Thursday 31 July 2014


Attractive young woman near tree trunk

Show n'ot Tell Publishing Presents:


In 2021 the world as we know it changed. The government collapsed, and the worst characteristics of human nature were shown as the world fell into ruins. Years after The Fall, the Tribes that were established are still at war. They still fight to keep what they pillaged, and most of all, they fight to keep their lies a secret. In a world filled with deception, nothing is as it seems. I was born into this world. Hunter Marks was molded into this world; a General— a person cold and harsh. A person meant to kill me. We were told to just believe. We were taught to never question. We’re supposed to be robots, and accept our roles in this altered society. Too bad Hunter and I don’t follow the rules. And we’re a hell of a lot stronger than they ever thought possible. They’ve been searching for the world’s deadliest weapon. It’s me. And I’m not following the leader any more. [youtube]
I would have given him everything. I would have melded every part of me into him. My breath caught in my throat. I already had. Love hadn’t existed in this world. Only hate, deceit and lies, but by letting him in I’d let all of that crumble. By letting me in he’d done the same, and now we were engaged in an even deadlier game than before. We weren’t enemies as we had been born to be. We weren’t friends as we had come to be. Then what were we? I let my hands run through my hair as I clasped my eyes shut even tighter. We were cursed.

[I like the look of the cover and the sound of the blurb and the excerpt is enough to make me put this one on my "Want To Read List". How about YOU?] 

Young woman standing in dark forest
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about the author

Cassandra doesn't remember a time when she wasn't writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character's stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England their dogs, Bubski and Kanga. 

Cassandra Giovanni is published by Show n’ot Tell Publishing based out of Connecticut, USA.

Cover Design: Gio Design Studios
Photography: Alex Kotlov via iStock


Title: Found in Us  
Author Layla Hagen 
Series;; (Lost #2) 
Publication date: July 24th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

**This can be read as a STANDALONE. The second book in the Lost series tells Jessica and Parker’s story.**

BLURB supplied by Xpresso Tours
All Jessica wants -as a college graduate — is to be a good girl. She landed the job of her dreams at a museum and is trying to eliminate temptations. No more short skirts (when she can help it). No wild parties. And no men.

She particularly excels at that last thing. . .

Until her path crosses Parker’s. Again. Jessica remembers the last time their paths crossed very well. She was left with a seriously bruised ego. She knows it would be best to avoid him altogether. But the charming Brit makes it hard for her to elude his electrifying pull. He is as irresistible as he is captivating.

And enigmatic.

Because underneath the sleek Armani suit and the sweet British accent that makes her crave his touch, Parker isn’t the perfect gentleman everyone thinks he is.

He’s exactly what Jessica doesn’t want, but desperately needs.
A bad, bad boy.


I decide to use the dress as an excuse to leave early. To my dismay, Parker is leaning against the wall farther down the corridor, one or two turns away from the entrance to the bar. His eyes rest on the stain on my dress for a few seconds and my cheeks flare up instantly. I'm sure he can see the redness in them even in the dim light.
"I have to go," I say. "My dress is soaked."
"I'll drive you home," he says, walking toward me.
"No, you just got here. I'm sure you and Dani have lots to talk about." I actually take a step back, only to hit the wall behind me.
"I'd just drop you off and return. Are you afraid of being alone with me, Jessica?"
"No . . . it's just not necessary. I can take a cab."
"What are you afraid of?" he insists, stepping right in front of me. "That I'll try to seduce you and take you to bed? Do I really strike you like that kind of guy?"
Every inch of my body commands me to say yes. In my experience, men who don't look even half as godlike as he does are after one thing only. But his humiliating rejection all those months ago proves he isn't one of them. And nothing I've seen or heard about him indicated he’s a womanizer. But being so close to him makes it impossible to think rationally.
I push him away, but with one swing he grabs both my hands and pins them against the wall above me. His lips are inches away from mine, the fingers of his free hand tracing the contour of my lips, leaving a trail of fire behind them. He's so close to me that I can feel every single hot breath against my lips. He locks eyes with me, and it's the sight of his blue eyes boring into mine—more than his proximity and his touch—that sets me on fire, causing an almost unbearable pressure between my thighs.
He trails his fingers from my lips down to my chin and then slowly over my neck. I bite my lip when he presses gently with his thumb on the hollow of my neck, then proceeds with his torture farther down. His fingers peruse the hem of my neckline, at the exact point where the soaked fabric of the dress meets my skin, then slip under the fabric. Just a fraction of an inch.
Not enough to actually touch my breast.
But more than enough to send me over the edge.
"Damn you, Parker, kiss me," I whisper. He doesn't answer, the corner of his lips lifting in a delicious smile as he removes his hand from my neckline, letting it fall by his side. His eyes never leave mine. I wait, sucking in my breath, for him to lean forward and kiss me. After what feels like hours, he finally leans forward and kisses me.
On my goddamn forehead.


My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough 



So, remember the awkward story I shared with you when Lost in Us was released? The one where I wrote a letter on the back of a paper with a really hot scene in it?
             It gets better.
I love writing in airports. I don’t know why, I just do. If I would ever be blessed to be able to write full time, I’d totally be an airport crasher :-D Well, anyway, I was travelling this one time, and of course I got my laptop out to write a scene. A HOT scene. I didn’t quite manage to finish it while waiting for boarding, so once the plane was in the air, I got out my laptop and began to type away. At some point I shifted slightly in my seat. That’s when I realize the guy seated next to me was staring at my laptop screen and his face was very, very red. I politely smiled and immediately closed my laptop, my own face on fire.
So yeah, I seem to have achieved a new high in embarrassing myself. Not that it will stop me from writing in airports  :-D


Blitz-wide giveaway

Ends August 12th - open INTL
-$100 Amazon Gift Card

Wednesday 30 July 2014


Title: Isolation
Author: Denise R. Stephenson
Publisher: Mill City Press
Release Date: 1st April 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
"Isolation" depicts a bleak but recognizable future in which the fear of contagion reaches a fever pitch as a bacterial epidemic catapults the US into an apocalyptic crisis. Touch is outlawed. Mothers like Maggie bind their infants' hands, terrified they might slip fingers into mouths. Gary, a Sterilizer, uses robots to scour the infected, avoiding all contact with human flesh. Trevor, the Chief Enforcer, watches, eager to report any and all infractions. One inadvertent touch will change all of their lives.


Why is Isolation on a blog tour?
Every writer wants to travel the country giving readings. Well, maybe not, but I’d love to. I enjoy public readings a great deal; it’s something I’m good at. My undergraduate degree is in Radio/TV Communications. When I prepared to publish Isolation, I was told in multiple ways, by multiple sources, human and otherwise, that I would need to build a platform including Facebook, Twitter, and other internet outlets to spread the word. For months I considered how to best spend my limited publicity dollars. When I found Virtual Author Book Tours, the idea of a blog tour wove those threads together. While I don’t get to actually read, I get exposure to a variety of readers and settings. This is my last stop and it’s been an interesting and exciting ride.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Writing is my life, but my primary job is running a writing center at a college. I’ve done that for more than 20 years. I’m not sure I’d have written a novel if I didn’t want to challenge myself to encounter the same fear that my students face everyday when they have to write the 3-, 5-, or 10-page paper for any number of classes.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
My partner reads everything! He gives better feedback than anyone I know because he’s encouraging and curious. I also belong to a writing group and have a variety of friends and colleagues who are willing to read my work. I invited many to read my novel before publishing it.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
 I don’t plot. Ideas develop. They start as small, character-centered seeds and grow. Isolation’s inspiration came from the flu epidemic of 2009 and the surrounding changes of behavior, like the ubiquity of hand sanitizer. But it’s when lines get stuck in my head that I know I have to follow a lead. With this novel, that was: “And laying a finger aside of his nose.” The familiar line came with the idea of face-touching being outlawed. That set the stage.

 How do you come up with Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I’ve had two designs for the cover. The first was used for my Kickstarter camaign. For that, I talked with a couple of different aritsts to brainstorm possible cover ideas. Then I developed one of those ideas in collaboration with others; one of my staff took photos with me in a laboratory on campus and another designed the cover. 
The second cover was designed by Alan Pranke at Mill City Press, my publisher. The concept didn’t change, but the color palate was reduced and refined to increase the sense of doom.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
The title emerged in the midst of the process. A friend asked what my working title was. At the time, I was walking on a beach in Kauai and with only a brief hesitation, I said, “Isolation.” It was a subconscious force that brought that name to mind. In the coming months and now years, I can see multiple reverberations in the novel of how that title fits. I’m always pleased when my subconscious steps up and does the heavy lifting.

