Loved It: A Ghostly Grave by Tonya Kappes

Series: Ghostly Southern Mystery 2
Format: eGalley
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Avon Books | Witness
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Paranormal – Humorous

There’s a ghost on the loose—and a fox in the henhouse

Four years ago, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home put Chicken Teater in the ground. Now undertaker Emma Lee Raines is digging him back up. The whole scene is bad for business, especially with her granny running for mayor and a big festival setting up in town. But ever since Emma Lee started seeing ghosts, Chicken’s been pestering her to figure out who killed him.

With her handsome boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, busy getting new forensics on the old corpse, Emma Lee has time to look into her first suspect. Chicken’s widow may be a former Miss Kentucky, but the love of his life was another beauty queen: Lady Cluckington, his prize-winning hen. Was Mrs. Teater the jealous type? Chicken seems to think so. Something’s definitely rotten in Sleepy Hollow—and Emma Lee just prays it’s not her luck.

Tonya Kappes’ A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING is the perfect cozy weekend read. At least for me it was. I mean it was difficult to hold in guffaws and giggle snorts when Emma Lee Raines is investigating the wrongful death of a chicken… errr… I mean a dude named, Colonel Chicken Teater. Who is crazy obsessed with his prize winning hen. Who paid more attention to Lady Cluckington (hen) than his pageant Queen and certified cougar, Marla Maria Teater?! I know it’s a lame rhetoric, but I’m sure you get my drift. 
Add Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky’s crazy gossip mongers to the mix led by Emma Lee’s own Granny, a hen pageant, some yoga poses and ripped eyebrows, a hearty rendition of Old McDonald, and you have a laugh out loud paranormal cozy mystery that’s BEGGING not to be taken seriously. There’s an abundance of snark, romantic tension, and hilarious anecdotes to keep you flipping/swiping the pages to the left. 
What I’m most pleased about is Emma Lee’s noticeable character development compared to the previous book, A Ghostly Undertaking. I liked her there, but I felt the secondary characters led the story and she was just hosting the gig for us. I’m so happy that we get to see more of Emma Lee’s colorful personality here. Funeral Trauma nonewithstanding, our heroine is very clever in terms of getting herself out of sticky situations, and has a sharp tongue hidden underneath all of that Southern Belle charm. 
A GHOSTLY GRAVE is a strong sequel to the series. It will definitely get you hooked on Ghostly Southern Mysteries in case you needed more convincing after the first one. I also think you can get away reading A GHOSTLY GRAVE as standalone or the series in reverse order, because TKappes gave quick recap of highlights that happened in A Ghostly Undertaking so you can get in the know of things. Ultimately if you love cozy mysteries, ridiculous ghost hauntings, and plain laughing in general, make sure you pick up Ghostly Southern Mysteries, you’ll devour it in one sitting.
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Boob Tube Binges Epic Edition: Marco Polo and World Without End

 

MARCO POLO
Epic – Historical | Weinstein Company | December 2014
Netflix Original Series | 10 Episodes | 1h/ep
I am not familiar with Marco Polo’s story except that he walked for a long ass time. I mean only a crazy, but awe inspiring, adventurer would dare travel from Europe to China on foot during the 15th century right? So after seeing trailers of the series and knowing that it’s being produced by the Weinsteing flucking Company, I know that MARCO POLO, an original Netflix series, is going to kick some major ass. 
And I wasn’t wrong. In fact I binged watched MARCO POLO on the weekend it came out last December (sorry, got lazy writing up a review. Better late than never!). Color me impressed because I totally suspended disbelief from start to finish. The casting is damn PERFECT, no caucasians pretending to be Asians or Middle Easterns. The producers know what they’re doing and didn’t spare a single dime in bringing to life Marco Polo’s epic adventure. Kublai Khan’s Empire is what I imagined it to be, it’s like the eastern counterpart of Ancient Rome where the population is very diverse, the culture so blended, but still very Asian. Gah! Perfect! 
P.S. The dude playing Marco Polo, Lorenzo Richelmy, is so adorbs. But the man eye candy doesn’t stop there. There’s quite a few hot dudes in the series that will appeal to your…ummm… worldly tastes in men.


