Bloggiesta! Ole!!

Bloggiesta starts tomorrow.   This wonderful blogging event is happening at a perfect time for me; I am prepping the blog for my upcoming vacation to OKC, and  Bloggiesta gives me a great excuse to stay home and do nothing but blog!  Perfect!!  Here’s my list of activities I plan to tackle:

Clean up sidebar

Catch up on interview posts

Send out questions for planned interview posts

Get current on reviews (I have 4 to write)

Schedule posts for October and have everything ready to go for when I’m on vacation

Prep some of the giveaways I am planning  (I love to recycle books this way!)

Organize TBR mountain before it falls on me and kills me (this is on my list every time!)

Plan my reading list for October

Squeeze in a few volumes of manga (I haven’t been reading enough of these)

Research Feedburner conversion. I don’t like the email subscription aspects of Feedcat

Work out an exercise schedule (because a healthy blogger is a happy blogger! Yes, that was also on the last list, and since I finally have my asthma under control, I need to get back on some kind of exercise routine )

Participate in some of the mini-challenges (this is a great way to learn some new blogging tips and tricks)

Are you participating in Bloggiesta? What are your goals for the weekend?

Rock Out on These Deals for Your Kindle!

Today I’m spotlighting romances with rock stars, because rock stars, well, ROCK!  Who doesn’t want to get caught up in a relationship with a super sexy rock star?

 

As You Wish by Elyssa Patrick – This rock star romance released September 3.  Check out the Goodreads page for reviews.

Love doesn’t always follow the sheet music . . .

This Christmas, Portia Jackson needs a miracle to save her family’s generations-old florist shop. What she gets instead is a car that breaks down during a blizzard. Help arrives unexpectedly when the infamous Aubry Riley pulls over. She only expects him to drive her to the gas station . . . she never expects that kiss. But Portia lives in the real world–she knows this is only a holiday fling for Aubry. Except it doesn’t feel so temporary, and the last thing she wants is a broken heart.

Sometimes you have to sing some different notes . . .

Rock star Aubry Riley has no secrets. Thanks to the media, everyone knows about his troubled past. Six years have gone by since his world crashed, and now he’s ready for a comeback. But first he needs to reconcile with his family–starting with his six-year-old daughter. A month-long vacation at a Vermont lake house affords him the perfect opportunity to take a step in the right direction. He doesn’t need any other emotional entanglements, especially not with the bright-eyed florist he can’t stop thinking about. But no matter how hard he tries to resist her, he can’t. Now all he has to do is to convince Portia that there is nothing temporary when it comes to love.

 

Face the Music  by Andrea K Robbins -$2.99 – Another sexy singer! Here’s the link to some reviews on Goodreads.

After losing her mother in a tragic accident, Allison Banks takes on the sole responsibility of caring for her little sister, her young niece, and her disabled grandmother. When her long-term boyfriend walks out, offering little in the way of explanation, Allison is left totally confused and utterly heartbroken. To cope, the 24-year-old closes herself off to any serious relationships and dives into her work as a graduate student.

Needing the extra income, Allison takes a job for the hot, new, reality TV show, Superstardom. Captivated by the competition’s front-runner, the mysterious and sexy singer, Chris Knots, Allison dismisses her attraction as nothing more than a silly, school-girl crush. But, when the hunky performer reveals an interest of his own, Allison must work through her reservations and decide if there’s room in her life for something more.

 

The Might Storm by Samantha Towle – $2.99 – I have been seeing this rock star romance everywhere lately.  Lots of positive reviews on Amazon.

It’s been twelve years since Tru Bennett last saw Jake Wethers, her former best friend and boy she once loved.

Jake Wethers, sexy, tattooed and deliciously bad lead singer, and brains behind The Mighty Storm, one of biggest bands in the world, left Tru with a broken heart when he moved from England to America with his family when they were both fourteen.

Sent to interview Jake for her music column by the magazine she works for, they are both unprepared for the sparks that fly the instant they reconnect. Only, there’s a complication to their instant feelings for one another – Will, Tru’s boyfriend of two years.

Then Jake makes Tru a job offer she can’t refuse – travelling the world with him and his band. But taking the job means leaving Will behind, and being on the road with the band means spending an inordinate amount of time with Jake.

Is Tru strong enough to resist the delectable bad boy who once held her heart so completely, or will she willingly risk it all for one night with the worlds most notorious womanizer?

 

 

Falling Stars by Sadie Grubor – $2.99- A tortured rock star; who can resist? 

‘A falling, or shooting, star, is the common name for the visible path of a meteoroid if it survives impact with the Earth’s surface.’

Christopher Mason, the infamous lead singer of The Forgotten, has a reputation for being ‘difficult’. Harboring dark memories and the burden of a painful secret, he struggles with a past he desperately wants to destroy. Amidst this star’s battle with the pull of his demons, he risks losing everything he’s built as a musician.

Enter Mia Ryder, the head strong yet laid back, lead singer of Hushed Mentality. As the opening act for The Forgotten, Mia and her all girl rock band are sure to gain the publicity needed to sky rocket to the next level in their dream career.

Mia’s laidback personality defies Chris’s plotting for their demise and removal of the ‘girlie band’ from ‘his’ tour. But even Chris’s best laid plans aren’t prepared Mia.

As demons from his past pull this shining star down, the one person he wants to eliminate may be the only person who can stop the terrors of a past he risks everything to forget.


 

Never Say Never by Kailin Gow – $2.99 – This is the first in a trilogy.

YA – Mature/New Adult

What girl wouldn’t want to be surrounded by the sexy guys from the hottest teen rock sensation in the country? 18-year-old Never "Neve" Knight, not only is surrounded by the hottest boys to hit the music charts, but she is the band’s lead singer. As the band’s lead singer and manager, Never formed and shaped the band to where it is today, a band on the rise and on the brink of being signed by a label. As one of the guys, she knew each of the band members since they were all snot-nose ten-year-olds. While her boys were the cutest guys and they would protect her like knights, she couldn’t date any one of them and ruin the chance at being signed with the record label of her dreams. That changes when one of the band members suddenly drops out of the band, and in walks Danny Blue, with his dreamy blue eyes, hot body, and British accent. Suddenly, Never’s solid world has turned to mush, and her rule for not dating one of her band members is seriously challenged. Can she keep her head straight and get her band signed with a label without losing her heart? Can Never change her tune of saying "never to dating a band member" to "never say never"?

Giveaway! Score a Copy of Tamara Morgan’s Playing with Fire!

Thanks to Entangled Publishing, I have a shiny new digital copy of Tamara Morgan’s Playing with Fire to give to one of you! This is a fun, action-packed read.  See my review here.

Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket—even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhuman abilities. Fiona’s powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won’t be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant…and she’s hurt enough people already.

Including herself.

But when the man behind her conversion returns to blackmail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona’s M.O.

Ian is convinced Fiona’s dangerous, convinced she’s Fireball, and convinced he’ll damn himself if he doesn’t resist a heat that’s always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame—but Ian has his own secrets.

And he’ll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.

Entering is easy! Just fill in the widget below. Earn extra entries for following. Open Internationally.

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Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

 

Title:  The Hallowed Ones

Author: Laura Bickle

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Review:

This book had me extremely freaked out at several points during the story, and I could not put it down.  Well, I did have to put it down once, because everyone else had wandered off to bed, it was dark, and I was FREAKED OUT.  I just could not sit in the living room by myself and continue to read, damn my easily frightened heart.  So I carefully marked my place, set the book down, and waddled off to bed, already counting down the hours until I would be home from work and able to read again.  It was probably for the best; it was a work night anyway, and the weekend beckoned just a few hours away.

I loved Embers, also by Laura Bickle, for both the heroine and for her cuddle-worthy elemental, Sparky.  I read a lot of books, and if I can remember most of the plot and even character names months after I have finished, it was a great reading experience.  When I saw that she had a YA title coming out, I was beside myself with excitement.  Would I enjoy it?   The Hallowed Ones intrigued me for another reason, too.  Katie is Amish, and she is about to set off on her Rumspringa, the time that young Amish are permitted to live with the English away from their communities, in order to determine whether or not they wanted to return and be baptized, and fully accepted as adults in their society.  Being baptized also meant putting aside non-Amish things, and having additional pressures to conform to accepted behavior.  I wondered if I would find Katie an interesting person.  She is supposed to be  humble and agreeable, and not make waves.  Guess what?  She is a fascinating heroine, strong, brave, and more than willing to make waves when she thought that an injustice was being committed.  This got her into a lot of hot water with the Elders, but Katie just could not step aside when she thought that someone needed her help.  Unfortunately for her people, everybody needed help after a devastating catastrophe befalls the Outside.

I can’t remember having read another book with an Amish protagonist, so I don’t know how authentic Katie is, but I liked her a lot.  She never backed down when she was needed, regardless of how unpleasant, and in several instances, how downright horrifying, the task was.  I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, because I want you to be as freaked out as I was.  Let me just say that there are evil, awful monsters Outside, and they are ravenous.  They are scary.  They are strong.  And worse of all, they are smart.  With the Elders denying that a darkness has descended and threatens to survival of the human race, things are looking particularly grim.  An Amish community, with its wooden houses and lack of technology, isn’t the first place I would choose to make my last stand with the world ending around me.  There are no radios, TV, or internet for the news, and cell phones?  Forget it!  You aren’t going to be able to send urgent, terrified text messages to your friends and family because they don’t have those there!  Several times I was struck by how difficult communication would be even without the end of days.  Heck, if I wanted to talk to my neighbors on the other end of the community, I would have to walk there.  Or hitch up my horse and drive there.  Thank goodness I know how to drive a buggy.

I thought the beginning of the story was a little slow, but now that I have finished the book, I don’t think that anymore.  We needed that calm before the storm, to establish both Katie and Elijah’s personalities, their role in their society, and what their hopes were for the future.  Katie firmly believed that she and Elijah would go on Rumspringa together, and after kicking up their heels, they would both be baptized, and then eventually they would be married and start a family of their own.  Everything was laid out in a simple path, and all she had to do was follow it.  But then the unthinkable happens, and there is no Outside anymore.  When the Elders, in an abundance of caution, closed off their community, Katie begins to question everything that she once accepted without a qualm.  She disobeys the Elders, and soon she has first hand knowledge of the evil they are up against.  Things don’t look good, and Katie thinks that it is just a matter of time before everyone in her knows and loves suffers an unspeakable end.

While I liked Katie, I think that the Hexenmeister is my favorite character.  There is just something about a crazy old guy who turns out to be a magical bad-ass that appeals to me.  While he lived on the fringes of his society because he was quite odd during times of peace  and contentment, during the end of the world he was just the guy to have on your side.  He, too, was strong and unwavering, even when confronted with the corruption that seethed within their community. 

The Hallowed Ones is an exciting, and at times, terrifying read, with a strong heroine ready to do whatever is necessary to save the lives of her family.  Without technology on her side, Katie has to rely on something many of us have forgotten how to use; her own cunning and common sense.  I enjoyed this book very much, and can hardly wait for follow-up.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher