Monday, March 2, 2015

Music Crush Monday - Earned it

It’s Monday (unfortunately), and if you’re a nine-to-fiver like me, you need something to propel you through your first day back to work. My Mondays usually consist of sifting through emails, voice mails, attending meetings etc etc, so needless to say they’re hectic, and who better to soothe me than The Weeknd? Ironic, huh? The Weeknd gets me through my Mondays. Hehe Okay, sorry that was cheesy.

ANYWAY… let’s take a minute to appreciate one of my new favorite songs hot off the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack - Earned It, by (you guessed it) The Weeknd!!! I've had it on repeat all day long, and ooooooh is it delicious and smooth and sexy. *sigh* A lot like those chocolate truffles I shared with you around New Years.

Enjoy :)


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cover Reveal - Cage of Deceit, Book One of the Reign of Secrets Series

I signed up through Xpresso Book Tours to feature this book because I'm a lover of Young Adult Fantasy novels, and I have to admit, I only skimmed the summary for Cage of Deceit before I decided, sure... I'll post the cover. But once I took the time to sit down and truly read it, I found myself so entranced by the premise I now have to get my hands on it!!! Too bad I have to wait until August. :( And while the cover doesn't immediately snag your interest in a holy beautiful cover kind of way, it's pretty and haunting and seems to be a true reflection of the story, and sometimes that's more than enough. After all, while the cover is important, that's not what keeps the reader's attention; it's the words that come after.

Is it August yet? ;)

xoxo
SJ


Release Date: August 25th 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Here's the Summary:

Jennifer Anne Davis’ best-selling True Reign series captivated readers from the very first page. Now, get ready to become entangled in the follow-up series, Reign of Secrets. In this new series, follow Allyssa, the daughter of the beloved Emperor Darmik and Empress Rema— and find out what happens after happily ever after.

Seventeen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she's beautiful, elegant, and refined. She is the darling of the kingdom and, one day, will be the most powerful ruler in the world. But for her, life at court is like a suffocating cage. During the day, she manages to keep a smile on her face and play the part of the perfect princess. But at night, she sneaks out of the castle and roams the streets with a commoner who doesn't know her true identity. She keeps tabs on the shady under dealings of the city and seeks out ways to help her people firsthand.

When a royal messenger arrives half dead, carrying news that an army from the northern front is amassing to destroy Emperion, Allyssa is forced to entertain an alliance with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom. She needs to marry him in order to secure his country's help to fight their mutual enemy. Prince Odar turns out to be rather charming, well spoken, and cultivated. In other words, he represents everything she despises about court life. To make matters worse, the prince insists that Jarvik— his nosy squire—watch Allyssa's every move, suffocating her even more. Jarvik is infuriating, bossy, and constantly looks down upon her.

When she sneaks out of the castle in disguise one evening, Allyssa comes face-to-face with an assassin who isn't from this part of the world, an assassin who was sent to murder the royal family. Stuck in an impossible bind, she allows Jarvik to help her. Together, the unlikely pair confronts the man sent to kill her so she can discover who's behind the lethal plot. Only, the more she learns, the more she understands that the invading army and the assassin are connected to an enemy she thought was long gone—an enemy with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. The cage she so longs to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she has to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.



About the Author:


Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids' creativity.
Connect with Her:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Author Spotlight, Excerpt and GIVEAWAY- Remote by Lisa Acerbo

Happy Saturday, angels! I'm pleased to introduce a new Young Adult Science-Fiction novel by the talented Lisa Acerbo. Check out the excerpt and giveaway ($20 Amazon gift card) below!!!

Love to all
xoxo
SJ

 
 
 
Release Date: November 20th 2014
Genre: Young Adult Romance/ Science-Fiction
 
Where to Buy:
 
 
Here's the Summary:

When technology fulfills every dream, reality becomes a nightmare.
Below the streets of New State, the undergrounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. Every night, Yara risks her life fighting New State’s deadliest weapons, the drones. Half human and half machine, their living half tortured until everything human is gone, the drones have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.

Yara is good at her job and committed to her raids on New State. Until one of those raids brings her face-to-face with Joshua, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Yara feels for Joshua is very real. And it’s punishable by law.

As she and Joshua grow closer, she convinces him to leave New State for her underground cause. But as the unrest between New State and the underground escalates, and the drones move in to destroy her world, nothing goes as planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Yara’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever…
 

 
Excerpt:
 
 
       “Hi,” he called out.
       Yara’s heart hammered, and adrenaline coursed through her limbs. She turned to run.
       “Wait,” the stranger whispered. “I won’t turn you in. I’m out here too.” He obviously didn’t realize that Yara was a rebel. He might not know it yet, but he would soon. Still, he didn’t sound dangerous. Maybe Yara could take care of him. She had never had to kill anyone totally human, but she had trained to do so. At this point, she didn’t think she would need to. The skinny boy didn’t look like a real threat, either.
       She turned back toward him and attempted what she hoped was a look of death and destruction.
       Instead of being scared, he smiled at her and brushed the hair out of his eyes. Even in the shadowy street, Yara could see the color was a beautiful emerald green. She had a hard time looking away, until his voice jarred her back to reality.
       “I’m Joshua15111,” he said robotically. “What are you doing out here?”
       “I could ask you the same thing.”
       “Enjoying the night sky,” he replied, each word clipped and succinct. Unable to make prolonged eye contact, he looked toward the stars.
       “Aren’t you supposed to be hooked up to an alternate universe, enjoying battle, boobs, or whatever perverted fantasy you want to conquer tonight?” Yara asked, and then instantly regretted her words.
       “Hey, it’s not like that. You know how it is.” For the first time, his voice took on a more humanistic quality. He sounded peeved.
       She grunted in response. She didn’t know anything of the sort.
       Joshua15111 looked at her briefly, quizzically. “Wait, do you know that? Are you one of them? The rebels?”
       Oh no. “What rebels?”
       “Are you for real? Everyone knows about the rebels. You must be one. Are you a rebel? That’s so cool.”
       Me and my big mouth. Fear finally overtook her. Vague ideas about running away from or fighting the stranger flitted by, but Yara’s feet felt like concrete blocks. She wasn’t even sure she’d be able to form a coherent sentence if he asked her something about the underground.
 
 
The Giveaway!!!
 



 
About the Author:
 
 
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and holds an EdD in Educational Leadership. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and horse. She is the author of Apocalipstick and has contributed to local newspapers, news and travel blogs including The Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter.
 
Connect with Her:


Friday, February 27, 2015

Cover Reveal - Edge of Evil, Book Two of the Dark Secrets Series by Shea Berkley

This cover.... this. cover! I could stare at it all day. It embodies everything Adult Paranormal Romance should be - gritty and gory with heaps of delicious seduction. Yes, please!!!  Read below to find out more.

xoxo
SJ


Release Date: March 3rd
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
 
 
Buy the First Book in the Series, Stone Cold Dead, Now!
 
 
Here's the Summary:


What if nightmares, best kept in the dark, refuse to stay hidden?

Dr. Maya Kelbeck believes no matter how unusual her patients’ delusions, she can help. When billionaire Alden Caldwell seeks her counsel to escape a controlling relationship, she’s intrigued by his unusual diagnosis, lycanthropy—her patient actually believes he is over 400 years old and a werewolf.

Alden Caldwell’s life is not his own and hasn’t been since the middle ages, not since he was transformed into a werewolf. The once noble knight now finds himself no more than a slave to a female vampire who is without morals, without conscious, without a soul.

Maya promises Alden she can help him, and at first it looks like she can, until the supernatural world in which he lives wants him back. Can Alden convince Maya his delusions are real in time to save her, or has he just sentenced a woman who cares for him despite his past transgressions to a fate worse than death?
 
 
 
About the Author:
 



Shea Berkley started out writing nonfiction (not so fun) and quickly moved into fiction (totally fun), and knew she'd found her calling. (Her family was thrilled she'd found friends to play with even if they weren't technically real.) She's still pleasantly surprised people are willing to pay to read her stories. Besides writing, her many diversions include kickboxing, reading awesome books and hanging out with her loud and rambunctious family. With five kids (all girls), her biggest job is to make sure the little darlings don't harass the neighbors and then play dumb when the cops come knocking on her door.
 
Connect with Her:
 



 

 
 
 
 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trailer Reveal - I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen

Ooooh look, angels! Another Young Adult/ Sci-Fi/ Romance novel!!! And guess what? It's available for pre-order on Amazon! Watch the trailer below, then follow the link on over to Amazon to buy. :)

PS- SO in love with that cover!!! <3

xoxo
SJ

 
 
 
 
Release Date: March 31st
Genre: Young Adult Romance, Science Fiction
 
 
Where to Pre-Order:
 
 
Here's the Summary:
 
Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won’t belittle her musical aspirations.

Q-I-99 aka ‘Quinn’ lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.

Tyri and Quinn’s worlds collide when they’re accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn’s love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?

 
The Trailer!!!
 

 

 
 
About the Author:
 
 
I'm a YA author with a penchant for the dark and strange. I primarily write speculative fiction but enjoy literary writing as well. I occasionally delve into adult genres too.

I'm a musician and have a Master's degree in music, but I prefer writing strange stories, baking peanut butter cupcakes and playing with my shiba inu.

I'm repped by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
 
 
Connect with Her:
 
 


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Book Review - Where Death is a Hunter by Chris Stookey


 
Release Date: May 2015
Genre: Thriller
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
 
 
Here's the Summary:
 

Hannah Fâtier is a thirty-two-year-old physician fresh out of residency training. She’s just started her first job as an anesthesiologist at Deaconess Hospital in San Francisco, she’s bought a new home, and she’s engaged to be married.

In short, life is good for Hannah--until, one morning at work, tragedy strikes. A patient under her care dies unexpectedly during a routine operation. An investigation into the case reveals the cause of death to be a basic medical error committed by Hannah. Wracked with guilt, Hannah falls into a malaise of depression and self-reproach. Yet the more she ponders her alleged “error,” the more she realizes that something about the way her patient died doesn’t add up. Digging deeper into the records of the case, Hannah discovers a number of puzzling inconsistencies. She begins to suspect that someone has framed her for a medical mistake she never made. But who would do such a thing and why? And, more importantly, if there was no medical error, then why did her patient really die that morning on the operating table?

Where Death Is a Hunter is a medical mystery/thriller dealing with hospital death, betrayal, one doctor’s self-doubt, and the search for redemption.
 
 
My Review:
 
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Good:

Mr. Stookey has a way with descriptions that I like; they’re not flowery or over the top, but vivid and to the point. The story also had a nice pace to it. At no point did I feel like it dragged on or that it was rushed. I also liked the fact that the author took time to develop his characters. I feel like I could run into any of these people on the street and be like “Oh, hey! Sorry about horrible thing that happened to you.” Except for Dr. Lu... I'd smack her. lol And that horrible lawyer lady, Ms. Bellows.

I LOVED Hannah, the POV character. She’s smart, loving and tenacious. Once she realized something was off about what happened in the Operating Room she never quit fighting to find out the truth. Not only for herself but for the victim. Her deep friendship with her ex also endeared me to her. It takes an incredibly secure person to be able to do that, and to be so accepting of their current partner on top of it. Kudos to the author for not going the clichéd route of bitterness and jealousy.

Now… about the plotline. We start off with a bang in Operating Room 3 where Deborah Thein (wife of the head Dermatologist at Deaconess Hospital) flatlines before her scheduled breast augmentation even begins, and Hannah (the anesthesiologist) is in charge of saving her life until the Code Blue team can get there. But despite everyone’s tireless efforts, Ms. Thein dies anyway. And while her death is untimely and tragic, it seems it was nothing more than a bad reaction to the drugs or some other unknown cause that was no fault of anyone’s in the Operating Room, key word being seems. When the autopsy report is released, we then learn that the cause of death was a misplaced breathing tube, and you can guess who they’re pointing fingers at – Hannah. Except… except Hannah remembers placing the breathing tube without incident. So something is wrong. Way wrong. Not only that, but something is off with the rest of the ‘evidence’ they have against Hannah, as well, so with the help of her appointed hot surfer/ lawyer (that she has to have because Mr. Thein is suing her for malpractice), they set out to find the truth. And so the rest of the novel spirals us down a rabbit hole of deceit and conspiracy with delicious twists and turns along the way.

My kind of novel. ;)

I have to mention here, though, that I don’t usually read a lot of medical or legal dramas, but because the main character is so well conceived and the novel hooks you from the get-go, I can’t see many people turning this novel down no matter what your preferred genre. I also learned a lot about the medical world, namely anesthesiologists. I have a newfound respect for them. Not that I didn’t have respect for them before, but they deserve a lot more credit than they receive.
 
Here’s my favorite quote:

“Although a lot of patients don’t seem to appreciate us much (anesthesiologists don’t get a lot of Thank You cards), we are really a patient’s best friend. Really. The surgeon is merely a technician, a mechanic who knows how to wield a scalpel. The anesthesiologist, on the other hand, is a friendly wizard who turns a painful and frightening experience – the operation – into a painless, timeless dreamland.

You’re welcome.”


The Bad:

This isn’t really bad, per se, just something that I found odd: why in the world Hannah never reached out to her mother during any of this. After everything that happened, she didn’t even make a phone call? A text? A visit? It was always Anesu (her ex) she was reaching out to. The only time a daughter wouldn’t reach out to her mother during a crisis would be if they’re on bad terms or estranged, but Hannah was neither of those, if I remember correctly. I get waiting to break news because you don’t want to worry them, but it’s a little, a lot, inconceivable that she never reached out… at all. Not to mention my mom would have my *ss if I ever kept all of that from her. lol I’d be afraid not to tell her!


The Ugly:

Nothing to say in this category.
 

In conclusion, this well-thought-out medical thriller drew me in from the first page and had me hooked until the end. With a cast of dynamic, believable characters and a plotline rife with tension and suspense, this un-put-down-able book will keep you up all hours of the night.


 
 
About the Author:
 
 

Christopher Stookey, MD, is an emergency physician and author. HIs first novel, Terminal Care (also a medical mystery/thriller), was published in 2010. In his spare time, Chris enjoys surfing and mountain biking. He lives with his wife and two dogs in Laguna Beach, California.
 
 
 
Connect With Him: