Friday, February 12, 2016

Weekly Reading Update 2/5-2/12/16!

Another week, another bunch of books read! Still working hard on reading as much as possible for the Teen Reading Challenge - got to make sure my team wins! Let's dive right in, shall we? Click on any cover to be taken to the Amazon page!

First up, I read Monster: The Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers. This is a book I've always wanted to read, but alas, it just never felt the right time whenever it was checked in at the library. So when I saw the graphic novel available, I jumped at the chance. It's not quite the same, and I still hope to read the book - but the graphic novel was great, and the story was excellent!

Next up, is Japan Ai: A Tall Girl's Adventures in Japan by Aimee Major-Steinberger. I found this to be super interesting. Half travel guide, have travel memoir - and all graphic novel! I thought the illustrations were adorable, and it definitely made me want to travel to all the cool places she visited. And I definitely learned about some local customs I hadn't before. For example, apparently I might not be so welcome at some hot springs because I have a tattoo, even though it's tiny. Apparently tattoos are mostly popular with gangsters in Japan, so they just won't let any tattooed people in.

Also this week, I read Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block. And.. well, I'm not going to talk about this one too much, because it was just too weird for me. I'm not sure I can even talk about it, because I don't know what to say. It's just... weird.

Bitch Planet, Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick. I'm almost mad I read this, because now I have to wait to read the next volume. It's a great read for those that like alternative, dystopian, or girl-power comics. Definitely on my list of favorites for the year!

Next is Hawkeye volume 5: All New Hawkeye by Jeff Lemire. Lemire is an author I keep an eye on, because I love his stuff. Sweet Tooth was so good. And I was definitely interested to see what he would come up with for his first time working with Marvel - and with Hawkeye, no less. I liked this volume, it delved into Hawkeye's past, which I found incredibly interesting. But I need more!

And last, but by no means least - Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Loved Loved LOVED this!! I figured I would love it anyways, because this author wrote Lumberjanes, and I can't get enough of it. But Nimona was special and perfect and I want to own it so I can read it again and again. I'm not even sure I could properly describe it - cutesy, but can be a dark dystopian fantasy kind of thing. But also amazing.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Guest Post: Kat Martin, author of INTO THE FURY! And an excerpt!

Welcome back author Kat Martin! Remember, check out the buy links, excerpt, and book info at the bottom!


In the course of writing more than sixty books, I’ve learned that a character’s name is extremely important.  I spend hours pouring over lists of names:  American, English, Italian, French, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, etc. 

Months before I start a novel, I begin to work on choosing the right names for my hero and heroine, which is a way of getting to know them. 

I like names that evoke an instant picture.  I’ve been writing about the Brodies for the last five books, men with strong family bonds.  Ty, Dylan, Nick, Rafe, and now Ethan are names I hope will make the reader think of guys with strength, courage, and principals--and of course tons of sex appeal. 
In INTO THE FURY, Ethan is a private investigator who works for his cousin, Ian, the owner of Brodie Operations Security Services, Inc. in Seattle.  BOSS, Inc they call it.  Ethan’s a man used to taking charge, a hard man and capable, but he isn’t happy about his current assignment--babysitting a bunch of self-absorbed lingerie models on a cross-country fashion show tour.  

Ethan is a man who has lost faith in the opposite sex--until he meets one of La Belle’s top ten models--Valentine Hart. 

Val is another example of the importance of a name.  Valentine Hart is actually her stage name and I think it does its job.  Valerie Hartman is nothing at all like the image her stage name projects--though it takes Ethan a while to figure that out.  And to learn there is a lot more to a being a top model than just having a pretty face.

Ethan is 6’3 and built like a brick house.  I can’t imagine a guy named Ethan Brodie being a wimp.  Or a woman named Valentine Hart being anything but a sex pot.

Another member of the BOSS Inc. crew is Dirk Reynolds, another strong male name.  Since Dirk was supposed to remain a secondary character, I gave him a bad-ass cropped horseshoe mustache and a cool dragon tattoo. 

Then Dirk wound up being such a hunk I had to give him a book of his own!  INTO THE WHIRLWIND will be out in June, one of my all-time favorites.

