Love & Blood Cover Reveal with Jessica Gibson

Title: Love & Blood  

Author: Jessica Gibson
Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Cover Designer: Belinda Boring

Blurb:
He was her death and she had loved him for it.
Bronwyn Fitzgibbons had run from her maker for twenty years, but he had found her again. Seeing Ronan brought back all the reasons she shouldn’t love him, but also all the reasons she should.
Bronwyn is caught between Ronan her maker and the one who unchained her darkness, and Rider the vampire who had saved her and fed her humanity. Her heart will be torn apart in loving them both. Can she fight against her darkness or will it consume her?
Lines will be drawn. Battles will be fought. Who will claim her soul in the end?
Jessica Gibson is a recovering bookaholic, she’s down from four books a week to a more reasonable one. It was that love of words and creativity that made her dream about writing her first book. That dream was hidden for years, always put on the back burner, filed away in the “someday” section, until her husband Matt gave her the kick in the pants she needed to actually get off her butt and write.

Jessica and Matt live in Southern California and have a serious addiction to reality tv shows like Pawn Stars, American Restoration, and Bachelor in Paradise. They have one amazing son who runs circles around them both.
Author Links:

Off Script Title Reveal with Airicka Phoenix

Title: Off Script
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb:
Everyone has a past, some worse than others, but not everyone has the eyes of the world watching their every move. For playboy hot shot movie star James Crowe, his mistake has haunted him for more than a decade. It was a wound that has never healed, but one lapse in judgment has him running for cover as the media descends on him with talons bared. Finding shelter and waiting out the rapid fire seems like the best idea, until he finds himself not so alone.
A girl’s wedding is supposed to be the happiest day of her life. They’re not supposed to find their Prince Charming in bed with another woman the morning of. But when fairy tales turn to dust, what’s a girl to do? She sets off on her honeymoon alone, of course. Only Audrey Humphrey’s bad day doesn’t end there when she finds her dream paradise already occupied by a jerk with a gorgeous face and a stubborn streak as wide as hers.
Passions and tempers flare as they grapple for peace. Can they find it before James’s past finds him? Can they see what’s right in front of them or will this be just another mistake to run from?

Airicka Phoenix lives in a world where unicorns, fairies and mermaids run amok through her home on a daily basis. When she’s not chasing after pixies and rounding up imps, also known as her four children, she can be found conjuring imaginary friends to play with. Airicka is the prolific author of over eighteen novels for those who crave strong, female leads, sexy alpha heroes and out of control desires. She’s a multi genre author who writes young adult, new adult and adult contemporary and paranormal romance.

For more about Airicka and the realm she rules with an iron fist–and tons of chocolate–visit her at: www.AirickaPhoenix.com

Author Links:
Website: www.AirickaPhoenix.com

US of Books~ The Known World-Virginia

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This week takes us to Virginia with The Known World by Edward P. Jones. Entertainment Weekly says – This award-winning examination of man’s ownership of man refuses to succumb to the calcifying effect of history, presenting Virginia’s past as raw, urgent and human.

Synopsis from Goodreads – One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, The Known World is a daring and ambitious work by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones.

The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can’t uphold the estate’s order, and chaos ensues. Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all its moral complexities.

Review by Laura @ http://125Pages.com

 ½ Star

The Known World by Edward P. Jones is a read that made me question. It made me question if editors actually read the whole book. It made me question if the Pulitzer judges read the whole book. It made me question if I had picked up the wrong book, because this could not be the book with all of those rave reviews. This novel won a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004. In 2005 it won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and it was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award. In 2009, the website The Millions polled 48 critics, writers, and editors; the panel voted The Known World the second best novel since 2000. The book I read was a disjointed mess. No seriously, I can read difficult books. I like non-linear time lines and twisty prose but this took it to a whole new level. The synopsis tells us that this is the tale of Manchester County in Virginia during the antebellum era and a black former slave who is now a slave owner himself. This sounds like a deep and thought provoking read right? It would have been if it was actually readable.

There were approximately 80 characters, so I had no idea who anyone was.