WORLD WITHOUT END
Historical Drama | Sony Pictures | October 2012
Reelz Original Series | 8 Episodes | 1h/ep
WORLD WITHOUT END is the series sequel of Pillars of the Earth (and I’m kicking myself for not catching the series when it was on Netflix) based on Ken Follett’s novels. I haven’t read Mr. Follett’s novels but I do love drama set in medieval times. 

Set in England during the 1300s, the series chronicles the lives of ordinary citizens. Edward III leads the nation into the Hundred Years’ War with France, while Europe is bracing for the Black Death. Caris (Charlotte Riley), a visionary woman, and her lover Merthin (Tom Weston-Jones) build a community that stands up to the crown and the church.

Any epic fantasy reader will find this series hard to resist because of the premise alone. Once you see the drama unfold, it’s even harder to peel your eyes away from the screen! It’s like a dark-ages soap opera with bastards rebelling and saving the day, forbidden romances, enduring love. Then it takes a sharp turn to the left with murder, adultery, patricide, and rape to name a few. 
There’s so many threads to the story which resulted to WORLD WITHOUT END having mini lead characters. Caris and Merthin might be the MC’s but there are other couples and partners that make up this enthralling story. The hook for me was the arc involving the King. Oh man, oh man, oh man! It was 3am when I got to the episode that had the big reveal. And as sure as the sun is about to rise in a couple of hours I had a big jolt of adrenalin and delayed sleeping for another two hours just to see the climax and conflic-resolution through. Goodness gracious! The possibility of it actually happening in reality is not only scandalous, but tragic. 

So totally fangirling here and I’m aware that I’m being vague. It’s intentional and I hope I got y’all curious enough to at least check the first episodes of both MARCO POLO and WORLD WITHOUT END. The first one will at least impress you with the production, the second one will surely get you hooked! Happy watching!

Shelly’s Steampunk Sundays: Dawn’s Early Light by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Series: Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences 3
Publisher: Ace Penguin
Released: March 25, 2014
Source: Amazon
Format: E-Book | 384 pages
Genre: Adult Steampunk

Working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…

After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.


This post is going to be a bit different from my other review posts in that Braine and I discussed doing the top 5 reasons why I loved DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT. So, without further adieu, let’s get right to it!
  1. Eliza Doolittle Braun – Eliza is an agent with the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and something of a rogue. She’s known as a colonial, having been born and raised in New Zealand before catching the eye of the Ministry. Eliza is the most kick-butt female heroine that you will read about in the Steampunk Genre. She loves to cause trouble, she loves guns, blowing things up, and is the furthest from a Mary Sue character that one can hope for. Eliza faces villain after villain with a grin on her face, and a snarky comment on her lips.
  2. I loved that Pip and Tee takes our intrepid heroes, Eliza and Wellington Books, to the US in the late 19th century where they meet their counterparts from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical. I think the newest setting is just what readers need instead of the same old same old. The authors take our heroes, plus new partners Felicity Lovelace and Wild Bill Wheatley, on a cross country journey from North Carolina, Detroit, Arizona, and finally ending in San Francisco where things come to an interesting head. The journey and the action will boggle the readers mind, and keep them from being bored.
  3. Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire – Welly, as both Eliza and I like to call him, is the Archivist for the Ministry. He’s been with the Ministry for 8 years, and his entire world has been turned upside down by one Eliza Braun. Books is something of a mystery, but has now been elevated to the status of Agent thanks to his and Eliza’s actions against the Phoenix Society. I will say that part of the mystery surrounding Books is covered in The Diamond Conspiracy which releases March 31, 2015. Welly is a sharpshooter, inventor, and just wait until you get to reading his latest invention!
  4. I do love the fact that the authors don’t gloss over Thomas Edison’s participation, but makes him a legitimate villain who is working in conjunction with Eliza and Welly’s nemesis the House of Usher. I also love the fact that the authors added Henry Ford, as well as Nikola Tesla. Both of these gentlemen were ahead of their time, and created some amazing inventions that we are still using today.
  5. My only real hesitation about giving this book an even higher rating, is the unresolved issue between Eliza and Welly’s kiss in The Janus Affair. THIS issue forced me to bite my tongue several times throughout the book. THANKFULLY! This is easily resolved by taking 5 minutes to fix. I actually found the mix of Eliza and Wild Bill interesting. The two of them together are a thrill ride that just won’t stop.
In the end, DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT is a wild journey with plenty of action, twists, revelations, danger situations, romance, and a shocking ending that leads directly into the fourth installment called The Diamond Conspiracy which I shall be reviewing on Gizmos Book Reviews on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

Read a more detailed review of 
DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT at Gizmos Reviews
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Bought, Borrowed & Bagged #144: Orphan Black Project Castor

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. 

BB&B is an homage Barron’s Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning’s smash hit series, Fever. 

Bagged

from publishers & authors

Big & Small

I may have problems getting into urban sci-fi books but I can’t get enough of it onscreen! ORPHAN BLACK is my favorite because Tatiana Maslany is a certified Lady Boner, plus the story has so many twists and turns. The series is basically about a cloning experiment that got out of hand, and now the clones are uncovering the secrets, and unraveling the powerful group’s control over the entire project.


ORPHAN BLACK Season 3 starts on April 18. Check your local listings for the schedule.

Last Week’s Reviews

win a digital copy of A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKINGends 3.31.15
Stacey Kennedywin a Fetish Fantasy Sub & Dom kit!ends 3.31.15
Cecilia Londonwin an ebook of DISSIDENTends 3.31.15
Chris Karlsenwin SILK, swag, & a GCends 4.2.15
Katy Evans (US/CA)win a print copy of Manwhoreends 4.8.15


It’s a new year and there’s a new linky for my humble weekly recap meme. Whether you’re a return participant or a new hopper, THANK YOU for joining, your participation is much appreciated. 
Also as this is a laid-back meme, please use your LABEL OR TAG LINKS and not your post links that way you don’t have to update your linky every week. 

Quick Hits: Tiffany Reisz, Kate Meader & Molly Harper

 

Flirting With Fire | Hot In Chicago 1 | Kate Meader
Contemporary Romance | March 24, 2015 | Pocket Books
Flawless. That’s Kate Meader’s FLIRTING WITH FIRE in one word. I initially rated Hot in Chicago 1 4 stars in GR, but now that I had time to mull it over I have to say this is one of the best contemporary romance I’ve read for the year. 
The plot is very straightforward, hot, ambitious, take-no-prisoners girl, Kinsey Taylor, meets drop dead gorgeous Cuban-Irish fireman, Luke Almeida. They fell in love, had issues that were totally realistic, broke up, got back together, and lived in domestic bliss. What makes FLIRTING WITH FIRE such a stand-out novel for me is the way KMeader introduced the series as a whole. Multiple characters combined with an array of introductions can be dizzying, and tend to take away from the plot and romantic development of the featured couple. Surprisingly that was so not the case here! KMeader was so clever in introducing the Dempsey brood, pairing up future couples, setting the framework for future books, while still managing to provide a brilliant and totally swoony love story between Luke and Kinsey. Contemporary romance series can usually be read as stand-alones, I do NOT recommend that here. You’ll miss a lot of small but totally decadent bites from the other characters if you do so. Final verdict: FLIRTING WITH FIRE is a MUST read.

The Virgin | Original Sinners 7: The White Years 3 | Tiffany Reisz
Contemporary Erotica | March 31, 2015 | Harlequin Mira
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

THE VIRGIN by Tiffany Reisz is another memoir-like novel. This time Kingsley Edge tells the tale of how he met Juliette, and that time when the precocious Nora Sutherlin, then Eleanor Schreiber, devirginized a novice. Interestingly, this novel finally tells us in detail the time when King knocked up Nora all those years ago and the falling out that happened between them, including Søren, all those years ago. My favorite part would be Nora’s somewhat cathartic conversation with her mother. The two have been at odds wth each other for the longest time and seeing them form a truce before Nora’s mom passed is a gift. THE VIRGIN also includes the birth of Nora Sutherlin, erotic writer.
Prepare for a lot of debauchery! Though THE VIRGIN isn’t my favorite book in The Original Sinners series, I still enjoyed the backstories. I have to say though, Kingsley is giving Nora a run for her sexy millions. I find myself adoring his style over Nora’s in this one. Nora’s sexual adventure with her nun, though hot, pales in comparison with how King met the lovely Juliette with all it romantic interludes and passionate honesty. Overall, I am loving the concept of The White Years, these Sinners combined have slept with thousands of people. And due to their…errr…lifestyle and kinky proclivities, I’m sure that they will never run out of great stories to tell. I can’t wait for Søren to tell his tales although I’m slightly nervous because his are more horrific than lovely. Still, don’t pass-up reading THE VIRGIN because men in kilts!
The Novella & Serial
The Red Years

The White Years

 

Giving these Molly Harper books both threes.


Better Homes and Hauntings | Molly Harper
Paranormal Romance-Humorous | June 24, 2014 | Pocket Books
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Lots of people have compared BETTER HOMES AND HAUNTINGS with Scooby-Doo, possibly because of Molly Harper’s foreword, paying homage to her childhood cartoon pleasure. IMO, this novel is more like an HGTV Halloween special than a Shaggy & Co. inspired retelling what with all the renovations that happened, building and romantic drama between the characters, with minimal ghost hauntings and possessions. It didn’t blow me away, but it’s still a fun and very entertaining story. I loved the characters, and if this is indeed Scooby-Doo, Velma Dinkley would be in the spotlight. Meaning it’s the nerds that’s leading the cast y’all! And you know I love my underdog super smart geeks! 
BETTER HOMES AND HAUNTINGS still delivered the same brand of snark and wit MHarper is known for. I just found it lacking in paranormal hyperbole. The ghostly apparitions were few and far in between and wasn’t menacing enough compared to the usual and expected ghost tales. Also, the present-day antagonist isn’t anything like the pretend-supernatural villains that we came across in the Scooby-Doo cartoons. The bad guy here was watered down and lurked in the shadows than actively terrorizing the cast in every turn. However, I did love all the ridiculous arguments between the case and there’s an abundance of funnies making reading this novel still worth my while. And even if I wasn’t stupefied by the tale, BETTER HOMES AND HAUNTINGS was beyond entertaining! Super light and fun read, it’s definitely a great reading vacation.

The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire | Half-Moon Hollow 3 | Molly Harper
Paranormal Romance-Humorous | March 24, 2015 | Pocket Books
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Yup, I did a Molly Harper mini marathon because I was going through a slump and I wanted something that begs not to be taken seriously. And who else can I turn to but MHarper?! THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE is the third novel (there are novellas in between) installment of the crazy ridiculous and hilarious series, Half-Moon Hollow. We’re in for a corporate vampire treat her that’s packed with office politics and romance. It’s been a long time since I read the previous novel, A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses, so I’m very thankful for the short recaps MHarper inserted in between scenes which included cameos of previous characters, and brief rundowns of how everyone is connected/related. 
Though I liked HUMAN computer programming genius, Gigi Scanlon, and her Buffy moves, I didn’t find her as funny as Nola (the lead in the previous book). Also Vampire Nik might be very gorgeous, but he’s not as funny as the other dudes. Still I enjoyed their little tale, Gigi and Nik’s is literally a predator-prey tyoe thanks to a spell that was cast that had Nik attacking Gigi out of nowhere. Thank God for tasers and silver stakes disguised as a hair brush! There’s a lot of awkward and hilarious moments here, and for the laughs alone, I’d recommend you read THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE. It sure put me in the mood for more comedy and vampires!

Shelley Liked It: The Infinite by Lori M Lee

Series: Gates of Thread & Stone # 2

Format: E-Book, 378 pages
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy

The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.
Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.

To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.

In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.


