Posts Tagged ‘Publisher- The Writers Coffee Shop’

Netgalley November: Week Three Round Up

netgalleynovember3Personal Target: To read and review eight netgalley titles and improve my approved/feedback rating

Number of books read this week: 2

Running total of books read: 7

Netgalley Approved-Feedback: 58.5 %

Currently Reading: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Feedback: Despite illness (my children’s and my own), last minute vlog filming (once my voice returned) and distraction in the form of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars and Lisa Desrochers’ A Little Too Much, I am actually on track to fulfil my target of eight books! I have even managed to avoid the lure of Netgalley and have not requested any new titles *raises hand in anticipation of high fives*.

Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

He stole her lipstick…and her heart. Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands. Still, she lets go of her insecurities and falls for Liam, despite feeling like he’s holding something back. When Dani finally discovers Liam’s secret, she must learn the true meaning of accepting the ones we love for who they are, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

I don’t think that I am spoiling the book in anyway by talking about Liam’s big secret. One look at the title and the first line of the synopsis and most people are going to realise what forms the tension at the heart of the book. Then they are going to make a decision about wether or not the book is for them. If you find yourself uncomfortable with the subject matter, I really hope that you look beyond your initial nervousness and give Crossing a try.

At its heart Crossing is a well written and moving contemporary romance between a snarky, self deprecating, intelligent, and creative girl and the gorgeous boy who can keep up with her. A boy who just happens to enjoy wearing women’s clothing.

When I walk down the street with my short hair and my “uniform” of jeans and converse, I doubt very much that anyone is speculating on my gender identity, my sexuality or my femininity, In fact I doubt I warrant an initial thought, let alone a second one. A man walking down the street in feminine attire ?… A second glance is probably the best treatment he can expect.The other end of the wedge; discrimination? Ridicule? Suspicion? Fear? Violence?

I have witnessed conversations among intelligent and otherwise open minded individuals, who just cannot understand why someone would choose to dress outside of their perceived gender. Or at least why a man would choose to dress like a woman.I suspect that this has as much to do with the value society places on the feminine as it is to do with nervousness of the unknown.

In Crossing, the author took great pains to divorce Liam’s cross dressing from his sexuality and gender. Liam does not have a transgender identity, he isn’t described as “trying to pass as female” in fact he is in every other incidence portrayed as being very masculine. It is not about sex, or sexual fetishism . Both Liam and Dani are hetrosexual and while the physical side of Dani and Liam’s relationship appears to be stimulated by Liam’s cross dressing, my feeling is that for Liam it was less about the clothes he was wearing and more about Dani accepting him in his entirety. By Liam’s own admission, cross dressing for him is about syle and preference and a desire to wear and enjoy pretty things.

On the one hand you could see these choices as the author simplifying the issue or making it more palatable to a wider audience, either of which I find acceptable. The story is ultimately about love and acceptance and not an exploration of the complicated subject of cross dressing. On my part, I choose to believe that the author was creating a character which conflicts with as many preconceived notions as possible. I applaud Stacey Wallace Benefiel for writing Liam and Dani’s story and bring the subject of cross dressing in to mainstream YA literature.

Verdict: I think that it is safe to say that Crossing is a Marmite read. For my part I love Marmite and I loved this unique contemporary romance.

Publisher:Write Free
Publication Date:May 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 154
Genre: Contemporary romance, Cross dressing
Age: New Adult/Mature YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November

Legacy Of A Dreamer by Allie Jean
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Chantal Breelan’s past is a mystery, and her future is even more uncertain. She can’t recall why she had been taken from her parents, leaving an empty hole where her childhood should have been. When she
awakens from her nightmares, she’s left with terrible, violent images and believes something may have happened to her that her mind tries to forget. One night at a subway station, Chantal meets a young boy who flees to a dark subway tunnel, and she’s compelled to follow him. But this Rabbit Hole reveals a world
where reality is everything her nightmares have been forewarning.
Mathias is a descendant of an ancient being and beholden to wage an unfathomable war against an primordial evil, spawned by greed and spite. A powerful fighter, he and his brethren of Warriors vow guard the most precious, piercing light against the darkness –the females of their kind. The Warriors’ pledge is to find and protect their sisters and kin. Long have they fought, shedding sweat and blood, hoping that their struggles are not in vain. Yet in his sacrifice and service he may find life’s ultimate reward – a love to surpass all time.

