Friday, February 28, 2014

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club: EMBRACE by Cherie Colyer

Greetings and welcome to the monthly meeting of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid. It's a blog hop of book reviews, where each participant posts about the best book they've read over the last month.

This month's pick is going to be tough for me, as I spent less time than usual reading and most of my hours deep inside my editing cave. I finished the line edits for my up-and-coming romance (My Kind of Crazy, coming soon from The Wild Rose Press) I also obsessed over edits on a new romance submission and finally got that out the door last week, (and started work on another new manuscript...) and worked on (paid) edits for two authors I'm working with, one a painful memoir and one a work of women's fiction.

I've posted four reviews in February so far...but I've also started and punted a few awful books that needed serious editing and revisions. As in, I have no idea what made these author think their works were ready for publication.

Enough excuses already. Let me get on to the fun part. EMBRACE is the best book I read this month. Published by Omnific Publishing and released December 2011, it's currently available on Amazon for 99 cents (a steal!), and I'm excited to say the second book in this series was released last August... and will be downloaded from Amazon as soon as I'm done typing this!

About the Book (from Goodreads):

How far would you go to save the people you love?

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.

Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.


First of all, the blurb doesn't do the story justice, and really doesn't give the reader any clue as to the paranormal subgenre the book falls into. I went into this blind, and had no idea what to expect. (In the end, it was less Twilight and more Beautiful Creatures, if you know your paranormal YA.)

This engaging paranormal tale of good versus evil in the contemporary world will enchant readers, and have you rooting for the main characters to figure out the truth behind all the bad things that are happening. Well written and fast paced, Madison's narration draws you into her world and drags you along for the ride as she navigates the twists and turns of a high school year that's full of changes both good and bad.

Her boyfriend moved halfway across the country, but there's a hot new guy in town who catches her eye and sends sparks shooting through her. Literally. The plot takes a twist when Madison's best friend starts acting crazy after a car accident. Madison and her friends must work to solve the mystery behind her odd behavior before it's too late.

The author does a great job unfolding the story slowly but surely, and I love her breezy writing style! If you enjoy paranormal YA romance with contemporary real-world settings, EMBRACE is the book for you!

For more information about the book and Cherie Colyer, check out her website HERE.
To grab your own ebook and dive into this world click to AMAZON.

And... to continue on this Coffehouse Blook Club log Hop for more recommendations, here are the links:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Look Back at Winter...

Am I jinxing things if I say goodbye to winter start to look ahead to warmer temperatures? 

With recent rain and thunderstorms (not to be confused with the thundersnow we had earlier in February) the white stuff has slipped into the past, a thing of memory now. Hopefully we can put away the shovels and mittens until next winter.

We don't usually get a lot of snow accumulation on Cape Cod. We get snow, but it never sticks around very long. This year was an exception. There were more snowy days than usual, and more snow on the ground than anyone can remember. The reality of snow on the ground is hazardous driving, broken tree limbs and power outages. But in retrospect, it made for a beautiful winter.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cover Reveal: CHALLENGING DESTINY by Cherie Colyer

Cherie Colyer is an author friends from my Darkly Delicious YA group - and she also has a new release coming out from The Wild Rose Press, just like me! I love her new cover and signed right up to help spread the word about her exciting new book!


Coming spring 2014 from the Wild Rose Press, Black Rose Imprint

Being Chosen is a terrible thing when there's no one you can trust


Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons. Logan can sense something's not quite right. Like an unexpected chill on a summer's day, he can feel the unseen closing in. He's had these feelings before and, each time, someone close to him died. He's afraid this time it might just be Ariana. Logan's fears are soon confirmed when he discovers their new friends aren't human, but rather representatives from Heaven and Hell sent to Earth to ensure he and Ariana accept their roles in an ancient prophecy. Demons want Logan to open the gates of Hell. Ariana has the power to stop them, but if she chooses to side with Heaven to spare the lives of thousands of innocent people, she'll damn her brother for eternity. Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind...but what price are they willing to pay to keep the other safe?

More news on this exciting new title coming soon!

About the author:

Cherie Colyer is the author of YA paranormal thriller/romance, EMBRACE and HOLD TIGHT from Omnific Publishing. Her latest novel, CHALLENGING DESTINY will be available this spring from The Wild Rose Press, Black Rose Imprint. Check out her website and blog for news on her books and bonus material. Follow Cherie on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and/or Goodreads to get the latest updates on her books.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Join me at Darkly Delicious YA for Teaser Tuesday

It's Teaser Tuesday over at the Darkly Delicious YA Blog.... 
and it's my day to share!

What am I sharing? An excerpt from SON OF A MERMAID, of course!
Join me for a dark excerpt from SON OF A MERMAID... I'm sharing the scene where Shea first meets the dark prince face-to-face. (Or should I say, fin-to-fin!) Either way it's a fun, dark tease to brighten your Tuesday. Come along for the ride, and check out my newest hang out.

Or, as my kids would say, Come to the Dark Side. We've Got Cookies.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

About the Book (from Goodreads):
The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan's amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a "half blood" whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan's series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.


My daughter received the box set of the first Percy Jackson series from Santa, and spent Christmas vacation zipping through the series. I'm catching up with them now - but she's slowing me down because she just ordered the second series from Amazon and  is refreshing herself by reading through the first set of books in anticipation. She enjoyed them that much.

Anyway. Long story short, I can see why so many kids like this series.

Fast paced with well defined characters, and although there are lots of mythological references and names, the author explains them and uses contemporary comparisons to give context. We're introduced to a few new characters, like Tyson, who turns out to be Percy's half-brother and oh, yeah, a cyclops. Returning characters get a little more definition, like the mean girl Clarissa, daughter of Ares, who is the half-blood actually chosen for this particular quest. Percy, Tyson and Annabeth have to sneak out of camp to come to her aid.

Riordan infuses his story with sarcasm and wit, and funny juxtapositions of classical devices in current settings. Some of the jokes were not my cup of tea, but I'm not the target audience, either. You're not going to "learn" mythology by reading this series, but it might make you interested enough to go look for more information. Or you can just read this series and enjoy them for what they are - fast paced adventures that appeal to boys and girls alike.

P.S. My own YA book, SON OF A MERMAID, is featured today at Tara Maya's blog "Best Fantasy Novels" with an excerpt. Come visit and say hi!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Puppy Tale Friday: The Yin and Yang of Waiting

It's been cold this winter.

Everybody who lives in the northern hemisphere can probably agree with this statement, even those of you living in "warmer" climes - that aren't so warm this winter. Even my inlaws who live in Georgia are tangling with snow days and dangerously icy roads. Unusual winter, to say the least.

The days we get to the beach are good ones. But at the moment, it's just not my first priority.

Puppy isn't deterred by the polar vortex, and is actually quite put out that I'm not taking her on her customary two or three walks per day. In fact, she's lucky to get One. This is not to say she's not a whiny mess, begging for me to get the leash out and go for a spin around the block.

She does. I resist.

I can't walk them by myself, and the thought of multiple walks makes me shiver before I even get my scarf around my neck. So we wait for the kids to come home from school to help.

Puppy and her sister take it well most days. In fact, their usual position is now the Yin and Yang of patience - they share the one dog bed, and wait patiently for the kids to come home.
This too shall pass, as the saying goes. The weather will warm up. The beach walks will resume.

Meanwhile, it's just the Yin and Yang of waiting.

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! Another exercise in patience, as my husband has been away on business all week long! We'll celebrate tomorrow, I guess. But for all of you lucky enough to have your loved ones at home - enjoy the day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review: MAKING ROOM AT THE INN by Misty Simon

Making Room at the Inn, by Misty Simon
Published November 2013 by The Wild Rose Press

About the Book (from Amazon):

Single mom Chelsea Moore may not have had a happy marriage herself, but she's bound and determined to pull off the wedding of the year for her sister. It should be a piece of cake as long as she can keep her mother from trying to hook her up with every eligible guy in the county.

Jack Barton has no qualms about hosting his sister's best friend for the final week before the wedding, along with said best friend's adorable daughter. But when Chelsea asks him to be a shield against the impending bachelor parade, he doesn't think it through before agreeing. That's when he finds out how little it feels like pretend and how much he wants to make room for these two wonderful females in his life and at his inn.


Chelsea and Jack were childhood friends, but haven't seen each other in years. When her sisters wedding brings Chelsea back to her hometown, she finds that her childhood crush on her best friend's big brother is rekindled, except that now she has a four year old daughter to factor into the equation. Jack has harbor end secret fantasies for his sisters BFF since they were all kids. Now he finally has a chance to act on those feelings... If he can get out of his own way, and get her to see him as more than a big brother.

Misty Simon gives us a sweet romance of love and second chances that will make you smile and root for that happily ever after.

If you're looking for a fun, fast romance, check out this cute story!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review: The Memory Witch, by Heather Topham Wood

The Memory Witch
By Heather Topham Wood
Published December 2013 by Crescent Moon Press

About the Book (from Goodreads):
Ten years ago, Quinn Jacobs’ mother made a bargain with a local witch—steal away Quinn’s memories from the first eight years of her life and in return, Quinn would spend a year in servitude to the witch.

On Quinn’s eighteenth birthday, she’s forced to leave her home and friends behind. For the next year, she’ll live at the Chadwick House, learning everything she needs to know about being a spellcaster. As her powers grow, Quinn begins to unravel the secrets of the past and the reason her mother was so desperate to conceal the horrifying truth


In this New Adult tale of secrets and magic, Heather Topham Wood weaves a story that will both spellbind and repulse, but will certainly keep you reading through to the bitter end.

Something happened to Quinn when she was young. Something so bad that her mother bargained away a year of her daughter’s life to have a witch erase all of the memories.

When the witch arrives to collect on the debt, Quinn is plunged into a world she never knew existed. With the help of the witch's hot nephew Mason, Quinn navigates her way through her internship, and makes a deal with witch Stella to recover those missing memories.

Reader be warned, this story is at times very dark and Quinn's disturbing memories might be better served forgotten for good. The rest of the story was involving, interesting, and well worth the read.

About the Author:
Heather Topham Wood’s obsession with novels began in childhood while growing up in a shore town in New Jersey. Writing since her teens, she recently returned to penning novels after a successful career as a freelance writer. She’s the author of the paranormal romance Second Sight series and the standalone The Disappearing Girl .

Heather graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as USA Today,, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.