Sunday, June 29, 2014

Underworld's Daughter, by Molly Ringle

A few years ago I purchased a lovely little lot of books at an auction, and among them was a beautifully bound edition of “Chrysomela, A Selection from the Lyrical Poems of Robert Herrick.” The poems were chosen and introduced by Francis Turner Palgrave, the famous anthologist, and I enjoyed reading the charming and quaintly antiquated prose of his preface. One phrase in particular struck me as being quite apropos of Molly’s style, as well as of Herrick’s poems:

[T]he power to describe men and things as the poet sees them with simple sincerity, insight and grace: to paint scenes and imaginations as perfect organic wholes; -- carrying with it the gift to clothe each picture, as if by unerring instinct, in fit metrical form, giving to each its own music; beginning without affectation, and rounding off without effort; - the power, in a word, to leave simplicity, sanity, and beauty as the last impressions lingering on our minds ...
Let me give an example of why I find Molly’s prose (and okay, maybe it’s not “metrical,” technically, lol, but it IS lyrical!) so enchanting, and so powerfully able to pull you into the emotional world she’s created:

Lute music rose from somewhere near, and the smell of sweet incense and drying autumn leaves curled into the darkening sky. Her feet moved that direction, the domestic magic of a mortal city pulling her in.
Like our dear friend Francis said, simple, vivid and graceful. I love that about Molly’s evocative way with words.

This is the second volume in Molly’s Chrysomelia series (the series’ title is what made me think of the Herrick book, obvs), and it’s not a stand-alone, but rather a welcome continuation of the story that began in Persephone’s Orchard, the first book in the series. It begins, like the first book,in media res,  only this time the “res” is one of sweet intimacy and tenderness, the culmination of the tentative and touching relationship between Persephone and Hades (the originals). And the narrative again moves between the remembered past of Hades, Persephone and their peers, and the story of Adrian and Sophie, the contemporary counterparts of their ancient incarnations. Things aren’t easy for Adrian and Sophie (relationship status: complicated) this time around. The story starts with Sophie feeling “betrayed, or at least left out,” when inveterate trickster Niko bestows the gift of immortality on two others by stealing and sharing with them the underworld orange Adrian meant for Sophie. And Thanatos, the deadly antagonist whose violence ended the first book, has stepped up its game in ways that rock the characters' stability and emotions. The addition of more characters and points of view make this a deeper and more rewarding reading experience than Persephone’s Orchard, in some ways. The character of Hekate (she’s the titular Underworld’s Daughter, btw) both in the past, and in the now, is richly imagined and endearing, full of mystery, grace, intelligence and emotion. She’s just a really cool person, and an awesome addition to the cast. Dionysos (and his contemporary counterpart) is a fun and kind of frustrating character, full of fun and frivolity but also fractured and flawed in ways that make him/her, real and relatable.

“The past is never dead, it’s not even past,” said Faulkner, and that would be a fitting epigraph for this series, in which the events of the past echo and resonate in the now. Molly’s artfulness in setting patterns of relationships and events in ways that illuminate each other, create foreshadowing and dramatic tension is an especially enjoyable element of the book (cf. Demeter confronting the newlyweds in the Underworld with Sophie’s dad discovering Adrian in her room over Thanksgiving break, just for one delicious example).

So just to be clear, I loved this book. But be forewarned, it is the second volume in a three book series (“Frodo was alive, but taken by the enemy,” remember?), and as such, there are unresolved story lines and emotions at the end. I can’t say I was disappointed exactly, but man, it is going to be a long wait till next June.

Who's That Girl?

I’m a huge Molly Ringle fan, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a link to my interview with her from a
couple years ago. Take a read, learn about her other amazing books, and first literary success, winner of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Award for worst first sentence!


Last but not least, please enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance at winning one of two sets of Persephone’s Orchard and Underworld’s Daughter: the entries are simple. You’ll need to follow (or already be following) three people on Twitter: me (@flybrariman); Molly (@MollyRingle) and Michelle Halket, Molly’s editor at Central Avenue Publishing (@CentAvePub). I’m including Michelle because (a) she’s awesome, and (b) because Central Avenue Publishing has lots of other cool authors you should check out (one of their books I really liked was Across the Hall, by N.M. Facile, here’s my Goodreads review!). And just in case you don’t win my Rafflecopter, Central Avenue Publishing is running a really cool one, with some extra swag thrown in (that Greek coin necklace looks really cool, right?)(the picture is of all their swag, mine's just for the books).  Good luck to all, thanks for entering!

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Purchase Links

Amazon Barnes & Noble

For a limited time, Grand Central has priced Persephone's Orchard at $.99, so on the off chance you don't win one, this would be a great time to buy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Release Day to A.L Jackson as we celebrate her new book Come to Me Softly!!

