Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway of Doppelganger by Milda Harris

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Today I'm featuring a YA Urban Fantasy titled Doppleganger that has such a very cool premise.  Let's start with getting to know this very cool chick, Milda Harris...


Author Milda Harris is a Chicago girl who ran off to Hollywood to pursue a screenwriting dream! She has a dog named after a piece of candy (Licorice), was once hit by a tree (seriously), and wears hot pink sunglasses (why not?). Between working in production on television shows like Austin & Ally, Hannah Montana, andThat's So Raven and playing with her super cute dog Licorice, she writes young adult murder mystery, horror, paranormal romance, and chick lit novels.

Her books Doppelganger, Adventures in Funeral Crashing, Adventures of a Graveyard Girl, The New Girl Who Found A Dead Body, and Connected (A Paranormal Romance) are for sale now!


Get to know Milda Harris better by visiting her author's siteblogtwitter and facebook.



A bit about Doppelganger...

Citrus Leahy is having a really bad day. First she's late to school. Then she runs into the girl who drives her nuts because she always calls her Orange instead of her name. To cap it all off, when Citrus finally makes it to class, she sees herself already inside. Wait. What? Citrus Leahy has a doppelganger! It's probably aliens taking over the world and her life has just turned totally upside down. Goodbye, normal. Hello, paranormal. Luckily, her crush Aedan has the exact same problem!


Intrigued?  I thought so. 
 Here's an excerpt to really whet your whistle...

I walked the rest of the way to my classroom, totally forgetting to obsess over World History facts and instead wondering if I had any face wash in my gym locker to try and head off that pimple. I couldn't remember if I had taken it home or not. I crossed my fingers that the face wash would still be there, in my locker, when I had gym in a few hours. I tried to even out my breathing and dabbed the sweat off my face with the bottom of my shirt. I wasn’t going to give the other students anything to talk about by running in, out of breath, and sweaty. I was just going to walk in and hand Mr. Meadows the tardy slip, ask for the test, sit down, take it, and get a decent grade, and hopefully not a pimple. Then I could get back to reading my fun book and not worry about my grades for the rest of the day.

My mind was already planning how it was all going to turn out, as I caught a glimpse of the classroom through the window in the door. That’s when everything froze for me. The Receptionist in the Main Office had been correct in thinking that the attendance reports were strange because they were. How else could I be standing outside of my World History class waiting to go in and take my test and also be inside, already busy with the business of test taking? I swear. I'm not kidding. I was dressed in different clothes, but it was definitely me - same body type, a little longer than shoulder length dirty blonde hair and side swept bangs, oval face, and green eyes. Well, I'm guessing her eyes were green because the girl I was looking at was focused on her test and not looking directly at me. Still, it was me in there. I just knew it.

The thing is - I didn’t have a twin. What I was seeing was totally impossible. I couldn’t be in two places at once. What in the world was happening? And, really, could my day get any worse?


Want it?  Of course!  You can purchase your copy at
You could also win your very own copy!  Just enter below....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cover Reveal: Resonance by J. A. Belfield

Woo hoo!
A cover reveal for the Holloway Pack series!!!  You know how I love these guys!

So, I won't keep you waiting (but I will let you know that Blue Moon, book 2 of this series, will be reviewed very soon and an author interview/giveaway is scheduled for December 24th).....



 
Guilt is a heavy burden for the one carrying it.

Jem Stonehouse is no exception to this rule.

What if she’d acted sooner? What if she’d fully recognised the threat? What if she hadn’t allowed the male pack members to head into the witches’ ambush?

For one, youngest pack member Josh Larsen wouldn’t be trapped in the sleep of the dead.

Now, Jem is convinced it’s her job to bring him back to life no matter what it takes— learning more about her heritage, risking pack exposure, or travelling to places she couldn’t have imagined possible.

