Saturday, September 20, 2014

Stuck in a Good Book Blog Hop

Welcome to the Stuck in a Good Book Blog Hop sponsored by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Stuck in Books.  You are at stop 97. the full list of participating blogs can be found here.

Today, we have 2 packs to give away to two lucky winners.  US only please.  Just fill out the rafflecopter below to enter.  Good luck!

Pack #1
Pack #2

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 19, 2014

Blog Tour: Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall

We are excited today to have a character interview with the two main characters from Dianne Duvall's latest book in the Immortal Guardians series, Night Unbound.  Enjoy it after my thoughts on the book!  

Publisher: Kensington Zebra
Date of publication: Septmeber 2014

For centuries, Lisette d'Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can't bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians' command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for--and a man she knows has been declared a traitor.

Zach is an exile, a loner. He won't defend himself against false accusations or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he'll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of super-vamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust?

My thoughts:
After reading and getting to write my review for the 5th book in the Immortal Guardian series, I found myself at a loss for what to say.  Really, how often can I say the same thing about this series? I feel like I always say the same thing in every review, but  how else can you say, "It was freakin' awesome!"  or "I LOVED IT!!"?  There is really is no other way than just that.

Once again, the book was filled with swoon-worthy alpha male immortals, kick-ass females, humor, sex and lots of hold your breath action scenes. Lissete and Zach were awesome together! There is a new "big bad" to contend with.  AND we learn a bit more about Seth and The Others.   If you haven't read this series yet, what are you waiting for????

Character Interview with Zach and Lisette

Thank you for joining me!  I’m very excited to be here today, celebrating the release of NIGHT UNBOUND, the fifth book in my Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series.  I’ve sprinkled my blog tour with character interviews to give readers a glimpse of my Immortal Guardians crew.  Sheldon, one of the immortals’ human assistants (and a favorite of many), has once more volunteered to pose the questions.  Today’s guests are Zach, the dark and powerful winged hero of NIGHT UNBOUND, and Immortal Guardian Lisette, the heroine.

Sheldon:  *stares*

Zach:  *arches a brow*  Why are we just sitting here?

Lisette:  Sheldon is interviewing us for the Network’s newsletter to make the humans who work with us more comfortable around us.

Zach:  Why?  Do they fear you?

Lisette:  I don’t know if fear is the right word.  They’re just . . . uncomfortable around beings whom they know are much more powerful than they are and who have special gifts.

Zach:  Yet, they continue to aid you.

Lisette:  Yes.

Zach:  Yours is a peculiar world.

Sheldon:  *snorts*  And yours isn’t?

Zach:  *narrows eyes*

Sheldon:  *swallows*  Right.  So.  First question.  Zach, are you friend or foe?

Lisette:  Sheldon!

Sheldon:  What?  It’s the first thing people ask when Zach’s name comes up in conversation.  Everyone knows he’s on Seth’s you-know-what list.  So . . . Zach, which are you?  Friend or foe?

Zach:  I believe the jury is still out on that one.

Lisette:  *frowns up at him*  You know, you really don’t help your case when you say things like that.

Zach:  I’m not making a case.

Lisette:  *mumbles something under her breath*

Zach:  I heard that.

Lisette:  *winks*  You were meant to.

Sheldon:  What’d she say?

Zach:  Next question.

Sheldon:  Ooookay.  So, what’s the deal with the shirt?

Zach:  What shirt?

Sheldon:  Exactly.  Why don’t you wear one?  I mean, I know the women all love it.  But I think the married male immortals don’t approve.

Lisette:  *laughs*  Shirts interfere with his wings.

Sheldon:  Does it bother you, Lisette, when other women drool over him?

Lisette:  No.  *links her fingers through Zach’s*  He’s all mine.

Zach:  *smiles and rests their clasped hands on his thigh*

Sheldon:  Wow.

Lisette:  What?

Sheldon:  Nothing.  It’s just . . . Zach can be pretty freaking terrifying.  I didn’t realize he could get such a sappy, lovey-dovey look on his face.

