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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Guest post with Deena Remiel

Happy Saturday, Book Lovers! Today I have author Deena Remiel on my blog! Enjoy her post about her short story Ghost of a Chance!

TOP 5 Reasons to Love a Ghost:
5) He doesn't have to hide in the closet when your roomie comes home!
4) You can get into movies with 1 ticket!
3) Don't have to feed him or clothe him!
2) Hide and seek sex games take on a whole new meaning AND level of fun!
1) Tortured souls are just DAMNED SEXY!

Excerpt from Ghost of a Chance:

“Will you join me over here or shall I join you in the mysterious shadows?”
“You’re lovely over there. Stay. The way the light plays against your hair and sparkles in your eyes, well…you’re breathtaking, Susannah.”
Rendered speechless by his intensity, she stood as still as the statue they spoke of, and… blushed. Her cheeks were on fire! Get a grip, Susannah! “Thank you. I….I, heck.” She blew out a breath and started again. “Come over here so we can sit and get better acquainted.”
He still didn’t move. Is he so shy that he hides behind trees and in shadows?
“Do you think I’ll get to see you before the night is over?” She heard a soft chuckle. Good, maybe a little humor will loosen him up.
“Perhaps. I’m a bit nervous, as you can no doubt tell. I haven’t had any success with this kind of thing before.”
She took a step toward him—she would have to be the aggressor. “Neither have I, and I’m a little nervous, too.”
“You mentioned in your bio you were interested in a magical experience. One that would ‘sweep you away’.” His voice cracked, and he cleared his throat.
“Yes, I am.” She inched closer to the frozen, outlined figure.
“Before you take another step, you should know I’m different.”
“I read in the New York Times that you became reclusive about ten years ago. You’ve taken great strides toward ending that by being here now.”
“There’s a reason why I keep to myself. It may startle you, so be prepared. I am very much on the magical side of this world at the moment.”
Before she could move, he did, which brought him out of the shadows and into the light. Susannah gasped, startled at the transparency of the man who stood before her. Nervous laughter bubbled in her throat.
“What is this, some kind of joke? A holographic image projected here while you hide safe and secure in your room?”
“I’m afraid not. I’ve been living an alternative lifestyle lately.” He opened his arms as if to show himself off and let them fall back to his sides. “And this is all I am. I’m a ghost of a man, Susannah.”
     "Holy shit!" She stumbled back and fell onto the fountain’s ledge. He raced to her side to help, but his hands went right through her. Susannah screamed and scrambled to the opening leading to the main thoroughfare of the resort.
     "Susannah! Wait! Please, let me explain! I haven’t always been this way…."
~Deena Remiel

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Keepers by Monique O'Connor James Review

Jess denies God. In his infinite wisdom, he's taken everyone she's ever loved. Moving to the French Quarter was a ploy to erase the guilt she felt for rebuking her faith. Perhaps, if she hadn't met Justin, an angel preoccupied with getting back into God's good graces, and drowning in his hatred for humanity, her plan would have worked.

Justin's general disdain for the human race makes him difficult to like, but some higher power has appointed him her keeper. Justin's convinced he can mend her broken relationship with her maker, but in the process he learns a thing or two about his own humanity.

Never mind falling in love, that's not supposed to happen. In fact, it may even be forbidden. Jess just wants Justin to understand her plight, and he wants to protect her from a world she doesn't know.

If neither are equipped to save the other, then whose soul will live and whose will perish?

My Review:
(Originally posted to Goodreads on June 10, 2011)

When I first saw this book was so based on religion, I was hesitant to read it. Not because I don't believe, just because I am not hardcore religious. I decided to give it a try because I had heard so many great things about the book. And that is one of the greatest things about it. This book focuses heavily on God, angels, good, evil, and all of that, but it isn't overwhelming at all. The religious aspect makes the book even more interesting and oddly calming, in a way.

The characters in this book are simply amazing. You have Jess, the girl that's broken and lost everything, and Justin, the angel that hates humans with a passion and doesn't like the situation he's stuck in. Watching the characters grow, especially Justin, was incredible. While Justin still doesn't like the human race at the end of the book, he has learned to love, to be jealous, and maybe even experience a slight amount of pain at the end. Dawson was a great evil character. Another brilliant thing about this book, is that the setting is almost a character itself. While Jess navigated the streets of New Orleans, I was deciding that I wanted to visit there myself. I loved and enjoyed reading about all the characters, even the minor ones. They are all loveable and I found a few similarities between me and Jess. I laughed at the begining where she has problems with her sandals. Been there, too.

Another thing that shocked me about this book is how much emotion the book evokes. I cried the last half of the book because Monique made Jess' pain very real. I've always believed that only a great book can make a person cry, and that is very true for this book. Amazingly, at the very end of the book, my tears ceased because the end left me with a satisfied feeling. I felt even better knowing that there will be a second book called The Watchers.

Everything a person loves about a book is in The Keepers: Romance (though it is different than other romances, in a good way though), action, a great plot that is original, a fantastic setting, loveable characters, beautiful writing (I enjoyed the bits of information Rory and Asher threw in)sexy angels, and a breath taking ending. Oh, yeah. It has a pretty cover too. What's not to love?

If this book is on your TBR pile, or if you've been thinking about getting it, get it now! You won't be disappointed!

*adds book to favorites shelf*  Now, I want a signed copy!


Happy Reading!

P.S. Yes, I did finally get that signed copy! :)

Pulse of Heroes by A. Jacob Sweeny Review

A suspenseful, passionate, paranormal romance that sweeps through the emotions of first love and heartache as it traverses centuries and continents.

Michelle used to feel like she was behind in everything, especially school and relationships. Her great aunt from the old country says she is like a bland meal, "no salt or pepper". But in junior year, everything changes. Her father takes a position on the Town Council, a popular boy in school becomes interested in her, and most importantly, the Hekademos Learning Center, a private school for 'troubled' students, moves into her quiet neighborhood amidst the protests of the entire town.

After seeing the School Regent out with a group of young guys just before Christmas, Michelle is convinced that there is something odd about them. Her curiosity gets the better of her and she embarks upon a mission to figure out what is really going on. After an embarrassing fall over the school wall, Michelle meets Elliot and her ordinary ‘bland’ life changes its course forever.

Elliot is no ordinary human. In fact, no one at the Hekademos Learning Center is. Beautiful and fierce, they have survived throughout the millennia by weaving in and out of human events. Through them, Michelle learns that history and myths from around the world are dotted with references to their kind. Michelle falls madly in love with the ever-striking and mysterious Elliot and, as much as he tries to fight it, he develops strong feelings for her as well. Although Elliot carries numerous painful memories from his many pasts, he disregards his own better judgment and the advice of his friends, and finds himself falling for Michelle‘s offbeat personality. Their feelings grow in intensity, but when History catches up with them, the difference between their life paths threatens to destroy any future that they might have had together.

Michelle learns that there are infinite shades of gray between black and white, and has to deal with the bundle of contradictory emotions called love. After some unexpected twists during a family trip to Europe, she has to trust her intuition in order to face the danger and uncertainty of being drawn into Elliot’s wondrous world. Ultimately, it is up to Michelle to make the split-second, life-altering decision that will either tear them apart forever, or give them another chance.

My review:
(Originally posted to Goodreads on August 19, 2011)

Before I began this book, I found myself in a reading slump. I decided to pick this book up because I had heard so many things about it. I knew before I even opened it that I would need something different and exciting to hold my attention. I got that and so much more.

First off, let me just say that I love A.J's writing style. I found it unique and fresh, lyrical even, and I enjoyed that the story was told in third person rather than the very popular first person. (Not that I have a problem with that) A.J's descriptions are out of this world. Everytime she described all of the guy's eye color, I found myself sighing and longing to look upon them myself. It was because of these descriptions that I found myself appreciating the cover more. The blue is a stunning color, after all.

I loved the characters. Michelle is sensitive and caring, but she is also incredibly strong and has a definite spark to her. I really enjoyed reading about her and found myself releating to Michelle, especially in the begining of the book. Elliot is the handsome and charming immortal with the tortured and complicated past. He struggles telling Michelle exactly what he is because he has yet to figure that out for himself. A character like this from any other author might have given me a headache. Like Michelle, we learn a lot of information in this 500 page book. But never once was I confused or lost.

I love how all of the guys from the school interact with one another. I loved how the characters did not immediately fall in love with each other. The fact that they slowly fell in love made the book even more magical. I love that there was a mixture of action, adventure, and romance. I loved that the book was emotional. The character's pain was palpable. I felt like crying, sighing, throwing the book across the room, and yelling.

The history laced into the story was another thing that I really enjoyed about the story. You could tell by all the details just how much time and effort went into researching the book.

The pacing is perfect, too. The begining starts off slow, but quickly builds and builds until you are at the edge of your seat. By the end, I was satisfied by the ending, but left craving the second installment like crazy!

If you are looking for something that is wonderful, action packed, romantic, full of history, twists and turns, and different from all of the other Paranormal YA books out there, then I suggest that you grab yourself a copy of this book. You won't be disappointed!


**Parts of this review were put into the review section of book 2 in the series Of Blood and Pulse which is out now!**

Happy Reading!

Trinity by Deena Remiel Review

Emma Livingston, a single mom, has been through hell—and back, so she thinks. While dealing with her five year old daughter’s night terrors, she attempts to live a normal life. That is, until the being from those very nightmares comes to visit her. Has her child been dealing with a real demon while she thought he was only a figment of an active imagination?
Michael D’Angelo is known to everyone in Prophet’s Point, Arizona, as their loving elementary school principal. But to The Brethren, he is known as the most powerful Protector. Immortal and angelic does not mean he’s without doubts or fears. While trying to protect Emma and Hannah, his tortured past comes back to haunt him. Can he overcome it? Or is he doomed to repeat a failure he has lived with for what seems like an eternity?
As Emma and Michael come together to protect Hannah, ancient secrets are revealed and faith is tested. When a prophecy is exposed, questions must be answered… Can Emma learn to trust enough to love again? Can Michael believe in himself enough to show Emma how? And will they be able to protect an innocent child, not to mention save the world as they know it, from total annihilation?

My Review:
(Origninally posted to Goodreads on June 2, 2011)

Ahhhhh! Where to start!?!?!

When I first purchased this book on my barnes and noble Nook, I was shocked to see that it was over five hundred pages long. I thought that it would take me forever to finish it, but boy was I wrong. I don't think I have ever read a book this fast! I finished this book in about five hours total. I blazed through this novel, turning pages frantically because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I had to put the book down about halfway through in order to get some sleep and kept thinking about it for several hours after I stopped reading. Trinity by Deena Remiel is the best book I have read this year! It has earned a spot in my favorite books of all time catagory as well! Whoo!

This story is fantastic in every way imaginable! Romance, humor, adventure, twists and turns, a gorgeous cover, great character development, outstanding plot, fantastic dialog and writing,a spectacular ending, and an epic battle of good vs. evil. Hannah's growth was especially amazing to watch! What a badass five year old. All of the angels are fantastic as well. I don't deny having sweet dreams while reading this book. Emma and Micheal have such good chemistry. I found myself blushing and swooning in some of their more heated scenes. I also love the fact that Emma works at a school, like myself, and I also loved the fact that she was five foot two, like me as well. (Go short people!)

This book is amazing! It made me happy, sad, laugh, nearly cry, and left me completely satisfied. I will definitely be wating (im)patiently for the next book in the series, which is titled Relic. The one question I asked myself while reading this book was: Why haven't you read this sooner?

Go check it out! You won't be disappointed!


~Book two in the series, Relic, will be released on January 27, 2012!!! I can't wait!~

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Interview with author JF Jenkins!

Hello, Book Lovers! :) Today I have author JF Jenkins on my blog. She currently has two books out. The first book is called The Dragon's Saga: Legend of the Oceina Dragon and I absolutely loved it! (See my review here:  The second is on my to be read shelf and is titled Vala: Agendas.

Here is the interview!
First off, Jill, can you tell everyone a little bit more about yourself?

I'm a twenty-something wife and mother of a toddler. I live in Minnesota, and I make coffee for my day job. It doesn't sound exciting, but it totally is.

What age did you start writing? What inspired you to start?

I really started writing about 12 or 13-years-old. I began with fanfiction, X Files I believe, which turned into something completely original and crazy. It was something dorky I did with my friends to pass the time in class and we'd pass on pages to one another for fun. I just never stopped!

Tell us about your book. Why dragons?

Here's the synopsis: 

Darien Oceina is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord of the Water. For years he¹s loved and cherished Tai Dawson from afar. Tai is a simple, ordinary girl who doesn¹t even know Darien exists. On his eighteenth birthday, he chooses her as his wife. But there’s one problem: She thinks his choice means she¹s going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon Lord, but instead, she’s forced to move to his home, far away, to give up her life and be his bride.
When she first sees Darien after the ceremony, she doesn’t expect to feel anything but hatred toward him. The two are struggling with the complications of a new marriage when their nation is attacked by a rival dragon species. Together they learn to love one another while they struggle to stay one step ahead in a game where the prize is their survival.

Why dragons? I wanted to work with a mythical creature of some kind that was seen as a deity of sorts. Something large and powerful. Dragons seemed the best match for that. Plus I think they're fascinating creatures and I have a love for all things giant and lizard like.

How many books will be in The Dragon's Saga? Will they all be about Darien and Tai?

I'm planning for something between 4-6 books. It depends on how long they come out to be later in the series. A lot of things are going to happen. I won't give out any spoilers though. The point though: my publisher only publishes books within a certain word limit, so if the later installments go past this limit, I'm going to have to cut them in half. 

There will definitely be more Darien and Tai, as well as a few other new and wonderful characters. If you're looking for a current Dragons Saga fix, check out "Matrimonial Mayhem" for my short "Legend of the Aero Dragon". It's a $5 e-book, and all of the proceeds go to help the tornado victims in Alabama, so you'll be getting a great collection of fiction and doing some good too!

Are your characters based on people you know?

No, I tend to not do that. My characters are their own separate living beings. Which sounds weird, I know.

Are any of your characters a lot like you?

I think a little bit of me can be found in any of my characters if I looked hard enough. The character most like me isn't in the Dragon's Saga though.  She's in my upcoming book series.  She's kind of dark and cynical, but also a teddy-bear.

Do you listen to music while you write? Do you have playlists for your books?

I don't listen to music when I write anymore. I used to listen to movie scores for a while, but my mp3 player decided to eat all of my music files and I don't have any backups. Now I write while the kiddo plays, so my background noise is usually Dora the Explorer. I do make playlists though, lots of them, and I burn them to CDs and put them in my car when I need to plot out certain stories.

What are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on finishing up the next book in the Dragon's Saga. The end is near and I'm excited to bring the story to a close.

Are there any specific things you have to have while you write?

Concentration. If I can get myself going, it's easy. I also like having some kind of snack by me just in case.
Do you have a certain place/time you write?

Most of it is done in my living room these days on a laptop. I get most of my work done in the afternoon.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I play a lot of video games and I read a lot of books. I read three this last week and played about seven hours of Final Fantasy. Which seems like a lot of gaming, but it's actually quite a small bit.

Do you read all the reviews about your books? 

I do. Some make me laugh, others cry, and others give me a lot of great things to take into account when I write in the future. They're a good learning tool and a pick me up too. Some of them make me feel squishy in all of the good ways, lol. But I also know not to take some too seriously, even if it can be hard.

Tell us about your journey to get published?

It was random. I had gotten an add from Twitter from AstraeaPress, and they said they were taking pitches. I decided to just give it a shot because what did I have to lose? After I pitched, they said they wanted a full manuscript, read it, and said they wanted it. I was so pumped because this is my first published novel. Then I got my edits back, cried, a lot, lol, because there was a lot of work that needed to be done. Sat and worked on it diligently for three days non-stop. Mailed those back, waited, got my cover art which is always a lot of fun, and then I did some more edits up until the night before it was released!

Do you read? Who is your favorite author? 
I read a lot. I can't say I have a favorite author though, because there are far too many I enjoy.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors like myself?

Keep at it, keep learning, and keep doing it because you love it. Too many people get dragged down by the market and the "rules" of writing. It's a lot easier if you don't put the whole thing into a box.
Random questions!:
Favorite band?

I have two, technically: Solo artist is Gavin Mikhail (he did the music for my book trailer ( which was very generous of him. He's super sweet, super talented, and sends me emails to check on how the book is going! (full song link:, he does amazing covers too, and writes scores for BOOKS! Maybe if asked nicely he'd do one for me?). Favorite band is VAST ("Touched" is basically the theme for the direct sequel to my book:

I love "The English Patient", "No Country for Old Men", "Atonement", and "Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2".
Stouffers Mac and Cheese, or Caramel Corn.
Do you collect anything?
I always want to collect things, but never get the chance. Notebooks and gel pens I suppose? I have a lot of them. I love getting new ones. Three-ring binders are fun too. I always want to print stuff out/write stuff and put them in there. I also collect things in series that I enjoy. Video games for example I have the entire Final Fantasy series, Kingdom Hearts, Sly Cooper, Grandia, Wild Arms, Uncharted, and Dragon Age. Books, I keep all of the books for The Last Apprentice, Wicked Lovely, The Darkest Powers, and Pendragon.

Where can fans find you?

I'm on....

Twitter: @jfjenkinstweets - I use this pretty regularly. All of my tweets forward to facebook!
Blog: (I post free fiction on there at least once a week)
Free Story Challenge (that I do with my friend and author Brea Essex):

Anything else you like to tell everyone?  
Feel free to say hi. I love talking to people. :)

Thanks so much for allowing me to interview you, Jillian! :)
Happy Reading!