Sunday, September 11, 2016

EskieMama Reads Sunday Spotlight w/Giveaway: Blood To Dust by L.J. Shen

Welcome to EskieMama Sunday Spotlight!
Today we are spotlighting L. J. Shen's
Blood To Dust!

Enter to win 1 of 5 copies of Blood To Dust from L.J. Shen

A Dark Romance 
Blood To Dust

His name is Beat, and I should hate him. 

Bound, blindfolded and bruised, I'm tied in his basement, waiting for the men who stripped me from clothes and humanity to collect his debt to them. Me. 

His name is Nate and I should hate him, but I don't. 

I'm not supposed to know his real name, even worse, I'm not supposed to care. He is nothing to me but means to an end. The plan is simple: break free, collect the pieces of my broken soul, kill the bastards and run away. 

His name is Nathaniel Thomas Vela, and I've never seen his face, though I hear that it's beautiful. 

Behind the rugged and handsome exterior, there's a quiet murderer, a killer who thinks guns are for pussies and ends people with his bare hands. 

His name doesn't matter, neither does his face, but what does matter is my heart. And right now, sadly, it's his. 

Blood to Dust is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

Grab YOUR copy TODAY!

Q & A with L.J. Shen about Blood Lust

Tell us about Blood to Dust.
Blood to Dust is a twisted, dark-ish love story between a man and a woman who shouldn’t have met, but when they did, it was under the worst circumstances for both of them. It’s a story not only about love, but also about revenge and about learning to live with yourself and build a future after you’ve lost everything you had.

What initially inspired you to write Blood to Dust?
I wanted to write something fresh and interesting, a road trip a-la Bonnie and Clyde. I wanted it to be sexy and gritty, and I knew that after Sparrow, a lot of people expected me to go the usual route of another dark read. I didn’t want to repeat myself with the story, and I’m glad I didn’t. Blood to Dust is different in so many ways.

Tell us little about the characters Blood to Dust.
We have Prescott (who is a girl). She’s used to the good life, but one bad decision turns her life upside down and makes her face the harsh reality of people who were born on the other side of tracks. She is sassy, tough but most of all - she is a good person. I loved writing and spending time with her and if you read the reviews for the book, a lot of bloggers found it very easy to relate to her, because I think we all have a little Prescott inside us.

Nate...oh, man, Nate. When I wrote him, I wrote the man of my dreams. Alpha and bad ass to a point where everything tingles just from hearing his name, but then he can say the sweetest thing or show you his sensitive side. He’s a felon, a bad man with a good heart. His complexity had me re-reading the scenes I wrote with him over and over again. He is definitely one of the more intense characters I’ve ever written.

What was the hardest part of writing Blood to Dust?

I’d say the research. It is difficult to research prisons, because no one let’s you get into one to see what’s happening there. I watched a ton of documentaries but I still had my doubts when I wrote the prison scenes.

Also, it was emotionally challenging to recap everything Prescott has been through.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Definitely the epilogue, and for obvious reasons :)

What are your future project(s)?
I am so pumped about my future projects! I have another release coming in December, another darkish read. It’s very mildly dark but extremely intense, and the characters are seriously intense.

And I’m writing a romantic comedy. I’m shooting for an early 2017 but no specific date yet. I come from the rom-com world, so this is something that’s really close to my heart.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about this book/series?
It’s different and gritty and it’s a wild ride. Read it :)

Now an exciting excerpt from Blood To Dust!

