Thursday, 18 December 2014

Blog Tour: Inspire by Cora Carmack Excerpt and Giveaway

Today, we're very excited to be hosting Cora Carmack as she returns to self-publishing with paranormal NA! 

Before we get to the excerpt, what exactly is this book about?

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

Crazy pants awesome, right? So what kind of awesome can you find within the pages?

Gwen calls out a yes, then Lennox is leaving, and Kalli is turning to go back to the dressing room. Before I really think it through, I'm standing.
Her fingers tighten around the curtain, but she doesn't retreat inside. She tosses her head a little, just enough to get her thick curls to swing over her shoulder, and then she looks at me over her shoulder.

"Hey." Her voice is quiet, and I'm incredibly aware that my little sister is just a curtain away. All I want to do is push Kalli into that dressing room and press her against the wall and show her just what she missed when she snuck out of my apartment.

But I can't.
"I didn't realize this place has clothes for adults."
"It doesn't." Her body is still turned away from me, like she's going to bolt any second. "Lennox is studying fashion design. She's part of a showcase coming up in a couple months, and I'm her ..." She pauses, as if searching for the word. "I'm her friend. I just play mannequin for her on occasion."
"Mannequin?" Lennox calls out from where she's flipping through hangers on a nearby rack. "I heard that! Mannequins are plastic. Mannequins are scary life-size fake people with curiously absent genitalia. Mannequins might one day come to life and kill us all."
The smile Kalli sends in her friend's direction is small, but striking. It's one of those moments where a picture is worth a thousand words. Ten thousand. I don't even know that it's something that could really be captured with anything other than the eye.
And there I go again. What is it about this girl that turns me into such a fool? Or maybe it’s not her at all. Maybe I’ve lost some confidence over the last year. When you used to spend your nights in bar after bar with just about any girl you wanted, and you suddenly shift to spending your nights babysitting … it wrecks your head a little.
But still … it feels like more than that with her.  
I've never had to think about what to say to a girl. I like to think I'm fairly charming, and I've always been good at stringing words together. With Kalli ... I'm scared that if I don't reign myself in, I'll frighten her off as I wax poetic about her eyebrows or whatever part of her has caught my attention at the time.
"You are not my mannequin," Lennox says. "You're my muse. Seriously. I was totally stuck on this collection until you came along."
Kalli's eyes flick to mine, and there's something in them. Unease, maybe?
"I'm going to change," she says. And I don't know if she's saying it to me or Lennox or both of us.
Her curtain closes, and I strain my ears to listen for her movements. I think I hear the glide of fabric over her skin before it thumps against the floor. I rest my elbows on my knees and shove my fingers into my hair because now I'm thinking about her body, how it had looked against my sheets. All that smooth, unblemished skin. Perfect. It doesn't seem possible, but her body was the closest damn thing I'd ever seen to it.
*swoons* That Cora. She has a way with words.

AND, you can enter to win a gift card (which you can use to buy Inspire!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Prisoner of Night and Fog
by Anne Blankman

Summary: In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
So... This book was pretty disappointing. It was one of the books I'd been most looking forward to reading this year, and everyone seems to be raving about it in their reviews (or in the ones I've seen at least) so my expectations were high. Unfortunately, it didn't even come close to meeting those expectations.

The biggest problem, probably, was that the first 65-ish% of the book was about as interesting to me as watching paint dry. It shouldn't have been that way, given the subject matter, I should have been unable to put it down but instead I was struggling through it and it took me weeks to get through that part (and the drive to keep reading was purely because I wanted to be done with it and kept waiting to see the amazingness everyone else was talking about).

It got a bit better after that point but it didn't really hook me until the last 50-70 pages but not quite enough to sway my opinion of the book overall too much.

The romance was...well, it was okay. I didn't like the beginning of their relationship, it was dull and seemed kind of rushed but nearer the end, I did like them together. It just wasn't one of those swoony, epic, I-ship-it-so-hard kind of relationships that I love so much in books. That may have been because the characters in general only created a lukewarm reaction from me--I liked them, but I didn't really care too much about what happened to them, they were just there.

I feel like I need to comment on the Hitler stuff. It was - interesting? And quite well executed. I just didn't like it. I've loved books before where real people from history make an appearance (e.g. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh), so I know I could love it... I just didn't in this case.

I don't know if it was because of who the people were (Hitler, Geli, Eva Braun, other famous Nazi's, etc.) or because instead of the characters just making an appearance, it made the main character have a really close relationship to them (I cringed so much every time she called him "Uncle Dolf"), but something about it just didn't sit right with me and I can't pin point why. But, other people love it, so it really is just my own issue and not the book.

Basically, I was bored through a lot of the book and didn't start enjoying it until it was too late. In the end, I guess I liked it, but I'm not sure I liked it enough to want to read the sequel (right now, I'm thinking no but maybe I'll change my mind later). I'd rate it 3 stars out of 5 (but for most people, Julie included, it seems to be a 5 star read).


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up (21) + Maybe Win an Amazon Gift Card

About the gift card
So, before we get to the wrap up part... My friend, Roo, is doing his PhD at St. Andrews university and he needs people to fill out a questionnaire for his thesis. People who participate will be entered into a draw to win a gift card.

It's a questionnaire about how people use Facebook. Anyone who uses Facebook aged 18+ can take part. Participants will have a 1 in 5 chance of winning an Amazon UK gift card.

So... Yeah, it'd be awesome if any of you could help out. He needs 100 people and so far I think he's only got 30. 

 On the Blog


Book Haul

Hear Me by Viv Daniels (egalley via Netgalley)
Inspire by Cora Carmack (egalley via publicist)
Monkey and Duck Quack Up by Jennifer Hamburg (ARC via publicist)
Down for the Count by Christine Bell (freebie on Kindle)
Seduction and Surrender by Cali McKay (freebie on Kindle)
The Star Thief by Jamie Grey (freebie on Kindle)
My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins (UK edition via work)

So this week, I picked up some New Adult I'm psyched for, a random picture book, and a couple freebies. Two of them were actually from last week, but it was late-ish so I didn't get around to adding them. My True Love Gave to Me is one I already had but 9 of the authors did an event at the bookstore I'm working at and some UK copies showed up and since that edition is GORGEOUS, I totally took advantage of the extras.

I also got a few books for Christmas presents but you know...they're presents. 

Books Read


Monkey and Duck Quack Up by Jennifer Hamburg
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

I read Monkey and Duck since it was a picture book and it was pretty cute. But Crimson Bound? Man CRIMSON BOUND. There will be much gushing soon.
Upcoming Reads

...I'm working on a few books's finals time. This is my last full week of classes. I'm not counting on finishing anything.

Odds and Ends 

As mentioned, I'm working at a bookstore! I started at McNally Jackson yesterday. I'm seasonal help, pretty much doing gift wrapping and anything else they might need, but it's still fun to actually work in a bookstore.

How did everybody else's week go?



Book haul

I actually ordered most of these back in December, they just took a while to get here.

For review

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski (from Netgalley) - Loved the first book, hopefully this is just as good.


The Twilight Saga Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer - I have mixed feelings about the Twilight series (the books, I have more issues with the movies), but I did really enjoy the first three books. Someone on youtube was talking Twilight nostalgia and mentioned the guide, and it made me kind of want to read it.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - Been meaning to read this forever, finally getting round to it.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - I have yet to read a book of hers I didn't enjoy.

The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Finally! I loved the first book then had issues finding the rest of the series here (and I ordered the books but the seller screwed up and had to cancel the order so I had to find them somewhere else, gah!).

Cycles by Lois D. Brown (free Kindle book) - No clue what this one is about really, downloaded it on a whim.



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