Stacking The Shelves (March 31)

Stacking the Shelves is based on the meme by Tynga's Reviews. It features the books I bought or received this week and a quick overview of blog happenings this week.

Book Tour

Book tours include guest posts, interviews, excerpts etc.






Stacking The Shelves*


*It's possible not all these books will be reviewed.

That's it for me this week!
Link to your Stacking the Shelves in the comments! 

Saturday Series: Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series) by J.R. Ward

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.


Let's face it, J.R. Ward is simply brilliant. After I read the first chapter of Dark Lover (#1) I was addicted. Now I've finally got to read Lover At Last (#11), I honestly thought their story was going to come after Lover Mine (#8), but no J.R. Ward definitely made us wait. But now it is finally here and it was AWESOME!!!

J.R. Ward has a always managed a great balance of the main story (Blay and Qhuinn), the core story (BDB VS Lessers) and the side stories (which are build ups for the next books). The advantage of this is, we've been following these characters for several books, which makes us understand them better. We can be part of them creating memories and history.

Blay and Qhuinn have come to some kind of impasse. Blay is with Saxton (Qhuinn's cousin) and Qhuinn is having a baby with Layla (even though they aren't really together). These two just keep bumping heads, neither of them willing to give in. Miscommunication and not willing to listen to each other is making it way harder on them than necessary. There were moments I just wanted to slam their heads together for being such idiots.

When these two guys do come together it's explosive, there is nothing sweet and soft going on. It's hard, heavy male on male and if you don't like that then this book is nothing for you. If you don't mind that, then you are definitely in for a treat.

There are some sweet moments. The pure sexual nature is what makes it okay, when soft moments would make it more and Blay claims he's not ready for that. Qhuinn on the other hand is practically starving for intimacy and unconditional love, since it has been denied to him pretty much all his life.

Qhuinn has done a lot of growing in the last year, but still he has trouble coming to terms with himself, about who he is and what he loves. Being an outcast made him rebel and has given him a certain kind of freedom, but still he craves that approval for being good enough and currently that is blocking his happiness.

There are many other crazy unexpected things happening with Blay and Qhuinn and around them, but I can't tell because that would spoil things. You just have to read it and you will fully understand my obsession!

Extra: I'm glad we have more of Wrath than in the previous books. In the last couple of books the focus has been shifting from the core BDB (Wrath, Rhage, Butch,...) to the 'secondary' characters (John, Rehvenge, Payne, Thorment (I know he's core, but he's been absent for a couple of books), Qhuinn and Blay). Sometimes I miss those guys. They are very present in the books, but mostly only when it comes to fights or giving some advice. It feels like LTA (living together apart), they are all living together, but have separate lives. The Sheelans have been even more absent. And now we have Xcor and his Band of Bastards (definitely nothing like Robin Hood and his Merrry Men), Trez and iAm  getting more in the picture, shifting the focus even more. But still the core story stays about the BDB VS the Lessers and now VS Xcor. Click here for an overview of all the news revealed at the Cininatti Event of Lover At Last.

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Cover Reveal: Of Silver And Beasts by Trisha Wolfe

Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel)
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound
Cover Designed by: Steven Novak

In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena.

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.


I open my mouth to say something comforting, but I’m unsure of what. In this moment, I’m reminded that I know little about him. Other than the sarcasm and desire to understand nothing of my queendom, he hasn’t allowed me past the surface. 

But then, I have my own walls, hiding things I’d never want him or any other to know. And I understand that need to hide them. You can’t trust anyone. 

“Caben…” I start, but still can’t find the right words. 

He lowers his hand from his face, never taking his eyes off the glinting water top. “You’re right,” he finally says. “Let’s find the access to Lilly’s section.” 

A hollow pang hits my chest, and I’m not sure why. Something in his voice sounds lost, broken. I imagine the gears around my heart spinning faster, trying to keep up with my racing heart. 

When he sidesteps me, I reach out and grab his arm. “Caben, I didn’t mean—” 

“It’s fine, Kal,” he snaps. “We have work to do.” 

“No, I’ve said something to offend you.” I drop my hand, but keep close to him, not allowing him to leave my side. Goddess, trying to understand the male brain is harder than anything in protector training. I’ve heard people say that you have to tip-toe around a woman’s emotions, but a man’s ego is every bit as fragile, if not more so. 

He releases a heavy breath through his nose and walks back to the pool. He sits down along the edge and rolls up his pants, then slips off his boots. “I honestly don’t think Bax or his goons will be returning tonight.” He sinks his bare feet into the water and sighs. 

Glancing at the back of the cave, I plant my hands on my hips. We don’t have time for indulgencies, but the prince is still my charge. If it were my empress, I’d give her anything she’d ask for. Allow her as much time as she needed to collect herself. I have to watch over his mental state as well as protect him, so I try to push the pending need to find Lilly aside and sit down next to him. 

