Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Best YA Book of 2014~ Weatherboy by Theo Fenraven
I read A LOT! Probably cause for alarm! Of all the YA books I read this past year one stood out. One book stayed with me in that category. That's Weatherboy by Theo Fenraven
After fifteen-year-old Tuck finds a Maya artifact while on vacation in Guatemala, his whole life changes. To his surprise, he discovers he can make it rain and snow. A local weatherman happens to be around when Tuck creates a waterspout near his home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and the next thing he knows, someone from the Department of Homeland Security is picking him up at school and taking him to their offices in Orlando. From there, things only get weirder and more dangerous when he’s escorted to Washington, D.C.
With help from friends and family, Tuck tries to outwit government agents while staying one step ahead of the mysterious Rafe Castillo, the man assigned to ride herd on him. Tuck has an amazing opportunity to reverse the effects of climate change… but only if he stays alive long enough to do it.
If you love YA you will love this book. If you don't like YA, read this book because you'll love it. Imagine having the power to change the weather. Imagine that power could change the world. Now imagine what would happen if the world knew you had it? Yeah... Intense. Tuck is power personified in this book. But as Voltaire said, with great power comes great responsibility. My heart broke for Tuck in this story. I always try to relate to characters while I read. It enhances the experience. He's a kid. 15-16 but to me, that's a kid. The weight of the world is on his shoulders. He's "newly" out and he's crumbling. I wanted to put him in my pocket.
The story itself is brilliant. Climate change is a HUGE problem. An issue we see in the news constantly. I've heard people say, "I wish I had the power to fix it all." It's about balance. To fix one thing, something must break. Theo does an outstanding job showing the balance. He does it in the most gripping and intense way. I really became consumed with this story. Tuck is a symbol in this book.
YA or not this book needs to be read by everyone. Spot on editing, creative, entertaining, and brilliant!
Pick it up today!
Make sure to pick this book up and REVIEW! It matters!
Happy New Year!
Monday, December 29, 2014
Best Series of 2014: Free Men by Kate Aaron
It was a no brainer for me to decide what the best series I read this year was. It's really awesome it happened to also publish in one year.
Book 2: The Soldier
Book 3: The Master
At twenty-seven, Tamelik has been a slave more than half his life, having witnessed his family being murdered in front of him when he was just a child. Naturally submissive, although with a petulant streak, he can’t help but fall in love with the master who treats him kindly.
Tam's dreams come true when his mistress walks out, leaving her husband behind. For six glorious months, he and his master get to be together. Then Tam is ordered to purchase another slave.
He wants to hate Kai for being unruly and ungrateful. For being of the same race as the men who murdered his family. For being his eventual replacement in their master’s bed. But it’s hard to hate a man who cries himself to sleep, flinches at the slightest touch, and blushes beautifully when he’s kissed.
Seducing Kai has suddenly become more challenge than chore, and with his master’s encouragement, Tam finds himself falling for his new companion. Except... nobody can be in love with two people at once, can they?
Kate Aaron, without a doubt, has outdone herself! The Slave is a captivating tale about a slave named Tam. A slave who has had his world turned upside down and inside out and yet finds hope and love in the life he's been given. I fell in love with this character from the beginning. As Kai and Master enter the story, the ensemble grew not just in numbers but in fabulous substance. Each bringing so much to this already fascinating story. The Slave (Book One of Free Men) starts off this series with a bar leveled so high you are eager EAGER to see where Kate will take the rest of this tale. If there's one series you should fall into IT'S THIS ONE! It will blow your mind, have your heart pounding, and every fiber of your being vibrating. I loved every second of this amazing story! Every second!
Three months. That’s all it took for Kai to forsake freedom and learn to love his new life as pleasureslave to a wealthy Thirskan Underlord.
Finding himself surrounded by his own people once more, Kai should have been happy: relieved to be rescued from slavery, and out of the clutches of a man who was the sworn enemy of his people. Yet his people are not how he remembers them. Distrustful of Kai, and disgusted by his relationship with not one man but two, they make it abundantly clear he no longer fits in.
Beaten, starved, and tortured, when the chance comes to escape, Kai is barely strong enough to make the journey. Even if he succeeds, how could anybody ever love the thing he’s become in order to survive?
There are no words to describe this book, but I will try. This is book 2 of the Free Men Series (Book 1 is The Slave) The Soldier is written in Kai's POV. The Soldier is heartbreaking and soul cleansing. Kai is so brave, so giving. I was somewhat shocked as I meandered through his mind in this book. In the first one we are in Tam's POV so we can only guess where Kai's mind is at. Kai is sacrificial is so many things in this tale. I cried CRIED reading this. You want to protect Kai and many times throughout you feel he is forgotten. That was the hardest part for me. I was overcome by the loneliness he carries. The second book in this saga is the meat to this story. Book 1 we were swept away in the pureness, hope, and love that is Tam. In The Soldier we are left breathless by the darkness, despair, and unknown adoration of Kai. God only knows what Kate Aaron has in store for us in Book 3. EXCELLENT BOOK!
