Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Kissing Kendall by Jennifer Shirk

Kissing Kendall (Maritime City) by Jennifer Shirk
Published December 7th 2012 by Entangled Publishing (Bliss)
About the book
Kendall Grisbaum is finally taking charge of her life—pouring her heart into opening a new bakery business and even allowing her best friend Georgie to play matchmaker for her. Trouble is, the one guy she secretly wants is Georgie’s older brother, Brad, who is decidedly off limits.

Brad can’t seem to get his little sister’s best friend out of his mind. He and Kendall used to be close friends, too, and as a local policeman, Brad can’t help but play protector, looking out for Kendall. When he offers to help her renovate her new bakery space on the side, their friendship—and their attraction—flares back to life.

Amid the temptation of doughnut muffins and blueberry cobbler, a new temptation draws them both closer. Can they take a chance on love when it means risking their friendship, even when not doing so risks everything?

My Thoughts
You win some. You lose some. That includes people. You take a chance and let people into your life. Some stay and some go, but they all bring experiences and emotions that make up who you are, who you’ll grow to be. ~Brad

Kissing Kendall is very sweet and romantically tame story about two friends that take a chance at romance. This book was a perfect quick fix about love, loss and friendship.

Kendall Grisbaum happens to be going through a tough time in life. She lost her parents at a young age, as well as her husband who was in a firefighting accident. She’s not up for taking chances because she’s felt first-hand the disappointment and hurt of having people she loves exit her life. When her long time friend Brad starts to come around more often as he helps her get her new bakery ready for its grand-opening, she struggles with the feelings she has for him.

It’s been two years since Kendall lost Jake in a tragic accident, but Brad can’t seem to let go of the guilt he’s felt for harboring feelings for his friend’s wife. However, Kendall and Brad have known each other since they were kids, and when he finally takes a chance to expose his true feelings, he’s not quite prepared for the reaction he gets from Kendall.

There wasn’t really any point in this story that I felt remorse for Kendall’s loss. I don’t mean to sound like a heartless person, but it was clear that she was ready to move on and she simply needed to get over her fear of losing someone she loves. I appreciated how Shirk didn’t focus on the tragedy, but rather the aftermath of moving on. I feel Brad’s profession as a police officer challenged Kendall in several ways because as much as she wanted to “play it safe” with her next relationship, it was quite clear you can’t help who you fall for. I have a soft spot for service men and women, so I enjoyed Brad’s character immensely. He was the perfect addition to this cast of characters and it also helps that he was quite swoon-worthy. ~blushes~

I loved the added mix of the bakery and sweet treats. I might even try the recipe at the end of the story, but overall, it was fun to witness these two overcome their skittishness for each other and allow their feelings to just grow all the while enjoying a batch of muffins. :)

This story is light on the romance, but still full of heart. As with the other novel I read by Jennifer Shirk, I appreciate the awkward moments she infuses into her story because it makes them feel real. Kissing Kendall is a fun contemporary romance and once again Shirk does not disappoint.
3.5 Suns

Cover Reveal: Holiday Magick

Today, Waves of Fiction is excited to partner with Spencer Hill Press in revealing the cover of Holiday Magik!

Available on May 21, 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
About the book
People don't usually question holiday traditions or their origins, but maybe they should. Over centuries, explanations of how and why holidays exist may have been lost or changed.
Some holiday histories might only be known by a few individuals. Ancient magic spells could have influenced how we celebrate today. Fairies, zombies, or demons may have shaped our holidays.
Consider the following...
Why do people give red roses and cards on Valentine's Day?
Is there more to the story of Purim than is traditionally told?
Why do people wear green on St. Patrick's Day?
What happens to spirits that are captured during the Japanese Doll Festival?
Where does Santa get his helpers?
You may think you know the truth, but you can't be too sure
Stories inside:
Valentine’s Day, My Dearest Valentine, by Maria Martinez
Valentine’s Day, Paper Hearts, by Jennifer Allis Provost Purim,
The Esther,by Meredith Morgenstern
Japanese Doll Festival, Doll Trouble, by Kimberley Long-Ewing
Las Fallas, Finding Fire,by Trisha Wooldridge
St. Patrick’s Day, Marked,by Keshia
Swain Earth Day, The Keeper of the Trees, by Larissa Graham
Arbor Day, Planet Pattern Baldness, by Daniel Cohen
Arbor Day, Sprite Start, by David Porteous
Memorial Day, Final Draft, by Kate Kaynak
Mid Autumn Moon Festival & Dragon Boat Festival, Autumn Moon, by DK Mok
Equinoxes, Equinox This!, By Candace Sams
Columbus Day, A Land Without Zombies, by Nicole Zoltack
Halloween, Masking Fear, by Dan Cohen
Halloween, Demons’ Day Off, by Rich Storrs
All Souls Day, All Souls Day, by Emma Michaels
Thanksgiving, Second Thanksgiving, by Kendra Saunders
Thanksgiving, Easy as Pie by Keshia Swaim
Christmas, Christmas with the Krampus, by Owen Dean
Christmas, The Toy Makers, by Jessica Porteous

