Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fallen Down Under

"Fallen Down Under" by: S.M. Phillips

"Fuck." I slam my fist into the desk before me and feel nothing but rage. I need to go after her. I need to explain. "But isn't this what you wanted?" The voice inside my head whispers. "Isn't this a nice easy way out?"
Everything Max has done has always been at a cost to others around him. He wasn't about to make that mistake again. No longer will his selfish ways punish those close to him. Sometimes it's better to have had and lost than to never have had at all.
Finally after what felt like forever, Jess was getting a glimpse of control over her life again and allowed her defences to come crashing down, only to have what it guarded to be crushed once again. Now, on the other side of the world away from her friends, she doesn't know what to do.
Should she stay or should she go?
Is it too late or have they both fallen too far into something that is completely out of their depths?
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Meet S.M. Phillips

Welcome to the crazy and hectic life that is me... A fun, loving mum of one special little boy, girlfriend (I'm sure it should be wife by now!!) and an overall crazy, happy go lucky girl from England.
I have always had a passion for reading and writing. Wherever I am, my book reader is never far behind along with a mug of coffee.
I found myself wanting to write from a young age, I have quite a few hidden stories on my computer somewhere, maybe I will have to dig them out and play around with them at some point.
I decided to make the very exciting but also very nerve wracking decision to release my debut 'Escape down under' at the end of 2013 when the ideas in my head got too strong and just wouldn't leave me alone.
Escape down under is now live and Fallen down under is due for release on November 2nd
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fallen new cover

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand

Title: Imitation
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
Series: Clone Chronicles #1
Pages: 272
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me. Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face.  Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now. When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?
Review: I love the cover of this book so much!! It is what initially drew me in, which is what a cover should do. Then the synopsis sealed the deal, I love the idea of "imitations" stepping in when their "authentic" dies. Or in our case if the "authentic" has had threats on their life. The story had great pacing and kept me interested throughout. It wasn't as action packed as I would have liked but there was enough that I wasn't bored. I also enjoyed the bit of romance and I look forward to se where it goes. The only thing that I found odd was if the imitations were suppose to be trained incase anything happened to their authentics, why weren't they trained to act like them? They were just thrown in blind and expected to "be" their authentic. They should have had to watch videos of the authentics to learn their traits and whatnot. My favourite character is the worst one lol, Titus. I love to hate him, he is a terrible human but that's what I like about him. He character out shined the rest of them, they really need to step up in the next book. This was a very enjoyable book and I look forward to continuing the series. I would recommend this to sci- fi lovers.

About this author

Author of Across the Galaxy, Whisper, and the Dirty Blood series. I write, read, and fuss at my kids. Oh, and I do laundry, lots of laundry. I'm pretty good at it, too. Sometimes I even read WHILE doing laundry - and fussing at my kids. I'm a multi-tasker. For more information on my books, release dates, or just general stalker material, um, I mean FAN material, visit my website. www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com. I love hearing from readers! Likes and dislikes? I love vintage tees, hate socks with sandals, and if my house was on fire the one thing I'd grab is my Amazon Fire TV! (oh yeah, I'm a fan of puns.)

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ARC Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Pages: 392
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary: Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.  Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.  In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.  But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?  BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous… Review: I received this ARC at BEA this year and I was so excited to get a copy. I thought the Hush, Hush series was okay, not my favourite, so I was a bit nervous about Black Ice before I started it. Surprisingly I really enjoyed Black Ice and it got me out of a big reading slump. I like that it's a standalone and and that it has a totally different vibe than Fitzpatrick's other books. I loved the murder/ mystery theme and I feel like the first chapter set the tone of the book perfectly. I also loved that it was such a dark a twisted tale, although I didn't find the villain unveiling very shocking because I had guessed who it was early on. The characters were okay. Britt was a smart girl and she did show some growth over the course of the novel, I also found her to be smart in some aspects. She was also cool, calm and collected in times when I would have been freaking out. Mason is a good character but his hot/ coldness drove me mad. Calvin is probably the most thought out character in the book but he is kid of a jerk to Britt, well a lot of a jerk. In my opinion this is Fitzpatrick's best book to date. It has a very inventive story that had me racing to the end with my heart ponding. I loved that the end gives the reader closure and we aren't left wondering what will happen. I would recommend this novel to murder mystery fans.

