March 28, 2013

Book Review/Author Interview: Sea of Crises by Marty Steere

at 3/28/2013 11:02:00 PM 0 comments

What really happened to the crew of Apollo 18 in the Mare Crisium, the Sea of Crises? The last of America’s manned lunar missions, it was conducted in eerie silence following the inexplicable loss of all communication with the astronauts during their first moonwalk, just after Commander Bob Cartwright’s enigmatic statement, “That shouldn't be here.”  
And it ended in tragedy when the heat shield on the command capsule failed during re-entry, leaving three dead astronauts inside burned beyond recognition.  
Thirty-six years later, Cartwright’s sons make a shocking discovery: The capsule that came down in the Pacific Ocean with three charred remains was not their father’s capsule. And the body they buried all those years before was not their father. 
What they've uncovered puts the three brothers on the run, chased by a ruthless group who will stop at nothing to preserve the secret behind the fate of the Apollo 18 astronauts. The brothers will need to set aside past differences and pool their talents if they are to stay alive and unravel the mystery behind what really happened in the Sea of Crises.


I first heard about this book when I got an email from the author himself, Marty Steere. I was so ecstatic to be sought out by an author and requested to read and review his book. As this was my first author request, I took my time to read, re-read and re-re-read the book until I practically knew the plot line by heart. Conspiracy theories have always intrigued me, even the really crazy ones, and this one got me hook, line and sinker.

The story starts with Nate Cartwright, eldest son of Bob Cartwright (fallen astronaut of the Apollo 18 mission). Nate gets a call from his little brother Peter to pick him up from the airport. Peter is a paranoid reporter (rightly so), who calls his big brother for help. He thinks he's being watched and followed and he is right. Peter tells Nate his discoveries about the Apollo 18 mission that took their father and the lives of two other astronauts. After an shocking and horrendous warning from a group called the Organization, Nate and Peter search for their other brother Matt (who has his own mysterious background). The brothers set off in search for more answers and this sets off a chain of events that lead to shoot outs, fast car chases, and an even more shocking discovery.

About halfway through the book, when the brothers, plus the family of the other two astronauts, finally have enough pieces of the puzzle, there's a good chunk that tells the real story of what happened during the Apollo 18 mission. I found this portion of the book very fascinating! Marty Steere did a very good job slipping in the past in between the present. The characters were fully developed with their own complex backgrounds. The storytelling is amazing! I felt like I was there with the characters; experiencing the rush of adrenaline as bullets whizzed by and shifting the car into gear to outrun the Organization's cronies. I liked that pace of the story and the sudden turn of events that kept my interest throughout the book. I especially like the "subtle" hints of romantic possibility between Nate and Maggie, Major Dayton's daughter. The last third of the book was, in my opinion, the best cat and mouse game between the head of the Organization and a group of people who want to know the truth.

I give this book (drum roll).......
5 STARS!!!!!



~*~ Marty Steere's Q & A! ~*~


1) When did you start writing? What inspired you to do so?

     As with most writers, I was (and am) an avid reader, and I was fascinated with the process of creating characters and stories in which a reader could become completely immersed.  It was something I wanted to do from a young age.  In fact, with the certainty of youth, I was convinced that it was something I’d always do.  But, of course, life intervened, family and career, so it wasn't until about four years ago that I actually made the commitment to sit down and start writing in earnest. 

2) What other genres do you plan on writing in, if any? 
    
     With the exception of horror (which just doesn't appeal to me), I wouldn't rule anything out.  I enjoy all kinds of genres, and, if there’s a story to be told, I want to tell it.  My second novel, Defiant Heart, is scheduled for release on April 15.  Set on the eve of World War II, it features a young couple who meet in a small Midwestern town, fall in love, then find themselves torn apart by tragedy and misunderstanding.  Even though, from the genre standpoint, the two books fall in different categories, the characters and the action are, to me, every bit as compelling.  I loved writing both books, and I think readers who enjoy one, will enjoy the other.

3) Did you have any difficultly writing Sea of Crises?

