Sunday, December 23, 2012

Blog Tour with Christmas Author Interview and 2 Giveaways: Blue Moon by J. A. Belfield

I'm soooo excited!!!!  
It's FINALLY here!!! 
 Christmas has come early .... 
it's my tour day for J. A. Belfield's Blue Moon!!! 
 Whippeee!!!!  Woo hoo!!!  Yay!!!!

I'm super excited about this book, Blue Moon!!!!  
It's the 2nd full installment to the Hollow Pack series.
And it's FREAKIN' AWESOMESAUCE!!!!  See my rantings review here.

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

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

The pack’s latest addition. Both of them.

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

Jem believes they’ve joined in to take.

The question is … What?

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

A woman who believes she can’t lose.

So let's get to that interview.....

Hi, J. A.! Merry Christmas and welcome back to Known to Read!!! I am so excited to have you here for this very special Christmas eve post!

Thank you so much for having me. I can’t think of a better place to spend Christmas Eve. :D

This is such a magical time of year; just perfect to curl up by the fire and read about our favorite pack of werewolves! How will the Holloway's and their loved ones be spending their Christmas?

Hehehe, if you’d have asked me pre-Jem, the answer would likely have been a simple: eating & hunting. But now Jem’s around? Let’s just say, she has an awesome surprise planned for Sean that he will totally love, and she’s very excited about it being their first Christmas of this lifetime together.
What can possibly go wrong? :)

What will Jem be buying for her loved ones this season?

Not sure I can say what she’s getting for her male, just in case Sean pokes his head in. Jem’d never forgive me. But I’m pretty sure T-shirts might be on the list for the lads of the pack. ;)
Has Sean confided in you what he will be buying for Jem?

I don’t think he’s quite caught up with the idea that he’s supposed to be buying her something. Being Sean, he’ll probably leave it right until the very last minute—and we all know how that can get a guy into trouble, don’t we?

What gift ideas do you recommend for the werewolf in our lives?

I’m always a promoter of buying something edible and sexy and functional all wrapped up in a singular package for the wolfy dudes in your life. So, for fun in the bedroom: edible underwear. For fun outside the bedroom: a doughnut maker, because we all know how those doughnuts can double as Frisbees …. O_o

How about you? Any last minute gift idea hints you want to drop?

Yeah, actually … *stares at Mr B* You still owe me that massaging and heat pad for my writing chair, my love. :)

Do you think it is truly better to give than receive?

In all honesty, I barely have Christmas presents. I NEVER ask anything for myself—though Mr B usually demands to know what I want. I’m more than happy to just sit watching the kidlets or whomever we spend Christmas with opening their gifts instead.

What was the best Christmas gift you ever got? Best you've ever given?

Best present I ever got? My laptop, for sure. Before that, I was cooped up in my bedroom, sitting at the desk to write. Mr B missed seeing me, so he bought me the laptop so I could sit anywhere to write, and I now spend most of my time downstairs.
As for the best present I’ve ever given? Gargh, I dunno. Mr B’s birthday is only 2 days before Christmas so often his presents end up merging. A couple years ago, I took him to see David Gray at the Birmingham Symphony Hall as a gift. That was an awesome night.

Do you have any special Christmas memories you'd like to share?

We’re usually away for Christmas, visiting family. But around 6/7 years ago, we hooked up the caravan to the back of the car, threw in some clothes and tinned food out of the cupboard and vanished to the west coast of Wales for a few days. Yeah, we can be pretty spontaneous. Planning doesn’t happen that much in the Belfield household. We parked up overnight right by any beaches that permitted it, and the weather happened to be really mild that winter so the kids got to play in the sand wearing shorts and sweaters. Pure Awesomeness.

What constitutes a perfect Christmas for you?

Well, as I said above, we usually go away. I don’t mind where I am so long as it’s relaxing. The past few years have been spent at Mrs B Senior’s (translate: MiL). Mr B gets up and brings me coffee in bed. He then brings me breakfast in bed around fixing breakfast for everyone else—requisite if he’s going to get me to move once that sea air affects me. Once I’ve been spoilt rotten, I clamber out of bed, whilst Mr B puts the meat in the oven, and get my a$ dressed. And then we head out—sometimes the kids come with us but sometimes Mr B and I get to be totally on our own—and go for a crisp coastal walk whilst Mrs B Senior readies the vegetables and keeps an eye on the meat (and looks after the kidlets if they decide their gifts are more interesting than fresh air). We coastal walked one year and there was snow on the beach, we barely passed another soul—with just the two of us strolling along with amazing scenery and such serenity, it felt like a real intimate experience.
Until we got back to the MiL’s and we trash the kitchen before collapsing from too much freshness and (more so) too much food, lol.

Well, it's been wonderful to take this time to chat with you! Thanks so very much for stopping by and have a very merry (and wolf-licious) Christmas!!!

Thanks heapsly for having me here. A Happy Christmas and New Year to yourself and all your readers!

Get to know J. A. better here:

Now onto the giveaway portion of tonight's festivities:

So for one lucky winner, you'll receive.....

1 Ebook of Blue Moon
1 Blue Moon magnet
1 Blue Moon bookmark (both sides shown in pic below)

And here's another great giveaway J. A. Belfield is doing over on here blog.....

You could win these very cool pieces!!!

Just fill in the Rafflecopter below to join in the Christmas fun!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tour Stop: Bitter Frost by Kailin Gow

Today is my tour stop for Kailin Gow's Bitter Frost.
Yay!!!  Tour stops are so much fun!!!
So let's begin with an introduction of our author, Kailin Gow......

Kailin Gow has appeared on top national syndicated talk shows such as ABC Radio, Barbara Dooley show, Chat with Women on KKNW Seattle, Broadminded on Sirius Radio XM, and more as a leading authority on YA and women's issues including self-esteem, body image, dating and sexual relationships, abuse, and bullying. Kailin has been a published author for over 10 years with over 100 titles published under her name and under pen names.

She is the founder of the community social site, The Saving You Saving Me Project, which helps teens, young adults, and women deal with social issues like sexual abuse, self-esteem, body image, bullying, cutting, relationships, and more in a positive community environment. The Saving You Saving Me Project is an extension of her YA-mature fiction Saving You Saving Me.

Kailin Gow began writing books for tween girls to help them with self-confidence and self-esteem. Her book, Gifted Girls Activities Guide to 365 Days of the Week, became a reference book used in girls organizations across the U.S. As her tween fans grew to become teens and young adults, Kailin began writing engaging and entertaining young adult book series for them. The results are book series like the Frost Series, PULSE Series, Wicked Woods Series, Stoker Sisters, Phantom Diaries, The Fire Wars, FADE, DESIRE, and more.

All her books are inspired by personal experiences. Saving You Saving Me was inspired by her experience as a peer counselor for young women during college and from her psychology major college roommate's experience being in a relationship similar to the one portrayed by Sam and Collins in the book. Loving Summer was inspired by Kailin's experience growing up with a family consisting of a mother, two sons, and a daughter who went through a similar experience of tragedy in the book. Aunt Sookie is based on herself and some actor friends she knows. The Frost Series, Circus of Curiosities Series, and FADE Series came about through vivid dreams. Never Say Never was inspired by Kailin's experience as a radio host and working with and interviewing bands, as well as having college friends who were in bands. Kailin also played the drums and keyboard for a band she once started. A classically-trained musician, she was once led her school orchestra, playing first chair violin. Her experience in the music world and her love of Phantom of the Opera, inspired the Phantom Diaries. PULSE was inspired when Kailin was in the hospital suffering from heavy blood loss post surgery and needed several bags of blood to survive (like a vampire). Beautiful Beings was inspired by her college encounter with a young demon exorcist. A pastor once told her she had the gift of sight and that she was destined to become a prolific author, many times over.

She began taking her writing seriously when her daughter was diagnosed as being on the spectrum and her mother was fighting three types of cancer. Four years later, her daughter was no longer on the spectrum, and her mother became cancer free. Kailin believes in hope and miracles, after having been through several struggles and experiences herself. This is why she writes.
When not busy inhaling chocolate and drinking coffee by the gallon, Kailin makes time for writing fantasy books, blogging as an expert blogger for Fast Company, volunteering as an Emergency Responder and volunteering for battered women's shelters. For fun, she plays the electric violin, and puts together a music playlist for her radio and web shows.
Her Frost Series consisting of the Bitter Frost Series, The Wolf Fey Series, and the Fairy Rose Chronicles along with her other book series are being developed into worldwide MMORPG Games by SEE GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT, which is the world's leading game developer known for developing the top blockbuster films into games.

Get to know Kailin better on her 
WebsiteFacebook and Twitter.

Here's a bit on Bitter Frost (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cover)....

Kailin Gow
Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy

All her life, Breena had always dreamed about fairies as though she lived among them...beautiful fairies living among mortals and living in Feyland. In her dreams, he was always there the breathtakingly handsome but dangerous Winter Prince, Kian, who is her intended. When Breena turns sixteen, she begins seeing fairies and other creatures mortals don t see. Her best friend Logan, suddenly acts very protective. Then she sees Kian, who seems intent on finding her and carrying her off to Feyland. That's fine and all, but for the fact that humans rarely survive a trip to Feyland, a kiss from a fairy generally means death to the human unless that human has fairy blood in them or is very strong, and although Kian seemed to be her intended, he seems to hate her and wants her dead.

This edgy tale about beautiful and dangerous fairies, based on Dutch lore, will leave you breathless...

Get you a copy.....
And don't forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Blast with Giveaway and Excerpt: After Dark by Emi Gayle

You know I LOVE Emi Gayle and all her alteregos, 

so I jumped at a chance to be apart of the After Dark book blast.  

Just in case you missed it, click here for my review of After Dark 

and click here for an Emi Gayle guest post.

What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists—which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.

Buy it here:

“Winn and Mac were perfect for each other in every way possible. It was like two magnets finally finding each other and connecting.”
— Good Choice Reading

“Awesome beyond awesome! For lovers of YA Paranormal, this is a MUST READ!!!”
— Romancing the Book

“Talk about can't put down...I accidentally opened this one instead of the book I was scheduled to read. Made the mistake of reading the first paragraph -- and I have not been able to put my iPad down since!”
— Parajunkee

Endless screams. Maniacal laughter. The scent of prey.

Chills raced up my spine.

I wanted to run. To hide. To bury my head in the grave beneath me.

Instead, I balanced on top of Samuel L. Wilson, someone’s ‘beloved father and son resting in peace,’ craving solitude and stressing like a vampire on a blood fast.

Good ole ‘Sam’ decomposed underneath the largest oak in Primrose Cemetery—a spot no human would visit at night except on Halloween. A night that should have been mine.

Mine alone.

A gust of wind pushed my sketchpad to my knees, flung hair against my cheeks and sent my colored pencils tumbling. Wind, I could deal with. Humans? I’d rather not have had to. A swipe of my hand through the air brought the drawing tools back up. I yanked my hair into a tail, twisted the strands around a Cerulean blue pencil and stabbed random colors into the knot for safe keeping.

My frustration with human-kind had reached its pinnacle hours before but ratcheted even higher as someone rattled the gates, girls giggled and dares to enter the cemetery from crackly-voiced, chicken boys reached me.

I slapped my pencil to my papers, my forehead to my palm. “All I wanted was an hour of uninterrupted—”

The sharp end of something way larger than a pencil pierced my neck.

I straightened with one intake of breath, dropping the yellow, number-two from my fingertips. My hand reached toward the uninvited object as I seethed between clenched teeth.

“Hello, Mackenzie.” His deep bass resonated with the confidence of his kind: the not-human variety.

“You’ve got to be kidding.” Whatever the tool, it pressed deeper into my flesh, and I itched to free myself from its penetrating hold.

“And once again, I have won the game before it began.”

“Only because you came up behind me.” A small orb of sunlight formed in the palm of my hand as I kept my neck as still as possible. With one toss, it zipped into the air above my head.

A pierced squeal emanated from behind me, and the point slid away.

Holy hell, that hurt! I jumped to the ground, somersaulted between Matilda Jane, Johann Rowe and the plastic flowers that lay between them. With another roll, James Peak’s extra large headstone concealed my entire form.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.” The crunch of branches under footsteps gave his position away.

With a deep inhale, my body began its shift into a new form. My incisors elongated. Heart stopped. Eyes burned. On the exhale, strength, cunning and innate wit filled me, matching that of my attacker.

I stood with James as a shield. “Bring it on, old man.”

Book Trailer:

Meet the author:

Emi Gayle just wants to be young again. She lives vicariously through her youthful characters, while simultaneously acting as chief-Mom to her teenaged son and searching for a way to keep her two daughters from ever reaching the dreaded teen years.

Ironically, those years were some of Emi's favorite times. She met the man of her dreams at 14, was engaged to him at 19, married him at 20 and she's still in love with him to this day. She'll never forget what it was like to fall in love at such a young age — emotions she wants everyone to feel.

Get to know Emi better:

Giveaway details:
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/13/12

*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. 
Simply enter it for the first person you follow and leave the others blank.

Release Day Review: Make Believe by Belfield, Eaton, Ford, Rochenski, Said & Young

Anthologies can be a great way to get to know a few new authors 
and making new friends is always a good thing, right?
Just released today,
Make Believe is an incredible collection 
of speculative fiction short stories
all inspired by the picture that became the cover art below.
I've reviewed each story separately, but overall give the book
*  *  FOUR STARS  *  *
Yay for good books!!!!

by J.A. Belfield,
Jennifer M. Eaton,
J. Keller Ford,
Terri Rochenski,
Lynda R. Young,
Kelly Said 
Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski

An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.

With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Rating:  *   *   *

My Review:
This is a retelling of an old fable and I enjoyed the author's take on it.  We see everything from Alesuela's perspective which adds a great deal to the mystery and suspense.  I loved how Terri Rochenski used the color red symbolically throughout the story.  Overall, the story did fall short for me as I didn't really connect much with the main character, so I wasn't emotionally invested, but it still was an entertaining start to the anthology.  

The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford

There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.

After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.

Genre:  Fantasy

My Rating:  *  *  *  *

My Review:
This is a well-told and creative story that had me hanging on the author's every word.  I loved the world that J. Keller Ford created and grew attached to the characters immediately.  My only real complaint is use of the names of places got confusing and I wasn't always sure at first where the characters were supposed to be.  I was also little confused on the hows and whys of Cayden's and the Queen's final situation, but not enough for it to ruin the story for me.  

Birthright by Lynda R. Young

Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.

She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she's never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.

Genre:  Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

My Rating:  *   *   *   *   *

My Review:
I was very much wow-ed by this story.  It's super suspenseful with a unique and creative supernatural element.  I found it easy to connect with the characters and totally felt the Jack-Christa connection.  It didn't feel rushed or insta-love-ish even though it all happens quickly.  Birthright is a crazy cool read and I really hope author takes this to the next step with a full novel.

Petrified by Kelly Said

A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.

The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.

Genre:  YA Fantasy

My Rating:  *  *  *  *

My Review:
Petrified was a real treat of suspense and mystery.  Sooo much of this story has you asking why and who and can he/she be trusted???  I loved how Kelly Said built her world and our knowledge of each character slowly throughout the story, only bringing all the elements together near the conclusion.  Both Lochlyn and Sterling are great characters; I loved Lochlyn's tenderheartedness.  I wish their romance was built-up a bit more; I felt they were a bit touchy-feely with one another considering they were pretty much strangers.  I think if there had been more acknowledgement of attraction in their thoughts and maybe more time on the romantic elements at the conclusion, I'd been better satisfied.  Regardless, this was a really great story!

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton

Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust.  Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.

The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.

Genre:  Dystopian

My Rating: *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
Wow!  This was a fantastic read!  First off, its amazing to see a well-written dystopian in short story form; I believe it difficult to world-build a dystopian society with so few words, but Jennifer M. Eaton does it and does it fabulously!  I loved the world, the characters and the budding romance!!!  Last Winter Red was so perfectly done!  It was like a chocolate truffle.  Perfectly satisfying, yet bite-sized!

Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield

From a charity auction, to a stroll in the park, to the craziest night of her life. Nicole Harrington can’t help but wonder how a simple event went so drastically wrong.

Of course, the male escort she booked is wholly to blame. Not only charming but shrewdly intelligent, Benjamin Gold drags Nicole into a platoon of unimaginable problems—ones from which she’ll have to find the courage just to survive.

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

My Rating: *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
It's no secret I'm a huge J. A. Belfield fan.  I must admit I was curious, though, to see what her writing would be like without the Holloway Pack.  Would I still love her writing with Jem and Sean???  And the answer .... YES, ABSO-FREAKIN-LOUTELY, YES!!!  Escort to Instanity was so amazing!  There was so much suspense and action and romance in those few pages ... holy cow! .... how did she manage that???  I'm so hoping that this is the take off of a new series for her.  That would rock because I'm loving me some Benjamin Gold!  Yum!

Want a copy of your own?
Find out where to get your copy on the J. Taylor Publishing page.
Don't forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR as well!

Stop back by for the Make Believe tour stop
on January 3rd
for your chance to win your very own copy!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Release Day Review: Blue Moon by J. A. Belfield

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

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

The pack’s latest addition. Both of them.

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

Jem believes they’ve joined in to take.

The question is … What?

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

A woman who believes she can’t lose.

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher Type:  Indie, Small Print
My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
It was super good to get back into the contemporary world of the Holloway Pack!  I love the historical novellas that I've ate-up over the past year, but I've been jonesing for the continuation of the Jem/Sean story.  And **fan girl squeal** it was everything I could even hope for and more!!!

Life, it seems for the Holloway pack has settled into a blissful rhythm..... well, until..... a stranger, Marianne, takes an interest in pack member, Josh.  Jem totally freaks in what seems to be a bout of ridiculous jealousy.  I just love the "realness" of Jem's behavior.  She's responding to emotions of which she's not even sure of the origin.  She makes a fool out of herself in the process, but holds onto this gut reaction, knowing somethings amiss despite everyone telling her she's wrong.  I love her tenacity and I love her idiot behavior.  She may be my long lost twin -- tee hee hee!

There is crazy suspense in Blue Moon!  I sucked this book down in two days; I just couldn't put it down!!!  I found myself holding my breathe as I read.  And I REALLY HATED Marianne!  That's the sign of a well-written antagonist!!!  I wanted to smack the b#@!% witch and cheered when Jem  did just that!

We really got to know some of the smaller characters of the Holloway Pack world.  It was great to see Jess, Jem's sister, take a larger role in this book and the magic that came with her.  Is that a romance with Ethan I see brewing?  Hmmm.....  I'm loving that possibility!  then there's a surprise character that I won't tell you about..... it's total awesomesauce though!!!!!

And the ending?!? Cliff hanger!  Now I've got to wait for book #3, Caged, due out in August!!!

Cover Art:
I love that this cover is both sexy and elegant!  It's beautiful with the monochromatic blue color scheme.  Yay for good cover art!

Stop by J. Taylor Publishing's page to see where to get your copy.
Don't forget to add the Holloway's to your Goodreads TBR!

Come back by for a special 
Christmas Eve post and Blue Moon giveaway!!!