Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 Wrap-Up!

Hey readers! Happy Sunday! Today is the very last day of January and with that, 2016 is already 1/12 over. Can you believe it? Seems like just yesterday was Christmas, am I right? Since one of my biggest resolutions for 2016 to be more organized and on top of things on the blog front, I wanted to start a new month-end tradition where I wrap up everything for my readers. These wrap-up posts will include my reading list for the month with links to each review where you can find my thoughts and purchase links for each novel, any exciting bookish news, and a little about what I've been up to behind the scenes!

Let's get going!

Reads & Reviews

  • Seven by Casey L. Bond, Jo Michaels, Tia Silverthorne Bach, Kelly Risser, and N.L. Greene
Not really a read/review, but earlier this month I hosted a very special episode of bookish podcast A Daily Cup of Jo where I interviewed all five authors of Seven. It was an incredible experience for me and I highly recommend giving it a listen. Check it out by clicking the image below.

Okay, I am really excited to finally be able to let you guys in on some big announcements I've been holding in that I hope you are excited about as well. Here we go:
  • I have been invited to speak as a special guest panelist at this years UtopiaCon, this June in Nashville. As you guys will well-remember, I have attended UtopYA for the last two years and have had the absolute time of my life in doing such. Last year I was a Best Blog of the Year nominee and it was an incredible experience. Getting the opportunity to actually speak on a panel is quite a huge honor for me, especially sitting next to some of my biggest blogger inspirations as we speak on all things book-blog! 
About the Panel:
The role of Bloggers and Book Tubers has changed in recent years. They aren’t just reviewers anymore. They have taken their “tastemaking” status and created a whole new world of authority AND entertainment for readers.

They get invited to big movie premiers. They get boatloads of swag and books. But the demand to create high standards and deliver high-quality and trusted content not just regularly, but obsessively, means that becoming one of the top bloggers and book tubers out there does come with big expectations from fans, authors, publishers and other media outlets.

If you’re a blogger or want to be — Discover new ways to reinvent your own content, and attract a bigger audience.

If you’re a writer — learn what you need to do to get your stuff at the top of the pile of your favorite bloggers.

Don't worry guys, there is so much more info coming on this soon, I cannot wait to share even more excitement about this trip with you all. I've already got my days off work approved so I'm rearing to go. Nashville is one of my absolute favorite places on the planet, I can't wait to get back!

  • There are HUGE changes coming to the blog that I am so excited to get under way. I have been in touch with web developers and hosts pertaining to moving this very site to a new self-hosted site and changing platforms. I know that all sounds boring, but I am so pumped about it. I love what I've been able to do under Blogger for 2 years now, but I'm ready for a change and a new look. Included in that change will be the purchase of my own URL and hiring someone to create a new logo and banner for One Guy's Guide to Good Reads. 2016 is a year for change and I hope I can make my vision a reality!
All About Ethan
So how did January 2016 treat Ethan? 

As several hundred of you read in my Mandatory 'Where the Hell Have I Been?' Post, 2015 didn't end on the greatest of notes for me and I was really expecting big changes on all fronts for 2016. I'll be honest, I'm not quite where I want to be yet, but I'm getting there more each day. This month has been heads and tails better than December was for me, but like most things in life, I can only take it one day at a time. Bringing myself back into the book world that I was missing has really helped out tremendously. I've immensely enjoyed catching up with all my bookish friends (authors, bloggers, and readers alike), consulting on new projects, and even beta'ing for a few friends. It's been nice.

January has left me with a lot of personal memories that I'll be taking with me. As part of my new 'stay organized' initiative, I purchased a super awesome day-planner that I've been utilizing to the fullest. It's so cool to see my life on paper instead of all in my head.  I'm not only documenting my work life and book schedule, I'm documenting my trials, my triumphs, and the thoughts I want to carry with me throughout the rest of 2016. 

January also featured me taking some time off work to make a trip home to see the family and finally celebrate "Christmas" (I had to work on Christmas and couldn't go home). It was a great trip and something I definitely needed to recharge my batteries. On the work front things have finally started slowing down, giving my mind time to finally relax a bit so I can focus on the more important aspects of my life. I'm falling even more in love with my friends than ever before, I am so thankful for my 'family' I've created here. Every day they make me happy. It's because of them I have the strength to carry on most days. Be it late night movie nights, racking up a ridiculous bar tab, or morning-after Avengers Waffles parties (no seriously this happened), these peeps show me every day that I'm loved and help to calm the crazy in my life. They've shown me that life is so much better when you don't have to face the demons alone. Every day is a battle and I finally feel like I'm winning a few here and there!

I told you guys it really happened...
I've spoken with several authors this month regarding my future in the industry and have been given lots of ideas and opportunities that I plan to take full advantage of. I'm also planning to buckle down and put some serious thought into writing some on my own. As many of you know, I've been writing off and on since before I even started the blog. I'd like to finally finish one of the crazy ideas I have in my head so hopefully I can get something off the ground soon. 

