Bought Borrowed and Bagged #65

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week’s reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 
Bagged
from Publishers, Authors and Tour Organizers
Synchronized Breathing by Tara Ellison
After reading TEllison’s penis excerpt, I know I HAVE to read this.
from Michelle of Novels On The Run
Signed swag from Sylvia Day & Abbi Glines
A box of firsts from my SW, Grace of Books of Love
Their Virgin Captive by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake | Fury of Fire by Coreene Callahan | Shadow Marked by Anna J. Evans | Taken by Kelli Maine | Cowboy Flats by Julia Talbot | Nightfall by Ellen Connor | The Do Who Loved Me by Lexi Blake | Seducing the Succubus by Cassie Ryan | Nightshifter by Cassie Alexander | Dying Bites by D.D. Barant | Grave Witch by Kalayna Price | First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones
When Grace told me that she was sending me books, I thought she’s only sending a couple not 13! Shelley of Gizmos Reviews and I were teasing her that we’d be more than happy to be her donatees, I never thought she’d take us up on that offer. I was so ecstatic when I opened the box and checked the books and realized that most of the stack were the first in the series. 
Big & Small
I wasn’t over the moon over American Horror Story: Asylum but I’m very excited about the upcoming S3, Coven. Crazies are a different terror altogether now witches are right up my alley!
American Horror Story: Coven is about witches and the story is rooted on the Salem Witch Trials. Jessica Lange and her posse are back, some of them are witches the others play historical figures like Madame Laveau and Madame LaLurie. Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, and Angela Basset joins the cast. Season 3 premier is on October 9 at FX.

Last Week’s Reviews

Upcoming Reviews
Lindsey Piper (US)
win some Dragon Kings swag
ends Sept. 1

Mary Hughes (INT)
win a Kindle or Nook
ends Sept. 6

Christine Warner (INT)

win a $25 Amazon GC
ends Sept. 30

J.R. Ward (US)
win a print copy of Covet
ends Sept. 30

Check out these other fabulous blogs that participate in 
Bought, Borrowed & Bagged:

NOTE: Future participants, please use your BB&B LABEL LINK instead of the individual post link.

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Bought Borrowed and Bagged #65

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week’s reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 
Bagged
from Publishers, Authors and Tour Organizers
Synchronized Breathing by Tara Ellison
After reading TEllison’s penis excerpt, I know I HAVE to read this.
from Michelle of Novels On The Run
Signed swag from Sylvia Day & Abbi Glines
A box of firsts from my SW, Grace of Books of Love
Their Virgin Captive by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake | Fury of Fire by Coreene Callahan | Shadow Marked by Anna J. Evans | Taken by Kelli Maine | Cowboy Flats by Julia Talbot | Nightfall by Ellen Connor | The Do Who Loved Me by Lexi Blake | Seducing the Succubus by Cassie Ryan | Nightshifter by Cassie Alexander | Dying Bites by D.D. Barant | Grave Witch by Kalayna Price | First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones
When Grace told me that she was sending me books, I thought she’s only sending a couple not 13! Shelley of Gizmos Reviews and I were teasing her that we’d be more than happy to be her donatees, I never thought she’d take us up on that offer. I was so ecstatic when I opened the box and checked the books and realized that most of the stack were the first in the series. 
Big & Small
I wasn’t over the moon over American Horror Story: Asylum but I’m very excited about the upcoming S3, Coven. Crazies are a different terror altogether now witches are right up my alley!
American Horror Story: Coven is about witches and the story is rooted on the Salem Witch Trials. Jessica Lange and her posse are back, some of them are witches the others play historical figures like Madame Laveau and Madame LaLurie. Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, and Angela Basset joins the cast. Season 3 premier is on October 9 at FX.

