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Friday, June 12, 2015

KAT MARTIN - AGAINST THE TIDE excerpt!



Kat Martin is back once again to provide us with an excerpt from AGAINST THE TIDE, her newest Brodies of Alaska book! And be sure to check out the buy links and extras at the bottom of the post.

EXCERPT:
Valdez, Alaska


The piercing ring of the cell phone lying on his nightstand didn’t bode well.  There was no such thing as good news at three o’clock in the morning. 

With a sigh, Rafe rolled over and grabbed the phone, scrubbed a hand over his face as he pressed it against his ear.  “Brodie.”

“Police Chief Rosen here.  We’ve got a problem, Rafe, and it’s not a good one.  I need you to meet me down at the harbor.  How soon can you get here?”

Rafe swung his long legs to the side of the bed and sat up. 

“Ten minutes.  What’s this about, Chief?”

“It’s Scotty Ferris, Rafe.  I’m afraid he’s dead.  I’ll fill you in when you get here.  I’ll be waiting on the dock next to the Scorpion.”  The police chief hung up the phone.

For several long moments, Rafe just sat there.  His chest felt tight.  Scotty Ferris was twenty-four years old, a handsome, hard-working kid who was engaged to be married.  His June wedding to Cassie Webster, one of the local girls, was only three weeks away.  Cassie was going to be crushed.
Rafe swore softly.  What the hell could have happened?

But in this rugged country where the climate, wild animals, or just bad judgment could get you killed, accidents happened all the time. 

Shoving himself up from the bed, Rafe grabbed a pair of worn jeans off the chair and jerked them on, pulled a sweatshirt over his head, pulled on his heavy sox, and shoved his size-thirteen feet into a pair of high-topped, rubber-soled boots.  Since the temperature at night even in late May was still in the thirties and it had rained during the night, he grabbed his jacket as he headed for the steps down to the garage.

The boat harbor wasn’t far from his house.  Sea Scorpion was his flagship charter fishing boat, a thirty-eight-foot Mac, his pride and joy.  It was the boat he usually captained himself, one of three that made up his fleet.  Scotty Ferris was part of Scorpion’s crew. 

Rafe thought of the young man as he parked his dark green Ford Expedition in a spot in front of the harbor, climbed out, and closed the door.  Puddles from last night’s rain sloshed against his boots as he made his way toward the dock.  The occasional street light burned into the darkness but quiet surrounded him, along with the familiar salty tang of the sea. 

Rafe couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Which brought his thoughts full-circle to Scotty.  With year-round residents numbering less that forty-five hundred, everyone knew everyone who lived there.  And everyone knew and liked Scotty.  The kid had been born in Valdez.  He thrived on the rugged lifestyle, planned to marry and raise kids here, probably never would have left.

What the hell had happened? Rafe thought again as he walked toward his boat. 

And why did Chief Rosen want to meet him at the Scorpion? 

A few spaces down from where'd he parked, Rafe spotted a black-and-silver Ford police SUV.  In the distance, the familiar antenna above the wheelhouse of the Scorpion marked where the boat bobbed near the middle of the dock. 

Rafe started down the long wooden walkway, his gaze on the group of people gathered next to where the Scorpion was moored.  The area was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape, the boat clearly off limits until the police were finished collecting evidence. 

Police Chief Clifford Rosen, a stout man in his fifties, bald head ringed by thinning gray hair, stood next to a figure lying on the dock, covered by a long white cloth.  Knowing Scotty Ferris lay under the cloth made Rafe’s stomach burn.   

“What happened?” he asked the chief.

“Looks like he was robbed,” Rosen answered.  “Wallet’s missing, jewelry’s gone.  Car keys.  Cell phone’s missing.  Single blow to the back of the head.  Blunt instrument.  Baseball bat seems the most likely, something that size that was easy to handle.”

“Jesus.”

