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Review: “Bad for Me” by Codi Gary [Tour Stop]

“Bad for Me” by Codi Gary

Available from: Avon Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Kobo
To Be Released on: 6 April 2015
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review, as part of this book’s blog tour.

Description: Callie Jacobsen isn’t about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she’s better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie’s more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she’s got the scars to prove it. But Everett isn’t convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he’s got his own demons, and he bets they’re not that different from Callie’s. Still, he knows it’s going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she’s safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step…and take his hand.

Review: Who lives a life without scars? Not Everett Silverton, the male lead in this story is well written, daring, heroic, understanding and hot. And not Callie Jacobsen, the female lead is tragic and torn, a sweet heart with the inability to accept others into her life due to her past. Their romance is not easy, not is it gentle, as much as Everett tried to make it so. It felt each chapter was him offering all he was and her throwing it back at him through reactions and fear, and if there was ever a man to root for in a romance it was him.

Callie is a DJ with a crush on a male caller, Everett (or Rhett) is infatuated by the woman he hears every morning. Slowly they talk through his calls to her show and make a connection, then one morning he ups the ante and offers to meet her. Callie freezes and then fate (or author’s device) kicks in and suddenly they are bumping into one another at every turn, sometimes literally. Their lives are already so enmeshed that it is almost a surprise they hadn’t met. She was DJ’ing his brother’s wedding, she is an AA sponsor for his father, her friend ran the bookstore he spent so much time in, a small town in which lives usually mix had left these two never meeting until that day he asked her out.

It takes time for him to admit to her that he was her morning caller, and when he does she reacts badly. Her ability to trust had been ripped so thoroughly from her that all he did was being judged and weighed on a scale that he could not begin to see or imagine. From the beginning he was fighting a losing battle as her past was too unsettled to allow for the future to begin. It was clear she could not love or trust as she deserved to be able to until she allowed all the healing processes to work their way through her life. Hiding and dealing with the past as best as you can is not the same as healing.

I struggled with this book because some pieces didn’t fit, minor things really, but enough that I was questioning their place. Callie is an AA sponsor, but then admits she never took the full process of the steps to heart and healed herself through them as they are meant to be, this was one of my main struggles outside of struggling to like Callie. To me addiction recovery like that is an almost sacred trust and being someone’s sponsor when you never gave your all to the program yourself seems hypocritical. Everett hit every key in me that makes me enjoy a good male lead. Callie, on the other hand, had me banging my head on the wall chapter after chapter, making me want to stand up and defend Everett to her over and over and make her get the help she needed to be able to move forward with her life, and their life together. Also, I felt something interesting that could have been used to greater purpose was the original communication in the story, the couple had their first connection through the radio and that line of their relationship just stopped once they met in person. I loved that between them and wished Rhett had kept calling each morning, showing her he still cared about that woman he first began to fall for.

I give this book 3.5 Fireballs because of the details above and because I really struggled to finish the book as I could not bring myself to like Callie. I felt for her, but being empathetic and actually enjoying a character are two different things. Scars can be on the inside or outside, and these characters have both types. Through the book the details of their lives unfold and you see both characters and all their flaws, or the flaws they perceive in themselves. The romance is interesting, the sex scenes are well written, if too few. Codi Gary wove a story of people that both deserve a forever kind of love, and all the struggles that deserving that kind of love brings.

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Scott Pinsker is Visiting!

The Second Coming: A Love Story

“The Second Coming: A Love Story” by Scott Pinsker

Published as… Theological Thriller; Mystery; Contemporary Fiction
Published on… 6 June 2014

Scott Pinsker’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: During the pro poker boom in the early 2000s – back when poker was on TV all the time – I represented Phil Gordon, who was the co-host of Celebrity Poker Showdown on the Bravo Network. Following a celebrity poker tournament that Phil emceed at the Super Bowl (Eddie George beat Jerome Bettis at the final table) I noticed that our media event generated more publicity than any other party during Super Bowl week, sans one: The Playboy Party. That gave me an idea… and as fate would have it, one of the celebrity poker players in our tournament, Kato Kaelin, was working for National Lampoon at the time…

Long story short: I became the creator and executive producer of National Lampoon’s Strip Poker, which was filmed at the notorious Hedonism II nudist resort in Negril Jamaica. The film aired on DirecTV and InDemand PPV… and was absolutely, completely horrible. AWFUL! An utter abomination. (Spending 12 days at Hedonism II for the filming wasn’t so terrible, though.)

