Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Release, Giveaway: Same/Difference by D.D. Lorenzo

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Metamorphosis. An exquisite transformation. A necessary mechanism of evolution whereby the change is not only in appearance, but also behavior. My transformation possessed no beauty. Only pain. But just as the caterpillar morphs to a butterfly my strength is refined in the struggle, my flaws cocooned in the dark. If I survive the alteration my reward is to drink nectar and float on the breeze. Where I was once vulnerable, I will rise above. The same, but different. My name is Paige. I'm spreading my wings.


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DD Lorenzo is a contemporary storyteller of love and suspense. She likes to think of her books as "Romance with a Twist"! DD resides in Maryland, The Land of Pleasant Living. She met the love of her life in high school and decided to look no further. Together, they have raised an eclectic and amazing family. When she isn't writing stories, she is rooting for the Baltimore Ravens or the Baltimore Orioles. Her favorite pastimes include spending time with the great people in her life and riding to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in her husband's classic Mustang. DD is currently working on books 5, "Beauty is a Bitch". Just an FYI - Book 1 is a cliffie that concludes in Book 2. Books 3, 4, and 5 are stand alone novels. That will complete the "Depth of Emotion" series. 

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You can find DD on FaceBook, Twitter, Goodreads and at

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Book Review, Giveaway: Natexus by Victoria L. James

Book: Natexus
Author: Victoria L James
Release Date: 31st January 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance


Seven breaths left in her chest, yet I looked back at him. He wasn’t meant to be there on the darkest night of my life, but the mysterious Alex Law continued to make a habit of showing up when I least expected him. With one look in his eyes, everything I’d ever been before him drifted away, and everything I was about to become revolved around him.
Grief threatened to ruin me no matter how hard I fought, and Alex had demons of his own to deal with, yet we found a comfort in each other’s pain. We found ourselves alone, two people becoming one. Just us. Natalie and Alex. Natexus. As long as we had each other, we thought we could make it through anything.
We didn't know there were things out there waiting to destroy us: people we couldn’t escape, fates we couldn’t outrun and regrets we couldn’t avoid. Not all love stories go the same way, and ours was about to take a turn neither one of us could have foreseen. All I could do was stand by and watch as my world fell apart for a second time.
I knew there had been life before Alex Law.
I just had to figure out if there was life after him…
That beautiful, tragic first love of mine.
~~ Natalie Vincent.   

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

“Never let the end of one thing stop you from enjoying the beginning of another.”

“I’d been searching for a way to describe it for months, but I got it then, I got it.  I knew that Alex felt like peace to me.  When I was near him, the noise in my head fell quiet.  I didn’t find myself thinking so much.  I was too busy staring, analyzing, and daydreaming.”

“‘I have a good memory for nice moments, Natalie.’  Alex tilted his head to one side and smirked as he narrowed his eyes.  Natalie.  He said my name like he cherished it.  I’d never heard it spoken that way before.”

“‘You cow!  This dental floss g-string is made of delicate lace.’  Danni quickly glanced back at my parents and offered them a full, beaming smile along with a wave that replicated The Queen’s.”

“Our time together back then is one of those moments in life that we will always regret because we didn’t try, not because we tried and failed.  Those kinds of stories, they’re the ones that kill us from the inside out.  They’re the ones we’ll think about until the day we die.  That’s what regret does.  It burns under the skin.  It taunts you with the possibilities you turned down, and in the end, there’s nothing we can do to get rid of that.  Nothing we can do at all.”

“How was it possible to care for two men and love them in two completely different ways?  How was it possible to feel like your body and soul were going in two totally different directions?  One half wanted to save someone; the other half wanted to be saved.”

“I can promise to love you like no man has ever loved a woman, and I can promise to do that forever.” 

My Review:

Reading Natexus nearly wrecked me.  Oddly, I have never been so delighted to suffer such conflict, and doubt I ever will again as I cannot envision this intangible quality ever being replicated.  I was enthralled and completely engrossed, yet tense and somewhat on edge; a condition I generally don’t appreciate, but I didn’t seem to mind that at all, and remain totally enamored with Victoria L. James – she has mad skills.  My cold heart received the equivalent of a thorough cardio work-out while reading, the poor old thing alternated between thumping with anxiety, sinking, pounding in excitement, soaring, then shattering at least 4 times.  My eyes remained rather misty, a rare occurrence for me, and there were also a few occasions accompanied with ugly bouts of sobbing.  However, by the nail biting conclusion, my fist-sized muscle was singing yet again.  While I skipped the gym yesterday without guilt – I find I am now in need of a spa day. 

