Friday, 29 May 2015

Off Book by Jessica Dall



5 out of 5 stars
Off book tells the story of Eloise, a character waiting to get called into her own story. She's a good student, but the chances of her getting her own book are getting slimmer and slimmer so when she is offered a job at the Recording Office she takes it. At least that way she won't fade away. 

This was such an amazing book. It was pretty short but very moving. I think as a writer it was a very interesting read to think about how you treat your character- and even could be quite motivating for the right authors!
I want to say that the world was stunning, the author did an amazing job on creating it and explaining it!
When it came to characters I have to admit that I wasn't as drawn to  them as I would have liked. She felt a little depressing and two dimensional but I think for this story it wasn't as annoying as it could be- but the one thing I will say is that I hate depressing characters. But I actually didn't mind Eloise, and that says a lot about this book. I just wasn't as attached to her as I wanted to be. 
The characters were great though, the side chracters brought a great affect to the story and they offered information to the story. 

Finally, I'm sorry but I was totally shipping Own/Eloise and Barny/Alice. Own and Eloise are perfect for each other.

I'd love to see more from this series.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Guest post by Jennifer Senhaji

Music and words…  
A haunting melody or intoxicating rhythm uplifts the soul. Enya’s “Orinoco Flow,” for example, twines together complex strings, whimsical harmonies, and deep base lines in a rhythm that crescendos into a breathtaking surge of emotion. At least for me. I first heard the song in an old San Francisco movie house in the early 1990s. At that time, each district had its own single screen movie theater. There were no cinnaplexes. Just vintage buildings with character we would frequent almost every weekend. This particular theater featured a beautiful domed ceiling, lit in tranquil turquoise hues. The music played as I reclined in the dim lighting waiting for the film to start. I remember being lulled into a trance by the enchanting sound as I tilted my head to gaze at the beautiful architecture above me. It was meditative, evoked a desire to see the world, and discover the philosophy of life. It was also the 1990’s, and I can’t deny that I was caught up in the magic of “New Age.” I lived and worked in the Lower Haight in San Francisco. Need I say more? Since then, I’ve listened to the song countless times. “Sail away,” are still the only words of the song I know, but combined with the music, they are powerful.  
Music creates tension, mood, and ambiance. In each book I’ve written, music has played a role. It also provides inspiration for scenes, characters, and storylines. My characters sing, dance, and listen almost as often as I do. If I’m writing with my earbuds in, I’m in a groove. I’ve created playlists, which you can find at the back of each book and on my website. They enhance the reading experience, give a prospective reader a feel for the mood or tone of the book, and are also provided for those who are not familiar with the music mentioned, so they can listen on their own time. 
My newest romance, Sea Breeze, is about a woman sailing forward on a journey of self-discovery. Jordan finds herself in San Juan, Puerto Rico swaying to Bomba, a sound rooted in the African, Spanish, and Taino cultures. The call and answer of the drums and local singers captivates her. Later, we witness her fly across the dancefloor while a live swing band cranks up the heat. Throughout the book, Jordan finds herself in places she’s never dreamed of. Adding in a soundtrack, I feel, showcases the emotions.  
Music and words allow us to experience a whole spectrum of emotions, without leaving our chair. Both are such a gift.  
You can find my playlists on my website under Music to Read By at www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com, but I truly hope you decide to pick up one of my books as well. Speaking of, here’s the blurb for my latest release Sea Breeze… 
Jordan has never been in love, or been anywhere. Trapped in Vegas, she schleps drinks and dodges losers, while suffering under a burden only she can shoulder. Her life is an endless stretch of blah with no escape.  
Until now. 
Instead of looking back, she’s sailing forward. 
Eric has left his family and friends in San Francisco to travel the world, tending bar on a cruise ship to fund his adventures. He can charm any coed who comes aboard, but Jordan sees right through him. 
On the blue cobblestone streets of San Juan, everything changes. Food. Music. Exotic locations. Possibilities. Setting out to discover the world, will Jordan discover herself? 
Sometimes, adventure can set you free… 