     I wouldn't say difficulty, but there were definitely challenges.  The obvious was the fact that a full third of the story takes place on the moon, and I needed to tell it in a realistic and credible manner.  That meant I had to do a lot of research into the Apollo space program to give me a sufficient grasp of the hardware and science to enable me to fold it into the action in a way that my reader would both understand and believe.  It was a lot of work, but it was fun.  (Which, I suppose, begs the question, is that really work?)

4) What did you have the most fun writing about in your book? 

     Believe it or not, though I enjoyed telling the part of the story on the moon from an astronaut’s perspective, I got just as much enjoyment out of writing the scene that takes place off the coast of Maine near the end of part one.  I won’t give anything away here, but, in the process of setting that scene, I had to learn about lobster fishing – something with which I’d previously had absolutely no experience.  It wasn’t critical to the story – more, as I say, just dressing a scene – but it provided some variety and color, and I got a kick out of it.

5) Do you have any more plans for more conspiracy based books?

     Yes.  I enjoyed creating this one, so I think it’s inevitable I’ll revisit the conspiracy concept.  In fact, I've been asked by a number of people if I plan a sequel to Sea of Crises.  I can say in all honesty, I did not intend to do that.  The book was written as a stand-alone novel, with fully completed story arcs.  But, in honesty, there may have been something lurking in my subconscious, because I have to admit that, at the very end, I did leave a door open, or, if not open, partially cracked.  And I will admit, I love the characters.  So, who knows?  It would have to be great story.  (I think a good series builds and improves on what came before; one that just milks the prior installments is an insult to the reader.)

6) What themes did you want to project in your book? Did you think you were successful?

     The obvious overriding theme was good versus bad.  Our protagonists are being hunted down to keep them from exposing a long-buried secret.  The bad guys are very bad (though I tried to keep them interesting), and the good guys are very good (though they have their flaws and issues).  The more subtle theme, however, was family reconciliation.  And, at least to me as the writer, that was the more compelling.  One was the vehicle, while the other was the precious cargo.  I am pleased with the results, so, on that level, I was successful.  I leave it to my readers, though, to make the ultimate determination.


And there you have it folks. You can purchase Sea of Crises on AmazonIndie Bound, or Barnes & Noble. And you can find out more about Marty Steere and Sea of Crises at his homepage (link below). Thanks for stopping by peeps!








March 26, 2013

Release Day Euphoria! Volumes 3, Issue 3

at 3/26/2013 01:03:00 AM 0 comments
It's Tuesday and you know what that means. It's release day!!!! yayyyy Today we have the most anticipated books coming out, so let's get to it.




Sensible gentleman of means seeks a sensible lady of good breeding for correspondence, and in due consideration, matrimony.
Which is exactly the sort of advertisement that makes practical-to-a-fault Daphne Dale's heart flutter. A sensible gentleman, in her estimation, is the perfect match,and she's even more convinced once she's exchanging sensibly romantic letters with her very appropriate suitor. That is,until Lord Henry Seldon strays into her path. He's everything she's vowed to avoid—a rakish charmer whose very touch seduces her practical sensibilities and her resolve.
Lord Henry Seldon was not amused when his nephew placed an advertisement to find him a wife. Yet he couldn't resist replying to the note from "Miss Spooner." And once he discovers he's corresponding with none other than the disarming Daphne Dale, he finds it's too late to disavow his heart. Now it is up to Henry to prove to Daphne just how insensible—and powerfully passionate—true love can be . . .


I love all of Elizabeth Boyle's books! Especially her Bachelor Chronicles Series! I read the first book in this new series and I absolutely loved it! I can't wait for this book to come in the mail. Review to come, but here's a link to get your copy today. :D




Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: it seems Qhuinn has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young. It’s hard for Blay to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. And Qhuinn needs to come to terms with some dark things before he can move forward…

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.

OMG! Finally, we get to see some action between Qhuinn and Blay!!! After the events of Lover Reborn, I wondered how the Warden would spin Qhuay's HEA, especially with Layla in the mix. I suspect that Layla will be the mother of Qhuinn's baby, but will end up with Xcor. I picked up on some chemistry between these two so let's see how it goes.



Emily Portsman has a secret, and three years ago she decided the best way to keep it would be to work at the Tantalus Club, a notorious gaming establishment for gentlemen. It’s not the sort of work a beautiful, well-bred governess would ever consider—unless she’s hiding from her past and a man who wants to destroy her present…
Nate Stokes, Earl of Westfall, is a supremely accomplished former spy more at home on London’s seedy streets than in any glittery ballroom. His peers know him only as a bookish fellow who can find anything—or anyone. When the Marquis of Ebberling hires him to find a murderess, Nate’s search leads him to the Tantalus Club and Emily Portsman. In a game where no one is who they seem and when every conversation is a deadly dance of trust and desire, the only thing Nate knows for sure is that once he gets Emily in his arms, he will never let go…

This book is a part of the Scandalous Brides series. I have read a couple of Suzanne Enoch's books, but to be honest I haven't been keeping track of her works.

Amazon
The only thing more troublesome than a Cynster man...is a Cynster lady who belives love is not her destiny. Famously known in London society as "The Matchbreaker," Henrietta Cynster's uncanny skill lies in preventing ill-fated nuptials - not in falling victim to Cupid's spell.

But then she distrupts one match too many and feels honor-bound to assist dashing James Glossup in finding a suitable bride for a marriage of convenience.

A task infernally complicated by the undeniable, unquenchable attraction that flares between James and Henrietta, who continues to believe she will never fall...



I LOVE the Cynster family (and their extended family). I have read just about every Cynster related book that Stephanie Laurens has ever written. Ever since Devil's Bride, I've been hooked on the zany, lovable family. If you have never read any of the Cynster books, I highly recommend this series. Click on the link below to get your copy today and if you have never read a Cynster book, now's the time to start.

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March 15, 2013

Blog Tour Post: Death, Doom, and Detention by Darynda Jones

at 3/15/2013 12:21:00 AM 7 comments






The normal part of Lorelei MacAlister’s life didn’t just slip away quietly the day Jared Kovach came to town. Nope. The normal part of her life shattered. It exploded. It burst into a gazillion shards of fleeting light.

It went out with a bang.

Goodbye normal.

Hello dark and eerie.

While her best friend, Brooklyn, is focusing all of her energy on helping Lorelei hone her abilities, Lorelei is dealing with the reality that Satan’s second in command has taken up residence inside her body. Oh, and the fact that she has a crush on the Angel of Death. But what a beautiful death it is. If those weren’t bad enough, something sinister has come to town and it wants nothing more than to hear Lorelei’s dying breath as it strangles it out of her. Thank goodness the gang has a supernatural champion. But what happens when the only being who can save them switches sides midstream? How can a group of misfits capture one of the most powerful beings ever created? And will they find out how to bring Jared back to them before it’s too late?


Excerpt

Chapter 1

Fuzzy Edges


“Is this class ever going to end?”

My best friend, Brooklyn, draped her upper body across her desk in a dramatic reenactment of Desdemona’s death in Othello. 

She buried her face in a tangle of arms and long black hair for effect. It was quite moving. And while I appreciated her freedom to express her misgivings about the most boring class since multicelled organisms first crawled onto dry land, I wondered about her timing.

“Miss Prather,” our Government teacher, Mr. Gonzales, said, his voice like a sharp crack in the silence of study time.

Brooklyn jerked upright in surprise. She glanced around as our classmates snickered, either politely into their hands or more rudely outright.

“Is there something you’d like to share with the class?”

She turned toward Mr. Gonzales and asked, “Did I say that out loud?”

The class erupted in laughter as Mr. G’s mouth formed a long narrow line across his face. 

Miraculously, the bell rang and Brooklyn couldn’t scramble out of her seat fast enough. She practically sprinted from the room. I followed at a slower pace, smiling meekly as I walked past Mr. G’s desk.

