Sunday, March 29, 2015

Awake by Lana Moon

  Eve Cleary has never been the same since her entire family was killed in a horrific and sudden tornado. She has sweaty and violent nightmares every night, and every day she is haunted by her traumatizing past. Eve thinks she'll never be okay ever again. Nothing can make her feel as happy as she was before her family was killed...
  ...until Victor shows up.
  Victor is an incubus, a male demon that feeds on women's desires and lust. But although Victor is handsome, charming, suave, and knows exactly what Eve needs to make her sleep at night, can you really lay your life on the line for a demon?
  Eve is restless. Eve is wanting. And now, Eve is irresistibly drawn to a creature both good, and bad for her...
  I am being completely honest with you when I tell you that I genuinely had a rough time with this book. The story was promising, Eve's trauma touched me in a way that I didn't imagine, and I absolutely had no objections to reading this story when I first started it.
  But, I'm very sorry to say, this book just didn't do it for me. I know many readers who would happily devour this book in an extremely eager way. No buts, honestly. I could see this book appealing to a lot of readers. Although, for me, there was too much sex to keep my interest in the plot. I felt almost as if every time I would become interested in what was happening again, the next chapter would be filled with sexual tension and acts. Normally I just breeze through scenes that don't interest me when it comes to romance, but this book was very short. I didn't want to breeze through it and end up breezing through the entire book (and important and key scenes) just because there was sex.
  Lana Moon's writing was perfectly fine, I enjoyed the plot (especially the scenes with Eve's sarcastic best friend and her boyfriend), Eve's back story touched my heart, but I just couldn't get past all of the sex.
  I encourage my readers who enjoy romances, erotica, and steamy books to read this book and let me know what you think.
  Just because it wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean that it won't be yours!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Seventh Magpie by Nancy Chase

  In this dark fairytale, the princess becomes the more ways than one.
  When Princess Catrin's mother vanishes unexpectedly, her father finds that the only way to cope is to send Catrin far away until she becomes of marrying age. Then he will have her sent back home and married, against her will.
  But Catrin isn't pleased with this choice. She decides to choose her own life, and she falls in love with a sailor that she's known since she was little...
  ...but fate has something else in store for Catrin and her father's kingdom. Catrin's sailor love is lost at sea on the journey back to Catrin's kingdom, and Catrin strikes a deal with her father. She tells him that it is impossible for her to love another in her lifetime, and that unless a faraway prince brings her a story better than the one her mother gave her before she disappeared, she will never marry (meanwhile doing everything in her power to find a way out of marriage).
  I'm being 100% honest with you, dear reader, when I tell you that this book had me interested from the very first page. I went into The Seventh Magpie without reading the synopsis, so all of these plot twists were completely new to me, and boy, was this book an adventure.
  Nancy Chase's storytelling is captivating and flawless. Her words will snag its reader, almost as if they are under a spell. Although there is no tonic to this spell; the only way to find a cure is to read more. And more, and more, and more.
  I was so hooked on this book, I started and finished it in one sitting. As soon as it was over, I felt like there was an empty hole in my chest that couldn't be filled ever again. I think the only thing that will come close to reading this book for the first time again is for me to buy a paper copy and keep it in my purse 24/7 just so I have it around and near me every second of the day. 
  I predict that Nancy Chase's The Seventh Magpie will make "My Favorite Books of 2015" list. I almost wish that I could make a "My Favorites" list early on in the year, just so I can give this story a giant spotlight. This book will leave you breathless.
  I will reread this book. A lot. I will probably read it to my children (when I have them...some day). I will highlight my favorite passages (not in my paper book, my Kindle of course, I would never damage my paper's priceless), and I will cherish this book forever and ever.
  Thank you, Ms Chase, for writing such a beautiful story. I will be sure to share it with the world, so that they can discover the beauty of your written word as well.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

An Interview with Author Stephanie Erickson/The Dead Room Release Celebration!

The Dead Room is LIVE!!!!

322 years after the apocalypse, the world has changed, but her people have not.

 Secrets, lies, and manipulations endure among a small group of survivors taking refuge on an island in the Northern Pacific. No one knows what claimed so many lives over three centuries ago, and no one asks, except Ashley Wortham. She can feel the secrets all around her, begging to be uncovered. 

But the nine elders who govern the island guard their secrets jealously. 

They believe the islanders know what they need to, and they hide their secrets behind a ruse of peace. But when Ashley, and her best friend Mason, go down the rabbit hole, no one is prepared for the truths they uncover. 

What will they do when they discover the downfall of humanity lies within their own island, deep inside the dead room?

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A few months ago, a dear author friend of mine had the brilliant idea of putting the wonderful Stephanie Erickson in touch with me, telling her that I was a blogger and that I would be more than happy to read and review her work (all true).

