Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review: The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrelyn Sparks

Vampire with Dragon tattoo cover
The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: Love at Stake book #14


He's Out of Control
Dougal Kincaid has something to prove. After being injured in a battle with the Malcontents, he's ready for active duty protecting unsuspecting mortals from these villainous vampires who want to rule the world. But first he has to get control of himself . . . because just the sight of a certain lovely doctor has his injured hand doing some peculiar things, not to mention the sizzling sensation that burns along his dragon tattoo.
Vampires? Vampires?! As a scientist, Leah is having trouble believing that these immortal creatures exist. But there they are, standing in front of her, asking for help in solving a genetic puzzle that can save mankind. There's even one in a sexy kilt! Just one look into Dougal's gorgeous green eyes sets her pulse racing. But can she trust him—and the overwhelming desire that refuses to be ignored?
Available from:
 photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg


Kerrelyn Sparks has hit it out of the park again. Her Love At Stake books have never disappointed me. I stumbled across the first one several years ago, and I was hooked. Her characters are well-rounded, well-thought out, quirky and all together fun to read about. Vampires, Werewolves, Were-bears, etc. I'll take them all. The world she has created in this series has kept me coming back for more and more. She is one of those authors that make me wish the book was longer when I reach the end.
I've been waiting to hear Dougal's story for some time. When he lost his hand in battle, I knew that we were in for an interesting ride with him somewhere down the road. As a particularly big fan of Scotsmen, I was excited to see that she had decided to write his story now. I love the brooding, "dangerous", and wonderfully handsome Scotsmen that she writes. (Most of the other males leads are just as brooding, dangerous, and handsome.)
Every time the good vampires get rid of a bad guy, the Malcontents seem to spawn a new, bigger and badder vampire who is ready to destroy the good vampires and take over the world. And once again, the good vampires have to intervene to save the humans from them. All the while knowing that they're not going to get any real recognition for their efforts or even their sacrifices.
Another unwitting human female is brought into the world of the vampires, this time, she is a scientist who specializes in genetics. She had no idea that vampires or other supernatural creatures were real, so she has a hard time coming to grips with it when she is brought to Romantech to help out the good vampires. As soon as she appears on the security camera feed, Dougal knows that there is something different about her - his body reacts to her instantly.
This is another amazing book in a great series. I loved it, and I look forward to reading the next one.


5 stars

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cover Reveal: Into the Storm by Melanie Moreland

 photo CoverReveal.jpg

Through Xpresso Book Tours, I'm helping Melanie Moreland reveal the cover of her book, Into the Storm.

Into the Storm cover

Into the Storm

Author: Melanie Moreland

Genres: Adult, Romance

Publication Date: Late 2013


She is a woman on the run. Pain, loneliness and terror are what she is leaving. Where she is headed doesn’t matter as long as it’s away from the hell her life has become.

Joshua Bennett is trapped in a prison of his own making by the memories of his past. Traumatized and isolated, he is a reclusive writer, living a quiet, lonely life, his only companion his dog, Bear. It is what he knows, what he has accepted to be his life.

One dark night, one huge storm, and one ice patch brings them together. He finds himself with an unexpected houseguest with no memory. She wakes up a stranger to herself and the man watching her. Even more mysterious is the lack of any sort of identification with her or in her car. She is an enigma to both of them.

Trapped by the storm and isolated from the outside world, they slowly open up, learning to trust and love, until the world once again shows up, threatening the fragile peace of their newly discovered world, and tearing them apart.

There are many twists and turns as they struggle to find each other, overcoming both the mental and physical elements that keep them apart.

A story about overcoming our fears, finding love and learning to live again.

About the Author

Lindsay Leggett

Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and fur children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works at a local university and for its football team. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines, to let her share them with her readers.

Author Links

Xpresso Book Tours

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Morrigan by Laura DeLuca

 photo LIATWP_newcover.jpg


Author: Laura DeLuca

Publication date: November 8, 2013

Available from:
 photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg


Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn't know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind, and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.

Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.


Morrigan took out a white candle and a stick of dragon blood incense, and set them up in the corner of the room. She sat cross-legged, and leaned forward to light them. No matches were necessary. No lighter either. She simply touched her finger to the end of the wick, and with an iridescent spark, the candle flickered to life. It shone at first with a bright blue flame that gradually settled into a more normal orange. It was the same with the incense—another reason why she preferred not to have an audience.

She stared into the candle for a moment, and took a few deep breaths to clear her mind of all thoughts but those of the magic she intended to perform. Danu and Dagda sat on either side of her, instantly falling into silence, as though they knew she needed her complete concentration. Their energy beside her only seemed to add to the growing sense of power that charged the room.

Morrigan closed her eyes and began to shuffle the cards. As she did, she allowed her breathing to become more even. A silence filled the room as the rest of the mortal world fell away. Soon the only sound she heard was the light thump of her own heartbeat, echoed by the quicker, fast paced beat of the cats’ hearts. She wasn’t sure how much time passed as the cards slipped through her fingers. It might have been minutes. It might have been hours. When she allowed herself to fall into a trance, time became insubstantial, irrelevant.

The tarot cards were so old; the designs on the back were almost completely worn away. She had to shuffle gently to keep them from crumbling to pieces in her hands. Yet they held a power that she knew no newer cards could offer her. As she shuffled them, she focused her energy into them, silently requesting to be given the answers she was seeking. She allowed the image of her mother to fill her mind. When she finally felt the cards had fallen into the order they were meant to be in, she placed the deck face down on the floor, and cut them with her right hand. Then, taking one last, calming breath, she lifted the top card from the pile. With a trembling hand, she laid it down and read it.

"Wheel of Fortune," she said aloud.

In the center of card was a wheel. As she stared at the picture, that wheel seemed to turn clockwise. The movements made her feel slightly dizzy. The bedroom around her became more and more surreal. The scene on the card became her reality. The figure of the sphinx that sat on top of the turning wheel looked so very real. It might have turned its head to look at her. Its lips may or may not have moved. Morrigan swore she heard a deep, resonating voice whispering the meaning of the card into her ear. Destiny approaching. An unexpected and sudden change was coming—change that could lead to good fortune.

It was the card of fate and karma returned. It meant that she needed to be prepared—to expect the unexpected. Morrigan knew the cards were telling her something was going to happen—and soon. Her destiny, whatever it was, was about to be realized. Even if it did bring fortune, it still scared her to death. She considered packing up the cards right then and there. Her rational mind had every intention of doing just that. Her hands didn’t get the message her brain was sending. Before she knew what she was doing, she had already flipped over the second card.

"The Empress," she whispered. She exhaled deeply. "My mother."

It was the only interpretation imaginable. Even as she said it, the pregnant woman, crowned with stars and adorned in a gown decorated with pomegranates, turned to her and smiled. She was no longer a vague featureless stranger, but the same woman Morrigan had sketched earlier that day—a face that mirrored her own. It was an older version of herself, which she saw in the reflection in the nearby full length mirror, had turned chalk white.

The Empress was a symbol of maternal power—of strong feminine influence. But could it mean that her mother was returning? She had never allowed herself to consider such a possibility. To dwell on something so unlikely would have been too painful. But now, with just the flip of a card, she found herself daring to dream. There was only one way to find out for sure. She had to keep going with the reading.

"Six of Cups."

The third card in the spread represented her past, and even her immediate present. The six of cups specifically symbolized childhood, and she was, technically, still a child. But she had a feeling that her childhood was about to end quite abruptly. The cups in the picture were lined up across a high stone wall, each cup holding the memories of her past.

Her past. It was nothing but a childhood filled with longing—longings which were perhaps about to be fulfilled. She visualized herself taking each cup down from the wall, and pouring the troubling memories away. It was time to start fresh. A new world was about to open up for her. She had known it as soon as she had seen the image of her mother’s face. But what would that world be like? What was waiting for her in the future?

Morrigan turned over the fourth card.

"The Knight of Wands."

The man on the horse carrying the staff had her baffled. Not because she didn’t know its normal meaning, but because as she stared at the card, it began to take on the physical attributes of the knight in her drawings. He had the same long dreadlocks, the same bewitching stare, even the same cocky smile. The familiarity did not cancel out the meaning of the card. The knight of wands was representative of a dark man filled with a kind of honey-tongued charm. He was also fiery and arrogant, a man with a definite possibility of a dark side. If the knight of wands was coming into her life, she knew she needed to proceed with caution.

