Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blog Tour: The Achilles Heel

Welcome to my stop on the Achilles Heel tour. Check out an interview with the author, an excerpt, and my review!

tell me about yourself, and your writing.

-The first part of my life was spent in the South, and the last fifteen years have played out in the Midwest, but I’m still holding on to a shred of my Southern roots. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, and sister who has made it my mission in life to carve out a career for myself, while keeping the husband and the children happy.
I’m an emerging Romantic-Suspense author. My debut novel, The Achilles Heel was released in May 2014. I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, and the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild. I reside in Missouri with my husband, son, daughter, and chocolate lab- Augusta Mae.
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genrea?
-I’ve written poems and short stories since I can remember. My debut romantic suspense novel, The Achilles Heel is my first attempt at writing a book.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
 -The romantic suspense series entitled, Achilles has two books so far and I’m in the middle of writing the second book. I have the material to do a third, but haven’t decided if I’m going forward yet. I’ve always loved mystery novels, and I absolutely love the idea of adding some to my collection.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
-With my first book, The Achilles Heel, I had a beginning and an ending with no structure in-between. I just wrote. Before I started my second book, The Achilles Heart, I sat down and wrote an outline. I wanted to try both ways to see which one was more efficient. The outline is definitely part of my process now.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
-Right now, I have a seven year old and a four year old on summer break, so unfortunately, there is no typical day. I cram in writing wherever and whenever I can. I firmly believe that everything is a learning experience. Training myself to write in all different scenarios will only help me to become a better author and that’s the main goal anyway.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
-I don’t really get sucked into the hype of an author. I focus on each story and how tightly the synopsis grabs me. I’m a total scroller on Amazon, and thank God for Goodreads, because the website helps me to remember my ever growing list of “to read” books. The books I truly love are all over the place: Little Women, White Fang, Auntie Mame, A Walk in the Woods, To Kill a Mockingbird, Into Thin Air, Dark Places, Lord of the Flies and a recent read, The Weight of Blood.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
-My main focus right now is getting my second book finished and out for publication, but I’m also very excited to attend the Killer Nashville and RWA conferences next summer.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
-I would never need sleep. My God, do you realize how much I could get done? I’m salivating just thinking about the possibilities.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
-I had to research this question. It seems as though all of these creatures need some form of care. With a husband, two kids, a big dog and a new career, I don’t have the energy or time for a new creature in my life.

Tell us a little about your latest release.
-The Achilles Heel is a fast-paced, romantic suspense novel. After the sudden death of her husband, Annie Whitman finds a lockbox in her basement, and opening this box also opens her eyes to the possibility that Jack Whitman wasn’t the honest and doting man she married. The story is told from two different POV’s and sometimes those POV’s overlap. It’s a fun story that takes place in Kansas City, MO and St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. The twists and turns keep coming until the very last page.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
-Sadly, my laptop. I feel so shallow and broken admitting this, but my novels are written on there and it’s also my outside link to the world.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
-I’ll never say never, so yes, I would consider co-authoring. I would love to write a true crime novel about the sickest serial killer. Disturbed people fascinate me. Not so much what they do, but why they do it.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
-Benjamin Franklin, no contest. He was a pioneer of so many things, and even back when life was much more serious, he had a progressively sharp wit. I would love to spend the day visiting his workshops, reading his journal, listening to his views on public behavior and close down the local pub with some drinks. I don’t know if I would ask him anything. I’d spend the day listening.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I’m obsessed with home renovation. I can’t walk into anyone’s house without mentally changing the furniture, paint colors or tearing down walls. I love the thought of taking a malfunctioning space, giving it love, and sending it out into the world with a fresh face. It’s a sickness. I’m sick.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
Probably the last novel I read, The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh. The setting is in my stomping grounds of the Ozark Mountains. It has blue-collar, back-woods characters that are much smarter than you think. The story is told in two different POV’s and there is even a twist to that. I really loved the novel and thought about it for days after I finished.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I don’t know if intelligence is a talent, but I could use more of it.

Favorite color?
It frequently changes, but right now, I love all kinds of blues.

Weather: Hot or cold?
-I get fidgety if either season is too prolonged. I love to snow ski, and nothing is comparable to mountain air, but I could spend days upon days writing at the beach. That’s a terrible answer, but I like the shining qualities of both.