“Here,” he says, turning his hand out near my crossed feet. “You have to feel this.” 

A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth. “I can remove my own—” 

“Have you never been pampered a day in your life?” he asks, lifting an eyebrow. “I know that the Nactue are fierce and will put a hurt on any man for touching them. But try to relax.” 

“Is that the rumor in Perinya?” 


I bite my lip, suddenly regretting my blurt. “Nothing. Never mind.” 

From the corner of my eye, I see his lips pucker into a pinched smile, as if he’s trying not to. “Ah,” he says, like he’s made some great universal connection. “Well, there are many whisperings about the Nactue. Some I dare not repeat for fear I’d leave here missing a limb, but that’s one, yes.” He takes my booted foot and begins to unlace it. “I’ve heard that the empress’s protectors are untouchable—forbidden to give themselves to men. And that they’ll snap a man’s neck just for making an advance.” 

My mouth drops open. Appalled, I counter, “That’s not true.” 

“All right,” he says, as if he hasn’t just insulted my very existence. “It’s only rumors. Things men jaw about in pubs. The unattainable woman is a fantasy, Kal. Don’t be offended.” 

“Unattainable?” I grit my teeth, trying to maintain my composure. “Tell me, prince. Do men in your country just go around bedding every woman they can in order to keep them compliant?” I shake my head. “If their fantasy is a woman that would have nothing to do with them, it seems to me it’s their way of feeding their egos after being rejected.” 

His eyes widen. “No! How does your brain come up with these—” He bites off his words, his lips thin as he presses them together. “Look, it was a joke.” 

I nod, many times. “Another joke. I’m glad that our hard work and sacrifice is amusing to the men of Perinya.” 

Caben lets out another sigh and slowly pulls off my boot. His warm fingers skim my calf as he inches up my pant leg. “Just stick your foot in,” he says, then adds lower, “while I stick mine in my mouth.” Unexpectedly, I laugh. “At least it’s now clean,” I say. “Would you like some help getting it to your face?”

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Book Review: Depths (Lengths #2) by Steph Campbell & Liz Reinhardt

Do you believe in love at first phone call?

Cohen Rodriquez, Deo’s hilarious, über responsible best friend in LENGTHS got dumped by his longtime girl because he’s ‘not impulsive enough,’ and he's burned up.

But maybe, just maybe, she’s more right than he wants to admit. So he starts to date.
A lot.
But no one really feels like the one. And the more girls he dates, the more Cohen’s convinced she isn’t really out there.

Luckily he has Maren—the girl with the sexy voice who always cracks the best jokes. They’ve been talking daily for a year…on the phone. What started as all work soon blooms into friendship. Then she asks him.

Do you want to meet?

He's scared out of his mind to ruin the one easy, fun relationship he has going for him. But he takes the plunge, and things are just fine, totally easy and comfortable.

Except that they both sense it's not strictly platonic...there is an undeniable attraction and absolute raw chemistry between them…and every time they're in the same room, that attraction gets deeper and harder to ignore.

Maren could be the best thing that’s ever happened to Cohen… Or she could send his carefully compartmentalized life into a tailspin.

Cohen has to decide if he’s ready to let go of his comfortable fantasy and embrace the one girl who might be able to change his luck in love.


"How much more excitement do you need out of life that a half-Jewish, half-Mexican household."

Cohen Rodriquez just got dumped by his longtime girlfriend, because he's not exciting enough, because he never wants to try new things. So she's moving to L.A. to start her acting career and he's left working at his family's furniture store. Not that he doesn't mind that, but it was never what he expected to do for the rest of his life.

Now that he's single, he's ready to mingle. Which he might have had to think through a bit more, because the only thing that happens are some of the worst dates you've ever come across. How Steph and Liz came up with this I have no clue, but they are brilliantly bad.

"Her voice is a little too raspy - a little too sexy to have me totally convinced that she's all good."

Lately the only upside in his life are his telephone conversation with Maren, the girl who works in their warehouse site. They've never met, but they talk daily and not just about stock orders. Sharing their woes about work, but also about their love life, they have formed this connection. At least that's what he hopes, but for all he knows she might be some ugly toad, instead of the pin-up vibe he imagines in his head.

I love those stories where people have been having conversations, but never met so they can dream about the other person being sexy as hell.  Of course in real life Steven, the guy who calls me about my payment plan, is probably as unsexy as a guy can be. (Screw you reality!)

"And it hits me. Maren is going to ask me out."

So finally they meet, but not in the way you would expect. They indeed try to keep things platonic, just friends, but resisting the attraction is killing them. Things get even more complicated when they realize not everything is as it seems and they've been keeping things from each other. Cohen is a nice, respectable and reliable guy, which means he has this whole knight in shining armor thing going on, but not every girl needs a knight.

