Tag Archives: Fiction

Every fairy tale has a dark side…

Cover Art by Robin Ludwig

Every fairy tale has a dark side…

Elodie Rose has a secret. Any day, she’ll become a wolf and succumb to the violence that’s cursed her family for centuries. For seventeen years she’s hidden who and what she is. But now someone knows the truth and is determined to exterminate her family line. Living on borrowed time in the midst of this dangerous game of hide and seek, the last thing Elodie needs to do is fall in love. But Sawyer is determined to protect her, and the brooding, angry boy is more than what he seems. Can they outsmart a madman? And if they survive, will they find a way to beat the curse for good?

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This is the fourth work of Kait’s that I’ve read (no pun intended), and once again, Kait never ceases to amaze, excite, and suck me into the plot immediately. I positively adore the way she takes a classic fairy tale as a rudimentary base for this plot. With all  the remade movies (The Green Lantern, Tron, etc.) and TV shows (Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angels, etc.) based loosely on media that was popular in the seventies and eighties, I often wonder why corporate media can’t simply release something ORIGINAL?!? I mean come on?! There are thousands of indie authors out there, writing fabulous stories in the YA and paranormal genres (what’s HOT right now), that could easily be turned into feature films or TV shows! What?! Do they have no creativity left? Are they afraid to try new things? Are they simply so stupid that they don’t think society as a whole has any ingenuity or brain cells left? Between Kait Nolan, Susan Bischoff, Stacey Wallace Benefiel, and Zoe Winters, your paranormal/YA schtick is good-to-go for years! (Alternate post title: Fuck Stephanie Meyers.)

Likewise, Red is the first YA work she’s published, yet it still has all the strength of her paranormal romances, with a dark, teenage twist.

In this era of Twilight, with its emo-heroines, who in my opinion, are NOT good role-models for teenage women, Red provides a strong teenage female lead character, who refuses to take any shit from anyone. She’s an outcast, but she’s okay with that status, at least in the beginning. I loved watching the transformation of Elodie from a somewhat pacifist state into a total badass, take-no-prisoners kind of gal.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick, quirky yet serious read. Kait envelopes a great twist to an old classic, in such an awesome feminist way!

Kait Nolan is stuck in an office all day, sometimes juggling all of her jobs at once with the skill of a trained bear—sometimes with a similar temperament. After hours, she uses her powers for good, creating escapist fiction. The work of this Mississippi native is packed with action, romance, and the kinds of imaginative paranormal creatures you’d want to sweep you off your feet…or eat your boss.  When she’s not working or writing, she’s in her kitchen, heading up a revolution to Retake Homemade from her cooking blog, Pots and Plots.

Check out Kait Nolan’s website here.

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The Lust Garden by Billy Jolie

 I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 The Lust Garden written by Billy Jolie

He was alone in the lust garden of his dream. She was coming to meet him. And they would be there together. Forever.”

Gianna Salvani is an actress, an up-and-coming music star and beautiful.

But deep down inside her soul lies fear.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of herself.

Fear of being alone.

Always in the spotlight, she longs for anonymity, yet craves the attention.

Immediately, I identified with Gianna’s character, but not int he way you may think.

I have no desire to be a super star. In fact, I’d loathe the constant attention, the hounding of the paparazzi, the inability to ever be truly alone.

Yet it is her insecurity and innocence that draws the reader in. She is doll-like in appearance, a helpless lamb to the slaughter.

She loves it.

And she hates it.

Life for Gianna will never be “normal”. She is under constant scrutiny.

She simply wants what we all want: to be happy.

I first discovered Billy Jolie via Twitter, as I noticed a post where he was asking for a review of his new novel. I confess, it’s taken me awhile to read and review, not because I wasn’t intrigued, but as you know, I often bite off entirely more than I can chew book-wise. At the time, I was reading another novel for review, as well as my regular 5 or 6 books I read for pleasure alone. What can I say? I’m a multi-tasker like that. Or maybe just insane? I prefer to think of it as “keeping my plate full”. I like to read a variety of books: e-books on my Kindle, unpublished manuscripts for editing, books of poetry, theories of writing, short stories…..

So you can see how I often lose track of just how many books I’m reading at one time. Thank God for Goodreads.com!

Alas, I digress.

Billy had me sucked in from page one. Literally.

