Monday, February 25, 2013

Undressed by Avery Aster - Glitz, Glam and Gorgeousness!

 Content Warning: due to graphic sex scenes, strong language, suggestive themes, mature humor, and just about everything your mother ever told you not to do--including wearing a see-through dress, this novel is for adults only.

Milan's notorious playboy, Massimo Tittoni, seems to have everything--Lamborghinis, exotic women, palaces throughout Europe and business success. Ramping up his fabric company to go global with a new apparel brand, he ruthlessly stops supplying fabrics to the American client who inspired the collection. But once they meet, what's he willing to give to get her in his bed?

Upper East Side designer Lex Easton will be damned if she'll let an Italian stud muffin knock her down. So what if she named her favorite vibrator after him. With Fashion Week approaching, she'll do whatever it takes to secure the fabrics she needs to become the next Diane von Furstenburg-- even sleep with her rival. But when she arrives in Europe the paparazzi chronicles her every move and she finds herself in a situation never imagined. Lex's Louboutins stilettos are dug in deep to win this war. All's fair in love and fashion!

Avery Aster's super-glossy debut novel is loaded with passionate escapism, pitting American ambition against Italian tradition. Erotic romance fans who appreciate extended sex scenes, witty banter and glamour mustn't miss UndressedInside Scoop: Though the hero and heroine remain monogamous, their Prada-wearing friends indulge in a ménage a trois and other fashionable sexual fun and games.


New York Fashionistas, Italian Royals, Fierce Friends...Avery Aster gives us all of it in her debut novel with Ellora's Cave, Undressed!  Mommy porn at its finest - I say porn because of the sometimes vulgar but oddly scintillating dialogue - this book is HILARIOUSLY EROTIC.  I'm not one who normally goes for the hardcore dirty talk, but I completely embraced it with this story.  Why should guys get to be all crass and obscene, but us girls can't get a little crude sometimes?

And speaking of rough and tough women - Signorina Lex Easton.  Who wouldn't want to be her?  An up and coming New York fashion designer, the daughter of a Rock'n'Roll legend and an 80's metal princess, she's seen enough to make her tough where it counts.  She's sharp tongued and stubborn, but not so closed off from emotion that she doesn't need her "fuck-it bucket" at times, as much as she needs her fabulous friends Vive, Taddy and Blakie by her side.

Then there's Prince Massimo Tittoni......*rolls eyes upward, sighing in appreciation*.  Masi is everything you'd want from your Italian royal.  Restrained in public, wild in private.  Turns out he's actually a teddy bear, though, and more than anything he wants to love and be loved in return - and he's got a secret from his past that makes him believe it's impossible.  You know me, I can't resist a broken man.  Don't we all want one that we can fix, and become the center of their universe?

The heroine in this story is bossy, sarcastic and uninhibited.  The Hero in this story is spoiled, sharp and sexual.  The combination?  I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say it's almost too hot to handle.  You'll laugh, cringe(in a shouldn't that offend my sensibilities instead of get me hot and bothered kind of way) and drool over this book.  Don't pass it up!

And don't forget to keep an eye out for more from The Manhattanites!  To read more on upcoming titles and learn about the author, visit  

Buy it on Amazon :

Buy it on B&N :

Friday, February 22, 2013

Something personal...PLEASE read.

When I was 7 years old, my father was killed in a car accident.  My brother, just 3 years old, and I were left fatherless & forced to witness the grief our mother experienced, even though she tried to contain it in front of us. 

My mother was lucky enough to find love again with a man that adopted us and made our family whole again, but that doesn't erase the memory or the pain from that time in our lives.  I am immensely proud of my mother for her strength during that time, and have the utmost respect and sympathies for any family going through the loss of a parent. 

That said, I want to share a link that was on my timeline this morning.  Matthew Corn was killed on February 10th, and has left behind a wife and 3 young children.  Author Nichole Chase has organized an auction to benefit the family, and many authors have contributed signed copies of their works to this cause. 

Please visit to help in any way you can.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

ARC Review - Bullet by Jade C. Jamison

What if you discover the man you want is toxic?

She tasted a little bit of heaven with him, and now they’ve gone through hell and back, but can their relationship take anymore?

Valerie Quinn is a naïve college freshman when she meets on-the-rise rock star Ethan Richards. He’s an idealistic, handsome, reckless young man, but he’s captured her heart. She doesn’t give up on him and eventually his walls crumble down. By the time Valerie has given herself to him completely, she discovers he’s damaged and may be beyond help. Can she save Ethan and their relationship before he implodes, or will he self-destruct and take her with him?


I know I've been gushing about this for the last week already, but I was finally able to finish my ARC copy, so I'm going to gush a little more.  I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that we meet Valerie in the present, and she's at what I consider to be a monumental turning point in her adult life. She's gone through a lot at this point, and eventually she shares every step of that journey in a series of chapters set in both past and present.  Be sure to watch for the disclaimer below the chapter marker for the change.

Valerie starts the story as a young woman newly attending college.  We can see that she has been sheltered and is more than a little naive about the real world.  She is drawn to Ethan Richards, and they develop a friendship over their mutual love of metal.  She also falls hard and fast for him, and I found myself more than a little concerned for her in this aspect.  She explains that her only boyfriends in high school were also members of her church, and I knew that she was going to experience things with Ethan that she never would have in her 'previous' life.  I could also see that she was going to place all her loyalty and trust in him, and that it was going to cause her more than a minute of pain.

Ethan, though, starts off with his charming side, and he seems like a nice enough young guy.  He's a member of a heavy metal band, and attends the same college as Valerie while rooming with one of his band mates Zane.  He doesn't come off as narcissistic in the beginning stages of their friendship, but eventually he seems like the cliched blossoming rock star.  He's broken and damaged, and more than once I found myself believing that he didn't want to change those things.  The other members of the band - Zane, Nick and Brad - don't seem to condone his behavior, but they also appear to put much effort into changing it either.  Valerie seems to be the only one that actively tries to repress Ethan's addictive personality, even though his best friend Brad tells her that it is a losing battle.  He's adopted the belief that Ethan will do what Ethan wants to do, and they can just be there to help him back up when he hits rock bottom.  Which he does...time and time again.

Valerie gets a front row seat in viewing his addictive personality when the band invites her to join them as their lead vocalist after Brad surprisingly invites her on stage at one of the appearances she attends.  There was some internal debate from her on the choice of whether to go with them or not, but she finally determines that she wants to pursue her fantasies of being on stage and in the spotlight.

When the band finally goes on tour, Ethan and Valerie are in the midst of the roller coaster romance, and she is battling with the desire to save him, but also fighting to save herself.  Eventually she meets Clay "Jet" Smith, and she is momentarily distracted from her dangerous pull to him.  Unfortunately, though, they end their short romance and Valerie gains another important friend.

I think the most important of those friends, though, is Brad.  She feels a strong, "animalistic" attraction for him when meeting him, and is inexplicably open with him from the beginning.  When she joins the band, though, Brad makes a promise that it's hands off between the two of them.  Somewhere later in the book, though, that attraction resurfaces and Valerie realizes that it's never really disappeared, just been pushed to the back by the constant back and forth of her relationship with Ethan.  What she doesn't seem to realize, though, is that Brad has retained the same attraction for her that he had in the beginning.  I really think he was my favorite character of the story, as he was the most mature of them, and he really did hold a high level of respect for Valerie no matter what.

The story as a whole wowed me.  I laughed, fumed, swooned and even felt awkward at times.  It was such a roller coaster of events, and just when I thought I could finally predict what was going to happen next, I found out I was wrong.  This really is An Epic Rock Star Novel.

Thank you, Jade, for sending me the ARC copy, and allowing me to read this amazing story before it's released! 



Saturday, February 16, 2013

So many words, so little time!

Ugh, don't you just hate it when your real life interrupts your fictional life(or lives)?  Of course, the week that I have so many books planned to read is the one that I can't seem to find enough hours in the day.  Perhaps I should stop sleeping all together and use that time to catch up on the many, many books that I am DYING to get to. 

Of course, the last two days, any spare moment I have has been dedicated to my wonderful author friend Jade C. Jamison, and her soon to be released Bullet, which I mentioned last week.  The story recaps Valerie Quinn's journey of love and metal.  Definitely a rockstar book NOT to be missed.  I'll update everybody when you can get your hands on it!


***On another note, an important public service announcement from the lovely Alannah Lynne, author of the Heat Wave Series (Savin' Me also mentioned last week).  Make sure you hit up the excerpt tour, and enter for your change to win in the giveaways :

I'll be doing an excerpt tour next week (one page each day) at the following locations. There will be a giveaway each day, and each commenter from each day will be entered into the grand prize drawing - a complete set of signed books!!! Don't worry, I'll remind you each day. I just wanted to give you a heads up. :D

2/18 Harlie's Books
2/19 Romance Book Craze http://www.romancebookcraze/
2/20 Guilty Pleasures
2/21 My Reading Obsession
2/22 Salacious Reads


Plotmonkeys - on 2/25
Liza's blog on 2/27 talking about the live chat that night at
Mo's Book Buzz - 2/27!! I'll get you the link for Mo's chatroom closer to the date. You'll want to go ahead and register and make sure you can get in before the chat, because it can sometimes be a little tricky. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Savin' Me - Alannah Lynne

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of reading an excellent book written by Alannah Lynne.  She tells a story of a wounded man (who doesn't love one of those?!?) being saved by the woman of his dreams despite his best intentions.

For more than a year, Erik Monteague can't get Kat Owens out of his mind.  After repeat visits to the spot they met with no luck seeing her again, she suddenly shows up in his town.  He immediately sets about seducing her in hopes of getting her out of his system.  As with all good love stories, there is a series of mishaps and mistakes, but in the end they get their HEA (Happily Ever After).

This was an adorable page turner, with plenty of steamy scenes to keep it from becoming mundane and typical. I highly recommend checking it out. And if you're unsure that you'll love it, Amazon is featuring the book FREE right now.  Get it while you can!

Savin' Me (A Heat Wave Novel) (Heat Wave Series)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Some would say that I have an addictive personality...I prefer to call it a really bad case of OCRD - Obsessive Compulsive Reading Disorder.  No joke, I can't count the nights that I've looked at the clock after reaching the end of a book and it's 3 or 4 a.m.  I'm sure there are many others like me out there, and the thought of that has kept my mind completely occupied over the last day.   Thinking about ways to share my love of books, and reach others with the same love, I found out today why so many people say blogging can be addicting.

At the top of my mind has been the Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge.  This year I set my goal to 100 books, and my personal goal for this month is to choose only books by authors that I have not read before.  With so many projects by some of my favorites coming up, I figured now would be a good time to experience something new.  That being said, my Kindle contains 15 unread titles by new -to-me authors!

For any of you who would like to join me, click over to Goodreads and set your own goal for the year:  We can watch each others' progress when you add me as a friend by searching "crystalkricket".  Looking forward to seeing you all there!

P.S.  Remember to watch over here as well, I've got some pretty exciting stuff cooked up, and I think y'all will love it! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

To start things off with a BANG

Currently in the midst of writing her novel Bullet, Jade C. Jamison has allowed me to pick her brain and become the victim of my very first blog post (aside from my introduction of course). 

For those of you who know me on Facebook, you've seen that I have a special fondness for all things Jade.  I picked up Tangled Web, and immediately felt a connection to Johnny and Katie, so I had to keep reading.  To me, Jade writes her characters with a level of realism that isn't often seen - they cuss like sailors, struggle to pay the bills, and lose site of what's in front of them when it's most important.    And the torturous teasers that Jade has shared with us prove that Bullet promises to be more of the unexpected we have come to appreciate from her. 

