Sunday, 28 December 2014

Interview with Tara Dobbs

Today we've got another interview! 

Welcome Tara! Why don't you tell us about your latest work? 
This first novel, in a series of four, is titled Soul's Little Lie. (Mind, the name 'Ynycornus' is pronounced 'unicornus' the Latin spelling for unicorn, the 'y' acts as a 'u', I know, cheesy kind of, but it works.
Here's the summary:
Vivian Warren is trying to make the best of her marriage even with a husband who ignores her when she needs him most. To calm her worries, she works meditative magic and prayers to give her strength. In the process of such a spell, she is confronted with an unexpected reality – her spirit guide comes knocking at her front door.
As friendly and helpful as her spirit guide is to her, she discovers a deep anguish in the man whom calls himself Ynycornus. To find the answers they both seek, Ynycornus takes Vivian on a road trip cross country to his home in Lowell, Massachusetts. Along the way, a past friend of Ynycornus' is out to get revenge. All the while, Detective Jacob Umari sees a missing person's report of Vivian, finding a connection between her and a mysterious man named David Geraci dealing with an old case file from decades past.
All parties involved are in for a wild ride when all comes to a head. Death knocking at the door of the Geraci Mansion. A haunting of old history and a young woman's faith still in herself to save both crippled souls into the next life. Even if it means she must die in the process, or has she already been dead this whole time?

What inspired it?
My real life problems of a broken down marriage and the psychosis of my mind trying to come to terms with an abusive husband.

Is there something you are currently working on? 
The second book in the series: Soul's Little Lie: Broken Roses. I'm currently on chapter 4. Been working on it since July 2014. I'd love to tell you some of what this story is about, but I'd rather save that for another day when I've gotten most of the first draft finished. Don't worry, the whole story has been well thought out if I ever have to tell about it on the fly.

Is there a topic you would like to write about but haven't gotten around to yet?
After these semi-serious pieces I'd want to write a romance comedy. From my research I've discovered it's much more difficult to write a comedy cause there is a formula to it that I haven't read in any fictions yet. Right now I'm sticking with fiction that deals with PTSD, psychosis, dreaming and the after life.

When did you finally feel like you could call yourself an author?
When I signed the contact to get the first book published with Rebel Ink Press.

What made you decide to submit your writing to a publisher? Was it scary the first time?
I had believed throughout my research and from what people had always seemed to say - find an agent that can get you a publisher. I believed this completely. Then my friend Robert and I were talking about books that we liked and our favorite authors. He said, "I know an author. She's my friend on Facebook. Her name is Eden Glenn. I think you'd like her. She could help you if you just friend her and ask some questions." I was reluctant to do so. I thought it was silly to 'get connections' like this. I believed it was all done by agents. That I would have to pay money to an agent to get my work published. I waited for nearly two days before I got up the courage to friend her, to talk to her. When I did, it only took a few hours talk and she contacted the Editor in Chief of Rebel Ink Press to look forward to the book coming her way. Eden said, "Okay, it's your turn. Send it in and keep me informed." Sure enough, sent it in and it was at the top of the list for future publications. Now, here I am! My writing career has started.
But get this...when I was still married at the time back in summer 2011, I went to Emerald Comic Con in Seattle, WA with a friend and my husband. I saw Rebel Ink Press' booth there. My husband said, "Why don't you get some info with them about how to get published?" I replied, "Nah. The first draft isn't done yet. I have to edit it first before I do anything." He added, "You could just get some info on their company at least." I commented, "It's not time yet. I'll look them up when the time is right."..... Little did I know that I would come across Rebel Ink Press in such a beautiful way through a friend a few years later.

Other than writing, what are your favorite things to do?
Draw and paint concept art and illustrations for my novels. Drawing the characters gives me a more physical concept that I can hold onto. A way to get a better feel for the presence of their fears, pains, joys and loves. I do costume design and set design for the scenes in case I need extra help with the story. I have pages of drawings of floor plans and characters. Never underestimate photographs to help figure out what a scene kind of looks like to help you along in the writing process. Visual aids are a must for me. I also enjoy taking walks around town when I need to take a break from writing. It helps reform the chapters I'm working on. I also listen to music quite heavily that also helps with my writing to get that special feeling of the scene.

Are there any websites where readers can connect with you?
Author Facebook page Author Site Twitter

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Abandon by Michelle Lowhorn

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

So, I read this book because I offered to do some promoting. This being said it is not the kind of thing I would pick up on my own, so I am somewhat biased on it.
This story fallows Gage and Brook. Gage is a ripped hunk- so that got me off to the right start! I love my men with muscle. And Brook, Brook is the ex-wife of Gage’s late brother. I wasn’t sure how I felt about a romance the involved a man and his brother’s wife but I liked it!
Starting off I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get into this. I wasn't sure how I would feel about either of the main characters- or the side characters.
Before long I warmed up to Gage and Brook and was even rooting for them to win!

I love seeing kids in a romance! I feel like kids really can bring a couple together in a romance novel and this story did an amazing job of bringing the kids into the story and helping bring the couple together. And this book did that! The kids added succchh a cute aspect to this story!
I thought Gage's parents were a lovely couple and would have loved to see more of them.
I have to say that I loved seeing Gage's team and meeting them. They brought a fun element to it and brought more to the story.  The first sex scene was, although not quiet my cup of tea, very romantic and I liked seeing that in a romance novel.

The only thing that really annoyed me is that I didn't feel like there was a real "I love you moment". Something I always look forward to in romances
Overall this was a sweet book with a great plot line. The perfect evening read, and something I could finish in a couple of hours, which was a nice change.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I knew better than to be preoccupied when the Tambuku Tiki Lounge was overcapacity. Crowds are ugly; it doesn't matter if they are human or demon.
 I had a really hard time deciding if I was going to review this or not. I really liked the way it started out and I really loved the way the author wrote everything, but I didn't think  I was going to like the main plot. But honestly. I loved this book.
Like really, I couldn't put it down.
There were about two things I didn't like in this, so I'm going to get them right out of the way:
  1. I didn't like the fact that Candy (our main character) seemed to really dislike Lon (the love interest) at first. To me, it just didn’t seem like her reasons not to like him were… very good.
  1. There is a quick moment were Lon over reacts. Though it is done in a way that is very understandable it still left me going "Oh god, don't be stupid man!"
And that's it! Which is a big deal for me because I'm so freakin nitpicky about books I normally find at least five things I didn't like with in the first chapter!

Anyways, let's move onto everything that I loved about this book.
I’m going to start off with two large aspects of the book, the magic in the world and the magic society in the world. I loved them both. I felt like the magic used in this world wasn’t something I have read about in all the other books I’ve read but it didn’t try too hard to be original.
I like both the main characters, and I felt all the side characters were done well. I love the fact that Candy has a pet hedgehog, and that Lon has a 13 year old son. But more than that I love romance novels that involve the kids bringing people together, and in an odd way I felt like Lon's son helped down that. I also liked seeing a father with full custody of a son in the novel. Now, since Lon has a 13 year old son it's safe to assume he's a little older than Candy… there's also a paranormal element that keeps him from aging (which I won't give away but I LOVED) and I thought the author did a good job with the age difference. It wasn't the a major issue, but it did leave both characters wondering.
Speaking of loved… I loved the way the author did demons in this book. They play a huge role and they are done beautifully! There is so much detail and thought put into them it was… honestly just great.
Since this is a romance it is safe to say there is an “I love you” or something along the lines of one. So let’s talk about that… because (you guessed it) I loved it. I won’t give too much away but there is a bit of a fight scene. I love fight scene I love you’s! They always make me laugh and this one was no exception.

This book got a 5 star review because I could not put it down for the life of me, and on top of that I wanted to read more. As soon as I finished this book I put the second one on hold at my library. It let me gratified. It didn’t drag out too long or end too soon. It was action packed and I felt like it was a really good beginning to a series. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

4 out 5 stars

Fear sucks. 
The cover said that the action was nonstop which really was made me decide to give this a shot and after reading the prologue I was sold! It was great but Chapter 1 quickly deflated any excitement I'd had from the  prologue.
There were some sentences I had to read two or three times to get and some of the writing was just… odd.
By the end of the second chapter I wasn't sure how I felt about the characters and even by the end of the book I wasn't sure, nor was I attached to anyone . I also wasn't a fan of the fact that there was no back ground on the love interest blossoming. It seemed to jump right into the main character checking the hero out and lusting over him but had no mention of a previous crush/lusting even though they have been working side by side (almost 24/7) for the past 6 months.
Some aspects of this novel felt… cluttered, forced and long winded. Over all the book left me unsatisfied. Even 100 pages into the book I felt like it was just beginning and I had to will myself to keep reading it. Hell, even with 100 pages left I felt like we were just getting into the novel
Lastly, I didn't like the way the  book ended. It's not that it ended badly, but I didn't feel emotionally gratified when it ended. I felt like there was still more to be told.

Alright so there were a lot of things I didn't like about this book but I still gave it a 4 star review… and here is why:
As much as I felt like this was 335 pages of set up, I mostly enjoyed it. No I didn't have any emotional attachment to the characters and I could have easily put the book down and forgotten about it but I think I would have thought about it in 5 years and wondered why I didn't finish it.
I'm not sure what it was about this book that I actually liked but something in me said "This is 4 stars." I know for sure that I will be giving the second book in the series a shot- I just hope I enjoy it more.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Interview with Joanne C. Berroa

Today, we've got an interview! This is super exciting for me, because not only do I love author interviews but I love pirates! So, let's just right in here!

Welcome Joanne! Why don't you tell us about your latest work? 
Hi! My latest romance is Rapture on the High Seas and it was released on 12/10/14 by Rebel Ink Press. It’s a contemporary romantic suspense novel about the daughter of a billionaire banker and a Somali pirate leader.
What inspired it? 
While eating pizza at Pizza Hut one day, my son and I were talking about my novels. He said I should do a contemporary romance about a woman who is captured by modern day pirates. We brainstormed while we waited for our pie to be cooked and my son jotted our thoughts down on a table napkin. When I came home, I wrote a quick outline and the story of Rapture on the High Seas was born.
Is there something you are currently working on?
Yes, I’m working on a sequel to the popular The Diamond Cross. The original story of Hungarian immigrants ends with the marriage of the hero and heroine, and the sequel picks up their story seven years later. It’s entitled The Diamond Legacy.
Is there a topic you would like to write about but haven't gotten around to yet?
I have an outline already done for another romance. It’s a romance/mystery and I can’t wait to get started on it. It’ll have a surprise ending that no one expects!
When did you finally feel like you could call yourself an author? 
I’ve been writing since I was seven years old. Back then I wrote short stories dealing with space travel and science fiction. At nineteen, I wrote my first romance novel. I was published by traditional publishers back in the early 80’s. My first published novel was entitled The Barbary Coasters and was under the pseudonym Lee Davis Willoughby. Later, Rebel Ink Press released five novels under my own name.
What made you decide to submit your writing to a publisher? Was it scary the first time? 
I was married to a published author and he put in a good word for me with his agent. She submitted my works to publishers and I got my first offer in 1982. Yes, it was scary, but I had my husband to help guide me every step of the way.
Other than writing, what are your favorite things to do?
I’ve been a piano teacher for 38 years. I have my music and lots of crafty things to keep me busy. I also love shopping for bargains at thrift stores.
Are there any websites where readers can connect with you?

Rapture on the High Seas: Joanne C. Berroa, release date 12/10/14.

Laurel Vanderman Delacroix is the daughter of billionaire Victor Vanderman, owner and CEO of multi-national World One Bank. Although Laurel has a high level job within the family business, her life is unfulfilled, and she takes an extended African vacation with friends aboard her multi-million dollar yacht. She never expects to be hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, some three hundred miles out in International waters off the coast of Tanzania. She has no way of knowing that this is no random act of piracy. Someone who wants to bankrupt her father set the hijacking in motion, and the perpetrator doesn’t care what happens to Laurel and her friends in the process.
The Somali pirate leader who captures Laurel and her friends aboard Bubbles is extremely competent and dangerous, which makes him a force to be reckoned with. He’s also an astute businessman with millions in his Swiss bank account. Will this Somali pirate carry out his mission and put Laurel’s and her friends’ lives on the line, or does he subscribe to another agenda? Will he capture Laurel’s heart along with his ransom demands, or completely destroy it?
My Somali Pirate is a contemporary story of danger, intrigue and betrayal. Above all else, it’s a sensual tale of love that’ll leave you feeling warm all over and believing that nothing is ever as it seems.

His scowl made her heart hammer and he crossed the distance between them with panther-like grace. Before she could blink, a six inch blade materialized in his right hand and with a flash, he yanked the sheet away from her and slashed the scanty material at the center of her bra, severing it. Rendered with precision and skill, she felt no pain and the knife drew no blood, but the bra fell open, exposing Laurel’s upturned breasts to his lascivious gaze. She gasped. The haughty pirate touched the tip of the knife to his lips and licked it as though it had just sliced through a savory steak. His face harbored a smug smile. “That could’ve been your throat, Mrs. Delacroix. Luckily I was aiming a bit lower.”
Buy on

Friday, 5 December 2014

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires cleaned up after every meal.
The first chapter pulled me in. I loved it!
The name of this book left me tentative to read it. I'm not sure what it was about it… but the title just sounded… so un-hooking. It didn't draw me in or make me want to read it. The only reason I grabbed it from the Library was, well, I knew I would need more books than I had. But the first chapter, oh my! That drew me in like honey draws bears.
The first page was great. The first sentence hooked me and drew me in like the snap of a finger.
But… and yes there is a but, I started to find it lacking after a couple chapters.
There is a small bit about Lilith and Cain (from the bible)  in there, I really liked that but the whole thing got me wondering about vampires. It says that all vampires have red hair, but it didn't go into much detail about how vampires are created. If they are born that way or can be turned. And what would happen to someone without red hair if they were turned into a vampire?
That being said  I really like the bars and how they played an importance, as well as the way they mixed blood and booze.

As for as characters go… I like Adam, he was a fun character probably my favorite, not that there were really many characters to pick from- but sometimes a small cast is best.
I can't really say I liked or disliked many others. They were all just "meh" but when it comes to the main character, Sabrina was… well she was alright. She wasn't annoying, she stupid but there was something very lifeless about her. I just can't place my finger on it. Maybe it was the lack of emotional variety she seemed to show.

I didn't quite feel like information was given quickly enough but I really liked the idea of the plot.
I liked the first meeting of Giguhl but I didn't like the conversation. It felt immature, lacking and like it was just being used to fill pages. Actually, I found a lot of the conversation with Giguhl and Sabina very immature and almost "forced" to seem like a fight, and slightly long/pointless, I like Giguhl. He was actually one of the reasons I kept reading this book, but I feel like his frequent use of "You're a real bitch" in conversation is just used to make it seem like the two are not supposed to like each other.

Okay, now that I've nit picked every single little thing... I finally got drawn in at the end. I’m not even sure why but something just snapped and suddenly I wanted to know what happened next, I got so drawn in that I plan on reading the next book- Actually I just finished putting a hold on it at the library