Dream Cast, Playlists, Release Day, Reviews, Teaser Excerpts

#Review of Heroes and Villains (California Dreaming #1) by Stacey Johnston! @BanBPromotions @author_stacey

Heroes and Villains – California Dreaming 1
Author: Stacey Johnston
Genre: Romantic Suspense
 Re Release Date: October 31st, 2016


and Noble:


Two lives entwined in secrets…
Secrets that threaten to tear them apart before they even begin…
Sophie Valentine was a girl living a privileged life, in the tranquility of Solana Beach until she was forced to move to Brooklyn under questionable conditions.
In a quiet Brooklyn neighborhood, Benjamin Sinclair was a troubled boy, leading a secret life.
When he met Sophie on the steps of his apartment building the day she moved in, he never envisioned how chaotic and turbulent his life would become. 
A battle between the forces of good and evil awaits… one that could leave a devastating effect or be the start of new beginnings.
How will it end?



This book is NOT what I expected at all.  Keep in mind that it’s a very Mature Young Adult with lots of suspense and thrills in it that will make your head spin.  Ms. Johnston does a great job drawing you into the story and never letting you go until the very end.  What else was great about this book was the writing style.  Yes, the author is an Aussie so even though this story is set in the states, there are the occasional phrases that pop up.  Now, me being the Aussie lover, I didn’t have a problem with it.
 The beginning is a bit slow but it is very needed as to the set up of the book later on down the line.  I also found out that there is a prequel featuring Luke, Stephen, Ben and Kyle.  I kinda wished I had known about it before I read this one.  I did read it afterward and it explains some things that go on with this book but in NO way do you need to read it before.  I’m just weird that way.  After about 1/3 of the book, the action picks up.  The secrets and twists are nicely done and well thought out.  Keep in mind that this is a series so the other boys will get their books, too.  And yes, there is a series arc so be prepared.
While I don’t usually care for the whole instalove thing, in this book it works.  You really feel the connection between Sophie and Ben.  What I didn’t expect was the hotness of their love scenes.  They are in high school still and I didn’t expect them to do what they do in high school.  That’s why I consider this a very Mature Young Adult novel.  Definitely for the older teens.  I didn’t blush but at times, I thought the sex was a bit much.
Overall, I truly did love Sophie and Ben.  I love a good suspense/thriller book.  While there is a bit much going on and you do need to pay attention, I highly recommend it.  I just can’t wait for the rest of the series.
recommend-harlies- new
What to tell you about myself??
When I sat down to set about the challenge of what I could say, I found that I didn’t really consider myself to be very interesting at all.
I’ve lived in Western Australia my whole life, only ever leaving the country once. Right now though I reside in a southern suburb close to the beach.
Above everything else I’m a wife and a mother. I’ve been married to a man I believe to be my soul mate for the past nine years. When he came into my life I already had two gorgeous kids, a boy and girl, who he took on as his own without any consideration as to how it would affect his life. During our time together, he has also blessed me with two more gorgeous little girls. My real life also has me working full time as an Office Manager for an Audio Visual Company.  
I grew up in a home with three aunties, two uncles, my younger brother, my father, and my grandparents!! Wow that was more of mouthful than I expected! As you can imagine life in a large family like that was never boring J
As a child I loved creating stories in my head, it was my escape, a place I could go and hide from the world. As I became older, my stories evolved and every time life challenged me, I slipped back into my imaginary world and hid. This didn’t change as I
entered adulthood.
I have always been the kind of person who never made things easy for herself, and I spent many years drifting from family member to family member looking for direction. It wasn’t until I was twenty-one when I met a man who would become, what I  thought – my future.  Over the next twelve years he was my life, well him, and the two children he blessed me with.
We lost that loving husband, and father to a heart attack when our children were very young, and life as you can imagine became a little rough for a while.
Over the years my stories have given me the sanity to get through many tragic situations.
They’ve given me a world to escape into, one where I can be anything I want. These stories I’ve created over the years, have always been a coping mechanism that worked for me, and I’ve always wanted to share them.
With the support of my family I have ventured out there, and finally put them down on paper. I hope you love them as much as I do.
Instagram: @staceyjohnstonauthor
Join my closed readers group – California Dreaming – Behind the ………  on Facebook.
This is a group I created where I can interact with my members, discussing my stories, and the characters within. I also like to give my members the opportunity to get their hands on advanced copies of my books, in exchange for their honest reviews.
There may or may not be a little raunchy fun as well ….
Thank you – Dido
Satellite – Nickleback
Something in your mouth – Nickleback
Smile – Uncle Kracker
Say Say Say – Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney
S.E.X – Nickleback
Trying Not to Love You – Nickleback
Amazing – Alex Lloyd
Trouble – Pink



Dream Cast, Excerpt, Giveaways, Guest Blog

Guest Post from Nicky Peacock featuring her series Battle of the Undead (Bad Blood #1 & Bad Timing #2) w/a rafflecopter giveaway!


of the Undead #2
Parnormal, suspense, urban fantasy, vampires
Teen Publishing, 30K words
You know now that monsters are
real. Whether they have recently risen to reach for your flesh, or have chosen
now to step from the shadows; you are surrounded by them. You also know that I
am one too, but I’m all you’ve got and time is running out…”
There’s no rest for the wicked,
especially in a zombie apocalypse. Britannia has used every vampire skill at
her disposal to keep those she cares for safe, but with old enemies and unseen
adversaries moving against her, she will have to push herself to both her
physical and ethical limits to survive. Britannia is changing, but will it be
for the better?
**Please note this
is the second book in a series that should be read in order. **
Buy Links:   Amazon    Evernight Teen
Follow the entire blog tour HERE
14+ due to violence and
adult situations
 “If there’s someone there,
you’d better show yourself. Unless you want me to cleave off your head,” I
shouted. I heard a cough and saw a tall, well-built man slip from the shadows.
He wasn’t bad looking, but his dark hair was styled with cement-like gel and
his eyes were far too blue to be natural.
“Apologies. I wasn’t sure if you were
friend or foe.” He nodded at me.
He was a vampire, probably a little
younger than me.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“My dear, you are the one trespassing
on my territory. It should be me asking questions of you.” He gave me a sly
smile, as if he was trying to get away with something. Like he’d farted and was
waiting for me to smell it.
“If this was truly your territory
you’d have attacked me, not slunk in the shadows like a sniveling child.” I
pulled my axe back so I held it by the handle and it rested on my shoulder.
He put his hands up; he was unarmed
and laughed beneath his breath. “I now understand the Elders rule.”
He was referring to the old, no
female vampires rule – misogynistic t scumbags. It was then that I got a good
whiff of blood, live human blood.
“Have you got people here?”
“Why yes, we’ve collected a few to
take to the Highlands. Would you like to join me for a drink?”
And he’d been openly feeding off
them, great!
“No, I’ll give that a miss. Where are
“In the store room, back there.
They’re uninfected,” he said with a sweeping invitation with his arm. “I must
say, I’ve never seen a female vampire so beautiful.”
Good grief, did he think this was
some sort of date? That we would sit back and watch Dawn of the Dead whilst
munching on scared survivors? What an asshat!
I narrowed my eyes and walked to the
door he was pointing to. He smiled and gestured for me to open it. I did. Now I
was fully aware that this could have been a trap, but even if a hundred
vampires descended on me, I still had an axe to Red Queen their asses back to
“May I introduce myself?” he said
behind me.
“No.” I stepped through the door and
was hit with the smell of both old and fresh blood. I took in the large
warehouse back quickly: boxes were piled high with electronics, gadgets and God
only knows what other useless items, but there were also people crouching by
them. They were blindfolded and roped together with a thick unforgiving plastic
vine. Some were still bleeding from where he had fed off them. Some were
whispering prayers in ragged voices. Some slowly pulled at their bindings, more
like they were an itch than a problem. But all cowered when they heard his
voice. There was a collective shiver that even caught me in its terrible wake.
Whoever this vampire was, he was truly living up to monster status now.
“Here,” he said as he lifted the
plastic rope and pulled the nearest person toward us, “have a drink.”
I looked at the young boy bound and
blindfolded before me; he had blood all down his Simpson’s t-shirt and he’d
pissed himself, probably days ago now. This was what the Highlands were going
to be like, just with slightly less feeling and more order.
“My name is Ludwig. What’s yours, my
blonde haired vixen?” He pushed the boy at me and I moved so that I was stood
between them.
“What?” Ludwig’s eyes widened. He’d
heard of me, the lack of blue hair had been what had put him off the initial recognition.
If I’d looked more like my old self he’d have run from me, or attacked me in
the shop. I might never have discovered his little person larder.
“Yeah, I was forced into a make
under.” I smiled sweetly at him, “Ludwig, you have something on your sleeve.” I
