Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mad About the Boy by Suzan Battah


Mad About the Boy:
Julia Mendoza is driven by the success of her business. Since her husband Carlos passed away at such a young age, her business By Design is her number one priority. In her late twenties she works too hard and doesn’t take time out for fun. Annoyance with a pesky ex-friend has her begging one of the local surfer’s with a cheeky smile in the grocery store to pretend he’s her boyfriend. Suddenly, life takes a sudden detour from her business plan; much to the delight of her boisterous Latin American family.

Christophe Augustine is groomed to take over his father’s successful chain of luxurious hotels. With a wealthy French-American background, Chris has been given privileges that not many have. He works hard, plays harder but seeks approval and recognition above all else. Family is a top priority for him as he fights for custody of his young brother. His parent’s divorce has not diminished his faith in romance. When a gorgeous Latino woman changes one boring morning into an interesting game of role play, though reluctant to help at first, he soon realises she’s not like the string of other women he’s known.

A romantic first date ending dramatically doesn’t stop Chris from wanting to know Julia more. And for Julia, she’s all for a bit of fun but when things get too serious she’s running the other way. Too alike, in some ways and complete opposites, in others ways, Julia and Chris fumble through fun moments, annoying confrontations, passionate times and heartbreaking revelations.

Love has no boundaries when soul-mates meet but when one is ready to love and the other one isn’t...



This was a realistic and completely sweet romance. Suzan Battah's characters came to life on the page and I absolutely loved their introduction. There were a few grammatical errors, but they were easily overlooked, and did not take away from the story at all. Julia was a strong, yet vulnerable character. After being hurt before she finds it hard to open herself up to anyone. Christophe (*sigh*) was the glue that held the romance of this book together. No matter how hard Julia pushes him away, he was not willing to give up on the woman he believed would make him happy. Although there is no suspense and little danger in this book, I was entertained and enjoyed reading long into the night to finish Julia and Christophe's story.






It's My Blogoversary!!



That's right folks! A Simple Love of Reading has turned two! Can you believe it? I'd like to thank all of my readers for your support and generous comments!

Be sure to come on back to visit on January 6th, 2012 for my
12 Days of Christmas and Blogoversary Giveaway!


On the Sixth Day of Christmas...



6 Events (Book Signings) I Attended in 2011




























Friday, December 30, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with J.A. Saare

1. When did you first start writing, was there something in particular that inspired you?

I wish I could say something profound, but the truth is I wanted to do something for me. At the time my children were very young and I needed a break from reality. One day, for no particular reason, I started writing. I found the process a great stress relief that soon become an obsession. I enjoyed creating characters and watching them come to life on the page.


2. What first attracted you to the paranormal realm when it comes to writing?

I’ve always been attracted to the paranormal. It started when I was a kid and watched Fright Night for the first time. Vampires are dangerous and sensual, which appeals to me on many levels. So I suppose it was only natural vampires played a pivotal role in my first story.


3. In regards to your own characters, who is your favorite and why?

Rhiannon Murphy. She’s the only character who doesn’t speak to me—she screams. I never have a problem settling in and writing when I’m seeing things through her eyes. The downside is it’s hard to return to other projects after I write anything with Rhiannon. Although she’s a fictitious character, in many ways she’s real to me. That sounds odd but it’s true.


4. What other genres (besides your own) do you enjoy reading?

I love reading horror, always have. Jack Ketchum is my current addiction. I can’t get enough of his work.


5. If you could not be a writer, what would you be?

In college I studied to be a teacher, but after raising four children I’m not so sure I’d want to pursue a degree in the field. As silly as this sounds I loved working in a video store in college. I also enjoyed waiting tables. I’m a people person, so I’d probably work somewhere that allowed me to interact with others on a daily basis.

6. As a reader I know how difficult it can be to name a ‘favorite’ book, would you mind listing your top three? (Past or present authors)

Oh, this is tough. The first is easy: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. That book consumed me. It’s not a book for everyone but it’s one that impacted me in ways I can’t explain. Second would have to be East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I absolutely love that book. As for a third…hmm…it’s so hard to choose! I’d probably have to go with the first romance I ever read: The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. That book introduced me to romance and made me a fan of the genre for life.


7. What are some must haves when you sit down to write?

Red Bull and background noise. The Red Bull keeps me going and the background noise blocks out the sounds of my children. It’s funny because I’ve become so accustomed to background noise that even when the kids aren’t home I have to have music or a television on or I can’t write.


8. If you became trapped as a character in a book or series, which would you choose and why? (Any book, any series, new or old)

Oh, that’s a good question. Let me see…
How about Choose Your Own Adventure? That seems like a safe bet. That way you can always have a way to get yourself out of tight spots. I’d hate to find myself trapped somewhere with no way out. *grin*


Thanks so much for having me by, Amy! It was a blast to visit and answer your questions.