She thought she was done with the fourth card, and was preparing to move on to the next, when once again, she found she had lost control of her body. This time, her hands refused to move, while her eyes forced their way back to the knight in the card. She watched as the long haired stranger began to move forward—wandering over various landscapes, some high mountains, some meadows and fields ripe for the harvest. He kept looking back over his shoulder, as though he were speaking to someone. He was on a journey, and he wasn’t alone. Morrigan didn’t need to see his companion to know who it must be.

So, her journey would soon begin, and she wouldn’t be traveling alone. She would have a guide. Whether or not that would be a good thing was another question best left to the cards to answer. The next card told her nothing she didn’t already know.

"The Moon," she said. "Caution."

It was a scary card. It warned of tricks and illusions. The two howling wolves that stood under the moon looked back at her menacingly, growling, showing their pointed fangs in a snarl. For the first time since she began the reading, Danu and Dagda made their presence known by lifting their heads and hissing threateningly in the direction of the beasts.

Even the cats sensed it. The journey she was about to embark on wouldn’t be all fun and family reunions. There would be obstacles and deceit, most likely from people she thought could be trusted. The moon was a sign that danger was certainly awaiting her. In was an ominous omen.


She hushed the hissing cats, and gave them each a gentle stroke to try to settle them down, though she was far from settled herself. Again she felt the urge to stop the spread. Her instincts were telling her that no good was going to come out of this reading. She was only going to scare herself. She should never have done it in the first place. When would she learn that sometimes it was best to let life play out without interference or prophetic warnings? Then again, she knew that to be forewarned might be her only advantage. So with more bravery than she felt, Morrigan flipped over the final card.

"No . . . ." she gasped when she looked down at the terrible, skeletal face. "Oh no."

She should have known. She thought a part of her did know even before she glanced down at the gruesome scene—a skeleton with a scythe in a field of body parts. With the divination going in the direction it was, what else could be the final outcome?

"Death," she whispered. "Death."

She knew that in most cases, the death card was a symbol of personal transformation rather than literal death. But a deeper sense of understanding told her that this time the card was meant to be taken literally. She saw only glimpses and shadows in her mind. Brief flashes of faces, some familiar, like her mother and the knight—some still strangers, like a beautiful, almost angelic blonde woman in a flowing white gown. But around them all, including herself, she saw the shadows of death.

Morrigan felt decidedly shaky as she gathered up her tarot cards. She placed them securely in the bottom of her bag just as she heard the door downstairs slam shut. The reading hadn’t made everything as crystal clear as she had hoped, but one thing was certain. Her whole life was about to change.

About the Author

Laura DeLuca

Laura "Luna" DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and three children. She has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Old high school friends would tell you she was always scratching in her notebook instead of paying attention in class and the children she used to babysit for always loved to hear her scary stories at bedtime. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.

Author Links


(click to enlarge)

Smudge stick with abalone shell, snake necklace, tumbled stones, incense, natural stone pendant and wood trinket box. (US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

YA Bound Book Tours

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday: November 1, 2013

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This Week's Question: What book are you embarrassed to admit you LOVED?

Since the question said to try to think beyond Twilight, I had to think a littler harder to decide.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I loved these book. I've read all by the last one, but not for lack of wanting to. My husband got me to watch the first season of True Blood a few years ago, so I decide to read the books since he was making me watch the show (that way I knew what was wrong and could point it out if I chose to do so). Sookie is a huge mary sue and goes through several different men, but I can't help but enjoy this series.

Today's Features:

Reading With A Vengeance

I prefer:

Follow on Bloglovin

That's What HE Said Thursday: October 31, 2013

Every Thursday, Chapter Break is hosting a brand new meme called:That’s what HE said Thursday. For more info on what this meme is all about click here.

Vampire with Dragon tattoo cover

"I failed you. I failed to protect you. And I failed to convince you that I love you. Ye thought ye were a replacement. And ye were suffering so much. I couldna beat it. I was trying to save you."

Dougal to Leah in Kerreyln Sparks's "The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo"

I am such a sucker for Scotsmen - their accents just melt my heart and sweep most women off their feet. Add on the fact that he is a fiercely protective, charming, and strong man, and he becomes completely swoon worthy. He is a great male lead.

Thursday Quotable #4

Thursday Quotables

Thursday Quotables is a weekly meme featured on Bookshelf Fantasies. It's "the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week. Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written."

Vampire with Dragon tattoo cover

This Week’s Thursday Quotable

Wilson smirked. "A furry thing in the groin area. Yeah, I'd call that manly." He reached out to stroke it.

Dougal stepped back. "Doona touch the muskrat."

Wilson straightened, his hand pressed to his chest. "Oh my God. I'm in muskrat love!"

― Kerrelyn Sparks, "The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed cover


Author: Ally Condie

Series: Matched #2


In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.


When I first started reading this book, I got very confused. I had no idea that this book would switch back points of view from Ky to Cassia, so I went into the first chapter thinking that Cassia was the character that I was following. Since Ky wasn't addressed by name in that first chapter, I just didn't notice. It wasn't until I hit chapter three after reading chapter two in Cassia's p.o.v. that I realized my mistake. It was more of the formatting that caught me up, though, because I'm not used to having to look up at the chapter title to know what is going on. It was just a minor problem, though.

I will say that I enjoyed reading Cassia's chapters more than I enjoyed reading Ky's. Maybe it was because I had already read through a book with just her as the narrator, so I felt like I knew her better in the second book. Or maybe it was because the voices of both characters were not distinct enough from one another. There were still some times later in the book that, even though I knew it was Ky's P.O.V, it could have easily been Cassia's instead.

I think Cassia is a great character to follow through this series. In this book, there is a lot more of her defining personality traits. She is so determined. Despite the fact that she has no real idea where Ky is, she gives everything she can and works harder than most other people would just to make her way back to Ky. She braves a lot of harsh trials, both emotional and physical, environmental and social. The situations she makes it through really show who she is, how she treats other people, and her quick witted-ness.

I have been rooting for Cassia and Ky since she saw his face on the microcard in the first novel. And while I am still on his side, I am beginning to sway a little toward Xander. While he is a small feature in this novel, the things we (along with Cassia) learn about him really helps to flesh him out as a character. While he was Matched with Cassia in the first book, she never really worried about him or revealed too much about him. So I like that Ally Condie makes sure to give him his time too.

I haven't decided which book I like better out of this series yet, but I do know that they are well done. And I look forward to reading the next book.


3 and 1/2 stars

 photo ReviewedbyStamp.png

Cover Reveal: Wasteland by Lindsay Leggett

 photo CoverReveal.jpg

Through Xpresso Book Tours, I'm helping Lindsay Leggett reveal the cover of her book, Wasteland.

 photo LIATWP_newcover.jpg


Series:Flight #2

Author:Lindsay Leggett

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult


Wasteland, the next book in the FLIGHT trilogy, takes place a few months after the ending of book one.

Trapped in a cell and experimented on, Piper Madden’s only hope is remembering Asher. Then, Elder Corp President Rupert Elder gives her new orders: to be a leader in a war against the Harpies. Without a choice, Piper must obey Rupert’s commands or suffer from paralyzing and painful Nanomachines. But the war is just beginning, and Asher has gone missing. The resistance is slowly building, and the upcoming war will be larger and bloodier than anything seen since the Devastation that ruined the earth. Throughout all of this, Piper remembers the time before she ran to Ichton, when David was alive and her hope in Elder Corp was still strong.

About the Author

Lindsay Leggett

Nearly every writer struggles to put together information about themselves, perhaps because we’re so used to detailing the lives and ways of others. For the most part I am a writer, editor, photographer, and all-around artist living in the wilds north of Toronto, Ontario. I thrive on the juxtaposition of beauty and grit, enjoy urban crawls, indie everything, and time well-spent in the woods.

Author Links

Xpresso Book Tours

WWW Wednesday (Oct. 30)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

• What are you currently reading?

Vampire with Dragon tattoo cover

I'm reading The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrelyn Sparks - my favorite contemporary author.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Insurgent cover

I just finished reading Crossed by Ally Condie.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Cross Bones cover

I plan on reading Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs, a book from the Temperance Brennan series.