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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ruined by Paula Morris

A gripping YA supernatural novel set in New Orleans: TWILIGHT with a ghostly twist.

Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city

First off the synopsis states "A gripping YA supernatural novel set in New Orleans: TWILIGHT with a ghostly twist" This is a lie. There was nothing gripping about this book, in fact aside from Lissette (not the MC a ghost) I was pretty bored while reading this. I had figured out a good portion of the plot twist fairly soon in and couldn't care less about the characters, most were grey boring and not flushed out. The synopsis also talks about the mysterious Anton who is actually just a douche bag boy the MC goes on ONE date with. So nice touch there is almost no romance in this at all, basic high school girl crush, but no insta-love. The MC also spends a lot of time whining.

Now I enjoy a novel that does it's research and tries for accuracy but this novel was probably 70% blabbing on and on about the history of New Orleans Mardi Gras and the Garden District and the parties the rich families throw before hand with things like info dumping about the Krewes they belong to and the symbolism. Which honestly didn't move the plot forward and was just boring. Totally could have been cut down to the basics. Just like when Aurelia talks on and on about how the school is divided up into Debs, Plebs and other things based on Roman culture.... What?

Now I know that at some point the heroine needs to find out what is going on, she gets tidbits here and there on her own, but the majority comes from a heart to heart with her and her "Aunt Claudia" where we get the nitty gritty of the Bowman Family Curse and how the MC plays into all of it, by this time I had figured out a good chunk, which is what the author intended. However then there is this paragraph which literally made me roll my eyes, smirk and stop reading. I can't go into details without spoiling but I can say it includes several name changes and the MC's father having a friend at the CIA that changes around some documents. It was just so OVER THE TOP and convenient. I almost stopped reading the book right then.

This is getting two angels instead of one simply because there were parts that were interesting and Lissette and Aurelia (MC kind of cousin) were the most flushed out characters. I did appreciate the author doing her research even if not ALL of it needed to be in this book. I have read much better books recently that took place in New Orleans or Louisiana. Instead of this novel try:

Walk of the Spirits (Walk #1)by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Darkness Becomes Her by 

Sweet Unrest

Inside the Lines by Ally Bishop Book Launch


A debut novel from Ally Bishop...

What happens when a Dominatrix realizes she wants something more for her life...and her heart?

Get it on Amazon.

About Inside the Lines

What happens in love might destroy you...flat ebook

Or remake you altogether.

I make a living offering men and women their ultimate fantasies…as submissives of the mysterious Mistress Hathaway.

I've never surrendered to anyone. That's not the way it works. Or rather, not the way I operate.

But when the gorgeous Fin MacKenzie shows up in my life, he throws everything out of balance.

Now I'm not sure who I am anymore, and I'm questioning everything.

What woman can turn away from a gorgeous Scotsman, especially when he sets her body on fire and her heart ablaze?

I have to stop it…us. I can't keep going like this. It will ruin everything I've worked so hard to build.

Who am I if I surrender to him? Worse yet, who am I if I don't?

Add Inside the Lines to your TBR list on Goodreads!

Special sneak peek:

Ch 3: When Lux meets Fin

[Lux has a female client for whom she's orchestrated a fantasy. Her friend, Stephen, a well-known escort, is supposed to be the "help," but he ends up sending someone in his place...]

The candescence of pink light softens the room. The hazy glow turns the blood red decor into a deep maroon. This hotel made a splash because of its "red suites;" they're swanky and beautifully styled. And for this evening's pleasure, they seemed like the perfect fit. I've remade the suite's bedroom with the softer bulbs, draping scarves, red boas, and a few well- placed, cotton restraints.

Someone knocks, and I hope it's Stephen. But when I open the door, it's Ari.

"Oh, God, am I too early?" Her blue eyes go round as she takes in my cut-up t-shirt that falls artfully, exposing my shoulder, and stops just shy of my wine-colored skinny jeans.

"Well, it's not quite—" I check my phone for the time but also see a missed text, which makes me frown. "What the..." Apparently, I nudged the ringer off, and with setting up and moving around, I missed the vibration of a new text. One that says Stephen can't make it. "Un-fucking-believable. You asshole."

Ari stares at me, wide-eyed. Her white-blond hair shimmers in a short, wispy cut that frames her heart-shaped face. A professional dancer, Ari has the slight build of a ballerina, but with more softness and curve.

I shake my head. "Not you, love. Come in. You're about a half hour early, so I haven't changed yet. Come in," I say again when she pauses at the door. One of the ongoing problems with Ari is her hesitance. It's taken me nearly six months to get her to this point. I'm going to kill Stephen for ruining it.

I check the text so I can read the whole thing.

Sry, dove, I'm sick. And u don't want my snot ruining a sexy scene. Found a replacement, tho. Fin. Trust me, u will luv him. xoxo.

I receive a second text as I'm standing there.

Hi. It's Fin. Stephen sent me. I'm here at the hotel. What room?

Un-fucking-believable. I text him the floor and say I'll meet him. Then I return Stephen's message: you better die of this illness. Or I promise, you'll wish you did.

"Ari, I'll be right back. Make yourself comfortable. Remember what we talked about. Deep breaths, center yourself—"

"Envision, and repeat mantra." Ari's light voice finishes for me. "I know." She smiles, but the corners of her mouth flicker with nerves.

Inwardly, I sigh. Then I shower her with smiling confidence and step into the hallway, closing the door snugly.

When the elevator opens, another couple gets off, wheeling luggage behind them. The doors start to shut, but then a strong hand holds them open. The man that steps off is very tall, well over six feet, and when his aquamarine eyes meet mine, he grins.

"Lux, I take it?" His deep voice holds a heavy Scottish burr. He wears jeans and a nondescript black t-shirt under a black leather jacket, and if I weren't so mad, I'd be swooning. Dear God. His shoulders and chest are broad, but not thick. He's built more like a soccer player, with wavy auburn hair with hints of chestnut. He has a crooked smile, and when I stand there staring for a moment, I get a glimpse of perfectly straight teeth and a dimple.

Holy Christ, Stephen sent me an underwear model.

Twitter 1a

"I know you. You're the guy from that ad. Th-the new Monsieur line. You're on the goddamn billboard in Times Square in bikini briefs." Monsieur is a male clothing boutique on Fashion Avenue; they've been making quite a stir with their advertising of everyday men—e.g. not celebrities or models, though you'd be hard-pressed to find one that isn't ripped— wearing their new underwear line.

His cheeks blush, which on him, is highly attractive, and I get more of that uneven grin. "Aye, well, that might've been me." He scratches the back of his neck. "Stephen said ye needed a bit of help tonight."

And with that, I remember how pissed I am. "Stephen is a goddamn asshole. Do you even know what you're doing here tonight? Did he give you the details?" If there is one thing I'm sensing, it's a distinct lack of kink. Fin looks like he should have a blonde wife, 2.5 kids, and a house with a white picket fence.

"Well, he wasna very specific with details, but he did mention that ye needed a cock." His eyes crinkle even more at his bald language, his face turning brighter pink. "Seein' as which I have one of those, I should be able to help ye." His brogue thickens with his embarrassment.

"Christ. I'm glad Stephen narrowed the whole evening down to a male organ." I glare at Fin. "Men." I turn and storm away, leaving Fin to follow. I feel like I have an enormous shadow behind me, and I realize I have to have this conversation away from the room's door, or Ari will hear it. So I turn on my heel and confront him mid-hallway.

I crane my neck to make eye contact. "Never mind. Just go home. I'm canceling this nightmare before it gets out of hand."

He lays a hand on my shoulder as I turn away, his heat searing my bare skin. "Wait, now. Look." He drops his hand and stops a beat until I meet his gaze. "I ken I'm not the charmer Stephen is, but I ken a fair bit about what he does. I think I can handle it. And he mentioned that ye were a Dominatrix, and that ye'd be runnin' things, so ye can just tell me what to do." He bites the inside of his lip. "I'll do it."

The cheer in his eyes pisses me off. "This is a joke to you. You can barely keep from laughing." I shake my head at him, my temper undoubtedly turning my own skin pink. "This is not funny. The woman on the other side of that door," I point down the hallway, "is terrified of letting herself go. She has a hard time enjoying sex because of assholes who ridiculed and abused her rather than making her feel beautiful and aroused. I will be damned if I will let you anywhere near her. Not when you think this is some kind of goddamn joke. You are—"

"Lux, I'm sorry. I wasna laughing at ye or anything about this." He steps closer, and I get a whiff of some kind of creamy, spicy cologne mixed with... him, probably. And it's delicious. "But ye have a feather here," his hand reaches towards my hair and plucks something from it. "And it wiggles, the angrier ye get."

I glare at the offending feather and snatch it from him. It's from one of the props I brought with me, and the delicate fringe crushes easily in my palm. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. If I cancel this, Ari will be heartbroken. I've fielded half a dozen texts from her already this week, thanking me for doing this and asking nervous questions. After six months of meeting with her, we're finally at the point of fulfilling her deepest fantasy. And there are worse-looking men to have in your fantasy than this one.

"You cannot, I repeat, cannot fuck this up. You listen to me, you do exactly what I say, and you never step a toe out of line. Am I clear?" Even to my ears, I sound like a total ass, but surprisingly, Fin only nods.


"You will call me Mistress Hathaway, as none of my clients know my real name."

"Of course."

"You'll strip down to your underwear when we get inside, and you will not approach the bedroom or Ari until I say so. Got it?"

He nods, his face solemn, though I can still see the laughter in his eyes. "After ye, Mistress," he says with a small bow.

Want more Lux and Fin? Get your copy of Inside the Lines here!

The Cast of Inside the Lines






The Playlist

While I don't listen to music with words while I'm writing, I listen to it all the time when I'm thinking about how to create an emotionally relevant tale. :) A few of these songs were featured in Inside the Lines!

About Ally Bishop

When you do something effortlessly and people commend you continuously, you have found your gift.

That’s what I tell people all the time. And it’s true.ally

I get story. I always have. I started writing when I was 8 on a Smith Corona (the electronic kind — I’m not THAT old). I wrote stories in every spiral notebook I had. Eventually, I graduated to a Mac (yes, I’m one of THOSE people). I imagined new worlds, emotional conflicts, and HEAs while I waited at stoplights or wandered the grocery store. But here’s the thing: I didn’t just dream it up and write it down — I critiqued what I read. I knew when ideas were good, and when they stunk. I ran writing groups, judged creative contests, and eventually got two graduate degrees in writing. That’s right: I love it that much.

So here I am, years later, writing kickass heroines and devastating good guys, along with some mystery and vampires thrown in (I promise: THEY’RE COMING). And what’s really cool? I do what I love. Wanna write a success story for your life: I promise you, that’s it. Do what you love. And hopefully, you can make a living at it too. That’s the golden ticket, Charlie.

And chocolate doesn’t hurt, either…

The serious stuff:

I have an M.A. in creative writing, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing with a focus in publishing. I produce two podcasts, host one, and am a freelance editor and publicist over at Upgrade Your Story. In my free time (what is that, exactly?), I read, workout, game, and converse. I’m a high introvert despite my extroverted behaviors, so you’ll find me behind my computer most days. I’m married to the wild and brilliant Billy Crash, have two dogs who are filing to change their species designation to “human,” and can often be found wandering Manhattan in search of the perfect writing spot.

You can find me at Twitter at @upgradestory & @allyabishop, Facebook, Pinterest, and my website.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Books for Readers who Like Ghost Stories

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun Meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish

1) The Carnacki Institute exists to "Do Something" about Ghosts-and agents JC Chance, Melody Chambers, and Happy Jack Palmer will either lay them to rest, send them packing, or kick their nasty ectoplasmic arses with extreme prejudice.

2.)When Connor's family moves to Amity, a secluded house on the peaceful banks of New England's Concord River, his nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons. destruction, and revenge. Dreams he kind of likes. Dreams he could make real, with Amity's help.
Ten years later, Gwen's family moves to Amity for a fresh start. Instead, she's haunted by lurid visions, disturbing voices, and questions about her own sanity. But with her history, who would ever believe her? And what could be done if they did?
Because Amity isn't just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a violent end as she's done before. As she'll do again. And again. And again.

3)1867. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor.
When she finally arrives, shaken, at the hall she is greeted by the two children in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There are no parents, no adults at all, and no one to represent her mysterious employer. The children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, a second terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.
From the moment she rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence which lives within Gaudlin’s walls. Eliza realises that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall’s long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past…

4) Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own

5)Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager.
Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite…
Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement.
Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken?

6)A psychic reading gone awry. Dreams that hold terrifying glimpses of the future. A dark and foreboding house that defies description. Something terrible is coming to the gothic, southern Oregon town of Linkville.
Psychic orphan Lilith St. John has recently left the foster system and is struggling to make it on her own. But now her dreams are filled with terror. And she feels something in the shadows, watching.
When a psychic reading draws the attention of dark forces, Lilith finds herself stalked and terrorized by an otherworldly menace. With few resources and fewer friends, Lilith can do little to protect herself as supernatural terror spreads into her life, culminating in a brutal attack.
Lilith awakens in The Crooked House, a ramshackle maze of shattered dreams and tortured souls ruled over by a hidden, malevolent force. Trapped in the mystifying labyrinth, Lilith is hunted by the terrible creatures that roam the night while hiding from the nameless monster upstairs. Can Lilith master her psychic powers and solve the mystery of The Crooked House or will she be trapped wandering its haunted corridors for eternity?

7)fter the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . .

8)Based on the wildly popular YouTube channel, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl has been described as “ Gilmore Girls meets Paranormal Activity for the new media age.” YA fans new and old will learn the secrets behind Sunshine—the adorkable girl living in a haunted house—a story that is much bigger, and runs much deeper, than even the most devoted viewer can imagine…

9)There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.
Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.
A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.
Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.
A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?

10)Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

One Crazy Night Book Blitz

Book Info:
One Crazy Night - An Anthology by Sara Furlong Burr, Teshelle Combs, Emma Faragher, R. Holland, Louise Nicks, Aoife Marie Sheridan, M. H. Soars, and Sharon Stevenson
Publication date: March 10th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Dystopian, Fantasy
One-Crazy-Night-V2_ebookNightshade Reads presents their debut fantasy anthology, featuring eight of the genre’s freshest up-and-coming independent authors. Get ready for One Crazy Night, packed full of magical encounters, dark secrets and shocking revelations.

Get a glimpse into a powerful queen’s dark and brutal backstory in Aoife Marie Sheridan’s Bellona.

In Louise Nick’s Love Magic, a homemade love spell goes disastrously wrong for two amateur teen witches.

A young woman is captured by beautiful, dangerous creatures in M.H. Soars Elements.

A teenage boy falls in love, but things quickly become complicated in R. Holland’s Lady in Black.

Sara Furlong Burr brings a broken man’s troubles to light as he is offered a solution by a mysterious stranger in The Recruit.

Emma Faragher spins a dark origin tale of sisterhood and magic inNecromancer Lineage.

The kindness of a stranger takes a homeless young man by surprise in The Keymaker by Teshelle Combs.

Sharon Stevenson’s Reanimator brings death and magic together to change the fate of one young man’s life.

All proceeds from this Anthology's sale will go to The Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Organisation.
Purchase Links:
The Recruit quote 1Elements quote 1Reanimator quote 2
About Nightshade Reads:
Nightshade logo 2Nightshade Reads is a group of YA and NA authors who love to spin Paranormal and Fantasy stories. The group is composed by Sara Furlong Burr,Teshelle Combs,Emma Faragher, R. Holland, Louise Nicks, Aoife Marie Sheridan, M. H. Soars, and Sharon Stevenson.
Connect with the Nightshade Reads Authors:

Sara Furlong Burr | Teshelle Combs | Emma Faragher | R. Holland | Louise Nicks | Aoife Marie Sheridan | M. H. Soars | Sharon Stevenson

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Monday, March 9, 2015

ARC Review- A Magic Dark and Bright Jenny Adams Perinovic

She meant to help a ghost...not unleash a curse.

Amelia Dupree hasn’t seen the Woman in White since the night her brother died.

The ghost seems to have disappeared from the woods surrounding Asylum, Pennsylvania—that is, until Charlie Blue moves into the creepy old MacAllister House next door. Amelia can’t help liking him, even though she spent her childhood thinking his grandmother was a witch. And she definitely can’t ignore the connection between his arrival and the Woman in White’s return.

Then Amelia learns that the Woman in White is a prisoner, trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. Devastated by the idea that her brother could be suffering a similar fate, Amelia decides to do whatever it takes to help the Woman in White find peace--and Charlie agrees to help her.

But when Amelia’s classmates start to drown in the Susquehanna River, one right after another, rumors swirl as people begin to connect the timing of Charlie’s arrival with the unexplained deaths. As Charlie and Amelia uncover the dark history of Asylum, they realize they may have unleashed an unspeakable evil. One they have to stop before everything they love is destroyed

This novel was given to me by the publisher and netgalley in return for an honest review

Not sure what to say about this book, aside from the fact that I liked it. It was kind of underwhelming.

I enjoyed taking a real life place like Asylum

and giving it a tawdry history, a ghost story and some decent characters and a mystery to flush it out.

This novel had many of the things I enjoy; a) a ghost b)a small town with a detailed and colorful history c) a killer and d) magic.

The MC was very likeable and easy to relate to, though the insta-love I could have done without, it does carry the plot forward. The secondary characters like the MC best friend and her mom felt very flushed out and real. The best part about the book was the town and it's historical back ground as an asylum from people fleeing the French Revolution and the flash backs to Marin ( a witchy and kind of evil French aristocrat).

The reason this book is getting a four instead of a five was because I didn't feel like the magic had any rules. Why do these people have magic? Is there a limit and why did the author shove it all into the end of the book, the reader pretty much sees no magic until the end, which was rushed and cut off abruptly making sure the reader knows there will be a sequel. I also felt like the bad guy was WAY too obvious.

So if you like your books with links to history (even made up and vague) read this, it was a fun read for me, especially during a weekend with my in-laws!

Happy Reading!