Blog Tour: Daimones by Massimo Marino

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If you missed my review of Daimones, you can read it here. Now I’ve got a special feature for you, coming straight from the book!

Excerpt from Daimones, book one of The Daimones Trilogy

I arrived where I was supposed to be to meet with Rollerblade Girl. This time, I did everything in plain view. I stopped the car in the middle of the street. I lowered the windows, stepped out and even opened the trunk. Nothing to hide. Then I sat cross-legged, well in front of the car. I had a Glock tucked at my back, under my vest, and one under the driver seat. My hands rested on my knees. I waited.

The sun started to warm up the air, and the asphalt, too. The hot bitumen’s smell and the petroleum vapors soaked my senses. I felt its taste in my mouth and it intoxicated me. I am getting high, I thought, lightheaded. A few crows gathered as casual spectators, perched on the tree in the middle of the traffic island at the end of the street. Unless I imagined all that. There I was, sitting like a duck with a wobbling head like those figurines in the back window of cars. Good thing Geneva didn’t have zoos in town as in New York; in that position, and the way I felt, I would have been easy prey for the “kind of a lion” Michael believed roamed freely in Manhattan.

Almost an hour had passed and I could not stand to sit much longer. My joints hurt and sleepiness crept in as the body oxygen level was replaced by the aromatic tar vapors. At that moment, I heard the swishing sound of the rollerblades from behind. The adrenaline rush heightened all my senses. My breathing and heart rate jumped. My blood pressure shot up and a hot flush erupted like a fever making me sweat as if I was taking a shower from within.

Everything happened very fast—a screeching sound made me shiver as the wheels came to a halt and, although it was somewhere to my left and out of my field of vision, I didn’t have to turn my head to see her vividly in my mind, menacing.

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Cover Reveal: Once Humans by Massimo Marino

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The last day has come and gone, but the saga continues in Once Human as Massimo Marino continues to explore the future of humanity. When you’re surrounded by peace and plenty, think of a malignant power lurking from the depth of the darkness.

The rebirth of the race of man is closely watched, and the Selected, the transgenic humans created by the Moîrai, guide and care for the wellbeing of the remaining humans in their various Communities around the planet. Peace and security are shattered with acts of sabotage disrupting the fragile equilibrium of the growing society.

Lust for power has yet to be eliminated, and peace is more fragile than it seems when betrayal, fear, and conspiracy send the humans to the brink of self-destruction. Death and blind violence walk in the depths of the planet, from the coldest lands to the bottom of the oceans.
Ancient aliens, a galactic struggle, the control of a unique resource, meld to dictate the fate of humankind.

Read Book One, Daimones, now!
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Maid for the Rock Star

A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their mess and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There’s just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.

Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what’s a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can’t have?

Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren’t all that’s surging under the surface.


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While I wasn’t a huge fan of the cover, the idea behind this book was enough to get me to pick it up! And I’m so glad I did because Demelza Carlton can write! Maid for the Rock Star follows Audra, who is working at a swanky resort. Her job has her interacting with all sorts of celebrities, including Jay Felix, who like the blurb says, is pretty much royalty in the music industry. The two meet, and sparks fly! And while there are some extremly swoon worthy and steamy scenes, the romance also manages to be really sweet.

Jay decides that he must hook up with Audra, even though it may cost her her job (yeah, it takes a while to warm up to this guy), but things get really interesting from there, and you’ll find yourself rooting for these too.

And the great news is that this is only the first book in the series. You had better believe I’ll be checking out the next one.

Review: Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia

dragonfriendBlurb: Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die.

Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price.

This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend.

Review: First up, that cover! While I don’t think it quite says YA, it is absolutely phenomenal and caught my eye right away. It’s impossible not to notice the scale of the dragon to it’s rider and know this is going to be an epic story!

Next up, we have the main character Lia, who can absolutely hold her own in a fight. She hasn’t had an easy upbringing by any stretch, but she makes it work and was a really engaging character to read about as she discovers the secrets of her past while off on some seriously impressive adventures.

The writing itself was also really well done. Luckily, it looks like the author Marc Secchia already has a ton of other books out as well, so I’ll be sure to check those out.

I received my copy on NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Blog Tour: The Silent Treatment (Interview)

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Blurb: Twenty-eight year old Katrina Jaitley is rebuilding her life after escaping an abusive boyfriend. The last thing she needs is the mystery she stumbles on during a bout of retail therapy. But she can’t ignore the coil of film — a piece of movie history — she finds hidden inside her purchase. Unfortunately, Peter, the handsome host of the estate sale, disappears before Kat has a chance to return it to him.

Curious, Kat watches the strip and is shocked to witness the brutal murder of a famous 1920’s silent film star by a fellow actor. When a news article cites Kat as the film’s owner, her already complicated life goes from bad to worse. Someone is stalking her. Are they trying to silence her or what she has discovered?

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166_0.115023001433546240_tst_cv_hrNow… Melanie!

Melanie – Hi, I’m Melanie, a blogger, hair stylist, and author with a heart for international travel. I live with my husband and cat in New York City. My newest book, The Silent Treatment is about Katrina Jaitley, who witnesses the brutal murder of a famous 1920’s star by a fellow actor in a lost silent film.

Q – Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Melanie – I love authors who incorporate great plots and realistic characters. My top three at the moment (and they’re always changing as I read more) are Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and though he isn’t known for fiction, David Sedaris.
Recently, my favorite books have been Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. I’ve also gotten into older books such as The Princess Bride by William Goldman and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.

Q – What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Melanie – Getting all my thoughts in order is difficult for me. I’ll have a bang-up idea, but connecting it with the subplot and supporting characters is often challenging. My first drafts are unreadable.

Q – If you had to be something other than an author, what would your dream job be?

I would love to be a film restorationist. That dream was one thing that really influenced The Silent Treatment. But there’s so much science and chemistry involved in a job like that, I didn’t qualify to enter the special film school I would have needed to go to.

I would also like to work in a zoo or sanctuary, specializing in big cats. I have no idea what I would do work-wise other than hug tigers.
Q – What are you working on now?

I just finished a first draft of something for Camp NaNoWrimo last month. Too soon for details. I’ve also got two sequels to The Silent Treatment in the queue, as well as a modern retelling of a silent horror movie.


Author Photo - Melanie SuraniMelanie Surani is a blogger, hair stylist, and author with a heart for international travel. When she isn’t cutting hair, Melanie is thinking about ways to kill people (for mystery novels). She lives with her husband and cat in New York City, where she is hard at work on her next book with Booktrope Publishing. Melanie is a member of the International Thriller Writers society. You can follow Melanie’s adventures on Facebook at MelSurani, on Twitter @melsurani, and Tumblr at MelSurani.

The Many Pursuit of Desire and Love

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About the bookIf you are what you eat, then why aren’t you what you desire? Desire stands in the great no-man’s land of human activity: the zone of most conflict, fear, and anxiety. We are often asked to hate it—by those who claim to have given it up for “better” things, and who often, hypocritically, haven’t. In this heart-opening book, the author of The Manly Art of Seduction talks about desire in plain terms, with in-depth chapters on BD-SM, bisexuality, religion and desire, aging and desire, positive and negative desires, and keeping desire alive in long-term relationships.

Review: Full disclosure, I am neither a man or all that manly. But we’re trying to expand our LGBTQIA non-fiction selection at work, and this seemed like a perfect fit, even if we didn’t technically have someone to review it who fits the target audience. But read it I did, and I’m so glad I decided to pick this one up. This book walks the line between being positive and being honest, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love covers topics beyond just that of well, desire and love. Brass covers a wide array of interconnected topics, all of which come together nicely for an excellent resource for men (and of course there are some pieces in here that are worthwhile regardless of gender). Most of the content is really geared toward connecting to yourself and your own wants and desires in order to be your best self both in relationships and outside of them.

Perry Brass has written a wide array of books, many of which are geared toward gay men. He clearly has a lot to offer both in the world of fiction and non-fiction, and we’ll be exploring more of his titles soon!

