Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blitz & Giveaway - The Fallen Body by Stone Patrick

Release date: November 5th 2013
Publisher: Xlibris
Purchase: Amazon 

Add on Goodreads

About the book:

Taylour Dixxon, a modern day small-town lawyer in the beautiful hilly country of Central Texas, befriends Sarah Cockrell Baines, a New Jersey socialite and millionairess. 

As their friendship begins, Sarah is arrested for the murder of her husband and is put into jail. When Taylour volunteers to defend Sarah, she has no idea that her struggling solo practice in the sleepy, fictional, small town of Marlinsville, Texas, will be turned upside down. 

From a lovable, adolescent nephew who moves in with her, to a hired assassin who is determined to hide the truth, and a handsome Texas Ranger who becomes the object of affection in a love triangle between the two friends, Taylour’s life will never be the same.
Just as Taylour was about to pick up her fork and dive in, Sarah asked if she could say grace. 

"Lord, we thank thee for this meal that thou hast provided, and the hands that have helped prepare it. We thank thee, Father, for all that thou hast given us this day. For old friendships, and new." She squeezed Taylour’s hand, and continued. 

"Lord, we now ask thee to watch over us, to protect us from evil, and to keep us always on the path of righteousness." Taylour cleared her throat and swallowed. Sarah continued. 

"Finally, Lord, we ask thee to--" 

The front door slammed open. It rocked the foundation with such force that it nearly broke off the hinges. Men in black streamed in, guns pointing and sweeping the corners. Yells of "Texas Rangers, don't move!" reverberated off the walls. Taylour dived under the table, but Sarah remained seated, unmoving. The lead shooter aimed his weapon squarely at Taylour’s head, and then shouted, "Get up! Get up off the floor! Now!" 
Taylour hastened to comply, her hands behind her head. "What is going on?" 
Sounds of "Clear!" throughout the house, but no one answered Taylour’s question, which seemed to hang in the air. 

"I demand to know what is going on here!" 

"All clear!" yelled the lead shooter, and then a tall man with thick gray hair emerged. He was wearing a non-descript suit and tie, with a slight bump under his right arm. He had a small but distinctive scar on his right temple. He replaced his Glock 17 into his chest holster with his left hand and marched towards Taylour with his badge in his right hand, which he promptly put back in his pocket. Taylour’s blood boiled, and just as she was about to let out another protest, he stopped her with his index finger. 

"Are you Sarah Baines?" he asked.

"What? There's no Sarah Baines--"

"How did you find me?"
They both turned to see Sarah, still seated. Her hands were flat on the table, and she sat unmoving, not from fear, but from acceptance of her fate. She finally pushed herself away and asked again, "How did you find me so quickly?" 

The tall man pulled a photo from his suit pocket. He squinted at the photo, then back at Sarah. 

"You changed your hair. It used to be platinum blond, if this picture is accurate." Sarah's hair was black, jet black, and she had it cut to the length of her shoulders. A feeling of dread came over Taylour. Who is this person? 

The tall man motioned for Taylour to sit down. "Philip Davidson, Texas Rangers. We have been looking for a fugitive, someone by the name of Sarah Baines, a.k.a. Sarah Cockrell. She is sitting at this table, and I am here to arrest her." 

"On what charges, Mr. Davidson?" Taylour said. 

"Are you her lawyer?" he smirked. 

"As a matter of fact, I am." 

Sarah looked at Taylour with pleading in her eyes. Taylour gave her a curt nod, set her jaw, and leaned towards Philip Davidson, staring him straight in the eye. 

He squinted right back at Taylour and gave her a hard smile. Without looking in Sarah’s direction, he said crisply, "Sarah Cockrell Baines, you are under arrest for the murder of Neal Baines, your husband." 

About the author

Stone Patrick is a pseudonym for Taylor Stonely, who has a day job working for a financial services company. He received a BS degree from Brigham Young in 1991 and an MBA degree from the University of Phoenix in 2002. He currently resides in north Texas with his wife and four children. While he is a frequent blogger on his website,www.taylorsbookpub.com, "The Fallen Body" is his debut suspense novel.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Series: Dark Metropolis #1
Release date: June 17th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.

My thoughts:

I fell in love with Jaclyn Dolamore's writing style while reading Magic Under Glass and was eager to read her newest release, Dark Metropolis.  The story is very different from anything I have recently read which just added to my enjoyment. The characters were easy to connect with. I typically don't enjoy an alternating POV, but in Dark Metropolis it works beautifully and adds layers of depth to an already intricate story. The characters were all unique and interesting. 

The setting was beyond cool. The world building was perfect.  I loved the post-war alternate reality and all the political intrigue. I was fully invested in the story after just one chapter. I especially enjoyed scenes that took place at the Telephone Club where characters Thea and Nan worked. It had the feel of a historical novel (which I love), but the alternate world elements gave it an edge that made this novel addictive.