THE INFINITE is the second installment in the Gates of Thread and Stone series by Lori M. Lee. For Kai, our 17-year old protagonist, things have changed over the course of the past several months. She is no longer living a sheltered life believing that she’s an orphan. She’s the daughter of Kronos, father of time, who just happens to be one of the 70 Infinite in the world.  
She’s become more involved with the new chosen leader, Kahl Miraya, but other things in her life have become that much more puzzling. For instance, her powers to manipulate the threads of time have gone on hiatus, and she hasn’t told anyone she’s having issues, or that she’s having intensely vivid nightmares. With Kronos sitting in the wings ready to pass the baton to Kai, it is time for her to fully come to grips with her abilities, and the fact that connecting to the so called River, is not only necessary, but can save her life.
With a new leader in place, there’s the question of who is in charge of a rebel faction of trouble making sentinels that won’t bow down to her, and the fact that Reev, Kai’s brother, may be part of the rebellion. But, the most important item on Kai’s to do list, is to find a way of bringing back Avan memories of when he was human, and cared deeply for her. With Avan now being the Infinite called Conquest, this mission is more difficult than Kai could ever imagine. 
While we were already introduced in great detail to Ninurta and a brief visit to Etu Gahl in Gates of Thread and StoneTHE INFINITE expands upon the world that Lee has created. With the surprising arrival of a visitor from a land called Lanathrill, the presumption that those who live in Ninurta were the only survivors of the Rebirth, is shattered into little pieces. What’s more surprising, is that they ask Kahl Miraya for assistance in dealing with a rather large problem.  
After Kai accepts a position as adviser to Miraya, she, along with Mason, travel to investigate what Lanathrill needs, and if they can actually help them. What does the leader of these people, Kahl Emryn, really want? Are they serious about needing help, or are they into much more nefarious ideologies? How could a entire nation of people not come forward sooner, and let Ninurta know they exist? What’s even more bizarre, is that there is yet another land not to far off, Peshtigo, that none of the Ninurtans heard about! 
If you haven’t read Gates yet, then let me suggest that you do. I love when characters grow over a series. I love that Kai doesn’t necessarily think about herself first before doing things like trying to save Mason’s life after a brutal betrayal. Or, how about not letting Reev or even Avan fall too far down the rabbit hole where they won’t ever come out? I do appreciate Kai’s struggles after killing an important character in Gates. Had Kai just shown up without any emotional baggage in THE INFINITE, I would have been rather shocked. 
So, let’s talk about the boys, shall we? First, I adore Mason. I love that Lee makes him a much more important participant and friend to Kai. However, I would have preferred less time spent with Avan, and more time spent with Mason. I think Mason is being used at this point, and I don’t think it’s fair to him, especially since he’s put so much effort into helping Kai. I do hope that the third installment is a bit kinder to Mason.
How about Reev? Kai’s brother is still by her side, still the rock that keeps her head straight, and still loves her even knowing about her abilities, and how powerful she could be once she learns to grasp them fully. I think Reev gets the shout-out for the most understood character in the book. He’s been with Kai for almost 10 years, and never once wavered in is love for Kai.
I supposed I should talk about Avan now. Wow, where to even begin? Avan is not the Avan from Gates. In fact, I would dare say that he’s a pod person who is inhabiting the body that Avan once owned. I can’t say that I don’t like Avan. After all that he put himself through for Kai, he deserves a bit of a break. And yet, I do want to scream at him, or Lee, for making him such a grumpy sod who breaks Kai’s heart at every turn.
I was surprised to learn that there WILL be a third installment. When you read the synopsis, it reads as though this was the last book. THE INFINITE is an action packed story that I read fairly quickly. There are more than a few betrayals and surprises in this book, and the secondary characters introduced from Lanathrill, are more than enough to keep your interest, while breaking your heart into little pieces. 
Other Book In series, along with my thoughts:
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Gush & Gripe: I’m a Horrible Fangirl!

My name is Braine, I love books and worship my favorite authors. 
But I’m a terrible fangirl. 
I used to be a good fan. I would stalk authors via Facebook, go out of my way to get updated with whatever it is that’s going on in their lives, their books, chat with fellow fans, eagerly put their new releases et al on blast. But as the blog grew and life progressed, not only has my time for fangirling whittled, I also became less and less enthusiastic about my Fandom membership.
TIME: Blogging itself is demanding, book blogging is a totally different animal! We spend an average of maybe 10 hours (or more) preparing for a post, from reading, researching, linking up, and other necessary add ons to make the post pretty, informative, and uniquely our own. But it doesn’t stop there, after the post is up, you then have to blast it to the World Wide Web via social media, review sites, and visit other blogs to promote your post or encourage comments or page views back to yours. Put it all together and the hours put in on just one post is more than an average work day for a normal employee. Factor in your responsibilities outside the blog and you barely have enough time to do other stuff. And that includes fangirling for me. So I’m behind book news and either get my updates from the grapevine or make the effort to look it up myself.
FREE LABOR: Let me start this section with a little disclaimer: I do love my authors, and I don’t really mind pimping them. Great work deserves recognition and its meant to be shared IMHO, and I will help spread the word so other people can experience the same greatness I did. 
That said, in my years for blogging, I’ve been part of various street teams. And though some of them are really fun, supportive, and encouraging, some aren’t as good as I hoped it would be.
I’ve been part of a few teams (which I’ve already quit) wherein I felt like its using its members for free labor. Like I’d get an alarm for a task I have to do for the day, and this is EVERYDAY, and should I fail to complete a certain number of task, my membership is in peril. I mean, that’s fucked up, right? It’s not like they pay me to do shit! 
CRAZY AUTHORS: We’ve all heard, or maybe even came across first hand bad author behavior. There was a time when a blogger friend said something a certain author didn’t like, the latter got upset and basically sicced her fans on my friend and they started harassing her on FB & Twitter. I felt bad for her, but that was also a good lesson on picking your battles wisely.
FANDOM: This is the most overwhelming part. Let’s face it, we’ve all encountered some rabid fans in some shape or form. You know, the type whose realities are displaced and they think the characters they read are real and should you try and critic the books and its characters you’ll get your head but off? And it doesn’t end there, some of these fans are so competitive and obsessive they’d crawl up the author’s ass and live there. For what?! The worst is if the author isn’t doing anything, moderate or otherwise, so it’s safe to assume they condone such behavior. Major turn off for me.
True story, I used to follow Karen Marie Moning’s FB page… Until shit went down between fans and everyone started arguing who they think should play Jericho Barrons in the movie.  It got so UGLY KMM had to interfere, boot out a few followers, and release a statement about the drama! Now I understand why J.R. Ward has strict and set rules for her own Facebook page. Fandom is good until it gets psychotic!
My friend, Jenese, of Readers Confession book blog, also runs and moderates a BDB fan group on FB am I can tell it’s not the easiest group to corral. She has to virtually police her members round the clock because some fans take it too far, too much, too often, to the point where it’s excessive and not in a good way. Some of these people need to get a real life, be with real men, and stop imagining having sex with make-up beefy vampires who won’t even look their way twice if they were real. 
Now if I made the mistake of saying that in the group, I’d be dead now. And as I’m opinionated and can be a bitch, but abhor drama and confrontation, I just lurk, like, laugh, and sometimes share when I feel like it. You can’t argue or win when there are crazies involved. Best to just shut
up and let them win.
To conclude, I think I’m a great fan. I (also think) give fair reviews and do my part in helping my favorite scribes get their work noticed. I still belong to a HANDFUL of street teams, because I love the ones I follow and they’ve been great to their fans and followers IMO. I just don’t want too much strings attached especially when my efforts are not being acknowledged. So until I have an extra amount of time, and/or get a wild hair on my ass and find myself ready to fist pump with other fans, I’ll squeal like a piglet on my space, on my terms, in my time. 
This is Braine, I’m a good fan, but a terrible fangirl, and I’m okay with that.

Suped Feature: Manwhore by Katy Evans + Giveaway

Manwhore | Katy Evans
Romantica | Gallery Books
March 24, 2015
Is it possible to expose Chicago’s hottest player—without getting played?
This is the story I’ve been waiting for all my life, and its name is Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint. Don’t be fooled by that last name though. There’s nothing holy about the man except the hell his parties raise. The hottest entrepreneur Chicago has ever known, he’s a man’s man with too much money to spend and too many women vying for his attention.
Mysterious. Privileged. Legendary. His entire life he’s been surrounded by the press as they dig for tidbits to see if his fairytale life is for real or all mirrors and social media lies. Since he hit the scene, his secrets have been his and his alone to keep. And that’s where I come in.
Assigned to investigate Saint and reveal his elusive personality, I’m determined to make him the story that will change my career.
But I never imagined he would change my life. Bit by bit, I start to wonder if I’m the one discovering him…or if he’s uncovering me.
What happens when the man they call Saint, makes you want to sin?


Braine (B): Hi Katy! Congrats on Manwhore!
Katy Evans (KE): Hi Braine! Thanks so much for having me over. 🙂
B: Of course! My pleasure 😉


B: What is a Manwhore and is your manwhore, Malcolm, the king of them all?
KE: A manwhore is a man who is an absolute glutton of women, all types, all kinds and flavors. Malcolm Saint is a very renowned billionaire playboy in Chicago, and being a “manwhore” is only one of the many things people say about him. Women flock him wherever he goes; and he’s not the kind of man to deny himself any pleasures. But the ‘real’ Malcolm Saint is not exactly what people say he is, and that’s the dilemma my heroine, Rachel, has when she’s tasked to investigate juicy things about him. He is definitely a very juicy man, but he is also a very complex, elusive, and interesting man – there is so much more about him than people “say.”

B: One of those complex types, eh. I’m sure your fans will be all over Malcolm. Readers love your leading men. Can you tell us more about Malcolm Saint? Is he more of a sinner than a saint?
KE: Malcolm Saint is definitely a sinner, and he’s not apologetic about it. He works hard and plays hard, rewarding his endless business hours with equal party time. What’s very interesting about him is the character traits that he has that make him so admirable, so strong, and so intoxicating. As Rachel, my heroine, starts peeling off the layers about him, she’s fighting an attraction she feels that becomes stronger and stronger as she gets to know him.

B: Women have, and always will, be attracted to the bad boy. Do you follow a formula for your heroes, and is there someone in particular that inspired Malcolm’s character?
KE: I love bad boys. My favorite bad boys are the ones who are rebels and loners but who end up simply being misunderstood and are hiding a good man inside. Malcolm was definitely inspired by this man I saw on TV who has a huge social media following and is an absolute player and womanizer. I was very intrigued when I visited Chicago and saw him mentioned on TV. He awakened my curiosity and it ran away from me ever since.

B: Who is this dude?!?! Anyway…

KE: In bad boy reformation, it all falls in the female. Rachel Livingstone must be a hardass to come after Malcolm Saint. Aside from the task at hand, what makes Rachel relatable or likable?
Rachel is a great heroine. What I most like about her is that she’s very human. She’s not perfect, but she has dreams, and fears, friends, a family, is hardworking and determined. She’s young, so she’s still innocent about so many things, including thinking that she can actually handle a task like exposing Malcolm Saint and end up unscathed.

B:How is MANWHORE similar & different from Real?
KE: MANWHORE is different than Real, it’s a little bit more modern, focused more on the ‘real’ world and a modern woman’s attempt to balance everything that she wants in her life – a career, her friends, her family, her fun time, and surprisingly, the fact that she’s found love in the most unexpected place. The similarities between them would probably be the connection between the hero and heroine. As in all my books, the hero and heroine’s connections is palpable and powerful, the kind that makes you hold your breath. I still LOVE every minute I spend with Malcolm and Rachel as I write their sequel now!

B: What kind of shenanigans are we going to see here?
KE: Oh lots of fun things. Night clubs, yachts, lots and lots of kissing and making out, online stalking, corporate offices, Rolls Royce rides, and more!

B: What’s the heat level of MANWHORE?
KE: It’s a very hot book! It’s not the explicitness that makes it sexy but the intensity of the make outs and sex scenes that definitely make it a ten for me.

B: Is there a series plot and will there be a different couple featured in each book?
KE: YES! Manwhore is a series, the first 2 or 3 books will belong to the same couple – Malcolm and Rachel – and eventually I might like to write a single title book for a few of their friends.

B: Two books! I can tell these two are about to go through a world of shit! What is MANWHORE in one word?
KE: Intense.

Last book you read & how is it?
I just finished reading S.C. Stephen’s THOUGHTFUL for the second time and I loved it, as always. Shannon is brilliant!

Ultimate girl crush?
Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Meryl Streep – I love these women so much! For their beauty but also their notable strength.

Person alive or dead you want to meet and what will you ask him/her?
I’d love to meet Michelangelo. He was a man completely devoted to his art, obsessive, compulsive, and brilliant. I’d love to meet him and ask him if there were anything about his life that he’d change if he were to live it all over again.

Type of Book you will NEVER write?
I would be pretty bad at nonfiction, I think. But I’ll try anything FICTION!

