Review: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost

First Frost (Waverley Family #2) by Sarah Addison Allen

Published: January 20th 2015

Purchase: Amazon

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Synopsis:

A magical new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Lost Lake, featuring characters from her beloved novel Garden Spells.

Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beat-up suitcase. He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever…

Review:

Several years ago I came across a book in my favorite used book store called Garden Spells. It was on clearance and since the title intrigued me I picked it up and read the back cover. What I read there sealed the deal and I purchased it that day. When I finally sat down and read I was immediately taken into a special world that left me with such wonderful feelings and instantly I became a fan of the author.

First Frost is the second book in the Waverley Family series. It immediately brought me back to those wonderful feeling I had when I read Garden Spells. I was able to snuggle on the couch and ignore the world around me as I became involved in Claire, Sydney and Bay’s lives. I really wish I could slip into their world and see the apple tree for myself.

This series is a must read series for anyone I know. I have recommended Garden Spells to so many people and I now happily add First Frost to that very short list of well-loved books.

(This book was received as an ARC from the author/publisher in exchanged for an honest review.)

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Review, Guest Post and Giveaway: AGAINST THE SKY By Kat Martin

Against-the-Sky-cover-(300x

AGAINST THE SKY By Kat Martin

Release date: 1/27/15

Synopsis:

ALASKA. In America’s last wilderness there is no limits to what a man can do.

For detective Nick Brodie, that means keeping the perps off the streets of Anchorage 24/7. Nick has never backed down from danger, but after the horrors he’s seen, he’s definitely in need of a break.

Samantha Hollis never thought she’d meet anyone like Nick, especially in a place like Las Vegas. But after one reckless, passionate night, she discovers the charismatic stranger is everything she wants in a man. But can he ever be more than a one-night stand?

When Nick invites her to Alaska, Samantha decides to find out, never guessing the depths she’ll discover in him or the tangle of murder, kidnapping, and danger about to engulf them both …

Review:

Nick and Samantha met by chance in Las Vegas. Nick was on a much needed break and Samantha was there for work. But sparks flew from that very first moment and one thing led to another and Samantha finds out she brought home something from that trip. When Nick contacts her, asking her to come to Alaska for a visit, well this is the perfect chance to get to know him better and to give him a bit of news…

Now I feel that there was more suspense instead of romance in this story. I wish it was reversed because I actually am not a fan of suspense novels. I am always in it for the romance. So whenever it was more about the mystery, I just felt the story went a bit slower than I like. That is just me though and if you like romantic suspense, then this is a book you need to get your hands on ASAP!

Against the Sky is the second book in the Brodies of Alaska series. I actually don’t think you need to read the first book (Against the Wild) in order to understand and enjoy this book. If you plan on reading the whole series though, then yes I think you should read them in order. I have always found that to be the more enjoyable approach. I am looking forward to Against the Tide which is set to be released in May 2015.

 

AGAINST THE SKY BOOK TRAILER VIDEO

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CONTEST

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BUY LINKS

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Guest Post:

What Makes a Good Setting for a Story?

On January 27th, the second book in my Brodies of Alaska trilogy, AGAINST THE SKY, stories about the rugged Brodie brothers, is being released.

Though I usually start with either the plot or the characters, with these stories, the setting was an essential element, part of the plot before the novel was even conceived.

It all began with a month-long trip my husband and I recently took to Alaska. It was the second such trip, both of which involved traveling cross-country, staying in a tiny pickup camper.

Every day spent out in the wide open spaces filled my head with story ideas. By the time we got back, I had the rough outlines for the Brodie brothers, Dylan, Nick, and Rafe, hot, rugged, outdoor hunks, and the women who tame them.

In AGAINST THE SKY, Nick Brodie is a former Anchorage homicide detective with a serious case of burnout. He wants a new life, something that doesn’t include blood and death. Unfortunately when his neighbor, twelve-year-old Jimmy Evans, comes to him beaten and battered, claiming his father was murdered, Nick has no choice but to help him.

To make matters worse, Nick has a lady friend visiting from San Francisco. Samantha Hollis, owner of the Perfect Pup pet grooming parlor, isn’t cut out for the harsh life in Alaska. Unwillingly swept into Jimmy’s problems, she finds herself on a wild ride with Nick that leads them into passion and terrible danger.

Since I live in Montana, I was familiar with the mountain setting and much of the wildlife, but there is no place on earth like Alaska. The beauty of the landscape filled my senses and the people I met along the way gave me ideas for some of the interesting characters who appear in the books.

To help orient myself to different locales, I use Google Maps extensively. They have street maps, street cameras, satellite views, and still photos, all of which help me remember what certain places look like or help me see areas I haven’t seen before. Pretty amazing stuff.

Actually going there, of course, is the best way to chose a setting. For me, there are places I couldn’t write about without actually going there. Alaska was one of them.