INTO THE FIRESTORM, the final book in the trilogy an another of my all-time favorites, is Luke Brodie’s story--a bounty hunter extraordinaire.  Luke was former special ops.  He’s infamous as a bail enforcement agent and unrepentant womanizer--until he meets his match with Emma Sullivan.
Choosing Emma’s name took me weeks and truth be told, it still doesn’t sit exactly right.  Emma Brodie works better for me--fortunately this is a romance so we are pretty sure she’s going to end up with the right name eventually!

I hope you’ll look for Ethan and Val in INTO THE FURY, out January 26th, and that you’ll watch for the next two BOSS Inc. novels, INTO THE WHIRLWIND and INTO THE FIRESTORM.  

Till then, all best and happy reading, Kat 

About the Book:
Take death threats against ten of La Belle's most beautiful lingerie models as they travel the country on a widely publicized fashion show tour, mix with macho bodyguards, throw in murder, mayhem, copycat killers, and millions of dollars in diamonds, and you have INTO THE FURY, Kat Martin's newest Brodie novel. 

Ethan Brodie goes head-to-head with Valentine Hart in this novel of intrigue, fast-paced action, and steamy romance.    

Seattle, Washington


Standing next to the long mahogany table in the conference room, Ethan Brodie re-read the note he’d just been handed.  Printed on a plain sheet of white paper, the words were typed in different fonts and sizes, all of them in big bold letters.

Fairly old-school for the twenty-first century, Ethan thought.  But then, email was a helluva lot easier to trace.

The client, Matthew Carlyle, was Head of Operations for La Belle Lingerie, a retail fashion chain, kind of a knock-off of Victoria’s Secret with slightly less expensive garments.  In his mid forties, five-ten, lean and fit, Carlyle had silver-threaded dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and a thin scar that ran close to his ear along his jaw.     

The other man in the room was Ethan’s boss, his cousin Ian, owner of Brodie Operations Security Services, Inc.

“I imagine in the lingerie business you get notes like this all the time,” Ethan said to Carlyle.

“We get kooks, all right.  Plenty of them.”  Carlyle accepted the note Ethan returned.  “But a letter like this was mailed to each of our ten top models, sent to them at our flagship store here in Seattle, and the company isn’t happy about it.”

“You talk to the police?”

“Not yet.  We’d prefer to handle the problem discreetly, avoid any bad press.  That’s why I came to BOSS, Inc.  Ian and I have worked together before.  I trust him to do the job.”
Ethan turned to his cousin, conservatively dressed in tan slacks and a yellow button-down shirt.  While Ian was blond, Ethan was dark-haired, like most of the Brodie men.  Both were tall, Ethan taller at six-foot-three.  “You have the notes checked for prints?” he asked.

“I did,” Ian said.  “Papers were all clean.  The letters were mailed out of different post office locations in the area so that led nowhere.  Since the models are about to go on tour, Matt’s decided to temporarily beef-up La Belle security, just to be on the safe side.”

“Probably a good idea.”  Though Ethan wished someone else was taking the job.  The thought of traveling for weeks with a group of air-headed fashion divas was the last thing he wanted.  Still, he worked for a living and this was exactly the kind of job he was good at.

Silently communicating his dislike of the assignment, he flicked a hard glance at his cousin, whose blue eyes lit with amusement.

“Ethan’s the best man for the job,” Ian said, not the least repentant.  “He’s an ex-cop, worked personal security for some of the top execs in the dot-com business.  You can be sure he knows what he’s doing.”

Carlyle nodded.  “I read his resume.  Looks like he can handle the job.”  He returned his attention to Ethan.  “Aside from working protection, you’re a private investigator, correct?”

“That’s right.  Before I went to work in Seattle, I was a homicide detective on the Dallas police force.”

“Good.  I’d really like to find the guy who sent those notes.  I’ve got a feeling about this, and I’m not liking it.  I’m hoping with your background, you’ll be able to sniff around, talk to the models and the hands backstage.  If the guy’s part of the crew, we want him out.”

“I can do that.”

“You’ll need to be discreet.  I don’t want people shook-up before we go on tour.”

“Understood.”  And he’d rather be busy than standing around waiting for trouble that probably wouldn’t come.  With any luck, the most he’d have to worry about was crowd control and a few overzealous fans.

