Friday, December 20, 2013

Cover reveal for Not Another Soldier by Samantha Holt


 Not Another Solider
Author: Samantha Holt
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 17th January 2014



Blurb

I’ve just buried my husband. I was going to divorce him and now he’s dead. After five years as a military wife, Sienna is moving on. She’s keen to leave behind the misery of her marriage to Rob but for some reason the past won’t let her go. It doesn’t help that her closest friend, Nick, is also a soldier. Unfortunately Sienna is struggling to deny her attraction to the sexy marine, even knowing there can be no future in it. When the injured soldier admits he wants her just as badly, and has always wanted her, the fight to control her feelings becomes harder. And now she’s learning things about her late husband that surprise even her. When the secrets of Rob’s life come to light, Sienna finds herself involved with some very nasty people and Nick is determined to protect her, no matter what. As the danger grows to both her heart and her life, Sienna needs to decide if it was the army that was the problem or her late husband. Is Nick worth the heartache of being a military spouse again? And will he be able to protect her from the ring of drug dealers slowly closing in?

Samantha lives in a small village in England with her gorgeous twin girls and husband who is a trained bodyguard and ex-soldier (Yes, seriously!). She traditionally writes historical romances involving chivalrous knights and hot highlanders, but occasionally dabbles in contemporary romance. When she reluctantly leaves her computer, she enjoys exploring old ruins and indulging an early midlife crisis. Adrenaline filled suggestions for the bucket list are always welcome!

Win a $10 Amazon GC 2 x ARC copies of Not Another Soldier

Rafflecopter Code a Rafflecopter giveaway Rafflecopter Link http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDYzOTU4N2QzM2ZmMDcwZDVjNmU4OGE2Mjk0NjkwOjM2/

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Embarrassing Memory Murderer by David Tieck cover reveal

The Embarrassing Memory Murderer by David Tieck
 
 
 
Hilarious Memoir Shares One Man’s Embarrassing Journeys, Many Failures and Life Lessons
The Embarrassing Memory Murderer (published by iUniverse) shares the memoir of author David Tieck’s endless array of humiliating memories as he comes to grip with his past, finds his adventurous spirit, and offers hope, wisdom and understanding to anyone who is willing to laugh about their own disconcerting moments, WELL, that was the idea at least  
 
I had a plan. It was simple, if I could let all of my worst, most humiliating, and most painful memories each inspire some sort of adventure or challenge, then these memories would finally be adding something positive to my life, and by doing so I could murder the pain, and live a happier life. Ah, thinking about all my most horrible memories all the time, this is going to be awesome, what could possibly go wrong?
It started out great, my horrible past epic shyness, extremely late puberty, and fondness for bleeding and then crying in front of my friends led me to the Cannes Film Festival, tulip shopping in Amsterdam and hanging out with real life vampires in Paris. However then I had an awful break up, I had a bunch of things go really wrong, suffered a smidge of severe mental and physical pain, started to flirt with madness, went on a jovial jaunt through the darkest realms of my brain, and started flinging away everything that was important to me. Oh and along the way and I had a bunch of fun, a ton of laughs, met some awesome people and some celebrities, partied a lot, had some adventures, and eventually learned a lot about life.
You’ll laugh, you’ll want to slap me in the face, maybe give me a hug or two, then slap me a few times more – I really am a big stupid damn idiot. Please laugh at my pain; I truly deserve it.
 
Special advanced copies are available in limited supply now at:

Or you can find David Tieck here:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hallowed Ink Press now open for submissions in all YA and NA subgenres

Are you a YA or New Adult author looking for a publisher to submit a query to? Hallowed Ink Press is now accepting submissions. Queries can be sent to submissions@hallowedinkpress.com

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hallowed Ink Press launch day!




From The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to the most beloved boy in literature whose journey led him to the Deathly Hallows, both terms have been a fantastical, mystical theme used in a wealth of phenomenal literature. Hallowed Ink Press was created to serve as ‘hallowed ground’ for our authors; a publisher they know will always offer their amazing ideas a home, and remain dedicated to everything their work stands for.
As a publishing house we strive to bring forth innovative and inventive forms of storytelling to the eager readers out there. With an experienced ‘team’ that brings the skill and knowledge of writing, designing and editing to the table - yet also offers a youthful exuberance when it comes to producing fresh, unique ideas to enhance the future of publishing—H.I.P. does it all!
We hope you enjoy being a part of our journey as we venture forth into this amazing industry.

We are currently OPEN for submissions.
We are looking to acquire an array of young adult and new adult literature. Our team is especially interested in unique concepts that break through the current stereotypes in the market, offering strong and genuine characters, innovative concepts, and ‘fresh’ voices to enhance the industry.
Both previously published authors, as well as those looking to debut with a strong support team behind them who will show them the ropes, are welcome. We understand the reality of this difficult-to-break-into industry, and we use the knowledge and skill we have gained in order to give each one of our authors the best chance of reaching a thoughtful, eager audience. With innovative techniques and an honest look at all sides of the marketing spectrum, Hallowed Ink Press will become the solid ground and perfect home base for talented writers everywhere.
Learn more about us as at: www.HallowedInkPress.com


Meet Our Team


Emma Michaels entered the industry as a book blogger but soon found herself working with numerous publishers as an author, cover artist and marketing consultant specializing in customer trends and up and coming technologies. While her love of blogging has continued to live on (www.EmmaMichaels.com) she enjoys stepping out of her comfort zone and always exploring new facets of the ever changing publishing industry.




Amber Garcia started out as a simple blogger doing reviews, and then saw the need of help in the indie community, frustrated after seeing amazing books by some of the most talented authors not getting the recognition they deserved she decided she wanted to do something to help make a difference. Lady Amber’s Reviews soon expanded to Lady Amber’s Tours & Lady Amber’s Launch Party’s. As a blogger, tour coordinator, event host and now writer, Amber finds herself loving the life of a book nerd.






Amy Lignor began her career in publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing. Working in the industry for twenty years, she is now the Owner/Operator of The Write Companion, an editorial house offering authors a range of services. The daughter of a career librarian, Amy Lignor’s first love is books, and helping the debut or experienced author polish their stories and find success in the marketplace.
As an author, Amy Lignor has published titles in the genres of:
Historical Fiction: The Heart of a Legend
YA Bestselling Series: The Angel Chronicles (Until Next Time, Gilded Wings & A Privilege)
Thriller/Suspense: The Tallent & Lowery Series (Books I & II: 13 & The Sapphire Storm)
Romance/Humor: A Captivating Conundrum
Inducted into the International Thriller Writers Organization, Amy is also a writer/contributor for various magazines, newsletters, companies, and review organizations: Authorlink; The Feathered Quill; Random House YA; Suspense Magazine and more.


Tanya Contois started as the creator of the blog All Things Books. Shortly after creating the blog which quickly became very popular, Tanya signed with the publishing company Trestle Press and had four parts of a serial novel titled Wicked Little Lies published through Trestle Press. She eventually came to the decision to break ties with Trestle Press as well as the blog she created to focus on other endeavors such as starting a new blog and offering editing and proofreading services under the name Starlight Editing and Proofreading.




Find out more about

Friday, October 4, 2013

Argeneau 10-Year Tour: Excerpt of One Lucky Vampire by Lynsay Sands

 
 

Yes, Nicole Phillips has miraculously survived what appear to be three separate death threats from her ex-husband-to-be. But no, she does not need protection. At least that’s what she keeps telling everyone. But when her new housekeeper arrives complete with a sexy build and a no-nonsense attitude, she can’t help but feel a little safer. That is, until the passion between them heats up and she knows she’s really in trouble.
Jake Carlson never wanted to be immortal, or a vampire, in the first place. Turned during an emergency by Vincent Argeneau, he’s been living his new life away from the clan as a bodyguard for hire. That is, until Marguerite Argeneau reappears with a new job opportunity: undercover protection for a family friend…as a housekeeper. But when he discovers his beautiful new client is tougher than he first thought, Jake thinks he might be the one in need of protection. Just not the physical kind. With two weeks until her divorce proceedings are final, Jake must do everything in his power to keep Nicole safe and happy… he just hopes he can keep ahold of his heart in the process!