Even if the journey endangers her soul

*******************
Isn't it awesome!!!  Crazy gorgeous!  And I'm sooooo intrigued!


Resonance will be available in E-format only starting April 2, 2013

In the meantime, add Resonance to your Goodreads.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: Weighted by Ciara Knight


Weighted (The Neumarian Chronicles Prequel)

The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

Genre:  Funky blend of  dystopian, sci-fi and steampunk
 (not sure yet if this will be a YA series or not)
 ... Total Awesomesauce!!!

My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
One word:  intense!  More than a bit scary but not "horror" dark (this reviewer doesn't do the real dark stuff).  For such a short glimpse into the world of the Neumarian Chronicles, this book is a power punch of freaking amazingness .... okay, maybe not a word, but you get the idea.  I loved everything about this book.  It's suspenseful.  It's mysterious.  It's creative.  It has the most likable and hate-worthy characters... and we have barely met them!  42 pages and I've not stopped thinking about them since I finished this two days ago.  So my only complaint is that book 1, Escapement, isn't out yet.  It's kind of cruel to leave me hanging like this.  I want more!!!

Cover Art:
Wowie-wow-wow!!!  Love, love, love this cover!  Likely my favorite cover of 2012 to date! 

Where to get it:
Don't forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR list!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review: Bewitched by Cambria Hebert

***This post may contain spoilers of previous books,  so if you are new to this series, 
you may wish to check out my reviews of
 Before (# 0.5) and Masquerade (#1) instead***


Release date:  October 5, 2012


For years, I accepted that Heven was more popular than me. I never liked it but I lived with it. I walked in her shadow, I stood by her when no one else would. When I finally thought her spotlight was mine things began to change. She began to change. Now she hardly ever calls me back, she spends all her time with her hot new boyfriend and everyone at school thinks she’s back on top. She had it all. But apparently she wants more. She wants Cole – my boyfriend. What’s worse is that it looks like she got him. I’ve had enough and she’s going to be sorry. Why?

Because I am bewitched.

Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy (Short Story)
Publisher Type:  Indie
My Rating:  *  *  *  * 

My Review:
This is a fabulous short story best read immediately following book #2, Charade, and reads much like a "deleted scenes" feature on a dvd.  True to form, Ms. Hebert's amazing gift for bringing characters and their surroundings to life permeates this brief glimpse into Kimber's experience with the paranormal.  The scene where Kimber experiences her powers for the first time was especially well done and I loved getting to know Kimber better; she's got personality in spades!  It rocked to finally see how her part in book #2 all played out: how she came to betray those she loved best and how she ended locked up in the dungeons of the underworld.  Though quite brief, this was a fantastic addition to the Heven & Hell series.  I will note the only thing I didn't love was the limo driver was a bit over the top to me, but other than that, this was one sweet read!!!

Way Favorite Quote:
His face was whiter than ever and his limp, lifeless body lay among white and peach roses.  I bent down, scooped up my necklace and fastened it around my neck.  "They make conditioner for hair like that," I spat then turned away.

Cover Art:
I just love the covers to this series, though I miss the gold glitter from the first few covers.  Why do I love gold glitter so much on books, I couldn't say?  I'm not really a gold glitter girl in real life, but for some reason I'm crazy for it on my book covers!  What can I say?

Be sure to stop by on October 5th 
for a special release day post with a giveaway to boot!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review: Eden West by Janelle Stalder

I'm just a lucky, lucky gal!  I know sometimes it seems that I squeal on and on about how good the books I've been reading are, but its just simply that I  have encountered so many amazing storytellers of late.  And that makes for one very happy reviewer!  So, I'm going to cut to the chase and try a new format for my reviews by giving you the rating first:

FIVE STARS!!!
  
There.  I said it.  Yup.  This is an amazing, amazing, get-it-now read!  As this is book 2 in the series, if you haven't read book 1, Eden (see my review here), download both books, put some pb&j out for the kids and lock yourself in your room.  You're not going to want to come out until every last word is read.  Find these books at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Smashwords.  Don't forget to add them to your Goodreads TBR, too!


