Saturday, September 28, 2013

Invisible Sun

By David Macinnis Gill

About Invisible Sun (from Goodreads):
Obsessed with MUSE, the clandestine project that created the AI in his brain, mercenary chief Durango draws the ire of the government when he steals part of the secret project data and hightails it with his lieutenant, Vienne, to an ancient monastery. There, he meets the monks who raised Vienne from an orphan and also encounters soldiers working for his old nemesis, the crime lord Mr. Lyme. Lyme controls the territory surrounding the monastery, as well as the datacenters housing the rest of MUSE. 

Undeterred, Durango and Vienne pull off an ill-advised raid on Lyme’s complex. During the ensuing battle, however, Vienne is captured, and Durango is beaten and left for dead. Now, wounded and shaken, Durango must overcome bounty hunters, treacherous terrain, a full scale civil war, and a warrior monk with an eye for vengeance (not to mention his own guilt, self-doubt, and broken arm) to find Vienne and free her from Archibald, a brain-washing pyromaniac with a Napoleon complex who wants to rule Mars--and kill Durango in the process.


Invisible Sun is the sequel to David Macinnis Gill's Black Hole Sun.  Although Black Hole Sun was an enjoyable story, (you can read my original review here) I enjoyed Invisible Sun even more.

The story picks up shortly after Black Hole Sun left off.  Durango and Vienne are on the run from everyone because there's a bounty on their heads.  To hide, the duo goes to Vienne's childhood home  at an ancient monastery.  There Gill introduces us to the monks who raised Vienne who was orphaned.  But where these two go, trouble is never far behind. Soldiers who work for Durango’s old foe, Mr. Lyme, attack and the duo fight them off. Then they try to raid Lyme’s outpost to steal information, but Vienne gets captured, tortured and brainwashed to be a killing machine. Meanwhile Durango is beaten and left for dead. This sets the rest of the story up for Durango, along with the help of some of Vienne's monk family, to rescue her. The result is a fast-paced, edge of your seat thrill ride that mixed action, humor, sorrow, and a hint of romance.

As in Gill's previous book, Invisible Sun also incorporates a mix of foreign jargon and phrases. However, it seemed as if there were fewer phrases, and some of the meanings were more self-evident. Gill also translates the meaning of at least one phrase for readers--thank goodness for supporting characters asking!

This story is a must read for both girls and guys, and will have readers wanting another installment of Durango's story. Gill has definitely wins readers over with his writing style that grips readers and makes the book difficult to put down. If you are interested in trying the sci-fi genre for the first time, I highly recommend Gill's books to help whet your appetite. I generally don't read books set in space--or in this case, Mars--but Gill has made me a fan!

About author David Macinnis Gill:
David Macinnis Gill is the author of the award-winning novels Black Hole Sun and Soul Enchilada, both from Greenwillow/Harper Collins. His short stories have appeared in several magazines, including The Crescent Review and Writer’s Forum. His critical biography of young adult author Graham Salisbury, Graham Salisbury: Island Boy, was published by Scarecrow Press. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English/creative writing and a doctorate in education, both from the University of Tennessee.

He is the Past-President of ALAN (The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents) and an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His non-fiction, book reviews, essays, and academic work have appeared in a variety of publications, including The English Journal, Teacher-Librarian, and many others.

David’s teaching career began in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was a high school teacher at Brainerd High School and briefly at the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. He later joined the English Department at Ohio University as an assistant professor. Currently, he is an associate professor of English education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

David has been a house painter, cafeteria manager, bookstore schleper, high school teacher, and college professor. He now lives on the Carolina coast with his family, plus fourteen fish, two rescued dogs--an airebeagle and a border setter--and a nocturnal marsupial. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Secrets of a Hart

About Secrets of a Hart
Five years ago, Kendall Hart’s life changed forever. A tragedy forced her to grow up fast and become a responsible adult overnight while her friends were still enjoying high school. She lives and breathes work leaving no time for a social life and her circle of friends is small. She has no room for complications in her life…then Tristan walks in.

Tristan O’Neal is forced to return home when his father becomes terminally ill. Taking care of his parents, dealing with an irresponsible brother, and starting a new job bring challenges to his life. Starting a relationship is the last thing on his mind but when sees Kendall, he finds himself drawn to her...she is so familiar. 

Tristan is what Kendall has always wanted but life isn’t always fair. Sometimes you have to let go of the one person you’ve always loved in order to protect them. Will Tristan be able to break through the wall she’s built around her heart or will Kendall’s secrets consume her and destroy their chance at a life together?

About author Elizabeth James:
Elizabeth James is the author of the Design Series. She writes contemporary romance set in her native North Carolina. A life-long reader, she began writing a novel at age fifteen, put it away with no hopes of publication, but now has realized her dream as an adult. Inspired by several bestselling authors she began working as a beta reader and her passion for writing once again surfaced. She embarked on a journey to see if she could complete a novel and Love by Design was born. With warm reception to her first novel she is now making this crazy world a part of her life. Elizabeth believes you're never too late in life to realize your dreams and this has opened up a new world of adventures and meeting new people which she loves to do. Elizabeth lives in North Carolina with her husband and their dogs. She enjoys traveling, exploring North Carolina, and spending time with her friends.

