Well there is not much to say abut me. I love coffee and books and if I can drink a fresh hot coffee while reading even better:)
I started to review a couple years ago and I still loving it. I love the book community and met many awesome people along the way. I'm looking forward to connect to even more of you awesome people out there and of course continue to discover more great books.
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Today’s stop is for Harper Sloan’s Lost Rider, we will have info about the book and author,and a great excerpt from the book. Make sure to check everything out.
Happy Reading :)
In Lost Rider, the first Western romance in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Harper Sloan’s Coming Home series, an injured rodeo star encounters an old flame but will she be just what he needs to get back in the saddle?
Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?
Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?
Written in the vein of Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, this Texas-set series is filled with sizzle, heart, and plenty of cowboys!
I should tell Quinn and Clay that he’s here. But one look at him and it’s like the last ten years have never passed and I’m back at the bonfire, the awkward high schooler uncomfortable in her own skin. Marching away from him in the woods. It was the last time I saw him. How is it possible that he can affect me this much after all this time?
He hasn’t noticed me, not with his head bowed, so I quickly turn around and focus on Pastor John as he finishes up his prayer. Him being here means nothing. I should be happy that I remember the pain from that night so well, it will make keeping my walls up around him so much easier.
“On behalf of the Davis family, I want to thank everyone for coming today. At this time, the family has asked for some time alone as they say their good-byes. They wanted me to remind everyone that the PieHole will be opening up for a few hours tonight starting at five for anyone that wishes to join them.”
I keep my arm around Quinn, not looking back to where I saw Maverick. I can hear the church slowly emptying and I feel a frown pull at my lips. I had hoped that when everyone started to leave that he would have come up front to be with his family, but so far, the pew we’re in is still empty save for the three of us. We sit and wait for everyone to leave, something that Clay had asked Pastor John to make arrangements for in place of the customary recessional, knowing that no one in this town would really mean a word of it anyway. Plus, I know Quinn is having a hard time. Regardless of the fact that she wasn’t the closest with her father, she was really counting on this—Maverick home. She’s still shaking in my arms, but when I look over at Clay I realize his silence isn’t because of the heaviness of Buford’s death, but instead anger over his brother’s absence that has started to build to a boil. I fear that he’s seconds away from tipping over the edge.
I stand when Clay and Quinn do, but hang back at the edge of the row we had been sitting in as they meet Pastor John and gather their father’s ashes. I can’t wait to get out of these heels. If it would have been acceptable to wear my boots, I would have, but Quinn would have killed me. As it is, I feel like I can’t take a deep breath with how tight my dress is against my chest. I never wear tight shirts. I haven’t since my boobs became beasts of their own right. I’m too busy fiddling with the straps of my dress, trying desperately to get some of the pressure against my chest to ease up so I could take a deep breath, when I heard Quinn gasp.
“Mav!” Next thing I know she’s running past where I’m standing, her black hair streaming in the air behind her as she speeds forward right into her brother’s arms. Clay moves to stand next to me and I look up to meet his green eyes, the questions he isn’t vocalizing dancing in their emerald depths. He’s not stupid and I’m doing a crappy job at hiding the memories haunting me right now. He gives me a small smile, shifting his hold on the urn to wrap his free arm around me and pulls me into a strong hold.
“You’re shakin’,” he says against my temple and I just nod.
“I’m good, Clay. Go see your brother.”
“I’m fine right where I am, sugar.”
I keep my eyes to the ground, focusing on his worn boots instead of looking up, hating myself for making this moment about me when I should be focused on them. Like it or not, I can’t fight the feelings that being near him bring me. I’m that stupid, naive sixteen-year-old all over again. “Let’s get out of here,” he says after a few silent seconds. I look up and give him a smile, hoping that it looks a hell of a lot braver than I feel. Inside I feel like I might puke.
“You think I could have a second with my family?”
My head shoots up at the coldness I hadn’t anticipated in Maverick’s voice. He’s not focused on me, though, instead looking at his brother with a hard expression and one brow raised upward.
“Mav!” Quinn gasps and he moves his attention from his brother to her.
“Sorry, Quinn, but I’m thinkin’ that Clay’s lady friend would understand that this should be a moment for our family and give us time alone.”
“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, sugar,” Clay all but spits through clenched teeth and drops his arm to take a step forward. “You’ve got something to say, Mav, then say it.”
“Nothing to say, Clayton, I just think it would be nice for your girlfriend to give us some space.”
“My girlfriend,” he parrots sarcastically, his deep voice vibrating in anger.
“Mav.” Quinn attempts to butt in, but stops when Maverick leaves her side and turns to stalk out of the church. I should find it comical that he obviously didn’t recognize me, or hell, maybe he did and he’s just picking up where he left off ten years ago in the middle of the dark woods. I take a deep breath. “It’s okay. He’s right. Y’all need some time as a family. I’ll head over to the PieHole and start settin’ up for tonight.”
Quinn brushes a tear from her cheek and just shakes her head. I look at Clay to see him staring in the direction that his brother just left.
“You’re family,” he finally says, not looking in my direction.
“Clay, really, it’s okay. It’s been a long time since y’all were back together and I don’t need to be there for that reunion. It sucks that it takes all of this to finally bring him home, but he’s here and y’all need to make up for a lot of time lost.”
“Shut up, Leighton.”
“Don’t what? You’ve got every right to be here. You’re just as much a part of our family as he is. Hell, maybe even more so than he is at this point. So just shut up, come with us, and ignore him.”
I shake my head, the fight instantly leaving my sails, knowing I would be arguing until the end of time if I
pressed this issue.
“I can’t believe he doesn’t even recognize you,” Quinn whispers.
Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn't writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.
A bloody path has been chosen…
The war against the Titans continues, and they remain determined to wreak havoc on the world, but Seth has become something all gods fear. Now the most dangerous, most absolute power no longer resides in those who have been freed from their tombs.
The Great War fought by the few is coming…
All may doubt and fear what Seth has become. All except the one woman who might be his final chance at redemption. Josie will do anything to prove that Seth is on their side, but fate has a nasty way of changing lives, of changing people.
In the end, the sun will fall…
The only way they can save the future and save themselves is by facing the unknown together. It will take more than trust and faith. It will take love and the kind of strength not easily broken. No matter what, their lives will never be the same.
For what the gods have feared has come to pass. The end of the old is here and the beginning of the new has been ushered in…
I’m so glad I could reunite with these characters, I really did miss them. This book seemed a bit slower and had less action than the last, but we get a lot of character arc in this book. It pretty much starts off where we left with the second book as Seth left, not only his friends but also Josie. When Seth left in the last book we found out that he is the …….. ,but he is sooo, sooo much more and it was kind of a shock and but also funny. The gods didn’t care for him before but now that is even a bigger issue. Speaking of the gods, we don’t get to see or hear a lot from them excerpt select few. Herc was completely missing and not even mentioned, maybe once if even, so that was a bit odd. He is still dealing with some issues or what he thinks are issues. But I think we are finally over the hump as far as Seth being all “nobody deserves me” spiel. I think maybe he starting to see what we all saw in him a long time ago, and it is about time. We get to see w much lighter and freer side of Seth as well which I enjoy so much. The softer, funny Seth that loves not just himself. Josie, she dealing with some pretty severe stuff after being taking by a Titan, while Seth was off finding himself. Some of it was pretty heartbreaking. But it really showed how much she has grown since book one. She has become so strong not only her powers but her, as a woman. I just wish she would see it as well and stop comparing herself to Alex or what Alex can do and she can’t. Because she is one strong and powerful heroine herself. As I mentioned we don’t get much of the gods, but we do get to see Apollo here and there. But, man something better be brewing that we don’t know about yet. Because he was one class A douche in this book. And I say that even though I loved him in the first two books. We get plenty of time with Alex and Aiden, Deacon and Luke and I loved how they become such a big part of the story without taking over the story. We even get to see some other old friends. I like that Josie and Alex grow closer and maybe even become close friends. I like that Alex is there for her when Josie needs someone the most. She also stood up for her at times and other just sat and held her hands when needed. Overall it was a great book, we have big characters and plot development happening. Some pretty awesome and big things are happening. Some of them were easily figured out and hinted at all throughout and other were pretty shocking like the cliffhanger that of course we getting. While we don’t get as much action we still get plenty of humor, romance and suspense and of course some action does happen. I’m already anxiously waiting for the next book.
I rate it 4★
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Loving him meant that I knew from the first moment that I fell for Seth that he was complicated – that loving him wouldn’t be easy. Loving him…Well, it meant that I was willing to fight for him.”
“What destiny crap are you talking about?” A secretive smile curved the corners of his lips. “There is so much you do not know.” Why I hadn’t blasted the glittery fuck-face out the window yet was anyone’s guess.”
“If something happened to you again?” Lightning shot between the clouds, lighting up the sky in brilliant white. “I would burn this fucking world to the ground and then I would destroy Olympus.”
Seth snorted as he placed the last of the eggs on a plate. “That is just as likely as you actually being useful. “ One side of Aiden’s lips kicked up. “You know, I think you have a crush on me. “ Seth simply smiled in return, and it was a bit of creepy, hide-your-kids kind of smile that actually reminded me of Apollo, and that really made it even more weird. “It’s like the Twilight Zone,” murmured Alex, her eyes big. “Watching them work together on anything, even when it’s just eggs and bacon.”
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.
She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
Starting in May, SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews, will starting "Feature Friday ".
Each Friday we will be highlighting one author and their book. We will have interviews, excerpts, author guest posts and other fun things to come.
It is very similar to the blog tours except it will be exclusively post here on SnoopyDoo's.
I thought it might be a fun way to maybe get to know some more new authors and books.
For now I will have it going on for May and June but I might keep it up if the interest is there for both reader and authors.
Let me know what you think or if you have any other ideas.
****If you are interested to be a part of it please feel free to sign up ****
Today’s stop is for Jenna Jaxon’s Only a Mistress Will Do. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.
Happy Reading :)
The man of her dreams . . . belongs to another woman. Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another...
Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves...
London, November 1761
Shivering in the brisk wind cutting straight through her thin gown, Violet Carlton trudged across the small dirt-packed backyard, littered with tufts of dead grass and scattered brown and red leaves. Teeth clenched to stop their chattering, she mounted the short three steps of the back stoop, straightened her shoulders, and rapped three times on the dull gray door of the silvery clapboard house. Beyond the weathered board fence of the house next door a dog barked, but no one stirred. No prying eyes to witness her shame.
The door opened a crack, and a lad of about twelve stuck his head out. “What you doin’ ’ere this time o’ day?” “I would like to speak with Madame Vestry, please.” Perhaps she should have waited until later in the morning. Such an establishment would obviously keep late hours. But the ache in her belly had forced her here as soon as the sun had risen.
“She’s still sleep. Come back later today.” He started to push the door closed but Violet rammed her boot between it and the jamb. The boy kept shoving, squeezing her foot until she winced in pain, but she gritted her teeth, put her shoulder to the door and pushed back. If she didn’t do this now, she wouldn’t have the courage, or the strength, to come back.
“I need to see her now.” She raised her voice, and threw her weight against the rough boards. Despite her small stature, she was stronger. He staggered back and she fell into a narrow back foyer with a row of coat hooks and the devastating yeasty smell of baking bread. Her mouth watered and her stomach rumbled. She hadn’t eaten for days.
Blond hair straggling from under a mobcap, a girl, maybe fourteen, rushed into the room. “What the hell’s going on in here Willie?” She wiped her hands on her apron, streaked with flour and grease. Warily, her gaze shifted from Willie to Violet. “Who are you?”
“I’ve come to see Madame Vestry.” Violet focused on the girl’s narrowed eyes. “I need to talk to her, please.” Her heart gave a sickening lurch.
In one practiced glance, the girl took in her appearance, from what used to be her second-best hat to the rumpled and stained deep-purple dress to her scuffed black boots, and sniffed. “I see you do.”
The appraisal stung, but was probably fair. She’d come down fast in the months since her grandmother’s death. Her possessions long gone, her wardrobe—reduced to two dresses and a well-worn cloak—had been sold, leaving her with only the dress she stood up in. These clothes wouldn’t fetch a shilling in a secondhand shop now.
The servant girl nodded to Willie. “Close the door before we freeze to death, jingle-brains. Come on.” She led Violet out of the foyer. “I’ll ask if Madame will see you. But she won’t be happy being woke up this early, you can bet your dippers on that.”
The last thing she wanted was to antagonize her future employer. Still, she couldn’t risk waiting until later. Taking a firm grip on herself, she followed the girl down a shadowy hallway until she motioned her into an equally dim reception room. “Wait here.” The girl turned on her heel and left.
Violet let out the breath she’d been holding. She hadn’t fainted yet, though her empty stomach had tied itself in knots. The pain meant she was alive and by God she intended to stay that way. She strode farther into the room and perched on the red cushioned sofa. Let the woman arrive swiftly to get this over with.
Sitting rigidly, she stared at her hands clenched in her lap, then shook herself. She had better be stronger than this. Determined, she sat straighter. A classical-style painting in a large gilt frame across from her caught her interest. A naked woman lay on a chaise, her legs spread. Oh, good Lord. Her womanly parts were exposed and a swan lay with its beak pressed between her thighs.
Her face heated and she had to look somewhere else, anywhere else but at that painting. The fireplace on her right held two candlesticks, shaped like naked women. Wax had dripped onto the figures, drops hanging from the nipples. Was there nowhere in the room without a lewd image? Violet gripped the end of the sofa. The plush red carpet seemed safe to study. The smooth, polished wood under her fingers had been carved in an oval with folds in the middle. She traced the pattern absently, still unable to get the image of the painting out of her mind. The swan’s long neck lying at the apex of the woman’s open legs. Her forefinger stroked the wooden oval, so similar to the—
“Dear God!” She snatched her hand away and rubbed it against her gown. “Miss Carlton?” A small, dark-haired woman in an exotic scarlet silk robe seemed to fill the room.
Violet jumped to her feet, her heart thudding wildly.
“My maid said you wished to see me?” Madame Vestry’s dark eyes took in every detail of Violet’s appearance. She raised an eyebrow.
On the tip of her tongue to retort of course, she did not wish to see the owner of a brothel, she instead swallowed back her anger. She could ill afford to provoke Madame Vestry. “Yes, ma’am. My brother told me if things went very badly for me I should…” Words stuck in her throat like a fish bone.
“Come to my establishment?”
Face flushing, Violet nodded. “Yes.”
“Who is your brother, Miss Carlton?” A narrowing of the woman’s eyes echoed the suspicion in her voice.
“James Carlton, ma’am.”
Vestry’s head rose slightly and she relaxed. “Ah, yes, Jamie. You are his sister? Then I am sorry for your loss, Miss Carlton.”
“Thank you, Madame Vestry.” Thankfully, her voice held steady, the months since her brother’s death easing the grief to the point she did not weep instantly at the thought. Her current plight was enough to do that.
“And you have now come to that desperate point where you seek employment with me?” The business-like tone, neither condoning nor condemning, stiffened Violet’s resolve.
“Yes, ma’am. As of today, I have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to.” A sickening churn of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger sent tension through her. “Nothing else of value.”
“You are how old, Miss Carlton?” “Nineteen, ma’am. Almost twenty.”
“Let me see you walk, please.” With a crisp snap, Vestry pulled the curtains open and nodded to the path between the sofa and fireplace.
Violet straightened her skirts as best she could. Suddenly stiff and self- conscious, she concentrated on putting one foot before the other until she came face to face with another obscene painting. She clenched her hands and averted her eyes. “Turn please.”
Feeling more and more like a horse or a cow at Smithfield market, she did as she was told, hopefully with a bit more grace.
In reward, Vestry gave her a slight nod. “You speak and move as befit your station, Miss Carlton. With a little training, I suspect you will be quite popular with our patrons. I should be able to command a high price for your virginity.”
Violet’s feet tangled in the plush carpet.
The scant approval vanished as Vestry glared at her. “I assume you are intact?”
Oh, the shame. How could this woman suggest she had already lain with a man? Bitterness flooded her mouth and her chest ached with mortification. Finally, she managed a curt nod.
“Lie down on the sofa please.” “What? Why?”
“I am not fool enough to take your word, Miss Carlton.” Vestry smiled mirthlessly. “A brief inspection will allow me to assure your buyer he is indeed purchasing a virgin.”
Her cheeks heated at the humiliation this woman suggested. The cold inevitability of her situation rolled over her, engulfing her as though she was drowning beneath a relentless sea. Madame Vestry demanded almost nothing compared to the real horror awaiting her at the hands of her buyer. Still, she had chosen to live. She could no longer afford the luxury of respectability.
Vestry stood immobile, a flicker in her eyes the only hint of interest.
Steeling herself, without word or plea, Violet lay down on the disgusting sofa, raised her knees and turned her head toward the garish red satin cushion. Cool air rushed past her thighs. Hot tears slipped down her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted to cry. The time for weakness had passed.
“You may sit up now.”
Indignant, Violet sat up and raised her chin. “Are you satisfied as to my honesty now?”
“I always was, Miss Carlton.” Madame Vestry stared into Violet’s eyes, her gaze seeming to penetrate to her soul.
“I needed to test your mettle.”
Rising, Violet scowled. Simply coming to this place should have shown her determination.
“Respectable women often believe they can eschew respectability to save their lives, only to find, in the end, starvation far pleasanter than immorality,” Vestry continued matter-of-factly. “You, however, I believe will do, Cassandra. Come with me.” Motioning her to follow, she headed out of the room.
“Cassandra?” Violet hurried to keep up. “All of my girls have false names, false identities.” At the end of the hallway, they headed up a flight of stairs.
“The life they lead in the House of Pleasure is just as fraudulent. Cassandra is the mask you will wear to protect a vestige of your self-respect.” When they reached the landing, Madame twitched her silky robe out of the way and turned to her. “Think of it as a role, very like one an actress might take upon the stage. It is not who you are, unless you allow it be.” The vehemence of the last sentence rang in the cramped stairwell.
Violet stumbled back a step. “Why Cassandra?” It was a classical reference she couldn’t quite place.
A peculiar smile curled Madame Vestry’s red lips. “She was a prophet and a spoil of war. A woman men used but dismissed because they could not understand her prophecies, although they came true with a vengeance.” A fire glowed in her cunning eyes as she scrutinized Violet’s body.
More than her earlier examination, Vestry’s calculating perusal made Violet uncomfortable.
“What prophecy will you reveal to your customers, I wonder, Miss Carlton? A promise of pleasure or one of pain?” The light extinguished as quickly as it had come. “This way.” She started down a corridor to the right. “You will have a room of your own on the second floor. Depending on circumstances, you will entertain your clients either there or in one of the ground-floor rooms.”
Violet followed, each step hardening her heart.
“I will see to your training during the next week.” Passion drained from her voice. The businesswoman had returned.
A shiver shot down Violet’s spine.
“I will also inform certain special clients I have an item of interest for them.”
No going back now. She had become a whore. Tears threatened, but she beat them back.
“You can only sell your virtue once and I will make sure you receive the highest price, my dear. Half of those proceeds are yours.”
Violet wavered between fainting and nausea, then steadied. Perhaps thinking of the encounter as a business deal might make the situation tolerable. Madame Vestry showed her into a small, clean room boasting no lewd artwork, only a wide oak bed, a chest on chest, an armchair and table.
“This room is yours as long as you work for me, though should you receive a better offer, I’d advise you take it.”
“A better offer?” Who on earth would want her after this?
“Many of my girls have gone on to become exclusive mistresses to the noblemen who take a fancy to them. Such arrangements are often quite lucrative. With judicious saving one might have enough to start their life over after four or five years.” A mischievous smile flitted across Madame Vestry’s face. “One of the girls who passed through here briefly—very briefly, mind you—ended up marrying a marquess. That smacks more of fairytale than reality. Still the tale is true.”
The animation drained from her face as the brusque woman of business returned. “I will leave you to settle in, although I’ll expect you ready for your first lesson this afternoon. We serve late luncheon at four and supper after midnight. The house opens for clients at dusk.” She looked Violet up and down once more, lingering on her face. “You might want to stay in your room tonight. Just ignore anything you may hear. You’ll get used to the noise rather quickly.” Abruptly, she shut the door.
Violet dropped into the chair as her legs finally gave out, praying to God she could get through this nightmare, if only one moment at a time.
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise—so expect her to incorporate these elements into her work! She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets where she is currently working on the next House of Pleasure book, Only A Mistress Will Do, as well as a Regency series. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage when she writes. Jenna equates her writing to an addiction to chocolate—once she starts she just can’t stop!
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Today’s stop is for Crimson Syn’s Wolf. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway. Happy Reading :)
Scarlett Chase is every man’s wet dream. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I knew she’d be mine. That is, until I found out she was untouchable. One kiss, one forbidden touch, will have me out on the streets and stripped of who I am. Yet I want her. I need her. And I’m done following all these damn rules.
Wolf Stone is my obsession. Ever since he pulled over on that empty road, I’ve been tormented by the man. His possessive words and heated looks have me tightly wound. One touch, and he lights me on fire. But I want more. I not only want him in my bed, I want to keep him for myself. But he won’t budge, and now it’s up to me to entice his sleeping wolf.
“Wolf.” I breathed, dragging my hands along his tussled hair. I felt the hot slickness of his tongue lick me from the base of my shoulder up along the curve of my neck. He stopped briefly before nipping my earlobe and I nearly came, right then and there. “You taste so goddamn good.” He whispered. I gripped his hair and whimpered. “Don’t stop, Wolf. Please, don’t stop.” My words seemed to snap him out of his trance and he stepped away from me. I glided down the wall and a feeling of emptiness surrounded me as he moved away. My hands reached for him, but he turned away. I could tell his breathing was labored, and he was just as, or even more affected by this, than I was. I reached out and touched his back and I suddenly found myself pressed once more against the wall. My body arched like a cat in heat, trying to bring every inch of him against me. The movement was futile as he gripped me by the shoulders and half shook me awake from my lust filled moment. “Stop it. Stop, Scarlett. I won’t be able to do this if you don’t stop.” He pressed his forehead against mine and ran his hands down my arms, gripping my hips. His mouth said one thing, but his hands wouldn’t stop touching me. “Stop. Please.” My body stilled at his request, but it remained thrumming alongside his. “Don’t stop, Wolf. Please. Please, don’t do this.” He dragged his rough jaw against my cheek and breathed in. “I can’t. I just can’t.” He squeezed his eyes shut, almost as if it hurt. He waited a few minutes, hid body vibrated against mine, and his hands continued to hold me. “I won’t have you wandering down here. You need to leave.” “What?” I whispered. He gripped my waist tightly. “I want you to leave, Scarlett. You don’t belong here!” I rubbed my hands across the muscles of his chest and his breath hitched. “I don’t want to leave. I want to stay here. With you.” He growled and leaned his body into mine. “Me too, gorgeous. Oh God, me too.”
My name is Crimson Syn, not really, but what fun is it to use my real name. Instead I’ll use my inner goddess’ name, it’s much more fun that way. I grew up in New York City where I had a wonderful education, loving parents and awesome friends. What more could a girl ask for? I started writing at the age of sixteen. The first romance I read was Stephanie Laurens’ Devil’s Bride. Since then I have been influenced by dozens of flourishing romance authors and even more dashing and daring rogues. I must say it, but Fifty Shades was not my first erotic romance, nor did it influence me to start writing them. If you’ve never read Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Hoyt, Lisa Kleypas, Bertrice Small or A.N. Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy, then you’re missing out. Those were my sweet introductions to erotic romance, and boy were they hot.
So here I am, after reading so many wonderful stories, I have too many sinful tales of my own not to share. I like my alphas rough and possessive, and I have no shame in saying it or writing it. I had delightfully wicked teachers growing up, their books took me to new worlds and brought me new loves. So, I want to do the same for you. I want to indulge my readers in those steamy reads that will send them into the arms of dangerous alphas and deliciously sexy rogues, without leaving the confines of their nice warm bed. If I am able to entice your inner goddesses, then I have done my job and I am satisfied.
mar 29- kickoff at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
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apr 28- Tangled Hearts Book Reviews
Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.
I got this book for mainly three reasons:
The blurb, it stated that it is something you would enjoy if you are fan of both or either Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo. And it has a gender-fluid main character, which we don’t see often if at all in YA fiction ligature.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed by almost all three things why I requested this book.
The only thing it really had incoming with Sarah J. Maas’s and Leigh Bardugo’s books was that they all wore masks and the main character was a thief. If anything it reminded me more of the Hunger Games than anything else. Which is okay because I liked the Hunger Games.
While there were some new and interesting things in the story other things of it, for me, a bit slow and sometimes even boring. There were also some plot holes and some other things just didn’t make sense at all.
The characters were a little to flat and I had a hard time connection to many of them, they were really hiding behind those masks in more than one way.
Even Sal, our gender-fluid main character. While of course we get a lot more things of Sal, it still was hard on some parts to connect with him. I loved that he was gender-fluid and it was rather well portrait and written, for the most part. But sometimes it was, as if that all Sal is, that being gender fluid id all he stands for.
I really enjoyed Sal, I just wish I would have known a bit more of him other than he is gender fluid and wants a better world to live in.
Overall, unfortunately this book was not for me, but that does not mean others won’t like it. I’m sure a lot of people will love it and I hope they do.
I rate it 2 ★
*I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*
Will be available August 29, 2017
A wayward biology student from Arkansas, Linsey has previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. Her debut novel MASK OF SHADOWS is the first in a fantasy duology coming in September 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire. She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.
Today’s stop is for Michele Hauf’s The Thief. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.
Happy Reading :)
The Elite Crimes Unit works behind the scenes of Interpol—and employs some of the world’s most talented criminal minds. Because as everyone knows, it takes a thief to catch a thief—or to seduce one. . .
The old farmhouse in the French countryside is a refuge for former jewel thief Josephine Deveraux. Admittedly, there aren’t many men in the vicinity, but she has her cat to cuddle up with. It’s a far cry from her former life, constantly running from the law, and she’s enjoying her peace . . . until the intruder in the three-piece suit tackles her. He wants her back in the game, helping with a heist—and he’s not above making threats to get his way. Little does Josephine know that notorious—and notoriously charming—thief, Xavier Lambert, is after the very same 180-carat prize she’s being blackmailed to steal. To his chagrin, he’s doing it not as a free agent, but as a member of the Elite Crimes Unit—the team he was forced to join when his brilliant career came to a sudden end. And little does Xavier know that his comeback is about to include a stranger’s kiss, a stinging slap, and a hunt for missing treasure—along with the infuriatingly sexy woman who’s outfoxing him . .
Josephine Devereaux strode through the open front screen door into the kitchen. Creamy golden evening light spread quiet warmth across the aged hardwood floors. The old farmhouse had stood on this plot in the southern French countryside for centuries. She’d had the pleasure of owning it for two years. Setting a clutch of fresh carrots pulled from the rain-damp garden into the sink, she spun at a tiny meow. Behind her, the two-and-a-half-year-old Devon Rex cat with soft, downy fur the color of faded charcoal batted at the hem of her long pink skirt. “Do you want fish or chicken tonight, Chloe?” She opened the refrigerator to find the only option was diced chicken, left over from last night’s supper. Her neighbor, Jean-Hugues, had butchered a rooster yesterday morning and brought her half. The cat went at the feast she’d placed on a saucer with big elf ears wiggling appreciatively. Chloe had come with the farmhouse. The couple moving out hadn’t wanted to bring along a kitten on their overseas move to the United States. It had been love at first purr for Josephine. She smiled at the quiet patter of rain. And then she frowned. “Mud,” she muttered. And she hated housecleaning. She had never developed a domestic bone in her body and didn’t expect to grow one. She’d spend the evening inside, maybe finish up the thriller she’d found on Jean-Hugues’s bookshelf. He always encouraged her to take what she wanted—she was a voracious reader of all topics—and she gave him vegetables from her garden in return. Not that she was a master gardener. Jean-Hugues tended the garden, along with the few rows of vines that produced enough grapes for one big
barrel of wine. Jean-Hughes was sixty, but he flirted with her in a non- confrontational, just-for-fun manner, which she appreciated probably more than a twenty-six-year-old woman should. Living so far from Paris made it difficult to find dateable men, let alone a hook-up for a night of just-give-it-to-me-now-and-leave-before-the-sun- rises sex. But that’s what grocery trips to the nearest village were for. If the mood struck, she’d leave in the evening for eggs, bread, and a booty call, and find her way out of bed and back home by morning. Sighing, Josephine forgot about the dirty carrots in the sink and padded barefoot to the lumpy jacquard sofa that stretched before the massive paned window at the front of the cottage. The window overlooked a cobblestone patio, which stretched before the house and also served as a driveway, though no cars used it. She didn’t own a car. And she never had visitors, save Jean-Hugues, and on occasion the neighbors who lived on the other side of him. They were newlyweds, Jean-Louis and Hollie, and they spent most of their time by themselves. And that was exactly how Josephine preferred it. She picked up the book, and the creased spine flopped open to the last page she’d read. An hour later, she had to squint to read because the sun had set. Splaying the book across her chest, she closed her eyes and breathed in the fragrance of rain on fieldstones. Chloe nestled near her foot, keeping her ankle warm. The screen door, still open, squeaked lightly with the breeze. Everything was…. Peaceful? Was that a word she was supposed to embrace? To somehow understand? “I am embracing it. Life is good.” Or rather, more different than she could have ever imagined it would be. She set the book down, but the sound she heard was not of a paperback book hitting the wood floor. Josephine closed her eyes to listen intently. The floor creaked carefully above her, where the bathroom was located. It did not indicate the aches and pains of an aging house. This house had settled long ago. Curling her hand beneath the sofa, she gripped the cool bone handle of the bowie knife she’d tucked up into the torn fabric amongst the springs and pulled it out. Pointing the blade down, she took a deep breath and stood up. Moving sinuously, she crept around the end of the sofa. Her free hand skimmed over Chloe’s body, comforting and promising she’d return. The cat purred but thankfully didn’t follow.
apr 11- kickoff at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
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may 1- Yah gotta read this
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Today’s stop is for Kelly Moran’s Puppy Love. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.
Happy Reading :)
After a passionless marriage under the scrutiny of high society, Avery Stowe is taking back her life. All she wants is a little privacy and a quiet place to raise her autistic daughter, Hailey. Redwood Ridge, Oregon, seems to offer all the right ingredients. Except for the problem of the local sexy veterinarian. The last thing she needs in her life is to fall for his irresistible allure, even if he is a nice guy who keeps doing her favors. But the well-meaning patrons of her new hometown have other ideas, and it appears playing Cupid is one of them.
Cade O’Grady has never met a woman he couldn't handle, but when Avery Stowe walks into his office late one night cradling an injured puppy, he’s struck stupid. Which might explain her total lack of interest in him. But now that she’s working for his family’s clinic, he doesn't have to lust from a distance. He might just have a chance at convincing Avery—and her too-guarded heart—that falling for the right man isn't a mistake . . .
Finished with a round of patients, he headed up front where Aunt Rosa was reading a romance book and Avery was typing away on the computer. “Whatcha doing now?”
Avery didn’t glance up from the screen. “Making a supply list in Excel.”
Hell. Why was that hot? She wasn’t his usual type.
Okay, to be honest, any female with too many brain cells wasn’t his type. It wasn’t out of a sense of shallowness he sought that variety, but preservation. Until he found someone who made his heart beat like Heather used to do for Drake, he’d stick with superficial. No point in getting hurt or hurting someone else. But ever since Heather died, Cade tried less and less to settle down or find that person. He was aware of it, aware he was doing it, and damn if he ever questioned his actions until now. People rarely recovered from that kind of love. Why search for it?
Perhaps it was Avery’s long legs in those black leggings, or her pink sweater the same shade as her cheeks when she blushed, or her brown hair—more chestnut really in the sun—piled on top of her head and held in place with a pencil that seized his interest. He bit back a sigh. Nope. It was her brain, her humor, and her strength.
Aunt Rosa glanced at him over the top of her book, a knowing smirk on her face.
“A supply list?” Bully for him. His voice sounded normal. He still had no freaking clue why, but if he wasn’t bumbling like a moron around Avery, he was saying moronic things. Where the hell was his swagger?
“Mmhm.” Type. “So we don’t over order things or run out. Gabby and Brent can just check off what they need and I can order from the supplier.” Type, type. “Did you know you had ten cases of cat litter? Insane.”
He scratched his jaw. “Uh. No.”
“Putting Zoe’s stuff on here, too. Her shampoos and whatnot for grooming.” Type.
“She’s making a supply list,” Rosa beamed, waving her hand like this was an epiphany. I told you I’m all-wise. I hired her!
Cade frowned at his aunt. She’d been the office manager, for Christ’s sake. She should’ve been doing this.
Flynn came up to the desk and tapped Avery’s shoulder. “Have you seen my backup bag? Gabby and I need to head out to Miller’s farm.”
Avery nodded. “In the supply room, stocked for you. Your new bag should be here Monday.”
At Cade’s questioning glance, Flynn signed, “A goat chewed my other one when Gabby was busy chasing a barn cat.”
And this was why he wasn’t the house call vet.
Flynn tapped Avery’s shoulder to get her attention again. “Marry me?”
She laughed. “Not today, but you’re welcome. Shoo, now.”
What. The. Hell.
As if sensing Cade’s thought train and derailing it, Avery said, “He asks me to marry him daily. Hourly, depending on what I’ve done.” Type, type. “Relax, Dr. Cade. He’s joking. Besides, I don’t do office romance.” Right, Flynn? she signed.
Flynn grinned, the asshole, and strode into his office, only to emerge moments later with Gabby and his travel bag.
Cade flipped him off behind Avery’s back as he was walking out the door.
“Saw that.” Type.
Of course she did. All moms had eyes in the backs of their heads. And that was the other thing. She had a kid. Not that he didn’t like kids. He did. Maybe even wanted a couple of his own someday. But it wasn’t just one person involved when dating someone like Avery. It was two.
And they weren’t dating. Not even a little. He hadn’t asked her out and, aside from that first day when her gaze had shown interest, she’d seemed immune to him.
That hadn’t happened in…ever. He found it oddly refreshing.
With Flynn and Gabby gone, Cade glanced around. “Where’s She-rah?” The cat was usually perched on top of the printer, plotting world domination.
“Avery put her on time-out. She’s in the back room.” Rosa’s grin grew to oh shit size, and he figured his aunt had read all his previous thoughts. Like a Vulcan mind meld. Which was never a good thing.
Wait. A time-out? He looked at Avery. “You put a cat on time-out?” He didn’t know whether that was cute or genius.
Avery never stopped typing, which was beginning to infuriate him. “Yes, she was scaring Thor.”
Cade looked down, just noticing Thor’s head in Avery’s lap from the other side of her chair. The Great Dane looked at him as if to say, Neener, neener. “Dust bunnies scare that dog.”
“Well, the cat needs manners. Plus, Thor and I are working on his courage. Aren’t we, boy?”
Thor barked. And not in fear. Yes, my liege.
Bestselling author Kelly Moran says she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her and there’s always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself, and no one is safe from becoming her next fictional character. She is a Catherine Award-Winner, Readers Choice Finalist, Holt Medallion Finalist, and earned one of the 10 Best Reads by USA Today's HEA. She is also a Romance Writers of America member. Her interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don’t tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and two dogs. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well. She loves hearing from her readers.
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Today’s stop is for Chloe Neill’s final book in the Chicagoland Vampire series, Blade Bound. We will have info about the book and author. A great interview with Chloe, my review of Blade Bound. As well as two giveaways. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaways.
Happy Reading :)
The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees a sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it may usher in the fall of Cadogan House…
Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She's saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.
When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined. As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.
Will be available April 25th 2017
What will you miss the most about the Chicagoland Vampire series and characters?
I'll miss Merit and Ethan the most, because their voices are so clear for me. Merit and I have so much in common, but
she's also a very different person with very different hopes and fears. Ethan is so arrogant, but so protective of his
people. I feel very honored to have known them both.
Will we see them again in the crossover series?
No spoilers! :) But check the back of BLADE BOUND for the spinoff announcement!
If optioned to film. What would you prefer a TV series or your books or movies?
I think a TV series would fit the characters and recurring jokes better, but I wouldn't say no to either option. I'd love to
see someone's version of Merit on the big or little screen!
If you could co-write a book or series with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
JD Robb (Nora Roberts), without a doubt. Her IN DEATH series is my all-time favorite. I love the characters so much.
Thanks for having me today!
OMG. This is it folks. This is the FINAL book of the Chicagoland Vampire series and I must say it is bittersweet. There were some books where I wasn’t sure if I gonna stick with the series but in the end I did and I’m glad that I did.
It was an overall enjoyable ride with Merit and Ethan. I always find it hard to review the final book of a series and this is no different in this case. Anyway, I will try to make it short and sweet without giving anything away and without only reviewing just end of the series, if that makes any sense.
The book starts in full prep of the wedding and what may or may not be in stall for our beloved characters. The wedding is actually happening even with some killer security all over the place since it is kind of a big deal not only for Methan but for Chicago as well. I have to say that the wedding, which includes the bridal shower, dress, reception and the whole thing was just beautiful and fit for Merit. It had Merit and Ethan written all over it while still catering to Chicago and of course her parents.
Of course it doesn’t take long before Chaos breaks out and Chicago is once, more in danger. Methan and gang are of course right in the middle and willing to help, but not everything goes smooth and they once again end up being the target for humans. It gets so bad that the humans including the Mayor are ready to hand over not only Merit, but also Mallory to end the whole thing. Of course that doesn’t go over well with neither Ethan nor Catcher.
We see almost everyone and all supernatural races throughout the book once to help or at least they are mentioned to what happened to them. That includes the Fae , the council of vampires , the pack of shifters and of course the Order, plus some others.
I wish we would have seen more of Gabriel and his pack given he was a big part of the series and let’s not forget the prophecy her foresaw but overall it was okay.
In the end the of course defeat the “big bad” with the help of not only the order but also the RG.I liked how everyone came together in the end to figure it out and fight.
Merit in this book was a bit more, hmmmmm sad maybe…… she kind of grieved for things she couldn’t have or may or may not have in the future. But in the end she picker herself up and knew what to do. I liked how while kind of sad she was still super happy with Ethan and being married to him, it was odd seeing her married but it really fit her. Of course she kicks butt in this book, just like all the previous book and I don’t think there is much that can take her down. It is kind of hard believe that it has only been a little over a year for her since her journey as a vampire began. But she came very far and I was happy for her outcome.
Ethan, well it was no secret that most the books I was either not sure about him or didn’t like him. Only the last few books had I started to like him. Well Ethan managed to finally win me over with this book. I really like him in this book for what he did and the way he handled things. Not only with Merit but also people, vampires and humans alike. He became funnier with each book as well I guess more relaxed. It was nice to see him that way funny, relaxed, but still very alpha and protective. He came a long way from the stiff vampire who ate a hotdog with fork and knife and had very little humor that we met in book one. Oh and we finally learn the nickname he has for Merit and it actually is really fitting.
Mallory and Catcher were a big part of this book and a big part of solving the problem but I think what came over most was the friendship between the four of them and of course between Merit and Malory . At one point in the series I wasn’t sure if I ever could forgive Mallory but I really think I can and did. She did some truly bad things and it took time to heal for everyone but in the end it all worked out.
I always liked Catcher and what he stood for and I liked his relationship with Mallory I don’t think there could have been anyone else for them. They were perfect for each other and balanced each other out greatly even or more so after everything that went down throughout the series.
Okay, now to some thoughts of the overall ending of the series, it will be spoiler free.
Most things in the series will be tight up by the end of the book, what happened to some of the supernatural races or other little things, some things were either not mentioned or just left hanging. Some characters that were in previous books and are still very much alive are not even mentioned which was kind of disappointing but I can understand that not everything can be included sometimes. They were not major characters or storylines so it was not so bad.
Thing with the AAM and the RG are mentioned and some things are solved. The RG thing, well not sure about that it was almost too neat and easy, and if that case could have been solved like that a few books ago. It kind of made no sense.
Now to the prophecy that we been hearing about for forever………. I liked the outcome but again it was a bit too easy again……. I saw it coming that way at a certain point at the book it was predicable (in this book) and kind of a cop out I thought, At least for something so big we been waiting for almost the entire series. There were also some minor issues I had with but don’t want to mention or I would spoil some and really it was nothing big anyways.
I heard that there is supposed to be a spin off series but to be honest I have not checked of it has been announced about who and where. But I think I have some ideas after this books.
Overall I thought it was a great ending to a great series, while it had it lows it many more highs and I enjoyed this book and series. I really will miss Methan and the gang.
I rate the book 4★. The series I guess would be a 3 ½★ - 4 ★
Some of my favorite Quotes
Luc saluted. “Sire.” He glanced at me, grinned. “Mrs. Sire.”
“Nope,” I said, shaking my head. “I’m going to nope that one right there.”
“I hope to God that is Chris Pratt riding a velociraptor.”
“Happy Darth Sullivan Eve.”
“I am your husband, and your friends, and you lover. And I am also a soldier. I am a vampire. I am monster, in no small part.” The Emerald shifted, transmuted to quicksilver- one element battling another. “And if I must show them in that order ti protect you, I will. Should it come to that, God have mercy on their souls. Because I will have none.”
Luc saluted. “Sire.” He glanced at me, grinned. “Mrs. Sire.”
“Nope,” I said, shaking my head. “I’m going to nope that one right there.”
“I hope to God that is Chris Pratt riding a velociraptor.”
“Happy Darth Sullivan Eve.”
“I am your husband, and your friends, and you lover. And I am also a soldier. I am a vampire. I am monster, in no small part.” The Emerald shifted, transmuted to quicksilver- one element battling another. “And if I must show them in that order ti protect you, I will. Should it come to that, God have mercy on their souls. Because I will have none.”
Chloe Neill is the New York Times bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires Novels, the Devil's Isle Novels, and a YA series, the Dark Elite. Chloe was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest. When she's not writing, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys--her husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout.
Like I mentioned above there are TWO giveaways. One which is the Grand Prize Giveaway will be on Chloe’s site.
The prizes for that are:
Engraved Cadogan House medal pendant
Signed 11×16 Merit poster
$50 Amazon gift card
$50 Garrett Popcorn Gift Card (Chicago’s hometown favorite!)
Tote bag containing Chicagoland Vampires and Devil’s Isle Swag
You can enter for it on Chloe’s Site
The second giveaways prizes are
Signed, limited edition, 8.5 x11 Merit posters
A Cadogan House lanyard
A Cadogan House tote bag
Cadogan House seal sticker
You can enter the second giveaway right here with the Rafflecopter below.
Good luck on both giveaways :)
If you're experiencing a temporal writer's block and don't know what to share on your book blog, have a look at these five blog post ideas that will trigger your blogging and reading drill.
Book blogging is all about reviewing books, I know it, you know it, we know it. Period.
To view the reviews on your Dashboard and hid all other bookish activities, choose the Reviews view on the right. We're sure that the review flood will be an excellent impulse to read and write on.
Choose a Dashboard view on the right
A review Dashboard view
2. Reading lists
Lists have very special powers, they make our lives well organized (shopping lists), they make our work more effective (work tasks list), and make our reading decisions less painless (Which book should I read now?).
On BookLikes you can share the lists either on the special list place (main menu->Apps->Reading lists) or on your blog prior or after reading.
3. Reading challenge posts
The reading challenges gather many readers, you can take part in a monthly challenge, an annual or a thematic one. You can not only track your reading progress but also share your reading goals with your friends and fellow bloggers. Your reading challenge page can be also a great encouragement for people who need a reading kick when experiencing a reader's block.
4. Book tours and giveaways
They often go together and are excellent to support an author you enjoy reading. Plus, who doesn't like giveaways!
5. How to posts
Tutorials are always welcome regardless of the community you're part of. Book bloggers are no different, many love to share bookish themed tutorials as well as blogging tips and tricks helping the community to get the best of BookLikes, for example.
via Debbie's Spurts
And what are you blog post ideas? Share them in the comment section below.
Today’s stop is for S.N. McKibben’s Dr. Vampyre. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.
Happy Reading :)
When a college professor is blackmailed by a student … … he has to walk the fine line of being true to his principles and not letting his bloody secret out. Dr. John Tennison, professor and physician, wakes up every morning and counts his spoons—a measure of how many tasks he feels he can accomplish during his day. One spoon to walk down the stairs, one spoon to teach a class, one spoon to deal with tardy students. Lupus limits him, but he still gives lectures and works at a hospital. He also makes time for friends, and once a week visits Sanguine Loon’s to sate—or subvert—his one strange desire. His nemesis, the one thing besides lupus that keeps him from leading a normal life, is the blood at the bottom of a little paper Dixie cup. While Tennison’s blood-drinking habit is a secret, it’s well known that he’s the campus asshole and has no tolerance for students who show up late. When he kicks Vogue model Ylati Badashi out of his lecture hall for wandering in ten minutes late, she’s having none of it. She pouts, she seduces, she blackmails, and puts Tennison at odds with his butler, and finally she tells him the truth about why she needs to be in his class. Tennison is a man of principles, and though he swears he won’t change his mind, he starts to react unexpectedly to Ylati even as he hates her for making him suspicious of his trusted butler. Tennison has to find out where Mitch goes on his nights off and must deal with a budding attraction to a woman he occasionally hates, all while learning new secrets about himself. It’s going to take a lot of spoons. Scroll up and help the doctor count his spoons!
Today, I woke up with nineteen spoons instead of twenty-two. Not literal spoons—figurative. I don’t go to bed placing utensils on my face or twirl the family silver from my extremities. Such behavior would insult my Mensa-acceptable 133 IQ. The spoon theory is a fellow sufferer’s explanation of what it’s like to live with lupus. Spoons represent how much energy I have before I begin to deteriorate, and I am grateful to each and every one of them. Every spoon I wake up with means I can do that many tasks. Tasks like walking down the stairs, teaching my class, seeing patients. The type of things others take for granted. When my students in the blood cell biology class at the University of Southern California inquire about my condition, I describe lupus as a life-sucking force in which you have to constantly balance your time and energy against the downhill spiral of lethargy and pain. My explanation usually stops anyone from asking more questions. As if not talking about my condition will make the disease go away. The pain used to anger me. Succumbing to a body that jails my actions is a study in humiliation. Worse is knowing lupus affects more women than it does men. Some call it a woman’s disease. Being a man, you might think that is what bothers me. What bothers me is I don’t like to see women in pain. Knowing what they are going through helps me as a doctor, but as a man, it doesn’t help my psyche. You see why I strive for a logical life. Emotion takes so much energy that it’s better not to feel. In fact, suppressing any emotion is key to my success. It doesn’t stop the pain lupus gives me. Nothing stops the pain except one unnatural addiction, and that only for a brief moment. So with my shield of apathy and my sword of cynicism, I venture forth into the morning to heal and teach as a doctor and professor. You’d think I would slow down or take it easy today knowing that I’ve already begun without my usual amount of spoons, but today is the first day of a new semester and I won’t be late. Never, in my nine years of teaching, have I ever been late. Besides, I can’t let those beemer brats wreak havoc in my lecture hall, now can I? The one indulgence that would solve my lethargy problems flits through my brain. I resolve to shove that thought out. Anything not normal, right now, is not in the plan. *** I stroll into my lecture hall at exactly nine fifty a.m. and the whispers stop. Old and new faces attentively follow my shuffle as I round my desk to the dry erase board at the front of the room. I pick up a marker that could make any fifth grader swear off glue and write Dr. Tennison - Blood cell biology. Thankfully, the counselors and older co-eds let it be known that I am “a real dick” and have an aversion to those who are not on time. So, I rolled my eyes when at ten minutes after ten, she of the model-thin body, sporting six-inch stilettos, tight jeans, and a frou-frou blouse, walked in. “Ms. Tardy, don‘t bother.” She gave me the oh-gosh-I’m-really-sorry face. “Are there any more seats?” “Not for you. Please, don’t waste our time. I don’t take add-ons.” I reached under my desk for the medical book I would use to assist in today’s lecture. “But, I registered for the class.” Ms. Tardy pouted. “I don’t care. You’re late. No more room. Get out.” The slam of the thousand-page medical dictionary I tossed on my desk should have been enough articulation in my statement for her to leave. “I got here as soon as I could!” Her whine climbed the scale into annoyance territory. “Which is not good enough. You’re done.” I pointed at the door. “Get out.” “Oh come on. What could I have missed in five minutes?” “The point . . .” I flashed my Rolex from under my sleeve and checked the time. “. . . And it’s been twelve minutes.” “That’s not fair!” “What would not be fair is to make a pulmonary patient, lying open on the table, wait twelve life-or-death minutes for a replacement valve. I’m here to teach. One of those lessons I wish to instill is an appreciation for the value of time.” Ms. Tardy stood there in her tight jeans and pursed lips with a hand on her hip. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. ”You can go now.” I waved a hand in a sweeping motion. “There isn’t room for you anyway.” There were seats in the back, but she looked like a front-of-the-class, I-want-all-the-attention kind of girl. “But I pre-registered.” She used her hands for emphasis and struck a classic pose that probably got her into any club or out of any trouble she came up against. Snorting out my disgust, a glimmer of recognition hit me and I looked harder at Ms. Tardy. This face before me belonged to Ylati Badashi, the recently “retired” model, and her million dollar Vogue body was in my lecture hall. She must have taken my fluster of disdain for admiration, because her supposedly non-collagen-filled lips curved. But it was that I-have-you-now twinkle in her eye that jostled loose my wrath. I whisked my walking cane from under my desk. Quick as a turtle in sand, I advanced on her with my geriatric, cane-wielding old man shtick, trying to scare her off my lawn. The fear in her eyes fueled my words. “Get out of my hall!” I was seething by the time she turned tail and bolted out of the room. She looked like a shackled cat running from the spray of a hose. The image brought tears of laughter to my eyes. It had been a while since I’d laughed that hard. I’m sure my students never see me so much as smile. Even though I knew the price for expressing my emotion would cost me another spoon and wreak havoc on me later, I couldn’t help the satisfied feeling of living up to my so earned title among the students, Dr. Asshole. “Dr. Tennison, are you alright?” One of my more faithful students, Ms. Phillips, actually sounded concerned. I returned to my drab demeanor, leaned heavily on my cane, and grunted an acknowledgment to the third-year co-ed. My physical display allowed the monster of lupus inside me to seek retribution and sap away my energy. Disgruntled for wasting precious vitality on a fritter of a person, I forced down my angry self-reprimand. There was no use getting angry over getting angry. I resumed my emotionless state and taught as I have for the past nine years—with ruthless abandon. No whining, no excuses, and if you’re late, you fail. If you can’t beat my turtle-ass to class, you’re wasting my time, your time, and everybody else’s time. *** After teaching all day, I was down to thirteen spoons. Three spent starting my day: one for teaching class, one for each trip walking to the car, and one for the gallant ass-chewing I gave to Ms. Tardy. When I get down to five spoons, it’s time to think about calling it a day, but I wasn’t there yet. Mitch, my butler and savior for most my life, picked me up in the blue BMW Alpina. I have never had the privilege of driving it. The DMV denied me a license because of my condition. I did have the honor of paying for it. If you were to ask me, Mitch had a damn nice car to chauffeur me around in. I called Mitch not only my savior, but also jokingly, my wife. Without him, my life would be impossible. He cooked my food, did my laundry, dropped off and picked up the dry cleaning, scrubbed the house to the point of peeling off paint, scheduled my day, tidied the yard, took some phone calls for me, and made sure I take my medication. I did stop him from wiping my ass—occasionally. Okay, so I’m joking about the last part. He doesn’t wipe my ass, but what unmarried guy in his thirties is going to deny the rest? If sex weren’t involved, I’d marry him. Sure, he’s an adorable thirty-nine year old in a small stout package with dark hair and soft dark eyes, but that’s not how I roll. I’m pretty sure that’s not how he rolls, either. Off we go to the medical center with Mitch at the wheel and me in the back seat orienting myself with the next class session. Mitch is quite the chatty type, but I’ve learned to drown him out as any good husband would do. Routinely, after the days I teach, he drops me at the hospital where I work. My assistant nurse, Mary, is the old battle ram of the team—wise enough to tell patients to be here an hour early, kind enough to be the matron of compassion, knowledgeable enough to know what to do if ever I seize from pain. She leads me to the five-minute staff review and then my first patient of the day. I’m handed a clipboard and being a doctor, I read the case symptoms first. Yes, it’s bad to look at what’s wrong with the person before looking at the name, but we all do it. I wish I had looked at the name before I walked in the patient room, but it was too late to walk the other way when I opened the door. “Ms. Badashi.” Smooth as a virgin dry-erase board, I did not give away one iota of the seething hate boiling through my veins to Ms. Tardy. “It says here you have all the symptoms of river blindness. What would you prescribe yourself?” “Ivermectin.” The big brown eyed lost puppy look of hers could have cracked a walnut. That’s when the pain behind my right eye surged. Was the eye torture from her annoyingly correct answer, or lupus? I couldn’t tell. “Do you have river blindness?” “Please let me into your class.” The audacity! “Am I to believe that my staff bumped you to my first patient when there are real people in need of my services?” “Hey!” She actually looked put out. “I am a real person. I am in need of your services!” Again she was wasting my time. You’re late, you fail. “You, young lady, are a fraud. Get out of my office.” I pressed a palm against my pounding eye. It relieved some of the pressure. Her whining made my eye worse. “What I need is for you to teach me Blood cell biology.” “Why me?” I said more to myself than to anyone else. “Because you’re the best.” Mitch says flattery will get you anywhere. Yes, there is appeal to being called the best. My ego did flutter a little, but not enough to forgive her cardinal sin number one. With my one hand still pushing back my right eye, my index finger pointed at the door—hard to do with a clipboard still in my hand. “Out!” She leaned forward; just enough so her frou-frou top’s fringes hung lose. “I’d do anything to get into your class.” “Anything?” I smiled and suggestively touched my chest. I did not fail to notice the pink bra she had on. She nodded and accentuated, “Anything.” “Sign up next semester and be early.” I threw the clipboard on the counter and tried to slam the door on my way out. Too bad hospital doors didn’t slam. Amazing how my eye felt better after I left her sitting there, but dealing with her cost me yet another spoon. I had eleven spoons left and I needed to get through the rest of my five-spoon work day. Fortunately, I didn’t see her again. I figured that was that. Mitch picked me up from work at six o’clock. He mentioned Puzo, the dean of students, called. Randolph Puzo is a good man. Works hard, cared about the students, and had gone to bat for me in front of the board about my special condition. He’s the kind of guy you wanted on your team because he did anything to get the job done right. “John, how are you?” Randolph’s voice came through my iPhone as clear and crisp as a new Benjamin. “I’m fairing well. What can I do for you?” Now, Randolph knows I can’t waste energy on chit-chat, and being the good man that he is, he gets to the point. “John, I have a student that says you chased her out of the lecture hall.” “Ah, Ms. Badashi. I was afraid she’d fall in those stilettos for the vertically challenged.” “John,” Randolph chuckled, though I was quite serious, “can you please let her into the class?” It’s tough and unpopular to be a hardnose, but principles are principles and I refuse to compromise. “She was late, Puzo.” “It was the first day of the semester.” “All my other students arrived early. Even before I did.” His comment was barely audible. “They got the asshole alert.” “Excuse me?” To Randolph’s credit, he was as gracious as he always is. “Mr. Tennison, I would greatly appreciate it if you forgave this one transgression and allowed an eager student access to your lectures.” I should’ve been grateful to Randolph. He’d done so much for me. If I couldn’t make it to class, he would cover for me. He makes sure my lecture hall is the closest to the parking lot. I never had to move desks, books or arrange my classroom during the off season. He’s probably going to catch hell for me denying a student what seems like her dying wish. But when I thought about her suggestive comment, thinking her womanly guiles would work on me, my temper rose to boiling. “Mr. Puzo, I abide by the school’s program, requirements, curriculum, and every rule and regulation your fine institution implements. Please abide by mine.” I hung up and thought the next call would be a request for my resignation. Mitch eyed me briefly from the rearview mirror as he was driving. “Sounds like women troubles.” “Student issues,” I corrected. I wished he wouldn’t call them “women troubles,” as he knew I never had so much as a girlfriend. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been promiscuous. I went to college. Don’t think that lupus affects one’s sex drive, because it doesn’t. I just never had time or the energy to have a steady girl. “Tim called. Said he’d come to collect you at seven.” I only had six spoons left for the rest of the night. But I know what Tim would say if I tried to get out of going with him tonight. Just come with us to Loon’s and have a shot and you’ll be fine. Tim wasn’t the type to let me break routine. The schedule never did me wrong. I had a good life, just a limited one. I sighed and rubbed my temples. How could I deny my best friend since high school? If I didn’t go with him, he’d take every opportunity and every one of his ambulance-driving skills to annoy the fuck out of me at work the next day. Anastasia, fellow lupus sufferer and Tim’s girlfriend, would call me relentlessly and whine in my ear all night. Ever since I can remember, Wednesday nights belonged to the three of us. It’s hard to break tradition. By six forty-five, I sat ready in the kitchen of my two-story house. Tim usually managed to get Anastasia dressed and ready to go out almost on time. His secret was telling her they had to be there half an hour beforehand. I could have waited upstairs lying down, but going up and down the stairs costs me a spoon. I should have moved to a one-story house, but I’d never sell this home. I’d never be able to replace childhood memories and nostalgia. Mitch was wiping down the swirled-granite counters while I sat at the four-seat mahogany dining set. His time off was Wednesday night and all of Sunday, fitting perfectly with my schedule. Wednesday I went out with my friends while Mitch went—wherever he went, and on Sunday he left after breakfast and returned on Monday before dawn. But he always made sure I was in safe hands or he could be reached by cell phone before leaving. I looked at the hundred-year-old Simplex grandfather clock that hung at the opposite end of the entryway to the kitchen. The hands read seven-o-five. My fingers drummed on the table as I counted every second that ticked away. From outside, the sound of Bach booming from distorted speakers was a sure sign Tim’s Tercel was speeding to my driveway. Mitch raised his head and folded his towel. “Ah, well, here they are.” We both sauntered out of the kitchen to the rap of Tim’s knuckles on the glass of the window. Mitch grabbed his overnight bag, opened the door, and nodded a greeting to Tim. I scowled and pointed at my Rolex. Like me, Tim was white bread. But where I had brown hair, he had jet black. I wasn’t as pale as he was, though he tended to stay out of the sun like me. He wore lots of brown and brass and occasionally topped all that splendor with some hat bearing mechanical constructions. Opposed to my daily suit and tie tonight, I lost the jacket and noose, but my slacks were pressed and my button-down collar was appropriate for where we were going. Tim smiled nervously. He lived up to his nickname of “Jackrabbit,” bouncing on the balls of his feet. Heavy eyeliner accentuated his shocking blue eyes, which pleaded forgiveness. “You know Anastasia.” I gruffed at Tim and waved at Mitch. I always told Mitch he could take the car, but he insisted on taking the bus. Public transportation was a block away and he never seemed to mind. I didn’t argue. It would have been an exercise in futility as “he was always right.” Just like asking him where he went on Wednesday and Sundays, it was pointless to ask. I stopped wondering where he spent his time off long ago. Tim bounded to his four-door Tercel and opened the back passenger door for me with a flourish. Anastasia hung over the open window of the front passenger seat. Hourglass figure, impressive chest, thin lips, a strong nose combined with Bette Davis eyes set wide on a heart-shaped face—Anastasia was beautiful. Though I couldn’t understand why a natural redhead dyed her hair auburn. Probably to reap as much attention as possible from her cardinal red strands. Most men would lie down just for the pleasure of saying she stepped on them. But she was as crazy as monkey-flung feces. I had no idea how Tim puts up with her. “Hi, John.” Anastasia greeted me with a breathy smile and hungry eyes. I smiled, took her hand, and kissed it lightly. “Good evening, Anastasia.” She giggled and swatted her free hand on Tim’s butt. “How come you aren’t so charming?” Tim pivoted around and gingerly took my hand, mimicked my knuckle-kissing gesture and nailed my professor voice perfectly, “John, how lovely to see you. Won’t you please get your ass in the car?” “Whatever, Jackrabbit.” I said, climbing into the trusty Tercel. I noted that I was down to five spoons and was leaving the house. But it was unlikely we’ll be out too late.
Slave to a 100 lbs. GSD (German Shepard) and a computer she calls "Dave", you'll often see her riding a 19 hand Shire nicknamed "Gunny" to the local coffee shop near the Santa Monica mountains. Stephanie reads for the love of words, and writes fiction about Dark Hearts and Heroes revolving around social taboos. When ever asked, she'll reply her whole life can be seen through a comic strip ~ sometimes twisted, sometimes funny but always beautiful and its title is adventure. Come play!
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