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Me Quietly comes

a scorching new adult romance in the Closer to You series.

A second chance at life…

A second chance at love…

Jared Holt never thought he deserved either—until he found both in the arms of Aly Moore. Aly has loved Jared for as long as she can remember, and she’s more than ready for the future they’re making together. But Jared can’t help remembering his own family. And he’ll never forgive himself for what happened to them. How can he allow himself the very happiness he once destroyed.

To live a life worthy of Aly, Jared knows he has to stop running and finally put his past to rest. But when he decides to face his demons head on, he encounters more than he bargained for: a dangerous mix of jealousy, lies, and dishonest intentions. When those intentions threaten Aly, Jared loses all control, giving into the rage that earned him his bad boy reputation years before. And he’ll fight to protect her no matter what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.

*Enjoy the trailer created by the wonderful Becca the Bibliophile*


Be sure to join us for the Come to Me Softly Read Along Party! We’re kicking off the celebration on June 24th with a ton of prizes, then the read along begins. Daily prizes all the way up to grand prize on July 2nd!

Grand Prize: Coach Bag stuff with A.L. Jackson Goodies!

Read Along Party Grand Prize


Join the Facebook Event


Come to Me Softly Release Celebration Giveaway!

Grand Prize: Coach Bag, Kindle Paperwhite, and A.L. Jackson Swag

Second Prize: Come to Me Quietly Custom Charm Necklace

Third Prize: A.L. Jackson Swag Pack


come to me quietly

Aleena Moore is content with her life. She has goals and dreams and an easy smile. She also has a secret she holds locked inside.

Jared Holt believes he doesn’t deserve to love or be loved. He destroys everything he touches. Haunted by the mistake that shattered his life, he’s fled from the memory of that pain.

Jared doesn’t know why he’s compelled to return, but finds himself drawn back to the place where it all began. The exact place where it ended. When he runs into his childhood best friend, Aleena’s older brother Christopher, he agrees to share Christopher and Aleena’s apartment while he looks for a place of his own.

Aleena is no longer the little girl Jared remembers from his past and evokes feelings in him he never wanted to feel again. Terrified of destroying her, he fights to keep her away. But her touch is something he can’t resist—the touch that sealed his fate.

Their pasts are intertwined and their futures uncertain. The only truths they know are the secrets they whisper in the night.


AL Jackson New Author Pic

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled, When We Collide, If Forever Comes, and Come to Me Quietly.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.

Look for Come to Me Softly and When We Met: Behind Her Eyes coming soon.

Instagram @aljacksonauthor

Pinterest @aljacksonauthor

Monday, June 16, 2014

Maybe Maby, by Willow Aster - Cover Reveal!

Check out the awesome cover of Willow's latest!  Unique, fresh and intriguing!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

Early Buzz about Maybe Maby from advanced readers....
"Chaotic and passionate, Maybe Maby is an outstanding display of emotions. Maybe Maby is a phenomenal read you can't miss." — A.L Jackson, New York Times Bestselling Author

"Quirky, funny, sexy, heartwarming, swoon-worthy perfection. I just finished it and I already want to go back and read it again!" — Claire Contreras, author of The Darkness Series, Catch Me, and The Contracts and Deceptions Series

"We absolutely fell in love with Maybe Maby! It has the perfect balance of witty humor, real-life drama and scintillating steam. It's right on top of our best books of the year list!" — Jessica and Rachel from Bookslapped

"A brilliantly written romance of a beautifully dysfunctional mind." — Leslie Fear, author of Villere House

"Maybe Maby is a book I will pick up often, and fall in love with again and again. Well done, Ms. Aster. This is a masterpiece." — Maggi Myers, author of The Final Piece and Lily Love

SynopsisMabel Armstrong is on the verge of giving up. But just when things feel bleakest, there seems to be a shift in the universe. People come out of the woodwork. Her ex won't leave her alone. An old friend finally tries to become more. Even the cute guy at the coffee shop starts paying extra attention.

Maybe Maby is a heartbreaking, and at times, hilarious story about coping with loss, finding love in New York, and learning to recognize hope in the middle of it all.

cover reveal teaser

AboutTheAuthorWillow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, and Maybe Maby. She lives with her husband and two kids on a tropical beach in paradise. Well, at least part of that is true … the rest is Story Lala Land, where Willow spends most of her time.

Insipid by Christine Brae - Release Day Five Star Review and Giveaway!

Happy Release Day to Insipid by Christine Brae!! Make sure to enter the giveaway below!



Amazon B&NSmashwords



Christine has written an awesome evocative and lyrical synopsis that hints at the poetry and passion of this compelling and emotionally rich story, but since I've already posted it once (see the post just below this one), I'm not going to reiterate it, but rather make a brief attempt at my own.  Jade Richmond is a sophisticated and worldly career woman but nothing in her life is really what it seems to be.  Beneath the ever-so tightly controlled surface there's the tumultuous turmoil of so many unresolved pieces of her past.  So when a single glance from client Lucas Martinez seems to ignite a firestorm that threatens her carefully constructed world, she's not going down without a struggle.  The trailer does a beautiful job of previewing the story, and the tone, of this lovely and literate story, check it out!


Fred's Notes

It was Plato, I'm pretty sure, who first described love as a form of "divine madness," and Insipid does an awesome job of putting flesh on the bones of that abstract concept. It's a beautiful story, beautifully told, that unfolds gradually, just as MC Jade's world is crumbling around her.  But that process of destruction is also a process of creation, as each seemingly crushing blow contains within it the seeds of the next stage of Jade's journey.  What I really loved most about this book was the way it describes that astonishing, reason-overwhelming experience of being consumed by the irrational emotional experience of falling in love, inappropriately, wildly and inexplicably, even to the person undergoing it. That crazy feeling of "I know this is a bad idea, why is it so compelling?"

There are several other elements of this book that really stand out for me as well.  First, the portrayal of Jade's world of finance and deal-making.  Many writers attempt to depict this world - there's no shortage of sexy CEO's, bad-ass billionaires, and make-believe moguls in the realm of romance and women's fiction. But few, if any, have the verisimilitude and believability of Christine's portrayal of Jade's world.  From the boardroom encounters to the painstaking process of document review, her familiarity with the setting, and her ease at recreating it bring the background to life.

Another element I loved is the way Christine uses the seasons and elements of the natural world as metaphors.  Okay, that's maybe not the most original thing in the world, but that's a fault more of my description, because her use of it is fresh and always apropos. Allusions to the natural world enhance the emotional impact of the story, as well as move the narrative along.

Finally, I want to just touch briefly on Christine's eloquent style - she has a lovely gift for a memorable insightful phrase that illuminates the story like brief flashes of lightning.  You'll find your highlighting finger working overtime as you discover them.  Here's an early on example that draws in the seasons, too: 

I found love in the summer and then lost it in the spring.  I cried myself to sleep in the winter and froze my heart with the soft tumble of the snow.
Lovely, really.  And although at this point in the book it's just foreshadowing, it serves a narrative as well as poetic purpose.

Christine's skill as a storyteller and writer has matured with each of her novels, and here in Insipid she has really hit her stridee.  I urge you to enjoy the sometimes bittersweet, but always artful pleasure that Insipid affords.

Who's That Girl?

author picChristine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Insipid, is her third book, released in June of 2014.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.


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Friday, June 13, 2014

Insipid, by Christine Brae - Teaser Chain

Insipid, by Christine Brae

Just three days until release day, and Still seeking allies is proud to bring you a sneak peek into the living heart of the book. The clever idea here is that there's a chain of teaser excerpts, of which this is the fifth, so if you want to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start), check the schedule below, start with the excerpt from All Romance Reviews and then follow the yellow brick links to get the full effect!

Are you ready for some excerpt?!

Insipid - Teaser Excerpt Five

Beyond my comfort zone and into the ocean I go. Deeper and deeper until the tide pushes me forward and my feet can no longer anchor themselves on the sand.

I close my eyes and pray. I pray for forgiveness, but most of all I pray for those who will be left behind.
As the tide carries me further away, I delight in the numbness that the cold brings to my skin. The muffled sound of the water in my ear. The overwhelming, heartfelt feeling of closure.

Floating, floating, floating away filled with so much peace.

Excerpt Chain

Follow along the excerpt chain by checking out the next teaser on Beauty Brains and Books and then by using the following schedule for the rest of the day:

9am –   All Romance Reviews
10am – Flirty and Dirty Book Blog
11am – Devoured Words
12pm – The Book Avenue
1pm –   Still Seeking Allies
2pm –   Beauty Brains and Books
3pm –   The Little Black Book Blog
4pm –   Schmexy Girl Book Blog

Insipid will be releasing on Monday June 16th, and you can join the release day festivities here.  The blog tour starts next week, and my enthusiastic review will post here on June 22!


Banal. Lifeless and Colorless. These are the words that describe my life. I’ve made the right choices, done all the right things. I’m strong, intelligent and highly successful.

I’ve lived scrupulously, loved greatly, and shared my blessings equitably.

But life hasn’t been fair with me.

Now I’m drowning in the middle of the ocean, desperately searching for the shore, surrendering to the fact that I will never be happy.

Then he came along.

Life is unpredictable. You can play it safe and resist change for fear of the unknown. Or you can close your eyes and take the leap with the knowledge that your life will change forever.