Favorite place to read?
In bed.

Favorite meal
Hands down Mexican. I could eat it everyday for a year and still never tire.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
-Sweet Tea. Three fourths a cup of sugar has to be dumped in when the tea is still hot, otherwise it’s just brown water.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
-I would spend a month (I would start to miss my kids any longer than that) traveling across Europe. Skiing in the Alps, swimming in the Mediterranean Ocean, shopping in Milan, touring every piece of architecture I could, while eating my way through the continent.


Annie Whitman’s ordinary Midwest life is shattered with the sudden death of her husband Jack. Thirty-five and failing at life as a widow, she turns to the comforts of vodka in an attempt to camouflage the cold sheets of an empty bed. The necessary inebriation helps her to cope with Jack’s death, but proves to be a deterrent in recovering any sense of normalcy. After spending several months at the bottom of a bottle, Annie stumbles upon a lockbox in the crawl space of her basement. Opening this box also opens her eyes to the likelihood that Jack Whitman might not have been the honest and doting man she married.
Annie embarks on a mission to the Virgin Islands to uncover the truth about her husband’s past and seek safety from her brother-in-law, who seems to be the captain of his own sinking ship. While settling into paradise, she meets the wickedly handsome, but surprisingly reserved Kessler Carlisle, who is struggling with his retirement from country music superstardom. With Kessler’s help, Annie discovers the heart’s uncanny ability to heal, and the possibility that dead men don’t always keep their secrets-even if they’re buried in the Caribbean waters of St. Croix.
The Achilles Heel delves into the formidable fact that everyone harbors darkness, and some will go to the depths of the ocean to keep their secrets hidden.



       We stood underneath the stage feeling the ground shake- the floors pulsing and vibrating in a rhythmic, stomping pattern. The noise was deafening, like a freight train rolling at full steam right over our heads. This was the final concert of a six month long, twenty-two city tour. The band huddled together backstage for what, unbeknownst to them, was going to be my final show- ever. Drew, my drummer, gave the pep talk tonight about living in the moment and doing our best, like our lives depended on it.
“Those people out there worked all week and spent their hard earned money to come see us play here tonight, so don’t any of you fuck it up for ‘em!” he yelled over the crowd screaming in the stadium. “It’s the last show of the tour, so let’s blow their fuckin’ minds! All right? Now, everybody get your hands in and let me hear it on three.”
Six hairy, snarled, middle-aged, yet talented hands stacked one upon the other as we all screamed “boo-yah,” while throwing them up in the air.
I had to laugh. Drew was never much of a poet, but he could give one hell of a pep talk.  Our usual routine for this tour was to have the band already set up and out on the stage before I made my grand entrance, but for the finale we’re making a change. Tonight we’re all taking the stage together; one family, one band of brothers, one last time. We crowded onto the pitch-black elevator, collectively took in a deep breath, and then I flipped the switch. As soon as the crowd saw us rising up from the floor, it was on, for all of us.
We always start out with a few favorites to get the crowd pumped up. They responded exactly how we had hoped; everyone went ape shit. Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City is one of the best places to do a show; Midwestern folk who love country music and know how to throw one hell of a party. Fans started arriving in the stadium parking lot at nine o’clock in the morning, and the opener wasn’t set to go on until six in the evening. People who love to spend an entire summer day baking on the black asphalt in the scorching sun, fishing out beer cans from the truck bed cooler, and smoking BBQ, just waiting to hear some live music, are my kind of people. I’m glad this is the spot for the final show- my final show.
During the first set as I looked out into the audience, I could see about ten rows in front of me from anywhere on the stage. I used to always look for the most beautiful girls, and inevitably, I would spot a couple in every city. I’d send my roadie out to the seats to ask them if they wanted to come backstage to meet me and the boys, have some drinks, and party for a while. This was an extremely useful tactic in no-strings attached one-nighters, and there were many, many one-nighters. When I was younger I was so proud of myself, thought I was the shit, a real big deal that all these girls wanted to sleep with me. A few years ago, I finally realized our night together was just a story to tell their friends or an article to sell to the tabloids. I don’t regret the girls or mistakes I’ve made because they’re part of my journey that’s led me to this point, but I’m ready to move on now.
Tonight there’s a group of six women having a ball together. I’d say they were mid-twenties, sitting in the third row, all of them singing along and cheers’sing each other after every song. I sent Randy out to schmoose on them during the set break and ask them if they’d like to come backstage after the show. That invite certainly revved up their engines, because I got all kinds of “fuck me” eyes during the second set.
A sixty foot screen flanks each side of the stage allowing a front row view from any seat in the stadium. This only amplifies my seduction of the crowd when Lacy, my camera girl, fills it full with images of just my ass- sixty feet (one-hundred and twenty if you count both screens) of my ass over and over again. I get it though, whatever sells tickets. My schedule over the last five years had become less about the music and more about the money my image brings in. Singer/songwriters, authors, actors, and anyone in “the business” have been bitching about this for decades. I went to Nashville to be a songwriter, and fifteen years later I’ve become sixty feet of ass in tight white jeans.
I always told myself, that when this dream of mine became too mechanical and I couldn’t give every part of myself to the fans, I’d hang it up. It’s been a great ride and only a handful of people have been with me from the very beginning. Those are the people who deserve all of me; they’ve earned it, but I can’t give one hundred and twenty percent anymore. Don’t I deserve a normal life again? I’ve earned that, too.
As the last song of the encore performance wrapped up, the spotlights put on a magnitude of a show and the fireworks shot up into the sky like rockets in flight. The crowd howled with gratitude for a job well done. Anyone who has ever had major success in business, particularly in finance, says, “Buy low and sell high,” and that’s exactly what I’m doing here tonight. I worked my ass off playing dive bars and LSU frat parties for years, eating at Taco Bell and Popeye’s Chicken whenever I could afford it, and excited I had made the money to do so. Now, I’m playing in a sold out arena with fans screaming my name, singing my songs, and girls still wanting to come back stage to meet me.
Yeah, I’d definitely say I’m high.


