Torn by Fury (Ascension #6) by S.M. Reine

TornByFuryElise Kavanagh is marching on New Eden, the city angels have built from the bones of human victims. She’s hellbent on making them atone for their sins–no matter the cost. Rylie Gresham has realized that werewolves are the key to defeating angels. They’re apex predators, designed to bring powerful, immortal beings to heel. She has no choice but to follow Elise into war against Heaven…especially since it’s the only way to protect her family from complete annihilation. The angels are prepared to defend themselves. Their magic will tear the universe apart. And if they have their way, there will soon be no Earth left to save.

This might be the shortest review I’ve ever written for any of the books in the Ascension series. Not because I have nothing to say. More because I’m afraid to say anything. I guess I have some explaining to do, huh?

So much happened to so many people in Torn by Fury. Even if I didn’t know that this book is planned to be the next to the last in the series, I’d know by the way the story unfolded that we’re nearing the end. The only thing I don’t know is exactly how S.M. Reine plans to fix everything for everyone in just one more book. And there are things that HAVE to be fixed. Seriously… Please?!?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1The author took the ‘Authors Are Evil’ statement about as far as she could in Torn by Fury. The action didn’t stop, the unthinkable happened and it turns out no one is safe. See why I can’t say any more? My jaw dropped in this book more than once. Forget a mere cliff hanger, that wasn’t enough. Torn by Fury ended in at least 3 or more if you count the lives that are still hanging in the balance from previous books. I’m honestly torn between wanting the next book yesterday, if not sooner, and being afraid to see what happens next.

So there you have it. My vain attempt at putting into words how much this book made me feel without giving anything away. Again, if you haven’t picked up a book by S.M. Reine yet, you need to… sooner rather than later. Just make sure you start from the beginning. Get to know Riley in Seasons of the Moon and Elise in Descent so you can truly appreciate their worlds colliding in Ascension.

DragonFlyRating5

And the Winner is…..

boutofbooks1BlogBout-of-Books 10.0 may be over, but once it is the real fun for me begins. I get to help the Grand Prize Winner create something all their own. This Bout-of-Books winner was Beth at Beth’s Books. She decided she wanted new graphics for her blog and she had a couple of really good ideas to get me started.

After narrowing down the basic graphics we started with the header. This is what we came up with… Tada!

BethsBooksBlogHeaderFinalSince the girl holding the book was central to the design, we built the rest of her designs from there. She now has brand new Twitter, Tumblr and Goodreads icons to help people follow her everywhere 😉

BethsTwitterIconBethsTumblrIconBethsGRIconBethsBooksButtonSmallLast, but definitely not least, Beth’s Books also got a new avi that she can use on her blog, Twitter and anywhere else she wants. If you see her around, be sure and congratulate her on winning and let her know what you think about her brand new graphics. Oh, and keep an eye on the Bout-of-Books site. The next read-a-thon is in August. Hope to see you there! 😉

Called to Mate (Pack Mates #1) by Lynn Tyler

DCalledToMateeclan’s chance to be the alpha of his pack has finally come, but in order to take over he needs to find a mate. Finding the gorgeous and fragile Quinn living in his parents’ home, his body heats for no other.
Quinn is a submissive male wolf who has spent most of his life abused by his former alpha. But being mated to his new pack’s alpha provides him with a level of safety he’s never known before, and a whole new world of passion and lust.

Just as their love begins to blossom, a wolf from Quinn’s past threatens the happiness he’s found in Declan’s arms.

I’m still not exactly sure how I feel about Called to Mate. I think that my biggest issue with it is that everything just happened way too fast. I suppose we’ll chalk this one up to the dreaded ‘Novella Curse.’ I’ve fallen victim to it before, but I keep picking them up. It’s just that sometimes novellas work and sometimes they don’t. *sigh*

Even so, Called to Mate still had a great premise and the characters were good too. I liked Declan’s parents and his pack mates (most of them anyway.) I also liked Quinn. I just really wish that there was more time spent not only getting to know them but building up to the action. I’m definitely not abandoning the series or any other books by Lynn Tyler. I look forward to checking out both the author’s other books and the rest of the books in the series, especially since the next two are both longer.