Not only did I fall in love with her work, but I found a kindred spirit in Stephanie as well. We've been as close as two peas in a pod (and Stephanie's given me many book hangovers) ever since!

When Stephanie told me that she was releasing a book soon, I knew I had to put all of my energy into promoting her work, and spreading the word about her stories. What better way to do that than to do an interview with her in celebration of her release of The Dead Room?

So, without further ado...

An Interview with Author of The CureThe Blackout, Unseen, and her new release The Dead Room, Stephanie Erickson  

The Literary Connoisseur: Hello, Stephanie! Welcome to The Literary Connoisseur! Thank you so much for stopping by and answering some questions about yourself, and your life as an author. If you're ready, let's begin. Tell us a bit about your work.

Stephanie Erickson: Well, I have books in a few different genres.  It took me awhile to decide what I enjoyed writing.  So I have some post-apocalyptic stuff, some dystopian, and some paranormal romance.  A little bit of everything.  

The Literary Connoisseur: Have you always known you wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing? 

Stephanie Erickson: Yes, I did.  I started writing fiction in third grade with my best friend.  She was an artist and would illustrate/draw in the margins when I finished typing (on a type writer), or hand writing a page.  When it was raining, that's what we did/how we played.  I still have some of those pages!  

The Literary Connoisseur: What is appealing to you about writing dystopian/post-apocalyptic/secret society stories? 

Stephanie Erickson: I love to read those types of stories, and for me, reading is inspiration.  And although I also love to read historical fiction and epic fantasies, these genres are fun for me. Although they're still fictional, they're closer to our world than historical fiction or fantasies.  While I'm writing them, it's fun to think it could really happen.

The Literary Connoisseur: Which of your books; The Cure, The Blackout, Unseen, or The Dead Room, was most fun to write? 

Stephanie Erickson: Each book has been such a different experience.  The Blackout was my first, and took me three years to write.  The Dead Room was the most difficult so far.  But The Cure for sure was the most fun.  I've never been so inspired as when I wrote that book.  The idea hit me and it was all I could think about until I got it all out.  It. Was. Awesome.

The Literary Connoisseur: Which of your main characters would you say you relate to the most? Why? 

Stephanie Erickson: relate to them all in different ways.  Mac has my sense of humor, Macey has a bit of a quick temper and is flawed in many of the same ways I am, and Molly is married to a pilot (so I understand her way of life and how hard it is to be alone all the time).  And they all love McDonalds, because who doesn't? 

For The Dead Room, I actually relate to Mason, or maybe Mattli, more than any of the others.  They both struggle big time to know what the right thing to do is, how to do it, and when the right time to act should be, and I can relate to that big time.  

The Literary Connoisseur: What has been your favorite thing about being an author so far?

Stephanie Erickson: WRITING!  I love to tell stories, and make them real even if it's just for a moment.  When you're reading it, the story becomes our shared reality, our shared moment.  And I love that.

The Literary Connoisseur: Do you have any role models in the literary world? If so, who? 

Stephanie Erickson: Oh my God yes.  Some day, I would love to write a book that moves people the way Harry Potter or Game of Thrones moved me.  (So, JK Rowling and George R. R. Martin to answer more directly, lol.)  But, the writer that made me want to write was Roald Dahl.  We read Matilda in third grade, and that's when I knew I wanted to connect with people the way his stories had reached me.  

The Literary Connoisseur: How would you say your ideas for your books come to you? Do you have a particular trick to keeping track of your plots and storylines? 

Stephanie Erickson: Frustratingly, my ideas come to me when they want, how they want.  Sometimes it's a dream I had.  Most of the time it's a 'what if' question that occurs to me out of the blue.  My husband and I will be chatting along about what to have for dinner or whatever, and I'll be like: "What if a disease killed everyone in the whole world and this one girl held the key to the cure and didn't even know it?"  Or, "what if this mind reader was also an anti-terrorist assassin?"  Or, "what if the world ended and a group of survivors was left on an island off the coast of the Pacific Northwest?"  What ifs are my friend.

The Literary Connoisseur: Where would you like to see your career as an author go in the future? 

Stephanie Erickson: I have eyes on the bestseller lists.  Hoping to at least hit USA Today before I die, but NYT would be AMAZING!  

The Literary Connoisseur: Do you have any upcoming releases you would like to talk about? 

Stephanie Erickson: The Dead Room and its new, exciting release, perhaps? Haha! The Dead Room is my newest post-apocalyptic book, and it's sooo different from The Blackout it's not even funny!  It's by far the most complex story I've written, with something like eleven characters, set 322 years in the future.  It was a challenge, but I'm so excited about it, and can't wait to see where this trilogy takes us!  

The Literary Connoisseur: Are you currently working on any new projects? 

Stephanie Erickson: I am!  Unforgiven is in the early stages, and will be off to the editors in a week or two.  Then I will start the process over again with book 2 in The Dead Room trilogy!  Lather, rinse repeat! (There's my token Friends reference for the interview, haha.)

The Literary Connoisseur: Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers? 

Stephanie Erickson: I would just like to thank all of you, and The Literary Connoisseur! You guys are all so amazing!  Thank you for taking the time to read my books, and being so supportive of me!  I can't wait to see where we go together!   

The Literary Connoisseur: Stephanie, again, thank you so much for joining us and for answering some very intriguing questions! I look forward to hearing about (and reading) more of your amazing work! 

For more on Stephanie Erickson, like her on Facebook here!

Follow her on Twitter here!

Follow her on Goodreads here!

About Stephanie:

Stephanie Erickson has always had a passion for the written word. She pursued her love of literature at Flagler College, in St. Augustine, FL, where she graduated with a BA in English. She has received several honors in her writing career, including recognition in the 72nd Annual Writer's Digest Competition. 

After graduation, she married and followed her husband in pursuit of his dream. The Cure and The Blackout were written to reignite Stephanie's passion, when she found the time. Now that he is settled in his career, it's her turn to devote more time and energy into writing.

Stephanie currently has 3 projects planned for 2015. Her upcoming release is well underway and is slated for a March 2015 publication date. 

Stephanie, of course, loves to read and write. She also enjoys living on the beach on the Florida's Treasure Coast. Most of all, she and her husband are in love with their baby girl.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Beacon by Sam Kates

  In this exciting and terrifying sequel to Sam Kates' The Cleansing, all hell has broken loose. More than three quarters of the planet's population is dead, and those who survived are waking from almost death to a world destroyed and annihilated by extra-terrestrial beings.
  Beings who want the human race wiped out, and who want the world all to themselves.
  If a plague, almost extinction, losing everyone you love, and seeing the only world you've ever known come to an end wasn't enough, things are about to get much worse.
  These foreign beings, the same beings who destroyed the human race, are about to launch The Beacon.
  I thought I was in love with The Cleansing. I named it my number one favorite book of 2013, because it was. The Cleansing was unlike any book I have ever read in my life. It was beyond exceptional. Sam Kates' writing had me completely and entirely captivated from the moment I picked up my Kindle copy of The Cleansing.
  I honestly couldn't put it down. It was a book I thought about every single moment of the day, especially, when I had to put it down to do mundane things such as eating, sleeping, and occasionally using the restroom. The Cleansing made me want to skip meals, socialization, and getting fresh air just so I could read
  As soon as I finished it, I had to tell the friend who recommended the book to me, and Sam Kates as well, how much I loved it. I loved it. I loved it so much, I now consider it one of my favorite books ever.
  When my friend told me the sequel was out, I knew my TBR list had to be cleared.
  No way was I reading anything else besides Sam Kates' The Beacon.
  To be honest with you, it took me a little bit to get back into the swing of things in the Earth Haven's world. New characters were introduced, and old characters that I had grown attached to in book one were in the middle of situations I had forgotten about.
  Of course this is of no fault of the author...besides the fact that he made me wait SO long for book two...
  It only took me a little bit to remember where we left off in book one.
  But when I got back into the swing of things and remembered what exactly left earth in such a catastrophic state, I was just as hooked as I had been with book one, perhaps even more if that's at all possible.
  I didn't expect to love The Beacon as much as I loved The Cleansing at all. At ALL. But my gosh, did Sam Kates prove me wrong.
  Sam Kates has completely outdone himself with The Beacon. In the second Earth Haven book, he has proven to his readers that he has the impeccable talent of creating a universe that avid readers across the globe will salivate over. Sam Kates has proven to the world that he was born to be a writer.
  You would think that The Beacon would satisfy the Earth Haven hunger I've been desperately trying to sate for a year and a half now, at least a little bit, but you would be wrong. If anything, The Beacon has made me even more desperate to delve deeper into the Earth Haven world. I finished this book much too fast. I regretted not savoring it more the moment I reached the last chapter of the book.
  I have read a lot of books that are incredible, and I have read a lot of books that left a lasting impression on me, but The Cleansing and The Beacon are different from other books...
  ...they hold a very dear part of my heart that cannot be occupied by any other books out there. These are books that will stick with me forever. Sam Kates' writing deserves all of the compliments I have to give and more. I fear I cannot put into words how much I adore his books.
  So, Sam, I know that you've just come out with book two...but I have to know...when will we have book three??

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