Review: Lust


Author: Diana Raab
Series: Standalone
Genre: Poetry, Romance
Publisher: CW Books
Publication Date: February 1st, 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 104
Source: Diana Raab
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks
Book Depository | IndieBound


A passionate journey through private emotional moments, Diana Raab’s Lust voices the pain of loneliness and the heart’s yearning for love while transcending the depths of human desire.

In her fourth book of poetry, Raab employs narrative verse that is alive, titillating, and seductive. Lust examines the emotional and physical complexity of love, helping readers navigate the risks of intimacy as we move toward the realization that every experience enriches our lives, whether we perceive it as joy, pain, or out of the ordinary. Yet for all their psychological richness, the poems’ simplicity and accessibility will resonate with women and men across all walks of life. Lust is a book you won’t put down and won’t soon forget. (Goodreads)

The Good


“If you know lust like I know lust
you know how it grabs you
in places that feel so good,
in a way that trumps tomorrow.

 It snatches and strangles our pasts away
and forges forbidden futures,
while injecting needles of pure pleasure
into any artery receptive to its dose.”

I decided to give you a little teaser of one of the poems I really enjoyed…and yes it also just happens to be the one with the same title of the book :).

The Book / Cover – Presentation is everything, right? When I received Lust in the mailing I wasn’t expecting it to be so beautiful! The picture above does not do this but justice of how beautiful that cover is. This book this thin and really light, but what I love the most is how soft it is. This might sound weird, but there is just something about it’s softness and the way it sits in my hands that just added to the whole experience of reading Lust.

Lust covers the highs and lows of intimacy. I found myself to be completely lost within the words I was reading, at times I felt like I was in the book. I really believe that Lust just has a way of pulling different emotions out of it’s readers, wither it be passion, sex, or the hunger and thirst for someone.

I don’t think I can say that I have one poem that is my favourite (this may change), every poem touched me in a different way but some of the ones I constantly read over and over again are What Women Want, Muse Me, Found, My Morphine and Protection. These were the poems that I found myself connecting with the most, I’m not sure why exactly but these poems were the ones that just grabbed me. This doesn’t mean I didn’t connect with the other poems because I most certainly did, there isn’t a single poem that I didn’t like.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Lust was a wonderful selection of poems. I’m so happy that TLC Book Tours brought this book to my attention! I highly suggest picking up Lust and giving it a try! 


About Diana Raab

Diana Raab is an award-winning poet, memoirist, and believer in the healing power of the written word. She began crafting poems at the age of ten when her mother gave her her first Khalil Gibran journal to help her cope with her grandmother and caretaker’s suicide. A few years later she discovered the journals of diarist Anaïs Nin and learned that, like Raab, Nin began journaling as a result of loss (the loss of her father). Much of Raab’s poetry has been inspired by Anaïs Nin’s life and works.

She is the author of four poetry collections, My Muse Undresses Me (2007); Dear Ans: My Life in Poems for You (2008); The Guilt Gene (2009); and Listening to Africa (2011).

Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Rattle, Boiler Room Journal, Rosebud, Litchfield Review, Tonopah Review, South Florida Arts Journal, Prairie Wolf Press, The Citron Review, Writers’ Journal, Common Ground Review, A Café in Space, The Toronto Quarterly, Snail Mail Review, New Mirage Journal, and Jet Fuel Review.

She is editor of two anthologies, Writers and Their Notebooks (2010) and Writers on the Edge (2012), co-edited with James Brown. Both these collections have submissions from poets and prose writers.

Diana has two memoirs, Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal (winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction and the National Indie Excellence Award for Memoir), and Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey (winner of the 2011 Mom’s Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction).

She is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and writes a monthly column for the Santa Barbara Sentinel, “The Mindful Word.” She lives in Southern California with her husband, and has three grown children. She is currently working on her doctorate in psychology and is researching the healing power of writing and creativity.

Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review: Melt

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Author: Selene Castrovilla
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Last Syllable Books
Expected Publication Date: November 6th, 2014
Format: PDF
Pages: 315
Source: Jen Halligan PR

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It will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul. 

Melt is a brutal love story, set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz. Sixteen year old “good girl” Dorothy just blew into the small town of Highland Park – where the social headquarters is Munchkinland (Dunkin’ Donuts.) There, she meets Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism? And then there’s his family’s secret – about to be unleashed.

Told in dual first person, Joey’s words are scattered on the page – reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason – until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?

Melt is based on true events. It is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance.

