Saturday, March 30, 2013

Excerpt + Giveaway: Once by Dana Michelle Burnett

Today, I am so privileged to bring to you...

Gypsy Fairy Tale #1
The Blurb

Beautiful. Secretive. Magical. You envy their freedom, but you are distrustful of their ways. A strange carnival has come to Corydon, Indiana and the Irish Travellers have captured the small town's attention--but it's Harmony who's attracted theirs.

Harmony sees the Travellers everywhere and just like everyone else in town she's curious. But once she meets the mysterious and captivating Kieran, Harmony's life takes an exciting and chilling turn.

Up until now, Harmony never believed that fairytales or myths were real, but Kieran and his family belong to an ancient tribe called the Tuatha de Dannan and someone else has discovered their secret.

An ancient battle is about to begin again, and now no one is safe, especially Harmony. Can Kieran resist the urge to be with her or will his feelings put her in the crossfire?

And the amazing author behind it...

Dana Michelle Burnett
About Dana

Dana Michelle Burnett spent most of her life writing short stories and sharing them with family and friends. Over the years, her work was published in numerous commercial and literary magazines including Just Labs, Mindprints: A Literary Journal, Foliate Oak, and many more. Her short story John Lennon and the Chicken Holocaust was include in The Best of Foliate Oak 2006.

Dana Michelle's Spiritus Series introduced the idea of a ghostly romance and became a Kindle bestselling series. She's an avid reader of anything dark and romantic. Dana Michelle lives in Southern Indiana with her dancing diva daughter and an assortment of pets. Dana Michelle loves connecting with her readers. You can find her at:

(Cited from Dana's Website)



I think the cover's STUNNING! I love faerie novels, and I think the premise of this book is very promising. :) What do you think?

Dana is very generously giving away an ecopy of ONCE. This giveaway is international and ends in a week's time on April 7th. Just enter the Rafflecopter form below! :)

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Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Publication Date: May 21st, 2011
Finished Date: March 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Feral Dream
Format: Paperback
Pages: 254
Series: Penryn and the End of Days #1
My Rating: 5/5!!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Author's Website
Blurb from Goodreads:
It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
My Review 

It's just some bird flying by, that's all. That's all.
But I'm already panting with panic.
I force myself to look up. All I see is endless dark sky.
But then, I do see something. Another, larger feather floats down lazily toward my head.
Sweat prickes my brow. I break out into an all-out sprint.
ANGELFALL is nothing less than YA Dystopian at its best. It has everything this genre has to offer, and it gives back ten-fold. The action, the tension, uncertainties, the start of a budding rebellion, and the unlikely romance between mortal enemies when circumstances thrust them onto an adventure that'll blow all yer little asses off yer seats!

*Many spoilers ahead!*

A Summary
The apocalypse came, harolded by beautifully terrifying angels of destruction. Buildings collapsed or decayed, connection lines are a thing of the past, the streets are ruled by gangs that loot and kill in the day and by nightmare creatures in the night, and your home is not your haven anymore.

Penryn, her little, crippled sister, Paige, and their slightly unstable mother have been delaying migrating to a safer place for quite some time, but they have to get out now. When they set off at sunset, they're risking a lot by being out that late, and as they made their way hastily down El Camino, through Silicon Valley to Page Mill, things were still looking hopeful. They were doing fine, until a white feather, soft as down, floated down from the sky. That's when they knew that they were going to get screwed ten times over.

An epic - albeit gruesome - angelic battle was going on, and though the angel who had wings of such magnificent white was heavily outnumbered 4 to 1, the others are still wary of him. When Snowy Wings (as Penryn calls him in her little funny inner commentary) looked like he was about finished, Penryn and her family were spotted and Penryn did something to distract the other angels, unwittinly helping Snowy Wings turn the tides and angering one of the other angels enough to kidnap Paige as he flew away.