I don't know about you guys but I am ready for some Holiday Magik!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Quid Pro Quo (Market Garden #1) by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov

Quid Pro Quo (Market Garden #1) by L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov
Published January 7th 2013 by Riptide Publishing
About the book
For the past six months, Jared’s been selling sex at Market Garden, a London club that caters to the better-off. But business is slow in the run-up to Christmas, when businessmen and bankers are too busy bickering over bonuses to rent themselves a little high-class action.

Though Jared’s wallet finds the downtime unnerving, the rest of him rather enjoys the opportunity it gives him to admire Tristan, an old hand in the club whose reputation usually sees him well-booked. Jared has been crushing on Tristan for months—he’s no more immune to Tristan’s cockiness and confidence than the johns, and those are just Tristan’s inner qualities.

Just as Jared’s about to chat Tristan up, a businessman asks for something a little different: he wants to book them both. They agree—and Jared finds himself going from crush to mind-bending lust as he’s made the pawn in a sexual power game. Tristan shows him how a pro handles a john while delivering the top-shelf sex for which the Market Garden is so rightly renowned.

My Thoughts
L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov, two sexy rent boys, and one rich john come together to form one hell of a ride! Quid Pro Quo is a scorching HOT night of teasing, sucking, stroking, and the slap, slap, slap of… *cough*…Lets get this show started.

A slow business night for Jared and Tristan soon turns into a night of fantasy when a high priced john pays to watch Tristan and Jared in action. How far and fast will be determined as the night heats up. Jared has been lusting after Tristan for awhile-- watching from afar, longing to touch. So when the opportunity to spend the night with Tristan arises, he jumps all over it! Hunger, lust, control, intense sexual tension and sizzle fuel the energy on the page. You will see and feel the “dig-your-fingernails in & hold-on-for-dear-life” tension all the way down to your curled toes.

”He fully intended to savour every second and every inch. Every ridge and contour. Every taste of Tristan’s skin, every gasp or whispered curse.”

I usually fall in love or lust with a character (or two) in an Aleksandr Voinov tale, but this time out it was the pace that had my heart skipping and panting. A pace that went from a strobe light speed of licking, kissing, and touching to full stop to teasing, mounting about to pop pressure until we hear that *SLAP* of money on the table. I found myself sitting straight up, full attention, biting my lip, hot, and ready to dive into my purse for a twenty or two!  The sexual heat between these men was the force that drove this story and me. It felt like lightening in a bottle!

This story is a stunning example of impeccable timing that lures the reader in deeper and deeper. I couldn’t stop reading! The action is told from one point of view, which for me added the perfect dose of suspense, anticipation, and spice. We experience the night through the eyes and voice of Jared, so we can only wonder what is going through Tristan’s head. Is this just a business transaction for Tristan or was that a shiver?

You have to dive in to find out. A reading experience like no other. Voinov and Witt together are electrifying! Here’s hoping with see more of this team in the future. Lots more!
4 Suns

For fans of the Market Garden series, get ready for more steamy Jared and Tristan action with the recent release of book TWO! Check it out:

Take if Off (Market Garden #2) by L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov
Published February 25th 2013 by Riptide Publishing

About the book
Turnabout is foreplay.

High-end Market Garden rentboys Tristan and Jared have found their niche. Men are willing to pay good money to watch Tristan tease Jared, and the two of them seduce London’s elite with sex and power games.

Except Tristan is less and less interested in getting money out of the johns these days. He wants his partner in crime, and he wants the seduction to be real. But is Jared just in this for the pay?

