Thursday, March 14, 2013

Giveaway & Interview with Author Carrie Butler

Welcome to the Strength Book Tour and Giveaway featuring an interview with paranormal romance author, Carrie Butler. 

In celebration of her new release Strength, she is giving away several awesome prizes so be sure to enter below!

About Strength

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, she’s stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she’s ever wanted in a man—except he can’t touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there’s no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.

Where to Buy Strength

Stength is Available at:

Meet Author Carrie Butler

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Connect with Carrie Butler


Interview with Carrie Butler

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
Writing is something I've always enjoyed, but I didn't realize I wanted to pursue it as a career until January of 2011.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a secret agent, undercover as an artist. Seriously. LOL

How long does it take you to write a book?

It took me three months to draft Strength, but I was able to give that manuscript my undivided attention. The sequel is proving to be a little more difficult...

What is your work schedule like when you're writing? 

Oh my goodness. I work at the most ridiculous hours. Sometimes, I get a good pace going after midnight, and I keep writing until I crash—which could five or six in the morning.
(Thankfully, the fatigue makes for fewer inhibitions!)

My days are usually dedicated to blogging, freelance projects, marketing, etc. They're not nearly as exciting.

Do you stick with a schedule or just write when you feel like it?

I used to keep a loose schedule, but things are a bit hectic at the moment.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to watch hockey, create digital paintings, and go to the shooting range. :)

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? 

How easy it is to get wrapped up in a story! Sometimes it's hard for me to come out of the writing zone, especially if there's a sudden interruption. I have that moment of disorientation before I can process the reality around me—almost like I've been woken from a dream.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think a good story is felt by both the author and the reader. They might feel it on different wavelengths, and they might relate it to different experiences, but a good story will touch them both.

What inspired you to write paranormal romances instead of another genre?

I like to think of paranormal romances as "supernaturally-charged love stories". They blend the uncertainty of a budding relationship with the notion of things beyond our explanation. There's just something about them...
I think that's why I struggle so much when I try to write contemporary. I always end up giving someone superpowers!

Did you have any goals for Strength when you wrote it — to get published, or just to finish, etc?

My main goal for Strength was definitely publication. I had already written a few "shelved" stories by then, so I knew I could finish it. The thing was, with this manuscript, I took the time to really learn the craft and the industry. That made all the difference in the world.

What inspired to you write the Mark of Nexus Series?

(This is kind of my boilerplate answer for this question, but it's the best way to describe it.)
Strength—and ultimately, the whole Mark of Nexus series—started as a "what if" scenario. What if a unique, supernatural race lived among us? What if there was more than one? How would the world stay in balance?

I listened to music while I plotted out a few points, and the 2005 Five for Five cover of "All I Know" came on. Oh my goodness. The lyrics—the first few lines about bruising each other—really struck me. 

As I considered them, the figurative meaning morphed into a more literal scenario. How tortured a man with uncontrollable strength must be... falling in love for the first time... unable to touch the woman he loves without hurting her...

That's how the romance element fell into place. ;)

Did you originally plan to have the series Mark of Nexus or did the idea of a series occur after you started writing strength? 

The plot always felt a bit too complex for one book, but I didn't get a clear number until I sat down to write a loose outline.

Do you have a specific number of books in mind for Mark of Nexus or are you planning to write until your _______________? 

I think three should do it, but I'm not absolutely certain. I'd love to do a few novellas that focus on secondary characters, like Cole's story.

If you could tell your fans anything, what would it be?

That I love them. Seriously. They're allowing me to live my dream, and for that, I'll be forever grateful. <3

Strength Tour Giveaway

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rhapsody, By Sharon Clare Blurb Tour and Giveaway

About Rhapsody

Isabelle plans to escape the real world when she takes a tropical vacation. But escape becomes too real when Paradise Resort disappears. To win her freedom, she must break an oath and out-play her opponent in a game of seduction. Her self-control is resolute until her traitorous body decides this is a game she wants to play.