“I asked you to come down because I need someone to identify the body.  With his parents both dead, I figured better you than his fiancée.  Soon as you do that, I’ll break the news to the Webster girl.”
Rafe just nodded.  Cassie was going to be devastated.  She and Scotty were crazy in love, the kind Rafe figured had a good chance of lasting.  Sometimes fate could be a real bastard. 

One of the officers, a red-haired young cop Rafe recognized as Rusty Donovan, leaned down and lifted the edge of the sheet.  As the cover rolled back, Rafe’s gaze fixed on Scotty.  The boy’s brown eyes were open, staring sightlessly into the black night sky.  His handsome face was frozen in a look of surprise.

He was wearing a jacket but it was unzipped, revealing a long-sleeved blue T-shirt that read FISHERMEN DO IT DEEPER.  Rafe could almost see the grin on the kid’s face when he’d put it on.

“It’s him,” he said darkly.  “Scott Ferris.”

“You know what he was doing down here?”

“No.” 

But once he got his head wrapped around Scotty’s death, he intended to find out.

The breakfast crowd at the Pelican Café had begun to arrive, as people did every morning when it opened at six A.M.  The café had been started in the fifties and been going strong every since.  Of course it had passed through a dozen different owners, had its ups and downs, and been near financial ruin more than once. 

Having purchased the restaurant six months ago, Olivia Chandler was the most recent person to step into the driver’s seat.  Unlike the previous owner, who had let the place sink into disrepair, Olivia had been making changes, most of which had been heralded with great enthusiasm by the local customers.

“Well, look who’s coming,” Nell said.  The buxom woman with salt-and-pepper hair helped her run the café.  “If it isn’t Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome."

Liv followed her gaze out the window to the man in jeans and a sweatshirt crossing the outside patio.  The brick patio was empty now while it was still cold, but with summer approaching, soon would be noisy with people.

Katie walked past just then, heading for a table with a platter of bacon and eggs on the flat of her hand.  “I just call him Mr. Freakin’ Hot.”

“Shame on you,” Liv teased.  “You just turned twenty one.  Rafe Brodie’s got to be at least a dozen years older.” 

“Just means he’s a man not a boy.  And I like a guy with a little experience.”

“From what I hear, he has plenty of that,” Liv said dryly as Katie sailed off to deliver the food.
Nell chuckled.  “I’m fifty years old and that man can still make me swoon.”

Olivia busied herself wiping off the long Formica-topped counter as Rafe shoved through the door, ringing the bell above.  Seating himself in his usual booth, he stretched his long legs out in front of him.  Rafe was a regular in the café, which sat on North Harbor Road right across from the boat dock.
“Katie’s busy,” Nell said with a match-making glint in her eyes.  “Why don’t you wait on him?”
Olivia shook her head.  “I’m busy, too.  You go ahead.”

Knowing there was no persuading her, Nell sighed.  “Probably better you don’t.  Everyone in town knows Rafe’s a dedicated bachelor.”

Dedicated bachelor or not, Nell and Katie were right.  With the thick dark brown hair curling just over his collar, the faint shadow of beard that usually lined his hard jaw, and those hot, whiskey-brown eyes, he was one of the best-looking men Olivia had ever seen.

Which was exactly the reason she had avoided him since the day she had met him.

No use putting temptation in her path.  It was simply too dangerous.

She watched as Nell chatted with him a moment, then the easy smile Nell usually gave him slipped from her face.  The coffee pot wavered.  Rafe grabbed the glass pot to keep her from dropping it and spilled hot coffee over his hand. 

Olivia didn’t hesitate, just grabbed a towel, wet it with cold water, and hurried in Rafe's direction.  He was sitting down again, Nell fussing over him, relieved to see Olivia approaching. 

“Here--wrap this around your fingers.”  Liv handed him the wet towel.  “It’s cold enough to ease the pain and keep the burn from getting worse.”