When Rolex, the john who started it all, returns to Market Garden, the boys jump on the opportunity to service him—and each other—for a fresh pile of cash. Rolex isn’t the only one itching for a rematch, though. Jared’s been waiting for a chance to get back at Tristan for teasing him so mercilessly the first time.

And for a former stripper, revenge is a dish best served extra hot.

Cover Reveal: Wait for You by J.Lynn

Today, Waves of Fiction is excited to join in for one of the most anticipated cover reveals so far this year, Wait for You by J.Lynn!!
What do early readers have to say about WAIT FOR YOU?

J. Lynn creates a wonderful cast of characters that will make you laugh, swoon, and cry. Cam stole my heart.” – Cora Carmack, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of LOSING IT

For the love of all that is Cameron without a shirt on! Wait for You will have you laughing out loud,
fanning yourself and anxiously waiting to know what will happen next.” – Molly McAdams, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of FROM ASHES and TAKING CHANCES

I don't think I have ever read a NA Contemporary novel with as much depth as this one. It really moved me and by the end I was just speechless over how inspirational and uplifting it was as well as being sexy and cute and funny and emotional.” - K Books

Wait For You is uniquely different from anything else J. Lynn's written but it might possibly be her best work yet.” – Jenuine Cupcakes

For all of you in love with Aiden and Daemon, PREPARE YOURSELVES! Your heart will have to expand a little more for Cam.” Total Bookaholic

For the love of all things CAM, this book deserves more than 5 stars.” – Mundie Moms

I cannot even begin to explain how much I adored this perfectly crafted contemporary.” – Shortie Says

Excited? Ready to see the cover for WAIT FOR YOU?
Wait for You by J.Lynn
Published: NOW!!!
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
About the book
Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

Some things are worth experiencing…

Some things should never be kept quiet…

And some things are worth fighting for…

This cover is absolutely amazing!  One of the best of the year!!!  WAIT FOR YOU is available now!  What are you waiting for GO GO GO!!

 J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the USA TODAY
Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet. You can find out more about Jennifer by visiting the following websites:
                                       Twitter / Facebook / Website

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Game for Marriage (Game for It #1) by Karen Erickson

Game for Marriage (Game for It, #1)

Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson
Published January 11th 2013 by Entangled Publishing (Brazen)

About the book:
He’s going in deep to make her his…

Struggling artist Sheridan Harper never imagined she’d spend a sizzling night with Jared Quinn, the smoking-hot star quarterback of her local professional football team, the San Jose Hawks. And she’s even more shocked when Jared’s publicist offers her a proposition: a fake marriage to keep Jared out of the gossip mags. Being that close to Jared would be too tempting, so to protect her heart, she insists on secretly including a clause forbidding sex between them.

Jared just wants to keep his starting QB job and keep it in San Jose. His reputation as a ladies’ man has landed him in the headlines one too many times, but there’s something about his kind, passionate new wife that tempts him beyond reason. Any sort of intimacy between them is completely forbidden, but as their bodies fall in deep, will their hearts follow suit?

My Thoughts:

What a sweet and sexy book! It had everything I love in a good romance - with the added element of football, another favorite pastime of mine!

Sheridan Harper is a struggling artist, trying to make ends meet while keeping open the studio she inherited from her grandmother. Jared Quinn is the star quarterback for the local NFL team, who has the reputation of a ladies man. They meet at a local event where the sparks fly and they end up spending the night together, not expecting anything more.

But Jared's publicist has other ideas. He proposes that Sheridan poses as Jared's wife for a year to help clean up his image, before he gets fired from the team. Sheridan sees it as an opportunity to pay the bills and grow her business and she agrees - with the stipulation that they include a no-sex clause in their agreement. This prevents her from getting too close and falling for the womanizer who inevitably will break her heart.

These two have a chemistry that's so sweet and sexy they can barely resist each other. And while they get to know each other - Sheridan finds out just how much she respects Jared for how strong and loyal he is. Not to mention sexy, possessive, and gorgeous! And Jared sees in Sheridan the sweet, caring, and talented person that she is and falls deeper and deeper for her. Of course, as expected, complications will arise that put a damper on their arrangement - but the angst in this book is so short-lived and painless that it didn't bother me at all! It was well worth it to have the perfect, wonderful ending.

