Monday, April 30, 2012


DANA, who won a copy of A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards and IRENERJ who won a copy of Lily by Xavier Axelson. 

Authors have already been notified, thanks to everyone who entered. Jenn Bennett, author of Kindling the Moon and Summoning the Night will be here Friday, May 4, 2012! So stop by for an interview and giveaway! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Lily by Xavier Axelson + Giveaway

Title: Lily
Author: Xavier Axelson
Genre: Paranormal, M/M, Erotic Romance
Series: Novella, short story
*Contains mature content, ages 18 and older*

E-book, 93 pages (approximately)
Published on January 13, 2012 by Silver Publishing

Book can be purchased here on Amazon.

Where Did I get this book? Book provided by author for review.

Summary (via Amazon):  When Pryor's daughter Lily is taken by a wolf, Pryor is convinced she has turned into the creature he sees lurking in his woods. He swears she promises to return to him. But is it his despair and desperation making him see things or is there something more lurking in the shadows of the forest? When he meets Ned, a silversmith who helps him with a plan to bring his daughter back into his life, he begins to live again. But can his newfound love help ease the horror that may be waiting? What if the ultimate horror isn’t when Lily was taken but it’s when Lily returns and he realizes his nightmare has only just begun...

Review:  It’s Father’s Day and a year ago Pryor lost his daughter Lily when a wolf dragged her off into the woods. After the disappearance of his daughter, he closed himself off from the world. Pryor spent his days watching the woods, waiting for the day that his daughter will return to him. One day he hears Lily’s voice, vowing that she will return to him on the day she disappeared, Father’s day even if it was only for a day. Hoping that legends were true in respect to werewolves and silver, Pryor commissions a silver necklace to keep Lily from leaving again. It wasn’t until he met Ned (jeweler), that his world started to make sense again. 

I am amazed at how much history and background the author was able to squeeze into 93 pages. This is a short novella, glimpsing into the life of Pryor. We see Pryor in his moment of grievance and how he slowly got out of it when he met Ned. There are a couple of flashback scenes of how Ned and Pryor first met, and how over time their relationship grew. Ned was a great character, he’s a tough ex-army guy but at the same time you can see his soft side, how much he cares and loves Ned. He’s Pryor rock, and support Pryor as he is still coping with his daughter disappearance/re-appearance. Overall this was a really good short story, Pryor and Ned relationship is really the main focus of the novel, and the author did a great job in creating a realistic and emotional bond. I only wish that there was a little more paranormal element to the story. I wanted to know more about what happened to Lily, and about her transformation.

Xavier is generously offer (1) one follower an e-copy of Lily! If you would like a chance to win Lily, please leave your name and e-mail address in the comment section. Winner will be chosen on Monday, April 30th. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Interivew with Monica Leonelle & Excerpt + Giveaway

Hi Monica! Thanks for stopping by today, can you give us the “elevator pitch” for Socialpunk?

Socialpunk is a fast-paced thriller set in a future where everyone makes money through creating art. It's based a bit on my time working in digital marketing and has touches of social media that I think people in the biz will appreciate. There's also a ton of romance and a pretty awesome heroine, if I might say so!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Monica Leonelle and I spent years working in marketing before following my dreams of becoming a writer. I'm lucky to now have the opportunity to help writers through my free email consultations and free writer toolkit at

I'm a sucker for young adult novels, probably because I never grew up! I love to both read them and write them. All my novels are suitable and appealing for teens 14 and up.

Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your novel?

I was inspired by the city of Chicago, by social media issues in our current world, and by the cyberpunk genre. The book is a bit like the Terminator series and I reference that a couple times just for fun. James Cameron is basically my favorite director ever, and he really inspires me with his world-building and storytelling skills.

What sort of research did you do for Socialpunk/Socialpunk trilogy?

I spent a lot of time researching predictions for the future. The series/book is heavily based on my background in digital marketing. That said, I live in Chicago and worked in digital marketing, so a lot of the book came straight from my imagination.

Are you a plotter or a panster?

Plotter. I will outline my entire book by chapter, then by scene, then by paragraph. I think this is essential for writing an addictive book or a "page-turner." It's also essential for writing a ton of words very quickly. When I edit, I have a list of about 20 things I edit for that pertain to marketing psychology. For example, one of the things I edit for is tension, or whether I'm opening and closing plots in every scene. I think most writers would do better in the marketplace if they edited for marketability. Yes, line editing and beautiful prose can help, but really, The Hunger Games isn't exactly great writing. Yet the books are an international phenomenon. Because it's a great story with lots of marketability.

I'm really big on creating fascinating hooks. If you are a writer you can find out if your first 1000 words are hooking here:

What other projects can we look forward to reading from you soon?

I feel like books are too long these days, to be honest. I'm actually working on a serialized fiction story that I hope people will enjoy. I definitely feel like people want to be entertained during a two-hour flight rather than read a book for a week, trying to finish it.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I have tons. My favorite book from the last year is Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. It's so romantic and lovely and sweet. It's actually the second book in the Infernal Devices, so start with the first one, Clockwork Angel.