There's definitely enough (sexual) tension going on, some family drama on both sides and smoking but realistic sex scenes. Two people who realize they don't always have to do things on their own, they can confide in others. It's mostly about putting your fears aside and daring to live life to the fullest.

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Book Tour: Royal Street & River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans) by Suzanne Johnson

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator.

Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.
It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.


The minute hand of the ornate grandfather clock crept like a gator stuck in swamp mud. I’d been watching it for half an hour, nursing a fizzy cocktail from my perch inside the Hotel Monteleone. The plaque on the enormous clock claimed it had been hand- carved of mahogany in 1909, about 130 years after the birth of the undead pirate waiting for me upstairs.

They were both quite handsome, but the clock was a lot safer.

The infamous Jean Lafitte had expected me at seven. He’d summoned me to his French Quarter hotel suite by courier like I was one of his early nineteenth-century wenches, and I hated to destroy his pirate-king delusions, but the historical undead don’t summon wizards. We summon them.

I’d have blown him off if my boss on the Congress of Elders hadn’t ordered me to comply and my co-sentinel, Alex, hadn’t claimed a prior engagement.

At seven thirty, I abandoned my drink, took a deep breath, and marched through the lobby toward the bank of elevators.

On the long dead-man-walking stroll down the carpeted hallway, I imagined all the horrible requests Jean might make. He’d saved my life a few years ago, after Hurricane Katrina sent the city into freefall, and I hadn’t seen him since. I’d been desperate at the time. I might have promised him unfettered access to modern New Orleans in exchange for his assistance. I might have promised him a place to live. I might have promised him things I don’t even remember. In other words, I might be totally screwed.

I reached the door of the Eudora Welty Suite and knocked, reflecting that Jean Lafitte probably had no idea who Eudora Welty was, and wouldn’t like her if he did. Ms. Welty had been a modern sort of woman who wouldn’t hop to attention when summoned by a scoundrel.

He didn’t answer immediately. I’d made him wait, after all, and Jean lived in a tit- for- tat world. I paused a few breaths and knocked harder. Finally, he flung open the door, waving me inside to a suite plush with tapestries of peach and royal blue, thick carpet that swallowed the narrow heels of my pumps, and a plasma TV he couldn’t possibly know how to operate. What a waste.

“You have many assets, Drusilla, but apparently a respect for time is not among them.” Deep, disapproving voice, French accent, broad shoulders encased in a red linen shirt, long dark hair pulled back into a tail, eyes such a cobalt blue they bordered on navy. And technically speaking, dead.

He was as sexy as ever.

“Sorry.” I slipped my hand in my skirt pocket, fingering the small pouch of magic-infused herbs I carried at all times. My mojo bag wouldn’t help with my own perverse attraction to the man, but it would keep my empathic abilities in check. If he still had a perverse attraction to me, I didn’t want to feel it.

He eased his six-foot-two frame into a sturdy blue chair and slung one long leg over the arm as he gave me a thorough eyeraking, a ghost of a smile on his face.

I perched on the edge of the adjacent sofa, easing back against a pair of plump throw pillows, and looked at him expectantly. I hoped what ever he wanted wouldn’t jeopardize my life, my job, or my meager bank account.

“You are as lovely as ever, Jolie,” Jean said, trotting out his pet name for me that sounded deceptively intimate and brought back a lot of memories, most of them bad. “I will forgive your tardiness— perhaps you were late because you were selecting clothing that I would like.” His gaze lingered on my legs. “You chose beautifully.”

I’d picked a conservative black skirt and simple white blouse with the aim of looking professional for a business meeting, part of my ongoing attempt to prove to the Elders I was a mature wizard worthy of a pay raise. But this was Jean Lafitte, so I should have worn coveralls. I’d forgotten what a letch he could be.

“I have a date after our meeting,” I lied. He didn’t need to know said date involved a round carton with the words Blue Bell Ice Cream printed on front. “Why did you want to see me?”

There, that hadn’t been so difficult—just a simple request. No drama. No threats. No double- entendre. Straight to business.

“Does a man need a reason to see a beautiful woman? Especially one who is indebted to him, and who has made him many promises?” A slow smile spread across his face, drawing my eyes to his full lips and the ragged scar that trailed his jawline.

I might be the empath in the room, but he knew very well that, in some undead kind of way, I thought he was hot.

I felt my face warming to the shade of a trailer- trash bridesmaid’s dress, one whose color had a name like raging rouge. I’d had a similar reaction when I first met Jean in 2005, two days before a mean hurricane with a sissy name turned her malevolent eye toward the Gulf Coast. I blamed my whole predicament on Katrina, the bitch.

Her winds had driven the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into the canals that crisscrossed the city, collapsing levees and filling the low, concave metro area like a gigantic soup bowl.

