Tuesday 31 March 2015


The Book

At The Corner Of King Street by Mary Ellen Taylor
Genre: contemporary paranormal romance

About At The Corner Of King Street:
Addie Morgan wants nothing more than to start of new life and leave her past behind. Then she’s been pulled out of her promising, stable life and away from her fiancĂ© by her aunt who insists she return to Alexandria to deal with the family’s latest crisis. Once there she contends with her sister Janet’s mental illness, the curse that has plagued generations of the women in her family, Janet’s newborn, and her aunt’s failing business. Addie, woefully unprepared to deal with an infant, now has one to care for 24/7 while trying to keep her job and hold on to her fiancĂ©, who knows nothing about her family’s troubled history.

As in her earlier novels, Mary Ellen draws upon historic accounts of Old Town Alexandria and its legends. For AT THE CORNER OF KING STREET, that meant looking back at the founding and earliest days of the city, including tales of family curses and witchcraft.
Source: Info in the About At The Corner Of King Street was from the press kit from the publicity team.

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Meet The Author

About Mary Ellen Taylor:
Mary Ellen Taylor grew up in a southern family that embraced stories of all kinds, from a well-told anecdote to a good yarn or a tall tale. It may have been inevitable that she would take her storytelling heritage to new heights, moving beyond the oral tradition to become a published author.

An accomplished baker, Mary Ellen shares some of the challenges and comforts of those pursuits in her Union Street Bakery novels, The Union Street Bakery and Sweet Expectations, and even manages to insert baking tips into At the Corner of King Street. On a more intimate level, she also explores adoption and family in all three books, an interest which stems from her own family. Her grandmother was adopted as was her daughter, and Mary Ellen has been active in bringing attention to issues regarding adoption, including the concerns faced by adoptees through adulthood.

Mary Ellen was born and has spent most of her life in Richmond, but also lived in Alexandria for four years. She received her degree in English from Virginia’s Hollins University, and worked in marketing and sales before she committed to writing full time. Today, she is well known for her suspense novels written as Mary Burton. Those twenty-three books and five novellas have brought praise from readers and reviewers and her work has appeared on The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. The Union Street Bakery was her first novel as Mary Ellen Taylor.

When not digging for mysteries in Alexandria's history or arranging murders, Mary is involved with Coordinators2inc, a lifetime adoption resource organization, and Sisters-in-Crime's Virginia chapter. She and her husband spend time alternately enjoying and lamenting their newly empty nest and spoiling their miniature dachshunds, Buddy, Bella and Tiki.


Monday 30 March 2015


The Book

Defined By Deceit by A.E. Via
Genre: M/M contemporary romance | erotica

About Defined By Deceit:
Life isn't always fair, and that’s something that Llewellyn Gardner knows about first hand. His life was on the fast track until one night of extreme passion changed everything.

Now eight years later, he’s still living with the aftershocks of that night. Everywhere he turns or runs, there’s another reminder. What the hell do you do when you try to drown your demons only to find out they can swim?

Shane Smith, Jr. owner of Smith Construction, could see the emotional turmoil within his new employee — it’s why he hired him. There was something about the gorgeous, misunderstood man with the overly expressive eyes that came to their small town with a past no one was willing to overlook. Shane could see the good in Llewellyn, and those eyes of his were a clear window to his soul. Shane wasn't going to let the man live a future of solitude because his past had been plagued with deceit.

Llewellyn wasn’t sure what to think about Shane. After years of protecting himself from being tricked twice, he was now faced with worry again. What would happen to him if Shane didn’t believe his truth, and walked away? Llewellyn wasn’t sure he'd be able to survive being left alone. Again.
Source: Info in the About Defined By Deceit was from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25101993-defined-by-deceit on 11/03/2015.

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Llew got in the shower without bothering to turn on the light in the bathroom, opting instead to leave the door open. He’d do everything he could to help conserve in Ms. Pat’s home. Maybe she’d overlook any negative comments about him if he made himself a good tenant. He tilted his head forward and let the hot water beat on the tension-filled spots in his neck. He had it on as hot as he could stand it. Despite the horrifically under-sized shower stall, the water pressure was fantastic. It was almost like a massage. He groaned at the wonderful feeling, the sound emerging from his throat sounding almost provocative. It made him think of pretty brown eyes, and a strong, square jaw with full, sexy lips. Lips that were light pink and soft looking. Llew couldn’t help but fantasize that kissing Shane would be like kissing cotton candy. He licked his own lips, desperately missing the feeling of a man. Eight fucking years. He stomach fluttered at the idea of being close and intimate with Shane Jr. The man’s exterior was the picture-perfect image of a smooth operator, but Llew knew there was a bobcat clawing inside that gorgeous man. An animal that needed taming. Just that fast Llew’s dominant side reared its anxious head.

Oh jesus. Llew could picture it. Could see their strong bodies pressed together, muscles flexing against each other. Shane Jr. wasn’t diesel but he was certainly manual labor built. He no doubt had velvety-smooth, ivory skin covering that armor. Damn. Llew groaned again, running his hand down the ridges on his stomach. He could taste him… oh my god… Shane would taste like the sweetest honey. An addictive taste.