Being rescued was only the start.
Otiz lies in ruins. As underlord of the region, Lysander knows where his responsibilities lie. He has an obligation to the survivors to rebuild their homes and their lives. But what about his home, his life?
Kai needs help. The damage inflicted on him goes beyond the marks left when he was tortured, but healing him might require more from Lysander than he’s capable of giving. Of one thing he’s certain: Tam and Kai will never be endangered again because of who he is, even if saving them means setting them free.
All Lysander wants is to be left in peace. To recover from the horrors of his experience at the hands of his enemies. But with pressure piling up from every angle, peace is the last thing he’s likely to find. Suffocated by guilt, Lysander begins to spiral. How can he hold everything together, when inside he’s falling apart?
Free Men, Book 3 The Master ended this series perfectly. Kate Aaron, has yet again, mastered the written word. Her creation of a world and the characters in it is breathtaking. Book 1 (The Slave) we followed Tam's POV and Kate whisked us away into a world where boundaries were pushed, love truly is stronger than anything, and the impossible is challenged. In Book 2 ( The Soldier) we were sucked into Kai's world, and the darkness that consumed him. His past, as horrible as it was, had nothing on what awaited him at the hands of his own. But, again, love was a huge healer in that book. Now, The Master, book 3 to this marvelous series brings it all full circle. Finally, we hear from Lysander. FINALLY we truly understand his feelings for Tam and Kai. The purpose of Kai's purchase, and how every sacrifice he made, and makes, is selfless.
I was blown away and left breathless by this book and this entire series will go down as an all time favorite series! I applaud Kate Aaron.
Kate Aaron has all of her books, buy links, and even a place to read for free... Hmmm!!!!
BUY LINKS FOR FREE MEN SERIES
I highly encourage you to purchase this series. I'd give it a million stars if I could. It truly is one of those books you wish you could do all over again. OUTSTANDING, BREATHTAKING!
Remember to review what you read... It matters!
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Author Saturday Spotlight: Felice Stevens *Interview & Giveaway*
With two published books and more on the way, Felice Steven's is one to check out.
Ryder Daniels has spent the last year recovering from rejection: his parents couldn’t accept his sexuality and his lover chose drugs over his love. The only bright lights in his life are his younger brother and his rescued pit bull. But now his mother's punishment for his lifestyle has cut him off from his brother he loves so deeply. Devastated, he throws himself into the work of the Pit Bull Foundation he and his friends started.
Jason Mallory can no longer hide the dissatisfaction of his relationship with his longtime girlfriend. When her marriage ultimatum pushes him to break things off, he's determined not to jump into the dating scene. But when a group of injured pit bulls are found on his construction site, he can’t forget the guy who shows up to help.
After Jason adopts one of the dogs, he and Ryder become fast friends—until one night, Ryder lets down his guard and Jason recognizes his desire. Soon, they can’t deny the passion between them but will family differences and ugly prejudices keep them apart, or can they fight to prove that love is precious, no matter the flavor?
A Walk Through Fire:
Years after running away from an abusive foster family, Asher Davis still struggles with the guilt of leaving his foster brothers behind. He’s climbed to unimaginable heights as a ruthless, high-powered attorney, creating a life of power and control. He takes whatever and whoever he wants.
Blaming himself for the death of his parents, Dr. Drew Klein retreats into a shell of loneliness, merely going through the motions of life. After a disastrous, short-lived marriage, Drew decides to leave his lucrative medical practice to set up a clinic for abused young men and women. The decision has more repercussions than Drew could ever imagine when the dark and sensual Ash Davis volunteers to help.
Although Drew isn’t gay, Ash is inexplicably drawn to him. He vows to simply bed him and forget him like he's done with every other man. However, Drew's sweet and caring nature and unexpected passion both stun and frighten Ash, who questions his right to any happiness at all. And when Ash befriends an abused young man who unwittingly draws the clinic into danger, threatening Drew’s safety and that of his beloved grandmother, Ash discovers that there is nothing he won’t sacrifice to protect the love he never thought he’d find.
You can purchase both of these books on LooseID , AMAZON , and ARe
Was Rescued the first novel you ever published, or at least in this genre? How has the experience been?
Yes, Rescued was the first novel I ever published. I originally started writing Regency romances and still have three full books waiting to be self-published.
Certainly. It was always intended to be a three book series; one book for each brother. So the next book is Luke’s, entitled “After the Fire.” I’m working on Brandon’s book now, which will tie up everyone’s stories.
Writing, editing, all that jazz is very stressful. How do you cope? What do you do to enhance the calm?
It is, and then working full time makes it doubly stressful. It may not sound nice, but I’m lucky that when I get home, my husband is at work for another 3-4 hours, so I get a chance to decompress, have a glass of wine and chat on line with my friends. I have only my son at home now, so we talk about his day if he’s home and if I’m really lucky, I’ll sometimes stop off on my way home and get my nails done.
Have you attended any author conferences or do you plan to in the future?