Anyway... One thing that was mentioned to me is that my readers would like to know more about me! I know, odd, right? But I've received several odd requests from authors and readers who want to know more about the guy behind One Guy's Guide to Good Reads. So... I'm going to throw out 5 random facts about me and I encourage my readers to share something about themselves in the comments! Here we go:
  • While literature remains my deepest passion, it's followed closely by a deep love of theatre, I've never studied it professionally (aside from GenEds in college), but I absolutely love all things theatre. The music of Broadway has been the soundtrack of my life. From a very early age I fell in love with plays and musicals. Not many guys will admit their love of theatre, but I have the deepest respect for the Arts in all forms. It takes guts to perform in front of a crowd, regardless of what you're doing.
  • I am slightly obsessed with Sia. I mean really, really obsessed. I may or may not have had This is Acting on repeat constantly since release day. She's definitely one of my all-time favorite artists. 
  • At any given time you will probably find me with a small pharmacy on my person. I'm a planner to the max. I may feel fine in the morning, but who knows when I may get a random headache at 3PM? Hello Tylenol. 
  • I hate milk. With a passion. Not the taste or anything, I just literally get sick watching other people drink milk. I don't have this problem with any other food/beverage, but watching someone consume milk makes me ridiculously uncomfortable. My siblings drink milk like it's going out of style so when I'm home or when I'm around them I have to ask them to drink out of colored glasses so I don't have to see it. I know, I'm a weirdo. Funny thing is I actually drink milk in cereal and cook with it. Oh and flavored milk doesn't bother me. Just white milk. I'll show myself to the padded room. 
  • I'm a bit of a germaphobe. I take more showers than anyone I know and I hate shaking hands with people. I'm a hugger. Only because hands are disgusting. Anyone else with me? If I have to shake someone's hand, my immediate next action is germ-x or a sink. Imagine the anxiety attack when you're in a place where neither of those are available. It's an issue, to say the least. 
Well folks, there you have it. January has come and gone. Eleven more months left in 2016. I'd say all-in-all I had a fairly productive month. I don't have any plans for February and will continue to roll with the punches as they come. On the personal front, I'm hoping to take care of some issues within the next month so I can get some peace on the home front, but I've got good news in the form of a new shift at work coming up soon so that'll free me up on the weekends so I can devote more time to sharing new content with you guys! 

Goodbye January, thanks for the memories! Hello February, may the next 29 days be full of all the awesome I can handle! 

Thanks so much for stopping by and enjoying another month of bookish awesome here on One Guy's Guide to Good Reads! Until next time, Happy Reading!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Heartless (Heartless Series #1) by Kelly Martin Review

Hey readers, Ethan here again this afternoon with yet another review for you guys. I'm not often one to throw words like this around, but I have to say this is by far one of the best reads I have read in a very, very long time. I am so excited to share these thoughts with you all. What am I raving about today? Heartless, the first novel in an incredible new series from author Kelly Martin. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:

Some things can't be saved.

What would you do if your guardian angel wasn't sent to protect you from the world but to protect the world from you?

For thirteen years, Gracen Sullivan dreamed about a red-eyed demon named Hart Blackwell who tortured her every night. Her mother freaked when she found out about her daughter's "hallucinations" and forced Gracen to go to the doctor, who prescribed some very powerful medication which kept Hart out of her head for five years.

A week ago, Hart came back and brought a friend.

But something has changed, and Gracen is seeing Hart when she's awake too. And the other "friends" in her dreams? They have been found dead.
The police want to talk to her.
Her boyfriend has become distant.
Her dreams are becoming more and more intense.
Hell wants her.
Heaven has to stop her.
When push comes shoving, can Gracen fight the evil eating away inside her or will she be forced to embrace it and destroy the world?


Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin is the bestselling author of contemporary, historical, and YA romance. She has been married for over ten years and has three rowdy, angelic daughters. When Kelly isn't writing, she loves watching horror gamers on YouTube, even though she is a huge wimp, and drinking white chocolate mochas.

My Thoughts:

"People certainly do some terrible things in the name of righteousness. When there's only one righteous person."

I'm going to start this out with a confession. I had this book on my TBR but had absolutely no idea what it was about. Didn't know the genre, didn't know the synopsis, and hadn't ever read anything previously by Martin. When I received the review request in my inbox, I was in the trenches of a novel that really wasn't speaking to me and this sounded like a breath of fresh air. Little did I know that this newfound surprise in my inbox was going to turn out to be one of the most hard-hitting and inspirational stories I've devoured in months. Wow.

When it comes to the plot, I'll be honest, I had no idea where Martin was going for the longest of times. With some incredible plot twists and some truly creative mind-benders, Martin had me guessing up until the very end. A psychological thriller if I've ever seen one. There were a few twists that I have to admit I did see coming, but for the most part, my jaw dropped with each revelation. It was astounding. Heartless is extremely fast-paced and definitely not for the weak of heart. While definitely not a gruesome horror tale, the psychological aspects of the novel were absolutely horrific at times. I definitely had to put the story down more than once to gather my thoughts. That being said, I will say that this novel is definitely best suited for New Adult and older audiences. I'm not sure I'd recommend this read to anyone who wasn't old enough to understand the themes Martin explores in Heartless

Never having read a Martin novel previously, I didn't know what to expect in terms of character development. Thankfully I was not disappointed. Now here is where I'll say my one and only negative thing about Heartless: I really would have appreciated some more adult content. For such an incredibly deep novel, the language was definitely family friendly and barely pushing PG. It did take me out of the story on more than one occasion where some much stronger expletives were most definitely in order. I was okay with the adult situations and themes, but I would have appreciated a bit more language that was more true to the new adult lifestyle. In terms of character development, I believe Martin excelled greatly. Especially with our main character, Gracen. Seeing as some of the biggest reveals in the novel take place within Gracen's psyche, a strong character was absolutely necessary. Not only did Martin have to know her character from the outside, she had to explore every facet, every crevice of Gracen's inner mind to really craft the beautiful character she did. It's a true testament to the talent of an author to write characters such as this. The remaining characters were all written great as well, but to avoid potential spoilers I'll stray away from commenting at this time.  

One thing I really didn't expect out of this novel was the deep religious roots it shared at times. I've red several novels as of late with religious undertones, but this one is probably the one who has done it the best. Martin has delivered an incredible tale full of spirit without drowning her readers in scripture or history. She took her own unique twist on the scriptural tale and crafted a story that readers of all faiths and walks of life can enjoy.

Oh boy. This is probably where I have the most to say but I'll try to condense it here. Martin really touches home with some incredibly hard hitting themes in Heartless. There are so many, and I'll tell you I highlighted over twenty passages in this one novel that I'll carry with me for many books to come. It's an extremely deep read that really resonated with me for some many reasons. If you can read this novel without catching all the feels, you've done something wrong. With reflections on topics such as: faith, family, love, forgiveness, acceptance, fate, destiny, and so many more, Martin opened the floodgates of emotion and really let them roar. It was a beautiful adventure in reading. 

In terms of setting, Martin again, hit the nail right on the head. In true New Adult fashion, we're situated at college, complete with the allure, excitement, stress, and ambiance of campus life and living. The first apartment, the libraries, Martin really did an incredible job with keeping her story tied to the new adult setting that one comes to look for in a novel of this genre. 

I'm going to make this a little personal for a moment. I often try to detach myself from the emotions of a novel. Only because I feel that if you relate too closely with the source material when reviewing, it's tends to cause some bias results. I'll be honest, I couldn't help but relate with everything Martin wrote in this incredible story. It's dark, far darker than I ever anticipated from an author with such a bubbly-upbeat personality. It's reflective on so many aspects of my life and I loved every second. It was such a cathartic read for me that I desperately needed. Words are so useful in dispelling the darkness and Martin and this series do an incredible job. I can't say many stories have touched me the way Heartless has. 

As you guys can clearly see, I have a whole lot of thoughts on this novel. Honestly it is one-of-a-kind and truly a unique novel that will leave your mind blown and begging for more. As previously stated, this is my first read from Martin and I can say with surety that I'll be devouring her entire backlog soon. I can not get enough of this! It should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting Heartlessby Kelly Martin a near-perfect 5-star review. I seriously couldn't rave any more if I tried. I can absolutely tell you that I'll be closely following this series until the very end.  A truly unique read, Martin ignites a flame with her elegant words, captivating settings, and enough psychological insight to keep even the most hesitant of readers satisfied. Don't miss your chance to add this one to your TBR today. 


Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Heartless by Kelly Martin. As you guys can clearly see, this book spoke to me in ways I haven't been spoken to in a very long time. I couldn't recommend this book any more highly if I tried. Do yourself a huge favor and grab your copy today! Huge shout out to Kelly for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Until next time, Happy Reading!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

1980: You Shook Me All Night Long (Love in the 80s: A New Adult Mix #1) by Casey L. Bond Review

Hey readers, Ethan here with another review for you guys. A fun twist on the decade full of big hair and amazing music, I'm so excited to share my thoughts on this first installment to a fun new series with you all. This time on the chopping block? 1980: You Shook Me All Night Long by the incredible Casey L. Bond. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit the story and our author:

My name is Tina. I’m a freshman at USC, a good student and friend…

And I’m a victim.

Hot guys make my brain turn to mush. So, the fact that I was arrested then survived a massive earthquake only to be shackled to the fox next to me can all be overlooked, right?

Okay, so I was arrested before I met Luke. A tremor that caused a blackout at the LAPD precinct where we were being held. Although technically, I wasn’t shackled to him, I was handcuffed, but still. Any and all lapses in my usual—totally sane, I might add—judgments, are his fault. Totally.

I wouldn’t typically do the things I did. I’m no outlaw. I’m a college student.

1980: You Shook Me All Night Long is the first of ten contemporary romance, new adult, stand-alone stories set in the 1980s. Written by award-winning and bestselling authors, the novellas will be released each month January - October in 2016.


Casey L. Bond

Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters.
When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.

In 2003, Bond graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University in the field of Criminal Justice. 

My Thoughts:

As anyone who follows this blog will well know, I am a huge Casey L. Bond fan. Admittedly, I haven't read her entire backlog and just recently jumped on board the Bond Bandwagon, but even based on the few works I have devoured, I can say with confidence that she's one of the most talented writers I've worked with as of late. Her stories are full of gripping emotion and such vivid plots and settings that really leave a lasting impression on the mind of her readers. 

But can she handle this massive blast from the past?

Heck yeah she did. 