swung the axe so hard that it cleaved his arm straight off. Blood sprayed
across me, splattering my face and streaking the front of my hair. Unlike human
blood, vampire blood is cool, smells metallic and tastes like sea water, kind
of like your blood tastes to you. Some vampires get a taste for their own kind;
those were usually the ones that the Elders sent me after.
Ludwig’s look of shock was only
matched by his girlish scream. He clutched at his leaky stump and shuddered. I
lifted the axe again, this time to cleave off his head, but he must have
regained a modicum of resolve, as he caught the axe’s blade in mid-swing. I
quickly slipped my hands down the handle and, palms up, slammed it vertically
so that its blade crushed against his skull. I heard a sickening crack as bone
crumbled against the force. He keeled and stumbled back through the shop’s
doors. I edged forward and crouched, sweeping my leg out to trip him over. Once
he lay sprawled on the floor, I lifted my axe a final time and off rolled his
head. It tumbled down the flat screen TV section.
The tethered humans were now
desperately pulling at their bonds. I guess the big bad that had just killed
their torturer was probably not someone they wanted to stick around and have
tea with – better the devil you know.
I moved carefully toward the nearest
boy. I gently took his blindfold from him and he blinked a few times and
recoiled at my presence.
“It’s okay,” I said, hands out, palms
up, “I’m here to help you. I won’t hurt you.”
The boy edged further away from me,
pulling on all their ropes. He particularly dragged all of the survivors onto
the floor. I suddenly had an image of me leading them like a chain of dogs
through the streets. If Satan had been on a leash, he’d have died. If I couldn’t
do that to a dog, I’d be damned if I was going to be responsible for leading an
all-you-can-eat zombie buffet conga line.
“Look, I know you have no reason to
trust me, but…”
“You’re one of them,” said the boy,
looking past me to Ludwig’s twitching corpse. He must have been old; it can
sometimes take a while for the magic to leave older vampires.
“We’re not all the same you know.” I
stepped to his side and took a blindfold off a nearby woman, “Wait a minute,
The woman gave me a quizzical look,
“There’s another one. He had red hair and a posh accent; like from Downton
Okay, now time was of the essence. I
pulled out my pink handled knife and sliced the rope between all the humans. I
removed all their blindfolds and counted them: twelve.
“Right, here are your choices. You
can say here and wait for Red, whoever he is, to come back and drink you dry,
or you can follow me and I can get you the hell out of zombie central.”
“Zombies?” they all said together.
“You haven’t noticed the slathering
zombie masses?” I asked.
“No,” said an older man, who had
managed to pick up a plank of wood and hide it behind his back while I wasn’t
“How long have you been in here?”
The man chose then to swing the plank
at me, which I caught and crumbled in my grip. The small crowd gasped and I
think they were just about to all fall onto me, when the bell at the door of
the shop chimed.
“Oh no, it’s him. He came back for
us.” A young girl of no more than thirteen cowered near me. I turned to her.
“I won’t let him hurt you. I told
you, we’re not all the same.”
She bit her bottom lip and squeezed
out a fat tear that rolled down her ruddy cheek.
“My name is Britannia. I know this is
all a bit…” I struggled for the right word, “…weird, but I’ll get you some
place safe. You just have to trust me.”
“So, let me get this straight.” The
boy whose blindfold I’d took off first edged toward me. “You’re a friendly
blood sucking demon, and there are zombies outside. But you’ll protect us? At
what price, you gonna feed off and kill us one by one like your friend there?”
He motioned at Ludwig’s now still body. I kicked the vampire’s corpse out of
the door and into the main shop, out of the eye-line of the humans.
I didn’t have time for this. I needed
to get a new radio, some food and get back to the zoo. I needed to tell Tate I
was alive and for Josh and Jack to know I was on my way to them. I hadn’t even
bothered to ask these humans’ names and here I was trying to protect them,
while they challenged my ethical code. I was just about to give the boy what
for, when a rumbling groan echoed through the store. I peered out to see a
group of zombies shuffling toward Ludwig’s body. Once there, they began to rip
him apart like an overcooked turkey. There were stuffing- and cranberry
sauce-like substances cascading out of the yawning cracks they were making with
their bare hands. I gagged and quickly closed the door.