What are you currently reading right now, or what are some books in your TBR pile?

I'm currently reading Black Heart by Holly Black. I also have The Scorpio Races (Maggie Stiefvater), Pandemonium (Lauren Oliver), and Let's Pretend This Never Happened (The Bloggess) in my TBR pile. I genuinely try not to let these pile up and don't read a ton.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

LOL, a few people said, "Ugh! I can't finish reading this!" about my last book, Silver Smoke. And the best compliment I typically get is along the lines of "loved it, couldn't put it down!" That's my favorite to hear.

The criticism is not as difficult to take as you might think. Criticism says something about the person giving it and something about the person receiving it. If you can remove the person giving it from the equation, you can find truth and construction in just about anything. In that sense, criticism is a gift. I use criticism to help me improve as a writer.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Writers should inject their marketing directly into their manuscripts. Writers often think of marketing as this separate thing from writing, but it's not at all. 80-90% of books are sold through word-of-mouth and most of the marketability of a book is right there in the manuscript. So even if you are going the traditional route, if you are serious about getting published you should hire an editor to go through your book and see how marketable it is. Traditional publishers are looking for marketable books. It's a business and they need to make money.

Then, you launch your book by asking people to read it. If it's any good you'll start getting word-of-mouth for your book. My goal is to give away one thousand copies of the book during its launch. I'm maybe a fifth of the way there so far? It's a lot of work, more than most people realize. I write about this stuff constantly on my Prose on Fire newsletter, so if these concepts interest you, you can check it out here:

Finish this statement: You’ll enjoy SOCIALPUNK if you like…

The Matrix, The Terminator, The Hunger Games, Divergent (by Veronica Roth), 1984, Neuromancer, and probably a bunch of other stuff. Very few people have hated the book so far, so that's always a good sign.
Thanks for stopping by Monica! 

Mini Excerpt: Prologue
After playing God for six years with the world he created, he couldn’t control any of his subjects, none at all. Over the years, he had watched them evolve and become the sum of their own choices rather than the sum of his; and for that, he regretted ever giving them life.

A small, blinking red light from just inside his eyelid reminded him of the news they sent him earlier that morning. The company had cancelled his funding and would shut down his project within three months. According to them, the project cost too much and took up too much space, and the inconclusive results couldn’t be published reputably, now or in the future.

Six years of his work, tens of thousands of lives at stake—and he could do nothing to save any of it. He bowed his head, letting his chin rest on the rim of his breakfast smoothie. The smoothie reeked of powder—crushed pills—but he supposed he had better get used to it. He wouldn’t be able to afford the luxury of real food after they canned him.

He closed his eyes and called up the camera view of one of his favorites, number 3281. She fascinated him; he couldn’t deny it. When he had designed her, her pre-teen rebelliousness lit fire in her eyes. A survivor, he’d thought. He’d meant for her to have it all—to grow up, to get married to the love of her life, and to have a beautiful family of her own someday.

But he had only given her sadness so far. Instead of creating a strict father, he had given her an abusive one. Instead of creating a loving boyfriend, he had given her a friend who could never love her. And instead of creating a strong, proud mother, he had given her a meek one, who watched the whole thing unfold and did nothing about it.

He looked at his last and final creation sitting in the chair across from him—his own son, not awakened yet. The law forbade him to have any children of his own, so this boy would substitute.

But he had done the unthinkable with this creation—he had bestowed on it his own thoughts, emotions, and decision-making processes. He’d given the boy his own mind, his own physical characteristics, his own wants and desires.

He had never done so with any of the others because of the dangers of investing too heavily in any one of his subjects. But who could he kid? He had not stayed objective thus far, watching some of his subjects more closely than others, wishing for the happiness of some at the expense of others. He had become an abomination, a monster of his own doing, who had created subjects only to watch them suffer.

He couldn’t forgive himself; not now, not ever. His eyes lingered on the vial that sat next to his breakfast smoothie, that he’d stowed away for the day when they destroyed all his work, his entire world. He would save it, tuck it away for now, for as long as he could protect them. When things spun out of his control, he would drink it and end himself the way he had ended them.

In the ancient stories, gods frequently gave their sons as gifts. Now, he would give his son as a gift to her, number 3281. So she could be happy in her last months on earth, before they destroyed her with the rest of them.

Monica is also hosting a Blog Tour giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter below! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Hailey Edwards

Hailey Edwards is joining us today to answer questions about her new novel, Hint of Frost which is available now in e-book format

Hi Hailey! Thanks for stopping by today, can you give us the “elevator pitch” for Hint of Frost?

When her mother is murdered in her nest, Lourdes has one choice: she must marry before her own nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
Rhys’s clan is starving, but their taste for the Araneaean flesh makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Yet Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart. When her sister is captured, they pursue their enemies, where she will discover if she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

  Can you tell us a little bit
 about yourself?

 Sure. I’m a stay at home mom with a love of baking, crafting and power tools.

Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your novel?

I had been kicking around the idea of writing a new series for a while. I love vampires, but I wanted to write something a little more unique. So I kept the fangs and the biting fetish and decided that spiders were my new vampire. Only, my Araneaeans are also, in some cases, venomous, as well as able to spin silk from their fingertips. They also have several other very cool spiderlike traits.

What sort of research did you do for Hint of Frost? 

I Googled until my fingers were numb, then checked out books at the library. I wanted to match my idea of clans to real spider families, so it took a lot of doing to make that happen. Even then, for ease of pronunciation, I went with the family name instead of the species to keep a uniform look.
For example, the Araneidae clan is based on Darwin’s Bark Spider (Caerostris darwini), so its genus is Caerostris.  The Salticidae clan is based on the Bagheera kiplingi spider, with a subfamily of Dendryphantinae. Even though it had the right sound, it was too complex, so I condensed each family where I could. 

Are you a plotter or a panster?

I’m a pantser. I outline obsessively, then start writing and it all falls to the wayside. 

What other projects can we look forward to reading from you soon?

In June, the third Askara novel, Eversworn, will be released from Samhain Publishing. In August, the first book in my new Wicked Kin series, Soul Weaver, will be released from Forever Yours.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, and Kresely Cole.

What are you currently reading right now, or what are some books in your TBR pile?

I just finished reading Patricia Brigg’s newest Alpha and Omega novel, Fair Game. It kicked off a Mercy Thompson re-read, since A/O is a spinoff of that series, and Mercy is my favorite heroine.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

When I first started writing, I had ideas too big for me. Sometimes their execution was lacking. I am grateful for the constructive criticism I received then, for shaping how I think and write now. The best compliment is when a reader emails me and says they got lost in a world I built. There is no greater feeling.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Do your research. If you’re looking to break into publishing, head over to Absolute Write ( ) or Romance Divas ( and educate yourself on publishers, editors, agents, and most importantly—improving your craft.
Finish this statement: You’ll enjoy Hint of Frost if you like…

This snippet of my review from Heroes and Heartbreakers is the best answer I’ve got. (Plus, it made me laugh.)

“Are you a Game of Thrones addict? Have you started referring to your girlfriends as “wenches” and the husband as “my lord,” really pushing for that “your grace” title you so desperately want? Well, Hailey Edwards’s Hint of Frost might just be the book you’ve been looking for.” 

Thanks for stopping by Hailey! 

Hailey is generously offering an e-book of your choice to one winner, you may choose A Hint of Frost or any other books from Hailey's back list.

To enter, please leave your name and email in the comment section and one winner will be picked on  Monday, April 30th!

To learn more about Hailey Edwards and her books, click on the following links! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards

Title: Hint of Frost
Author: Hailey Edwards
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Araneae Nation #1
*Contains mature content, 18 years and older*

Ebook Published April 17th 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Length: 193 Pages (approximately) 

Book can be bought here on Amazon.

Where Did I get this Book?: Book provided by author for review.

Summary (Via Goodreads): When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold. Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart. Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang. 

Review: This book sucked me in from the very first page, the story started immediately after the death of Lourdes’s parents and it never lost steam as it continued that way till the very end. I love the world that Ms. Edwards created, each clan has something different and unique and we get to see how they are through their interactions with Lourdes and Rhys. The two central character of the book Lourdes and Rhys are the types of hero and heroines that readers love to read about. Lourdes is a strong, independent woman and it definitely shows as she becomes the new maven and leader of her clan. Rhys is the typical alpha male (Love alphas btwJ) in this book; he is described as a big, muscled warrior who is a great fight and is very protective of Lourdes. There was automatic chemistry from the beginning between Lourdes and Rhys and as the book the progress the tension between the two builds. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters, such as Lourdes’s family and Rhys brother Vaughn. I really liked Vaughn, even though he seemed like a jerk sometimes, we later find out the reason why he treats Rhys the way he does but in the end he does love and care for his brother. It would be awesome if Vaughn got his own story, that’s something I want to see! 

Overall an amazing start to a fantasy series, I look forward to reading more from Ms. Edwards and more books in the Araneae Nation series. A Hint of Frost is a romance novel set in the midst of a murder, full of deception, and betrayal. This book has a well developed and executed world, wonderful fleshed out primary and secondary characters and a nonstop action packed plot. I highly recommend this series to all romance, fantasy and even urban fantasy readers. I think they would really enjoy this book as much as I did.  If you’re looking for something different to read then pick up A Hint of Frost, you won’t be disappointed! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Showers of Books Giveaway Hop (International)

This giveaway is hosted by One A day YA and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
Giveaway officially begins midnight April 20th and ends on April 25th

There are SO MANY awesome new releases this month that I'm dying to read! For this giveaway (2) winners will be picked to choose (1) book each from a list of books that come out this month.

GIVEAWAY (2 Winners, 1 book each)

*If you haven't read the first book in any of these series but would like to, you can win the first book instead*

 Mandatory- You must be a follower of this blog (giveaways are for followers of this blog only)

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