Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Books Giveaway Hop!

The Hop


The Christmas Books Giveaway Hop, hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Laurie Here, works like this: each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another. For followers, it means lots of chances to win free books. For blogs hosting giveaways, it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win! The Christmas Books Giveaway Hop is scheduled from December 1st at 12.01 AM until December 7th at 11:59 PM (EST).

The Prizes


Two lucky followers will each win any Christmas read of their choosing from The Book Depository. One I have on my wishlist is a holiday romance anthology featuring some of my favorite young adult authors, Let It Snow:

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow.

A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend.

Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks.

Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.
This one's an oldie, but a goodie. I've always loved Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson. John Green recently elevated to favorites status for me, as well—can't wait to read this one!

You can choose Let It Snow if you'd like, or any other book from The Book Depository that has a Christmas theme. Woohooo!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Part to Play by Jennifer L. Fry: Guest Post and Giveaway!

Brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions...

I'm thrilled to present the release of Jennifer L. Fry's debut young adult novel today! Read on to reveal a guest post directly from the author and enter an awesome giveaway!


From Rogue Phoenix Press...
When fifteen-year-old actress Lucy Carter loses her older sister in a car accident, her mother shuts down and her father can’t hold the family together. Their only choice is to ship Lucy off to the Edmond School for Performing Arts. But boarding school is no cure for Lucy’s grief. With failing grades, wooden stage performances, and curfew violations, Lucy is threatened with expulsion. For the once talented Lucy, it feels as though she has nowhere to turn.

One night, Lucy hears mysterious music drifting through the school’s old heating system. The music leads her to a troubled but passionate songwriter whose brilliance gives her the strength to perform like never before. Yet their intense relationship puts Lucy in a precarious position: if she follows her muse, will she lose herself? And if she breaks it off, can she stand on her own again?

Back to the Classics: Story of O

I have a special announcement today about Books à la Mode's very first blog meme! I know I'm infamous for being very anti-meme, but this one, I couldn't resist the moment I got the idea. Times are a-changin'!

It's no secret I love literary fiction, so writing about it at my blog—because I don't necessarily review my favorite books—would be a great way to express my thoughts. Here's the official introduction:

Back to the Classics features one book (or series) each week (or however often you choose to post) that you consider classic. It doesn't have to be a Greek classic or a Victorian novel... contemporary classics are always welcome!
This is a free meme, meaning there's no scheduled post dates, no requirements, no prompts—it's completely up to YOU what you decide to post. You're welcome to write a review, ramble in anticipation, make historical rundowns, or provide any other interesting content pertaining to the book you choose. This is supposed to be a fun way to fawn over your favorite books while sharing with your readers your preferences as well!

If you're interested, post Back to the Classics at your blog featuring a favorite classic of yours! Spruce it up a little by including the Back to the Classics banner (above), the official introduction (in quotes), and a link to Books à la Mode. Leave the link to your post in a comments section and I'll come check it out! I can't wait to see what the books y'all spotlight!

Now for this week's Back to the Classics...

A few weeks ago, I made a little teaser featuring The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure. This week, I've got another erotic book (I promise I'll branch out to tamer fiction next time!) that is a surefire classic of the 21st century.

Story of O
Anne Desclos as Pauline Réage

Page Count: 204 (newest edition)
Release Date: 1954 (first publication)
Publisher: Ballantine Books (newest edition)


The heroine, O, is a young, beautiful fashion photographer in Paris. One day her lover, Rene, takes her to a chateau outside Pairs, where she is enslaves, with Rene's approval, and systematically whipped and sexually assaulted by various men. Later, Rene turns O over to Sir Stephen, an English friend who intensifies the brutality, branding O on the buttocks and inserting a ring bearing both their names, in one of her labie. But the final humiliation is yet to come...

Story of O is the classic when it comes to literary erotic fiction. Also written by a renown novelist under a more enticing pen name, this is way before Anne Rice's era, way back when BDSM was clandestine, unnamable, and practically a sin. I've yet to read it, but it's stuffed somewhere in my moving boxes I never got to unpack because my apartment in Korea is so cramped :( The sinful French setting, the undeniable sadomasochism, and the danger of an unconditional style and topic intrigue me greatly, though, so I can't wait to try it!

Has anyone read Story of O? What did you think? What are some other classic pieces of literary erotica?


Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store
Disclosure: Edenfantasys compensated me with a gift card in exchange for this post. Regardless, the content is 100% original—I was not paid to say or advertise anything—and all thoughts, opinions, and ideas are solely my own.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Author: Ron Hartman Guest Post and Giveaway!

Brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions...
Prophecy Foretold (The Prophecy Chronicles #1) by Ron Hartman


Available now from Rogue Phoenix Press:
An accident made him a savior. Now Daniel Marten struggles to find himself and a way home while the armies of Naphthali battle to control him.

These are dark days for Naphthali. The king has been murdered, the land invaded by the Imperial Army. It will absorb Naphthali into an Empire that stretches across all of Enialé at any cost. The ravaged people cling to an ancient promise, an assurance that a Prophesied savior will come to set them free... Daniel Martin is trapped in a life that hasn’t gone as expected. His pharmacy is struggling and he is losing all hope of making a difference in his patients’ lives. His family is the one shining light in his disenchanted life, but he is torn from them when an accident draws him to Naphthali. The people need him but Daniel is driven by his need to return to the family he loves. Is he the Prophesied One? Only time will tell as both the Empire and the Resistance battle for Daniel while the fate of Naphthali hangs in the balance...

The Inspiration Behind the Book


When writing a trilogy like The Prophecy Chronicles, it can be hard to pin down exactly what the inspiration for the series was. It took several years for me to write all three books, and I suppose my inspiration changed over those years, just as my personal experiences affected Daniel Marten’s adventures in the same time frame.

I’ll give one example: while I was working on the rough draft of Prophecy Chronicles 2, a friend mentioned that she loved reading vampire books: “Everybody loves vampires!” She inspired me to add a chapter about magical creatures that were something like vampires. Not only did her off-hand comment help me move along the story, it added an excellent aspect of the world Daniel finds himself in, one I probably never would have considered without her help! But that is a tale for another day... you’ll have to wait for the next installment to learn more about my take on vampires.

Overall the greatest inspiration for The Prophecy Chronicles was my family. At the time that the story really started to coalesce in my mind I had a job that required a lot of travel. While I drove from town to town I let my mind wander, always missing my family, and I started to think about this question: What wouldn’t a man do to get back to his family? What if you were pulled away from your family? What if you had to choose between saving an entire people…or your family? What would you choose?

Tough questions... but they became the center of The Prophecy Chronicles. How far would Daniel go to find a way home? Would he abandon Naphthali if it meant getting home? I can’t tell you the answer to those questions, but I can tell you that how Daniel answers them sculpts the character. My inspiration for the series brought a greater depth to my main character than I ever could have guessed. I can honestly say that some of Daniel’s struggles brought tears to my eyes while writing them, and they still do to this day. Hopefully in the end Daniel will make the right decisions, but only time will tell while Naphthali and the Empire battle over him, everyone ensnared in the prophecy that drives them all...




Ron Hartman has had a life-long passion for the written word and is an avid reader. The Prophecy Chronicles are his first written works. Ron graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2000 and lives in Ottumwa, Iowa with his wife and three children.



Giveaway!
Thanks to the author and Goddess Fish Publicity, there is one autographed coverflat up for grabs! To enter, all you have to do leave a meaningful comment on this post :) In addition, a $25 gift card to Amazon will be awarded as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this entire tour, which you can find the full schedule for here. Be sure to leave your email address in all your comments!

Both giveaways run through December 7th, 2012 at 11.59 pm (EST).
The signed cover flat is limited to US residents only, but the tour-wide gift card giveaway is open to anyone in the world! I am not responsible for the gift card winner, nor for the prizes for either giveaway.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited and new winners chosen.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dreaming of Summer Giveaway Hop!


The Hop


The Dreaming of Summer Giveaway Hop, hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Me, My Shelf, and I, works like this: each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.  For followers, it means lots of chances to win free books. For blogs hosting giveaways, it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win! The Dreaming of Summer Giveaway Hop is scheduled from November 27th at 12.01 AM until December 2nd at 11:59 PM (EST).

The Prizes


Two lucky followers will each win any beach read of their choosing from The Book Depository. One I recently read and loved was Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax. It's the perfect combination of family sentiment and salty air to make me long for summer. Read my 8-heart review here! What's on your beach read list?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca

Brought to you by First Rule Publicity...

The Night Watchman Express (The Crown Phoenix #1)
Alison DeLuca

Page Count: 291
Release Date: 3 October 2012
Publisher: Myrddin Publishing Group
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review as part of the The Crown Phoenix Virtual Book Tour

An underground factory, a terrifying laboratory, and the eerie whistle of the Night Watchman Express...

Miriam has only her guardians' son for company, and she and Simon dislike each other from the start. But they must find a way to trust each other, or they will end up on the sinister Night Watchman Express.

Full of danger, suspense, betrayal, and a hint of romance, this steampunk adventure is for readers of all ages.

Review


This is the first steampunk novel I've tried that's targeted for younger readers, and after reading, I can confidently say I love the flourishing, industrializing backdrop set to Edwardian England in The Night Watchman Express; there's something just so exciting about new inventions and innovative ideas when it comes to children's stories. With a fresh concept, eerie undertone, and unending action throughout, this first installment in The Crown Phoenix series is sure to be a hit among middle grade readers.

The mysticism and mystery shrouding the phantom-like train Miriam hears every night is a creative, avant-garde approach to hidden universes, as well as to imagination, which is why I find the plot quite memorable. While in context, there is nothing magical about the strange, seemingly connected occurrences following the takeover of her father's company, Pearson's, from the perspective of children, they won't pass over without being thoughtfully contemplated upon. The characters and events were entertaining enough to keep me reading and just odd enough to stay in the back of my mind. There's plenty of speculative action as well, meaning, little hand-to-hand combat, but many jarring discoveries, many uncovered secrets, and many plot twists.

The danger is less physical and more psychological, involving hidden schemes and betrayal—it's more of a "danger of the unknown" kind of thing, which I found rather thrilling. That's not to say there's a lack of physical action, however; eager protagonists and fateful journeys make for lots of exploration and many discoveries as well.

The broad scattering of characters is a highlight of the novel. Each of them are distinct and well-depicted; it was very easy to like the heros and very easy to despise the villains. However, a balance of good and bad traits is portrayed in all of them, demonstrating that no matter how great or how evil people are, in the end, they are all human. I would have liked to see a little more dimension in terms of characterization, however. There's nothing personal about any of the characters, nothing exposed and nothing learned; I couldn't really connect with any of them individually, and I think this was mostly an issue regarding DeLuca's style:

Lots of telling going on, hardly any showing, which makes for rather bland prose. The writing isn't bad, certainly not, but there's nothing terribly exciting about it. Had it been better in conveying emotions, implementing suspense, and maintaining the reader's interest, I would have enjoyed reading this book a lot more. 

I appreciated how the characters evolve under the tests of the book's prevalent themes such as manipulation, true friendship, and trust, and found it interesting how Simon, Miriam, and Neil, who are all merely grade school-age, responded to unfamiliar stimuli. Overall, the setting is charming, the action lively, and the conclusion satisfying, but because it wasn't one of those keep-me-on-the-edge-of-my-seat reads, it's not something I would read again.

Pros


Dark concept, intriguing setting, lots of twists and turns, rich and diverse cast, open-ended so that it makes you want to try the next book, appropriate for all readers (rated PG).

Cons


Rather plain in diction, too tame!, lame clean-cut ending, stale characters (although they're never boring, which is a plus), drags on a bit, may not be successful in capturing attention due to lack of "fun" style.

Love

'Old Walking Stick,' George repeated ... 'So-called because he looks like he swallowed a walking stick and it be coming out the other end.'

Verdict


Recommended for more mature children (ages 9 to 12) for its dark humor, historical intrigue, and memorable plot, but not an urgent must-read. Not something you should stand in line to buy, but should try if you've already got a copy.

7 hearts - Not without flaws, but overall enjoyable. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski: Excerpt and Giveaway!

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Author: Jackson Keene Guest Post and Giveaway!


From Treble Heart Books...
The beautiful yet deceitful Rossalyn McDonald had twisted the knife deep in David Adam MacDougall’s big heart. He was extraordinarily handsome: chiseled muscles, kindly soul, thoughtful personality, and totally faithful. Any other lass in his Scottish Highlands village would have cheated her own sister to become his bride.

Now David’s entire being felt broken into a thousand pieces. Now he only wanted to reach the faraway city of Beiping China where he was called to be a missionary. But before arriving in that mysterious mistress of the orient, he would face uncertain dangers.

The year is 1904. The bloody Boxer Rebellion is only four years past. Much of northern China still seethes with undercurrents of resentment and hatred of all things Western. If David can just make it to the ancient city with body and soul intact, if he can just survive, there he’ll find his new purpose, his new home, and his new people.

There, he’ll meet the woman he comes to believe is the love of his life. The lithe, athletic, saucy, highly intelligent, and equally independent Xiu Li!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stealing Breath by Joanne Brothwell Promo and Giveaway!

These Paper Worlds Book Blog Tours presents...

From Crescent Moon Press:
Deep in the backwoods of North Dakota, twenty-one year old Sarah Ross is searching for a missing child when she is attacked by a glowing-eyed, transparent... creature. Sarah survives, destroying the monster by using mysterious abilities she didn't even know she had. Bloody and bruised, Sarah flees the scene and runs directly into Evan Valente, a handsome, charismatic stranger who helps her back to safety. But what is Evan doing out in the forest at five in the morning? Turning to a healer, Sarah is shocked to learn her eyes bear the mark of the Indigo Child-an evolved human with the ability to feel the emotions of others. But her indigo aura also makes her an easy target for those who wish to consume her powerful essence. Soon, Sarah is falling deeply in love with Evan and wants nothing more than to follow her heart and trust that he is the man he says he is. But she can't ignore the lingering feeling that Evan is hiding a terrible secret. The deeper she digs, the more danger she faces, leading her on a course that will force her to face the darkest, innermost parts of her soul.



Giveaway!



Thanks to the author and These Paper Worlds Book Blog Tours, we've one eBook copy of Stealing Breath up for grabs! Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below:
Giveaway runs through November 30th, 2012 at 11.59 pm (EST).
Open to all readers, international folks included!
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ and you get additional entries ;)
Good luck!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Where Bluebirds Fly by Brynn Chapman: Promo and Giveaway!


Released November 6th on Kindle...
Verity Montague is a servant in 1692 Salem. Her flaming red hair and mismatched eyes make her a prime target for accusation of witchcraft. Orphaned during the Indian raids, she and her brother with Asperger's Syndrome come to live with the key historical figures of the trials-The Putnams. They keep their synesthesia secret—that days, months and years appear as color in Verity's mind, and for John, that symphonies play in a Fantasia-style performance of colors and geometric patterns.

Truman Johnstone's ability to discern people's expressions, and decipher if they were lying- made him an outspoken child. Being different kept him from being adopted till he was fourteen. He now runs an orphanage for problem youths, and is a feeding therapist in his desire to help children deal with their peculiarities. To give them the childhood he never had.

The harvest festival corn maze Truman creates every year has an unwelcome visitor. Children hear disembodied voices skipping through the corn maze amid the backdrop of eerie orchestral music. In every year of the calendar, intermittent doors of time swing open and closed, so long as the cornfield stands.

In societies set on sameness—all are outsiders.

They learn the traits that make us outcasts, may be the very ones that make us great, and that true love may heal all, and even transcend time.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Love Revolution by Michelle Mankin: Excerpt and Giveaway!



Love Revolution, the second book in the Black Cat Records trilogy, hit shelves November 14th! It's my pleasure to feature a special excerpt and AWESOME giveaway today. Read on for a sneak peek and to enter!

The wheels of love are always turning at Black Cat Records. Things are just starting to settle down there, but two Texas sisters are fixin’ to stir things up again at the Vancouver record label.

CEO Mary Timmons sets spirited country superstar, Sara Daniels, on a collision course with cocky rocker, Chris Alex.

Meanwhile, Brutal Strength’s suave drummer, JR, has his head turned by pretty young intern, Samantha Daniels. Do all their highways lead to happiness or will the wheels fly off when the sisters’ tragic past comes back to haunt them?

