Review of Insidious by Victoria Evers (Blog Tour and Giveaway)

Today we’re featuring Insidious, Book 1 of The Marked Mage Chronicles by Victoria Evers! I don’t usually feature romance on this blog but when I read the blurb for Insidious I thought it was intriguing.

Read on to know more about the book and check out my review! You can also read an excerpt if you’re curious! Of course, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!
Continue reading “Review of Insidious by Victoria Evers (Blog Tour and Giveaway)”

Books to Movies: Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs

Must Love DogsBasic info. Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook was published in 2000. A movie of the same title came out in 2005 with Diane Lane, John Cusack, Dermot Mulroney, and a bunch of other great actors.

What’s the story? It’s about a new thirty-something divorcee named Sarah and her dating adventures. Sarah’s family is very supportive and keeps encouraging her to start dating. Her two sisters sign her up on an online dating site and she meets several men, including John Cusack’s character, also a recently divorced man.

Which one did I experience first? I saw the movie first some time after it came out. I didn’t even realize it was based on a book. I read the book in December of 2012. The Kindle version was free on Amazon for a time and I decided to get it. If it wasn’t free, I don’t think I would’ve downloaded it. Hah.

Continue reading “Books to Movies: Must Love Dogs”

Books to Movies: Safe Haven

31 Days Books to Movies Safe Haven

Safe Haven bookFirst, the basic info. The book Safe Haven was written by author Nicholas Sparks. The movie came out in 2013 and starred Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders, and David Lyons.

What’s the story? A woman on the run finds herself in a small town and decides to stay a while. She finds a place to stay, gets a job as a waitress, and meets some of the townsfolk – including a tall handsome store owner and his two kids. Things seem to go pretty well until her past catches up with her.

Which one did I experience first? The movie, which I watched in the cinema with my sister. I didn’t even bother asking Carpet Head if he wanted to watch it with me. When I told him I was going out with my sister to watch it, he was just like, “Meh, okay. Have fun.” LOL.

Continue reading “Books to Movies: Safe Haven”

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Replacing Gentry by Julie N. Ford

Today we have a Top 10 list by Julie N. Ford, author of Replacing Gentry, a modern take on classic gothic romance novels Rebecca and Jane Eyre. I asked her to list down her Top 10 books that would be great as movies. Check out her list and read more about the book below. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $50 gift card. :)

Top 10 books that would be great if turned into movies:

  1. Linda Castillo’s, Kate Burkholder series. They made the first one into a TV movie but I think these books would make great feature films.
  2. Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
  3. Grounding Quinn by Stephanie Campbell
  4. Finding Alaska by John Green
  5. My Heart for Yours by Jolene Perry and Stephanie Campbell
  6. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  7. I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
  8. Shattered by Karen Robards
  9. The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
  10. Honestly Dearest, You’re Dead by Jack Fredrickson

Oops I’ve never even read any of these. Did any of your favorites make it into her list? ;)

Do check out her book Replacing Gentry. I happen to love gothic stuff. Makes me think of old mansions that have vast and creepy untended gardens with floor fountains that don’t really work. You know what I mean? I think I might enjoy this one. :)

Julie N. Ford graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science and a minor in English Literature. In addition, she has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a Marriage & Family Counselor. She is the author of two women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married and No Holly for Christmas, published in 2011. In addition, she wrote a romance/chick-lit novel, Count Down to Love, also published in 2011. Count Down to Love was a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. Her next novel, Replacing Gentry, is due for release April 9th, 2013.

Currently, she lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, two daughters and one hedgehog.

About Replacing Gentry

When Marlie agrees to attend a cadaver ball at Vanderbilt Medical School, she did not expect to actually see any cadavers. Or, that a strange apparition would issue her a chilling message.

Despite the cadaver’s warning, Marlie is married a year later to Tennessee State Senator, Daniel Cannon, and living in a plantation-style mansion with two step sons. Add to the mix her growing suspicion that something is amiss with the death of Daniel’s first wife, Gentry; and newlywed Marlie is definitely in over her pretty Yankee head.