DragonFlyRating3

 

The Nerd Who Loved Me (Nerds #2) by Vicki Lewis Thompson

TheNerdWhoLovedMeShe’s got the high-kicks…
Lainie Terrell is no ordinary single mother. With feathers in all the right places, she’s one of the hottest showgirls in Vegas. Aside from a hot-tempered ex-boyfriend on her sequined tail, Lainie’s biggest problem is finding a decent babysitter for her son. Lainie’s dilemma is solved when she ropes Harry Ambrewster, the casino’s shy-but very smart and cute-accountant, into the task. 

He’s got the low-down…
Inheriting his chemist father’s high I.Q. and sexy good looks, Harry has always been intrigued by Lainie. He isn’t thrilled at the prospect of babysitting, but he’ll do anything to get near the gal who fuels his craziest fantasies. Then Lainie’s dangerous ex comes knocking…

Their option? Run faster than a pair of net stockings…
In disguise and on the lam, Lainie’s masquerading as the perfect wife. Harry’s doubling as the he-man protector. But with a set-up this hot, who’s fooling who? When the lights go down, and the masks come off, a nerd like Harry could be just the right ignition to set a woman like Lainie on fire.

If you’re in the mood for something light and cute, The Nerd Who Loved Me is just that kind of read.

Harry was adorable and a lot braver than he thought. Lainie was a great mom in an impossible situation. She wanted to be independent and get herself and her son out of the trouble they were in. She wasn’t used to depending on or trusting anyone. Needless to say she was a bit overwhelmed when a group of ex-showgirls, a mob boss and her favorite nerd all came to her rescue… like it or not.

The characters were great, the romance was hot but still really sweet. The situations were crazy and at times laugh out loud worthy. Throw in an adorable, intelligent and witty kid and there’s plenty of fun to go around.

Even though this is the second book in the series, the books don’t seem to be connected at all so I think you’d be fine jumping right in with The Nerd Who Loved Me. If you just can’t read a book out of order based on principle, the first book in the series is Nerd in Shining Armor.

DragonFlyGreen3-5

Bout-of-Books 10.0 Wrap-up

boutofbooks1BlogWell, this was an interesting Bout-of-Books. Turns out, I can’t work semi-full-time, watch my grand daughter AND read a gazillion books all in one week. Okay, maybe ‘gazillion’ is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

Regardless of my lack of reading mojo, I still had a great week and all things considered I’m not disappointed in my progress. I even only strayed once from my predetermined list. That’s got to be a record. I did review every book that I read and got them all posted within the week. I also ONLY read books off of my 2014 Seriously Series Challenge list. And the very best part is that I managed to not only cross 4 books off that list I actually crossed an entire series off the list with one of the books I read. Yay!

The only thing that I really regret is that I didn’t get to participate in any Twitter Chats (I heard they were epic.) I also only got around to participating in one challenge. That makes me sad too because some of them were really creative. *sigh* I did meet a few new bloggers and found a couple of new reads to add to my TBR list.

So what did I read this week? It kinda turned into a ‘S.M. Reine Read-a-thon.’ That was totally unintentional, but once I picked one up I had to pick up the next. Morganville Vampires did make it on my list and I’m sadly coming near the end of that series as well. Here’s what I read last week:

  1. The Darkest Gate (Descent #2) by SM Reine (322 Pages)
  2. Gray Moon Rising (Seasons of the Moon #4) by SM Reine (209 Pages)
  3. New Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon: Cain Chronicles, #1) by S.M. Reine (53 Pages)
  4. Bite Club (Morganville Vampires #10) by Rachel Caine (340 Pages)

My page count total came to 924, which isn’t too bad I suppose.