Love Revolution is a rock ‘n roll romance inspired by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The second book in the Black Cat Records trilogy, it's got more MUSIC, more ROMANCE, and much, much, more STEAM...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Author: Emma Leigh Reed Guest Post and Giveaway!


So excited to have Emma at Books à la Mode today! She's here, on her debut novel, Mirrored Deception's book tour, to talk about the blogging community. Read on for a HUGE tour-wide giveaway!

Jayla Ralston is running. After her apartment break in, she decided to get away from life and her overbearing twin sister. She finds the perfect Maine hide away to make some changes—The Cliffhouse Bed and Breakfast. It was perfect... until the phone calls resumed—kicking her paranoia into high gear.

Trenton Montgomery is out for revenge. It has taken him ten years to return to his childhood home. After sneaking into an empty wing to focus on his clandestine investigation, a beautiful woman shows up - causing him to feel emotions, other than anger, for the first time in a long time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

❤author: Dario Giardi interview and giveaway!

❤ Today, I'm thrilled to welcome author, Dario Giardi, to the blog today. Welcome to ¡Miraculous!, Dario! Will you please share a short bio with us?

I was born in Rome in 1977, I work as a researcher in the fields of environment and energy, although my true passion is writing.

Tell us little bit about your newest release, Adudan.


Adudan is my debut novel. It's an urban fantasy which I think is very innovative and special for the message it contains, but I'll leave you to judge for yourselves.
The story comes to life during the sleep and in the dreams of Marcel Guivarch, a Breton writer who is able to immerse himself in the memory of an ancestral past. In this land which lies between dreams and reality, the protagonist starts to become fully aware of his true identity and of his mission. Through the visions that a mysterious civilization manages to send him, he traces his life backwards until he discovers that he was Railen, a guardian chosen by princess Adudan, the only sovereign left to rule the planet Atlas after the death of her father. For Marcel, these visions are the first pieces of a story that traces its roots back into time.


❤ How did you choose the names of your characters in it?

Everything comes in dreams.

Adudan comes from my dream journeys. Many call them astral travel. The creative drive always starts with an image. I wake up I take notes on the images that my imagination has produced ... everything comes from them. If there is a strong emotion behind that image do not take it into account. In what I write, there is always a profound message I like to convey and I think that in this sense Adudan it conceals many. This is all my writing is something that goes beyond the pages.


How did you first get published? Tell us your call story.

I have written the tourist guides in the past: Bretagna: natura, arte, poesia e mistero tra oceano e cielo and Roma: misteri ed itinerari insoliti, published by Polaris.

Adudan is my debut novel.

I have decided to take a gamble with self-publishing on the Amazon platform.

America is the land of opportunity. Self-publishing has made many dreams come true. I'm sure it's a positive sign of changing times and of the direct power that new technologies give readers, bypassing the old, traditional publishing system to give a voice to what for me is the only criterion for publishing success: the public. 


❤ How would you describe your writing style and tone?

I would like to suggest a new style, something that is as close to American literature, I think mainly my favorite writer, John Fante. The ability to catapult the player and describe the emotions experienced or just the thoughts. Sudden strokes on the plot without necessarily explaining everything nor dwelling in a thousand descriptions...


❤ Give aspiring writers a piece of advice you wish you had known before getting published.

Keats was right when he said "The imagination is like the dream of Adam: Adam awoke, and found that it was truth." An epic story isn't always so far away from everyday life, and fiction can come close to reality.

❤ Now give us your best personal advice — something you wish you had known when you were younger and would offer to your own kids.

Life is full of surprises and and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns.

❤ Share with us, your all-time favorite quote, whether it be one you live by or one you just find beautiful.

"Per aspera ad astra."

"To the stars through difficulties."


❤ What's the most interesting comment you've received about your books?

A comment on Amazon: "Love, action, poetry ... there is everything and everything is written with style."

Thank you so much for joining us today, Dario! Where can readers find you on the web?

Giveaway!


Dario has been generous enough to offer an autographed copy of Adudan to one lucky reader! To enter, answer the question, What is for you, imagination? and fill out the Rafflecopter form below:
Giveaway runs through November 30th, 2012 at 11.59 pm (EST).
Open to all readers, international folks included!
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ and you get additional entries ;)
Good luck!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gratitude Giveaways Hop!


The Hop


The Gratitude Giveaways Hop, hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, works like this: each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.  For followers, it means lots of chances to win free books. For blogs hosting giveaways, it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win! The Gratitude Giveaways Hop is scheduled from November 15th at 12.01 AM until November 25th at 11:59 PM (your time).

The Prizes


Two lucky followers will each win a a book of choice from The Book Depository! As long as TBD ships to you, you're eligible to enter.

Want some suggestions? Here are a few books that have been recently released (or will be out by the end of this giveaway!) I've been dying to get my hands on:


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Author: Sharla Lovelace Guest Post and Giveaway!

Lit Connect presents...

On shelves November 6 from Berkley...
Emily Lockwood, your past is showing.

Emily Lockwood has been sitting on a secret for so long, and buried so deep that she really doesn’t even think of it anymore. Why should she? She has a successful career, an ex-husband who rarely tests her patience, a mother who usually does, and a stubbornly independent grown daughter. Everything is fine, just another crazy kind of normal.

Until Ben Landry comes back to town. The one person that could change it all. From best friends growing up, to young adults who realize their love in a night of crazy passion, Ben and Emily had an unbreakable bond. Or so she thought. When he then disappeared without explanation for over twenty years, she’d had to pick herself up and accept otherwise. Seeing Ben back again now triggers more than mere memories and a tug at her heart. It rips the cover off an old secret that could hurt the people she loves the most.

While Emily works to keep her secret safe and her heart safer, her sanity gets a reality check. She’s been seeing things—her past played out like home movies unreeling before her eyes, visions that are making Emily see herself, her family, everyone she knew, and every choice she made, in a revealing new light and a startling new angle. For Emily, seeing her life in rewind makes her realize she has hard choices to make for her future. Choices that may redefine everyone else’s future as well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Here's what's going on at Books à la Mode this month! Reference this to reserve a date for a future promotion.



While the calendar is updated as frequently as possible, there may be the occasional case of scheduling conflicts or double-booking. I will not be held responsible for them (i.e. your post may end up at the bottom on a double-booked date, for which I apologize in advance because I recognize the indispensability of the top post position; however, double booking dates WILL occur and this will be your only given notice).

This is not set in stone, and as the blog owner, I reserve the right to limit post dates and decline booking proposals at my discretion. If you are an author, publicist, or looking to schedule a date, please refer to this calendar as a guideline only. If you have any questions, feel free to email me! I am always willing to adjust to external schedules.

Features Girls Look for Most in Guys

Ever wish there was a guide that would tell you EXACTLY what the other gender is looking for? If you're a guy and you're reading this, you're in luck. I've made a list of things in a boy that make me go weak in the knees and faint in the heart, compiled out of characteristics (both physical and personal) I tend to be attracted to:

  • a defined, angled jawline is the sexiest thing I ever saw
  • strong forearms and hands
  • lean torso
  • and six-packs are always a plus
  • broad shoulders (not the droopy kind)
  • funny without trying
  • reckless with self
  • but careful with others (though he might not show it)
  • knows how to smile, but only at appropriate moments
  • can pull off a wink without making everyone uncomfortable
  • goes along with sarcastic humor
  • straightforward and blunt, but knows limits
  • good listener
  • sex hair
  • witty; quick thinker
  • intelligence is also incredibly hot
  • smooth creamy skin (meheheh this sounds silly)
  • sex voice
  • passionate
  • thoughtful
  • comfortable with self
  • confident, but NOT cocky
  • emotionally deep
  • reads lots and lots
  • bonus points if fan of Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Dave Eggers, Sylvia Plath, and/or Charles Bukowski
  • can speak a language other than English fluently
  • or has a sexy accent
  • even if it's ridiculously Indian or Korean
  • knows good music
  • but hopefully isn't a musician (bad bad bad)
  • pretty eyes
  • patient
I am one picky, picky bitch. How spot-on do you think my Mr. Right list is??

Well, it's nearly midnight on my side of the ocean and as you can tell, I very clearly am not doing what I should be doing (i.e. the dishes, homework, etc. etc.)