Available for pre-order now on Amazon. http://amzn.com/B00XGJCKNM 

EXCERPT
We make a little picnic on the grass, finding a place under the shade of a tree, and Eric takes his button-down off for us to sit on, leaving him in only his undershirt. My, oh my, the man has some nice shoulders.  
He hands me a can of Medalla Light, this one a lot colder than the one I had earlier today, and we dig in. 
“Oh my Lord, what are these called again?”  
He holds up a finger and finishes his mouthful before answering. “Alcapurria.” 
“So good.” I take another bite of the fried fritter meaty goodness as Eric takes a sip of his beer. 
“What about the tostones? Do you like those? They’re pretty much a staple here. They use plantains in a lot of cooking. The most famous dish is mofongo.” 
I swallow a big bite of my savory pastry and respond. “Did we get any of that…mofongo stuff?” I snag a couple of tostones, expecting sweet, given that they’re fried plantains, but they’re salty.  
“No. We didn’t get any mofongo because it’s more of a sit-down meal, in my opinion.” 
“We are sitting down.” 
“You know what I mean.” Eric takes another swig of his beer and rolls his shoulders. 
“Yes, I like everything. At first, I thought the tostones were a little bland, but now I can’t stop eating them.” I pop another in my mouth to make my point. “I guess I’ll try the mofongo next time.”  
Eric frowns as I take a sip of beer. “You keep saying next time, but we aren’t going to dock here again on this trip. You know that, right?” 
“Yes. But I also know that I’ll come back to Puerto Rico. There’s too much to see and do, not to come back.” I finish the last bite of my meat fritter, and survey the food we still have left. 
Eric quiets, staring at his skewer. I pick up the last pincho and start biting off deliciously grilled pieces of chicken. 
“Do you have—” The sound of drums right behind us interrupts Eric and almost makes me drop my chicken.  
Three different drummers tap out a hypnotizing rhythm, and the man in the middle starts to sing. At the sound of his voice I turn back toward Eric and smile. He grins, and nods in the direction of the musicians. “Bomba.”  
We both stand at the same time and gather our trash, placing it in the can a few feet away. I fold the rest of the fried plantains up in a napkin and place them in my bag. We take our beers around to the other side of the grass to watch and listen. 
The call and answer of the drums and the man’s voice causes me to sway as I stand there listening. A crowd gathers, and I’m completely captivated. 
“We’re going to have to start heading back soon.” Eric’s voice in my ear gives rise to a shudder that runs through me. Maybe it’s the heat and the beer, although I’ve only had two. Or maybe it’s this music, almost spiritual, yet extremely sensual. Whatever it is, the sound of his masculine voice in my ear makes my stomach flip. 
I look up at him as the drummers continue their intoxicating rhythm. He stands so close to me, his shirt slung over one shoulder. His focus is on the musicians, but when he takes a sip of his beer, he catches me staring, and his hand lowers to his side. 
Our gazes lock for exactly sixteen seconds, the drum beats keeping count. Sixteen seconds of blood pumping through my veins. Sixteen seconds of his gaze scrutinizing mine and then shifting down to my lips. Sixteen seconds of wondering what his chest would feel like against my bare breasts.  
“It’s getting late, Jordan.” It’s only a murmur, and there’s no way I should’ve heard him, so I must be reading his lips. He has nice lips. 
He breaks eye contact and looks out over my head. We’re surrounded by people. He wraps his fingers around my forearm and gently tugs me behind him and through the crowd. My other hand easily finds his back, and I use it as a guide to follow him out.  
As we make our way down the crowded street, Eric pulls his cell out of his pocket to read a text. “Shit. We need to hurry.” 
I quicken my pace to keep up with him. “Why? We still have an hour before we have to be on board.”  
“Actually, I need to be back and ready for work in forty-five minutes. My boss wants me to fill in at Allure tonight, and I still need to get back, shower, and change. Come on.” Eric holds out his hand, and we push through the crowd.  

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sea Breeze by Jennifer Senhaji

4.5 out of 5 stars

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review of this story. 

Just like this story I'm going to keep the review short and sweet. This has honestly been one of my favorite books that I've been given by an author for a review. The story is short but sweet. There's no high conflict, not a lot of drama and no major events that take place in this book- so if that is something you're looking for I wouldn't recommend this to you.
But, it is a cute story that focuses on the romance as well as the vacation aspect of the story, because of that I really enjoyed it! 
I love romances that happen during travel.

This was a light read. Cute, sexy and perfect for a day on the beach or a just relaxing outside this summer.


Friday, 22 May 2015

The Mine (Northwest Passage #1) by John A. Heldt

4 out of 5 stars

This was a book I received from the author in return for an honest review. 

I really enjoyed it. Took a while to actually get started but I didn't mind reading most of the filler at the beginning. I really felt like this was a little too long and honestly, but chapter 15 I wasn't invested as I should be.
The story itself I love! I love retro stories and I love the idea of time travel. The characters were fun, I wanted to know what happened to the next and there was a good chunk of humor in this that kept me interested but… there was smething off. Something lacking for me.
I think it was that the main character came off lacking emotion- actually I think a lot of the characters did.
That being said there wasn't anyone I didn't like, in fact I really liked a lot of the side characters and would love to see more about them!

I honestly had a hard time picking this book up every time I put it down, but when I did pick it up I was glad I had and didn't want to put it down.

I loved the way this book ended. I wanted to see Grace show her smarts and she pulled through at the end. I also thought it was great to see some of the characters from the main story- set in the 1940s- in semi modern day-Around 2000- and the way that they changed. I also loved hearing their stories and knowing how the main character helped them by accidently traveling back in time- and how he helped them even when he was gone! 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Beyond The Garden by Sandra Lopez

3 out of 5 stars 


I was asked to review this book by the author. In exchange for an honest review I was given a copy of this. 

This was a sweet story and a very good idea; but sadly there wasn't much that drew me into it. I really really wanted to like this book but sadly I didn't.


I didn't like the main character which makes it really hard to actually like the book. I found her to be negative and honestly a bit two-dimensional. Putting all that aside I just felt like there was too much talking going on here. It really didn't hold my interest and I found myself getting more and more excited the closer I got to being done this. 

But, I did like the idea of this story. I loved the idea of seeing a Latin character, I love college romances and I love hot mechanics! 

Sadly, this story just wasn't delivered in a way that I could sink my teeth into, I wasn't invested in the characters and I didn't really care about their failures or their successes. However a lot of other people seem to enjoy it so maybe its just me? Either way I felt that I could only give this a 3 star review. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Interview with Julia Rose

Today I would like to welcome Julia Rose to the blog! Readers, she's going to talk a little bit about her work, and what she's working on next- have fun and let's get started!

Why don't you tell us about your latest work?
My latest work is a little series called “The Affair.” So far I have written three novellas in the series: Secret Affair, Forbidden Affair and Taboo Affair.

It features two adults who are faced with the realization that they aren’t receiving any intimacy in their respective marriages.  They turn to each other and… well… you can guess what happens.

What inspired it?
My own secret desires.  Marriage is tough!  Being married to someone who has changed so much throughout your relationship is even tougher.  Some days I just wish I could run away with someone else.  That, of course, wouldn’t happen.  I love my husband very much!

Is there something you are currently working on?
Well, ha! I just finished up a little short story featuring a chef and a rather -dominating- female food critic.  It’s titled, Punishing the Chef, and it is another novella featuring my male sous chef, Rob Dresden, who my readers met in the novella, “Order Up.”

Is there a topic you would like to write about but haven't gotten around to yet?
Definitely!  I’d like to experiment with writing an adult breastfeeding novella, more sci-fi, monster erotica that has a really dark undertone, and maybe, just maybe some more group sex stories.  There are so many topics to choose from in erotica, the possibilities are endless! 

I’ve only started writing erotica for publishing recently.  Prior to writing novellas I would role play online and things can get pretty steamy there.  I have also written little sexy stories for lovers in the past.  It’s something that I’ve been doing since I was young and I enjoy making other people feel pleasure with the written word.


When did you finally feel like you could call yourself an author?
I still don’t feel like I can call myself an author! Especially since my genre of choice is erotica.  I’m not exactly screaming my occupation from the rooftops. (What would my Christian neighbors think?)
But I think the defining moment for me was when I finished up my first actual book (published under another pen name).  Holding a physical copy of something you wrote that came straight from a printing press is spirit lifting. 

Other than writing, what are your favorite things to do?
Other than writing I’m kind of a TV junkie, a dance-a-holic, a wannabe health nut who likes to grow her own veggies (or tries to anyway) and a karaoke queen.

Are there any websites where readers can connect with you?
Absolutely! 
You can tweet to me at http://www.twitter.com/EroticaRose


Thank you so much for stopping by the blog Julia! 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Interview: Sandra Lopez

Today I am so pleased to welcome author Sandra Lopez to the blog! I just finished reading her book and will be posting the review this Friday so be sure to check it out- you never know, it might be your next great read! 

Why don't you tell us about your latest work? 
A: Beyond the Gardens is a story of a young Latina venturing out on her own for the first time. She’s always wanted to go to college and now she’s getting the opportunity to find out what she’s made of, what she can accomplish, and what’s she’s been missing out on. Ever since she grew up in the small barrio of Hawaiian Gardens, she’s always wondered what was beyond the life she’s known. Is it love, life, a future? 

