Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

Title: Taste Test
Author: Kelly Fiore
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: August 27, 2013

Synopsis: Nora Henderson has been basting baby back ribs for as long as she could reach the counter of her dad's famous barbecue joint. When she's accepted to Taste Test, a teen reality cooking competition, Nora can't wait to leave her humble hometown behind. On set, run-ins with the maddeningly handsome and talented son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, make Nora wonder if it's him or the win she really wants, but as she and Christian emerge as front-runners for the final prize, Nora can't ignore the mysterious accidents plaguing the kitchen arena. Someone is conducting eliminations of their own, and if Nora doesn't stop them, she could be next to get "chopped" for good.

With romance and intrigue as delectable as the winning recipes included in the story, this debut novel will be devoured by all.

Verdict: Taste Test is one of those books that leaves a smile on your face when you're done (and a growling stomach). I loved the spicy competition, the steamy romance, the unexpected mystery, and the really hot chef.... it was an absolutely delicious read that I devoured in one sitting. Okay, I think I'm done with the cooking puns, but you never know what I might stir up later. ;) Nora was quite a force to reckoned with. I loved how she stood up for herself but still managed to maintain this air of vulnerability about her. Christian was a complete jerk that you just love to hate and eventually can't help but fall for. With Nora and Christian, you definitely don't have to worry about there being an insta-love relationship, or even an insta-like one, come to think of it there wasn't an insta-anything-even-closely-resembling-cordial-behavior. Those two were constantly going head to head while throwing verbal knives at each other, and I loved every minute of it. Meanwhile they continue to also battle it out on the show constantly trying to rack up more wins than their opponent. Taste Test is an intense cooking show where the grand prize is $50,000 dollars and a full-ride to this fancy culinary school in Paris. The stakes are high and somebody has decided to sabotage the show. Nora has a pretty good idea of who it is and I agreed with her full heartedly. So the big reveal at the end was definitely a surprise and I loved how non-predictable it was! Overall, I loved this book and I really loved how it ended..... ;D And I definitely wouldn't mind reading a sequel taking place in Paris (*nudge* Kelly Fiore *nudge*).

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Twitter Response:

-Kristen ♥

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Taylor-Made Life by Kary Rader (Giveaway)

Title: A Taylor-Made Life
Author: Kary Rader
Publication Date: July 13, 2013

Synopsis: They lived the life they were given; they loved the life they made.

Cheerleader Taylor Smith doesn’t want to die a virgin. Unfortunately, if the terminally-ill leukemia patient doesn't find a lover or a stem-cell match within months, her fear will become reality. When her cancer mentor is revealed to be a hottie entrepreneur from California, it seems fate might finally be on her side.

Tech-geek Gavin Taylor has everything he ever wanted, except someone to grieve for him when he's gone. With his melanoma cancer beyond the help of his riches, he agrees to participate in a cancer patient mentoring program where he's matched with a dying teen from Texas. Despite his immediate attraction, the Silicon Valley whiz intends only to provide friendship and happy memories to the beautiful, young woman who is determined to win his love.

When it's discovered that his frozen sperm and her harvested eggs could lead to a cure, Taylor's mother offers to be a surrogate. And Gavin must decide if he can risk the heart he has never given and a child he'll never know to a girl he just met.

About the Author: Kary Rader is a stay-at-home mother of three, avid reader and slave to the characters and worlds inside her head. Always creative, she’s drawn to stories with fantastical worlds and creatures. With a little bit of magic and divine guidance, there isn’t anything that can’t be accomplished. And it’s the power of words that creates and destroys. Vanquishing evil and injustice while finding eternal love in the process is all in a day’s work. And with the help of her critique partners and master cartographer imaginary places come to life. Let the fantasy begin…

AND NOW, for the cover reveal.......

Kary decided that she wanted to attach a giveaway to this cover reveal. Prize: A signed copy of Kary's book Queen of Jastain, and E-ARC of A Taylor-Made Life and a charm bracelet.

Giveaway Rules:
•Giveaway begins June 21st and will end June 24th 11:59 EST. The winner will be announced on June 24th on Kary Rader's Facebook page.
•Open to U.S. residents only
•We are not responsible for items lost in the mail & have the right to disqualify anyone, at any time.
•Personal information given by the applicant in the giveaway will never be shared. All information is deleted once the giveaway ends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Lightning Rider by Jen Greyson (Author Interview)

Title: Lightning Rider
Author: Jen Greyson
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
Publication Date: May 30, 2013

Synopsis: For Evy Rivera, thunderstorms have always caused her physical pain, but she's never known why. When a record-setting storm arrives on the same night her father finds ancient ancestral documents, Evy is set aglow with mysterious tiny lightnings she can command.

