Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: 'Promised' by Michelle Turner

 Linc knows Wyn is the girl for him.
Wyn knows that Linc is the guy for her.

But she is promised to another.

Wyn has to decide whether she can turn her back on her family and their traditions or walk away from her chance at real love.

 Michelle Turner’s second published book Promised doesn’t disappoint. I had the opportunity to read and review it, and I jumped at the chance. I reviewed Turner’s debut novel Reviving Bloom back in February this year (see it here), and I have to say her writing style has developed and grown since then. So, here’s what I thought…

Promised is about a girl and a boy and a whole lot of obstacles in between them. It’s a classic plotline, but Turner has managed to make it unique.

At the very beginning, we’re introduced to Linc “The Great Lincoln Tatman”. His popularity at school means he can have any girl he wants. But he doesn’t want any girl. Once he sets his sights on Wyn, he knows he’s found the girl he never wants to let go. Slightly cocky and arrogant, you can’t help but like Linc from the beginning as his fixation on Wyn grows into something more than just lust.

 Wyn is unlike any other young woman I’ve seen gracing the pages of YA. She’s one of the Romani—a gypsy. Due to the strict family traditions, she is a girl who is never alone with a boy who she isn’t related to, and can only date a gypsy boy as long as she has a chaperone—not that that would ever happen. Wyn’s involvement with the gypsy way of life stops there. She does not want to become someone’s wife at 18. She does not want to be stuck at home raising children. Wyn’s dreams are so much bigger than that, but she doesn’t realize they are possible until a fateful meeting with Linc.

Turner takes us on a journey through Wyn and Linc’s sweet beginnings where they send flirty little text messages to each other. From the very start, these two are irrevocably connected to each other. As the story progresses, the biggest obstacle to their blossoming love is revealed: Wyn is on the verge of getting engaged to a boy she’s known since she was a kid, but who she’s never thought of as anything more than a friend. Against her will, the date is set for the marriage and Wyn is left with the heartbreaking task of telling Linc.

As the Big Day grows nearer and the wedding plans are ramped up, Wyn’s resistance to the idea eventually drives a wedge between her and her mother, and Wyn knows that if she walks away from her life with her family to be with Linc, she’ll never be allowed back again. She’d lose contact with her brothers, her mother, her father and the most important person in her life—her best friend. She’d never get to meet her unborn niece and that’s what hurts her the most.

Even though she knows it’s wrong, she finds herself unable to stay away from Linc. She knows it’s wrong to lead him on. He knows she’s promised to another. But they both want to spend what little time they have together.

I loved Linc and Wyn, and together they made an even more adorable couple. The exhilarating flutters of first love are so beautifully described in this book, and their first kiss had me thinking about my own. Turner has done a great job of building Linc and Wyn’s world, of building their love. I really enjoyed reading Promised. It was a love story that had me hooked from the beginning.
I’d highly recommend Michelle Turner’s Promised if you like love stories where seemingly impossible obstacles are overcome, that have you rooting for the couple, sharing their smiles and their tears, yelling at the pages when they don’t and cheering them on when they finally make the right decision.

Favourite scene: Wyn and Linc dancing to Adele’s Make You Feel My Love.

Favourite line: “You do realize I look like a stripper’s closet threw up on me, right?” ~ Wyn

 About Michelle:
Michelle is a 28 year old native Ohioan. Go Buckeyes! Who now lives with her husband and son in West Virginia. When she isn't spending time with her family you can find her with her nose stuck in a good book. She released her first book (Reviving Bloom) as an independent author in October 2012 and plans to release two new books (Promised & Enlightening Bloom) in 2013. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Cautionary Tale: Indie Authors Beware

I had a blogger approach me back in February to review my books. Being an indie author, I jumped at the chance to have my books reviewed. Believing in honesty and just plain common decency in people, I offered the blogger copies of the books for her to review. Her preferred method of reading was (of course) paperbacks, but she could read them on kindle if needed. 

I’m not sure if bloggers realize that giving away paperbacks is an expensive and lengthy process. Perhaps they don’t, but I have to tell you that it is. If someone wanted a signed copy, I have to order it from the States, pay for shipping which gets more expensive the faster you want it, receive it, sign it then pay for yet more packaging and postage to send it back to the States for someone’s reading pleasure.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love being able to make a fans day by providing them with a signed copy of one of my books, but I will not be sending a paperback to a blogger to do a review. The investment does not always pay off.

I emailed the blogger copies of all three books for review (at their request) as soon as she asked to review them. I have no issues with sending mobi. copies of my books to bloggers IF they actually do as they said they would.

After 2 months of waiting, I messaged the blogger again to ask what the ETA of the review would be. I understand that review bloggers are busy with a lot of different things, and was willing to wait a little longer, but she said “Reviews should be ready the first week of May!” I thought, “Great!” and waited the couple of weeks until the beginning of May.

On May 16th, I messaged her again to see what the progress was since it was two weeks after the first week of May. Not that I’m surprised, but I’ve not heard back from this blogger since. Am I expecting reviews now? No, of course not. In fact, I’ll probably get terrible reviews because book review bloggers have that power.

Do I care? No. What I care about is the fact that someone has asked to review my books. I sent them copies of my books in the good faith that they will hold up their end of the bargain and review the books as they said they would.