What begins as an innocent inquiry into her new husband’s clouded past, ends with Marlie in the midst of a dangerous conspiracy.

A modern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows Marlie’s precarious journey as she learns the truth about the man she married.

Check out the rest of the tour stops here.


Tour Giveaway

$50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Open to US only
Ends 4/30/13
 
 

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Byzantine Gold by Chris Karlsen

Yay another blog tour with a giveaway for yah! Read about Byzantine Gold, a new book by author Chris Karlsen. Last year I posted a review of her book Golden Chariot, which was about sunken treasure. In Byzantine Gold, the main characters from Golden Chariot–Charlotte and Atakan–find themselves in another exciting and dangerous situation involving treasure (what else?), terrorists, and a contract killer looking for revenge! Read more about the book and find out how you can win an ebook copy of Golden Chariot and a $50 Amazon GC! Arrr!! (Wait, are we finally going to see some pirates?!?)

About the book

A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics will buy them additional weapons.

Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover, Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge. Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal—seeing them both dead. — Get this book on Amazon!

Read an excerpt

Charlotte answered on the fourth ring. Caller I.D. showed “restricted.”

“Hello.”

“They are called, Angelique tulips. You admired them in the hospital garden in Paris.”

Charlotte froze, holding her breath as she listened to the nightmare voice, remembering how his Eastern European accent rounded certain sounds and how he stressed the last syllables in his words. Called became cawl-d.

Tischenko.

“Everything in time,” he said and hung up.

Charlotte dropped the phone on the table. She turned to Atakan.

The shock must’ve shown on her face. “What is wrong?”

“That was Tischenko,” she said, finding her voice. “The flowers are from him. He was watching me in Paris when I was at the hospital. He—”

Atakan didn’t wait for her to finish. He rushed into the living room, grabbed his gun from the bookshelf, and ran out of the apartment.

Charlotte followed as he flew down the four flights of stairs to the street.

“Stop.” Catching up to him on the sidewalk, she hooked his elbow with her hand. Fearful an armed Tischenko hid nearby, she positioned herself in front of Atakan, thinking to shield him. “We can’t stand here. He could be anywhere taking aim at you right now.”

“Go back inside.”

“Not without you.” She tugged on his shirt, pulling him toward their building. “Atakan please, let’s leave. Call the Director.”

Atakan shoved her behind him. Silent, his eyes searched the dark doorways of neighboring apartment buildings and parked cars.

“Atakan please.”

“Get inside.”

She stepped in front of him again. “We stay here together or we leave together.”

An eternity of seconds passed. Neither moved or blinked.

They both jumped and turned at the bellow from the horn of a passing truck. Thankfully, the driver was waving to another coming the opposite direction. He never saw the man in the sling pointing a gun at him.

“Please,” she repeated.

Atakan nodded. He stopped at the building’s entry door and took a last look, surveying the street. “He moves us around like pawns in a private game.”

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

The author will award an ebook copy of Golden Chariot to one randomly drawn commenter at every tour stop, and a $50 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! The tour dates can be found here.

~*~*~*~

About the author

Chris is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in the law enforcement with two different agencies.

The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love for history and books. 

She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and Northern Africa satisfying her passion for seeing the places she read about.

A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris, Los Angeles, and now resides with her husband, and five rescue dogs in the Pacific Northwest.

Website | Pinterest

Book video:

Fall in love with The Sullivans! I ramble about romance novels + there’s a fantastic giveaway!

image source

The Sullivans by Bella Andre is a romantic series about a family whose love know no bounds. There are currently seven books in this series and I read them all in about a week, not in order, mind you. The series can be read out of order as each book is a different love story about a Sullivan family member.

After reading all seven books one after the other, I learned three things.

  1. One must NOT read more than two romance novels in succession.
  2. One must NOT read more than two romance novels of a series in succession.
  3. There is such a thing as too much romance novels (probably the reason for the first two things in this silly list).