Llew could feel the pulsating in his groin as he thought about Shane. He was horny, beyond horny. He poured some conditioner in his palm and squeezed the head of his cock, focusing on the most sensitive part of him. He cupped his balls and massaged them, every couple seconds giving them a firm tug like he used to love to do.

Meet The Author

About A.E. Via:
A.E. Via is still a fairly new author in the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children, her two pets, a Maltese dog and her white Siamese cat, ELynn, named after the late, great gay romance author E. Lynn Harris.

While this is only her sixth novel, she has plenty more to come. So stalk her – she loves that - because the male on male action is just heating up!

Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, and where she’ll appear next.

Sunday 29 March 2015


Thank you!
Thank you to Terah Edun for hosting a contest which made it possible for me to win an audiobook copy of Blades Of Magic!

Blades Of Magic by Terah Edun
Book 1 of the Crown Service series
Read by Sylvia Roldn Dohi
Genre: epic fantasy

About Blades Of Magic:
It is not a peaceful time in the Algardis Empire. War is raging between the mages and seventeen-year-old Sara Fairchild will be right in the middle of it.

She just doesn't know it yet.

Sara is the daughter of a disgraced imperial commander, executed for desertion. Sara is also the best duelist and hand-to-hand combatant in Sandrin. She lives quietly with her family’s shame but when challenged about her family’s honor, her opponent inevitably loses.

On the night she finds out her father’s true last actions, she takes the Mercenary Guilds’ vows to serve in the emperor’s army. Using her quick wits and fierce fighting skills, she earns a spot in the first division.

There she discovers secrets the mages on both sides would prefer stay hidden. Dark enemies hunt her and soon it's not just Sara questioning the motivation behind this war.

While fighting mages, blackmailing merchants and discovering new friends, Sara comes across something she’s never had before - passion. The question is - can she fight for her empress against a mage who might unwittingly claim her heart?

This is year one of the Initiate Wars. Sara is hoping it doesn't become the year she dies.
Source: Info in the About Blades Of Magic was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22893141-blades-of-magic on 26/03/2015.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

Other Books In The Crown Service Series:

About Terah Edun
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Terah Edun writes high fantasy (and sometimes urban fantasy) novels for young adults centering on the adventures of kick-ass heroines who grow, laugh, learn, and love as they prosper. Her first series is called Courtlight. It’s a six-book series starting with Sworn To Raise, followed by Sworn To Transfer, Sworn To Conflict, Sworn To Secrecy, Sworn To Defiance, and Sworn To Ascension. The series will conclude with nine books (probably). Her second series is Crown Service, set two hundred years before Courtlight: Blades Of Magic, Blades Of Illusion, and Blades Of Sorcery.

Her third series is called Sarath Web and is an urban fantasy set in an alternate-modern Georgia with witches, warlocks, demons, and evil High Queens.
terahedun.com | facebook | facebook author page | twitter | goodreads | google+ | google+ author page | pinterest | amazon

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Review: UPROOTED by Noami Novik

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik (UK cover)
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: paperback

About Uprooted:
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. An when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.
Source: Info in the About Uprooted was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):
          iBook Buy  

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik (US cover)
Narrative Evaluation:
The cover, although it has lots of meaning and is very appropriate to the story, does not ping my book buying radar. In fact I had this book for two weeks before I finally picked it up to read. I keep coming up with excuses like, I'll finish this book first before reading that one. Or, I'll watch the eclipse first before I'll start with that... etc... Loved the eclipse, by the way. All due to the fact that the cover did not appeal to my fantasy reader's eyes. This being the first book I've read of Naomi Novik, the author's name on the front did not even help in drawing me to pick up this book. However, the fact that somebody spent the time and effort of sending me this book, it got read, by hook or by crook! And so I entered the world of Agnieszka of Dvernik... and what a wonderful world!! The world building along with the story telling quality are both compelling and masterful! However, there are some loose theads that was left hanging which I didn't like very much. Like where exactly did the stick men come from and how they came about? The ending also, while closed the story nicely, was not the big bang I expected. Having said that, I would still give this book a 5 out of 5. It was just that good that I finished the book in a day and a half with a fervent hope that Novik would write a book 2!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 3
Pace = 5
Plot = 4.5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

About Naomi Novik
Naomi Novik
An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrentide. Over the course of a brief winter sojourn spent working on the game in Edmonton, Canada (accompanied by a truly alarming coat that now lives brooding in the depths of her closet), she realized she preferred writing to programming, and on returning to New York, decided to try her hand at novels.

Naomi lives in New York City with her husband and six computers. Her website is at naominovik.com
www.naominovik.com | facebook | twitter | tumblr | goodreads | google+ | pinterest

Thank you!

Thank you to macmillan for the review copy received.

FTC Disclosure:
The review copy of this book was received for free from macmillan in exchange for an honest review.