Last Week’s Reviews

Upcoming Reviews
Lindsey Piper (US)
win some Dragon Kings swag
ends Sept. 1

Mary Hughes (INT)
win a Kindle or Nook
ends Sept. 6

Christine Warner (INT)

win a $25 Amazon GC
ends Sept. 30

J.R. Ward (US)
win a print copy of Covet
ends Sept. 30

Check out these other fabulous blogs that participate in 
Bought, Borrowed & Bagged:

NOTE: Future participants, please use your BB&B LABEL LINK instead of the individual post link.

Braine Reviews: The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love by Erin Quinn + Giveaway

Series: Beyond 1
Format: Print ARC
Excerpt
Release Date: August 27, 2013

Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy – PNR
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM | Indibound 

She cheated death….

All Roxanne Love has ever wanted is to be normal—marriage, kids, the life of June Cleaver. She tries to fit in but can’t conceal her ability to defy death–not from the world, not from the darkest creatures of the Beyond and not from the Reaper determined to destroy her. Now Roxanne is on the run, her only ally a compelling, dangerous detective with secrets of his own. Against her will, she’s drawn to his quiet strength and heated touch. But can she trust him with the truth?

….until she felt death’s kiss.

Incognito as guilt-ridden cop, Santo Castillo, the Reaper’s plan is simple: get close to Roxanne, uncover the secret of her immortality and cut it at the source. Yet with this borrowed body come emotions the Reaper hadn’t expected. Now nothing is clear but his conflicted desire to protect the woman he came to kill. As destiny forces them to face an enemy hell-bent on using Roxanne to wipe out all of mankind, she and Santo must choose between love….and salvation.

THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE is my second Erin Quinn book. I read book 1 of her Mists of Ireland series and though I like Celtic fae, Haunting Beauty didn’t captivate my attention. I found the book grey and dreary and decided not to read further. Her new series, Beyond was a totally different reading experience for me, I found it fresh, exciting and utterly engaging. 
THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE has a Grim Reaper theme going for it. Roxanne Love and her twin, Reece, defied death several times much to the aggravation of a certain Reaper. And I’m not talking about near-death here, I’m talking about real death as in their hearts stopped beating and they stopped breathing. Afterwards, they returned from the dead much to the fascination and consternation of the townspeople because their resurrections have been well documented and publicized. So said Reaper possessed the body of Det. Santo Castillo, went undercover and tried to figure out if the twins made a deal with a demon or if they have some magical juju that kept them from dying. 
Plot-wise, THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE is totally right up my alley. If you watch and are a fan of the hit TV show, Supernatural, you’ll totally dig this book. Reece is a lot like Sam, Hell wants him on their side because every time he dies, he leaves a portal open that enables Hell’s creatures to leave their infernal prison. Meanwhile Roxanne’s death closes said portal so the bad guys want her permanently dead so they can freely roam the Earth. The world-building and feel of the events are very dark, mysterious and real creepy with talking black birds, bodies being possessed by demons and all that jazz. 
As for the conflict, there’s no real resolution. We still don’t know why Reece and Roxanne Love are special and it looks like the real meat of their story is yet to unfold. Roxanne and the Reaper Santo are in cahoots and I can tell that these two are going to fall in love if they haven’t yet. Problem is, Santo is supposed to be one of the “bad guys” being Abaddon’s minion and going rogue isn’t going to do him any favors moving forward. Not only that, he’s closely associated with Roxanne which makes him a traitor and a moving target. 
THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE ended with a semi-cliffhanger because there’s so more to the story and myth that EQuinn has yet to divulge. I rarely read teasers but I can’t help but take a sneak peek on book 2, The Three Fates of Ryan Love, Ryan being Roxanne’s older brother. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen here but I’m hoping that EQuinn will keep the Grim Reaper thing going and hopefully we’ll learn more about Roxanne’s backstory and her present with Santo.

I’m giving away a print copy of
THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE
to one lucky Supie!

This is a US Only contest, ends Sept. 7

Good luck!

