Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review: "Hellbound" by Tim Hawken

Feature Friday is a day late, lovebugs!

I got the yucks and was unable to make the post yesterday. I'm feeling much better today!

If you've been keeping up with us the past few weeks you'll know that our FABULOUS Featured Author is Tim Hawken.

So far you've seen:



and today is the Review of "Hellbound" book #1 in Mr. Hawken's Dark Trilogy.

Stick with us for a Character Interview next week, followed by a Review of the second book in this fantastic series! 



The Hellbound Trilogy #1

Displaying cover-1.jpgHellbound

• Paperback: 228 pages

• Publisher: Dangerous Little Books (November 28, 2010)

• Language: English

• ISBN-10: 0956427634

• ISBN-13: 978-0956427632


Face to face with Satan, Michael has awoken in the bowels of Hell with no memory of who he is, or why he has been damned.

Hell, however, isn’t what he expected. Rather than the fires of torment, he finds a hedonistic city of gambling, sex, murder and revenge.

With the Devil as his guide, Michael embarks on a quest of self-discovery and self-redemption. But will he get a second chance at salvation? And why is Satan helping him?

Hellbound is a contemporary view of Hell, exploring today’s idea of sin and religion, through witty dialogue and bursts of descriptive prose.

Dark, funny and philosophical.

Praise for Hellbound:

“I can’t wait to read the next books in the trilogy.” *****

“This book is that rarest of gems – completely original. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was quite like this.” **** –

“This book had the power to make me laugh one moment and to be deeply contemplative the next.” **** – BiblioSanctum

“Without a shadow of a doubt, you’re bound to enjoy this tale.” ****

Links for Hellbound

Now this is a work that's going to turn some heads. Imaginative, dark, and truly disturbing. "Hellbound" is modern day myth, reminiscent of those Greek legends of waring Gods, cranky Dark Lords, and an Underworld that isn't all that it seems. It even has an unsuspecting Hero trudging through the depths, facing their demons, and returning to the surface to exact revenge on a Divine Favorite - a Demi-god if you will.

This work is not for the faint of heart, and if you get the squeems easily I'd say... read this book anyway. I'm super squeamish and I was acutely disturbed throughout the majority of the work but the curious philosophy and the new perspective on God, Satan, and all the in-between made the book just too good to put down.

"Hellbound" will make you reconsider your ideas of personal struggle, sin, and the human condition by taking everything you ever thought you could guess about Heaven and Hell and turning it on its head. Supernatural fans will enjoy a fresh perspective on demons, and the cooky representation of some of Hells best-and-brightest will put a smile on your face despite your jittery tummy.  You never know what's coming, and you sure as heck never know who to trust. In a lot of ways the reader finds themselves in the position of Michael, learning about his life one chapter at a time and coming face to face with new decisions and struggles even in the afterlife.

I would warn potential readers that this is not a book for Young Adults. The content is quite racy and would be a solid Rated R. This, however, doesn't take away from the general likeability of the book and I would definitely suggest it to any Horror or Dark Fantasy fan looking for a new favorite.


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Until Next Blog,

Read On! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spotlight and Excerpt: "The Catcher's Keeper" by JD Spero

Happy Wednesday, booklings!

Auggie-Talk is happy to introduce to you via Enchanted Book Promotions - JD Spero and her Alternate History "Catcher's Keeper".

Enjoy the excerpt and the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

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The Catcher's Keeper

Displaying CATCHER'S KEEPER - 2500.jpg 

Title: Catcher’s Keeper
Author: Johannah Davies Spero
Genre: Commercial Fiction / Alternate History Fiction
What if Holden Caulfield was around when John Lennon was shot?
In 1980 John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman, who believed he was Holden Caulfield, narrator of the classic The Catcher in the Rye. After the shooting, Chapman remained on the scene calmly reading the book, which he later offered to police as “his statement.” Catcher's Keeper asks the question, “What if Holden had met Chapman, learned of his plan, and tried to prevent the assassination?”

Author Bio
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Johannah Davies Spero was born near a pristine lake in the Adirondacks and has lived in various cities such as St. Petersburg (Russia), Indianapolis, Dallas, and Boston. She has pursued her love of narrative through degrees in English literature, Russian language, and teaching—and has worked as an actress, a yoga instructor, a web design entrepreneur, a freelance writer, and a high school English teacher. She lives in the Northeast with her husband and three young sons.


