Monthly Archives: May 2012

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Seers by Heather Frost

Today I am super excited to host an interview with Heather Frost, the author of Seers!  After the interview, you will have a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself.

Book Description

For Kate Bennet, surviving the car wreck that killed her parents means big changes and even bigger problems. As she begins to see auras and invisible people, Kate must learn to trust Patrick O’Donnell, a handsome Guardian, or risk her life being overrun with Demons. She soon realizes that both she and her heart are in big-time trouble.

My Interview with Heather

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

                I’m 22 years old, and a student at Utah State University. I’m the second oldest out of ten children, and I love my family more than anything. I love to spend time in imaginary worlds, and I’m a fan of ruined castles. I play the flute, and I make it a point to have a Lord of the Rings trilogy marathon at least once a year—the extended versions, of course. Basically, I’m a geek.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

                I’ve always loved a good story, and it wasn’t long before I had dreams of becoming an author. Reading was my favorite thing to do as a kid, and becoming a writer just made sense. I loved books way too much to stay away from writing. I’m a shy person, and it was hard to face rejections when I first started trying to publish a novel, but I knew my characters deserved to get out there, so I never stopped trying—and I never will.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

                My characters inspire me to keep going, but it’s the people in my life that inspire me to write. My family and friends are so supportive. I also get a lot of my ideas for stories from the books I read, and the movies and people I watch. Inspiration is all over the place, you just have to look for it.

4.  Tell us about Seers.

                Seers is about a senior in high school—Kate Bennett—who’s recently lost her parents in a car accident, and gained the ability to see auras. Set in present day New Mexico, Kate is about to find herself in the middle of an immortal war between Guardians and Demons. Both sides need her help; the Guardians are asking nicely, but the Demons aren’t as polite.

Seers is really a story about continuing to live, even after you’ve lost someone you love. The heart of the story, for me, is in learning to trust that happiness can have a part in your life again, even after experiencing incredible loss.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

                Getting up in front of large groups of people! I love meeting with fans and fellow book enthusiast, but public speaking is not exactly my favorite thing in the world. I get sick of marketing, as well. It’s the business side of writing, so it’s necessary, but I definitely prefer spending my time in the creative department. 

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

                I need music! I can’t write when everything’s quiet. I also need to have scratch paper nearby, because I like to physically scribble down notes and sudden inspiration. And I definitely write best at my desk. I know plenty of authors that prefer writing at a park, or in a coffee shop, but there’s no way I’d be able to get anything done.

 7.  What are some of your favorite books?

                Some, huh?  Top favs: “Jane Eyre”, “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, “Harry Potter”, “The Belgariad Series” by David Eddings, “The Hourglass Door” by Lisa Mangum, “Peter Pan”, “Matched”, by Allie Condie, and most recently, “Seeking Persephone”, by Sarah M. Edan. I could easily go on….

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

                Mostly there are just some odd quirks or catchphrases that my characters inherit from someone I know. My characters will sometimes get named after someone, though that says nothing about the real person’s personality. For example, there’s a minor character in Seers named Andrea, known for her jealous aura. One of my best friend’s is named Andrea, and I certainly don’t see her as a jealous person. (See, Andrea? Convinced yet?)

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

                I’m working on polishing up Book Two of the Seers Trilogy, Demons, which will be released in September.

 10.  Why do you love writing?

                I love the act of creation. I love forming a world, framing a plot, and growing new characters. I’m fascinated with figuring out motivations, for both the “good” characters, and the “bad”. I have way too much fun wreaking havoc.  I love placing obstacles in front of my characters, and I love to see them succeed; even if they don’t “win”, per se, I love to watch them stay true to themselves. I suppose this all sounds a bit crazy. And maybe that’s why I like writing. My own craziness isn’t quite as obvious when I’m writing. How does that quote go? Something like, “writing is the socially acceptable form of schizophrenia”. So true!

About the Author
 I was born in Sandy, Utah, a few days before Halloween in 1989. I lived in Salt Lake City until I was about six, and then I moved North and settled into the place I still call home. I’m the second child of ten, and I absolutely love being the big sister.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy reading, and I did a lot of it. I also dabbled in writing when I was young, though nothing serious until I entered the teenage years. Becoming an author is a dream come true!
I attended Snow College, and there got the best job ever as a writing tutor. I graduated in May 2011 with my Associate of Science, and am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science as an English Major.
I love movies, music, and books—although I do think that the dumbest question on the planet is the whole “What’s your favorite book/music/movie?” The best answer I’ve come up with is, “Whatever I’m reading, listening to, or watching at the time.” Generally, it’s an accurate answer.
I love the smell of lilacs, wet cement, and freshly cut grass. I love brownies, rain, and curling up with a good book.

Would to like to win your own copy of Seers?  CLICK HERE TO ENTER, and I will choose a winner next Friday to receive a PAPERBACK COPY!!

If you don’t win, you can buy Seers HERE!

BOOK TOUR PROMO: The Earth Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

The Earth Painter

by Melissa Turner Lee

Painter Series, Book 1

Genre: Paranormal YA

Book Description

When a self-conscious young woman discovers the boy in drama class is actually the immortal who painted the world into being, she becomes the target of another painter who hates humanity.

The Earth Painter is a Young Adult Supernatural Romance set in the small mill town of Chesnee, SC.
It revolves around Holly Scruggs, who’s family has just moved back to Chesnee after her dad lost his job along with pretty much everything they owned.
Her image conscious parents correct her to the point of brokenness until she meets Theo. He is the artist responsible for all the beauty of the land and he thinks Holly is beautiful too. Together they will fight against Fritz, the water painter who hates humans and is hiding a secret under the high school.

About the Author

Melissa Lee is a wife and stay-at-home-mom of 3 young boys. She’s been making up stories in her head for as long as she can remember but only got serious about it in 2007, after reading Twilight and rediscovering her own dreams to write.
Finally, she put her Journalism degree to use and started writing and hasn’t stopped since. She has studied fiction writing at various conferences, and from numerous writing coaches.
She signed her first contract with Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing in 2011

Melissa’s Blog

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

As part of the Enchanted Book Promotions tour for Thorn, I am hosting an interview today with the author, Intisar Khanani.

Book Description

Princess Alyrra’s strength lies in silence. Scorned by her family, she avoids the court, spending her time with servants. When her marriage is unexpectedly arranged with the prince of a powerful neighboring kingdom, Alyrra feels trapped. As the court celebrates her match, dark rumors spread about the unexplained deaths of the women of her new family. Alyrra begins her journey with mounting trepidation; betrayed while traveling, she seizes an opportunity to start a life away from court.

Walking away from a prince whom she doesn’t know should have been easy. But from the moment she sets eyes on him, Alyrra realizes that her freedom could cost him his life. Without any magical defense of her own, she is plunged into a lethal game of sorcery and deceit. Now Alyrra must decide whom she can trust and what she’s willing to fight for—before her silence proves fatal.

My Interview with Intisar

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and have grown up a nomad. I’ve lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. I first remember seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and have a vague recollection of eating breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when I was five. My husband, young daughter and I now live in Cincinnati, Ohio where I work with the Cincinnati Health Department on projects to improve community health, which is as close as I can get to saving the world. We’ve lived in Cincinnati longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere in one go—over five years. My approach to writing fantasy reflects a lifelong passion for stories from different cultures.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always loved writing. I wrote my first book at the age of three; it was a fully illustrated and well-stapled story about a good little fish that went to school. I’ve since learned not to illustrate my own work, and to develop somewhat more complex plots. I’ve continued to write on and off my whole life, and have drafted seven other novels in addition to “Thorn.” But it’s only in the last year that I began to think seriously about writing as a career. It’s been an exciting change for me!

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

That’s a hard one. My ideas come from everywhere, and they’re often such a mix of influences and incidents that I can’t really peg how the idea developed or at what point the story really took off for me. “Thorn” is unusual for me because it’s based on a Grimms’ fairytale that I loved (“The Goose Girl”), so the base elements of the plot came from that. I can’t really say where some of the supportive characters came from—the thief lord, the Lady / sorceress—or how Alyrra got to be the kind of heroine she is. Then again, I went through 13 revisions of “Thorn” so it’s been a long time since they first introduced themselves, and they’ve changed a lot along the way.

I’m now working on a trilogy set in the same world that starts up soon after “Thorn” ends, but follows a new character, Rae. I have no idea how I came up with Rae, but I remember clearly when the plot came into focus for me. I was flying British Airways, and came across an envelope to collect spare change for a non-profit working to end child slavery. Suddenly, everything clicked: in Thorn, I had mentioned children disappearing off the streets and never being seen again. Until then, that had been a minor plot element; but looking at the envelope, I knew there was nothing minor about it. This would be the heart of Rae’s story. It would be up to her to find out what happened to the children and do something about it.