Buy Link: http://www.avonromance.com/book/lynsay-sands-one-lucky-vampire

About the Author: LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Visit her official website at www.lynsaysands.net. For a chance to win one of three incredible prizes, comment on any (or all!) of the blog posts in this blog tour!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt (Chapter 1 of ONE LUCKY VAMPIRE)

“Last day of this assignment.” Jake nodded silently, but didn’t glance to Dan Shephard, the blond man at his side and his partner for this job. Instead, Jake’s eyes were busily sliding over the crowd that had gathered around the hotel entrance where their client stood answering questions. It was supposed to look like a spur of the moment thing, their client stopping to answer a few of the many questions shot at him by the press who always followed him on visits like this. It was supposed to make him seem more accessible and less the dangerous dictator he was. But it wasn’t spur of the moment. Jake, Dan and the rest of the security team had been told that he was going to stop and answer questions and that they weren’t to rush him into his vehicle and whisk him away as would be the norm. Instead they were to let him “do his thing” and just keep an eye out for trouble. Jake was doing just that, keeping an eye out, looking for any possible threat. “Damn good thing it’s almost over too,” Dan added grimly. “One more day of watching out for this arrogant, demanding prick and I might be tempted to kill him myself.” That comment made Jake’s mouth twitch with amusement. Their client was definitely an annoying, arrogant and demanding bastard. But then, what else could you expect from a foreign dictator? Besides, working as professional protection in Ottawa meant that a lot of the people they were sent to guard were arrogant, demanding, or annoying. At least on the outside. Some were a different case inside and just acting up out of fear or stress, but not all. This client was as arrogant, demanding and annoying inside as he acted on the outside. But, they were hired to do a job and you couldn’t like every client, he thought philosophically. “He flies out at eight right? Then we’re done?” Dan asked. Jake nodded, but his eyes had narrowed on a man in the crowd. The fellow wore a baseball cap and jean jacket. He was also eyeballing their client. Of course, most people there were, but there was just something about ballcap boy that was raising alarms in Jake’s head. “Four more hours then,” Dan muttered, glancing at his wristwatch. “Four more hours...and counting,” he added dryly. “Want to go for a drink afterward? I know I need one after a week with this bast— Where are you going?” Jake heard the question, but didn’t stop to answer. He was hurrying through the crowd toward baseball cap boy, every muscle in his body straining to get there in time as the man pulled a gun from the waistband at the back of his jeans and began to level it at their client. *** “That was one hell of a catch,” Dan said, slapping Jake on the back six hours later as they headed out of Protection One’s swanky offices and approached the elevators. Their four hours of work had turned into six thanks to Jake’s stopping and apprehending the assassin in the baseball cap. First there had been the police and all their questions to deal with and then they’d had to debrief their boss, Hank Latham, on what had taken place. Now, they were finally leaving work, two hours later than expected. “I don’t know how you did it,” Dan continued, shaking his head as the elevator doors opened and they stepped on board. “Hell, I didn’t even track the guy as a problem, but I sure as hell couldn’t have moved as fast as you did. You flew through that crowd.” “Adrenaline,” Jake muttered, glancing at his watch. “You gotta love adrenaline,” Dan commented, slapping him again as Jake pushed the button for the main floor. As the doors closed, he commented, “So we get a couple of play days before the next assignment. Want to go for a drink to celebrate?” “Can’t. I’m meeting someone for dinner and I’m already late,” Jake said, leaning back against the elevator wall and crossing his arms. He wasn’t really sorry he had to decline. He liked Dan, he was a good guy, but Jake wasn’t much of a drinker. Alcohol did little for him. “Someone? Like a lady?” Dan asked with a grin. “Someone, like sort of family,” Jake said evasively. “Sort of family?” Dan prodded. Jake hesitated, and then said, “Yeah. You know, that older lady who isn’t really a relation but your parents make you call aunt.” “Ah,” Dan grimaced. “Yeah. I have one of those myself, a lifelong friend of my mom’s. She and her hubby hang with my parents all the time and she’s been “Aunt Betty” most of my life. Dotty old bitty now, but good-hearted.” “Yeah, this is the same deal,” Jake said, ignoring the twinge of guilt the words caused. The lady in question was old as hell, but “dotty old bitty” didn’t exactly fit her. “Well…” Dan eyed him silently, and then smiled wryly and said, “I’m kind of glad to hear about this aunt who’s not an aunt. You never mention family. I was beginning to think you were hatched or something.” “Nah. There just isn’t much to talk about,” Jake said quietly. “Most of my family live on the west coast or out of the country. Haven’t seen much of them the last few years or so.” “Ah.” Dan nodded. “So…? Siblings? Parents still alive? Kissing cousins around?” Much to Jake’s relief he was saved from answering the probing questions when they reached the main floor and the doors began to open. Moving forward, he said, “See you in a couple days,” over his shoulder. “Yeah.” Dan said, following him off the elevator. Jake hurried for the building’s exit, but his expression was tight. He knew damned right well that wouldn’t be the end of the questions. Dan would repeat them at the first opportunity, and have a dozen more. Putting away that worry for now, Jake pushed through the front doors and turned right, moving quickly. He was supposed to have been at the restaurant ten minutes ago. Fortunately, the Protection One offices were downtown, just around the corner and down the street from where he was headed. A three or four minute walk if he moved fast. Of course, it was possible he was rushing for nothing. His dinner companion may already have given up and left. He couldn’t say he’d be sorry if she had. He wasn’t looking forward to this meeting. He had no doubt his “aunt” was trying to arrange a family reunion, and while it may have been more than half a dozen years since he’d left the bosom of his family, he wasn’t ready to return. Not yet anyway. Worrying about how to politely say as much, Jake reached the restaurant and hurried inside, only to pause abruptly, his gaze searching the patrons. “Hi. Did you want a table or are you meeting someone?” Jake glanced to the young woman who had spoken. Dressed all in black, she was blond, beaming, and perky as hell. She waited wide-eyed and head tilted for his answer. “Meeting someone,” he assured her, and then glanced back to the room, his eye caught by the beautiful brunette waving at him from a table in the back corner. She hadn’t left. Damn, he thought wearily and headed for the table. She was on her feet by the time he reached her, and immediately stepped forward to hug him. “Sorry I’m late,” Jake apologized as he self-consciously returned the embrace. “I just got out of work.” “No need to apologize, Stephano. I’m just glad you agreed to meet me,” Marguerite Argeneau said, leaning back in his arms to smile at him warmly. “It’s good to see you.” “You too,” Jake said stiffly as he released her. Voice gentle, he added, “I don’t go by Stephano anymore.” “Oh, yes, of course, I’m sorry,” she said apologetically. “You go by your second name now. Jacob.” “Call me Jake,” he suggested, urging her back to her seat, before settling in the one across from her as another woman all in black approached with menus in hand. This one was a brunette, but she wore a beaming smile as perky as the blonde’s at the door as she stopped at the table. “Good evening!” she said gaily as she set a menu in front of each of them. “Would you like something to drink while you look at the menu?” “Water,” Jake said quietly. Nodding, the girl then turned to Marguerite. “How is your tea? Would you like fresh tea, or something else to drink?” “Another tea, please, and a glass of water,” Marguerite said, her smile just as wide as the girl’s. Nodding, their waitress beamed again and rushed off. Marguerite immediately turned to him a more natural smile. “Jake. The name suits you. And I understand you use your father’s last name, Colson, now too rather than Notte?” He shifted uncomfortably as he nodded, and then waited for her to give him hell for being an ungrateful wretch and dropping the name of the man who had been a father to him since he was five. Instead, Marguerite smiled with understanding and said, “A new name for a new life.” Jake’s surprise at her comment must have shown on his face, because she smiled and shrugged. “I know you didn’t want to be immortal, Steph—Jake,” She grimaced apologetically for the slip and Jake shrugged it away. No he hadn’t wanted to be immortal. His mother had explained everything to him and offered to turn him on his eighteenth birthday, but he’d refused. He was born mortal and had wanted to stay that way. But then some skinny little bitch immortal had stabbed him in the chest while pursuing a vendetta against his boss Vincent Argeneau, Marguerite’s nephew. Vincent had found him dying on the office floor and had used his one turn to make Jake an immortal. It had been the only way Vincent could save him and Jake understood why he’d done it. He even knew intellectually that he should be grateful for it. But he wasn’t. Or maybe he was. He just didn’t know it. Mostly he’d spent his time since then trying to ignore it and pretend it hadn’t happened, that he was normal and not a freak who had to feed on blood to survive. “I know you’ve been struggling with the change,” Marguerite continued. “And I respect that. I haven’t come here to judge you, or try to get you to see your mother, or guilt you with comments about her loving and worrying about you.” Jake’s mouth twitched with amusement at the words. Just saying them was enough to inspire some guilt…and Marguerite knew that, but he suspected she just couldn’t resist. She was a mother too, after all. But he let her get away with it and simply asked, “So how long has everyone known where I was and what I was doing?” Jake had responded to waking up to find himself a vampire much like a wounded animal, crawling away to a corner to lick his wounds. Only his corner was Ottawa which was hell and gone from California where he’d lived at the time. And rather than lick his wounds he did his best to pretend there wasn’t anything different. Other than sending his mother and brother short notes in birthday and Christmas eCards, he’d broken all contact with the family while he dealt with it. But since he wasn’t really dealing with it, this had gone on for more than three years. But then, what the hell? Time was irrelevant now. He could take as long as he wanted to deal with it. “No one else knows,” Marguerite assured him, and when he arched one dubious eyebrow, she added, “Well, aside from myself and Bastien, of course.” Jake’s mouth tightened. He’d had to let Bastien, the president of Argeneau Enterprises, know. He needed blood to survive and while he might now be a fricking vampire, he’d be damned if he was going to go around attacking and biting mortals to survive. Which meant he needed blood delivered, and Argeneau Enterprises had a blood bank that supplied blood to immortals. Jake was sure there were other suppliers with similar set ups, but Argeneau was the only one he knew about, and it wasn’t like vampire blood banks advertised in the damned yellow pages. So, he’d had to arrange for delivery of a steady supply. But he’d called Bastien personally, asking him to keep his whereabouts and new name a secret. It seemed he’d trusted the wrong person. “Bastien didn’t tell me,” Marguerite assured him solemnly. “He has kept your secret as he promised.” “Then how--?” “I’m his mother,” she said simply. “I can read all my children as easily as reading a book. He can’t keep secrets from me. Although he tries,” she added with a grin. Jake smiled wryly and sank back in his seat. He should have suspected as much. His own mother was the same way and had been since she’d met Roberto Conti Notte and been turned when Jake was a boy. He had never been able to keep a secret from her after that, which was damned dismaying to a teenage boy full of hormones. Knowing your mother would know what you were doing was pretty inhibiting sexually. “I’ve known from the beginning where you were and respected your need for privacy while you adjusted.” “Until now,” he said quietly. “Until now,” Marguerite agreed solemnly. “Because I need you.” That brought him upright in his seat, his eyebrows high. “You need me?” “Yes.” She nodded solemnly, but then sat back and peered past him. Jake wasn’t surprised to glance around to see the waitress returning with their drinks. “Are you ready to order, or do you need a few more minutes?” the girl asked as she set down their drinks. Jake glanced to Marguerite as she peered down to her menu. She had opened it, but hadn’t really looked at it before this he didn’t think. On the other hand, he hadn’t even opened his, but didn’t need to. He had eaten here many times. The workers were always annoyingly perky, but the food was also always great. It was why he’d suggested it as the meeting spot. “I know what I want,” Jake said now, “But Marguerite might need--” “Ooh, the quail sounds lovely,” Marguerite interrupted. The waitress chuckled and nodded as she took her menu, and then glanced to Jake in question. “The Grilled hanger steak for you?” Jake blinked in surprise. “I—Yes,” he said slowly, a little concerned that she knew that. “It’s what you’ve ordered the last three times you’ve come here,” the waitress said gently as she took his menu. “At least the last three times I’ve been working.” “Right,” Jake said, and felt a moment’s guilt that he hadn’t recognized the girl. Before the turn he’d always made sure to remember details like that, making note of people who served him, showing his appreciation for good service. He’d changed since the turn though. His thoughts now were usually turned inward, and he rarely paid attention to his surroundings or even the people around him unless he was at work where that was a necessary part of the job. Clearing his throat, he offered her an apologetic smile and nod. “Thank you…Melanie,” he added, glancing to her name tag. He would make sure to remember her in future. “My pleasure,” she assured him, beaming again before whirling away. “She likes you and thinks you’re attractive,” Marguerite said with a grin the moment the girl was out of earshot. “Yeah, that happens a lot since the turn,” he said dryly. “I’m guessing this immortal business includes some kind of chick magnet deal or something?” “Not exactly,” she said solemnly. “Although the scientists at Argeneau Enterprises have noted that we secrete higher levels of certain hormones and phermones that might affect mortals, both male and female.” “Of course,” he said bitterly. “It would make us better hunters.” Marguerite glanced down to her tea and raised it for a sip. As she swallowed and set the cup down, she said carefully, “You must have a lot of questions about how you are different now.” “No,” he said gruffly, and then pointed out, “While mother and Roberto made sure I was in the dark as a child, I’ve known about immortals since I was eighteen. I learned a lot in the forty years before I left California. I know most things I think. I just never realized that my brother, Neil, was such a chick magnet because of what he was, not because of his natural charm and wit.” “Well, see, there’s one benefit at least,” she said cheerfully. “You’re a chick magnet now.” Jake didn’t argue the point, but simply said, “You said you need my help?” Marguerite looked like she wanted to say more on the benefits he’d gained when he’d been turned, but she let it go with a sigh and then asked, “I understand you work as a bodyguard now?” Jake nodded. Before being turned he’d been a vice president at V.A. Inc. in California, a company with diversified interests. Vincent Argeneau had been the president, but the man had been little more than a figurehead, leaving the actual running of the company to Jake and his younger brother, Neil. Jake had been the daytime president. Neil had taken over at night. But after the turn…well, Neil already had the nighttime gig, and most companies didn’t need day and night V.P.s. It was only immortal owned companies that did that, catering to both mortals by day and immortals by night. But Jake hadn’t wanted to deal with immortals at that point. If anything he’d wanted to get as far away from them as possible, but a similar position in a mortal company was impossible. Vampires didn’t work days. Jake had needed a new career to go with his name change, one he could do at night and one that needed minimal training. He’d always been interested in martial arts and had trained at it since he was six. The bodyguard shtick had seemed a good deal; interesting, exciting even. Boy had he got that wrong. Mostly it was standing around, eyeballing crowds for hours on end. But it was a reason to get up every morning. Night, he corrected himself. It was a reason to get up every night. After three years he still had trouble with a lot of the changes to his life. He had never been a night person. Now he was whether he wanted to be or not. “Well, I have someone who needs guarding.” Jake was pulled from his thoughts by that announcement. He stared at Marguerite with surprise. “Surely Lucian would arrange for Rogue Hunters to protect any immortal who needs--” “No,” Marguerite interrupted. “This situation has nothing to do with immortals. She’s mortal and so is the person who is a threat to her.” Jake sat back in his seat and merely quirked an eyebrow, inviting her to explain. Marguerite was an immortal, and an old one. At least seven hundred or something, he thought, though he wasn’t positive. He was pretty sure she’d been born in medieval days. As far as he knew, everyone she knew was immortal. He couldn’t think what mortal she would be concerning herself with. “Her name is Nicole Phillips. Her mother, Zaira, is my housekeeper, Maria’s, sister,” Marguerite said and then explained, “Zaira married and moved north with her husband just before Maria started working for me. But her husband had a heart attack when Nicole was fifteen and they moved back this way to be closer to family. From fifteen until she finished University, Nicole, and Maria’s daughter, Pierina used to help out Maria with spring cleaning of my home, and preparing the house for the rare big parties I threw.” She smiled. “They were both good girls, very polite and hard working.” Jake could hear the affection in her voice, and when she paused, he nodded, encouraging her to continue. “The two girls grew to be very close more like sisters than cousins. Pierina really enjoyed cooking. She was also the little organizer, deciding where things should be and who should do what.” Marguerite’s mouth curved up with affectionate amusement. “Nicole, though, was more interested in artistic endeavors. She grew up to be an amazing artist, and she’s now a very successful portraitist. Her work is well respected and much sought after.” Jake couldn’t help noticing the pride and affection in her voice. It was obvious she had taken great interest in and had a lot of affection for both girls. He found himself smiling faintly in return. “And then a couple years back she met a charming Italian while on vacation in Europe. By all accounts, he seemed to adore her. It was very romantic, a whirlwind affair. He was suave, promising to show her the world and proclaiming his love in the most passionate terms…and she was smitten. Then they married.” Jake’s mouth quirked at her change of tone on those last three words. They sounded flat and grim. “I gather things changed once they were married?” “Oh yes,” she said on a sigh. “Nicole tried to hide it, but--” “There is no hiding it from you,” Jake suggested quietly. “It wasn’t me who figured it out first,” she corrected. “As I mentioned, Nicole was always very close to Pierina, but she moved to Italy briefly to be with Rodolfo--” “That’s the suave Italian?” “Yes, Rodolfo Rossi. She lived with him in Italy for a bit and then they married and moved back to Canada, but to Ottawa rather than the Toronto area where her family is…at his insistence,” she added grimly. “He claimed he could better find a job in his field in Ottawa. But I realize now that he wanted to isolate her from her family.” Jake nodded silently. That was usually what happened with an abusive mate: lasso the woman and move her away from family and friends and any kind of support or interference they might offer. “Fortunately, Pierina came out to Ottawa to visit Nicole,” Marguerite continued. “She wasn’t happy with what she found. At first, Pierina just thought Nicole was working herself too hard, working her way into the grave in fact. She insisted Nicole come to Toronto for a girl’s weekend to relax and I invited the two of them and their mothers for dinner. I wanted to ask Nicole about doing a portrait of my son, Christian, and his fiancĂ©e, Carolyn for me,” she explained. “And you read her mind and quickly realized work wasn’t the problem,” Jake suggested. “I realized it wasn’t the only problem.” Marguerite corrected. “She was taking on too many commissions and working too hard…at Rodolfo’s insistence. She’s much sought after with clients from all over the world. She usually has to refuse a good many of them, or book them years in advance she is so busy, but Rodolfo was insisting she could do more and should accept them all. He insisted she should “strike while the iron was hot,” the commissions might dry up one day and she should make all the money she could before that happened. He had her working around the clock…and all the while he wasn’t working at all.” “Nice,” Jake murmured. “Yes, well, while that was helping to sap her energy, the real problem, and what she was trying to hide was that he was terribly controlling and hyper critical. While he was insisting she should do all these commissions, he would then complain that she spent no time with him. He was also tearing at her self-esteem and independence and basically making her miserable. By the time she came to Toronto, he had demoralized her to the point that I don’t think she could have left him on her own, so…” She paused and glanced down with a sigh and then said guiltily, “I gave her a mental nudge to make her leave him.” “Ah,” Jake murmured. It was all he could say. He’d never thought much of the way immortals tended to control the minds of mortals and make them do things they might not otherwise have done. The truth was, he didn’t like it. But in this instance, Marguerite’s heart had been in the right place at least. “Here we are.” Jake glanced to the side and sat back to get out of the way as their waitress arrived with their meals. “Thank you,” he murmured as she set his plate in front of him. “You’re more than welcome,” she said brightly, beamed at him and then slipped away. They were both silent for a moment as they tasted their food. As Jake had expected, his steak was amazing. But then it always was. It was the first thing he’d tried here and the last. He tended to stick with things when he liked them. Although, glancing at Marguerite’s quail, he now wondered if he shouldn’t try some of the other dishes here. It looked delicious too. “It is delicious,” she assured him, and Jake grimaced, aware that she was reading his mind. While he too was immortal now, it was a new state for him and he knew most older immortals could read him as easily as if he were mortal. “Sorry,” she muttered. He shrugged with a wry smile. Swallowing the steak in his mouth, he asked, “So you prodded this Nicole and she left her Rodolfo?” Marguerite nodded as she took a sip of her water, and then said, “It all seemed good at first. She left him and started divorce proceedings. She also started to see a counselor to try to undo the damage he’d done.” Marguerite smiled. “It’s working, Nicole’s becoming the happy, strong young woman she was before the marriage again.” “But?” Jake prompted. If everything were going so rosy, Marguerite wouldn’t need his help. “But there have been some incidents,” Marguerite said on a sigh, cutting viciously into her quail. “Incidents?” Jake queried. “Three gas explosions narrowly avoided.” His eyebrows rose. “You think Rodolfo’s trying to kill her?” Marguerite’s mouth tightened and rather than answer outright, she said, “He’s going after her money, hard. He’s claiming he left his country, friends, family etc. to marry her and move to Canada and she is now abandoning him. No one’s buying it,” she added grimly. “He was actually let go before the marriage and suggested the move back to Canada himself. Besides, Nicole had arranged interviews for him with companies in his field here before he even landed in Canada. He refused to go, though, claiming he wanted a career change. But then he didn’t look for work in any field, but lived off of her.” Marguerite shook her head with disgust. “Her lawyer doesn’t think he’ll get much at all. However, if she dies before the divorce is final…” “He gets it all,” Jake finished for her and she nodded solemnly. “And you think he’s thinking that way?” “Yes,” Marguerite said on a sigh. Jake nodded, but asked, “So, why doesn’t she have a will made up leaving everything to someone else?” “Because she doesn’t believe he would do anything like that,” Marguerite said unhappily. He was silent for a moment and then guessed, “And you feel guilty because you are the one who nudged her into leaving him.” She nodded again and then said firmly, “I am not sorry I did it. As I say, she’s regaining her self-esteem and returning to the cheerful, strong woman she was before the marriage. She’s much happier. But--” “But she’s also under threat now, which she wouldn’t have been had you not interfered,” he suggested quietly and Marguerite sighed and nodded again. Jake considered her briefly as she took a bite of her quail and then said, “I’m surprised you haven’t just taken care of the husband yourself. Wiped his mind and sent him back to Europe or something.” Marguerite bit her lip and then grimaced and admitted, “That’s why I’m in Ottawa. Julius thinks I came to go over photos for the portrait Nicole’s doing of Christian and Carolyn, and so does she, but really I intended to take care of Rodolfo and send him back to Europe. Unfortunately, I can’t locate him. Nicole moved out and left him the house at first, the understanding being that she pay the bills and he live there and act as caretaker until it sold…at which point they would split the proceeds. But he was apparently enjoying the free rent and making sure it wouldn’t sell, so she had to buy him out of the house. Nicole has no idea where he moved to after that.” Marguerite scowled and shook her head. “I thought, no problem, I’d get Rodolfo’s address from his divorce lawyer. So I got his name from Nicole and then paid him a visit, but even his divorce lawyer doesn’t know Rodolfo’s actual address. His contact with him is a P.O. Box and a cell phone number that is still registered to the marital house address.” She scowled. “It’s like he’s hiding out. Nicole says when she asked him where he’d moved to, he refused to say, joking that she might send a hitman after him.” Jake’s eyebrows rose. He was a firm believer in that old saying, a skunk smells it’s own hole first. In this case, Rodolfo’s thinking she might try to bump him off suggested he was thinking that way himself. He probably was trying to inherit rather than divorce, but… “Why me?” Marguerite paused with a forkful of rutabaga halfway to her mouth, and cast him an uncertain look. “I don’t know what you mean.” “I mean, why me?” he repeated. “Why has Nicole not hired a company for protection? And why are you coming to me? I work for an agency, I don’t run it, Marguerite.” “Oh, yes, I see.” She slid the rutabaga into her mouth and chewed, her expression thoughtful and Jake guessed she was gathering her thoughts, so turned his attention to his own meal, surprised to find that he’d eaten half of it while they’d talked. That was a damned shame. The steak was good enough it should be savored, not eaten absently and without really tasting it while you were distracted by conversation. He took a bite of steak now, savoring the delicious flavors. “Well,” Marguerite said finally, “The problem is that Nicole is in total denial and refuses to believe she’s under threat.” His eyebrows rose and he swallowed before saying, “This doesn’t sound like something easy to deny. You did say there were three narrowly escaped explosions.” “Yes.” She set her fork down, obviously preparing for a long explanation, and said, “Nicole bought Rodolfo out of the house last month and moved back in herself. Pierina came up to help her unpack. She says they were sitting talking after the move, exhausted and achy and Pierina suggested a glass of wine and a dip in the hot tub would be nice. So, they went to open the sliding glass doors to check and be sure that the hot tub was on, but couldn’t get the door open. Wood was jammed in the door that was keeping it from opening.” “Many people do that to prevent thieves breaking in,” Jake commented with a shrug. “The house is about twenty-five years old, and so are the sliding glass doors. They’re a reverse set. The glass door that opens is outside the screen, and the wood was jammed in the track outside,” Marguerite said dryly. “A thief could have plucked it out. It was stopping the door from opening from the inside.” “Oh,” he said quietly. Marguerite nodded. “So they went around to her studio to go out that way and it was the same thing. Every sliding glass door on the main floor of the house was blocked shut from the outside.” “Interesting,” Jake murmured. Marguerite nodded. “Pierina says they just thought Rodolfo was an idiot at that point and actually laughed about it.” “But something changed their minds?” Jake guessed. “The next morning they woke up to find the furnace had died. There was no heat, and the house was going cold fast. Nicole called in a heating guy and apparently something had been removed from the furnace. Pierina explained it, but--” Marguerite shrugged. “I can’t recall what it was. However, it was preventing the pilot light from relighting. Well, remembering the doors being blocked shut, Pierina got suspicious and asked if that missing piece could have caused a build up of gas in the house and a possible explosion. The man assured her that, no, it couldn’t because newer furnaces have an automatic shutoff, but if it had been an older furnace it could have caused a gas fire if the gas had been ignited, or anyone in the house could have been overcome by gas and died. Still, he was bewildered that someone had removed the piece. He said it had to have been physically removed. It couldn’t just fall out, and, even had that been possible, the piece had been taken away. It wasn’t lying there anywhere as if it had fallen out.” Jake was silent for a moment, and then said, “I don’t see--” “Someone removed that piece,” Marguerite pointed out. “Why? Apparently the furnace in Rodolfo’s home back in Europe was old and probably wouldn’t have had that new automatic shutoff. An explosion would have been more than possible with his furnace back in Europe had the same thing happened there and Pierina suspects he thought this would act the same way…And the doors were blocked,” she reminded him. “Nicole would have been trapped in the house if a fire had ignited, or if she’d been overcome by gas.” “Surely there are other doors in the house,” Jake said with a frown. “They aren’t all sliding glass doors. Her front door for instance--” “It’s a keyed entrance. There are three proper doors on the ground floor and all three are keyed entrances. There is no way to unlock them from the outside or the inside without a key. If the house had burst into flames in the middle of the night, she wouldn’t have crawled out of bed with her keys in hand. She would have stumbled downstairs through the smoke, only to find she couldn’t open the doors without keys and then tried the sliding doors to find those were blocked. Then she would have had to find her way back upstairs in the smoke and find her keys, and then make her way back down to use a door.” “I see,” Jake murmured, and he did. In that situation, chances were the smoke would have overcome Nicole before she got out. “And the other two near misses?” “There’s an indoor gas grill in the kitchen. Nicole planned to make grilled steak for dinner on the second day of Pierina’s visit, but when she turned it on, instead of the grill lighting up, flames exploded out of the base by the dials and shot right up into her face. It took her eyebrows off. Fortunately, she was quick to shut it off, and that was all that happened. “They called in another gas guy to see what was wrong. Apparently there was a layer of foil between where the flames come out and the grill on top. He asked why it was there. Nicole shrugged. She hadn’t put it there. When she saw it, she’d thought her ex had done it to catch any drippings so he didn’t have to clean the base of the grill. She hadn’t thought anything of it. “But the flames wouldn’t have been able to get to the food through the foil,” Jake said with a frown. “Exactly,” Marguerite said grimly. “That didn’t occur to her though until he pointed it out. Apparently, Rodolfo had always put foil in the oven under the elements, and she hadn’t really noticed that the foil would hamper the flames.” Jake nodded. He supposed if she’d been distracted, chatting with Pierina, that wouldn’t have occurred to her. Marguerite took a sip of tea, and then continued, “The gasman removed the foil and right away saw the problem. The gas tubing had been pulled out of it’s housing, the gas was coming out of the pipe itself, lit up by the pilot and shooting straight up through the dials. He said they were lucky. It could have been much worse than her losing her eyebrows. Pierina says he then asked Nicole if there was anyone who didn’t like her. Pierina told him Nicole was in the middle of a divorce. He apparently nodded slowly, and then said it was a two minute fix, just put the tubing back where it belonged, but he thought he should check anything else gas related in the house.” “And he found something else,” Jake said quietly, beginning to agree that Rodolfo wanted his wife dead. He didn’t know if the guy was inept, or Nicole was just lucky, but this was two “accidents” that could have been deadly. “The gas fireplace in the master bedroom,” Marguerite said on a sigh. “Pierina didn’t know what the issue there was, but he took one look, muttered under his breath, and then started telling Nicole she needed to get a state of the art security system with cameras. He said people went a little crazy in divorce and she needed cameras, lots of security, maybe a couple of guard dogs too, etc, and the whole time he was taking her fireplace apart and then putting it back together so Pierina thinks there was something wrong with it.” “Nicole didn’t ask what it was?” Jake asked with a frown. Marguerite shook her head. “Pierina was the one who was suspicious, but even she was so shocked she didn’t ask. Nicole was just dead silent, a troubled look on her face. Besides, Pierina said he was really lecturing the whole time. But she knew he was serious when he refused to charge Nicole for the visit after being there all day. I mean who does that?” she asked, eyebrows raised. “And she says he kept giving Nicole these worried, pitying looks, and repeating she should get security right away. He actually hugged Nicole on the way out. Pierina said it was like he thought it would be the last time he saw her alive.” “So the fire place was probably rigged somehow and was the third narrow escape,” Jake murmured thoughtfully. Marguerite nodded unhappily. “But Nicole laughed it off. She’s sure it’s all just coincidence or accidents, and the closest she’ll come to admitting that Rodolfo might prefer inheriting everything to getting half the money in the divorce, is to say that if he did do any of those things, than he was terribly inept and she isn’t worried.” “Major denial,” Jake said dryly. Marguerite grimaced and then sighed and said, “I supposed it’s hard enough to have to admit that you made a mistake in your marriage. But it would be positively humiliating to have to acknowledge that not only was your husband not the man you thought, but he’s just a gold digging bastard who cares so little he’d kill you for the money he was really after all along.” She was silent for a moment and then added sadly, “But those thoughts are there under the surface. That he never loved her. That’s she’s so worthless that her only value is money. That he is willing to kill her to get it. But she won’t admit it consciously. She can’t. Her self-esteem was almost completely demolished by his actions during the marriage. Admitting this now would undo all the work the counselor has done and destroy her.” “And hiring protection would be admitting all of that, which she can’t do,” Jake said with understanding. “Exactly,” Marguerite nodded firmly. “So, I can’t hire a company and send them over there. She’d just send them away, saying she didn’t need it.” Jake nodded, but asked, “So what do you expect me to do? She’ll do the same with me.” “Not if you didn’t tell her you were a bodyguard,” she pointed out. Jake sat back and frowned. “If her husband is trying to kill her, and I will agree that it sounds like he is--” “I’m sure he is,” Marguerite said firmly. “And now that the accidents he set up have failed, he’ll have to try something else.” “Then she needs around the clock protection until the divorce is finalized. Once it’s done, there should be no reason for him to continue to go after her,” Jake pointed out. “The divorce will be final in two weeks,” Marguerite said at once. “Two weeks, huh?” he muttered, but frowned and shook his head. “Still, if she won’t accept a bodyguard, what do you expect me to do?” “She won’t accept a bodyguard, but she does need a cook/housekeeper and yard guy…well, snow guy this time of year,” she added wryly, and then said, “And I told her I knew just the man who could do all three jobs for the price of one.” Jake’s jaw dropped. He took a moment to absorb that stunning news and then closed his mouth, shook his head and said, “Cook/housekeeper?” “Your mother brags about you, Steph—Jake. I know you’re a very good cook.” “I’m her son. My mother is bias,” he said dryly. “I can make spaghetti, and that’s just frying up some hamburger, throwing in a can of sauce and boiling noodles. To her that’s amazing. But that’s not actually cooking.” “You’re smart, you can read a cookbook and wing it, at least enough to get by for two weeks,” Marguerite said determinedly and then added, “I’d never forgive myself for interfering if Rodolfo killed her, Jake. She’s a very sweet, genuinely nice person. There are few enough of those in the world. And it’s only two weeks.” Jake slumped back in his seat again, knowing he’d already lost this argument. Finally, he sighed and said, “I suppose I could take a couple weeks off. They owe me about five weeks vacation now anyway and have been nagging at me to take it.” “I’ll pay you what a company would demand for your time,” she said firmly and then added brightly, “It will be a working vacation. You can putter around the kitchen, try new recipes--” “Shovel snow, clean house and watch out for murder attempts,” he added dryly. “I really appreciate this,” Marguerite said solemnly, digging through her purse on the table and retrieving her checkbook. Jake rolled his eyes and put his hand on hers to stop her. “You don’t have to pay me, Marguerite,” he said dryly. “I got a hell of a severance package from Vincent when I left, and that’s on top of making a lot of money there for a lot of years that I invested successfully. I don’t need money. I really don’t even need to work anymore, but it’s better than staying home and twiddling my thumbs.” “No, I insist on paying,” Marguerite said firmly, slipping her hands out from under his and setting the checkbook on the table. “I already did my homework and found out how much companies charge for two weeks of around the clock protection and this is a service I appreciate.” Jake just shrugged and sat back, leaving her to it. She could write it if she wanted. It didn’t mean he had to cash it. He accepted the check when she handed it over, slipped it in his pocket, and then crossed his arms and said, “All right, tell me everything you know about Nicole and Rodolfo.”

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review of Deadly Descendant by Jenna Black

An ancient evil is unleashed in the modern world— unless one fearless P.I. can hunt it down. . . . Nikki Glass, Immortal Huntress, returns in this new novel in the acclaimed series by Jenna Black.
As a living descendant of Artemis the Huntress, private investigator Nikki Glass knows how to track someone down. But when an Oracle shows up, warning the Descendants about wild dog attacks in Washington, D.C., Nikki is afraid it might be a trap. The Olympians believe the “dogs” are really jackals, controlled by a blood-crazed descendant of the Egyptian death-god Anubis. Whatever. . . . If Nikki hopes to muzzle Dogboy, she’s got to catch him in the act. But when she stakes out a local cemetery, she ends up face-to-snout with a snarling pack of shadow-jackals whose bite is worse than their bark. These hellhounds are deadly—even for an immortal like Nikki. “Dog” spelled backward may be “god,” but that won’t stop Nikki from teaching these old gods some new tricks. Like playing dead.

REVIEW

I was pleased with how the character of Nikki Glass evolved from the first book in this series. She has become tougher and more accepting about discovering she is a descendant of the goddess Artemis. I felt a bit sorry for the villain of Deadly Descendant because of everything that was done to him. I will say that the coyotes were kind of scary as was the character Emma. I loved the shift in Nikki and Jamaal's relationship.

http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Descendant-ebook/dp/B005GG0MWE/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Review of Heart of the Hunter by Lara Adrian

HEART OF THE HUNTER

Ariana of Clairmont would risk anything to save her kidnapped brother, a quest she knows is fraught with peril. Her only ally is Braedon le Chasseur, a formidable knight with a mysterious past, whose scarred face and

Once known as The Hunter, now haunted by a dark legacy he struggles to deny, Braedon lives in a world of shadow and isolation--until he is thrust

Winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Historical Romantic Adventure of the Year

RWA Rita Finalist for Best Paranormal Romance of the Year

“Passion, danger and a bit of mysticism all come together brilliantly in the bewitching Dragon Chalice medieval paranormal series.” –Booklist
together with an innocent beauty in need of his protection. Embarking on a journey that will lead them to a legendary treasure, Braedon will be forced to confront old enemies and the stunning secret of his true nature--or risk losing Ariana and the only happiness he has ever known. . . .

brooding nature mask a soul filled with pain. Ariana fears this dangerous man and the secrets he strives to conceal--but Braedon’s touch is pure seduction, his kiss a potent lure that tempts her into a passion she is powerless to resist.


REVIEW

I felt that the prologue of Heart of the Hunter was important to the main story because it explained the story of the Dragon Chalice in great detail. I loved that despite his reluctance to get involved with Ariana and the trouble that follows her at every turn. Lara Adrian did a fantastic job of building the relationship between Ariana and Braedon. They had a rocky start but I was thrilled with how things worked out in the end.

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Hunter-Dragon-Chalice-ebook/dp/B007OMSHHU/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Review of Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her
boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.


REVIEW


From the very beginning of Everneath I was intrigued by the characters of Nikki and Cole and I loved how a lot of Nikki and Jack's relationship is told through Nikki's memories. One of my favorite things about the character Cole was that at certain points throughout this book I was unsure if he was a good guy or a bad guy. He made the book more exciting because I never knew what he was going to do next. I felt the ending was written perfectly because it made me anxious to read the second book in this new series.

http://www.amazon.com/Everneath-ebook/dp/B005C72QKI/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review of Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

Since the age of ten, Mia has rebelled against the iron fist of a fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join a fanatical family of followers. At "Edenton," a supposed Garden of Eden deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the reverend's strict and arbitrary rules--even about whom they can marry. Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in and the curious out. When the rebellious Gabe, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees her chance to escape and to free her family. But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound's facade are more shocking than anything they imagined. While Gabe has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friend and freedom fighters. But there's no time to think about love as they race against time to stop the reverend's paranoid plan to free his flock--but not himself--from this corrupt world. Can two kids crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman whose only concern is his own secrets?



REVIEW

Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader is a very true to life book that tells the story of Mia and the harrowing ordeal she endures after escaping from the South American religious sect in which she lives. Mia is such an easy character to like because of how strong she is despite everything that happens throughout the book. I found it easy to identify with the difficult relationship Mia and her mother have. The scenes that take place at the prayer circle are truly terrifying. I could not put this book down once I began reading it. The author Elisa Nader is an amazingly talented writer who tackles this particular subject with a wonderful cast of characters and a storyline that is unlike anything else I have read recently.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review of Lady Northam's Wicked Surrender by Vivienne Westlake


A midnight encounter between two estranged lovers rekindles a passion beyond their wildest dreams...

Rowena, Countess of Northam, is surprised to find her former suitor has returned from India and is on his way to the very house where she is staying. When he appears in her room late at night, she can only believe it is a dream. Her fantasy soon becomes reality when Simon makes every effort to seduce her.

Despite his six year absence, and the fact that Rowena married his best friend, Simon is determined to have her back now that she is a widow. It soon becomes clear that while her body craves his affections, she doesn't trust him enough to give her heart. Can Simon forget her past betrayal and convince her to surrender to the greatest love they’ve ever known?


REVIEW

This is the first book by Vivienne Westlake that I have read. From the beginning I was rooting for Rowena and Simon. There are some scenes that should only be read by adults age 18+. The scene in the bedroom was very steamy and sexy. The chemistry between Rowena and Simon was so genuine and I was pleased with how the author ended this story. I definitely plan on reading more books by Vivienne Westlake in the future.

Review of Black Bones by E.E. Richardson






Tony Kim works in a magic shop. Not the sort that sells card tricks. his is real magic. Something's going on. There's a demon skull. An evil cult. A blood moon rising. A werewolf with attitude. Can
Tony find out what's happening? And stop it?


REVIEW

Black Bones is a novella that I read fairly quickly. The character of Tony Kim was perfect as the reluctant hero of this story. Black Bones packs tons of thrills and moments that will please anyone who enjoys a well written paranormal novella with a fresh and exciting premise.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review of To Have and To Hold by Mackenzie Lucas


Sometimes what you see is not what you get . . .

American-born heiress Cate Cooper would never have believed her sexy, stalwart English husband Grayson could be a monster of epic proportions until he shifts into a fire-breathing dragon right in front of her eyes. After several near-miss encounters with the dragon who almost kills her, Cate traps the beast using her own magickal skills as a spellcaster and an enchanted chatelaine left to her by her grandparents. Her husband has one year to battle the dragon within before she gives up on him for good. Too bad her besieged heart doesn’t agree this is the best plan of action. Cate embarks on a journey of discovery where she must learn that sometimes what you see is not what you get and monsters come in far worse forms than fire-breathing dragons.

