Saturday, November 30, 2013

Spotlight: Warrior Beautiful - Wendy Knight



Working with the ex you secretly love to save the souls of the innocent is almost as bad as working with a mighty battle unicorn who would be thrilled to watch you plummet to your death. 

Scout is used to pain. Her body has been broken, her heart has been broken, and the only thing keeping her together is her relationship with her younger sister. Lil Bit be-lieves in unicorns and terrifying monsters she calls soul stealers. But unicorns and monsters aren’t real…are they? 

When Lil Bit falls prey to the mysterious disease sweeping the country, Scout has two options – believe the doctors who say it’s a pandemic or believe Lil Bit, who says it’s the soul stealers. She chooses her sister and goes looking for the unicorns who are supposed to save them. What she finds aren’t the cute pastel mythical creatures she expects. Battle unicorns are big and tough and full of attitude. Who knew? 

Unicorns are real and so are the monsters. Soul stealers are reaping the souls of the innocent, and the unicorns are fighting to stop them. But to save the world, they need the help of humans – the enemy they’re dying to protect. And first to sign up for the fight is the ex-boyfriend Scout’s heart won’t stop loving, no matter how determined she is to hate him. 



Excerpt


She tipped her head, and the candlelight glinted against her silky, honey-brown waves. Her hair had always been his undoing.

When they’d been together, he couldn’t keep his hands away from
her hair. Or her face. Her lips, her eyes…

          “What was that on your shoulder?” She was speaking and
he had to drag his mind away from the past and try to figure out
what she was saying.

“My shoulder?”

She crossed the short space between them, hesitating, and
touched his shoulder. “Here.”

He nearly choked. She wasn’t supposed to see that. But now
the sea foam-green eyes were watching him with open curiosity
and her lips were parted... he couldn’t tell her ‘no’. Not then, not
now, not ever. He looked away, staring at the floor as he rolled the
black sleeve of his shirt.

“Forgive me,” she read in a whisper, her finger tracing the
hard black letters tattooed on his arm. Without looking from the
words, she said, “When did you get this?”

“After… while you… before you left the hospital.” His entire
body shook against her soft touch as she traced the ‘F’ again. Did
she realize what she did to him? What she still did to him, even
after all this time? No other girl had ever affected him the way she
did with just the barest touch of her fingertip.



Wendy Knight

Contact Information

Website: www.WendyKnightAuthor.blogspot.com
                Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyKnight
                Twitter: https://twitter.com/wjk8099



Monday, November 25, 2013

Spotlight: Spell Struck (Book #2: The Teen Wytche Saga)





Title: Spell Struck (The Teen Wytche Saga #2)

Author: Ariella Moon



Buy Links: Amazon * Astraea PressBarnes & Noble 


Goth outcast, Salem Miller, believes her love spell failed until Aidan Cooper arrives at Jefferson High. When he chooses her over the popular girls, Salem knows magic brought him. But can she summon enough wizardry to save her sister? Salem fears Amy’s next suicide attempt will succeed. Magic brought Aidan. Maybe it can cure Amy. Salem’s last hope lies hidden within a damaged grimoire, nearly destroyed by a wrongful love spell. Was her rightful love spell enough to restore it?

Newest Jefferson High transplant, Aidan Cooper, doesn't expect to be attracted to a goth. Then he realizes Salem is throwing a glamour—pretending to be something she’s not. Guess it takes one to know one, since his whole life has been a lie. But if his kidnappers discover he's broken their No Attachments rule, he'll never see Salem again. Worse, he’s terrified they’ll harm her when they discover she possesses the ancient grimoire. To protect Salem, Aidan must destroy the grimoire, and escape his captors.

While Salem races to unlock the Get Well Spell, Aidan scrambles to overcome his past. With their star-crossed paths at odds, will time run out for both of them?

Excerpt

Aidan lowered his hand. His finger pressed against my skin, shooting a delicious tingle up my arm. When I didn’t move away, he hooked his finger over mine. My breath caught. We stayed, frozen, hyper-focused, for what seemed like three lifetimes. Then Aidan trailed his fingertips across the back of my hand. The soundtrack, popcorn smells, and theater audience melted into the background. The world narrowed down to the unspoken grief and need entangled in Aidan’s touch.

I rotated my hand so my palm faced upward. Aidan hesitated. Our gazes locked in the flickering light. The spell link humming between us lit up like blue lightning. At least I think it was the spell link. Aidan plunged his fingers between mine. Our palms pressed together, igniting a current. Air shuddered from my lungs. Magic rippled from us in successive waves.