The white man at the front door was from the Atlas Life, Casualty and Assurance Company, based in Hartford, Connecticut. His talking to Calvin at the door was what kept Bennett so long. Calvin eventually came back with Bennett and when Moses told him, Calvin went back and returned with Caldonia, followed by Maude, and Fern Elston.

The time line skipped back and forth often times decades in the future to tell what happened to just one person or object and then skipped back.

This series was Anderson’s most successful, and nothing was more successful within that series than the 1883 pamphlet on free Negroes who had owned other Negroes before the War between the States. The pamphlet on slaveowning Negroes went through ten printings. Only seven of those particular pamphlets survived until the late twentieth century. Five of them were in the Library of Congress in 1994 when the remaining two pamphlets were sold as part of a collection of black memorabilia owned by a black man in Cleveland, Ohio. That collection, upon the man’s death in 1994, sold for $1.7 million to an automobile manufacturer in Germany.

There was so much unnecessary description.

Clarence sat beside his wife and after a time he put a hand, the one not stained with milk, to the back of his wife’s head and rubbed her hair. The cow swung its tail and chewed its cud. It farted.

His horse, Sir Guilderham, was idling two or so paces behind his master. And just as the horse began to wander away, Robbins turned and picked up the reins, mounted. ‘No more visits for a month,’ he said, picking one piece of lint from the horse’s ear.

Seriously, I do not care about lint on a horse and a cow farting. This really detracted from the story for me. The Known World by Edward P. Jones could have and should have been a powerful read. Instead I got bogged down in the minutia and was not able to process the tale.

I had originally picked this up at the library and then, when I found the style to be so odd, I got the Audible version. I really want my credit and the 14 hours I spent listing to this back.

 

USbooks Virginia

I have a book review!!!! Open Home, Closed Heart by Libby Cole

As you might have noticed I have not been doing any real reading lately, but when Ms. Libby Cole’s new book came out, Open Home, Closed Heart, I had to read it. I previously read Ms Cole’s three other books int the Hawaiian Heartbreak Book Series. Those reviews can be found here.

But onto my review of Open Home, Closed Heart by Libby Cole.

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This is book four of the Hawaiian Series but it can really be read as a stand alone. This story involves Tess, a successful real estate agent, and her relationship with new co-worker, Damien.

images (3) Needless to say, Tess and Damien’s work relationship doesn’t start off  very well as Damien is determined to be top dog at the real estate agency and he’s not letting ANYONE get in his way.

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Tess is forced by her boss to help Damien acclimate into the real estate agency and needless to say Tess is not pleased, but not wanting to anger her boss, Tess is forced to go along with the idea. The relationship between Tess and Damien starts off as ice cold and turns into red hot!

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Is Damien just using Tess to get ahead in his career? Is Tess willing to take her sister’s advice and cut off the relationship before she gets hurt? Or, will Tess get her happily ever after? You will have to read the book.

I give this book four out of four “cupcakes”. See rating system here.

Side note: Kayla from the Hawaiian series does make small appearances in this book.

I received this book complimentary in exchange for an honest review and constructive feedback.

The Masterminds Cover Reveal with Olivia Wildenstein

Title: The Masterminds
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Genre: NA Mystery
Expected Release Date: October 12th, 2016
Blurb:
From prisons and reality TV to mansions and safe houses, THE MASTERMINDS revisits THE MASTERPIECERS and closes the twins’ story. It is a tale of imperfect love and imperfect people.
The only downside to Joshua Cooper’s investigation of a mob runner is not being able to discuss it with his two best friends, nineteen-year-old twins, Aster and Ivy Redd. However, when Ivy sells one of her quilts to the mob runner, and Aster hits him with her car in a motel parking lot, they become entangled in his investigation. The FBI even believes the twins could knowingly be involved with the mob. Joshua will do everything he can to disprove their suspicion and nail the true criminal.
Brook Jackson is a judge on the Masterpiecers’s art competition. That is his official job; his unofficial job is running questionable errands against easy cash. But a ripped quilt and the girl who sewed it will make Brook’s life and heart spiral out of control.
Accused of money laundering, Brook becomes the fall guy. After three weeks of imprisonment, he cuts a deal with Joshua: his freedom for the real felons and a meeting with Ivy. Although eager to clear his name, Brook wants to win Ivy’s forgiveness—and if she’s willing to give it to him—her love..
Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.
When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).
Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.
Author Links:
Pre Order Link:
THE MASTERMINDS – CHAPTER 1
Brook
2 MONTHS PRIOR TO THE SHOW
A girl who stitches quilts.
This is the first thing I learn about Ivy Redd. After skimming through her Masterpiecers application, I toss it aside because quilt making is not really art. I admire people who stitch stuff. My grandmother was one of them. Up until the day she died, she was part of a quilting club who met each week. They’d cut and sew squares of gaudy-patterned cotton with such fervor that it had seemed as though their lives would fall apart if they didn’t truss them up with their needles.
Dominic, the president and founder of the Masterpiecers School, picks up the application and thumbs through it.
“Don’t bother. It’s quilts,” I say, grabbing the next file.
He studies the picture stapled to the last page. “You are too rash in judging this girl. She has something. What do you think, Josephine?”
He hands it over to the vice-president of the school.
“Pas mal. But we only have one more slot. And I found the perfect candidat.”
“Really?” Dominic asks, leaning back against the silk upholstery of his wooden chair. It was carved by one of the school’s graduates, Christos Natter. One side is curved and smooth, while the other looks windblown, stretching irregularly toward Dominic’s bulky chestnut bookcase. “Who struck your fancy?”
Josephine flings a file onto the eighteenth-century French desk next to the industrial steel lamp. Dominic picks up the file, takes one look at it, and dumps it back on the table.
“No.”
“Pourquoi pas?” Josephine asks.
Dominic flaps his hand in the air. “He’s a former soldier, not an artist.”
She folds one leg over the other and rests her hands on her bony white knee. “That is not a reason, Dom. He’s skilled. Look at that rope he wove while he was on tour.”
“Come on, Jo. It’s a rope,” Dom says.
“And this”—she nods toward Ivy Redd’s file—“is a quilt. Why does quilt trump rope?”
“Because!” I can tell from the way he looks away from Josephine that there’s more to his staunch refusal than the medium of the pieces.
“You both have a special person,” she says, “whom you did not pick on merit. I am certain Chase is a talented boy, Brook, and I am certain that Maria—actually, I’m not certain Maria has anything to offer besides her body, Dom—but I accepted. Now consent to my choice.”
Dominic reddens at the mention of his ex-girlfriend, a former beauty queen and ham-fisted artist whose claim-to-fame are crude renditions of overly made-up pageant contestants. What I heard was that he impregnated her and the only way to get rid of the baby was accepting her onto the show.
Josephine rises, and her tailored pearl-gray dress slips right into place over her skeletal body. “I will alert Mr. Kevin Martin that he has been selected. Oh, wait. That’s why we have Brook now, n’est-ce pas? To do all the menial jobs.”
I glare at her, although she’s right. That is why I’m here, to do the jobs no one else cares to do. “I’ll notify the contestants this afternoon.”
She gives me a crooked smile before stepping out of Dominic’s office.
“She hates me,” I tell Dom some time after she shuts the door.
“She hates everyone.”
“Except her fiancé.”
“I doubt she even likes him.”
As I straighten out the files of the applicants who didn’t make the cut, Dominic tut-tuts.
“What?”
“The girl who sews quilts; keep her application aside. We’ll be needing it.”
I slip it out of the pile and put it on top. “Why?”
“Because.” He shifts his eyes toward his cell phone. Dominic is certain we are being listened to. “She’s a sound runner-up.” As he talks, he grabs a piece of paper embossed with his name and scribbles something.