“Where will you go after this is all over, Pea?” His mask touches my lips.
“Iowa,” I answer. “I want to go somewhere peaceful.”
“Cabo for me,” he replies, his thumb stabing his chest. “I wanna go somewhere wild.”
“Send me a postcard.” I muster a weak grin, but it feels wrong on my lips.
We don’t actually know if we’ll get out of this alive, and even if we do, I’ll dump him and move on with my life as soon as we kill the bastards.
We’re polar opposites. He’s peace looking for color, and I’m a storm looking for serenity. And somewhere between my chaos and his peace, we found each other. Even crazier—we want to save one another.
“Pea.” He rubs my chin with his thumb, staring at my lips with burning eyes. “I’ll fight your war while I’m winning mine, but you have to be honest with me. When I took you like an animal the night of the party. . .did it remind you of them?” “It was different,” I answer. “Intense, yes. Wild. But it reminded me that I could still enjoy how another body feels against mine. I didn’t think I could anymore.”
His jaw tenses and he looks down at his palms as he speaks.  
“I’d like to be the person who reminds you of that again,” he says, his usually cutting tone sounds softer now. Maybe it’s just what I want to hear. “I’ll be whatever you want me to be. Wild, gentle, good, bad, rough, delicate. Your pick.”
I swallow and look down to his chest, blinking away my embarrassment. “I’d like that too.”
“Would you like that now by any chance?” he growls, his forehead dropping onto mine. “Ink’s out of town. Some family shit. I need inside you.”
You’re already inside me, I think. You crawled in the minute you showed me mercy, the minute you decided to switch teams. But I know what he wants. He wants what all men want.
He wants sex. My flesh, my warmth and what’s between my thighs. Because after all, before he became a killer, a captor, an avid reader and even my savior, he was the one thing I hate—a man.
The only difference between Nate and the others is. . .well, I want his body, too.
“Are you going to take off your mask?” I ask, staring at his army boots.
“Do you want me to?”
My eyes are still trained on his feet as his mask floats to the floor, landing next to his shoes. This is it. The mystery man who has been occupying my thoughts all this time is standing in front of me, exposed and open, offering me everything I’ve ever asked him for.
I drag my eyes up, lingering on his groin, his hips, moving on to his flat stomach, memorizing his triangular upper-body, tan, inked throat, and once I get to his face. . .
I lose it. Completely lose it. 

L.J. Shen is a former entertainment and music journalist, a recovering hipster, a hopeless romantic and a reformed Riot grrrl. She speaks three languages - four, if you include sarcasm. She writes everything from dark to comedy, as long as there's enough love and romance involved. Shen lives in Northern California with her son, husband, cat and collection of designer shoes.

L.J. wants to be Tina Fey when she grows up. Keep your fingers crossed for her.

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Blood To Dust Giveaway

EskieMama Reads Review: Rogue of the Moors by Cynthia Breeding

Rogue of the Moors
by Cynthia Breeding


This widow ignites a Highlander's passion...and a rival's jealousy.

Rogue, Book 6

Bridget MacLeod's arranged marriage was pleasant, but it lacked passion. And after her husband's death from a fever, she resolves to carry his painful secret to the grave.

When she seeks a change of scenery, she arrives to find her sister's home in Arisaig empty, her letter announcing her arrival gone astray. She has no choice but to accept Alasdair MacDonald's invitation to stay with his boisterous family. Alasdair is dangerous territory. Bridget remembers only too well her reaction to him when she stitched a wound in his muscular thigh last spring.

Alasdair recalls the way Bridget's cool fingers touched his skin and heated other parts of him. But Bridget's a grieving widow, so he must act the gentleman--a resolution that burns to cinders in the flames of their mutual attraction.

But a jealous pair of female eyes notices their lingering glances and furtive touches. A woman who will do whatever it takes to make Alasdair her own. Trickery, seduction, blackmail...and something she has done before and won't hesitate to do again. Murder.

Warning: Contains a woman who knows her place, and it's not trailing meekly after a man, and a braw Scotsman caught between honor and desire. A wee dram of Scotch would not be amiss! Please read responsibly.

Review:                                     5 Stars

Ah lovely Scotland, and a trip in time, to times far more simpler than today or where they. Bridget a lovely widow with a tiny little secret is moving to stay with her sister and brother in law in Arisaig, but things go wrong for her since her arrival in town. Her Family is not in town and she is left staying with Alasdair MacDonald.
Och what a fine man he is and a she fights the feelings from the moment she sees him, Both are attracted to each other and she fights it. In the picture are not only her secrets but Alasdair problems of what had happened to him a while ago and a very jealous woman in the mix . Loved the story loved the characters, Thank you for a wonderful story that took me not only in time and in my mind to a land I have come to love...

I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

Reviewed by Jara

Happy Reading!

EskieMama Reads Review: The Seal of Solomon by Golden Czermak

The Seal of Solomon
by Golden Czermak


Sequel to Homeward Bound (Journeyman #1)

The Adventure Continues...
From author Golden Czermak, comes the second installment of the enthralling Journeyman Series.

With no answers and a weapon of mass destruction slung around his neck, Gage Crosse is left with little choice but to travel with Joey Mosely to New York, seeking aid from the Order Council itself. Little do they know that they are about to embark on what may be the greatest adventure of their lives: to find the mysterious Seal of Solomon.

