Monthly Archives: May 2013
Welcome and Happy Memorial Day to all of you. I am pleased as punch to be participating in a fantastic cover reveal today for a friend and fellow author, Amaleen Ison. Her newest release, REMEMBER ME is coming soon from Decadent Publishing, and I can tell you after having a chance to beta read some of this story… you are in all for a treat. I LOVED it… and I didn’t even get to read all of it yet.
Here are the details on the release:
Title: Remember Me
Author: Amaleen Ison
Release Date: TBA
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Editor: Lea Finley
Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter
Genre: Young Adult
Blurb: Sera isn’t living. She’s existing—barely. Bedbound by illness, she has no memory of life before the freezing barn she now calls home. A mournful song haunts her dreams and hints at a past not completely buried—one she’s desperate to uncover. Yet Father’s whirlwind visits to draw blood and administer medication don’t provide answers. He only confirms the one thing she already knows; she’s dying.
A lonely death without ever knowing her past seems inevitable until a sudden, mystifying return to health coincides with the arrival of a boy in the opposite out-building. The inextricable pull to the stranger, and the broken memories that storm her mind when he’s near, warn of a history quite different to any she could have imagined. If she’s to uncover the truth she craves, she’ll have to decide whether knowledge of the past is worth forfeiting her second chance at life.
Remember Me Goodreads Link:
About the Author: Amaleen Ison is a married mother of one. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, England, along with her cats (Oscar and Winston), guinea pig ( LouLou), and gerbils (Blackberry and Pumpkinseed). She writes Young Adult fantasy stories that meander into a variety of sub-genres.
As a child, Amaleen lived most of her life in her head. She imagined herself in mystical lands populated by the weird and wonderful. She still spends way too much time daydreaming, but now she writes about her imaginings and weaves them into stories. The fantasy element is always important, but more so the hodgepodge of emotions that arise from her characters first time experiences.
The Watcher is a well written YA tale of eternal love, redemption and impossible romances. 17 yr old student, Mia Crawford is your typical HS senior until a trip to the park changes everything. The story features a love triangle, lots of tension, emotion, suspense, a rich history, and strong characterizations. While I think the main theme of the story has been done before, the author gives the tale enough twists and turns to keep the reader from feeling they have seen this all before — just with different characters.
I’m not one for spoilers in reviews, so I wont rehash the story or plot, but I will say I was drawn into the story from the beginning and Ms Voisin did an excellent job of keeping me there until reaching the end. I never felt the story line was predictable or felt I knew what was coming before it did — something that I come across a lot when reading YA stories. That was a nice change for me.
Even the secondary characters felt real and well defined. I would have like to “Like” Michael a bit better, but for me at least, he was a bit annoying in that he was forever sending Mia mixed signals that at some points made me want to reach into the book and throttle him. That being said, he did get me to react emotionally — which I can appreciate because it means despite his flaws, he was a nicely complex character.
I’m giving this 4 stars because of the Michael annoyance factor and because I would have liked to see some of the ancient lore referenced in the tale to be a bit more fleshed out and a bigger part of the overall story.
I would highly recommend this story to any YA romance fans and anyone who enjoys a good Angels and Demons tale. Looking forward to checking out more work by this author.
Blurb: Isaac Laroche is cursed. All he wants to do is hide out and feel sorry for himself. Never mind that he got caught sleeping with his seventeen-year-old piano student, or that he abandoned her when the truth was exposed.
Isaac’s feisty high school sweetheart has different plans. Heather Swann has returned to their hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to regroup after breaking up with her troll of a fiancé. She’s restless and looking for a diversion, but she bites off more than she can chew when she sets her sights on rehabilitating Isaac with her unorthodox sexual, mental, and physical plans.
The two quickly reconnect, but their happiness is threatened by family secrets, old vendettas and the death of a beloved father-figure.
Can Heather handle Isaac’s baggage, or will her own come back to haunt them both?
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars for this decidedly grown-up sequel.
My Review: After reading and enjoying the first book in this series, WANT, I wasn’t entirely sure how I would feel about a sequel featuring Issac after the events that closed the first novel. As someone who really rooted for Dave when it came to Julianne (yes, I like nice guys), I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to really relate to or sympathize with Issac as a main character.
I need not have worried. Ms. Lawton was able to draw me into Issac’s angst and really feel for him, despite what a cad I thought he had been. By the time he’d run into Heather again, the author had me squarely on his side and feeling badly enough for him to want to root for him to find happiness.
I don’t do spoilers in my reviews, so I will keep the plot points talk to a minimum, but I will say that this book is definitely more maturely written than WANT. There are some interesting “adult” oriented themes here that would appeal to a more mature audience. Saying that, I did feel the shift to an NA genre from the original’s YA stamp was warranted, and made sense for the story when you consider Issac was a great deal older than Julianne in the original story.
I really enjoyed getting another glimpse into Stephanie Lawton’s skewed deep south society. Being born and bred in Upstate New York, I’ve often wondered if life in the south is really that interestingly dysfunctional.
NEED earned 4.5 stars from me. Shy of five, mostly because despite my general “like” of Heather, I never really felt connected to her the way I was to Julianne in the first novel. I am, however, willing to concede that some of that is my own bias — having enjoyed WANT so much.
I would not hesitate to recommend this one, and if you read the first novel, it is a MUST READ.
View all my reviews (Goodreads)
Today I have a special treat for you all. A guest *grins* Please welcome the fantastic Claire Gillian to the blog.