Zach:  *glares daggers at Sheldon*

Sheldon:  Did I say sappy?  I meant . . . intimidating.  Incredibly, intimidating.  Like, make-a-man-wet-his-pants intimidating.

Lisette:  Next question, please.

Sheldon:  Thank you.  So, Zach, where ARE your wings?

Zach:  Tucked away so I can sit comfortably in this chair.

Sheldon:  Can I see them?

Zach:  *sighs and rises, huge dark wings springing into view and spreading to brush the walls on either side of the room*

Sheldon:  Those.  Are.  AWESOME!

Lisette:  Yes, they are.

Zach:  *retracts his wings and reclaims his seat*

Sheldon:  What would you say if someone were to—I don’t know—ask you if you’d let him climb onto your back so you can fly him around like Superman?

Zach:  I would ask him how much he wants to live.

Sheldon:  Right.  It was . . . just a . . . hypotethical.  Anyway.  How did the two of you meet?

Zach:  *smiles*  She kidnapped me.

Sheldon:  No way!  You’re almost as powerful as Seth!  *looks at Lisette with awe*  You really kidnapped him?

Lisette:  *nods*  Roland and Sarah helped me.

Sheldon:  Why’d you do it?

Lisette:  I wanted to—

Zach:  Chain me up and interrogate me . . . among other things.

Lisette:  *blushes*  Don’t make it sound like that!

Zach:  Didn’t you WANT to do other things to me?

Lisette:  Were you reading my thoughts that night?

Zach:  No, but your blush tells me I guessed correctly.

Lisette:  Next question, Sheldon.

Sheldon:  Dude.  She chained you up.  That’s so hot.

Zach:  I agree.

Sheldon:  Great.  Now his eyes are glowing.

Zach:  Perhaps we could continue this interview another time?

Sheldon:  You’re totally going to ask her to chain you up again, aren’t you?

Lisette:  Sheldon!

Sheldon:  Right.  I’m out.  Thanks for the interview.

About the author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Dianne Duvall earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, where she studied fiction writing, playwriting, and poetry writing. Darkness Dawns, the first book in her Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series, was nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews and for Best Paranormal Romance - Vampire by The Romance Reviews. It was also deemed a Top Pick by The Romance Reviews and a Best Book by Long and Short Reviews. Night Reigns, the second book in the series, was nominated for Best Best Book of 2011 - Paranormal Romance by The Romance Reviews and declared an “utterly addictive” Top Pick by RT Book Reviews. Phantom Shadows, the third book in the series, has been declared a Top Pick by both The Romance Reviews and Night Owl Reviews. Her Immortal Guardians novella In Still Darkness was released in the Predatory anthology on May 7, 2013, and has received many fabulous reviews. Darkness Rises, the fourth book in the series, hit the USA Today Bestseller list, has been nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews and was deemed a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick.

Dianne has also completed two not-yet-published paranormal romance novels that are prequels to Darkness Dawns. A Sorceress of His Own is a medieval romance with paranormal elements that won awards in the Lone Star, Where the Magic Begins, Southern Heat, Picture This, Book of Your Heart and Suzannah national writing competitions. Rendezvous With Yesterday is a time travel romance and won second place in the Picture This writing contest.

In addition to writing romance, Dianne has completed a one-act play (comedy) and teamed up with an award-wining screenwriter to write a spec script for a new situation comedy. Several of her poems have also been published in anthologies.

When she isn’t writing, Dianne is very active in the independent film industry and once even appeared on screen as a machete-weilding maniac not unlike the vampires she so loves to create in her novels.

Author Links:

Purchase links:

BLog Tour: Beyond Coincidence by Jacquie Underdown

Author:  Jacquie Underdown
Publisher:Escape Publishing – Harlequin Enterprises, Australia 
Date of publication: September 2014

In 2008, 250 Australian and British soldiers are uncovered in a mass grave in Fromelles, France, lost since the Great War. One soldier, bearing the wounds of war so deep it has scarred his soul, cannot be laid to rest just yet.