Penryn managed to get Snowy Wings - which turned out to be Raffe (Rah-fie) - to tell her that Paige was most probably taken to the angel's aerie. Raffe's wings had been brutally amputated in the battle previously, needs Penryn's help to travel on the ground, and Penryn needs Raffe's help getting to the aerie and getting into the aerie. So for now, they're on an uneasy truce, and set off for an amazing and heartpounding adventure.

My Thoughts
I had to put off writing this review because of my Term exams, but a week later and everything is still fresh in my mind! All that emotion and mindblowing awesomeness. If you'd known me before, you'd know that I was a huge hater of Dystopian novels because the first Dystopian I read (coughReaperscoughArecoughThecoughcoughcough) was SO BAD. But just recently, Julie Kagawa made me a believer, and now Susan Ee has made me a FAN. They're really amazing writers.

There's so much development and depth in ANGELFALL. All the characters, Penryn and Raffe especially, had their own personality, their own history, and their own distinct way of thinking. A few pages of Raffe talking and you know he's just not like us. He's proud and strong even when he's down on the ground or lying face down on a couch with his hands and feet tied and taped together. However as the book progresses, you see how he gains a little humanity while retaining his mysterious, very-sexy immortal persona. AND OMG, Raffe is...*hyperventilates* Raffe is...His true identity is OMG-ly cool. Penryn is a girl who had to toughen up due to very shitty circumstances, but when things got too much, she let her body handle it the way it knows, puked in some bushes and gathered up her Big Girl Panties. She's smart and resourceful in a very funny, sarcastic way that I liked her immediately.

Along the way, we meet characters like Obi and Boden. Obi's the rebellion leader while Boden's the rebellion thug. They're cool. Obi's the typical inspiring, good-looking military leader who has to make unpopular choices for the good of the rebellion, and Boden's the typical thug with the snarl and always picking a fight with the new kid on the block - in this case, Penryn. I liked that scene where Penryn was expecting help from Raffe when Boden picked a fight with her and Raffe not only didn't rush to her aid, he started betting with the other guys on who'd win! Haha, oh how Penryn pounded Boden to the ground in her anger!

I loved seeing how the arc unfold and how all the characters changed.
THIS is so true for Angelfall. Ee's descriptions are so vivid it's literally a movie in my head!

Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious. Outside our condo window, the sky flames like a bruised mango in vivid orange, reds, and purples. The clouds catch on fire with sunset colors, and I'm almost scared those of us below will catch on fire too.
~Para 1 of Chapter 1

When you see a starting like that, you know that you can expect some badass writing.

I loved the final battle. I loved how the humans made their stand, how they showed a united front in the face of such adversities unlike how most fiction novels protray humans as weak and expendable and ugly. Ugh. The ending was so, so, terribly bittersweet. What happened to Paige and all the other kidnapped kids was...disusting, inhumane and... Ee is one author who doesn't mind killing off some of her characters and roughing up most of the others. That's all I have to say about this. And poor Raffe! However, I did like how the story started and ended with Penryn, her sister and mother being together on the road, only with all the wounds and scars - both mental and physical - at the end.

Anyhoo, this review is getting long and all I have to say now is, if you're a fan of YA Dytopian novels, or not a fan at all, just as long as you can stand a little Dystopian, you'll 99.99999999% fall IN LOVE with ANGELFALL.


P.P.S. Y'know that part where Penryn was at the rebellion camp and was talking to this woman called Dolores about training domestic dogs into a tracking/police/army one?

"This is the reason the guards are dog-free. It's hard to patrol when your K9 partner keeps running off to chase after rodents and barks all night long."
K(ca)-9(nine)? Hahaha.

P.P.P.S. Thank you Donna (@ The Happy Booker) for recommending this book to me!

My Rating

Review: Down To You by M. Leighton

Publication Date: September 20th, 2012
Finished Date: March 1st, 2013
Publisher: M. Leighton Books
Format: eBook
Pages: 215
Series: The Bad Boys #1
My Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Author's Website
Blurb from Goodreads:

The scorching tale of one girl, two brothers and a love triangle…that’s not.

Olivia Townsend is nothing special. She’s just a girl working her way through college so she can return home to help her father run his business. She’s determined not to be the second woman in his life to abandon him, even if it means putting her own life on hold. To Olivia, it’s clear what she must do. Plain and simple. Black and white. But clear becomes complicated when she meets Cash and Nash Davenport. They’re brothers. Twins.

Cash is everything she’s always wanted in a guy. He’s a dangerous, sexy bad boy who wants her in his bed at any cost. He turns her insides to mush and, with just one kiss, makes her forget why he’s no good for her. Nash is everything she’s ever needed in a guy. He’s successful, responsible and intensely passionate. But he’s taken. Very taken, by none other than Marissa, Liv’s rich, beautiful cousin. That doesn’t stop Olivia from melting every time he looks at her, though. With just one touch, he makes her forget why they can never be together.

Black and white turns to shades of gray when Olivia discovers the boys are hiding something, something that should make her run as far and as fast as she can. But it’s too late to run. Olivia’s already involved. And in love. With both of them. Both brothers make her heart tremble. Both brothers set her body on fire. She wants them both. And they want her. How will she ever choose between them?
My Review

Not a bad adult contemporary romance! It's definitely steamy and piled with sexual tension, but it's the instant physical attraction kind that doesn't do much to leave a deep enough impression on the reader to let the memory last.

Olivia "Liv" Townsend is a sheep farmer's daughter who's responsible, loyal, has a unique blend of humor and...is always attracted to the bad boys. It's the reason why she's had her heart broken one too many times in the past, and the reason why she avoids them at all costs.

Liv is living with her rich, snobbish cousin in Atlanta to finish her college degree in accounting. She goes to school, bartends at a friendly club at Salt Springs every weekend, and goes out with her friends occasionally to club a little or just to chill. She never factored in meeting the sexy bad boy owner of the club that her friend held her bachelorette party at, Cash, or his twin brother, Nash, who's a lawyer, equally sexy, and her cousin's boyfriend...

Both drives her insane, both are equally desirable. Thing is, she's always been drawn to the bad boys, but she knows that Nash will be better, safer choice, the kind of guy she needs in her life. The only end she sees with Cash is one that ends in heartbreak, but she's not that kind of girl that'll steal an attached guy. Therein lies the problem: She's drawn to both brothers. Both brothers are drawn to her. But both also brings with them a whole lot of consequences that Liv'll have to contend with.

Thoughts: I'll admit it - the cover was the thang that drew me in. Dang, I mean, look at it! Haha, it's the kind of once-in-awhile, guilty pleasures that a girl wants to indulge in. It's a quick, steamy read that'll guarantee tide you thru this need-for-a-guilty-pleasure phase, girls! Not sure about the dudes out there, though. It's told in multiple POVs, from Olivia to Cash to Nash, so it's a little different from your ordinary contemporary romance.

I liked DOWN TO YOU, the only reason why I docked off a few stars is because there were times where I just thought that the characters were a little shallow - bimbotic, for lack of a better word. Shallow, yes, but it made for quite a fun read! One of Liv's friends, Ginger, can swear reaaaal colorfully! A quote:

"Stay in your lane you limp-dick, candy-ass, crazy mother fu--"
"Ginger?" I interrupt.
She quiets immediately. "Oh, Liv. Hi, sweetie. I didn't hear you answer."

Hahaha, you have been warned!

One thing that I really liked about DTY is that plot twist at the end! I didn't even see it coming when it hit! Though I don't think that it's really plausible in real life, it still made for quite a big shock. That's some real cool writing right there.

Anyhoo, all in all, I thought that DOWN TO YOU was a quick, steamy read full of lighthearted fun and laughter with a neat plot twist at the end that'll sure to catch readers off-guard. Enjoyed it!