Now I get to play some more. I’ve already been in touch with the Bout-of-Books 10.0 Grand Prize winner and we’ve started working on dressing up her blog. Stay tuned! Beth at Beth’s Books will have brand new graphics to show off within the next week or so. We’ll both let you know when we’re done ‘playing’ 😉

So how did you do during Bout-of-Books 10.0. Feel free to share. This was the biggest Bout-of-Books yet and I couldn’t be more excited about that. Be sure to drop a huge ‘Thank you!’ to Kelly and Amanda. They work really hard to keep things organized before during and after the event and deserve it. ❤

 

By creativedeeds

Saugatuck Summer by Amelia C. Gormley Virtual Book Tour

SaugatuckSummer_TourBanner(1)

Hi, and welcome to the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! Thank you to Creative Deeds Reads for hosting me today! For those of you who have seen me talking about it on social media for the last nearly year and a half, you know that Saugatuck Summer was a labor of love far beyond what I would normally claim for one of my books. Of course I love them all, but Saugatuck Summer came from my very soul. Actually, I’m not certain it came from me at all.

Basically, here’s what happened: One day I was driving along, running errands, and Topher Carlisle whispered one line of dialogue in my ear. Just one. When I asked him what I was supposed to do with that, he promptly took over my brain for fifteen absolutely insane days and at the end I had the first draft of Saugatuck Summer.

Topher’s story of recovery, hope, making mistakes, and growing up just told itself, and the experience of being the conduit for that was at times grueling and heartbreaking, but also euphoric and wonderful. It was one of those experiences that, as a creator of some form of art, be it musical, visual, or literary, you have once or twice in a lifetime if you’re extraordinarily lucky, when you know you’re creating something magical. I’m not sure it will ever happen to me again, but I feel absolutely blessed that this book has come of it.

This week on the Saugatuck Summer blog tour, I’ll be sharing some bonus content from the book and a sneak peek at another upcoming book in the Saugatuck universe. I’ll also be having a heart-to-heart discussion with Marie Sexton about our experiences as adult children of alcoholics and how they translated into writing our ACOA characters from Saugatuck Summer and Family Man, giving you a peek at some of “Jace’s” art, and I’ll be sharing the official Saugatuck Summer soundtrack from a brilliant singer/songwriter of my personal acquaintance, Casey Stratton.

And finally, all week long I’ll be asking trivia questions from Saugatuck Summer and this week’s blog tour articles, and each correct answer emailed to me offers you a chance to win your choice of any of my backlist titles!

So put on your sunscreen and let’s go!

***

HOW TO WIN YOUR CHOICE OF ANY SINGLE BOOK FROM MY BACKLIST (all-in-one volumes not included):

At each stop along the blog tour I’ll be asking a trivia question from Saugatuck Summer. Yes, this means some familiarity with the book is required, whether you purchase a copy, have an ARC, or employ the Kindle or B&N lending programs. If you visit some of the other blog tour stops, you might also find the answer in some of the excerpts.

PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS. Instead, send the answer to me privately by using this contact form. Each response will enter you into the drawing and three winners will be picked. The more questions you answer, the more entries you get. You can choose from any of the following titles:

Inertia (Impulse, Book One)
Acceleration (Impulse, Book Two)
Velocity (Impulse, Book Three)
The Laird’s Forbidden Lover
An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2)
Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3)
Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4)
To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5)
Strain

(Note: Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) is already available free at Riptide, and my pre-Saugatuck novella, The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, is available for free at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and elsewhere.)

Again, please do not post your answer in the comments, but submit it to me privately.

To give people time to read and respond, the contest will remain open for one month after the release of Saugatuck Summer. It will close on June 19, and the drawing will be held on June 20.

Today’s Saugatuck Summer trivia question

Chapter 35, who does Topher write an email to?

***

SaugatuckSummer_500x750One summer can change everything.

Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.

My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.

Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.

***

Be sure to check out the Saugatuck Summer soundtrack by singer/songwriter Casey Stratton!

Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.

Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major online book retailers, and be sure to check Riptide for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), the post-apocalyptic romance, Strain, and her upcoming, New Adult contemporary, Saugatuck Summer, available now.

You can contact Amelia on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, BookLikes, Tumblr, or contact her by email using the form at http://ameliacgormley.com/about/

By creativedeeds

Saugatuck Summer by Amelia C. Gormley

SaugatuckSummer_TourBanner(1)

SaugatuckSummer_500x750One summer can change everything.

Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.

My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.

Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I have to admit, when I first read the description for Saugatuck Summer I came close to passing it by. I avoid teenage angst at all costs and this had angst written all over it. Something kept pulling me back to this one though and I’m glad it did. Just so you know, the description doesn’t do it justice.

Topher was one of those kids that you just couldn’t help but like. I loved his personality and his determination to rise above his family’s expectations. He walked away when it was the only thing he could do to keep his sanity and self esteem. Dysfunctional was a mild way to describe Topher’s family. Even knowing that didn’t keep him from being harder on himself than anyone else. My heart broke for him more than once in Saugatuck Summer.

Then there was Jace. Topher actually met him earlier in the story. They had a fling and the whole time I was reading about their connection I kept thinking how much easier things would have been for all of them if that first meeting had grown into something else. A lot happened in between that initial meeting and when they were brought back together. In the beginning Topher was attracted to Jace, by the time they met each other again Jace was there to pick up the pieces. They had a whole different connection that I don’t think would have meant as much… sometimes timing is everything.

Inside Topher’s head wasn’t always a fun or even comfortable place to be, but I loved getting to know him. Jace had a few skeletons of his own that he used to help Topher put things into perspective. The supporting cast of characters were great… even the ones that I didn’t like. There were a couple that I went back and forth on and some that I admired from the first time they were introduced. This is my first Amelia C. Gormley read, but it definitely won’t be my last. The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams is a pre-Saugatuck Summer novella that is in my immediate reading future. Stay tuned. 😉

DragonFlyGreen4-5

Bite Club (Morganville Vampires #10) by Rachel Caine – Bout-of-Books 10.0 Review

BiteClubAfter discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There’s a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare—knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other—or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire—accompanied by her friends and frenemies—to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville.

Well, this one wasn’t easy to read. I knew going in (because some of my blogger buddies warned me) that this one wasn’t going to be my favorite. Sometimes those warnings are good and sometimes they give you a jaded view going in that you just can’t shake. I don’t think that happened to me, but you never know.

Rachel Caine did something totally different with Bite Club. She got in someone else’s head. Readers are used to getting everything from Claire’s POV. In Bite Club readers were given glimpses of what was going through Shane’s mind. His POV was more like a diary than the 3rd person account that readers get from Claire. I didn’t mind it, but it’s worth mentioning since it seemed to throw some readers off. Plus, being inside Shane’s head in Bite Club wasn’t a happy place to be. At all. He was angry, confused, bitter and depressed and under the control of people who used that to their advantage.

Bite Club was also hard to read because readers are used to the occupants of Glass House working together to fight off the bad guys. With Shane out of the equation they were not only down one man, it ended up being Michael, Eve and even Claire against Shane… more than once.

The rest of the story was pretty normal… bad guys (and girls) you thought were gone come back, vampires square off against humans, Oliver can’t be trusted, Amalie is unpredictable and Myrnin is crazy… yep, pretty normal for Morganville. Normal, but not predictable. Never predictable. That’s one of the things that I like most about this series. Even if you think you know what’s going to happen, things can change in a heart beat… or maybe ‘blink of an eye’ would be a better term to use when talking about the residents of Morganville 😉

Next up is Last Breath and it’s waiting for me on my bookshelf. I’m seriously close to finishing this series. Which reminds me. I just crossed another book off my Seriously Series reading list 😉

DragonFlyRating5

SeriouslySeries2014

New Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon: Cain Chronicles #1) by S.M. Reine – Bout-of-Books 10.0 Review

NewMoonSummerRylie is Alpha: the leader of the werewolves. They’re an endangered species living in a sanctuary, and she’s guarded them for two peaceful years.

