Saturday, July 26, 2014

**#COYER Review ~ Come Back ~ JA Huss**

CoyerSummerVacation

***

Come Back (Dirty,  Dark, And Deadly #2)
by JA Huss
Genre: Erotic Suspense
Release Date: July 21, 2014
Source: I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I also purchased an ecopy.
Rating: 5 Bookworms

Synopsis
“Secrets keep the darkness alive,” Harper tells me. But that’s not how I see it at all. Secrets keep me alive. The truth is overrated. Honesty is never the best policy. And when your job involves killing the most dangerous men on earth, knowing more than you should, will get you killed.

"Death is a business deal," I tell her back. And I make that deal every chance I get. Secrets are currency in my world. I pay my debts with them. I feed on them. They ground me in the present and they promise me a future.

But Harper Tate is everything I've ever wanted. She is my promise, she is my past, she is my future. She can be mine. She will be mine. All I have to do is complete the mission.

There's just one problem.

I have no idea what it is.






I have reviewed more books by JA Huss on my blog than by any other author. Yep, I've read everything she's written - at least all her fiction. :) And every time she blows me away. She has this way of writing a pulse-pounding, suspenseful story. She creates these characters that are flawed and so real you can't help but love them - even if they're not exactly the definition of a 'good guy'. And all her stories are like puzzles. She gives you a little piece here and a funny-shaped piece there - you think you've found the perfect place for the pieces and then she knocks the table and all the pieces are scrambled again. *sigh* And I love her writing all the more for keeping me guessing.

Come Back provides several more pieces to the James and Harper puzzle. We see them, along with the newest member of their 'team', Sasha, moving towards an end goal. However, they each just might have different end goals. They're not sure they can trust one another and yet they're the only ones they have to trust. And they all believe they're being set up but don't know by whom. Nor are they sure who's working for whom.

James and Harper's relationship moves forward and then seems to take two steps back. James makes very clear his end goal where Harper is concerned. But Harper is leery. For her part, Harper is falling - and falling hard for James. I liked the history between them that was revealed. And it provided another small piece in the puzzle. 

I can't imagine living the sort of life these three have. But Huss does a great job of conveying it. And it seems as though Harper was untouched, relatively, by the life her father has given her. Then we see just how much that world touched her. 

I was thrilled with the reappearance of Sasha. We first meet Sasha in Slack and she stole my heart right along with Ford's. This is a worldly, world-weary 13 year old, despite not having traveled all that much. She was raised around the 'business' and she is a tough cookie. She doesn't pull any punches and will call James on his shit. Sasha definitely kept things interesting.

So, I loved every nail-biting, head-scratching, confounding minute of Come Back. I think I picked out some corner pieces of the puzzle. I can't make out any of the pieces that are going to fill in the final puzzle...well, I could put forth a few theories on what I think the final picture will be but knowing Huss, I'm completely wrong. I can't wait for the next pieces to be revealed and I'm absolutely certain I'll enjoy the assembly.



**Sidekick Showcase ~ #50**



Sidekick Showcase (previously known as Sidekick Saturday) is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in this week's type

• Share a picture (if possible) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• Put your link in the Linky thing and comment


**********************************
Wow! This is my 50th Sidekick Showcase post!
I hope y'all enjoy this firecracker of a girl. ;)

July's themes are Patriot, Red-head, or Firecracker

My pick this week:
Sasha Churin

from JA Huss' Slack and her Dirty, Dark, & Deadly Series

We first met Sasha in Slack. I fell for her immediately. She knew how to needle Ford and that is hard to do. Sasha hasn't had the best of luck lately but she doesn't give herself time to feel sorry for herself. This 13 year old girl knows how to handle herself AND a gun. She's intelligent and straight-shooter - both literally and figuratively.  ;)

***

"You friend is buying guns from my dad, doofus. Do I look stupid? I know what you guys do."
-Sasha to Ford, Slack

"Yeah," she says with a sigh. "You guys never have girlfriends. I used to think your work looked exciting, but then I figured out you have no lives. No offense," she says with a shrug.
-Sasha to Ford, Slack

"I know what I'm up against. You don't have to sugar-coat life for me. I'm used to living the lie. I'm used to living with death now."
-Sasha to James, Come Back


"I was never in Cheyenne. Sorry, Smurf."
"No, but you were in Boise that year I turned nine. You bought four FN Five-SeveNs and two thousand rounds of cartridges. That was a nice paycheck for us. We bought that cabin. You know, the one where my father was killed."
-James and Sasha, Come Back

"Can you make sure if I die, then I don't die for nothing?"
-Sasha to James, Come Back

"I tell you what. If you hit that target in this light, I'll let you keep that gun forever. We can trade, huh? I'll take that Glock off your hands and you can have this Five-SeveN."
She gets a wide grin but tries to hide it. "I can hit that target."
-James and Sasha, Come Back

"Are you a bad guy, James?"
I nod slowly. "Yes."
"I'm a bad guy too."
-Sasha and James, Come Back

"Ha," Sasha says from the back seat. "James, you really are the big bad wolf. He was gonna tell Merc wolves ate me out on the prairies if I didn't behave, Harper. You better watch out."
-Sasha, Come Back

"You're wrong. I'm on his side, so if you're not, then it's you who's on the wrong side."
-Sasha to Harper, Come Back

Friday, July 25, 2014

**#COYER Review ~ The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones ~ Ellen Harger**

CoyerSummerVacation



The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones
The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones by Ellen Harger
Release Date: July 21, 2014
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

Synopsis
An apartment fire costs everything, including the illusion of a tolerable marriage.

Gillian is depressed, her moods shifting like earthquakes raising deep, roiling anger. Convinced her friends and family won't understand, she turns to strangers through a blog she writes as Mrs. Jones, a nondescript anyone.

Despite exposing herself on the internet, she assumes no one will notice her among millions of voices. Cathartic writing helps her to transform as she makes new friends, seeks help from a non-traditional therapist, and considers divorce.

Then Mr. Write answers. A strange man who asks questions, who peels away the layers. Gillian finds love, but life is absurdly stubborn. She must confront her husband, Evan, before she can move on.




The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones is a well-crafted, provocative, and moving novel. Told, in part, through blog posts and comments, it is a unique look at soul searching and finding a second chance at love.

Gillian is trapped. Trapped in a mediocre job. Trapped in a marriage. Trapped in the chair her depression won't let her leave. Following a fire where she and her husband lose everything, Gillian and Evan seem to have lost each other as well. After almost a year, Gillian feels it's time to make some changes. She begins seeing a therapist, accepts the offer of friendship from a coworker, asks Evan for a divorce, moves in with a roommate, and she starts an anonymous blog.

It is through all these changes that Gillian begins on the path of finding herself. Oh, she changes and had changed following the fire. But she finds the Gillian at her core - her inner self - and that's what leads her towards love.

The blog allows Gillian to express herself and explore herself in a way where there is no judgement. She finds a lot of freedom in this. Particularly when Mr. Write, whom Gillian began writing to as Mrs. Jones, answers her. Mrs. Jones and Mr. Write really converse with one another and, in turn, realize what they're missing...what they want in life.

I think there is probably a point in every marriage where one or both spouses wonder whether or not the marriage is built to last. So I could relate to Gillian's feelings. I enjoyed living through Gillian's soul searching experiences. She found friends and new hobbies. She learned things about herself - about her needs in a relationship and how to just be. I think her most important lesson was how to communicate. Through everything - but especially the connection with Mr. Write, Gillian was able to shed her old self and embrace the new Gillian. And she was able to fall in love.

I love stories of second chances. The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones is endearing and fulfilling. Ms. Harger drew me into Gillian's life and struggles. And in the end, I was happy to have been on the journey with her.