I have to admit, The Achilles Heel blew me away. It sucked me in and made me forget about real life for awhile. Twists, turns, the works. This book really had it all. Every time I thought I had it figured out, nope, I was thrown another curve ball.

The writing is fast paced, the characters really complex and well thought out. There's great suspense, and a lot of realistic aspects about it too. Now, I just have to wait for more! Karyn Rae is on my author watch list. I'm curious to see what comes next!

Author Bio:

Karyn Rae is an emerging Romantic-Suspense author. Her debut novel, The Achilles Heel was released in May 2014. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild. Karyn resides in Missouri with her husband, son, daughter, and chocolate lab- Augusta Mae.
The first part of Karyn's life was spent in the South, and the last fifteen years have played out in the Midwest, but she's still holding on to a shred of her Southern roots. She is a wife, mother, daughter, and sister who has made it her mission in life to carve out a career for herself, while keeping the husband and the children happy.

Buy the Book!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Sun, Sand and Submission

Book Title: Libertine Island 2, Sun, Sand and Submission by Diane Leyne  
Publisher: BookStrand
Reviewer:  Crystal

Review Rating: 4.5 LIGHTNING BOLTS


Eighteen months ago, on a romantic weekend away, Aly Martinson broke up with her boyfriend Max Barton when he admitted he was a Dom. She regretted her hasty reaction almost immediately, but a one year job assignment overseas meant she never had the opportunity to apologise and ask if they could try again.

Now her friend Rebecca is working at a BDSM resort, and Aly's worried she's being taken advantage of. So Aly turns to the only person she knows in the lifestyle for help: Max. He agrees to pose as Aly's Dom so they can visit the very exclusive island resort and check on Rebecca.

What Max doesn't know is that Aly's hoping that this trip can also be a chance for them to try again as a couple. What Aly doesn't know is that Max is thinking the same thing.


I am trying to figure out which series I like the most. Either the Club Libertine or the Libertine Island. I can't decide. They both have great characters and hot scenes. Sometimes there are just one Dom and other times there are more.

 I knew after I read the first book of this series that I would have to read the next one. This book is about Aly and Max. Aly loves Max and Max loves Aly. Max loves BDSM and Aly doesn't understand it. I know that Max went the wrong way of telling Aly what he wants and likes. He just demanded and that made Aly run away. So you can say that both of these charactes are stubborn and they don't want to tell the other how they feel just in case the other doesn't feel the same way.

 I like how even though the books are centered around the same place that the charactes have different stories. Nothing is ever the same and there are always different things for them to get through. I have really enjoyed reading books by this author. Yes they are erotic and spicy but that is what I like to read. I will warn you that this is a BDSM book which has whipping, toys, and anal.


Review: Freeze Tag

Book Title: Freeze Tag by Danica Avet  
Publisher: Self Published
Reviewer: Crystal

Review Rating: 5 LIGHTNING BOLTS


Not everyone finds the love of their life in a game of freeze tag at five years old, but Dahlia Flanagan did when Foster Blanchard caught her. Twenty years later he’s finally realized she’s the woman for him and everything is wonderful, until gossip of Foster's infidelity rolls around the tiny town of Grand Terre, shattering Dahlia’s hopes for the future.

With her world crashing around her, Dahlia breaks up with Foster in the middle of Walmart and makes plans to leave her hometown. She’s heading for a new life, with a new attitude, which includes buying some sexy clothes to prove to herself no skinny skank has anything on her! But the therapeutic shopping trip takes an erotic turn when Foster shows up in the fitting room to convince her that when he tagged her all those years ago, he meant to keep her forever.


This might be a really short book but it was well worth the read. When you read this book you will never think of a dressing room the same any more. You will think about what happened in this book and want to experience it for yourself.

 It is sweet to think about two kids playing freeze tag and getting together twenty years later. But when you live in a small town you have to be careful what you do or say because everyone will know in seconds. So when Dahlia hears that Foster cheated on her she lets him have it in the middle of Wal-Mart, and not the way he wants it either.

 So in this story the guy makes sure that he doesn't lose the girl it took so long to get. I can't wait to read more books by this author. My life will never be boring again.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Sinful Rewards

Enter to Win 
$25.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card
Digital Copy of SINFUL REWARDS Book 1&2
by Cynthia Sax

Four years ago, Bee Carter left her tiny hometown, escaping her tormenters. She concealed her tarnished reputation under a good girl persona, hiding her history from Nicolas, her strong and silent billionaire, Hawke, her tattooed bad boy biker, and Cyndi, her man crazy best friend.

Today, she’s returning home… and she’s not alone. Some of her deepest darkest secrets will be revealed. Trust will be tested. Clothing and inhibitions will be discarded. Bee and her hometown will never be the same.

When her past and her present collides, will any of Bee’s relationships survive?

Pre-Order Today!

Cynthia Sax lives in a world filled with magic and romance. Although her heroes may not always say, “I love you”, they will do anything for the women they adore. They live passionately. They play hard. They love the same women forever.

Cynthia has loved the same wonderful man forever. Her supportive hubby offers himself up to the joys and pains of research, while they travel the world together, meeting fascinating people and finding inspiration in exotic places such as Istanbul, Bali, and Chicago.  Please visit her on the web at


Plastic Confidence

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Plastic Confidence

Alisa Mullen

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BOOK SUMMARY What happens when the past rears its ugly head and messes with who you thought you were? Will it break down all your walls and set your whole world on fire? Meet Julia Delaney, a.k.a Jules, the lead singer of Love Sick Ponies, sex superstar, and a heart full of rocks. She loves them and leaves them, a bad girl through and through. That is until she meets Brennan Curtis, a fan boy, a wannabe friend, and the only one who can possibly tear Jules’ walls down. When the plastic snaps wide open, Jules finds herself in a vulnerable and awkward situation with Brennan and her band. Jules’ journey of self-discovery started at a young age and her self- image, which is engrained in her brain, might just be there for life. Desperate to alter how people view her, she realizes that she might never be able to escape the past. Follow the past ghosts into the now for the emotional roller coaster ride you all expect from Alisa Mullen. Fantasy. Two Women's Faces with Tracery Opposite each other. Reflexion
"OMGthis book is so good. I love Alisa's books but this one is my favorite by far. I was on the edge of my seat."
Indie Author Blog - Sandra Love, Author
Ratings BannerFashionable punk woman standing at the car   Reviews of Mullen's Previous Work: “Once again Mullen never ceases to amaze me.” – Evocative Book Reviews “Mullen has a lot to answer for, in my opinion. She wrote these characters that sucked me in and then flipped everything I thought about them upside down.” – Give Me Books  
Alisa Db3 Mullen is the author of Amazon's best-selling books (in multiple categories) - The Chosen Series. Mullen grew up in Maine and has lived in many cities across the US. She likes to travel but craves to travel to places in her mind. She combines life experience and imagination on paper. She has been a writer since she was eight years old and throughout schooling, she wrote poems and stories. Mullen has a BA in English and an MS in Non Profit Management. Despite her need to help other less fortunate than her, nothing has ever felt more satisfying than writing. She published her first book “Unsettled” in February 2014. “Unchosen” and “Unrequited” were both released in May 2014. "Unmarked" - Book #4 will be written in 2015 and it will center around Sean, a secondary character in the series so far. Mullen released a suspense novella, "One Missing Link" in May and her next novel is The Good Bye Trilogy's “Plastic Confidence” (Book #1)due out in August 2014. "Artificial Love" and "Elastic Hope" are the 2nd and 3rd books in that trilogy. In her rare off time, she enjoys laughing and goofing off with her husband and their two children.She loves the beach, Estate Sales, Blue Bonnet season, and macrame. Mullen currently lives in South Texas and likes it there for now. Mullen owns a macramé necklace business, Devika Knots, which she started with her daughter in 2009 and it has become a great part of her life. Many times her whole family will go out to the markets to be around other artisans and farmers. She and her husband look forward to one day owning an RV and following their noses around the country year round  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lost Desires

After ten years of marriage, Ian and Brittany are in a rut. Their life together has become routine, no longer filed with fun and spontaneity. And their love life? Non-existent. 

Longing to break the dull, repeating pattern that is her life, Brittany looks to a friend for some advice on how to put some spice back into her marriage. 

Her friend’s advice? A hands on, in home sex therapist.

Brittany brushes her off at first, but after another night of unexciting sex, she’ll try anything…ANYTHING to save her love life, even if it is an unconventional route. Journey through the ups and downs of love, life, and lust with Brittany, Ian, and their sex therapist.

I wasn’t the twiggy little thing that most men found attractive, but I was doing this for my relationship with my husband. I wanted our marriage to be the one everyone envied. We had everything but a hot sex life, and if this was what would take to get there, I’d do it.

Rachael is a stay at home mom with 2 young daughters and a husband that keep her constantly on her toes. She lives in the extremely hot state of Arizona, where she reads and writes away the blistering heat outside. She is a cancer survivor with a quirky personality. She’s been an avid reader for as long as she can remember and been writing since she was in high school. Her hopes of being a writer were crushed when she was young but one day she decided she was going to do what makes her happy and that was to write.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Blog Tour Feature + Review: Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Book Blurb

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.

Purchase links:
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Review: I'm a long time fan of Sandra Brown's books, so when I got the chance to be part of this blog tour, I totally jumped on it. I eagerly read Mean Streak and as usual, I was taken on a wild, heart pounding ride full of twists, turns and non stop suspense.

In this story, we have Emory, a doctor and a runner, and she's heading away from her husband to take a run. What happens is something completely different. Emory wakes up hurt, with no memory of how it happened. The person she is with could either be her captor or her savior, and depending on the moment, she's not sure which one to believe.

The man is mysterious. He's got a past, that much is obvious, but just how dark is it? What did he do? What, and who, is he hiding from?  What are his plans for Emory?

These are the burning questions that echo in my mind as I read on. I never know just what's up the author's sleeve so I can't go in with expectations of characters because often times, my thoughts are blown completely out of the water with the end result. 

Mean Streak kept me on my toes. I read and read until my eyes hurt, until they dropped because I was so tired, but darn it, i HAD TO KNOW THE ANSWERS!!! 

I've always loved Brown's suspenseful style. Her stories aren't predictable and the pacing is great. There are characters to love, characters to hate, and characters that make you scrunch up your face and think "Now what the heck are your motives?"  It's just what I'm looking for in a suspense novel. It has a hint of a romance, but it's on the back burner when it comes to the suspense. Either way, Mean streak captivated me and the mystery freak in me was very satisfied. Well done on another winner! 

Author Bio:   

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE (2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), and CHILL FACTOR, all of which have jumped onto the Times bestseller list in the number one to five spot.

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages.

Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She served as the president of the Mystery Writers of American in 2012 and was named ITW's Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Places to find Sandra Brown:

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