Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Ruby Hill by Sarah Ballance - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Ruby Hill blog tour, hosted by LN Book Promotions. Below you'll find and excerpt & my review. Don't miss the tour wide giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Ruby Hill

Sarah Balance

Horror/Mystery/Ghost Story
Publisher: Entangled Ever After

Available at Amazon * B&N * Kobo



From her earliest memories, Ashley Pearce has been drawn to Ruby Hill Lunatic Asylum, and she's not the only one. Decades after the abandoned hospital ended its institutional reign of torture and neglect, something lurks in the shadows. Since she’s a paranormal investigator, it's Ashley's job to find out what.

Crime scene expert Corbin Malone doesn't believe in ghosts. A born skeptic, he has no interest in entertaining the hype surrounding the mysterious deaths at Ruby Hill, but he won't turn his back while more women die. He agrees to an overnight investigation, never expecting his first encounter would be with the woman he pushed away a year ago. But when he discovers Ashley is a target, he learns his greatest fear isn't living with his own demons, but losing her for good.



Lunatics. Ghosts. Murder.
The media grabbed the story like rabid dogs, shredding and tearing the meat of the so-called facts until nothing was left but gristle and hyped-up gore. Rumors took flight. Poltergeists, demons, a portal to hell, and all because torture had to leave a mark. Ruby Hill certainly had.
So had Corbin Malone.
From the drive, Corbin twisted his head her way. The moment his eyes met hers left a scar on her heart.
Either he hid his emotion well or he lacked any. Not a flicker of reaction crossed his face. He simply turned to watch the car retreat through the gate, a security guard stepping over to shut and lock the leggy ten-foot barrier as soon as the vehicle’s rear bumper cleared.
Then, in a move so painstakingly slow it had to be deliberate, Corbin found her again. Blue eyes pierced her with such force she took a step backward. As she stumbled, the slowest of smiles crept across his face.
But he was not the threat.
She heard the asylum’s whispers. This was personal.
She hugged herself tightly.
Yer gonna die.

My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Ruby Hill is a short novella featuring a spooky ghost story along with two characters reconnecting after a traumatic death tore them apart. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a quick read, no long term commitments, no waiting for book two, no cliffhanger ending. I enjoyed the fact that I could read this story in under an hour without stopping.

Main characters Corbin and Ashley had a major falling out after Corbin blamed her for his brother's mysterious death in the Ruby Hill asylum. It's one of those old asylums that shut down in the eighties and is now frequented by ghost hunters and kids looking for a thrill. Corbin's brother Cash died there during a ghost hunt with Ashley's paranormal team.

Six months later, there have been two murders within the crumbling building. The media is labeling a ghost as the killer, so Ashley's paranormal team agrees to set up equipment and investigate. Corbin is a cop saddled with the job to babysit the paranormal researchers. While exploring the dark asylum, Corbin and Ashley realize they still have feelings for each other. Corbin, a non-believer in the paranormal also learns that there might be more than logic can explain within the creepy walls.

It's an interesting plot line. My main complaint is that the story is just too short. I'm dying for more information on the history and the haunting. Basically the murders are solved, along with the motive behind the murders...but it's kind of left hanging. It's nice that Corbin and Ashley found each other again, but I think Ms. Balance could either add to this story or write a sequel that handles the ghost aspect. There's more story to be told at the Ruby Hill asylum.


About the Author

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). Though she adores romantic suspense, she writes in many genres. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found at 

Contact Links

Tour Wide Giveaway!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Tainted Waters by Maggie Thom - Guest Post & Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Tainted Waters blog tour, hosted by Girls Heart Books Tours. Today author Maggie Thom joins us with a great guest post. Don't miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Tainted Waters

Maggie Thom

Romantic Suspense

Available at Amazon * B&N * Kobo * Smashwords


He didn’t commit suicide but who’s going to believe her...
Frustrated at being fired from her latest job and overwhelmed by her consolatory family, Sam decides to move to the family’s cabin at the lake. A place she hasn’t been since her dad committed suicide there twenty years before. Or did he? Snooping is something she’s good at but someone seems to be taking offense to her looking too closely at what has been happening at the lake. What she discovers is shocking. Now she must uncover what’s real and what’s not. All that she learned growing up, may be false. Keegan who has recently moved to the area to finish his latest book is also trying to find out if his grandfather, who’d passed away ten years before, died of natural causes or was murdered? The descendants of the four families who own the land around the lagoon are dying off. Since Sam and Keegan are the only ones questioning the deaths, they find themselves working together to seek the truth. Are people being murdered? Who would benefit from their deaths? Why would there be barricades and armed guards at the north end of the lake? To stay alive, Sam and Keegan must find the answers and convince others, before more people are killed... including them.
"This is a book that will have you on the edge of your seat. Just when you think the story is over, think again." Read Your Writes Book Reviews


Guest Post by Maggie Thom

Tell us about Tainted Waters and some of the idea behind it.

