Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blog Tour - Sins & Needles by Karina Halle - Excerpt and Review

We are so happy to have Karina Halle's Sins & Needles here on its blog tour today!  Many of you already know Karina from her excellent book series, Experiment in Terror and Devils.  Sins & Needles is a contemporary fiction and romance that will leave you begging for more!  Read an excerpt below, followed by my review.  This is a new series that you definitely don't want to miss!

                    Tattoo Fonts
After the antics at the thrift shop were over and we walked away with a hideous mix of materials, our next stop was to pop into the grocery store and stock up on our meal. Thankfully, we were only wearing our crazy outfits for dinner and didn’t have to go into the store looking like total lunatics.Camden had decided on filet mignon, which he wanted to grill on his new BBQ, with a side of asparagus. You couldn’t get a sexier meal than that, unless you threw in some oysters. To Camden’s brazen credit, he did check at the seafood department but they didn’t have any. I decided to supply the wine and picked up two bottles of deep, bold reds.

“Do we look like alcoholics if we have two bottles?” I asked him, holding them both up, one in each hand.

His eyes sparkled. “Hold on, stay like that.”

“Like, with wine in the air?”

He put down the grocery basket and came toward me while I stood frozen. I was like a statue of the world’s most enthusiastic wino.

He stopped right up against me, leaving barely any room between us, and with those searing baby blues trailing from my eyes down to my lips, he cupped my face with one hand. I closed my eyes, gripping the necks of the bottles extra hard, and felt his lips press against mine. They were soft, warm and sweet. It felt like I didn’t have a hard bone in my body, just this lightness and sunshine.

Then I felt the wet brush of his tongue among my inner rim and I almost dropped the bottles.

He pulled back before I could readjust my grip and attack him more voraciously. That was probably a good thing considering we were standing in the middle of Safeway.

“What was that for?” I asked breathlessly, finally lowering the bottles. My arms had been shaking but from the strain or the kiss, I didn’t know.

He picked up the basket and gave me a nonchalant look. “You looked cute. What can I say?”
“I thought maybe I looked easy, with the wine and all,” I joked, hoping my cheeks would stop flaming.

“Oh. Well, that too.”


Many thanks to Karina Halle for sharing a snippet from her new book with us today!  Check below for more information about Sins & Needles and for my FIVE STAR review!  
Add to your GoodReads HERE

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.
**The Artists Trilogy is a dark and sexy contemporary ride about three flawed individuals caught in a world where it's so easy to justify the bad things we do. This is a pure adult read (Not YA or NA).**

Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher:  Metal Blonde Books
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Adult Contemporary Fiction

There was no fun in the truth.

I don't read a lot of strictly adult contemporary fiction, but when I found out Karina Halle was writing this book, I just knew I had to give it a shot.  I am so thrilled that I did.  I was completely blown away by Sins & Needles.

Sins & Needles is a dark and gritty romp through California tattoo shops and Vegas casinos.  There are mobsters and drug lords, grifters and gambling.  Ellie Watts begins this book on the run from a Ukranian mobster.  She is a con artist - a self-proclaimed grifter, just as her parents were before her.  She makes a living by conning people out of money and is constantly changing her name and appearance to stay one step ahead of those she is stealing from.  Ellie has a dark past filled with selfish parents and an unfortunate accident that has not only scarred her physically for life, but mentally as well.  She is attempting to run far enough away to begin her life over again, without the threat of her ex-boyfriend, Javier, finding her.  Javier is tied into a drug cartel and Ellie ran off on him with his money and car.  

"I've always been afraid of you, little Hellie.  You've got something dark inside you, you always have.  I don't want to be around when it comes out."

When Ellie returns to her quasi-hometown in California, she tries to go straight.  She attempts to find a real job, but is thwarted when she runs into an old friend from high school.  Camden had changed his appearance drastically since they were kids.  Where in high school he was all goth and into black clothes and blacker make-up, now he's a charmingly sexy tattoo artist with a mighty fine body.  While Ellie genuinely likes Camden, he is not free from her conniving ways.  When Ellie plans to con Camden, things don't go as she planned, and the story progresses from there.

"I regret my actions but I can't regret the consequences.  We all make our own path in life.  Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us.  It makes us who we are.  And, if we're lucky, we're given the chance to make things right again."

First and foremost, I have to give tons of praise to the way Halle wrote this book.  There was a lot of planning that went into this book.  Many things that are mentioned in the beginning of this book have an affect on the outcome.  It was like reading a Buffy episode where every bit of information you receive is important in some way, even if you don't understand why immediately.  Halle weaves all of this information into an epic, on-the-run story that I couldn't get enough of.  

Another part of the writing that I admired is the past/present way this book is presented.  Halle takes a chance when she writes the present story in first person, but writes the past scenes in third person.  I don't think I've ever read a book that is written like this. It sounds like it would be difficult to pull off, right?  Halle pulls it off beautifully, using the past to explain the future.  On top of all that, Halle has a beautiful way about her writing - the imagery and description were top notch, and her sense of humor shined through on several occassions.

This wasn't a Carrie Underwood song.  This shit went fucking Antrax for a while.

The characters in this book are excellently drawn.  There are no squeaky clean, innocent people in the world of Sins & Needles.  Every character is a shade of gray.  Ellie isn't a morally bankrupt person, yet she is a con artist.  Ellie lost her innocence at a very young age and has been seeking vengeance ever since.  Camden seems like a sweet tattoo artist, but he has secrets of his own and his own plans for "justification."  Even the vilified Javier has his strong points - strong points I'd personally like to see a lot more of in the future.  I'm convinced that Javier has secrets that I'm dying to discover!  Let's face it - all three of these characters are varying degrees of crazy!  There is only one purely innocent character in this book, and we don't even get to really meet him.  

"Beautiful, sad, wounded and lost," he continued.  "A freak, a work of art, a liar and a lover."

This book takes the reader on a fast-paced ride, in a car named Jose, through twists and turns that will leave you begging for more.  Through the Californian desert to the bright lights of Sin City, this story will keep you turning the pages.  I've found a new series that I would highly recommend to anyone.


The Writing Rabbit said...

Oooh sweet excerpt. I read your review and immediately added this book to my TBR list, and this is just making me want to read it that much more. : )

Silverlight said...

I've been hearing some awesome things about this book, it's on my list. Can't wait!!!

Sinfully Delicious Book Reviews said...

Fantastic review Jamie! Glad you LOVED IT!!! And yes please, more Javier!

Addicted2Heroines said...

Love those quotes. Great review, Jamie!

Braine TS said...

I am so curious about this book. Another blogger posted their fantasy cast & the guy looks yum!

Anonymous said...

Oh man this book sounds awesome. I'm like you who doesn't read that many Adult Contemporary but when I read about one and see that it's has 5 stars I just need to read it. ;D

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