About this author

Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. She is the author of the bestselling HUSH, HUSH Saga. Her new book BLACK ICE arrives in bookstores everywhere October 7, 2014.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Updated Author's List for Queen City Indie Con

October 24th is approaching quickly, hurry and get your tickets.  Link will be provided below.
Update on authors attending! I am so excited. We have such a great list of authors.

Current List of Signing Authors
Adkins, Heather
Akin, Tami
Alcorn, N.A.
Amare, Mercy
Bartley, Regina
Bartol, Amy
Brown, Stacey Marie
Butler, Bryna
Cassar, Julie
Catalina, Tia
Cates, Georgia
Celi, Sara
Cole, R.D.
Cole, Stevie
Collier, Hope
Curd, Megan
Curtis, Laurel Ulen 
Daniell, Sara
DeLucia, Shevaun
Dover, LP
Evans, Amy
Fine, Chelsea
Glines, Abbi
Grant, Anna Lisa
Hahn, Chanda
Hayes, Mindy
Henley, Delphina
Holzman, Erin Moss
Houston, Courtney
Huss, JA
Isaacs, Elizabeth
James, Ella
Jason, Amanda
Jones, Sarah Ashley
Kappes, Tonya
Lane, Bayli
Lane, Jennifer
Lape, AJ
Laslie, Jennifer 
LeeAnne, Lynda
Louise, Tia
Lykins, TR 
Lynne, Donya
Mabie, M.
March, Meghan
McFarland, Mary
McKade, Jocie
McKinley, Laurel
Miller, Michele G.
Necole, Jettie
Norman, Zoe
Osborn, Jennifer
Owens, Wendy
Peterman, Robyn
Polish, M.R.
Provencher, Misty
Raymond, Kristine
Romig, Aleatha
Rose, Ranae
Rose, Sidonia
Ruiz, Mindy
Russell, S.C.
Rylon, Jayne 
Sharp, Elizabeth
Sheridan, Mia
Shirley, Sara
Sivec, Tara
Smith, Andrea
Sunseri, Heather
Swank, Denise Grover
Teevan, Tessa 
Toppen, Melissa
Vincent, Renee
Watson, Tess
Wellman, Molly
Young, Samantha

Our Keynote Speakers
Abbi Glines
Abbi is the #1 NYT Bestselling author of the TOO FAR series, TWISTED PERFECTION, The Vincent Boys series, The Sea Breeze series and The Existence trilogy
Samantha Young
Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestselling novel ON DUBLIN STREET.
Have you purchased your tickets yet? 
 If not, here is the link to get yours:

ARC Review: Deadly Pack by Ashley Stoyanoff

Title: Deadly Pack
Author: Ashley Stoyanoff
Series: Deadly Trilogy #3
Summary: Since becoming the alpha female of the Dog Mountain pack, Jade certainly has had her share of challenges. She’s had to prove herself to a bunch of werewolves that she spent years hating; forgive her mate who’d done nothing but lie to her, and face the grueling fact that her father leads a pack of werecougars, who are responsible for tormenting her werewolves for many years. On the upside, the Dog Mountain pack is finally coming together—now that Jade and Aidan’s mate status is official. And now that they know where her father’s been hiding his nasty pack of beasts, Jade and Aidan can concentrate on stopping them once and for all. But when Jade’s dad finds out that she’s become Aidan’s official mate, all hell breaks loose, and Jade and Aidan soon learn that his plans for their werewolves are bigger than anyone could have ever suspected.
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. I had mixed feelings on this book before I started on it because I loved book one Deadly Crush but I didn't care for book two Deadly Mates, so this made me a bit weary of this instalment. I would put Deadly Pack as my second favourite in the trilogy. I found the beginning of the story a bit slow (but mind you I have been in a bit of a reading funk lately), but it did pick up near the end about 60-70% in. Thats when the pace picked up and all the exciting stuff started happening. Although when I did get to the end I feel like it did lack a little bit of closure, and this is the last book so I am hoping for a novella or a companion. Mostly because it seems like Jade and Aiden have come out on top and that everything is wonderful, but what about Jason? Dun Dun DUHHHHHHH!!!  Overall as a whole I did enjoy this trilogy. I would recommend it to fans of werewolves and shifters.

