Thursday, April 30, 2015

Release Day Blitz with Review, Excerpt & Giveaway:Fervent (Condemned Series #3) by Gemma James




Title: Fervent
Author: Gemma James
Series: Condemned #3
 Release Date: April 30, 2015

Synopsis

I never imagined things could get worse, but they do. The men who took us show no mercy. They won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Rafe for something he has no memory of, and I’m their weapon of choice.
 
Tortured and defiled, they make me wish I was back in that cabin where death was favorable to drawing another breath, but our captors can’t break what’s already broken.
 
What scares me is the madness I see festering inside Rafe. I’ve taken his freedom, his career, his reputation, yet despite all I’ve done, he’s determined to fight for me, kill for me, give everything he is for me.
 
He’ll even die for me.
 
NOTE TO READERS

FERVENT is a new adult dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content, including sexual scenes and violence that may offend some. Intended for mature audiences. Part three of the CONDEMNED series. This is not a stand-alone read! Please begin with TORRENT and RAMPANT, otherwise, FERVENT might not make much sense.






Links to Buy

AMAZON US / UK


What I thought about Fervent
Wow!  Alex and Rafe are in some serious trouble in this installment of the series.  Having been kidnapped by unknown persons, they both have to deal a really serious situation.  Not only have they been kidnapped, but the perpetrators of the crime want to break them both and neither one of them know all the reasons.  But one thing is for sure -- Jax is involved.

I wanted to know more about his story after the last book and I got it in Fervent. I also think there is more to his story and the ending left me wondering how things will resolve between Rafe, Jax and Alex.

This series is a very nicely crafted complicated mix of mystery, suspense and dark erotica.  Everything seems to be happening at maximum force, and I wondering just how long Gemma James can keep it up with this story.  She's done a great job so far with a story that has more twists and turns than most.  There's also on interesting take on what happens when victims of kidnapping and sexual crimes get off on the pain inflicted in captivity. I'm not sure how I feel about that development and I like that it has me wondering where things are going to go with Rafe and Alex. 

If you like dark erotica with a lot of mystery and suspense, this is a must-read series. 

ARC provided for review.



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Author Bio

Gemma James is the multi-genre author of several novels and novellas, from new adult suspense to dark erotic romance. She loves to explore the darker side of human nature in her fiction. She’s morbidly curious about anything dark and edgy, from deviant sex to serial killers. Readers have described her stories as being “not for the faint of heart.”

She lives in Oregon with her husband and their four children—three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention.



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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway:Halfway Perfect by Julie Cross & Mark Perini



Book Information
Title: Halfway Perfect
Authors: Julie Cross and Mark Perini
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult 

Summary

Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with Ford model Mark Perini to pen a poignant and gritty YA novel about love and the dark side of modeling and the fashion industry

Eve's time as a fashion model nearly destroyed her-now she's determined to build a career behind the camera lens. But landing a coveted photography internship brings her face to face with her dark past-and her ex.
While Eve is snapping pictures, up-and-coming male model Alex is launching his career-which, for him, involves maintaining a fake relationship with his co-star, Elana.

But Alex is falling for Eve, and Eve won't let herself get hurt again. If Alex can pull off a fake love with Elana, can he convince Eve to risk a secret affair with him?

 
Buy Links

Amazon ||  Barnes and Noble  ||  iBooks  ||  Kobo   ||  IndieBound


Excerpt

When I finally give the rack a closer look, I start to weigh the options. There’s a varying array of briefs, boxer briefs, and pseudo banana hammocks with full backs in every color under the sun—black, neon green, pink, yellow, gold, red, navy, bright fuchsia. As the stylist is looking through the rack and sizing me up, probably trying to match my coloring, I’m silently chanting, boxer briefs, boxer briefs
He’s reaching a hand toward the banana hammock rack and I suck in a breath, trying to look cool with whatever.
But seriously. No one is cool with whatever.
“Nah, not these, they’re not relatable enough to the G.P.” the stylist says.
I let out a sigh of relief. But no sooner do I look back up and he has a pair of black briefs with neon green micro-polka-dots.
“These are perfect. You’re ready to be pounced on by the woman of your dreams,” he says.
“Great. Can’t wait to…try these suckers on.”
“You’ll look amazing.”
Yep. A dude just told me I’m gonna look amazing  in skimpy underwear.
He hands me a robe and leaves without waiting for a response.
After a quick change and after they’ve lubed me up with some makeup and self-tanner, I’m off to set. The thing about shooting underwear shots is the light is important. Janessa has two guy assistants as stand-ins testing everything. I resist the urge to go talk to Eve and instead sit down on the couch. I’m not about to ask her out while wearing neon polka dots. That’s got failure written all over it.
As soon as Janessa sees me on the couch, she ushers me over to fill in for one of the assistant stand-in guys. I ditch the robe and feel the awkwardness Richter scale skyrocket. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot Eve standing out of Janessa’s line of sight. She’s trying not to smile, but she’s doing it anyway. At my expense. I decide it’s time to look the beast in the eye. I wave dramatically at her, like I’m flagging her down.
Janessa follows my wave all the way to Eve, who turns completely scarlet.
“Eve!” Janessa says. “Step in for Daniel. You’re closer to Elana’s height.”
Her eyes get really big and round, but her voice stays totally even. “Okay.”
Well, this should be interesting. Of course it would be much more interesting if she was also wearing neon polka- dot underwear.
“Guess your time in the spotlight isn’t over after all,” I say when she appears in front of me.
“This is not exactly the spotlight, nor do I have any choice in this matter,” she whispers, leaning in close so I get a whiff of her hair and something that smells like cinnamon.
Janessa interrupts us by shouting some directions. “Get really close!” I can totally do that. Just give me my pants back. “Alex, dip her down like you’re going to kiss her.”
I love pants. I will never take them for granted again. When I get the fragrance campaign, I’m donating a bunch of money to a pants-related charity.
But in the meantime, I don’t have a fragrance campaign and I’m not about to show any signs of fear. Fashion people can smell it a mile away and then ruin my chances.
“You heard the boss lady,” I say to Eve before hooking an arm around her waist and tugging her closer. My fingers brush over a strip of bare skin on her lower back and it sends my pulse racing so fast that I’m sure she can feel my heartbeat. And for a good long second, I don’t even care. Let her figure it out if she hasn’t already. I hadn’t planned on playing hard to get or any other equally frustrating mind games.
I move my hand up to the back of her neck before I lean her backward. My eyes are still locked with hers. I’m fighting the urge to undo her ponytail and run my fingers through her hair.
For the cameras. Of course. 