Jonathan’s needs are simple: break down Isabelle’s resistance, win the game, and get back to the real world where an emergency waits. Desire grows between them as each roll of the die reveals secrets, truths and skin, until Jonathan is forced to confront his worst fear or forfeit Isabelle to the dark mastermind of the game.

Meet Author Sharon Clare

Sharon Clare lives in Ontario with her husband and three wonderful grown-up kids who come and go from the nest. She fell in love with writing at the University of Toronto where she graduated with a science degree in psychology and professional writing. She writes light paranormal romance and has published short stories, art reviews, newsletter and magazine articles. Her favourite place to write is outside under the maple trees beside the lily pond. Find out more at:

Where to Buy Rhapsody

Rhapsody Giveaway

Author Sharon Clare is giving away 3 digital copies of her book, Love of Her Lives!
Enter to win via the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

Follow the Rhapsody Tour

March 11th- Readaholics Reviews
March 12th- Stephanie's Bookshelf

March 15th- Lost to Books
March 18th- Toot's Book Reviews
March 19th- Buttaflies and Books
March 21st- The Avid Reader
March 22nd- Romance Bookworm

Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: I've Had My Baby Now What?

About I've Had My Baby Now What?
by Shalay Struhs

     Many women find themselves unprepared for the physical, mental, and emotional changes they experience after childbirth. The hormonal surges are more dramatic than at any other time in a woman's life, and these intense hormonal changes can cause a wide range of symptoms and problems. There are a plethora of books written about the various stages of pregnancy, but there is very little information available about the postpartum stage. I've Had My Baby, Now What? addresses this concern with a step-by-step guide to safely and naturally balance your hormones-significantly diminishing postpartum problems and healing the body faster and more effectively than ever! {Blurb from}

Stephanie's Review of I've Had My Baby Now What?

I was recently asked to review I've Had My Baby, Now What? Your Step by Step Guide to Surviving the Postpartum Year Safely and Naturally. I am always up for a great non-fiction book and was thrilled to know I would soon be receiving a copy to review. 

Unfortunately, I was disappointed when I received the book. The book is more like a booklet. While the information in the book is related, it's very minimal. I don't think an expecting or new mom would be happy with the purchase for the price. The book is very small and only offers 30 pages- including the cover page, introduction, index and other pages that are usually not considered in page count. Taking away all the pages that aren't part of the book, you are left with 18 pages. Not much of a guide if you ask me.

As a mother myself, I felt that the book was very vague in considering what you would expect in a book titled  I've Had My Baby, Now What? Your Step-by-Step Guest to Surviving the Postpartum Year Safely and Naturally. I expected a book, especially for nearly $12, to include various topics. Unfortunately, this book only included information on Diet, Supplements, Yoga, Acupuncture, Sleep, Water and Walking. Those topics are the listed chapter titles. Some of those 'chapters' consisted of less than 3 paragraphs and they all consisted of general information you would find in pamphlets and information from your OBGYN. The 'step-by-step guide for postpartum' was well-written, but contained  common knowledge for a healthy lifestyle, and very little. Yes, those factors increase quality of life after child birth, but they also benefit your regardless of whether you just gave birth, male or female, young or old. 

Don't get me wrong, the information was useful, just not what I was hoping for. I can see where it would benefit a mother who had not taken care of herself in previous years and wanted to get a healthy new start- if she had not idea that she needed to drink water, exercise, take vitamins and well, sleep. I mean, very basic stuff. I don't think it includes everything you would need for what is claimed to be a guide for 'what happens after the baby is born'. 

I've Had My Baby, Now What? Your Step by Step Guide to Surviving the Postpartum Year Safely and Naturally is available at

FTC Disclosure: Please note that I did receive a copy of this book, from the author,Shalay Struhs, at her request to review the book. The review above is my own honest opinion. Stephanie {Stephanie's Book Shelf} is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Top 5 Books Like Beautiful Disaster

    Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is one of the most talked about books right now! Think along the lines of Fifty Shades of Grey but, in a much cleaner way. No erotica but plenty of bad-boy college romance to keep your heart pounding and your fingers turning the pages. If you haven't read it- it's a MUST-READ!