So I'll just go ahead and throw this out here first off, I had no idea the stories in this set were to be short stories/novellas. I was extremely disappointed to see we were getting less than 100 pages with these stories, but after finishing the first one, I was so impressed that the length really didn't matter too much. While I will say that I wish this had been a full-length novel, Bond did an incredible job telling her story in such a short amount of space!

Seeing as this story is so short, I'm going to keep the review that way as well.

The plot for this one was a whole lot of fun, regardless of the 1980 setting, I think this story could have taken place anywhere or any time. Tina is such an easy character to relate to (even if her thought process is a little skewed at times), and the side characters were written to perfection. The plot was real, nothing seemed out of place or forced giving the story a very natural flow and feel. 

Now I'll admit that I was not alive in 1980 (in fact, my parents were barely teenagers at the time). That being said, however, I was raised in a household that was very much alive with the spirit of that memorable decade. The clothes, the culture, the music: it lingered well into my childhood and I loved it. Casey and this story were able to fully capture that feeling for me and I know others who lived during the period will love the blast from the past. 

This awesome novella was short, but it packed a big punch in terms of action and feels. With great fun, Casey L. Bond kicks off the 1980s in the best of ways, 1980: You Shook Me All Night Long is a must-read for anyone who longs for the age of leg warmers, big hair, and music enough to rock your socks off! 

It should come as no surprise that I am granting to fun read from Casey L. Bond a well-deserved 5-star review. Don't miss your chance to pick up this read today. I know this guy cannot wait for more from this series!


Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of 1980: You Shook Me All Night Long by Casey L. Bond. It was a fun, fast-paced read that I couldn't put down. I think this set of novella is going to be a great adventure. Admittedly, I have only read from a couple of these authors previously, but I am excited for the journey nonetheless. Be sure to grab your copy when it hits the shelves on 1/29/16! Until next time, Happy Reading!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hear the Crickets (The Gibborim Series #1) by BJ Sheldon Review

Hello readers! Hope you're all having an awesome end to your weekend, I know I am! Tonight I'm sharing another review with you guys of a recent release I devoured earlier this month from an author I absolutely love. I met this incredible woman at UtopYA last summer and her enthusiasm and optimism have inspired me since. She's such an inspiration to all of her colleagues and fans. I am so excited to have read my first read from her. On the chopping block tonight? Hear the Crickets by the incredible BJ Sheldon! Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:

Skyy’s a freak. She’ll tell you so herself. Her past – a mystery. Her future – uncertain. Having spent most of her life avoiding humans in an effort to conceal her wings, she wants nothing more than to end it all, leaving behind the solitary life she’s been forced to live. But numerous attempts to die have proven immortality is both a curse and a nuisance. She now lives out her days in self-imposed seclusion to stay hidden from the world. But that quiet way of life is shattered when mysterious siblings arrive and reveal a destiny which sends her running for the hills. When an earth shattering discovery is made in the Badlands, history and science collide furthering the mystery behind Skyy’s past – and her future. Skyy will need to embrace her fate and confront an evil so ancient, only a miracle can keep the world from ceasing to be.


BJ Sheldon

B.J. Sheldon's love of writing has developed into a passion for creating exciting characters and story lines that she hopes will enthrall and inspire young readers to pick up a book and use their imaginations.

B.J. lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her best friend and husband, Steven, an Army veteran. They have 3 daughters, 3 cats, and a dog – all of whom are trying to take over the world. She grew up in Iowa and spent many years in sunny Arizona before finally settling down in the hills that she loves. She has a B.S. degree in Project Management from the University of Phoenix and has a PhD in life. B.J. began reading at age 4, and by the 4th grade had already read most of the literary classics. Her hobbies include cuticle care, fighting off zombies, and traveling through space and time with a mad man in a blue box.

My Thoughts:

After meeting BJ Sheldon in person and experiencing her warm, inspiring personality, I could not wait to finally devour one of her novels. When I was contacted by her publisher seeking review for her upcoming release, Hear the Crickets, I jumped a the opportunity. After reading the synopsis I was confident this would definitely be right up my alley. As anyone who follows my posts regularly will know, I'm a huge fan of this trope and can never get enough. Could Sheldon hold her own against some of the greatest writers of our generation?

Yes. Beautifully.

In true One Guy's Guide to Good Reads fashion, I'll get my few negative critiques out of the way first.

I sat on this review for some time, because I really didn't know how best to put my thoughts on my two biggest criticism into words. So I'll just throw them out here on the table and then rave later. First off, there were a few lulls in the book. Nothing bad, just quite a bit of down time in between action scenes. Sheldon definitely feels the dead zones with lots of thoughts and reflection, but it was odd pacing for me as a reader to see so many high octane scenes followed by chapters of no action. Not bad, just unexpected for a novel of this particular genre.

Second, I really did not care for the main character. Skyy was not likable, nor relatable for me in almost any way. I personally found her to be pushy, rude, and extremely selfish, with very little regard for those who love and care for her. In one aspect I almost believe that Sheldon wrote Skyy in this fashion deliberately. As so the reader can see the redemption of the character. And in a way, I definitely saw the redemption, but it still wasn't enough for me to ultimately care about her eternal well-being. I loved the supporting cast (we'll discuss that later), but I have to say that it was difficult at times to read a story in which you don't care for the main character. This could just be an 'Ethan-thing' but it did hinder my reading experience slightly. 

