Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Tour: Ryan Hunter and Play With Me - both by Piper Shelly - Review and Interview

Title: Play With Me
Author: Piper Shelly

About the Book: Ryan Hunter's parties are legend.

And tonight she's going to be there.

Liza Matthews anticipates the return of her best friend and only love since kindergarten from soccer camp. But when Tony finally shows up, his mind is more focused on another girl. And worse, she's a soccer player. Fighting for the attention Liza craves, she's just a hairbreadth away from making a very stupid decision. But when extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, she's prepared to play ball to get her man.

The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party she wakes up in the worst place possible—in the arms of the captain of the soccer team. The hottest guy in school. Ryan Hunter.

THE SUN BREAKING through the windows woke me the next morning. I felt as if I was drifting out to a restless sea on an unsound airbed. It took a few seconds for the eerie swaying to stop so that I could focus.

My cheek rested on a pillow smelling of pine trees and warmth. I inhaled deeply, wanting to keep that scent, and opened my eyes to stare at the sensual lips of Ryan Hunter. My hand on his naked chest rose and fell with his slow, even breaths.

Holy cow, what the hell happened? I was in bed with the captain of the soccer team. Heck, I should have never gone to that party.

Now, my only thought was run. But shock kept me pinned to the bed as I became aware of the entangled position Ryan and I had taken on in our sleep. Lying on my right, my left leg was slung over his hip. My calf rested neatly on his groin. He lay on his back, his left leg bent so, that I wouldn’t be able to withdraw mine. I tried to stop my body from shivering. No chance.

Not daring to wake him, I didn’t move, frantically running through the options I had. Great, there were none. I was trapped.

Maybe if I lay still, pretending to be fast asleep, until he woke up and got out of bed first, then I could sneak out after him and be gone before he noticed. I would have slapped myself for that idea if I could remove my hand from his warm chest.

And a firm chest it was. He must lift weights besides playing soccer. As if my eyes had their own mind, they traveled down his gorgeous body. A thin trail of dark hair led south from his navel over his flat stomach until it vanished under the waistband of his jeans. His bent leg seemed amazingly long. I never paid attention, but he must be more than a head taller than me.

My gaze swept up to his neck and the part of his face not covered with his arm. A lean jaw and a perfect, straight nose. He sported an overnight shadow that begged to be rubbed. I resisted. Under his left ear was an old scar, about an inch long. One would never notice unless close to him, like I was now.

Suddenly his lips twitched.
“I can feel you staring at me,” he said in the softest wake-up voice I’d ever heard. “I only hope you’re a girl and not one of the drunken guys.”

My breath caught in my chest. I jerked my hand back from him. Not taking his arm away from his face yet, he reached down with his other hand. And slowly ran his palm over my naked thigh in the direction of my bum.

“Yep, definitely female,” he purred.

In panic, I held his hand in place. “Move another inch, Hunter, and you’re a dead man.”

“Matthews?” Surprised amusement filled his chuckle. Unlike me, he seemed relaxed enough.
A strange heat rose from my gut to my head as I studied his hand on my bare skin. Wearing nothing but jeans and a black wrist watch, he looked more like a guy from the many posters on the walls of Caroline Davis’ bedroom than the boy I knew from school.

I felt awkward for not letting go of his hand on my leg, but I was too scared he’d continue the path he’d started if I did.

“Tell me, Matthews,” he said as he dropped his arm to the pillow and tilted his head to study me with warm eyes. “Why do I have you in my bed, when I’m not allowed to touch you?”

“I didn’t know there were strawberries in the soda,” I whined.

His brow furrowed, his lips pursed. “Come again?”

Jeez, did he not realize that he was still holding my leg, and how very uncomfortable—and excited—it made me? “Someone was getting me sweet soda all evening.” My voice shook slightly. “I didn’t realize it was the wine cooler you meant when you said—”

“—not to touch the strawberries,” he finished for me, closing his eyes. “Damn, I told her not to punch it too much.”

What? The wine cooler? I was pretty sure I had a tad too much of that stuff.

A frown creased Ryan’s brows as he looked at me again. “Sorry, I don’t remember much of the night after I carried you up here. Am I in trouble?”

Considering I still had my clothes on, nothing had happened during the night. “As far as I remember you were pretty drunk yourself. So I was quite safe from you.”

A smirk played around one corner of his mouth. “I’m afraid my time of numb indifference is over.” His thumb had started drawing small circles on my skin. “So, unless you’re up for some trouble now, would you mind moving your leg?”

My eyes widened at his seductive threat.

“What? You know you’re not the ugliest girl in the world.”

Wow, what a compliment. Idiot. I needed to get out of here. Back to…back to… Damn, Ryan had a nice smile.

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Title: Ryan Hunter, This Girl is Mine
Author: Piper Shelly

About the Book: Ryan Hunter kissed more girls than he cares to remember. But the only one he ever wanted is in love with his best friend.