Braine Reviews: The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love by Erin Quinn + Giveaway

Series: Beyond 1
Format: Print ARC
Excerpt
Release Date: August 27, 2013

Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy – PNR
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM | Indibound 

She cheated death….

All Roxanne Love has ever wanted is to be normal—marriage, kids, the life of June Cleaver. She tries to fit in but can’t conceal her ability to defy death–not from the world, not from the darkest creatures of the Beyond and not from the Reaper determined to destroy her. Now Roxanne is on the run, her only ally a compelling, dangerous detective with secrets of his own. Against her will, she’s drawn to his quiet strength and heated touch. But can she trust him with the truth?

….until she felt death’s kiss.

Incognito as guilt-ridden cop, Santo Castillo, the Reaper’s plan is simple: get close to Roxanne, uncover the secret of her immortality and cut it at the source. Yet with this borrowed body come emotions the Reaper hadn’t expected. Now nothing is clear but his conflicted desire to protect the woman he came to kill. As destiny forces them to face an enemy hell-bent on using Roxanne to wipe out all of mankind, she and Santo must choose between love….and salvation.

THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE is my second Erin Quinn book. I read book 1 of her Mists of Ireland series and though I like Celtic fae, Haunting Beauty didn’t captivate my attention. I found the book grey and dreary and decided not to read further. Her new series, Beyond was a totally different reading experience for me, I found it fresh, exciting and utterly engaging. 
THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE has a Grim Reaper theme going for it. Roxanne Love and her twin, Reece, defied death several times much to the aggravation of a certain Reaper. And I’m not talking about near-death here, I’m talking about real death as in their hearts stopped beating and they stopped breathing. Afterwards, they returned from the dead much to the fascination and consternation of the townspeople because their resurrections have been well documented and publicized. So said Reaper possessed the body of Det. Santo Castillo, went undercover and tried to figure out if the twins made a deal with a demon or if they have some magical juju that kept them from dying. 
Plot-wise, THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE is totally right up my alley. If you watch and are a fan of the hit TV show, Supernatural, you’ll totally dig this book. Reece is a lot like Sam, Hell wants him on their side because every time he dies, he leaves a portal open that enables Hell’s creatures to leave their infernal prison. Meanwhile Roxanne’s death closes said portal so the bad guys want her permanently dead so they can freely roam the Earth. The world-building and feel of the events are very dark, mysterious and real creepy with talking black birds, bodies being possessed by demons and all that jazz. 
As for the conflict, there’s no real resolution. We still don’t know why Reece and Roxanne Love are special and it looks like the real meat of their story is yet to unfold. Roxanne and the Reaper Santo are in cahoots and I can tell that these two are going to fall in love if they haven’t yet. Problem is, Santo is supposed to be one of the “bad guys” being Abaddon’s minion and going rogue isn’t going to do him any favors moving forward. Not only that, he’s closely associated with Roxanne which makes him a traitor and a moving target. 
THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE ended with a semi-cliffhanger because there’s so more to the story and myth that EQuinn has yet to divulge. I rarely read teasers but I can’t help but take a sneak peek on book 2, The Three Fates of Ryan Love, Ryan being Roxanne’s older brother. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen here but I’m hoping that EQuinn will keep the Grim Reaper thing going and hopefully we’ll learn more about Roxanne’s backstory and her present with Santo.

I’m giving away a print copy of
THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE
to one lucky Supie!

This is a US Only contest, ends Sept. 7

Good luck!

Braine Reviews: Dead Push by Tim O’Rourke

Series: Kiera Hudson II – 7
Format: Mobi
Release Date: August 2, 2013
Publisher: Ravenwoodgreys
Source: Author
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When two enemies push back together!

