Sunday, July 31, 2011

Author J.D Stroube & Cover Artist Regina Wamba Interview

Welcome to my first ever duo interview.  Today I'll be talking with the author of Caged in Darkness, J.D. Stroube and her very talented cover artist Regina Wamba.

 1. J.D.- As a first time author how did you go about finding a cover artist?

J.D.: Surprisingly, Regina and I found one another on Goodreads; we became friends. When she learned that I would be coming out with my books soon, she offered to do my covers. I took her up on her offer and we became great friends during the process.  

2. Regina- Does a cover artist need to read a book in its entirety or is a very detailed summary all that is needed?

Usually all that is needed is a good description of what the book is about or the character the author wants portrayed on the cover. Each author has different views on what they envision for the cover. Therefore conveying those ideas to the artist is important. Some authors give me their book with free range to come up with something. While other authors are detailed in exactly how they want the cover to look, right down to pose, clothing, and scenery.

3. J.D.- Do you feel it is one of the perks to being a  self published author that you are able to have more input on the final cover?  

Yes! I put my soul into everything that I write. I would hate having someone else in charge of deciding how the final product will look. Besides, being able to choose my own artist and editor gives me piece of mind. I trust them and I know my book is in good hands. Choosing my final cover is great because Regina involves me in the entire process.  

4. J.D.- Where did you get your idea/inspiration for Caged in Darkness?

I love to read paranormal books, but recently shelves have been overly stocked with vampire novels. I still love a good vampire book, but I was craving something else. When I sleep, I have lucid dreams that create a vivid world. My unconscious mind must have caught on to my need, because I started dreaming about the plot for Caged in Darkness. When I sat down write the outline and the book, I used my psychology background to create a more multi-dimensional character. I wanted Savannah to be a unique character and I think I succeeded.

5. J.D. & Regina- What was your initial vision for the cover of Caged in Darkness and did that vision change during the making of the cover?

Regina: Actually, yes. The initial idea was completely different from what was approved. The first idea was to have the character further away, but after a lot of discussion, we chose Savannah to be in a portrait shot because of the details described in the book.

J.D.: As the author, my original vision for the cover was based on the prologue of the book. I wanted Savannah to be running through a forest, while looking back with a terrified expression. However, the vision completely changed and I am happier with my cover, than I would have been if we went with my original vision. Regina is a phenomenal artist and the covers she has done with me since Caged in Darkness, are even better! Her work gets better with each cover. 

6. Regina- How did you get into this profession and how wide is your field?  

Regina: I studied visual communications at Brown College, in Minnesota. That is where I learned the basics. However, being a good designer takes a lot of practice and creativity. Graphic design is a saturated field, but finding the right artist for your project can be time consuming. It’s best when you have a personal referral, who has worked with the artist before.  

What I mean is do you only design book covers?   

Regina: I don’t limit myself to only book covers, but it is a passion of mine. I love the creativity and portraying the story on the cover. It’s challenging, and I love a good challenge! I actually do a lot of branding, logo design, website design and photography, as well as many other things. A complete list of my services can be found on my website at

Was this something that just happened for you or did you go to school to study to do this kind of work?

Regina: As far as doing photo manipulations and book covers, it’s something I stumbled upon. I was looking for something closer to drawing and painting, which is something I used to do more often. However, having two children under 5 makes it difficult to bring out the canvas and acrylic paints! I am an avid reader and LOVE covers, whenever I am looking for a book, I analyze the cover first, and realizing that, I knew I wanted to do more design with book covers.

7. J.D- If you had to say you were most like one of the characters in Caged in Darkness who would it be and why?

J.D.: I think that each character has some of my own traits. However, I am most like Savannah, Willow, and Izzy. If I had to choose one, I would go with Willow. I’m a loyal friend and I am extremely shy. However, when I am with people I know that shyness flies right out the door! 

8. Regina- How is the world of digital publishing going to effect what you do or will it?

Regina: I don’t think it will. Even if the cover is as small as a thumbnail, people are shopping for a visual representation of the book. It’s the same if you are walking through a department store. People tend to look at the packaging of the prettiest perfume on the rack. Since you can’t always smell the perfume, you trust the packaging to hint at the allure of the scent. It’s the same with covers. I’m providing a design or image that creates the mystery or allure behind the book.  

9. J.D. & Regina What are some of your favorite covers of 2011?

Regina: Obviously, I love the ones I’ve done. I also love Firelight, The Fallen series, Hush, Hush, The Hollow, Paranormalcy, Across the Universe, Revealers, and way too many to list!

J.D.: There are so many beautiful covers out there! I really like Lauren DeStefano’s cover for Wither, Falling Under by Gwen Hayes, and The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney. I tend to be drawn to emotive or gothic looking covers.  

10. J.D. & Regina What are some of your favorite books of 2011?

Regina: I love all the above except for the ones I have yet to read (Across the Universe, and Revealers). Plus, I am really looking forward to J.D.’s books, as I have had the teaser, I am looking forward to the full story. There are a few other releases I’m looking forward to by authors like Rita Webb, Richelle Mead, Cassandra Clare, and many more!

J.D.: I really enjoyed reading Paranormalcy. I haven’t had much time to read this year, because I’ve been focusing on my writing. However, there are many books I am looking forward to reading! Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins, Supernaturally by Kiersten White, and Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward are ones I am looking forward to reading the most.  

11. J.D.- What feelings and/or thoughts do you hope your readers will experience as they finish Caged in Darkness?

J.D.: I hope that they enjoy my book and appreciate its unique qualities. That they recognize the underlying messages and feel a special bond with Savannah. I also hope that they are shocked at the twists I threw into the book. Mostly, I hope they are excited to read the next book in the series! Caged by Damnation releases on October 14, 2011. 

12. J.D.- What is the link to your website?

J.D.: If anyone wishes to contact me, feel free to fill out the contact form. I try to response as quickly as possible.  

13. J.D.- Where will we be able to purchase Caged in Darkness?

J.D.: On August 1st, you will be able to purchase it in ebook format through Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and many other sites.  On September 1st, it will be available in paperback through Amazon and Createspace.

A witch raised in a cage of darkness...

Savannah Cross was born into a life of isolation and abuse. As a child, she witnessed her parents perform acts of malevolent evil, and now feels permanently tainted by their dark deeds.

When a coven discovers a tear stricken child, wounded on their elders lawn, they offer her a sanctuary she has never known. Savannah spends the next several years shattered, continuously looking over her shoulder, waiting for the darkness to claim her.

On her 16th birthday, Savannah’s life takes a drastic turn.She is consumed by overwhelming power that forever alters her emotionally and physically.

She must choose between two loves; the one who taught her to smile or the darkly seductive stranger who tempts her towards another path. Savannah must decide between the coven that was her haven and another one vying for her initiation. Just as Savannah begins to grasp what fate has in store for her, an evil looms over her loved ones; coming to claim an unbreakable debt.

How will she choose and survive the greatest evil she has ever witnessed... long enough to have a choice to make.

Thanks so much for joining me today J.D. and Regina! 


Friday, July 29, 2011

Without Mercy Blitz and Giveaway

What would you do if a simple errand takes a deadly twist, turning you from cautious prey to dangerous predator?

When Darcy’s outing takes a turn for the worst and tests her to the point of breaking, she struggles to maintain her humanity. Where loyalty and pack mean everything, she surrenders to the inevitable and only an act of complete trust can touch her. When all is said and done, with memories flooding her mind, Darcy holds tightly to the only thing that makes sense – it was all a dream. Or was it?

A homesick Aussie living amongst the cactus and mountains of Arizona, Belinda Boring is a self proclaimed addict of romance and all things swoon worthy. When she's not devouring her latest read, you can find her celebrating her passion for book on her blog The Bookish Snob.

With all that excitement, it wasn't long before she began writing, pouring her imagination and creativity into the stories she dreams. Whether urban fantasy, paranormal romance or romance in general, Belinda strives to share great plots with heart and characters that you can't help but connect with. Of course, she wouldn't be Belinda without adding heroes she hopes will curl your toes.