I scratch the stubble on my cheek as I read it. When my jaw unhinges, Dominic picks up his message and shreds it into dozens of tiny pieces that he drops into his leather bin. They flutter down like confetti, settling in the dusky emptiness. I doubt anyone will collect them and glue them back together, but just in case, I crouch down, swipe some into my palm, and stick them inside my blazer pocket.
I have as much to lose as Dominic. No, that’s a lie. I have more to lose because it’s my name that’s being used, not his. Mine.
“It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?” he says, all cheery again. “I love spring. Don’t you?”
I’m tongue-tied.
“I’m heading out for lunch. I’ll see you tonight,” he says.
“Tonight?”
“Didn’t your father tell you? We’re having dinner all together at his house. To celebrate the sale. It went well, didn’t it?”
I make a jerky head movement that’s supposed to be a nod.
“Did it pay off the bills?” he asks.
“Not all of them.”
He pats my shoulder. “I’m sure they’ll get paid soon. I have an idea.” His fingers clamp down around my shoulder like a metal claw.
I’m starting not to like his ideas.
“I’ll tell you later.” He squeezes once, then lets go and walks out, whistling a tune that sounds like something from a Broadway show.
Clutching the pile of applications against me, I stop by my office, which is more of a glass cubicle than an office. I don’t even have screens or blinds. As I heave the folders onto my desk, I notice one of the secretaries fanning a leaflet in front of a young boy’s face. It throws me back in time. Four years to be exact. I was standing at his exact spot, overwhelmingly excited at the prospect of starting at the Masterpiecers. Four years ago, when everything was still so peachy. When my family was still rich. When my little brother didn’t despise me for having usurped “his life.”
The school has strict laws forbidding siblings from attending. Supposedly, it’s to discourage family feuds. Didn’t discourage Chase from hating my guts.
Movement behind the secretary catches my attention. Josephine stands next to her triangular-shaped desk, where a lone potted orchid holds court over an ultra-skinny computer screen and a pencil cup made of cerulean blue clay. It looks as though it was crafted by a kindergartener, when in fact it was fashioned by an alumni from this school.
Josephine sees me staring. There’s something unsettling about the way she gazes back, eyes sort of slanted. My shirt collar suddenly feels too tight so I pop the top button open. She smiles that glacial smile of hers, then gapes down at my jacket pocket. I stick my hand inside protectively, before reassuring myself that Josephine Raynoir does not have X-ray vision. I rub the pieces between the pads of my fingers, feeling the raised edges in the vellum where Dominic inked his command: Find out who Kevin Martin really is.
Josephine flicks a switch and her glass walls blur, and I am left with the shadow of her body moving about like the giant stick insect I won at a fair when I was twelve. I kept it in a murky aquarium, which I couldn’t be bothered to clean. Our housekeeper, Carmelina, was too frightened of the bug to touch the thing, so it became filthier and filthier until my mother got so sick of it, she seized the aquarium and dumped it on the curb for some other little boy, or some garbage collector, to find.
I eye my trashcan, but decide against putting anything inside. It’s lunchtime, and even though I’m not hungry, I walk out of Delancey Hall, a two-story building with glossy green ivy scuttling over the brick walls. It was named after Dominic’s favorite adviser, Robert Delancey. A few years back, when I was starting on college applications, The New York Times dedicated its entire art section to the man. It was titled The Monocled Star-Maker. My father read it out loud to us over breakfast.
“Art is Chase’s dream, Dad. Not mine,” I remember telling him, mostly to get him off my case.
Chase looked up from his big bowl of cornflakes, milk dribbling down his chin. He was fourteen then. It was the year his upper lip finally grew some fuzz.
“I wasn’t given a choice,” Dad said.
“Well I’d like a choice,” my seventeen-year-old self demanded.
“And you’ll get one,” Mom chimed in, clicking into the dining room for her usual breakfast of sliced papaya, raw oatmeal, and strong coffee. She dropped a kiss on my forehead, and then tried to peck Chase’s, but he ducked away from her. “Right, Henry? We always said we would let the kids choose.”
In the end, after two years spent at Duke University, I asked to transfer into the art school to my father’s delight. It was the same year Chase sent in his college applications. His top choice was the Masterpiecers, but I beat him to it, something he never forgave me for. Just like he never forgave me for consoling his ex after their awful breakup.
As I walk toward Riverside Drive, I spot a trashcan. I grab the slivers of paper from my pocket and drop them inside. I open a search window on my phone’s browser and type in Kevin Martin’s name. There are several pages of results. I add the words ‘retired sergeant.’
There is only one result.
Dominic was right…Josephine is investigating him.