We spent a couple of days in Anchorage, where Nick worked as a cop, and visited the areas around it. Nick’s small house at Fish Lake was based on an area called Big Lake about an hour away from the city.

I do my best to choose a setting that fits my characters. I try to pick fun, interesting spots so the readers will have fun with the story.

I hope you enjoy my Alaska hottie, Nick Brodie, along with city girl, Samantha Hollis, in AGAINST THE SKY, and watch for Rafe in AGAINT THE TIDE. Till then, very best wishes and happy reading, Kat

When Lane and Dylan work to solve the mystery, they discover a legacy of injustice and murder. With danger stalking their every move, Dylan must risk everything to save Lane and his daughter and uncover the truth–before it’s too late.

 

You can find Kat:

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KAT’s WEBSITE

www.KatMartin.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor

Twitter: @katbooks

https://twitter.com/katbooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/luvromance/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kat-Martin/e/B000AQ0OJQ/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/49381.Kat_Martin


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Giveaway: Forever Now by Elise Sax

 
Release Date: 11/29/14
 
Summary from Goodreads:
When Tess’s mother abandons her during her senior year at high school, she must find a way to keep the secret and survive until graduation. She’s surprised when Cruz, her crush and an aspiring model, moves in to help. Tess has dreams of studying in Paris, France and becoming a writer…impossible dreams without money or family. But as Tess and Cruz’s relationship grows closer, Cruz will do anything to make sure Tess’s dreams come true. But at what price?

Forever Now is the first book in the Forever YA / NA trilogy about finding love, living dreams, and overcoming great odds.

Forever begins now.

Available from:

 
About the Author
Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before writing her first novel. She lives in Southern California with her two sons.
 
She loves to hear from her readers. Don’t hesitate to contact her at elisesax@gmail.com, and sign up for her newsletter at http://elisesax.com/mailing-list.php to get notifications of new releases and sales.


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Giveaway: Bridges Burned by Chris Cannon

Release Date: 01/19/15
Entangled Teen
 
Summary from Goodreads:
Don’t just fight the system…burn it.
 
Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…
 
But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally.
 
Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.
 

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo Books

Book One:
(cover linked to Goodreads)

Available from:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Books

About the Author

I love reading and writing snarky, kick-butt characters who take on the world and win.
My truths: You can never have too many books, shoes, or purses.
Coffee is the Elixir of Life.

There should be a National Nerf Bat Day where you are allowed to whack annoying people upside the head.


Author Links:
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Giveaway: Final Life by Rose Garcia

 
 

Final Life by Rose Garcia
Book #1 in the Transhuman Chronicles

Nothing sucks more than being forced to move cross country during senior year. And Dominique Wells doesn’t think things can get any worse until she’s invited to a quirky neighbor’s party. When pressured into playing a magical card game, Dominique’s world goes from sucky to terrifying. She begins having visions of a red desert and an evil presence–a presence who hints at past lives and promises to kill her.

Plagued by fear and suspicion, and unaware of a family secret kept hidden from her, Dominique is determined to live. Together with a mysterious and gorgeous guy who’s moved in while his parents are away, and a hot, popular guy from school, Dominique must seek clues to her past if she’s to survive. That, and keep her emotions in check for the two guys she suddenly can’t stop thinking about because if she doesn’t, she’ll be dead. For real.

 
 
Available on  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
 
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EXCERPT
            The image of blue sky, white sand, and calm waters popped into my mind, edging out the fear and panic that had taken over me.
            My body slipped to the ground. My knees sank into the cool, pebbly sand. A soft breeze flowed through my hair. Farrell stood beside me at the water’s edge, staring out at the still water. He extended his arm and helped me to my feet. I brushed myself off, recalling the terror and pain I had just left behind in the red desert. I patted my chest.
            “Am I really here?”
            “No,” Farrell said sadly. “Only your mind is here.”
            “Farrell, am I—?” I paused, not wanting to say the words, as if keeping them to myself would change my fate. “Am I dying?”
            “Yes.” He took my hand. “There’s nothing I can do.” His calmness filtered into me. And for a minute there, death didn’t seem so bad.
            My attention turned to a bird in the distance that soared through the cloudless sky. For eight lifetimes now I had died, and this was my last time. The world would never be the same, and it was my fault.
            Farrell squeezed my hand. “Remember what I said? The last time we were here?”
            Of course I remembered. “You told me the end is not yet written, and to trust myself.”
            The bird, a white Egret, flew closer and glided right over us, wings outstretched. A lone, feather escaped its plumage. The delicate quill drifted back and forth in the sky. Just like the feather from my dreams and the feather Ms. Ryken had given me that I had later seen at Jan’s. And then it dawned on me that it was the same color as Farrell’s aura. I extended my hand, reaching out for it. When it touched my palm, it disappeared.
            Like flipping a switch, I was back in the desert. Heat exploded inside me. The air in my lungs had almost emptied. Warm, thick blood dripped from my fingers. Farrell and Trent were on the other side of Tavion’s dark energy force, and I was still inside, barely alive. Tavion continued to lift me at my throat, squeezing the life out of me.
            “Dominique! Fight!” Trent yelled.
 
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ABOUT ROSE


Rose Garcia is a lawyer turned writer who’s always been fascinated by science fiction and fantasy. From a very young age, she often had her nose buried in books about other-worlds, fantastical creatures, and life and death situations. More recently she’s been intrigued by a blend of science fiction and reality, and the idea that some supernatural events are, indeed, very real. Fueled by her imagination, she created The Transhuman Chronicles–a series of books about people who have overcome human limitations.
 
Rose lives in Houston with her husband and two kids. You can visit Rose at www.rosegarciabooks.com

___________________________________________________________

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Giveaway: Ward Against Disaster by Melanie Card

 
Release Date: 01/19/14
Entangled Teen
276 pages
 
Summary from Goodreads:
Ward de’Ath should be dead by now. Instead, he’s chasing after a soul-eating creature—that he unleashed— and is bent on stopping her before she slaughters more innocents. Fortunately, Celia Carlyle remains by his side, a nobleman’s gorgeous and deadly daughter, who is…well, dead.

Celia claims she’ll champion Ward wherever he goes, even when she thinks his quest is hopeless. He can only hope her pledge comes from her heart, and not because she’s bound to him through his magic.

When they enter Dulthyne, they stumble upon a dark power that threatens the entire town. Ward, with his unreliable necromancy, is determined to help but finds himself ensnared in the lure of white-hot magic…blood magic he struggles to resist. But if Celia’s love is a lie, it might just doom his soul to the dark arts forever.


Pre-Order Links:
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Books in this series:
(click cover for Goodreads)
 photo WardAgainstDeath-500x750_zps41e54763.jpg  photo WardAgainstDarkness-500x750_zps085c7eb0.jpg

 
About the Author
I have always been drawn to story telling. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling a story in my head or on paper. In grade school, we had journal writing time which I turned into story telling time, weaving tales of magic and adventure that mimicked the fairy tales and myths that I loved to read. It was there, with the help of two very special teachers, that I nurtured this love and started my journey as a writer.
I write fantasy, paranormal romance, and everything in between, seasoned with a good dash of adventure and mystery. Join me on my tales of magic, adventure, and romance.

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Cover Reveal: Bad Girls Do by Rosalie Lario Everly Brothers #3

Bad Girls Do Cover

Bad Girls Do by Rosalie Lario Everly Brothers #3

Publication Date: February 2, 2015

Also in this series: Wild Girls Rule, Good Girls Don’t

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

Bad girls have all the fun…

Trying to fit in with expectations has left Diane Milstrom lonely and dateless for yet another New Year’s Eve. After being forced to witness her ex proposing to the woman he dumped her for, she has one too many drinks and makes an uncharacteristically impulsive decision: she’s not going to be good anymore. It’s gotten her nothing but heartache, and besides, everyone knows bad girls have all the fun.

Sam Everly enjoys the lifestyle his family’s wealth provides, but he hates the trappings of society that come with it. If he has to attend one more family function full of bored socialites, he just might lose it. Diane Milstrom, his eldest brother’s ex-girlfriend, is the worst of the lot…or so he always thought. But when he overhears her making a Bad Girl To-Do list, he starts to wonder if maybe there’s more to her than meets the eye. Curiosity gets the better of him, and he volunteers to help her with some of the more…ahem, explicit items on her list. When Sam points out that being naughty with her ex’s brother is something only a bad girl would do, Diane can’t help but see his point. Besides, she could do worse than a little between-the-sheets action with a sexy guy who makes her heart beat in ways his brother never could. It’s only supposed to be a fling, a way to help her stretch her bad girl wings. But the more items they cross off her list, the higher the stakes become. Because if they aren’t careful, she just might fall in love…and that’s one thing a bad girl should never do. Author’s Note: If you’re into sexy billionaires with a touch of Alpha, who love to talk dirty in the bedroom (and out of it), then this contemporary erotic romance series might be for you!

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Other Books in the Everly Brothers Series…

Everly Brothers Series

About the Author

Rosalie Lario Rosalie Lario is the author of the contemporary romance series, THE EVERLY BROTHERS, as well as the paranormal romance series, DEMONS OF INFERNUM and THE FALLEN WARRIORS. Rosalie double majored in Anthropology and Classics as an undergraduate student, and briefly considered becoming an archaeologist before realizing they don’t actually live the life of Indiana Jones. So what was a classical geek armed with a lot of useless knowledge to do? Become a lawyer, of course! After attending law school in Florida, she practiced real estate law for several years before finally admitting to herself that negotiating contracts wasn’t nearly as fun as dreaming up stories. When not writing, you can find her on a boat somewhere along South Florida’s waterways, chasing down a rainbow or pretending to be a pirate.

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