***

What I thought about Halfway Perfect
Eve left the modeling business at the age of sixteen under what some might call suspicious circumstances. She walked away from her career, a major contract with a top designer and her manager, Wes Danes.  She's now a student at Columbia, pursuing photography.  When she goes to a photo shoot with her mentor, she's not happy to find out that it's a fashion industry photo shoot.  She's done with that world, but as the photo shoot progresses, the reader finds out there is much more to her story.  

Alex is one of models at the photo shoot.  He recognizes Eve. Over the course of the week, they develop a relationship with some spark to it.  Told in alternating point of views, both Alex and Eve are attracted to each other, yet Eve's past history in the industry and Alex's current job requirements keep them from getting together.

But staying away from each other proves difficult too, and eventually Eve and Alex get together with some fairly serious consequences to both.  

I loved the insider view of the fashion industry and the photography storyline. The fact that one of the authors had first-hand knowledge of the industry helped. Eve and Alex are likable characters, although they have some flaws and there was enough in common between them to make their relationship realistic. 

There's a nice mix of dialogue and the inner thoughts of the characters.  The story moved along nicely and I found myself turning the pages to see what was going to happen. There's a nice bit of suspense to this that kept the story interesting. 

I really liked Halfway Perfect, more than I thought I was going to. Even though the sexual content is not explicit, I did think this is for more mature young adults because of the subject matter.  

Nicely done.  If you are interested in an insider view of the fashion industry, you might like this.  

ARC provided for review.



Giveaway
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About the Authors

 Julie Cross is the international bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy. Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. Her knowledge of the modeling and fashion world comes from viewings of the movies The Devil Wears Prada, and Zoolander, and her unwavering devotion to the first three seasons of Ugly Betty. On a recent trip to NYC, she also took the time to walk past both the Gucci and Prada stores, spending at least 15 seconds viewing items through the windows.

Website: http://www.juliecrossbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FansOfJulieCross
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Juliecross1980
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3429117.Julie_Cross




Mark Perini is a New York City-based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.

Mark began his career as an international fashion model ten years ago, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven wonders of the ancient world before he's thirty. Four down, three to go.

Website: http://www.markperini.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marktperini
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marktperini
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5649611.Mark_Perini 




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rusk University Announcement from Cora Carmack

HERE’S THE SCOOP!

Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University

we have a 

SUPER exciting announcement:

  ALL CLOSED OFF Coming 2016

ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!

 
Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven't yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I'm not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*

Hello beloved readers! 

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was "Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?" 

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They'd make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end... I couldn't envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again). 

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It's a wonderful experience, but in Stella's case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports. 

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said... Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, "Mine. This is my story." I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn't take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn't want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn't mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, "Someone needs to tell this story. And I'm strong enough to do it. Let me." And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I'd been adamant wasn't right for her. Because as it turns out... Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren't so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before. 

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It's about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It's about the way that kind of event can change everything-- how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It's about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you're still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light. 

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…
 

ALL CLOSED OFF:
Stella Santos is fine. 

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same. 

But none of that matters because she’s just fine

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.  

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again. 

Vulnerable. 

***** 

ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don't have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I'll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I'll be able to ensure that I'm able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won't be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you'll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links. 

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella's story. When it's finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do. 

All my best, 

Cora Carmack 

*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)

 #WhenitHappened banner

And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her.  Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.

#WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW



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ABOUT Cora Carmack: 

 Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.      

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