Surrounded by a supportive cast of family, friends and the man she gives her  heart and soul to, Belinda is living the good life. Happy reading

Belinda is generously giving away TWO ecopies of Without Mercy, to enter to win just fill out the form below. Contest ends at the end of the Blitz July 31st at midnight. I'll announce the winner on August 1st. All of the blogs on the blitz are offering two chances to win so don't forget to enter there as well. Here is the link to the main tour page. If you just can't wait to have your own copy you can purchase Without Mercy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Winnemucca, YA Author's Debut and Giveaway

 Winnemucca, YA Author’s Debut Paranormal Coming-Of-Age Novel, Explores Freedom & Forgiveness To Benefit Wounded Warriors

Monterey Peninsula, CA, July 15, 2011 – Laura A. H. Elliott releases her young-adult debut novel, Winnemucca, for the Kindle on Winnemucca is a small-town fairy tale about a teenage girl’s enchanted road trip to her true self no matter who or what tries to stop her. One of two digital editions includes Laura’s digital signature with a donation to the Wounded Warrior project, in her nephew’s honor. Trailer:

“The story is told in poetic prose that I have not read since the writers of an older age. The tone of the story is set through the voice of the girl runaway before she has even realized her own talents, and is spoken with ‘the sound truth makes being said,’ as Ray Bradbury once coined the term. Emerging from a sea of derivative and formulaic novels, WINNEMUCCA is a fresh view of a world that is at once savage and beautiful, crushing and hopeful, and above all, brings magic back to ancient storytelling by bringing our attention back to the little things that matter, and the shifting nature of perception and reality alike.” -Rachel Coles, YA Book Reviewer and Author of 5 Young Adult Paranormal Fiction Novels

“The voice is distinct and the world she creates is both magical and mundane. As I read the book it reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS.” -Matthew Hill, editor 

“The themes in my work are always the same: freedom and forgiveness. I am fascinated how the footprints of our ancestors can follow us into the future. I enjoy illuminating these ideas in my fiction. In this novel, I explore courage and the cost of freedom. I’m hoping WINNEMUCCA will get generations of people talking to each other about the role of freedom and forgiveness in their lives.” - Laura A. H. Elliott. Her favorite quote from the book: “Fear’s as blind as love.”

Laura’s travel and personal essays have been published in The Los Angeles Times and other Southern California newspapers and magazines. She honed her storytelling skills as a multimedia designer at The Los Angeles Times and E! Entertainment Television but learns the most around dinner tables. She has two grown daughters and currently resides on the Monterey Peninsula, with her husband, Joe, and their Aussie shepherd, Oso.

For more information contact:

Laura In The News:
Author Interview with YA Author Abbi Glines
For news coverage about our nephew, Cody:

The giveaway: I have five books and the $15 Amazon gift cert. to giveaway. I'll monitor comments on the blogs and pick a random winner.
Here are the rules: I'm going to giveaway five copies of Winnemucca [the digitally signed, Wounded Warriors Edition] during the blitz and one Amazon $15 gift certificate. To win, I'd like readers to leave their road trip story in thecomments of the blogger [with their email address in case of a win!]. I'd also like them to also "like" me at    Giveaway goes until 10PM July 28th, PST.

This tour is hosted by: 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7/26/2011) If I Tell

If I Tell
Author: Janet Gurtler
Expected Release Date: October 1, 2011
Summary from Goodreads:

Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we (bloggers) are anxiously awaiting. So what book are you excited about right now?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Neurotic Thoughts on Don't Stop Now

Don't Stop Now
Author: Julie Halpern
Released: June 7, 2011
Pages: 224
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 0312643462
Target Age: Young Adult
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Summary from Goodreads:

On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.
Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?

                                                I really loved this book!

A truly delicious and entertaining read. I absolutely adored the characters Lillian and Josh! They are very possibly two of the most authentic characters I have ever read about. We've all known someone like Lillian and Josh. They are quirky, funny and just so likable. I was constantly laughing out loud and reading passages to my daughter because they were just too funny not to share. Also because Lillian reminded me a lot of my daughter. I do have to add really quickly that Penny is a complete and total idiot.  
I loved all of the settings in this book. From Powell's book store (I want to go there so bad) in Oregon, to the offbeat corn palace and the cheese castle, or was that the cheese palace and the corn castle? Either way they were so much fun. Julie Halpern's writing is humorous, lively and easy to read. If you are looking for a fun way to spend a hot summer day you won't go wrong choosing Don't Stop Now. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nova Sparks Stops By and Talks Vampires

VAMPIRES: the bad guys for Love

I was riding the train one day in my home city of New York, reading "How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire" by Kerreyln Sparks for the hundredth time, when a question dawned on me. Why do I like this book so much? It was just another Vampire book in my opinion. There wasn't anything special about it at all. There wasn't any new twist on the story of Vampires involved. It was just a plain ol' book about vampires. I couldn't figure it out. Then I wondered, is there a big reason why so many people are in LOVE with Vampire stories? It can't just be because Vampires are what's in right now. That doesn't explain why Vampires are the cool thing, it just suggests that they are. I wanted to know why Vampires are so freaking loveable. Then it sort of came to me in a way. People, or more so, women, love the bad guys. That simple. And women love bad guys that change their nature for the one that they love. In real life, most women would ignore the good guy (the one who would naturally worship the ground you walk on and never hurt your feelings) for the bad guy (the one who pisses you off and breaks your heart every chance they get). It's the idea of the bad guy that women love and the fact that for the past few years Vampires have been the new race of bad guys makes no difference. Vampires are known for ripping out throats, never being able to feel any real emotions, killing people and moving constantly through time and place. When there is a Vampire who embodies everything that makes him a vampire, yet still finds it in him to call a human his mate, it drives us crazy! 

A bad guy that is willing to suppress his bad side for someone else, really shows how much he cares about that someone. That's why good guys always finish last. If you are naturally a good person, and naturally treat people with respect and try your best not to hurt someone else, it doesn't really mean much if you are doing all those things to your significant other. That's the way you've always been. The good guy rarely changes himself for his significant other. The bad guy, to show how much he loves you, will make changes for you and his changes will be obvious. You'll get that feeling of swift validation. 

We love True Blood so much, not because of the action and the twisted story line, but because of Bill and Sookie (and maybe now even Eric and Sookie). It's the idea of a sweet home town girl having such an effect on evil bloodsucking vampires who would easily kill anyone else but would NEVER hurt her.

We love Twilight not because of the story line, but because of Bella and Edward. The idea of a "not-so-bad" Vampire who is willing to give everything up for a human girl when he never wanted to be with anyone before because of who he is.

In simpler terms:

A bad guy who changes for you = "Oh my God! He really loves me!"

A good guy who's good to you = "He's a really sweet guy, but I'm not sure if this is going anywhere."

Women don't do this consciously it just happens for most of us. I even fall a little guilty of this in my book series the DOME trilogy. The interaction between my lead character Emma and an alien bad ass Ked, felt all too natural to not make it happen.  

In literature and films, love seems more real when it involves a bad guy. Don't believe me? Re-watch as many romantic comedies you can think of and record how many involved the good guy getting the girl. 

There are a few, but trust doesn't have the same effect on the audience as when the bad guy turns over a new leaf for the girl of his dreams.

Nova Sparks Author of the DOME (the DOME trilogy #1)

Friday, July 22, 2011

High School Libraries Need Books Too!

 I was reading a post today from Mrs. Anderson at Y.A . Love she is spreading the news about a book drive that is going on for a high school in Washington D.C. This school's library only has 63 books in their literature section. This is extremely sad! I homeschool my children and we have more books than that in our personal library. So this week I will be going through our library and picking out some books that I hope will bring a little happiness to those students at Ballou Senior High School this coming year. If you would like to donate as well here is the information that you need.

What they need:
Everything.  From Shakespeare to Octavia Butler to Richard Wright. Fantasy, sci-fi, YA, adult fiction, history books, poetry, classic literature, science. Basically anything and everything that’s suitable for high school. They will take anything as long as it is in GOOD condition and has no writing in it. 
I’ve asked if they would accept ARCs (new and old), and the director of the book drive, Lisa, said YES. Please note however, that this they really need finished copies. ARCs are fantastic, but the lasting value isn’t always standing.
How to donate:
If you have books you want to give, please mail them directly to:
Perry School
c/o Margaret Pegram
128 M St. NW suite 318
Washington, DC 20001
Inside the box put a note that says “c/o Lisa P. Ballou Book Drive”.
They will be accepting books until August 22!!
Also, if you’d like to include some kind of quick note for the kids, words of encouragement, that would be awesome!! But it’s not mandatory.
Spread the word!
Reblog this post on your blog. Tweet this post. (we’re on Twitter at #HSBookDrive) Tell everyone. Send books.
This is a chance for our community to step up, to reach out and to provide teens with books. This is why we are here so I challenge you to be part of this. If you can, if you have even one book or a stack of books from that project you finished a year ago, give them. Donating books is not really about the book, but about what happens when someone reads a book. And not even having a chance to read a book is completely devastating to me. I can’t even imagine my life without books.
I hope you will help!! Even if you can’t send a book–tweet, tell others, and take action.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (7/20/2011) Fracture

Author: Megan Miranda
Expected Release Date: January 3, 2012
Summary from Goodreads:

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she’s reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy’s motives aren’t quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature—or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we (bloggers) are anxiously awaiting. So what book are you excited about right now?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Falling Hard By J.K. Coi Book Blitz

Falling Hard by J.K. Coi 

Falling Hard

by J.K. Coi

July 18, 2011 from Carina Press

Available today! Get your copy now from Carina Press!

Visit her at:

“Totally different and totally enthralling…Fantastically good book…” Wendy, You Gotta Read Reviews


After a life filled with tragedy, rocker Gabriel Gunn thinks he's finally getting the better of his personal demons. Then he's attacked after a concert—and rescued by a warrior goddess brandishing a sword and white wings. As hard as it is to believe in an angelic bodyguard, Gabriel must face an even more impossible truth: he carries the devil's soul within him.

Amelia has been watching over Gabriel for years, using her angelic powers to prevent Lucifer's return. Now she must also protect him from warring angel factions with their own agendas. Amelia would do anything to avert another angelic war, even sacrifice her own emotions to avoid temptation. Yet with Gabriel she feels things she no longer wants to deny, and pleasure she never imagined.

But the closer Gabriel and Amelia get, the stronger Lucifer becomes. Will Amelia be forced to kill the man she's come to love to stop the war she's always feared?


Available today! Get your copy now from Carina Press!

About the Author:
J.K. Coi is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She makes her home in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and son and a feisty black cat who is the uncontested head of the household. While she spends her days immersed in the litigious world of insurance law, she is very happy to spend her nights writing dark and sexy characters who leap off the page and into readers’ hearts.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Karina Halle stops by for a visit

Darkhouse by Karina Halle


by Karina Halle

Paperback, 323 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Metal Blonde Books
ISBN: 9781461079859
There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.
Buy Darkhouse by Karina Halle: Amazon (Print) / Goodreads (epub) / Kindle

Guest post by Karina Halle:

Embracing Character Flaws

My novel Darkhouse, the first book in the Experiment in Terror Series, focuses on the main character, 22-year old Perry Palomino, and her ghost hunting partner-in-crime, Dex Foray. But even though the story is steeped in mystery and supernatural sensibilities, the aspect that most readers comment on is how relatable, realistic and likeable the characters are. You can’t have a world with ghosts and spirits without characters who are firmly rooted in reality (or at least their version of reality).

The reason I believe why my characters are so believable is simply because they are flawed. Some of these flaws are slight and some are downright ugly, but even the most perfect-looking people have blemishes on their personality.

Let’s start with Perry. Readers have said:

*“She's insecure and flawed and reminded me of Marilyn Monroe. Strange, maybe, but like Marilyn, Perry has this sadness in her and this inability to see her real worth”

*“Perry is a reliable character: flawed, insecure, impulsive, but despite her own roadblocks she has a determination that the audience can clearly see even if she does not (yet)”

*“She’s stumbling through life, trying to find herself…She’s not a petite drop-dead gorgeous kick ass heroine either – her references to her “thunder thighs” and her “fat ass” had me nodding and saying “I hear ya, sister!”

* She’s always been struggling to find herself, her place…Perry totally needs a BFF to have her back, ’cause the girl’s life has felt like one big slap in the face”

*Perry Palomino is a real person, a hard rock chick who is unsure of herself but willing to take any and all chances that life sends her way”

Of course, not all readers “get” Perry, and that is reflected as well:

*“She just irked the shit out of me with her indecisiveness and over-analyzing tendencies. I found myself wanting to yell at her “just go for it!””

*”Perry's tendency to constantly be a victim made it hard for me to like her. I actually wanted to slap her! But it is that exact feeling that told me I had to keep going. Somewhere between the first and 100th page I started to care about her.”

But that’s what makes Perry who she is. If you’re a super strong, confident type with a great self-image, you probably will not relate to her. But most of us aren’t those people. If she started off, in Book One, as a kickass heroine with no apologies…well, where is there for her to go? Besides, I didn’t want to write that story. There are enough of those stories already. Perry is not a passive character and she drives the story forward but yes, she needs to work on herself. I wanted to take a relatable, real young girl and place her among highly unreal circumstances. That’s the real “experiment” here.

Same goes for Dex: “He’s a character I want to like, but I can’t work out if I do”, “He was rude and distant”, “I believe this was the point when I messaged Karina and told her I wasn't a fan of him. It had nothing to do with the writing, but rather his cocky attitude.” In fact, I’m devoting an entire blog post to what people think of him because he either pulls you one way or the other. He can be a hard pill to swallow and though I personally love him to death, I can understand why a lot of people (females, mostly) have a love/hate thing with him. Because he is abrasive, he is rude at times, he takes the weirdest things seriously, he is impulsive, moody, quiet, secretive, deceptive and sarcastic. He’s a lot of things and most of all, he reminds people of someone they once knew, and it’s usually someone who screwed them over. But there’s also weird gentlemanly way about him and he has a good heart, somewhere inside. I think this is what Perry picks up on and that’s what keeps her intrigued (aside from him being all broody, hot and unavailable).

So with characters who have copious amounts of baggage, who don’t always do the right thing and don’t always make the right choices, do they still make good role models? I’d like to think so. Despite their shortcomings, both Perry and Dex (yes, Dex) are good people with good intentions. It might take a few books to see that, but like the best of us, it’s just waiting for the right moment to come out. Not that any literary characters need to be anyone’s role model, but if someone can relate to a character and then watch that character overcome their own problems, I think it sends a great message that the rest of us stand a chance too. Only by accepting and acknowledging your flaws can any of us really change.

Buy Darkhouse by Karina Halle: Amazon (Print) / Goodreads (epub) / Kindle

Karina’s sadly neglected personal blog can be found here:
Karina’s not so neglected writing blog can be found here:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On My Wishlist (12) Tears and Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale

Author: Rita Webb
Summary from Goodreads:

Fourteen-year-old Lelea is insane. A military project since age two, she endured surgery after surgery forging her into the ultimate soldier. Somewhere along the way, the dreams haunting her nights spilled into her days, and now she talks to creatures long dead and hears music in silence.

Through her visions, Lelea discovers her sanity isn't the only thing in danger. Her dreams call her to save the world from General Sythe, a power-hungry monster, but the secret to freeing her people lies in restoring dragonkind to the world. An impossible task since dragons have been extinct for thousands of years, if they ever existed in the first place.

Stealing a spaceship, she searches the galaxy for ancient scrolls leading to a stash of dragon eggs, but instead she finds a group of rebels and a budding romance. With the General in pursuit, she must convince her companions to trust her. If only she could overcome what is broken inside her…

Hello did you read the description? Dragons and Spaceships! Why wouldn't I want to read this, not to mention that cover is GORGEOUS!!!!!

Author: Laura Elliott
Summary from Goodreads

Winnemucca is a young-adult coming-of-age, paranormal novel about a teenage girl's enchanted road trip to her true self no matter who or what tries to stop her.

One mistake will change Ginny's life forever.
One answer will set her free.

Once upon a time Ginny's road blood ripened, the day she got wise to love. Engaged to the high school quarterback, his quarter-carat ring and enchanting smile should have been enough for her. But, she stands him up and takes a walk where every step questions her happily ever after gone-bad and the fate of the mother she never knew. The mother her father refuses to talk about. Ginny fights to untangle her big, fat, lie-of-a-life on an enchanted road trip to Winnemucca, where she believes all her answers lie. She must solve the riddle of her past and outrun everyone who wants a piece of her future, including a man determined to see she never has one. When fear's as blind as love, how far would you go to find the flesh-and-blood reality of your own happily ever after?

I feel like it's time for an enchanted road trip. That is all!

 On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post(found at Book Chick City). If you want to know more click here.

So what's on your wishlist?

Friday, July 15, 2011

NeuroticThoughts on Raven's Kiss

Raven's Kiss
Author: Toni LoTempio
Released: April 11, 2011
Available from: amazon b&n smashwords
Target Age: Adult due to some sexual content
Source: I received this book for an honest review as part of the Book Lovin' Bitches ebook tour
Summary from Goodreads:

Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame. Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…

                                                    I LIKED IT!

Raven's Kiss started out the tiniest bit slow, but  picked up wonderfully once Raven discovers the portal to a parallel universe. The idea of the same people in a parallel universe isn't a new idea, but I really loved the way Toni LoTempio wrote the characters in the bizarro universe. Raven's character is tough, brave, and just a little messed up. She harbors a raging hate for the demon Aega, with good reason, and is letting her feelings about him run her life. Finn McPhee is a sexy, fun character that despite not really believing Raven's story of being from another universe, still sets out to help her. I love reading a book that has a man with an accent, I can just hear it in my head the whole time. Once Raven and Finn started working together in the book, I was hooked. The two of them had great chemistry, and I loved their banter. My biggest and really only problem with Raven's Kiss was at the end of the book when Raven and Finn got up close and personal. I the found scenes to be a little crass and not really sexy.  I think I would have liked this to have been the kind of book where they had a super, steamy hot kiss and then the lights go out and we know what happened, but we aren't told what happened. I would recommend this book to the ADULT, urban fantasy, paranormal romance lovers out there. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I Read During Read-aThon

 This week I've been read-a-thoning!
I'm going to give this book 4! It was full of lascivious smiles and lots of demon fun!
I'm giving this one a 4 too! This was a very sweet, touching novel. After I read it my daughter told me she had heard it was a retelling of Beauty and The Beast and I can definitely see that.

This one is going to get 4.5. I was laughing out loud many times and the characters were so real and honest.

All in all I had a great read-a-thon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Neurotic Thoughts on The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Released: April 19, 2011
Published by: Harlequin
Pages: 304
ISBN: 0373210264
Target Age: Young Adult
Source: I received an ebook copy from Harlequin through NetGalley for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.




I was hooked from the very first page. Once upon a time I enjoyed mythology class(not that I remember much of it now, but still). This book is loosely based on the tale of Hades and Persephone. Don't let that turn you off if your not a fan of mythology though, because this book is very fresh and puts a great spin on the story. Kate's character isn't just likeable, she's sweet, brave, feisty, and loyal. Kate is the best friend everyone wishes for, and if you find her don't let her go. It's hard not to like a teen girl who would not only devote her teen years caring for her dying mother, but also do anything to save someone she hardly knows and doesn't  even like. I wasn't sure about Henry at first, he is difficult to get to know and seems cold and distant at first. He's closed off and has basically has just given up. However, once I figured out what was in his head, I was lovestruck. The twists in this book are awesome and I only sort of suspected one. I love when a book really throws me for a loop. This is why I don't write spoilers or read reviews of books until after I've read and written my own review for a book. If you are looking for a something fresh in the young adult genre then I think you'll be happy with The Goddess Test. 

Kid friendliness rating: For teens that are comfortable with a small amount of sexual situations.
Other warnings: Keep tissues handy you are gonna need them!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

552 Follower Giveaway Extravaganza

Happy Dance Time!!

I'm so excited that 552 of you like my blog enough to "follow" me, read what I write, and comment on my posts. So as a giant thank you I would like to give two of my followers a chance to win one of the following books. Maybe 3 of you if things go really well.

First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Summary from Goodreads:  
**Note this book is targeted to the Adult Audience**

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to go into the light. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

 The Near Witch
Author: Victoria Schwab
Summary from Goodreads:

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Summary from Goodreads:

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater


When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.


That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.


Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.

Author: Richelle Mead
Summary from Goodreads:

The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

Author: Kiersten White
Summary from Goodreads:

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.
But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.
So much for normal.

the fault in our stars
Author: John Green

This book will not be released until May 1, 2012 however I have read that all first edition copies that are pre-ordered will be signed by John Green.  I will be pre-ordering the book for the winner if you choose this book. I can not guarantee that it will be signed only that I will pre-order it for you and we will cross our fingers that it gets signed.
Here is a link to John Green reading from the fault in our stars 


Rules and other important information!
  • You must be a follower of this blog since it is a thank you to my followers giveaway. You can be a new follower.
  • The giveaway is open Internationally as long as The Book Depository delivers to your country.  
  • You can earn extra entries to this fabulous giveaway by following me on network blogs, creating your own blog post, tweet, or facebook post that mentions my giveaway and lets people know how to enter. You'll need to put the link to your post on the form when entering. 
  • Two different people will each win one book of their choice from the list above. 
  • The contest will end at midnight on August 7th and I will try my very best to announce the winner by August 9th.
  • If something crazy happens, like oh say..... I have 650 followers before this contest is over, I will add another winner!