Dark Metropolis is a very fast paced read. The mystery elements made this a difficult book to put down. I kept allowing myself "just one more chapter", only to discover I'd almost finished the entire thing in one sitting. The plot moved quickly and as soon as I felt like I'd figured it all out a new twist was presented. I haven't had a book suck me in like this one managed to in a very long time. I was thoroughly impressed with how unpredictable this story was.  A perfect blend of magic and mystery.

Add Dark Metropolis on Goodreads 

About the author

Jaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and plot-sounding-board, Dade, and two black tabbies who have ruined her carpeting.

Find her on the web


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blitz & Giveaway - My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter

Release date: June 3rd 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Purchase: Amazon
Add on Goodreads

Colette has been bored and lonely ever since her best friend, Sadie, dumped her the summer before they stared high school. She tries to be perfect for everyone left in her life: her parents, her younger brothers, her church youth group, even her boyfriend, Mark. But Colette is restless. And she misses Sadie.

When Sadie tells Colette that she needs her old friend to join her on a family vacation to the Greek Islands, one that leaves in only a few days, Colette is shocked to hear their old magic word: need. And she finds herself agreeing.

Colette tries to relax and enjoy her Grecian surroundings but it’s not easy to go on vacation with the person who hurt you most in the world. When the reason for the trip finally surfaces, Colette finds out this is not only a fun vacation. Sadie has kept an enormous secret from Colette for years...forever. It’s a summer full of surprises, but that might be what Colette needs.
Dad pulls up to the curb outside the international terminal. 

When he looks at me, his eyes aren’t so wild anymore. They almost look sad. “You ready?” 

“what’s going on, Dad?” I ask. It hits me that he somehow snuck me out of the house and now he’s ready to push me onto an airplane to some distant island, but he still hasn’t said anything real. 

He shrugs. “Mom’s not always right,” he says. 

But she is. 

His eyes fall to his lap. “Neither am I,” he says. “Call your mother. Say good-bye.” 

My hands shake as I finally turn on my phone. 

She answers before the first ring. “Don’t get on that airplane, Colette,” she says, “Know that I don’t approve of this.” 

“You know?” I ask. 

“Your father left a note. Colette...” She trials off. “You heard me tell you not to go, right?” 

“Yes,” I say. 

“Well if you go anyway, be safe. Protect your body and your soul. I changed your phone plan so you can only call home, okay? It’s too expensive for you to call Louisa and Mark willy-nilly.” Mark. “But call when you arrive, okay? So we don’t have to worry.” 

“Okay,” I say. 

My hands aren’t shaking anymore. I’m relieved to hear her sound like any-old-mom. 

“And, honey?” she says. She says it so softly I think she’s going to tell me to have a nice time. Or that she loves me. 


“I hope you understand what a terrible choice you’re making.” 

She hangs up. 

I stare at the phone in my palm. 

“She okay?” Dad says finally. 

I shrug. 

We get out of the car and I spot Sadie and her family climbing out of a limo curbed fifty feet away. She jumps up and down as soon as she sees me, her now purple-and-blond hair waving across her face. I can’t help smiling. I can see her mouth moving even from here. “You came! You came!” 

I give my dad a quick hug, pull out my suitcase, yank up the handle of my rolly bag, and take my first step as the new, imperfect Coley. 

“Colette?” Dad says. 

I turn around, ready for him to sit me back in the car, to tell me this was all a test that I failed. Instead he holds out his hand and shoves a stack of bills into my fist. “For whatever you need, little lady. Have fun. I—we. We love you.” 

Then he’s gone. 

“Coley!” Sadie is running toward me so quickly that I only have a second to open my phone and click on my good-morning text from Mark. 

“One more day! I love you!” the message says. 

My heart beats faster and salt water threatens to escape from behind my eyeballs and I know he deserves so much better than this, so much more explanation, so much more of me. And me, too. I know I deserve a better good-bye than I’m going to be able to give him. But I only have ten seconds before she reaches me, before it’s time, before the bell rings on my perfect life and I dive into the drama with Sadie. 

I type the seven letters i-m s-o-r-r-y. Then I press Send. 

Here we go.
About the author:
Caela Carter grew up in Basking Ridge, NJ and Baltimore, MD. She's been writing since she learned how to pick up a pen but before the writing thing got serious she spent six years teaching English to middle and high school students in Jacksonville, FL and Chicago, IL.  Her debut novel, ME, HIM, THEM AND IT was published in 2013 by Bloomsbury.  When she's not writing, Caela is a teacher of some awesome teens in Brooklyn, a Notre Dame football enthusiast, and a happy explorer in New York City.