“How many more men do you think you’ll need?”  Ian asked Carlyle.  Though they’d gone into the conference room, they hadn’t bothered to sit down.  The meeting wasn’t going to take that long.
“We’ve hired a couple of guys, but we could use at least one more man with a background in personal protection.”

“That would be Dirk Reynolds,” Ian said.  “I’ll talk to him, see if he can take the job.”

Dirk worked freelance for the company, same as Ethan and his brother, Luke, as well as his cousin, Nick.  Nick was married.  With his little wife pregnant, he preferred to stay close to home. 

Luke was on a case.  Even if he weren’t, his specialty was bail enforcement, not personal protection.  Dirk Reynolds was one of Ethan’s best friends, former Ranger, and a damned good man.

Ethan figured his friend would take the job.  The money was extremely good, and since Dirk had just wound up an assignment and was currently looking for something to do, the tour might provide an interesting escape from Seattle.

Ethan thought of the weeks ahead and inwardly groaned.  For him, babysitting a bunch of hot-bodied women in scanty underwear would be a twenty-four-hour-a-day headache.  He’d had more than his share of trouble with the female sex, still did, and he didn’t want more. 

“One thing I need to make clear,” Carlyle said as Ian walked out of the room to call Dirk.  “These are some of the most beautiful, sexiest women in the world.  They’re every man’s fantasy.  That’s the reason La Belle has a strict no-fraternization policy.  There’s no way you can do your job if you’re thinking about getting laid.  We expect you to be pleasant, but steer clear of anything more than that.  You with me so far?”

“Oh, I’m with you.”

“I realize you’re only human, but I need to know you understand and accept our policy.  Any breach is grounds for automatic dismissal.”

“All right.  One thing you need to know.  I wouldn’t accept the job if I thought my dick would get in the way.  I admire a beautiful woman, same as any other man.  But I’m being paid to do a job and that’s exactly what I’ll do.”

Carlyle seemed relieved.  “I hope you’re speaking for your friend, Reynolds, as well.”

“Dirk’s a professional.  Beyond that, he’ll have to speak for himself.”

“Okay.  Sounds like we understand each other.  We’ll be doing dress rehearsals for the rest of the week.  Our first show is here in Seattle on Saturday night.  Tomorrow morning at the theater, I’ll introduce you and Reynolds to the rest of your team and our ten top models.  Just keep in mind what I said.”

Ethan made no reply.  If Carlyle knew how much he wasn’t looking forward to meeting a gaggle of vein, self-absorbed females, he would probably do handstands.  But actions spoke louder than words.  It shouldn’t take the man long to figure out Ethan was off women indefinitely.

His ex-girlfriend, Allison Winfield, had done everything in her power to make sure of that.
“Oh, my God.  Would you look at the eye-candy that just walked backstage.”   

There was awe in her best friend Megan O’Brien’s voice.  As Val bent over to fasten the buckle on her strappy high-heel, she tried for a glimpse, but couldn’t actually see who’d just arrived. 

Megan kept staring and just kept talking.  “You see the one on the left?  The guy with the sexy mustache?  He looks like he walked out of a biker fantasy.  He can knock on my door any time, day or night.”  She rolled her eyes.  “Especially at night.  And the big one on the right turns the words tall, dark, and handsome into an understatement.  I think I’m in love.”

Val finally looked up.  Two men stood next to Matt Carlyle.  One was about six-two, good-looking, with medium brown hair, and a horseshoe mustache that framed his mouth, curved down to his jaw, and made him look like a real badass.  A real sexy badass. 

But it was the bigger man who snared her attention, at least six-three, with dark brown hair, dark eyes, and a face any red-blooded female would be hard-pressed not to admire.  His hair was trimmed cop-short and fit his hard-jawed, handsome face perfectly.  The way he filled out his black T-shirt said he was two hundred plus pounds of solid male muscle. 

When those dark eyes moved in her direction, skimmed lightly over her frame, an unexpected zing of electricity shot through her body. 

“Who are they?”  The little jolt of awareness was new to her.  Val was too busy for men.  Being a La Belle model was difficult and demanding.  At the same time, she was taking on-line college courses, getting ready to start a part-time job at the end of the tour and go back to school in the fall to finish her degree in veterinary medicine. 

“They’re extra security,” Megan said.  “After we got those threatening notes, Matt hired a few more men.  The big guy’s heading up an additional team.”  Megan sighed.  “Those two look yummy enough to eat.”

“You know the rules.  No fraternizing with the staff.”

“I know.  I don’t usually care, but in this case...”

Val grinned.  “Down, girl.  Best not to get your thong in a twist.  Far as we’re concerned, they’re untouchable.”

“Yeah, more’s the pity.” 

Val laughed.  She glanced back at the men, saw the bigger man looking the other way and enjoyed a long, unabashedly thorough appraisal.  Sometimes pure masculine beauty deserved to be appreciated. 

Hearing the voice of Daniel Clemens, the show’s choreographer, along with the light rustle of feminine laughter, reminded her where she was.  Pushing the men into a far corner of her mind, Val went back to work on her shoe so she could take her place in the line-up with the rest of the models.

About Kat:
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History.   She is married to L.J. Martin, author of western, non-fiction, and suspense novels.
Kat has written more than sixty-five novels.  Sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Argentina, Greece, China, Russia, and Spain.
Born in Bakersfield, California, Kat currently resides in Missoula, Montana, on a small ranch in the beautiful Sapphire mountains.
Her last 10 books have hit the prestigious New York Times bestseller list.  AGAINST THE WILD, AGAINST THE SKY, and AGAINST THE TIDE her latest release, took top ten spots. 

Visit Kat's website at
Or look for her on Facebook  at Katmartin/author.






Thanks for stopping by, Kat!
Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: "Falling for Jillian" by Kristen Proby

Release Date: January 27th, 2015

Type: Contemporary Romance, Series, Book 3, Former Military Man, Abusive childhood, Sometimes men say very stupid things

About the Book: Jillian thought she was a city girl through and through; the fast cars, high fashion, and glamour—she loves it all. But when her ex tells her he’s having a baby with his new wife (after Jillian struggled for years to get pregnant), she hightails it back to Montana to cry on the shoulder of her best friend, Cara.

But in truth, Jillian would rather be comforted by someone else…specifically Zach, Cara’s brother-in-law. Zach is a veteran of the Iraq War who came back to the family ranch to raise his preteen son after the boy’s mother took off. He’s struggling to re-establish a relationship with his son, and warding off the demons of PTSD, which still haunt him. The last thing he needs is bold, brassy Jillian…but why can’t he keep his hands off her? [Description from]

My Review: It has been forever since I first read Loving Cara (Book 1), but within just a few pages I eagerly fell back into this series. I love the characters, and I love how author Kristen Proby writes her heroes and heroines falling in love. I do love paranormal romance, and science fiction, but there's something about a good, well written contemporary romance - and Proby knows what she's doing.

One of the things that stood out to me was how well Seth, Zach's son, was written. An almost-teenager can be a tough character to write, one that has suffered emotional and physical abuse even more so. But Seth's character felt genuine and spot on - just like the rest of them.

The one thing that made this book a four instead of a five was the ending. I thought everything was wrapped up way too fast, considering just how the relationship started falling apart. I wish I could go into further detail, but I do not want to spoil the big climax for you. But with how big of a deal Jillian made of what happened, everything fell into place a little too easily.

But I still greatly enjoyed this book, and I can't wait to check out more by this author. Also, be sure to check out some of the swanky new covers this series has gotten! The eBooks are swoon-worthy for sure.

Cover Lovin': Definitely fits with the rest of the series, so well done.

Recommendation: This book can work as a stand-alone, but it helps having knowledge of Cara and Lauren's stories.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). Good read, didn't want to put it down.

Get your copy of Loving Cara (Book 1), Seducing Lauren (Book 2), and Falling for Jillian (Book 3)!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Monday, February 8, 2016

Guest Post: Robert Eggleton, author of RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW!

Hi Amanda. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about books that I like and some of my favorite books.

