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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Movie Trailer: Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland movie stars George Clooney (Gravity, Ocean's 11), Hugh Laurie (House, Blackadder) and Britt Robertson (Scream 4, Life Unexpected) in an epic science fiction movie from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as Tomorrowland.

What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever. Featuring a screenplay by Brad Bird and Lost writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof, from a story by Lindelof & Jeff Jensen and Bird, Tomorrowland promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Spotlight - Kiss Me Hello by Grace Burrowes - Excerpt & Giveaway

Title: Kiss Me Hello
Author: Grace Burrowes
Series: Sweetest Kisses, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: March 3, 2015
He loves her, she loves him not...?

In the third novel of The Sweetest Kisses series, single mom Sidonie Lindstrom has her hands full with a troubled foster son, an abrupt adjustment to country living, and an unforeseen lack of funds. When her taciturn neighbor, MacKenzie Knightley, repeatedly offers practical help, Sid reminds herself she's not interested in the neighbor-despite his kindness, pragmatism and quiet charm. MacKenzie sees the vulnerability beneath her pride, and he's determined to change her mind...


“This is a nice spot,” Mac said. “The horses will loaf here in the hotter months because the trees make for good shade, but the canopy isn’t quite done leafing out yet, so we’ll be able to see the moon come over the ridge.” He spread the blanket on a patch of grass up the slope from the pond.

Sid settled on the blanket, running her hand over what felt like soft flannel, while Mac lowered himself beside her.

“Give me your foot.” Mac didn’t wait for her to comply. He took Sid by the foot, and drew her running shoe off. “Other one.”

He peeled her socks down and tucked them into her shoes, then unlaced his boots and set them beside the blanket, stuffing a sock in each one. “Moonrise is always best appreciated barefoot.”

The sentiment was poetical; the words were not. “Is that a rule?”

“Suppose it is.” He took off his jacket, balled it up, and lay back to rest his head on it. “Come here and let me hold you, Sidonie. I haven’t watched the moon come up with a lovely woman in my arms for years.”

She settled against him, resting her head on the slope of his shoulder. “We’re going to talk about rules like this?” He thought she was lovely.

“We’ll come to some understandings.” His arm came around her shoulders, and his hand stroked over her hair. “I’ll undo this braid while we’re at it.”

“Don’t lose my elastic.”

His fingers were soon winnowing through her hair, drawing the length of it over her shoulder.

“How am I supposed to think about rules when you’re touching me like this, MacKenzie?”

“You don’t need to think. You just tell me what’s true for you.”

“True about what?”

He went quiet again, while Sid repositioned herself against him. She could hear his heart beat, feel the slow, steady thud of his life’s blood beneath her cheek.

“What do you want from me, Sidonie Lindstrom? What do you need?”

“Nobody has asked me that before.” She considered her answer, while Mac’s hand drifted through her hair, across her back, down her arm. “I want a friend, I guess. You’ve been a friend to me, and I wasn’t expecting to find that here.”

“Is that all you want? I can be a good friend. My brothers would vouch for me in that regard.”

She could not tell from his voice if he was disappointed with her answer, or pleased. “No, that isn’t all I want, but I’ll settle for it, and be grateful if that’s where you want to draw the line. A friend, a real friend, is nothing to scoff at.”

Another silence, while Mac got his hand on her nape and started massaging the tension there. His idea of friendship would soon leave Sid witless and boneless.

“I can’t expect you to put yourself out there without showing I’m willing to do likewise: I want you.” Mac’s voice was quiet in the gathering darkness. “I want you at least for a friend, an intimate friend, Sidonie, but I don’t share something that precious. If you allow me the privileges of a lover, then I will expect that for whatever time I enjoy that status, those privileges are exclusively mine. You will agree to this, or our friendship keeps its clothes on.”

Sid shivered, though the night wasn’t uncomfortably cool, and Mac gave off heat like a woodstove. He was so serious about this, when they could have shared a casual romp in the moonlight.

She would have settled for that—and settling would have been a mistake.

She traced his facial features. Beyond serious, he was solemn, as if these understandings he sought could be the foundation for something even greater than friendship.

“If you agree to my terms,” he said, his hand slowing in her hair, “you agree because it’s what you want too, not because I need to hear the words and you have a private agenda that’s different from what you’ll say to me.”

He was asking for honesty, the most basic tenet of a real friendship. Friends were kind to each other, considerate, patient, reliable, but above all, a friend was somebody who told the truth.

“I don’t have much practice with relationships, MacKenzie.”

He rolled slowly, like the earth heaving up, until Sid was on her back with Mac blanketing her. “There’s more to say.” He rested his forehead against hers. “A lot more, but right now, Sidonie, I have to kiss you. Have to.”