I attended RT last year and really enjoyed it. I met so many people I didn’t know, but now “see” on line, and attended some panels. I can’t go this year, because my daughter is graduating college two days afterwards, but I plan on attending RWA, as it’s in NYC and my first GRL, which I’m very excited about.
What made you choose to write Gay romance?
I don’t know if I chose it or it chose me. I started reading it one day and never looked back. Then one day I was walking home from work and the entire story of Rescued popped into my head, names, scenes, everything. I went home and started writing.
How do you celebrate a book release?
Well for my first one I was on a plane coming home from a vacation. The second one I was at work. For both I had a nice glass of wine.
Is there a topic you would never write about, if so what?
Incest. It’s just me, but I don’t like reading it. And Pedophilia. Not doing it, no.
Can you tell us about your future projects?
The second book in the series, After the Fire, will be released on February 24, 2015. I am dipping my toes into the self publishing waters with a book that’s very special to me. Memories of the Heart deals with dementia and Alzheimer’s. My mother suffered from it to a degree and there are two elderly ladies in the book who are based on her. Brandon’s story will hopefully come out in the spring sometime.
Then I have other plans….
How do you deal with reviews in general, good and bad?
I’m so thrilled that people want to read my book, I still can’t believe it! I appreciate people who take the time to tell me, in a constructive way, what didn’t work for them in my book. But I’m not going to lie, its nice to read good reviews but I don’t let it get to me if they’re bad.
I’m usually on line, through my phone and on FB:
TSU- https://www.tsu.co/FeliceStevensFelice has a great giveaway for you all today. One fan has a chance to win A Walk Through Fire!!! It was an amazing book so if you haven't read it you should!
The contest will run until January 2nd. Winner will be emailed so be sure to check your spam. Thank you all and thank you Felice for being with us today and for your giveaway!
REMEMBER ALWAYS REVIEW. IT MATTERS!
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Blog Tour: When The Planets Align by Kate McMurray *Guest Post & Giveaway*
GUEST POST By, Kate McMurray
I think in recent years, “angst” has come to mean everything from a hangnail to waterboarding, but for me, the key to a good angsty read is not how horrific a book is, but rather tension.
Tension is the motor in most romance novels, propelling the narrative forward. It makes you sit on the edge of your seat. You keep reading because you want to see how it’s resolved.
The hook in When the Planets Align is two likeable characters—or guys I think are likable—who you root for so that, even when they do things you know aren’t going to turn out well, you keep reading with the hopes that everything will work out in the end.
So I’ve got an opposites attract pairing—Michael is outgoing and unreliable, Simon is shy and practical—but I’ve also got two guys who have been friends for many years. The story starts when both characters are 16, so they have a lot of learning to do before they can really relate to each other in a romantic sense. And I put these characters to the ringer, testing the bond of their friendship repeatedly, right up until the All Is Lost Moment when it looks like Michael has done something to betray Simon that can never be repaired.
My hope is that you as the reader will hang in there until the end to see if Michael and Simon can fix their friendship, because the end is worth it. At least, I think so.
I don’t normally write books this angsty, and I tend to like my romances more on the sweet and less on the tortured side, but the dynamics here seemed appropriate for these characters. That’s the key to putting a good story together; adapting to what works best for the characters and plot. I hope you all come to care for Michael and Simon the way that I do, and that you root for their happy ending!
Best friends Michael Reeves and Simon Newell always lived within ten minutes of each other, but somehow they’re never in the same place at the same time.
Brash, outgoing Michael’s unwavering confidence that he and Simon are meant to be carries him through some hard times. When Simon moves to New York, Michael dutifully follows. Quiet, practical Simon loves Michael as a dear friend, but he’s not ready for anything romantic.
Several years and several failed relationships later, Simon realizes he’s been in love with Michael all along. Only now Michael has moved on. Though Simon offers everything Michael’s ever dreamed of, the timing is all wrong. Confusion, betrayal, and secrets from the past threaten their friendship until it might be time for them to go their separate ways. Or maybe the planets will finally align, and Michael and Simon will find themselves in the right place at the right time to take the next step.
I'm going to say right off the bat, I don't like time jump stories. HOWEVER, Kate mastered it. I was nervous when I saw the first one. But I ALWAYS give a book a shot! WOW, am I glad I did. Zero confusion. Well organized time flow. The story itself was beautiful. Michael and Simon grow together and we hate to admit it but when it comes or came to finding ourselves as we grew up we acted the same as they did. In that sense it was VERY realistic. I was a jerk as a kid as much as I was sweet. At 17 I didn't know what I wanted but I sure did think I did. And my 20's were scary because I knew I had to know but I wasn't ready and that is where Michael and Simon are throughout this story. We grew WITH them and that was awesome. I wanted to hate Joan, but I didn't. I wasn't fond of her but she played an intricate part in this story as you will see when you read it and yes, you need to read this book!
Kate McMurray is an award-winning romance author and fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She is active in RWA and has served as president of Rainbow Romance Writers and on the board of RWANYC. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
For more on Michael and Simon, check out Kate’s website: http://www.katemcmurray.com/
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