Saturday, November 30, 2013

Paperback Release Blog Tour: Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

Suddenly Royal by the fabulous Nichole Chase is now available in paperback!!
And what better way to celebrate than with a blog tour?
We get to share with you Nichole's dream cast for the gorgeous story, along with Tami's review.

Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working on a master's degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it's to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed . . .

As crown prince of Lilaria, Alex D'Lynsal has had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures in the press have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She's stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone's front-page news. While Sam tries to navigate her new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Suddenly Royal Dream Cast

It’s always tricky picking out who I envision playing the characters in my books. Honestly, it’s almost impossible to get a perfect match. These are people (ahem, characters) that live in my head! They are a jumble of thoughts and images. Different celebrities or people thrown together in the blender I call a brain. If I were to try and piece them together it would look like one of those pictures made of cut up magazine bits. Which… would be kind of creepy to share with people… So, instead, I’m going to give you the closest thing I can find. And well, while some are harder than others… some characters actually were a teensy bit inspired by actors. Rather, one character may have been inspired by a certain muscled actor…

It’s difficult to pick out the right face, the right personality…Well, it’s usually difficult. His Royal Highness Alexander Patrick Fitzwilliam, the Duke of D’Lynsal and heir to the crown of Lilaria (A.K.A Alex or Prince Yummy) has always had a very clear face in my mind. I’m not really sure why, he just fits the character. Okay, okay. I have a teensy bit of an idea why this actor may have inspired a sexy prince. My ideal Alex would be played by none other than Chris Hemsworth. I mean, look at him. He’s the perfect naughty prince, right down to the twinkle in his blue eyes. He looks great in everything…and nothing (I’m guessing here). ;) He’s charming, but a little bit devilish.

(Ahem, I may have several inspiration pictures saved on my Pinterest board, for research purposes.)

(That last one is just for fun. Because, well… just imagine you’re Samantha!)

Samantha is a little more difficult. She needs to be someone tough enough to work out in the field with raptors—someone that can hold her place in a male dominated field. But, she also needs to have a soft, vulnerable side. I have to admit, I went back and forth with Samantha… no one really fit what I had in my head. Until. Until I realized that there *is* an actress that I can see in this role. She’s funny and real—her interviews crack me up. She’s gorgeous without feeling distant. She’s also not a tiny twig of an actress. She’s a real woman! And I love that! It's Jennifer Lawrence, we just need to get her some brown contacts!

Jess is Sam’s best friend. A self-proclaimed fashionista. She is loyal, funny, and smart—working toward her doctorate.

Laura Ramsey is a pretty close fit for Jess.

Bert, Jess’s boyfriend, and Sams friend, is a psych major with a large sense of humor. I’ve always been a fan of the NBC show, Chuck, and that’s where I first found Zac Levi. He’s a bit swoony, if you ask me.

Catherine, Alex’s younger sister, is smart, sassy, and can give killer puppy dog eyes. She quickly befriends Sam during her difficult transition. I have to admit that I have loved Teresa Palmer in everything I’ve seen her in and I think she would make an excellent Cathy. There’s a sweetness and sincerity to her acting, with just a wee bit of snark. It’s perfect.

Chadwick is a riot. He has a dry sense of humor and a soft heart. Writing the scenes with him and Sam were always easy. Those characters had a very natural rhythym. He’s detail orientated and spends a lot of time trying to help Sam feel comfortable, while she does her best to keep up with everything. He never gets offended when she teases him or throws out a snark-barb. I wish I had a Chadwick in my life! Who doesn’t, right? Since this is my ‘dream cast’ I’m going with a younger Jude Law. He even has the reddish hair in this picture!

Sam’s step-father is a very important part of the story—even if he isn’t in every scene or chapter. He is the last of her physical family. A retired military man, I picture him with an attitude and a big heart. He likes things done his way, but his way is usually meant to keep the people he loves safe.

Suddenly Royal is a fairytale romance from start to finish - a gorgeous read with a love story that warmed my heart.

The last thing Samantha Rousseau expected in her life was to be discovered as a long lost descendent of the Royal family of Lilaria.  Working hard to complete her master's degree and care for her father who is battling cancer, Samantha can't understand all the fuss when the crown prince of Lilaria, Alex D'Lynsal and his aunt visit Minnesota.  Well that's not entirely true, she is female after all and there are many things about Alex worthy of note, beyond his princely title.  When invited to dinner by Duchess Rose Sverelle of Dollange, Samantha anticipates a donation to the raptor program she interns at but instead what she gets is dinner with Prince Alex and his aunt and all the details of her family lineage, right down to the estate and fortune she is set to inherit.

