Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Release Day! Finding My Forever (Beaumont #3) by Heidi McLaughlin

Finding My Forever
Beaumont Series #3
by Heidi McLaughlin
NA Contemporary Romance

Synopsis via Goodreads

Everywhere I look, my friends are settling down - marriage, children, white picket fences; but not me. Marriage isn't in the cards for me. I’m a ladies man.

A rock star.

I was born and raised in the industry.

I love everything about my life, especially the attention from the women that my status brings me.
Women find me. I don’t chase. I know what they want and they know I’ll deliver.

But after one look, one touch, one night...
Now I’m the one doing the chasing.

I need to find a way to show her that I’m serious, that I can change.
I need to find a way to show her that I can love her fully, and only her.
I need to find a way to show her that she’s my forever.

Grab Your Copy:


Heidi is the author of USA Today, Kobo, Digital Book World, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestselling novel, Forever My Girl
  Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.

During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she’s writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.

Forever My Girl - The Beaumont Series #1 
My Everything - A Beaumont Series Novella
My Unexpected Forever - The Beaumont Series #2 

A USA Today Best Selling Author
An Amazon Best Seller
A Barnes and Noble Best Seller

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review & Kindle Fire & Giftcard Giveaway: Under Different Stars (Kricket #1) by Amy Bartol

Under Different Stars
(Kricket #1) 
by Amy Bartol
YA Dystopian
Published December 17, 2013

*ARC Ebook obtained in exchange for an honest review as part of the tour*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re  real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

     Water swirls around me as I open my eyes. I shiver, realizing I’m in Trey’s arms. He’s standing chest deep in crystal blue water with Wayra pacing on the bank only steps away. Clutching Trey closer to me, my cheek remains on his shoulder. Watching a bead of water slip down his powerful neck, I hear Jax say, “She’s waking up.”
    Trey, cupping his hand in the water, pours some of it over my hair. It drips down the sides of my face, cooling me. “Let’s get her out. I’ll get the visor and we can check her vitals.”
    As Trey wades out of the pond with me in his arms, I try to lift my head from his shoulder. It makes me dizzy so I lay it back. It’s then I notice that I’m only in my bra and underwear. A blush creeps into my cheeks as I hug Trey tighter to me. Wayra meets us on the bank, draping a blanket over us. Trey sits down with me on his lap. He leans against a tree trunk holding me securely to his chest. Peeking at his face, he seems angry as he smoothes my hair back from my face.
    Hurrying over with the visor that looks like grandma goggles, Trey sets them on my eyes. Everything is green as I gaze around at the water in front of us. Flashing green lights and readouts occupy the peripherals of the glasses, but the information is running faster than I can possibly read it.
    “Ho!” Jax exclaims next to me.
    Immediately, Trey’s arms tighten on me as he barks out, “What? How bad is it?”
    “Naw, it’s not bad…it’s just…Kricket…” Jax breathes, like he’s in awe. “Look at this brain activity…it’s massive.”
    “What do you mean?” Trey asks with relief in his tone.
Jax grins. “She’s lighting everything up. Look at her frontal lobe…it’s off the charts.”
    “What does that mean? Is she healthy?” Trey growls.
Jax nods enthusiastically. “She’s healthy! We didn’t fry her with heat stroke, that’s for sure. Or, if we did, she’s got more brain activity than anyone I’ve ever seen to compensate for it,” he replies, sounding seriously geeked about it.
    “Those things aren’t broken, are they?” Trey asks speculatively.
    “No…here.” Jax pulls them off my face. “Wayra, come here.”
    Wayra walks over and Jax puts the glasses on his eyes. “See! He’s normal, well, normal for him. See how it doesn’t light up in these areas?” he points out to Trey.
    “Now watch this,” he says, taking the glasses off of Wayra, he places them back on my face. “See? It’s like Christmas in Chicago with all those lights,” Jax says proudly.
    “So that means she’s smart?”
     Jax beams. “Yeah, she’s smart! She’s brilliant! There’s no telling what she can do.”
     “If she’s so smart, why did she run until she almost popped? Why didn’t she just tell us she needed to rest?” Wayra asks derisively.
     “Personality flaw,” Trey replies. “She’s going to show us that she’s not weak.”
     “She’s sitting right here,” I murmur, pulling the glasses off my face and handing them to  Jax.

I was sooooo lucky to get in on the ARC tour for this great new novel from Amy Bartol!

Yea... I read this entire novel in one night. I could not put it down! Loved every second of it. The characters, the plot, the world that Amy built, the action packed scenes... Every bit of it! Blew me away!