Without further ado, read what Jade C. Jamison has to say about herself and her writing!

1. What would you say is the inspiration behind your writing?

In general, I am just driven to write and anything—big or little—can become an inspiration.  But specifically, my inspiration usually comes from a “what if?” question.  For instance (and [some of] you will recognize these), “What would happen if a lawyer crossed the line and slept with her client?”  “What if a mother discovered her daughter had been sexually abused?”  “What if a woman decides she’s fed up with low-income jobs and wants to make her life better doing something she loves?  And what if said woman can’t get over a one-night stand she had with her best friend years ago?”  Obviously, too, my never-ending obsession with music fuels a lot of my writing as well!  Even when it’s not in the foreground, it’s there, and often that’s just because it’s cranking out of my laptop as my fingers are flying across the keyboard.

2. What is your favorite book you've written, and why?

Holy hell, is that a hard question, and it’s probably because, as an author, I love all my books.  Each book is seriously like a child I’ve carried for nine months and finally given birth to.  Some of those children are smaller or weaker; some of them have wicked senses of humor; some of them are smarter; some of them are inappropriate and you don’t let them lose in the mall.  To choose a favorite one, though - that’d be like choosing a favorite kid out of them all.  But…I could choose favorite ones for different reasons.  No, that’s a lie.  The more I think about it, I think I’m going to have to give you a cop-out answer.  I love them all the same, just differently.

3. When did you decide you just had to write, and you couldn't stop?

At the age of eleven or twelve.  I started as a youngster, writing Nancy Drew/Trixie Belden-type mysteries that I’m afraid weren’t very good, but I had my cousins convinced they had to read the next one.  I also made lots of magazines in middle school and wrote scads of poetry in high school.  When I started college, though, that’s when the serious writing began.  I wrote my first (unfinished) book that I’m actually going to talk about in a blog post soon, because that sucker became the inspiration for the book I’m working on right now, the almost finished Bullet.  A few years later, I was writing short stories constantly.  And then the first few years of marriage, I’d begin writing a book (unfinished), then another (unfinished), then another that was unfinished…so many almost finished manuscripts.  Then, about fifteen years ago, I wrote a children’s novel that I finished (inspired by my own kids), followed by another book that I finished (which became the inspiration for Then Kiss Me), and on and on.  Once I hit my stride and knew I could do it, I was unstoppable.  And I didn’t want to[stop].  And, oh, since I mentioned it earlier...I guess I'm kind of coming out to my readers here.  Yes, I'm married and I have four kids.  But it sounds more fun to talk about my "sweetie" and it's fun to pretend I don't have kids when they're asking for money.

4. How often do you read your reviews? How do the positive ones make you feel, and how do you cope with the negative ones?
Oh, I read them way more than I should.  The positive ones are just like you’d imagine—they make me happy, and I think, “Oh, someone understands where I’m coming from!”  Part of what drives my writing is not wanting to read a lot of the same old formulas or same old heroines.  I write what I want to read, and that’s definitely not for everyone.  I know that.  And I think that’s where so many of the negative reviews come from.  A reader thinks, “Oh, this sucks!” when, really, what she means is, “This isn’t my cup of tea.”  I’ve tried to toughen up, but it’s hard sometimes, because that book is your heart and soul—as I said before, it’s your baby, and some reviewers can be downright mean and nasty.  I get that not everyone will like my writing.  I’m okay with that, because I don’t like everything I’ve ever read.  But readers sometimes act like they are personally offended that you wrote something they didn’t like.  If I were charging $20 a book, I might feel bad.  If you read one of my books and don’t like it, well, now you know.  Put me on your list of Most Reviled Authors and, please, do me and everyone else a favor and read someone else’s stuff.  Oh, and take a valium while you’re at it.  In all seriousness, I’m trying to avoid reading the mean-spirited ones.  I’m still not very good at that yet, but someday, right?

5. How did you feel when you first had a fan reach out to you and gush about your work? Do you notice any difference from that point to now when you gain a new fan?
That was one of the coolest moments of my life.  She posted on my Facebook wall and said that Tangled Web was the kind of book she not only wanted to read but wanted to write.  I had just started out about five months earlier and had started my Facebook page about three months before that post, and I didn’t check it very often, so she’d posted it a day earlier.  Anyway, it was huge.  Picture Sally Field:  “You like me!  You really like me!”  Now, it’s still wonderful.  I get new fans more often now, but they are no less important to me.  Fans are who I write for, and when one of them reaches out to me, it’s a great feeling.  Some of them only reach out via email; others through my website or Twitter; but the most fan interaction comes through Facebook, and I am so happy to be able to utilize that medium.  I smile when I get a new fan, but the first one or two, I suspect I squealed and woke up everyone in my house.

6. Did you expect that your fan base would create a level of camaraderie based on their connection through you? (Shout out to my lovely ladies here, you know who you are!)
No.  I guess because I’d never “been” there, I had no idea what to expect, especially because I’m a fan of lots of “things,” for lack of a better word, and I don’t experience much internet camaraderie as a fan.  Well…that’s not entirely true.  I’ve noticed indie artists and fans of those indie folks interact more.  Maybe it’s because the numbers are smaller.  I’m not sure.  But I am a fan of a lot of indie and local bands, and I have gotten to know a few people because of that.  But, for instance, being a Korn fan, I haven’t met new people just because of it, not through Facebook or Twitter or anything, and when your fan base is literally millions of people, it’s not surprising.  I might be commenting on a post that thousands of people have commented on, some in a different language, and there might be multiple replies within seconds of each other.  It makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get to know other fans.  I think it’s freaking fantastic how my fans have become friends—not just with me but with each other.  I didn’t expect it, but it’s been cool watching it happen!

7. What is the last book you read?
You really don’t wanna know.  It’s a boring textbook for one of the classes I teach.  It’s about English grammar.  Not very exciting stuff but necessary.

8. If you had to choose, who is your favorite author?

Toni Morrison, hands down. 

 So there you have it, Jade C. Jamison in a nutshell.  If you haven't checked out any of her books, you really should.  Like she said, it might be for you, it might not be.  The worst that can happen is you don't pick up another one (but I'm thinking you might).  Thank you, Jade, for taking the time away from your writing and answering my questions.  Now get back to that book, before the ladies shiv me for delaying a release date :)
Hey Everyone!  My name is Crystal, or "Kricket" to some.  Feel free to call me whatever you like, but make sure I deserve it.  I've been a lover of books for as long as I could remember, even being one of the first in my Kindergarten class to read chapter books - a fact that looking back makes me super proud of my mom for rocking the Hooked-on-Phonics routine with me.  When I was 15, I picked up my first romance novel.  Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts quickly hooked me, and for almost 10 years I made it my personal goal to read every book Nora had ever published, many more than once.

Then something amazing happened to me - I discovered my Kindle app.  My love for all Nora Roberts books quickly stemmed to a love for all Romance, particularly Indie authors.  It seems to me that Indie authors explore so much more and use such a different voice than the Harlequin and Silhouette romances that I've been reading for so many years.  I also believe that they are incredibly brave...they don't have someone proof reading everything they right, or approving of story lines based on popular consensus.  They just dream, write and share - hoping to get noticed and please the crowds.

So, with my ever expanding love of a good story, I've decided to start yet another book blog.  My goal is to focus on those Indie authors that write "women's contemporary fiction", but this will not be the extent of the writing that I cover.  There are so many writers that I absolutely adore, and don't want to leave any of them out.  Hopefully you'll all join me in my never ending journey through so many's minds.