Watching Liza Matthews’ obsession with Tony Mitchell is a torture Ryan conceals from everyone. Until after a five-week soccer camp, where Tony gets involved with someone else, things suddenly take a different turn. Ryan knows if he doesn’t make a move now and grab his chance, he might never get another.

Asked by Tony to distract Liza, Ryan is only too happy. He subtly seduces her first into his soccer team and later on to his party. He does all in his power to make her see that he’s not just an insufferable playboy but a guy who really cares about her. Some one-on-one soccer training, a passionate kiss— things seem to be going the way he wants. Except Ryan didn’t reckon on his best friend showing up at the worst possible moment and destroying everything…

As the stomping beat grew louder the farther we walked down the windowless aisle that was dimly lit by neon bars, Liza pulled on my arm and stopped me. “I don’t think I should be here,” she whined. “On second thought, you shouldn’t be here either.”

“You worry too much.” I pulled her on, giving her no chance to back out. “I’m here almost every weekend. Everyone knows me. And no one will bother us.”

I pushed the thick metal door in front of us open. A cloud of dry smoke and sweat immediately stabbed us in the face. The strobe light made focusing impossible, but I knew my way around here and maneuvered us through the bumping and grinding crowd of clubbers. “C’mon, let’s dance.”

The word dance shifted down a gear in Liza’s pace, but I came here for a reason, and feeling her body close to mine was definitely one of the most important. Holding her hand tight, I dragged her along onto the middle of the dance floor, then I turned her around and pressed her against me. Her skin and hair were the only things smelling good in this place, and I dragged in a deep breath when I lowered my head to hers. “Loosen up, Matthews. You’re supposed to have fun.” Giving her a soft push, I twirled her under my arm, then caught her again, and pressed my lips to her ear. “Or at least look like you do.”

Liza laughed, but I could also feel her shivering slightly every time I hugged her tight against my chest. Mmm, it was just the way I wanted her to react to me. Spinning her around, I caught her with her back to my front, running my palm from just underneath her breasts down over her stomach until my hand lay splayed over the small strip of naked skin on her belly. With gentle moves, I made her roll her body with mine to the music.

“What are you doing?” she shouted over her shoulder between hiccups of shy laughter.
Nuzzling her temple, I said in her ear, “Distracting you.” I moved her again and loved how her body rubbed against mine, making me go wild for her.

It was probably a good thing that Phil came in at that minute and motioned for me to come over as our gazes caught across the room, because otherwise I might just have dragged Liza back out into my car to fucking make out with her for the rest of the night.

Liza smoothed her clothes, that had turned into a mess from my holding her, as we headed over to the oblong bar where Phil served some drinks to a couple of patrons. When they left, he grabbed two cans of Coke from the fridge and placed them in front of Liza and me. Since there were no speakers above the bar, we could talk in an almost normal volume back here.

“Phil—Liza,” I introduced them. “Liza, this is Phil, my older sister’s husband.”
Liza shook hands with him then guzzled down what seemed to be three quarters of the Coke on one go. I helped her onto one of the high, leather bar stools and took a casual stance between her legs, turned to face the bar.

Phil knew that whoever I brought with me to this club wasn’t my girlfriend, so he asked, “You know each other from school?”

“Sort of. We play soccer together now,” I told him. “New co-ed team.”

“Really? That’s cool.” He turned an interested face to Liza and pulled his shoulder length hair into a pony tail. “Do you like it?”

“Yeah, it’s great. Love the training.”

What did she just say? Slowly to make an impact, I turned toward her, raising one brow.

“What?” she mouthed, returning my look with an irritated one of her own.

Our gazes locked for the length of a heartbeat, then I tucked her soft strands behind her ear and leaned closer. “I still have the text where you say you’re done with soccer, Liza.”
I realized how she swallowed at my taunt. But then she leaned back just a little and looked me sternly in the eye. “Did you really not know my name before I sent you that message?”
Ah, girl, if only you knew. But I wouldn’t tell her. Not now, anyway. With a laugh, I shrugged it off. “Why, Matthews? You were devoted to Mitchell. What would I care?”

That earned me a hard shove against my shoulder, but she grinned, anyway. “You’re such an ass, you know.”

“I’ve been told girls go for that,” I mocked her. If a smile from me could make her dreamy, I wondered what a wink would do. I tested that then drank from my Coke, but with my eyes still on her face, and enjoyed how her cheeks flushed a delicious pink. She tried to hide behind her can of Coke then as she took another swig, but her gaze returned to me, and the moment we shared looking at each other filled me with a desire for her that topped everything I’d known in the past.

I was abruptly pulled out of that moment when a girl looped her arm around my neck and pressed a kiss to my cheek. For the time of a heartbeat I froze, scared this was one of my acquaintances coming over to say hello at the utterly wrong moment. Then I looked into familiar brown eyes.

“Hi, little brother,” Rachel said and shoved her long black hair back over her shoulder.
“Hey,” I said back and relaxed. I knew she was burning to hear who the girl by my side was, so I waited until she came around, then I told her, “This is the friend of a friend. Her name is Matthews, and she’s on my soccer team. Well was…is…I don’t know.”

The girls shook hands, and Liza said after a short scowl at me, “My name is Liza.”

“Don’t mind him. The oaf was never comfortable with first names.” Rach sold me out. “I’m lucky—I’m his sister.”

Yeah, right. “That doesn’t mean a thing, Carter.” I pulled her hair like I used to do when I wanted to annoy her as a child and laughed. Then I popped another soda and clinked cans with my brother in law.

“So, the friend of a friend, huh?” I heard Rachel say to Liza, and she sounded way to curious. “Where is that friend?”

“Not here,” I told her with an evil grin, letting her know that for tonight, Liza was my friend. Liza seemed to enjoy that fact just the same as she met my gaze.

The only one who didn’t look happy was Rachel. “Just when will you grow up and settle for one?”

Luckily, Phil backed me up as he leaned over the bar and kissed my sister. “He’s young, baby. He has time.”

“I know.” Rachel gave me a wry look. “I’m just waiting for the day that a girl sees through you…and decides to like you anyway.”

“Yep, me, too.” I really was. And hopefully, Liza would just be the one.

“That calls for a drink!” Philip announced all of a sudden, and I could have murdered him for that.

But instead, I froze, and a weird shower skittered down the back of my neck. What the hell—he couldn’t be serious. This wasn’t me bringing a random girl to the club to have some meaningless fun, goddammit. It was Liza. And I would do many things with her right now, but I wouldn’t ruin our first kiss with a stupid game.

Phil place two small glasses on the counter and shoved one toward me. Immediately, I passed it on to my sister, not intending to play along. “You can have your drink with Rach. I’ll skip tonight.”

“This game is stupid,” Rach pointed out with a disgusted grunt.

But Philip ignored her and made a wry face at me. “You pass? With that beautiful drinking partner?”

She was beautiful, but that was not the point. “I’m not having this drink with her.”

“Why? Is she shy?”

Maybe she was, but who gave a damn? Above all, Liza was special. And Phil needed to understand that. “She’s too nice,” I said, determined to put an end to this. At the same time, I noticed Liza’s attention focused on me, and it was anything but pleasant.

“Ah, she’s a prude then,” Phil concluded wrongly.

That seriously pissed Liza off. “I’m not a prude! And I’m standing right beside you, so I would appreciate it if you told me what the hell you two are talking about.”

Trying to soothe and reassure her, I stroked her cheek with my knuckles. “She’s decent,” I corrected Phil.

“Yeah, and decent is a shit word for prude,” Liza muttered, dropping her gaze, but then she looked back at me and scowled again. Or maybe it wasn’t a scowl after all? “Why don’t you want to do with me whatever you’re used to doing with others when you come here?”
Oh, girl, if only you knew how very much I want to do just that with you. With everything I’d found out from yesterday’s diary entry, I could just imagine how the thought of my denying her would hurt her. It made her vulnerable to me, and in that exact moment, I realized with a start how much this appealed to me. I always thought I’d go for the sassy and strong type of girl, which Liza definitely could be if she wanted to. But it was her vulnerability that attracted me the most.

And yet, I couldn’t take advantage of it. Anybody’s first kiss should be romantic. Something Liza would remember for the rest of her life…and smile when she did. She’d hate me if I spoiled this for her. But heck, when I looked at her cute pout, I could hardly withstand the temptation. “You don’t know what you’re asking for, Matthews,” I growled.

“Well, it won’t kill me to find out, right?”

It wouldn’t kill her, no. But she might kill me, if I screwed this up. Her eyes fastened on mine. Holy shit, what if I just gave it a try? If I made it good for her, she might acquire a taste for it. More me.

Taking in a deep breath, I drawled, “Okay. But remember, I gave you fair warning.”

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 My thoughts:  These books are both very quick reads.  I read Play With Me first and think that is a good order to read them in.

Play With Me tells Liza's side of what happens between her, Tony and Ryan.  Tony has been her best friend forever and she has herself convinced that she is in love with him.  She is just waiting for Tony to realize it.  Unfortunately, he comes back from soccer camp with eyes for another girl.  We get to see all the events from Liza's POV.  She closes her eyes to the fact that Tony might be interested in someone else, so when he point blank tells her, it is quite a shock.  However, since she has been enjoying the attention of Ryan Hunter, it makes you wonder whether or not she was as clueless as she let on.  Things come to a head though when Tony lets it slip in front of her that he "asked" Ryan to spend time with her to "distract" her.

In Ryan Hunter we get to see the same story line from Ryan's POV.  It was fun to see a guy vulnerable and upset over losing out on a girl and misunderstandings that happen.  Normally you only see that from a girl's side.  I liked seeing the story from Ryan's POV after having read Liza's side because then I knew what she was feeling as I learned what he was feeling as well.  Did that make sense?  It is hard to tell you much more without spilling the beans on how the story ends.  If you are worried that you might be bored reading essentially the same story again, don't be.  I found it to be a lot of fun and enjoyed reading all the way to the end.

~I received complimentary eCopies of both of these books from Reading Addiction Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~

About the author: Wow, this is always the hardest part for me to write…don’t know why. You would think talking about my life should be easier.

I was born and raised in Austria. Half my life I spent in Vienna, but I didn’t like the city. I much prefer the beautiful countryside, with its many meadows and the breathtaking Alps. That’s why I moved to Upper Austria right after graduation. There are trees now in front of my window instead of just another ugly gray building, and I love to be woken by the cacophony of birds every morning.

At seventeen, I met the love of my life, but it took another four years until we finally got together. It was the best decision I could have made. I’m now married to this man, and I count myself lucky for someone like him. Even I will admit it can be hard at times to live with me. I’m moody and tend to lapse into my fantasy world at any given minute—well in my defense, I’m a writer. :-)

We have a ten-year-old son, and together we travel a lot…although I sometimes wish the trips were shorter because I can’t wait to get back to my laptop and WIP. Yeah, that’s just me. I built my world around my passion, and I like it that way.

So, you see, I’m leading a pretty normal life.

Of course it will all change the day my book follows the act of Harry Potter, and I’ll become richer than the Queen. I swear I’ll never again clean my windows myself then. Yeah, one day, LOL…

1. How do you typically write? Do you plot it all out beforehand or do you just let the story pour out?
I have a routine. I write the first chapter to get a feeling for my characters’ voices, then I sit back and plot. But even with a story thread in mind, it will most likely change several times until I finish the book.

2. Do you have a favorite place to write or “must haves” while writing?
I wish I could write on a nice patio in front of the house, somewhere overlooking a lake. But I have my laptop in my writing room on the first floor of my house, and I next to never write anywhere else. Well, sometimes I write in the kitchen. I must have warm feet when I write. 

3. Do you have much say in the title or covers of you books?
I have 100% say. That’s the good thing about being an indie-author. The problem with it is to find the right pictures to use for covers. I often piece a lot of elements together to make it unique and standing out. Titles are a hard nut for me. And I’m not always happy with them after publication.

4. Is there anything that has surprised you about writing, publishing or touring with your books?
In fact, yes. I was surprised how easy self-publishing was and how many benefits you have with it. I was very surprised in a bad way about the narrow minds of agents and publishers who decide which book will be “liked” by people and which not. They so often reject books that afterwards are doing amazingly well when being self-pubbed. I think the way of publishing undergoes a severe changing at the moment. More and more authors part with their publishers and go their own way because they want to have more say in everything and don’t give away 90% of the profit when they are actually the ones that did 99% of the work. Yeah…having that said, it surprises me how many new authors still try to get a contract with publishing houses or literary agencies.

5. Do you have a favorite author/book or one that you always recommend?
I love HUSH, HUSH, a story about a fallen angel. But to be honest, only the first book of the 4-volume-series really pulled me in. My favorite author is Kerrelyn Sparks. I love her vampire stories.

I loved Hush, Hush as well!

6. Was there anything (or anyone) while growing up which helped you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Um…that would be L.J.Smith. She was my favorite author when I was a teenager and I wanted to create amazing stories such as she did. The rest was all my own decision and hard work.

7. Do you have a job outside of being an author?
Yeah, I work in the accountants department of a huge European company that produces fancy furniture, but only 5 hours a day. Considering what I make with my books and what I make in that company a month, I consider it more a hobby by now. Well, hobby because I like the people in my office and enjoy to be with them everyday. I wouldn’t have to stay in that job necessarily.

8. What would you tell a beginning writer?
NEVER GIVE UP!! It’s your dream, and don’t you dare let anyone destroy it for you. Find a cool critique group, contact experienced authors, take advice that will help you, but don’t take on everything, learn what you can, do workshops on the craft and read, read, read…!

9. What were your favorite books growing up?
I hated reading when I was younger, duh! :P The first book I actually finished was one by Stephen King. I then read more books by him, but later I found out it’s the romance genre I really enjoyed. So from age 17 on, I only read romance books, mostly vampires, sometimes witches, from Lisa Jane Smith. Later I read Harry Potter and then some others, but I was already grown up then.

Stephen King was my favorite author as a teenager.  I have continued to collect his books over the years.
10. Do you have any books on your nightstand right now?
FINALE. Part 4 of the HUSH, HUSH saga. And FIFTY SHADES DARKER. Both books don’t really pull me in.

11. If you could meet one person who has died, who would that be?
My Gran, Katharina. She died way too soon and too quickly. I missed the chance to tell her good-bye.

12. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would it be?
Aw, that’s a hard one. I think I’m too possessive of my stories that I would allow anyone to work on them, too. If, however, then probably with my critique partner, Georgia Lyn Hunter. We think quite alike.

13. Do you have a favorite quote?
My bed, my rules. ;-)

14. In one sentence, why should we read your book?
Because it’s super romantic, sexy, and I was told I write the best male leads ever. ;-) If you don’t go for sexy, playful heroes, don’t waste your time with my book, though.

I agree - Ryan was great!

15. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Okay, here’s the big confession. I don’t speak English very well. :P
I’m from Austria, meaning German is my first language. I read English books only and that’s why I decided to write English, too. But because I don’t have anyone here in Austria who I could “talk” English, too, my spoken English is really bad. If you ever find me somewhere and talk to me, you would have to speak really slowly and “articulate”. ;-)

16. What do you come up with first when creating your character- the back story, the plot, the characteristics?
Always the characters followed by one romantic scene in the book. Then I write chapter one, and finally I plot.

17. What do you do in your spare time?
Um…I write? I really get bored if I can’t write. Sometimes I go to the mountains with my family if there’s really nice weather on weekends, or I meet friends. But I really do enjoy being an author.

18. What does a day in your life look like?
5:45 Alarm goes off and I get up, boot up my laptop, check emails, answer fan mail, check facebook, get dressed and ready for work. I walk my son to school and start work around 7:30.
By noon I’m normally back home, eat lunch if the hubby was home that day and prepared something, or cook and eat with my son. Before that, I boot up my laptop of course, check emails and facebook again.
After lunch I start working on my WIP which can take until 9, maybe 10 in the evening. If I’m not in a proper writing mood, I might go shopping, have coffee with someone (mostly my other Gran or a friend) or annoy the hell out of my husband because I’m bored.

19. How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
They are all majorly proud of me and yeah, they usually do read everything I write. My mom’s my biggest fan, tied with my cousin. My husband didn’t yet read anything from me, because he’s not a great fan of books, least of all romance books.

20. Is there anything else that you would like my readers to know?
I’m always happy to get in contact with my readers, so if you’d like to hang out and chat, you can visit my facebook site.
If you’re thinking about getting one of my books and can’t decide whether it’s the right book for you, you can read the first half of each book for free on my website. Sound fair? :-)

Silly questions –
1. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I’m asking this myself time and again, just to be prepared in case a Jin comes along and grants me one wish ;-) I think I would like to be forever 23 and able to time travel.

2. Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m pretty good at drawing with a pencil or charcoal. I have a feeling for rhythm, and I love to dance. And then I’m able to play the piano by hearing. I never took lessons, but when I was younger, I taught it to myself and was almost good at it. Not a Bach or Mozart, of course, but I really enjoyed playing for my personal pleasure.

3. Night owl or early bird?
Early bird. Totally.

4. Favorite season?

5. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
S is for…She never gave up.

6. Favorite sport?
Zumba dancing and horse riding

7. Favorite music?
I like a lot of things. OneRepublic is one of my favorite bands, but I also love Thomas Bergerson. He writes very dramatic music which is fantastic for my paranormal book playlist.

8. Talk or text?
I like both.

9. Cat or dog?
Cat (I have two. Lily and Emma)

10. Favorite tv show?
The Vampire Diaries

11. Favorite holiday destination?
Disneyland or anywhere warm and by the sea. I also love England and California.

12. Do you have a literary crush?
Yeah…I’m crushing on all my characters, because I can shape them right the way I want them. Playful and sexy. ;-)

13. If you could live in a literary world - what world would that be and why?
Hogwarts!! Do I really need to explain why?

14. Most embarrassing moment?
When my boyfriend (now husband) playfully pressed me against the wall in my room and said in no uncertain terms that he’d like to f…er…make love to me. And my mom chose that moment to walk into my room without knocking.
Thanks, mom, I’ll never forget. :P

15. If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?
Way forward. I want to see what’s going to happen in 100, 200, 500 years. Where we all are, what we are able to do, what we look like, where we can go, that sort of things. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Release Day Blitz and Giveaway: Resisting Fate by Heather Van Fleet

Resisting Fate
Predetermined Series, Book One
by Heather Van Fleet

Seventeen-year-old Emmy O’Connell is the epitome of a hot mess.

Her boyfriend’s been shipped out of town to some boarding school four states away. Her step-douche is constantly drunk and badgering her. And then there’s her good-ole-mom… The lady is nothing more than a miserable shell of a woman. She’s turned off all of her feelings and her ability to be a good mother as well, leaving poor Emmy and her four year old brother Jamie to suffer. Life couldn’t get much worse, right?

Enter the elusive, cocky, and oh-so-broody Jack Hartman…

The jerk cousin of her boyfriend becomes Emmy’s worst nightmare…times ten. He’s cruel. He’s insensitive. But he also has this strange little ability over her – he makes her weak in the knees with thea single touch. No matter how miserable or amazing Jack makes her feel, Emmy can’t seem to deny him, especially when he takes on the role of her protector –her pseudo-knight in a black leather coat.

A knight who also happens to ride in on his black Harley, instead of a white horse…

And to make a bad situation worse…

Werewolves and teens shouldn’t mix! But what can Emmy do when she finds herself thrown head first into the center of it all. Can she handle the supernatural mess her life rapidly becomes or will she fight against the inevitable fate her heart desires?

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Excerpt from Resisting Fate:

“That smart mouth doesn’t sit well with me,” he licked his lips. His eyes never wavered from mine.

I nibbled on my lower lip, just as a small smile graced the edges of my mouth. Oh yeah, my bravado was about ready to kick some ass. I think I kind of liked being a smart ass.

“What are you going to do about it Jack?” I inhaled a breath, taking in his warm, delicious scent. My throat went even drier than before. I practically stared holes into his face as I studied every tiny mark, every single scar on his perfectly flawed skin. He was gorgeous, with a little scar here, a little white patch there. His hotness could have left me breathless for days if I kept up my perusal any longer.

And then I blinked, Christ. I knew exactly what had to be done. I had to kiss him. I had to get this itch scratched and then I had to move on. His eyes darkened, his breath was warm and heavy over my face, and he licked his lips. I blinked. Holy-balls… He wanted to kiss me too.

That ever-present electricity running between us wouldn’t stop. If anything, it only increased our pull. I moved in; his lips touching my lips was all I wanted. I needed to feel again, feel it all with a boy who hated me, but apparently wanted to kiss me as badly.

Dryness on dryness soon changed to warmth on warmth, and when I pressed my mouth fully to his, his hands left my neck, and went to my waist. His fingernails dug into my sides and the son of a bitch pushed me away from him.

So there I was, my head tilted to the side, ready, willing, and able to do whatever the hell this moment led us too, and all he could do was chuckle. Yes. Chuckle. He was the biggest rat bastard.


About the author: Heather Van Fleet currently resides in northern Illinois, with her three little ladies, Kelsey, Emma, and Isabella, and her fabulous hubby (and high school sweetheart) Chris, with whom she’s been blissfully married to now for ten years. She’s a stay at home mom by day, and an avid and completely obsessive writer and reader by night.

Heather always had a soft spot in her heart for books, and she’s been creating her own little stories since she was a seven year old. But she never really had the confidence or the time to actually sit down and really do something about it, until her youngest daughter was born just two years ago.

Resisting Fate, book one in her Predetermined series, is her young adult, paranormal baby! It’s packed full of wolves…witches…and one sassy little red-headed teenage girl! She had an absolute blast writing it, and can’t wait to share it with the world!

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Publisher/Publication Date: Sunshine Press, June 28, 2013
224 pages

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Demon Side Series by Heaven Liegh Eldeen (Review and Interview)

My thoughts:  I had the opportunity to read both of these books back to back, so I am going to give you my thoughts on the two of them together.  You can read on down for more individual information and excerpts from each book.

I actually liked The Demon Side, Book One better than The Human Side, Book Two.  In The Demon Side, we meet the demon, Rahovart the Heir, who has been living in this house, or I should say, whatever dwelling was on this property, for centuries.  He cannot remember much of anything prior to waking up on the banks of a river, close to where he now resides.  He has spent his existence tormenting whomever happens to be the latest tenants.

 Then he meets Etta.  She seems like a harmless teenage girl, and he thinks it will be easy to get the latest family to leave -- that is, until Etta actually speaks to him and tells him to please get out of her way.  Whhaaattt??  She can see him?   Where Rahovart was interested in getting them to leave before, now he wants to get to know her better and learn why she can see him!

I am not sure why this book appealed to me more than book two did.  Maybe because it was sort of like a Beauty and the Beast beginning?  I thought that Book 2 would be Etta's perspective, but it turns out that Rahovart gets sent back to earth as a human to try to get Etta to remember the feelings that they had for each other.

They were both quick reads but I did get a little confused at times with the different hierarchies in the demon and angel worlds.  That soon sorted itself out though.  I am wondering if there is going to be a third book called The Angel Side?

~I received complimentary eCopies of both books from Sizzling PR in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Title: The Demon Side (Book one of The Demon Side Series)
Author:  Heaven Liegh Eldeen
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

About the Book: When worlds collide… Every kid has problems. Every kid has even more problems when they move to a new home. But when a kid with problems moves to a new home that has a Demon living inside it—look out!

Etta’s world is about to spin out of control when she encounters her new roommate—and Rahovart, that ancient trickster, is in for a few surprises too. So don’t mind all the crashing and rumbling; that’s just the normal noise Angels and Demons make when they’re fighting an epic war in the attic. 

One thing’s for sure: Etta and Rahovart will have to go through Hell to Heaven and back again before that old Victorian home in Quantico Town finally quiets down…

Excerpt from The Demon Side:
Etta plopped back onto her bed and stared at the ceiling for a few moments. I wished I could hear her thoughts. Her father had just admitted to being a murderer for all practical purposes, though that was not how I viewed him. I truly believed John only tried to save the village, but his fervor and some help from a desperate Alastor, turned what should have been a heroic act into a bloodbath. Many men have unknowingly fallen from grace in the name of the greater good. Now, hopefully Etta would see that her father was just the victim of blurred lines between good and evil.

“What are you thinking?” I asked as I lay down next to her on the bed.

“Can a person still go to Heaven even if they’ve killed someone?”

“Well, I’m not in the business of getting people to Heaven, Etta. That’s the last place I want them to go,” I reluctantly replied.

“Even if it were me?” Etta stared hard at me with watery eyes, looking right into my blackened soul. I never gave much thought to where her soul would go, except to stop her from mistakenly giving it to me.

“That is a choice for you to make. I can’t force you to choose a side. I can only put the temptations in front of you.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“What do you want me to say? I want to see you burn in the depths of Hell? You’ll never hear that from me. Only you and your actions can decide where you go when you leave this world.”

“I would go if it meant I could be with you, you know.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” As much as I would have loved for that to be the case, her comment angered me. I couldn’t imagine a person like her becoming something like me.

“I know that when you’re around I feel safe nothing could ever hurt me. I get butterflies in my stomach when you touch me. I know your soul, Ra. I don’t know how, but I know. I knew it the second I saw you. You weren’t meant for this existence. You fought for good once, and I’m certain you will again.” Etta was strong in words. She spoke with solid confidence. She described what I felt.

Title: The Human Side (Book two, The Demon Side Series)
Author: Heaven Liegh Eldeen
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

About the Book: From above, Etta’s life seems to be calming down in the town of Quantico, Virginia, but with every passing moment away from his love, Rahovart finds the emptiness unbearable.

After redeeming himself once again as an Arch, Rahovart is still unable to let his past go. Needing to be near Etta, he strikes a deal with Father—except it turns into a mission with great consequences.

With Arch Angel Gabriel in tow, Rahovart sets out to prove himself worthy of Etta’s love, only to face discouragement from Etta’s father, John, and her new boyfriend, Tristan—on top of the threats made to Etta. Would he be able to protect her if she no longer remembered him or shared the love they once held so dearly?

One thing’s for sure: The past, with all of its secrets and lies, will come back to haunt them all.

Excerpt from The Human Side

“I have two solutions, but the choice of which to accept is up to you. There is plenty of time to think about these choices, but remember, whatever you choose, you will be bound to it.”

“What are the choices Father?”

“Your first choice is an exchange. Swear never to interfere with Etta’s life again, and all you have lost will be restored, including rank and principalities. If and when she returns to Heaven, her memories will be restored. Break the promise at any time for any reason, your soul shall be sent to Purgatory and Etta’s Guardians will be removed from her detail. As for the second choice, go to Earth in human form with no wings, no abilities. Show Etta the same cruelty and disdain as when the Demon Rahovart met her. Etta fell in love with a Demon once. It should be quite interesting to see if she can do it again. She must profess her love without coaxing or prompting. There can be no mention of our deal or what lies beyond the veil, including who you truly are, where you come from. Fail to abide by the rules or rekindle her affections, your days shall be spent on Earth with no recollection of life beyond the veil. But, succeed, and you can return home with the added benefit of continuing your relationship with her. Visit her anytime as long as it does not interfere with work.”

I listened intently as Father explained my options. Both carried heavy consequences if I failed to abide by their guidelines. He’d given me a life or death decision to make, but I didn’t need time to think. Without thought or question, I gave Father my answer.

Please take some time to get to know Heaven a little better -

About the author:  Heaven Liegh Eldeen started her writing career three years ago after being challenged by a relative. With her ‘Oh, Yes I can!’ attitude, determination and support from her family, she completed her first novel The Demon Side, which released in October 2011 and has been a finalist for Best Paranormal Romance in Romcom Inc.’s 2011 Reader Crown Awards as well as Oklahoma Romance Writers of America 2012 International Digital Awards. On November 28th, 2012 she celebrated the release of The Human Side; book two of The Demon Side series, which won Turning the Pages YA Paranormal Romance of the Year.

When she’s not kissing owies, climbing Mount Dishmore, or obsessing over her Facebook book page, you can find her at the computer revising or editing one of her five works in progress or Saturday evenings as a co-host to KMYC’s 1410AM The Dirt’s with Lori Schulz.  Having lived in many states, she has now settled down in California with her husband, her son, and a beta fish named Barry and guinea pig Skunkers.

1.   How do you typically write?  Do you plot it all out beforehand or do you just let the story pour out?
I cannot plan a story out to save my life. I quit trying after my first novella The Demon Side. My brain moves at a million miles per hour. So, as I write the story is always moving in different directions.
2.            Do you have a favorite place to write or “must haves” while writing?
If you see me grabbing a Pepsi, a bag of Hershey Kisses and my Ipod…watch out ‘cause I’m on writing mode.  I’ve tried writing in silence with nothing to keep my mouth moving and I simply cannot do it. I end up with sentence such as ‘See Johnny jump.’
3.            Do you have a job outside of being an author? 
Yes I do. I’m a mommy and wife first. If I’m not having my pant leg tugged on, or climbing a mountain of laundry, you can find me co-hosting KMYC’s 1410am The Dirt with Lori Schulz
4.         Do you have a favorite quote?
Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person. ~ Tennessee Williams
5.         In one sentence, why should we read your book?
The Demon Side is a story told from the perspective of the ultimate celestial bad boy, Rahovart, who is thrown off his game by Earth’s most misunderstood schizophrenic, Etta.
6.         What do you come up with first when creating your character- the back story, the plot, the characteristics?
I came up with Rahovart the Demon first after watching a scary movie with husband.  I found myself wondering what life would truly be like on the other side as a Demon and from there everything else seemed to fall into place.
7.         What does a day look like in the life of your main character?
For Rahovart, his days are spent the same as previous days.  He wonders around the Victorian home on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, that he has been banished to playing pranks and terrorizing the tenants until he finally rids himself of his unwanted roommates.
8.         What time of day do you like to write?
I’d love to be able to write 24/7 but mommy and wife duties only allow me to write in the mornings, right after I shove my wee-one off to school and boot hub off to work. So, from 8am-1:30pm you can find at my computer typing away. 
9.         What is the most you have written in one day?
A freak incident happened where the stars aligned and my husband and son actually both out of town for a whole weekend together. I’m not sure how much I wrote in one day since I try to focus more on quality and not quantity, but by the end of the weekend I had written twelve chapters in The Human Side, book two in The Demon Side series.  Ahhhh, that was an awesome weekend except for the ten pounds I gained from all the Pepsi and Hershey Kisses.
 10.         If your book was made into a TV series or movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters? Feel free to add pics.

Okay get ready for a lot of pics. Ha-Ha I’ve had time to think about this. For Rahovart, hands down I want WBFF Pro fitness model Bobby Momenteller. 

Etta has to be played my Emma Watson. 

Liam Neeson and Sandra Bullock would be the perfect parents, John and Rene Divad. 

Travis Fimmel would be the perfect Lucifer!

Silly questions –
1. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I would have Grammar Powers. Not only would I know exactly where a comma or semi colon should be placed but I could help others as well!
2. Do you have any hidden talents?
I can put lipstick on with toes and end my thumbs behind my fore fingers. How I learned I could do those things or what they would be useful for, I have no clue.
3. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Project Girls
4. Talk or text?
TEXT! A little known fact about me is that I am partially deaf. Shocking I know since I do radio but I have tricks I use to know what people are saying however, the volume on my phone doesn’t go high enough for those tricks to work.
5. Guilty pleasure tv show?
*coughs* Army Wives.  The show is a little out there and soap opera-y for me typically, but something about it is like a really good car wreck (if there’s such a thing). You don’t want to watch but you can’t keep yourself from looking to see if a head rolls out of the carnage.
6. Most __________ in High School?
Most likely to spend life in prison! I still hold the record for most fights at my Jr. High and High School but no worries folks, I am truly a reformed woman.  Now I’m all love, peace, and chocolate.
7. Ebooks, paperbacks or hardcovers?
I love paperbacks!! But, I am a woman who craves instant gratification at the lowest price possible. With eBooks, I can buy several books and get them immediately for the price of a paperback or hardcover. Well, on some books. Some eBooks I can’t help but laugh at their prices. 

Purchase Books: 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review: Funny Tragic Crazy Magic by Sheena Boekweg

Title: Funny Tragic Crazy Magic
Author: Sheena Boekweg

About the Book:

Keep your head down.
Don't make waves.
Don't let anyone know you're a freak.

LARISSA ALVAREZ is a witch. Magic was useful enough to make her pretty, but beyond transformation runes, Larissa has ignored her mom’s pleas to learn about her magical heritage on the grounds that it’s just too weird. 

But when her family is killed, and the powerful book of runes Larissa was supposed to inherit disappears, she realizes she’s not going to survive without magic. Worse still, she’s falling in love with her only ally, her best friend Joe, who has a secret that could kill them both. 

Now magic is the only way she can reclaim her heritage and save the boy she loves. Larissa dives into the world of magic she’s always ignored and finds herself caught in the middle of an age-old war between Witches and Mages. 

She may be poorly trained.
She may not have anyone to trust. 
But it's time to start making waves.

Purchase Links:
Add on ~Goodreads~

My thoughts:  I liked this book very much.  Everytime I read a YA book, I wish that this genre had been around when I was a teenager.  I would have devoured these books then.  

Larissa is telling this story after it has all happened, but for the most part it reads like you are right in the action.  The first thing you learn is that Larissa's family was killed in a car accident and that even though she is just a teenager, the Grandmother Witches have decided that she is able to take care of herself.  They apply some Runes (Spells) so that know one knows, outside of Larissa, that they are dead.  She has to carry the grief alone and somehow manage to go to school, pay the bills, take care of herself, etc.  Then she meets Joe.

She knows right away Joe is different, and soon she has let him in to her world.  These two are perfect for each other, but unfortunately they come from the two sides of the war - sort of like Romeo and Juliet - the paranormal version - sort of. . .  

As you go along in the story, things that happen early on, things that don't seem to have much effect on the story, start to really come into play.  That made for an interesting read for me as then I started thinking about things that had been mentioned and wondered whether they would show up again. 

You kind of knew part of the ending, as Larissa shares that at the beginning - where she is and that this has all already happened - but getting back to the point was a great read!

~I received a complimentary eCopy of Funny Tragic Crazy Magic from Reading Away the Days Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~


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