This book had a great combination of romance, steam, and wit - without the cheesy lines or over-the-top descriptions of their sexual encounters. It was just perfect enough to get your heart pumping and make you swoon. I adored these two and their story - and can't wait for the next book in the series, which I expect will be about their friends, Nick & Willow.

5 Suns

Cover Reveal: Emancipating Andie by Priscilla Glenn

Today, Waves of Fiction is excited to partner with AToMR in revealing the cover of Priscilla Glenn's new novel Emancipating Andie. I loved her debut novel Back to You, so it goes without saying that I'm already pining for this new book. Enjoy!
Emancipating Andie by Priscilla Glenn
Expected publication March 2013
About the book
Ever since the one time Andie Weber threw caution to the wind - and paid the price for it - she’s learned that it’s safer and smarter to live life playing by the rules. Now she’s got a great apartment, a steady job, and a wonderful boyfriend in Colin; he’s sweet, stable, and essentially perfect – except maybe for the fact that his best friend is Chase.

Chase McGuire lives his carefree, unstructured life strictly for himself. Dripping sarcasm and oozing wit, he refuses to censor his feelings or opinions for anyone, making no apologies for either and wearing his abrasiveness like a badge of honor. No one has ever gotten under Andie’s skin the way Chase does – and vice versa.

So when Andie and Chase find themselves forced to take a two-day road trip together, they are already dreading an inevitable all-out war. But as the trip progresses, and the undeniable friction that has always defined their relationship slowly begins to wear away their preconceived notions of each other, Andie and Chase discover they both have a lot to learn about life, courage, happiness, and the age-old battle between logic and love.

About the Author
Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has been teaching English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels for the past eleven years while moonlighting as a writer, mommy, coach, student, and professional laundry-doer.

If you catch her when she's feeling sophisticated, she'll tell you her favorite things are great books and good wine. In the moments in between, she'll admit her love for anything Ben and Jerry's, UFC fights, and Robert Pattinson.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Author Spotlight & Giveaway: There is No Light in Darkness by Claire Contreras

Today, I'm excited to have Claire Contreras, author of There is No Light in Darkness on Waves of Fiction. I recently read her novel and was absolutely captivated by her story, so I had to reach out to her to get more insight into this fabulous piece of fiction. So here's a little bit more about her book, my reaction and her insight into writing this story. Enjoy!
There is No Light in Darkness by Claire Contreras
Published January 10th 2013
Purchase Links: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble
About the book
Blake Brennan had a difficult introduction to life. She lives in a constant state of paranoia, believing that she is the reason those around her get hurt. Her feelings are tested when her past comes back to haunt her and she must choose whether she wants to continue to live in fear or let her heart love freely.

My Thoughts
"I decided to accept my fate and tell those I love that I love them. Because what the hell? If I'm going to die today, they might as well know it." ~ Blake

Woah! Now that’s what I call seriously INTENSE!! Not only the mother of all cliffhangers, but one of the best plots I’ve come across. What a rush! Contreras, you not only earned my respect as a reader, but you also caught my attention pretty hard. Well done! Well done!

In There is No Light in Darkness, we meet Blake who has been plagued with recurring nightmares for over twenty years after having witnessed the murder of her mother and the abduction of her father. Being raised by her aunt, only to lose her to cancer and landing in a foster home, it’s no surprise that Blake is one flawed character… in so many ways. Despite her upsetting past, Blake has come to rely on her foster family, including Cole, Aubry, Greg and Becky and they seem to be the only ones she can connect with. However, despite how hard she tries to build a future for herself, she can’t let go of the past. In Blake’s quest for answers, she exposes herself to those that tore her family apart and puts those she's come to love at risk. 

"My wounds have somewhat healed, but it doesn't mean I'm less frightened. I am scared of the unknownn. I am scared to be alone. I am scared to not be alone. I am scared to have people love me, and I am scare to have nobody love me."~Blake

There is No Light In Darkness is the kind of book that has me creating an “obsessed with this story” shelf. It’s not a very cluttered shelf, but I put this book up there with The Opportunist and Callie & Kayden. Seriously addicted!! There’s just so much to this story that’s filled with intense mystery, hidden truths, underlying motives, and all around sinister intentions that kept me up until the late hours of the night turning the pages. 

When the story was coming to a close, I knew I was headed for a serious cliffhanger and I even anticipated what that might be, but despite my mental preparation, when that moment happened, I was bracing myself and whispering out loud “!! don’t let that happen!!” That was some serious action at the end, but don’t be fooled. Contreras doesn’t wait until the final moments to serve her adrenaline shots. But rather, she creates that intensity from various levels all the way through her book. I was absolutely HOOKED throughout the whole story. 

Now with me, I have two huge reading flaws. One being that I abhor cliffhangers and second is that I have an affliction called Book Series Commitment Issues. Let me share some perspective on each. 

One of the biggest peeves of mine is a cliffhanger for the sake of hooking the reader for the next installment. So let me be quite clear… Contreras has me breaking my own rules because she knows how to properly use this technique. In my opinion, I’d like to believe an author needs to earn the right to leave you with a cliffhanger, otherwise it feels like a marketing/sales ploy on their part. However with Contreras, she doesn’t fool the reader in believing her ending is coming with a serving of milk and cookies. Not at all! She’s going to use her precious pages to pack the story to the brim with depth and perspective. Couple that with infusing a well casted group of characters, intense yet captivating pacing, properly balanced intrigue and romance - and that my friends is what I call a well deserved cliffhanger. I’m more than okay with Contreras’s ending for this book. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t see it ending any other way. It was the proper choice of conclusions for this installment and she did it right. No doubt!

Now on to my Book Series Commitment Issues. Often times I’ll read a first installment and absolutely love it to pieces. I even have every intention of picking up the next book. But as time passes and my excitement wanes, I stop returning the texts and phones calls and call it a day. If I was to guess, I would say that for all of the series I begin, there’s about a 30% chance I’ll pick up the second or third book despite how much I liked book one. Well, I have no doubt I’m going to read the next installment of the Darkness series. I mean I actually stalked the author for crying out loud! Now that’s some serious obsession when I find myself PM’ing the author and begging her for some tidbit of further insight. I won’t go so far as saying we’ve got a relationship her and I, because how freaked out would she be?? No, but seriously… I’m chomping at the bit for book two and I don’t foresee myself flaking on Darkness. Call me committed. 

On a final note, Blake and Cole. Wow!! Just… wow!! I loved those two together, I adored them apart. Give them to me any which way and I’ll take it. The relationship between these two was both flawed and perfect to epic proportions!! I absolutely adored how willingly Cole exposed his vulnerability. And, the extent that Blake would go to in order to protect him however best she could had me rooting for them all the way through. There were some truths that were revealed and when they were exposed, I was gasping and aww’ing… I was a mess! Overall, perfect couple with their fair share of challenges. Can’t wait to see where their story leads.

Overall, this book had it all. If I had to sum up if a new words how I felt, I would say I was absolutely captivated and thoroughly entertained. Claire Contreras has a serious fan here and I hope her following grows because this lady surely knows how to tell a good story.!!
5 Suns
Author Interview
Thank you Claire for joining us at Waves of Fiction! Your book is my recent obsession! What a great story you shared with us!! So tell me, what motivated you to write Blake and Cole’s story? 
Thank you so much! Well, originally this story had absolutely nothing to do with Cole, believe it or not. I started writing a story about this girl who had nightmares and her struggle to find out what had happened to her when she was young. The last thing on my mind was that this would turn out to be a romance. I wrote the prologue and then thought of the ending, then when I started writing chapter one I just kept coming up with different things. When Cole entered the story, he kind of took over.

There are so many intricate details that tie into the mystery you’ve created in this multilayered story. How do you keep all of your facts straight? 
I write down minor details that I use more than once so that I won’t forget them or let them overlap. I don’t follow an outline or anything, so sometimes I have to go back and make sure that I’m still using the same names, etc. 

I really came to adore Blake and Cole. Their back-story and how it ties into their present lives was extremely captivating. So share with us, what is one thing you hope your readers will come to appreciate about these two main characters? 
I hope readers see two flawed people that love each other unconditionally and what they put up with to allow the other’s happiness, even if it means putting their own on hold. 

So what is Cole’s occupation? Quarterback, Sports Reporter, Professional Bro-mancer, something else? I couldn’t quite figure that out. LOL 
Hahahaha he is all of the above, actually! He was a quarterback in high school and college, then became a sports reporter. 