Find Elizabeth:  Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Zoe & Zak Adventures #1)

About the Book:
Zoe and Zak are lost in exotic India, where gods and magic still exist. Before they can find their way home, they just have to do one little thing...

..Save a mythical creature from an ancient evil that wants to rule the world.

When Zoe Guire goes along on her mom's business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. An elephant god speaks to her from the bottom of a swimming pool... She and her classmate Zak get locked in a trunk and shipped off to a strange city near the foothills of the Himalayas... and a crazy snake charmer tells them they've been chosen to protect a mythical creature called the Ghost Leopard from an ancient evil that wants to take over the world.

As they travel deeper into the majestic mountains known as the Realm of the Gods, things get even weirder. If she and Zak want to make it back to their parents, they're going to have to tap into powers they never knew existed.

Because if they don't, things will never be the same for any of us ever again.

Find on Goodreads

To celebrate the audio book release, the ebook version of Ghost Leopard will be available ON SALE for $0.99 (regular price $4.99) from September 9 to September 20. Please click here to order!

I received a free copy of the audio book in exchange for an honest review.

As an adult, I like to read (or listen to) kids books. After all, some authors write stories for children that many adults would like to read too, for instance the Harry Potter series. So when I come across an interesting fantasy or paranormal childrens story, I don't mind reading it. This is what drew me to Zoe & Zak.

The narrator of the series did a phenomenal job reading Lars Guingnard's story. She was very enthusiastic and expressive. She even adds dialect to some characters which is important since the story is set in India. Her narration enhances the story. I would definitely listen to another book that she narrates.

The book is told from Zoe's point of view. She is very good about explaining her feelings about people (ahem, Zak) and their situation. She even explains how she knows what certain things are (like a crossbow). For child readers this is perfect, but as an adult it seems a bit frivolous.

Zoe and Zak are perfect opposites of each other. Zoe is responsible and thinks about her actions before doing them. Zak is spontaneous and is always up for action. He'd rather go with the flow and see where it leads them, than stop and and think about what might happen. These characteristics create dynamic interactions between the duo. From awkwardness and uncertainty around each other to arguing and fighting each other, they slowly change and begin to trust the other. As a team, they do a good job of achieving their goals.

I loved how the different gods of India were incorporated in the story. I've read lots of stories with Greek, Roman, and Norse gods, but never one with gods from India.  It was enjoyably original.

Guingnard did a wonderful job setting the pace of the story. It is action packed with lots of adventure. The main characters aren't in one place for long periods of time. They are constantly on the move--either escaping danger or hunting to find the ghost leopard. It will definitely hold young readers' attentions.

Older kids and young teens will enjoy this adventurous tale. I also recommend getting the audio book version and listening to it the next time the entire family has to take a road trip. When your done reading this book, don't forget to read the sequel, The Yogi's Curse, that released this past summer.

About author Lars Guingnard:

Lars Guignard is a former film and television writer and a graduate of both McGill University and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. His debut thriller novel, Lethal Circuit, has been an amazon top 100 Technothriller since its release.

Guignard has wanted to write Indian stories for kids ever since he attended a boarding school in the majestic Himalayas. The time he spent in the “school above the clouds” affected him profoundly, and once he returned home to North America he was struck by the lack of children’s stories from India available in our culture. Since India is such an incredible country, he decided to write a series of action adventure books for young adults about India to introduce young readers to this magical, mystical land. So if you’re looking for a great book adventure for kids, try Ghost Leopard today!

Find Lars Website   Facebook   Twitter

Enter to win a copy of Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard as an audiobook, paperback or ebook. It is open worldwide

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Friday, September 6, 2013

City of the Fallen (Dark Tides #1)

By Diana Bocco

About City of the Fallen:
Five years ago, vampires came out of hiding and took over the world. It was meant to be a quick enslavement but it turned into a bloody battle that brought humanity to the brink of extinction.

Isabelle Bryant is one of the “lucky” survivors, now living in hiding, scavenging for food through deserted towns.

And she’s tired of it.

So she’s devised a plan: find the king of the vampires and drive a stake through his heart.

Except that wickedly sensual king Marcus is nothing like the monster she expected. And while landing on his bed was part of the plan all along, discovering that he might hold the key to humanity’s survival certainly wasn’t. The catch? Saving humanity also means ensuring vampire survival. It means giving up hope for a return to a human-ruled world.

As sparks fly and hate becomes heat, Isabelle must pick a side -- before the darkness devours them all.

Goodreads  Amazon

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to read this book as soon as I found out about it with the release day blitz back in June. I thought, what if vampires were real? What if they decided to come out of hiding? How would humans and vampires coexist? I have seen True Blood, but what are other scenarios? Diana Bocco pulls readers into this scenario in her story City of the Fallen.