Indie authors don’t sit around drinking coffee  or swimming around in giant vats of money Uncle-Scrooge-style. They get up and they work damn hard to bring you stories you love to read. Giving away swag and copies of our books costs us money. This blogger just cost me $8.97 which may not sound like a lot, but that was three sales I never got. So I’m out of pocket and thoroughly pissed off that some people can’t keep their word and deliver what was promised.

That’s my rant over. If I can protect one other indie author from being used like this, my job is done. If you want the name of the blogger, email me at authorlaurendawes[at]gmail[dot]com and I’d be happy to name and shame them for you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An update

Hello fellow Junkies,

It's been too long since I've written a post that wasn't a book review or cover reveal. I have a good excuse though. It has been a very busy time for me, not that I'm complaining that is. I guess the thing that has been consuming me the most has been the upcoming release of Dark Deceit including the cover reveal which happened on May 3rd. I'm so excited to have it out there and being seen by everyone. I've had some really good feedback about it, and a lot of potential new readers telling me they're looking forward to read it when it comes out July 1st.

Dark Deceit is like nothing I've ever written before. It required a lot of research and hours spent looking at images and trying to unravel a lot of the stories out there revolving around Norse mythology. If you haven't already guessed, Dark Deceit revolves around not only the Norse gods, but also the other creatures that belong to their world.

I've always been fascinated by Norse mythology, and if you know anything about it and have read my first series Half Blood, you'll see that I've named my wolf packs after some Norse places and people.

The lead up to its release will be pretty full-on, too. Author Anna Zaires will have me as a guest blogger over at her website where I'll be giving a very rough: Norse Mythology 101 lecture as an information gap before people read Dark Deceit. I also have a blog tour happening. As it stands, I have 8 wonderful bloggers willing to review for me, and hopefully they'll have good things to say, too. If you're a book blogger and keen to join in, click the link above and put in for a date.

Even though I've just finished writing a 90+ thousand word novel, my brain simply wouldn't shut down. On April 23rd, I began writing the 4th book in the Half Blood series which is Alex and Saskia's story. Planning didn't take very long at all with all the characters vying for my attention to tell their individual stories. Nine chapters down, I already have 20,000 words under my belt, roughly working on a 3000 word a day habit.

In other news, I finally got a job! It's full-time, but at the moment that's okay. It does mean a potential slow down in writing the 4th Half Blood book. Never fear though, I shall tuck myself up in my writing caves after dinner and do a couple of solid hours every night or every other night to get it written.

I'm also redoing the Half Blood covers for all three books in order to match them to the 4th book. This means hours looking through stock images that haven't been used to death on other romance novel covers. I refuse to have the same two models on my book know the ones I'm talking about right??

*cough-these ones-cough*

 Anyways, that's what I've been doing. Busy busy! And now I must get back to it. There's a book to be written and some more covers to be redesigned. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email at authorlaurendawes[at]gmail[dot]com

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: Dark Deceit by Lauren Dawes

 The time of the Aesir gods is over. Now they live among the humans in their bustling modern cities. Their brutal dominion over the gods and humans may have ended, but their actions have not been forgotten.

Korvain is feared like no other. His ruthlessness and cold heart are legendary, but when he is given the task of killing one of the most fabled goddesses of all time, he is left with an undeniable desire to make her his own. Failure in his task means only one thing: death. Will he follow his orders, or will he follow his heart?  

Bryn’s whole world crumbled when she left Odin’s service to protect the other Valkyries. Now living with the humans, she is the only thing standing between them and total destruction. But her beliefs are about to be shaken to the core when she meets Korvain—a completely irresistible Mare who threatens to take away more than just her innocence.

Dark Deceit Excerpt/Teaser: 
Stepping past one of the only humans she actually liked, Bryn opened up her office door and stopped dead when all the air came rushing out of her lungs. 
Korvain was sitting on the edge of her desk, his black eyes glittering in the overhead lights. Although he was sitting down, she could tell he was taller than her by more than just a few inches. His skull-trimmed hair was black, matching his eyes and the dark slashes of his eyebrows.
He was bigger than any other male she had ever seen. His arms were as big as her thighs, crossed tightly across a stomach so well defined the muscles of his abdominals threw their own shadows from under the material of his shirt.
Her eyes took in the breadth of his shoulders, the size of his chest. Bryn swayed suddenly, her hand shooting out to catch the door jamb to keep her balance. Gods, the scent of the male was intoxicating. She had a sudden vision of having his body on hers, pressing into her. She gasped to hide the groan that wanted to push its way free from her throat.
She watched as his eyes seemed to grow darker, his luscious mouth parting in the most seductive way. Bryn shook her head and cleared her throat. 
After a long, hot, lingering look, he nodded.
Her eyes slid shut as another flash of them touching intimately assaulted her. Letting out a breath, she pinned him with a look that usually sent most men into hiding. ‘Mind getting your ass off my desk?’ she snapped, stalking past him to sit in her huge leather chair.

With the release date set for July 1st, be sure to enter the giveaway below to get yourself in the running for some awesome Dark Deceit swag!

About Lauren:

Lauren Dawes is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance writer and the author of the Half Blood Trilogy. You won’t find any friendly vampires in between the pages of her books; just blood, teeth and violence. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or teaching. She currently lives in Victoria, Australia with her husband and cat.