Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review: Bayou Noël by Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright

Bayou Noel

Series: Bayou Heat #8.5

Author: Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright


Tis the season for new beginnings:

Molly has spent her last Christmas alone. After waiting five years for Garrick to notice her as more than his mother’s caregiver. The aggravating male might always have a place in her heart, but she’s determined to find someone who wants to build a family with her. She had no idea that writing a letter of resignation would bring Garrick back to the Wildlands.

It will take a Christmas miracle to bring them together:

Garrick can’t believe that Molly is willing to walk away. She’d not only become irreplaceable to his mother, but he’d become addicted to her letters when he was far away from home. He’d be damned if he was going to let her slip away. But once back in the Wildlands, Garrick is forced to choose between opening his heart to the female he loves or risk losing her forever.


Short, sweet, and wonderful.

Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright were definitely keeping the fans in mind when they put out this sweet, sexy little novella. They wanted to give us a little Pantera to keep us warm this holiday season and to thank their fans for eating up their series and giving them wonderful support by putting it up for free.

Molly is a healer working for Garrick’s mother as her caregiver. She waited for him for five years for him to notice that she was a woman who was there, ready, and in love with him, and for him to tell her how he was really feeling. Deciding that she is done, she quits her job with a note on the door. That one little note brought Garrick home for the holidays to stop her.

Garrick is not like the other Pantera males. Taking a mate is not high on his priority list, maybe not on it at all, so when these feelings for Molly pop up, he has no idea how to deal with it. It’s obvious that he cares about her, that he wants her body, but his puma wants more than that – Molly wants and deserves more than that. Garrick knows it, so he’s troubled.

Garrick is yet another steaming hot Pantera male that knows how to set his mate on fire – the readers too. A Suit, he’s supposed to be poised, mannered, and refined, but Molly brings out the possessive male in him – the one that wants to hide Molly away from the rest of the world and stay there with her forever.

Like all the other Bayou Heat novellas, things end well for Garrick and Molly. If I had one complaint about the story, though, it is that I WANT MORE! It was so short, just enough to wet you whistle and leave you begging for more. Laura Wright and Alexandra Ivy are masters at that. Brava, ladies!!


5 stars

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Complete Midnight Fire Series by Kaitlyn Davis

The Complete Midnight Fire Series (Midnight Fire)
Release Date: 10/31/13

Summary from Goodreads:
**Get the first two books FREE when you buy the entire series at once!**

From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis comes a paranormal romance perfect for fans of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

"With one last look, one final search of the lines of his face for some sign, Kira turned and ran away from the sound of the man she loved laughing in the face of her death."

When Kira Dawson moves to South Carolina, she meets Luke, a blond goofball who quickly becomes her best friend, and Tristan, a mysterious bad boy who sends shivers down her spine. Kira knows they're keeping secrets, but when she discovers Tristan's lust for blood and her own dormant mystical powers, Kira is forced to fight for her life and make the heartbreaking decision between the familiar comfort of friendship and the fiery passion of love.

Available from:
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RAVE REVIEWS for the Midnight Fire Series! 
"The writing is effortlessly mind blowing. I could not put this entire series down. Once you're hooked, you won't either because it'll eat you up not knowing what happened! And then you'll pick a team like I did and you'll fall in love with all the characters and you'll want all the bad guys to die horribly! Just trust me when I say it really is your loss to miss out on this series! It's a blaze of glory!" - Happy Tales and Tails Blog

"Kaitlyn Davis writes some of the best action scenes I have come across in a young adult book; they are fast paced and so well delivered making this more than just a silly romance." - Reflections of a Bookworm

"The only downside to this series, is that it ended. But the ending was beautiful." - My Seryniti

"Kira isn't a human girl who is one dimensional and in love with a vampire. She's a well-thought out character who comes to life from the pages and steals into your heart. Read the books. Do it." - Urban Girl Reader

"I love and hate how fast of a read this was! I love it because I couldn't get enough of it and hate it because once I finished I wanted more!" - I Just Wanna Sit Here And Read

"I really enjoyed Ms Davis's writing, I was riveted throughout and was eager to see what would happen - there was drama, danger, action and romance that was wonderfully detailed and described." - Obsession With Books

"You'll make friends with Kira, choose sides with Tristan and Luke, and fall in love with the story at heart about a girl with so bright a future....even shades aren't gonna cut it." - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers


Ignite Prologue:

Kira watched as he languidly stood up, flexing his muscles as though he had just awakened from a long dream. He stretched his arms over his head and cracked the bones in his neck before finally settling his gaze on her. She hardly recognized him, the boy she had fallen in love with. Where minutes before there had been light and emotion in his eyes, there was only a black hole, a seemingly endless abyss. Kira had never seen him look at her that way, like less than food, like vermin, even since the first time they had met.

"Aren’t you going to run?" He asked with sinister humor coloring his words. The smirk on his face may as well have been a knife cutting through her heart. The darkness had always called him, but Kira had always thought that being with her would be enough to keep him from crossing over. She saw now that he had surrendered to his nature and for the first time she felt real fear when he looked at her.

Kira stepped backwards on shaky feet, trying to digest the question. She didn’t have an answer. How could she turn her back on him and run away? The man she loved was trying to kill her. There were no options. Could she forget it all—all the nights they had shared kissing and swapping secrets—and fight to kill? Or, would she run and admit that there was no hope that he would return to her?

Kira said his name and reached out her hand, searching one last time for the man she had lost.

"Yes, honey." The word hit her like a slap in the face as it rolled off of his tongue drenched in sarcasm.

Kira looked up at the sun, still hidden behind the shadow of the moon, and sprinted into the tree line behind her. She couldn’t give up on him now. But, when the eclipse was over, maybe she would finally find the strength to fight.

About the Author
I've always been a writer. I grew up duct taping my novels together, started writing complete manuscripts in high school and studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. Upon graduating, I decided it was finally time to actually give my dream career a chance. So, of course, I started writing a young adult paranormal romance series -- and no, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon. I've been a true paranormal supporter for my entire life! I blame my obsession almost completely on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my all-time favorite television show. And, before you ask: Yes, I own every season... even the post WB ones! I especially challenge anyone to watch the first three seasons and not fall in love with Angel, securing a lifelong love of vampires! Other culprits of my paranormal obsession are some of my favorite authors: JK Rowling, Raymond Feist, Meg Cabot, Richelle Mead, Lynne Ewing and Tamora Pierce.

Author Links:
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3 Digital sets of The Complete Midnight Fire Series. Each copy includes all FOUR books in the series – Ignite, Simmer, Blaze & Scorch (INT)
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Book Blitz hosted by:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Finding Joy by Jenni Moen

Remembering Joy
Release Date: 12/13/13

Book Summary from Goodreads:
Love is patient. 

It can happen when you least expect it, where you least expect it, with whom you least expect it.

Love is kind.

But love may not grow out of kindness. It can happen with the person who hates you most because love knows no bounds. 

And it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love doesn’t hold a grudge.

Love forgives.

Love forgets.

But when the healing of your heart 
breaks the hearts of the ones you love …
it may seem impossible to

Find joy.


I looked over at Adam, who was no stranger to love and hate, and wondered if he still had any trouble distinguishing between the two. Long before he had loved me, he’d hated me. Who could blame him? Even though he swore that he no longer harbored any of those old feelings, I couldn’t help but wonder if it ever nagged at him the way my regrets nagged at me.

He must have felt my eyes on him. He turned and looked at me thoughtfully. He shook his head ever so slightly before returning his gaze to the stage. ‘Don’t think too much about it,’ he would say if he knew what I was thinking.

I would try.

Dirk, Barnacle, and Brian were already tearing things down on the stage. Adam started in their direction and then turned back to me. He cleared the space he’d just put between us in three steps and stopped just inches from me. His eyes flashed dark. “You wonder when it’s going to get easier for us, but it’s not easy for anybody, Allie. Everyone has their shit. It’s different shit for different people, but it’s still all shit. Being able to deal with it ... that’s where greatness lies. And we’re great.”

He was right. I wanted easy, but there was no easy. I wanted greatness, but all my doubts and insecurities were holding us back.

“We are great,” I said to his retreating back.

It was time to stop dwelling on the past … and make us greater.

Available from:
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Book One:
(linked to Goodreads)
Available from:
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About the Author
Jenni Moen lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment. 
When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.

Author Links:
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1 – Print book set of Remembering Joy and Finding Joy (US only)
3 – eBook sets of Remembering Joy and Finding Joy (INT)
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Book Blitz Organized by:

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Magic Violin, Frederico the Mouse Violinist, and The Doll Violinist by Mayra Calvani


Eight-year old Melina wants to become a good violinist. When she loses confidence, her Rumanian teacher Andrea decides it’s time for a magic dose of self-esteem. A mysterious old woman in rags gives Melina some curious advice; a violinist Russian hamster, who happens to live under the old woman’s hat, offers her a virtuoso performance; a shooting star fills her with hope on Christmas Eve. Is Melina actually playing better, or has her violin become magic? Who is the old woman in the town square, and why does she wear the same emerald ring as her teacher Andrea?

Praise for The Magic Violin : 
  • “Mayra makes this storyline and its backdrop magical, with just the right hint of mystery to it. Her characters’ “voice” comes through loud and clear. Accompanied by the crisp, detailed, and lifelike illustrations of K.C. Snider, this book is a keeper. This is a great read, especially for kids interested in music, mystery, magic during the holiday season, and the beauty of winter.” –Stories for Children Magazine 
  • “… The Magic Violin is an inspiring and uplifting book about a young girl and her realization that believing in oneself can have a very magical outcome… Mayra’s book definitely has a strong message, one that is important and everlasting. For children and jaded adults alike, The Magic Violin will lift spirits and just may give you and your child the boost to believe in your power to reach your goals.” –Mama Divas

amazon blog


Frederico is a tiny mouse with a big dream: he wants to become a violinist. Each day he watches as Stradivari makes his famous violins. Each night, he sneaks into the workshop to play. But the violins are too big! Then, unbeknown to Frederico, Stradivari sees him playing and begins carving a tiny device. Could it be a famous Strad especially for Frederico?

   Praise for Frederico, The Mouse Violinist 
  •  “Cute and curious, a little mouse transports us into Antonio Stradivari’s magical workshop. In a sweet playful way, Frederico conveys to us his love for the violin, while he introduces us to this marvelous instrument. Lovely tribute to a genius, whose exceptional instruments have delighted us for 300 years!”—Dorina Raileanu, violin teacher, author of the Dorina Violin Method 
  •  “Frederico’s story is adorable and touching. I’m sure it will entertain many children, teach them a few things about the violin–and who knows, perhaps even give them the desire to learn to play!”—Francine Engels, Suzuki violin teacher 
  • “Frederico the Mouse Violinist, written by Mayra Calvani, is a sweet story about a small mouse who lives in the workshop of the famous violinist, Antonio Stradivari. My family and I loves animal tales. I read it to my seven year old son, Noah, and he loved it. The illustrations are beautiful, and this story will entertain and teach children, ages 4-8, about violins for years to come.” –Book Reflections

amazon blog
doll-violinist-small  THE DOLL VIOLINIST

Five days before Christmas, Emma is captivated by a doll in a shop window. Each day, she sneaks out of the orphanage to check if it’s been sold, but the shop owner, Madame Dubois, sends her away. Will the magic of Christmas bring Emma, Madame Dubois, and the doll violinist together? ABC’s Children’s Picture Book Finalist! Honorable Mention Award in the 75th Annual Writers Digest Writing Competition!  

  Praise for The Doll Violinst 
  •  “The story reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas. It is a time to reach out and give to the less fortunate. It is also a time to have compassion for the homeless and orphans like the main character Emma…This story will pull at your heart, and it will inspire you to go donate tons of toys to your local orphanage this upcoming holiday season.”—Speak4Languages 
  • “I loved this picture book! It reminded me of Christmas stories from my own childhood. This is a feel - good picture book that will be enjoyed both by the child and by the adult who reads it to them since it truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. The Doll Vioinist would be the perfect gift for that little girl on your Christmas list!” –Kidztales   

amazon blog

MayraAuthor Mayra Calvani

 Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer's Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others. She lives in Belgium with her husband of 25+ years, two wonderful kids, and her two beloved pets. When she's not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. She's represented by Serendipity Literary.

  Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/2/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Tour and Giveaway: On Solid Ground by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

In Too Deep

Series: In Too Deep #1

Author: Michelle Kemper Brownlow

Release Date: June 6th 2013

Genre: New Adult Romance

Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing

Available From:


Long- Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?

On Solid Ground

Series: In Too Deep #2

Author: Michelle Kemper Brownlow

Release Date: December 3rd 2013

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Available From:


Gracie survived an emotionally abusive relationship that wrecked her. Her ex, Noah, systematically chipped away at her self-esteem through intimidation, humiliation and infidelity which left Gracie unable to trust her own perception of his intentions. But after falling head over heels for Jake, her best friend and the man who stood by her through it all, she is ready to experience life in the way it was meant to be lived. However, Gracie may find it impossible to simultaneously heal from the trauma of abuse while navigating a relationship with Jake. Can she put her heart on hold in order to heal her soul?The sequel to the five-star debut novel, In Too Deep, chronicles Gracie’s steps toward healing as she falls deeper in love, reaches out for help, stands on her own, steps out of her comfort zone, faces her biggest fears, and reconnects with a sensual, talented soul from her past all in hopes of finding herself on solid ground.


When I read Michelle Kemper Brownlow's In Too Deep, I will admit that I wanted to ring a few necks: Noah's for all the cheating, yo-yoing, and just bad, disgusting behavior towards Gracie, Gracie for going back to him over and over again, and her girl friends for not seeing just how badly he was treating her. More than one time, I wanted to put the first book down and just walk away from it because I was tired of seeing Gracie run back to a guy that we all know that she was way too good for. It made me so mad. I just wanted to shake her.

When she and Jake found that there was something more than friendship between them, I was estatic. From the first desription of him, I knew he was a great guy. At the end of the first book, I was definitely curious to see what was going to happen in the next book. I was hoping and praying that it wouldn't be as stomach crippling as the first.

It definitely surprised me in the smoothness of the book as compared to the first. I was glad to have a reprieve from the major up and downs from the first book. On Solid Ground definitely picked up the ball and took Gracie in the direction we had been hoping and praying that she would finally go.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was the shift in point of view between Gracie and Jake. Since it's written in first person, the pov shifting back and forth allows us to see what's going on in both of their heads. It's refreshing to see inside Jake's head. I also like getting to see the beginning of this new relationship between Gracie and Jake. Finally, she's in a healthy relationship. After all the turmoil from the first book, it definitely made everything a little easier to follow and swallow without getting torn up.

This is the book where Gracie finally, really comes into her own. Instead of this broken, confused, fragile girl that we had to struggle with in the first book; this book is where Gracie finally gets a chance to heal from all of the struggles that Noah put her though. It takes a lot of healing after something like that, and I was glad to see Gracie go through this book to finally feel like the person she used to be.


 3 stars

About the Author

Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

“Writing is my way of making sense of the world. When I give my characters life on the pages I write, it frees up space in my mind to welcome in new stories that are begging to be told,” says Brownlow.

Author Links


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