Meanwhile, the fragile threads holding the demon army and its monstrous allies together are unraveling. Keli must act quickly to maintain her position as ruler, else have all their efforts fall into the flames of ruin.

Can the Journeymen keep the Seal of Solomon out of demon hands, or will the Noctis succeed in wrenching all three artifacts from their control?

Review:                                 5 Stars

The first book Homeward Bound was a work of art, a journey well taken for the characters were great. So my thoughts drifted to the second book as I looked at it and wondered, will the second live up to the reputation.
No need to worry, Seal of Solomon took me out of this world into a world I never could imagine, all of the characters be they good or evil took me and held on to me until I finished the book. The twists and plots in the story were, well some of them left me speechless, while others made me laugh and others made me cry.
Golden you have taken this story out of this world, you spun a web so tight that I honestly could not stop reading, so now I have a lovely book hangover, but worth every minute every second. I look forward to the next adventures of Gage, Joey, Marcus and Adrienne and the rest of the Journeyman.
Thank you Golden.

I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

Reviewed by Jara

Happy Reading!

EskieMama Reads Review: For Better of Worse by Lauren Layne

For Better or Worse
by Lauren Layne


Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

Review:                                4 1/2 Stars

For Better or Worse was an enjoyable, funny read, just want this reader needed at the time.
I truly loved Heather & Josh’s bantering it had me giggling all through the book. The frenemies storyline just kept you going back for more, because you could just feel the electricity around them fighting their feelings for each other all the way.  There were times I just wanted to go through the book & wring Josh’s neck, but at the end he redeemed himself. I truly loved the ending never expecting it, but my lips are sealed, grab a copy & find out. I had read the novella in The Wedding Belle series From This Day Forward and enjoyed (my first Lauren Layne book), now this reader needs to go back and read Brooke’s story To Have and To Hold, I can not wait to read Alexis’ story that should be a good one. If you are looking for a enjoyable weekend read I recommend you grab a copy of For Better or For Worse, it will have you giggling.

I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

Reviewed by Mel

Happy Reading!

EskieMama Reads Review #Giveaway: Evanthia's Gift by Effie Kammenou

Evanthia's Gift
by Effie Kammenou

EskieMama Reads is giving away one Amazon copy of Evanthia's Gift! Enter below!


In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets - ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family. 

The story continues in the 1970’s as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean, 
who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she’d hoped for. 

EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a multigenerational love story spanning fifty years and crossing two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families. 

Review:                                  5 stars

Evanthia’s Gift was a beautifully written two generation Greek-American love story, once I started reading it, I hated to put it  down.  The book starts out with Ana & Alex’s love story, what a wonderful love that was, Alex had loved Ana from the first time he met her in college but never let his feelings known and lost his opportunity when she married another. They meet few years later through a mutual friend and this time he never let the opportunity get away this time.  You could just feel how much Alex loved & cherished Ana & her daughter Sophia, who he adopted, he would not stop until Ana trusted & loved him. I could just feel the pain the couple went through early in their marriage, it almost destroyed them but as a couple they love was more powerful than it was before the tragedy.  I loved Alex & Ana’s story but to me the best was yet to come with Sophia & Dean’s story.  

Sophia & Dean’s love story there was so many ups & downs, when you finally thought yes a big NO came. Dean had always thought of Sophia as another sister along with his own sister. They were always together, with their parents being best friends, more like family,  living next door to each other, family functions & Sophia as far as she could remember Dean was always her “Dino” & she always loved him, until one kiss that changed it all.  

There was so many times I wanted to go through the book & wring Dean’s neck, shake him until he finally realized what was right in front of him.  But eventually, many years later, he did it for me finally opened his eyes and realized what truly mattered in life.  

This book took me on an emotional roller coaster, I was laughing, yelling at the characters, and find myself crying.  I also loved learning so much Greek history, I myself never knew their was Greek Jews, and the struggles that Greeks had to through to keep their beliefs. If you are looking for a beautiful love story that will take you away on a emotional rollercoaster, that expands over 50 years, I recommend you grab a copy of Evanthia’s Gift today!  Effie Kammenou has earned a new fan in this reader & I can not wait to get my hand’s on the next book in the The Gift Saga!

I received a copy from the author for my honest review for EskieMama Reads Midweek Spotlight!

Reviewed by Mel

Happy Reading!

EskieMama Reads Review Giveaway

EskieMama Reads Review: Ruthless by Lexi Blake

by Lexi Blake


The first in a sexy contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

The Lawless siblings are bound by vengeance. Riley, Drew, Brandon, and Mia believe the CEO of StratCast orchestrated their parents’ murder twenty years ago to steal their father’s software program. And there’s only one way Riley can find some solid evidence...

Heir to the StratCast legacy, Ellie Stratton hires a new attorney to handle a delicate business matter—and she’s shocked by her attraction to him. Over the course of a few weeks, Riley becomes her lover, her friend, her everything. But when her life is threatened, Ellie discovers that Riley is more obsessed with settling an old score than in the love she thought they were building. And Riley must choose between a revenge he’s prepared for all his life and the woman he’s sure he can’t live without...

Review:                                     5 stars

Let me start by saying this is the second book I have read by Lexi Blake and she didn’t let this reader down. Ruthless was one of those books I just couldn’t put down, it was just page turner.  It was filled with secrets, betrayal , revenge, twist and turns I never saw coming making me say OMG no way, especially the last few chapters.  This book had me giggling at times & I shed a few tears.  At first I wanted to strangle Riley for how he was leading Ellie on with his secrets and betrayal, but eventually I rooting for him for Ellie to give him a second chance, he was willing to give up his family & their revenge against the three people who murdered his parents, for her. I can not wait for the next book in the Lawless series, to find out what they have plan for Patricia Cain’s demise, knowing them Lawless brothers it will be dandy. I hope Brandon & Drew can find love as Riley did, these men have been through so much in their life, it has destroyed them all they can think about is revenge, well Riley not anymore since he learned how it felt to truly love a woman and that woman to love him back, especially Drew I think when he falls it will be hard with his heart of ice, except for his siblings & Hatch.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves a romance  with a little suspense, be ready for some twist & turns.  Lexi Blake will keep you on the edge of your seat close to the end.

I recieved a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

Reviewed by Mel

Happy Reading!

EskieMama Reads Review: Don't Tempt Me by Lori Foster

Don't Tempt Me
by Lori Foster


Love comes along when it's least wanted 

Jason Guthrie has no time for entanglements—between helping out his widowed brother and teenage nephew and getting his hometown back on its feet, his days are spoken for. But his nights are another story… And when his lovely new neighbor, Honor Brown, reluctantly accepts his help in remodeling her house, Jason finds himself wishing his handyman skills could knock down the defenses she keeps building around herself. 

Martial arts teacher Sullivan Dean knows real danger when he sees it—even when it takes the form of the gorgeous blonde helping her friend move in across the street. After putting his wayward past behind him to focus on teaching control to troubled kids, Sullivan has learned to avoid party girls like Lexie Perkins. But Sullivan can't seem to keep his hands off the real woman behind that flirty charm—or keep his heart from landing at her feet…

Review:                                      5 stars

Jason, Honor, Colt Hogan, Lexie and Sullivan these characters felt so real, they jumped out of the pages and captured my heart. Problems they faced at first alone and little by little Honor found in Jason what she needed, and he found the love that completed his life. His brother and son faced other issues equally as heart breaking, Lexie and Sullivan too had their issues to work through. 
Every page was either making me laugh or cry, then cheer and yell at someone , and I did not care who I was yelling at.
Thank you Lori for some wonderful characters and a beautiful story, look forward to the next one.

I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

Reviewed by Jara

Happy Reading!

EskieMama Reads Review: Virtue of Death by Randi Perrin

Virtue of Death 
by Randi Perrin


At eighteen, Sera Moore chose to go to culinary school while a higher power selected her to become an angel, specifically, an angel of death.

Now, twelve years later, Sera’s a successful baker during the day and performs her angelic duties at night. The only thing missing in her life is a man, but the last thing she wants is to fall head over wings in love. It seems her relationships are unable to survive once she reveals her nighttime activities, so it’s easier to not even bother.

But when a tenacious food critic won't take a hint, can Sera lower her wings long enough to risk her heart one more time?

