Friday, January 31, 2014

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Grimnirs (Runes #2.5) by Ednah Walters

Book Title:  Grimnirs
Series:  A Runes Novel
Author:  Ednah Walters
Release Date:  December 2nd 2013
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Firetrail Publishing
Presented by:  As You Wish Tours
Banner Made by:  Jamie Turner-Norton

One lost love.

One lost best friend.

One hot soul reaper.

Straight out of the psyche ward, Cora just wants her life to be normal. She doesn’t want to see souls or the reapers collecting them. The love of her life, the guy she’s loved from a distance for years, has moved away without saying goodbye. So yes, she’s nursing a serious heartbreak. It’s no wonder love is the last thing on her mind when Echo storms into her life.

The chemistry between them is mind-blowing. The connection defies logic. It doesn’t help that Echo is the poster boy for everything she hates in a guy—hot, beautiful, and cocky. A general pain-in-the-butt. Being around him makes her feel more alive than she’s ever felt before. But more important, the souls leave her alone when he is around.

Echo is perfect for her. Echo might even be her soul-mate. There is only one problem. Echo is a freaking soul reaper. A Grimnir. The very beings she wants out of her life. Maybe normal is overrated because Cora wants it all. Answers. Love. A life. You see, once you fall for a Grimnir, your life will never be the same again.

My Thoughts:

I shook my head. I'd never met a man with a one-track mind. "Just when I'm beginning to see something redeemable in you, you open your mouth and spoil it."

Echo, Echo, Echo.... You beautiful, cocky, sweet, loving man. Torin has owned my heart, but Echo has shown that he is just as special in my eyes. 

Cora has just been released from a mental institution and wants nothing more than for her life to go back to normal. But how can you have normal when you are regularly followed by souls and your world has been inhabited by Grimnirs, Immortals, Gods, Norns and Valkyries, and there appears to be mystery and danger at every turn. And then there's the gorgeous, infuriating soul reaper who makes your blood boil one minute and has your heart doing flips the next.

I wanted someone to kiss me like he couldn't get enough of me. Touch me like he'd die if we didn't. Look at me like he was seeing me for the first time every time we were together. I wanted Echo.

I like my books to be heavy on the romance and Ednah Walter's has delivered just what I need once again. I thought Cora's heart belonged to Eirik and I was so torn when Echo emerged on the scene. But Echo won me over. He is a man who truly believes that he's not worthy of love. He believes that his heart and soul are bad. Yes, he's done bad things but he's had such horrid pain in his life. Thank God Cora saw right through him and saw the beautiful, loving man that was buried under his cockiness. He protects, he cares, and he loves. Boy, does he love!!

There was lots of mystery and action to offset the hot romance and I found myself questioning almost everyone's motives at some point during the book. I really felt that I was taking this great journey of discovery right alongside Cora as she learnt more about her new world and it's inhabitants and her abilities.

I'm so happy that the author is writing these books to give us greater insights into the other characters. After reading this I liked Cora so much more. She has much more substance than what I originally thought. And as much as I want to get to know all the characters better, my greedy self is also jumping up and down because it means that the Runes series still has a fair way to go before it wraps up.

Theres not one particular thing that makes Ednah Walters Runes series a standout to me. It's a whole combination of things. It's the fantastic, easy to read writing style. It's the world building and plot twists. It's the incredibly likeable characters. Its the gorgeous swoony males. It's the fine line between Young Adult and New Adult that she manages to walk the story along. This series just keeps getting better with each book.

His chest was right there, begging me to kiss it, so I did, and he groaned. Best fantasy ever.

5/5 Cocky and Passionate Echo Stars

Author Bio:
EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, was released April 2013. She’s currently working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN. Visit her at

Ednah also writes YA paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. IMMORTALS is book 2. She is presently working on book 3, GRIMNIRS [Book 2.5] was released in December 2013. Read more about this series and the world she's created here

Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published five more books in this series. She's presently working on book seven. You can visit her online at or



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EXCERPT BLAST: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

We are thrilled to share an excerpt for Heather Lyons' THE DEEP END OF THE SEA! THE DEEP END OF THE SEA is a New Adult Fantasy set for release February 13, 2014 and definitely one you need to add to your TBR pile!  

  The Deep End Of The Sea - Front Cover   

  What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard.  As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.
But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.
I let it happen again.
            The temple settles into that stagnant silence I’ve long learned to loathe, and these are the most cohesive series of words I can string together for many long, desolate minutes. I let it happen again. Resolutions apparently mean nothing, even if crafted under the best of intentions. Had I not, just this very morning, recited a daily pledge held dear to my heart: I shall not let myself be used for death?
            And yet, a man is dead, and I was the weapon that slayed him.
            I move closer to where he now stands, forever frozen in terror, and press my shaking hand against his outstretched stone one. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, though he cannot and never will be able to hear my words. “So, so sorry.”
            His eyes, wide and mercifully detail free, offer me nothing in return. Once I commit his features to memory, I construct a life history with a name worthy of his sacrifice. Walt was single (I can’t bear the thought of spouses and children, thus my collection of singletons) and a bit of a daredevil when he wasn’t volunteering to teach literacy to adults in poverty stricken urban areas. He’d gone spelunking at least a half-dozen times, sky diving twice, and bungee cord diving off some crazy bridge in Colorado just once, on his thirtieth birthday. Walt liked to write poetry; how could he not, when his now-deceased parents had named him after one of the greats?
            Walt liked to talk about poetry, too, which means he needs to be with others like him. I strip off my flannel work shirt, down to a tank top, and get to work. Shoving stones around when half of one’s body is reptilian isn’t the easiest of tasks, requiring a great deal of precision and care.
            As I always tend to do when placing a new statue, I can’t help but flash back to the one and only time I’d broken one of my victims. I’d been tired—he’d snuck upon me when I’d been sleeping—and an overestimated shove sent poor Nikolaos face first against the temple floor. I’d spent most of that night collecting the pieces which once made a whole man, blubbering in misery. As penance, his head, missing an ear and part of his nose, still sits on a shelf in my bedroom. Treat us gently, I like to imagine him telling me nightly before I sleep. We deserve your care.
            I have not failed Nikolaos since. Over the ages, I’ve developed a routine to transfer the statues around the island that includes wrapping the bodies in a thick quilt before putting them up on casters. It takes a painstaking amount of time to shift them short or long distances, but each person deserves nothing less from me.
            Walt’s group sits just outside the temple. They are the philosophers of our island; it only seems natural they would find much to appreciate in both the sun and the stars. I struggle with his body over the stairs—they are tricky to maneuver for me even without hauling a two hundred pound statue—but eventually, I get him exactly where he’ll fit in best.
            “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Walt,” I tell the still faces forming a cluster near a non-functioning fountain. “His poetry is as beautiful as his namesake’s.”
            I angle Walt so his eyes face theirs. It’s late afternoon, and there is soft orange light filtering down upon their features. It’s a beautiful sight, which only saddens me, because all of that talk about death and beauty being intertwined is one of the biggest loads of crap I’ve ever heard. Death isn’t beautiful. Too often than not, it’s messy and brutal; even when done in sleep, there’s still that theft of breath, that failure of a heart. Death is an act of violence.
            I should know. I am one of the most prolific murderers in history. And I think about death constantly.
            I often wonder what my own death will be like, if I am ever blessed to embrace it. I’m not too picky in my imaginings; I’ll take any sort by this point. Logically, I’d prefer a less painful exit, but, knowing my luck, it’ll be as ruthless as once reported and still widely believed.
            It ought to be noted I have some of the most wretched luck to ever be doled out, so there is that.
            The sound of waves crashing against the shore sends my eyes to the horizon. I’ve tried to drown myself in those waters more times than I ought to admit over the years, but the sea always spits me back out. I’ve also tried overdosing on pharmaceuticals, stabbing myself in the chest and eyes (which was just as painful as you’d imagine), and throwing myself off a cliff. Melodramatic, yes, and all ineffective for an immortal cursed with impenetrable skin and a digestive system apparently filled with acid.
            Death is not my friend. At least, not yet.
Author PhotoAbout Heather Lyons: Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.    

REVIEW: Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher

When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley's trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate's recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.

My Thoughts:

"I think sometimes it's easier to pretend to be okay than it is to admit weakness"

Hanley Helton has been escaping her pain through the regular parties she goes to to get drunk. She shuts herself off emotionally from everyone around her. If you don't allow yourself to feel, you can't hurt. She keeps her family at arms length and rebels against her parents rules. Her relationship with her best friend is only superficial, no more that gossiping about who's hooking up with who and where the next party is at. Hanley's escape route to these parties is through the garage. One night while sneaking out she discovers someone has been camping out in that very garage. That someone, is runaway Nate.

"It's perfect. You're beautiful."
My cheeks warm. I'm far from perfect and too messed up to be beautiful. But Nate makes me feel like that doesn't matter.

I really connected with these characters. Despite Hanley's tough exterior, she is a softie at heart. Nate was just one big ball of perfect. And it was him that I was most intrigued with throughout the whole story. Both dealing with pain, loss, grief, guilt and loneliness. I loved the relationship between the two of them. It had the most perfect tempo to it. It was sweet, but it was also caring and deep. They didn't instantly fall in love, but they slowly found something in each other that they each needed. They comforted, they questioned, they supported and they loved. 

Erin Fletcher eluded to the reasons for Nate being a runaway throughout the book, and it's not until fairly late in the story that we find out those reasons. We had gotten glimpses of Nate's pain at different stages, but it really pulled me up and made me take a real hard look at the depth of the pain that Nate must have been experiencing. It was also a really original and heartbreaking subject matter. 

Pain guilt and grief. Quite possibly the very hardest things to deal with. Sometimes, so hard that you can't see things from anyone's perspective but your own. If guilt is what you're dealing with, you manage to carry that pain squarely on your own shoulders. But sometimes grief see's you directing that pain at the very people you love the most. Where you'll find me dealt with all of that.

The one drawback for me was that the side story of Rosalinda didn't seem to get resolved enough for me. I would have loved to find out the choices she made and the impact of those choices. She eluded to things but I don't think there were ever any final decisions made.

Where You'll Find Me drew me in from the very first page. It was a quick and at times emotional read. Love find's us when we least expect it, in the oddest of places, but sometime's it's exactly at the right time we need it. 

4/5 Perfect Nate Stars

Copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

REVIEW: Sweet Thing (Sweet Thing #1) by Renée Carlino

"You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together…then you'll hear the sound of your soul."

Mia Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. She's an Ivy League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love.

When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father's café, a treasured neighborhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She's denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitarist, offers her a glimpse of what could be. When Will becomes her friend and then her roommate, she does everything in her power to suppress her passions-for him, for music-but her father's legacy slowly opens her heart to the possibility of something more.

My Thoughts:

The pain of losing someone is always worse when you know you could have prevented it.

Mia Kelly moves to New York after the death of her father. On the plane ride there she meets gorgeous musician Will Ryan. They hit it off straight away, becoming friends and then roommates. Mia takes over the running of her fathers cafe and Will pursues his music. But music is something that they have in common and it's through that shared passion that they bond and become close. 

Going into Sweet Thing, my expectations were incredibly high. I had heard such amazing things about it. I Pushed it right up to the top of my review list in my excitement. Unfortunately, it didn't do it for me. Usually I can read a book in one or two days but Sweet Thing took me almost a week to get through. I found it to be quite slow paced and at times it even bordered on boring. Nothing much seemed to happen. Things just plodded along and the story didn't seem to focus on any one thing for very long.

I liked Will well enough. He was sweet and fun and full of love. He had a passion for what he believed in and his love of music, for the simple pleasure of playing was a beautiful thing. He didn't chase after fame or the adoration that comes with it. And he had dreams, although we really didn't get an incite into those dreams until the very end of the book, which for me was a bit of a waste. And then we have Mia. I have to say that I really didn't like her. She frustrated me completely. She was so judgemental and hypocritical. She was attracted to Will but told him right from the start that they would never be more than friends, even going so far as to very condescendingly call him buddy continually. But then when he was even so much as chatting to another woman, she would have a hissy fit and get incredibly jealous and treat him badly. Even though she was dating and sleeping with someone who fit the set of standards that she had. Despite him being a douch!! It's no wonder the poor guy was in knots. Her reasonings for not wanting a relationship with him were ludicrous. She would readily say that he was sweet, kind, caring and loving, but there was no way she could date him because her was a musician and had no purpose. And then there were her random actions. Stopping mid conversation with someone to race into the store to buy alcohol to guzzle at 10 in the morning because she couldn't handle a situation. Or taking up chain smoking. Again, because she couldn't handle a bad situation which was all of her doing. And as for the romance, it was pretty non existent. For me, there just wasn't a whole lot of substance to it and I constantly asked myself why Will felt anything for Mia, who really gave nothing back.

Something that I really couldn't understand was that the first and last chapters were told from the point of view of a character who really has no bearing on the story. It left me a bit confused and I wondered if maybe there was something in the story that I was missing. Yes, there were some words of wisdom imparted but I just didn't get the randomness of that characters appearance. 

One of the pluses for me was the music peppered throughout the story. The jamming and the gigs in the little bars, were all really vivid to me and I loved those scenes. They were always the times that Mia and Will seemed on the same page. But even then Mia always seemed to have a way to stuff it up.

Unfortunately, I was glad to see Sweet Thing come to an end. No more of Mia's antics and the following sadness of seeing Will constantly forgive those antics. 

2/5 Frustrating Stars

A huge thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for proving me with a copy for review.
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