Of Great Appeal – Books, Books, Books

Like a roller coaster ride, a beach vacation, or, well, use your own imagination here, the enjoyment of some books ends once the last page has been read. Other stories, like a lasting love, linger on for days, weeks, maybe for years, consciously or subliminally adding to our enjoyment or understanding of life itself in a much deeper way. Depending on my mood, that’s the books that I like the best, the stories that linger and resurface unexpectedly. 

I’m sure that I’m not the only person to have occasional dreams about my first kiss, my first time falling in love. Such dreams are not something to mention to one’s spouse. We all have secret reasons to smile. Books are safer, much safer to talk about years later after having been experienced.  How do you pick your romances books? Are you looking for short-term thrills or true love in literature?

Life can be tough, that’s for sure. Most of us need to escape reality at least every now and then, in one way or another, and to some degree. Some people get totally blitzed on drugs or alcohol…. Of course, all of life’s problems are still there, maybe worse, when these folks sober up. Other people will binge on food, video games…. Of all addictions, reading is the least harmful, and sometimes it’s healthful or beneficial during our pursuits of happiness.

Sometimes, depending on my mood, I will pick a quick escapist novel, stay up all night reading, feel awful the next day, and forget about the experience the next day afterward. I read books in all genres, including romance. I don’t finish them all, however. If it’s a cookie-cutter novel with only the names of the characters changed from other similar stories, I’m sorry but life is too short to relive the same fantasies over and over again. Even if I’m in the mood for a short-term escape from reality, I try to pick something that at least sounds different based on book reviews.

Rarity from the Hollow, my debut novel, was likely the result of my interest in most genres. It is adult literary science fiction, sort of, but, mostly, this novel is genre bending and reflective of my broad reading interests.  

Yes, I read its reviews before I open a book, and not just one review. I don’t pay any attention to reader reviews on Amazon. I figure, and I hope that I’m wrong, that most of those were written by friends or family. If an unknown author has hundreds of reviews of a book, I figure that they are fakes, so I steer clear of those, too.

There are a couple of book review bloggers that I follow and who I pay special attention to their reviews. I won’t mention any names, but if one or both of these reviewers didn’t like a book, I probably will LOVE it, so I check it out some more.

I give no credibility at all to reviews on Goodreads unless the reviews were written by a blogger with no connection to the author. In my opinion, it’s more of a social networking site than a book review site, and I don’t care about who is the most popular kid in school at any particular moment. I guess that I’m a BAD FAN. I couldn’t count the number of books that I thought were just okay and which were written by well-known authors – big names sometimes mean big disappointments. Reading is time consuming, so I’m picky.    

I like books best when they include real-life issues, like racism or poverty, and are character-driven. Like I said before, I’ll read simple escapist novels with fast action plots sometimes, but mostly as filler between my major investments of time in more literary reads. After all, even Harry Potter addressed racism when he gave a sock to Dobby, the House Elf, to free him from slavery.

I’ve read so many books in my lifetime, representing every genre that I know about, it would be impossible to pick the ones of greatest appeal. I’m looking forward to reading more in the relatively new genre, “CliFy” – science fiction with climate change as a predominate theme. But, I don’t have an absolute recommendation to first-time readers within that genre yet. Mr. Bloom, the person who coined the term, wrote a glowing review of Rarity from the Hollow. Sorry, Dan. If I could, I would make a recommendation here and now, but it would have to be honest and heartfelt. I’m not there yet, and dishonesty in book promotions is a curse affecting literary evolution. I don’t play that game.

Okay, I’ve stalled long enough. I’ll give you one title: The Color Purple. Don’t ask me about why I picked that title a minute from now because I would likely give you a different title as the most appealing novel that I’ve ever read, and another title, and another title, and …………………….

Take care and I hope that you appreciate Rarity from the Hollow.   

About "Rarity From The Hollow"
 Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. The content addresses social issues. It’s a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended. 

Lacy Dawn occupies the body of an eleven year old and sounds like one, but she has evolved under the supervision of Universal Management for hundreds of thousand of years. She is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked.

She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s becoming very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend, for when she’s old enough to have one, has come to the hollow with a mission. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop) to recruit Lacy Dawn to save the universe from an imminent threat to its economic structure. In exchange, Earth would be designated as a planet that is eligible for continued existence – granted immunity. Will Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family?

About the Author

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

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