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: E.T. ‘cause then I could TOTALLY score some free Reese’s Pieces.

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: Well, my two favorite groups / artists are Tori Amos and Iron Maiden. (I keep waiting for ‘em to go on tour together, but they never do.) But given the topics addressed in The Second Coming: A Love Story, I suppose my authorial theme song should be Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Great tune! (It’s interesting: The Prince of Darkness can steal souls, command Demons and battle God… but for whatever reason, he’s apparently not a very good fiddle player. With all the “evil” rock stars burning in Hell, you’d think someone could’ve given him fiddle lessons…)

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: The ability to create worlds, people and brand-new realities. It’s almost godlike! Sometimes you even start to feel detached from the “real world” because the false-realities you create with a pen are preferable. I can’t speak for all writers, but when I’m deeply, fully engaged in my craft, the separation between fiction and non-fiction becomes almost nonexistent.

And that’s when the madness begins…

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): My first pet was a German shepherd named Kevin, back when I was very young. I think I also had a cat named Kevin. Maybe even more than one cat named Kevin. (Why the name Kevin? No idea.)

Currently, I have two rescue cats: A psychotic black cat named Jinx, a chubby white-and-gray cat named Leeloo (in honor of Milla Jovovich’s character in The Fifth Element), and a 10-year-old, 220-pound American Mastiff named Leon.

(I also have two kids… who consider me THEIR pet. Woof!)

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: No television. Never ever. Too distracting. I mostly write in complete silence (although the Demons in my head occasionally break-out in Gregorian chants).

Sometimes I like to listen to music. To me, music is an emotional bookmark: Just one song or note can instantly transport you to a different time and place. It’s uncanny: If you’re trying to wrap your head around a certain emotion, music is – in the language of gamers – a “cheat code.”

So is alcohol: Music and alcohol both have the power to heighten emotions and lessen inhibitions. Sometimes that’s helpful.

Sometimes it’s not.

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: Let me put it this way: They say “the early bird gets the worm” but y’know who gets the worm even before the early bird? The night owl.

And besides, even though the early worm MIGHT get the worm, it’s worth noting that the late-rising mouse gets the cheese – and the early mouse gets its neck snapped in a mousetrap.

8. Favorite Season: I live in Florida, so I’m obviously a sun-lover. Here in Florida, seasons don’t really mean much; it’s always nice and warm. But calendar-wise, I enjoy winter the most: Football season is underway, my birthday is around the corner (I was born on January 10, which is probably why I’m such a big football fan: I was literally born of first and 10!), and there’s a bunch of great holidays, like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (although I NEVER seem to get any good gifts on Kwanzaa).

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Hmm… Is a writer who you are? Or is it what you do? (That’s actually a rather profound question, when you stop and think about it.)

If it’s who you are, then I guess I’ve always been a writer. Even when I wasn’t writing, I was still a writer – hijacking my skill-set for other endeavors. Being a storyteller is a transferrable talent: From high school run-ins with angry teachers to pick-up bars with gullible coeds to PR clients in dire need of crisis communications, there’s a great deal of versatility to storytelling…

For decades, I did my best to avoid being an author of books, however. Lord how I tried! Writing books – at least for me – is an arduous, painful, dreadfully unpleasant task. Speechwriting for others is easy: It’s their life, their story, and I’m happily shielded from the consequences. But writing a book? Telling a story that’s truly a piece of me – and letting total strangers poke around, meet my alter-egos and dissect my inner-most thoughts? Aaahh!! It’s like standing naked on a street corner during rush hour! Writing is a form of exhibitionism… and I guess I’m naturally shy.

I HATE being exposed like this… but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake this God-awful compulsion to share these stories…

So more than anything else, I guess I became an author because I had exhausted all other options.

About the Book

A nationally-recognized marketing expert, Scott Pinsker has worked with a vast array of sports stars, business leaders, and Grammy-, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winners, managing everything from crisis communications to PR campaigns. His analysis of publicity trends has been showcased multiple times on FOXNews.com, where he occasionally contributes as a marketing expert. He has also written for the Washington Times, Breitbart and Bulldog Reporter.

Pinsker developed the concept for The Second Coming: A Love Story almost 15 years ago, while attending law school in Washington, DC. As the author tells it:

According to Christian theology, the Devil is thousands of years old and deviously brilliant. I remember wondering one night, if such a creature didn’t want you to know who he was… then how would you know? How could you out-think a creature that’s not only smarter than you, but also thousands of years more experienced and capable of supernatural powers? We get fooled by ordinary people every day – and most of the time, they’re not particularly clever! So what ‘prayer’ would we realistically have to outwit the Prince of Darkness?

Then I had a further thought: If the Devil really wanted to con mankind, he wouldn’t appear with a pitchfork and horns. All those horror movies have it wrong; that’s too obvious. Instead, his best tactical option would be to appear as a holy man – and to attach himself to the faith of his target audience. Because if I were Satan’s publicist, that’s what I’d recommend.

But what if we raised the stakes even further, and now there were TWO self-declared saviors – one who preached to Red America, the other to Blue America? And what if the key characters in the story were all modern day updates of the major characters from the Bible? What would happen then?

Well, you’re about to find out!

For the last 15 years, I’ve been meticulously researching the subject matter, studying ancient texts and combing through the delicate intricacies of Christian eschatology. The end-result is The Second Coming: A Love Story. You needn’t be a theologist to fall in love with this story, although it certainly won’t hurt: I’ve woven-in countless clues and subtle references to the identity of the true Second Coming – and to the identity of Satan – throughout.

No matter your faith, no matter your background, this book will challenge you to reconsider the very nature of existence. And that’s the God-honest truth.”

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

Scott Pinsker Author Photo
Scott Pinsker lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, with his wife, two young boys, two rescue cats and his 220-pound mastiff. This is his debut novel, and it’s the first in a trilogy. The follow-up, Three Days Later: A Revenge Story, will be released in 2015.

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Codi Gary is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Bad for Me

“Bad for Me” (Rock Canyon Romance, #5) by Codi Gary

Published as… Contemporary Romance

Cody Gary’s Excerpt

“I’ve almost got it.”

“Thank you. This was really nice of you, especially when I haven’t given you a reason to be.”

Everett looked up at her, wiping the rain off his face so he could meet her gaze. “You seem to assume that just because people are kind to you, they want something. Sometimes people help because it’s the right thing to do.”

Her gaze shifted away, and he went back to tightening the nuts on the wheel. He’d said his piece, but knew he wasn’t going to convince Callie with words that his intentions were honorable.

He had to prove it to her.

When he finished, he released the jack and gathered up all the tools, sliding them back in the spare tire kit. “I’ll put this and the new tire in the back, and you’ll be good to go. I’ll haul this one off to the dump for you.”

She knelt down next to him and took the kit from him, their fingers brushing. Despite the chill of their skin, heat sizzled between them, sending a shot of awareness down his throat. Her blonde curls were wet and falling out of her messy top knot, and drops of rain were clinging to her cheeks. Before he could stop himself, he traced the pad of his thumb across one, catching the cool droplet on his skin. Her amber eyes widened, and he dropped his hand, cursing his impulse.

“Sorry. You had something on your cheek.”

Callie cleared her throat and stood up. “It’s okay.”

He climbed to his feet and couldn’t help wondering if she’d felt something too. Was that why she kept pulling away?

But if she didn’t want him, why was he pushing?

Because she doesn’t treat you like a defective puppy she’d have to fix.

Grabbing her spare tire from the back of his truck, he slid it into the back of her Jeep. She stood back as he closed the door, and he could tell she was nervous—her hands kept twisting.

“Well, you’re all set. You should get home and change out of those wet clothes. If you get sick, I’ll have to listen to one of those ridiculous weekend deejays, and they play nothing but crap.”

Everett started to head back to his truck, but she caught his hand. “Hey.”

Just the touch of her hand sent his heart from a trot to a gallop. He loved the way her soft skin wrapped around his.

Facing her, he waited, afraid to move a muscle and scare her off.

But she moved so fast, he wasn’t prepared when her lips brushed the scarred side of his face. He stiffened as the warmth seeped through his cheek, his stomach twisting up as a thousand thoughts and insecurities made him wince. Had the roughness repelled her? Why hadn’t she picked the untouched side?

“Thank you. For being kind.”

Callie dropped his hand and ran to her car, as if afraid he would come after her. As she started it and pulled forward, he was finally able to move again, backing up a ways to watch her disappear down the road.

Everett’s hand came up to rest against his cheek, and he realized that he’d lied to Callie when he said he didn’t want anything from her.

He wanted everything.

About the Book

Callie Jacobsen isn’t about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she’s better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie’s more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she’s got the scars to prove it. But Everett isn’t convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he’s got his own demons, and he bets they’re not that different from Callie’s. Still, he knows it’s going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she’s safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step…and take his hand.

Buy the Book at Avon Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Kobo

About the Author

Codi Gary Author Photo
An obsessive bookworm, Codi Gary likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

~* Website * Avon Romance * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest *~

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BR Kingsolver is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Trust

“Trust” by BR Kingsolver

Published on… 6 March 2015
Published as… Contemporary Romance

BR Kingsolver’s Quote Art

Trust Quote Art

About the Book

The history of my relationships reads like the Titanic meets a tornado during an earthquake. Disaster after disaster. For some reason, I’m always attracted to lying jerks. I finally decided that it’s better to just have a good time and no one gets hurt. That philosophy worked for my last two years of college.

Then I let myself get pulled in again by a pair of broad shoulders, pretty hazel eyes, and kisses that turned my brain to mush. Of course he was lying to me. All my friends told me something wasn’t right, but I’m such a fool.

When it all went wrong, I didn’t expect his tall, dark, and handsome roommate being there to catch me. I think I love him. But can I trust him? He makes me happy. Can I trust myself?

Ashley graduated from college and isn’t looking for romance. What she needs is a job and the career she’s worked so hard to achieve. Can her dream of working overseas survive a man who seeks to capture her heart?

Buy the Book at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble or Kobo

About the Author

I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among writers, artists and weird Hispanic and Native American myths and folklore. I’ve lived all over the U.S. and earned a living doing everything from making silver and turquoise jewelry, to construction to computers. I currently split my time between Baltimore and Albuquerque.

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.

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Three Anthologies for Three Great Causes [Tour Stop]

Here, Kitty Kitty

“Here, Kitty Kitty” by Various

Published as… Paranormal Romance

Charity: Exotic Feline Rescue Center

About the Book

What is it about the tiger that so captivates? Or about the jaguar that enchants? Why are we so drawn to the lethal grace of the large feline predators of the world?

Get ready to purr, growl and roar along with six paranormal romance authors in this anthology of love and shapeshifting kitties. After reading these six unique tales, from the sexy to the sweet, you’ll be guaranteed to be saying… Here, Kitty Kitty…

* * *

In ‘His Jaguar Princess’ by A. Star, jaguar shifter Selene Peters can’t deny her feelings for the tycoon Lucas King. Somehow, he’s penetrated her barriers and become more than just a client, but loving a human is dangerous and she fears her past repeating itself. Could he help her overcome the past or will she sacrifice her happiness and succumb to it? Not if he has anything to say about it…

In ‘In Our Nature’ by Jessica Nicholls, when Mira’s privacy and independence are threatened, she can be very nasty. Daniel is an expert on American mountain lions. His assistance is requested after an ‘incident’ on Mira’s front lawn. When the two meet, they recognise each other in more than one way.

In ‘Divine Passage’ by Dariel Raye, Kimani, a breeder with the power to preserve the human race, must depend on her guardian, Ahkil, a black panther shifter with more than one reason to distrust humans, but his secrets could change the course of her life forever.

In ‘The Distance Between’ by Mia Darien, she’s traveled thousands of miles, looking for a safe place. He’s brought her thousands of miles, looking to not be lonely any more. But they both have secrets. Can they bridge the distance between, and find what they’re looking for in each other?

In ‘Hannah’s Fate’ by Abigail Owen, cougar shifters have allied into groups, together in a rocky alliance to protect themselves against other shifters. Hannah Keller becomes the targeted Mate for Kyle Carstairs, the treacherous soon-to-be Alpha of another group. Meanwhile, Nick Jensen, her childhood hero and longtime secret crush, has returned home with hopes of claiming Hannah for his own. But will he be in time to rescue her from the Carstairs’s schemes?

In ‘Full Moon’ by B. R. Kingsolver, the full moon can get a girl stirred up, especially with a handsome cowboy paying her way too much attention. If it wasn’t for those damned werewolves causing trouble and getting in the way…

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords

Reaching Out

“Reaching Out” by Various

Published as… Contemporary Romance

Charity: American Red Cross

About the Book

Romance can be found among the darkest of times. In this anthology, you’ll find four tales of sweet romance about those who dedicate their time, and sometimes even their lives, to helping others. 100% of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross.

“Cross My Heart” by Abigail Owen

“A Healing Touch” by Jessica Nicholls

“Lesson Learned” by Crystel G. Smith

“Hope” by Mia Darien

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords

Bellator

“Bellator” by Various

Published as… Science Fiction & Fantasy

Charity: Wounded Warrior Project

About the Book

Science Fiction and Fantasy, two genres that are both unalike and inextricably entwined, stretching the imagination to the expansive boundaries of time, space, and magic. These boundaries are often filled with warriors and war, fights and causes worth fighting for, and that’s what you’ll find in this anthology.

From fighting aliens in space to demons in a world of magic, you’ll find many stories to suit your starship’s entertainment collection or your favorite bard at the local tavern…or just your imagination here and now. Sit back and enjoy twelve stories from authors both familiar and new!

100% of the proceeds to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“SARAH” by Lee Pletzers

“The Summoned Rise of the Phantom Knights” by Kenny Emmanuel

“Border Patrol” by BR Kingsolver

“The Twelve” by Mia Darien

“Ghosts” by Christi Rigby

“Outside the Walls” by A. L. Butcher & Diana L. Wicker

“My Brother’s Keeper” by Raphyel M. Jordan

“With Our Own Blood” by Jessica Nicholls

“The Connection” by Crystal G. Smith

“A Fly on the Wall” by Chantal Boudreau

“Slacker” by Doug Dandridge

“The Light Bless Thee and Keep Thee” by Mason Darien

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords

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Kristy Centeno is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Payback is Sweet

“Payback is Sweet” by Kristy Centeno

Published as… Romance

Kristy Centeno’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: During my junior year in high school, my family and I moved to a new town, where I eventually found out the Spanish teacher in my new high school was related to me.

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: I know this may sound somewhat cliché and all, but there are times I’d love to be Flash just so that I could get all my chores done for the day a lot quicker and have enough time left at the end of the day to write more than a few pages.

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: I don’t have a specific theme song.

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: Brainstorming through a book, writing, plotting, coming up with all kinds of possible scenarios that will be both fun and creative.

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): My first pet was a puppy we called Benji—after the dog in the movie with the same name, of course. He was a tiny fluff of white hair, big eyes, and short legs.

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: Music. I always listen to music while I write. If I’m in the midst of a romance scene I’ll listen to romantic songs. If I’m in a middle of a fight scene I’ll usually end up listening to some rock and roll.

That’s right. I’m into a little of everything.

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: Definitely a night owl. I’m not a morning person at all. I’m usually grumpy in the mornings.

8. Favorite Season: Winter.

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Yes and no. I always knew I wanted to write, but it has never occurred to me to do it full time or make a career out of it. As much as I love writing, career wise I’m thinking of an entirely different direction.

However, it has never been my plan to stop writing. I vouch to always find time for it. Even if it is an hour a day.

About the Book

Janessa Rowe is a twenty one year old college girl with little respect for other people. She’s a rich, spoiled brat of a girl who gets her kicks out of humiliating others. When she discovers that her boyfriend of three years has in fact engaged in a physical relationship with someone else, Janessa will stop at nothing to get a little payback. Even if that means using her new rival’s disgruntled fiancée to get what she wants.

Dakota Blackwater is everything Janessa is not. He’s kind, sweet, gentle, and a stand-up guy all in all, but when his girlfriend’s betrayal hurts more than his pride, he agrees to take part in a plan that will test both their self-restraints and their feelings for one another.

Problems arise, however, when Janessa’s interest for Dakota shifts from being a pawn to achieve her ultimate goal, to potential lover. After having her heart broken in the past, the last thing she wants is to get involved in matters of the heart, but how can she follow through with her plan when the more time she spends with Dakota, the less she cares about getting payback? Sooner rather than later they are forced to confront the reality that their game has slowly transformed into something else and that what seemed like a scheme to exact revenge, now comprises both their hearts in ways neither of them anticipated.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Blushing Books

About the Author

Kristy Centeno Author Photo
Kristy Centeno is an author of paranormal romance, young adult, new adult, horror, and contemporary romance.

She has always had a passion for books and after years of being an avid reader, she decided to transform her desire to write into a reality and thus, her first novel was born. In her journey to create memorable reads, she has delved into several genres, creating fictional characters meant to entice readers and captivate the mind.

She is currently working on finishing off the Keeper Witches series among other projects, which include sequels to her published work. When she’s not busy taking care of her five children or holding down the fort, she finds time to sit and do what she loves the most: writing.

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Cara Addison is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The Fortuitous Pen

“The Fortuitous Pen” by Cara Addison

Published on… 25 November 2014
Published as… Contemporary Erotic Romance

About the Book

After making an immediate connection in ‘Going the Distance’, Austin Campbell and Brett Tanner continue their lives together as they adjust to life as a sexy New York couple.

Having fallen madly in love with Brett, Austin balances her time between her writing, and the delicious romps with her fiercely loyal and equally adventurous lover. Determined to focus on her writing, Austin experiences an accidental encounter that sets the two off on a journey of pain and healing. Can their everyday life of sexy trysts and loving adventures be enough to overcome mistakes of the past?

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or BookStrand

About the Author

Cara Addison Author Photo
I’m the accidental author.

In so many ways, becoming a published author happened by chance.

For years, I’ve worked in the corporate world. My degrees are in business. Essentially, I’m a problem solver for corporations and government. So, you can imagine how much of a shift it was for me to sit down and write fiction.

During the summer of 2013, I put pen to paper. I let my sexy imagination loose and before I knew it I’d filled a more than a few pages. The characters came to life and a story began to take shape.

And so began, the greatest chapter of my life.

Writing has been cathartic. Becoming published has been exhilarating.

This journey isn’t over. I continue to write, as time permits. Another manuscript is in the works.

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Review: “Fire Sign” by M. A. Petterson

“Fire Sign” by M. A. Petterson

Available from: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Released on: 26 July 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: A beautiful forensic engineer hiding a tragic past reluctantly teams up with a troubled cop to stop a serial arsonist targeting churches.

Dr. Anja Toussaint believes that her own dreadful youth foretells who the arsonist is and the shocking motive behind the fires. But Detective Gil Dolan stubbornly sets his sights on a white supremacist previously convicted of arson and just released from prison.

Unfortunately, when Anja blocks his efforts the arrogant cop sets his own plan into motion that leads them both into a fiery trap.

Review: On the whole, I enjoyed this story. It was a quick and fairly easy read, and I really loved the premise/set-up of the main character as the forensic engineer/arson investigator, particularly a woman. I’m not entirely sure if I liked Anja or not, but she’s the type of character that I think was written that way. She made for a unique narrative voice, though, and I did like that.

Some elements of Anja, and Dolan, felt kind of stereotyped, or at least common for characters in this sort of genre. But then, sometimes things are common for a reason: they’re common, so I can’t decide if that’s really a detractor. Also the “near miss” for Anja and Dolan felt kind of odd, a little shoe-horned into the plot and I wasn’t crazy about that. (There was another detail that felt similar and didn’t go anywhere that I wasn’t crazy about, but I don’t want to spoiler anything.)

Also, there was one plot turn that felt like a bit too big a leap for anyone to make who wasn’t Sherlock Holmes so I’d have liked to see more development there, although a small twist at the end was a good one.

So, while there were some elements that didn’t quite hit the right notes for me, over all, I did like the story. 4 Fireballs.

4 Fireballs

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Review: Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman

“Death by Didgeridoo” (Jamie Quinn Mystery #1) by Barbara Venkataraman

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 13 November 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It’s up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it’s too late. It doesn’t help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.

Review: This was a fast read, but a fun one. The mystery wasn’t what I’d call complex and ran in a pretty straight line, as your mystery stories go, but it didn’t bother me. I found the narrator amusing and engaging, reminding me of Kinsey from the Sue Grafton series. 4 Fireballs.

4 Fireballs

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Review: “Atlanta Burns” by Chuck Wendig

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Atlanta Burns: Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Released on: January 27, 2015

I purchased this book for my own reading. 

Thank you Bella for giving me a place I can share my reviews.

Description:

You don’t mess with Atlanta Burns.

Everyone knows that. And that’s kinda how she likes it—until the day Atlanta is drawn into a battle against two groups of bullies and saves a pair of new, unexpected friends. But actions have consequences, and when another teen turns up dead—by an apparent suicide—Atlanta knows foul play is involved. And worse: she knows it’s her fault. You go poking rattlesnakes, maybe you get bit.

Afraid of stirring up the snakes further by investigating, Atlanta turns her focus to the killing of a neighborhood dog. All paths lead to a rural dogfighting ring, and once more Atlanta finds herself face-to-face with bullies of the worst sort. Atlanta cannot abide letting bad men do awful things to those who don’t deserve it. So she sets out to unleash her own brand of teenage justice.

Will Atlanta triumph? Or is fighting back just asking for a face full of bad news?

This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and violence.

Revised edition: Previously published as two volumes, Shotgun Gravy and Bait Dog, this combined edition includes editorial revisions.

Review:

Atlanta Burns, the book, is hard to like, but easy to love, the same can be said for the character who shares the title. There is much pain in Atlanta and just enough darkness that she can come across as standoffish, and difficult, but her past makes the rough edges understandable and easy to empathize with. The book itself deals with many hurtful subjects causing you to wonder how they can all fit, but they do. Mr. Wendig weaves a tale that draws you through loops and turns, many of which make you want to close your eyes because they are distasteful, until finally it all pulls into a masterful endgame where you find resolution and maybe a little bit of peace.

Atlanta Burns, the young woman, has been through too much for someone her age, but instead of creating a pitiful character she is written into a strong woman, unafraid to do things that others cannot, or will not. Being willing to deal with the rougher sides of life in her town means she has to face the fact she might make herself and those around her targets.

There are not many subjects that cause me to turn away from a book, but the dogfighting in this dealt with one of them. Instead of pushing me away, the manner in which the character and the writer handled it kept me saying “You can get through this.” And I did, and I am glad I did.

Tragedy seems to find this book at every turn and you come out feeling like you have been drug through the dirt with Atlanta. Instead of feeling “justified” in the choices she makes you can see the damage done by them. There is a saying that no good comes without a cost and the story written here is a perfect example of it.

As a new reader of Chuck Wendig’s work let me say that this book has made me ready to read more. His storytelling and perspective make for a well done point of view for bringing an outsider into Atlanta’s darkened hometown. I give this book five fireballs as I really enjoyed it.

 

5fireballs[1]

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