When Lucy bumps into the achingly sad soldier during a trip to France, she doesn’t, at first glance, realise what he is – a ghost who desperately needs her help. Lucy can’t turn away from someone who needs her, even someone non-corporeal, and they travel back together to Australia in search of answers and, hopefully, some peace.

This chance meeting and unexplainable relationship sets into motion a chain-reaction of delicate coincidences that affect the intertwined lives of family, friends, and lovers in unexpected, beautiful ways.

Beyond Coincidence is a quick and entertaining read.  I liked the premise of the book...The ghost  of a soldier's wish to be laid to rest  leads a woman to his great grandson and a sweet romance.  I enjoyed watching Lucy and Nate fall in love with each other.  It was like watching destiny unfold. Freddy's story was heart breaking and I was rooting for him to find the peace he had been waiting for.

I will warn you though, there is a LOT of Australian slang in this book.  The author has has provided a dictionary in the beginning of the book  and that was helpful.  Had I not had that, I might have put it down.  You might want to read that list carefully before you start.  Once you do, I know you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

About the author:

Jacquie resides in hot and steamy Central Queensland, Australia, with her husband and two sons. On permanent hiatus from a profession she doesn’t love, she now spends her time wrapped up in her imagination creating characters and exploring alternative realities.

Jacquie is an author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories that are emotionally driven and possess unique themes beyond the constraints of the physical universe. She strives to offer romance, but with complexity; spirituality, without the religion; and love, with a tantalising splash of spice.
Her novels express a purpose and offer subtle messages about life, the spirit and, of course, love.

Connect with Jacquie

Purchase Links

Jacquie Underdown’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, September 15th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, September 18th:  Reading Reality
Friday, September 19th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, September 22nd: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, September 24th: Back Porchervations
Monday, September 29th: 2 Kids and Tired Books
Tuesday, September 30th:  Bibliotica
Wednesday, October 1st: Mom in Love with Fiction
Monday, October 6th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, October 8th: Great Minds Read Alike
Monday, October 13th:  Books Like Breathing

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Deadly Night by Heather Graham

Author: Heather Graham
First published in 2008 by Harelquin

The Flynn brothers have inherited more than a New Orleans plantation. They've inherited a ghostly presence -- and a long-kept secret.

Aidan Flynn, a private investigator and eldest of the Flynn brothers, scoffs at the haunted-house rumors -- especially since Kendall Montgomery, a tarot card reader who has been living in the mansion, is the one to tell him the tale of a woman in white. But when he finds a human bone on the grounds and another by the river, Aidan delves into the dark history of the Flynn plantation.

Forced together to uncover the truth, Aidan and Kendall realize that a serial killer whose victims seem to vanish into thin air has long been at work -- and that their own fates are about to be sealed forever unless they believe in the unbelievable.

If I had to choose, I would pick the mystery part of this story over the romance.  In Deadly Night, the Flynn Brothers have inherited a plantation from a great aunt that they never knew existed.  Some say it is haunted, but Aidan doesn't believe in ghosts.  What he does know is there is a serial killer active in the city and is using his land as a killing field.  I liked the mystery and the killer was a surprise.  

What I didn't like was the romance.  It was kind of underwhelming.  I didn't really feel much chemistry between Kendall and Aidan, so that was a little disappointing.  I wanted more spark.  I almost feel like that story would have been fine without the romance.    

This is the first in a trilogy, so I'll be seeking out the other books. Stay tuned, one of them may show up here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review & interview: Made for You by Melissa Marr

We are excited to welcome Melissa Marr today.  She joins us for an interview as she promotes her latest book, Made for You.  Enjoy it after my thoughts on the book.

Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date of publication: September 2014

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused – who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? Before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her.
As she recovers from the attempt on her life, an old flame, Nate, turns up. Eva must traverse their rocky past and figure out how to use her new power – while the killer grows increasingly frantic. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

My thoughts:

I enjoyed Made for You. The premise was different from some of the more recent YAs that I have read recently.  After being hit by a car, Eva can now see the deaths of people who touch her.  The weird thing is that she can only see it sometimes and if the person touches her first.  Eva can also change or prevent their death by asking them not to do certain things that she sees in the vision. I thought that was an interesting twist.  

The story is told in 3 different POVs. Eva, her best friend Grace, and the killer keep the story progressing smoothly.  I liked that format as it made sense for the story.  I also thought that there were just enough suspects to keep me guessing until the reveal.  There is a little bit of a romance, but nothing too overly done as in most YAs.  I liked Eva and Grace.  They both are fairly free thinking and don't follow the crowd, even though they run with the "beautiful" people in school.  

This is a well written story for the older YA crowd. While there isn't any explicit sexual content, there is a lot of suggestion and more adult situations then the younger YAs should be exposed to.  I definitely recommend this one and look forward to reading more from Ms. Marr.

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Melissa: I grew up in a family of storytellers, living in a rural area where we didn't have cable television (and in a time pre-VCRs).   Everything’s-a-story, folklore-as-true, and library-visits-not-TV combined to make my love of story inevitable.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Melissa: Ideas are everywhere. Sometimes I get sparks when I read theory, and sometimes it’s experience or dreams or even a phrase from a song.   Made For You is, in part, inspired by my real-life experience with a stalker when I lived in Durham, NC. 

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Melissa:   After Made for You, I have my 3rd co-authored book (with Kelley Armstrong) out in May 2015 (Thor’s Serpents). It’s a Norse adventure trilogy for the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl reader.  I wrote the series for my now-fifteen year old son who was lamenting the lack of books on the myths of his heritage.

I also have my first picture book out in the first half of 2015.  Right now, I think the title is Bunny Roo, I Love You. I wrote it for my son while we were in the hospital for 7 weeks as he went through the worst of the withdrawal from the drugs his birth-mother took during pregnancy.  It’s able to be read as a story about babies and animals, but it can also be read as a book about adoption.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Melissa: I’m not sure I could ever answer this.  I taught university lit for twelve years before writing, so I have a lot of beloveds. Tess (in Tess of the D’Urbervilles), Dracula, Calixta (in Chopin’s “The Storm”), both Scout and Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird), the Wife of Bath . . . I’m fairly basic in that I like characters who take risks and act with passion and conviction.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Melissa: Dolphin or blue whale.   I like the social aspect of the dolphin, but the blue whale is capable of diving to extreme depths. Either way, I’d love to be a mammal in the sea.

About the author:

Melissa Marr is the author of the internationally bestselling Wicked Lovely series (currently available in 26 languages). In adult fiction, she is the author of the award-winning novel, Graveminder, and the newly released, The Arrivals. With Kelley Armstrong, Melissa is the co-editor of two anthologies and co-author of the Blackwell Pages trilogy (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), a children’s series about the Norse myth of Ragnarök. Her upcoming HarperCollins 2014 release, Made For You, utilizes both her graduate degree in Southern Literature and her personal experience with stalkers in a story about a killer who terrorizes a small North Carolina town.
Melissa lives in Virginia with her family. You can visit her online or on Twitter (@melissa_marr)Tumblr, or Facebook.

Purchase Links

Melissa’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, September 16th: The Best Books Ever
Wednesday, September 17th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, September 18th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Friday, September 19th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, September 22nd: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Tuesday, September 23rd: About to Read
Wednesday, September 24th: Lost in a Great Book
Thursday, September 25th: Supernatural Snark
Monday, September 29th: Paperback Princess
Tuesday, September 30th: Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, October 1st: Reader Girls Blog
Thursday, October 2nd: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, October 6th: Writing Whimsy
Tuesday, October 7th: Books à la Mode
Wednesday, October 8th: Sweet Southern Home
Thursday, October 9th: booknerd
Friday, October 10th: Book Marks the Spot

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Author: Julie Garwood
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Date of publication: July 2014

Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.

Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.

Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he unknowingly puts her life at risk. He’s recently angered a powerful congressman by refusing to purchase overvalued land. Congressman Chambers is not a man to let such an offense slide, and he has the resources to get even and to get what he wants.

Even though I have liked the last couple of books by Ms. Garwood, I have hoped that she would return to this series and give Cordelia her story.  She has done just that in Fast Track.  This was a fun read and a great HEA for her.  Cordelia has always been in love with Aiden. But, he is her best friend's brother so she has hidden her feelings.  Until recently, Aiden has always thought of Cordelia as a little sister.  Until a passionate kiss one night turns everything around.

I loved these two together.  I thought that their relationship was that much sweeter because they had known each other for so long.  For me, it wasn't an insta-love and didn't move too fast.  Aiden was a bit over protective, but I could understand why.  It was also great to check in with characters from the last two books in the series.  

There are actually a couple of mysteries going on.  Cordelia finds out the truth about her mother through her father's death bed confession. (What a sad scene that was!)    Well, it's almost the truth, because she finds a few surprises as she looks for the woman who abandoned her as a baby.  Also, someone keeps attacking Cordelia.  But, who and why and what is it related to?  I won't tell because there are a couple of twists. Let's just say that justice is sweetly served to a few parties in the end!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blog Tour: The Betrayed by Heather Graham

Author: Heather Graham
Publisher: Harlequin (MIRA)
Date of publication: September 30, 2014

One night, New York FBI agent Aiden Mahoney receives a visitor in a dream—an old friend named Richard Highsmith. The very next day he’s sent to Sleepy Hollow because Richard’s gone missing there.

Maureen—Mo—Deauville now lives in the historic town and works with her dog, Rollo, to search for missing people. She’s actually the one to find Richard…or more precisely his head, stuck on a statue of the legendary Headless Horseman.

Mo and Aiden, a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI’s unit of paranormal investigators, explore both past and present events to figure out who betrayed Richard, who killed him and now wants to kill them, too. As they work together, they discover that they share an unusual trait—the ability to communicate with the dead. They also share an attraction that’s as intense as it is unexpected…if they live long enough to enjoy it!

The Betrayed is another great addition to the Krewe of Hunters series.  The legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite ghost stories, in fact I managed to pass my love for it onto my son as well.  The Headless Horseman is one of his favorite villains.  I knew having this book set in Sleepy Hollow would make  for a good read.  I was right as it's creepy, spooky and gave me chills throughout.  This will be a good one for Halloween!

I loved the mystery. I also love that Ms. Graham keeps managing to keep me guessing in her books.  I didn't see the villain coming! Even though Aiden is recruited into the Krewe, he has denied his gift for so long.  I found that to be an interesting twist, as most of the agents use their gifts pretty readily.  He and Mo fit together well and I found their relationship very sweet.

The Betrayed is the last of this trilogy within the series.  I anxiously await the next book whenever it comes out!

About the author:

New York Times and USA TODAY  bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels and has been published in more than 20 languages. An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and the mother of five, she enjoys her south Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from locations such as Cairo, Egypt, to her own backyard, the Florida Keys. Reading is still the pastime she still loves best, and she is a member of many writing groups. She’s a winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, and also the founder of The Slush Pile Players, an author band and theatrical group.

Heather annually hosts the Writers for New Orleans conference to benefit both the city, which is near and dear to her heart, and various other causes, and she hosts 

Heather Graham’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, September 15th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, September 15th: Books a la Mode – Spotlight and giveaway
Tuesday, September 16th: Bewithced Bookworms
Wednesday, September 17th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Thursday, September 18th: Ladybug Literature
Friday, September 19th: Supernatural Snark – Spotlight and giveaway
Monday, September 22nd: Read – Love – Blog
Tuesday, September 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, September 24th:  Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Thursday, September 25th: Queen of All She Reads
Monday, September 29th: Saints and Sinners Books
Tuesday, September 30th:  Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, October 2nd: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Monday, October 6th:  Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, October 8th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, October 9th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, October 13th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, October 15th:  Bibliotica
Monday, October 20th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Thursday, October 23rd: Harlie’s Books

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Joint Review: Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel

Author: Lauren Sabel
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Date of publication June 2014

When a death threat arrives with teen celebrity Vivian Divine's fan mail, Vivian has no choice but to go on the run to Mexico. She soon discovers, though, that her Oscar-nominated performance killing villains on-screen did nothing to prepare her for escaping a madman in real life. Some people say he's a hero, others tremble in his presence, but one thing is clear: he won't stop until Vivian is in his grasp. Why didn't she pay more attention during those judo lessons for her role in Zombie Killer?