About this author

Ashley Stoyanoff is an author of paranormal romance books for young adults, including The Soul's Mark series and the Deadly Trilogy. She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, Jordan, and two cats: Tanzy and Trinity. In July 2012, Ashley published her first novel, The Soul’s Mark: FOUND, and shortly thereafter, she was honored with The Royal Dragonfly Book Award for both young adult and newbie fiction categories. An avid reader, Ashley enjoys anything with a bit of romance and a paranormal twist. When she’s not writing or devouring her latest read, she can be found spending time with her family, watching cheesy chick flicks or buying far too many clothes. Ashley loves hearing from her readers, so feel free to connect with her online. 
Email: ashley@ashleystoyanoff.com

Review: Exiled by Sophie Davis

Title: Exiled
Author: Sophie Davis
Series: A Talented Novel
Pages: 430
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: Kenly Baker is alone. TOXIC has been defeated. Her friends from the McDonough School for the Talented are scattered to the wind. Even Kenly’s only living family member cannot hide the scared teenager from those who wish to contain her. Because Kenly is one of the Created. For her, it’s a future worse than death. She travels across the Atlantic Ocean, to the slums of London. There, Kenly finds tentative acceptance among a group of outcasts. They have spent their enire lives dodging shadows, barely staying alive. Kenly thought she knew what horrors haunt the night, but her new companions reveal predators far more alarming than anything she’s ever faced. Suddenly, she is brutally aware of the dark side of humanity. Kenly’s biggest concern was the UNITED trackers, who round up and capture the Created. But there are adversaries in this new world who are far more terrifying. And unfortunately for Kenly, now their sites are set on the Created.
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.  To start off I just want to acknowledge how gorgeous this cover is, I'm in love! It took me awhile to get into this instalment because I couldn't remember what the heck had happened in the last book. I also found it harder to get into Kenly's head. This made the beginning a bit slower for me, but then it did pick up and I really enjoyed the story. The human trafficking issue really peaked my interest and I hope that it will be explored further in the next books.  I really enjoyed these new characters and I am in love with James. He is the damaged bad boy and I love it. I hope he will get his revenge. My only criticism for the characters was sometimes it felt like their accents were dropped, then a random "love" was thrown in to cover it up. Otherwise I enjoyed the new and old characters.  I would recommend this novel to those who have enjoyed the the series thus far.

Review: The Same Side by C.M. Doporto

Title: The Same Side
Author: C.M. Doporto
Series: University Park #2
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: The engagement's off and with Collin behind her, Lexi has decided that the temptations of Raven Davenport are too strong to be ignored. It doesn't take long for Lexi and Raven to find themselves wrapped in each other's affection, but not without the challenges that life poses. But can she withstand the world he's created or will the forces that are against them rip them apart? Love, faith, betrayal and heartache ripple through their lives as they fight to be on the same side.
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.  The part that I like best about this series is that it's NA but the author is one of the few who doesn't think that NA= erotica. Therefore we are left with an amazing story about two people in love, who are sexually attracted to each other and I don't need it to be painfully graphic to know that. I love that there is so much sexual tension between these characters and when the tension is finally cut it is done in a classy way. Raven is so hot and I want him as a book boyfriend, but in this book he made me so mad. He was so wishy washy, plus he did stupid things that affected him and Lexi. Now we are starting to learn new information about Raven, some of it may or may not be true but I need answers. I still like Lexi, she is really coming into her own. The University Park series are such engaging books that I will absolutely be continuing the series. I love all of these characters and I need to know if they will ever get their happy endings.

