Book Review for ‘More Than I Wanted’

more22Title: More Than I Wanted
Author: Ava Catori
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Kate Tanner sees everything she wants in Austin. After falling for a charming and handsome military man, Kate realizes he may not return her feelings.
Will Austin fall in love with Kate, or has he hardened from past hurts? Just as he starts to warm up, things are turned upside down. Kate and Austin have to decide if their feelings are worth fighting for, or if walking away will be beneficial to them both.
With the threat of being separated, can Kate and Austin find a way to make things work? Having Austin in her life is more than Kate ever wanted, but she’s learning he’s all that she needs.

I enjoyed reading More Than I Wanted. For me, it was a quick read, I could read it in one session because I enjoyed it so much. Contemporary romance isn’t always my preferred genre, because I often feel the book focuses too much on the romance and not enough on everything else. This wasn’t the case with this book – it focused on the background story of the characters as well as on the romance.

I really liked Kate’s character. She seemed down to earth but a romantic at the same time, which was a nice combination. Austin was all right as well, and I enjoyed reading about his personal struggle and how Kate could help him with that.

Book Review for ‘Medusa’s Desire’ by E.B. Black

medusadesireTitle: Medusa’s Desire
Author: E.B. Black
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Published on: November 22nd 2012
Rating: 4 stars
Blurb: It all started the day her god raped her.

She transformed into an abomination through his touch. Her skin grew scales. Her eyes turned red. She screamed for help, but all who saw her became stone.

Medusa thought she would be alone forever, until the day a man came to kill her and fell in love instead. Now Perseus is running from those who hired him as he continues to love a girl who could kill him with a glance.

Book Review

I took Latin classes in high school, and when the teacher started talking about the Greek myths, I was hooked. Medusa has never been my favorite myth, but I did always enjoy the story, and I actually thought it was kind of sad. Now author E.B. Black has written an original spin-off for this classic story, offering possible love and a relationship for the monster Medusa, and thus providing a happy ending where previously there was only sadness.

In the original myth, the monster Medusa is slain by the brave hero Perseus. In this adaption, Perseus actually falls for Medusa and rescues her from the clutches of the underworld. They embark on a journey together, Perseus hoping to use Medusa’s ability to turn people into stone to help save his mother, who’s being held captive by an evil king. Medusa likes Perseus as well, but she’s forced to keep on the helmet when they make love, for if she looks at him, he’ll turn into stone like everyone else. Medusa is supposed to be a monster – but is she truly? That’s the question asked and answered in this remarkable book, and it’s a question that kept haunting me long after I turned the final page.

Often, especially in classical stories, but in newly released novels as well, we link beauty to goodness, and ugliness to evil. That’s unfair, and this story sharply states that. As Perseus says at some point, Medusa may look like a monster, but she isn’t, because she has a pure heart and strong soul. It inspires us to look beyond what we can see, and take into account one’s spirit before we judge them. Definitely something to think about.

There were some steamy scenes, and I was a bit annoyed that the love affair between Medusa and Perseus took off that quickly. He sees her, thinks she’s beautiful, they have sex, and apparently that’s enough to warrant he loves her. High doubts here. But along the way though, he kept proving again and again that he did love Medusa, which was a bonus and made up for most of that. Still, I would’ve preferred if their relationship blossomed a little slower.

Medusa’s Desire is an intriguing novel. I kept turning the pages until the end, earger to learn what happened next. Purchase your copy from Amazon.

Book Review for ‘Reconstructing Jackson’ by Holly Bush

Reconstructing Jackson OriginalTitle: Reconstructing Jackson
Author: Holly Bush
Genre: Historical Romance

1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.

Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.

Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle’s courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

Reed Jackson thinks his life is over after he returns from the Civil War, forever forced into a wheelchair. Nothing proves to be less true though. Instead, he gets another chance at life, a chance to make things right, to fall in love and to fight for everything he’s ever believed in. Belle Richards may be poor, but she won’t let that stand in the way of realizing her dreams. When she meets Reed, she falls for him like she’s never loved anyone before. Together, they must stand up against the community and fight for their love.

I loved Reconstructing Jackson because it’s such a raw, honest account of America post-Civil War. I liked the characters, because they showed depth and personality, especially Reed Jackson. The story had a definite historical setting, with well-described scenes and characters, and a fast-paced, intriguing plot. Greatly recommended to all historical romance fans.

Release Party ‘Compulsive Desires’

compulsivebanner

We’re happy to celebrate the release of Compulsive Desires, an adult contemporary romance novel by author Ava Catori!

About Compulsive Desires

YCompulsive Desires: Is it Infatuation or Love?  — by Ava Catori

Sophie Samuels was in love. Well, okay, maybe it was lust, but who wouldn’t be? Bear Trevor, the Bear Trevor, famous adventurer and male model had just fallen in her lap.

It started with a conversation, and then a wicked one night stand, but now Bear was asking for more. The only problem was that Sophie was confused by what she was feeling.

Were her growing feelings real, or was she simply infatuated with the handsome star? Sifting through the details of their fling, Sophie is forced to admit her new obsession may be just that – an obsession. Can Bear convince Sophie that they could be much more together, or will Sophie realize it’s not love after all?

Author Bio

nov2012-240x300Ava Catori spends her days tied to her keyboard, being happiest there. With a passion for storytelling, she gets lost in the details of building characters and analyzing their thoughts. With a conversational tone, she entertains with fast, fun reads. There’s nothing she likes more than putting a couple together, only to tear them apart so they can find their way back to one another.

Ava resides in New Jersey, but sneaks away to Florida as often as she’s able. She’s happily married to a patient man, who has the ability to sustain long hours of rambling thoughts spilling from her non-stop. With the company of three dogs and a cat, she sets her writing schedule around their inability to coordinate their potty breaks.

To see what’s next, be sure to visit AvaCatori.com

Read an Excerpt!

“It’s all work when it comes down to it,” he said. His phone buzzed again. “Oh, one sec,” and then he proceeded to have a texting conversation with Bijou right through dinner. When the photographer showed up, I leaned out of the way for the pictures.

What started off as cool and interesting was slowly becoming annoying. He was here to have dinner with me, but his focus was on his phone and the actress from Port Richmond. I said something before thinking, “Hey, I get that you’re excited about this, but you’re out to dinner with me. Do you think I could get a minute of your time?”

“I’m sorry,” he said his phone buzzing again. “One more minute,” he said glancing down.

I wasn’t sure what to do, but I was certain he’d gone past the acceptable time limit of me being patient. I felt alone eating dinner, even though he was right there beside me. I finally spit out the words I was thinking. “It’s just kind of rude.” Crap, did I just say that out loud! My eyes went wide, realizing the words actually came out.

Purchase your copy!

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Compulsive-Desires-ebook/dp/B00AK44PU2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354990580&sr=8-3&keywords=ava+catori

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/compulsive-desires-ava-catori/1113910064?ean=2940015803105

All Romance Ebooks:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-compulsivedesires-1013173-149.html

Also available on iTunes/Apple and Smashwords.

Release Party ‘Oceanheart’

We’re celebrating the release of Oceanheart, the first novel in a new and exciting YA fantasy series called The Enchanted Pages today. Purchase Oceanheart from Amazon!

Read an Excerpt

Soran was already waist deep, waiting for me. The shark’s tooth shone white against his brown chest and he sparkled from the dusting of salt on his face. He was an ocean boy who belonged in the water. Unlike me.

‘Wynn.’ He held his hand out and I took it. His grip was strong and I was surprised by the rush of energy that went through me. I felt like I could do anything.

‘Take these and put them over your eyes.’

He held out a pair of goggles with fish skin straps attached to them. I examined the lenses.