I’m a word gypsy and emotion sifter, writing about broken condoms, unhappy marriages and women’s issues at the chick-lit end of women’s fiction and women’s fiction end of chick-lit.
I believe great storytelling asks readers to confront what they've stuffed deep down. We all get blinded by emotion and stuck in ruts. In June 2005, I woke up to a wall of fire. Watching the flames eat away my life was my biggest turning point in life. 

My first novel Strong Enough released February 2013. My sophomore work, The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones, debuts this July.

Find us at: ellenharger.com. Contact me at ellen@ellenharger.com.

**Contest ~ Win a Custom Handbag from Karen Booth**

Hey y'all! Karen Booth, the fabulous author of Bring Me Back and Back Forever, to name a few, is running a contest. And it's so easy to enter to win. All you have to do is sign up to receive Karen's newsletter. Easy-peasy, right? 

Here's the link to Karen's blog, where you can sign up for her newsletter. The contest ends on July 28th, so go sign up NOW!

http://karenbooth.net/news/contest-win-handbag-made

And here's a look at those handbags!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

**Blog Tour Author Interview & Favorite Quotes ~ Soul Twister ~ Robyn Jones**


Welcome to my second stop on the blog tour for Robyn Jones' Soul Twister. Today, I have my interview with Robyn along with some of my favorite quotes from Soul Twister. And don't forget to enter the TWO giveaways! :)

This blog tour was organized by Jaclyn @JC's Book Haven.

***
Soul Twister by Robyn Jones
Touched Girl #3
Release Date: July 21, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. And then I purchased my own copy today!
Rating: 5 Bookworms

Synopsis
Months into recovering from the bloody events that took place in Soul Bender, Anna Pierce is ready to get back out there and fulfill her self-crafted destiny. Sadly, no one in her life feels the same way. The emergence of buried memories and out-of-the-blue powers send her straight into regular sessions with the school counselor. If only she could talk about her overly protective vampire boyfriend or the real threat posed by former friends turned enemies or her new guide who makes her former guide look like a bowl of sunshine. Anna has a lot going on, but at least she's too busy to think about her first Christmas at Ella's.





Hey Robyn! Thanks for stopping by to chat about the latest release in your Touched Girl series. So, why are readers going to love Soul Twisted?

Anna’s growing up. Her relationship with Peter is more than starry-eyed lovers constantly daydreaming about each other. They bicker and have to find a way through their fears. I love the bad guys in this one and the steamy scenes even make me blush. Plus, Anna’s snark level is growing thanks to Betsy’s influence.

I know your vampire mythology is original. Did you make up the mythology surrounding Touched Girls or did that come from different sources?

I’ve always been a daydreamer. When I wasn’t imagining the loud speakers in school suddenly calling me to the office to tell me I could go home, I was taking the stories (mostly TV shows) I loved and going off in my own direction. Creating Anna’s world of supernaturals was so much fun! One second I’d be driving Will to school and the next I’d be deep in a brainstorming session in my head (and he’d be late because I missed the turn).

Forgiveness and redemption are big themes in this series. Why make these so important? Is this your way of working through these questions or a way of making readers ponder them?

Oh wow. I guess I don’t understand forgiveness all too well. How does a person forgive? I see it all the time in the movies, on Oprah when I was a kid, in books, and I still don’t know how a person reaches that point. Anna kept her voice from her parents, not to be cruel, but she still can’t forgive herself. She and I are working through this conundrum together. 

I love Anna's theory on how myths and legends are created. Is this something you too believe, or did you create the idea simply as a part of Anna's character?

I came up with the idea for Anna, but it came so easily and felt so right, I bet if the world suddenly got a lot more supernatural, I’d come up with similar ideas. 

5) How long do I have to wait for Touched Girl #4???

Not as long as you had to wait for Anna 3. Promise.


***Favorite Quotes***

"Yeah, I know the routine, 'Anna I have to go. I don't love you anymore. You're too weird and scary.'" -Anna to Peter

"She doesn't hold a grudge." Cody said from the couch. "She does," I said. "Yes, but you forgive a great deal, Anna." -Cody & Anna

"How did...How do you feel about" This time I hushed him with a hard kiss.
"When I thought about you feeding later, I was jealous for the first time, not because of the girl, but because it wasn't me." -Peter & Anna

"You're hell-bent on making a move for my girl. How many kisses is that now? I already know. I don't want you to do it again." -Peter to Trent

"Go. You say I'm not like other girls and you're wrong. Because just like any other girl in love with a boy who rejects her so carelessly, I'm hurt. I'm pissed and you are kicked out, Mister." Anna to Peter

"I can't believe you get to have her," Cody whined. - Cody to Peter



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I laugh when people fall down. It's a glitch in my programming, but even my mom has suffered this quirk. I have a BA in Studio Art from the University of Puget Sound. 

My boys make me laugh every day. I steal pens; I try real hard not to. I collect those free bookmarks at the checkout counter at libraries. I've had more stitches than anyone I know. I love stories; writing them, reading them, watching them. You can email me at robgirlbooks@gmail.com.




**Release Day Blitz ~ Red & Wolfe: Part 4 ~ Ella James**


This is an erotic fairy tale inspired by Little Red Riding Hood.
The first installment was originally featured in the BEND Anthology.
NOW AVAILABLE
The Final Installment of the Red & Wolfe by Ella James!

Purchase your copy today!
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Still Haven't Read the Rest of the Series?

Red & Wolfe: Part 1 by Ella James
Contemporary
Erotica 35 Pages

When Sarah "Red" Ryder loses her job as an art critic for a Boston newspaper, she's brokenhearted. Worse than that? She's broke. Her boyfriend recently left her - for a tatted-up hottie with a dick - so she's stuck paying her hefty apartment rent alone. After two months unemployed, there's no money left. With no immediate family to turn to, Red reaches out to her estranged grandmother, a reclusive writer living on an island off the coast of Charleston. Several days later, Red receives $30,000 and an invitation to visit.

James Wolfe is not Red's grandmother. But he beckons her. Red has the ability to give him something he needs. He won't take "no" for an answer, and he doesn't mind screwing her over. He lost his conscience six years ago, when he was tried for the murder of his wife. Since then, life is about him - and the paintings he does under the mysterious pseudonym "W."

Wolfe needs the island to keep painting. To live his life away from prying eyes. To keep up the anonymity of "W."

Once he sees Red, he finds that he needs her, too. And Wolfe will have her. 
Any way he can.


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Red & Wolfe: Part 2 by Ella James
Contemporary Erotica 65 Pages
Return to Rabbit Island for the erotic second installment of Red & Wolfe, the sensual story of exiled playboy James Wolfe and writer Sarah "Red" Ryder.

Continue the story for just 99 cents!

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Red & Wolfe: Part 3 by Ella James
Contemporary Erotica
55 pages
Return to Rabbit Island with Red & the illusive Rafe for the hottest serial installment so far. I'd bring at least two pairs of extra panties if I were you.

Continue the story for just .99 cents!
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**That's What HE Said ~ #10**



That's What He Said is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies @Chapter Break. Here's the deal: every Thursday, post a line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind, these are direct quotes from dialog in the books. The quote doesn't have to be romantic - just something our hunky hero said to his lucky lady. Be sure to link up over at Chapter Break as well.

This week, since I'm kinda showcasing two books, I'm cheating and picking my That's What He Said from both.