“A cloud of hot steam tickled his face triggering the onslaught of a lustful hunt. The splashing water seared his face and burned like popping oil from a frying pan. With delicate hands, he greedily pawed locks of blonde hair, forcing his prey under. The beautiful lamb he’d chosen was exposed, her anorexic figure stripped naked and flailing in the shallow liquid of a porcelain bathtub.

 The sweet water dripped from his chin—his baptism, his rebirth as the lion. She wriggled beneath him, with the desperation of a strangled fish. But he had her pinned with the brute strength of his knees, paralyzing her fragile chest. Entwined together, their weight spilled the water over and down the perched, clawed feet where it puddled along the tiled floor.”

Honestly, how could you NOT be enthralled with that introduction? Murder, mayhem, rock stars, models, drug addiction: this book has it all!

Everytime I opened up this book, I was instantly lost for hours, my eyes glued to the screen.

And once I started reading, everything was lost. Dinner left uncooked. One day, I spent almost all of my productive hours simply reading. And I never felt guilty. Not even once.

Billy Jolie takes us into the world of Gianna, as well as other characters, and leaves us wondering just how all of these glorious story lines will connect. Because they always do. This is the measure of a superb writer. And Billy does not disappoint. He dangles clues in front of your eyes, and we grasp at random meanings, always uncertain, but pleasantly surprised.

In all honesty, I did not even consider how the murderer would fit into the plot. Was it random? Was it fate?

And I was never disappointed.

By the last 100 pages, I didn’t care if I missed out on my life. I HAD to know how it ended!

And it was glorious. Fulfilling yet sad.

I’m a sucker for a great ending, and this book gives the reader exactly that.

You can find Billy Jolie here:

http://www.billyjolie.com/

http://www.twitter.com/billyjolie

http://www.facebook.com/billyjolie

http://www.myspace.com/billyjolie

 

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Sex Demons, Harems & Snark. Oh my!

Cover Art by Robin Ludwig
 
I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
 

Save My Soul by Zoe Winters

All he’s asking for is her soul.

After buying the antebellum home she’s fantasized about since childhood, Anna Worthington discovers Luc, a dangerously seductive incubus who has been trapped in the house by a fifty-year-old curse. To rid herself of her problem house guest she’ll call on a priest, gypsies, ghost hunters, and the coven of witches from lust bunny hell. All she has to do is resist him long enough to break the spell so they can go their separate ways. If she doesn’t, she could die. And that would be the best case scenario.

Honestly, this book sat in my TBR (to-be-read) pile for awhile about a year. Unfortunately, it usually got shoved to the back burner by more persistent library books (with due dates), or an unpublished manuscript I was beta reading. It wasn’t that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the first Preternatural Book, Blood Lust, but such is the life of an avid reader.

You can check out my review of Blood Lust by clicking on the link.

The aspect that I loved most about Save My Soul was the fact that while Blood Lust is a compilation of three separate novellas, this second book is devoted entirely to the story of Luc and Anna.

Immediately, I identified with Anna Worthington. She’s smart. She’s sarcastic. She’s independent, yet vulnerable. Just don’t tell her that!

I positively adored all of the relationship dynamics in this paranormal romance! Anna vs. Lucian. Luc vs. Cain. Anna vs. Tam. The entire harem of Atlanta prostitutes, brought to Anna’s house to fulfill Lucian’s desire to feed. Even the Catholic priest played a significant role.  And I must add that I absolutely adored/abhorred the townsfolk, especially the elderly twins and neighbors of Anna. 😉

In Book One, the author introduces Cain, who is the original incubus, as we discover in Book Two. Originally, I’d thought that this second book would be more about him, as I knew it was about an incubus. However, I am thrilled that the author made Cain into more of a “bad boy”, at least as far as demons go, and lent a softer side to Lucian, making the reader more sympathetic to said demon.

Lucian, while still a sex demon, was limited by his humanity, or better yet, his soul and the feelings he feels. I’m  a softy for a demon with a humanitarian side, so I immediately took to Luc. Plus, he’s straight-up gorgeous?! Honestly, I’m impressed that Anna hung onto her values as long as she did. I’d have succumbed much sooner than she. Slowly, but surely, Lucian breaks down her tough-girl barriers, and Anna eventually realizes how much she loves him. Even with the blood-bonding, Anna understands that what she has with Luc is more than just a simple physical attraction. What they have is so much more…

So go buy the book! NOW! 🙂

You can access Zoe Winters’s website by clicking on her name…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Prince Charming was a putz: An Interview with N.L. Gervasio

Today, I am proud delighted freaking ecstatic to be showcasing N.L. Gervasio a.k.a. Jinx and her release of the novel Nemesis. 

I first read this novel way back in the beginning, and have subsequently re-read it numerous times, throughout the editing process. Now I’m not usually a gigantic fan of the Romance genre, but the main female character is a total bad-ass chick, which I immediately identified with.

 Nemesis:

Prince Charming was a putz.

 Prince Charming number two was even worse.

 After the last prince ran off without any notice, breaking her heart and their engagement along the  way, Nemesis Mussolini swore off  men and passed the time kicking ass and slinging drinks, something her mafia father would never approve of. But, when her boss Clancy ups his flirtations, it’s difficult to remember she’s not interested, especially when he gets that delicious evil glint in his eye that has her melting. Just when Nemy starts to think all men might not be bad, she hears whispers about Clancy’s less than legal past, and wants to run like hell from the idea that he could be just like her father.

Great … Prince Charming number three may possibly be on FBI’s Most Wanted.

While Nemy and Clancy tumble down the romance road, hitting potholes every step of the way, Nemy discovers how much of her heart already belongs to Clancy, and how much of a Don’s daughter she really is. When Clancy’s daughter is kidnapped, they must work together to use every talent and connection they have to get her back, which means Nemy must learn to trust again. If they fail, Clancy could lose his daughter forever. Can Nemy surrender in time to get her happily ever after, or is she hell-bent on letting her past keep her from the one man who could be her true Prince Charming?

 Doesn’t that blurb make you want to read it?

Bad-ass chick meets bad boy…LOVE!

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing N.L. Gervasio about her new release, as well as many other various topics.

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Me: As an avid reader and writer, I am always curious about how this novel came to be?

Jinx: Nemy, my main character, just started talking one night, telling me her story, and I wrote it down. I can’t recall what the actual trigger was, to be honest, but I can tell you that it foretold the demise of my relationship about two months before it happened. For whatever reason, my fiction always correlates with my reality in one way or another. Yes, I find it strange too. The funny part is that I’d only ever written one romance story in my life (my first book as an adult), having moved on to the paranormal after that and staying there for a good long time before this one popped up. It kind of shocked me when I realized it wasn’t paranormal, though I’d flirted with the idea of turning it into a werewolf book well after it was finished. The reason I didn’t was because I’d already written a book and a half on my thirteen-book werewolf series, and the two books would have been too similar.

Me: How much time did it take to write initially and after revisions?

Jinx: It took approximately two and a half months to write, and a year and a half off and on to edit.

Me: Anything personal you’d like to share about inspiration?

Jinx: For me, Life is inspiration. I don’t have a muse. I don’t believe in them, unless you want to call Life a muse. The tiniest thing can trigger a story for me. For instance, on my Unclouded Perspicacity blog, I have a Flash Friday short (less than 1000 words) titled Fallen. The story, which will turn into the second book of my Armageddon trilogy, was triggered by a falling star. It wasn’t just any typical falling star though. This one burned long and bright and it had an orange tail. I’d never seen one like it, so I surmised what it could possibly be and why it was different than all the others. And out popped a book! The first is Dusk of Death.

Me: I posed this question to your partner at Running Ink Press, Sharon Gerlach, during her interview for the Malakh release, and I think it applies well with this novel: Bad boys or Good guys?

Jinx: I tend to lean toward the bad boy image, which is why the hero, Clancy, isn’t exactly a “good guy” in this book, but more along the lines of “good fella,” if you catch my drift.

Me: I adored the addition, in the later revisions, of Sean, the quintessential Irish bad boy. How did he come into being?

Jinx: Sean was actually part of the major overhaul I edited into the book after an impromptu 15-minute plot session with CJ Redwine. She helped me find the gaping holes in my novel and together we figured out how to fix it, so I owe a lot to her.

Me: None of your characters are strictly good or bad, but some sort of balance between the two. Was that a conscious attempt to make them more human?

Jinx: Absolutely! Characters can’t be perfect. They have to have flaws, just like we do, or they won’t be believable.

Me: Is there room for a sequel? Maybe a novella of Cherry’s story? (ok so that’s what I want to see)

Jinx: Nemesis is the first of a seven-book series I like to call the Kick-Ass Girls Club series, but hey, I love the idea of writing a novella for Cherry! Thanks!

You can find it on the Running Ink Press website, which will direct you to the purchase points.

