Thursday, 20 September 2012

Welcome To My Stop On The Blog Tour For 'Taking Charge' by Mandy Baggot!

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Author: Mandy Baggot
Publication Date: May 3rd 2012
Source: e-copy provided by RABT 

"Is going back Robyn’s only way forward?

American-born Robyn Matthers is going home. With her dad in hospital, his roadhouse in ruins and the ice hockey team slipping down the league, she needs to take charge. But does she have the strength to do it?

Cole Ryan is a hockey player on a personal mission. He’s tall, dark, hot and Robyn’s noticed! But can she trust her feelings - or his? And what will Cole do when he finds out the truth about her?

With an ill father, a trailer trash step-mom and ex-boyfriend Brad desperate for another chance, does Robyn have time to contemplate a relationship? Can she start again? Does she really want to? And can two people really fall in love in three days?"



Excerpt:

He’d given her the best room. She had a panoramic view of West Lake and all its natural Michigan beauty. When she’d woken up the next morning and drawn back the curtains, the scenery had stunned her. The sun was already up and the lake was still and calm. Like a mirror, it reflected every tree standing along the banks. The sky was a cornflower blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight.
She was still suffering from the time difference, but this morning, opening her eyes to the fantastic garden, the boats moored around the edge of the water and the lake itself, everything seemed a little bit better. Today was a good weather day. The sun was shining and there was little wind, and in Portage, that meant getting intimate with the barbecue.
She was already outside on the deck, a pair of tongs in her hand, and the lid of the grill open, when Cole appeared.
“Morning! Bratwurst?” she greeted, waving a sausage in the air.


Cole opened the door and Robyn pushed him inside. She grabbed hold of his hands and put them on her hips. She kissed him, pushing him down onto the floor of the hallway. She wanted to get as close to him as she could. She pulled his t-shirt over his head and looked appreciatively at the firm, muscular chest underneath. She ran her fingers down, across his sternum to the waistband of his jeans.
Cole stopped her, taking hold of her hand and squeezing it in his.
She looked into his eyes, those deep, dark eyes. She kissed his lips again, closing her eyes and savoring every second of how it felt to lose herself in someone, without any questions or recriminations. Without anyone having to get up and go home.
Cole brought her fingers to his mouth and softly kissed each knuckle in turn. His gentleness was too much to bear, and she drew herself away, let him go and got to her feet, sweeping her hair back out of her face.

            The pink neon sign of Taboo throbbed in front of them. Mickey and the rest of the team had been at another bar before arriving at the club, and they were already well lubricated.
“Now, listen up. Bob has the kitty—strictly beer, no ridiculously, expensive, potent cocktails, no shots, and absolutely no tequila. I want you all to enjoy yourselves, but we do have an important game tomorrow, so let’s remember that,” Robyn said.
Henrik repositioned a bright yellow cowboy hat on his head and loosely strung a red feather boa around Mickey’s neck. Robyn had no idea where he had got them from.
“What about the kitty for the girls? You get special treatment if you throw money at them,” Art piped up.
“If you want to throw money at them, Art, you knock yourself out, but you won’t be throwing my money at them,” Robyn informed him.

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*
My Review:

*Puts 'Lonestar - Amazed' on YouTube*

I was sent an email asking if I wanted to be on the blog tour for this book. I looked it up and knew that it was something I would love to read. I just didn't bank on how many times it would make me cry. 
Now, I won't be telling you the reasons I cried, but if you stick with reading my review, you'll see how much I truly loved this book and why Mandy Baggot has shot right to the top of my new 'Favourite Authors' list!

Robyn Matthers is a strictly 'no dating' kind of girl. Not only that but she is a strictly 'no nonsense' kind of girl too. 
Robyn lives in England and has a job as a secretary for a car sales firm, though she'd much rather be found tinkering under the hood of a car. Her family live in Portage, Chicago. There's her Auntie Pam, Uncle Bob and their twins Sierra and Sienna. Then there's her dad Eddie and his wife-to-be, Nancy. 
Eddie is poorly so it's time for Robyn to head home to Portage to help him out. He's the owner of the local ice-hockey team, the Portage Panthers and the local eatery, Eddie's Roadhouse and they are going fast downhill without Eddie at the helm. 

When Robyn gets to the airport, she's nearly at the terminal when the strap of her backpack breaks. Enter Mr 'Tall Dark and Handsome' aka Cole to the rescue. He takes hold of her bag and tells her he'll carry it to the terminal for her. He says he's headed for the same one anyway so it's not a problem. 
Robyn can't help but look at the stranger and give him the once over. He's absolutely delicious (my words not hers). 

After sharing the flight, they part ways at the airport in Portage, only for Robyn to run back up to him, throw her arms around him and kiss him. That's gratitude. Or so she says. Really she just wanted to know what it would be like for those soft, full lips to meld against hers.What a kiss! Those lips really were as soft and sumptuous as they looked.

Upon arriving, Robyn realises just what it's going to take to get Eddie's businesses into shape. But she's ever the optimist and says that she will get things done.
The roadhouse is in a terrible state, the wallpaper is peeling, the air smells like marijuana, there's a biker gang in the corner and there's a trashy looking woman behind the bar. Robyn is in for a shock because that trashy looking blonde is her soon-to-be stepmom. Could life get any better? Seeing the ice hockey team, the answer to that is no. There's only a few players, they don't have much team spirit and it looks like they wouldn't win a game against themselves let alone anyone else. 
What's a girl to do? Walk away while the going's good? No! She said she would take charge and she meant it!

Robyn closes the roadhouse for renovations. No-one would want to eat in there even if they did serve food anymore. She tells the ice hockey team that they better get their act together because she wants them out there and playing to win. The question is, is she taking too much on? 

At first it seems as though Robyn is here to take care of her dad and to take charge of his failing businesses out of loyalty to her family and wanting more from her old hometown than they're giving at the moment. But if you look beneath the surface, you'll see that Robyn also needs things to take her mind off life back in England. Back there she's not got quite the life she had imagined for herself when she left Portage with her mom all those years ago.
For a start, she no longer speaks to her mother. That's only the bottom thing in a long list of woes that Robyn won't get sorted by being here in Portage. But at least her mind can concentrate on other things now. Like Cole... *Swoons* 

Cole works for Gen-All, a pharmaceutical company. He's researching a cure for Cancer. So he's not only hot with a capital HOT, he's also smart, really smart.
He isn't looking for a relationship. The last one left him with a hole in his heart. He's since had meaningless flings but they really aren't his thing. So he's putting his all into work and not looking for anything else.

So both Robyn and Cole are set on not dating anyone. But fate won't let that be the case. 

Due to the twins unruly behaviour, Robyn can no longer stay with Aunt Pam and Uncle Bob. She can't stay with her best friend Sarah and her boyfriend Mickey. She can't stay with Brad. He's her ex and is Hell bent on getting her back. 
There's only one place in town she can go right now and that's to Cole's. She turns up on his doorstep and of course, being the gentleman he is, he lets her stay. But it's not a relationship. As Robyn always says to him "This is not a date". 

Robyn really pulls herself up by the bootstraps to get her dad's businesses back into running order. 
She totally refurbishes the roadhouse, she kicks the ice hockey teams butts into a higher gear. There's just her dad's operation to worry about. But that's not in her hands so she concentrates on business. Nothing else. No dating. 
Except for the fact that Cole is so gorgeous and he keeps taking his top off and showing his hard, beautiful abs. But she has no time for men. Does she? They keep sharing all these kisses but she always says there's nothing more to it. In a way, she means what she says. She's so hurt by the things from her past that dating isn't what she wants. But then she kisses Cole to forget about the bad stuff and those kisses are so all-consuming, she can't help but wonder what it would be like if she were with someone like Cole. He's smart, funny, hot and a really great kisser.

Cole doesn't date, but Robyn keeps kissing him and he can't help but wonder what it would be like to be with her. He knows the things she's told him about her past but he sees past all that to who Robyn really is. He enjoys kissing her, he wouldn't mind if she went back on her no-dating rule. 

So will Robyn really turn things around for the roadhouse and the Panthers? Will she go back on her no dating rule? And will going back home to Portage highlight all that's wrong with her own life and make her call things into question? You'll have to read it for yourself to find out and of course, to find out if she goes back on her word about no-dating. 

I really loved this book. From the moment I opened the first page, I was hooked. Robyn's attitude is so kick-A that you really have to keep up the pace with her, there's no room for slackers. 
I completely and utterly empathise with her for what she went through back when she was a kid. Being home in Portage really brings it back to mind for her and I really felt myself aching for this poor girl. Under the tough girl exterior, there's a soft centre. I am not saying what event it is that traumatised her, you need to experience that for yourself along with Robyn.

There's so much more to this story than first meets the eye. At first I thought the title Taking Charge referred to the way she has to get in there and take charge of things for her dad. But whilst it does mean that, it also means so much more.
Robyn has to pull herself up by the bootstraps for her own reasons too. There's more to Cole's story too and I empathise with him to. I have actually experienced and done a couple of the same things as the two of them in my lower, darker days of depression. That's possibly what made me fall in love so hard with Robyn, Cole and the story, the fact that I could so easily relate to them.

Mandy Baggot is a great author. I got halfway through the book and decided to look her up on Twitter. It was only then that I realised she is from the UK. Having already read the first half of the book, I couldn't have told you that. It was as though she was writing about her own home town, her own ice-hockey team and roadhouse. The words she wrote actually made me feel like I was right there with them. 
If I could award this book more than the 5 wings I did, I would!

To find out why I put Lonestar's Amazed on at the beginning of this review, you really need to read the book!


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*




Author Bio:
Mandy Baggot is a self-confessed Twitter addict who likes to sing on You Tube. She regularly guests on book blogs and is a featured author on the innovative website loveahappyending.com. She is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Taking Charge is her fifth novel. Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.



Twitter: @mandybaggot

Purchase Links:


And finally, if you want to hear for yourself what a great voice Mandy really has, here's a video of her singing a really great song; Someone Like You by Adele. 



Thank you all for coming by and I hope you will continue to follow along with the tour!




Sunday, 16 September 2012

Review of Cursed by Jennifer L Armentrout


Title: CURSED
Expected Publication Date: September 18th 2012
Source: Book bought by myself

"Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time"

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*

I must admit, I probably heard about Jennifer L. Armentrout's books long after everyone else. But as soon as I did, I bought Daimon and Half Blood from her Covenant series. I adored them! So when I heard she had a new book coming out, I had to see what all the hype was about. At which point, I must admit, I jumped straight on the bandwagon and waited impatiently for it to be released. 
As many of you know by now, I am on morphine tablets, so it takes me a lot of concentration to read at the moment. But this book managed to suck me in, chew me up, and spit me out a bit more worse for wear in the old emotion department. Why? Read on.....

Ember McWilliams was in a car crash with her family. She should've died right there along with her father. But her 3 year old sister Olivia brought her back to life with a mere touch. How? Well, unbeknownst to them at the time, Olivia is Gifted. She can bring anything back to life if she touches it. But for Ember, being brought back to life has left her Cursed - for she is the opposite of her sister, with one touch, Ember can kill. 

Things are difficult at home at the moment. Olivia keeps bringing things back to life, like her pet hamster. Ember wears long sleeves and gloves. The sleeves are because she is scarred from the accident, the gloves are to stop her killing everything she comes into contact with. Their mother acts like Ember doesn't exist but more than that, she keeps herself shut in her room away from everyone and it's hard for Ember and 5 year old Olivia to survive without their mother's support.
The money from their father's life insurance is dwindling and Ember has to scrimp and spend wisely in order for them to get by. It's made all the harder by their mother's reclusiveness. If only she'd come out of her room and take a good look around her. How does she expect her teenage daughter to provide for her 5 year old sister and go to school and get a good education? 
Ember is doing all she can to be there for Olivia and her mom. She takes Olivia to school, goes to school herself, does the shopping, the cleaning. The only thing she must remember is to never take off those gloves.

Then there's the night of the the parking lot. [Spoilers Not Included]. Dustin really shouldn't have done what he did. He and Ember used to date before the accident. But since, he has been nothing if not a bully. He taunts her, thinking that she's a freak with her long sleeves hiding scars. Little does he know what her touch can do. 

After that night, Ember and Olivia are whisked away to the middle of nowhere. When Ember wakes up, all she can see is that they are surrounded by trees and rocks. Great. What's she supposed to do now?!

The stranger that took them away introduces himself as Jonathon Cromwell. He says that he's taken them away for their own good and after the night of the parking lot, it's something that's very much needed. But that doesn't mean that Ember doesn't rebel. She does. In a big way. 
But the point is, her mother and her sister are safe where they are. It's only Ember that feels like she doesn't fit in. Boy oh boy is she right.

The Cromwell family are all Gifted. Ember is Cursed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see she's the odd-shaped piece that will never fit in with the jigsaw. But she can't leave. Her family is here. Even though her mother still acts like she doesn't exist, at least she's safe. Then there's Olivia. They have a bond that only siblings can have. She loves her fiercely and would do anything that means Olivia is safe, protected, loved. 
Beyond that, there's Hayden, this inexplicably alluring boy. It doesn't make any sense. She saw him a couple of times in the past. But now with longer periods in his presence... 

Hayden Cromwell has been watching Ember for the last two years. He doesn't know why but he can't stop. The family were supposed to keep an eye on the girls. But when the rest of the family withdraw to a distance, Hayden can't go with them. No matter what, he's drawn to Ember. He can't do anything to draw attention to himself but he just won't go until he knows Ember is safe. So when his father, Jonathon, decides to bring the McWilliams family into their home, Hayden has the perfect opportunity to get to know Ember. The real girl inside. Not just the one he watched from a distance. 

Hayden knows what Ember can do. He knows not to touch her. But it doesn't stop him wanting to get close to her. 

Ember hates being stuck in the middle of nowhere. Stupid Cromwell family. Stupid hick town. Stupid new high school. The only things she doesn't think are stupid are Olivia, Hayden and her new teacher Mr Theo. He's been kind to Ember, she feels she can trust him. To a point.

When bad things start happening at school, awful things appear in Ember's locker, she can't help but wonder who would be targeting her. She's new in town so it could be just a few pranks against the 'new girl' - but the things that happen are far too specific. Who would want to hurt Ember this way? Could it be one of the Cromwell's? They've taken her in but they sure as Hell don't want her there. They wanted Olivia, but Ember had to come as part of the package. 

Ember's life pretty much sucks right now. She's in a place she doesn't want to be and she can never go home. Even if she wanted to, she couldn't take Olivia and her mom away from the Cromwell's. After all, they seem to be doing a god job of looking after them. 
So she can't go home, awful tricks are being played on her, she's stuck in the middle of nowhere and oh yeah, she CAN'T TOUCH ANYONE. But there is one ray of hope and his name is Hayden. 

Hayden wants to get close to Ember. What she can do doesn't seem to bother him. Ember wants to get close to Hayden but knows that she can't touch him. So what are they supposed to do? 

There's so much more to this book than first meets the eye. I could go on forever about it, I really could. But then you'd have nothing left to read for yourself.
I often ask myself what I really bring to a review and I can't give any answer except for, my voice. My opinion. With that in mind I can only tell you that this book took me on an emotional roller coaster and stole my breath away. 
I was sucked in from the first word and the story is the kind that will stick with me for a long time. There were total laugh out loud moments but I can admit I also cried a couple of times. 

Warning: Beware of twists and turns that you won't see coming!! 

That's one of the things I liked best about this book actually. The fact that you couldn't see what was coming until it happened. Jennifer L. Armentrout has a unique writing style that can't be matched. I have a few favourite authors and it is clear that Jennifer belongs on that list. 

It's been said that every book is like taking a vacation. Well this is one of the most momentous vacations I have taken to date!

Thank you all for coming by to read my review. I hope you haven't fallen asleep by the end ;) I also hope that you will go and buy a copy of Cursed for yourself. If you want to, it couldn't be easier because here's the links:


Friday, 7 September 2012

*COVER REVEAL* STALKED BY DEATH by Kelly Hashway

Hey Guys! *waves*

I don't know if you've heard of a book called Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway? If you haven't, let's have the synopsis:
"Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct"


*The first book of the series, Touch of Death (http://www.site.spencerhillpress.com/Touch_of_Death.html), will be released in January 2013... and the launch party will be a ZOMBIE PROM in Boston! Keep an eye out for news of the coming aPROMcalypse (you know you want to be a "prombie")*

*Note: I can't WAIT for my ARC of ToD to arrive. I am just SO excited about this book it's untrue*

Now on to the actual cover reveal I brought you here for:


Gorgeous isn't it? *strokes screen*
I keep telling Kelly I can't wait for Touch of Death but now, I can't wait for Stalked By Death to come out. I mean look at it, it's beautiful!!


Now I have the immense pleasure of bringing you the updated synopsis from the back-cover of the book.

"Jodi knows that any slip-ups made by the Ophi--a special group of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac--will fall on her shoulders... and that Hades is just waiting for them to screw up so he can wipe out the Ophi line.
Unfortunately, Jodi has only convinced one Ophi to join her school: A hot guy named Chase who jeopardizes her relationship with Alex. Jodi loves Alex, but Chase can enhance her powers with just a touch-making her stronger than any Ophi has ever been.
Her mixed emotions send her powers surging out of control, and the dead start rising without her conscious summoning-exactly what Hades doesn't want!  If she chooses Alex over Chase, she may lose the battle to Hades, leading the Ophi race to extinction. If she chooses Chase, she might be able to stop Hades for good... but lose everything else.
Jodi needs to figure things out fast--because death is stalking her at every turn."

Series: Touch of Death (#2)
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press 
ISBN: 978-1-937053-56-7
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book 


Boy I cannot wait for my ARC of SBD!! 


If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on Spencer Hill Press website. ARCs will ship next spring (Note: Touch of Death ARCs will ship in the next two weeks).

*As always click on the pink links. You can click Kelly's name to find her on Twitter. You can click the titles to go and add them on your TBR pile. You can click the publishers links to go and request an ARC or to find out how to request swag!*

So there we have it, one of the most beautiful covers I've seen. I hope you like what you've seen, enough to add it to your already large TBR.



Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter - Nikki Jefford Is This The Cover Reveal?

Hi Guys! *waves*

As you may or may not know, Nikki Jefford, author of Entangled, has a new book out called Aurora sky: Vampire Hunter. Well I have the privilege of being able to show off the Cover Reveal.

Without any further ado, I bring you......

*ta-da*


Oops! Naughty me! I can't share it with you until the 17th. You'll just have to keep your eyes peeled on the day :D:D


Birthday Blowout Week ~ The Winners!!

Hi Guys!! *waves madly*

As you may or may not know by now, for my birthday on August 22nd, I decided to have a WEEK of giveaways. Well those giveaways are all closed now and the winners have been drawn. Stay Tuned to find out if you won anything!





 Here are the winners:
Day 1: E-book of ReVamped & Swag: RITESH KALA

Day 2: Blood Debt: KATE COX

Day 3: Auracle & Swag: YVONNE LEACY

Day 4: Iron Knight: AMBER APOCALYPSE
Pushing The Limits: JOSIE NOONAN

Day 5: E-book of She Smells The Dead or Spirit Storm
(or if you have those, the author will give you something else) AND a SIGNED bookplate: NAT CLEARY

Day 6: 3 winners choice of books: SHANNA STAUSS
KATE @memybooksandi
JOSIE NOONAN

Day 7: 
Angel Dust & swag: LISA HARWOOD
Obsidian & swag: JOSIE NOONAN
Rapture: SAVANNA UCINSKI
Swag: TYLER-ROSE NEATH




Saturday, 1 September 2012

THE GHOST OF JOSIAH GRIMSHAW by Suzy Turner ~ Cover Reveal!

Hey Guys! *waves*
Today I am lucky enough to have been asked to be part of Suzy Turner's cover reveal. 
Suzy is the author of a wonderful trilogy; Raven, December Moon & The Lost Soul.
I have loved reading and reviewing her books, so it is an absolute pleasure to be a part of this today.

Without further ado, let me bring you the cover for The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw...

*ta-da*



"Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange 'tattoo' suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they realise there's more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined. 
Sent off to London for two weeks of work experience, the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural.
At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won't leave them alone."
The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw is due to be released on November 14, 2012.


I don't know about you but I am salivating at the thought of getting my hands on this juicy novel. I can't wait for November, it's so far away *cries*

If you haven't read any of Suzy's other novels, perhaps you should read those to pass the time until November?! Trust me, she's a superb author, you won't be sorry after picking her books up.

Thank you Suzy for letting me be part of your reveal xoxo

Thank you everyone for coming by today. I hope to see you all again soon!

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