Samantha was such a fabulous character.  Down to earth, snarky, funny.  The last thing she wanted in life was the lime light so she seriously struggled with becoming "Americas Princess".  Right from their first meeting there was a spark between Alex and Sam.  As the story progresses and Sam grapples with her new, very public, role Alex is the one constant she can rely on.  Their feelings develop, despite Sam's resistance and it is a delight to watch their relationship unfold.

Alex was gorgeous, gorgeous.  His nickname "Prince Yummy" was most fitting and he was the proverbial knight in shining armour for Sam on more than one occasion.  The banter between the two was wonderful to read and added a true sense of normalcy to their relationship.

What I really loved about Suddenly Royal is that there was no angst filled drama.  It was a light read - a love story in the true sense of the term.  It was also a bit of a rite of passage story for Sam as she navigated her new responsibilities and sought to reconcile those with her 'old' life.  A key message throughout the story was the importance of family and Sam's love and respect for her father was clearly evident.  There was also a very strong familial bond between Alex and his sister Catherine and both characters were really not what I expected as a prince and princess.

If you've not read Nichole Chase before you are definitely missing out.  I absolutely loved her Dark Betrayal Trilogy - which was a very different style to Suddenly Royal   She has a hypnotic writing style and creates characters that you can't help but fall in love with.  There are so many characters in Suddenly Royal that I really want to know more about and I'm thrilled to see that Catherine will get her story told in Recklessly Royal.  But don't let the prospect of a second book put you off, there is a start, middle and end to Suddenly Royal that will not disappoint you. 

4 out of 5 stars

Nichole Chase is a daydreamer. No, really, just ask any of the math teachers that had the misfortune of seeing her name appear on their class schedule.
For years she has had story lines and characters begging for attention, but she resolutely pushed them aside to focus on more normal (read, boring) jobs.

Well, no longer! She is currently heeding the voices in her head and frantically writing their stories. Ms. Chase is the author of the Dark Betrayal Trilogy, Flukes, and Suddenly Royal (including several short stories).

Nichole resides in South Georgia with her husband, energetic daughter, dog, tortoise, and two cats. When not devouring novels by the dozens, you may find her writing, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.

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Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour:
November 21-Book Addict Mumma-Book Trailer
November 22-Lite-Rate-Ture-Excerpt
November 23-I Read Indie-Guest Post
November 24-Nicely Phrased-Author Interview
November 25-City of Books-Excerpt
November 26-Meredith & Jennifer's Musings-Character Interview (Alex)
November 27-Cocktails and Books-Author Interview
November 28-Whirlwind Books-Guest Post
November 29-The Revolving Bookcase-Excerpt
November 30-Into the Night Reviews-Dream Cast
December 1-Stuck in YA Books-Playlist

Blog Tour Kick Off: In the Middle of Nowhere by Julie Ann Knudsen

We are so pleased to be hosting this blog tour for In the Middle of Nowhere by Julie Ann Knudsen.  This is a sweet, YA romance featuring Willow and Michael, teenagers dealing with the challenges of being teenagers and falling in love for the first time.

We have a wonderful line up of blogs on the schedule sharing excerpts, guest posts and reviews - be sure to check out their stops!

Title: In the Middle of Nowhere
Author: Julie Ann Knudsen
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publication Date: April 2012
Event organized by: Into the Night Reviews

A teenage girl. A broken heart. And a boy who tries to mend it.

Butterflies. Little, fluttering butterflies. That’s what fifteen-year-old Willow Flynn feels in the pit of her stomach every time the mysterious boy is near. But Willow has other things to contend with as she deals with the tragic loss of her father, as well as her emotionally preoccupied mother, while being uprooted to a new house, a new school, a new life, far away, on an island, in the middle of nowhere.

At the beginning of the school year, the sickly, but cute Michael sends Willow the first of many cryptic notes during homeroom. He stares at Willow and gives her the creeps. Michael never returns to school after that, but Willow ends up connecting with the poetic boy on-line where they strike up an unusual friendship.

As Willow attempts to fit in and find her niche in the ever-cliquey high school world, she is further confused by Michael who strives to win her over and mend her broken heart. But will he be able to, especially when his own existence remains so uncertain?

Julie Ann Knudsen received her B.S. degree in Technical Writing from Clarkson University, but found that she preferred writing creatively, especially after penning the play for her children's drama club for many years. She lives with her husband and three children in Connecticut.