Legacy Of A Dreamer is a difficult book for me to review. I feel as if I have just read two books, or at least the same book by two different authors.

On the one hand I loved the premise of this book. The plot was interesting and engaging and at times the narrative was vivid, atmospheric and deliciously creepy.

On the other hand, the execution of the plot just didn’t work for me. The dialogue felt forced and clunky and as much as I wanted to root for the relationship between the protagonist, Chantal, and her warrior protector, I just didn’t feel it.

Verdict: I’m in two minds about continuing this series. I really want to know what happens next, but I don’t think that the authors writing style is for me.

Publisher: The Writers Coffee Shop
Publication Date: June 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 179
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November

Reviewed by Caroline

To learn more about the reading challenge and to sign up visit here

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The Redemption Series Blog Tour

Big Book Little Book is delighted to welcome author Lindsey Grey and host the latest stop on her Redemption series blog tour.
redemptionLife is for living. Afterlife is a chance at redemption. As the only remaining female vampire in existence, Lily attempts to make her way towards her ever after. But with best friend Becca, new beau Ian, human husband Ryan, Archangel Peter, and a host of demons all standing in the way of Lily’s chance at a peaceful eternity, how can she possibly survive?

What do you do when you are not writing?
I spend time with my husband and two kids or I’m reading. I read a lot. Last year was the first year I really kept track of how much I read. Thanks GoodReads! So while writing, editing, publishing, and marketing my own book, I read a total of 59 other books. So you could say I’m almost as passionate about reading as I am writing.

What inspired you to become a writer?
In the sixth grade my teacher gave us an assignment to write a daily journal. My life was not all that exciting at age eleven, so I asked my teacher if I could write stories. He agreed and I fell in love with it. I wrote my first manuscript at age twelve, typed in all caps because I hated to type at the time. It was over a hundred typed pages long and had a pretty good story and plot. I still read that story over every once in awhile to see how far I’ve come.

What was your inspiration for The Redemption Series?
The Redemption Series came from me wanting to write about vampires. I have been borderline obsessed with paranormal, supernatural, sci-fi type stories, movies, and TV shows for as long as I can remember. I wanted to write something different, so instead of the world being over run with the vamps, the world of Redemption has just a few. Lily is the only female vampire and she was the first character I created. Lily was inspired by a song by Robbie Williams,


Come on hold my hand
I wanna contact the living
Not sure I understand
This role I’ve been given

I sit and talk to God
And he just laughs at my plans
My head speaks a language
I don’t understand

I just wanna feel real love
Feel the home that I live in
‘Cause I got too much life
Running through my veins, going to waste

It totally sums up Lily right in those few words. She wants love and life, but feels it all slipping away at the beginning of the series.

Tell us about your books?
Redemption: Lily is one of only three vampires in known existence. After falling in love with a human, sexy and talented musician Ian, she realizes their love is putting him in mortal danger. She flees from her life in Boston to the solace of her frozen wasteland. 

As her past continues to haunt her, Ian seeks out the only family Lily has ever known. Becca introduces Ian to a world he never thought possible as they embark on a search for Lily, starting in the bowels of a mysterious company called The Manchester Group. 

Will Ian and Becca find her? Or will the reemergence of a long lost love take a hold of their future?

Revisited: As the Redemption series continues, in Revisited everyone’s path leads into one.
Lily Edwards, the last remaining female vampire, is facing a daunting task. She has to find Liam Caldwell, the vampire she was forced to create, and change him back to his human state.

But Lily’s task will not be an easy one as fellow remaining vampires, Filipp and Debir, have been secretly plotting her demise for decades and were the ones responsible for Liam being turned.

While Liam is grateful for Filipp and Debir’s guidance during his transformation into the vampire he felt destined to be, he’s having second thoughts as he learns their whole plan is not what it seems. A handpicked army of humans waits for Liam to change them into vampires at Filipp’s instruction. Adding to the mix is Valentina Pavel, the last member of a Romanian witch coven, who brings forth new challenges of her own. Together, they all have Liam doing the unthinkable, pleading for a way out.

Lily’s adopted daughter, Becca, is also preoccupied with a few dilemmas of her own. Discovering that the angel, Sam Fleming, is her biological father presents her with a choice to accept the powers of her birthright, or continue her human existence. She must find the answer while continuing to fight the feelings she has for fellow angel, Abe North, and her missing new love, Ian Holt.
Ian’s world has been turned upside down now that the body-stealing demon, Gideon, is controlling him. Ian struggles as Gideon’s decisions cause them both mental and physical pain. The only thing they agree on is their insatiable need to be with Becca at all costs.

Friends-now-turned-enemies struggle for their eternity, while enemies-turned-friends fight side by side. Will Lily’s past give her the answers she needs to reach the future?

What research did you do for these books?
I did a lot of language research. For “Redemption”, I was up to my elbows in ancient Sumerian. For “Revisited”, it was Romanian. The series takes place all over the world so I did a lot of research into where everything takes place like Boston, Iceland, London, Bucharest and Rome.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the third and final instalment of the series, “Resolution”. I’m also starting another series of fairy tales with a twist called “Grimm Twin Tales”. Along with those, I have a paranormal political thriller entitled “Deliver Me” and two other strictly romance projects.

What is your writing process?
I write when I can, usually very late at night or on the weekends. When the ideas strike and I can’t sit down and write, I grab a scrap of paper and write it down, or jot down a note into my phone. I used to write everything out by hand, but then I found myself getting so bored when typing it up. Now I write exclusively on my MacBook Pro. I haven’t tried writing on my iPad yet, but that maybe something I try soon.

Do you use anything to sustain you during the writing process? Coffee? Chocolate? Music?
I write much better when I have my ear buds in and listen to my favourite playlist. Chocolate does help at times, but coffee is a big no. (My stomach can’t take it, unfortunately.)

Why did you choose to write adult fiction?
At this point, I have too much of a dirty mind and mouth to curb it for younger readers. For my next series, I am attempting to keep it in check as I delve into the YA universe.

How did you choose the genre you write in? What inspired you to write it?
I grew up watching “Doctor Who” and “Quantum Leap”. Those shows got my creative juices flowing, and then when “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed” came along I got the paranormal itch. At some point in time I would like to do a time travel series or even a stand-alone novel, but the paranormal itch is pretty bad right now and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

What books have inspired you?
The Harry Potter series, The Twilight series, and even Dr. Seuss.

What was your favourite book as a child/teenager?
My favourite book may be an odd choice, but it was “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is the reason one of my characters in “Revisited” is named Nathaniel. I was just really drawn to the strength of Hester Prynne and how she struggled to make a life for her child. Strange, but it just got to me back then and I read it over and over.

What are you currently reading?
It depends on the day because sometimes I can read a book in a day. I just finished “Fallen Too Far” by Abbi Glines, which I loved. I’m now on to “What’s Life Without the Sprinkles?” by Misty Simon.

What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
I think I recommended the Fifty Shades series to most of my friends before it became the huge success it is. My publisher originally published it and I had the pleasure of getting to know Ms. James. It helped me understand the story a bit more and I was able to explain to my friends it wasn’t all whips, chains, and bondage. It’s an amazing adult tale with elements that I’m sure have helped rejuvenate many relationships.

What/Who inspired you as a reader?
I’ve been inspired by several of my fellow TWCS authors such as Sherri Hayes, Michael Schneider, and N.K. Smith. I’m also a fan of JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer as well as too many others to list.

Just for Fun!

Paper, Audio or eBook?
I love paper, but since I got my Kindle I’ve been reading more eBooks than paper ones.

If The Redemption Series was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)
For the part of Lily I have visualized Jewel Staite. You might not recognize her name, but you know her face. She stared in Joss Wedon’s “Firefly” and “Stargate: Atlantis”.
As for Lily’s adopted daughter, Becca, I see Sarah Lancaster who played Chuck’s sister on “Chuck”.
Another character that I’ve visualised since the moment I thought of him was Michael McMillian as Peter. Some of you “True Blood” fans would know him as Reverend Steve Newlin. Not that he would remember me, but he and I were actually in a musical together back in our high school days. He was such a talent even back then and I believe he would be perfect as Peter.

Tea or Coffee?

Slippers or barefoot?

Shower or Bath?

Email or postcard?

Redemption blog tour large button

To find out more about Lindsey and her work simple click below to visit her blog, Facebook page, Twitter, The Writers Coffee Shop author page, Amazon authors page or You Tube.

The Redemption Seriesis avaliable to buy now from: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lulu, iTunes and The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House.

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