The story starts off quickly with Isabelle leaving her home in search of the Vampire king, Marcus. She wants to kill him (and I would want to too if I were in her position).  She quickly finds him and soon/easily becomes close with him because she isn't scared of him. Bocco creates a fast pace story, but I would love some background info on Isabelle's family and friends she lived with before the story took place.  Maybe Bocco can write a prequel to go along with this book.  I would definitely like to read that.

I like how the Marcus cared for Belle and wanted to pull her into his world.  Belle was the missing piece that made him try to hold on to his humanity. There was also the nice revelation that the king was trying to help the humans and didn't want to fight them. He wanted to protect them. After all, you never want you food supply to go extinct!

I thought Marcus put his trust in a human too quickly without really getting to knowing her. I would expect the king to be more guarded (especially since Isabelle came there to kill him), but since humans are "pets" then I guess that is okay.

The story was told through multiple points of view. I loved getting inside Belle's head and Marcus'. The chemistry between the two is heated, and learning how they really felt about each other really added to their characters.

This story is definitely geared to adults. Since this is a paranormal romance, then of course there are bedroom scenes. Some are a bit steamy, but they are tastefully written. There aren't too many that distract from the story, but help move the plot line forward.

I like how Marcus cared for Belle and wanted to pull her into his world.  Belle was the missing piece that made him try to hold on to his humanity. There was also the nice revelation that the king was trying to help the humans and didn't want to fight them. He wanted to protect them. After all, you never want you food supply to go extinct!

Readers who love vampire stories should definitely check this one out!

About author Diana Bocco:
Diana Bocco is a full-time writer and author. She's been a fan of all kinds of dark creatures since she was a kid. If it crawls in the night and tugs at your covers while you're sleeping, chances are she's written about it. It's probably no surprise that she's a big fan of old buildings, urban exploring and things that go bump in the night.

In her other life, Diana also writes nonfiction: articles, books, and even quizzes for markets such as the Discovery Channel, Yahoo! and Marie Claire magazine.

Visit for more info on Diana's work. Or join Diana's mailing list and be the first one to know about new releases, signings, and giveaways:

Find Diana:  Website/Blog   Goodreads

Enter to win a signed copy of the book plus other awesome swag!

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Want to know more? Check out an exclusive excerpt from the release day post here!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Redemption Red Cover Reveal

I'm excited to bring to you the cover reveal of Redemption Red by Delancey Stewart! This book is scheduled to be released October 15th, 2013.

Redemption Red by Delancey Stewart (A Wine Country Romance)

Love, loss, and a smoky red…

When Audrey Montgomery’s carefully planned life collides with the self-destructive path Tyson Dawes is on, neither of them can predict what will happen next.

Audrey is a diligent and self-reliant culinary student at Portland’s prestigious Cordon Bleu. She has a clear picture of her future in mind, and it allows little room for the steely-eyed and tormented young man she bumps into by chance while wine tasting with friends.

Tyson Dawes had a perfect childhood, raised among the vines in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. But even the most idyllic of upbringings couldn’t have prepared him for what he would face as a Marine. He returns to his childhood home angry and haunted by the storms of what he has faced and by those he has lost.
Do opposites truly attract? Can the lure of Audrey’s apparent clarity and innocence offer Tyson hope in the face of his emptiness?
This is the second book in the Wine Country Romance Series. The first book, A Rare Vintage was published in June and is available on Amazon.

While Redemption Red is part of the Wine Country Romance Series, it is a stand alone. These books can each be read individually.

Add the book on GoodReads.

Buy A Rare Vintage, on sale now for only .99 cents! 

About author Delancey Stewart:

Delancey Stewart has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She's been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a wine seller. Despite lots of other interests, she has always been a writer.

A military spouse and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler, story reader, and tech writer for a defense contractor. She tackles all these efforts at her current home in Southern Maryland.

Delancey Stewart is the author of Through a Dusty Window: New York City Stories 1910-2001 and the Wine Country Romance Series which includes: A Rare Vintage and Redemption Red, as well as the Girlfriends of Gotham Series, publishing with Swoon Romance. The first book in that series, Men and Martinis, will be released in Winter 2013.

Find the author:

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter


Must be 18 or older to enter

One winner will win (US only): 
- An ebook copy of both "A Rare Vintage" and "Redemption Red"
- A gorgeous bracelet created with recycled wine bottles on an aluminum
link bracelet. It measures 7 1/2 inches long and features green, brown,
blue, gold and clear color glass rings. The bracelet is handmade and can
be dressed up or down, thanks to the elegant styling. 
-A 10 ounce jar of Oregon Pinot Noir chocolate sauce from Euphoria
Chocolate Company in Oregon (where Redemption Red is set). Great for use
on ice cream, in coffee or just on a spoon! 

4 winners will win (INT):
- an ebook of Redemption Red
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