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Saturday, October 19, 2013

On Tour: Lichgates by S.M Boyce - Interview

S.M. Boyce  is now on tour with ABG Reads Book Tours with her book, Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga #1). Please visit her tour page for more blog stops.

Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga #1)
by S.M. Boyce

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Publication: January 2011
Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog
The Grimoire Saga: The Grimoire Saga Website | Grimoire Saga Facebook
Buy the Book: ePub | Mobi | Autographed Paperback

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.

Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
Interview with the author

1. Tell me about yourself & your book.
Hmm, let’s see. I am a fantasy and paranormal author who loves ghost stories and loose leaf tea. I’m gooey at heart and addicted to adding inspirational and vivid pictures to Pinterest. Writing is my passion and lifelong career.

My novel Lichgates is the first in the Grimoire Saga, an epic fantasy with a contemporary twist. It’s about a young woman named Kara who stumbles into a parallel world called Ourea, where monsters are very real and magic is commonplace. She has to grow up fast and face her fears, because in Ourea only the cunning survive.

2. What inspire you to write the world of Ourea?

Lichgates—and the whole Grimoire Saga, really—was an adventure. It started with the seed of an idea planted in 2006, when I was making little spellcaster things out of clay. I started tweaking and customizing them, wondering what kind of creatures or beings would use them. Over time, the story evolved into something epic and massive. I removed bits like the spellcasters from the story and added loads more, always questioning and expanding the storyline. It’s been so much fun.

3. Grade Lichgates. How many stars out of a perfect score of 5 stars? Please give the reason too.
Excellent question!

Because Lichgates was my first novel, I see flaws in it that I didn’t notice when I first started out. This is good, actually, because it shows growth in my writing. The goal for every serious author is to grow with every novel, and that means admitting flaws in existing work (as much as that SUCKS). Still, I am very proud of the novel and the world I created in the Grimoire Saga. I give Lichgates a 4-star rating, and each book after has only improved.

4. What are you working on right now?
Heritage (Grimoire Saga #3) consumed my life up until recently, as it has just released. My next project is the finale to the Grimoire Saga, Illusion. It’s going to blow even the other action-packed and emotional books out of the water. After that, I’ll be branching into some new series in different (though similar) genres. I’m thrilled to get started!

5. Anything you would like to say to your readers?

 Thank you a million times over. You are amazing. I get to live my dream because you enjoy my work, and that means the world to me. Please feel free to tweet me or leave a Facebook comment any time you want to drop in and say hello. Stay awesome, my dear!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

Trail of the Spellmans (The Spellmans #5)
by Lisa Lutz

Genre: Adult, Chick Lit, Crime & Thriller, Humor, Mystery
Publication: First Published. February 2012
Format: Paperback, 416 pages
Source: Own
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook
For the first time in Spellman history, Isabel Spellman, PI, might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities—with no apparent motive. Dad has a secret. Izzy’s brother and sister are at war—for no apparent reason. And her niece keeps saying “banana” even though she hates bananas.

That’s not to say that Izzy isn’t without her own troubles. Her boyfriend, Henry Stone, keeps wanting “to talk,” a prospect Isabel evades by going out with her new drinking buddy, none other than Gertrude Stone, Henry’s mother.

Things aren’t any simpler on the business side of Spellman Investigations. First, Rae is hired to follow a girl, but then fakes the surveillance reports. Then a math professor hires Izzy to watch his immaculate apartment while he unravels like a bad formula. And as the questions pile up, Izzy won’t stop hunting for the answers—even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family

Clearly, I am reading the fifth book because I thoroughly enjoy the series. I’ve been a fan of the Spellman’s series since the first book and I just can’t get enough of it. In this book, the Spellman’s agency was hired for a few numbers of cases. There was a brother who hired them to follow his sister, a wife who wants her husband's every move tracked, and parents who want their daughter investigated for possible bad behavior.  Of course, Izzy was also investigating the strange behavior of her family member.

I love the whole Spellman’s family. They are always funny. I especially love the interaction between Izzy and her niece, Sydney and the ‘banana’ mystery. I can’t believe that Rae is all grown up. It feels weird a little bit.

This book is definitely one of my favorite. Then again, all the books in Spellman’s series are my favorite. Trail of the Spellman was definitely a quick and fun read. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who looks for a light, fun read. I can’t wait to read the next book and found out what will happen to Izzy and her family!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On Tour: Secrets of a Spiritual Guru by Tamara Lee Dorris - Excerpt + Giveaway

Tamara Lee Dorris  is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, Secrets of a Spiritual Guru. Please visit her tour page for more blog stops and a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Secrets of a Spiritual Guru: Real Estate, Yoga & Lies
by Tamara Lee Dorris

Genre: Chick Lit, Humor, Romance
Publication: December 2013
Connect: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon
Meet Melissa Murphy: wine-drinking real estate agent who finds herself "accidentally" assuming the role of a spiritual blogger when her boyfriend leaves her for his yoga teacher. Can she keep her role secret while trying to win her man back? If the lying doesn't kill her, the poses might!

Profound insight on human nature delivered in what seems like a yoga book (it's not), a real estate book (no way), but instead is a woman's fiction, humor tale that will keep readers smiling and longing for more.
Book Excerpt

 In two days I will be closing the biggest deal in two years. And in two months, I will have a birthday. I am ecstatic about the first one and suicidal about the second. A little about me: Previously, I spent eleven years in the retail industry, mostly squandering my paychecks on the employee discount. I like cute clothes. Eventually, though, I decided to get my real estate license. Five minutes later, the market crashed.

            I am one of the lucky ones, though, because for one thing I live with my boyfriend, Ron, who has been around for several years now. OK, four years, eight months, and two days. How do I know this definite time frame? Because my mother reminds me weekly when we chat. I am certain she keeps a little calendar next to the phone entitled, How Long Since Melissa and Ron Have Been Dating Without Getting Married and Giving Me a Grandchild. And it’s not really a weekly chat as much as it is a guilt call, as in, if I don’t call her at least once a week she makes me feel even more guilty than she does about the fact I’ve not yet produced offspring for her viewing pleasure.

            Now, about Ron: He’s a nice guy, really, and pretty cute, too. He’s nice in the sit-on-the-couch-with-a-beer-yelling-at-the-television-screen-when-his-team-is-losing kind of way. Oh, and he has become a bit of an Internet fiend lately. Always on the damn computer. Ron is the one who convinced me to get my real estate license. He said, “You’ve been selling clothes for years; I bet you’d be great at houses.” While Ron had the ability to see the big picture, I found it difficult to imagine that selling houses would be anything at all like working in the Women’s Fine Fashion Department of Haddock’s. After all, it isn’t like you can stand outside the dressing room while someone tries on a house. And customers get so agitated when they try to return a cardigan; what happens when it’s a condo?

            Ron reminded me that with my own condo paid off (thanks to my father’s life insurance policy), and him covering the rest of our expenses (which is precisely how I donated so much of each paycheck to my special clothing and wine account) that living on commission would be a breeze, I would spend less on clothes (I knew he’d been snooping in my closet), and that when I did sell a house, it would be big money. So, I took the required classes online, passed the state exam, and suddenly found dozens of brokers pursuing me. OK, there were actually only two, but they both wanted me really badly. I choose Cal State Realty. Mostly because it’s close to my condo, and the broker reminds me of Sean Connery (without the accent).

            My mother, of course, had a coronary over me giving up such a “promising” career as assistant department manager of such a “fine establishment” where she got to enjoy my employee discounts almost as much as I did.

            “Oh, honey, I think it’s fine you got your real estate license, but you can’t be serious about quitting Haddock’s. There’s this cute little handbag I saw in the window last week—”

            “Yes, Mom,” I say, cutting her off, but knowing exactly which handbag she’s referring to. “I’ve got enough saved, and of course I have Ron…” my words trail off as I consider what shoes I could wear with that damn purse.

            “But I just read that the housing market is crashing. Things are going to get really bad.”

            “I know, but really, I need a change, and I already have a deal in escrow. Do you realize the commission will be like four paychecks?”

            My mother sits silent on the other end.

            “Well, that was pretty easy,” she finally says, referring to the fact that I only took this nice couple out one time, wrote an offer that day, and did most of the paperwork in an hour or two.

            “I know! Just imagine if I am not dead-dog tired from being on my feet all day, hanging up clothes and smiling at rude women.” And staying up drinking wine and eating ice cream from the container.

Author's Bio

Tamara Lee Dorris has been a life-long fan of personal and spiritual development, and has written several books that fall under the category of "self-help." She wrote Secrets of a Spiritual Guru as a way of poking fun at how easy it is to become an online expert. Her other novels revolve around contemporary issues and spiritual enlightenment. Tamara is also an adjunct professor, radio host, and long time real estate professional who has gone crazy selling houses, loves yoga, drinks wine and is still as addicted as ever to personal development. She lives in Northern California with a bunch of annoying animals and her husband. She has four kids that she likes a lot and a mother that drives her nuts. Learn more at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

On Tour: Changes (Family Portrait, Vol. 1) by Gillian Felix - Fun Facts

Changes (Family Portrait, Vol. 1)
by Gillian Felix

Genre: Young Adult
Publication: July 2013
Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | Website
Buy the Book: Amazon 
Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.

In this young adult novel, you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack. You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?

Fun facts about Changes Vol. 1, (Family Portrait)

Writing Adriana’s character was fun and challenging because she is such a bitch. It’s tricky because she shares the leading role with Leighann, who is sweet, and kind—they are polar opposites of each other. They both grew up in the entertainment industry but that’s about all they have in common. Adriana makes no apologies for who she is, she is reckless and wild and I’m sure some readers will hate her. It is only later on in the series you get to really see why she is the way she is. 

Even though Leighann was a bigger star than Adriana, she was more protected by her mother. Savi may have her ways, but she shielded Leighann from a lot of the outside world. So when Leighann defies her and ventures out into the ‘real world’, she begins to see how scary things can get.

Leighann’s fascination with the ‘real world’ is based on the fact that she has never had a ‘normal’ life. She sits in the tour bus and looks at the fans through the one way glass and thinks that their life is so easy, and she longs for that. She wants to meet a boy, go to the movies, and do things normal teenagers do.

Westwood Academy of Higher Learning is a super school on steroids as one reviewer described it: “we mustn't forget the whole larger-than-life high school scene on steroids in a world where appearances often mean more than substance”
The school is high tech and ridiculously over the top with chef catered lunches, marble floors, digital lockers, Jacuzzi. Seriously, I’d want to go to that school. How does any body get any studying done? 

Astrid Wilson is the Kim Kardashian of Westwood Academy. She decks out in Prada and all the latest designs by the hottest designers. No body can throw a hissy fit like Astrid. When Adriana returns to Westwood Academy, Astrid’s status is threatened especially where her boyfriend Warren is concerned.

Family Portrait is based on a television series I had written. The script got lots of interest in Hollywood but nothing came of it, so I decided to turn it into a book series. I have two seasons, 24 episodes of the television series already written. 

Book two combines a couple episodes from the script. Changes Vol. 1 is equivalent to the pilot episode—it introduces the audience to the characters. The script for television was meant for prime time so I had to tone it down—a lot. The book is the raw version—drug use, foul language, sexual situations. The characters can get away with a lot more in the book than they could on screen, which is good for Adriana and Kevin’s character, because later in the series they really get naughty.

Right now I am working on Vol. 2 called The Banovic Siblings. In this book the siblings mostly Adriana and Kevin’s past catches up with them and their secrets are getting too close to home. Love triangles and tangles start to form with some of the supporting characters. Leighann’s character starts evolving, her sister L’Wren has a very powerful and emotional storyline which took a lot out of me to write. It really made me ‘go there’ which stretches me as a writer. Book two is a bit darker than Changes.

I think Vol. 2 may be available in November or December, 2013. It still has the whole process to go through with the story editor, the proofreader and the cover still has to be designed. I usually write like a fiend at night—Sunday through Thursday sometimes Friday nights.

On the Facebook fan page fans can rummage through the character’s closets. Right now there is an app on there called Adriana’s closet and coming soon: Leighann’s wardrobe, Astrid’s locker, the sound track to go with some of the scenes, Westwood Academy emblem reveal, Westwood Academy gear, fun trivia’s, first read of the novels before they are published. So sign up. 

Thanks for having me. Purchase a copy of Changes Vol. 1 (Family Portrait) here.

The reviews on Amazon:

“Each character has a story to tell, and I see their stories being entwined together, for better or worse as author Gillian Felix builds a strong and intriguing foundation for a new series with her novella, Changes, book 1 in the Family Portrait series.”

“Part soap opera, part teen struggle in a world where they are expected to “follow the crowd” and feed the frenzied tabloids fodder for the prying eyes of the masses, all while dealing with personal and family crises, I see a huge following for this new series! I know I’m going to watch for more!”

“So many drugs, schemes, and much more. One girl just wants to be normal. One girl just wants the limelight. Selfish motives abound and changes are coming for everyone. It's Hollywood....”

“This book has many interesting characters and I am looking forward to the next volume. I was sorry to see it end.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. #1)
by Eoin Colfer

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Publication: April 2013
Format: Hardcover, 321 pages
Source: Own
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Riley, a teen orphan boy living in Victorian London, has had the misfortune of being apprenticed to Albert Garrick, an illusionist who has fallen on difficult times and now uses his unique conjuring skills to gain access to victims' dwellings. On one such escapade, Garrick brings his reluctant apprentice along and urges him to commit his first killing. Riley is saved from having to commit the grisly act when the intended victim turns out to be a scientist from the future, part of the FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (WARP) Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern day London, followed closely by Garrick.

In modern London, Riley is helped by Chevron Savano, a seventeen-year-old FBI agent sent to London as punishment after a disastrous undercover, anti-terrorist operation in Los Angeles. Together Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip through the wormhole. Garrick is now not only evil, but he also possesses all of the scientist's knowledge. He is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie's possession to make his way back to Victorian London where he can literally change the world.
I was so excited when I found out that Eoin Colfer had a new book, W.A.R.P. I was even more excited when I found out that there will be time travelling in this one. The beginning of The Reluctant Assassins was captivating. I found that whatever was happening to Riley was a bit mysterious. I wanted to know what happened and what will happen to him. Then, there’s Chevron Savano, a very young FBI. The two met and found themselves in a run from that evil Garrick.

I think The Reluctant Assassins had a potential to be a great read. But sadly, this book did not really grab me. The plot was good, but there is something lacking in this one. The middle part of the book—that part where Riley and Chevie ran from Garrick—was a bit bland. I love Eoin Colfer’s writing and dialogue that makes me laugh, but I think it didn’t really work with this one. Perhaps I would enjoy this series after a few more books just like I did with Artemis Fowl.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


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