There was a huge reveal in this book about Cole and his family details, so without getting too spoilery can you share with us why he didn’t reveal the truth about himself to the two most important people that should know about what he discovered? 
I love this question, it actually became a huge debate on the discussion board for the book. Personally, I think he wasn’t ready. He’s twenty-six years old and he feels his family are the people that were there for him since he was little. He doesn’t believe in blood before anything else, he believes in loyalty before anything else. Book two will go deeper into this, though. 

What is your favorite quote or scene in There is No Light in Darkness? 
Wow. Tough question. I think my favorite scene is when he goes to visit Blake when she’s in college and they rekindle their friendship. When he falls to his knees before her? I think that’s my favorite. I love that he’s a guy’s guy, but isn’t afraid to show Blake that she can break him. 

You mentioned at the end of your novel that you hate cliffhangers, yet you ended your book with a painful one! ;) Knowing how hard they can be for readers, can you share something about Darkness Before Dawn to ease our angst? If not, how about a teaser quote? 
I can say that DBD is told from both Cole and Blake’s POV. All of your questions will be answered. I’ll share a teaser quote, but I’ve been told that I always make the anxiety worse when I do this.

“I can’t go anywhere without seeing her, and I know it’s because she’s rooted so deep into me that there’s no way for me to get her out. No matter what happens, Blake has ruined me forever. She fucking fixed me and broke me all at once.” 

Do you have a release date for Darkness Before Dawn? 
I don’t have an exact date yet. Definitely this summer, so that can be as early as May. We’ll see ;).

How many books do you have planned for the Darkness series? 

So a bit about yourself… When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing? 
When I’m not spending time with my family, I’m usually reading.

What inspired you to become a writer? 
I believe writers are born writers, just like artists are born artists. So I can’t say it was one thing.

Besides TiNLiD (=}), what book are you currently recommending to others? 
Oh my long list of recommendations...The Bronze Horseman, The Sea of Tranquility, The Opportunist, Slammed, Hopeless, Undeniable, Captive in the Dark, Blackdagger Brotherhood series. I can go on for days, my Goodreads account is endless!

More Book Quotes:
I'm not even sure if I'm remembering things or making them up as I go. I feel like my reality and my nightmares are meshing together, and it's only a matter of time before I drive myself crazy with all of it. ~Blake

When you lose something you can't replace.
When you love someone, but it goes to waste.
Could it be worse?
Cue the goddamn tears. Damn Chris Martin and his ability to make me cry every time he opens his damn mouth.

I'm in love with you, Blake. I've been in love with you from the moment I saw you. I've been in love with you from the day I was born and possibly before then. I belong to you. My body belongs to you. My heart belongs to you... ~Cole

Author Bio

Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs. Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading. She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter. Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones. She is currently working on the second novel in her series.
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I am offering an eBook of There is No Light in Darkness by Claire Contreras to entrants that can receive an electronic copy through US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble. Simply fill out the rafflecopter and share with us either a thoughtful comment on the interview or if you're already a fan of this book, share your reaction to this story. We'd love to hear your thoughts!  Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Waves of Sunday #18

Welcome to our weekly edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we spotlight a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR. 

Today we are Spotlighting:
Forever Black
Forever Black by Sandi Lynn
Published on February 16, 2013
About the book
When Ellery moved to New York with her boyfriend, she thought they’d live happily ever after in their small New York apartment. She never thought he’d pack his bags and leave because he “needed space.” With her newfound single status and fear of being alone, Ellery buries herself in her artwork and paintings until one night she helps a mysterious intoxicated stranger get home safely. Little did she know the mysterious stranger is none other than CEO and millionaire Connor Black. After finding Ellery in his kitchen the next morning and assuming she broke his #1 rule about sleepovers, he becomes intrigued, not only by her stubbornness and defiance, but by her kindness.

Connor Black, emotionally dead and damaged, that stemmed from a personal tragedy, made a vow to never love or fall in love with a woman, until Ellery Lane walked into his life by accident. After she opens up and shows him her world, Connor starts to feel emotions and feelings he never knew existed. Despite the rumors and warnings regarding Connor Black and his use and misuse of women, Ellery finds herself being drawn into his world.

Ellery knows they can never be together because she is harboring a deep secret that could destroy Connor emotionally forever.

Join Connor and Ellery as they embark on a journey of courage, love and strength. Will it be enough to save them?
Crystal's Thoughts:
This has me written all over it! I want to know what Ellery's secret is and I want to know what has damaged Connor.  I am a sucker for these types of books and I am always on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will be revealed!!  Plus Ellery is a painter so I am hoping we get a hawt painting scene in there some where, yes I am hopeless lol!  I am definitely looking forward to reading this one!

Arlene's Thoughts
I'm right there with you Crystal. I want to know what Black's personal tragedy is as well as Ellery's secret. I love stories such as this where there are layers to uncover and reveals to expose. Oh good point about the painting! Maybe Black can be her subject! ;) Looking forward to this one as well. Count me in!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: True Love Story by Willow Aster

Today, Waves of Fiction is hosting a tour stop of True Love Story by Willow Aster!
For this stop, I'll be sharing my review along with a giveaway that is hosted by The Indie Bookshelf. Enjoy!!
True Love Story by Willow Aster
Published February 17th 2013 by Willow Aster
Purchase Link: Amazon
About the Book
Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn't so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places. Each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.

My Thoughts
Brilliant storytelling that combines a love bound for tragedy wrapped around a delicate veil of hope. Loved it!

He reaches over and grabs my hand and laces our fingers together. “You are going to break my heart, Sparrow Fisher.” ~Ian

Unfortunately for Sparrow, that’s not how the story goes. Clearly, though, I must confess… I’m into books about toxic relationships lately, and they don’t get any more damaged than when a guy cheats on his girl. I’m not giving anything away here as it’s all presented from the beginning of this novel, and then the story takes a leap back in time to show you how the tragedy manifested.

In True Love Story, we meet Sparrow Fisher who falls deeply and completely in love with Ian Sterling. He’s the typical rock star bad boy who meets a down-to-earth preacher’s daughter and from the moment they collide, the sparks are intense and the journey is destructive. From the beginning, Sparrow is fully aware that her attraction to Ian that can only lead to heartbreak.

I close my eyes and even though I’m afraid to hope, I want to believe him. I want him more than I want to be safe. I want him more than I want to stay sane. I want him more than I want anything. ~Sparrow

Their relationship is consumed with obstacles from the get go. Ian is constantly traveling and Sparrow has just started school at NYU. He wants her to enjoy her college years, yet can’t seem stay away from her. Aside from the distance and age differences, Ian also has a troubled past that seems to define how he constantly self-destructs. When they finally make it work after years of trying and start to plan for a future together, Ian makes a tragic mistake that breaks these two apart… from the core.

The strange part about this story is I knew from the beginning that it was headed for disaster, and the entire time I was bracing myself for the crash. So throughout the book, I could not sit back and enjoy their sporadic moments of happiness because I was too busy protecting my emotions throughout the whole journey for their inevitable demise.

It was hard to witness how broken, flawed and damaged a character Ian was, and I think that’s what ultimately weakened my defenses toward him. Never in my wildest dreams would I consider giving someone that cheats a second chance, but after months and years of tormented remorse that they both went through and the heartfelt letters he wrote… DAMN! He broke me down!! I was hoping Sparrow would forgive him and offer him a second chance. SHOCKER! But that’s the beauty about fiction… that’s where it’s safe to make choices we really wouldn’t consider in real life for ourselves. I’ll even confess that in the book Ian’s tactics felt stalker-ish… continuous letters, phone calls and heartfelt pleas. As pathetic as that all seems, it didn’t stop me from hoping she’d find it in her heart to try and make the relationship work.

“…But then you loved me. I don’t know why, but you did. And something small inside me grew and hoped that I could be all that you saw in me. I love you, Sparrow Kate Fisher. I love you so much, it hurts. I love you so much, it’s taken over right here –“ he puts my hand on his chest “-and swallowed me whole until I can’t think of anyone or anything but you. You have completely captivated me. And I only want more.” ~Ian

The letters from Ian to Sparrow were probably the hardest part for me to read. At moments it felt almost voyeuristic because he clearly exposed his emotions and pain. There was also a part in the novel where Ian shows a destructive side toward someone that physically hurt Sparrow, and it becomes apparent that his relationship with her could truly unhinge him from the core. He balanced a fine line between sensible and irrational that ultimately led him to self-destruct and break the one relationship that helped define him and keep him grounded.

In the end, it’s evident that Ian’s mistake truly changed him, yet slightly broke him. It was sad to see him lose his swagger, but at the same time he gained some much needed perspective. I feel Sparrow was extremely mature for her young age despite her moments of self-destruction because of her experience. She developed a hard edge needed to protect herself and her final choice felt right. I won’t tell you if she forgives him, because truly can you really put deception aside and try to make it work? You’ll have to read the story to find out. :)

Great story about true love that faces deception. This book is about growing up, making mistakes, learning from them and finding a way to forgive and move on. Despite the choices these characters made in the end, it was clear that they both grew from their experiences and despite the fact that the wounds would probably never heal, they could still serve a purpose. I most definitely enjoyed this story.
5 Suns

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Willow Aster is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite and a signed copy of True L̶o̶v̶e̶ Story. All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog Tour: A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk

Today Waves of Fiction is excited to be part of the Blog Tour for A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk Hosted by Entangled Publishing. 

A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk
Publication Date: January 13th 2013 by Entangled Publishing
About A LITTLE BIT CUPID: Finding love should be easy, but wedding photographer Pheobe Ward knows better. When Cupid shows up on a crazy mission to help her —and save the world in the process—Phoebe realizes love might be even more complicated than she thought. Even with Cupid showing her Mr. Right, she can’t stop thinking about his best friend, Mr. Wrong.

Cal Crawford has never had time for love, but now he’s falling for Phoebe. Which means it’s got to be just plain wrong to set her up with his best friend, right? But even though seeing Phoebe with someone else will break his heart, he can’t walk away from her.

Phoebe can’t afford to choose the wrong guy with the fate of the world at stake. But maybe Cupid has it wrong. Maybe she has to rely just a little bit on Cupid, and a whole lot more on her heart.
Arlene's Thoughts:
A Little Bit Cupid is a short but sweet love story that requires immediate reality suspension in order to enjoy this adventure to its fullest. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, or anytime you’re in the mood for a fun romance.

In this story, we meet Phoebe who has lived her life dodging love and simply believing it’s just not in her cards. Then one day she collides with Cosmo who was sent by the gods to deliver the message that they are at war with Discordia, who plans to wipe love off the planet if Phoebe doesn’t find true love by midnight on Valentine’s Day. Cosmo has picked the perfect man for her, and all she needs to do is get a toe-curling kiss from Adam. But what happens when fate has plans of its own in the name of Cal, a hot and handsome roommate? Will Phoebe be able to put an end to the war by midnight?

I really liked this story and had no issues putting logic aside, which was definitely needed in order to enjoy this abbreviated novel. I liked how the author incorporated the concept of the gods, which I always find fascinating. Jennifer Shirk added her creative take on their never-ending battles, and made it work for her story.

Overall, there’s awkwardness and convenient coincidences served in perfect doses to make A Little Bit Cupid enjoyable yet light hearted. Fun book!
3 Suns

Rachel's Thoughts:
Are you in need of a quick romance fix?  I personally know this can be a desperate situation to find oneself.  Fear not, I have a solution.  The adorable and sweet A Little Bit Cupid.  You seriously could read  this in an hour, and have romance cravings once again at safe levels.

Phoebe finds out the survival of love on earth rests on her shoulders. There’s a fight between the gods and whether or not she can fall in love by Valentines will determine the outcome.  Phoebe finds her love by Valentines and love survives, fail and the world becomes a dismal loveless place. 

To aid her in her quest, is Cosmo, a minor god and son of Cupid.  He’s there to point Phoebe to her soul mate, Adam.  Unfortunately, she meets Adam’s roommate and friend, Cal.  She has trouble concentrating on Adam when he’s around, and she wonders why she feels a magnetic pull to him and not Adam.

And here was Cal, about to ruin everything. He had a way of clouding her mind with his six-foot-two frame and that quiet speculative way he’d turned those baby blues on her.

Cal is divided because he knows Phoebe has her sights set on Adam, but he wants her all to himself.  They have and undeniable attraction and he for once wants have something serious.  Cal needs to figure out how to get her attention focused on him. 

Like I said, this is a perfect quick read when you need a romance fix, STAT!!

3 Suns

About Jennifer Shirk: Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy--which in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career.  But she likes to point out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts comes in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing.  She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC’s Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, The Role of a Lifetime.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick.  But don’t hold that against her.

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