January 30, 2015

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway: THUNDERSTONE by Barbara Pietron!

Thunderstone by Barbara Pietron
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Published: November 12, 2013

Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren’t things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota.  Then she meets Ice, the local medicine man's apprentice.  Suddenly, her simple family gathering becomes an exciting – and terrifying – week of self-discovery.  At first Jeni doesn't believe Ice's claim that she can touch the spirit world and has somehow released a mythical underwater monster. However, she's forced to reconsider when a teen swears a monster killed his father while fishing on the lake. Just as she comes to accept truth, Jeni finds she is the only one who can imprison the monster, making her the creature's next target.  She'll need immense faith in her newfound ability to put herself in harm's way and face down the monster.  And even if she succeeds in delivering the local population – and Ice – from the creature's wrath, there is no guarantee Jeni will escape with her own life.



The Prequel:

Heart of Ice by Barbara Pietron


About the Author

After years in the corporate world, Barbara found herself with a second chance to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up.  Her lifetime love of books and the written word returned one answer: writer.  Drawing from her experience with technical writing, she began by writing non-fiction magazine pieces and achieved both regional and national publication.  Her success encouraged her to complete a novel.  She learned much from her first manuscript, critiques, books, contests, and blogs.  In 2012, her novel Thunderstone, was a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and won a critique by Publisher's Weekly.  A few months later, she was offered publication by Scribe Publishing Company.

 Barbara has a few other novels in the works, including a Thunderstone sequel. If she's not reading or writing, Barbara likes to walk, garden, and sew.  She works in a library and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter, and their cat – who often acts like a dog.

Find Barbara online:



1.       What was your inspiration for the book?
Like many novels, Thunderstone was inspired by a few things—a trip to the Mississippi Headwaters in northern Minnesota, a love of Native American mythology, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Yep, I've taken Jeni's trip to the Mississippi Headwaters with thirteen of my family members. It was an experience I will never forget. The area's centuries-old untouched forest and nearby Leech Lake Indian Reservation made Native American mythology—a subject which has always fascinated me—a natural choice for the story. When I read the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan's integration of Greek mythology into modern life convinced me I had a good idea.

2.       What do you normally like to read when not writing?
I've been into vampires since back in the Anne Rice, Vampire Lestat days, and I still love them. But I've branched out into Urban Fantasy in a big way; witches, werewolves, fae…anything supernatural, adult and young adult, such as:  Cassandra Clare, Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, Cornelia Funke, and Rachel Caine. I also enjoy series like Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Everlost by Neal Shusterman, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Divergent by Veronica Roth. To mix it up, I throw in a thriller by James Rollins or Michael Crichton, and I read and own everything by Stephen King as he is, in my opinion, the Master.

3.      How much of the characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
Since Thunderstone is inspired by my own trip to Minnesota, most of the characters are loosely based on my family members. Jeni, in particular, has many traits of my daughter at age fifteen. The majority of Jeni's physical gestures, expressions like 'fabulous', and her reactions or responses to situations were observations I made of either my daughter or her friends—a bonus of writing young adult when you're exposed to their world on a daily basis! Ice and Nik, of course, are completely made up. It was much more challenging for me to write a teenage boy, yet Ice is a very popular character.

4.      Who would you cast for a movie/TV series as your main characters if given the chance?
I've had Ice cast for a long time—Tyler Blackburn, who plays Caleb in Pretty Little Liars. Seriously, just put some blue contacts on him and he's Ice. I've had a much harder time with Jeni. I think Molly C. Quinn would be great. She plays Rick Castle's daughter, Alexis, on Castle. Of course she'd have to be willing to go blonde. Emma Roberts is also a possibility.

 5.      What are you working on now?
The Thunderstone sequel (book two in the Legacy in Legend series) is top priority for me right now. I know there are Thunderstone fans out there waiting for it! I've got a few final edits to make on my YA novel coming out this fall and I've been thinking about cover art, but it will soon be out of my hands. The Thunderstone sequel is already underway, and I have a ton of ideas and information, so I can't wait to see what Jeni and Ice get themselves into next!

Cat or Dog?

Ice cream or Sorbet?
Ice Cream

Spring or Summer?

Ghost or Zombies?

Mountain views or Ocean views?
Ocean views
Thanks Amanda and the Good Choice Reading crew for hosting my blog tour!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Win a new young adult novel!
(Before it's in stores!)

Barbara Pietron, author of Thunderstone, is running a contest to title her next novel.
If your title idea is chosen as one of the top four suggestions, you will win the book!

Here's how it works:

Based on the cover summary below, you think of an amazing title. You know, the kind of title that compels a potential reader to take the book off the shelf.

Then go to www.barbarapietron.com and click on the News/Events page. You can make your suggestion in the comment section of the post about the contest, or click on the link which will take you to the Scribe Publishing website suggestion form. Your email will be added to Barbara's list so she can keep you in the loop about the contest and the book.

If your suggestion is chosen as a top four, you will win the new novel! Those top four entries will be posted for readers to vote on their favorite. If your suggestion becomes the book title, you'll be mentioned in the book!

Sixteen-year-old Jack Ironwood knew exactly what he wanted. Until he got it.
Jack was content to stay unnoticed by pretty and popular track-star, Natalie Segetich, until her best friend Emma disappears. Natalie swears something took Emma, and though most people write Natalie off as traumatized and confused, Jack is a soulshifter and he knows the human-stealing Enuuki—hell's messengers—are real.

As a soulshifter, Jack can cross into the underworld so he sees Emma's rescue as an opportunity to prove himself a valuable member of his transcendental sect—and a way to secure a future otherwise out of his reach. Although he needs Natalie's help to prepare for the mission, Jack intends to go to the underworld alone. But as a viable plan takes shape, it's clear the best chance of success means Natalie must accompany him.

On the eve of the quest, when Jack is promised the hand of a respected elder's daughter—a dream come true—he realizes he's no longer sure what he wants. But it's too late to back out, not with the sect and Natalie counting on him. Pursued by the dark lord's henchmen and ghastly mutant creatures, Jack and Natalie struggle to come out ahead in a battle and barter for souls. In the end, Jack will have to decide his own fate, because nothing short of a deal with the devil will get all three of them out of hell alive.

Part one of the contest will run through January 31st, 2015 and the voting will take place in February.

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Foolproof by Jennifer Blackwood

Title: Foolproof
Author: Jennifer Blackwood
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication: January 26th, 2015

A summer of seduction...

Jules Carmichael needs to get her life together. Pronto. School's been hell, there was that tiny stint in rehab, and worst of all, she's lost her cushy summer job. The only available work is at Office Jax, home of horrid 90s music and the biggest jerk on this side of the galaxy...

Recovering from a brutal break-up and taking a hiatus from college, Ryan DeShane has just discovered the “6 Ultimate Steps to the Perfect Summer Fling.” It's a brilliant distraction, and Jules is a tantalizing target. But the “steps” work a little too well, because he and Jules are definitely, uh, flinging. And it's only a matter of time before Ryan's foolproof plan starts to seriously unravel... 



About Jennifer

Jennifer Blackwood is an English teacher and New Adult author. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she’s binging on Veronica Mars episodes and white cheddar popcorn. Her debut novel, UNETHICAL, comes out October 20th from Entangled Embrace.


Foolproof was a cute story. I enjoyed it. It was light and airy, and just a good time. It was fun to read and it kept me turning the pages. The story has a nice flow, and it’s easy to keep up with.

I really liked Ryan and Jules. They both had some family issues going on that needed dealt with, and, like normal college age kids that are afraid of disappointing their parents, the issues took a little time to work through. These two complement each other. It was fun reading their relationship. They had a lot of fun together, and got along well…for the most part. There was an incident or two, but there always is.

Just one little tiny issue, and this is really just an issue of mine, personally. This story almost had the insta-love factor. I say almost, because it wasn’t instant, but it felt that way, if that makes sense. These two had only known each other for a month before they start discussing deep feelings. It’s probably just me, but I feel like that’s a bit soon. Again, that’s a personal issue. 

I would recommend this book if you don’t mind the insta-love thing, and also if you’re looking for a light and fun read. I enjoyed Foolproof. Read the whole thing in one sitting.



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January 29, 2015

Review: Hero by Samantha Young

Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: February 3rd 2015
by NAL Trade

The emotional and unforgettable new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that her mother and she weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again...

I promise the minute you read the first page you will not be able to put HERO down for a second!!!

The story immediately starts with drama. Sexy drama!

Alexa’s life completely changes within one chapter. The one person she should not be standing in the same room with is only a couple of feet away from her. She tries to keep her cool and just go about her business as if nothing, but all that accomplishes is attracting Caine’s attention. I loved how Samantha Young set Caine and Alexa’s story up. I had made so many predications by reading just the first couple of pages, but by the end of chapter one, I already knew this story was not going to go in the direction I thought it was.

You find out in Chapter one who Caine is to Alexa, and what type of history they (sort of) have. Once Caine realizes who Alexa really is, he immediately cuts all ties with her. Despite the way things end in the beginning for Caine and Alexa, she still decides to try and at least explain her side of the story to him. Without giving away any spoilers, Alexa’s father has caused some serious damage to Caine. Alexa knows saying sorry really isn’t going to make things better for Caine, but if she could at least show him that she isn’t her father, and in fact, she hates her father just as much as he does, then maybe she will find some sort of peace. And that is exactly what Alexa sets out to do. She hunts Caine down and doesn’t stop until he hears her out.

Mind you, this is all in like the first two chapters. Loved it!

All it took Alexa was one visit to Caine’s office for these two to go down a path they both never come off of. Their chemistry bled off the pages. I literally laughed out loud at how stupid they were being, but yet so cute. Their relationship was hot and steamy, romantic, but also a little cheesy. There was a lot of back and forth for a while, but the end result was worth it. They were both dealing with an issue that has forever scarred them, but being together they were slowly healing one another. It was so sweet!

I will say, there was a part of the story that I wish Samantha never added. Caine has a past that came out of left field. At least it did for me. It also reminded me of another book that I will not name. When I came to this part of the story, it sort of took away some of the excitement for me. But, because it’s Samantha Young, I kept reading and in the end I really enjoyed this story. She throws in a nice twist that completely changes the pace of the story, but doesn’t take away from Alexa and Caine.

As always, another great read from Samantha Young! I look forward to her next book! I am sure it’s going to rock!