The cast of Bad Timing.

When I write, I find casting an actor as a main character really helps for visuals and consistency, so here’s a brief recap on the major characters in the Battle of the Undead series, and the dream cast who plays them in my mind:

Britannia – Emma Watson. I think that she is an amazing British actress and just perfect for Britannia. She could make her both funny and serious at the same time.

Nicholas – Andrew Garfield. Perfect to play a dark, brooding but slightly comical complex character that has more to him that meets the eye.

Josh – Liam Hemsworth. Hunky solider who takes action in his stride and turns Britannia’s head and heart.

Phillipe – Tom Hiddleston. Great actor who can play the loving guardian to Brit one day and the evil Vambie chaotic killer the next.

Jack – Nicholas Hoult. A truly brilliant young talent who can embody Jack’s sensitive and caring nature that helps Britannia take back a precious part of her soul.

Now, for the newcomers…

Ichabod – Orlando Bloom. Although I’ve only ever seen him play the villain once, I think he could breathe dark life into this vengeful vampire who has more than one axe to grind.

Lyle – Jeremy Irvine. Cheeky, calculating but above all loyal. This talented War Horse star could give Lyle the depth he deserves.

Tate – Daniel Kaluuya. I loved him as Tea Leaf in BBC’s Psychoville and was always Tate in my mind. Strong, caring and totally determined to protect those he loves.

Xyla – Sandra Bullock. Ironic casting as it’s said more than once that Xyla looks just like the bubbly US actress.

Mariah – Hayden Panettiere.  My guilty pleasure is Nashville and I think that this beautiful blonde’s strength and confidence will make Mariah a character to be reckoned with.

Betty – Elle Fanning. Although only briefly in the book, Betty deserves to be played by a rare actress who exudes sweetness.

Now, all we need is a big pot of money and a director who has a thing for vampires and zombies…

Thank you for having me on your blog today! Nicx

Have you ever wanted to star in a YA book? 

Here’s your chance! In honor of the release of BAD TIMING, the second book in Nicky Peacock’s Battle of the Undead series, she will choose and feature a character created by one lucky reader in the last book of the series, BAD KARMA.

Contest details here:



 **Series is a must to be read in order, make sure to get your copy of #1**
Bad Blood
Battle of the Undead #1
“I am
Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead
hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between
you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong,
unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your
A 500 year bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are
to survive the zombie uprising. Bitter enemies, Britannia and Nicholas must
work together to save un-infected humans, delivering them to a stronghold in
Scotland.Unable to drink the zombie blood, vampires need humans to stay alive. But will
they tell the survivors who they are, and what they want from them? Will
Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance? Is survivor Josh the
reincarnation of Britannia’s murdered true love? And can she bring herself to
deliver him to the safe hold?Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.
Buy Links:  Evernight Teen   Amazon   B&N    Print
*    *    *
About the Author:
Nicky is a published author of both YA and adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance and horror fiction. She lives in the heart of the UK, where she has run a writers’ group for over 4 years to help new writers find their feet on the path  to publication. A member of both the Society of Authors and the British Fantasy Society, Nicky has had over 30 stories published in various anthologies.
Bad Timing is her second book in the Battle of the Undead series published through Evernight Teen. She loves to talk to readers, so please feel free to either get in touch with her through her blog, or on any of the social media below.
*   *   *   *
Giveaway:  $10 Evernight Teen GC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dream Cast, Excerpt, Giveaways, Limitless, Release Week, Reviews

Review & Dream Cast for Diary of a Rocker’s Kid (D.O.R.K #1) by Haley Despard w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @HaleyDespard

Title: Diary of a Rocker’s Kid
Series: D.O.R.K. #1
Author: Haley Despard
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC
Madison Daley’s father has concealed the truth from her for seventeen years…

Raised on a Kentucky farm, Madison is stunned when a conversational slip reveals her father Michael is a famous ’90s rock star known as the Grim Weeper. Michael left the spotlight and his mansion behind when Madison was dropped off on his doorstep by a woman in a black mask. A dark past is revealed, and the only thing Madison isn’t allowed to know is her mother’s name.

The answers Madison needs can only be found in Beverly Hills…

Though she does hope to persuade her dad to return to the stage, Madison’s real mission is to discover the identity of her mother.

But she is slightly distracted—literally—by the boy next door. Giovanni Abate’s father is an action film star, his stepdad is a major designer, and Gio has his own claim to fame. Madison catches the handsome, young Italian actor’s eye, and their mutual attraction makes for a hotter summer than she ever could have imagined.

Madison hasn’t set foot in California since infancy, but a lot of people are certain she has…

After Madison has a makeover, people are sure they’ve seen her somewhere before, and she is extremely curious about the identity of her supposed doppelganger. As she looks into this strange situation, she’s unaware that Gio is hiding a potentially devastating secret.

Could finding the answers she seeks change Madison’s life forever?
Or will it just lead to more questions to fill the…
Diary of a Rocker’s Kid

D.O.R.K. #1 Excerpt © Haley Despard 2015

We’re let in a gate that’s remarkably similar to ours, and I cling to Ana’s arm as we soak in the showcase of grandeur that looms in front of us. The stucco towers are even more impressive up close, and they give the home a sense of character and elegance. There’s a bright blue fountain out front that is already lit for the night. Impeccable landscaping and natural-colored floodlights liven up the front, and their balcony railings are black cast iron that is twisted into charming, traditional designs. We approach an ornately-carved cherry wood door and Cass rings the doorbell.
A distinguished, middle-aged Italian man opens the door, and I immediately start freaking on the inside.
Oh my God, it’s Alfonzo Abate…oh my God, it’s Alfonzo Abate…
He sees Cass and a big, toothy grin appears on his face. “Ciao, bella!”
Ciao, Alfonzo!” Cass replies, and they kiss each other’s cheeks like Europeans do. “This is Mike Daley, his daughter Madison, and their friend Ana. Everyone, this is Alfonzo Abate.” We all mutter our “hellos.” Even Dad looks a little nervous. I guess he never got to meet him before we left.
“A pleasure to meet you all,” Alfonzo says in a thick, charming Italian accent. “Please, come in.”
We walk into the entryway, and I hear a door close and footsteps padding down a hall upstairs. My heart picks up speed and time slows down when a younger, hotter version of Alfonzo saunters down the stairs into their grand entryway. It’s Giovanni Abate in all his glory: tall and tan, with piercing silver eyes and black hair so thick you could bury your hands in it and lose them. He’s wearing a white polo and jeans that are a little tight on him, and I have to try hard to bring my eyes up from his perfect body.
His gaze is intense as he fixates on me, and even after he touches down on the floor, his eyes don’t leave mine. “Come va? I’m Gio…” He stops, still staring at me. I’m not sure if he lost his train of thought, or if that’s really his nickname. I squirm under his scrutiny, and then I feel a huge sense of relief when Steph dances in from the kitchen.
“Oh, perfect, you’re all here,” Steph says, gleefully clapping his hands. “Let me tell you, you’re all in for a treat. Alfonzo prepared dinner himself, so everything you’re eating tonight is authentic. We’ll start off with a 1965 Pinot Grigio and—”
“Take your glasses off,” Gio suddenly interrupts. Everyone falls silent, awaiting my response.
“Um…excuse me?”
Giovanni!” Alfonzo roars with a scowl. His deep, bellowing voice echoes off the high ceiling and the walls. “Attento a come ti comporti!” I have no idea what he just said, but it seems like he was telling his son not to be rude.
Gio softens and rubs the back of his neck like Alfonzo just cracked a whip on it. “Sorry…never mind. I just thought you were someone I know.”
“I must look like someone,” I say with a nervous giggle. “Steph said the same thing.”
“You really do,” Gio says. “You look extremely familiar.” His dark brows shadow his eyes, and his gaze intensifies again, like he’s trying to get me to confess something.
“Well…I guess there’s one way to straighten this out,” I say, and I take the glasses off. Alfonzo and Steph gasp, and Gio’s eyes widen.
“She does look like…” Alfonzo mutters.
“My God, the resemblance is…scary,” Steph says in horror.
“What resemblance?” I ask.
“You, uh…” Steph glances at Cass, who makes a throat-cutting gesture with her finger. Dad’s glare is practically melting him. “You just look like someone we know, that’s all.” Steph shakes it off, and his joyful smile returns. “Anyway, I’m simply dying for some antipasto, so let’s show them the dining room, Alfonzo.”
Dammit! When am I going to know who I look like?
Alfonzo and Steph lead us into the traditional, luxurious Italian dining room. “Everyone help yourselves to the antipasto,” Alfonzo says, gesturing to the appetizer as Dad, Cass, Ana, and I pull out our fine upholstered mahogany chairs and sit down. “Gio, take the Pinot and serve it to our guests.” Alfonzo disappears into the kitchen with Steph so they can bring out the rest of the food.
“’Kay,” Gio says in his deep, cute voice. He takes the bottle from the table and moves around to pour the wine for Dad and Cass. Then he pours wine for Ana, too, and I raise my eyebrows at Dad, like, “Are we allowed to drink this?” He holds up a pinky, imitating the teacup hold Nana tried to teach me as a kid, and I laugh quietly behind my hand. That’s his secret code for, “Be polite.” Manners have always been a huge deal in the Landers-Daley family, so I guess I’ll get to sample wine just this once.
Gio pauses again to stare at me when he brings the bottle around, and I reach for my cold crystal wine glass and hold it out to him. I was trying to make it easier on him, but he gets distracted by me again while he’s pouring and accidentally spills some on my fingers.
“So sorry,” he says, reaching for my crisp white napkin, but I set my glass down and get it myself.
“It’s all right, really.” I give him a reassuring smile. Funny, I thought I would be the nervous one tonight…
So what do you say about a book that has you laughing, cheering, crying and then you find out that you have to WAIT until March, 2016 for the second book?  Did I mention that its a YA book and you know that I don’t review that many YA books.  Grrrr…
Yes, grrrr….I finally find a book/series that I fell in love with and I have to wait.  Everything from the plot, lead characters to even the secondary characters are extremely well thought out.  Sure where some things glosses over after they were revealed?  Yes but you have to keep in mind that its a YA book and believe this is or not…its not full of the usual angst that is drawn out to infinity and beyond.  Its a sweet story of hidden identity and finding the truth for yourself.
What sets this apart, for me, are the characters.  Madison in particular is the best character in the book.  With or without your love interest Gio, she makes the book.  Her relationship with her dad (Grim Weeper LOL!) and her grandmother.  What a spitfire.  Michael (Grim Weeper/Madison’s dad) was also a well drawn character.  I understood why he kept Madison from knowing the truth all those years.
The last thing that I will tell you about the book is once Madison lands in California its a wild ride.  Hang on because there are twists and turns that you don’t see coming.  I like when an author can surprise me, especially a YA author and Ms. Despard did just that.  She has finally turned this YA “not loving” reader into a fan for life.
Why o why do I have to wait until March?  I will definitely re-read this before I read Madison’s continuation.  Oh and yes, Gio is hot!  😉
recommend-harlies- new
Haley Despard (HD) was born and raised in small, yet ever-expanding Simpsonville, South Carolina. She discovered a love of writing at age fourteen and hasn’t been able to turn off the motor fingers since then. Today she lives just a stone’s throw over in the country side of Greer, SC with her husband, son, and Boston Terrier. Her hobbies include amateur photography, designing teaser graphics for her novels, and composing piano music.

Haley’s current project is a YA Contemporary Fiction series, but she also loves writing fantasy, romance, and occasionally horror fiction. Defying standards and norms and thinking outside the box is Haley’s strong suit, and she plans to write something that makes it big someday. Until then, she’s content with her growing author family and a head full of ideas.

Hosted By: