Entangled Covet Release Day Blast!

Edge, a digital-first single-title romance line from Entangled Publishing, takes its lead from their popular Select imprint but gives its novels an edge in the marketplace by bringing great stories to readers at reasonable prices in a quick-and-easy way. Whether sexy or sweet, traditional romance or love and lust with a women’s fiction bent, at the center of every Edge book is heart. From Urban Fantasy to Contemporary Romance to Science Fiction Romance, Edge has a book for all romance readers—and right at their fingertips! As they say, all’s fair in love and war. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.

Today I’m happy to be featuring Edge’s December releases!!

Break Out by Nina Croft

Blood Hunter #1

Special $0.99 Promo Limited Time Only!
 

The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.

Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous—or so fun.

Heart of the Incubus by Rosalie Lario

Biochemist Cresso Taylor lives the sort of lifestyle most men would envy—he has wealth, natural incubus charm, and more women than he can handle. But it’s not enough anymore. Not after meeting Genevieve Russell, the sexy scientist who works with him at Elcorp Laboratory. And she wants absolutely nothing to do with him.After her fiancé broke her heart, Genevieve has had enough of womanizers. She’s determined to steer clear of sexy-as-sin Dr. Taylor, despite the fact that his incubus allure makes her want to rip his clothes off. But when a secret admirer’s affection turns to the macabre with threatening notes and grisly gifts, Cresso appoints himself her protector. As she and Cresso hunt her stalker, she discovers there’s a lot more to the sensual incubus than she ever imagined.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Nina Croft
a Rafflecopter giveaway – Rosalie Lario

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Tory’s Friday Ramblings (12/27/13)

Last. Friday. Of. 2013.

Holy mother of Lorminstra, I can’t believe the year is just about up! It’s amazing the way time flies when you have kids. At least in the larger sense. Individual days can seem like eternities (thinking of each weekend when the Shrimpettes decide to have meltdowns every 20 minutes, yeesh).

On Family

Christmas was pleasant. Not the biggest, nor the flashiest Christmas ever, but still very nice when it came to gifting. Shrimp got Skylanders Swap Force and is loving it, even though his characters keep dying and apparently in the game, they have to “rest” before coming back, so it’s got limited playability when the boy keeps getting them killed. Heh. Such a great marketing ploy there to get parents to buy more Skylander figurines (look it up – great gaming system).

Shrimpettes got LaLaLoopsy dolls, big Sully (Monster’s U) stuffies that roar, and blocks. Oy, the blocks. I swear, Shrimpette B loves to dump the blocks out just so she can pick them up again.

Hubby got me some nailpolish (a set of 14 colors – heh), a cherry blossom bath and body set, and a travel coffee mug. He did not get me the one thing I actually asked for (hair chalk – don’t judge, I’d share it with the girls). I got him a couple of Hot Wheels cars (an 81 Camaro and a 72 Mustang). He really wants a real Camaro or Challenger, and while it’s been promised we’ll get one in 2015, I felt bad that I couldn’t give him a car this year, so….I gave him cars. He was amused by the joke. Our quest for a good pillow for him continues – I’ve already inherited the one I gave him for Christmas. Some day we will find a good pillow. Just not yet. Sigh.

Pictures!

2013-12-24 22.09.52Santa’s gifts to the family  (on top of the dog crate) 2013-12-25 06.42.31 2013-12-25 06.43.31 2013-12-25 06.45.30 2013-12-25 06.45.49 2013-12-25 06.46.502013-12-25 06.48.26 2013-12-25 06.52.41This is the aftermath. Yeesh.

On Writing

Hrmph. Not much to say here. I’m about to put my gargoyles aside for a while. Carved is just not flowing for me and Locked appears dead as far as agents/publishers go. There are still plenty of publishers I could submit it to, but I’m going to shelve it for now and focus on something else.

I started playing around with a futuristic WIP yesterday. Only about 6 pages in, but the world-building is a bit fun. I’m kind of vague on just how/why the aliens came and took over, but it was likely over resources. The humans barely survived the invasion. It’s…complicated. When isn’t it? But I’ll follow it through and see if anything comes of it. I’ll keep you updated.

On House

We got the foundation! Woot! It’s so purty and shiny now. Hehe. And soon we’ll actually have framing materials on the site and even :;gasp:: set up so we can see the house! Hehehe. Can’t wait.

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So things are moving along on that front.

In Conclusion

So that’s about it for me this week. I try not to ramble on too long for you. Next week I’ll be doing my annual New Years post (including how I did on resolutions for 2013 and my 2014 resolutions).

Now – anyone have plans for New Years? Any fun things on the horizon? C’mon, someone has to wanna talk?! Pretty please?

Anyway – have a happy and safe weekend and New Years Eve!

Review: Solar Heat

Solar Heat

Author: Susan Kearney
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Date of Publication: November 26, 2013
Description:

SolarWhen intersolar mining boss Derrek Archer rescues a beautiful stranger named Azsla from her emergency sleeping pod, the desire between them flares to dangerous heights.

Azsla, a member of the ruling elite, has powers that can save Derrek’s planet from an approaching asteroid, but if she reveals those powers, he’ll learn that she’s not only a spy, but also a slave mistress capable of controlling him and destroying everything he holds dear.

Mastering the hot-blooded miner seems impossible as sexual conquest becomes a battle neither of them can win.

If they and the planet are to survive, they’ll have to rely on one another, trust one another, because love may not be enough.

My Thoughts:

Once again, I’ve got the distinct feeling I’ve read this before. The sequence when they’re evacuating the planet (or trying to) came through most clearly. I’m 99% sure I read this in its prior release – not a bad thing at all, as I certainly enjoyed the ride the second time!

In Lunar Heat, we got to see the evil side of the Firsts from Rama. In Solar Heat, we learned that (of course) not all is black and white, and there are different Firsts. Oh sure, Azsla believes she has every right to retake the slave world, but she’s been scarred by the slave uprising (slaves slaughtered her parents as they escaped Rama), so I can’t really blame her for resenting them. She’s also willing to admit when she might have been wrong/that the Firsts have it wrong about the underfirsts’ ability to take care of themselves. I think she legitimately believed they weren’t able to function without Firsts to take care of them until she visited the new world the escaped slaves built.

Derrek is Cade’s brother (the hero of Solar Heat). He’s built a really good life for him even though he has no memory of his earlier life because it was wiped from him as punishment for some misdeed against the Firsts. He understandably has issues with the Firsts and really wants to keep his people free of them. He’s a strong man who’s utterly focused on making sure the escaped Raman slaves have the best chance of making something of the new world they’ve inhabited. He’s also filthy rich, having started a salt mining operation shortly after escaping. Heh.

Azsla and Derrek are a very interesting couple. I was fascinated as I watched Azsla strugged to control her Quait. The mental powers of the Firsts became almost a living thing as embodied in her, and the potrayal of her constant struggle not to give in to the need to use it, what was as natural to her as breathing, was well done.

The mission Azsla and Derrek go on after Derreck discovers Azsla’s true identity was fraught with an additional layer of tension because he was so worried she might betray him/his people. And the ultimate quest to destroy/deflect the asteroid revealed a very interesting tie-in to Ms. Kearney’s Rystani Warriors series as well. 

This was a fantastic book and I can’t wait to read more by Ms. Kearney! 5 stars!

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Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Countess Conspiracy

The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister)

Author: Courtney Milan
Publisher: Self-Published
Date of Publication: December 17, 2013
Description:

CountessSebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership…even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

My Thoughts:

For about the first 40% of this book, I wasn’t sure if I would actually end up liking it because I felt very distant from Violet, but then her big secret was revealed (not the scientist aspect) as to why she didn’t feel worthy of being loved and why she didn’t want to be intimate with anyone and my heart absolutely broke for her. I’ve only experienced (and I do mean this – read the book and you’ll understand) 1/19th of what she suffered, but what a nightmare for the character. Poor, poor Violet.

There was a great sense of romantic growth between Sebastian and Violet – I loved the way these two have been friends for so long, and even that Sebastian has loved her for so long without ever pushing for more (until the story of course, and he only does it because the time seems to call for it).

It’s great to see a 19th century heroine be a truly revolutionary scientist and I loved the discovery Violet, with some inspiration from Sebastian, makes toward the end of the book. I’d love to give Violet’s mother, despite initially thinking the woman was a cold-hearted snake, a huge hug for what she does in support of Violet’s discovery. Violet’s sister, on the other hand…

These two both have family issues, and I like that. Neither of them have relatives waiting in the wings to kill them (a common plot in historicals). No, they have realistic families, with different angsts and issues. Ms. Milan did a fabulous job of creating the Malheur family, even though I wanted to smack Sebastian’s brother a few times for being a jerk.

It was nice seeing one of the prior Brothers Sinister as he prepared for his wedding and it provided a great opportunity for showing Sebastian as so much more than simply the jokester he portrays himself as most of the time. In case you can’t tell, I adored Sebastian.

So – overall, I really liked this book and I’m so excited each time I read a Courtney Milan book. I definitely am eager to see where she goes next with this series! Thank you so much, Ms. Milan, for letting me read this book!

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Author Interview: Nina Croft

It is my very great pleasure today to introduce and welcome author extraordinaire Nina Croft. As I’ve done like 3 reviews for her stuff in the past month, I think it’s clear I’m quickly becoming a huge fan of hers. I wanna grow up and have sales like hers some day!

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The Interview

1)                  How long have you been writing?

I actually first started writing when I was in my twenties and working as a volunteer in Africa. We were living in a remote village, with no electricity, no TV and very few books (this was way before ebooks) so I started writing as a way to entertain myself. When we left Africa I stopped for a while as life took over but started again after we moved to Spain and I found myself living on a remote mountain (again with no electricity). I got seriously hooked on writing six or seven years and had my first novella published in 2010 –that was a Harlequin Nocturne Bite, called The Prophecy.

2)                 How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

Not many balls. I live on an almond farm in southern Spain with my husband and a whole load of animals. So the only balls I have to juggle are making sure poor hubby doesn’t get ignored totally in favor of the imaginary people (and other things) in my head and making sure the animals are all fed, walked, ridden and—in the case of Piggles my three-legged Vietnamese potbellied pig—getting regular tummy tickles.

3)                 What can you tell us about your upcoming release Death Defying?

Death Defying is book 3 in my Blood Hunter series. I write across a number of romance genres, but I also love mixing them up and my Blood Hunter series is a combination of sci-fi and paranormal (sort of vampires in space with a few other things thrown in). I started writing the series after watching one of my favorite TV shows for the third time—Firefly—and I was overcome with the need to write a space opera. But I also love vampires, so when the pilot turned out to be a 1500 year old vampire I didn’t fight it too hard. That was Ricardo Sanchez, the hero of book 1, Break Out.

The series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of the crew of the space ship, The Blood Hunter (Or El Cazador de la Sangre – Rico is Spanish). And book 3, Death Defying, is the captain’s story. Tannis is part human, part snake and some would say all bitch and it takes a powerful man to tempt her—maybe the most powerful in the universe.

4)                 You write contemporary romance, sci-fi, thrillers and paranormal romance (whew, I’m tired just listing them). What is it about these genres that you like so much?

I love the fact that absolutely anything can happen. When you’re writing speculative fiction then the only limit is your imagination, you can go anywhere, any time and populate your stories with anything. So long as you make it believable.

5)                 Do you have a favorite? Do you think you’ll end up focusing on one over the other?

It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Up to now, I’ve tended to be a little self-indulgent and just written what I’ve felt like at the time.

Probably my favorite books to write have been the Blood Hunter series, just because they were so much fun. I have six books contracted for the series and one more to write. After that, I plan to take a step back, do a little long-term career planning, and maybe try and concentrate on one genre for a while.

On the other hand, I have a hankering to try historical…

6)                 How many publishers do you have? I’ve primarily read your Entangled books, but are there others? Did any of them give you “the call” (as opposed to an acceptance email, which has been my experience)? What was that call like, if you did?

I have two paranormal novellas published with Harlequin—they were my first accepted stories, two with The Wild Rose Press (now out of contract), a fantasy series with Breathless Press, and I have a series of paranormal novellas I have self-published.

And, very exciting, next year, my Blood Hunter series is being brought out in mass market paperback as a joint venture between Entangled and St Martin’s Press.

But sadly, I’ve never received the call – it’s all been done by email.

7)                 What books do you have planned? What’s in your future?

 After book 3 of my Blood Hunter series in December, I have book 4, Temporal Shift, releasing in January 2014, then a paranormal romance, Bittersweet Darkness (book 3 in the Order series) in February and a contemporary romance, Out of Control (book 2 in my Babysitting a Billionaire series) in March. And a few more things planned for later in the year.

8) Got any advice for those still struggling through the trenches?

Write what you love. It’s the only thing that will sustain you when the going gets tough—will it will.

9) Sweet or sour?

Sour

10) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate.

Author/Contact Info

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina writes all sorts of romance often mixing in elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

Book Information

Death Defying – Blurb

Part snake, part human, and—some would say all bitch—Captain Tannis of the star ship El Cazador has one goal in life—to earn enough credits to pay for the Meridian treatment to achieve the immortality she craves. And one last job will get her there. The assignment: protecting the most powerful man in the Universe.

Being leader of the known universe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks big time. And after five hundred years, Callum Meridian, founding member of the Collective, is bored out of his mind. But as things are changing, he’s changing—into what, though, he isn’t sure. Callum is determined to discover the truth, and he’s employed the crew of El Cazador to help him do it.

Not everyone agrees with his plan, though. His own people will stop at nothing to prevent the truth coming out, the Church is taking advantage of the confusion and attempting a coup, and even the crew of El Cazador seem close to tossing him out the airlock without a space suit. But defying death has never been more dangerous, sexier, or more fun.

 

Tory’s Friday Ramblings (12/20/13) (Beacon #contest update included)

Happy Friday, everyone!

House

You knew it was coming, didn’t you? Well, they were supposed to pour the foundation a couple days ago, but due to some rain, there was a failed inspection and so thus far, they haven’t gotten the slab poured. However, everything’s in place to do so, as evidenced by these pictures:

2013-12-19 17.31.56 2013-12-19 17.31.37 2013-12-19 17.31.42

I’m totally weird, but utterly psyched to be seeing construction move forward. We have a tentative timeline for the building process now. Frame up at the end of December, frame orientation (whatever that is) end of January, and possible closing end of April. So…YAY! Timelines are good!

On Writing

ARGH! I hate waiting. And yes, I’m waiting to hear something. It keeps getting pushed back on me, but they swore it would be this week. Nada yet, so…yeah. Probably not going to happen this week, but oh well. I’m fairly certain it will be good news, one way or another given I haven’t gotten bad news yet and bad news travels fast, but one never knows. I’ve got my fingers crossed. Yes, deets will be provided once/if I get them.

I did hear on something else though. I’m going to be an intern at Entangled Publishing. I’m really happy about that. I’ve long wanted to see the other side of the publishing process, and now I’ll get a peek at what it’s all about. I got the email when I got up this morning that I’d been accepted. Yaaaay! I’ll be one of four new interns to the phenomenal Candace Havens, publishing diva extraordinaire (she writes and gets published many many books, edits, and has a day job along with a family – and you people thought I was overloaded in all that I do…yeah, Candace so leaves me in the dust).

On Family

Shrimp had his winter awards ceremony for Cub Scouts this week. I finally got him his new Scout uniform (literally put the emblems on less than an hour before the ceremony – yeesh). It was fun, though the Shrimpettes were a handful.

Some pictures for your pleasure:

2013-12-16 18.54.04 2013-12-16 18.54.12 2013-12-16 19.06.47 2013-12-16 18.00.08

 

He’s just getting so big. My lil’ boy isn’t so little any more. And the girls are goobers. Busy, bouncy, crazy goobers. And all three are all MINE! You can’t have them. Hehe. Yes, I can be fond of them right now – they’re asleep, and thus quiet. Such a rare thing in this house, quiet.

Beacon Contest Update

Yes, I take shameless advantage of my own blog to do stuff like this. I’m not too proud to pimp for my chapter from time to time. We have the winners at long last and they’ve all been notified. This information will be posted shortly on the First Coast Romance Writer’s website shortly as well.

Contemporary Series (Agent Marisa Corvisiero, Editor Christine Brower)
1st – The Ren by Sarah Bailey**
2nd – Finding Home by Bonnie Forsythe**
3rd – Imperfect Gentleman by Natalie Meg Evans*

FFP (Agent Andrea Somberg, Editor Kerri-Leigh Grady)
1st – A Rip in Time by Helen Pilz*
2nd – Blood Pain & Pleasure by Nadine Mutas*
3rd – Sanctuary by J.K. Hover**

Erotic Romance (Agent Beth Miller, Editor Linda Ingmanson)
1st – His Law to Obey by Reagan Phillips**
2nd – Rules for Burning by Chloe Carson**
3rd – Breaking all the Rules by Virginia Paige**
4th – An Altered State of Betrayal by Bonnie Madison

Historical Romance (Agent Laura Bradford, Editor Elizabeth Poteet)
1st – Deal With the Devil by Cindy St. James**
2nd – Fool’s Gold by Cari Davis
3rd – Winds of Fate by Elizabeth Bysiek**

Single Title (Agent Rebecca Strauss, Editor Kate Dresser)
1st – Why Can’t This Be Love? by Lee Kilraine**
2nd – Second Chance in Sweetgrass by Megan Coakley*
3rd – Goodbye to Love by Carla Kempert
4th – The Sweetheart Deal by Allison Morse*

Romantic Suspense (Agent Courtney Miller-Callihan, Editor Allison Lyons)
1st – Worth Running For by Kairee Taylor
2nd – Not Quite Legal by Christina Elle
3rd – Dangerous Dreams by Abbie Roads**

Women’s Fiction (Agent Michelle Grajkowski, Editor Leis Pederson)
1st – One More Breath by Pamela Kopfler**
2nd – Glory Glory the Majorettes are Forty by Linda Bond
3rd – Holding at Love by Judy Fogarty**

Young Adult (Agent Kevan Lyons, Editor Rebecca Kilman)
1st – Macha by Barbara Gerr**
2nd – Silk by Louise Cusack*
3rd – Descent by Kathleen McMahon

* Synopsis Requested
** Full Requested

We’d like to thank our judges at this time as well, most especially the phenomenal Ms. Kilman, who stepped up at the last minute when another judge had to drop out.

Congratulations winners!

In Conclusion

Sorry this post was so long this week, but had a lot of stuff to get out. So – are you guys ready for Christmas? What are you doing for the big day? Talk to me, pretty please?

Review: Intervention

Intervention: The Pandora Virus

Author: W.R.R. Munro
Publisher: Self-Published
Date of Publication: October 21, 2013
Description:

InterventionSci-fi techno thriller set in a climate change wracked, near future. Ayden Walker, a young environmentalist is shocked to learn that his parents had been involved in illegal genetic experimentation, years ago. But what he learns next, shakes the very foundations of his existence.

Investigating, he stumbles across something that could change the future of the human race if he can’t stop it… except he’s not so sure he should.

It becomes clear though, that someone has him under surveillance, someone who doesn’t tolerate interference. He’s forced to seek an uneasy alliance with military intelligence as he hunts for the truth.

Then Ayden discovers that his adversary will kill to keep his secrets.

My Thoughts:

Oh. My. Goodness. This was a great book. Self-published work can truly be a hit or miss prospect, and this one was definitely a hit (at least for me). The bulk of the book takes place about 20 years from now, and I found the tech advances imagined by Mr. Munro to be completely believable.

It’s hard to know what to say about this book, because it was just so good. I’m not sure I agree with some of his views about climate change, but it’s definitely true about the world straining Earth’s resources with it’s exploding population, so I found it believable and a bit scary.

Ayden was  a strong character – brilliant, determined, and definitely devoted to ferreting out the truth. There were a lot of secondary characters and sometimes it was hard (deliberately so) to know who was telling the truth about what. The villain was great, and equally stubborn. I’m really excited to know there’s a sequel in the works, so will definitely keep my eye out for that.

