Blog Tour: Fantasy Mountain (Author Guest Post & Review)

Fantasy Mountain (Piper Denna)

She arranges fantasy fulfillment for a living. Now it’s her turn.

Victoria has built a world-renowned business at Fantasy Mountain, the resort where no want is too wacky, no urge too unusual, no passion too peculiar. Her ability to create any sexual scenario has granted her everything she could want: power, money, independence. The one thing that remains out of her reach is the man she knows she’ll never have…and he happens to work just down the hall from her.

Brett has all but given up hope of breaching the wall around Victoria’s heart. In fact, he’s engaged to be married back in London in only two months. But he knows Victoria has desires; he’s seen them firsthand.

When a night of passion rekindles old feelings, can he finally fulfill the ultimate fantasy of the woman who’s made it her mission to satisfy everyone’s desires but her own? After all, whatever the erotic dream, it can come true at Fantasy Mountain.

Content Warning: Wild romps, no-holds-barred lust, and deep, meaningful lovemaking. A love story first, sparing no steamy details. Contains glimpses into very kinky fantasies.

Available from:    Amazon    |    Barnes & Noble    |    Lyrical Press

Piper Denna’s Guest Post: Things that go bump…or flap

Everybody’s scared of something. Some of us admit to fears readily, while others go for the tough ‘tude and act fearless. In checking out this blog, I learned Faith is afraid of birds. I can relate. Birds are fine if they’re far away…in trees, where they belong. But I’m not interested in petting or holding them. All those sharp claws and beaks are so…fierce.

Our fears are usually based in experience. For me, the childhood chore of feeding the chickens and gathering eggs was fraught with terror—we had one lone rooster (by accident; he came in an order that was supposed to be all hens) who had no other male bird to fight with, so he fought me. And won, every time. I tried facing my fear as an adult, and agreed to hold my mother-in-law’s pet cockatoo, and she promptly bit my face. And chased me every time I entered the house. So I’m just fine accepting—and admitting—that I don’t like birds, and I’m scared of them.

Fictional characters often have fears, and we as authors usually force them to face those fears. In the story I’m writing right now, the hero has a phobia of dogs…and of course, the heroine has a huge dog. His fear is cute, though, and I’m sure he’ll get over it (once he confesses to her—and me—what cause the fear).

In Fantasy Mountain, Victoria should be afraid of helicopters, but has faced that fear and uses one all the time. She lives with fear on a daily basis, but projects an aura of cool power. Her need for constant order and her nearly compulsive cleaning show she’s afraid of anything she can’t control (with good reason), and in an effort to avoid future loss (her greatest fear), she plans to never care for anyone else again. Fortunately for her, Brett is fearless in love, willing to put himself out there again and again, until she’s willing to risk it. It helps that he knows her almost as well as she knows herself, and he doesn’t doubt she loves him…he only needs to convince her.

Connect with Piper: Piper Denna Website    |    Piper Denna Blog    |    Fantasy Mountain Website    |    Facebook    |    Twitter    |    Goodreads    |    Book Trailer

 

My review

Title: Fantasy Mountain
Author: Piper Denna
Length: 292 pages
Source: Review copy for a tour
Series? No

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Readability: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★

My opinion:
I expected a light-hearted romantic romp, but Fantasy Mountain provided so much more.  Piper Denna manages to tell a story that is not only romantic and sexy, but also funny, heart-warming and oh-so-real.

Where to start in describing the resort itself? It almost sounds magical, which is the sort of vibe Victoria was going for. Clients are encouraged to feel like they’re stepping not only into another world, but directly into their fantasies.  The resort will stop at virtually nothing to achieve that for clients – from providing participants to setting the scene, every little detail is covered!

I sometimes feel male characters are more fleshed-out in romance, with the main character viewed as sort of secondary. Not so in Fantasy Mountain, which is filled with three-dimensional, well-developed characters. I loved Victoria, and I feel she is one of the best characters I’ve seen in any romance novel.  Devastated by the loss of her partner, Victoria decides to step up and do something she’s always wanted to do.  From that determination Fantasy Mountain is born.

Brett was also a great character, though I felt sometimes he wasn’t as clear as he could have been about his feelings – typical man trait there though I suppose!  With his accent, his good looks, and their unfailing chemistry, Victoria has a hard time keeping her eyes off Brett. They’ve kept hands off (mostly), due to his fiancée and her own reservations.  Throughout the story though, factors combine to make keeping their professional distance harder, and their budding relationship is wonderful to read.  You can’t help but root for Brett, even as you understand Victoria’s reasons for pushing him away.

As well as Victoria and Brett, I also enjoyed the minor characters, from the pilot to the dog (sorry, deliberately vague to avoid spoilers!). The only negative for me is one particular scene at the house of Victoria’s best friend, Carmyn. Without giving away too much, the….openness in that particular scene felt less believable to me than the rest of the book.

Wonderful, slow-building intimacy, a great setting, steamy sex scenes and fantastic characters make Fantasy Mountain a book not to be missed!

Buy it? Worth paying for in my opinion!
In a nutshell: More than your average romance

About the Author

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Romance is sexy. And often funny, and sometimes tangled up with suspense. Let’s face it: all sorts of things get mixed up with romance in real life. Piper Denna’s stories are not cut-and-dried romance. She wants her characters to deal with issues female readers can relate to: independence and trust, empowerment, inhibitions, an unfaithful partner, motherhood. Sometimes her characters make mistakes and often her “bad guys” are not 100% bad. Mostly she wants to take the reader on an emotional journey to a happy ending…with a few enviable sexual encounters along the way.When she’s not writing, she edits, raises two teens along with her husband, and has an evil day job.She enjoys books–or movies–with a comedic twist and hopefully a love story with lots of tension, too.  Sexiest parts of a man in Piper’s opinion? The hands and eyes. Shoulders are nice too, and of course, great pecs are never amiss…

250 Word review: Always and Forever

250 Word Review: Always and Forever (Karla J. Nellenbach) Goodreads | Amazon



Always & Forever tour banner

Summary (From Goodreads.com)
Mia’s first reaction is outright disbelief. Obviously, a mistake has been made. Sixteen-year-old girls don’t die. But, when the diagnosis is confirmed, she dives headlong into anger. If she has to die, why should it be of cancer? In fact, anything would be preferable to cancer. Better for her to say when, where, and especially how.

Determined to meet death on her own terms, Mia devises scheme after scheme to get the job done. A “fall” down the basement stairs, driving her car off a bridge, and even a dance with a train all end in her survival.

And through it all, Mia keeps her family and friends at arms’ length with her destructive and hurtful behavior. With each failed suicide attempt and burned relationship, she slowly realizes that it’s not the dying that she’s afraid of, but the life she’ll be leaving behind. Now, that life is in a shambles. As time begins to slip through her fingers and death is upon her, Mia fights to rebuild the bridges she has destroyed, but can she do it before the clock runs out?

Title: Always and Forever
Author: Karla J. Nellenbach
Length: 263 Pages
Source: Review copy for a blog tour

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Readability: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★

My opinion:
I know I just said realistic fiction wasn’t really my thing, but I’ve been trying to step out of my [fantasy dominated] comfort zone this year, so forgive me!

I have to admit, I loved Always and Forever. Mia, a sixteen year old cancer survivor gets diagnosed with a second type of cancer…an inoperable one, that doesn’t leave her with a lot of time. Determined not to fall prey to cancer and the indeterminable wait, she decides to take matters into her own hands, pushing her friends and family away as she tries to orchestrate her own death. I’ll be honest, this was a bit of a stretch for me, but the rest of the characters MORE than made up for Mia’s somewhat bizarre rationalisations.

Kal in particular is one of the most likeable characters I’ve read about in a long time, and throughout the book I veered from hating him to wanting to hug him – just as Mia does. Karla Nellenbach’s writing sucks you in so you can’t help but understand exactly how Mia feels, even if you want to shake her sometimes!