During the year Grayson Cooper is held captive, he fights for his life and his marriage while his best friend and legal partner, Michael James, moves in on his wife. According to the world, Grayson disappeared without a trace a year before, along with millions of dollars. Only Grayson and Cate know the truth of where he’s really been and the battle he’s waging. Grayson must earn back the love of his wife and win her trust again before a murderer who’s stalking her steals away everything he’s ever lived for and any hope they’ve ever had for a happy future together.

This is a sexy paranormal romance where rekindling passion takes on a whole new meaning.

REVIEW

When I began reading To Have and To Hold I was pleasantly surprised with the mix of the paranormal and a healthy dose of mystery. The character of Michael James was the perfect villain to the hero Grayson. The love that Cate and Grayson poured from the pages and I was quickly hooked. Anyone who decides to read this novella will not be disappointed. Get ready for loads of surprises and plenty of intrigue. This novella was packed with thrills and intrigue that should be on the to-be read list of all PNR fans.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review of Touch Me by Tamara Hogan


An Underbelly Chronicles Novella

Mere hours after human technology whiz Bailey Brown learns the truth about her Sebastiani Security co-workers—they're all vampires, incubi, succubi, sirens, faeries, Valkyrie, and werewolves!—she’s thrown into an undercover operation protecting a siren singer at Underbelly, one of Minneapolis’s

Because only his touch will do...
premier nightclubs. With pheromones saturating the air like sweet chloroform, starving for touch, and her inhibitions fading fast, Bailey has to avoid Rafe Sebastiani, her boss’s gorgeous sex demon of a brother, at all costs…

REVIEW

Touch Me by Tamara Hogan is an accompanying novella to the popular Underbelly Chronicles. I loved that this story featured so many different supernatural beings. This story has a clear beginning, middle, and end. The chemistry between Bailey and Rafe was positively sizzling. I found all of the characters very likable and I am looking forward to reading the next story in this wonderful series.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review of The Master Undone by Lisa Renee Jones


From New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author Lisa Renee Jones...
An Inside Out Novella 
In Mark's POV, this story takes place the day after BEING ME ends. 
*** 
I told him goodbye, and  I will not call him. I know if I do, it will be my undoing, and I'll once again be caught up in his spell. I will once again be . . . lost. 

 
In her private journals, Rebecca laid bare her soul, revealing her obsession for the one man whose erotic demands captivated her imagination--and enslaved her forever. Now, with Rebecca no longer in his life "he" is lost, questioning everything he thought he knew about himself and about control he holds in such high regard. One women will reach out to heal him and then turn away, leaving him haunted . She is nothing he thought he wanted and somehow everything he needs. He tells himself to forget her but he cannot escape his desire for her. He has to have more...
 
 
REVIEW
 
The Master Undone is an accompanying short story to the Inside Out series by Lisa Renee Jones. What I enjoyed about this story was the interactions between Mark and Crystal. The character of Crystal was such a strong, take charge character as was the character of Mark which made this such an interesting story. I loved the struggle between Mark and Crystal to be the dominant personality.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Review of Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor


"This book rocks! Scandalously delicious in the same vein as Pretty Little Liars and Revenge, with a wickedly clever plot that kept me guessing right up until the end." -- Gemma Halliday, New York Times bestselling author of Honeymoon in High Heels


Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of

Kara Taylor's breathtaking debut reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks in an enveloping start to the Prep School Confidential series.

"A whirlwind of secrets, lies, and scandals. I whipped through the pages, frantic to discover the killer." –Jill Hathaway, author of Slide
Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne could care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate, Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school. When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

"Fast-paced, suspenseful and scarily believable. It will keep you guessing as you race to the end!" -- Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds and When You Were Here


REVIEW

Prep School Confidential is a true nail-biter that has loads of suspense. The complex storyline hooked me immediately and I was not able to put this thrilling novel down. What I liked about the character of Anne was that she fully embraced all of her flaws and took responsibility for the mistakes she made throughout the book. Even though there was so much action in this book it was all very believable and Anne Dowling is a modern day Nancy Drew. This is one book that should be on everyone's to read list this summer. I am already looking forward to the next book in this series because I cannot wait to see what messes Anne will get herself into next.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review of Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

Fantastically funny, fresh and utterly relatable, Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess is the first novel in her brand new series about five twenty-something friends—Pia, Angie, Julia, Coco and Madeleine—sharing a brownstone in hip, downtown Brooklyn, and discovering the ups and downs and ins and outs of  their “semi-adult” lives. The first story belongs to sophisticated, spoiled, and SkinnyWheels—all while dealing with hipster bees, one-night-stands, heartbreak, parental fury, wild parties, revenge, jail, loan sharks, playboys, karaoke, true love, and one adorable pink food truck. And that's without counting her roommates' problems, too. Gemma Burgess has captured the confusion, hilarity and excitement of the post-graduate years against a backdrop of the pressures and chaos of New York City life, with heartfelt empathy, fast humor and sharp honesty.

stylish Pia, who finds herself completely unemployed, unemployable, and broke. So what is a recent grad with an art history degree and an unfortunate history of Facebook topless photos to do? Start a food truck business of course! Pia takes on the surprisingly cutthroat Brooklyn world of hybrid lettuce growers, artisanal yogurt makers and homemade butter producers to start
A charming debut series about five twenty-something girls and the humor, heartbreak, and drama that bring them together
 
REVIEW
 
Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess is a wonderfully heartwarming novel that all twenty-something women are sure to identify with. The character of Pia was funny, smart, and I loved how the character grew throughout the story. Each of the characters face a variety of issues that affect twenty-somethings every day. What I loved the most about Brooklyn Girls was despite all of the struggles the characters were forced to overcome they stuck together and supported one another through all of the ups and downs that were thrown their way. The bond between the characters reminded me a lot of the bond between the women from the Sex in the City series.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Review of The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson



The third book in Rae Carson's award-winning The Girl of Fire and Thorns fantasy trilogy. Elisa, the seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen, will travel into an unknown enemy's realm to win back her true love, save her kingdom, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny. Veronica Roth called The Girl of Fire and Thorns "intense, unique . . . definitely recommended."

Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and George R. R. Martin's style of sweeping and deeply satisfying epic fantasy, the third and final book in the trilogy takes the young queen on a journey more dangerous than any she has faced before. Elisa will stand before the gate of the enemy. And she must USAToday.com proclaimed, "Rae Carson has proved she's a master and has shaken up the YA genre."
rise up as champion—even to those who have hated her—or her kingdom will fall. Full of sorcery, adventure, sizzling romance, and secrets that challenge everything she believes, this is a bold and powerful conclusion to an extraordinary trilogy. As


REVIEW

Although this is the first book that I've read by Rae Carson I found The Bitter Kingdom was easy to keep up with the story without being confusing to me. The main female character Elisa was such a strong and determined character who never gave up on her mission despite all of the obstacles she dealt with throughout this book. The Bitter Kingdom is sure to appeal to both genders as well as anyone who enjoys a novel that is so action packed with the perfect amount of romance mixed in. The relationships between the various characters in this novel all have a strong sense of realness to them which is just one of the many things that makes for such an amazing book.

Review of A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin



A hint of Recovery Road, a sample of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and a cut of Juno. A Really Awesome Mess is a laugh-out-loud, gut-wrenching/heart-warming story of two teenagers struggling to find love and themselves.

Two teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy.
Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin's summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents' divorce put Justin on rocky

Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog-- and Emmy definitely doesn't. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook.

Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends.
A funny, sad, and remarkable story, A Really Awesome Mess is a journey of friendship and self-discovery that teen readers will surely sign up for.
mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom.