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Have you ever read something dark? So dark that it leaves you feeling numb. You sit there after, your brain still trying to process everything you just read. That was me once I finished reading Melt. I’ve never read anything by Ellen Hopkins, and I’ve never read anything dark. If there’s a book that I’ve read that’s classified as dark, it shouldn’t be. Selena Castrovilla’s Melt is the true definition of a book that is both dark and deep.

All those years building and all it took was for a puddle to bring it down.

Melt is told through two different perspectives from Dorothy and Joey. I liked Joey’s perspective the most because I felt like with every word he painted a vivid picture that will forever be etched into my mind. The writing style took a couple of chapters to get use to, but I liked having the dual perspectives; it allowed you to really grasp what took place.

We didn’t speak, and yet we were communicating. Getting to know each other, without words. When you think about it, words don’t count for much anyway. It’s the intentions behind them that count.

Selene managed to perfectly capture such a devastating and realistic topic and carry it through with a solid plot and deep characters. She kept my heart thumping one I got to the last couple of chapters. At one point I panicked wondering how the book would come to an end. Would I be able to prepare myself? Nope. The ending was power and I re-read about 3 times.

Overall, Melt is the kind of book that you won’t be able to shake; it’ll haunt you. I recommended this book to everyone! As long as people don’t take this as a Wizard of Oz retelling there is nothing to be disappointed about. I’m highly looking forward to what the final layout will be once this hits stores in November.

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4 Stars


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* One (1) winner will receive a signed ARC of MELT and $25 Amazon/B&N gift card (US/CA only).

* Three (3) winners will receive an ebook copy of Melt (International).

***Any contestant that uses dummy or contest only accounts to enter will be disqualified.***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Selene Castrovilla is an award-winning teen and children’s author who believes that through all trends, humanity remains at the core of literature. She is the author of Saved By the Music and The Girl Next Door, teen novels originally published by WestSide Books and now available digitally through ASD Publishing. Her third children’s book with Calkins Creek Books, Revolutionary Friends, was released in April 2013. She is also a contributing author to UncommonYA. Selene holds an MFA in creative writing from New School University and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons. Visit her website for book excerpts and more information!

LinksWebsite | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest

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Review: Sex & the Single Vamp

Sex & the Single Vamp

Author: Robin Covington
Series: N/A
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: March 24th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 200
Source: ibooks
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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Cici Trent, vampire and media darling, spends her days finding true love for humans and supernaturals (the “Others”) at her dating agency. But someone is trying to sabotage her business and she needs help. Unfortunately, the best man for the job is the one who broke her still-beating heart two hundred fifty-four years ago.

Deacon is a patient vampire. He’s only loved one woman in over three hundred years— CiCi— and she chose another. So when she shows up in his office asking for help, he finally has the chance to lay that demon to rest. He’ll help her, but for a price—a night in his bed.

Adrenaline, mischief, and a little late-night B&E light the passion that even a couple of lifetimes couldn’t put out. But Deacon has a secret and when Cici is suddenly mortal, his deception might be the only way restore her immortality. Can love bridge the gap between a heartbeat and forever?

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I came across this on my ibooks, and for the life of me couldn’t understand or remember how it got there. So I went onto Goodreads and read the synopsis ding, ding, ding! I finally remembered that at one point I requested this book on Netgalley but got declined, so I must have went and bought it on ibooks when it came out.

Now don’t let the title fool you, because it fooled me. I almost didn’t read this because I assumed what it would mainly focus on; sex. I thought “Well, here’s another book that will lack plot and mainly focus on sex”. Boy was I ever wrong! This book actually had a strong plot and entertaining characters. I enjoyed this quick read more than I thought I would, and yes it had like 2? Maybe 3 steamy sex scenes.

Now I’m upset that this is not a series!! Because now I want a Andy and Maya story! Plus, I wouldn’t mind reading about Antonio, OH! And Detective Ramirez. Robin, you can’t do this! You can’t write a great stand alone with amazing characters that need their own books! It’s just cruel!!

Overall, Sex and the Single Vamp had great world building, funny and stubborn characters and a plot that I found to be absolutely solid!

I give this 4 steamy butterflies!

4 Stars

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Blog Tour: Remnants of the Damned

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Remnants of the Damned

Author: Gavin Hetherington
Series: Abyssal Sanctuary, #1
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Publisher: Gavin Hetherington
Publication Date: October 9th, 2013
Format: ebook
Pages: 330
Source: IFB
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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Witness the Birth of Fear.

There has always been something wrong with the sinister and secluded town of Lakefield View. For one, people get murdered on the streets and nobody does anything about it. Even if they hear their screams curse the night skies, the number of saints has diminished. But it isn’t the sick and twisted residents of Lakefield View that are the ones who you should avoid… it’s the killers, the psychopaths, the witches and the monsters you should watch out for.

Five unsuspecting workers of a picturesque café get the shock of their lives when a family member is killed before their eyes. A chain of events ensue and they are all catapulted down a spiralling road of mystery and magic, each struggling to overcome constant obstacles that threaten their lives and the safety of their families. As the mystery progresses and the secrets get darker, the friends find it harder and harder to keep their heads above water.

The only thing worse than being alone in the dark, is finding out you’re not!

A prism of genres, Remnants of the Damned promises to be a truly different approach of a series of novels with one of the main characters being gay – a rare occurrence in a mainstream piece of literature in this kind of genre.


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“…Everybody has a secret. Behind every smile lies a dark story. Behind every hello is a hidden goodbye.”

* Silence…*

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Do you feel that? That’s the hair on the back of your neck standing up! That’s the goosebumps slowly taking over. And that is a book you’re not going to want to put down. Holy jumpin’ books! What an opening! From the book cover alone, you know your about to ready something spooky, add in the synopsis and I’m sure your ready to plug-in your night-light!

“A sly fog rolled into the town like a flood from the forest, completely embedding the ground, hiding the pavements and roads from naked eyes.”

This was perfect for opening up on my imagination. The detailing and description through this book had me feeling like I was actually there among the characters, and that is an amazing feeling to have while reading a book. Remnants of the Damned started with a fast paced prologue that has you jumping right into the story. I loved how fast paced it was, this book had a perfect flow and there wasn’t a point when I thought the story line was too slow or too fast.

Gavin decision to have multiple POV’s from all the main characters was absolute genius! From this you get to experience and see the scenario from a different angle, which makes this book so much more fastening. While there was room for improvement with the writing style I still strongly believe that Gavin Hetherington is an author to look out for!

Overall, Remnants of the Damned has every single element to classify this as a horror story and a good one at that! A spooky fast paced read that ends with a cliffhanger and makes you want to run out and grab the next book! Sadly, I’ll have to wait until October, cue the sigh! Sigh.

I give this 4 ‘high pitch screams’ butterflies!

4 Stars

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[Open Internationally]
– $100 Amazon Gift Card + a signed copy of Remnants of the Damned!

[UK Only]
– 4 winners will receive a signed copy of Remnants of the Damned!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gavin Hetherington currently resides in the town of Gateshead in the United Kingdom. A literature fanatic of fantasy, Gavin began writing stories when he was young, mainly about witches and the supernatural.

 Thanks for stopping by!



Blog Tour: Only With You

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Only With You

Author: Cecilia Gray
Series: The Jane Austen Academy Series, #5
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Gray Life, LLC
Publication Date: May 4th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 220
Source: Xpresso Books Tours
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph…

Emma has it all – looks, money, and luck. It’s not like she keeps it all to herself – she’s totally committed to helping those less fortunate. AKA, everyone. She invites her heartbroken friend to help with a weekend charity event with an eye to matchmake, but when that friend turns her eye toward the guy Emma wants for herself, how will she choose between friendship and her own feelings?

* * *

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…


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I am a HUGE Jane Austen fan! I can’t believe I didn’t know about the modern-day series before I joined the blog tour.

Cecilia Gray does a fantastic job of creating a modern-day Emma within a teen setting, and while having a modern-day Emma she manages to stay true to the original character written by Jane Austen. Emma means well by trying to always help others but she seems to put aside what she really wants until she’s faced with the possibility of losing it (*cough*who*cough*). And of course I loved Knight, who doesn’t?! He’s so sweet and truly cares for Emma.

In every chapter the story continues to unfold, I loved watching Emma grow, and having her slowly become more comfortable with herself. Although the way she treated Knight got on my nerves, I didn’t let it affect my overall depiction of this book. While this can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the rest of the series first. I wish I had! I would have better enjoyed and understood the back story had I read books 1-4.

Overall, Only With You was a cute; light read that I found to be refreshing. I highly look forward to the last book in this series (December 2014) and reading all previous books in the Jane Austen Academy Series. If you’re looking for a chick-lit, make you feel good, cute and I can’t stop giggling kind of read than I highly recommend picking up this book/series!

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4 Stars

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Open INTL – Ends June 3rd
–50$ Amazon or B&N or iTunes gift card
–A book giveaway of the author’s choice to the winner based on her perusal of their Goodreads shelf (because just like her heroine, Emma, she think she know what’s best for everyone. 😉 – we thought this would be fun and relates to the MC’s personality

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo 82e606ad-3695-4aad-a23c-81fc38599ce0_zpsd6c239b4.png Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.

She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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