I’m not a big crier, but I have to confess that I pretty much sobbed my way through the entire book! The final scenes are especially beautifully written. If you’re looking for a beautiful, heart-wrenching story with a good dash of romance and some wonderful characters, look no further!

Buy it? Definitely.
In a nutshell: A heart-breaking, riveting debut.

Other Reviews of Always and Forever: Splash of Our Worlds | YA Book Addict | Pink Polka Dot Book Blog

Check out: Author Interview | An excerpt from Always and Forever

250 Word review: Twelve Months, Steven Manchester

250 Word Review: Twelve Months (Steven Manchester) Goodreads | Amazon


Summary (From Goodreads.com)
Don DiMarco has a very good life – a family he loves, a comfortable lifestyle, passions and interests that keep him amused. He also thought he had time, but that turned out not to be the case. Faced with news that might have immediately felled most, Don now wonders if he has time enough. Time enough to show his wife the romance he didn’t always lavish on her. Time enough to live out his most ambitious fantasies. Time enough to close the circle on some of his most aching unresolved relationships. Summoning an inner strength he barely realized he possessed, Don sets off to prove that twelve months is time enough to live a life in full.

A glorious celebration of each and every moment that we’re given here on Earth, as well as the eternal bonds that we all share, TWELVE MONTHS is a stirring testament to the power of the human spirit.

Title: Twelve months
Author: Steven Manchester
Length: 324 Pages
Source: Review copy from the author

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Readability: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★

My opinion:
This novel is what I expected from The Fault in Our Stars; it’s a beautiful, heartrending read that lingers with you afterwards.
Emotional, inspiring and beautifully written, Twelve Months begins with Don’s diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer. The novel follows Don as he sets off to fulfil his Top 5 fantasies, spend time with his family, and enjoy his remaining time to its fullest.

The characters in Twelve Months, particularly Don’s wife and grandkids, are wonderful and amazingly lifelike.  The whole book, in fact, reads almost like a memoir rather than fiction, and you can almost feel Don growing as a person throughout the novel. From scenes that made me giggle out loud to heartbreaking ones that made me cry, once I got into the book, I couldn’t put it down.

I did find Don a little too perfect at times, but he also reminded me of my Grandad – there are real people that inspiring, I’m just not one of them!

I also worried towards the end of the novel when Don started contemplating his faith – for me, religion in fiction tends to be an instant turn-off. However, it was pretty minimal and perfectly fitted in with both the plot and Don’s character.

The incredible characters and Don’s heart-warming desire to “Leave more than you can take” will have you reassessing your priorities, and inspire you to be the best person you can be.

Buy it? Definitely.
In a nutshell: An inspiring, thought-provoking, beautiful read.

Other Reviews of Twelve Months: A Book of A Different Color | Turning the Pages | Kim the Bookworm
Check out: Steven’s Writing Process | An interview with Steven Manchester

Giveaway + 250 Word review: Phantom, Laura DeLuca

Phantom tour banner

 

250 Word Review: Phantom (Laura DeLuca) Goodreads | Amazon


Summary (From Goodreads.com)
The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

Title: Phantom
Author: Laura DeLuca
Length: 262 Pages
Source: Tour copy for review

Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Readability: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★

My opinion:
This isn’t necessarily the sort of book I would usually buy but I’m so glad I signed up for the tour – I definitely would have missed out otherwise!

Rebecca is a great protagonist – shy, invisible to the popular boy, mostly content to blend in at school.  But when The Phantom of The Opera is announced as the school play she can’t possibly let the opportunity pass by without auditioning, despite her nerves.   You can completely relate to her, and you can’t help but want everything to work out.

She wins the role of Christine, but things quickly take a turn for the worse when someone starts pulling tricks worthy of the original Phantom.  Creepy phone calls and notes make it clear that people aren’t getting hurt by accident, and Becca is left wondering who the real life Phantom is, and why he’s targeting her.

I found every character in this to be well-rounded and engaging, and I couldn’t put the book down.  Tom, the typical popular boy, and Justyn, the new goth boy, vie for Becca’s attention in drastically different ways, and like Christine, Becca feels drawn to both.  Despite her interest though, she can’t help but wonder…is one of them the Phantom?