“I’m all right,” Rafe said.  “It’s no big deal.”  But he accepted the wet cloth and looped it over the back of a big suntanned hand. 

The man was all of six-four, two-hundred-plus pounds, with a solid, athletic build and very wide shoulders.  Liv was five-nine, but Rafe was more than half a head taller.  She tried not to stare at his mouth, which seemed harder this morning, without the smile he always had for Nell.

She glanced in her friend’s direction, sucked in a breath as Nell’s pale blue eyes filled with tears.

“Oh, God, what is it?”

Nell blinked and the tears rolled down her cheeks.  She wiped at the wetness with a trembling hand.  “I could tell something was wrong.  It was stamped all over Rafe’s face.”

Liv glanced from one of them to the other, saw the same grim expression on both of their faces.  “Tell me what’s happened.”

Nell swallowed.  “It’s...it’s Scotty.  He was murdered last night.”

Liv glanced across the table at Rafe.  His jaw looked iron-hard, his eyes so dark she could barely see a hint of gold.  For the first time it occurred to her that Rafe was hurting, too.  Scotty was his first mate and they were friends.  Cassie had said Scott idolized Rafe, had thought of him as an older brother.

His dark eyes to her face.  “Scott was a good man.  One of the best.  Whoever killed him is going to pay.”

A little shiver ran through her.  It wasn’t a statement.  It was a vow.  
And Liv completely believed it.
AGAINST THE TIDE
By Kat Martin
Release date: 5/26/15

BACK COVER COPY

Secrets—and safety—melt under a midnight sun…

Liv Chandler is running for her life, and the cops haven’t been able to do a thing to help. But there’s one man who makes her feel safe, no matter what…rugged charter boat captain Rafe Brodie.

To Rafe, Liv is a beautiful mystery, one he can’t ignore. He means to unearth her secrets, and in the process, if luck is on his side, maybe the spark between them will ignite.

But Liv’s past is more dangerous than Rafe could guess, and when his first mate turns up dead, she fears that she’s next. That there’s something else coming she can’t see. That even Rafe and the remote village of Valdez, Alaska can’t protect her forever…

SHORT BLURB
Secrets and Danger Threaten in the Land of the Midnight Sun…
Liv Chandler is running for her life.  She can’t trust anyone, not even the one man who makes her feel saferugged charter boat captain, Rafe Brodie.
Rafe is determined to uncover Liv's secrets,  but the beautiful café owner has a past more dangerous than Rafe can guess.  Something terrible is coming…and even in remote Valdez, Alaska, Rafe can’t protect her forever.

REVIEW QUOTES
“Martin’s latest novel leaves readers breathless with the absorbing combination of mystery and romance.” —RTBookReviews

“This book is action packed. It has plenty of suspense and I love that the story wasn't just given away. It all evolved into something fabulous. It will have you looking for the other Brodie books.” —Crystal’s Reviews

What are readers saying about AGAINST THE TIDE?
“A sexy romantic thriller I didn't want to stop reading.” —Paige, Mertztown, PA
“Thrilling, suspenseful and keeps you hanging on till the very end! And...delicious romance!” — Misty, Galt, CA
 “This book was a great read!  Characters were intriguing.  Story was easy to get swept away with.” —Elissa, Collegeville, PA
“Awesome book from start to finish. I was hooked right away & couldn't put it down!” —Amy, Las Cruces, NM
“Sexy and Intriguing read. A must read if you love to get caught up in love and romance and danger.” —Kristen, Oklahoma City, OK
“I loved it! Kat martin describes the scenes with such detail it feels as if you're right there in the story. Loved the characters and the whole plot.” —Lisa, Slippery Rock, PA

LINKS



BUY LINKS




SOCIAL MEDIA


Twitter: @katbooks https://twitter.com/katbooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/luvromance/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kat-Martin/e/B000AQ0OJQ/

IDENTIFIERS

ASIN: B00ONTR60Q
ISBN: 9781420133868
ISBN-10: 1420133861
ISBN-13: 978-1420133868


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~


Thursday, June 11, 2015

RAGT15! Reader Author Get Together - After the Magic - Part 2!