Nemesis has her own blog: Foxy’s Den

 Nemy can also be found on Twitter: Nemy_girl

 You can preview part of chapter 1 here.

N.L. “Jinxie” Gervasio was born on Friday the thirteenth. Her dad wanted to call her Jinx. Her mom said no. It took thirty-four years for her to discover the nickname, and she’s grown quite attached to it. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with Umi (her mother) and Moon (her Alaskan malamute). She enjoys riding her beach cruiser “The Betty” around downtown Tempe, loves a good pub crawl, and has had the pleasure and the heartache of experiencing a love far greater than she could have ever imagined.

You can find Jinx here:

Twitter: Jinxie_G

Facebook: Jinxi3G

Blog: Jinxie’s World

Other blog: Unclouded Perspicacity

Fun stuff: Zombie Survival Crew

Email: jinxieg13 (at) gmail (dot) com

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“Now it’s time to jump.” / Flat Out Love by Jessica Park

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

About Flat-Out Love

 
Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance. 
Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.When Julie’s off-campus housing falls through, her mother’s old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side … and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.And there’s that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That’s because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie’s suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that … well … doesn’t quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

 
First and foremost, I have to holler from the top of my lungs, “SQUEE!”
 
No, really! This book is awesome! I just happened to be scanning my Twitter account one day, and Jessica was looking for reviewers, so I thought “Hey why not?” I enjoy a good YA novel, and I was not disappointed. Immediately, I was sucked into the plot: lost and alone college freshman in a strange town. Cue flashbacks of my first night in the dorms. Fortunately, I was neither alone nor lost. Alas, I digress.
 
The initial rapport between Julie and Matt was eerily familiar, almost like siblings. And the humor?! Don’t get me started! Within the first chapter, I laughed out loud no less than four times. The characters were well-rounded, and strong while still vulnerable.
Being a female, I obviously identified with Julie, the narrator, but Matt satisfied my inner math-geek. I adored the descriptions of his geeky t-shirts.
 
 
 
Flat Out Love is a shining example of romance in the internet age, complete with IM chats, Facebook status updates, and email communications. I found it rather indicative of the technological advances society has made since the mid-nineties when I was in college. Heck, I didn’t even own a computer until 2000?! I always tell the youngsters the story of “How I Graduated From University Without A Computer”. With an English degree?!
 
They simply look confused. Apparently, they thought there was no life before computers.
 
You know, back in the Dinosaur Age, when people actually had to speak to each other in person (gasp), and busy signals were not a thing of the past.
 
In all seriousness though……oh who am I kidding?!? I’m not serious! Well, rarely anyway.
FLAT FINN! <——-coolest idea ever. Kind of makes me want to have a two-dimensional friend to cart around? Ya know, like maybe a Doppelganger? No. Too creepy. I mean, if Jessica can have a Flat Rick, maybe I should have a Flat Prince or something? You can check out Jessica’s inspiration for Flat Finn here: http://flatoutlove.blogspot.com/p/chapter-tidbits.html
 
Speaking of Flat Finn, there were hints of emotional instability from the get-go, as far as the family dynamic is concerned. For anyone who has ever dealt with depression, either their own or a loved one, the characters were true yet gritty. Whole, yet fragmented. Without spoiling the entire plot (go read it yourself), I questioned and suspected a few things, but even I did not figure out the whopper of an ending until just before the secret is revealed. Loved the suspense!
 
I highly recommend this book to everyone! Especially anyone who loves YA books or just humorous Romance!
 
Thank you, Jessica, for a lovely and enjoyable read! You’ve got a new fan here! 🙂
 
You can check the book out yourself over on Amazon:
 
Find Jessica Park here:
Flat Out Love website: http://flatoutlove.blogspot.com/
 
Jessica Park is the author of the young adult novel RELATIVELY FAMOUS, five Gourmet Girl mysteries (written as Jessica Conant-Park) and the e-shorts FACEBOOKING RICK SPRINGFIELD and WHAT THE KID SAYS (Parts 1 & 2). She grew up in the Boston area and then went to Macalester College in frigid St. Paul, Minnesota. During her freshman year, there was a blizzard on Halloween, and she decided that she was not cut out for such torture. So she moved back to the east coast where, she’d forgotten, it still snows. Oops. She now lives in New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dog named Fritzy, and two selfish cats. When not writing, she is probably on Facebook , pining over 80s rock stars, or engaging in “Glee” activities. Or some combination of the three. Probably with a coffee in hand. 
 
 

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