My heart stuttered. My breath ceased. Every cell within me vibrated. Troops of fairies or dragonflies took flight in my lower abdomen. It’s possible blue lightning shot from my boots.

Good thing I wasn’t holding the popcorn.


Chapter One

My whole life since fifth grade has been a lie. That was when I razor-cut my blond hair and dyed it black and purple. I got an eyebrow stud, which hurt like blazes, then became infected and hurt even worse. I scoured thrift shops for vintage black clothing and adopted a Mess-With-Me-At-Your-Own-Peril attitude. Teachers no longer recognized me as Amy Miller's little sister. I became the Anti-Amy. No resemblance, no expectations. And unfortunately, no friends.
Magic always exacts a price.
But now, barely three months into my freshman year at Jefferson High, I'd found a friend — Evie O'Reilly. She'd seen through my disguise and discovered the reason behind it: I have difficulty reading.
Compared to Amy, I'm a failure. But this Halloween night, I'd succeeded at something big: I'd overturned a wrongful love spell. As a consequence, I saved a life, probably two. And I helped Evie in the process. As Evie's mom drove me home and her Volvo swung into my driveway, my brain buzzed with the thought, Tonight will definitely go in my Karmic Win column.
"Bye, Salem," Evie said.
"Bye. Thanks for the ride, Mrs. O'Reilly." Giddy with success and magic, I hopped out, closed the car door, then waved to Evie before sprinting to my front porch. The lantern-shaped light fixture cast an amber glow over the empty candy bowl perched on the footstool. As I unlocked the front door, I wondered if the trick-or-treaters had heeded the Please Take One sign, or if marauding teens had stolen all the chocolates.
Feeling like a thief, I snuck inside. Einstein, Amy's cockapoo, guarded the marble entryway. The dog ignored me and stood on his hind legs to sniff the plastic bag looped over my wrist. One whiff of the noxious brimstone emanating from the half-destroyed spell book was enough to catapult him, nails clicking, down the hall. He raced past the half-bath on the right, my room on the left, then Amy's. He took the corner at a skid, almost crashed into the glass case displaying Amy's trophies, recovered, and then disappeared from view.
"Sarah?" It sounded as if Mom had cracked open my parents' bedroom door at the far end of the hall.
My post-magic buzz vanished. I shielded the bag behind my back and froze. "Yeah, Mom," I called out. "I'm back from Evie's."
"Good night, Toothpick." Dad sounded exhausted. I pictured him standing behind Mom, dressed in his white tee shirt and gray flannel pajama bottoms. He was probably scratching the stubble along his jaw.
"Good night." I waited, muscles tensed. When neither of them emerged around the corner, my arm dropped to my side. The grimoire pressed against my thigh like a needy child. My gaze drifted to my sister's bedroom door. Part of me wanted to sit on Amy's bed and hug her stuffed animal, Flipper. Would Amy get better? Should we have brought her home? I thought about the suicide prevention pamphlet stuffed in my backpack. Surely M.I.T. would allow a leave of absence for a student who had overdosed.
She's going to get better. She has to.
In the hall, I hurried past the framed eight-by-ten photos of Amy. Thirteen years of formal school portraits, splashy action shots of Amy scoring for the water polo team, and Amy giving her valedictorian speech last June. In each, her shiny blond hair haloed her sun-kissed face. Her eyes gleamed with intelligence; her smile was wide and welcoming. She radiated athletic wholesomeness.
Interspersed among the photos of the Golden One were a few smaller photos of me. Well, photos of my pre-goth self, taken when I'd looked like a mini-Amy but with an unsure smile, worried eyes, and fragility instead of athletic prowess. There were no pictures of me after the fifth grade. Zero. Nada. I had ceased to exist when I'd gone goth.
I was shocked my parents had waited up for me tonight. Maybe I'm the Golden One now. The thought unsettled me. It wasn't like when I had been four and Amy eight, and we had played on the seesaw. Amy shouldn't have to teeter down for me to rise up. What kind of a victory would that be?
The hundred-watt light from my desk lamp spilled like a beacon into the hall. I gravitated toward it, tiptoeing to soften the thud of my faux combat boots against the parquet floor. Einstein doubled back and took up sentry in front of Amy's room.
"Behave," I whispered, entering my bedroom. As I locked the door behind me, the wounded spell book coughed up another cloud of brimstone. The stink bomb fanned out like cigarette smoke and coated my pearl-gray walls. Great. Just great. I tossed my keys onto the bed and watched them sink into the pale turquoise comforter. I waited for the peacefulness of my un-goth, Zen-like room to seep into my bones. As the new owner of a shape-shifting spell book, I needed as much tranquility as I could muster.
After slipping the grimoire from the bag, I carried it my meditation altar, a curved Japanese bench. As I placed it next to my Kuan Yin statue, a fresh wave of anger rippled through me. What had Parvani been thinking? Evie had warned her not to direct a love spell at Jordan Kent. She had warned her to never direct a love spell at anyone. Hello? It's called karma, you moron.
At last, finally, Parvani had caved. Earlier tonight we had rescued Jordan, Evie's secret crush and the victim of Parvani's spell. But we'd been too late to save the spell book. When Evie had first bought the grimoire at a used bookstore, it had appeared to be an ordinary paperback titled Teen Wytche. Once Evie had brought it home, the book had grown to the size of a photo album. The cover had transformed into plum leather with embossed silver leaves and vines, and the pages had changed into vellum covered with spidery handwriting.
The grimoire's author must have placed a fail-safe spell on it in case it fell into the wrong hands, like Parvani's. She's not evil or anything, just desperate and misguided. Her wrongful love spell had launched some kind of magical self-destruct code. The grimoire had shrunk. The edges of the leather cover had singed then reverted to paper. Most of the silver leaves had faded away. The stiff vellum pages had almost disappeared, replaced by printed text on modern paper.
I sank to my knees and placed my hand on the tattered spell book. A fragment of the cover was still embossed leather. It beat like a failing heart against my palm. Suddenly, the cover swelled and a jagged bolt of energy struck my hand.
"Artemis, Demeter, and Hecate!" I jerked away and flicked the bad mojo to the floor. Then an odd compulsion rippled through me. Moving to my desk, I scavenged through the top drawer until I found a silver permanent marker. With quick, exact strokes, I drew the silver leaf design on my left wrist. Just three leaves, but they matched the ones on the grimoire. The tingle from the bad mojo subsided.
I expelled a long breath. "Okay," I reassured myself. I was on a magical roll. Unfamiliar pride spiked my thin frame. After I had overturned the wrongful love spell, I had crafted a rightful love spell, where Parvani, Evie, and I had listed the attributes we wished for in a boyfriend. The new spell had worked immediately for Parvani and Evie. They'd been reunited with their true loves, Zh├╣ and Jordan.
I sank back onto my heels. Too bad my Mr. Right failed to materialize.
The grimoire chirped.
I flinched like Einstein when someone squeezes his squeaky toy. "What?" I asked the spell book. For a second, I thought the grimoire appeared a little better. Then it sort of deflated and resumed its feeble death beat. Maybe the rightful love spell had arrested the damage, but it had been too little, too late.
Guess I'm not such a hot spell-caster after all. A fresh worry gnawed my insides. Had I made a huge mistake working magic in front of Parvani and Evie? What if word got out? Pretending to be an edgy goth kept everyone at bay, even the school bullies, the Smash Heads. Granted, Evan and Tommy weren't the brightest kids in class. At least they kept their distance. But what if I were forced out of the broom closet? The Smash Heads and everyone else would pounce.
Evie won't say anything. But Parvani might...
Fumes from Teen Wytche seared a raw path up my nose. Soon the reverse transformation would be complete, and the grimoire, with all its magic and wisdom, would be lost forever. Parvani and Evie had been so confident I could save it. I wish. If I could work amazing magic, I'd cure Amy. Then I'd cast a brilliance spell so I wouldn't have to disguise myself. And Mr. Right would stroll into Jefferson High and fall in love with the real me.
Yeah. Right. So not going to happen.






Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: Deadly Stuff Players - Flo Anthony


REVIEW
 
This was definitely a piece of fiction.   While Author Flo Anthony had some interesting twists and turns in her debut novel, it was so underdeveloped and unrealistic that it was an extremely difficult and frustrating read.   In the novel, Valerie and Rome are hired to solve a murder mystery for a wealthy client.  Valerie is supposed to be financially secure, but throughout the novel it seemed Author Anthony kept eluding that she needed money, which was confusing to me. 
 I did enjoy the not knowing aspect.  When I thought, I figured out the murderer, Author Anthony gave you just a tidbit to throw you off track. But, plots and/or thoughts were left unfinished.  At times, there was just too much going on.   I had questions, but before they were answered, the storyline changed.    One of the characters, Mr. Dumas, is extremely wealthy, and he had no problem in displaying that; however, it was unrealistic to give a large sum of money ($5,000) for insignificant and minute pieces of information.
The discrepancies and inconsistencies were so frequent that it was hard to focus on the crime investigations.  Who removes a body from a crime scene without an investigation?  Every time, the characters went somewhere names of celebrities were listed.   Although Valerie is a celebrity gossip columnist, the interaction with these celebrities sometimes did not provide any additional information, and their presence just seemed to be filler information for me.  I found myself asking – what did that have to do with the novel?  Also, every time a meal was prepared or shared, the entire menu was listed.  This became annoying to me as a reader.   On a few occasions, there was information presented when it was not previously introduced to the reader, and I had to re-read passages because it did not make sense.  
2 Stars
 