Review: 12 by Sean Platt & David Wright

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About the book: FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHORS OF YESTERDAY’S GONE AND WHITESPACE COMES A NEW SUSPENSE THRILLER — 12.

What Would You Do With the Last 12 Hours of Your Life?

At 6 p.m. on a Wednesday in October, a gunman will enter Goldman’s Diner and commit one of the worst massacres the small coastal town of Palm Isles, Florida has ever seen.

Twelve hours earlier: twelve lives are on borrowed time, unaware that death is coming, or that their paths will collide in one tragic moment.

A young waitress and mother fights to protect her daughter from her violent estranged husband. Little does she know that a greater threat looms under her nose.

A cop is forced to decide between his job and his marriage.

A bullied teen with an abusive father is down to one friend when his world suddenly crumbles around him.

An old man struggles to hold onto his memories and do one last thing to honor his wife. But in doing so, he will have to reveal his darkest secret.

A cook with a shady past attempts to stay on the straight and narrow, until he gets a call which forces him to choose — his family or his honor?

A woman attempts to meet her father’s expectations, clinging to a struggling diner even as her relationship with her son falls apart.

TWELVE HOURS
TWELVE LIVES
WHO LIVES?
WHO DIES?

Review: After reading The Dream Engine a couple of weeks ago, I really had no choice but to try another Sterling & Stone title, this time from the Collective Inkwell side of things. I looked through a few differenent options on NetGalley (thank God for NetGalley), and ultimately 12 was the title that really caught my interest. If the end of the blurb there doesn’t hook you, this book probably won’t be for you, but it definitely did the trick for me.

It did take me a few different sittings to get through this book, but I’m a restless summer reader. And with all of the different characters, this book sometimes required more focus than I was really willing to give it. But I’m so glad I stuck through to the end. All of the narratives come together fantastically. The writing was sharp, the story both complex and riviting, and overall this was an intense reading experience.

The Damnable Legacy

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Lynn Van Swol still regrets the decision she made thirty years ago to place her daughter for adoption so she could climb the highest mountains of the world. Frankie Rizzoni is the troubled biological granddaughter Lynn has never known. And Beth Mahoney is a minister’s wife with terminal cancer and the only one who knows the relationship between the two. She designs a plan upon her deathbed to bring Lynn and Frankie together, but now, narrating from the afterlife, she must helplessly watch as her legacy threatens to unravel. The Damnable Legacy is a story about both love and survival, exploring the importance of attachment, place, and faith, and asking how far we should go to achieve our goals and at what cost.

ADD TO GOODREADS
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Review: The Liar Charms

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About the book: Remy’s been kidnapped. Sent to auction! And she doesn’t have the vaguest idea why.
But intractable businessman Isaiah Grommet knows, knows what he’s purchased, knows what Remy was bred for, knows what she is: a Liar Charm. Some training from Pakken, Inc., and Remy will be invaluable to his billionaire’s empire.
Voluntary or not.
But hipster Remy has her own snarkily colorful ideas about enslaved servitude and she’s NOT seeking corporate approval.
So as long as Pakken doesn’t find out what Remy REALLY is, what Isaiah accidentally did that regrettably requires her immediate execution, Remy might just land it all smack in the Hudson!
Either way, get ready for Charmocalypse, Isaiah!

Review: Woohoo! New book review. Always the best part of my week! I received a copy of The Liar Charms off of NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review, and that’s what I shall give. First off, I reallllyyy enjoyed this book. It was well written, fast paced (I read in just two sittings), and left me excited to see what Lorain O’Neil will come out with next.

There was a lot going on here, and the world building around the business elements were really well done and dynamic. The abilities that the Charms have was really cool too, and you’re always given just enough information to understand what’s going on, but also to keep wondering about more details. It came together really nicely.

And of course, the best part of the book had to have been Remy. This girl never gave up, and refused to surrender who she is. She had all kinds of sass and snark and used every skill she had to keep herself secure. I was rooting for her every step of the way.

One thing though… this cover definitely didn’t really give me the same thriller vibe that the blurb did, or the even the story really. So if you’re looking for an imaginative thriller with a lot going on, please feel free to ignore the cover and give the Liar Charms a try anyway.