 Book Excerpt 
Chapter 31

Alden’s words nag like Monday morning’s alarm clock: …you stole my journal…published it behind my back. Not only do these words prove I’m an asshole, but now this MD guy knows it. I stare down at the book in my hands, my name screaming off the cover in bold, Times New Roman. On the back cover is a photo of me. I’m leaning against a tree, grinning smugly with my arms folded. You know who I see in that photo? A prick who should get what he deserves, even if it’s delivered by some overzealous fan. I can picture it all unraveling: an image of me flashes on the screen, my hand blocking the camera, the caption scrolling: Who’s the real author?

This fucking book. Measly. Insignificant. And yet—it’s spurred all this bullshit. I should burn every last one of them.

I turn back to the cover to hide my face—from Alden especially.

Alden eyes me through slits. “MD doesn’t care about you. Waste of time.”

I shove the book under my arm. “So, his plan is to…?”

“He’s still zappy for the book. Maybe he doesn’t care how it got published. Fiona’s worried he’s going to leak it to the press. Your plagiarism. But he wouldn’t need my help for that.”

“What would he need your help with?”

Alden shrugs. “The only thing that came up on the train…the only plan we talked about was getting John Lennon’s autograph.”

“What does that have to do with the book?”

His eyes flicker to the map above the doors as the train slows down. “Next stop is ours,” he says.
Like a shot, Alden is on the platform, and then bounds up the stairs two at a time. As soon as we come into daylight, he lights up a cigarette. It hits me: daylight. Damn! I pound the book with my fist and catch up to Alden.

“This isn’t going to work, Alden. It’s the middle of the day.”

He keeps walking. I wave the book in his line of vision.

“Alden, this all takes place at night. In the middle of the night. It makes no sense to go to the Edmont now. The damn Lavender Room won’t even be open.”

He stops, sucks on his cigarette, staring at the traffic. It seems colder here, more windy. I’m shivering, waiting for him. I almost ask him for a cigarette just to warm my hands, but—

“We’re not going to the goddam Edmont.” And he picks up his absurdly fast pace again. I work my stride into a jog, wishing I had a hat. The kind with flaps on the sides to keep my ears warm. I smile inwardly, remembering the kid in the book like he’s an old buddy. I look at Alden weaving his lanky body through the sparse crowd. His hair is an uncombed mop, and his worn jacket falls at the hip of his ripped jeans. He looks like a big kid. But laugh lines are hidden beneath his scruff, and his eyes have a depth and an honesty reserved for Buddhist monks or tribal elders, reminding me what I already know: This kid has been through something. Nothing is more important than protecting him now, my little brother. I have to make things right.


There is a tour-wide giveaway for a signed paperback copy of the book. The giveaway is US/CA only.
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Until Next Blog,

Read On! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: "If Only" by A.J. Pine

(Note: This post was made pre-layout update. 
The formats may be wonky.)

Displaying Banner.jpg

Displaying 9781622664351_FC.jpgTitle: IF ONLY

Author: A.J. Pine

Publisher: Entangled Embrace

Pub. Date: March 24, 2014

Pages: 342

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Sometimes it takes crossing an ocean to figure out where you belong.

It's been two years since twenty-year-old Jordan had a boyfriend—which means it's been forever since she, well, you know. But now she’s off to spend her junior year in Aberdeen, Scotland, the perfect place to stop waiting for Mr. Right and just enjoy Mr. Right Now.

Sexy, sweet (and possible player) Griffin may be her perfect, no-strings-attached match. He’s fun, gorgeous, and makes her laugh. So why can’t she stop thinking about Noah who, minutes after being trapped together outside the train’s loo, kisses Jordan like she’s never been kissed before? Never mind his impossible blue eyes, his weathered, annotated copy of The Great Gatsby (total English-major porn)

…oh, and his girlfriend.

Jordan knows everything this year has an expiration date. Aberdeen is supposed to be about fun rather than waiting for life to happen. But E. M. Forster, Shakespeare, and mistletoe on Valentine’s Day make her reconsider what love is and how far she’s willing to go for the right guy.

About A.J.

Displaying Pine4BW-150x150.jpgAJ writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend those hearts with a happily ever after…maybe. The first book she wrote was YA, but now she’s two-timing her first love Pine4BWwith NA. She’s always in the middle of reading two to three books, adores online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes), and she still loves vampires, whether it’s Eric Northman or the Salvatore brothers.

When she’s not writing, AJ is sneaking off to her day job as a high school English teacher or hanging with her husband and kids in the Chicago burbs.

AJ’s debut NA novel, IF ONLY, releases with Entangled’s Embrace line on March 24!

Ok. Confession time. I don't read New Adult very often. It's just not a genre (yet) that I'm in love with. Considering that the majority of it is contemporary (please someone give me some suggestions if I'm totally wrong about that) and that's just not my cup'o'tea.

But dang. "If Only" was the best friend smacking you upside the head. Reading this book was like meeting someone who experienced all the same angst of your college days. If this book were a person we would have talked and laughed all night over a glass (or 5) of wine. I appreciated right away Jordan's conflict and I appreciated even more that she remained true to herself, in many ways, by not just throwing herself into bed with the first guy that offered. Jordan believed in love but, as many 20-somethings girls do, discovered that getting to know a person and learning to trust isn't as easy as Disney makes it out to be.

Jordan is an average girl. In the case of "If Only" this is extremely important because MANY college-aged girls have studied abroad and have experienced that sort of "Anything can happen" mentality, NOT just the super gorgeous, highly flirty, or overly lux. Study abroad can happen to anyone (and should).

I think A.J. Pine captured well the psyche of young college women who find themselves frustrated, tired, and just plain confused when it comes to living life, being true to yourself, and learning to trust others in love. It's difficult. Sometimes it's just a MESS. 

There was certainly some juvenile drama going on throughout, especially between Jordan and the two man-boys she became entangled with during her trip abroad. When I started to get frustrated with how things were progressing towards the "Stop acting like a child" realm, however, I conveniently remembered the structure of my relationships back in my early 20s. Then I just sighed. Flashbacks can be extraordinarily sobering. I don't miss my early 20s.

I believe that A.J. Pine has done an extraordinary job of capturing that sort of turmoil that comes with being a "new" adult, which I think is the entire point of the NA genre. If there were more NA books like this out there then I would definitely be a fan.

Well penned, Ms. Pine!


Until Next Blog,

Read On! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: "Scary Mary" by S.A. Hunter

Good Wednesday, springletts!

March 20th marks the first day of spring! Today is that last day of winter, and might I be the first to say... ADIOS! Unfortunately it's more of an "Hasta luego" situation... Winter always comes back around but at least we can say "Bye bye for now".

Summer reading is only a few months away. *prepares celebratory balloons*

Today we have a REVIEW for S.A. Hunter's lovely YA paranormal "Scary Mary".

This book reads like one of my favorite paranormal TV series. So, I'm a fan.


9475805Title:  Scary Mary
Author: S.A. Hunter
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication: August 8, 2010
Pages:   144


Mary just wants to be left alone, but the cheerleaders, jocks, guidance counselors, and ghosts won't stop harrassing her. When a new boy starts school, he surprises Mary by befriending her. That's a rare thing for the school freak, but her unusual abilities put a rift in their budding friendship when Mary has to tell Shy that his home is haunted and not by Casper, the friendly ghost. Mary has to get rid of the ghost, thwart the school bully, do her homework, and not get detention. Mary's sure she can do all of that except for the last part.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

I wasn't expecting much from this YA Paranormal quick-read. I've been avoiding "dark" YA since FALLEN, honestly.

Yet there it was....Staring at me through my "recommended reads" list on Amazon. 144 pages? Eh, fine.

My expectations of a melancholy female lead with zero social skills and no self respect were dashed to bits when I was introduced to Mary. Mary isn't your average angsty teen, though you've got to expect a little bit of that from a clairaudient teen. She's a girl that understands her unique circumstance , accepts it (with a little complaining), and stands up for herself in the face other's confusion, discomfort, and hatred.

Being different isn't easy and Mary has had her struggles, but the Character the reader finds is one willing, DESPITE EVERYTHING, to stand up for what is right even when it's in favor of those who have done her wrong.

Style was engaging and some of the information presented is actually very insightful.  The reader actually gets to learn about the differences between Clairaudient and Clairvoyant.

It doesn't go into any exact detail but it doesn't just graze the the top of the shallow end of paranormal knowledge, either. So, the reader doesn't get the "I can speak to the dead! I'm so inflicted."  thing. Instead it's way more of the "It runs in the family. I understand what's going on...but ugh"angle.

Mary wasn't the only enjoyable character and I was pleased to find that I was making at least some small connection with each of the supporting roles. I was even MORE pleased with how the Romance progressed... simply because it's much more realistic an episode than what you might otherwise find in YA paranormal writes.

Final Notes: Mary's grandmother rocks and let's give a round of applause for ghosts of dead Scottish Terriers and their taxidermed  anchors. (Read it. You'll understand).

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


Until Next Blog,

Read On!