Okay we're done with the negatives, let's rave!

So when it comes to the plot of Hear the Crickets, I was really intrigued. I have read quite a few angel/demon/watcher-esque novels as they are one of my favorite tropes, but this one definitely stood on its' own and stood out. Sheldon does an incredible job taking the legends and twisting them to fit her own version of the story. It's both memorable and intriguing. Research clearly went into this read and this blogger definitely appreciated the attention to detail that Sheldon put into this novel. Especially regarding the archaeology and geology aspect of the story, Sheldon did an incredible job with the science and the historical aspect of Hear the Crickets. As a detail-oriented reader, that was really noteworthy for me. (That being said, I would have LOVED to see more of the historical settings that Sheldon briefly mentioned in the novel. Maybe more of that in coming sequels?) The plot was full of twists and some gripping backstories for our characters that I didn't see coming. 

And the ending?! You best believe that this guy is ready for the sequel, I NEED to know what happens next.

I've already expressed my thoughts on Skyy, the main character in the novel, but haven't touched on the others. While I may not have cared for Skyy, I absolutely loved the rest of the cast. Each character was written to their full potentials, each had an emotional past and an important role to play in the plot. It was really interesting to see where some of the most... obscure... characters fit into the story. My favorite character, by far, was that of Skyy's human-best friend, Sean. Sean is nerdy, compassionate, and loyal to a fault. He loves and cares for Skyy unconditionally, even though she is a pretty rough friend to have at times. I think Sean is a character than many readers will be able to relate to. His role in the story for me was one of the most heart-wrenching and I really loved the was Sheldon utilized his character. Love Dorian and frienemy Lillith proved to be two more extremely well-rounded characters that I loved reading from. 

This novel really features some absolutely incredible themes as well. Sheldon had me catching the feels on more than one occasion. Covering powerful subjects such as depression, acceptance, love, destiny, life, death, and family, Sheldon proves that life is so much more than just an adventure from point A to B. I'm not kidding, I caught some major feels when reading this one. 

Sheldon has crafted an elegant tale full of spirit, reflection, and redemption; Hear the Crickets is not to be missed. A powerful beginning to a series with massive potential, add this one to your TBR today!

As you can see, I had a couple of big critiques for Hear the Crickets, but in the end, it was a read that I did thoroughly enjoy. I can't wait for more from Sheldon and this series. I am granting Hear the Crickets a well-deserved 4-star review. A highly recommended read for all readers YA and up. Don't miss out on this new series from Sheldon and Whiskey Creek Press!

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Hear the Crickets by BJ Sheldon. While not without some issues, it was still a novel that I was really excited to have read. I know I'll be anxiously anticipating its' upcoming sequel. Be on the look out for more on that as info becomes available. Thank so much to Whiskey Creek Press for supplying me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review and thanks to the reader for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Reading!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kindling Flames: Burning Nights (Ancient Fire #5) by Julie Wetzel Review

Hey readers! Ethan here again with another review for you guys. Tonight must have a theme, because I've got another paranormal romance to share with you all! This one is the latest installment (the fifth full-length novel) in one of my absolute all-time favorite series. What am I raving about tonight? Kindling Flames: Burning Nights by the absolutely incredible Julie Wetzel. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:

After a wedding filled with werewolves, fay, and vampires, Vicky is looking forwards to a nice, quiet honeymoon away from the chaos of Darien’s daily life. But nothing is ever simple with an Ancient Vampire around.

When the Vampire Council of Hawaii finds out Darien and his new bride are coming, they are determined to see that Darien is honored properly. But vampire etiquette isn’t for the faint of heart.

The nights could burn when lines are drawn… and Darien finds himself in a turf war he never intended to start.


Julie Wetzel

Originally from Ohio, Julie always dreamed of a job in science. Either shooting for the stars or delving into the mysteries of volcanoes. But, life never leads where you expect. In 2007, she moved to Mississippi to be with her significant other. 

Now a mother of a hyperactive red headed boy, what time she’s not chasing down dirty socks and unsticking toys from the ceiling is spent crafting worlds readers can get lost it. Julie is a self-proclaimed bibliophile and lover of big words. She likes hiking, frogs, interesting earrings, and a plethora of other fun things. 


My Thoughts:

It's been eight long months for fans of this series who have anxiously awaited the next installment of this absolutely incredible series. As any of my readers will well know, I love me a good paranormal series and when you throw in some vampires? Perfection. I absolutely cannot get enough. When I first encountered this series, I had no idea the profound impact it would have on this readers life. Not only is it a favorite of mine, it's become a pillar within the genre by which I compare others of its' kind. Now that an impactful series, right? 

Riding the tails of the epic conclusion of Stolen Fire, our main characters Darien and Vicky find themselves on the cusp of their greatest adventure yet: marriage. But after a ceremony that will forever be remembered by the entire supernatural community, Darien only wants some time away from Brenton and all the recent drama that's unfolded. Keen to take his bride somewhere relaxing and memorable, the duo head to Hawaii hoping for a quiet honeymoon on the beach. Much like everything else in their lives, quiet was the last thing they found. An ancient threat looms over the Hawaii vampires and once Darien and his past are thrown into the mix, it's up to quick thinking and embracing his inner demons to beat the clock and not only ensure the safety of Vicky, but to save the entire Hawaiian clan.

Unlike the previous four novels in this series, this one really takes a detour when it comes to setting. Wetzel makes a bold move and leaves all of her side characters in Brenton, leaving the reader little insights to drama that occurs while Darien and Vicky are away. The story focuses near-entirely on Darien and Vicky's trip to Hawaii. A move that, while risky, ultimately proved to only farther prove the true writing talents of Wetzel and the potential of this series. When an author can say goodbye to an entire cast of characters temporarily and still reel the readers in as well as I was, I have to say that is quite a feat. While I ultimately would have liked to see more of the cast from previous novels, I definitely appreciate the direction Wetzel chose with Burning Nights. It's been rumored that in the next novel we'll see exactly what drama was happening in Darien's absence back home. I certainly cannot wait for that!

When it comes to the plot, I really was impressed. It's a fairly quick read, fast-paced read that I finished in a single sitting. In true Wetzel fashion, I was left with some great feelings and greatly anticipating the next novel in this incredible series. 

Wetzel did a lot of things differently with this novel and strayed away from the conventional creatures and lore in a move that really paid off. She took real note of the Pacific-Islander history, culture, and lore to craft one of the most pleasing stories I've seen from her. The amount of research she did for this work was evident in each sandy beach, each sunset, and each cultural aspect she crafted. As a visual reader, I was highly satisfied. 

While I won't say that Burning Nights takes the crown a my favorite in the series thus far, it was still an amazing fifth installment to the series that left me absolutely begging for more from Wetzel. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with for novel six. Any fan of Wetzel and this series will not be disappointed in the outcome of this novel, it was well worth the wait! 

As you can clearly see, I fell in love with Wetzel's writing all over again with Kindling Flames: Burning Nights. It should come as no surprise that I am granting this novel a well-earned 5-star review. This is one of my absolutely highest rated series of all time. If you haven't started yet, you're missing out! Don't miss your chance to add this one to your TBR today. I highly recommend this series to all readers of paranormal, romance, and New Adult fiction. 


Click the covers below to read my 5-star reviews of
Gathering Tinder (Kindling Flames #1), 
Flying Sparks (Kindling Flames #2), 
Smoke Rising (Kindling Flames #3), and 
Stolen Fire (Kindling Flames #4).

Alright folks, that's all I have for you on the topic of Kindling Flames: Burning Nights by Julie Wetzel. I absolutely love this series and it just keeps getting better and better!. Head over and pick up your copy now. Also, head over to Julie's social media pages and give her a shout out, tell her Ethan sent ya! Be careful though, apparently, like her characters, she does bite. Watch out! Until next time, Happy Reading!


The Vampire's Fake Fiancée (Nocturne Falls #5) by Kristen Painter Review

Hey readers! Ethan here with a fun review for you guys on this cold, January evening. This time on the chopping block we've got the fifth installment in a series that quick become a favorite of mine. What am I raving about tonight? The Vampire's Fake Fiancee by the incredible Kristen Painter. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and out author:

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town where Halloween is celebrated 365 days a year. The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

Sebastian Ellingham isn’t known for being a happy vampire. And when his long estranged wife comes to town expecting to pick up where they left off, things take a sharp turn toward cranky. Sure he’s been protecting her for centuries, but her assumption that he’s still available (he is) rankles.

His answer is to hire a woman to play his fiancée. The lucky victim is Tessa Blythe, sister of one of the town’s deputies, librarian in need of a job and, oh yes, reluctant Valkyrie. Playing along with Sebastian is all about the end game for her, the position of Dean of Library Studies at the local private academy.

When unexpected sparks fly between them, they agree to mutually deny the attraction. Fate, however, has other plans…


Kristen Painter

Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsessions with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

My Thoughts:

Anyone who follows this blog knows that last year I was introduced to Kristen Painter and her Nocturne Falls series for the first time. I fell in love with every word and haven't looked back since. Wow. Just wow. I can't get enough. I've read and reread these novels so many times that I can't help but shout about them from the rooftops. I am so excited to be sharing my thoughts on this fifth installment of this series.

Way back when, back in novel one, Kristen introduced us to Hugh Ellingham and his... not so conventional family. Of his two brothers, Julian and Sebastian, Sebastian quickly stuck out like a sore thumb to me. Practical and hardened by a past that left him heartbroken and lost, Sebastian fills his days with all work and no play, often seen as the grouch of the family. All work and no play. Is there any question why I related to him so well? But when the beautiful Tessa Blythe makes her way into Sebastian's life by chance, can she be the soul to finally warm his heart?

I have to say that of all the novels in this series, this one featured some of the most deep and emotional scenes. Sebastian's story goes from bad to worse in so many ways in these pages before he gets his happy ending. I really really enjoyed that aspect of the story. Painter did an incredible job showing us an entirely new side of a character we had only seen in passing, allowing the reader to become even more immersed in the Ellingham family and all their secrets, As per Tessa? Woah.

One of my favorite parts about this series is Painter's ability to weave together so many paranormal creatures seamlessly. This time we're introduced to the Valkyrie, the ruthless and fierce warriors of ancient lore. Tessa isn't your traditional Valkyrie though. Having turned her back on her gifts after a dark period in her youth, Tessa, like Sebastian, has changed to a life of practicality and routine. Something most readers can relate to. Tessa was extremely likeable and definitely gave me something to cheer for. I would love to see more from her and other Valkyrie in future novels.

Not only were the characters in this one amazing, Painter really knocked it out of the park with the plot line. It's a deep one that will keep you intrigued from page one. If you're anything like me, you'll be finishing it in one sitting and applauding Painter the entire way through. I don't have enough words to praise Painter and her flawless writing style when crafting this series.  

I’m not sure how many installments Painter is planning in the Nocturne Falls series, but I can see these going on for years to come! Keep them coming Kristen, we’re loving each and every installment! 

One of the greatest things about this series for me is their ‘fun’ factor. These stories are quick, fast-paced, easy reads. Nothing too deep to bog you down with feels, and just enough excitement to remind you why you fell in love with reading in the first place. The romance is very PG-13 and nothing is explicit. Most of the romance occurs off-page so you can rest assured that this read won’t leave you uncomfortable in any fashion. I wish more writers would take a page out of Painter’s book and realize that a paranormal romance doesn’t have to be erotica to be amazing! 

As you can clearly see, I thoroughly enjoyed this fifth installment to the Nocturne Falls series from the first sentence all the way to the final chapter. I absolutely cannot wait for more. It should come as no surprise that I am granting The Vampire's Fake Fiancee a near-perfect 5-star review. I highly recommend this series to readers of romance, paranormal, supernatural, and fiction novels. Don’t miss your chance to catch up on this absolutely incredible series! Add this one to your TBR today!


Check out my reviews of the rest of the Nocturne Falls 
series by clicking the covers below.


Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of The Vampire's Fake Fiancee by Kristen Painter. With this fifth review, I am caught up with the series and now anxiously awaiting the next installment! You guys can be checking right here for more news on this incredible series! Thanks so much for stopping by and a huge thanks to Kristen and her team for supplying me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. Until next time, Happy Reading!


Debt by Rachel Dunning $0.99 Pre-Order Sale

99c Pre-Order Sale

Over 400 Pages
Standalone Novel
New-Adult Romance / Sports Romance

By Rachel Dunning

Expected Release Date:
March 2016

What’s it about?

The Debt Collector
I pay my debts, and I expect others to.
I was raised in the slums of London, I knew nothing of privilege. My father was murdered when I was seventeen. Morty figured my father's passing meant I would automatically take on dad's debts. I

And I paid for that refusal.

So did my sister.
So now I fight. All I know how to do is fight. The best cash is in the states, so that's where I am now.
A big fish called Vito came along offering me a "favor" when I arrived.
Another debt.

I paid for that one too.

I knew Kyla Hensley would be trouble when I met her. But I wanted her. I could see through the falsehood of her wannabe-slutty clothes and her sexy legs. So I chased her.

Besides, trouble is my middle name.

Kyla Hensley

I was brought up in privilege, but I lacked everything else. My father is a business tycoon who buys
and sells and doesn't care who gets rolled over in the process.

I never knew my mother, and all I have of her is a photo with a note scrawled on the back in French
saying "I'm sorry." The only Female Figure I had growing up is my dad's wife who is a bleach blond
with seven boob jobs. We never bonded.

I drink. I party. I meet guys.

But I wasn't always like that.

I've had a string of lovers in the last few years, the worst and most recent of which was Vince

Somerset. My best friend Vera was dating a guy called Rory Cansoom who is the opposite of Vince in so many ways, and yet so the same.

She and I hit the road for the summer, getting away from the two college psychos and just trying to
have some fun.

But there's a funny thing about trouble, the more you run from it, the more it finds you.

Which is when I met the Debt Collector.
It was only supposed to be sex. He made that clear. I made that clear.
That's all it was supposed to be.
I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to fall so deeply, madly, uncomfortably in love with
a man who is wrong, so wrong for me.

And unbelievably right.

Content Warning

Not intended for readers under the age of seventeen.

New-Adult Romance

Sports Romance


Amazon US:
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Nook / B&N:

About Rachel

Rachel Dunning hit the scene in August 2013 and is the author of the highly praised Naive Mistakes
Series, Truthful Lies Trilogy, Johnny Series and the paranormal romance series, Mind Games.
A prolific writer, she sticks to stories where Alpha Males aren’t pricks and where women have guts.
She’s lived on two different continents, speaks three different languages, and met the love of her life
on the internet. In other words, romance is in her blood.

Blog / Website:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Kindling Flames: Burning Nights (Ancient Fire Series #5) by Julie Wetzel Blog Tour (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Crimson Tree Publishing is proud to present Burning Nights, the fifth book in The Ancient Fire Series by Julie Wetzel.

After a wedding filled with werewolves, fay, and vampires, Vicky is looking forward to a nice, quiet honeymoon away from the chaos of Darien’s daily life. But nothing is ever simple with an Ancient Vampire around.