The story was beautifully written, and nothing short of exquisite - tender, sweet, romantic, tear jerking, heart squeezing, mesmerizing, relevant, touching, occasionally steamy, frequently devastating, and highly emotive.  If I had to pick one word – it would be poignant.  The characters were fully fleshed out, intriguing, and complicated, each having experienced tragedy in their childhoods that would significantly shape, scar, and continually alter their life view.  His through trauma and a ghastly home life, hers from the grief of living with and losing a chronically ill sibling.  They meshed perfectly as only young/first/epic lovers can.  But of course - trouble erupted and it all fell apart.  I was deeply conflicted and could not decide whom to root for!  I had marked six pages of favorite quotes… six pages… all deeply profound, painfully insightful, or cleverly humorous – it was nearly impossible to narrow it down!  Victoria L. James must have been blessed by the pixies as she has magical powers in the use of words.  Sigh. 

Empress DJ

Author Bio

Victoria L James is a teenage girl stuck in a thirty-something year-olds body. Living somewhere 'oop north' in England, she has had a strong passion for words and stories going as far back as she can remember, which she credits to her grandmother and her love of reading anything that was on sale and cheap from the local market stall. Never once did she think she would release a novel, though. At best, she thought her love of language and her ability to create stories in her mind would provide her with a 'get out of jail free' card whenever she messed up and her parents were mad at her during her teenage years... and when even that didn't work out, she thought she was pretty much done for.
When an opportunity presented itself for her to take a back seat from paid working life for a few years, she knew straight away that she had to try and write about a few of these worlds she'd come up with along the way, and quieten all the voices in her head without racking up a heavy psychiatry bill for the pleasure.
Wearing her heart on her sleeve and trying to lighten her friends’ and family’s lives with naff, and more often than not, badly timed, nineties jokes, she has yet to learn the art of knowing when to shut up. Which is another reason writing became a passion of hers. With pen and paper, there are no limits.
A firm believer in never quitting, with a ridiculous obsession for all things Rocky, she hopes that one day she writes a story that will inspire at least one person out there to keep on going if they're struggling. Other than that, she's just a regular old converse wearing, corona sipping, English version of Chandler Bing, who loves and adores her family more than life itself. Oh, and she also has two cats. Every writer has to mention their cats, right?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Book Review: When In Rome by Amabile Giusti

When In Rome

by Amabile Giusti






As her thirtieth birthday approaches, spirited and unconventional Carlotta is a little nervous. She’s just been fired because of her irrepressible frankness, her family is a mess, and her love life is nonexistent. Plus, living in Rome isn’t cheap, so she’s forced to rent out a room in her apartment to make ends meet.
Her new roommate, Luca, a gorgeous writer who can match her wicked sense of humor, has a lot of cons: he’s sloppy, he smokes too much, and he has a nasty habit of bringing home a different woman every night. Carlotta doesn’t want to admit it, but she’s beginning to fall for the charming novelist whose bedroom seems to have a revolving door. After they share an unexpected kiss, she’ll do anything to suppress her passion and protect her heart. With her crazy relatives and a new job to deal with, can she muster the courage to confess her true feelings? And will Carlotta find happiness in this rented romance?

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

“He’s the kind of guy that women want and men detest. Unless they’re gay, in which case, they want him, too.”

“…in the six months that we’ve lived together, the most intimate moment we’ve shared was when I got sick of the dirty clothes piling up in his room and put his boxers in the washing machine – with salad tongs.”

“I want to warn her that Luca is not her property, that after tonight, he’ll shake her out of the house like a tablecloth full of crumbs.”

“When I was younger, I was the one who always fell down the stairs at schools, slipped love letters into the wrong guy’s pocket, or got stung by bees if I picked a flower and put it in my hair. And don’t even get me started on my adult life. Would you believe me if I told you that I even mixed up the recipients of two note cards? I sent one expressing condolences to a friend that was getting married and my warmest congratulations to another one who just became a widow!”

“Beatrice has chosen only spinsters as her bridesmaids, and I’m the only one not on the verge of menopause.”

“Families are only perfect in ads or ‘50s TV shows. In real life, they’re just a bunch of messed up people, and we have to accept that we can’t ask of others what they can’t give use, whether it’s because of who they are or what they’ve decided.”

My Review:

When In Rome is wicked funny, I barked and smirked as I read and more than once I was forced to stop reading and wipe tears of laughter from my eyes. The writing is vividly and comically descriptive, quirky, easy to follow, and entertaining from beginning to end. Then the humor slowed down and the angsty emotions kicked in, but I didn’t mind as I continued to enjoy the plot and remained invested in the story. Ms Giusti has extraordinary talent and goes on my list of new favorites.