Review:                                    5 stars

What a book and what a story, Michael and Gabriel 2 heavenly bound Angels who watch over Earth bound Angels, the earth bound Angels all have different duties, which they are given when they become Angels, Sara and Cheryl are such Angels. Sara's job is to touch and hold hands of the humans that are about to die and take them to where they will be judges, she is the one that makes the transition from life to death easier for us. Cheryl protects and can save lives.
Destin is human and falling for his Angel Sara, the trip they take is so sweet, what it took for them to admit they are in love and still they go through a lot before, well there is more to it.
This was a story that flowed like a gentle river and took my mind to explore the possibilities, truly a remarkable story. Thank you for a wonderful trip Randi Perrin...

I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

Reviewed by Jara

Happy Reading!

EskieMama Reads Review: Scarecrow's Dream by Flo Fitzpatrick

Scarecrow's Dream
by Flo Fitzpatrick


Through death and time, two souls search for love lost and found.

When Holly Malone staggers into her Manhattan apartment at one-thirty in the morning, she’s shocked to discover more than forty years have passed since her last, vague memory of being involved in a motorcycle crash.

No one can see her, and only a few can hear her—her now-aged aunt, and the man she’d been clinging to when the motorcycle sailed off that icy bridge. Shane Halloran, who everyone assumed died with her on that snow-blind night.

Now, Shane hides behind an assumed identity. The wreck that took Holly’s life was part of a string of not-so-coincidental accidents connected to a play so controversial, someone went to deadly lengths to make sure it never saw the lights of opening night.

As they piece together Holly’s sketchy flashbacks, Shane comes to the heartbreaking realization that the woman he has loved for over forty years could at any moment disappear back into the past. Unless Holly’s memories of then—and now—turn out to be a two-way street.

Warning: Contains one uber-charming black Irish rogue, one feisty heroine who’ll take on the world for him, one eccentric hippie aunt—and two generations of eagles named Joey.

Review:                               5 Stars

When I first started to read this book, I was a bit perplexed and a tad bored. Holly Malone a victim of a accident or something else. Shane Halloran her boyfriend were on a ride trying to get away from someone trying to kill her or kill him, 
Holly finds herself on the shore of the river and walks back to her apartment she shared with her Dad, she finally manages to get in, but no Dad , but her Aunt Addie and BooBoo a dog, The dog being the only one that can see her and her Aunt can hear her, but nothing else.......
Holly and her Aunt believe her to be dead, but Holly has no memory of anything, and she also is not in 2016 rather than 1973.
The story weaves and a plot, a play a scripts and little by little Holly has flashbacks or memories that come back to her, including Shane the man she fell in love in 1973. Countless murders and we weave to the end of the story.
Page by Page I was draw in, be it fantasy or be it real, it was a darn good story, ghost, time travel or time loop, I did not care I have to read and read because I fell in love with Shane and Holly and had to find out what happens to the time torn or ghost torn lovers..

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review!

Reviewed by Jara

Happy Reading!

EskieMama Reads Review: Disciplining the Beast by Tina Donahue

Disciplining the Beast
by Tina Donahue


Thank heaven for babes who like to raise hell.
Taming the Beast, Book 5
Wynona relishes her job as a reaper. Some jerkwad pisses her off? He’s toast. Any douchebag who mistreats a woman better watch out. Lately, she’s been enjoying it a little too much—and Heaven is not amused.
Wings temporarily clipped, she’s doing time working as an enforcer at From Crud to Stud. The body count isn’t what she’s used to, but at least the scenery—that is, her celestial parole officer—is tall, dark, and deliciously hot.
Rafael can’t take his eyes off Wynona. No, really. She’s a 24/7, one-on-one job. No matter how hard this angel rides her, she begs for more. Finding a way to bring out her best side is turning out to be the greatest challenge of his career.
She’s sassy and sexy, and she’s brought out a side of him he never knew existed—an inner Dom that is only too willing to follow her down the garden path of unrestrained indulgence. And once they set foot on that slippery slope, there’s no turning back.
Warning: Virtue has met its match. Celebrates bondage, discipline, voyeurism, and crazy good sex in an office setting, fetish club, and everywhere else. The faint of heart are advised to turn back now.

Review:                                 4 Stars
Well this was definitely different book, have not read one like it and not sure if I will again. The story centers around a reaper Wynona, Rafael the good Angel as her PO. Classic story of 2 beings in love, ones that should not be. It was well writen no complaints there, it did keep me wondering how it would end, but will not tell you how it did. You will have to judge it on your own.
I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review!
Reviewed by Jara

Happy Reading!