If you have read it, then you know how great it is! The only problem with finishing the book is that it is over. Well, temporarily- until Walking Disaster is released in early April. Meanwhile, what do you do while waiting for Travis' version of the story? Find another great book, of course!

But it is really possible to find another great book like Beautiful Disaster? It's a hard call, but yes, there are several more great books full of bad boys, college romance, and heart pounding love stories! When I first wrote this post it only included the Top 5 but since then, there have been several other great books I have read like Beautiful Disaster so I will continue to add to the list! 

So, without further hesitation, lets go over my favorite books like Beautiful Disaster. 

Stephanie's Favorite Top 5 Books Like Beautiful Disaster ... and then Some

#1. Seven Day Fiance, by Rachel Harris

Seven Day Fiance is likely to be the next Beautiful Disaster. You can check out my 5-star review of Seven Day Fiance to find out why it was so good! This is a fantastic bad-boy romance that is heart-felt, full of passion, and well-written, to say the least.

Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning him at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem. 

  Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little fiancé game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

#2 Easy, by Tammara Webber
  Many of you, already on the hunt for more great books like Beautiful Disaster may have already read this one. For those of you who haven't, it's a must!

   The New York Times Bestseller by Tammara Webber

    Rescued by a stranger.Haunted by a secret. Sometimes, love isn't easy...

    He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior... The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he'd worked so hard to overcome, and the future she'd put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart. Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth - and find the unexpected power of love.A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.


#3. & #4Slammed Series, by Colleen Hoover

    Where are all the Colleen Hoover fans? :) These are the first two books I ever read by Colleen Hoover and have since become a loyal fan! I stumbled across Slammed while looking for books like Beautiful Disaster-  just before Point of Retreat was published. No doubt that after reading Slammed, I was hooked on the series and had to read Point of Retreat to get the hear the rest of the story, and from Will's perspective. A heart-wrenching tear jerker for sure!

{Slammed Blurb}

     Falling in love can feel like poetry. Or it can feel like a slam to the heart. Colleen Hoover s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them. Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she's losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her. Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feeling...


{Point of Retreat Blurb}
     Sometimes two people have to fall apart to realize just how much they belong together. Colleen Hoover entranced readers everywhere with her bestselling novel Slammed, the book that introduced Layken and Will, a young couple whose love overcame devastating hardships to emerge stronger and more resilient than before. Now, as Layken and Will's emotion-packed story continues, a stunning and unforeseen revelation about Will s past leaves them questioning everything that they thought they knew about each other. With the foundation of their relationship at risk, they must decide whether they are willing to fight for a future together, or to retreat back into solitude and heartache. How far does Will have to go to prove to Layken his love for her will last forever? It will require something truly extraordinary to keep this couple together, and the decisions they make and the answers they find will change not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.


#5. Flat-Out  Love, by Jessica Park

     Still looking for more great college romance? Ahh, behold- you need to read Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park. Another great romance that will keep your turning the pages wanting more!


      He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy. So, that was Matt. Who Julie Seagle likes. A lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.Complicated? Awkward? Completely.But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother's? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn't supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she's never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.But here's the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.New York ...


#6. Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

Okay, okay... So I haven't actually read this one for myself - but, it is on my must-read list due to all the hype and reviews about it being like Beautiful Disaster. After all, 4.5 stars on Amazon- out of hundreds of reviews must be a good thing, right?


   Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris-until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all including a serious girlfriend.But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.



     Now, for those of you who have NOT read Beautiful Disaster, I strongly suggest you do! It's fabulous! I can honestly say that it has to be my ALL-TIME-FAVORITE book ever written! Then it's finished off with Walking Disaster- 

     Just look at the cover! MmmMMM mmm! Delicious!

Do you have a list of favorite books like Beautiful Disaster?If so, please share it in a comment below! We would love to hear your thoughts, reviews and suggestions on the books listed above, as well!