Kricket! Loved her! She's such a great female lead! I loved her spunk and bravery! Trey - Sigh - he reminds me soooo much of Reed (Premonition series) and I loved that. Kyon even reminded me of Brennus (Premonition series). Such great characters! I loved Jax & Wayra!

The plot - Wow - I wasn't expecting all heightened emotions and constantly felt like I was on red-alert through most of the book because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next!

Ahhh I can't wait to see what happens in book 2!!!!!! There's sooo many "What-ifs" that I just can't answer yet! My mind was swirling around all morning long (since I finished this book at 4:30 this morning).

The world building is incredible. I loved the vortex that pulled them into Ethar! Loved the heart-pounding moments of them trying to get to their destination. Especially loved when...crap... you just have to read it when it comes out!

Just a note - the Title - BRILLIANT! This has to be one of my favorite titles of the year! It's perfect!

Overall Rating: 5 Huge Stars
Cover Rating: 5 Huge Stars <--Beautiful!
Characters: 5 Stars
Plot: 5 Stars
Climax: Ack! 5 Heart Pounding Stars
Ending: 5 Stars! You're killin' me Amy!!! So many "What-Ifs" left to ponder! 

     1st place: KINDLE FIRE + ebook of Under Different Stars
     2nd place: Kindle Cover + $50 Amazon Gift Card
     3rd place: $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Spotlight: Madness of the Turtle by S.R. Wilsher

Madness of the Turtle
by S.R. Wilsher
Mature NA / Adult Fiction
Self Published March 25, 2013

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Seventeen-year old Rico dreams of another life – where losing an ear in a fight isn’t funny and where love is about belonging and not expediency.

Instead, he follows a gang of brutal and uneducated jungle bandits who are fleeing the Guatemalan army and heading to join the revolution in Cuba, unaware the fighting ended ten years earlier.

When Rico’s father, the gang leader Father Gerard Limerick, is wounded in a gun battle they take shelter on a farm and witness television for the first time.

Limerick falls in love with a beautiful soap actress and, believing he has been resurrected in order to save her, resolves to track down and kill the soap’s evil bad guy.

Yet as they seek the actress, robbing and killing with seeming impunity, the love of a boy for his father is slowly reduced by the growing recognition of his father’s dangerous ignorance and crazed rationalisation.

Rico’s impossible love for a prostitute, his failure to protect a farmer’s wife from the men, and the mistreatment of ordinary people leaves him determined to save Magdalena from the most frightening man in the world.

Authors Note: Rico’s world is a harsh and brutal place and its portrayal means that some of the story content may be considered strong, especially for a YA audience. 

 Grab Your Copy from Amazon

Rico’s world is a harsh and brutal place where violence and indifference is second nature, but there is no frontier-glory attached to their behaviour. Instead it betrays all of the ignorance, misogyny and desolation of such lives.

The story came about when I abandoned an earlier thriller and searched the story to see what could be rescued. The only interesting thing of note was the bandit leader Father Gerard Limerick- and so a hundred thousand word thriller was reduced to a single page thought.

However, the more Limerick developed the more absurd he became. And while we all rewrite our pasts to a certain extent to protect our self-image, it’s those like Limerick, whose shamelessness and manipulation of the truth for their own ends that verges on madness, that his character is supposed to spotlight.

When I consider the wilful one-eyed ignorance of the bandits, I have in mind a group of under-educated vigilantes a few years ago who had protested against a local man because they had confused paediatrician for paedophile. So the bandits also became the easily confused and those who are too lazy to consider anything other than a black or white solution for those problems that are only ever grey.

Rico though is plainly different and, of all my characters, he’s my favourite. I love his honour and bravery in accepting the truth, and then his clear-sighted willingness to act against that which is wrong, never mind the cost too himself.

It was never my intention to write a satire, and I still resist the idea that I have, because the narrative was always more important than trying to lampoon types. And because the characters inside, and the segments of society they represent, are not meant to be funny; they are more to be feared than mocked.

Nor do I write for a younger audience. I always spoke to my children exactly how I would anyone else, so see no reason to write differently either. It’s just that I feel the themes of this story are best pitched earlier in life rather than later.

I’ve been writing all my adult life, with my career and my writing each suffering as a result of the other. I chose my degree (psychology) based solely on what it could offer my writing rather than my working day, which for twenty-plus years was in Sales Management. That was cut short by the need for a kidney transplant - although the break was a great boost for my writing. As an aside, I now work as a Clinical Research Administrator and currently live in Dorset, England and am married with two children.

This was my first completed book, but the years of trying to get past an agent meant I had more than one in the pipeline, so I also have available The Collection of Heng Souk and I am set to release a third – The Seventeen Commandments of Jimmy September - at the end of the year, with a fourth in 2014.

Connect with the Author on his Website

Download the opening to the novel HERE.