So I leave you with this question:

What are some things you look for in a significant other?


Would love to see others' preferences, both male and female.

I'm out!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Author: Emily Colin Guest Post and Giveaway!

Brought to you by JKS Communications...
The Memory Thief by Emily Colin

Available now from Random House:

In Emily Colin’s exquisite debut novel The Memory Thief, one man’s vow to his wife sparks a remarkable journey that tests the pull of memory and reaffirms the bonds of love.

Deftly weaving together two strands of plot, The Memory Thief spins an unforgettable tale of love lost and found. Though she has lived with her husband Aidan’s adventure-seeking tendencies for the entirety of their relationship, Maddie has particularly strong reservations when Aidan tells her of his plans to summit Alaska’s Mount McKinley. When she eventually gives in to him, Aidan promises her, “I will come back to you.” Yet, late one night, she receives shocking news: Aidan has died in an avalanche. Confronted with grief, newfound single parenthood, and the realization that J.C., Aidan’s climbing partner and best friend, has been in love with her for years, Maddie must swim through her swirling emotions in a quest for understanding.

Across the country, Nicholas Sullivan awakes from a motorcycle accident. Unable to remember any part of his life to this point, he finds that his dreams are haunted by images of a beautiful woman and a young boy. Feeling as though these mysterious people may hold the answers to his own problems, Nicholas is driven to find them. Nicholas’s journey leads him to great discoveries—which not only change his life, but Maddie’s, too.

Poignant, yet ultimately triumphant, The Memory Thief is a unique and compelling love story that marks Emily Colin as a young author to watch.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop!


The Hop


The Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop, hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Tristi Pinkston, works like this: each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.  For followers, it means lots of chances to win free books. For blogs hosting giveaways, it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win! The Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop is scheduled from November 8th at 12.01 AM until November 13th at 11:59 PM (your time).


The Prizes


Two lucky followers will each win a $15 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble—lucky winner's choice! If you'd prefer a book directly from The Book Depository ($15 and under) in lieu of a gift card (because you're international and don't want to pay for ridiculous shipping) that's fine too :)

Back to the Classics: The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy

Hi, pretties!

As you can see, there are quite a few change coming along Books à la Mode. I wanted to introduce today, my very first meme! I know, I know, I'm totally anti-meme because I value original content, I don't like jumping on bandwagons, I like to just give everyone a hard time, etc etc etc, but this one's really close to my heart because it's purely based off my love for literature.

I've even got a cool button for it, see? *grin*
I'll make an official meme introduction post soon. For now, enjoy my first one!

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store As per FTC Guidelines, I disclose that Edenfantasys compensated me with a gift card in exchange for this post. Regardless, the content is 100% original – I was not paid to say or advertise anything – and all thoughts, opinions, and ideas are solely my own.


The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy


In 1983, Anne Rice, who we now know as the prolific mainstream author of countless pieces of ground-breaking gothic and erotic literature (The Vampire Chronicles, anyone?) wrote the first book in her Sleeping Beauty trilogy—the trilogy that would put the entire world in a trance. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty was published under the pseudonym, A.N. Roquelaure; to this day, it is literary erotica at its finest.


The synopsis seems rather simple:
In the traditional folktale of Sleeping Beauty, the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious. ... Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him.

But then again, book synopses never really do literary masterpieces much justice.

I think the main reason Rice's series garnered so much commercial success is because its rather blush-worthy content was packaged neatly in her lush literary prose. Before this generation of literature, any fiction that had erotic elements—heck, any fiction that had romantic elements—was considered smut—pulp fiction, penny dreadfuls, call it what you wish. I'm not saying people in the 80's were completely prim and proper, but Rice's books really did spur this artistic revolution. Plus, BDSM developed mainly in the late 20th century, in tandem with the general sexual uprising of this time period, so the escape into fantasy that Rice provided was received with open arms and hearts.

I've yet to read the series, but I still discern with confidence that Anne Rice's books are classics of erotic literature, up in the ranks with The Story of O and Henry Miller. I'll get to them soon.

Anybody try Anne Rice's books before? How about any other "revolutionary" books? What did you guys think?