“…Most of them just sit as if waiting for someone to join them on their impending journey. Others are rushing for their train as if late for some important meeting. They can’t wait to board one of those trains below ground. When I first discovered this place, I don’t know how long I sat here watching the dead hustle and bustle about, queue at the ticket office and take drinks from the vending machines. Like any new place you visit, like your first day at a new school or in a new job, you soon figure out how things work. I knew I was dead…”

Tim, we’re good, we’re back on track. You take care of Potter and I’ll take care of you.
Sorry if that statement is a little spoilery but as Potter is in the cover art then the cat is out of the bag! How he managed to do that, I’ll leave it up to you to find out. Let’s just say Tim O’Rourke is one clever and manipulative plotter and I love and hate him (sometimes) in equal measure for all the emotional upheavals we and Kiera Hudson goes through with every. Damn. Frickin’. Book.
DEAD PUSH is book 7 of Kiera Hudson II and before I type any further, I want to congratulate Tim for keeping the series consistent and ALIVE. I mean Kiera Hudson is a bloody epic series now with 12 books and 2 novellas in total! I don’t know when it’s going to end or if I want it to end at this point! Part of me wants to bid adieu while it’s still good and also because I feel sorry for Kiera and the rest of her crew, Tim O’Rourke has tortured them enough, they need a much deserved R&R. 
Going back.
DEAD PUSH might be book 7 but it has a companion novel feel to it. This was told in Potter and Jack’s POV as they try to move through a different place, looking for the mysterious Photographer who keeps on taunting them with pictures of future events that usually ends in disaster. They believe that once they catch who this person is, s/he could make things right again for everyone. Well they didn’t find the photographer but Potter and Jack Seth’s take away was a journey to self discovery. Potter’s was in relation to Kiera so his realizations were a little expected. Jack Seth’s on the other hand was profound, humanizing and layered in some ways.
If you’re a follower of the series, you know that Jack Seth is straddling the boundaries of being an anti-hero and a villain. After Dead Seth my opinion about Jack shifted a little bit. I still don’t trust the wolf but knowing his backstory made me understand why he is the way he is and I’m wishing that all’s not lost for this guy and hopefully redemption is in the horizon for him. DEAD PUSH sort of explored that possibility for Seth. He’s still a jacka** but seeing Isidor (YES! He’s back… for now) with Melody Rose had Seth revisiting his past, prompting him to do some self-checks. Whether or not he becomes an ally at this point is till speculative however Jack Seth’s internalization here are moving and will really make you reevaluate your opinion about him to an extent.

They feed off the misery cause by separating those that had fallen in love.

Now I have to be honest, at first I didn’t feel excited about this because I feel like is just “killing time” instead of sticking with the essentials and working on the ending. But as DEAD PUSH unfold, I realize why this novel is important. Potter and Seth’s objective was to find the Photographer and since they failed to do that there’s no real resolution here. They did manage to discover a lot of things, especially with regards to those blasted Elders, but aside from that, DEAD PUSH was really about character self-checks for both Potter and Seth. We can expect Potter to make amends for Kiera, Seth on the other had is a wild card. Who knows what he’s going to do next.
DEAD PUSH may have veered off a little bit from the main plot of the series but I think it changed the game in some ways. How? We’ll find out in Dead Lost coming soon.


 

Braine Reviews: Dead Push by Tim O’Rourke

Series: Kiera Hudson II – 7
Format: Mobi
Release Date: August 2, 2013
Publisher: Ravenwoodgreys
Source: Author
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When two enemies push back together!

“…Most of them just sit as if waiting for someone to join them on their impending journey. Others are rushing for their train as if late for some important meeting. They can’t wait to board one of those trains below ground. When I first discovered this place, I don’t know how long I sat here watching the dead hustle and bustle about, queue at the ticket office and take drinks from the vending machines. Like any new place you visit, like your first day at a new school or in a new job, you soon figure out how things work. I knew I was dead…”

Tim, we’re good, we’re back on track. You take care of Potter and I’ll take care of you.
Sorry if that statement is a little spoilery but as Potter is in the cover art then the cat is out of the bag! How he managed to do that, I’ll leave it up to you to find out. Let’s just say Tim O’Rourke is one clever and manipulative plotter and I love and hate him (sometimes) in equal measure for all the emotional upheavals we and Kiera Hudson goes through with every. Damn. Frickin’. Book.
DEAD PUSH is book 7 of Kiera Hudson II and before I type any further, I want to congratulate Tim for keeping the series consistent and ALIVE. I mean Kiera Hudson is a bloody epic series now with 12 books and 2 novellas in total! I don’t know when it’s going to end or if I want it to end at this point! Part of me wants to bid adieu while it’s still good and also because I feel sorry for Kiera and the rest of her crew, Tim O’Rourke has tortured them enough, they need a much deserved R&R. 
Going back.
DEAD PUSH might be book 7 but it has a companion novel feel to it. This was told in Potter and Jack’s POV as they try to move through a different place, looking for the mysterious Photographer who keeps on taunting them with pictures of future events that usually ends in disaster. They believe that once they catch who this person is, s/he could make things right again for everyone. Well they didn’t find the photographer but Potter and Jack Seth’s take away was a journey to self discovery. Potter’s was in relation to Kiera so his realizations were a little expected. Jack Seth’s on the other hand was profound, humanizing and layered in some ways.
If you’re a follower of the series, you know that Jack Seth is straddling the boundaries of being an anti-hero and a villain. After Dead Seth my opinion about Jack shifted a little bit. I still don’t trust the wolf but knowing his backstory made me understand why he is the way he is and I’m wishing that all’s not lost for this guy and hopefully redemption is in the horizon for him. DEAD PUSH sort of explored that possibility for Seth. He’s still a jacka** but seeing Isidor (YES! He’s back… for now) with Melody Rose had Seth revisiting his past, prompting him to do some self-checks. Whether or not he becomes an ally at this point is till speculative however Jack Seth’s internalization here are moving and will really make you reevaluate your opinion about him to an extent.

They feed off the misery cause by separating those that had fallen in love.

Now I have to be honest, at first I didn’t feel excited about this because I feel like is just “killing time” instead of sticking with the essentials and working on the ending. But as DEAD PUSH unfold, I realize why this novel is important. Potter and Seth’s objective was to find the Photographer and since they failed to do that there’s no real resolution here. They did manage to discover a lot of things, especially with regards to those blasted Elders, but aside from that, DEAD PUSH was really about character self-checks for both Potter and Seth. We can expect Potter to make amends for Kiera, Seth on the other had is a wild card. Who knows what he’s going to do next.
DEAD PUSH may have veered off a little bit from the main plot of the series but I think it changed the game in some ways. How? We’ll find out in Dead Lost coming soon.


 

Tour Stop + Giveaway: After The Kiss by Lauren Layne

AFTER THE KISS is a knock-your-stilettos-off, total page-turning treat that had me fan-girling up within the first chapter. I absolutely loved this read!”
USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly


After The Kiss
Sex, Love & Stiletto 1
Lauren Layne
Lovesweot
August 26, 2013
Contemporary Romance

In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

“I can’t just pull a relationship out of my butt, Ri. How am I supposed to add a personal touch to a story about something I’ve never experienced?”

“Interview women who have been through it,” Grace said practically, sounding exactly like Camille.

“Go undercover,” Riley said at the exact same time.

Julie paused with the newly refilled champagne flute halfway to her lips, eyes fixed on Riley. “Keep going with that. Undercover. What are you thinking?”

“What about my idea?” Grace asked.

Julie ignored her. A bland interview-focused article wasn’t on her radar. She hadn’t spent years building up the personal aspect of her articles only to let it all fall apart now.

“Go undercover,” Riley repeated. “If you’re not interested in actually taking a relationship to the next level, fake it.”

“Tell me you’re joking,” Grace said. “That’s just wrong. Pretending to fall in love would be bad enough, but pretending to actually be in love? That’s cruel.”

“It wouldn’t have to actually be love, per se,” Julie mused, warming up to the idea. “I could just sort of dip my toe into the world of commitment. Find some nice, reliable, wife-seeking guy and see what happens.”

“Exactly right,” Riley said with approval. “You just pull the plug before it goes too far. It wouldn’t be unlike normal dating. You’d just be trying a guy on for size, seeing if it might work out.”

“Except it wouldn’t,” Julie said. “Work out, I mean.”

“Maybe not. But he doesn’t know that.”

Grace groaned. “I can’t believe I’m listening to this.”

“This could really work,” Julie mused. “Maybe I could truly find out firsthand what all those boring couples do after the butterflies-and-fun stuff has worn off.”

“Hey!” Grace said.

“Not you and Greg, of course,” Julie amended. “You guys aren’t boring.”

Except they were. Just a little.

“So how do I do this?” she asked, turning her attention back to Riley. “Where do I start?”

Riley rubbed her hands together. “Ah, the tigress hunts her prey.”
“Not that I want any part of this charade,” Grace said slowly, “but tonight might actually be an ideal time to find such a man.”

“Tonight?” Julie’s stomach clenched. She’d thought she’d at least have a few days to prepare.

“Sure!” Grace said, as though they were discussing nothing more dicey than a fifth-grade scavenger hunt. “It’s an education fund-raiser. I’m thinking many of the men here will be more family-minded than we might find on an average Friday night out.”

Riley nodded in agreement. “Baby call instead of booty call. I like the way you think, Brighton. We can for sure find a dull, committed kind of guy here. Assuming this is for our August issue, you’ll have over a month until you have to get a draft to Camille. If you keep this moving, that’s plenty of time to get serious.”

Julie chewed her lip. “You guys really think I should go man hunting at an education fund-raiser? Isn’t this a little . . . depraved?”

Grace shrugged. “For the record, I think this whole thing is depraved. But if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.”
Julie’s eyes scanned the room, taking in the sheer number of conservative suits. Grace had a point. Tonight was as good a night as any to find a fake boyfriend. But could she do this? Should she do this?

Then she pictured Kelli’s gloating face. If she didn’tdo this, it would be Julie who’d be assigned to fridge-cleaning duties, while Kelli moved her tiny butt into Julie’s office.

Not happening.

“So how do we do this?” Julie asked. She tried to keep the trepidation out of her voice. She’d never really paid much attention to the length of her previous relationships, but now she couldn’t seem to think about anything else. Once they’d run out of quips and banter, and after the sex haze had worn off . . . what did people do?
“Let’s split up,” Riley said. “We’ll cover more ground that way. 

Everyone keep an eye out for the quiet, rich, husband-material type.”
“Yeah, that should be a breeze,” Julie said. “Not like ninety percent of the women here aren’t looking for one of those.”

Follow Loveswept

Purchase After The Kiss

Today’s we get a sneak peek at AFTER THE KISS, the first book in the Sex, Love and Stilettoseries by Lauren Layne. Lauren graduated from Santa Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career, she decided to quit talking about writing and actually do it.

A Seattle-native, Lauren’s also tried on the Bay Area, Orange County and Manhattan for size. She’s currently writing from the Pacific Northwest, but is always looking for the next place to call home. Texas? The South? New England? Suggestions welcome.

Link up with Lauren

Loveswept is giving away lots of goodies for this tour.

Contest ends Sept. 20.

Good luck!

Tour Stop + Giveaway: After The Kiss by Lauren Layne

AFTER THE KISS is a knock-your-stilettos-off, total page-turning treat that had me fan-girling up within the first chapter. I absolutely loved this read!”
USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly


After The Kiss
Sex, Love & Stiletto 1
Lauren Layne
Lovesweot
August 26, 2013
Contemporary Romance

In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

“I can’t just pull a relationship out of my butt, Ri. How am I supposed to add a personal touch to a story about something I’ve never experienced?”

“Interview women who have been through it,” Grace said practically, sounding exactly like Camille.

“Go undercover,” Riley said at the exact same time.

Julie paused with the newly refilled champagne flute halfway to her lips, eyes fixed on Riley. “Keep going with that. Undercover. What are you thinking?”

“What about my idea?” Grace asked.

Julie ignored her. A bland interview-focused article wasn’t on her radar. She hadn’t spent years building up the personal aspect of her articles only to let it all fall apart now.

“Go undercover,” Riley repeated. “If you’re not interested in actually taking a relationship to the next level, fake it.”

“Tell me you’re joking,” Grace said. “That’s just wrong. Pretending to fall in love would be bad enough, but pretending to actually be in love? That’s cruel.”

“It wouldn’t have to actually be love, per se,” Julie mused, warming up to the idea. “I could just sort of dip my toe into the world of commitment. Find some nice, reliable, wife-seeking guy and see what happens.”

“Exactly right,” Riley said with approval. “You just pull the plug before it goes too far. It wouldn’t be unlike normal dating. You’d just be trying a guy on for size, seeing if it might work out.”

“Except it wouldn’t,” Julie said. “Work out, I mean.”

“Maybe not. But he doesn’t know that.”

Grace groaned. “I can’t believe I’m listening to this.”

“This could really work,” Julie mused. “Maybe I could truly find out firsthand what all those boring couples do after the butterflies-and-fun stuff has worn off.”

“Hey!” Grace said.

“Not you and Greg, of course,” Julie amended. “You guys aren’t boring.”

Except they were. Just a little.

“So how do I do this?” she asked, turning her attention back to Riley. “Where do I start?”

Riley rubbed her hands together. “Ah, the tigress hunts her prey.”
“Not that I want any part of this charade,” Grace said slowly, “but tonight might actually be an ideal time to find such a man.”

“Tonight?” Julie’s stomach clenched. She’d thought she’d at least have a few days to prepare.

“Sure!” Grace said, as though they were discussing nothing more dicey than a fifth-grade scavenger hunt. “It’s an education fund-raiser. I’m thinking many of the men here will be more family-minded than we might find on an average Friday night out.”

Riley nodded in agreement. “Baby call instead of booty call. I like the way you think, Brighton. We can for sure find a dull, committed kind of guy here. Assuming this is for our August issue, you’ll have over a month until you have to get a draft to Camille. If you keep this moving, that’s plenty of time to get serious.”

Julie chewed her lip. “You guys really think I should go man hunting at an education fund-raiser? Isn’t this a little . . . depraved?”

Grace shrugged. “For the record, I think this whole thing is depraved. But if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.”
Julie’s eyes scanned the room, taking in the sheer number of conservative suits. Grace had a point. Tonight was as good a night as any to find a fake boyfriend. But could she do this? Should she do this?

Then she pictured Kelli’s gloating face. If she didn’tdo this, it would be Julie who’d be assigned to fridge-cleaning duties, while Kelli moved her tiny butt into Julie’s office.

Not happening.

“So how do we do this?” Julie asked. She tried to keep the trepidation out of her voice. She’d never really paid much attention to the length of her previous relationships, but now she couldn’t seem to think about anything else. Once they’d run out of quips and banter, and after the sex haze had worn off . . . what did people do?
“Let’s split up,” Riley said. “We’ll cover more ground that way. 

Everyone keep an eye out for the quiet, rich, husband-material type.”
“Yeah, that should be a breeze,” Julie said. “Not like ninety percent of the women here aren’t looking for one of those.”

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Today’s we get a sneak peek at AFTER THE KISS, the first book in the Sex, Love and Stilettoseries by Lauren Layne. Lauren graduated from Santa Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career, she decided to quit talking about writing and actually do it.

A Seattle-native, Lauren’s also tried on the Bay Area, Orange County and Manhattan for size. She’s currently writing from the Pacific Northwest, but is always looking for the next place to call home. Texas? The South? New England? Suggestions welcome.

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Loveswept is giving away lots of goodies for this tour.

Contest ends Sept. 20.

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Cover Reveal: Soul Resurrected by Keri Lake

Soul Resurrected
Sons of Wrath 2
Keri Lake
Self-published
October 31, 2013
PNR
As Wrath’s fiercest son, Logan carries the scars of fifty years spent in the most dreaded prison of the underworld, for a sin he’d kill to keep secret. Enduring decades of gruesome torture has left Logan feared by and detached from others, until a female Alexi’s blood resurrects his soul from death and, with it, the pleasures he’s been denied for so long.
Plagued by shame of her own, Calla is drawn to the ruthless demon, Logan, whose insatiable craving for her touch rouses buried passions and, for once, leaves her feeling desired.
A dark and dangerous evil has been reawakened, however, and when Calla is drawn too close to its breeding grounds, Logan vows to summon the violence of Wrath in order to keep her safe. First, though, Calla must save him from a past riddled with deceit and corruption … but only if she can accept the consequences of unveiling a grisly truth.
Read more to see the cover


Cover Designer: David Wagner of Wagner LA Photography

November 6th – December 6th, 2013
Lots of prizes up for grabs! To keep abreast of the news, you can subscribe to Keri’s blog
Read up!

Keri Lake is a married mother of two living in Michigan. She writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy and loves a good, tragic love story. Though novels tend to be her focus, she also writes short stories and flash fiction whenever distraction manages to suck her in to the Land of Shiny Things. 
When she isn’t toiling away on plots and protagonists, she enjoys reading, music and travel. If she could create mystical powers for herself, she’d have the ability to flash to anywhere in the world. And if she could flash to anywhere in the world at this very moment, she’d be staring at the ocean from her adirondack chair on the shores of North Carolina.

Fan Girls & Boys Welcome 
Website | Facebook | @KeriLake | Goodreads

OMG! I need this book now!


Gush and Gripe: Giveaways

Giveaways
Every Blogger’s Not-So-Secret Weapon
Personally I enjoy giveaways. From a blogger’s perspective it works because it brings a lot of traffic and interest to the blog. We get an increase in following, meet new players in the blogosphere and it widens our reach. Win-win!
As a participant I love joining blogger contests for the fun of it and some raffles are really creative. It’s also my way of supporting my fellow bookworms by sharing their giveaway to our followers and hopefully our blog’s reach will get them the traffic they need. Winning is a perk especially if it’s something that I really like.
Back when we used to join giveaway hops, I used to get irritated by hosts who limits the options we can put on rafflecopter or Google docs. I felt that unfair because as we’re the one spending money for the prizes, then I think we should have free rein on how we want to conduct the contest. But rules are rules and we must comply.
CREDIT: Discovering Different
It’s only recently where I’ve come to appreciate that limit. I say this because recently I’ve joined tour giveaways where the prize is ONE average rated ebook and the list of tasks is a mile long like if there are 25 participants we are asked to follow their social media site like Twitter AND Facebook on top of the author’s, the tour organizers and the publisher.
I know I sound a little hypocritical because it’s their giveaway, their rules. However I think that the requirements should match the prize. Now I know that I can opt to select which task I want to do but if I want to win then I should put in more entries, right? I don’t speak for everyone but in my experience I tend to stay away from these kinds of giveaways, I feel like it’s a scam and a total turn off. If the prize is for a $2.99 book, I’d rather buy it than “like” and “follow” a bunch of accounts whose content is unknown to me. Maybe that’s the goal of the host all along but still, I find it ridiculous to give us the run-around like that. It’s like getting a $50 mail-in-rebate instead of an outright discount or a store coupon. 
With Holloween peeping from around the corner followed by the holiday trinity of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a deluge of giveaways, good and bad. So weigh in, I’d like to know what your thoughts are about this topic.