The twists and turns keep you guessing right the way through, and every time you think you’ve figured out who the Phantom is, something throws your suspicions onto someone else!

Buy it? Definitely!
In a nutshell: One of my favourites so far this year

Laura DeLuca is also running a giveaway as part of the tour, which you can participate in here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

She Wulf Tour: Sheryl Steines Interview & Giveaway

Please enjoy this interview with Sheryl Steines, author of the action-packed urban fantasy, She Wulf. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of She Wulf, and 5 copies of its companion, The Day of First Sun.

1. When you start a book do you know how it will end or do you create the ending as you go along?

I have a rough idea of what the book will be about and I have some scene ideas and a rough ending. When I wrote The Day of First Sun, I knew that a high profile, non-magical person was going to be murdered by magic. I wrote out a paragraph of things that I wanted to see in the story and began writing. I didn’t look at the paragraph again until after the book was published and realized that I didn’t keep to my original thoughts at all. I tend to work without an outline because I feel tied to the story as if I’m trying to make everything fit. I prefer to let it flow and change. I like the freedom and the discovery. Sometimes I’m wildly surprised.

2. Do your book characters ever visit you in your dreams?

Yes and no. Not as much when I’m sleeping, but I daydream about them all the time. It’s how I work out characters and storylines. It’s almost as if a movie is playing in my head and I can change and add to storylines.

3. What are your favorite authors as either an adult or a child?

When I was a kid, I loved Nancy Drew. I read every one of them, but I didn’t just want to read them, I wished I had wrote them and started to write my own detective stories when I was seven. As I grew older, I read Judy Blume and Stephen King. Both made me feel something and from that I wanted to keep writing. I still read Stephen King and was very inspired by his autobiography On Writing. It was J.K. Rowling though, that reminded me of what I loved to read and that’s what inspired me to write my own fantasy novel.

4. How do you go about finishing a chapter when you can’t get it right?

I skip it…Just kidding. No, actually I’m not. Sometimes, I make a note in all caps reminding me I haven’t finished the chapter and other notes that I might be thinking about for the chapter and start the next one. Sometimes you just need to move on. The answer will eventually hit you upside the head when you least expect it.

5. Describe your reaction when you saw and held your first book?

I think I was numb when The Day of First Sun was published. Almost as if I had only done it to satisfy a selfish desire. It didn’t seem real. It was when I held She Wulf in my hands for the first time that I was overcome with emotion. This book consumed me for so long and I was so amazed by the final product and it seemed more than just a fantasy.

6. What is your biggest achievement to date?

Writing my first book. I always wanted to and never gave myself the opportunity. One day I decided it was time. It changed my life, gave me confidence. I lost the extra baby weight, changed my wardrobe, straightened my hair and gave my girls a role model, an example of taking control of one’s life and being the best person you can be.

7. What’s your favorite color?

Pink. I’ve always been a girly girl. As much as I’d like to be a sporty girl, I’m just not. It’s all about the pink, purses and shoes.

8. Favorite sound?

I love the sound of rain on the roof. Not during the sunlight hours, but early in the morning when it’s still dark out. I snuggle under the covers. It makes me happy.

9. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

An interior decorator. I love being creative and crafty and picking paint colors and getting lost in a fabric store. It’s almost as good as getting lost in a bookstore.

10. Worst fear?

I fear the alligators under the bed. Since I was a kid I can’t sleep without something covering my feet incase they come and get me. Don’t laugh, Stephen King admitted the same thing in an interview once.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the She Wulf eBook edition is just 99 cents this week -and so is the price of its companion, The Day of First Sun. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of She Wulf for just 99 cents
  2. Purchase your copy of Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  4. Visit today’s featured social media event

About She Wulf: Annie is sent through an ancient time portal with only a prophecy to guide her; she struggles with a new destiny as she tries
to figure out a way to destroy an un-killable demon and return home. Get it on Amazon.

About The Day of First Sun: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and
Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.