 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
 Many ways. I see names on signs that I like. That happened for at least three characters, though the signs were in disparate places: Iowa, Honolulu, San Diego. Other times I search for a name with a particular ethnic or national flare. And still other times, the names appear as I write and I don’t question it. Most characters names remain stable, though I have changed a few on occasion. For example, my character with OCD, Trevor, the Enforcer, was named Numerovsky. When his OCD developed into a counting tick, I decided the name was too metaphoric, so I searched Russian names and changed it to Kashnikov.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Mostly my characters evolve. So I don’t consciously give them traits. Sometimes, a trait emerges and I do research, as I did with Trevor. As a teenager, he was a tattle-tale. As an adult he clearly had OCD. I didn’t want him to be too stereotyped and I mostly know OCD as a kind of light-hearted joke used among friends who like things neat. So I read up on the disorder and watched a documentary to learn some of the complex ways it manifests as well as how those afflicted feel about it as opposed to those who live with them. That gave me what I hoped was enough detail to give him traits that would ring true for readers.

What genre would you place your books into?
Genre is harder than one might think. I don’t follow a formula and therefore, this novel doesn’t fit neatly into the larger established categories. Isolation is definitely a dystopia, but it’s also a bit sci-fi, apocalyptic, and medical thriller.
Many people think that writing a dystopia must be depressing, yet I have found it anything but. I’ve loved creating this world and during this tour appreciated how many bloggers have enjoyed it as well. When readers ask for another book, especially more from these characters, it’s extremely encouraging.

Where can readers find you?

This Blog Tour was organised by:
Teddy Rose Blog Tours

Tuesday 29 July 2014


Title: Where You Are
Author: Alla Kar 
Release Date: 07/29/14
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: New Adult

BLURB from Goodreads:
Got boy problems? Call Laney Scott. She's good for advice, a shoulder, or a swift kick where you need it. When her roommate Bethany gets her heart broken, yet again, it's Laney to the rescue. But Laney's harboring a secret. She's nursing her own broken heart. She and her friends come up with a plan to break Aiden and set it into play. Laney wants Aiden to pay for what he's done to Bethany. She will make him fall in love with her, so can break his heart.

Laney's ex-boyfriend Lachlan Hems is back in Florida, still Australian and sexy as hell. His best mate Lucas is getting married, and he is in town for the show. He just didn’t realize Laney would be there … in another guy’s arms, or that seeing her again would have such an effect on him. After the incident in high-school, he vowed to never care for her again. But sometimes fate has different plans.

When Laney’s resolve crumbles, Lachlan is the only one that can put her back together again.

Where You Are is the start of a three-books new adult series from Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestselling author Alla Kar.