P.S. Not sure whether I'll start on the next few books yet though. I think I'm back into the intense plot and action novels now, so I think I'll place UP TO ME somewhere in the middle of my Mt. TBR. :)

P.P.S. Have you seen the other cover for this book? The one that'll be released by Berkeley Trade this July? It's SO NICE. --->

My Rating

Friday, March 29, 2013

Author Interview + Giveaway: The Inside Out Trilogy by Lisa Renee Jones

Hey!! I've missed blogging SO MUCH. I've been reading, but I couldn't write reviews or post them because of my exams. Ugh. More exams are coming up though (double triple friple ugh), but I've managed to snag some down time to interview the amazing Lisa Renee Jones about her up and rising Inside Out trilogy.

The Author
About Lisa

Bestselling author Lisa Renée Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT TRILOGY which will debut internationally across many countries in 2013. Booklist says that Jones’ suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann. Alpha, military, and paranormal romance readers will want Jones’ entire series. (About the Zodius Series — Storm that is Sterling)

In 2003, award winning author Lisa Renée Jones sold her Austin, Texas based multi-state staffing agency and has since published over thirty novels and novellas across several genres. Her staffing agency LRJ Staffing was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

  Her debuts with Blaze and Nocturne hit Bookscan’s Top 100 list and her Blaze Hot Zone trilogy made a showing on the list in 2011 also. --Cited from Lisa's Official Website

Connect with the author: Author's Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

And her highly acclaimed Inside Out trilogy...

If I Were You
Book 1 in series
The Blurb

The steamy first installment in the Inside Out erotic romance trilogy by Lisa Renee Jones, in the bestselling tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey.

When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she’s shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer—until the terrifying final entry.

Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca’s life. Soon she’s working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca’s friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she’s going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she’s not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.

Being Me
Book 2 in series
The Blurb

The sexy second installment in the Inside Out erotic romance trilogy, following If I Were You—in the seductive tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Fascinated by the dark fantasies in the journals she’s discovered, and the two men who have now found a place in her life, Sara McMillan finds herself torn between her new life and her past. Now, more than ever, Sara identifies with the lost journal writer, Rebecca, and is certain that something sinister has happened.

In the arms of the sexy, tormented artist Chris Merit, Sara seeks answers about Rebecca and ends up discovering things about herself she never knew existed. Chris forces Sara to reconsider who she is and what she truly wants from life, but not before his dark desires threaten to tear them apart. Her boss, Mark Compton, offers her the shelter to understand just what those needs mean to her, and what they might have meant to Rebecca, but can she trust him to lead her to a final conclusion to Rebecca’s story?

Revealing Us
Book 3 in series
The Blurb

The third and final installment in the sexy Inside Out erotic romance trilogy—in the seductive tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey.

You’ve discovered Rebecca’s secrets. You’ve discovered Sara’s secrets. Now Sara will discover “his” deepest, darkest secrets…but will those secrets bind them together—or tear them apart?

Inside Out trilogy BREAKING NEWS! I quote from Lisa's amazing publicist, Brandy:

Back in September it was announced that Lisa Renee Jones sold her indie series THE INSIDE OUT TRILOGY in a major deal to by Simon and Schuster. Since then the highly acclaimed series has sold to ten foreign countries, with more under negotiation, and now it’s been optioned by STARZ for television and it’s moving fast. They hope to be in production within 90 days.
Read more about it HERE.


Now, let us welcome, Lisa!

An Interview with Lisa Renee Jones

Hey Lisa, thank you so much for coming to the blog today!

To get started, tell us something about yourself, something that's uniquely you maybe?

I owned a multi-state staffing agency for 11 years and left to write romance. People find it strange that I was in the corporate world for years but really I did a lot acting and even some independent films so creativity was always my real love.