Okay, I think I’m just suffering from romance novel overload and that’s likely the reason for the rambling below.

I don’t want to say it, but after I read the first couple of books it felt like I’ve read them all. That’s how similar all of them are. Gorgeous guy meets gorgeous girl. The attraction is instant and totally unlike anything any of them has ever felt before. Of course, they try to resist until one day they don’t. They get together. The sex is mind-blowing and it’s not just a physical thing. Their souls touch. And after all the sex and tug-o-war with themselves, they finally realize they’re meant for each other and live happily ever after. I mean, you know.

image source

So that’s the basic plot. The steamy scenes were also a little too similar in all books for my taste. Gorgeous guy is dominant the first time. The next time, gorgeous girl takes charge. And outside the bedroom, every little thing is exciting and arousing because that’s just how much they are drawn to each other mind, body and soul. By the way, there’s also too much talking in bed. I don’t get it, but that’s just me. Hah. At least there’s none of those post-coitus scenes where they lie around smoking a macanudo cigar or whatever.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. We’re talking about romance after all. Rrrromansaaaaa!! And it is what it is. I guess reading too many romance novels one after the other isn’t just for me. After the second book, I started skipping pages (even the steamy love scenes!! IKR?) and just went straight to the–SPOILER ALERT–happy ending. He he he.

I really appreciated one thing about this series though–the fact that it’s about a family that is so full of love and respect for each other. I adore big family stories. I also loved reading about the superwoman of a matriarch, Mary Sullivan, who single-handedly raised her successful sons and daughters. It was all the warm and fuzzy family stuff that I really appreciated about this series. Scenes with the family were always present in all seven books and it was clear how much love this family had for each other. Even though each love story felt like the same story over and over again, I couldn’t help but be curious about how each family member found the love of his or her life. I guess that’s why for all my objections in the earlier part of this post, the fact still remains that I read all seven books in a week. Haha. ;)

So, having said that, I think I should edit the list of three things I learned from reading seven romance novels in succession. Here’s the new list.

  1. Apparently I can be a prude because I skip steamy love scenes to get to the happy ending.
  2. I do like happy endings.
  3. Big family stuff reduces me into a pile of mush.

There. Better, right? Anyway, I think I’ve been blabbering enough here. I want to do quick reviews about each book, but I think I’ll just do that another time as this post is getting too long for my liking.

I would say a little something though about my favorite books in the series. I liked Let Me Be The One (#6) and Come A Little Bit Closer (#7).

Let Me Be The One is about long-time friends Ryan and Vicki who finally found love with each other. I liked this one because it was a love that grew out of friendship and I liked that there weren’t any love scenes until later in the story (prude alert!). I liked the way they danced slowly and carefully around each other until they couldn’t deny their love any longer.

Come A Little Bit Closer is about Smith and Valentina, two people in the movie industry who fell in love. Who doesn’t like a real love story about people who live in a world where things can be so superficial? I mean, YAYYY for true love in a fake world. I liked how they tried to keep it a secret at first until eventually it just could not be contained.

Ah, I am a closet romantic after all.

fall in love

About the fabulous prizes

The Sullivans are on tour with Novel Publicity. Follow along for your chance to win amazing prizes. We’ve got special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards. WOW!

You’ll also get introduced to this amazing contemporary romance series via excerpts as well as interviews with and guest posts from New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre. You’ll definitely want to learn more about the family that has captured the world’s heart.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase any of the Sullivan ebooks by Bella Andre for just $4.99 (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The Sullivans

In this sexy, emotional and funny contemporary romance series, each member of the Sullivan family will eventually find true love…usually where he or she least expects it. Get the eBooks via Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, the iBookStore, or the Kobo Store. Audiobooks are also available for the first five in the series (with more coming soon). Plus, keep an eye out for paperback editions coming from Harlequin Romance starting Summer 2013.

All Sullivan Covers

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she’d found her perfect career. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 10 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo. Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books. If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Fall in love with The Sullivans and win fabulous prizes! (An iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards up for grabs!)

When I heard about Novel Publicity’s biggest blog tour in history, I knew I just couldn’t pass it up even if the tour was for a romance series. I mean, I don’t hate romance novels, but I would prefer a fantasy or sci-fi book over one any time. Romantic novels are full of eye-roll and cringe worthy scenes, but sometimes it’s nice to just turn off the brain and get into the emotional mush and sexy banter.

Anyway, I read the first few books on The Sullivans and I will be posting quickie reviews sometime this week, but for today, please enjoy this guest post by Bella Andre, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the contemporary romance series, The Sullivans. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards!

Why I Love Family-Based Romance Series 
A guest post by Bella Andre

I love reading romance (I read one book a day when I can!), and one of my favorite tropes is the family-based series. I absolutely love Julia Quinn’s historical romance Bridgerton series and have loved taking that idea of the big family into present day with my Sullivan contemporary romance series.

What I love when I read – and what I want my readers to get from The Sullivans – is to feel like they’re a part of the family, and to know each of the characters so well that they can begin to know anticipate what the will start saying and doing at family gatherings. I love it when I’m reading a big family scene and I know, “Oh, this character is going to react like this” or “This character will hate this!” I love it even more when the characters surprise me and I learn new things about them.

One of the advantages of writing a series about a large family is that even as the hero and heroine are having conflict with each other, we can see them being loving towards their families, so we know the depth of love they’re capable of.

There are plenty of big family scenes in my Sullivan books for you to get to know each character, what they’re like, and how they feel one another. Just like a real family, every Sullivan has a special relationship with each of the others. Smith and Sophie are extra close, as are Marcus and Lori. Ryan and Zach are so close in age that they spent a lot of time together as kids and have a special bond as adults.

fall in love

The Sullivans are on tour with Novel Publicity. Follow along for your chance to win amazing prizes. We’ve got special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards. WOW! Win an ereader for all your reading pleasure or a gift card to buy anything you choose! Buy the books you’ve wanted or clothes, stuff for the kitchen, house furniture, find wooden trellises for your garden, anything you want!

You’ll also get introduced to this amazing contemporary romance series via excerpts as well as interviews with and guest posts from New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre. You’ll definitely want to learn more about the family that has captured the world’s heart.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase any of the Sullivan ebooks by Bella Andre for just $4.99 (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The Sullivans
In this sexy, emotional and funny contemporary romance series, each member of the Sullivan family will eventually find true love…usually where he or she least expects it. Get the eBooks via Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, the iBookStore, or the Kobo Store. Audiobooks are also available for the first five in the series (with more coming soon). Plus, keep an eye out for paperback editions coming from Harlequin Romance starting Summer 2013.

All Sullivan Covers

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she’d found her perfect career. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 10 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo. Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books. If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Review & Giveaway: A Practical Arrangement by Nadja Notariani

Thought I should spice things up by joining the blog tour for a historical romance novel! Yeahboy, romansa. This is my review stop for A Practical Arrangement by Nadja Notariani. I was hoping this book would be like the classic period romances, which I actually like. Check out my review and enter the giveaway for two Kindle copies!

Continue reading “Review & Giveaway: A Practical Arrangement by Nadja Notariani”

Review & Giveaway: Golden Chariot (Dangerous Waters, Book 1) by Chris Karlsen

Today’s my review stop for Golden Chariot, book 1 of the Dangerous Waters series by author Chris Karlsen. I signed up for this tour because the book summary said something about a sunken ship! You know what that means–pirate treasure! Aarrggh! (Um, yes, I have a very extensive criteria when it comes to choosing blog tours.) Anyway, quickie review down below. Be sure to check out the tour-wide giveaway at the end of this post.

Continue reading “Review & Giveaway: Golden Chariot (Dangerous Waters, Book 1) by Chris Karlsen”