A place in your city where we should check out?
The River Walk in San Antonio, a must if you’re in the city!

This was fun, thanks so much for having me, Braine!

Katy Evans grew up with books and book-boyfriends until she found a real sexy boyfriend to love. They married and are now hard at work on their own happily ever after. Katy loves her family and friends, and she also loves reading, walking, baking, and being consumed by her characters until she reaches “The End.” Which is, hopefully, only the beginning…

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Girl Crush Mondays: Instagram Edition feat. @MyStyleVita @AIMEESONG @ellenmgadarna @chrissyteigen

Instagram. The first and last thing I check everyday. Seriously, this app is my favorite because it’s just photos (usually) and it’s feeding my love pf books, fashion, food, and motivational snippets. 

Here’s a few of my favorite femmes:

Jessica Camerata is from GA and I love her Southern street style. Plus she’s not super skinny so I can identify with her style more.



Aimee Song not only takes fab photos donning high fashion pieces, she’s also a foodie! She takes amazing food pictures and honestly, I look forward to those more than the fashion ones.



Ellen Adarna is an actress from my home country, the Philippines. I follow her purely for Girl Crush-Lady Boner purposes.



I don’t care whether or not she actually eats the food she makes or not. Chrissy Teigen is not only funny, has a potty mouth, and a foodie, she’s also inspired quite a few of my own homecooked meals! Check out her food blog Delushious for recipes and food inspirations.

Special mention to Lupita N’Yongo (intelligent posts), Ciara (music snippets), and Emma Roberts (she reads!) IG accounts. 

How about you, do you follow any interesting females on Istagram?

P.S. Here’s an incentive because you suffered thru this Sapphic post




Steampunk Sundays: The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Series: Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

Format: eGalley 
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Voyager
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Adult Steampunk

Certainly no strangers to peculiar occurrences, agents Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are nonetheless stunned to observe a fellow passenger aboard Britain’s latest hypersteam train suddenly vanish in a dazzling bolt of lightning. They soon discover this is not the only such disappearance – every case inexplicably unexamined by the Crown.

It’s SPRING! Finally, the bitterness of Winter is out (in my neck ‘o the woods at least) and it’s that time of the year where we’ll see bright colors, longer days, and sneeze til our eyes pop out! That said, I apologize if this post is late and brief. I got busy worshipping Mr. Sun and tending my garden beds. Without further ado:
5 Reasons why I loved THE JANUS AFFAIR
  1. Romance Shmomance: I don’t like love triangles HOWEVER, I’ll make an exception here. Why? Because our lovely heroes, Welly Books and Eliza Braun, are so dense! Obviously they got the hots for each other and sometimes it takes another dashing dude, like Eliza’s former suitor, Douglas Sheppard, to bring that attraction the forefront. Oh the tension!
  2. Ministry of Seven (or Eight): These street urchins that serves as Eliza’s eyes, ears, and cohorts when she’s out cracking cases are too cute! I don’t want to be their mark, that would horrible because they know how to pull a good con. It’s great being on their side though. 
  3. Badass Females: as Women’s Suffrage is the topic at hand, you can expect a lot of badassery from the female persuasion. Aside from Eliza there’s Kate Sheppard (Douglas’ mother), leader of the suffrage movement and current target of this sinister group who’s abducting members of her organization. Then there’s the villainess’, Sophia del Morte, whome we’ve met in Phoenix Rising, and Diamond Dottie, a sort of a gang leader who is tall, imposing, and has bad fashion sense. 
  4. The Empire Takedown: Aside from the episode plots, someone or something is plotting to take down the Empire. One would think this has been resolved in the previous book, obviously whoever or whatever this group is is far from finished. This is the overarching arc of Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, and it’s as exciting as Eliza and Welly’s adventures! As I mentioned before, I’m most curious what Doctor Basil Sound is up to as well as the double agents who are helping out the Maestro execute his planned anarchy.
  5. The Interludes: Oh I love the interludes! It’s a mix of different things like Doctor Sound sneaking into the archives, the Maestro meeting/threatening poms (aristos), etc. This gives the series a holistic feel, an expansion of the story in the sense that the world doesn’t revolve around Braun & Books.
I hope y’all have a good week ahead! As for me, I’m back to playing with dirt!

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