Vivian finds an ally in the mysterious and charming Nick. He is everything Hollywood boys are not-genuine, kind, and determined to see Vivian for who she really is. But even he seems like he can't be trusted-what could he be hiding?

Beat up, hungry, and more confused than ever about who she's running from, Vivian is living in a real-life blockbuster horror flick. But there's no option to yell "cut" like there is on set....

I have to admit, I wasn't liking this book in the beginning.  I complained to Autumn that no one could be THAT naive or clueless about the world.  I mean, who doesn't know what The Day of the Dead is?  But, 
she quickly reminded me that I was reading the book from an adult's perspective, not a teen's.  I guess most teens, especially one that is as sheltered as Vivian was really wouldn't know much.  Once I got over that, I ended up enjoying the story.  

I thought it was cute.  Vivian grew on me and eventually found her way.  I liked Nick and his protectiveness.  The insta-love wasn't too eye rolling and ended up being enjoyable.  I liked the twist in the end.  I felt like there was something left open in the end for a sequel, so maybe we will see more of Vivian in the future.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I started, but I thought it was a super cute YA book.  I thought it was a lot of fun for a mystery type read.  The whole time I was reading it I was trying to picture what type of actress would Vivian be most like and I kept coming up with Selena Gomez.  

I'm sure a lot of teenaged YA readers would really enjoy this book.  I'm sure it would be very relatable to younger readers.  Vivian was very lively character and I can see kids being very drawn to this style of book.  I'd be happy to see this end up as a series!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Author: Cora Cormack
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication:

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter

I really enjoyed Ms. Carmack's "Losing It" series, so I had high hopes for this new series.  I wasn't disappointed.  I thought All Lined Up was an entertaining read about two people who are destined for each other, no matter how much they fight it.  Dallas grew up on football and after a disastrous relationship n high school, she has vowed to never date a football player again.  Carson really needs a scholarship and must focus on football to obtain it.  He doesn't need any distractions in his life.  When sparks fly between the two, both Dallas and Carson find their worlds turned upside down.

For a relatively short book, there is a lot packed into it.  Dallas has had to deal with an emotionally distant father her whole life.  She has also had to live with being the "coach's daughter" and all of the implications and misconceptions that go along with that.  So, she really has a lot of baggage.  I think that Carson was a good balance for her.  He helped her go for what she wanted. She helped him find confidence in himself.   I loved that they slowed things down and spent sometime being friends before falling into bed.  In fact, I the book is pretty mild on that front which is refreshing for a New Adult book.  

I think fans of the Losing It series will like this new one.  I look forward to the next book, All Broke Down which comes out later this year.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blog Tour: Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

Author: Deborah Raney
Publisher: Abington Press
Date of publication: August 2014

Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband, Grant, are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.
Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?
I have mixed feelings about Home to Chicory Lane.  I did find it to be well a written and heart-warming story about a family trying to navigate changing dynamics in their family.  Audrey and Grant finally have all of their kids out of the house and now their dreams of a bed and breakfast are finally a reality.  The problem is that their youngest has come home to possibly stay.

I liked Audrey and Grant.  I felt for their struggle in trying to make a business work and all of the stress that goes along with it.  And at the same time, they are trying to find a balance in when to give their children the room to spread their wings and when to step in and help.  I think this is something all parents of adult children go through.  I tthought they did a pretty good job and were able to find that balance.  So, that part of the story I enjoyed.

What frustrated me was Landyn and Chase. I found both of them incredibly immature and selfish.  The lack of communication between the two was annoying.  Everyone knows you don't quit a job with GOOD money until you have a new job to replace it. Landyn's excuse of not wanting to commute just made me roll my eyes.  Tons of people commute an hour or more every day for work.  It's what to you do!.  I felt like their solution in the end was a little too easy for them and I'm not sure they really would have learned a lesson.

So, I do recommend the book.  It looks to be a good series and I look forward to reading the next one.

About the author:
Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deborah on the web at