December 28, 2011

#Rafflecopter #Giveaway: Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller

Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . . until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold.

As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her. Violently thrust into a magickal realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own.Will love prove thicker than magick? 


Visit Elizabeth's website

Buy it: Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller


Win it: Elizabeth has offered to give one of my readers an ebook version of Darkspell.  To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form:

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomqvist is hired by Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance of Vanger’s great-niece Harriet. Henrik suspects that someone in his family, the powerful Vanger clan, murdered Harriet over forty years ago.

Starting his investigation, Mikael realizes that Harriet’s disappearance is not a single event, but rather linked to series of gruesome murders in the past. He now crosses paths with Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker, an asocial punk and most importantly, a young woman driven by her vindictiveness.

Together they form an unlikely couple as they dive deeper into the violent past of the secretive Vanger family.

I finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo around three-thirty this morning and I still can't believe how brilliant it was!  My husband bought me a copy and I started it as soon as it arrived.  Lisbeth Salander is one of the most likable characters that I have come across.  I had heard a lot about how great this book was and so I was expecting it to be pretty awesome.  What I found though was that words cannot describe this book.  No matter how great I tell you it is, you won't understand unless you read it for yourself.  I cannot recommend this book enough. 

Buy it: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Visit Stieg's website.

Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

December 27, 2011

Review & #Giveaway: The Yoga Club by Cooper Lawrence

Chatting it up with bendy WASPs is the last thing on Coco Guthrie’s mind during her 8:30 a.m. yoga class. Having made her fortune as the world-renowned inventor of Butt-B-Gone derriere cream, Coco still doesn’t feel like she belongs among the upper class— until she attends the swankiest Halloween soiree in Greenwich, Connecticut, where three of her fellow morning yogis shared her brilliant idea to appear as Sarah Palin. Soon it’s clear that a love of stretching isn’t all this accidental sorority—which includes a single mom with echolalia, an entertainment reporter who charms the pants off handsome stars, and a drama-prone producer with a taste for drag— have in common.

When the four mischievous Sarahs wander away from the party to sneak a peek at the mayor’s neighboring estate, they are stunned to find him adorned in leather and latex, and rolling up a woman’s body in a Persian rug. To make matters worse, someone has spotted the spying Palins. Someone who threatens to expose their torrid affairs in business and the bedroom. Now the unlikely foursome must use all their wits and wiles to get to the bottom of the kinky crime. But will their budding friendship be strong enough to protect their deepest secrets?

I picked up The Yoga Club last week and consumed the entire book in one day.  Cooper has a knack for storytelling and giving just the right amount of details.  The unforgettable characters paired with an intriguing plot make for a sensational read.  I definitely recommend this to my fellow readaholics!

Visit Cooper's website

Win it: Two of my readers will each win a copy of The Yoga Club by Cooper Lawrence.  Open to residents of the US & Canada. 

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Giveaway ends Jan. 13, 2011

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

December 22, 2011

Switched by Amanda Hocking

About the "Trylle" Series and "Switched":

From Amanda Hocking, million-copy bestselling author and internet sensation comes the Trylle series… it all begins with Switched, available everywhere 1.3.12. As a special gift to readers, Switched contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “The Vittra Attacks,” set in the magical world of the Trylle.

The Trylle series continues with Torn, on-sale 2.28.12, and concludes on 4.24.12 with Ascend.

SWITCHED… at birth:

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…


December 21, 2011

FREE READ: Six Geese a-Laying by Sophie Kinsella

I am a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella and wanted to share this with my favorite people - that's you readers!  You can read the short story Six Geese A-Laying for free here.

December 20, 2011

Twisted Vengeance by Jeff Bennington for $0.99!

TWISTED VENGEANCE, from the author of REUNION, an Amazon #1 bestselling supernatural thriller.

Detective Rick Burns' life is falling apart. His son is dead, his brother butchered, he's in love with the one woman he can't have and he's investigating a slew of unsolved murders of violent, domestic abusers. When a mysterious boy enters his life, things only get worse.

The boy knows the victims. He knows about Rick's fears. And he knows "Debil", the serial killer with a lust for death.

Determined to help the detective find the perpetrator, the boy ushers Rick into a nightmarish chase where reality and the supernatural are blurred, nearly costing him his life, his love, and his reputation in a storm of domestic vengeance that is so twisted you won't be able to stop reading until you discover the awful truth.

Get your copy now through Dec. 25, 2011 for only $0.99 here.

Sourcebooks: First in Series eBooks for $1.99!

 Check out the entire list of books available for $1.99 (12/21/2011 – 1/8/2012) here.

Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.

FREE READS From Pocket After Dark

Right now you can read Chased by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon and Our Little Secret by Starr Ambrose for FREE!  There are only 11 days left, so hurry!  You must be a member of Pocket After Dark.  It's free!  Be sure to friend me when you sign up:)

Every Which Way But Dead with Bonus Material (Rachel Morgan) for $1.99

Kim Harrison is one of my all-time favorite authors.  The Hollows series is out of this world!  Read Every Which Way But Dead with Bonus Material (Rachel Morgan) for the special price of $1.99 from now through January 3, 2012!

December 13, 2011

Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Help a Starving Writer! by CJ Lyons

 
Help a Starving Writer!
By CJ Lyons


Hi, I'm CJ Lyons and I'm a writer and a readaholic.

When Bridget asked me to do a guest post here, she suggested that I talk about any new challenges in my life now that I'm a New York Times Bestseller.

I laughed because the biggest challenge is that I no longer have time to read! And it's driving me nuts.

So I need your help. The kind of help only fellow readaholics can give.

First, let me introduce myself. I’m CJ Lyons and I’m a pediatric ER doc turned thriller writer. Nurses used to laugh because I was the doc who always had a paperback stashed in the pocket of her white coat. I've been a storyteller all my life and finally, after 17 years of practicing medicine, I took a leap of faith to write fulltime.

The leap paid off. I'm now an award-winning, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of books I call Thrillers with Heart.

I love my new career as a writer—not only can I go to work in my PJs, I also get the chance to meet lots of interesting people and ask questions that no one else would dare.

I mean, how many 9-to-5er’s get to visit the FBI academy at Quantico or talk to crime scene experts about the “best” way to kill someone and get away with it?

But there is one thing about being a writer that I’m not too happy about. It’s ruined me as a reader!

All my life I’ve been a voracious reader, following my favorite authors blissfully into the worlds they created for me. But now that I’m a writer and know the “tricks of the trade” I no longer travel blindly into these fictional realms.

Instead, I proceed with eyes wide open, taking note of what works and what doesn’t. I dissect technique, scavenge evocative word choices, flag areas where the pace lags or the characters feel contrived.

I no longer can accept that a character does something “too stupid to live”—like going down into the basement when the lights are out and there’s a serial killer on the loose—unless they have a darn good reason to do so—something more than simply the author needing another action scene. Romances where the only reason the hero and heroine remain apart is because they don’t stop sniping long enough to actually talk about their problems smack of melodrama. And thrillers where the main goal is simply racking up a body count rather than changing or saving the hero’s world seem lackluster.

Yikes!!! Now instead of reading 3-5 books a week, I find myself starting 8-10, quickly casting most aside within a few pages, setting the rest down and never feeling compelled to pick them up again.

I long for the days when I would pick up any book in any genre and devour it like candy. Now I’m left with an often fruitless search for literary sustenance.

But once in a while I’ll find a jewel—a precious gem of a story that draws me in, introduces me to characters I not only understand but care about, makes me feel that saving their world is as important as anything going on in my own.

You know what books I’m talking about—those keep-me-up-all-night books.

Suddenly they seem harder to find than ever, but once I find one I savor the experience, reading much slower than my usual headlong rush, trying to prolong my enjoyment as much as possible.

So help a poor starving reader/writer out here! What books have you read lately that gave you more than entertainment, that were fresh and different, able to transport you to another world that you were reluctant to leave? Which characters have you fallen in love with and why?

I’d love to hear about the books that moved you—and what made them stand out from all the other ones out there.


GIVEAWAY: Everyone who leaves a comment will be gifted a free Amazon or Barnes & Noble e-copy of NERVES OF STEEL, the first of the Hart and Drake medical/romantic suspense series and a book Sandra Brown called "a perfect blend of romance and suspense."


(Remember, you don't need a Kindle to read books from Amazon, they have free reading apps for almost any device)

Thanks for helping this hungry readaholic!
CJ

About CJ:
As a pediatric ER doctor, New York Times Bestseller CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.

CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).

Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at www.cjlyons.net

I want to thank CJ for taking the time to write up this guest post which really made me think about whether or not I want to take the next step and become an author.

She is a wonderful author and I know you will all enjoy her masterpieces!

Be sure to leave your email address and format preference (Amazon or B&N) in your comment by 12/17/11 to receive your free copy!

December 12, 2011

#Rafflecopter #Giveaway: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

About the book:

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.


Visit Deborah's website


Win it: Enter using the Rafflecopter form:

December 7, 2011

#Giveaway: Brothers (and Me) by Donna Britt

Donna Britt has always been surrounded by men--her father, three brothers, two husbands, three sons, countless friends. She learned to give to them at an early age. But after her beloved brother Darrell's senseless killing by police 30 years ago, she began giving more, unconsciously seeking to help other men the way she couldn't help Darrell. BROTHERS (AND ME) navigates Britt's life through her relationships with men-resulting in a tender, funny and heartbreaking exploration of universal issues of gender and race. It asks: Why, for so long, did Britt-like millions of seemingly self-aware women-rarely put herself first? With attuned storytelling and hard-wrought introspection, Britt finds that even the sharpest woman may need reminding that giving to others requires giving to oneself.

Visit Donna's website.

Win it! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form:





Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. The prize is being provided by the publisher and/or public relations agency.

December 5, 2011

Giveaway: Beyond the Darkness by Jaime Rush

They live ordinary lives, but they are extraordinary. They are the Offspring, children of a mysterious experiment gone awry—and they are in terrible danger. 

Cheveyo: a name that stirs Petra like no other, reviving deep feelings of pleasure . . . and pain. Despite her rare psychic gifts, the beautiful half-human Offspring doesn’t know why the magnificent shapeshifter walked out of her life when the bond they shared was powerful . . . and intensely passionate. 

But Cheveyo is not gone. From the shadows, he watches over his beloved, determined that the malevolent enemies he hunts with fang and claw will not invade her world. But now, suddenly, the stakes are getting higher—as an insidious evil plots the destruction of Petra’s race. Cheveyo can remain hidden no longer from the lover who completes him but could destroy him . . . if his own inner darkness doesn’t destroy her first. 

Visit Jaime's website






Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.  The prize is being provided by the publisher.

Win An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer


Following Olen Steinhauer's acclaimed and bestselling first two novels featuring CIA agent Milo Weaver, the novel opens to find the CIA's Department of Tourism dismantled, after an elaborate scheme set in motion by a Chinese intelligence agent named Xin Zhu resulted in the murder of thirty-three agents, supposedly to avenge the death of his son. Zhu infiltrated the Department of Tourism, gaining intimate knowledge of its workings, then turned this CIA-trained team of assassins upon each other. Only a handful are left--including Milo Weaver. 

But Milo would like to move on, use this as an opportunity to regain a normal life, a life focused on his family, but his former boss in the CIA, Alan Drummond, can't let it go, and when Alan uses one of Milo's compromised aliases to travel to London and then disappears, calling all kinds of attention to his actions, Milo can't help but go in search of him. Trouble is, maybe the Chinese aren't finished toying with the Tourists after all....

Olen Steinhauer, the best espionage writer in a generation, delivers a searing, unputdownable international thriller that will settle once and for all who is pulling the strings and who is being played. 

Enter here.

December 1, 2011

Giveaway: The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry (Paperback)

**Cover may look different**

After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.





Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. The prize is being provided by the publishing company.