The peace is shattered when somebody sends Rylie a threatening silver bullet. A new member of the pack goes missing. And to make things worse, her inner beast is strangely attracted to her boyfriend’s brother, leaving her torn between the love of two men–one of them a werewolf, and the other a former hunter.

Okay, I admit it. I finished the last book in the Seasons of the Moon series and I just couldn’t say goodbye. Crazy, I know, but such is the life of a book addict 😉

The approach of this series is a little different than the Seasons of the Moon. Basically because the first 4 installments are short (this one was only 53 pages.) That doesn’t mean that it is lacking though. An awful lot happened in those 53 pages. The pack has fallen into a routine and they’re even growing in numbers. Both sanctuaries are running full force with Rylie watching over the wolves in her pack. She’s still not comfortable running things alone, but she has plenty of support from both Seth and Abel.

In true S.M. Reine fashion, things don’t stay peaceful for long. There’s tension within the pack and danger from outside it. Then there’s the fact that there’s something going on between Rylie and Abel that even they’re not sure about. I’m not sure I’m happy with where things are going – even knowing where they end up (just another friendly warning to read these series in the right order.)

CainChroniclesI picked up the first book in this series by itself then I immediately got my hands on the box set that contains books 1-4. It’s about the size of a short novel combined (246 pages) and it’s really broken up into ‘episodes’ instead of books. I’m pretty sure that’s how I’m going to read and review the rest of it. Mainly because the cliff hanger in New Moon Summer was brutal… o.O

DragonFlyRating5

SeriouslySeries2014

Gray Moon Rising (Seasons of the Moon #4) by S.M. Reine – Bout-of-Books 10.0 Review

GrayMoonRisingIt’s been almost a year since Rylie Gresham was bitten by a werewolf on Gray Mountain. Now something is beckoning her back to the place she was attacked, along with every other werewolf in the world. But they aren’t the only ones heeding the call. A group of hunters notices them gathering and sees it as their chance to wipe out the entire species.

Seth is about to graduate high school when he learns of the final hunt. He secretly plans to save Rylie and his werewolf brother even though he has to play along with the hunters to do it. But Rylie doesn’t want to be saved. She’s already decided to solve her problems with a silver bullet if answers aren’t waiting on Gray Mountain.

One way or another, everything is about to end—whether it means Rylie’s liberation or the end of her life.

The beginning of this book was tough to read. Rylie is in so much pain… both physical and emotional. She doesn’t want to be the ‘monster’ that she’s become. She’s at the sanctuary to get better and gain control, but she has spent most of the time there hiding and protecting everyone from her wolf. She’s not trying to cope, she’s not even trying to survive.

Seth was doing better than Rylie, but the fact that he hadn’t heard from her or seen her was always weighing heavy on him. He had faith in Rylie. Besides missing her, he was happier than he had ever been. Then his mother comes back and everything changes.

This book is our first real introduction to the Union. If you’re reading these books in the correct order, just know that this will not be the last time you meet them. They have two goals: to protect humans and to destroy werewolves. The problem is that things aren’t black and white. There is both good and evil on both sides and Gray Moon Rising makes that point more than once.

Gray Moon Rising also introduced characters that readers will see later series. It was kind of fun picking them out. Of course I wouldn’t have noticed it if I hadn’t done such an amazing job of screwing up the reading order, but I’m trying my best to catch up… or back? Regardless, I’m enjoying getting to know these characters in a different light. This book also melted some of my not so friendly feelings toward Abel and helped me even like him just a little.

Even though this book marks the end of the Seasons of the Moon series, the story is far from over. As a matter of fact, the ending is kind of open ended. It lays the perfect ground work for what’s to come and not just in the Cain Chronicles, which  continues the story of Seth, Riley and Abel. Seasons of the Moon is just the beginning of a wild, intricately woven, scary, crazy world that S.M. Reine has created. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

DragonFlyRating5

SeriouslySeries2014