Which one will I choose?

My name is Jade Richmond and this is my story.

About the Author

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run
away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. She is currently working on her third book which she hopes to release in June,2014.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Author Links

Website/ Facebook/ Goodreads / Twitter

Add Insipid to your "Want to Read" List on Goodreads!

Jordyn, The Final Battle, by Tiffany King - Release Day Celebration!

From USA Today Bestselling Author Tiffany King comes Jordyn, The Final Battle, A Daemon Hunter Novella, the last installment in the Daemon Hunter Series.  


I have finally come to grips with the purpose of my existence. I am a weapon in the battle against evil. Accepting that doesn't mean I can't still wish to have a normal life sometimes.  
Well...Normal in my world. 

My friends and family members are angelic beings, my boyfriend is an ex soul trader, and most of my time is spent training and hunting daemons. 

After rescuing my friends from an eternity of torture in the Caverns of Gloom, I may have accidentally opened a gateway to hell, unleashing an army of daemons to run wild throughout the city.  

Once again, I will do what I was created to do.  

I am the only hope. I am Jordyn.

Fred's Notes

Tiffany returns to beloved paranormal territory in this last installment of her cool Daemon Hunters series.  As always, there are warm characters, cool and fresh feeling style and Tiffany's trademarked care and concern for her characters and the reader!

Purchase Links for Jordyn!

Tiffany King

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iPhone and iPad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Where to connect with Author Tiffany

Twitter- @AuthorTiffany
Facebook- AuthorTiffanyKing
Pinterest- Tiffany King 
Goodreads- Tiffany King

"Dreams do come true...Dream big."

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cover Reveal: What's Left of Us, by Amanda Maxlyn

Amanda Maxlyn and Bandit Publishing are excited to share with you the beautiful cover for Amanda Maxlyn's "What's Left of Us", the heartwarming conclusion to What's Left of Me. Make sure to join the FB Release Event, add to your Goodreads, and enter the GIVEAWAY for a $25 Amazon Gift Card below!

Expected Release: Summer 2014

Book Title: What’s Left of Us
Author: Amanda Maxlyn
Cover Designer: Mae I Design and Photography
The heartwarming conclusion to What's Left of Me.
Love found me three years ago.
I’m cancer free, happily married to the love of my life, and working toward my dream career.
Our life is complete. Perfect, really.
Or is it?
I’ve always wanted a family of my own, but never dreamed I could have one. Now Parker’s ready to make my dream our reality.
But sometimes our dreams are haunted by our deepest fears. Fears of failure, having a child, and in our case … death. How do I help the person I love get over his fear when I’m still trying to overcome that same fear myself?
Together we must learn What’s Left of Us.

Life works in mysterious ways.
Four years ago I became known as the girl with cancer.
I refuse to cry.
And I refuse to give in.
A relationship with a man is the last thing I’m looking for right now, but one night with Parker changes everything. He is persistent, and he knows what he wants. Me.
He doesn’t treat me like I’m fragile.
But he doesn’t know, and I’m not ready to tell him.
What if it changes everything?
Tragedy found me when I was seventeen.
Love found me when I was twenty-one.
My name is Aundrea McCall, and this is my journey.

I am the mother of two little boys, married to the love of my life, and living in one of the smallest towns in Minnesota. When I’m not chasing or cleaning up after my boys (yes, all three), I can be found writing or snuggled up with my kindle, a glass of wine, and spending time with my fictional friends and family.
Facebook -
Website -
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Monday, June 2, 2014

He + She, by Michelle Warren

We are excited to announce the Release of Michelle Warren's "HE + SHE"!

Make sure to watch the Book Trailer & ENTER the GIVEAWAY below for a chance to win a Signed Paperback of HE + SHE & a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

“With twists and turns I never saw coming, He + She is a beautiful story about finding love, redemption and yourself. Everyone needs to read this story!”
“Quirky, fun, heartfelt and sexy—this book knocked my socks off.
This is Warren’s first New Adult Contemporary Romance...and I sincerely hope it won’t be her last! One of my favorites of 2014!”

HE is trying to piece together his broken life.
SHE is running away from her wedding day.
TOGETHER, their world is a beautiful lie.
APART, their world is a perfect mess.
He + She is a free-spirited romance about soul-awakening second chances, heartbreak, and hopeful beginnings.


Michelle Warren didn't travel the road to writer immediately. She spent over a decade as professional Illustrator and designer. Her artistic creativity combined with her love of science fiction, paranormal and fantasy led her to write her first YA novel, Wander Dust. Michelle loves reading and traveling to places that inspire her to create. She resides in downtown Chicago.
Twitter: MMichelleWarren
Amazon Author Page:

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