But NBC Nightly News and Anderson Cooper had missed the biggest story of all: how, after the storm, a mob of old gods, historical undead, and other preternatural victims of the scientific age flooded New Orleans. As a wizard, I’d had a ringside seat. Now, three years later, the wizards had finally reached accords with the major preternatural ruling bodies, and the borders were down, as of two days ago. Jean hadn’t wasted any time.

About the Author
Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance from Auburn, Alabama, after a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities. She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis' birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.

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Excerpt + Giveaway: Grimm Diaries by Cameron Jace

This is the 3rd bundle in the Grimm Diaries novella series by Cameron Jace. To celebrate this event we have an exclusive excerpt from Snow White Blood Red and we get to give away one copy of each Grimm Diaries bundle. For this special occasion the first and second bundle in the Grimm Diaries will be $0.99 each from the 28th until the 31st on Amazon.
10.5) Happy Valentine’s Slay by Wee Willy Winkie The real Sandman Grimm sheds a light on what happened in Jawigi, and tells about how some of the teens in Sorrow spend their Valentine’s Day.

11) Children of Hamlin by the Devil The Devil tells the story of the Piper of Hamlin, who he really is, the historical events he witnessed, and his relationship to Ladle Rat. Most of all, why they call him the Black Death.

12) Tooth & Nail & Fairy Tale by Jack Madly Jack Madly stole a sack full of baby teeth from Bluebeard’s enchanted castle, which reminds him of when he first met the Tooth Fairy when he was a child; a memory he wishes to forget.

13) Ember in the Wind by the Little Match Girl All the Little Match Girl wants is to sell her matches so she uses the money to eat and find shelter from the cold. But no one in the cruel city of crowded London helps her. Eventually, she learns something about who she really is, and it changes her life forever.

14) Jar of Hearts by the Queen of Sorrow The Queen of Sorrow, still trapped in the Dreamworld summons Cassandra, the fortuneteller, to ask her about the identities of Lost Seven. The problem with Cassandra is that she’s cursed that her predictions will never be believed. The Queen is still determined to believe her, but it will cost more than she can bargain for.

Excerpt from Snow White Blood Red:

Dear Wilhelm Carl Grimm,

She is not that giddy, naïve, and helpless princess she pretends to be. Please don’t let her fool you with her innocence if you see her sing to the birds in the forest. Resist her charm from bringing joyful tears to your eyes, and shield yourself from her devious beauty before she deceives you into wanting to kiss her awake. It'll be a kiss of death. Your death. That’s how she fooled the Huntsman, Prince Charming, and me, her birth mother.

I still remember the original script of the fairy tale, the one you wrote in 1812. It clearly stated that she was my own flesh and blood daughter. I don’t have the slightest idea why you altered it fifty years later.

What was the point of turning me into an evil, narcissistic, and heartless stepmother, blinded by jealousy and envy of the young princess?

For years, I have been looking forward to telling you the truth about her, but you were impossible to reach.

I am glad I found your brother, Jacob. He told me that you wanted to tone the stories down so children could sleep better at night, instead of having nightmares about the Queen who sought to eat her daughter’s heart and liver.

Shame on you, Wilhelm.

You, of all authors, knew why I wanted to kill her. My actions were justified. I was trying to save my kingdom from her wrath, before everything we loved was destined to an end. The same way you had to rewrite the true fairytales after cursing us, so the War of Sorrows would end forever after.

Night after night, and year after year, parents fed their children false bedtime stories, until your lies grew into inescapable memories. Your happily ever after lies, Wilhelm, shaped the so called fairy tale world.

I wondered why you didn’t burn the original scripts, instead of rewriting them. You must have figured out that sooner or later someone would dig up the truth and expose you. Altering it was the smarter solution. You let children believe that the bites were resurrecting kisses, and that torturing glass coffins were made for sleeping beauties, waiting for a prince to come and kiss them awake.

A wise man once said that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he was someone else. You did the same with us, Wilhelm. You turned us into pastiches of the immortals that we really are, and made it harder for us if wanted to persuade the world otherwise.

I know that you did it to save us from her. And I appreciate how you concealed our real names, or we would have ended up like Rumpelstiltskin, tortured by those who knew of his real name.

But sometimes, I can’t help but wonder why no one ever questioned why I was called the Evil Queen, and why I was never given a real name in the books.

Was I so superficial to the world, so stereotypical and mundane? Why was I treated as if I were the monster of the week?

You know what I think? I think that the world never got the time to hate me. It just wanted to hate me long before it met me.

If I tell those who detest me about the true nature of their little princess, would they ever care about me half as much as they care about her?

I know that deep inside, they adore me. They like the way I talk, walk, dress, and even the way I kill.

They are just afraid to admit how much they love me. I am the Snow White Queen, strong enough that I don’t need anyone’s pity or love, because I am loved by the greatest and most majestic heart in the world:

Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

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