Wow, I'm hardly coping with my studies and reading all the books I love, it's amazing how you managed to work in the corporate world, act and write.

What got you started on writing? And why erotica of all genres!

I craved putting the creativity to use and needed an outlet when I was in business that allowed me to do both. To me romance is always sexy. There is something wonderful about how consuming new love can be physically and emotionally. It's very intoxicating and our sexuality as human beings is very much a part of who we are.

I've never really thought about it that way before. We're more conservative here in Singapore, but that's also why I love reading romance novels.

What was the inspiration behind the INSIDE OUT trilogy?

Years ago my fiancé was buying and selling storage auction units and he found a journal. The idea took root then and I had a lot of deadlines so it had a lot of time to simmer and take shape. By the time I started writing I really knew the characters which I think makes it more special to me and I hope readers.

Haha, that's SO cool! What if that was another Tom Riddles' diary? ;) Haha, kidding!

Do you think INSIDE OUT was your best publication so far?

Oh yes. I love this series and the characters and it's attached to a personal experience. I think it shows.

For all budding authors out there, can you share how you got your movie deal with STARZ? Which, by the way, is so amazing! Congrats!! :D

It's actually TV and my agent made it all happen but timing is everything. They were looking for something that fit this series. The dark erotic suspense and mystery really were a big part of the appeal for the producers and the network.

I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit though! The Inside Out trilogy is definitely a very unique series, the idea about the journal and all. It's still really cool though!

Have you casts your own characters yet? Imagined where they would film the entire thing and how in the world their going to film all those ahem, kinky, ahem scenes?? I've been wondering for so long how they're going to film FIFTY SHADES ever since James announced that the movie rights' been optioned.. Haha

I can't say much yet but the project is moving quickly. The hope is that it will be in production very very soon. I have ideas on casting but that is up to the experts. I trust they know what will work and who will be amazing. I'm excited to see who becomes the characters.

True true. Talking about FIFTY SHADES, do you have a favorite genre to read or write? Is it erotica??

I don't have a favorite genre. I read a lot and all over the board. I love Hunger Games and I love Karen Monings Fever and I love Linda Howard. I have lots of fav authors and genres.

I did like The Hunger Games, and I LOVED Shadowfever by Karen! I think that'll be true for most bookies out there. ;)

Which do you think is the best book you've written so far? Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

BEING ME is my best book ever. I love how dark, gritty and real it is. I love this series and the characters and letting them go at some point will be very, very hard.

Haha, sometimes I just want to indulge in some dark and gritty too, though I'm still not yet brave enough to bring erotica books out with me and read on the train! Aw, yeah, I've heard how authors get very attached to characters. :/ Are you planning/working on any other books/series now?

I just finished REVEALING US and there is a spinoff series I plan to start on in the next month.

I love spin-offs! Though sometimes I get overly attached to the characters in the previous books that I refuse to pick the spin off up. :P (Like The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Sigh...) I'm sure fans all over the world will be thrilled by this announcement!

Just a little side question, do you feel awkward or self-conscious whenever a family member/relative/friend read a romance scene in your novels?

No. I'm proud of what I write and they all know what I write. Sometimes people blush talking to me about books they have read I wrote but I figure that means I did a good job with the sexy scenes:)

Random rapid fire questions!

1) Paper and pen or Microsoft?  Mac all the way

2) Hot chocolate or champagne?   Love them both

3) Night owl or early bird?   Night owl. I spent my corp days as an early bird and hated it

4) Macho man or lean athlete?  Macho man. My men are always alpha. I love a sexy alpha man. (Me and half the women out there too! Hehe)

Thanks for coming over to the blog!



Lisa's publisher, Simon and Schuster, is offering up a copy of If I Were You and a goodie bag FILLED with AMAZING swag.

This giveaway is international, and it ends a week from now (4/5)! Just fill in the Rafflecopter form below to enter! Good luck, and happy Good Friday everyone! :) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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