When the Vampire Council of Hawaii finds out Darien and his new bride are coming, they are determined to see that Darien is honored properly. But vampire etiquette isn’t for the faint of heart.

The nights could burn when lines are drawn… and Darien finds himself in a turf war he never intended to start.


The curtain opened, letting in the cacophony from the other room. “Are you guys done in here?” Josh asked as he let the heavy curtain fall back into place, muffling the sound. “Because, we’re ready for you out there.” He paused and looked over the touching scene. His eyes ran over the groomsmen standing uncomfortably to one side, to Zak squat on the floor eating the mangled roses, and stopped on Vicky and Darien wrapped together. “I guess not.” Moving past the men, he came over and stopped in front of Zak. “You may want to get a move on it. We’ve already switched the room over, but we’ve got a couple of wolves arguing over seating, of all things.” Bending over, Josh grabbed Zak’s elbow and made him stand up as he spoke. “Jakob is between them right now, but you might want to finish up here and get out there before they start eating each other.”

Rupert shot Phalen a concerned look, and the lesser wolf turned to see to the developing situation.
Grabbing the flowers from Zak, Josh tried to take them away from the hellhound. “Don’t eat those. They’ll make you sick.”

Zak growled and bopped him with the mangled roses.

Josh wrestled them away from the fay. “I’ll get you some real food,” he promised as he dropped the crushed flowers back to the floor. “And you will use a fork,” he informed the hellhound, “at least while you’re in my tux. “

Zak gurgled at him but fell in behind the vampire.

As for the rest of you.” Josh looked around. “I suggest you get your backsides in gear before you have a riot on your hands. The fay are ready to party.” With that, Josh took Zak by the hand and led him from the staging area.

Well,” Rupert said as he looked around the room, “it looks like we should get back out there.”
Darien laughed and sat up from where he was leaning on Vicky. “I guess you’re right. So where’s this paperwork?” He looked around for the marriage license. As a vampire, he had wanted to skip the rigmarole of faking the blood test and filing paperwork, but Vanessa had insisted, and as a businessman, he understood the need for properly managed contracts. The sooner they got the legal side of the marriage taken care of, the sooner they could get out there and keep their party guests from running amok. With the fay in attendance, he had a sneaking suspicion that the rest of the night was going to be insane.

 Buy Links:
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Win A CTP Mystery Box!!!

Please note, mystery boxes are shipped to US addresses only. International winners will be offered their choice of 3 CTP eBooks in lieu of the mystery box. 

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The Ancient Fire Series Books:

Gathering Tinder (The Ancient Fire Series Book 1)

Fresh from college and with no real work experience, Victoria Westernly considers herself lucky to land the coveted position of personal assistant to Darien Ritter, the CEO and owner of a multibillion-dollar company. His busy schedule and eccentric ways are enough to keep her on her toes. But, all is not what it seems when she discovers the handsome man employing her just happens to be the most powerful vampire in the area. 

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Flying Sparks (The Ancient Fire Series Book 2)

When Vicky becomes the target of a serial arsonist plaguing the city, Darien calls on the supernatural community to help. Pulling the creatures of the night together to cooperate on any project is troublesome at the best of times. The fact that the one responsible for the city’s woes is a being of fire and magic leads the reluctant groups to a truce that makes Vicky start to think that her job might be a bit more than one normal human can handle.

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Smoke Rising (The Ancient Fire Series Book 3)

Is there such a thing as a normal life when you live with an ancient vampire and a temperamental hellhound?

Victoria Westernly was just starting to think so. With Samhain just around the corner and the promise of a Halloween Ball, her life was looking good. Even the addition of a new master vampire couldn’t bring her down.

When Victoria and Darien become the victims of a series of unfortunate accidents, they know something’s up. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But, the question is… who is burning what?

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Stolen Fire (The Ancient Fire Series Book 4)

Night. A time of quiet, of peace, of rest, and now, a time of terror.
With an uncontrolled vampire plaguing the city, the Vampire Council of Brenton once again calls on Darien Ritter for help.
Overwhelmed with the issues of a new menagerie and plans for his wedding, Darien still manages to step up and answer the call. The only problem is, he suddenly finds himself a little too… human.

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Granting Wishes (The Ancient Fire Series Book 5)

Leprechauns don't exist. Or that's what Cathren has always believed, but a chance encounter changes everything. When she saves a handsome stranger from a nasty electrical shock, not only does he claim to be one, but he also insists on granting her wishes. Now she must decide— is he insane, or a magical creature of lore? Unsure which is true, she grabs at the first three wishes she can think of: true love, happiness, and waffles. A tall order for most men, but not for Patrick Brogan. With a little persistence and just a touch of magic, anything is possible.

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About The Author:

Originally from Ohio, Julie always dreamed of a job in science. Either shooting for the stars or delving into the mysteries of volcanoes. But, life never leads where you expect. In 2007, she moved to Mississippi to be with her significant other.

Now a mother of a hyperactive red headed boy, what time she’s not chasing down dirty socks and unsticking toys from the ceiling is spent crafting worlds readers can get lost it. Julie is a self-proclaimed bibliophile and lover of big words. She likes hiking, frogs, interesting earrings, and a plethora of other fun things. 

Connect with Julie

Julie's Website

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