Jaime's Newest Release:

Crimson Sunrise:
Available June 2012
Beware the calm before the storm…

After eradicating the obstacles between them, Emma Johnson and Caleb Blackney are ready to embrace their future together. They have a lot of decisions to make. There is the issue of Emma's fae heritage, her choice to become a werewolf or remain human, and Caleb's refusal to partake in anything that could cause harm to his mate.

When Caleb's sister goes missing, personal issues are forced aside, and he and Emma are faced with a past threat that has come knocking at their door. As the search for Sammie reveals plans far more sinister than they ever could have imagined, Emma and Caleb will face their fears, confront their enemies, and unite their families to stand against an evil that won't stop until vengeance is served.


About the Author:

J.A. Saare is a multi-published author in varying genres and has written stories featured in horror magazines, zombie romance anthologies, and flash fiction contests. Her work has a notable dark undertone, which she credits to her love of old eighties horror films, tastes in music, and choices in reading, and have been described as “full of sensual promise,” “gritty and sexy,” and “a breath of fresh air.”


Find Jaime:

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Thank you Jaime for taking the time out of your busy Holidays to stop by today! Jaime has kindly offered up one book of choice from her J.A. Saare ebook library to one lucky winner!

Rules for entry:
- Giveaway ends Saturday January 7th, 2012 12AM EST.
- Open Internationally
- Leave a comment and fill out the FORM below.




On the Seventh Day of Christmas...



7 Authors I Read for the First Time in 2011
























Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the Eighth Day of Christmas...



8 Books That Surprised Me in 2011


Shut Out by Kody Keplinger:
Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention

Then Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling...



Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens:
Ashlyn: A lonely society princess living in New York City.

Daddy hired you to be my bodyguard.

Colin: Childhood enemy, now her protector.

Daddy thought I’d be safe. He thought I’d never fall in love. He thought he could keep me forever.

Charles: obsessed with keeping her safe, keeping her his, he hires the one person he knows she could never fall in love with: Colin.

Daddy was wrong.




Destiny Binds by Tammy Blackwell:
Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in rules, logic, and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan. Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout. When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.









Clarity by Kim Harrington:
When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case - but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother - who has supernatural gifts of his own - becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?



Pluto's Ghost by Sheree Fitch:
Jake Upshore has loved Skye Derucci since before he can remember. Volatile, complex and frustrated (he's got a label disorder from all the labels he's been given) at the best of times, Jake's on a desperate quest to find Skye before she aborts the baby he believes is his. As he hurtles headlong toward certain tragedy, Jake relives the fatal choices he's made and the powerful forces that have led him to this to end. A gripping thriller and a heart-wrenching love story, Pluto's Ghost is a raw and powerful novel about anger, escape, and redemptive love.






Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston:
Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.

Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never.


Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar:
Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly cafĂ©. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.

And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?






Stick by Andrew Smith:
Fourteen-year-old Stark McClellan (nicknamed Stick because he’s tall and thin) is bullied for being “deformed” – he was born with only one ear. His older brother Bosten is always there to defend Stick. But the boys can’t defend one another from their abusive parents.

When Stick realizes Bosten is gay, he knows that to survive his father's anger, Bosten must leave home. Stick has to find his brother, or he will never feel whole again. In his search, he will encounter good people, bad people, and people who are simply indifferent to kids from the wrong side of the tracks. But he never loses hope of finding love – and his brother.






Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the Ninth Day of Christmas...



9 Books I Can't Believe I STILL Haven't Read


Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent:
Bound by blood, condemned by fate

As a bloodtracker, Liv is extremely powerful. And in a world where power is a commodity that can get you killed, Liv's learnt to survive by her own rules.

Rule number one? Trust no one.

But when a friend's daughter goes missing, Liv is bound by a potent magical oath. She can't rest until the child is safe.
And that means trusting her dangerous ex, Cam.

A sinister prophecy tells that she and Cam will be the death of each other, yet Liv's tired of being a slave to destiny. She's ready to play the forces controlling her world at their own game.

No matter what the cost.


Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon:
At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he's next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?



Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris:
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She' s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. Its just that, well, Sookie has this sort of "disability". She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome -- and Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy skids been waiting for all her life....

But Bill has a disability of his own: His a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of--big surprise--murder. And when one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next...



Dark Lover by J.R. Ward:
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.



The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.



Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder:
As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.



Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill:
Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker-and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.

Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude- and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood.



Nightshade by Andrea Cremer:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?






Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane:
THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.