. Kolton and Shay are explosive and passionate. While they both have hang-ups, I like that their passion takes control often, which is how they...
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Apr
11

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: The Empty Hourglass by Cornelia Grey

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: The Empty Hourglass by Cornelia Grey Hello! I’m Cornelia Grey—welcome to the Empty Hourglass blog tour! At various tour stops, I’ll be sharing some secrets about my writing process, sources of inspiration and future projects! Comment on each stop to be entered in a drawing for a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card and the two previous titles in the Deal with a Devil series—Devil at the Crossroads and The Circus of the Damned—in an e-book format of your choice. Thank you for joining me on the tour! Review The Empty Hourglass Author: Cornelia Grey Reviewer: B. Rating: B What I’m Talking About: After losing his hand, as well as his beloved workshop, in a fire, Thomas Escott wants nothing more than to find a way to make things be as they were before. When a mysterious letter points him in the direction of an enigmatic inventor who’s touted as a genius in the creation of prosthetics, he thinks he’s found the answer to his prayers. But, as the truth begins to unfold, Thomas discovers that heaven has little to do with it. Jethro Hastings gave up on everything, save for an extremely costly secret invention, after personal tragedy left him heartbroken and lost. Having secluded himself away in a decaying mansion with nothing but his work—and the rapid passage of time—to keep him company, the last thing he expected was the intriguingly capable toy maker who turned up on his doorstep. But, with the minutes running out, and a devil waiting in the wings, redemption may be beyond either man’s reach. While I have enjoyed the Deal with the Devil series as a whole, I felt that this story was missing something. Although Jethro and Thomas have independently compelling backgrounds that led them to the main conflict within the narrative, I wasn’t as drawn in by them as I was by the events and characters of the second story in the series, Circus of the Damned. Having said that, I still think there is plenty about The Empty Hourglass to like. A common theme that The Empty Hourglass continues, and which works nicely in this series, is the loss of purpose in the face of other worries and vices, such as hopelessness and grief, but also vanity and an unhealthy quest for glory. One of my favorite things about this story, however, is the author’s ongoing ability to make a postponement of damnation a kind of salvation instead at the hands of a soft-hearted devil...
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Apr
4

Review + Short Story: Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter

Review + Short Story: Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter Shadow Rites Author: Faith Hunter Reviewer: B. Rating: A What I’m Talking About: Picking up a few weeks after the end of the previous story, Shadow Rites finds Jane and Co. at the center of yet another potentially fatal dilemma. Beginning with a magical attack on her house in the middle of the night by unknown witches, it starts with an adrenaline rush and maintains that frenetic pace throughout. Jane has changed over the course of the series, however, and, unlike the impersonal nature she once wrapped herself in so determinedly, there’s an undercurrent of affection in her now that makes her even more compelling. Far from the impulsive loner that she once was, Jane has learned many, many things since she first began working with the other supernatural elements that populate the series. Jane is a hero, in every sense of the word. While there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to save those she loves, in recent stories she often “runs the numbers” to gauge how much of herself she can sacrifice for them and live in order to do the same again in the future, should they have need. Just as important, however, is that Jane is no longer acting on her own, and those who love her are entitled to make sacrifices for her, in turn—a fact she’s still trying to accept. One of the most interesting aspects of these stories is that each is built around a specific happening or mystery, the components of which may at once fill in missing information from previous novels, while laying the ground work for events yet to come. Shadow Rites further expands on this template, the pieces of unsolved puzzles from earlier titles suddenly snapping into place, thereby reshaping Jane’s world to accommodate even more unknowns. It’s been an intriguing pattern so far. While the Jane Yellowrock series works perfectly well without an excess of romance coloring the narrative, the fact that Jane still has a mostly-steady love life in Shadow Rites was particularly delightful. The intimacy between Jane and Bruiser is a hard-won thing, and I think Ms. Hunter is spot on to limit these interactions to anticipation and the happily reflective afterglow that follows—at least until the next disaster has them both taking off at a sprint. Bruiser is too much the gentleman, and Jane too private, to justify anything sexually gratuitous. I think my favorite thing about this story is that, all this time, Jane has...
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Mar
28

Review + Giveaway: Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

Review + Giveaway: Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis Nobody But You Author: Jill Shalvis Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Sophie Marren was a naive, young bride who married the first man who paid her some attention. Too bad Lucas turned out to be such a jerk. He kicked her out, emptied her checking account, and left her with nothing. However, when the judge asked what she wanted in the divorce, she was so angry, she took the one thing that would hurt her ex the most: his precious boat. Now she’s unemployed and broke, living on a boat she hates. Vowing never to fall in love again, she doesn’t trust herself around the sexy Jacob Kincaid. Jacob Kincaid is home on leave for the first time in nine years. When he left Cedar Ridge to join the Army, his twin brother and best friend, Hudson, told him never to return, and so Jacob didn’t. However, after his buddy was killed in a meaningless roadside bombing, Jacob decides it is time to make amends. What he didn’t expect was to fall for a funny, sexy woman who is hiding on a boat in his lake. While Nobody But You is the third book in the Cedar Ridge series, I had no trouble jumping into the series without having read the first two titles. Jacob and Sophie are injured souls who are lost in their lives. Their immediate attraction drew me in and kept me interested in their story. Early on, they share a few drinks and let their guards down, having an honest heart-to-heart, once again, drawing me into their relationship. I adored Jacob; how much he feels for Sophie and how he wants to do right for her and his family. He’s honorable and caring, albeit a bit stubborn. His POV was filled with his fears and desires over his feelings for Sophie, and I loved knowing how hard he was falling for her. Sophie was a mixed bag for me. I admire her determination and obstinance, yet at the same time, she felt very wishy-washy. I had issues with her constant stance that she would never fall in love again, yet after a very short time, she has no problem falling for Jacob.The “I love you” came way too soon. Sophie and Jacob are two deeply wounded people, and I understand his willingness to jump in with two feet, but not hers. The whole premise of the story is that she’s not...
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Mar
23

Review + Blog Tour: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Review + Blog Tour: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton From the author: Hello, everybody! I’m Marie Sexton, and I’m here today to tell you about my New Adult novel, Trailer Trash. Trailer Trash is a sweet coming-of-age story about two high school seniors: Cody, who’s dirt poor and literally lives on the wrong side of the tracks, and Nate, the preppy new kid in town. It’s set in the fictional town of Warren, Wyoming, in the mid-1980s. It’s full of angst and 80s pop culture references, and I promise, it has a happy ending. 🙂 Trailer Trash Author: Marie Sexton Reviewer: B. Rating: A- B.’s Review: Set in the miserable wasteland that is Warren, Wyoming in 1986, Trailer Trash is the “coming-of-age”/ “coming out” story of two young men who somehow manage to find love despite the world around them trying its best to tear them apart. Aside from the inevitable death of the town itself, the entire narrative is filled with stark descriptions of joblessness and poverty, and the frustration and misplaced blame that comes from struggling against the immovable boundaries of the established financial and social order. All of which makes for compelling, but not frivolous, reading. Of the two main characters, Nate was definitely “easier” for me to read about. He’s naïve, affluent (by Warren standards, to be sure), resentful, and lonely. Far from being a bad person, though, he’s just hurt and a little shiny. It takes him a while to accept that “the rules” that applied in Austin, Texas, do not apply in his new home… and he gets just about everything wrong. Still, his desire to hang out with the self-described “pariah” of the school, rather than the popular kids he resembles in clothing labels only, made me like him very early in the story. Cody Lawrence, on the other hand, could never be accused of being shiny. Stripped of any dreams he may have had for himself early and often, he’s already been through too much, seen too much, at the age of seventeen. As the only acknowledged gay student in a small high school full of the most vicious kinds of cliques, he really can’t catch a break. This, combined with his situation at home, makes Cody a genuine outcast. Yet, he has a truly good heart, despite everything, and I adored him. One of the ways in which I think Trailer Trash excels is in the author’s ability to add vivid details to nearly everything. From the pervasive reek...
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Mar
21

Geeky Giving Spotlight: March Bundle

Geeky Giving Spotlight: March Bundle What is Geeky Giving? Each month Geeky Giving will produce a bundle of exclusive short stories and novellas. These science fiction and fantasy books by your favorite authors will only be available through Geeky Giving, and 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to Barrow Neurological Institute to research cures for Alzheimer’s, ALS, brain tumors, Parkinson’s Disease, and more. The second monthly bundle will be available starting March 21, 2016, and will be delivered as a thank you for making a donation of at least $5. Know you’re going to want all four bundles? A $25 donation to Barrow scores you every monthly bundle. At the end of this project, there are plans to create a complete anthology of all stories with a special capstone story not available anywhere else. Print and e-book copies will be available. Authors who are already contributing stories to this great cause include: A.C. Wise Amanda Bonilla Edward Ashton Heather Clithroe James Knapp Jeff Somers JY Yang Karina Cooper Mary Robinette Kowal Michael J. Martinez Robert Lowell Russell Shaun David Hutchinson Sierra Dean Each bundle will also feature original cover art created just for this project, including works from Jessica Robinson and Sal V. Cloak. In addition, you’ll have a chance to win amazing swag including: Phoenix Comicon full event passes, signed books from Kelley Armstrong, Michelle Belanger, Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine, Diana Gabaldon, Kevin Hearne, Kameron Hurley, Helen Lowe, Chloe Neill, Delia Sherman, Chuck Wendig and so much more! Learn more about Geeky Giving at http://www.geekygiving.org Donate directly to the cause via https://www.supportbarrow.org/geekygiving Geeky Giving March 2016 Book Bundle Geeky Giving is proud to share it’s second monthly book bundle featuring original science fiction and fantasy works by bright stars within the genre fiction community. The Geeky Giving March volume features 160 pages of fighter pilots with symbiotic relationships with their jets, ghost on Mars, loved ones leveraging the power of scent, and hackers targeting biologic exoskeletons. The bundle will be available on March 21, 2016, and includes: “Mind Flight” by Michael J. Martinez “The Ghosts of Mars” by A.C. Wise “The Scents of Life” by Robert Lowell Russell “I Point at Things I Wish to Command: A Philip K. Marks Story” by Jeff Somers Would you love to read these stories? Securing your copy of the Geeky Giving March 2016 Bundle is easy. Make a donation to the Geeky Giving project (supporting Barrow Neurological Foundation, read more about why we help Barrow) of any amount over $5, and...
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Mar
18

Review + Giveaway: Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh

Review + Giveaway: Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh Between Ghosts Author: Garrett Leigh Reviewer: B. Rating: A What I’m Talking About: Losing his older brother to a war he’s never agreed with would have been bad enough for Connor Regan to live with, but for that hurt remain adrift with no understanding to anchor it is worse. Going on assignment with a SAS team that’s seen the worst the war has to offer—and to one of the most dangerous regions there is—seems like his best chance for some answers. What he finds will change him forever, and lead him to the first man Connor isn’t sure he can survive without. Sergeant Nathan Thompson isn’t a man with a lot of time on his hands. With one mission beginning almost before the previous one has ended, he can’t seem to find the hours to sleep, much less babysit a civilian reporter who’s managed to be embedded with his team. But, the “hack” gets under his skin faster than Nat ever imagined he would, and keeping Connor safe quickly becomes far more than just an obligation. Ordinarily, the speed with which Connor and Nat become attached would have concerned me. But, Between Ghosts is set in the middle of a never-ending war, and that, justifiably, made a huge difference. That a physical connection could be a balm in the midst of so much destruction, and that the heart might just as quickly follow—especially when time inherently must be counted so differently—I could easily accept. Ms. Leigh depicts the temporary nature of living through war very convincingly, making the relationship that evolves between the two men something worth cherishing, rather than dismissing. I found both Connor and Nat easy to believe in. Neither was very predictable, and accepting that their different personalities might be complimentary wasn’t a problem. At first, there seems to be little more to Nat than the gruff Sergeant whose responsibilities weigh so heavily on him. However, this proves not to be the case. Connor, in contrast, has plenty going on from the start, including his own, personal undertaking, and watching that mission disintegrate as his understanding of the situation increased made me feel as badly for him as I did for the soldiers he accompanied. Connor and Nat aren’t the only characters that stood out in Between Ghosts. It didn’t seem as if there were any negligible characters to me, each being imbued with such individuality and heartfelt connection to one another that I held my...
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Mar
14

Excerpt + Giveaway: Carnal by Sasha White

Excerpt + Giveaway: Carnal by Sasha White Coming soon! CARNAL, the 4th story in the sexy Overwatch series from Sasha White. Following Primal (book 3), Carnal continues Adam and Oliva’s story. Today we have a sneak peek excerpt from Carnal. Excerpt: She watched Bruce and his sub, John, leave the bar and head over toward one of the play areas. The one with the spanking bench that looked sort of like a wooden sawhorse with nice cushy padding over it. As they walked, John’s steps slowed until he was lagging behind. Bruce turned, grabbed his sub by the arm and jerked him to his side. Olivia’s inner radar sprang to life and she leaned forward, watching the couple intently. When they got to the play area Bruce let John go and went to set his toy bag on the floor by the wall. He pulled out a pair of cuffs and turned to find John on the other side of the bench, watching him with a smirk. Bruce said something and John shook his head. A frown creased his rugged face, and Bruce was Bruiser again as he stalked toward his stubborn sub. Olivia glanced over to where Chris, one of the security guys stood with Eden, the club manager. Their relaxed stances as Bruiser wrestled with John, forcing him into position over the bench told Olivia that this was part of a planned scene. Heat started to unfurl low in Olivia’s belly and her pulse kicked up as she watched Bruiser wrestle John’s jeans off him before pushing him back down onto the bench. A crowd was forming around their play area, and someone shifted, blocking Olivia’s view. She slid off her seat and turned away only to run into the rock hard chest of the man who’d been standing behind her. She clapped a hand to her chest. “Adam! When did you get here? I mean, here, behind me, not here at the club, because, well, I know you’ve been here for a couple hours already.” Good Lord, what was wrong with her? She never rambled! Adam’s lips lifted in a small smile as his warm hands slid around her waist. “I’ve been standing there since just after Bruce pulled the cuffs out of his bag, you were just to entranced to notice.” “Oh.” She slid her hands up over his ribs to settle over his chest. She loved the feel of his heartbeat against the palm of her hand. “Well, I’ve noticed now, Sir.” “What’s turning...
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