Tainted Waters was one of those stories where several things just came together. There were things that had been playing around in my head for a while. 

I have always been fascinated by people who own lake lots and every weekend traipse out there. I don’t blame them I love the water too. What I didn’t understand was that a lot of people who lived in the city would head out to the lake to get away, only there were just about as many people out at the lake. So I started to think about what kind of story could I make around the lake. Then we went camping one weekend to a lake we hadn’t been to before. The lake was quite a ways away and had no amenities. Which to me meant it should be quiet because most people who camp like to have all of the amenities. Well not only did it not have any power, water, etc. it also wasn’t much of a lake. It was more of a large slough. But it was quiet. At least when we arrived. And the lake was perfect for canoeing. We had lots of fun and only a few neighbors but then it became night time. Now, I don’t know if we weren’t paying attention or if things just came alive at night but we discovered there was a gas plant about two miles cross country. And it was loud. But it wasn’t as bad as the big trucks that drove up and down the road all night.  

It was probably the worst camping trip, ever but it sure helped me come up with a cool twist to a novel. What if there was a secluded lake, that had hardly any visitors? What if those big trucks were trucking something other than water? What could be going on at the lake? My mind started flying with ideas and so Tainted Waters was born.

About the Author

Maggie Thom took the challenge and leapt off, leaving a full time twenty year career in management, to write full time. After her initial panic that she might need a straight jacket,
she published her first book Captured Lies, October 2012. And now is excited to release her
second novel, Tainted Waters, April, 2013. Her third book, Deceitful Truths (sequel to Captured
Lies) available fall of 2013. An avid reader and writer her whole life, she decided to break the
monotony of wishing to be an author by making it happen. Married to her best friend, she is
learning that humor, love and patience help her navigate her way through her twins’ teen years.
Her motto: Escape to read and Read to escape. "Maggie Thom writes a fast paced thriller laced
with romance that keeps the reader interested and on edge!" InDtale Magazine
Author Links-

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blog Tour: Beautiful Beautiful by Heidi Garrett - Author Interview, Review & Giveaway!
Welcome to my stop for the Beautiful Beautiful blog tour, hosted by IFB Tours. Click on the banner above to follow the tour. Below you'll find a great interview with Heidi Garrett, as well as my review. Don't miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Beautiful Beautiful
Once Upon a Time Today #1

Heidi Garrett

Fairy Tale/Contemporary Romance
Half-Faerie Publishing

Available at Amazon * Amazon UK

Blurb (from Goodreads)

Every night, Kerrin tells her daughter a fairy tale. Mirabella's favorite is "Beauty Beauty"--the story of when her mother met her father. As Kerrin spins the tale wrapped around the most dark, and equally light, period in her life, she considers these questions:

What is beauty? When is it nourishing... And when is it treacherous?Years of struggling on the indie film circuit are about to pay off for Kerrin Mayham. She's the frontrunner for the Golden Pinnacle's "Director of the Year." Winning will mean generous financial backing for her next project, and the most beautiful men in the industry will compete for the leading role. Her integrity and sense of self will be challenged. Because when it comes to casting Demion Glass, Kerrin will have to confront her personal demons--and an emptiness that has haunted her for years. (Adult language & situations, no explicit sex)
The core story in Beautiful Beautiful is a retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale "Beautiful," and the first release in Heidi Garrett's Once Upon a Time Today collection. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.


Interview with Heidi Garrett

What inspired you to write Beautiful Beautiful?

Two things came together: My desire to do a collection of contemporary fairy tale retellings, and my own obsession with beauty. I love beautiful people and beautiful things, but I’m very aware that our perception of beauty is individual. And I have no doubt that beauty can be a mask...

What’s your favorite fairy tale?

The Red Shoes. One of the original short story fairy tales I wrote and published as a prelude to the Once Upon a Time Today collection, The Girl Who Dreamed of Red Shoes, incorporates that fairy tale within it. The first time I heard the story on an audiobook produced by Clarissa PinkoIa Estes, I was spellbound. It was such a different way of seeing the world, and it fed such a deep and hungry place in my soul. It was a real turning point for me.

Tell us about the main character in the story. Who is Kerrin Mayham?

Kerrin comes from the kind of family that leaves emotional damage. Although she has a grandmother who nourishes her spirit, her father is absent, and her mother is somewhat broken. She’s grown into a strong and independent, yet vulnerable woman, who’s thrown herself into creative work as a sanctuary. That way of living has served her, but it’s also shielded her from some personal demons.

What are a couple of your favorite books/authors?

I love everything Alice Hoffman writes. The Story Sisters is one of my favorite books of hers. It breaks your heart and puts it back together again. I also have fallen in love with Gabriela Garcia Marquez. I never really appreciated short stories, until I read Leaf Storm. Each story is set in the fictional Colombian town of Macondo, and the collection as a whole is a work of art.

What do you do when not writing?

I read:) Watch TV (Yes!) Even though I lived for many years without a television, the DVR, and some of the great shows that have come out in the past decade, have transformed me from being anti-TV to having my favorite shows, that I always look forward to watching. I also enjoy cooking and gardening. Spending time with my husband and cats. All in all, my daily life is pretty low key.

What’s next for you as a writer?

Completing Half Mortal, The Queen of the Realm of Faerie Book 4, and writing the next novella in the Once Upon a Time Today collection.

Do you have any advice for new writers just entering the shark infested waters?

Wow. It’s really tough. The standard advice holds true: Write the best book you can. Get a great cover. If you’re going to go the self-publishing route, then learn everything you can about the process. Twitter is a great resource for that, because there is a tremendous writing community on Twitter. 

As far as connecting with readers, it’s very important to know who you are as a writer, to understand what makes your work unique, but also accessible to readers. For me, coming to that understanding has been a process—an ongoing one—and a very profound one.
An interesting thing about self-publishing: It’s a great vehicle for personal growth. I’ve been one of those people hindered by ideals of perfection—the need (fantasy) to be perfect. However, self-publishing entails so much learning, I think it might be impossible to do everything right the first time out. The whole journey has helped me become more self-accepting. Which doesn’t mean I don’t write and publish the most professional books possible. It means that it requires endurance, and as in all long-term endeavors, our humanity asserts itself. In that way, self-publishing has allowed me the opportunity to become more genuine with myself and others. It’s a gift that I cherish, and one I never expected.

This or That

Paper or ebook? Ebook! The Search function sold me!

Forests or Mountains? A forest in the mountains… with a gorge, and a river:D

Elves or Faeries? Faeries… unless it’s Legolas!

Morning or Night? Early morning, late at night!

Angels or Demons? I think I really prefer Angels who are Demons, and Demons who are Angels...

Snow or Sun? SNOW!

City or Country? For logistics, the city, but for tranquility, the country

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate!

Beach or Pool? Beach

Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen? Hans Christian Andersen


My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My review will be short and sweet, just like this novella. I loved the opening scene where Mirabella plays with her father and mother. From the very beginning, we know that Kerrin ends up with an awesome guy named Mark, whose wonderful nature shines through in his interaction with his wife and daughter.

The story alternates between Kerrin telling her daughter the Beauty Beauty story, and following Kerrin through the actual events that inspired her fairy tale retelling. I thought the back and forth would be distracting but it wasn't. In some ways, it reminded me of The Princess Bride, but the scenes with Kerrin and Mirabella are sweet and much more frequent. Not only that, but it's hilarious to see Kerrin's fairy tale take on the events.

I just love modern fairy tale retellings, and this one didn't disappoint. Kerrin is such a sympathetic character, making it easy for the reader to jump on her side from the beginning. Ms. Garrett does a great job taking an important event from Kerrin's life and breathing life into it with just the right amount of backstory. The conversations between Mirabella and Kerrin were simply adorable; I loved them. I do wish Mark was featured just a little bit more in the novella. He's an interesting character in his own right.

Bottom line, if you're a fan of fairy tales, this is a must read. But beyond the fairy tale aspect, Beautiful Beautiful is an enjoyable story with just the right amount of intrigue and romance that will leave the reader feeling happy at the end.


