Book Tour: Keeping Claudia by Suzanne McKenna Link

Keeping Claudia
Suzanne McKenna Link
(Toby & Claudia #2)
Publication date: June 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

How do you love someone whose past goes against everything you’ve ever known or trust in a future you’ve yet to believe in?

Back home in a town she once fled, headstrong Claudia Chiametti returns to the arms of the only guy ever to awaken her heart. Everything about Toby contradicts her family’s traditions and values, but she’s ready to take a chance on love.

Toby Faye is a new man, and the girl he’s long dreamed of is finally within his reach. With Claudia’s help, he’s put the past behind him. But one last secret hides in the dark corner of his past. The one that could undermine it all.

Can Claudia love him unconditionally … or will the truth cost Toby what he wants most?

Keeping Claudia is the emotional finale to the love story that began in Saving Toby, an unforgettable journey of a couple who discover the only way to love someone is with an open heart.

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is hard.

Full length, Contemporary Love Story.
Recommended Reading Age 18+
Though part of a series, may be read as standalone.

Goodreads / Amazon

I received a copy of Keeping Claudia Suzanne MeKenna for an honest review via Xpresso Book Tours. Everything that follows is my own opinion. I was not compensated.

Keeping Claudia is a contemporary romance about a young couple, Toby and Claudia. It’s the sequel to Saving Toby which begins their relationship. Honestly, I didn’t get lost in this book. I don’t feel you have to read the first book to understand the characters and the story. However, I feel it might have helped me understand and like Claudia. I honestly didn’t click with her in the beginning of the book, but did begin to understand her persona better later.

The writing is well done and you do get sucked into the lives of Toby and Claudia. There will be moments where you will be bummed, want to smack a main character, or smile from ear to ear. Written in first person with alternating Toby and Claudia chapters, helped me get in the mind of the two.

In all, it is a happy ending contemporary romance and I liked it. I might have had a better liking if I read the first book first, but you don’t absolutely have to to understand the story or feel for the characters.

Author Bio:

Suzanne McKenna Link works for a family of newspapers that cover events in and around the South Shore of Long Island, New York. She lives in the town of Sayville with her husband and two children.

SAVING TOBY is her debut novel. The literary love story follows the moving journey of a damaged young man and his love for a girl who might just save him. An avid interest in psychology has Suzanne digging deep into the reasons for her characters’ behaviors. The native Long Islander is fascinated by the how and why of people’s actions. As a result, her characters come to life on the pages.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book #97: The Carrot Man by Theo

When a 30-year-old neurotic Swede moves into a filthy apartment — he gets the shock of a lifetime: his roommate is a carrot. 

Not the kind you shred and put in a salad with peppers and onions. No, but a real life, living, human carrot — the saggy kind. 

As his own depression spirals out of control, he starts hating his roommate for being everything he’s becoming. 
Lazy. 
Ugly. 
Broke. 
A human vegetable. 

Dishes build up in the kitchen. The bathroom looks like a garbage dump. And the mailbox? Doesn’t even have his name on it! And the cherry on top of the cake is that his roommate will not, under any circumstances whatsoever, take out the garbage. 

This bothers him to no end and he develops elaborate plans to force his roommate to act. He fills up the garbage bag with smelly things and goes for “mini-vacations” to his ex’s house. 

When even this fails he snaps — his roommate is about to become the last ingredient in a giant batch of carrot soup. 

THE CARROT MAN is an existential comedy in the vein of Dostoyevsky’s NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND and Salinger’s THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. 
WARNING: This story contains offensive language, premises and jokes.

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. All that follows is my opinion. I was not compensated for this review.

The Carrot Man is a dark comedy short story/novella. I say short story/novella because the story itself is 84 pages. It’s too long for a short story, but not quite long enough for a novella. The fact that it is 84 pages is good. It’s short, quick, and something to read on a train ride or something like that.

I personally, didn’t quite care for the story. It is the main character himself I don’t care for.  I found him to be full of himself and just too much. I did giggle at some of the humor in the main character, but there are times that I didn’t find it all that funny. I actually felt bad for the main character and his roommate. For different reasons, but there was pity for both.

That said, I can see how some people would find the story funny. I just know now that it wasn’t funny to me. For the quickness of it, I would say it is worth a try. You may find yourself laughing the whole time. The book just wasn’t for me.

Book Tour: Horizon by Fran Wilde

A City of living Bone towers crumbles to the ground and danger surrounds. Kirit Densira has lost everything she loved the most―her mother, her home, and the skies above. Nat Brokenwings―once Kirit’s brother long before the rebellion tore them apart―is still trying to save his family in the face of catastrophe. They will need to band together once more to ensure not just own survival, but that of their entire community.