About this author

CM Doporto lives in the great state of Texas with her husband and son enjoying life with their extensive family along with their Chihuahua, Mexican Redhead Parrot, and several fish. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Arlington. She briefly worked in the area of Public Relations and Advertising and then pursued a career in the field of Human Resources. CM considers herself a life-long learner and returned to school and earned her Master of Art’s Degree in Organizational Development from Dallas Baptist University. She writes Young Adult and New Adult Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy stories about ordinary women who do extraordinary things, become a heroine, and find love along the way. Visit her heroine blog at:http://cmdoporto.com

Review: A Whisper in Time by Elizabeth Langston

Title: A Whisper in Time
Author: Elizabeth Langston
Series: Whisper Falls #2
Pages: 360
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: I have never been useless in my life. Rescued from a life of servitude by the boy she loves, Susanna Marsh escapes across two centuries, only to be plunged into a world she's ill-prepared to face. Unable to work or go to school, Susanna finds herself dependent on others to survive.  Immersed in the fun and demands of his senior year of high school, Mark Lewis longs to share his world with the girl who's captured his heart. But first he must tackle government bureaucracy to prove Susanna's identity.  Overwhelmed by her new home, Susanna seeks refuge in history and in news of the people she left behind. But when she learns that danger stalks her sister, Susanna must weigh whether to risk her own future in order to save Phoebe's happiness.
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. I loved book one in this series, Whisper Falls and I was elated when the author contacted me to read and review book two. I'm so glad that I got to continue on this journey of finding out where you belong in any century. I love that our characters were faced with issues relating to the relationships whether it be with family or friends no matter which time period they lived in. Even better than that I liked learning how they would overcome those said obstacles. I also really enjoyed the journal entries, it let us know what was happening or going on in the past and it let Susanna still have that connection despite living in the present. I can't wait for the last book in the trilogy. I'm excited to see what our characters will have to deal with next.... I can imagine lol. I would recommend this series to any time travel fanatics. I'll be waiting for book three.

About this author

Hello, I'm Elizabeth Langston, and I write Young Adult (YA) fiction. Whisper Falls is book 1 of my debut trilogy. A Whisper In Time releases in April, and Whispers From the Past follows in October. I live in North Carolina and work in the computer industry for my day job. I have two daughters in college and one husband at home. At night, when I'm not writing, I'm watching TV (So You Think You Can DanceThe Daily ShowCastle) or reading (and that is all over the place.)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tell Me You Love Me Release Day Blitz

Stay. Stay with me. Stay here. Stay close. Stay like this forever. Stay as happy as I am right here in your arms, always.
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All I’ve ever wanted was to be loved, but if this is what true love is…I’m not so sure I want it anymore. It also makes me wonder if any of my memories of our once happy marriage are even real. Maybe I just conjured up the fairy tale in my head because I wanted…no…needed it so much. Who the hell knows?
“Molly just called to remind you about your book club meeting this afternoon.” He turns away. “I told her you’ve never missed a meeting and I doubt today would be any different.”
The door shuts behind him before I let a smile creep across my lips. Instantly, the hurt from this morning flees my mind and I feel nothing but giddiness. I have a book club meeting today, and let’s just say it’s not your everyday book club.
Sure, my husband may never truly love me again…but who needs love when you’re about to get an eyeful of hot firemen?
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Tell Me You Love Me is the first in a four-book series called Fire Me Up—a sweet romantic comedy series about a group of sassy neighborhood women who have a serious love for steamy romance novels and sexy firemen. Lucky for them the local firehouse is just a few steps away and is in no shortage of hot firefighters to fill their wild imaginations. 
Amazon~ B&N ~ iTunes ~ Kobo

Join the release event Sunday September 21st from 1-7 pst. Click the banner!

About the author:

Julie is a high school educator by day, and a writer by night. She writes both young adult and adult romances. When she's not writing, she can be found out and about with her family, reading, and watching football. As a reading intervention teacher, she prides herself on matching her students with great books to encourage them to become life-long readers.

Stalker links:

 Hope to see you all there!!

Brought to you by the Release Day Diva


Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Title: The Iron Trial
Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Series: Magisterium #1
Pages: 295
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic. From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will -- is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It's a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.
Review: I received an ARC copy of this book at BEA 2014 and it was one of the books I got that I was most excited for. The Iron Trial is technically a middle grade novel but it read like people of any age would enjoy it. The Iron Trial did not disappoint, I fell in love with this world and the characters. The pacing was perfect and there was just enough action and mystery to keep me interested. I flew through this novel in a few short hours and was left craving the next in the series, sadly The Iron Trial has just been released so i may be waiting awhile.  I love these characters! Poor Callum, he will have some tough decisions to make in the future and I can't wait to find out what he decides. He is a pretty awesome character. I also really enjoy Aaron and Tamara. They seem to all have secrets and I can't wait to find them out haha. Plus with that ending I need to know what will happen to our hero. I would recommend this novel to fantasy lovers.

About this author

Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (TitheValiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White CatRed Glove, and Black Heart). She is also the co-editor of three anthologies, Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner). Her most recent works are the middle grade novel, Doll Bones, and the dark fantasy stand-alone, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.

About this author

Hello Goodreadsers. Here's my official bio: "Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts."

Review: Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Title: Juliet Immortal
Author: Stacey Jay
Series: Juliet Immortal #1
Pages: 306
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: The most tragic love story in history . . . Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love. "These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which as they kiss consume." —Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Review: I have to be honest, originally I bought this book because it was on the sale table for $4.99 and I liked the cover lol. Then it just sat on my shelf forever but I finally picked it up and I really enjoyed it. I love that it was a Romeo and Juliet retelling but with a really cool spin on the original. Although I enjoyed it, something was holding me back so I could only give it a 4 star rating. I think that it was because of how much of a doormat Aerial/ Juliet let herself become. Her best friend treated her like shit and so did Dylan/ Romeo, she needs to balls up big time. I also found it annoying that she wouldn't just admit that she liked Ben, like why lie to yourself, it's only hurting you and him. I know that Romeo is the bad guy but I do kind of feel bad for him.  Overall this was a great read and I did pick up the companion Romeo Redeemed to see his side of the story, so we will see. I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy retellings.

About this author

Stacey Jay is a recovering workaholic (or at least working hard at recovering) with three pen names, two small children, and a passion for playing pretend for a living. She’s been a full time mom-writer since 2005 and can't think of anything she'd rather be doing. Her former careers include theatre performer, professional dancer, poorly paid C-movie actress, bartender, waiter, math tutor (for real) and yoga instructor. Learn more at http://staceyjay.com.

Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Pages: 512
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Summary: The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker's Dracula probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his "Master"—culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries. This edition is part of the Penguin Classics Clothbound series designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Review: So I haven't read very many classics and I wanted to so I joined a classics read-a-long and Dracula was our first read. I started Dracula at the beginning of August expecting to breeze through it but then for the first time ever I thought that it would be a good idea to read other books while working my way through Dracula. That was a terrible idea because then it took me a whole month to read, which I never take that long. Anyways, Dracula was just okay for me. I was expecting way more vampire and gore and I didn't get that. I did learn a new word because of this book, "epistolary" which is defined as a novel written as a series of documents, ex: letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, etc... Now with that being said that's the part of this novel that I didn't like, all the diary entries. I found a lot of them to be quite boring. So this hasn't changed my mind on reading classics but I probably won't read Dracula again. I would recommend it to those who don't mind slow novels lol.

About this author

He was born Abraham Stoker in 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent – then as now called "The Crescent" – in Fairview, a coastal suburb of Dublin, Ireland. His parents were Abraham Stoker and the feminist Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornely. Stoker was the third of seven children. Abraham and Charlotte were members of the Clontarf Church of Ireland parish and attended the parish church (St. John the Baptist located on Seafield Road West) with their children, who were both baptised there. Stoker was an invalid until he started school at the age of seven — when he made a complete and astounding recovery. Of this time, Stoker wrote, "I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years." After his recovery, he became a normal young man, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin (1864 – 70), from which he graduated with honours in mathematics. He was auditor of the College Historical Society and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on "Sensationalism in Fiction and Society". In 1876, while employed as a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, published 1879) and theatre reviews for The Dublin Mail, a newspaper partly owned by fellow horror writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu. His interest in theatre led to a lifelong friendship with the English actor Henry Irving. He also wrote stories, and in 1872 "The Crystal Cup" was published by the London Society, followed by "The Chain of Destiny" in four parts in The Shamrock. In 1878 Stoker married Florence Balcombe, a celebrated beauty whose former suitor was Oscar Wilde. The couple moved to London, where Stoker became business manager (at first as acting-manager) of Irving's Lyceum Theatre, a post he held for 27 years. The collaboration with Irving was very important for Stoker and through him he became involved in London's high society, where he met, among other notables, James McNeil Whistler, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the course of Irving's tours, Stoker got the chance to travel around the world. The Stokers had one son, Irving Noel, who was born on December 31, 1879. Bram Stoker died in 1912, and was cremated and his ashes placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium. After Irving Noel Stoker's death in 1961, his ashes were added to that urn. The original plan had been to keep his parents' ashes together, but after Florence Stoker's death her ashes were scattered at the Gardens of Rest.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Release Day Spotlight: Protecting the Enemy by Christy Newton

Julianna Fox was made for her job. Or so she is told. The only memory Julianna has of her past is after the explosion. She was a nameless victim until a man pulled her out of the darkness and gave her new life. A new purpose, because anything is better than being no one. When she is about to eliminate her next mark something stops her. The moment Julianna makes eye contact with Reid Castleton, she has a flashback of her forgotten past. How does she know the man? And why can’t she follow through with her assignment?
Expert assassin, Reid Castleton, has been told to kill the only woman he ever loved if he wants to live. When he finds his fiancée, he can’t go through with the hit, even if it means losing his own life. Either she can’t remember who she is or is damn good at acting.
Neither one knows who to trust. Both make a truce until they can find out why the leader of ETE 7 wants them both dead. What they uncover is a long line of lies and deception that started the moment Julianna was conceived. Will love conquer all or will fear make them do the unthinkable? 


Julianna reached across the table and handed Reid a fortune cookie. He crushed the yellowish-orange shell, then read the strip of white paper aloud. If you want it… get it. Reid shrugged and smiled. He walked around the table and grabbed Julianna by her legs, lifting her up over his shoulder. Her hair hung a curtain over her face. Dizzy with laughter, the blood rushed to her head.
Julianna bolted upright in bed and rubbed her eyes. Had the dream been just a dream or was it a memory? Her life was like a yard sale puzzle missing most of its pieces.
Reid sat on the edge of the mattress. “Hey, sleeping beauty. You were laughing in your sleep.”
She felt her face heat up. “I was?”
He touched the tip of her nose as if nothing had happened between them.
“Yeah, it was kind of cute.”
Julianna forced herself to roll her eyes instead of smile. She wouldn’t tell him about her silly dream which is probably all it was. “Great, why were you watching me sleep?”
“I wasn’t, but I did come over here when you started laughing. It was quite entertaining.”
She tossed the covers aside and got up. “I’m so glad I could amuse you.” Exasperated, but also captivated with the man, she stomped into the bathroom to take a shower. As she took off her clothes she closed her eyes. She ached to feel the way she had in her dream. She wanted Reid. God help her she wanted him bad.
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