Yeah, there’s not much to say about this one other than READ IT! Thanks Mr. Munro!

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Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Sweet Revenge

Sweet Revenge (Forgotten Sins #2)

Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central)
Date of Publication: December 3, 2013
Description:

SweetThe One Man She Can’t Have
Matt Dean was born to fight . . . and kill. A member of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be the perfect soldiers with an expiration date. Now, with time running out, he’s gone rogue in a relentless quest for the one person who can save them. His mission leads him to Charmed, Idaho . . . and to a beautiful woman with eyes like emeralds and a body made for pleasure.

The One Woman He Can’t Resist
Laney Jacobs knows the mysterious, handsome stranger is trouble from the moment he walks into her bar, looking for a job. She’s spent years running from her own past-the last thing she needs is a romantic entanglement. But Matt’s strong arms offer her protection and his gentle touch promises passion unlike anything she’s ever known. As lethal forces surround them, revealing explosive secrets about Matt’s past and putting everything-and everyone-he holds dear in danger, can he save them all before time runs out?

My Thoughts:

Wow – I’m duly impressed by Ms. Zanetti now. I read one of her paranormal romances (reviewed elsewhere on the blog) and now I’ve read her romantic suspense and dang, I gotta read more! I like this woman’s writing a lot.

Laney was a haunted woman, and while I realized part of her secret before it was revealed, I still was horrified at what she’d had to live through once Ms. Zanetti divulged the information. I’m amazed at the courage and strength of conviction that Laney had to take the path she did, even if that conviction was a bit weak in the beginning before she made the decision (yes, I’m being vague – it’s hard to avoid spoilers sometimes).

Matt – wow. A genetically engineered from birth soldier. I abruptly feel very old, because I must be older than him. Test tube babies weren’t developed until a couple of years after I was born (though I maintain my parents must have found a way around that because I refuse to believe they ever did anything), but Matt was definitely engineered. I like the advanced senses he has and how he’s used them to survive. He’s definitely a survivor and incredibly loyal to his family. He’s in a race against time (cliche, but true) to find the code to disable a kill switch that’s implanted near his spine and will kill him in less than 5 weeks (by the end of the book).

These two played off each other quite well and I found their romance to be very believable. I liked that Matt tried to be bossy (typical Alpha) and Laney didn’t take that from him. Some of the lovin’ wasn’t sweet or loving, but it was HOT. I loved these two in bed. Or whatever other surface they might choose to use.

The ending was great and I loved how Laney was finally able to face one of the demons she’d been running from to become whole (or at least more whole) than she had been for years.

I’m so glad I read this and I’ve already hunted down Book 1 and want to read Book 3 when it’s available! Thanks, Ms. Zanetti!

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Contributor

Contributor

Author: Nicole Ciacchella
Publisher: Sweenix Rising Books
Date of Publication: September 4, 2012
Description:

ContributorWhen the Great Famine threatened the existence of mankind, the Creators saved humanity. Humanity has been their loyal subject ever since.

This history has been ingrained in seventeen-year-old Dara Morrow since her first day of Creator-sponsored school. Grateful for the life-giving necessities her Creator provides, Dara is thrilled to be one of three students chosen for an elite, year-long apprenticeship program. Now is her chance to prove herself a devoted Contributor.

But Dara’s competition is ruthless and will stop at nothing to win the competition. Worse yet, her exacting master has little patience for her.

Then Dara’s mother is seriously injured, and Dara realizes the price of being a Contributor: once you’ve outlived your usefulness, you’re discarded. Can Dara learn to manipulate the system to save not only herself, but everyone she loves?

My Thoughts:

I’ve definitely been on a young adult dystopian kick lately. Hunger Games, The Testing, that Harlequin Teen book that I can’t remember the title of but reviewed here and loved, and now Contributor.

While the book doesn’t blaze any new paths or offer any uber-big surprises, it’s still a well-paced, interesting book that I happily lost myself in for a couple of hours. It didn’t hurt that I’m partial to the name Dara. Heh.

There was some pretty sturdy world-building here, which is of course necessary when doing a dystopian. It wasn’t made particularly clear how the big disaster happened, but something definitely went vercocky, considering the bulk of the survivors now live in domed cities. And I really liked the whole domed city thing. The one thing that left me a little confused was I didn’t fully understand what a Creator was. I got the Job Creator, as in the corporations (heh – considering how much the political scene squawks about big, bad, evil corporations, I found it cool that the corporations pretty much run things), but not a Creator. How did one become a Creator, rather than a Ballast (essentially white-collar workers), Core (menial labor), or Root (exiled from the domes)?

Dara was solid. She had some pretty rough stuff thrown at her, especially when her mom is badly injured, and that injury is the catalyst for her development toward disenchantment with the system as a whole. I liked Letizia (her mentor/master at Magnum Corporation). And lemme say, I hope I never have to deal with competitors for a job like Dara did for the job she had in engineering.

I’m going to look up the next book in the series and I definitely think it’s worth your time to read this book. I hope you’ll check it out.

Thanks, Ms. Ciacchella!

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tory’s Friday Ramblings (12/13/13)

Oh, yikes. Friday the 13th! But that’s okay, because I’m not superstitious. Mostly. Heh. Well, here we are, less than 2 weeks from Christmas. Are you ready for it?

On Christmas

I wasn’t planning on having a tree – I don’t like spending the money (yes, I’m cheap, I admit it), but hubby talked me into it (well, more like he said “we’re getting a tree, stop being a Scrooge” and voila, we have a tree), but I’m awfully glad he did. Hubby set it up in the stand, I wound the lights onto the tree, and then I got the joy of watching the kids decorate it. Jackie in particular was very excited. She would jump up and down, squealing “yay” every time she attached an ornament. Here are some pictures (are you surprised?):

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On the House

Construction has continued. I’m almost obsessive about going by the house each day to see any changes that might have occurred. I’ve been good and haven’t gone in two days though. It’s HARD to resist that temptation. I won’t torture you with more pictures of dirt. Once there’s a foundation, now there’s something I’ll share. Heh.

On Health

As you may or may not know, I have a pacemaker. I’ll have had it for 10 years, come January 30, 2014. The past two years have been rough when it comes to that thing. Last May I had to have the battery replaced (not bad, 8.5 years on the battery, considering I was told it would last 3-5 years). Then, after being naughty and not getting it checked for a year, I discovered in June of this year that I was having a nasty arrhythmia (well, a super-high heart rate ongoing – 120+ like 50% of the time). So they had to go in and do a cardiac ablation.

Well, yesterday I had my pacer check-up (I won’t skip a year+ again) and it was a fabulous appointment. Not only do I have approximately 8.5 years before I have to have a new battery installed (thank God, that surgery hurts), but for the first time since I’ve had the pacemaker, I have had no high heart rate incidences since July! I’d been having heart flutters (short bursts of high rates) ever since I got the device. They were annoying, and increasing. But for the first time EVER, they were gone. The ablation did the trick in a BIG way!

And, on a good note when it comes to the heart overall, my lower chamber continues to work without assistance 99.99% of the time, and if only one chamber’s going to work like it’s supposed to, that’s the one you want behaving. The upper needs pacing 75% of the time (I got the pacemaker because my heart rate had dropped into the 30s & 40s), but I’m okay with that.

Yeah, sorry, I’m just so stoked about the results of the testing yesterday I had to share.

On Family

Well, you saw the tree decorating. Shrimp got to tour a fire station on Monday with the Cub Scouts. That was fun for him, boring for me. I had to keep grumbling at him to stop bouncing off the walls, but I got to read a book while wandering around, so not a total loss (I love cell phone reading apps!).

There’s an award ceremony for the Shrimp on Monday, along with the Christmas party and hubby thinks we should all go. He’s a brave man, wanting to face that crowd with the girls. I wouldn’t do it. I suggested he go since he doesn’t go on many of the adventures with the Scouts and I’d stay home with the girls, but he shot that idea down. ::sigh::

In Conclusion

I think I’ve rambled on enough for today. I hope you’re all having a great holiday season. I’m baking up a storm this weekend (Christmas cookies and 3 kinds of fudge) along with going to my RWA chapter’s Christmas Party.

Have a great weekend!