Monday, March 31, 2014

All my Restless Life to Live: spotlight and giveaway

All my Restless Life to Live

by Dee DeTarsio

Publication date: April 29th 2013
Genres: Adult, Romance

Award-winning author Dee DeTarsio combines life’s darker side with humor and tenderness in a wonderfully charming look at love and the afterlife.

Life is a soap opera, especially for Elle Miller, who is a TV producer. (Ellen dropped the “n” in her name in hopes of finding a better ending for herself.) When her laptop crashes, she borrows her dead dad’s computer and gets way more than she bargained for.

As Elle tries to save her career with a storyline featuring a trip through Atlantis, she takes a trip to the Emmys, and finds herself in the middle of a romance between a real doctor and a hunk who just plays one on TV. Friends, family, and clues from “the other side” all help Elle figure out the difference between living the good life . . .  and living a good life.


Author Bio:
Dee DeTarsio is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in southern California with her family. She did not teach herself to read at an early age or write stories by the time she was in kindergarten. She was still wetting the bed and playing in the can cupboard.

Author links:

  • Win an ecopy of All my Restless Life to Live
  • International

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spotlight and giveaway: Mistress of Merrivale

Mistress of Merrivale
by Shelley Munro

Genre: Historical romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date of Publication: 25 March 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61922-060-7

Number of pages: 281
Word Count: 86,000

Cover Artist: Kim Killion

Samhain      Amazon      BN      Kobo

Book Description:

A marriage of convenience…full of inconvenient secrets.

Jocelyn Townsend’s life as a courtesan bears no resemblance to the life she envisioned in girlish dreams. But it allows her and her eccentric mother to live in relative security—until her protector marries and no longer requires her services.

Desperate to find a new benefactor, one kind enough to accept her mother’s increasingly mad flights of fancy, Jocelyn is nearly overwhelmed with uncertainty when a lifeline comes from an unexpected source.

Leo Sherbourne’s requirements for a wife are few. She must mother his young daughter, run his household, and warm his bed. All in a calm, dignified manner with a full measure of common sense. After his late wife’s histrionics and infidelity, he craves a simpler, quieter life.

As they embark on their arrangement, Leo and Jocelyn discover an attraction that heats their bedroom and a mutual admiration that warms their days. But it isn’t long before gossip regarding the fate of Leo’s first wife, and his frequent, unexplained absences, make Jocelyn wonder if the secrets of Merrivale Manor are rooted in murder…

Warning: Contains mysterious incidents, a mad mother who screeches without provocation, scheming relatives, and a captivating husband who blows scorching hot and suspiciously cold. All is not as it seems…and isn’t that delicious?


“M-married?” Jocelyn Townsend clamped her hands in her lap and frantically sought the right words for the occasion. “Congratulations.”

Tobias Sherbourne, the Earl of Melburn, beamed. Happiness lit his craggy face, taking it from ordinary to compelling. His eyes sparkled, the bright blue emphasized by his snowy white wig. “I’ve offered for the Neville girl.”

“I wish you happy, Melburn.” Jocelyn’s spine pressed against the back of the damask sofa, the squeeze of her stays grounding her again. Gossip and rumors had circulated for months now. Yes, she’d known Melburn’s declaration would come, but hearing it still hurled her into panic. She wanted to vent her frustration for everyone to witness, but of course, she didn’t. Her mother was the only person who shrieked in this household.

She picked up the teapot. “Tea? Or would you prefer something stronger?”

“Brandy, please.” Melburn straightened from his casual lean against the mantle.

A raucous feminine screech pierced the air and tea sloshed from the spout. Jocelyn sighed inwardly, forcing her smile to remain intact while she set the china pot down. Not again.

“Perhaps we would both benefit from something stronger.”

She rose and maneuvered her skirts around her mahogany table and a square-backed chair to ring for a maid. The high-pitch scream repeated, louder and closer to the parlor. Jocelyn flinched, shooting a pained look at the closed door.

On her return, Melburn took possession of the seat opposite her, his large frame dwarfing the delicate furniture. “How is your mother?”

One would think the ear-piercing shrieks were nothing out of the ordinary, given his calm demeanor but, after two years as her protector, her mother’s peculiarities no longer disturbed him.

A maid appeared, and Jocelyn relayed her request for a bottle of brandy and two glasses. It mightn’t be the thing for a woman to drink strong spirits, yet if ever there was a time for her to imbibe, it was tonight. The maid’s face blanked, although she curtseyed in acquiescence and hurried off to complete her errand.

“My mother is having a bad turn. She insists someone is watching the house and spying on us.” It was a relief to share the latest drama with Melburn.

“Have you investigated to allay her concerns?”

Jocelyn resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “We have been more vigilant than usual. I haven’t noticed anyone suspicious and neither has Woodley or Tilly, but Mother is steadfast in her charges.”

Her butler and her mother’s nurse were equally adamant no one lurked in the alley outside their Cork Street house. While it wasn’t the best location in London, a night watchman patrolled the surrounding streets, and lamps chased away most of the gloomy shadows once evening fell.

The maid returned with a tray bearing the requested brandy.

“Would you like to adjourn to the bedroom, Melburn?”

“No, Jocelyn. I—”

Jocelyn leaned closer and covered his hand with hers, halting his refusal. “It’s a love match. I understand.” His bergamot and spice scent washed over her, familiar and comforting. He was a good man and a spurt of envy chased through her. Silently, she acknowledged her loss and the difficulties she’d experience in finding another protector of his caliber—someone she could trust not to abuse her.

“Ashleigh is a wonderful woman. I wouldn’t see her hurt by spiteful gossip.”

“I’d expect nothing less from you. It was a lucky day for me when you won me from Boynton.” And even better he’d become a friend as well as her lover.
Melburn’s eyes narrowed. “The man is a brute. The minute I saw the bruise on your cheek, my course of action was clear. Besides”—the tension in his upper body eased—“I like your red hair.” He reached over to tug on an unfashionable red ringlet, grinning at her like an errant boy.

“Thank you.” Her words acknowledged far more than the compliment. He’d rescued her from a bad situation and, for that, she’d always be grateful. She poured a measure of brandy and handed it to him before taking a smaller portion for herself. An abrupt ear-piercing shriek right outside the parlor made her wince. “Perhaps I should attend to my mother.”

Melburn set his glass on the mahogany table. “Let me. I’ll take a lantern and check outside in the alley. Help set her mind to rest.”

Reality crashed over Jocelyn as she watched him stride from the parlor and disappear into the hall, the door shutting behind him. This really was the end of their relationship.

Tour giveaway 

$25 Amazon Gift Certificate

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns
masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.

Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Waterfall (River of Time #1)
by Lisa T. Bergren


What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds...until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


I'm a sucker for well written time travel stories, and this is one of them!

Waterfall has a nice start in today's Tuscany area. Gaby's mom is an archaeologist.
One afternoon, Gaby and Lia start investigating one of her mom's discoveries and well... you can imagine where that took them: to an incredible world a few years back... and when I say a few years I mean like 700 years back!

I liked that the author knows her history and it shows. The setting details are totally accurate. But of course, I'm a little biased because I have the majority of my relatives in Tuscany, so I absolutely adored the location. But who wouldn't?

This would be today. If you remove the road,
it looks the same as 600 years ago!

Gaby and Lia get separated after her little journey and this book is mainly about Gaby's story. I would have liked a bit more of Lia but anyway, I really enjoyed it.

The surroundings and supporting characters are so perfectly created that I could picture how clueless and, at the same time, amazed everyone would be around Gaby because she was so strong, independent, and brave in opposition to most of the women of that time.

“I finally meet a guy who's interesting and who seems to have a half-interest in me and it is TOTALLY the wrong time and place.” 

What I didn't like about the protagonist is that somehow she kept making the wrong choices. Of course, if she did everything right we wouldn't have story at all, but no need to make all the wrong decisions!!!

Marcelo our male lead is a nice guy that feels an undeniable attraction towards Gaby but he is engaged to another woman. So it's interesting to read about the road he took and his actions to get closer to Gaby.

The only reason why I didn't give this book 5 stars, was that everything happened in just a week so it seemed rushed. You can't fall in love with someone in one week and she claimed to know him that much, which is impossible.

Besides the romance, there is an entertaining subplot involving Lia. I loved the carefully devised plan. So that added some points.

The end was predictable but good. No doubts I want to know more about Gaby and Marcelo, and see what happens with Lia, Luca, Fortino and Romana. (that's why Cascade, the sequel's already on my bookcase!)

I hope you enjoyed my review!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Nevermore (Nevermore #1)
by Kelly Creagh


Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look. 

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. 

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares. 

His life depends on it.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Let me start by saying that NEVERMORE was not what I was expecting whatsoever.
I've imagined a simple YA paranormal romance, because of the "cheerleader-meets the cryptic guy- thing" but that's definitely not what I found.

This book has a lot more than romance. Actually, for me, the romance was the weakest part of it.


Beautiful. Noone could be more similar to Varen and Isobel. In my mind they look exactly as the couple in the cover. Also liked the purple letters, so suitable for this book.


Isobel: Mmmm... mixed feelings. She has a bubble-head side but also she is brave and caring. She is not afraid to defend what she believes is right and she is good for Varen.

Varen: enigmatic. He keeps to himself which makes him a little creepy but I liked him. He has a dark and sad past that made him what he is now. Not the sexy male protagonist I'm used to, but I enjoyed reading about him a lot.

"Isobel's head popped up. What does 'sagacious' mean?'Sagacious', he said, writing, "adjective describing someone in possession of acute mental faculties. also describing one who might, in a bookstore, think to get up and locate an actual dictionary instead of asking a billion questions".

Isobel's friends and boyfriend: at first, I didn't understand Isobel's need to lie about Varen or why her friends make such a big deal out of it. But as the story progressed I realized how awful people there were. 

Gwen: on the other hand, she is awesome. What felt rushed for me was the way her friendship with Isobel started. That was poorly developed. IMHO.


The book is written in third person, which usually doesn't cut it for me, but here it works just fine.

My bigger problem was that I didn't feel their chemistry, I felt like there was something missing in the love story. 
It was so hard for me to understand their connection. Which ended up being a little frustrating. 
In the end, I can say I liked the way everything unfolded but to say the L word... I think it's too much.

The mystery was what sealed the deal for me. That, and a perfectly smooth writing that could take you from a romantic scene to a totally unsettling one, without feeling precipitated. 

The plot is complex and there were a few subplots that made it entertaining. 

Another fact I loved about Nevermore was the way the author included Edgar Allan Poe. Not only his works but part of his life. His story becomes part of Varen and Izzi's story.

"Her voice caught in her throat, seized into silence as she watched his eyes dilate, the pinprick of fear at their core expanding, consuming the green of his irises until nothing remained. Nothing except for 2 black coin-size holes"

Ok... you can't tell me that's not creepy. Especially when you are immersed into the eerie scenario she is. 

The end is somewhat sad, but it only made me want to read the sequel. (which I've already bought)

To sum up: it's a different kind of read, with some romance and a lot of suspense.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Wolf Legend: Top 10 list and giveaway

WOLF LEGEND (Legends Trilogy #2)
by Florence Witkop

Quick Facts                                        
Release Date: January 6, 2014               
Genre: Fantasy, Urban fantasy/ magical realism/ modern fantasy
Formats to buy: Kindle, epub and smashwords formats