Even worse, she alerts some people in the universe who've been looking for her family for a very long time.

Thrown back into ancient Spain and tasked with killing a Spanish legend, she must train alongside Constantine, a sexy yet obstinate Roman warrior. He teaches her how to wield her lightning as a weapon, through more errors than trials. With a relationship as explosive as their late-night training sessions, Evy and Constantine battle their push-pull relationship while trying to ignore the two-thousand-year difference in their birthdates.

Ilif Rotiart, her quasi-mentor, is appalled at Evy's skill. He would prefer to train her father and keep Evy on the sidelines—where women belong. Evy has a feeling Ilif is keeping something from them, but she must play nice until she uncovers the truth. And if he's lying, it will be the worst day of his four-hundred-year life.

Penya Sepadas claims she's Evy's rightful trainer, and she has the prophecy to prove it. Penya doesn't share Ilif's misogynistic attitude, but she does have her own agenda...and her own secrets.

Evy must sort through the lies and find the truth behind her family's time-traveling past before the wrong history obliterates the future. She’s spent her whole life fighting for her place. Now, as the first female lightning rider, she'll dedicate her existence to fighting to save the world.

But will Evy learn to manage her lightning and find the truth before it's too late?

About the Author: From the moment she decided on a degree in Equestrian Studies, Jen Greyson’s life has been one unscripted adventure after another. Leaving the cowboy state of Wyoming to train show horses in France, Switzerland, and Germany, she’s lived life without much of a plan, but always a book in her suitcase. Now a wife and mom to two young boys, she relies on her adventurous, passionate characters to be the risk- takers. Jen also writes university courses and corporate training material when she’s not enjoying the wilds of the west via wakeboard or snowmobile.  

Author Interview:

First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today!
Thanks so much for having me! It’s so great to visit new places.

1. Describe Lightning Rider as a tweet (140 characters or less)!
About the first-ever female time traveler who has to go back to ancient Spain and kill a guy. #hotromanwarriors

2. If you could re-title Lightning Rider what would you call it and why?
Sassy, smart Latina Quits Building Bikes to Save World.

3. What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always been a voracious reader, and it seems like there’s always a natural inclination to be able to tell a story like favorite authors. But for me, I literally woke up one day with a story that would have consumed me if I didn’t write it down—like there wasn’t enough space in my body for me and the story. That was about 5 books ago, and I just don’t know how to quit.

4. What kind of research, if any, did you do for Lightning Rider?
Lots of time travel :D

I’m a panster, so there’s a lot of researching as I go. I try to use XXX when I hit a spot that needs research, because I’ve had situations before where I jump over to the internet for a “quick” search and lose four hours. Maybe that’s just me...

For this story, I did a lot of research on the Roman occupation of Spain, on what Roman warriors wear in battle and when training, who Viriato was...stuff like that.

5. Do you have a specific place where you write?
Anywhere with sun. I love being outside to write. Winter is hard for me, but I live in Utah, so there’s usually at least pretty snow to look out. I prefer to write outside, but somedays I get relegated to my dungeon. I usually do a first draft on my non-internet computer so I can just vomit words without distraction. Unfortunately, that’s in the dungeon.

6. What are you reading right now?
Undermountain by Eric Edstrom
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

This or That...

Ebook or Real book?

Twitter or Facebook?

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Past or Future?

And just for fun- What is the strangest thing on your desk right now?
I happen to be at my kitchen table, but this would totally be something I’d find on my office desk too. Kids are awesome.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!
Thanks again for having me!!! Really great interview.

-Kristen ♥

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered, #1
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 1, 2013

Synopsis: This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Verdict: There are no words that can accurately describe the magic and wondrousness that is Splintered. A.G. Howard brought to life the much darker counterparts of Wonderland and it's many inhabitants with beautifully horrific descriptions that was not read, but instead devoured. The characters were amazing and real, you never truly knew what anybody's motives were until everything came together in the end in a fantastically-mad, mind-boggling ending. I absolutely loved this book and will always treasure it as the true classic novel that it is! I'm also awaiting the sequel with bated breath.

Okay, I cannot gush enough about how much I loved this book so I just have to write more! Wonderland was amazing, I lived seeing the chaotic non-logic that everyone there lives by. I loved seeing the characters we all know and love turn out to be completely different than anything we could have imagined. I absolutely adored Morpheus, I just couldn't help it (view spoiler)SPOILER:(even when I thought he was an evil back-stabbing liar)END OF SPOILER. Alyssa was awesome! I admired her determination to break the curse for her mom and her bravery in going down the rabbit hole to begin with along with her continued bravery all throughout her journey there when everything she ever knew was tested. Jeb was just ridiculously crush-worthy and you couldn't help but root for him to get the girl. Just let it be known that A.G. Howard is a freakin' literary genius! Alright, I think I'm done fangirling.... for now. :))

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Twitter Response:

-Kristen ♥

Friday, June 14, 2013

Release Event: Runaway Groom by Sally Clements (Excerpt)

Title: Runaway Groom
Author: Sally Clements
Publication Date: June 7, 2013

Synopsis: Seven years ago, Matthew Logan ran out on his wedding to June Leigh.