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About Grace Burrowes

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers' Choice Awards, Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

Where to Find Grace Burrowes 

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Early Review: Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

Title: Rebel Queen
Author: Michelle Moran
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Touchstone
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
From the internationally bestselling author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter comes the breathtaking story of Queen Lakshmi—India’s Joan of Arc—who against all odds defied the mighty British invasion to defend her beloved kingdom.

When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest. India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English. But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge.

Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male and one female—and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people. Although her soldiers may not appear at first to be formidable against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi refuses to back down from the empire determined to take away the land she loves.

Told from the unexpected perspective of Sita—Queen Lakshmi’s most favored companion and most trusted soldier in the all-female army—Rebel Queen shines a light on a time and place rarely explored in historical fiction. In the tradition of her bestselling novel, Nefertiti, and through her strong, independent heroines fighting to make their way in a male dominated world, Michelle Moran brings nineteenth-century India to rich, vibrant life.
For years I heard great things about Michelle Moran’s books, but for one reason or another I didn’t read any of them… until September last year… when finally, thanks to Thor, Loki and Batman I picked up Nefertiti… And OMG! It was amazing! Historical fiction at its best. I loved it so much I read The Heretic Queen right afterwards and OMG! I loved it too! What else to do than to read Cleopatra’s Daughter next… and OMG! Moran can’t do wrong… I loved it too! By them I knew I was addicted to her books and what else I could do than to read Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution, the only problem was I knew there was only one book left to read and then I had to wait until March 2015 to the release of Rebel Queen. I tried to postpone reading The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court, but I couldn’t. My intentions only lasted couple of days until I “had to” read it. My addiction to her books was out of hand, I knew it, but there was nothing I could do. I tried reading historical fiction by other authors but it was not the same, none compared to Moran’s books. I craved them. To say I was dying to get my hands on an early copy of Rebel Queen is the understatement of the year… Luckily I received that longed copy… I wanted to read it immediately, but at the same time I didn’t want to read it, because what I was going to do next? I was also afraid because lately I’m preferring audiobooks to books, but I shouldn’t have… After the first page – yes, only one page - I was completely invested in the story… Michelle Moran is that good.

Rebel Queen is set in the XIX century in India during the British invasion and it’s the story of Queen Lakshmi of Jhansi, who is historically known as the Rebel Queen. The story is told from Sita Bhosale’s point of view.
After her mother’s death, her grandmother tried to sell Sita as a prostitute. When her father learned of this he decided Sita needed a better and safer future than that which he could provide for her. The only thing for a girl apart from an advantageous marriage (for which she needed a generous dowry) or prostitution was to become part of the Durga Dal, the elite group of guards in charge of Queen Lakshmi’s protection. Since an early age Sita’s father trained her in all the arts required to become a Durgadasi, a member of the elite Durga Dal. Sita learned to fight using different weapons; she also learned languages, literature, chess, horsemanship, and much more. For years she trained waiting for an opening in the Durga Dal. The only problem is the Durga Dal only has 10 guards and openings only come once every few years, when a guard dies or retires.
Finally, her opportunity came and Sita excelled in all her tests. Leaving her father and little sister behind, Sita moved to the capital to start a new life. Soon after, her intelligence and skills caught Queen Lakshmi’s attention and with time they became closer. Together they fought intrigues and betrayals inside the palace and a war against England outside of it.

Sita is a great character; she is pretty, smart and innocent and combination that makes her easy to empathize with. It was the same case with Rani (Queen) Lakshmi who only tried to do what was best for her people. She was a very modern woman in a very conservative time.

Moran’s stories always have the perfect balance between real events and fiction. It’s also pretty obvious the amount of research done by her. She knows what she is writing about and has the incredible talent of transporting her readers into her books. With her words she gives life to the characters, the settings and the story. Her descriptions are vivid and detailed. I only needed to close my eyes to picture everything. They felt so real I could almost smell the scents.