‘They are made from shells that we polish until they are clear. Take them, I can see without them.’

I put the goggles on and took a deep breath before submerging myself in the water, never letting go of Soran’s hand. We pushed out into the lagoon and I shut my eyes. It only made things worse so I opened them and looked at the bottom. It was amazing. There was so much life, so many creatures moving about in a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours. It was too beautiful to be afraid. We drifted like stars in a liquid sky with a whole world lying beneath our suspended bodies. Soran held me as we floated and his strength flowed through me. I felt as if no harm would ever come.

We found a shallow patch of sand in a gap between the coral and stood to take a breath. My heart was a balloon floating in a summer sky. I laughed and splashed water in the air. I watched the falling droplets reflect sunlight like a spray of diamonds before the water fell and ran off our skins in molten silver. Soran’s withdrawn look was gone and his tawny eyes flashed in delight.

‘You’re shining!’ he said.

I looked at my arms. Glittery bits from the sand were stuck on my skin and making it shimmer. They were on him too and the vision made us both laugh. I realised it was the first time I had seen his smile, a real one, one that transformed his face. Like this, Soran was a different person.

Soran flipped down and under the surface. I watched his body moving beneath the clear water, impossibly fast, as swift and sure as a fish himself. He stayed under far longer than any normal human being should and when he broke the surface the water seemed to part to let him through. He wasn’t the slightest bit out of breath and I almost wondered if he could breathe underwater. Then he held my hand again and we drifted off further down the lagoon, lost in wonders. The coral throbbed with colour, fluoresced and glowed. I found myself following schools of patterned fish, being drawn to the next clump of sea-fans, the next crevice filled with delicate shells.

I went further and further, more confident in the water than I’d ever been. But as we floated down the bay, things began to change. The coral wasn’t so bright and then the colours grew dull and sludgy. Patches of murky looking seaweed appeared and the branching corals no longer formed an underwater forest. They lay in shattered pieces on the black sand, white and bleached as the bones that lay around the village. Soon there was nothing but rubble with lurid green algae all over it. I looked sideways. I had been so focussed on the changing landscape that I hadn’t noticed myself drift close to the drop off, out where the deep water shaded into darkness. A trench lay ahead and it led to a pass in the reef. There was nothing between me and the open ocean.

About Oceanheart

Title: Oceanheart (Book One of The Enchanted Pages)
Author: Pen Clements
Genre: YA Fantasy

An oceanic world where the stars are going out. Saltwater people and a shark that stalks in dreams. A girl with a nightmare, a mischievous guardian and a boy with a secret.
Meet Wynn. She thinks she’s a misfit and hates showing weakness. Only one person really touches her heart and that’s her little sister, Stella. But Stella is in a coma and it’s all Wynn’s fault.

As Wynn creates a journal of might-have-been memories for her sister, she finds herself pulled into a magical island world and sent on a journey through danger and despair. She’s never been in a jungle and she’s terrified of water. Then she meets Soran. He reads nature like a book and can survive anything on land and in the sea. What Wynn doesn’t know is that Soran’s secret could destroy her.

The island could destroy her too. It’s no paradise. Paradise doesn’t have poison masters called the Teeth. It doesn’t have Sorrowmaker patrolling the reefs. And in paradise, you don’t have to face your greatest fear to fix your biggest mistake.

Winner of an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship Award 2011 and an Olvar Wood Fellowship Award

Author Bio

Pen Clements would like to be a botanist, a Shaolin monk or an anthropologist in a galaxy far, far away. She’d also like to have wings, breathe underwater and meet an angel. Unfortunately she hasn’t managed all of that yet, but being a writer lets her pretend.

Pen lives in tropical north Queensland with her husband, two sons and a traditional wooden sailing boat. She loves exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and is inspired by the natural world.

Website | Amazon | Facebook

Book Review for Frizzy Tizzy Goes to the Park by Wendy Hinbest

Title: Frizzy Tizzy Goes to the Park
Author: Wendy Hinbest
Genre: Children’s Book, Picture’s Book
Links: Author Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus
Purchase: Amazon | Goodreads | Smashwords
Blurb: Frizzy Tizzy attempts to face her fears and begins to second guess herself, until she realizes things are not always what they seem.

Book Review

I’m a huge fan of picture books, especially contemporary ones that offer unique, interesting protagonists small kids can relate to. Frizzy Tizzy Goes to the Park is a book in the Frizzy Tizzy series, and one that definitely offers a cute, fun main character, and a few side characters that are equally fun. I loved the drawing style, with the rugby-ball shaped heads, and Frizzy Tizzy’s frizzy hair was enjoyable as well.

The story is short and sweet. Frizzy Tizzy wakes up and asks her parents to take her to the park. At the park, she’s scared to go down a slide. The girl standing behind her asks if they want to go together, and Frizzy Tizzy agrees. They go down the slide together, and quickly became friends afterward.

This is a nice read for children learning to read on their own, and younger children will enjoy looking at the pictures while you read it to them.

Release Day Party ‘Exhale’

We’re celebrating the release day of Exhale, a YA contemporary romance novel by author Jennifer Snyder. Today only, Exhale is available at the discount price of $0.99 for the eBook, to celebrate its release!

You can purchase Exhale from Amazon, B&N or Smashwords!

Read an Excerpt

I leaned against the row of green carts and stood on my tippy-toes to get a better look into the store where the cash registers were, searching to see if Derek was there bagging groceries. He wasn’t. Someone cleared their throat behind me and I jumped, startled out of my skin.

“Excuse me.” Some grouchy looking old man said as though my presence annoyed him.

I took a step back to let him pass and then began pulling out the first cart in the row I’d been leaning against without any luck. “Great,” I muttered under my breath.

A familiar low chuckle filled my ears, sending sparks of warmth throughout me. “Need some help?”

I turned and found myself at eye level with Derek’s chin. My eyes slid to his lips. The same lips I had fantasized about kissing numerous times. Swallowing hard, I smacked my palm against the handlebar of the cart I’d been attempting to tug free and smiled. “Hey. Yeah, I could definitely use some help. I can’t get this cart out.”

Derek slid between the cart and me. One of his hands gripped the handlebar tightly, as the other braced firmly against the cart it was jammed into. My entire body heated from the nearness of his presence. His guy scent, I had never been able to distinguish entirely, but had at one point figured out that it must be some type of soap or shampoo, surrounded me and I breathed it in deeply. I loved the way he smelled.

“Sometimes these things just stick and others,” he released his death grip on the handlebar and started tugging and pulling on one of those little baby seat belts until it pushed up through a hole and released the cart I had been trying to get free. “Sometimes, they get stuck on those clasps. Here you go.”

“Ah, I’ll have to remember that for next time.” I said, his scent still lingering in my nose and making the butterflies in my stomach flutter around like crazy.

About Exhale

Title: Exhale
Author: Jennifer Snyder
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Inhaling in life is easy. It’s the exhaling—the letting go— that’s the hard part.

Katie Elliot has always known the Conner twins. For years she secretly pined after one, while playfully averting the advances of the other. Once upon a time, she was fine with that. Then came the moment when her twin of preference kissed her and changed everything.

As if realizing love can be complex—even when it’s reciprocated— isn’t hard enough, tragedy strikes, tearing Katie and the boy she’s always desired apart. Finding herself torn between love and guilt, Katie must learn when it’s acceptable to let go—when it’s finally okay to exhale.

Author Bio

Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing young adult fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is an instant coffee lover with an obsession for spiral bound notebooks and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.

Find out more about Jennifer Snyder’s next book on her blog. Visit her Twitter or Goodreads.

Purchase Exhale from Amazon, B&N or Smashwords!