Empress DJ

New Release: Enshrine by Chelle Bliss



by USA Today Bestselling Author, Chelle Bliss


EVERYTHING CHANGED IN AN INSTANT. I thought I knew what was important, but one phone call sent my life into a tailspin. Alone and afraid, I cling to the one man I shouldn’t. I was warned about him and told to stay away. “He’s dangerous,” they said. But the man who could hurt me the most, gave me the greatest comfort. "He's not who they think," I told myself. But just like an illusion, things are never what they seem.


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Enshrine Excerpt:

She fiddles with her cosmopolitan. “I think you should get your eyes checked next time you’re at the doctor, Cal. He’s always watching you. It’s sexy, but it also creeps me the fuck out. He’s so dangerous.” I laugh, playing it off, but I’ve noticed it too. “Is he looking over here now?” I ask, refusing to turn around to look for myself. She leans forward, her eyes peering behind me. “He is. He’s not taking his eyes off us either.” “He probably thinks we’re trouble or something,” I say and hope she drops the topic because I’d rather find out what she was going on about before. “You can pretend like you don’t think he’s hot, Cal, but I’ve seen you flirt with him more than once.” I shake my head and chuckle softly. “Smiling and saying hello isn’t necessarily flirting.” “He has a thing for you.” “He probably has a thing for every girl in this place.” “Nope.” She shakes her head vigorously and puckers her lips. “He wants you.”


Bliss USA Today Bestselling author, Chelle Bliss, currently lives in a small town near the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. She's a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, and coffee fiend. She's written over ten books and has two series available. She loves spending her free time with her boyfriend, 2 cats, and her hamster. Before becoming a writer, Chelle taught high school history for over ten years. She holds a master's degree in Instructional Technology and a bachelor's in history. Although history is her first love, writing has become her dream job and she can't imagine doing anything else.



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Monday, January 18, 2016

Book Review: Exposure by Kelly Moran

Title: Exposure 
Author: Kelly Moran
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: January 18, 2016

His best friend...his muse...his ultimate fantasy...

Noah Caldwell has spent ten years biding his time for the chance to tell his best friend Raven Crowne the truth. He wants her. With the threat that brought him to her in the first place finally behind him, they begin a hot affair he's only dreamed about. And reality is far better than fantasy. Yet beautiful Raven has her own dark history, one he's trying desperately to release from her. But as their passion deepens and turns into more, his past rises up from the shadows to claim one last victim...and Noah could lose the only person he can't live without.

"A sexy, emotional romance that tears up the pages." 
~KIM KARR, New York Times Bestselling Author


"Will leave readers on the edge of their seats on one page and crossing their legs on another." ~RT Magazine
"A sexy, emotional romance that tears up the pages!" ~KIM KARR, New York Times Bestselling Author
"Kelly Moran delivers another captivating read." ~Booklovers Book Blog
"A steamy and suspenseful read that really drew me in." ~The Rambling Book Junkie
"Mind blowingly awesome!" ~Morphy's Book Blog
"This book took me through the gambit of emotions. Five stars just isn't enough." ~Literature Lighthouse

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

“It was a step up from the little girl who got picked on constantly by classmates or ignored throughout high school as if nothing more than dandelion fluff, caught on a breeze.”

“All her life she stayed in the shadows, not wanting attention, uncomfortable with it.  He was the first person to look, to actually see her as she was, and demand she do the same.  No man had ever made her consider herself beautiful.  It wasn’t even anything she contemplated.  But she knew, without doubt, that she was to him.”

“None of them look at me like that… And the sex is boring.  I mean, forget Fifty Shades.  I’d take twenty-five shades.  In any color.  Doesn’t have to be grey.”

“He was starting to think she might never get to the place where he was, that place where he couldn’t live without her, where love hurt so good he couldn’t breathe.”

“I look at you and my heart pounds, when for years, I don’t think it beat at all.  You fill the cracks and crevices, take away the emptiness.  When I think about the future, five years, twenty-five years down the road, you’re there.  And when you’re not by my side, the loss is unimaginable.”

My Review:

Exposure is an intense and highly sensual genre hybrid that crosses contemporary, erotic, and romantic suspense.  The story was intriguing, well written, lushly detailed, and richly descriptive.  I could not put it down and essentially lost myself in this book all day.  The main characters were both full of secrets and troubled and damaged by their traumatic pasts - which just made them ever so much more fascinating.  And in between the crackling suspense and intrigue – the steamy bits had me gasping like a guppy that has flung itself out of the fish bowl.  Oh my!  I may just have to add Kelly Moran to my list of favorites. 

Empress DJ

Kelly Moran is a bestselling author of enchanting ever-afters. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself. She is a Catherine Award-Winner, Readers Choice Finalist, and a Finalist in RWA's 2014 Award of Excellence. She earned one of the 10 Best Reads by USA TODAY's HEA. Kelly's interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don't tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and her black lab. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well.