I’m almost clear of the hallway when I hear my name. I turn on my heel. Heather is frowning from the lounge doorway. Her long black hair is perfectly straightened. I hope she gets a medal for her hair today, because that would be the only reason I’d forgive her for unplugging my coffeepot.
She pouts her pink-coated lips and curls her finger for me to come closer. “She’s crying again.”
Damn it. I don’t have to ask. I know it’s Bethany and I know why she’s crying. It’s the same damn thing every week. Sighing, I walk into the lounge. A few girls surround her, patting her back and trying to calm her down. It’s not going to work, because she’ll be in the same position next week. She glances up over her long lashes and slender nose. Her strawberry blond hair is messy and hangs loosely down to her breasts. “I just—I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. It’s like every time he sees me coming, he goes the opposite direction. What do I do—” she breaks off in a fit of sobs.
I’m thinking of a million different ways to escape when Heather claps her hands loudly. “I know. Laney—why don’t you help her? You helped me with Todd. You got him to ask me out in two days. You could help Bethany.”
Oh, the agony. I don’t know if I could stand two minutes in a room alone with her. I give her a small fake smile and shrug. She looks like the damn cat off of Shrek, with her wide eyes and trembling bottom lip. If I say no I’ll look like a major bitch. “Who is it this ti—?” I stop myself.
She wipes her nose and tries to straighten her hair. I want to tell her that’s not going to work, she needs a brush, but I keep my mouth shut.
“Aiden Sims.”
And the heavens opened up and released the hottest male specimen to come to Jacksonville University. Well, that’s what he thinks anyway. Aiden is the playboy of our small university and he plays his Abercrombie-model good looks to his advantage. I grumble under my breath and pull my strap up my shoulder to keep it from falling.
“Have you had sex with him?”
A few of the hovering girls gasp. Oh, get over it. Bethany shakes her head. “No, we haven’t.”
“Great. That means you still have a chance to get him.”
“Wait,” a redheaded girl says from the corner of the room. “You’re telling me that if we’ve had sex with a guy, and he hasn’t committed, we’re screwed?”
I nod. “Pretty much. You’ve never heard why buy the cow when the milk is free?”
The redhead scoffs. “How do you know so much about this stuff, and who made you queen?”
Rawr. Someone hasn’t had their panties down lately. Heather raises her index finger and rolls her neck; that’s how I know she’s going to tell someone off. “She knows exactly what to do when it comes to getting guys. I’ve been with Todd for five months.”
Red shakes her head. “But why don’t you have a boyfriend then, Laney?”
A long, hard pain starts to build in the depth of my stomach. My eyes feel funny and my heartbeat is heavy in my chest. I will not think about him. No, I refuse. “No one has interested me yet.” Which is almost true, no one at this college has been worth my time. But that’s not the real reason. Red grabs her coffee and sways out of the room. Please, bring me back that coffee!


I go by Alla Kar. I live in the Deep South with my husband, Chihuahua and pit-bull puppy. I love to bring southern gentlemen, alpha males and all things new adult to life. I am an Amazon Best-Selling Author! 




Title: Elementris
Series:The Vangaretta Curse
Author: Christina Mobley

BLURB from Goodreads
There are people born in this world with a powerful connection to the earth itself...
They have an unbreakable and extraordinary bond. Every seven years, five people are born on the same day, at the exact same time. The elements bind them; earth, fire, wind, water, and spirit. They call them, Elementris.
Ava Vangeretta is seventeen years old and different. Unlike most born of the element, she was born alone. She has the power of all five elements. Ava is the first True Elementris to be born in many years. As her eighteenth birthday approaches she is faced with a choice. Give up this rare gift and live the normal life she has always craved or accept it and challenge the current True Elementris in a battle to the death! 
Ava's past haunts her as she struggles to decide. In her present, the seasons are colliding together, storms are destroying lives, and love is a dangerous curse. The current True Elementris is behind it all and she will do whatever necessary to keep Ava from making it to her eighteenth birthday. Ava's decision threatens the lives of the two people she cares about most. Can you choose between love and friendship?
Get ready for the storm......


Title: Exposure
Series: The Vangeretta Curse
Author: Christine Mobley

BLURB from Goodreads
Hidden behind a continuous storm, in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle, there is a secret and powerful place. Element Island’s mysteries are as great as its beauty. Ava Vangeretta’s life changed forever after she arrived on the island; she became the True Elementris.
Now Ava is faced with a new challenge. The powerful gifts protected by those born of the element could be revealed. Temptation gives new life to an old curse, danger draws near, and the lines between friend and enemy are blurred as secrets are revealed. Ava will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, but can she prevent exposure?

Goodreads Link


Title: Eruption
Series: The Vangeretta Curse
Author: Christina Mobley

BLURB from Goodreads
When you love someone more than yourself, protecting them is all that matters; it is all there is... 

Snow one minute and blazing temperatures the next, horrific storms everywhere, and Ava has no idea what’s causing it. Desperate for answers, she turns to the past. An ancient diary reveals the truth about Element Island and the true origins of those born of the Element. Everything she thought she knew is wrong. Destiny is coming for her unborn child.

Ava’s fairytale has quickly turned into a nightmare. No one can be trusted. Friendships will be tested, and lives will be lost. As nature and destiny collide, a child that will change everything is born. The eruption will mark the beginning and the end, and the battle has just begun.



Title: Elementris
Series:The Vangaretta Curse
Author: Christina Mobley

BLURB from Goodreads
There are people born in this world with a powerful connection to the earth itself...
They have an unbreakable and extraordinary bond. Every seven years, five people are born on the same day, at the exact same time. The elements bind them; earth, fire, wind, water, and spirit. They call them, Elementris.
Ava Vangeretta is seventeen years old and different. Unlike most born of the element, she was born alone. She has the power of all five elements. Ava is the first True Elementris to be born in many years. As her eighteenth birthday approaches she is faced with a choice. Give up this rare gift and live the normal life she has always craved or accept it and challenge the current True Elementris in a battle to the death! 
Ava's past haunts her as she struggles to decide. In her present, the seasons are colliding together, storms are destroying lives, and love is a dangerous curse. The current True Elementris is behind it all and she will do whatever necessary to keep Ava from making it to her eighteenth birthday. Ava's decision threatens the lives of the two people she cares about most. Can you choose between love and friendship?
Get ready for the storm......

Goodreads Link

Not sure whether this one is aimed at young YA or older YA. Am looking forward to reading this one, as I haven't read or heard of this author before and I love discovering authors that are new to me


I received an e-copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for my honest review.
The cover is eye catching with the close up of the face and colourful flowers. I'd say the face belongs to Ava as she also has flowing red hair. Ava is a special young woman, as she has special abilities, some see them as a gift such as her Aunt Avalene and her friend Sherri. Unfortunately for Ava, her mother believes them to be a curse. Ava's mother literally dumps Ava on Aunt Avalene and goes away and gets on with her own life. In the beginning she writes Ava letters but that soon stops. Ava is an Elementris. An Elementris is one of five people born on the same day and the same time. Each Elementris has their own power. the five powers/gifts (or "curses" according the Ava's mum!) are Earth, Fire, Wind,Water and Spirit. 
Ava has a really big decision to make by her 18th birthday. She can accept her powers, or have them taken away for good. Ava's problem is made more difficult as she is not just a "normal" Elementris, Ava is has the gift of all five elements which makes her a True Elementris. A True Elementris is rare, in fact there is only one other called Lareina, who is Queen.  Queen Lareina and her guards called "Lareina's Clutch" are not very nice. You either agree with Lareina and how she rules or you are disposed of. Lareina also has conections with The Waevern and their leader Draken.The problem is regardless of what decision Ava makes, Lareina will want to kill her, and will likely get The Waevern involved too.
Initially Ava thinks the choice is simple she can get rid of her powers and live as she always has at Aunt Avalene's house. In fact things have looked up recently in that the boy she's had a crush on for as long as she can remember has dumped his cheer leading girlfriend and turned his attentions to Ava.
There's danger, betrayal and mystery all mixed together. So Ava has realised that regardless of what she chooses as a life direction, magic or no magic she still needs to learn the magic to be in with a chance of defending herself against Lareina and her Clutch (guards).
After much soul searching, speaking with Alec (a Lareina's Clutch guard who wants to protect Ava), her Aunt Avalene and the rest of Aunt Avalene's circle of five, Ruby, Sherri, Greta and Mr John. 
It's a combination of something awful that happens in the area that Aunt Avalene's house is, and feeling helpless when her best friend Brea, asks her for help. Brea's mothers on off boyfriend has returned once again (like a bad penny) and is soon beating her mother and threatening to poison Brea. All this end's with Ava deciding to learn her powers and confront Lareina for the title of Queen. Lareina is so bad that there is a small movement within the ranks of Lareina's clutch, and those who live on Elementris Island. Then just as you think Ava has made her decision, along comes news of The Vangeretta Curse to cast doubts in her plans.
I enjoyed the book, it was interesting though I did quickly guess some of the later "surprises" before they happened. This book, and particularly the two main characters reminded me of the Seer's Series by Heather Frost. Ava and Alec and their relationship reminded me of Kate and Patrick.
The only niggle I had was a formatting/editorial one where some of the words are stuck together or in the wrong order or just extra to the sentence. Which they have probably been taken care of in the book that is available to purchase now. It didn't affect my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
So did I enjoy the book?Yes I did enjoy the book. Would I recommend the book? Yes I would recommend the book. Would I want to read more of this series?  I would like to read more in this series, to learn more about the Elementris, the island, as well as the relationship between Alec & Ava. I'd also like to learn more about The Waevern. Would I want to read other titles by this author? I would definitely take a look at any title written by this author.