The floor is yours, Claire!
Thank you for hosting me on my blog tour and for giving me the opportunity to share about my latest book: Purely Relative, a follow-up to my debut, The P.U.R.E.
Chronologically, Purely Relative takes place between the next to last chapter and the final or epilogue chapter of The P.U.R.E. The novella explores those first few months of the heroine, Gayle’s unemployment and her rapidly developing romance with Jon, a former co-worker. The theme is family–how totally over the top they can be, but how we love them anyway, despite our reluctant front row seats.
Here is more information about the book:
(The P.U.R.E. #1.5)
Blurb: Unemployed and living far from home, Gayle Lindley is nevertheless lucky to be alive after narrowly escaping her murderous ex-employer. She’s also thankful to the boyfriend gods for having blessed her with a former co-worker. Jon Cripps is brains, brawn and bedroom-certified, all in one delectable package. Life is finally on the uptick.
…Or so Gayle thinks until Jon pops the big question—no, not marriage, but meeting the rest of his family. What he neglects to mention is his loose familial definition also includes the parents of his ex-fiancée. And too bad Gayle has already met one sibling while engaged in a vigorous mattress inspection with Jon. Everyone will think she’s a man-stealing hussy!
As Gayle tiptoes into the bosom of Jon’s extended family, she is deluged with more secrets than even her curious nature can absorb. But the drama hits hardest when Jon, mysterious as ever, drops a bombshell that threatens to unravel every single stitch of progress she has made with him and his … ‘interesting’ relations.
Hey buddy! How’s DC? Has Gayle said ‘yes’ yet?
I paused to wink at Jon. “If he only knew, eh?”
11 Months Earlier…
MOST PEOPLE THINK meeting your boyfriend’s family is a hallmark of commitment. I’d have rather been committed than go to the Cripps’ for a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. Oh, I loved a gluttonous turkey feast as much as anyone. The meal wasn’t the problem. Wondering how much Jon’s sister, Jenny, had shared about the night she met me kept me on a steady diet of fingernails and nerves.
Catching me and her little brother going at it in her guest bedroom probably wasn’t the best way for him to announce he’d traded in his longtime family friend/fiancée for some short blonde chick with a fat ass. I didn’t steal him from Thalia. He told me I didn’t. At least I hoped I hadn’t.
Jon assured me Jenny would never share something like that with their parents, but I wasn’t so sure. I could totally see her telling Jon’s mother, “And she had her legs wide open while Jon did his nasty business in my guest bed. My. Guest. Bed! Jon never would have done something like that if he’d still been with Thalia. He had manners until he met that Gayle slut!”
I shuddered and contemplated my lipstick shade. Harlot Red or Porn-Star Pink didn’t seem to be wise choices, nor did going natural.
“Gayle, are you about ready? We don’t wanna be late for the turkey carving.” Jon’s far-too-cheerful voice bled through my bathroom door.
Why was he so unaffected and happy? Didn’t he know they were probably going to hate me? In addition to not being Thalia, I was also responsible for getting him fired from the firm we both used to work for.
“Almost!” I opted for the peachy-pink shade called “’Virgin’s Blush” and had to laugh as I applied the color to my significantly less-than-virginal lips. “Coming! Coming!”
I slipped out of my bathroom and into the living room where Jon sat on my sofa tapping away on his smart phone. Thank goodness I was more interesting than whatever he had loaded. His eyes led a reconnaissance mission up and down my body, lingering at his usual spots of interest—my legs and my boobs. The man’s libido existed in a constant state of revving or fast idling. I had every confidence he’d nab the ass as we walked out the door.
“Okay, so your brother and your sister will be there, and your mom and dad, of course. Who else, did you say?”
He took his time shutting down his phone and stashing it in his back pocket, the hesitation I knew so well on display. He wasn’t sharing everything. “Um, there’s been a last minute addition to the guest list. I’m sorry. I didn’t know until right before I came over here to get you. I don’t want you to freak out any more than you already are.” He handed me my purse and headed to the door.
I froze in place. “Whoa! You can’t just drop that on me, then move on without sharing the rest of it. Who are the other guests?”
The turn he made to face me seemed deliberately slow, like he was plotting how best to word his disclosure. “Uh, my sister’s fiancé.”
I crossed my arms. “Mmm-hmm. And?”
“A couple of old family friends.”
My breath caught in my chest. “What family friends?”
“Sophia and Alex. Friends of my parents. They were supposed to go on a cruise but cancelled at the last minute.” He tugged at the cuffs to his shirt, but wouldn’t meet my eyes.
“Sophia and Alex who? Milano?”
His head shot up and he met my gaze. “Uh—”
“Thalia’s parents?” My voice had risen an octave with each successive question. I didn’t have much range left.
“Yes.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Thalia won’t be there, just her parents.”
His Swiss-cheese manner of conversing with me earned him no diplomacy points.
“Her parents. They know you aren’t engaged to their daughter any more?”
Buy Purely Relative at these fine booksellers:
About the Author:
Claire Gillian is the pen name for a number-crunching executive by day. By nights and weekends she writes smart, witty stories for smart, witty readers. Her debut novel, The P.U.R.E. released in April 2012 and its sequel, Purely Relative, is hot off the press as of April 30, 2013. She also writes fifty shades of naughtier stuff under the pen name of Lila Shaw, but please don’t tell her mother. No matter which name she uses, Claire is happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and loads of spice.
Interact with Claire: