Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blog Tour | Review & Giveaway : SAVOR (Vicious Feast #1) by Kate Evangelista


Hello bookish friends, bloggers, authors, readers, passersby, etc. Welcome to SAVOR Review Tour on Books 4 Juliet! 

{A bunch of Thank Yous to the fantabulous Author Kate Evangelista and Paranormal Cravings Book Tour.}


SAVOR (Vicious Feast #1)
by Kate Evangelista
Paranormal NA
Published by Crescent Moon Press

Available now on:


Summary | Add on Goodreads

Mature and explicit content. Not recommended for readers below 18-years-old. Yup, you've got to be that old to read my story. Consider yourself warned.

I’m Dakota Collins, a tough talking, eye patch wearing, workaholic photography student. Why am I important? Well, maybe because I get to spend an entire month with Vicious, only the sickest indie rock band out there.

You see, I needed a subject for my Spring Showcase introspective in order to graduate. During a chance encounter at a club I’d been sent to cover for the Daily Gossip, our ironically named college paper, the features writer I usually teamed up with introduced me to the band—by accident, I might add. It involved a run in with a scary, bald bodyguard. Anyway, long story short, I signed a contract to take pictures of Vicious.

I should have known their handsome yet way too serious for his own good bassist, Luka Visraya, wouldn't be able to keep his hands to himself. He’s gorgeous and all, but the way he smiles spelled trouble with a capital L. I’m in for a long month with him around.

Crazy shit happens and then some. So, if you want the skinny on Vicious and the events revolving around my stay at Lunar Manor, read my story.

Again, refer to the warning above.

My Thoughts:

I know that you're here to read my review, or maybe because of the giveaway *winks*, or you were just passing through and happened to be at the right time to see this post, or maybe I begged for you to come and visit my page so I can have an audience at least :) hehe. Just kidding. But either ways, I just want to warn you, don't expect too much on my review, I'm not even sure if I can pull off a decent one after being on hiatus for so long. So anyway, here's what I think about Savor

When I read Savor, all I can think about is Taste. I know it's not right to think about it that way but a person like me who loved and devoured Taste wouldn't be able to help it. You see, I loved the book so much and I was hoping for a sequel but I didn't expect for it to come in a totally different package. I honestly assumed that Savor was somehow connected to Taste because all the characters I loved and kept close to my heart are there. Then I saw Ms. Kate's post about the Genesis of Savor (read it here). That's when I realized I was wrong. 

Savor is actually the first book in Vicious Feast. A whole new series but with the same characters in Taste, except Dakota. Dakota is a photography student who is in need of a subject for the Spring Showcase in order to graduate. The eyepatch-wearing girl soon found her subject in the flesh of Luka Visraya, the bassist of the popular indie rock band Vicious Feast. And if you know Luka, then you know how things can go when he's around. His charm alone can get any girl in trouble, much more his hotness and oozing sexiness. Even the independent, ever-so-persistent, driven and motivated Dakota can't help but fall for Luka. Though I must admit that I'm not a fan of Dakota, I still appreciate her uniqueness and bold personality. She's not a favorite of mine and I'm still not convinced that she's good for Luka but I can see that she's a strong character in spite of her flaws. I might still need a lot of convincing to totally like her though.

Savor takes on a unique journey where in you wouldn't figure it out exactly how the story will go, heck, you couldn't even tell if it's entirely paranormal romance, or chic lit or what. I read and loved Taste and that's definitely Paranormal, but when it comes to Savor, I was doubtful until I came to the last part. There are some serious things going on and the exciting part is you wouldn't know what it is. There are mysteries surrounding the Lunar Manor, its habitants--Demitri, Phoenix, Dray, Yana, Calixta, and Luka. It's lurking behind the shadows but it's not even close to the surface. Until now I am still clueless. But one thing I know for sure-- fans of new adult genre will enjoy this book... Luka alone is one source of hotness, plus the rest of the Vicious band. Another plus that will surely get you hooked is the photography aspect of this book which the author impressively embedded in the story. The details, the concept, the techniques... you'll think that Kate is not only an author but a professional photographer. It's like I can see through her eyes, through Dakota's, the beauty that her lenses see. You'll also be surprised that it's not only photography that adds flavor to this book but it also has music that flows in the story too. Lovers of music and photography, you'll gonna enjoy it.

My post is now longer than I thought, but I haven't even started with my favorite parts yet. Sorry for the long review but I've kept my mouth shut long enough. So...

The biggest surprise for me was the time I learned about WHO the members of the band are. I knew in that moment that this book is going to be awesomesauce. First, I loooove Demitri and Phoenix. I loved them since their Barinkoff days in Taste. I loved Luka but I am all the way Demitri's. I don't care if Savor isn't any way connected to Taste, still, the feeling hasn't changed. So when I read that moment of Phoenix with Demitri inside the library... I just *blushed* to the max, and as shy as I was to admit it, I am telling you now, I've read that part more than once. It was uber sexy, so intimate and beautiful. You've got to read it to understand. It was actually my most favorite part of the book. 

I can't tell you to read what you don't wanna read, but if you're looking for something that will keep you occupied for some time, then you might as well pick this book. It was well-paced and beautifully written. The words just flows in... it made the story easy and enjoyable to read. The book isn't only full of mysteries but also sexiness and wit. And of course, an ending that will surely keep the readers hanging. A big cliffy is waiting for anyone who dare to read this book. I dare you. You're going to have lots of questions but don't expect answers... not yet. I'd say Kate, you rock for pulling that off. I'm not sure if I sill hate you for doing it but it worked and I'm impressed. You just made the second book more appetizing and desirable. Relish can't come soon enough.


SAVOR Exclusive Excerpt:


“Dakota Collins!”

I lowered my camera. The use of my full name never came with good consequences. I blinked my vision back at her even if I wanted to spend the rest of the night taking his picture. Sweat rose over my upper lip. I may just have found my subject for the Spring Showcase.

The only problem?

I had to find a way to convince him to be in my project. Something told me this wouldn’t be easy. By the way my heart beat in my ears, drowning out the music and Silvia having a fit in front of me, I wanted it too much. I wanted him too much.

“This the guy you were saying?” I showed Silvia the picture I’d taken. This seemed to pacify her because she sidled closer, mesmerized like a moth to a flame.

“Luka Visraya,” she said with a moan like she’d just tasted the most luscious chocolate before taking a long gulp of her cocktail. The name didn’t register. Silvia must have noticed my blank expression because she continued. “He’s the bassist for Vicious.”

Still no pings of recognition in my head.

She slapped her thigh. “Where have you been? It’s weird that you haven’t heard of them. Their songs are on the radio like every second.”

Of course I hadn’t heard of them. I liked listening to country and I hardly kept up with current events.

“Name one?” Okay, I had a name. Luka. Exotic. A bassist. Part of a band I should know about. So he’s famous. I slowly felt my chances of asking him to be my subject slip from my grasp. If he was someone famous, fat chance he’d say yes to a graduating photography student like me. I just about deflated when Silvia mentioned one of their songs. “Oh, I know that one!” By accident. It played in the radio of the cab I rode in to Sacrifice. I stared at the picture of him then lifted my gaze to where he sat. “He’s gone.”

“What?” Silvia whipped around in time to come face to face with a wall of man. “Whoa!” She pushed at him. “Watch it, buddy!”

“Give me the camera,” he said in a threatening tone.

Big. Beefy. Bald. The three Bs that made up the quintessential bodyguard.

I clutched my DSLR closer to my chest and looked up at him with my good eye. “And why would I do that?” The patch didn’t seem to intimidate him because he just reached out. So much for my Bond villain aspirations. I moved away from his grubby hand. No one touched my camera but me.