Life is good for fledgling dress-designer April Leigh. She couldn’t be happier that her sister has found a new love, and is excited about her very first commission, June’s wedding dress.

When April discovers June has invited runaway groom Matthew Logan to the wedding, she has to intervene. Matthew’s presence will ruin everything – her father hates him, and just the sight of him in the church might give her mother a heart attack.

Matthew Logan has no intention of going to June’s wedding, but when intriguing April arrives on his doorstep, he can’t resist getting to know her better. When a disaster forces them together neither can deny the passion that combusts into a red-hot affair.

Discovering the truth about the past shifts April’s feelings from lust to love, but bitter experience has taught Matthew to guard his heart.

When it looks as though Matthew will lose her forever, will he fight or flee?

About the Author: Sally Clements writes fun, sexy and real contemporary romance, partnering hot heroes with heroines who know what they want, and go for it! She lives in the Irish countryside, and when she isn’t writing can usually be found in traffic, driving ‘Mum’s taxi’. Always a voracious reader, she considers writing for a living the perfect job—the only downside is saying goodbye to her characters at book’s end!


“Drink your cocoa before it goes cold.” Matthew drank his, leaving a milky chocolate trail across his top lip.

She couldn’t stop staring.

Matthew’s eyes darkened. He cupped her cheek. “What?” His deep voice was just a murmur.

Attraction hung in the air. Reflections cast by the flickering flames in the darkened room changed the shadows on the side of Matthew’s face.

April held her breath. If she said nothing, if she leaned forward he would kiss her. Part of her wanted him to more than anything.

He leaned in.

“You have milk on your top lip.” She pulled back.

“Ah.” He wiped his lip. “Milk moustache, huh?”

She breathed out. Tried for casual to lighten the moment. “It’s a good look on you.”

He took another deliberate drink, letting the foam cover his lip again. “Sexy?” he murmured. His fingers smoothed over her soft skin, then slid into her hair. His gaze held hers as he swiped the foam away with his tongue, leaving his mouth clear.

April swallowed. Yes, it was sexy. He was beyond sexy. Taking what she wanted, what she needed couldn’t be bad—anyone could forgive her under the circumstances. Her chin tilted up.

His hand cupped the back of her head, bringing her closer. Her eyelids fluttered closed a moment before his lips met hers.

She’d needed comfort. The touch of his mouth against hers gave a lot more. Maybe it was because of all the men in the world, he was the one she couldn’t have. Maybe it was something different. As her mouth opened and their tongues tangled, she gave up wondering and just let herself feel. She breathed him in with every exhale, the scent of citrus, vetiver maybe, mixed with man. He held her face so tenderly her heart melted.

-Kristen ♥

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cover Reveal: Indelible by Bethany Lopez

Title: Indelible
Author: Bethany Lopez
Publication Date: July 9, 2013

Synopsis: After a year of partying, Sam decides to buckle down and focus on college. Things are going great until a one-night stand leaves her pregnant and alone. Raising a child while going to school isn’t easy, but Sam is determined to be strong for her daughter. She doesn’t have time for guys or relationships, and takes great care to protect her child and her heart.

Judd doesn’t fit the mold of a college ballplayer. His long hair and tattoos may fit the life he’s created for himself, but baseball is the one thing he takes seriously. When he meets Sam, he’s immediately drawn to her curves and refusal to put up with his crap. When Judd learns the truth, can he handle the responsibility that comes with loving a single mother?

Sam yearns for the fire that Judd fuels in her, but her child’s needs have to come first. Can two people at different stages in their life find a way to make a life together?

About the Author: Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. Since then she has published various YA and NA books. She is a lover of romance, family, and friends, and enjoys incorporating those things in what she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible.

AND NOW, for the cover reveal.........

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers

Title: A Little Too Far
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Series: A Little Too Far, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Synopsis: Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother.

In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for better part of the last few years…and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.

But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to Confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt…and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy on the eyes deacon…only eight months away from becoming a priest. As Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

About the Author: Lisa Desrochers lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise. Look for her New Adult novel, A LITTLE TOO FAR , courtesy of HarperCollins Sept 2013, and the first companion, A LITTLE TOO MUCH , in Nov 2013. Also in stores is her YA PERSONAL DEMONS trilogy (Macmillan).

AND NOW, for the cover reveal........

-Kristen ♥
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