About the Author

Heidi Garrett is the author of the contemporary fairytale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.

She is also the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, a fairy tale/high fantasy mashup about a young half-faerie, half mortal woman who must save both the Enchanted and Mortal Worlds.

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She also spent a decade in southern California, but was disappointed to discover it seldom rains there. Now Heidi lives in Eastern Washington state where she's content experiencing the four seasons with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.

Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow and hopes to remind readers that: Once Upon A Time You Lived in an Enchanted World Too… 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blog Tour: Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls by Tellulah Darling + Giveaway!
Welcome to my stop for the Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls blog tour, hosted by Oops! I Read a Book Again. Click on the banner above to follow the tour.
Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls

Tellulah Darling

Upper YA Contemporary Romance

Available at  Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo


Why the hell can’t chicks be more like guys?

That question plagues high school senior Sam Cruz. Sam is perfectly happy being a player. He just wishes girls wouldn’t change the game from sex to relationships. It makes him look like an asshole. But when Sam’s best friend, Ally Klinger, gets dumped, she begs him to transform her into someone who can screw around then screw off. No risk of heartbreak that way. It’s Sam’s chance to create the perfect female AND cheer up his best friend. Armed with Sam’s Three Step Guide to Backseat Success, Ally gets the game better than Sam thought she would and before long, Sam has his wish: the female version of himself. Too bad it’s driving him nuts. Told from Sam’s and Ally's alternating POVs, Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to Getting Girls is a fast-paced YA romantic comedy that follows these teens as they navigate the minefield of sex, love, and friendship.

This contemporary teen romance contains strong language, drinking, euphemisms, and lots of “bow chicka wow wow.”


My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

While I recognize that this book may not be for everyone, I have to admit, (language, euphemisms, and all) I quite enjoyed it. Yeah, the characters have potty mouths and talk in a way that would make a hardened criminal blush. But the comedy is there, and through all the drama, I couldn't help but want things to work out for this interesting bunch.

I think all readers will understand where Ally's coming from. Devastated after being dumped by her boyfriend of two years, Ally is looking for a change. Why she was upset at losing Jeremy was beyond me though. One of her first thoughts is that his head smells like cheese and the rest of him like cheap body spray. Can you say yuck?? Ally turns to best friend Sam, (a notorious love them and leave them as quickly as possible guy) for help getting over her loss.

Sam is one messed up guy. His mother died when he was young, leaving him with a player father as his role model. Poor Sam doesn't believe in love. His goal is to slowly go through the entire female population, sneaking out afterwards. Coward if you ask me. As much as Sam annoyed me, I couldn't help but feel for him. The guy can't be all bad, I mean he rescues a pathetic little kitten. There's a decent guy under all of the bravado. I just don't know if Ally has the mining skills to uncover him. I enjoyed the chapters from Sam's point of view the best. That is one interestingly screwed up guy.

Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls is a quick read full of interesting dialogue and crazy situations. There's nothing better than watching Sam's tactics being used on him. Ally is a genius. I'm not sure how she expected to 'find herself' by tarting up and sleeping around, but hey, I think we've all been there a time or two. The desire to go out, be someone new, can be a siren song that's difficult to ignore. And Ally does end up finding herself, as well as becoming comfortable with who she is.

This novel is listed as YA, but I recommend it for readers 18+. The entire book centers around casual sex, drinking, and some of the raunchiest language I've ever read. If you're looking for an interesting romantic comedy (of errors) add this one to your to-read list.


About the Author

Tellulah Darling


Sassy girls. Swoony boys. What could go wrong? 

1. YA romantic comedy author because her first kiss sucked and she's compensating.

2. Alter ego of former screenwriter.

3. Sassy minx. 

Geeks out over: cool tech.

Squees for: great storytelling.

Delights in: fabulous conversation.

Writes about: where love meets comedy. Awkwardness ensues. 

Tellulah Darling is a firm believer that some of the best stories happen when love meets comedy. Which is why she has so much fun writing young adult romantic comedy novels. Her tales span contemporary, teen fantasy romance, and YA Greek mythology, and range from stand alone books to series. For Tellulah, teen romance is the most passionate, intense, and awkward there is – a comedy goldmine. Plus smart, mouthy, teen girls rock. 


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