Despite her size, Silvia came between me and the mountain. “We’re here to cover Sacrifice for our college paper. You don’t have the right to take away my colleague’s camera.”

Yeah! You give it to him, Silvy.

Not that I couldn’t take care of myself. But if Silvia wanted to play hero, I wouldn’t stand in her way.

“What seems to be the problem here?” a soft, authoritative voice chimed in.

The bodyguard moved aside to reveal the Gothic Lolita. She stood at just about the same height as Silvia, but she possessed an older aura even if she seemed to be our age.

“She’s been taking pictures,” Baldy said.

Lolita’s kohl eyes landed on me then shifted to my camera.

“As I was saying to the big guy,” Silvia explained. “My colleague and I are covering the opening of Sacrifice.”

“For what paper?” Lolita asked without taking her eyes off me. I clutched my camera like an extra appendage. In some ways it was. After losing half my sight, I relied on my camera like an extra eye, seeing the world through its lens. I would rather die than lose it.

“The Daily Gossip,” I said before Silvia could answer just to relieve some of the awkward tension building in me under her gaze. “We study at Wexler U.”

She tilted her head, crossing her arms.

“Okay,” I quickly stammered out. “I get that the name of our paper sounds like a tabloid, but the Daily Gossip is a cool campus paper.” The last part maybe only I believed since Silvia raised her eyebrow at me, but Lolita and the mountain didn’t have to know that.

No one spoke after that. Even in a noisy club, the silence in our group rang in my ears. Not waiting for the situation to get any more awkward, I plowed forward with my own selfish intensions.

“You know Luka.” I said it more as a statement, but it came out like a question.

Lolita nodded.

“I’m Dakota Collins and I’m graduating this spring. I was wondering if Luka would be interested in—”

“What would I be interested in?” a smooth voice joined our group.

The walls of my throat closed, chocking the rest of what I had to say. All eyes turned to Luka. Silvia dropped her empty glass. It bounced off the bodyguard’s shoe and landed in a clatter but didn’t break. Even with my height, I still had to look up at him.

“What are you doing here?” Lolita admonished. “You should be backstage.”

One side of his lips came up. God. Without the scowl, his face lit up. I had to stop the urge to lift my camera and start snapping away. And his eyes were piercing blue. The kind that stretched over my mother’s farm in the summer. Damn.

Seeing him up close, I knew I’d give any one of my kidneys for a chance to take his picture in a formal shoot.

“We have five minutes. Chill, Yana.” He tugged at one of her pigtails.

“Luka,” Silvia managed. “I’m a big fan. Will you sign my chest?”

Bypassing my petite colleague, Luka’s intensely blue gaze studied me. He reached out and I flinched back. His fingers almost grazed my patch. What the hell was the matter with him? Trying to touch my eye patch was tantamount to poking a bandage over a wound and asking the person if it hurts.

Gothic Lolita—Yana—yanked Luka’s arm down. “I’m so sorry!” Her whole aura changed. She went from all business to panicky. “My brother sometimes forgets his manners. He didn’t mean anything about touching your…” She bit her lower lip, maybe trying to keep herself from saying the wrong thing.

That little faux pas cleared my head of the Luka haze and spurred me into action. “Luka, will you let me take your picture for my final project?” I didn’t know where my courage came from, but I knew if I didn’t take this chance, I’d regret it. I had to have him as my subject.

Still not removing his gaze from my face, like my patch transfixed him, he tilted his head to one side very much like his sister did earlier.

“Luka, don’t!” Yana said, but from the consideration on Luka’s face, she was too late.

“You’re a photographer?”

“Yes.” I nodded, in case the word wasn’t enough.

“And you’d like me to be the subject of your project?”

God yes! This time, I could only nod. I didn’t want him to see how eager I was. And I couldn’t live with myself if I embarrassed myself further.

I waited with baited breath.

It seemed everyone in our group waited with baited breath for what the golden god had to say about my brazen request. I soon realized when Luka spoke, everyone listened. The way he pronounced every word precisely yet still spoke so smoothly, like butter on warm toast, captured everyone’s attention. To say he captivated us was an understatement. Something in me certainly wanted to hear him keep speaking. He could read from an accounting textbook in that voice and no one would get bored.

“I need to know that you’re good,” he finally said.

Something about his words seemed to hold a different meaning. I must have missed the alcohol in the soda Silvia had given me. Maybe I was drunk and this was all a blackout dream.

“What are you saying?” Yana faced Luka all the way now, her petite form all rigid.

He unleashed a full on megawatt smile my way. I almost had to cover my eye from it. At my side, Silvia gasped. Her long nails dug into my arm. Like staring at the sun, I couldn’t take my gaze away from him no matter how bad it was for me.

“We’re about to perform. I want you to take several pictures then send them to Yana. If she approves, we’ll see about your request.”

Then, like smoke, he disappeared into the crowd.
 
~ ~ ~ //~ ~ ~

If you want to WIN SWAG of SAVOR and an  E-COPY of TASTE, just FILL-UP the RAFFLECOPTER below. Good luck!




About the Author:


You may follow or stalk her on:

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she lives in the Philippines and writes full time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Release Blitz: SAVOR by Kate Evangelista


Welcome to SAVOR Holiday Release Blitz! Today, we celebrate the release of the first book of the Viscious Feast by Author Kate Evangelista. 

Taste is one of my favorite books and that is where I first met Luka Visraya. He has captured my heart and I wouldn't miss the chance to read more about him. It's about time for Luka to have his own love story and maybe have his own happily ever after. Let's find out more in Savor! Be sure to add this book on your TBR. You can actually do that right now, right HERE---> Add SAVOR to Goodreads link.

Now let's take a look at the book:


SAVOR (Viscious Feast #1)
By Kate Evangelista
Publication Date: December 2, 2013

Blurb:
Mature and explicit content. Not recommended for readers below 18-years-old. Yup, you’ve got to be that old to read my story. Consider yourself warned. 

I’m Dakota Collins, a tough talking, eye patch wearing, workaholic photography student. Why am I important? Well, maybe because I get to spend an entire month with Vicious, only the sickest indie rock band out there. 

You see, I needed a subject for my Spring Showcase introspective in order to graduate. During a chance encounter at a club I’d been sent to cover for the Daily Gossip, our ironically named college paper, the features writer I usually teamed up with introduced me to the band—by accident, I might add. It involved a run in with a scary, bald bodyguard. Anyway, long story short, I signed a contract to take pictures of Vicious. 

I should have known their handsome yet way too serious for his own good bassist, Luka Visraya, wouldn’t be able to keep his hands to himself. He’s gorgeous and all, but the way he smiles spelled trouble with a capital L. I’m in for a long month with him around. 

Crazy shit happens and then some. So, if you want the skinny on Vicious and the events revolving around my stay at Lunar Manor, read my story. 

Again, refer to the warning above.

BUY LINKS:


Still not convinced? Here's an even closer look. Our dear author is giving us an exclusive peek on the inside of Savor. Read below...

SAVOR Exclusive Excerpt:

“Dakota Collins!”

I lowered my camera. The use of my full name never came with good consequences. I blinked my vision back at her even if I wanted to spend the rest of the night taking his picture. Sweat rose over my upper lip. I may just have found my subject for the Spring Showcase.

The only problem?

I had to find a way to convince him to be in my project. Something told me this wouldn’t be easy. By the way my heart beat in my ears, drowning out the music and Silvia having a fit in front of me, I wanted it too much. I wanted him too much.

“This the guy you were saying?” I showed Silvia the picture I’d taken. This seemed to pacify her because she sidled closer, mesmerized like a moth to a flame.

“Luka Visraya,” she said with a moan like she’d just tasted the most luscious chocolate before taking a long gulp of her cocktail. The name didn’t register. Silvia must have noticed my blank expression because she continued. “He’s the bassist for Vicious.”

Still no pings of recognition in my head.

She slapped her thigh. “Where have you been? It’s weird that you haven’t heard of them. Their songs are on the radio like every second.”

Of course I hadn’t heard of them. I liked listening to country and I hardly kept up with current events.

“Name one?” Okay, I had a name. Luka. Exotic. A bassist. Part of a band I should know about. So he’s famous. I slowly felt my chances of asking him to be my subject slip from my grasp. If he was someone famous, fat chance he’d say yes to a graduating photography student like me. I just about deflated when Silvia mentioned one of their songs. “Oh, I know that one!” By accident. It played in the radio of the cab I rode in to Sacrifice. I stared at the picture of him then lifted my gaze to where he sat. “He’s gone.”

“What?” Silvia whipped around in time to come face to face with a wall of man. “Whoa!” She pushed at him. “Watch it, buddy!”

“Give me the camera,” he said in a threatening tone.

Big. Beefy. Bald. The three Bs that made up the quintessential bodyguard.

I clutched my DSLR closer to my chest and looked up at him with my good eye. “And why would I do that?” The patch didn’t seem to intimidate him because he just reached out. So much for my Bond villain aspirations. I moved away from his grubby hand. No one touched my camera but me.

Despite her size, Silvia came between me and the mountain. “We’re here to cover Sacrifice for our college paper. You don’t have the right to take away my colleague’s camera.”

Yeah! You give it to him, Silvy.

Not that I couldn’t take care of myself. But if Silvia wanted to play hero, I wouldn’t stand in her way.

“What seems to be the problem here?” a soft, authoritative voice chimed in.

The bodyguard moved aside to reveal the Gothic Lolita. She stood at just about the same height as Silvia, but she possessed an older aura even if she seemed to be our age.

“She’s been taking pictures,” Baldy said.

Lolita’s kohl eyes landed on me then shifted to my camera.

“As I was saying to the big guy,” Silvia explained. “My colleague and I are covering the opening of Sacrifice.”

“For what paper?” Lolita asked without taking her eyes off me. I clutched my camera like an extra appendage. In some ways it was. After losing half my sight, I relied on my camera like an extra eye, seeing the world through its lens. I would rather die than lose it.

“The Daily Gossip,” I said before Silvia could answer just to relieve some of the awkward tension building in me under her gaze. “We study at Wexler U.”

She tilted her head, crossing her arms.

“Okay,” I quickly stammered out. “I get that the name of our paper sounds like a tabloid, but the Daily Gossip is a cool campus paper.” The last part maybe only I believed since Silvia raised her eyebrow at me, but Lolita and the mountain didn’t have to know that.

No one spoke after that. Even in a noisy club, the silence in our group rang in my ears. Not waiting for the situation to get any more awkward, I plowed forward with my own selfish intensions.

“You know Luka.” I said it more as a statement, but it came out like a question.

Lolita nodded.

“I’m Dakota Collins and I’m graduating this spring. I was wondering if Luka would be interested in—”

“What would I be interested in?” a smooth voice joined our group.

The walls of my throat closed, chocking the rest of what I had to say. All eyes turned to Luka. Silvia dropped her empty glass. It bounced off the bodyguard’s shoe and landed in a clatter but didn’t break. Even with my height, I still had to look up at him.

“What are you doing here?” Lolita admonished. “You should be backstage.”

One side of his lips came up. God. Without the scowl, his face lit up. I had to stop the urge to lift my camera and start snapping away. And his eyes were piercing blue. The kind that stretched over my mother’s farm in the summer. Damn.

Seeing him up close, I knew I’d give any one of my kidneys for a chance to take his picture in a formal shoot.

“We have five minutes. Chill, Yana.” He tugged at one of her pigtails.

“Luka,” Silvia managed. “I’m a big fan. Will you sign my chest?”

Bypassing my petite colleague, Luka’s intensely blue gaze studied me. He reached out and I flinched back. His fingers almost grazed my patch. What the hell was the matter with him? Trying to touch my eye patch was tantamount to poking a bandage over a wound and asking the person if it hurts.

Gothic Lolita—Yana—yanked Luka’s arm down. “I’m so sorry!” Her whole aura changed. She went from all business to panicky. “My brother sometimes forgets his manners. He didn’t mean anything about touching your…” She bit her lower lip, maybe trying to keep herself from saying the wrong thing.

That little faux pas cleared my head of the Luka haze and spurred me into action. “Luka, will you let me take your picture for my final project?” I didn’t know where my courage came from, but I knew if I didn’t take this chance, I’d regret it. I had to have him as my subject.

Still not removing his gaze from my face, like my patch transfixed him, he tilted his head to one side very much like his sister did earlier.

“Luka, don’t!” Yana said, but from the consideration on Luka’s face, she was too late.

“You’re a photographer?”

“Yes.” I nodded, in case the word wasn’t enough.

“And you’d like me to be the subject of your project?”

God yes! This time, I could only nod. I didn’t want him to see how eager I was. And I couldn’t live with myself if I embarrassed myself further.

I waited with baited breath.

It seemed everyone in our group waited with baited breath for what the golden god had to say about my brazen request. I soon realized when Luka spoke, everyone listened. The way he pronounced every word precisely yet still spoke so smoothly, like butter on warm toast, captured everyone’s attention. To say he captivated us was an understatement. Something in me certainly wanted to hear him keep speaking. He could read from an accounting textbook in that voice and no one would get bored.

“I need to know that you’re good,” he finally said.

Something about his words seemed to hold a different meaning. I must have missed the alcohol in the soda Silvia had given me. Maybe I was drunk and this was all a blackout dream.

“What are you saying?” Yana faced Luka all the way now, her petite form all rigid.

He unleashed a full on megawatt smile my way. I almost had to cover my eye from it. At my side, Silvia gasped. Her long nails dug into my arm. Like staring at the sun, I couldn’t take my gaze away from him no matter how bad it was for me.

“We’re about to perform. I want you to take several pictures then send them to Yana. If she approves, we’ll see about your request.” Then, like smoke, he disappeared into the crowd.
. . . 

Author's Bio:
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she lives in the Philippines and writes full-time. 
Author's Links: 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon
Published: October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition

Summary | Add to TBR Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.
Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My Thoughts:

“I don't think we get answers to every question. We don't get to know all the whys. But I think we will look back at the end of our lives, if we do the best we can, and we will see that the things that we begged God to take from us, the things we cursed him for, the things that made us turn our backs on him or any belief in him, are the things that were the biggest blessings, the biggest opportunities for growth.”

There are things I expected from this book but I'm not sure if "inspiring" was one of them until I read it. You can't really judge a book by it's cover or by it's title. This book isn't like something that you will grab immediately when you see it. But this book is so much more than what you think it is. It's heartbreaking and beautiful all together. My heart has been broken by other books many times before but very few had actually made me cry. Making Faces is one of those rare books that deeply touched my heart. It's worth the read, it's worth the tears. The inspiring verses from the bible is one big bonus and it made me appreciate the story even more. Making Faces is a beautiful story of friendship and loyalty, love and sacrifice, forgiveness and acceptance. It was really touching and very inspiring. It deserves to be read and I recommend it to all who are beautiful and knows how to love and be loved, and especially to those who has Ugly Girl/Boy Syndrome who doesn't think they are beautiful and capable of loving and being loved in return. 

"And so we endure. We have faith that there is purpose. We hope for things we can't see. We believe that there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent that our bodies can't contain it.”