Carmela
 
 


Disclaimer: Book Referees was given a free ARC Copy of this book. Our thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. We were not compensated for the review. Thank you for giving Book Referees the opportunity to review this selection.
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Guest Blog Post: Adrienne Thompson - Your Love is King




Divorced nurse and single mom, Marli Meadows, finds herself stuck in a rut. She’s tired of her life and decides to leave it behind and embark on a search for change. What she finds instead, is love.

Excerpt:
From Chapter One: “You’re Not the Man

I rolled over in the bed after a short nap, opened my eyes, and nearly jumped out of my skin. For a brief moment, I’d forgotten that Darius was lying next to me. The sight of him lying there asleep with his mouth wide open startled me.
I eyed him with disgust as I tried to ease out of bed undetected. I slid and slid until my feet finally reached the floor, then I tiptoed through the cluttered efficiency apartment into the bathroom. I peered into the smudged mirror and wondered to myself, What are you doing, Marli Meadows? Why are you here with him? I shook my head as if the mere action could erase my relationship with Darius Cotton right out of my life.
I squatted over the toilet and relieved myself, afraid to sit on the seat. Knowing Darius, there was no telling how many other butts had been on that seat. I turned the water in the faucet on to a slow trickle, still not wanting to awaken Darius, and washed my hands. I dried them with some toilet paper and then quickly pulled my underwear and work uniform back on and slowly opened the creaky bathroom door.
I exited the bathroom and found Darius sitting on the side of the bed, lighting up a blunt. Dang! I thought, if I don’t get out of here quick, I’ll be smelling just like that stuff and probably get a contact high. It’d be my luck for them to pop up with a random drug test at work and that crap’ll show up.
“You leaving, baby?” he grunted between drags. He rubbed his hand across his bare chest and stretched. I eyed his nakedness as I walked back into the room.
“Yeah, it’s already eleven. I gotta go home and get some rest for work tonight,” I answered as I gathered up my purse and slipped on my shoes.
With a lopsided grin on his face, he revealed two rows of shiny gold teeth and said, “Yeah, cause you know if you stay here you gon’ have to put in some more work, huh?”
Ugh, I thought. “Yeah, well, I’ll talk to you later, Darius.”
“A’ight, come give me a kiss, boo.”
I swallowed hard. I know this sounds strange considering the fact that I’d just had sex with him, but the thought of kissing him really didn’t appeal to me. It took all I had in me to walk over to him, bend over, and plant a kiss on his dark lips.
He swatted my butt. “A’ight girl, I’ll holla at you later. Don’t work too hard tonight.”
I nodded. “I won’t. Bye, Darius.”
“Bye, Mar-lay.”
I shook my head as I closed the door behind me. We’d been “seeing” each other for nearly two years, and he still mispronounced my name. Well, it was either that or he was just so country that it sounded like he was mispronouncing it.  Whichever was the case, it was irritating.
I walked down the steep stairs from Darius’s apartment out onto the parking lot.  I unlocked and then climbed into my Toyota Camry which was parked right next to Darius’s souped-up Chevy Caprice. I rolled my eyes at the repeated Louis Vuitton logos covering his car. I backed out of my space and glanced at his license plate which read, SMOKONE. I sighed as I pulled off the lot.



Purchase Links:
Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/qL1C3



Author Bio:
Adrienne Thompson has worn many titles in her lifetime–from teenage mother to teenage wife to divorcee to registered nurse to author. This mother of two young adults and one teenager currently resides in Arkansas with her daughter where she writes and publishes her stories full time.

You can connect with her on:




Friday, November 15, 2013

Review: Girl in a Funk - Tanya Napier and Jen Kollmer

Product Details
 
Reading level: Teen Nonfiction
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Zest Books
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9772660-9-8

REVIEW

This is the perfect book for teens who are looking for a way to distress. Yes! Teens have their share of stress. From peer pressure, bullying, and social media, there are many things that occupy a teen’s mind.
Girl in a Funk: Quick Stress Busters (and why they work) offers countless amounts of tips for teen to distress, even though I was familiar with a lot of tips, I think teens will benefit from this book. I love the tips for ditching your insomnia something I deal with on the daily. It’s funny how a few simple tips can do the trick.
This book is a very fast read. Christmas is coming in a few weeks this will be a perfect stocking stuffer.


4 Stars
Orsayor
 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: Skin: The Bare Fact - Lori Bergamotto

Product Details
Teen Nonfiction
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Zest Books
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9800732-5-6
 
REVIEW
 

This book contains essential information you should know about taking care of your skin. Everything from managing your skin through weather, stress, acne, and everything else you can think of that pertains to skin. The book gave an in-depth study of skin, which included a diagram that explained each layer of skin & its duties.  This book is not strictly for teens. I have so many issues with my skin, and this book came to the rescue.  I love the shaving tips – Tweeze it, Wax it, Shave it.  I’m the type of the person that wants to shave everything instead of using tweezers, but after reading this book, I will have to reconsider my choices.


Skin: The Bare Facts also included natural remedies for irritated skin, cleaning your pores, and reducing under-eye puffiness. So the next time you go grocery shopping, pick up some oatmeal, egg whites, and avocado and have a spa day at home.

I highly recommend this book for all ages.



5 Stars

Orsayor

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Virtual Blog Tour/Review/Giveaway: Eastern Spice - Cynnamon Foster




69 Degrees Series, Book Two
Desiree Compton has a sexy new job as a secret agent. It’s filled with excitement, intrigue, drama and travel to exotic locales. Best of all, she gets to do it all with her lover, Sam, by her side. His hotness regularly leaves her breathless and things promise to be wonderful, until a dead woman is discovered in a hotel pool in India. Now they have to find out who is responsible-and their contact is Desiree’s ex-best friend, a woman who never met trouble she didn’t like.


Going undercover in India is a challenge to say the least, as Sam and Desiree, both tall, black Texans, try to infiltrate the sex parlor linked to the case, straining their relationship to the utmost. But sometimes love and desire manages to flourish against great odds, even in the midst of intrigue and danger.


Inside Scoop: Being undercover in a sex parlor can lead to all sorts of fun, including a brief but hot m/f/m scene.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


REVIEW


Desiree Compton is still getting used to her new job as a secret agent, plus the fact she’s having a “secret” relationship with her partner, Sam.  Desiree finds out everything is not what it seems when she takes on an undercover assignment in India. This is the first novel; I have read from Cynnamon Foster.

After reading this selection, I want to read the Author's previous novel, Southern Comfort. I would love to know more about Desiree, Sam, and Seria.

I will say this… it’s been a minute since I have read a book so spicy. The scenes in this book were steamy.  You will find yourself wanting to digest each word slowly to get the full effect. The sexual chemistry was bouncing off the pages.

Cynnamon’s writing style was very easy to follow. If you are looking for intrigue, passion, and suspense, then this is the book for you.


4 Stars

Orsayor





Cynnamon Foster is the alter-ego of multi-published author and filmmaker Nina Foxx. Cynnamon has been begging to be let out for quite awhile. She tied Nina up and put her in a closet and has been writing ever since. Cynnamon lives in the Seattle area with her main personality.
Visit Nina Foxx by visiting her website: www.ninafoxx.com
Facebook: Nina Foxx
Twitter: @ninaFoxx



***Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of this book.***



Review: Sex: A Book for Teens - Nikol Hasler

Product Details
Reading level: Teen Nonfiction
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Zest Books
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9819733-2-6
The host of the popular web comedy series The Midwest Teen Sex Show brings us a hilarious, honest, and in-depth look at every teen’s favorite subject—sex. With humorous illustrations by San Francisco Chronicle cartoon artist Michael Capozzola, this book features chapters on everything from foreplay and masturbation to sexual orientation, body issues, relationships, and safety.

REVIEW


Let me take a deep breath…

Growing up the conversation about the bird and bees went this way…

Mom: Sex! Don’t do it. If I find out you are having sex I will whip your a**
Me: Ok
 
Sex is never an easy topic to talk to with your kids. I think parents should give their kids an uncensored lesson to sex, because if you let the world teach them the results may not be pretty. I thought I was prepared when I started reading Sex: A Book for Teens for review.

Hold My Mule…

This book is as uncensored as they come. The book addresses many topics such as sexual orientations, safe sex, masturbation, STDs, and much more. This is a very informative book mixed with humor (to lighten the mood in some parts). I would advise parents to read this book first before sharing the information with their kids. Then discuss the contents of this book with them.
 
There is some strong content in this book, but it’s needed in today’s culture.
 
4 Stars
 
Orsayor
  

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