Jane, who dislikes wolves because they kill livestock, takes Buck Portman, wolf researcher and wildlife professor at the nearby college to an island for a week to seek out the huge wolves legend says have been seen in the area. She's skeptical until a huge wolf runs through their camp... and mentally connects with Jane. Both woman and wolf are startled by their mental connection. The wolf invites Jane to follow so they can sort out what's between them. Jane takes off after the wolf in the dark, followed by the confused professor. She follows the wolf through a cave and into another world, one populated by larger-than-life, dangerous animals, including the wolves of the legend. Her mental connection to the alpha she-wolf is all that saves their lives in that dangerous place. Days later, when they return to their world, at the request of the alpha wolf they take her wolf pup with a broken leg so it can be healed. Problem is that wild wolves are not allowed as pets in our world so the professor must technically care for the wolf with Jane's help. But he has reservations. The huge dire wolf pup is in the wrong world. As it grows, will it remain a pet or become a dangerous predator? As the attraction between Jane and the professor grows, so do the problems inherent in having a huge prehistoric wolf in today's world. 


I set the cup on the ground beside me to save the one last cold swallow for later when I turned in for the night.  Buck, watching, hooked his own empty cup over his belt and prepared to do the same.
As my cup touched the ground, the largest wolf I'd ever seen ran through our campsite.  Two hundred pounds at least, possibly three hundred, with black velvet, silver-tipped fur and yellow eyes that shone in the night. 
It was beautiful.  Awesome.  And it tore through the camp as if we weren't there, scattering plates and silverware every which way and making short work of the tent just because it happened to be in its path.  "Oh my God!"  My mouth dropped open because the wolf couldn't exist.  Not here, not anywhere on earth.  But it did.
The wolf heard.  Stopped.  Turned towards me.  Scared the crap out of me because it was larger than me, double the size of any wolf I'd ever heard of and a predator.  Tipped its head to one side and looked straight at me.  Stared.
Our looks met.  Connected.  My fear disappeared because it wasn't looking for food.  It was on its way home and in a hurry to get there.  The pups missed their mom, the rest of the pack was good, they took care of the pups, but they couldn't take the place of a real mother.  It should hurry home.
 I blinked.  Tried to wrap my mind around what was happening and failed completely.  I couldn't know what it was thinking.  I couldn't be reading its mind.  Of course not, it was impossible to know what another human being was thinking, let alone a wolf.  Wolves were a whole other species. 
Except that I did.  I was doing precisely what I couldn't do, what no one could do.  I was reading its mind and was pretty sure it was reading mine and was just as surprised at being able to read my mind as I was to know what it was thinking.  We stared at each other, adjusting to this new reality.  Shock kept us both immobile for what seemed like minutes and was probably seconds.
Then the wolf turned away and disappeared into the night because she had a family and responsibilities and couldn't stay to chat, not even for a conversation as mind-blowing as ours.  Two separate species were communicating for the first time ever.  But she had things to do and places to go, a pack to care for and pups to feed.  So she left.
But as she ran into the growing dark, the silver fur blending into the black of the forest, she left a thought behind.  "Want to follow me?  Want to come for a visit?  Maybe we can figure this out." 
It was an invitation.  One I couldn't turn down.  So I rose and followed the wolf.

The Author
Florence’s stories begin as simple tales of contemporary life, often in small towns or the wilderness she knows so well. 
Where they go from there is what makes them special. There is always a strong sense of place. Sometimes they cross genres and contain paranormal, sci/fi, or fantasy elements. There is usually a romance and there are always characters her readers like and would enjoy having as friends.
Most of all, there is a story because what Florence does best is tell stories. Well plotted stories that carry the characters towards a logical conclusion that always includes a happy ending.  Stories that shine light on the human condition while they celebrate the world we live in.  Stories that her readers relate to and remember long after the reading is over.
She writes about people who are as normal as apple pie (most of them, anyway) who unexpectedly find themselves in the middle of situations ranging from the heartwarming through the difficult and all the way to the horrendous. ButFlorence’s characters choose to act instead of running away. In the process, they survive, thrive, overcome whatever obstacles large or small are thrown in front of them, and while they are at it, they find time to fall in love.

Florence was born in the city and has lived in the suburbs, small towns, the country and the wilderness area of northern Minnesota, where she still lives with her husband and a cowardly cat named Smoke.
At various times in her writing career she’s been a confession writer, a copywriter, a ghost writer and an editor. She writes short stories, novellas and novels.  Her work has been categorized as romance, science-fiction, fantasy, mainstream and eco-fiction, to name a few genres that it fits so beautifully into.


Other Books by Florence:

(press on the cover to go to Goodreads)



- 2 winners
- International

Prizes: An ecopy of Wolf Legend and a $30 Amazon GC

a Rafflecopter giveaway


by Florence Witkop

1. Chocolate because it's always in season.

2. New vegetables from the Farmers' Market, especially radishes though I don't like them from the store because store-bought radishes are too strong. And kale. And lettuce. And everything they have.

3.  Ice cream, any flavor. Always. Of course. But in the spring it's better with fruit toppings.

4.  In the spring, I begin asking for cold coffee drinks at the coffee shop in town. Don't want anything cold in autumn or winter.

5.  Anything with mint. Including ice cream, of course.

6.  Sandwiches eaten on the deck if it's warm enough. Doesn't happen often because in northern Minnesota spring may not happen. We sometimes go from winter straight to summer. But when we do have spring, the deck is wonderful.

7.  Green stuff. Any edible green stuff though I have to eat it all myself because my husband isn't big on green stuff.

8. Ham because Easter is in the spring.

9. Fudge because our daughter and grandson have a handmade fudge business and it's absolutely wonderful and their busy season starts in the spring so we get to sample all their new flavors.

10. New dishes for dinner because spring is a time for trying out new things.

Great choices Florence! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hi! today I'm reviewing one of my favorite books ever. Almost everybody read it, but still... these are my thoughts.

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1)
by Rachel Hawkins


Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

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This is one of those series I've had forever in my "TBR pile". All my friends liked it but for one reason or another, I couldn't get it before. I'm glad I did now.

COVER: Beautiful. I don't know what the cat is doing there but the rest is nice and the girl looks just how I imagine Sophie.

WRITING AND PLOT: The prologue is very funny and I loved the strong start.  

From the very beginning you can see the sense of humor of the author reflected in the pages. 

I like the atmosphere Hawkins created for the school as well as the family history. 
The story has also a curious and catching touch of mystery. 

I think, that my favorite scene was one where all the "prodigium" are making dresses for a ball. Again, what happens to Sophie is comical. 

Basically I can say that this was an easy reading with a remarkable twist in the end. 


Sophie, the protagonist, is utterly funny. Hilarious. She made me giggle all book long. Even when she is being serious, she has some witty retorts that fixed a grin in my face. 
She is totally powerful but so clueless when it comes to use her powers that you can't help getting attached to her. She is fresh, innocent and in one word: adorable! You don't want to miss her epic monologues!

“When someone tells you somebody’s been murdered, laughing is probably not the best response. You know, for future reference.
But laughing is exactly what I did.” 

Archer Cross: is interesting. Maybe not the sexiest character on earth (at the beginning) but he has something that made me want to keep reading about him. And he definitely, became way more fascinating at the end.

The chemistry between him and Sophie is exhilarating! I would have liked to be in cellar duty with him too! 

Jenna: OMG! Jenna is Sophie's roommate. Also, she happens to be the only vampire at Hecate Hall so yes, she is an outcast. And she adds a lot to the story just by being herself hehe.

“Archer Cross, resident bad boy and total heartthrob. Warlock. Every girl here is at least, like, half in love with him. Crushing on Archer Cross might as well be a class.” 

Well, that's it. I'll be posting my review of DEMONGLASS (Hex Hall #2) in the following days.

I hope you liked it!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


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