4.  Tell us about Thorn.

As I mentioned above, “Thorn” is loosely based on the fairy tale “The Goose Girl.” Princess Alyrra has grown up with her mother’s contempt and her brother’s casual cruelty. She despises politics, and is more frightened than anything when her betrothal is arranged with the prince of a powerful neighboring kingdom. So, when she is betrayed along her journey to meet the prince, and a sorceress switches her identity with her lady-in-waiting, she’s only outraged for a little while. Then she realizes she’s free. What more could she want? Only when she arrives at her new home does she discover that the sorceress is after the prince himself. Now Alyrra has to decide what she’s willing to fight for, and what choices she can make to decide her own fate when so many of her choices have already been made by others.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Writing. Definitely the writing. It’s also the best part, the easiest part, and the most exhausting. The thing about writing is you have to do it whether you feel like it or not. Even those days when inspiration is out looking for a tan in Jamaica while you sit at your computer under gray skies nursing a cold—even those days, if you make yourself write, you’ll get something useful out of it. And if you want to be a writer, then you’d better write. The second hardest part is revising. :)

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

I really just need peace and quiet. That might sound easy, but I have a toddler and another little baby on the way. Nap times and post-bed time work really well right now, but I have the feeling that the new baby is going to rearrange my life for a little while at least when it comes to writing.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

I tend to have favorite authors rather than books. I always come back to both Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice by Austen. I also enjoy books by Hilari Bell, Julia Golding, and Lisa Mantchev. I’m always looking for another great read, or an author to follow.

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Nope. Definitely not.

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I am currently working on a trilogy that follows after “Thorn.” Don’t be fooled: Thorn is a stand-alone novel. This trilogy starts up a few weeks after “Thorn” ends with a completely different heroine; Rae is smart, witty, and a born horsewoman, raised on a ranch in southern Menaiya. She and her two younger sisters have been inseparable, until now. Rae gets an invitation from a cousin at court to stay with them for the upcoming royal wedding. She doesn’t have many expectations beyond enjoying the wedding; born with a deformed foot, she knows the court’s obsession with beauty leaves no space for cripples.

Her expectations are turned on their head when she is asked to serve as a royal attendant to the foreign princess, Alyrra. Alyrra is not what Rae expects, nor is the task Alyrra sets her. Rae must find out about the snatched, the children and young women across Menaiya who disappear off the streets and from their beds. Rumor has it that it’s the work of slavers, but then there’s the Darkness, the strange malady that affects those children who escape, destroying their minds unless their memories can be erased. While the people live in fear of the Snatchers, the court dismisses the stories as ignorant superstition. It’s up to Rae to figure out what’s going on and how to stop it.

10.  Why do you love writing?

Why do you love air? Maybe you don’t even realize you love air, but just try living with out. It’s not possible.

 

About the Author

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and young daughter. Intisar writes grants and develops projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which is as close as she can get to saving the world. Her approach to writing fantasy reflects her lifelong passion for stories from different cultures. She is currently writing a trilogy set in the same world as Thorn. This is her first novel.

Author Website

Author GoodReads

Author Facebook

BOOK TOUR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Trial of Tears by Chris Semal

I’m happy to be a part of the tour for Chris Semal’s novel, Trial of Tears!  Today I will be featuring a guest post from the author himself, and then you will have a chance to win a copy of the book!

Book Description

‘Pulp Fiction’ with a dash of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’

Pete Watts is a former undercover narcotics cop who got way too close to his job. He now runs a music rehearsal studio that draws the underbelly of the industry: violent drug gangs, a strange assortment of hangers-on and a gorgeous ex-mercenary who wears makeup in the form of multi-colored tears running down her face. These tears are, in fact, decals on which different poisons are concealed. Some survive the Trial of Tears, some don’t. The story’s taut climax is set in a posh townhouse in which only the courageous will emerge unscathed.

An action-packed love-letter to New York City, it’s a story of friendship and redemption, that provides a roller-coaster of laughter, drama and suspense, leaving the reader wanting more.