I could continue gushing about Rebel Queen and Moran’s writing in general, but I won’t do that; I will only tell you to read this book … and be ready to be transported to a different time and place.
I recommend Rebel Queen to historical fiction fans.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hot Off the Press: February 24th Releases

February 24th

Wastelands 2 - More Stories of the ApocalypseJohn Joseph AdamsWastelands #2 (Anthology)Sci Fi/Fantasy/Horror
DreamfireKit AllowayYA/Fantasy
Her Unexpected HeroMelody AnneUnexpected Heroes #1Contemporary Romance
I Loved a RogueKatharine AsheThe Prince Catchers #3Historical Romance
Dove ArisingKaren BaoDove Chronicles #1YA/Sci Fi
One Kiss MoreMandy BaxterU.S. Marshals #2Romantic Suspense
A Sinful DeceptionIsabella BradfordBreconridge Brothers #2Historical Romance
ObsessionEden BradleyInk & Iron #1Contemporary Romance
UnchangedJessica Brody Unremembered #3YA/Sci Fi
Slow BurnK. BrombergDriven #5Contemporary Romance
Tempt the NightDixie Lee BrownTrust No One #5Romantic Suspense
Broken HonorTonya BurrowsHORNET #3Romantic Suspense
When Joss Met MattEllie Cahill (Liz Czukas)NA
Fury of ObsessionCoreene CallahanDragonfury #5PNR
SoulboundKristen CallihanDarkest London #6PNR/Steampunk
QuakePatrick CarmanPulse #3YA/Dystopian
Stone in the SkyCecil CastellucciTin Star #2YA/Sci Fi
HauntedLynn Carthage The Arnaud Legacy #1YA/Paranormal
Demon ChildKylie ChanCelestial Battle #2Fantasy
EmpireJohn Connolly, Jennifer RidyardThe Chronicles of the Invaders #2Sci Fi
Star Trek: The Original Series: Savage TradeTony DanielSci Fi
Wild HorsesB.J. Daniels The Montana Hamiltons #1Romantic Suspense
What a Devilish Duke DesiresVicky DreilingThe Sinful Scoundrels #3Historical Romance
Cursed by FireJacquelyn FrankThe Immortal Brothers #1PNR
Running BlindCindy GerardOne-Eyed Jacks #3Romantic Suspense
When Irish Eyes Are HauntingHeather Graham Krewe of Hunters #14.5PNR
Hearth StoneLois GreimanHome in the Hills #1Women's Fiction
Highland GuardHannah HowellMurray Family #20Historical Romance
Once and AlwaysJulia Harper (Elizabeth Hoyt)Contemporary Romance
UnleashedSophie JordanUninvited #2YA
KalahariJessica KhouryCorpus #3YA/Sci Fi
Idol of BoneJane KindredLooking Glass Gods #1UF
I Am RadarReif LarsenFiction
Time PatrolBob MayerArea 51: The Nightstalkers #4Sci Fi
Taking FireLindsay McKennaShadow Warriors #7Romantic Suspense
Diary of an Accidental WallflowerJennifer McQuistonSeduction Diaries #1Historical Romance
Dorothy Parker Drank HereEllen Meister Dorothy Parker #2Women's Fiction
Coral-600Roxy MewsThe DMA Files #1Sci Fi/Romance
The Remaining: AllegianceD.J. MollesThe Remaining #5Horror/Zombies
HomecomingKass MorganThe Hundred #3YA
First Time in ForeverSarah MorganPuffin Island #1Contemporary Romance
Wait for the RainMaria MurnaneWomen's Fiction
Of Shadow and StoneMichelle MutoUF
Armageddon RulesJ. C. NelsonGrimm Agency #2UF
Mark of the ThiefJennifer A. Nielsen Mark of the Thief #1YA/Fantasy
TouchClaire NorthSci Fi/Thriller
Fields of WrathMickey Zucker ReichertA Renshai NovelFantasy
Grave MattersLauren M. RoyNight Owls #2UF
At Wolf RanchJennifer RyanMontana Men #1Romantic Suspense
The Immortal Who Loved MeLynsay SandsArgeneau #21PNR
A Darker Shade of MagicV.E. SchwabA Darker Shade of Magic #1YA/Fantasy
Salt & StoneVictoria ScottFire & Flood #2YA
Shadow StudyMaria V. SnyderSoulfinders #1 - Study #4Fantasy
Prodigal SonDanielle SteelFiction
ThoughtfulS.C. Stephens Thoughtless #1.5NA
When My Heart Was WickedTricia StirlingYA/Fantasy
Secret HarborAnna SullivanWindfall Island #3Contemporary Romance
Meet Me at the BeachV.K. SykesSeashell Bay #1Contemporary Romance
A Wicked ThingRhiannon ThomasA Wicked Thing #1YA
After Ever HappyAnna ToddAfter #4NA
Lion’s ShareRachel VincentWildcats #1UF/NA
PoisonwellJeff WheelerWhispers from Mirrowen #3Fantasy
Back in the GameLori WildeStardust, Texas #1Contemporary Romance
The RecoverySuzanne YoungThe Program #2.5YA/Sci Fi

Contemporary Romance
Historical Fiction
Historical Romance
New Adult
Paranormal Romance
Romantic Suspense
Urban Fantasy
Science Fiction
Young Adult
Women's Fiction 

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