Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 - A Year in Review

       This has been a crazy year, and the approach of 2015 has me taking a look back and doing some reflecting on the ups and downs of 2014, and on the major changes I’ve made to my life.
        2014 was the year that I decided to not tolerate toxic & negative people in my life.  Granted, sometimes it seems like there’s no shortage of negativity surrounding me, but then I take a moment and try to remember that I have a fantastic husband who loves me, and a group of amazing friends and family who support me.  Those bad days don’t last all that long, even though they’re usually the days that seem to move the slowest.     
        It took a while, but I’ve learned that it’s okay to have those bad days, as long as I remember that there is a little bit of sunshine in every day.  And with my husband around, there’s going to be laughter sometime soon.  It’s like that really famous quote that we see everywhere: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”  Dance around and splash, baby.

        2014 was about becoming more positive and about learning exactly who I am and what type of person I want to become, and taking the steps to get there.  It seems absolutely crazy that at the age of 26 I still wasn’t sure who I was, but it’s the truth.  I was always trying to please others and make sure that everyone around me was happy, even at the expense of my own happiness.  And the worst part is that most of the time I didn’t even realize that I was doing it.  Weird, yes, but also true.
        I’m a people-pleaser, and that’s not a bad thing.  It’s only a problem when I focus on everyone else for too long and completely forget about myself & my own needs.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who doesn’t let me forget about myself. 
        I’ve learned to make sure that I take time to myself, to do what I love and what makes me happy.  And 99% of the time, he joins me – and that just makes everything better.  I know exactly how lucky I am to have him, and I’m grateful every day that he’s my husband. (Yes, I know…that’s super sappy and so sweet it’ll make your teeth hurt, but…tough, it’s the truth & I’m not in the habit of lying about how awesome he is).

        This last year I was able to meet some really awesome new people (you all know who you are!), and I decided to start this blog (even though it took me a couple of months to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it). 
        I also made the decision (thanks mostly to NaNoWriMo) to write my own novel (which is not even close to being finished, shh).  It’s a big step & a lofty goal, but I’m starting to gain more confidence in my ability.  It helps to have really great people in my corner cheering me on.  You all rock!

        So, what are my hopes for the coming year?  Well, I would really love to finish that novel I started.  I would love to see this blog grow…into what, I’m not sure, but that’s half the fun, right?
        I want to keep growing into the person I want to be, and finally take that honeymoon with that husband I keep raving about.  I hope to keep meeting new amazing people who inspire me to chase after my dreams, and I want to spend more time with my mom learning her delicious recipes.  She makes the best apple pies, you don’t even know.

        That was my year.  How was yours?  (I would love to hear about something you accomplished this year or about a fear you overcame, or anything else you would like to share!  I love hearing from everyone!) <3


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I would like to extend my warmest wishes for a happy and healthy Holiday season to everyone! 

Monday, December 15, 2014


Hi everyone!  I’m super excited to announce my first GIVEAWAY!!!  Last Thursday night  (12/10) I went to the CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK Book Launch Party and Signing at the Book Revue bookstore on LI.

And I got some goodies to give away!!!  Check them out below:

The winner will receive:
            2 Christmas Pens!
            2 Christmas in New York bookmarks!
            1 snowflake cookie cutter (with recipe inside the card)!
            1 green lighthouse ornament!
            An autographed copy of Christmas in New York (signed by all 4 authors)!!!!!!

Okay, so…Christmas in New York is an anthology of four novellas that intertwines the stories of four best friends: Sabrina, Cassandra, Jade, and Elena.  Below are the descriptions/ blurbs for each novella, taken directly from the back of the book.  

This Christmas, by Jeannie Moon: “Jake Killen is shocked to discover that he didn’t just walk away from Sabrina Gervais ten years ago, he walked away from their unborn child.  Struggling with anger, guild, and all the old chemistry, Sabrina and Jake wonder if this Christmas all their wishes can come true.”

All I Want for Christmas, by Jennifer Gracen: “Sean McKinnon blew it big-time with Cassandra Baines seven years ago, but when she happens to walk into his bar, can some New York Christmas magic help these two take a second chance on love?

A Light in the Window, by Jolyse Barnett: “When Jade Engel comes home to upstate New York to recharge, her brand-new friends-with-benefits arrangement with old friend and local celebrity Ben Stephens soon blows up in their faces.  Can they possibly forge a future together?”

Goodness and Light, by Patty Blount: “Elena Larsen and Lucas Adair both lost their mothers when the towers came down on 9/11.  Elena hasn’t set foot in New York since, while Lucas thinks of the city as hallowed ground.  But what if he and Elena are meant to be?”

Okay, now…onto the Giveaway Rules & Regulations:

You have a few ways to earn entries (3 ways, if I’m being precise).  If you subscribe to my blog, that will earn you more entries, thus increasing your chances of being chosen as the winner!

At the end of the contest (12/18) I’ll choose a random winner.  I’ll announce the winner at the bottom of this post, in the comments, and on my Facebook Page.  As soon as the winner contacts me & gives me his/her mailing address, the prizes will be mailed out the next day.  Just in time for Christmas!

Okay, are the pictures of the prizes!


Click the following link to enter the contest: RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY
(I had a Rafflecopter widget ON this page, but then I tried to change something and it disappeared and won't come back).

If you're not selected as the winner of this contest, you can always head on over to Amazon!  It's nice to have a backup, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ravens of War (Books 1-3) Review AND Interview with the Author

I have a special treat for you guys… I’m reviewing the first three (count ‘em…one…two…three) books in the Ravens of War series, AND the super awesome author (Elle Boon) has agreed to an interview (which is posted beneath the reviews).  Go big or go home, right guys?  Right??

There will be links at the bottom for the different retailers/places to find the books. :)

Quick synopsis of the series: 
The author of this erotic ménage series is the super lovely Elle Boon, whose website and Facebook you should check out; she also has a Twitter account that you should follow (@ElleBoon1). 
So, the Ravens of War series is about a group of Elite warriors created by Zeus to help fight their battles.  When the Ravens were no longer needed, Zeus sent them to Earth in the hope that the warriors would find true happiness.  
Each installment of the series focuses on a different duo of Ravens (oh yea…by the way, this is a ménage series!) and their Fated, the one woman in the world who could bring them true happiness and a sense of completion. 

Okay, time for reviews.  

First up: Selena’s Men, by Elle Boon

Book Blurb (from the Selena’s Men Amazon Page): 
     Max and Malcolm King had been part of an Elite group of twelve men created by Zeus, called the Ravens of War. When they were no longer needed they were sent to Earth in hopes they'd find happiness. After hundreds of years, they'd given up hope of finding their Fated, until they met Selena Ramos.
     But the Gods aren't done with them. Zeus needs them to find his lost daughter and time is running out for all of them.
     As the three lovers are consumed with passion, they find themselves thrust in a fight for their lives. Cronus the dethroned King of the Gods has found the missing Goddess and plans to use her as the ultimate weapon for revenge. He'll use her to regain the throne on Mount Olympus, killing his son Zeus at the same time. Max and Malcolm are willing to do anything, even share Selena, but they will die before they give her up. ** A Siren Erotic Romance

Review Rating: **** (4/5 stars)

Review: I finished this book in less than two days; it’s paced very quickly but there’s never a dull moment and the action doesn’t let up (a very good thing).   I almost had a hard time believing how quickly Selena fell for Max and Malcolm, but the way they cared for her and would do anything to protect her (not to mention pleasure her), it became easy to see how quickly a girl could fall for these two hot warriors.  The sex is hot and I really couldn’t put this book down. I couldn’t wait for the next one!

Speaking of the next one…

Two for Tamara, by Elle Boon

Book Blurb (from the Two for Tamara Amazon Page):
     Rafe Blackstone and Vin Thorn had been best friends for thousands of years. They were part of an elite group called the Ravens of War, and were made up of twelve men created by Zeus. When they were no longer needed on Olympus, they'd been sent to Earth to find happiness, and hopefully their Fated.
     For Tamara Mejia, she'd given up finding that one man meant just for her. Having the ability to see the future ran in her family. So when she saw her own death, she set out to enjoy what she had left. That didn't include two larger than life men who claimed she was their one. Cronus pulled Tamara to Hell, and planned to use her as leverage to get his granddaughter, Selena, who's Tamara's best friend, to bargain for her life. Rafe, Vin and all the Ravens need the help of the gods and goddesses from Olympus to save not only Tamara, but Earth itself.

Review Rating: **** (4/5 stars)

This story is fast paced, hot, and fun.  Tamara is a kickass heroine with a quick wit and a passionate love for her two men.  Vin and Rafe are strong heroes who would go to Hell and back (literally) to save the woman they love.   There are some wickedly fun characters introduced in this book that I hope will make future appearances!
I adore all three of these characters; I live for strong female characters and Tamara is nothing if not strong.  Vin and Rafe endeared themselves to me when they were awed by and fell in love with Tamara’s inner strength.  There’s nothing sexier than a man who loves a strong woman…except when there are two men who love a strong woman.

And onto #3 
Jaklyn’s Saviors, by Elle Boon

Book Blurb (from the Jaklyn’s Saviors Amazon Page): 
Jaklyn Marx learned at a young age what pain was at the hands of her father. For seventeen years she'd lived with the physical scars, and the knowledge that she was a latent wolf. When she meets two men who claimed she was meant to be theirs, she ran.
     Gray and Colt had been searching for their Fated for thousands of years. When she ran they were prepared to do anything to find her and keep her, even call on a goddess for help.
     Just when the trio finds happiness a demon from their past threatens to destroy them. Jaklyn refuses to allow her father to take anything else, especially her newfound love for the two men who save her past, present, and future. They will need more than just love to defeat Seamus and his tainted pack. They'll need the help of all the Ravens and a god or two in order to destroy something Cronus created.

Review Rating: **** (4/5 stars)

Review: Jaklyn’s story caught me off-guard, I’m not going to lie.  I was not expecting the story of Jaklyn’s father, or her mother, and…let’s just say it moved to me to tears near the end.  Colt and Gray were hot and sexy and tender and…well, down right yummy.  
This book introduces werewolves into the world of the Ravens, and I really loved reading the way Colt and Gray struggle with adjusting to some wolfy-changes.  Not to mention Jaklyn’s best friends, and werewolves, Abe and Link, who love Jaklyn like a sister and are an incredibly goofy duo; I immediately fell in love with them.
I will admit that some of my favorite moments from this book were all of the nerdy/geeky references.  (::insert eye squint here::) I see you, Elle.  Keep it up, lady! far, the first three Ravens of War books get 4/5 stars from me.  I will admit that these were my first erotic romance novels, as well as my first ménage novels.  My decision to read these books has been making me happier and happier.  They keep me up nights…which is a testament to the story (and the “amazeballs” sex scenes – to quote Abe and Link).

And below is a (quick) interview that Elle was gracious enough to make time for out of what is probably a very busy schedule.  Did I mention she’s awesome? (Feel free to leave questions in the comments & I'm sure that Elle will answer them for you!  I'll make sure she gets the questions!)

              Interview with the (super fabulous) Elle Boon

(1) So, let’s start with the obvious question…how/when did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
     I’ve always written in a journal. I became a beta/crit partner a few years ago for several authors. After working with them, they encouraged me to submit my first manuscript.

(2) If you had to pick one of the Ravens to live with on a deserted island, whom would you choose?  Why?
  OY, that is a hard one since my guys come in pairs lol. I’m going to go with Max because where he goes, Malcolm has to go “winning “ hehehe.

(3) When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
     If I’m not writing I am plotting, reading, or spending time with my family…or chatting online with friends. However, I’m writing a lot and I love it, don’t see that changing anytime soon. My daughter and I have recently started watching Sons of Anarchy. OHHHH MYYY GAWD, I am soo in love with Jax.  

(4) Which of the three lead women in the Ravens of War series would you want at your back in an all-out brawl?
     I’m going to choose my demon women cause I love them. Akra and Bakra totally kick-ass and are funny as all get out. I think they are a real representation of me lol.

(5) And let’s go with a Holiday themed question: If you could invite one author, living or deceased, to your holiday festivities, who would you invite?  Why?
     Sherrilyn Kenyon, because I love her sooo damn hard, but not in a creepy, Steven King novel that I want to like keep her forever, break her ankles or anything, kind of way. I think it would be awesome to have her come over and discuss books, and what she plans next, maybe get her to sign every book I have of hers (I have them all, 2 already signed) Of course I do need counseling after reading Styxx “sigh” soo much trauma. 

Isn’t she wonderful, folks?  Okay, now go check out her Facebook (and give her a “like”!) and if you’re interested in buying the books, they are available at the below locations (don't ask me why some of them are blue and some of them look like they've been clicked.  I tried to fix it and it didn't agree with me).

Selena’s Men Two for Tamara                Jaklyn’s Saviors
   Amazon                Amazon                          Amazon
   Amazon UK          Amazon UK                   Amazon UK
   iTunes                    iTunes                            B&N (Nook)  
   B&N                  B&N                               Google Play
  Google Play            Google Play

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review of: Witness Protection, by Barb Han

Hi all!  I’m super excited to post my first book review, for the novel Witness Protection by Barb Han.

Book Blurb (taken from Barb's website, because she says it better than I can!):

How far will U.S. Marshall Nick Campbell go to protect his innocent witness?
US Marshall Nick Campbell’s life is a lie.  But when a devastating explosion nearly kills Sadie Brooks, the one woman who can put away a murder, only the truth will keep her alive.  Revealing his secrets connects Nick to Sadie in ways he never expected…and unleashes an attraction he can’t ignore.

Minute by minute, they race closer to justice but sink deeper into the crosshairs of a deadly criminal ring.  To protect his witness, Nick has to gain her trust.  But once he tastes the temptation of Sadie, he’s torn between breaking every boundary for a life with her…or breaking her heart and letting her go.

Review Rating: ***** (5/5 stars)

Review:  Witness Protection, the first book in the Campbells of Creek Bend series by Barb Han, was fast-paced and exciting.  It’s a captivating story that had me hooked from the beginning.  The chemistry between Sadie and Nick is palpable, and it’s amazing to watch them work to solve the criminal puzzle that put Sadie in danger.  Of course, Nick would rather keep Sadie tucked away somewhere safe, but Sadie is headstrong and won’t sit back while Nick risks his life for hers.

Sadie is a strong and kick-ass female lead that I admired and rooted for, and the love she has for her dog almost brought me to tears.  Nick is a sweet but strong and capable man that I adored; his protectiveness and willingness to do anything to keep Sadie safe was incredibly sexy and endearing at the same time.

I couldn’t put this book down!  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Gut Instinct, the story of Luke Campbell (available January 2015)!

If you’re interested in purchasing Witness Protection, you can find it in a few different places:
Amazon (including a Kindle edition)
B&N (including a Nook edition)