One Less Star in the Galaxy

by Chris Semal

I don’t know if it’s me growing older or just a bad spate of luck, but I notice the passing of musicians more so now more than ever. It was bound to happen. The generation of artists I grew up listening to is anywhere from ten to twenty years older than me and are getting long in the tooth. Most of them, with a few notable exceptions, no longer produce the quality and quantity of music they did when they were young and hungry, but that’s not important. This is not a case of living in the past; it’s simply the natural order of things.
It used to be tragic accidents, such as Stevie Ray Vaughan’s helicopter crash, or overindulgent lifestyles (if I started listing those names, we might be here for a while) that would claim casualties, but now it’s more heart attacks and cancers, and what might be deemed as ‘natural causes’. In the last three months, we’ve lost Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Levon Helm, Davy Jones, Ronnie Montrose, Duck Dunn, Michael Hossack, Earl Scruggs, Greg Ham, Adam Yauch & Peter Jones. This just seems like an epidemic and these are only the more famous ones.
With the short shelf life of bands due to internal and musical conflicts, I always try to attend as many concerts as possible. First and foremost, I love seeing bands in live settings, but with some of my real favorites, there’s the knowledge that what I’m seeing on stage might be the last time this particular group of people will interact in this way. They may retire from the spotlight, tiring of road life, or have made enough money to no longer need to tour extensively to support themselves. With very few exceptions, once they’re out of ‘playing shape’ and then reform for the large paycheck tour to carry them into retirement or simply buy another swimming pool, the magic is gone and impossible to recapture. Fans can still hope that they’ll come around again, and the gauze of memories can obscure whatever imperfections are now in the forefront. It’s just that for the ones who’ll never grace a stage or recording studio again, there’s one less star in the galaxy.

About the Author

Chris Semal was born in New York City in 1959 and has lived there all his life. He is aware that other places exist and likes to visit them from time to time, but the city is a hard mistress to resist and he keeps going back to her. A musician, singer and songwriter, he has played pretty much every rock club in Manhattan at one time or another since the late 70s and went to school at the University of Miami to study Music Engineering, coming back north to do the only obvious thing possible, becoming a municipal bond broker and eventually working as a consultant building financial models. In the early part of the millennium, between both consulting and band gigs, he thought it might be interesting to see what would happen if he expanded on the 80 or so words he used in writing song lyrics and went for the 80,000 he would need for a novel. And so Trial Of Tears was born, along with a passion for developing plots and characters.  You can visit Chris on his website at chrissemal.com.

PURCHASE TRIAL OF TEARS ON AMAZON

Click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the Trial of Tears virtual tour.

Comment on this post for a chance to win a paperback copy of Trial of Tears!  Giveaway ends June 4!

REVIEW: Blood Rites by Quinn Loftis

Blood Rites

by Quinn Loftis

Grey Wolves Series, Book 2

SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVE NOT READ BOOK 1 OF THIS SERIES!!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although Fane has defeated the Alpha who challenged him for Jacque’s hand, they of course can’t have a normal relationship. Jacque’s father has finally come forward, and he has no intention of allowing his young daughter to mate so quickly. But before he can put his plan into motion, another wolf has a plan of his own…a plan that will bring Jacque closer to death than ever.

I loved Prince of Wolves and its’ sequel was no disappointment! Fane became even more ferocious and badass in this book as he and Jacque get closer. Jacque’s BFFs Jen and Sally are of course by her side, and I loved that Jen was getting even more attention in this book…very obvious to me what is going on with she and the Romanian pack’s Beta wolf, Decebel…in fact it is obvious to everyone but them!

The action again was very fast paced and left me breathless. I was shocked at what the villain put Jacque through, and I was so enthralled right up until the end.

I am so excited to read the next book in the series, and especially to find out more about Jen and Decebel’s relationship–to me they are more fun than Fane and Jacque!

View all my reviews

REVIEW: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for my ARC.  

Release Date: June 19, 2012

Book Description

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually wantto live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sloane was planning on doing something drastic…until some even more drastic happened. Not only to her, but to the entire world. Her town of Cortege has been overrun by infected dead, and Sloane and 5 of her schoolmates are barricaded inside the high school with little hope of survival.

For those of you looking for a zombie-killing, brain splattering blood and gore fest, this is not your book. This book is more of a study in personality conflict and psychological changes to individuals in traumatic, unimaginable situations. So, just a fair warning.

Did I like the main character? No, I can’t necessarily say that I did. I think most of what I felt for Sloane was pity. At times I found her very weak, but I’m not sure I can fault her for that after all the horrible things she had gone through in her life. She was definitely a change from the kick-ass, fiercely independent heroines that seem to be so popular in books these days.

This book has a taut line of tension that stretches throughout the entire story until the characters finally snap. The characters were archetypes: the leader, the hothead, the good girl, the rebel, etc. This was one aspect of the story I didn’t care for–I was hoping for more originality in that aspect.

In the end, Sloane finally understands why she has made it so far and is lucky to be still alive. Especially since there were so many close to her, who did not.

View all my reviews

BOOK TOUR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Pretty in Black by Rae Hachton

Today I am excited to feature a guest post by Rae Hachton, author of Pretty in Black.  Keep reading for more info about the book!

Book Description

Some Things are Pretty. Some Things are Black. Love is both.

[Ellie Piper]

She wanted to die. He arose from the grave. He was sent to kill her. She was trained to kill those of his kind. But fate had other plans. He searched for 119 years to find her. & There’s no way in hell he’s letting her go. Dead or Alive. They’re fated.

[Marcus Marble]

How far would you go to be with the one you love? Would you die for her? Would you kill for her? What if the only reason you’re still alive is because of her? What if the reason you came back from the dead, was to be with her? But what if your job was to kill her, but you fell in love instead? And now you’re being hunted by your own kind?

Destroy? Or be Destroyed?

Making Sacrifices for Love

by Rae Hachton

This is a super awesome topic, but you should know, I have no idea how to answer it.
I have never been in love before. Sure, I’ve liked a few people a lot, but I’ve never experienced that whole heart-pounding, do anything for you, sort of thing.
Personally, I don’t have a clue. So I will let Marcus and Ellie answer this question, because they are experiencing this.
Ellie: I would only make a sacrifice for someone who’s willing to make a sacrifice for me. You don’t often find anyone in this world who’s able or willing to love you like that. Marcus has made more than one sacrifice for me, and I want to be with him; I am more than willing to make one tiny sacrifice for him. Dying isn’t bad. It’s going to happen regardless, but spending eternity with him,  yes, I’d trade in my human life for that.


Marcus: I believe a person can only deeply feel for another once. And that love is irreplaceable. It makes you a different person. Ellie has made me a different—better—person. She is special to me, and I make sacrifices to let her know how much she means to me. I wouldn’t make these kind of sacrifices for just anyone. I’m a really selfish person. When I know what I want, I go for it. I would very much like to have her forever, but I’m allowing her to make that decision. I can only let her know how I feel, and if she decides to stay with me, I will be overjoyed. If not, I won’t regret the choices I’ve made. It’s more than worth it.

About the Author

 Rae Hachton [pronounced H-ton] is the nom de plume of author Desirae Hennington. She is the Indie Author of the Gothic Romance series Pretty in Black. She is twenty-three years old and lives with her Muse and her Ghost. When she is not composing new novels, she is working on her cinematography studies, and devouring YA books. Her favorite band is The Raveonettes, and she is a major fan of Edgar Allan Poe and Ravens and Crows. Although she is writing Gothic Fiction at the moment, her favorite genre of all time is Contemporary YA. Favorite contemporary book: tie between Forever by Judy Blume and the Summer I turned Pretty series by Jenny Han. Favorite author: David Levithan. If Rae Hachton wasn’t writing, she’d give it one last shot at being kewl, and probably start a band.

Links to buy books :
Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Be sure to CLICK HERE to enter the tour wide giveaway!  Prizes include a paperback, swag, and more :)
Click the top banner to follow the rest of the Pretty in Black tour.

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Page Turners Blog!

I am excited to be a part to this hop, because I am splashing into summer myself tomorrow–me, hubs, little man and the in-laws are going to Destin, FL. :)

That is the condo where we are staying, and yes, all we have to do is open the door, walk a few steps, and we are on the beach!

Our condo fee includes beachside service…basically if we want a towel, drink, or anything, all we have to do is stick a little flag in the sand and someone will bring us what we need.  AAAH.

Is it too much to ask that one of the servers might be a guy who looks like Daemon Black?

SIGGHHHHH.

Anyway, while I am on vacay I am giving you guys the chance to win an awesome book that I reviewed yesterday, Dead Beautiful by Melanie Dugan.  This is a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth with a really cool twist.

This is a paperback copy of the book, so US only this time.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Dead Beautiful by Melanie Dugan

Book Description

Dead Beautiful is a contemporary retelling of the classic Greek myth of Persephone. This was the myth the Greeks used to explain how we came to have the change of seasons. In the traditional version of the myth, Persephone – the daughter of Demeter, Goddess of agriculture and fertility, and Zeus, the top god on Olympus – is abducted one day by Hades, God of the Underworld (which is also called Hades).

Demeter refuses to do her job until her daughter is returned to her, and the earth is plunged into the first winter: no crops grow, cold settles on the earth. It turns out that while in Hades, Persephone has eaten six pomegranate seeds. As a result, for six months of the year, she must live with Hades; this is when it is fall and winter on earth. For six months she lives with her mother – then we have spring and summer.
Dead Beautiful asks, what if Persephone, like many adolescent girls, didn’t tell her mother the whole truth? What if Hades didn’t abduct her? What if she made the decision to go with him? (She is, after all, 18 millennia old.)

The result is a novel that examines the complex dynamics between mothers and daughters, and explores the challenges faced by young women as they move from childhood into adulthood and independence. It is smart, fast-paced, funny and profound; a book that will appeal to women young and old, to mothers and daughters.

My Thoughts

Dead BeautifulDead Beautiful by Melanie Dugan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you have even a passing knowledge of Greek mythology, then you know the legend of the forbidden love between Hades and Persephone. Dead Beautiful is a refreshing retelling of that story, with points of view from several other people affected, including Zeus, Demeter, and Hades himself.

This was such a cool and fun story! I am a huge mythology geek and I love when authors put a new spin on a timeless tale. In this book, Persephone is more like a willful teenager who is tired of living under her mother’s thumb. So when she catches the eye of the sexy, dark, and mysterious Hades, she immediately falls for him. Without a thought of how will might affect anyone else, she goes to live with him in the Underworld and become his wife.

Meanwhile, Demeter, Persephone’s mother is going crazy looking for her–much to the chagrin of the other gods and the people on Earth. I love that we see how Persephone’s disappearance had so many ramifications, much like so many decisions teenagers make on a whim.

My favorite part of this book was the personification of the gods. Zeus is the big boss with an annoying son and cold wife; Hades is basically a people manager. Persephone is an afflicted teenager who is tired of spending every single second with her overbearing mother. The gods are not as all powerful as they would like mortals to believe.

I truly enjoyed this story and the author’s writing style. This book was a fast, entertaining read.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Melanie Dugan was born in San Francisco, California and now lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She is the author of two previous novels, Sometime Daughter(“a stunning debut,” Kingston Whig-Standard) and Revising Romance (“heartwarming, amusing and … downright sexy,” Midwest Book Review). She is all books, all the time: She has worked in several library systems and currently works in her hometown library, she has worked at a bookstore, and was Associate Publisher at Quarry Press, a small press in Kingston. She has also worked as a journalist and in that capacity has written many book reviews. Her short stories have been shortlisted for several awards.

Visit Melanie at her website.

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BOOK TOUR EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Straight to Heaven by Michelle Scott

Straight to Heaven

by Michelle Scott

Lilith Straight Series, Book 2

Format: Ebook

Book Description

Hell’s newest employee, Lilith Straight, thinks she’s got a handle on her job as the Devil’s temptress until she finds herself going horns-to-halo with a guardian angel who’s determined to rescue Lilith’s next victim. To make matters worse, William Darcy, the hottest demon in hell, is trying to undermine Lilith’s mission with a few temptations of his own.

And now, an excerpt from Straight to Heaven.

William had been leaning against the wall, and he stood up straight when he saw me.  “That didn’t go well, did it?”

He’d witnessed my epic failure.  Terrific.  “Things were going fine until that woman got in the way,” I said.  Curse that interfering old lady!  Now Miss Spry would be furious with me.  I resumed nibbling my cuticle.

“An old lady?  Is that what you saw?”  William laughed.  “That, my dear Lilith, was a guardian angel.”

Guardian angel?  I replayed the events in my mind, suddenly realizing how easily the old lady with the walker had thwarted my attempts to tempt my client.  Her timing had been perfect, and those piercing, blue eyes had been supernatural.  “No one told me there would be an angel involved,” I said.

“Angels can be a nuisance, especially if they’re assigned to your client.  They may work for Heaven, but they know as many dirty tricks as we do.”

“So they’ve given you trouble before, too?” I asked hopefully.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” he said.  “I’ve never once let an angel stop me from tempting a client.”

I should have guessed.  William had a perfect track record which made him a favorite of Miss Spry’s.  “How did you manage that?” I asked him.

He gave me a knowing smile.  “It’s the easiest thing in the world.  I seduced them.”

Michelle is generously giving away a 2GB iPod Shuffle during this tour!  This will be shipped from Amazon, so if Amazon ships to your country, you can win it!  You can also win an ebook copy of  Straight to Heaven.

Just comment on this post, then click HERE to enter on the Rafflecopter.

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