What inspired it? 
A: Story was inspired by my own college experience and it’s one that I’ve always wanted to share with today’s youth.  

Is there something you are currently working on? 
A: I just finished a draft for a collection of short stories. We’ll see if any of them get turned into a novel.  

Is there a topic you would like to write about but haven't gotten around to yet?  
A: Not that I know of, but, hey, we’re still early in the year.  

When did you finally feel like you could call yourself an author? 
A: I feel like I’ve always been a writer. I feel like it’s been there growing up, relishing in every book I could get my hands on. When I wrote essays in school, the story-teller in me naturally came out. I considered myself an author when my first novel was accepted for publication WHILE I was still in college.  

Other than writing, what are your favorite things to do? 
A: Reading, of course! I also like to draw, listen to music, and travel as much as I can.  

Are there any websites where readers can connect with you? 
A: Yes, you can reach out to me in any of the following ways: 


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Summoning The Night by Jenn Bennett

5 out of 5 stars

For anyone who remembers my review of Kindling The Moon you will know that I loved it. I remember I had a bit of a hard time getting into the story and I saw this again in Summoning The Night- but I pushed through it.
By chapter 5 I was pretty close to being invested in it but I did feel like the first 50 pages had been drawn out- like filler- even though I found myself smiling at some points I did feel like the book was started too early.

None the less I loved his book just as much as I loved Kindling The Moon. The characters are amazing, and as any of my readers know I love seeing kids in romance novels, and it was quite a light read when I finally got into it! This book took me a long time to actually get around to reading and quite frankly I'm beating myself up for not having read it until now!
There were a few slow moments but overall I loved the plot.
This book has the ability to just make me smile. I love Lon and Candy as lovers and think the fact that they are kinda like this odd little family is adorable. I love the idea of family in urban fantasy since it isn't seen that often- at least not front and center like it is here.
I was a huge fan of Lon in the first book, and that really didn't change in this book, if anything I just ended out getting more attached to him. And Candy is one of the few main characters I actually like a lot. She comes across as very real to me and I feel like in urban fantasy there is a very cookie cutter type of main female character- I don't feel like Candy fits into that mold. As far as character development goes, there wasn't much of that but I didn't feel like that was a major issue in the book.


This book not only expands on background of the characters but also on the world, and I really liked seeing that. I find the world interesting and I can't wait to get the next one!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Wickedly Dangerous by Deborah Blake

5 out of 5 stars

I have been eyeing this book for a very long time. A beautiful woman in leather and a pitbull?! How could I say no?!

I got drawn into this book right away. I loved the story line and I love the Russian folklore in this. I also love the fact that there is a dragon in here.
Overall I feel like the main conflict didn't completely draw me in. It was interesting and everything but I felt like a lot of it was filler-y.
It was fine with me because I loved the filler but it did I did enjoy it.
I feel like the author really made me feel and see what was going on, which was a big plus for me. By page 120 I still didn't quite feel into the main conflict, but I still couldn't put it down.
I love the writing of the author. Deborah Blake does an amazing job at weaving in detail and humor in her stories and I am really regretting not picking this up sooner!

Character wise I love it! Everyone is fine, and normally had me actually smiling as I was reading this book. I wasn't even 100 pages in before I went and got the other book so I could start it right away.
I feel like there should be a long series about these characters and I want to get to know them better.
Lets talk about them here. There may be some spoilers:
Talking-dragon-pitbull. That's right, a dragon in the form of a pitbull who talks and you know what else he does? Get people beer from the fridge!
Liam, our sexy hero. Liam is one of my favorite-sh hero's. I wasn't always a fan of his internal dialogue but  I did feel for him and I was totally rooting for them to get together!
A gang of Russian bikers- How can that go wrong?
Baba, our sexy, funny and all over fun heroine. I personally loved this main character and am reallllly hoping I get to read more about her!

I guess my issue with this book was the actual romance. Some of the terms used to describe the attraction between Baba and Leon made me cringe.


To me, this book felt like it should have had a little more back story- like maybe a previse book but it wasn't something I had a hard time understanding. I ate this book up. I stayed up all night to read it, I put off my responsibilities to read it, hell I put off my own writing to read it!

I highly recommend this book for a light read that isn't quite the same as every other light read out there.