 

I received a copy of Horizon by Fran Wilde from the publisher, TOR, via Jean Book Nerd blog tours. There was no compensation for me reading or reviewing this book. All that follows is my opinion and mine alone.

I’d like to start this review with a little note that I didn’t read the first two books in The Bone Universe. I literally jumped into this trilogy with the last book. But, with this gritty cover, who wouldn’t? It practically blurs the lines of fantasy and sci-fi and is gorgeous. I was compelled to pick it up and I was glad I did.

Horizon is written in three different point of views: Macal, Kirit, and Nat. Each point of view is in the first person narrative and you experience what they experience in their chapters. Each chapter is intertwined with the others and you will get to experience certain events in a different way. It may sound confusing, but as long as you look at the label of the chapter you’re on, you won’t be confused.

Surprisingly, even though I haven’t read the other two books, I wasn’t confused or felt disjointed in the story itself. I was pulled into the world and was happy to see a dirty world rich with culture and moving cities. It is an amazing world. It really is. I’m compelled to read the first two books and experience what Kirit does so that I can also see the truth about the world the way she does.

The book is not only rich in culture and world building, but it is written well. The ease of the prose led me to turn pages quickly and kept me going. I am only giving this book a 3 out of 5 in Goodreads because I honestly think the effect of the world would be better if I had started with the first book. That said, I do have the other two books (thank you, TOR) and I will be reading them in the future.

This is definitely for a reader who loves books with a great world and action. I would recommend this book, but not for someone new to The Bone Universe.

 

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Book Blitz: Rock Me by Rebecca Brooke

 

Title: Rock Me
Series: Jaded Ivory #1
Author: Rebecca Brooke
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 21, 2017
Blurb
I am not a victim.
At least that’s what I wanted to believe. What I wanted the
world to see. Five years of trying to find the girl I hid from the world.
I wouldn’t let the bullies win. I couldn’t.
What was I supposed to do when he walked
into the building? He’d made my high school years a living hell.
But, he doesn’t recognize me.
How do I prove he didn’t break me? Simple, take him home for
a one-night stand.
At least it sounded like a good idea at the time.
Purchase Links
$2.99 for a VERY limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio

 

Rebecca
Brooke grew up in the shore towns of South Jersey. She loves to hit the beach,
but always with her Kindle on hand. She is married to the most wonderful man
who puts up with all her craziness. Together they have two beautiful children
who keep her on her toes. When she isn’t writing or reading (which is very
rarely) she loves to bake and binge watch Netflix.
Author Links

Book Tour: Rook by JC Andrijeski

Rook
J.C. Andrijeski
(Bridge & Sword: Awakenings #1)
Publication date: April 22nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction

From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance.

“You are the Bridge…”

Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.

Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.

When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong.

Goodreads / Amazon

Rook (Bridge & Sword #1) by JC Andrijeski- Excerpt- 564 words

The glass tube slammed him midair.

Knocked sideways, he missed his mark and crashed into the wall short of the alcove he’d been aiming for. He landed in a heap and pulled in his limbs, fought to drag himself back to his feet when the cord pulled, making him lose his balance.

They still had him.

The cord left a hole in his jacket on the right side. He grabbed the braided metal with his bare hands, scanning the glass vial embedded at least a thumb-length into his flesh, right through his jacket. The cord went taut. The teeth closed. Before he could let go, the vial slid out of him in one quick pull, the braided metal ripping skin off his hands as it went.

Revik screamed, clutching his abdomen. Blood poured out between his fingers, soaking his pants and jacket. He mashed his hand over the hole. Fighting shock, he picked himself up, stumbled backwards.

That time, he practically dove into the Barrier.

Everything grew crystal clear.

Ripping the Glock out of its holster, he fired, blindly, running in the opposite direction. The first shot cut a dark hole in the wall, but did what he intended, forcing them behind cover. He switched to his mind, knowing it would be overheard, no longer caring.

He sent up a high, sharp blast of alarm.

His warning cry slammed against something before it reached the main construct walls. He watched it dissipate, useless. Looking around in the physical, his eyes lit on a pull mechanism for a fire alarm. He caught it in the hand holding the gun and yanked it down.

Immediately, a shrieking bell went off.

Doors opened on several sides.

Dehgoies? Eliah’s thoughts rose, as if coming through smoky glass. Where are you? Can you hear me?

Eli… have you got her? Revik blinked back pain, clutching his side. His mind shifted sideways. It threw off his balance, forced him into the forward part of his consciousness.

Gods, the drug. He’d forgotten about the dart.

Eliah… someone’s trying to leave with her. The truth hit him again, bringing a near panic. Look for boats, anything big enough to land a helicopter. They’ll want her off the ship as soon as possible––

Brother, calm yourself! Where are you?

Find her, goddamn it! Start with the atrium. Last I saw, they had her there.

Where are you? I’ll send someone.

No. I’ll come to you. He stared at the blood soaking his jacket, realizing the truth. Eli. Please… I can’t get to her. You have to do this. Please. Please…

Deghoies

He kicked the other seer out of his mind.

The hunters were regrouping.

Limping backwards in a half-jog, he held up the Glock, mashing his other hand into his side. He scanned behind him, looking for open doors. He had to stop the bleeding, or he’d be even more useless. If it meant draining humans from the Barrier like a fucking ridvak, he would get the light he needed to do it.

He thought about Allie again and it got him moving, propelling his legs faster.

He’d asked her for a divorce.

He’d asked her for a divorce, then let her see him with someone else.

If he had to kill everything between here and the outside decks, he wouldn’t let that be the last thing he’d said to her.

 

Author Bio:

JC Andrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand.

To learn more about JC and her writing, please visit jcandrijeski.com.

If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter

JOIN NOW and you’ll get a FREE BOOK!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book #95: Redshirts by John Scalzi

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that: 
(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces 
(2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations 
(3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

When I saw the cover, the title, and read the blurb, I knew I had to read this book. I’m all about comedy and meta esque stories. There aren’t that many and I’m glad to have found one that was very enjoyable.

Redshirts was exactly what I wanted in a Meta book. It has parallel universes, Star Trek and other Geeky references, and on top of all that . . . it is about the iconic Red Shirt. If you don’t know what or who a Red Shirt is… think back to Star Trek episodes, or watch one of the oldies on Youtube. There is one character who seems to die in every episode. This character has different actors, different deaths, but has one thing in common . . . a red shirt.

Now what’s great about this book, is that our main cast are Redshirts. They are simple crew members of the spaceship The Intrepid. Their story is the type of story you wonder about when you think outside of the main cast. Like, what is the backstory of Redshirt B? What about that random Hufflepuff in Hogwarts? Soldier A in Anime Z?

You can see why I got excited. I love the idea of the non-special person, the non-chosen one, being the main character. That said, this book was awesome. I was laughing at the strange deaths and the comments of the main cast. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping that Dahl and co. would survive the Narration. I even loved the last bit of the book, the strange different narrators that weren’t a main part of Dahl’s world, but were affected by Dahl and co.

Honestly, this was a fun book and I am seriously thinking of looking at more work by Scalzi. No idea if his other work was just as funny, but I’m definitely going to try it out.

Book #94: The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.

With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?

The Hearts We Sold is actually a book I requested on NetGalley, but didn’t win. What’s great is that I did still get it only in last month’s Owlcrate box. In the book club I’m a part of, on Facebook, This is the first book we read for the month.

Now, the first thing I have to say is that I like this book. I do. It is a mix of fantasy or Sci-Fi with contemporary. I wouldn’t say that the author was confused about what genre she wanted this to be. To be honest, I think it was deliberate and her beautiful writing style reflects that.

The prose is almost fairy tale like. Otherworldly. It is well written and I was hooked instantly. The characters were well written and each had their own personal style to them. It was a good book.

And here’s the but… I’m not sure what it is. The book is good, but it didn’t grab grab me. Know what I mean? It was a good fluff read or in between book. That’s what it is.

In all, I’m not sure if I want to keep the book or gift it or whatever. It is a good book and I do recommend it. As a fluff read, if you’re like me.

Book Tour: The Longing and the Lack by C.M. Spivey

The Longing and the Lack
C.M. Spivey
(The Unliving #1)
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

“Gothic curses, deadly love affairs, and vengeful ghosts combine to make this paranormal mystery a compelling page-turner.” — Tina Connolly, Nebula-nominated author of Ironskin

Lucinda Hightower is no stranger to death.

Since she was a child, Lucinda has been haunted by rabid dogs, suicidal crows, and the ghost of a woman in white. All are omens signaling someone’s imminent demise—except Lucinda’s friends and family are still breathing.

The omens follow her to Ireland and the quiet university in her father’s hometown, increasing in strength and frequency once she meets Damien Reed. A handsome third year student, Damien thrusts himself into Lucinda’s life almost immediately and caresses away the unsavory reputation that shadows him.

It’s not until the ghost sinks her nails into Damien that he reveals his secret: the death omens are for him.

They’re the manifestations of a curse that claims the life of the eldest Reed son every generation. Damien’s time is nearly up. If Lucinda is to save him, she must solve the mystery of her family curse, and lay a spirit’s rage to rest.

A dark romance for fans of Diane Setterfield and the TV show Supernatural, The Longing and the Lack is a Gothic story for the modern age.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

I received a copy of The Longing and the Lack from Xpresso Book Tours for an honest review. Everything I say is my opinion. No compensation was made.

The first thing that grabbed me was the cover. I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover and just look at it! It’s downright gorgeous. I just want to put it out there that the cover screams gothic with an edge. Very nice.

That said, I am torn with the book, to be honest. On one hand, I am eating up the almost gothic story prose, but, on the other hand, I am trying to understand Lucinda Hightower.

Even though this is a first book in her story, she is a minor character in another book. You are given enough information about those books to get an idea on what she is like background wise. This can be good, but I did find myself wondering if I was missing something important in her personal narrative.

Because of that, Lucinda was hard to grasp as a main character. What I did like was her determination for the truth and her ease in relationships. There was no clear sexuality about her and that was refreshing.

 The writing is quick to get into and has that dark gothic feel without feeling foreign. I actually liked this book. I only wish I read the books where Lucinda was a minor character first. I feel I would have understood her character more.

Author Bio:

C.M. Spivey is a speculative fiction writer, author of high fantasy FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN and the paranormal series, “The Unliving”. His enduring love of fantasy started young. Now, he explores the rules and ramifications of magic in his own works—and as a trans, panromantic asexual, he’s committed to queering his favorite genres. In his spare time, he plans his next tattoo (there will always be a next tattoo) and watches too much Netflix. Anything left over is devoted to his tireless quest to make America read more. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his darling husband Matt and adorable dog Jay.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Book #92: The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.

When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.

The delightful sequel to Charlie N. Holmberg’s The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician will charm readers young and old alike.

The Glass Magician is the second book in the Paper Magician trilogy. It follows shortly after the first book had ended, a few months later. In this book we see more of the magic systems and the magician equivalent to police.

After what happened in book one, Ceony is no longer as safe as she’d like to be. She is under the watchful eye of Lyra’s companions. And they are well beyond angry.

If the first book lacked action, this one had it. You also see more of Ceony as a person. We meet her family, her friends, and see her phobia in action. This is the book that shows Ceony’s faults and weaknesses.

I found this book to be a quicker read from the first (though I doubt hour wise there’s that much of a difference). The writing is still fun and the world is interesting. I can also see now why Ceony wanted to be a Smelter, magician of metal, so badly.

In all, the book was a good read. I do want to see what happens in the third book. Luckily, I already own it.

Cover Reveal and Teaser: Ten Thousand Points of Light by Michelle Warren

 

 

Title: Ten Thousand Points of Light
Author: Michelle Warren
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Indie Book Covers 

Release Date: October 18, 2017
Blurb
Five years
ago an unthinkable tragedy slashed Cait London’s life into two parts: before
she had amnesia and after. Determined to keep her past hidden and start
over, she moves to Chicago and plunges into a new job—all while keeping a
walled distance from everyone she meets.
It’s not
long before Cait reconsiders her solitary existence, and soon she’s stepping
beyond her boundaries and taking unthinkable chances, like crushing on her
impossibly sexy landlord, Evan Wade. He’s flirty, annoying, and with him living
in the same apartment building, she can’t stop thinking about him. If she can
sleep with him once, perhaps she can get him out of her system. The problem is,
Evan seems bulletproof to her advances. As the two develop a connection, it
becomes clear Cait may not succeed before her heart remembers what it feels
like to love.
Ten
Thousand Points of Light
is an immersive contemporary romance about the intensity of first
loves, the heartache of loss, and the power of forgiveness.

 

 

Pre-order Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Excerpt
In my bathroom, a man kneels on the floor inspecting a gigantic hole of exposed pipes with the roaming beam of a flashlight. I fold my arms and lean into the doorframe.
When I left to meet Aggie everything was functioning. My gaze examines the small room, picking out details: my expensive towels soak up a deluge of water pooling on the tiled floor, there’s a large pile of powdery, crumbled drywall, and then there’s the issue of ass crack—in my face. It is toned and tight, but still, it’s connected to my landlord, Evan Wade.
“Pipes burst, leaking a damn waterfall into 5A,” he says, not bothering to glance my direction.
“Did you have to use my good towels?” I purse my lips.
“I thought about using your sexy lingerie.” He eyes the laundry basket of delicates now sitting on top of the sink. “But the fancy towels seemed like a better option.”
Thanks, appreciate it.” I sidestep him, snatch the basket, and carry it to my bedroom, hiding it in my closet. If he had scrutinized it closer, which he probably did, he would have found an embarrassing amount of granny panties and more sports bras than a Lululemon.
“How long before it’s fixed?” How long before I can get rid of you?
“A week,” his muffled voice answers.
“What?” I race back only to find his sharky grin. Two vertical dimples slice beneath a permanent, mocha-colored five o’