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Julie Ann is offering two signed copies (one available internationally) and two ebook copies of In the Middle of Nowhere as a tour wide giveaway.

Click on the tour button below for the tour schedule

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sneak Peek: Sweet Forty-Two (November Blue #3) by Andrea Randall

Andrea Randall is giving us a preview of what's to come in Sweet Forty-Two, book three in the November Blue series, which is due for release in December.  She's made the Prologue available and we're lucky enough to be able to share it with you!

Regan Kane arrived in San Diego with nothing but a violin, his car and what feels like a lifetime of grief. Although he’s surrounded by friends and music, one delivery from the post office reminds him that the past is always just around the corner. When he befriends a local bartender, Regan wonders if he's finally ready to let go.

Georgia Hall has spent most of her life in the shadows of her mother’s mental illness. Pushing away those around her ensures they won’t get hurt when she succumbs to the same fate.

All of that unravels when she meets Regan. As her life spins out of control and the line between reality and fairytale blurs, she has to make a choice to trust or fall.
Regan and Georgia are searching for healing among the wreckage. Will doing so together make moving on all the more sweet?

Or will the secrets and darkness of the past drive them apart?

“This land is incredible. Who owns it?” I look around on the most perfect summer day that’s ever existed.
Rae slows down so her horse is walking in step with mine. “The Greyson’s. Lauren and Warner were friends with my parents for ever. We’d come up here all the time as kids and get lost on purpose.” Her smile makes me feel like I’m right there with her. Back in her memories.
“Did they have kids?”
Rae nods. “Older, though. Well, the girl was around Bo’s age, but she was never interested in him, and I don’t think he was in her. They were good friends. ZoĆ« is her name. The boy, Kevin, was in college before I was in high school. I don’t really remember him.
The breeze picks up, and loose strands of Rae’s black hair whip from under her helmet. Summer breezes are the best; you hear them coming before you feel them, and they’re always warm. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath through her nose.
I love you.
I can’t say it. I want to so badly, but I can’t. The way she lets her lips part as she’s lost in her smile begs me to say it. It’s too soon, though. Too soon. We’ve only been together for two months, even though it seems like longer. Everything is so effortless with her.
Rae is optimistic, bright in ways her older brother, Bo can’t be, especially with all of that brooding he’s doing over his ex-girlfriend, Ember. I still don’t really understand what happened there, but Rae assures me it will all work out for them in the end. Apparently Bo and Ember are meant to be. If the level of snark and brood one shows during a break up is directly proportional to the “meant to be” factor of a couple, those two are goddamn soul mates. That’s what Rae says, too. She uses the term soul mate as if it doesn’t come with centuries of baggage attached to it.
See? Effortless. Love is love. Soul mates are soul mates. And she is perfect. My term, not hers.
We come to the head of several trails that all disappear instantly into thick woods. My heart races a little in anticipation. Reality knocks, but I know I can stay here a while longer. In this dream. Before it’s shredded into a nightmare.
Normally I wake myself up when we get here, to the trail. Sometimes I push it, though. I just want to be with her a little bit longer.
“Which trail are we taking?” I ask, holding my horse back. He’s as anxious here as he was when it happened. Like he knew what was coming.
Rae points with her chin to a trail on the left of the tree line. “That one. It’s shaded and this sun is brutal today.”
I nod and back my horse up a few steps so she can take the lead.
I really should wake up now, but she still has more to say. And one more smile to give.
Not yet. Just a few more minutes.
“Oh,” she sighs in relief, “thank God for shade.”
My horse leads me just behind her and I’m grateful to find out she’s right. I didn’t realize how hot the sun was until I was in the coolness under the branches. Huge trees. Evergreens, pines, maples, and probably a few others my two years in Boy Scouts didn’t teach me, create a narrow tunnel of nature that we travel down in single file fashion.
Rae turns around and smiles.
Wake up. Now.
I don’t, though. I’m greedy tonight and want to hear her voice one more time.
“You with me, Regan? You got really quiet.”
“This trail … it’s … wow.” I gesture with one hand to the grandness of the earth around us.
She giggles.
I forgot she’d done that.
“Right? Come on, let’s get going. This trail is long.” She commands her horse to pick up its step, and it follows loyally.
I do the same with mine, but make it slow slightly as a low hum filters into my ears. It sounds like a far away tractor, or lawnmower, but I didn’t see anyone else in the large pasture we just crossed. And, she just said the trail was long.
Leave. Now. Open your eyes, Regan.
My throat closes and I try to swallow. Nothing. My horse pulls back as I try to push it forward. He shakes his head and lifts his front legs slightly. Warning. I’m not trained enough on horses to know that, though. I think he’s just not submitting to me.
You’ve seen this enough, man. Open your eyes. Wake up. Wake up!
The humming is louder now and I don’t say anything because I’m trying to find the source. Rae is several yards ahead and seems to hear it, too. Her head moves slowly side to side as she continues her stride forward.
Then, I look up. It’s there. Huge. Grey like brains and dangling from a branch just above her.
It’s too late.
The bees come.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blog Tour Close: The Sound of Shooting Stars by Heather Allen

Today brings to a conclusion the very successful blog tour for The Sound of Shooting Stars by Heather Allen!  

Thank you so much to all the wonderful blogs that participated, reviewed, promoted and generally supported this gorgeous story.  We hope that you enjoyed being part of the tour as much as we enjoyed having you.

Read on for Tami's review and make sure you enter the giveaway while you've still got the chance!

Title: The Sound of Shooting Stars
Author:  Heather Allen
Genre:  Contemporary YA
Publication Date:  11 November 2013
Event organized byInto the Night Reviews

Jamie Grey grew up tossed around between foster homes. At an early age he shut the world out, deciding he wouldn’t care. Whatever life had to throw at him, he would look the other way. Now his senior year is about to start and he’s been forced into yet another new home. This will be the last time, he assures himself. When an unexpected curveball comes his way in the form of a certain stubborn seventeen year old girl, Jamie soon finds out that life doesn’t always work out the way you plan it.

Beckett Chase has been entitled her entire life. Living in the plush landscape of Palm Beach, Florida, she’s never wanted for anything. She’s always taken what and who she wants with no remorse. When she sets her sights on Jamie Grey and she’s met with rejection, her descent from the top begins.

With a twist of events causing Jamie and Beckett’s worlds to collide, will they be able to put aside their differences or will fate intervene offering an entirely different option?

I was lucky enough to be a beta reader for this story, so had the opportunity to develop a really strong connection with the characters and perhaps even understand a little more about them than the average reader.

Jamie was a firm favorite for me.  Despite his challenging upbringing he still managed to retain a sense of optimism.  He struggled with connecting with people and really, who could blame him given the life experiences he had, and yet there was definitely something about him that made me want to get to know him better.

Beckett Chase was your typical “high school beauty queen” ... although there was the ‘real’ side to her that actually challenged all the requirements of that role.  Early in the story I couldn’t stand her and I wondered if she was ever going to be able to redeem herself.  As the story unfolds there is a lot to learn about Beckett, her choices and her past that help you to understand who she is much better.

The story is told from both Jamie and Beckett’s point of view.  I really like seeing two sides to the story, it broadens your perspective and helps to understand what is happening for the various characters.  While there was also a really strong cast of other characters in the story, the focus is definitely Jamie and Beckett and I liked that that was the case.  I felt immersed in their lives and not distracted by potential side stories.

For me The Sound of Shooting Stars was a sweet, teenage romance with just enough high school drama to make it interesting.  It wasn’t straight forward, so the twists were unpredictable and added to my engagement with the story and characters.  I loved that way it all came together at the end - it left me feeling satisfied that all the characters got what they deserved and I felt like the time I’d spent reading was a good investment.  I’ve read Heather’s other books and have to say that I think this one is my favorite so far!

4 out of 5 stars

Heather Allen is the author of The Just Breathe Trilogy, and newly released- The Sound of Shooting Stars. Heather finally realized her dream of becoming an author only recently with her mermaid trilogy. She savors every moment on this new journey and the wonderful friends she has met along the way. She has many more books planned. More ideas pop up than she has time to write about.

Heather currently resides in the scorching hot state of Florida with her husband and three children. She holds degrees in education from The University of Central Florida and Nova Southeastern University. She is a hopeless romantic who loves to read just about anything, coffee and Jelly Belly jellybeans. When she isn’t teaching, writing or reading, Heather can be found at the beach or out on the water boating. 

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Heather is offering an amazing Giveaway in conjunction with the blog tour!  

Prizes include ebooks & paperbacks by Tiffany King, Carol Kunz, Rachel Wade, Misty Provencher, Heather Dencker, Heather Allen and Heather Gunter as well as tickets to Indie Girl Con in February 2014 and a gift card.