***

Come Back by JA Huss

"I love you for who you are. I love you right now, everything about you. I want you the way you are. I wouldn't change a thing, Lionfish. Not a damn thing."
-James to Harper

*****

Soul Twister by Robyn Jones

"In all my years, Anna, human and vampire, I've never felt craving to the magnitude that you carry for me. It drives me crazy. It fills you up. It fills me up."
-Peter to Anna

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

**Blitz & Giveaway ~ Come Back ~ JA Huss**


Guess what?!? Come Back, by the uber-talented JA Huss released! I'm almost done reading it...and it's fan-freakin-tastic! Here are the details, an excerpt, and a giveaway you tide y'all over until my review posts. ;)


***
Come Back (Dirty,  Dark, And Deadly #2)
by JA Huss
Genre: Erotic Suspense
Release Date: July 21, 2014

Synopsis
“Secrets keep the darkness alive,” Harper tells me. But that’s not how I see it at all. Secrets keep me alive. The truth is overrated. Honesty is never the best policy. And when your job involves killing the most dangerous men on earth, knowing more than you should, will get you killed.

"Death is a business deal," I tell her back. And I make that deal every chance I get. Secrets are currency in my world. I pay my debts with them. I feed on them. They ground me in the present and they promise me a future.

But Harper Tate is everything I've ever wanted. She is my promise, she is my past, she is my future. She can be mine. She will be mine. All I have to do is complete the mission.

There's just one problem.

I have no idea what it is.







Merc picks up on the second ring too. I love consistency. "Jasus fucking Christ, where the hell have you been?"

"Traveling. You think I have hidden wormholes I can pop in and out of to get places or what?"

"Yeah, well, Twifter is not happy, asshole."

"Twifter can kiss my ass. None of that shit this morning was me. But anyway, we're here. Thanks for the beer." I take a swig and let out a long, "Ahhh," trying to piss off Merc, but that's when I see the Smurf watching me from the jail cell up on the foyer terrace. "Call you later," I say, and then I press end on the phone. "What the fuck you doing up there?"

"Who the hell were you talking to?" she snarls back.

"Merc." I hold up my beer and give her a pretend cheers.

"Obviously that phone call was Merc. Before Merc, who the hell were you talking to?"

"My secretary." She stares at me and them gets up and walks to the jail cell door. That little shit was sleeping up in that jail cell. What a freak. "Why?" I ask her. "You got a problem with me making calls?"

She walks towards the steps and stops at the top. She's all sweaty and flushed from the heat, and her hair is still wet from her earlier shower. The scratches from the thorn run-in this morning are still there, but now that the dried blood has been properly washed away, they are not so bad. She looks better and worse all at the same time. She looks unstable.


"When you make a call to an associate from a phone that's supposedly not secure, a phone that had some cryptic message you tried to blame on me, then year. I have a big fucking problem."

"Watch your fucking mouth around me, kid. Or I'll smack the shit out of it."

She reaches behind her and pulls out a gun and points it at me. "Is that right?"

"You better shoot me right the fuck now. Because if you don't, I'll kill you just for pointing that weapon at me."

She reevaluates her target and decides on a spot above my head. Smurfette is clever. "Who were you talking to?"

I eye the diameter of the chamber on her weapon and guesstimate .40. "You sure you can handle that thing? It's got a nice kick to it. And if you miss me, I won't miss you."

"I don't miss. And I've been shooting this Glock for a while now. So I'll happily take my chances. Now, who were you talking to?"

"I already told you. My secretary, checking for messages. And Merc, returning a call."

"You were checking in. Who's running this operation?"

"I thought you knew?"

She thinks about this for a few seconds. Gives it some consideration before she answers. "I know who I'm working for. I know who sent you to get me. And I don't think we're on the same side anymore."

"That's too bad then," I tell her with a shrug of my shoulders. "I was just beginning to like you. I was starting to hope I wouldn't have to kill you."
"Funny," she says with a coolness that sends a chill up my arm. "I was thinking the same thing."




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JA Huss is the USA Today best-selling author of the Rook and Ronin series, the epic science fiction I Am Just Junco series, and hundreds of kid-friendly science books in subjects such as biology, physics, anatomy and physiology, astronomy, and forensics. She has an undergraduate degree in equine science and a master's degree in forensic toxicology. She has never taken a creative writing class and she hopes she never will.