So, the post from Tuesday contained books that I received for free while attending the 11th annual Reader Author Get Together. This post, I'll be highlight the books (and their authors) that I bought during the event. It's just so convenient that Barnes and Noble sets up a store in a boardroom featuring books by the attending authors. It's also not so great for my wallet. But definitely worth it!

First up, a picture of my entire haul for the weekend - books both free and paid for, and some (not even all!) of the swag I accumulated. 

Like Tuesday's post, if you click the title of the book, it will take you to Goodreads. Click on the author's name and you will be taken to their website to find all kind of goodies!

A BUCKHORN SUMMER by Lori Foster. Of course we have to start off with the Queen herself! Lori Foster started this event because she wanted a way to connect readers and authors, and have it be affordable. And boy is it! They could charge way more, and you would still get more than your moneys worth in free books, swag, events, and food. While I haven't even read any of the Buckhorn series, I bought this book. You may be asking why (or not, I'm telling you anyways) - that's because this book is only available in print at this event, and all proceeds go to the Animal Adoption Foundation. This is a wonderful no kill animal shelter located about thirty minutes away from me. Not only does Lori support them throughout the year with generous donations, but this event is a great opportunity for Lori to raise even more money for one of their favorite charities. Besides being an animal lover - I absolutely support this because, well, I got my own dog there. Mattie is my best little buddy, and I am so grateful that the Animal Adoption Foundation was there to give her a chance. 

TESLA'S IMPRINT by Kimberly Adkins. Long time readers of this blog will recognize the name Kimberly Adkins. During my blogoversary several years ago, Kimberly Adkins generously donated a prize. One of the cool things about the Reader Author Get Together is that authors are encouraged to sit at tables with new readers, and chat during meals. This is how I met Kimberly. We sat at her table several years ago, and she always makes sure to come say hello every year since. She's a super fun person, and I love her work. She's also a huge Doctor Who fan, and donates nerdy baskets for the benefit raffle at RAGT (all the proceeds from the raffle go to One Way Farm, another amazing charity!). Be sure to check out Kimberly Adkins' website and see what fun paranormal stories she has in store for you. 

MASTERS AT ARMS & NOBODY'S ANGEL by Kallypso Masters. So I first became aware of this author due to the fact she was giving out back scratchers with a funny slogan on it. So during one of the book signings at the event, I decided to have a quick chat and figure out the reading order of her books. For those interested, this book is available FOR FREE on kindle (go here to purchase), but I decided on the paperback version. Why, you may ask? Because I wanted her to sign my book, but most importantly - instead of signing "nice to meet you," this lovely author writes "Great to PERVERT you!" I can't pass that up! Another book I can't wait to sink my teeth into! 
ALIENATED by Melissa Landers. This is one of those books I have had my eye on for so long, and knowing that the author was going to be at the event, I couldn't pass up the chance! Melissa was very kind and fun to talk to, and Alienated will now have a proud place on my bookshelf. I've heard such amazing things about this series, and frankly, I'm ashamed it has taken me this long to take the purchase plunge. 
. I read this book, enjoyed it, and thought the name sounded vaguely familiar. It wasn't until I saw the author list for RAGT that I realized this is the author of One Week Girlfriend, which I obsessed over for months, but also the author of Fair Game, which keeps taunting me every time I look at my kindle wishlist. I did get the chance to meet Monica Murphy and had her sign my favorite author bag (a canvas bag I decorated myself, and currently has a dozen something signatures by favorite authors I have met.. sans John Green who was unable to sign anything but books, alas..). Unfortunately this copy of Owning Violet remains unsigned due to my own poor planning.. but hey, I got to meet her and now I own this book I loved - so who cares!
Last, but oh certainly not least...

BETTER WHEN HE'S BOLD by Jay Crownover. So what if I haven't even read the first book in this series yet? I own it, and now I own a signed copy of the second one. I love Jay Crownover and I'm fairly positive she can do no wrong, so I know Better When He's Bold will be a signing star in my collection. I got to visit with her and take selfies, she signed my bag, and then later signed my book. And when I visited her table at the open signing event, she said "You want some... you know what, I'm not even going to ask - you get goodies!" and gave me plenty of magnets and keychains. If you love some seriously good New Adult and you're desperate for more? You need to read Jay Crownover, for sure! 
Thank you so much for go through my book haul with me! And be sure to check out the above links, not just to the authors and their books, but also to the two charities I mentioned (found under Lori Foster and Kimberly Adkins). 

I already cannot wait until next year. 

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

RAGT15! Reader Author Get Together - After the Magic

Hello everyone! So, this past weekend, June 4-6th was the 11th annual Reader Author Get Together, and my 5th year attending! This year was bigger than ever, and I cannot wait to share my haul with you.

I'm going to talk about RAGT in two posts, that way I can highlight as many authors as possible. I was even able to chat with some authors and publishing groups about my blog, so hopefully I will be able to get even more awesome content out to you guys.

Today, I'm going to talk about the free books I got in my goody bag. That's right, FREE. Attendees got 7 (SEVEN!!) free books in their welcome bags, and I can tell you right now, at least two of these were ones I was eyeing to buy on my next book store binge. So let's begin.


So as you see in the above picture, this is the swag I got during the conference. This does not include book covers, business cards, etc - I have those in a separate pile because I need to go through and all them all to my Goodreads To-Read shelf! What you see above are the books and goodies that I got in my bag or got during special events. Included: Earbuds, mirrors, chapstick, bottle openers, bracelets, pins, bookmarks, cups, a wine glass, notebooks, lotion, soap, and so much more! 

Now on to the books. Today I'll be talking about the free books I got. I'm saving the books I purchased for later in the week. Clicking the author's name will take you to their website. Clicking the title will take you to Goodreads for all your TBR needs!

  MIXED MESSAGES by Linda Lael Miller - this includes a bonus book, THE SECRET CHILD & THE COWBOY CEO by Janice Maynard. I've actually never read Linda Lael Miller before, but as a librarian, I have definitely heard the name. And I could see a lot of happy ladies when they pulled this book out of their bags. Also, excuse me while I get a little bit excited that the cover model will be playing Miles Archer in the Ugly Love movie!


BRINGING HOME THE BAD BOY by Jessica Lemmon. I remember seeing this author at the event last year, and after reading the blurb on her newest book, it immediately went into my TBR pile. She was very fun to talk to, and I cannot wait to dig into this book.

SLAVE by Cheryl Brooks. This is a new to me author. I think I was vaguely aware that this series existed, but I had never really come across it anywhere. And now I own it and can read it at my leisure! Not to mention, this is the very first book in the series, so I can start at the beginning! I read a lot of paranormal and contemporary romance. It will be nice to switch it up with some futuristic science fiction romance.

UNDONE by Shannon Richard. Another new to me author, but one I am super excited to check out as soon as possible. Not only am I in love with the cover, but the synopsis on the back got me all revved up - hehe, get it? Because he's a mechanic. Yeah, all right, I'll stick with book blogging and give up comedy, I promise. Another first in the series, so I cannot wait to dive right in. And not so great for me, there is a preview in the back of the book for the next novel - so I'm sure I'll be one-clicking that as soon as I finish the first one.

SLEEPING WITH THE WOLF by Maddy Barone. Another book one! And what a sexy looking book it is. We have contemporaries, a futuristic, and now futuristic paranormal romance. And what can I say, there is just something about werewolf romances - I can't get enough. I love the paranormal genre, romance or no, but I don't think I've read a shifter romance I haven't enjoyed at least a little. And now I have not only a new book, but a new author to sink my teeth into.

So I'll be honest, it wasn't until now that I realized these are all first in the series. Well than goodness! As a reviewer, I have learned to deal with diving right into a series in the middle, if that's how it works out. But I can't help but always feel bad about not starting at the beginning.

CALLUM by Melissa Schroeder. This is one of those books that just feels good. Something about the cover, I don't know. I'm apparently a very tactile person. Another first in a series, and a paranormal to boot. From the synopsis and a brief run through Goodreads reviews, it looks like I am in for a sexy, wild time with this one!

A MANSION, A DRAG QUEEN, AND A NEW JOB by CC Dragon.  Our last book of the morning is the first in the Deanna Oscar Paranormal Mystery series. Well, I'll have to admit, the title sold me in the heart beat. I'm not the biggest mystery fan, but this book looks and sounds like it will be a great time, and I am definitely down for that.

Well, thank you for sticking around for my freebie book haul from RAGT15. Coming up in the next few days will be a list of books I purchased from the event, along with some (okay, maybe a lot?) of fangirling.


Happy Reading! 
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Monday, June 8, 2015

REVIEW: "Grayson, Volume 1: Agents of Spyral" by Tim Seeley

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Release Date: June 9th, 2015

Type: Graphic Novel, Comics, DC, Spies, Thrillers, Former Superheroes Still Being Super, Mysteries, Secret Organizations, Hey - that's Batman!

About the Book: Dick Grayson. Former Sidekick. Former Superhero. Former dead man. Agent of Spyral?! A thrilling new chapter of Dick Grayson's life begins here. A super-spy espionage thriller that will shock you and prove one thing: you might think you know Nightwing--but you don't know Dick. 

Collects GRAYSON #1-4, GRAYSON ANNUAL #1 and a story from SECRET ORIGINS #8. [Description from Goodreads.com]

My Review: First I'm going to mention what I didn't like. Or rather, I should say "what frustrated me." I understand why, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating. I dislike feeling confused because more and more questions are being raised, and nothing is being answered. You don't have to answer everything, and if you want me to keep reading, you probably shouldn't - but one small mystery solved along the way, while raising bigger questions as you go can't be too much to ask, right? That kind of thing drives me up the wall.

Now on to the better part. All the stuff I enjoyed about reading the first of this new series. I talk like I don't enjoy thrillers and suspense movies and novels, but then I read something like this, and I'm all in. Grayson gives you that good edge of your seat feeling while reading. I wanted to know what would happen. Is Dick going to get caught? Who are these people? Oh no, that person has a gun and it's aimed right for him! Just some examples of the fun you will find within.

I also enjoyed all the goodies in the back. I'll admit, I really love cover variants. I like to see other artists' vision for a character, or maybe just see someone have fun with their art. And speaking of art - Grayson volume 1 has some good stuff. I love the fight scenes. Dick Grayson doesn't have powers, but he is super agile, and that can be difficult to show in comics. How do you convey in a few small panels how he managed to flip around and save the day? But the artist does a great job.

And for those of you that are dying to know - yes, Dick Grayson is ten times cuter inside the comic than he is on the cover. There's even some good shirtless shots if you're interested. I read these comics for the story and the action. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy the art too, hm?

Cover Lovin': Well, since this book isn't out yet, I wasn't able to find a final cover. The other ARC covers I've seen actually do have the author's name and the title on it, but they also have big "ARC" splotches all over. But what you see here is the basic idea. I like it - very bond-esque. Also very pink, which I find interesting.

Recommendation: For fans of Batman and the Batlings (as I like to call them). And really, I think this could appeal to the mystery/spy thriller lovers as well.

Final Rating: A little less than a four, a little more than a three, so I guess I will go with 3.5. This had a lot of potential, and I really like where it's going. But it can get frustrating with all the lack of answers.


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~