Thursday, 31 October 2013

Guest post by Anton Strout + Giveaway

Happy Halloween everyone! And how better to celebrate All Hallows' Eve than with a scary post with Anton Strout urban fantasy author of the beloved Simon Canderous and The Spellmason Chronicles series! Please give a warm welcome to Anton, read on, and iof you answer the question below you could even win a copy of Stonecast, the latest novel in The Spellmason Chronicles series!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, which probably comes as no surprise to those who know me and my two series of books. After all, it’s the one time of year where everyone acts like they are all possibly the stars of the type of urban fantasy novels I write.

For example, my Simon Canderous paranormal detective series had ghosts, vampires, zombies, chupacabras… and there was actually a convention goer who showed up at several events dressed as my protagonist Simon himself. So I can check that off my Author Bucket List (Achievement Unlocked: My Own Private Cosplayer!).

With The Spellmason Chronicles—last year’s Alchemystic and the just released Stonecast—there’s a whole new group of Halloween opportunities I’m hoping to see out there. My latest series has gargoyles, alchemists, witches, warlocks, and a blue-haired dancer turned modern day paladin who chooses the glaive guisarme as her weapon of choice in Manhattan. I have still yet to unlock the cosplay achievement for this series, but if any time of year can help with that, it’s my precious Halloween.

And in keeping with the spooktacular traditions of All Hallow’s Eve, let me share this horrifying little curse with you:

You have one chance for peace during this dark but festive season. You need to read The Spellmason Chronicles or so help me I curse you to all the terrors that Halloween can bring.

Should you ignore my wanton plea for your readership, any (or possibly all) of the following may befall you:

- Much like the internet ghoul simply know as the Slender Man, you will one night look out your window to find faceless me somewhere off in the darkness in full suit and tie, patiently waiting in stillness for you to fall asleep.

- Not today or tomorrow, but SOMETIME you will head down into your dark and eerily quiet basement only to fine me lurking there, silently staring with rusty knife in hand

- A gypsy (not me dressed as one… no, really, that’s NOT me!) will approach you in a mall , tap your chest with her bony finger, and speak the word, “Stupider”

- Upon my death, you will find my ghostly form wandering the halls of your home, attempting every chance I get to scare the bejesus out of you

- The next time you walk past Alchemystic or Stonecast in a bookshop, your presence alone will cause the heavy bookshelf they rest upon to topple over on you, crushing you with its full weight

BUT!

All this can be prevented, future reader! Pick up either book within seven days of reading this (just like The Ring!) and you can avoid all these possible calamities!

Your soul is at stake here, people! Don’t you think your salvation is worth the mere price of one or two mass market books? At the very least you’ll get the enjoyment of my urban fantasy, and (last curse here!) I won’t have to send my creepy Overlook Hotelean twins, screaming and poop-filled, to live with you forever and ever...

Anton Strout is the author of the Simon Canderous urban fantasy series and The Spellmason Chronicles for Ace Books, a division of Penguin Random House.

The Once & Future Podcast is his latest project, where he endeavors as Curator of Content to bring authors and readers together through a weekly news show format.

He has been a featured author guest of honor, speaker and workshop leader at San Diego Comic-Con, Gencon, New York Comic-Con, the Brooklyn Book Festival and many other conventions.

In his scant spare time, his is a writer, a sometimes actor, sometimes musician, occasional RPGer, and the worlds most casual and controller smashing video gamer. He currently works in the exciting world of publishing and yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds.

For more information about Anton and his books check out Author’s website:


Alchemystic by Anton Strout

Book # in The Spellmason Chronicles series

AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY…

Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who knows the Belarus name…

Lexi’s great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason—an artisan who could work magic on stone. But in his day, dark forces conspired against him and his, so he left a spell of protection on his family. Now that Lexi is in danger, the spell has awoken her ancestor’s most trusted and fearsome creation: a gargoyle named Stanis.

Lexi and Stanis are equally surprised to find themselves bound to each other. But as they learn to work together, they realize that only united can they save the city they both love…

Stonecast by Anton Strout

Book #2 in The Spellmason Chronicles series

The adventures of a girl and her gargoyle continue in the second installment of this “thrilling, funny and eerie” fantasy series. —Romantic Times on Alchemystic

No Stone Unturned...

Alexandra Belarus was an artist stuck working in her New York family’s business…until she discovered her true legacy—a deep and ancient magic. Lexi became the last practicing Spellmason, with the power to breathe life into stone. And as her powers awoke, so did her family’s most faithful protector: a gargoyle named Stanis. But when a centuries-old evil threatened her family and her city, Stanis sacrificed himself to save everything Lexi held dear.

With Stanis gone, Lexi’s efforts to master Spellmasonry—even with the help of her dedicated friends—are faltering. Hidden forces both watch her and threaten her, and she finds herself suddenly under the mysterious wing of a secret religious society determined to keep magic hidden from the world.

But the question of Stanis’s fate haunts her—and as the storm around her grows, so does the fear that she won’t be able to save him in her turn.



GIVEAWAY RULES:

Anton has generously offered a paperback copy of Stonecast to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just leave a comment and tell us: What is your favourite Halloween monster/scary creature/custom?

Giveaway is open to US/Canada addresses and ends on 14 November 2013!

Good luck!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Guest post by Rachel Harris + Giveaway

You know how much I love fake engagement/pretend relationship romances (as I've shared it countless times, most recently when welcoming Robin Bielman to the blog). Well I am happy to introduce you to another new release featuring this trope: Seven Day Fiancé by Rachel Harris! I asked Rachel to tell us about her favourite movies with this trope, so lo and behold, here is Rachel's Top 5 Fake Relationship Movies! (There is also a sweet giveaway waiting for you at the end :-)


Fake relationships might just be one of my favorite tropes. Books and movies where the couple thinks they are pretending for everyone else, but are really only fooling themselves, just equals one fun ride. My favorite moments are one they finally have that light bulb moment, and realize that the person they always wanted was right there the whole time.

Seven Day Fiancé is my take on my favorite trope. After winning town playboy Cane Robicheaux in a charity bachelor auction, good girl Angelle Prejean has a proposition for him…pretend to be her fake fiancé for a week to help convince her overprotective family back home that she’s doing fine on her own. Add in the fun backdrop of Cajun country and a city boy in over his head and fish-out-of-water shenanigans, it’s my hope that this fake relationship story provides readers the same thrill I get from this set up.

To set the mood for Seven Day Fiancé, I thought I’d share my top five favorite movies that use this classic trope.


I actually describe my book as The Proposal meets Sweet Home Alabama, set in the world of Duck Dynasty (he he). But seriously, this movie is so much fun! Put Ryan Reynolds and his sexy abs in just about anything, and I’m sold. When you add an adorable Sandra Bullock and crazy Betty White, this tangled web of lies and half-truths is a riot. Definitely one of my favorite feel-good movies.



A Jennifer Aniston classic, I watched this movie over and over in high school and college. Kate, an advertising executive passed over for a promotion because she’s single, is such a relatable character. Even though I disliked some of her actions, I felt for her the entire time. And boy-next-door hottie Nick is just do darn cute!



Now this movie takes me back. An 80’s classic, it pairs the fake relationship with a nerd Cinderella story, and when you see a young Patrick Dempsey riding that lawn mower wearing a black Stetson and boots, I dare you not to swoon just a little.



I love Dermot Mulroney in just about anything. Debra Messing plays the girl-next-door to perfection in any role she takes on. This was a match destined for Rachel-viewing heaven. Single Kat, like Angelle in Seven Day Fiancé, is headed back home for a family event (this time a wedding) and enlists the help of a handsome playboy to play the part of her boyfriend. Romantic moments and sexy, smoldering stares ensue.



To be honest, I never really thought of this as a fake relationship trope—I was always stuck on the Cinderella story. But when creating my list I searched my DVD shelves and this jumped at me. Vivian pretends to be Edward’s girlfriend, they both fight the very real feelings that bloom, until that moment when they no longer can, and end on the knight saving the princess in her tower. I think I can quote this movie line for line by the way.

So there you have it. My top five favorite movies that utilize my favorite trope—the pretend relationship. Did any of your favorites make my list? Did I leave any out?


Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother, and staying up late sneak-reading her mama's romance novels. Today, she still stays up late reading romances, only now she does so openly.

A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life's problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches countless hours of Food Network and reality television with her amazing husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!

For more information on Rachel and her books visit


Seven Day Fiancé by Rachel Harris

Book #2 in the Love and Games series

Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

Buy at Amazon - B&N

GIVEAWAY RULES:

Rachel is offering a great prize pack (see details below) to a lucky commenter!

To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and tell us in a comment: Did any of your favorites make Rachel's list? Did she leave any out?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 2 November 2013!

Good luck!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Guest post by Ophelia London + Giveaway


Halloween for many is a time to dress up and have some fun. Ever wonder what your favorite Entangled Bliss author’s best Halloween costumes have been or what their favorite Halloween memory is? Follow the Bliss Trick or Sweet Halloween Haunt to check them all out.

Halloween Memories
by Ophelia London

When I was a kid, my mother’s cedar chest was very special; a sacred place that held treasures from her childhood and other family gems…including Halloween costumes. Mom had really cool, homemade and vintage costumes, but as most kids, I fought against her wishes, insisting on store-bought. I wanted plastic: wrinkled, smelly plastic. I wanted flammable! What can I say? It was the 80’s. Probably after whining proficiently, Mom gave in and to the store we went, ending up with this little hunny:

“Dragon Lady”

What interests me most now about the costume I chose was that there is no way it would be in stores today. (And I really can’t believe my mother bought it for me.) I was quite proud to be Dragon Lady, however, and although I’d fully intended to wear my supercool mask at school all day, Mom had the wise insight to paint my face. We’re talking blue eye shadow, red lips and cheeks, and we even put on creepy-long fake nails. Though I find the whole vibe is kind of killed by my little girl white sandals. I can’t remember what I was wearing under that plastic dress thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if I insisted on going commando as to not ruin the line.

Since the Dragon Lady days, I’ve relied more on creativity over what is found at Walmart. I’ve been—among other things—a candy striper, a “dead person” (this was before the zombie craze), “Easy Annie” (you remember her—she’s Raggedy Annie’s trampy cousin…), Van Gogh’s ear, and Elizabeth Bennett.

Alex P. Keaton
Speaking of Miss Lizzy, my newest book, DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE, is a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice. There isn’t a Halloween scene in the book, but if there was, I’m pretty sure Henry (the smexy hero) would have dressed as Alex P. Keaton or Jack Donaghy…or just gone as his sexy self.

Jack Donaghy

Check out DMIL to see if you agree, and

Happy Halloween!


Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she's lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes. Ophelia is the author of PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE... and ABBY ROAD. Visit her at http://ophelia-london.blogspot.com. But don't call when The Vampire Diaries is on.

Connect with Ophelia at her Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


Spring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

“Whatever it takes,” however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly.

Henry is Spring's only hope at publication, but he's also the über-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite. Too bad she can't help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. As they work on her thesis, Spring finds there's more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice that proves true love is worth risking a little pride.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

To get you in the Halloween spirit we'd like to give away an ebook copy of Definitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just leave a comment and tell us about one of your most memorable Halloween costume, or your plans to  dress up!

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 3 November 2013!

Good Luck!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Book Review: The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale

Title: The Wicked Wallflower
Author: Maya Rodale
Series: Book #1 in the Bad Boys & Wallflowers series
Release Date:October 29th 2013
Publisher:Avon
Number of pages:384 pages
Source: ebook copy provided through Edelweiss for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's WebsiteAmazon, Kindle,Barnes and NobleBook Depository US, Book Depository UK, Read an excerpt

Grade: 3 stars

Novellus bonus!
Goodreads appetizer: Maya Rodale's captivating new series introduces London's Least Likely—three wallflowers who are about to become the toast of the ton…

Lady Emma Avery has accidentally announced her engagement—to the most eligible man in England. As soon as it's discovered that Emma has never actually met the infamously attractive Duke of Ashbrooke, she'll no longer be a wallflower; she'll be a laughingstock. And then Ashbrooke does something Emma never expected. He plays along with her charade.

A temporary betrothal to the irreproachable Lady Avery could be just the thing to repair Ashbrooke's tattered reputation. Seducing her is simply a bonus. And then Emma does what he never expected: she refuses his advances. It's unprecedented. Inconceivable. Quite damnably alluring.

London's Least Likely to Misbehave has aroused the curiosity—among other things—of London's most notorious rogue. Now nothing will suffice but to uncover Emma's wanton side and prove there's nothing so satisfying as two perfect strangers…being perfectly scandalous together.

My Thoughts:The Wicked Wallflower is one of those books that make it quite a challenge for me to both rate and review. And that is because even though I had quite a few issues with it I still managed to enjoy reading it. At least for the better part of it. So yeah, how exactly do you rate a book that made you roll your eyes at points but you were unable to put down nonetheless?

The Wicked Wallflower is the story of a plain wallflower, who no one notices and a notorious rogue who find themselves posing as a couple, both of them for their own personal reasons. Sounds cliche enough to you? Well, it is, but I have a thing both for reformed rakes and fake relationships that turn into something more. So, even if the story isn't anything new, I was still pretty eager to read it. From the first pages of the story I knew I would have a problem with the author's writing style. Don't get me wrong, it's not that the writing style is bad, it's just that Maya Rodale tried to add a humorous and playful tone to the novel, that although it made the whole story funnier it somehow felt forced and foreign. Not the whole time, but there were moments where I felt that a joke was forced or a situation wasn't all that funny if you thought it twice. Plus, all those "funny" mentions about "The Ashbrooke effect" and " London's Least Likely" or " The Buxom Bluestocking" weren't all that funny after a while.

But it wasn't just that. The whole narration wasn't all that smooth either. As with the funny parts, the romantic parts felt also a bit forced. I mean more than once I felt that a romantic scene came out of nowhere. I don't know if I have to blame the arc copy (after all there were more than a few typos in there) and the final copy will flow in a smoother way or that was the narration style. All I know is that I couldn't really feel any emotion in many romantic scenes. They were well written and after a bit I got in the mood and went along with the story but at first they felt forced. But that, could as well be due to the insufficient character development too. Especially where Ashbrooke is concerned. I mean he went from notorious rogue and scoundrel to lovesick puppy in the blink of an eye. Quite literally. I couldn't notice how his feelings for Emma were growing. Apart from the fact that he was intrigued by her refusal, I couldn't really pinpoint the exact moment he understood she means so much to him. As a result, he came off as a spoiled child who wants something just because he can't have it.

Emma on the other hand was a good character but by the end of the book, I really wanted to slap some sense into her. Granted, she was bound to feel reluctant to believe that Ashbrooke changed just for her, but reading pages upon pages of her internal turmoil tired me a lot. Another moment where I didn't really like her was the scene where she's ready to elope with Benedict. I haven't read a least sexy scene where the heroine finally surrenders to the hero while a second suitor is waiting for her just a few yards away ready to elope. She completely lost any affection I felt for her after that incident I'm afraid.

Verdict: The Wicked Wallflower is one of those books I really don't know how to rate because despite all the issues I had with both characters and writing style, I still managed to enjoy myself while reading it. Maybe some things didn't exactly work for me, but still, it was a decent and enjoyable story. And I will probably continue with the series. I still want to see the rest of the wallflowers finding their HEA :)

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 5/10
Writing: 6/10
Ending: 7/10
Cover: 7/10

Buy it:

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery



Guest post by Sydney Somers + Giveaway

To start the week with some good news (aren't we always in great need of those on Monday mornings?): I would like to draw your attention to a brand new release: Primal Temptation by Sydney Somers. If you know the Pendragon Gargoyle series I'm sure you were counting down the days, but in case you are new to the series read a little teaser (both trivia and exclusive excerpt) to whet your appetite. So please give a warm welcome to Sydney Somers and enter the giveaway at the end to win a copy of any book from Sydney's backlist! :-)

Thanks so much having me Stella!

My latest book, Primal Temptation, released last week and aside from just sharing an exclusive excerpt I thought I’d let readers in on a few things. :-)

10 Things Readers Should Know About Primal Temptation:

1. It’s the 4th book in my Pendragon Gargoyle series and can be read as a standalone, but probably best enjoyed as part of the series.
2. The hero, Lucan, is a lethal assassin with a thirst for blood.
3. The heroine, Briana Callaghan, may be good with computers, but could use a crash course on how to handle a knight-turned mercenary, who just happens to be her mate.
4. No one can be trusted.
5. Lucan’s dark half is a wee bit obsessed with Briana.
6. Briana will do anything to be free of her mate bond, including denying an attraction over a thousand years in the making.
7. Winning over Briana’s overprotective brothers may be Lucan’s biggest obstacle of all.
8. Even the god themselves have a stake in the outcome of the games Lucan and Briana are forced to play.
9. Trusting her instincts just might be Briana’s downfall.
10. No slinkies were damaged in the writing of this book.

A born and raised Maritimer, Sydney Somers fell in love with writing when she finished her first story, Jenny and the Glowing Green Mittens. After attempting her first book in high school, she set writing aside to focus on school. While getting her degrees in psychology and education, Sydney tried her hand at journalism between part time jobs before finally returning to her love of writing.

Twenty-five novels and novellas later, Sydney is thrilled to spend her days slaying demons, running with shape-shifter packs and making the people in her head fall wildly in love. When she’s not writing or curled up with a good book, Sydney can be found chasing after her herd of kids, talking her way into a gourmet meal, exterminating rogue dust bunnies or joking about the pending zombie apocalypse. She loves hearing from readers and invites them to contact her anytime at:


Primal Temptation by Sydney Somers

Condemned to darkness…tempted by passion.

Pendragon Gargoyles, Book #4

Enslaved by a vengeful goddess, forced to live on blood, Lucan can barely remember life as a knight of the Round Table. Yet when one woman’s touch awakens millennium-old feelings that tame the savage darkness within him, he has no choice but to deny their all-consuming passion—for her own protection.

Cat shifter Briana Callaghan has watched all three of her brothers find their mates, but love isn’t in her future. Especially when her mate turns out to be a lethal mercenary…and the only man ever to break her heart.

When she’s chosen to compete in the Gauntlet, an immortal death match, Briana realizes the prize—the sword Excalibur—is her only hope of severing the fierce bond that has the power to destroy her.

Stunned to find themselves pitted against each other, Briana and Lucan quickly find that the only thing they’re fighting harder than their enemies is their sizzling, heartbreaking chemistry. But even if they survive the Gauntlet, claiming the woman he loves will be as impossible as letting her go.

Product Warnings: Contains adult language, skin-tingling sexual tension over a thousand years in the making, and a brutal warrior unable to resist the only woman to appeal to both the man and the monster within.


Buy at Amazon - Samhain

Excerpt

“Every skilled predator knows you should at least show some teeth when you’re trying to scare someone.”

The feral slash of fangs he offered didn’t frighten her. Neither did the way he stared at her throat as if he could bite it clean through. Not even the cat, who’d snarled at the wraith glamour in the penthouse, seemed concerned by the predator she faced now.

Because both woman and cat were convinced he wasn’t a threat.

“You can’t scare me.”

The last word was snatched away as he spun her around, pressing up against her back and pinning her arms above her head. Limiting her range of motion might have annoyed the cat if not for the heat of his body holding her in place.

He let go of her wrists to close his hand around her throat, but didn’t squeeze.

Determined, she craned her neck to look at him over her shoulder. “Plan on using your sword next?” Maybe she was naïve not to fear the wraith, but she hadn’t been lying when she told Lucan that she trusted him.

All of him—for better or worse.

A cold smile curved his lips, his dark gaze trained on her mouth. Head cocked, he drew his thumb across her cheek and then her bottom lip, as she had done.

“Do it,” she murmured, not entirely sure what she was asking. A million butterflies back-flipped in her stomach and she was sure her heart skidded to a stop when his brows crashed together.

She tipped her head, exposing her neck. Both the man and the wraith needed to know she didn’t submit as a sign of weakness, but one of trust.

Slow and possessive, his fingers trailed the path between her shoulder and her jaw. He leaned closer, his mouth hovering just below her ear, and she bit her lip, trapping her whimper inside. She refused to let a single sound shatter the moment.

Drugged by the seductive stroke of his fingers, she let her eyes close. He drew a circle around and around the thumping pulse-point below her jaw. Anticipation curled through her in silken waves, surprising her.

She’d never thought of him biting her, barely let herself think about kissing him. And now her whole body teetered on the edge of a desire so foreign and overwhelming she could barely stand still.

Buy at Amazon - Samhain

GIVEAWAY RULES:

Sydney has generously offered an ebook (winner's choice from her backlist titles) to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just tell us: what is your stand on gargoyles? Any favourite/most hated gargoyle character ever?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 8 November 2013!

Good luck!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Books Coming This Week

Hello everyone!!! I'm here today to introduce you to a new feature here at Ex Libris that is here not only to keep you company every Sunday but also to help you plan your shopping list of books for each week :) We'll be here each Sunday highlighting all those book releases that are hitting the shelves every week and have caught our attention. They're usually a lot, because let's face it, no matter how overflowing our bookshelves are, we never have enough books to satisfy our appetites :P So, let's see what interesting books are scheduled for release this week :)


Game for Trouble (Game for It, #2) by Karen Erickson
Midnight's Promise (Dark Warriors, #8) by Donna Grant
A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer
A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair, #2) by Emma Jane Holloway
Altered (Crewel World, #2) by Gennifer Albin
Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter, #6) by Nalini Singh
Barefoot by the Sea by Roxanne St. Claire
Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard, #3) by Christina Lauren
Black Heart (Black Wings, #6) by Christina Henry
Candlelight Christmas by Susan Wiggs


Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #1) by Nora Roberts
Defender (Kris Longknife, #11) by Mike Shepherd
Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1) by Molly McAdams
Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands, #2) by Sarah Fine
Hellhound (Deadtown, #5) by Nancy Holzner Horde (Razorland, #3) by Ann Aguirre
In Love with a Wicked Man by Liz Carlyle
In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright, #3) by Gabrielle Zevin
Once a Rake (The Drakes Rakes, #4) by Eileen Dreyer
Once She Was Tempted (Honeycote, #2) by Anne Barton


One Night with the Laird (Scottish Brides, #2) by Nicola Cornick
Rhythm of Three (Rule of Three, #2) by Kelly Jamieson
Sins of a Wicked Princess (Sinners Trio, #3) by Anna Randol
Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow
Status Update (Second Chances, #3) by Mari Carr
Take Me Home for Christmas (Whiskey Creek, #5) by Brenda Novak
The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2) by Julie Kagawa
The Melody of Secrets by Jeffrey Stepakoff
The Perfect Match (Blue Heron, #2) by Kristan Higgins
The Shadowhunters' Codex by Cassandra Clare


The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #3) by Julia Quinn
The Way Home by Cindy Gerard
The Wicked Wallflower (Wicked Wallflowers, #1) by Maya Rodale
Unchosen (The Reaper Diaries, #2) by Michele Vail
When the Marquess Met His Match (An American Heiress in London, #1) by Laura Lee Guhrke
Winners by Danielle Steel
Apartment 16 by Adam Nevill
Consumed (Devoured, #2) by Emily Snow
The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn (The Steampunk Chronicles) by Kady Cross
Sentinel (Covenant, #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Quite a lot is being released this week don't you think? And I have my eye set on a handful of them be sure! Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout is my to die for release of this week but I have also read and really enjoyed both Sins of a Wicked Princess by Anna Randol and The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale. Horde is also a book I will eventually read (as soon as I read the second book in this awesome series!) and the same goes for Iron Traitor.

What are the books that sound interesting to you? 
Any pre-orders for this week? 
 Just let me know in your comments :)

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Book Review: Star Crossed by Kele Moon

Title: Star Crossed
Author: Kele Moon
Series: Book #2 in the Battered Hearts series
Release Date:July 3rd 2012
Number of pages: 295 pages
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Source: e-book copy provided by NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository UK, Book Depository US 

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer:

Heavyweight MMA fighter, Romeo Wellings comes from the hard streets of New York where his family ties to the mafia cause him nothing but pain. His life takes a surprising detour when he crosses paths with the twin sister of his long time enemy. After a steamy one-night stand, he faces the fight of his life, but it’s not in the cage. The secret relationship that blooms between Romeo and his real life Juliet has him battling his family and a dark past rather than let her go. 


The only lawyer in her hometown of Garnet, Jules Conner is also a volunteer Sheriff’s deputy and co-owner of a successful MMA training center. Strong and dependable, Jules is always there for those who need her. Until one forbidden night in Las Vegas with Romeo leaves her feeling so alive she can’t stop reaching out to the sexy, bad boy of MMA, even knowing the forbidden love affair could jeopardize everything.



As the tide rises against them and the people they love work at keeping them apart, Romeo and Jules hold onto a dream for a better life together and vow to go down fighting rather than accept a tragic ending.

My Thoughts: Kele Moon works her miracles once more and delivers yet again a deliciously sexy story! Star Crossed was just as good as I expected it to be and then some! Thankfully the next book in the series is releasing soon because I desperately need another story from this author!

Star Crossed starts immediately after the events of the first book took place and at some point the narration revisits the last two days of the first book from Juliet and Romeo's POV. Even if the books in the series can be read as stand alones that revisit was completely necessary for the whole plot to make sense. And even so, for someone that hasn't read Defying the Odds the beginning of Star Crossed may seem abrupt and right to the point. I thought of the same thing too and I picked this story as soon as I finished the first one, so be warned.

Star Crossed in comparison to the first book in the series is way sexier...! There's no cuteness in this one. Cute and sweet could work with Melody's character but it could never work with Juliet. Juliet is an ambitious woman who knows exactly what she wants and doesn't hesitate to take it. In every aspect of her life. And I really liked reading about her story. As I really liked the fact that she is as different a character from Melody, the heroine of the first story, as one could hope.

Her relationship with Romeo is explosive! One could never expect anything else from her while Romeo really sets the standards high! His determination and the way he fights for his family and those he cares for make him simply irresistible.

In her second book of the Battered Hearts series, Kele Moon follows the exact same pattern as in the first one but this story, like I said before, is way spicier than the first one! The story is even paced and the character development department is just as good if not better. Because you see, in this book, you are introduced to yet another set of delicious males whose story I can't wait to read. And that is the best thing about this series. The way the author presents all her characters and makes the reader crave to learn more about them.

Verdict:  Star Crossed is the perfect sequel to a really enjoyable series. The writing style and the characters are the best attributes in my opinion to a series of books that deserve all the hype they get. The Battered Hearts series is contemporary romance at its best!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Cover: 7/10

Buy it:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Order of the series:

Book #1 - Defying the Odds - Read my review
Book #2 - Star Crossed
Book #3 - Crossing the Line (expected publication November 12 2013)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Book Review: Sins of a Wicked Princess by Anna Randol

Title: Sins of a Wicked Princess
Author:Anna Randol
Series: Book #3 in the Sinners Trio series
Release Date:October 29th 2013
Publisher:Avon
Number of pages:384 pages
Source: ebook copy provided through Edelweiss for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's WebsiteAmazon, Kindle,Barnes and Noble, Book Depository US, Book Depository UK

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: In the scorching finale of Anna Randol's wickedly tempting Trio series, the Wraith takes on a mission—and a princess—he'll never forget…

Ian Maddox, aka the Wraith, is happy to leave his life as a spy— as soon as he discovers who's been trying to kill his friends. All clues lead him to the bedroom of an exiled princess. Yet Princess Juliana isn't the simpering royal he expects, and this irresistible beauty agrees to give him the information he seeks…for a price.

Princess Juliana has never cowered—not even as she fled her burning castle in the midst of a rebellion—so she won't tremble before the darkly charismatic man who appears in her bedchamber and holds a knife to her throat. Instead, she bargains with the infamous spy to help her retrieve sensitive documents and restore her kingdom. But Juliana quickly finds that Ian is no humble servant, and she never imagines that lessons in thievery will lead to schooling in seduction.

My Thoughts:Sins of a Wicked Princess is the third and last book in the Sinners Trio series by Anna Randol which follows the adventures of three spies while they try to find their Happily Ever After. Considering how much I loved the second book in the series, Sins of a Ruthless Rogue, I had pretty high expectations from this book. And I'm happy to say that Anna Randol managed to deliver once more a story full of adventure, heartfelt emotion, and great characters that I couldn't possibly put down.

Before anything else, I have to note that the ARC I received for review was full of typos and mistakes something I seriously hope that will be fixed in the final copy. As a result the story wasn't smoothly flowing but that is something easily fixed. That being said, Sins of a Wicked Princess was an incredible book! I loved everything about it and mostly the leading couple. Both Ian and Juliana are characters that manage to stay with you long after you've finished reading their story, they are characters you can easily relate to and care for, thus making their story all the more a joy to read. Juliana is exactly the kind of heroine I like in my books. Not to mention that she's a princess! Yeah, I have a thing for princesses :P And Juliana is one of those princesses who care first of all for her people and then for themselves. She's ready to sacrifice herself or her personal happiness in order to secure a better future for her people. How many of our current political leaders can claim that? But the fact that she's responsible for a country doesn't stop her from being a very real woman with needs and insecurities and a wicked sense of humour!

Ian on the other hand is simply delicious. I don't have a thing for princesses alone. I have also a thing for spies and tortured heroes as well. And Ian is the perfect combination of genius, arrogance and sexiness. Honestly, I don't think Juliana could have a better man by her side, even if she tried :P Together they make the perfect couple. Their chemistry is really good and the reader cares for them and wants them to find their HEA.

As far as the plot is concerned, there's enough mystery to keep you turning the pages and betrayals to spice things up a bit. The writing style is really good and in overall, there wasn't a single moment where I felt bored or tired while reading Sins of a Wicked Princess. On the contrary. I stayed up late at night just to read a few more chapters :)

Verdict: Sins of a Wicked Princess is one of those books I really enjoyed reading. It combines mystery, intrigue and a good dose of romance and humour that I always appreciate in a book. And here I just have to note that this story manages to be sexy even if the sex scenes are limited. And that is another area where Anna Randol won me over. It's not the quantity of sex scenes that make a story sexy but the quality. A must read!

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Cover: 9/10

Buy it:

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery



Order of the series:

Book #1 - Sins of a Virgin
Book #2 - Sins of a Ruthless Rogue
Book #3 - Sins of a Wicked Princess

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Book Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Cursed
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: September 18th 2012
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Number of pages: 304 pages
Source: Paperback copy purchased by reviewer
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's WebsiteAmazon, Kindle, B&NBook Depository US, Book Depository UK, Read an excerpt

Grade: 3 stars

Novellus Bonus!
Goodreads appetizer: Dying sucks ... and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand.

After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.

For real this time.

My Thoughts: Okay, you all know how much I absolutely love Jennifer Armentrout and everything I have read of hers up until now. I adore this author and think that her work is phenomenal! So keeping that in mind, it really pains me to say that Cursed is the first book by this author that I couldn't really enjoy and fall in love with. There, I said it. And it's harder for me to admit it than one could imagine.

My problems with Cursed were various and not just a couple of them I'm afraid. Before I even reached the middle of the book I was pretty certain that it would be a lost cause but still I kept on reading it because we're talking about an Armentrout book here and hope dies last. But things never got better. At this point let me just clarify that Cursed isn't that bad of a book and still, considering how many times I rolled my eyes while reading it, I still managed to enjoy parts of it, but for better or for worse, my expectations of this author are somewhat high, so when I picked up Cursed I was expecting fireworks and instead I got a mediocre story delivered in a haste and mediocre way. So not the norm for this author. The writing style may be good, after all it is an Armentrout story and there are a few toe curling moments but that's not enough to make me fall in love with a couple's story or a book in whole. I need more.

First of all I have to say that the reason I kept rolling me eyes was the fact that Cursed reminded me a lot of Twilight. Oh yeah! Don't get me wrong, the story isn't anything like Twilight or the characters for that matter but there were parts of the story that were as if extracted from the Twilight Saga. And that was completely unnecessary. I don't know if it's just me and no one else noticed anything similar. But let me just state a couple of the similarities I noticed:

* Ember has The Touch of Death gift and can't have physical contact with anyone up until she meets Hayden who she can touch even if briefly. His gift kind of absorbs her own. Sounds familiar with a certain vampire who can hear everyone's thoughts but his beloved's one?
* Ember is afraid she has no soul. That dying jeopardised her very soul. Again, sounds familiar?
* Hayden is a stalker. Enough said.
* Hayden sneaks in Ember's room, watches her sleep and she wakes up finding him there.
* Cromwell adopts kids with special gifts in order to save them. To me it sounds pretty close with Cullen's family who turned kids into vampires in order to save them and then adopted them.
* Hayden's family of "gifted" teens are regarded in their high school much like the Cullens were.

I may have spotted a couple more familiarities but that's all I can remember right now and I think that it's enough for me to highlight my point. So yeah, all those Twilight moments made me roll my eyes. And not in a good way. But, since I have enjoyed other stories who bare a resemblance to other books, let me say here that those similarities were by no means the reason I didn't like so much Cursed. They just added to the whole picture.

Let's talk about the characters. Ember, was a pretty decent character. I liked her. I may have wanted her to act like the brave person she was supposed to be a little bit more often, but in general I liked her. Hayden on the other hand, not so much, or any other character in this novel for that matter. Well, except for Adam, Ember's best friend, who had a very brief appearance to my dismay. He, was the kind of man I would have liked Ember to end up with, Hayden on the other hand, mehhhh. Hayden was too much of a stalker for my taste. Some may think that falling in love with someone and obsessing with them is cool and romantic, me, not so much. Add to that the fact that he was overly possessive for no apparent reason and his jealousy fits made me gag and yeah, Hayden wasn't my ideal kind of man and as a result I kind of secretly hoped that Ember would open her eyes and leave the hell out of that hellhole.

The rest of the characters were a bunch of people I wanted to slap so many times I lost count. Olivia, Ember's little sister? Spoiled little brat I would gladly laugh at her face during her hysterics. The whole bunch of "gifted"? I secretly hoped that Ember would touch them in their sleep, especially Kurt and Phoebe. I mean after what Phoebe done, instead of properly reacting with a WTF reaction and see why the girl was so rotten, everyone kind of blamed the victim. Anyway, that's how bullies are born people! With somehow seeing the bully as a victim and blaming the victims for the horrendous behaviour they had to put up with. I know everyone reacted in such a way towards Ember to make us see clearer what she has to suffer in her life and not in some attempt to glorify the bully but it angered me. I have to exclude from my murdering spree Parker. I liked him. He was cool. And Liz. She was indifferent to me.

Anyway, the plot was good, the mystery well delivered although it was pretty obvious who the bad guy was but the why's and everything was hard to see up to a point. So, one could say that as a story, Cursed was pretty good. Because I liked the story and how it was delivered. But everything was ruined for me because of the characters. There were way too many characters I couldn't even remotely like. So, even if the story of a book is good, when there are no strong characters to carry you along for the ride, you can never fully enjoy it. And that is exactly what happened with Cursed.

Verdict: Cursed is the first book by Jennifer Armentrout I didn't absolutely love. She's still of course one of my favorite authors ever, it's just that this story wasn't the right one for me. I'm not worried though! I'm pretty certain that whatever I read next of hers will be just as perfect as her numerous previous releases!

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 5/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 7/10
Cover: 7/10

Buy it:

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Guest post by Jennifer Faye + Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to the lovely Jennifer Faye, who is back at Ex Libris celebrating the release of her second novel, Snowbound with the Soldier, a delicious snowed in romance in time for the holidays ;-) Read on to learn what first lines intrigue Jennifer and don't forget to enter the TWO giveaways at the end, you could win some great prizes! ;-) 

Top Ten Intriguing Opening Lines...
by Jennifer Faye

With my second release, SNOWBOUND WITH THE SOLDIER, now on store shelves, I’m working on my fourth book. And one of the things that I’m trying to get just right is the opening line. They are so short and you would think that would make them simple to right, but instead it seems to make them harder…at least in my mind. ;-)

So I thought I would share a few opening lines that I find intriguing. Maybe you’ll find one that you just have to keep reading. ;-)

10. “Cooper Ford was six foot two of faded denim and plaid cotton, accessorized by an insufferable ego.” A COWBOY TO COME HOME TO by Donna Alward

9. “’I’m not lost,’ Amy Michaels said to the squirrel watching her from his perch on a tree branch.” AT LAST by Jill Shalvis

8. “In real life, snow was not nearly as delightful as it appeared in movies and on TV, Noelle Perkins thought as her spinning car finally came to a stop in a snowbank.” CHRISTMAS ON 4TH STREET by Susan Mallery

7. “If he had to listen to "The Little Drummer Boy" one more time, he was going to ba-rum-bum-bum-bum somebody right in the gut.” CHRISTMAS IN SNOWFLAKE CANYON by RaeAnne Thayne

6. “Liz Kowalski's thirty-year-old shitbox, loaded down with everything she owned, went by the Welcome To Whitford, Maine, sign trunk-first, bald tires hydroplaning as it headed for the ditch.” LOVE A LITTLE SIDEWAYS by Shannon Stacey

5. “The stick was pink.” AN ACCIDENTAL FAMILY by Ami Weaver

4. “Revenge was such an ugly word.” A TEXAS FAMILY by Linda Warren

3. “Hannah hated Thursday nights.” THE BILLIONAIRE’S CHRISTMAS BABY by Victoria James

2. “Olivia Linnscott made the most insane decision of her life in less time than it took to microwave a burrito.” THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN by Shirley Jump

1. “Old Man Winter huffed and puffed, rattling the doors of the Greene Summit Resort.” SNOWBOUND WITH THE SOLDIER by Jennifer Faye

Okay, it might not be the best opening line, but you knew I had to squeeze it in there somewhere. But it sure does set up the premise of the story. Because hold onto your hats and mittens, a Nor’easter is coming. So everyone better hurry home or they aren’t going to make it when the snow picks up. Brrr…

But all of these opening lines intrigue me. They make me want to keep reading and find out what is going to happen next.

What great opening lines have you read lately?


Maybe this Christmas…?

It has been seven long years since Kara Jameson last saw Jason Greene. Returning home as a wounded war hero, Jason looks a shell of the man she once knew. Yet her heart still skips a beat as if it was yesterday….

Stepping back into civilian life, Jason looks to Kara for help. But there's too much water under the bridge—not to mention too much lingering attraction.

But it seems that the mountain weather has other ideas, and when Kara and Jason end up snowbound together they are forced to confront the ghosts of Christmas past.



Jennifer Faye is a two-time RT Book Reviews TOP PICK author. Maybe that’s partly due to the fact that she has spent most of her life with her nose in one book or another. It was only natural that she dreamed of becoming a romance writer and spinning the tales of the imaginary people running around in her mind. But first life took her on a couple of detours. Refusing to give up on her dreams, she finally succeeded in getting her name on a book cover. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her very, very patient husband, one amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter has flown the coop to chase her own dreams) and two spoiled rotten cats. When she’s not glued to her laptop writing another contemporary romance (which isn’t often) or enjoying some family time, she loves to get lost in a good book, cross-stitch, embroider, quilt, knit, watch hockey (go Pittsburgh Penguins!), and garden. Jennifer loves to hear from readers--you can find her at her websiteFacebookGoodreads and Twitter.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

There are TWO giveaways going on:

Tour Wide Giveaway

To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 31 October 2013!

Blog Giveaway

Jennifer has generously offered a signed copy of Snowbound with the Soldier plus a swag pack to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just leave a comment and answer Jennifer's question: What great opening lines have you read lately?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 3 November 2013!

Good luck!

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