Blog Tour: Come Sit By Me

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Interview Questions for Hoobler blog tour:

Hi, I’m Thomas Hoobler. My wife Dorothy and I have co-authored lots of books for adults, young adults, and children. Lately she has been researching a big non-fiction project, and I’ve spent my time writing YA novels. This isn’t a new category for us. We won an Edgar for the Best YA mystery back in 2005, for our novel set in 18th-century Japan, IN DARKNESS, DEATH. My current book, COME SIT BY ME, has a contemporary setting–a high school where a school shooting has taken place the previous year.

Q: Come Sit By Me is an intense book. Where did the idea first come from?

A: Well, it’s in the air. As everybody knows, one of these horrible shootings happens pretty regularly–not just in schools, but those seem to be common. An editor we knew was looking for a thriller series, and I suggested some plots, one of which was a school hostage situation. He told me emphatically he would never considering publishing such a book, and I realized he was afraid that the next time there was some event like this, they would open the shooter’s locker, find this book, and blame the publisher. So it’s kind of a forbidden topic, which I think is a shame because books give us a chance to think about and discuss what they’re about–and this is certainly a topic that people talk about in every school in the country.

The locker gave me the idea on how to start the book. It’s not giving anything away to tell you that in the first chapter, Paul, a boy who is new to the school, is assigned the locker that used to belong to the shooter (who died in the shooting). That makes Paul curious about the shooter, and he sets out to learn more.

Q: How long did Come Sit By Me take you to write and then edit?

A: I’m a pretty fast writer, and this was a short book, but still it took about a year to do a first draft, mainly because I had to find the voice of the shooter. Then I worked to put things in focus, which involved editing certain key parts of the book. Understand that I myself didn’t know why the shooter had done it–at least not when I started the book. It’s hard to say how long the editing took because sometimes I put the book aside and worked on other projects to let the ideas percolate.

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Q: What kind of reader are you hoping to connect with, with this book?

A: Well, I was aiming mostly at teenage boys. When you say that to publishers, they throw up their hands and tell you that teenage boys don’t read. One editor told me outright that her house only published books for girls. However, my wife and I get emails all the time from boys who have read–and enjoyed–our Samurai Detective series. One of my favorite letters was from a boy who said our book was “too good to be a book.” Maybe he’ll turn it into a video game. We did a library talk where a lot of the audience were boys, and the librarian told us afterward that she was astonished to see them. Maybe if publishers offered more books for boys, more boys would read.

For that reason, I tried to make the male characters in Come Sit By Me real teen-age boys. One reviewer said she was “shocked” because one of the narrators commented unfavorably on some girl’s looks. I don’t want to give you the wrong idea. It wasn’t anything vulgar or sexual, but I wondered if this reviewer had ever encountered any real teen-age boys.

Q: When you’re not writing yourself, who are your favorite authors to read?

A: I love mysteries, and Come Sit By Me is sort of a mystery. I read everything by Donna Leon, whose detective works in Venice, Italy, and by Cara Black, whose books are set in Paris. I have also read all of Michael Connelly’s books, set in Los Angeles. My wife started a Dickens book club and we’re reading through all the books by Charles Dickens. They’re mostly long books, and we aim to finish one every three months. Dickens’ last book was a mystery, but he died before he could finish it and people have been trying to guess the ending ever since.

Q: What are you currently working on?

I often have more than one project, because if I’m stuck on one of them, I move to another. I’m doing a sequel to another YA novel, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WITCH FOR, which will be published next year. The first book is about a girl who comes to live with her aunt and finds out that the aunt is a witch–a good witch, mind you. The girl finds a book of spells that she uses to solve some problems at school–or tries to, with disastrous results. It actually turned out to be a funny book, which is totally different from COME SIT BY ME.

I’m also working on a chapter book for young readers about a boy whose new neighbor is an alien–not just from another country, but from another world. Finally, my wife and I are working on a nonfiction book for young readers about the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906. Very exciting. Part of a series published by Grosset & Dunlap.

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