Brooklyn stood waiting for me in the hall, her face still frozen in surprise.

“That was funny,” I said, tugging her alongside me. She fell in line as we wound through the crush of students, fighting our way to PE. I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t particularly enjoy having my many faults and numerous shortcomings put on display for all to see, so why I would fight to get there was beyond me.

“No, really.” She tucked an arm through mine. “I didn’t mean to say that out loud.”

I couldn’t help but smile despite the weight on my chest, a weight that seemed endless. “Which is why that was funny.”

I did that a lot lately. Smiled. It was easier than explaining why I wasn’t.

“You don’t get it,” she said. “This is exactly what I’ve been talking about. Everything is weird ever since … you know.”

I did know. Ever since Jared Kovach came to town. Ever since he’d saved my life after a huge green delivery truck slammed into me. Ever since we’d found out he was the Angel of Death and had been sent not to save my life but to take it. To tweak the timing. To take me sooner than nature—or a huge green delivery truck—had intended.

And ever since I found out I’d been possessed by a demon when I was six years old.

Still, that wasn’t the worst part of that day all those years ago. The worst part was the fact that my parents were gone. Vanished in a whirlwind when some guy—we still had no idea who—opened the gates of hell. And I’d led them straight to it. The fact that a demon—Malak-Tuke, to be exact, Lucifer’s second-in-command—escaped from his fiery pit and decided to crash at my place was just the icing on the cake. But I didn’t know any of this until two months ago.

I’d been living with my grandparents since the disappearance, but my semi-normal existence changed forever when I was knocked into the street by a skateboarder and hit by that truck.

That near-death experience taught me a valuable lesson: Never get hit by a huge green delivery truck if I can help it. But if I hadn’t, if my life hadn’t almost ended that day, then Jared Kovach would not have been sent. And oddly enough, Jared Kovach was definitely worth the risk.

The events that followed were both terrifying and life changing. I learned that there really was a heaven and a hell. That there really were angels and demons. That I was a prophet, the last prophet in a long line of incredible women, descended from a powerful woman named Arabeth. And I’d learned that I had a demon inside me, that I’d had him inside me for years.

Even Jared had never seen anything like it. Most people possessed by evil spirits were lucky to survive. People possessed by demons—a rarity, from what I’d been told—never survived more than a month. Ever. And yet here I stood. As possessed as a girl with a demon inside her could be.

And, yes, things had been weird.




About the Author:

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at www.daryndajones.com.

Links To Author:
Links To Purchase Books:

March 13, 2013

Almost Released: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

at 3/13/2013 11:31:00 AM 3 comments

Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.
If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it? 
The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.
Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.
Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

Sigh this cover is so fantastic!!! It's absolutely beautiful! The model has a haughty, royal look about her. I'm a big fan of her Mortal Instruments series and I have yet to start getting into this series, but they are buried in my To Read Pile. I am going to a book signing the for Cassandra Clare two days after it's released, so there's a good chance that the giveaway copy MIGHT be signed by the author herself, though I'm not making any promises.



Who do you think Tessa will pick?
  
pollcode.com free polls 



March 5, 2013

Release Day Euphoria: Death, Doom, and Detention by Darynda Jones

at 3/05/2013 01:13:00 AM 1 comments
The normal part of Lorelei MacAlister’s life didn’t just slip away quietly the day Jared Kovach came to town. Nope. The normal part of her life shattered. It exploded. It burst into a gazillion shards of fleeting light. 
It went out with a bang.
Goodbye normal.
Hello dark and eerie. 
While her best friend, Brooklyn, is focusing all of her energy on helping Lorelei hone her abilities, Lorelei is dealing with the reality that Satan’s second in command has taken up residence inside her body. Oh, and the fact that she has a crush on the Angel of Death. But what a beautiful death it is. If those weren’t bad enough, something sinister has come to town and it wants nothing more than to hear Lorelei’s dying breath as it strangles it out of her. Thank goodness the gang has a supernatural champion. But what happens when the only being who can save them switches sides midstream? How can a group of misfits capture one of the most powerful beings ever created? And will they find out how to bring Jared back to them before it’s too late?

yayyyyy!!!! it's finally here! I just got an email that says it's been shipped and on it's way!!!! I am so excited to read it. In honor of this momentous occasion, I have posted a giveaway. Giveaway rules apply so read them carefully and enter to win a copy! If you want to purchase a copy instead please click the links below the widget.


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March 4, 2013

ARC Review: Thrown By A Curve by Jaci Burton

at 3/04/2013 07:46:00 PM 3 comments

She thinks she knows this player--but he has a few surprise moves.
For Alicia Riley, her job as a sports therapist for the St. Louis Rivers baseball team is a home run--until she becomes the primary therapist for star pitcher Garrett Scott. Out of the lineup with an injury, he's short-tempered, hard to handle, and every solid inch a man.
 
Right now, the only demand he's making on Alicia is that she get him ready to pitch in time for opening day. Except the sexual chemistry between them is so charged, Alicia's tempted to oblige Garrett just about anything. But their careers are at stake--one bad move and it's game over for both of them. 
Garrett also feels the hot sparks between them, and the way he figures it, what better therapy is there than sex? Now all he has to do is convince the woman with the power to make the call.

I first started reading Jaci Burton's Play by Play series after I met her at RWA 2012. She was really kind and signed several book plates for me. Main thing that attracted me to her books is her covers. Nothing like a half naked man to draw attention from the eyes. :D Her covers have usually went with the main theme of a hot, half naked, faceless man and this book's cover is no different; not that I mind.

So far her books have circulated around the Rileys and their extended family. An athletic group hot, muscled man who play in baseball, football, and hockey. And them there are the females of the family as well. In this volume of the series, we focus on Alicia Riley, a sports therapist for the Rivers, sister to the Cole Riley (hero of book 4) and cousin to Gavin Riley (hero of book 2). She had just gotten her dream job with the Rivers and faces her first obstacle, Garrett Scott.

Garrett is the main pitcher for the Rivers and is currently in therapy for his arm. The only thing stopping him from a full recovery is his personality as bluntly said by Alicia when he calls her out in front of the therapy staff.


"You're argumentative, confrontational, and a general pain in the ass to deal with. Honestly, no one wants to work with you because you fight your recovery. Half of healing is mental, and your head is the biggest obstacle to getting you back on the mound."

Her honesty and confidence attract Garrett's attention and she is put in charge of her recovery. As much of a career booster as this is for Alicia, it also puts a lot of pressure on her. If she couldn't get Garrett back on the mound, it's her butt on the line. They are attracted to each other right off the bat and as they spend more time together, they realize that resisting is futile. 

I give this book a.....4 & a half rating.



I liked how Jaci expanded on the Rivers personnel and  the closeness of the Riley family. Alicia is like every other female in the Riley family. She's smart, strong-willed, kind, and won't hesitate to kick your butt. In the beginning I found Garrett to be the stereotypical athlete, but as the story progresses, he proved to be nice guy. The only reason Alicia and Garrett didn't get a full 5 was because I felt that Alicia and Garrett were beating around the bush about the extent of their relationship. Other than that, I loved all of the new characters that were introduced in this book, which in answered what most readers want to ask Jaci Burton, so what now? Since all of the Rileys, males and females, have all been paired up, I wondered what Jaci's game plan was. Judging by the next book's cover I'm going with racing. This book is an excellent addition to the Play by Play series and hopefully the next volume will be just as good.

I am giving away a copy of Thrown by a Curve and a book plate. Winner gets to pick which plate they want. Same giveaway rules apply. This book officially comes out tomorrow, so expect a Release Day Euphoria post tomorrow. Order your copies today or take your chances and enter to win. The giveaway ends the 12th of March. I also included links to sites that will sell the book. Click those if you can't wait for the giveaway to end.





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No copyright infringement intended. All rights belong to Jaci Burton.
 

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