New beginnings, new conflicts, and new adventures arise in the second installment of the Eden Series, Eden-West.

Months after his initial journey to Eden, Aiden is learning to cope with his own transformation. His social status has changed, his friendship with his best friend Ethan is in jeopardy because of it, and worst of all, he has heard absolutely nothing from his new friends in Eden. What has become of the world he fell in love with? Are his friends safe? Is the war over? With no answers, and no hope for contact, Aiden decides to focus on his life in his world.

Just as he makes this decision, he encounters a familiar bright light and thinks he knows exactly what it means. Except the light isn’t at all what he expects and neither is the person behind it. When Aiden returns to Eden, it is to a whole new part of that special world, and a whole new set of adventures.

Weeks after Aiden was returned to his own world, Elisa is sent to Nysa, the revered Southern city, to retrieve the one thing she’d rather avoid – Wolf. Captain Turk instructed her to get in and get out - but that is easier said than done. When she finds her missing friend, she also stumbles upon a great deal of trouble. This trouble goes by one name – Markus, the leader of the Sun People.

Follow all your favourite characters as they ready themselves for battle and fight for a world threatened to be destroyed.

Genre:  YA (but really all ages) Fantasy
Publisher Type: Indie
My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
The hard thing about writing reviews of subsequent books in a series is that you tend to repeat yourself a lot.  Just like in book 1, I can tell you that Ms. Stalder has an amazing gift for writing extremely complex characters with complicated relationships.  I love that the protagonists and antagonists alike are dimensional and not purely good or evil.  One of my favorite characters, Callum, is technically a "bad guy."  Rose puts it best, "War was never an easy thing to deal with, and everything about this war appalled her.  Yet she considered Brutus one of her most trusted friends.  Sometimes the world was so filled with shades of grey, it was hard to believe there was ever such a thing as pure black and white."  The lack of a clear black and white is one of the things that make this such an intelligent and engaging novel.

I was also impressed by the way the author was able to weave in "reminder hints" of book 1 throughout the first part of Eden West.  There's a temptation for an author to either jump right into the story (which only works if the reader just finished the last book) or to provide an information dump within the first few pages to catch the reader back up.  Ms. Stalder was able to gently insert subtle hints throughout the first part of the story that had me remembering details and events without feeling like I had to skim through a synopsis of the previous book. 

Eden West differs greatly from the first book as our main characters are separated and very much unaware of what is happening to the others.  Story lines are perfectly layered upon one another, taking us from event to event, from perspective to perspective, masterfully building the plot and creating crazy amounts of suspense.  I absolutely love the way the story unfolds!!!  

As the novel concludes, we have enough closure of the main conflict to feel satisfied, but there's some major cliff hangers, both in the romance and action.  My only complaint is how am I supposed to wait to find out what happens?!?!  Yikes!  I'm not sure I can stand it!!!

Cover Art:
I have a thing for cover continuity throughout a series.  This is a great example of how to do that right.  Much like book 1, I'm torn between loving the simple, crisp design that utilizes an important symbol from the book and being disappointed that the covers don't show off the crazy creativity of the story within.  Overall the cover style is growing on me and I, as always, do love the polished look!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Trailer: Blue Moon by J. A. Belfield

I'm super excited about the upcoming release of Blue Moon, the newest installment of the Holloway Pack series, one of the very best and maybe my all-time favorite werewolf series!!!  I just now got the arc in my email and I'm just twitching to get started!!!!  Yay!!!  But to whet your whistle about it now, here's the trailer :


Chill bumps!  I know, right?!?  It's going to be fantastically awesome!!!


Someone is watching the Holloway Pack, and this time, the female isn’t the target.

Life with a group of seven male werewolves worries Jem Stonehouse not one bit. She is engaged to the Alpha’s son Sean Holloway after all. So what has Jem’s territorial instincts on high alert?

The pack’s latest addition. Both of them.

None of the men think there’s a problem with the new girlfriends. Jem’s intuition tells her otherwise—that and a nagging suspicion the new females aren’t there to partake.

Jem believes they’ve joined in to take.

The question is … What?

As the eve of the blue moon draws ever closer, Jem’s running out of time to find the answer and outwit a thief of the worst possible kind.

A woman who believes she can’t lose.


Add it to your Goodreads TBR today!

Review: Surrender by Aimee Laine

I know you've been waiting for this review.  Hopefully you all have gone cyber shopping and gotten Little White Lies from your favorite ebook retailer and, if you have, I know you have barely come up for air.  At least you took the time to check out this post :)  That makes me feel good!

Congratulations to Sherry F. who just won her very own copy of Surrender here on Known to Read (thanks to the very cool publisher, J Taylor)!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Speaking of that, here is FINALLY my review of the amazing-you've-gotta-read-this Surrender by Aimee Laine......


Face the past or look to the future? Both will hurt. One could kill her.

All her life, Lily Crane has supressed her childhood memories, masking the signs of abuse with a variety of looks. From brunette to blonde, tall to short — as a Mimic, changing shape is her gift. Her right. Her achilles heel.

It’s Lily’s latest likeness, chosen simply by accident, which threatens to repeat a history she’s desperate to forget. Worse, she must do so without the one man who takes all her pain away: Cael Aldridge.

Cael has no intention of leaving Lily on her own. He never has. Now, with the woman he loves in the hands of a predator who wants Lily for her genetics, Cael will do everything he can to bring her home.

Alive.

He can only pray he isn’t too late.

Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Suspense/Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Independent 
My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
True to form, Aimee Laine has written yet another amazingly romantic and suspenseful book!  Her novels are the best of both worlds, taking us on a stunning romantic journey all the while shocking us with must-hold-your-breath suspense!!!  This is just crazy, my friends, these books are just that good!!!

In Surrender we continue getting to know the entire gang we first met in book 1, Little White Lies, but the focus is squarely on Lilly and Cael.  Lilly is a unique character; she's vulnerable and gentle and more than a bit unsure of herself.  Throughout the book we get to understand the reasons behind her insecurities and, even though she's not your typical kick-butt heroine, you can't help but absolutely adore her.  She is strong in a quiet, subtle way and has admirable courage.  Cael is this steady (and smoldering) rock.  He's obviously very much in love with Lilly (we saw that in book 1) and it takes some time to understand why he's been "just a friend" for so long.  Cael .... I'm struggling for words here .... is just so absolutely what you want from your guy.  He's Lilly's champion: fighting for her, going crazy with worry and anger that someone would hurt her.  He's her best friend: supportive and encouraging.  He deeply loves her: accepting of even her darkest secret.  And --again-- wow, Ms. Laine, how do you manage to verbalize love so well?!? 

Now if all this stunningly-well-written romance wasn't enough for you, then there's the suspense/thriller part of story.  Yikes!  The book barely begins and someone's grabbed Lilly!  Craziness is afoot and the plot twists and turns like the Amazon River.  There's conspiracy and questionable intentions.  You just don't know who Lilly can trust!  I do want to note that though there's Lilly's abusive past and a missing teen girl as central components to this story, it never gets too dark for those of us who don't do truly dark and scary stuff.

The ending is so, so, sooooo good!  There's so many good things there and then there's some cliff hanging that makes you hungry for book 3.  It's pretty clear who book 3 will be about, but I'll leave you in suspense. **wink, wink**

Cover Art:
This isn't your typical, "oh so pretty" cover.  Nonetheless, how could you not be intrigued and pick this book right up?!?  

Want it?  I know you do!  Find it here.
Don't forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR!


Cover Reveal: Silent Echoes by Aimee Laine

Tee hee hee!  I know what you're thinking and ... no, Aimee Laine has not taken over Known to Read ... it just looks like that right now because she has had so many freaktasticly awesome things going on of late that I could not help but share them all.  First came my review of the amazing Little White Lies that I read in preparation for my tour stop on her tour for book 2 of the Mimics of Rune series, Surrender (which was totally spellbinding ... review to come soon).  And now, here's a cover reveal for book 2 in her Games of Zesus series, Silent Echoes.  I loved book 1, Hide & Seek and am eager to read the next installment.  See my review here.

And now without further ado ... ta da!  Isn't it hauntingly beautiful?!?

Silent Echoes

Release Date: March 11, 2013


Description

For years, Ian Sands has enjoyed his life as a bachelor, taking advantage of singlehood and exploring his own definition of passion—whoever she may be. Blonde. Brunette. Tall. Short. Hot. Not. Five months ago, all that changed.

Ian’s been celibate, frustrated and desperately seeking answers to why one woman, who doesn’t play by girls’ rules, haunts his every waking moment.

As a renovations specialist, Taylor Marsh lives, works and breathes construction—a profession her southern belle of a mother would rather Taylor not touch. The same goes for Ian; Mama Marsh would never approve of him.

Like Ian, though, each time he and Taylor draw near, something compels her to get closer.

Something else tells her to run away.

Fast.

As much as their histories suggest they shouldn’t be together, neither Taylor nor Ian can deny the pull, and the two succumb, indulging in a relationship that brings pleasure to body, mind and soul.

Doing so, though, also ushers in a series of events both should have foreseen as well as one final outcome neither expected.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blog Tour: Giveaway & Guest Post by Surrender's Aimee Laine


Woo hoo!!!  My newest favorite author is here, today, right now!!!!
**Cartwheels**
It's time to celebrate!

This is the first stop on her blog tour for the just now, as in today, release of


and you'll get a chance to win your very own copy of it!!!



Here's the blurb:

Face the past or look to the future? Both will hurt. One could kill her. 

All her life, Lily Crane has supressed her childhood memories, masking the signs of abuse with a variety of looks. From brunette to blonde, tall to short — as a Mimic, changing shape is her gift. Her right. Her achilles heel. 

It’s Lily’s latest likeness, chosen simply by accident, which threatens to repeat a history she’s desperate to forget. Worse, she must do so without the one man who takes all her pain away: Cael Aldridge. 

Cael has no intention of leaving Lily on her own. He never has. Now, with the woman he loves in the hands of a predator who wants Lily for her genetics, Cael will do everything he can to bring her home. 

Alive. 

He can only pray he isn’t too late.

**Chill Bumps**

So let's get to know this amazingly talented lady, Aimee Laine...


Aimee is a romantic at heart and a southern transplant with a bit of the accent (but not a whole bunch). She's married to her high school sweetheart, and with him, she's produced three native North Carolinians, two of whom share the same DNA. 


With an MBA and a degree in Applied Mathematics, there's absolutely no reason she should be writing romance novels. Then again, she shouldn't need a calculator to add two numbers, either ... but she does.

You can get to know Aimee better via her website, twitter and facebook, but go there later because right now I've got a special guest posting by the lady herself.  Right here!  Oh yeah!!!  So I asked my new favorite author to reveal to us 
10 things most people don't know about her.  

Here's her response...
  1. All my animals are black and white. I don’t know why, that’s just how it happened and that includes 2 cats and 2 guinea pigs!
  2. I spent 2 years trying to have a 2nd child only to be told it wouldn’t happen without fertility medicines so my hubby and I opted to ‘stick to 1 kid’ and 6 months later, I was pregnant ... with twins!
  3. In college I spent 2 years taking figure skating lessons and could actually do a jump!
  4. I married my high school sweetheart at 20 years old, after having met him when I was 14!
  5. My hubby and I went out August 26, 1988 for the first time and 24 years later we are still together ... better, we never once broke up. Ever. 
  6. I kill almost all plants. It’s a fact in my house. I’m not allowed to work with the plants. Ever.
  7. After taking a trip to Paris, where we saw the Mini Cooper, we returned to the states, looked them up and was the 364th owner of a Cooper in our state!
  8. I don’t drink coffee and very little soda, but I drink unsweet iced tea as if it is about to go extinct!
  9. I’ve photographed a wedding in Notre Dame University’s cathedral!
  10. For our honeymoon, hubby and I went to San Diego ... we FLEW to San Diego, on airline tickets that we WON in a radio station contest! Clearly, our relationship was meant to be!
Yay!  That was fun!  Obviously that wonderful relationship with her hubby is one of the reasons she's so good at writing people falling in love (thank you Mr. Laine!!!).

Now, I just finished Little White Lies and am now feverishly devouring Surrender and hope to have that review for you before the end of the week.  In the meantime, you can get your copy of Little White Lies and/or Surrender at J. Taylor Publishing's site.  If you prefer free (and who doesn't love them some freebies) you can enter right here to win your very own e-book copy of Surrender and maybe just maybe you can win yourself a copy!  Woo hoo!!!  So fill out the Rafflecopter form below (click here if it's being shy) and cross your fingers!  You just might be hearing from me how you are the big winner here on Known to Read!!!!a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Little White Lies by Aimee Laine


Little White Lies (Mimics of Rune #1)

When the government needs a body double for a covert operation, they hire shape-shifter Charley Randall. For two centuries, she’s played every part from foreign dignitary to office drone. The role she wants most, though, is one she’s denied herself three times already.

FBI Agent Wyatt Moreland believes Charley’s photographic memory is the key to his latest assignment. He’s oblivious to the true extent of her abilities, but he can’t deny the sense of déjà vu at their introduction.

Unlike Wyatt, Charley knows this isn’t their first meeting.

It’s their fourth.

The girl he vowed to love, sixteen years before, stands in front of him in her true form - one he’ll never recognize.

With each reconnection, Charley loves him more, though she realizes this is her last chance to explain. Only absolute truth can bring them happiness, but can Wyatt forgive her deceptions? Or will lies tear them apart forever?

Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense
Publisher Type:  Small Press
My Rating: *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
And I thought I loved Aimee Laine's work before?!?  Little White Lies blew me away!!!  You might know from my review of Hide and Seek, that Aimee Laine's gift for verbalizing beautiful romance leaves me speechless ... and breathless!!!  The love she is able to describe is pure fairy-tale and sweeps you off your feet.

Her leading ladies are the consummate balance of tough yet tender, confident yet unsure, world-wise yet unjaded.  I love Charley.  Loyal and brave, she's the perfect protagonist.  Wyatt is truly melt-worthy; he's heroic, smart and honorable.  The entire book is populated with amazing, well-developed protagonists.  You care about the whole cast, not merely the mcs, and I suspect each of these players to have the spot light in future installments. 

The world building is perfect.  I love the creativity that has gone into developing these human shape shifters called Mimics.  The Mimic history and personal histories of the characters were expertly unfolded throughout the book adding the the mystery and suspense.  Instead of a big information dump early in the book, details are slowly woven into the story, developing the readers understanding throughout.

Little White Lies is crazy-cram-packed with action, suspense and mystery.  When there's people out there who can completely change themselves into another person, who can you trust?  I was sure everyone was really a bad guy in disguise.  I was a little frustrated that our group of Mimics weren't near as concerned as I was about this.  I felt overall the antagonists and their motives could have been better developed (especially a certain guy).  Nonetheless, I was satisfied with the conclusion as it played out.

I'm super excited to read Surrender, book 2 in this series, which is out tomorrow.  I have the arc sitting on my kindle for when I finish typing this post.  Tomorrow be sure to stop by to meet Aimee Laine and have an opportunity to win your own copy of Surrender.  Meanwhile, stop by J. Taylor Publishing's site to pick up Little White Lies, because you really want to read this right now!!!

Cover Art:
I'm struck bu the straight forward, simplicity of this cover.  The clean lines, monochromatic hues and use of shadows all work in perfect harmony.