REVIEW

One of the many things that I loved about A Really Awesome Mess was that it focused on a group of teens who were each dealing with their own personal issues, many of which I was able to relate to because I have dealt with similar issues for as long as I can remember. I saw a little of myself in most of the characters and I applaud the authors of this book for tackling such important issues that affect both teens and adults. My favorite part of A Really Awesome Mess was by far the friendships and bonds the characters developed with one another. Had this book been written during my teen years I truly think that everything I dealt with would have been a tremendous help because I would have known I wasn't the only teenager who was dealing with the issues these characters were dealing with each day.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Series Spotlight: Guardians of Eternity by Alexandra Ivy

 
 
 
SERIES SPOTLIGHT INFO:

When Darkness Comes (Guardians of Eternity #1)

It's been a hell of a day for Abby Barlow. In just a few hours, she's survived an explosion, watched her employer die, had a startling dream, and now she finds herself in a seedy Chicago hotel with the
sexy, unearthly Dante, a man she both desires and fears. For 341 years, Dante has stood as guardian to The Chalice, a mortal woman chosen to hold back the darkness. A terrible twist of fate has now made Abby that woman. Three hours ago, Dante would have used all his charms to seduce her. Now she is his to protect. And he will do so until his very death. A terrifying plan has been set in motion, one that will plunge Dante and Abby into an epic battle between good and evil - and a desperate race to save their love...

Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo



Embrace The Darkness (Guardians of Eternity #2)

IS HE HER MORTAL ENEMY Lady Shay is the last of her kind. Half human, half Shalott, her blood is a precious aphrodisiac to vampires, who consider it more precious than gold. Though Shalotts are renowned assassins, a curse held over Shay lands her on the slave auction block, where her fate is uncertain-
OR THE MAN WHO WILL RISK IT ALL Viper, the beguiling chief of a deadly vampire clan, can't explain his longing to possess the beautiful Shalott who once saved his life, but now he is free to do anything he wants with her. Strangely, while he desires both Shay-s blood and body, he wants her to surrender willingly.
TO SAVE HER LIFE? A hidden evil has been stalking Shay since she left the slave market with Viper. It is an evil that endangers the very existence of Viper's kind, and there's no reason he should court such danger just to protect a Shalott. But the love he feels for Shay is enough to make him willing to go to hell and back if it means spending an eternity with her in his arms.



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo



Darkness Everlasting (Guardians of Eternity #3)

Darcy Smith always sensed she was different from everyone else - if only she knew how different. Possessing a secret strong enough to end an entire race of demons, Darcy unwittingly becomes a pawn in an epic battle between the vampires and the weres as she discovers a new world filled with
ecstasy-and dark passions...Consumed with lust for Darcy, Styx - the Anasso of vampires - will do everything in his power to keep her out of the lair of Salvatore Giuliani, the deadly leader of the weres. But protecting the woman he loves could cost Styx the ultimate price...Salvatore Giuliani knows time is running out for the weres. Pushed to the brink of extinction, he will stop at nothing to make Darcy his ultimate conquest and queen - for she alone holds the key to his survival. But which of these men can Darcy truly trust? For all it takes is one bite to plunge her into a lifetime of servitude - or a lifetime of pleasure…



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo





Darkness Revealed (Guardians of Eternity #4)

Two hundred years have passed since Anna Randal gave herself to Conde Cezar in a night of relentless passion. Since then, Anna has become filled with unearthly power she can't begin to

Cezar's blissful encounter with Anna cost him two centuries of penance. But one thing hasn't changed...his body's response to her is as urgent as ever. Now, commanded by the Oracles to keep watch over Anna, Cezar finds himself torn between his need to protect her...and to possess her...

Someone wants Anna dead. And as an ancient enemy prepares to wage a terrifying battle, Anna must decide whether to succumb to a dark, burning desire...and accept a destiny that could change the world forever...
comprehend. And the sexy, charming vampire responsible has eluded all of her efforts to track him down, until now...



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo





Darkness Unleashed (Guardians of Eternity #5)

The Guardians of Eternity are vampire warriors without equal, bound by their loyalties and sworn to protect their charges from every danger...except those posed by their own hungry desires...



A scarred recluse, Jagr makes no secret of his disdain for others' company. But now, as a member of Chicago's powerful vampire clan, he has certain obligations to fulfill. The latest: track down a
missing were pureblood and return her to her sister. The problem: Regan Garrett has no intention of complying. And though Jagr agreed not to harm an inch of this stubborn female's distractingly tempting body, he'll gladly kiss her into submission, awakening an urge he hasn't felt in years. Hell, in centuries...



Regan vowed never to be at the mercy of another man. That goes double for arrogant, steel-muscled vampires with eyes of ice. All Regan wants is revenge against those who imprisoned her. She doesn't need an ally. She certainly doesn't need a mate. But soon Regan will have to choose, between a lust for vengeance, and a passion as dark and dangerous as the night...



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo



Beyond the Darkness (Guardians of Eternity #6)

He Would Do Anything to Claim Her

Salvatore Giuliani is not a happy werewolf. It's his duty as leader to track down the pure-blood females who can keep his people from extinction. But the moment he catches scent of Harley, a pure-blood held by a pack of mangy curs, his savage need for her obliterates all other instincts. And the

And Everything to Keep Her

Harley has been taught to distrust all Weres, especially their arrogant king. She won't be used for breeding or bonded against her will, not even to a man who makes every nerve tingle with awareness. Yet Salvatore is her key to saving the family she never knew she had—if she dares to succumb to his dark, predatory desire, and face a vicious enemy sworn to destroy them both. . .
only thing worse than being captured is finding that beautiful, independent Harley defiantly refuses to become his mate.



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo



Devoured by Darkness (Guardians of Eternity #7)

Tane is a Charon, sworn to hunt and kill rogue vampires. His new assignment seems like a waste of his talents…until he catches up with the Jinn he's been sent to capture. Half human, half demon,

Laylah doesn't know why she was chosen to protect a child who may be the catalyst in a war between good and evil. But the mysteries of her past pale compared to the dangers approaching. Tane is devastatingly strong, breathtakingly sensual. And Laylah will have to trust in every ounce of that strength, because her enemies are drawing near, eager to destroy them both…
Laylah has a vulnerable streak that strikes right through to Tane's cold heart. He should be furious when she uses her powers to bind them together, preventing him from dragging her before the Commission. Instead he welcomes any reason to stay close enough to touch, to taste, to seduce…



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo





Bound By Darkness (Guardians of Eternity #8)

The Sylvermysts have a reputation as sinister cousins to the fey, and none are more mysterious than Ariyal and his tribe. To save his people from banishment, he faces a new challenge: Jaelyn, an elite vampire warrior sent to capture him. By rights, he should kill her on sight. Yet he cannot bring himself to hurt her—or to resist her…

Jaelyn is stunningly beautiful, utterly lethal—and always alone. Until Ariyal. From their first encounter, she knows that what's between them is more dangerous than simple lust. And as they unite to thwart a terrifying prophecy that will mean the end of his clan and of the world they know, she will risk everything to fulfill her destiny by his side…



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo







Fear the Darkness (Guardians of Eternity #9)

The Guardians of Eternity are embroiled in an epic battle for survival. They are as dangerous as they are sensual—and their lustful appetites are legendary...
Her Visions Lead Her To Danger
Beautiful Cassandra is a Were, a prophet both vulnerable and defiant, blessed with visions that portend the fate of the world. A rare and delicate creature, Cassie must be protected at all costs. Enter
And Only He Can Save Her
As Cassie's mysterious visions lead them in and out of danger, Caine believes he has found his true mate, the woman with whom he is bound for all eternity. Cassie is both charmed and frightened by Caine's magnetism, and unsure if he—or her feelings for him—can be trusted. But Cassie can't afford to doubt Cain now. A deadly enemy bent on destruction is closer than they realize—and only they can keep chaos from ruling the world.
 Caine, a powerful cur turned pureblooded Were whose recent tangles with a demon lord have left him in serious need of redemption. Caine is duty-bound to keep Cassie out of danger—and that means resisting his potent urge to seduce her.



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo



Levet (Guardians of Eternity #9.5)

Just released on March 26, 2013

Gargoyles do not admire difference--and Levet is undeniably different. Of miniscule stature, rather beastly looks, and with fragile, delicate wings, even his family has shunned him, banished him from

With few allies, Levet's survival may depend on the aid of two strangers: Valla, a beautiful but damaged nymph, and Elijah, the fiercely possessive, love-struck vampire clan chief to whom she can't quite surrender--unless Levet has something to do with it. . .
his beloved Paris. That he is the only gargoyle ever to help defeat the Dark Lord and his hordes of minions makes no impression. But now Levet has come home, determined to be restored to the official Gargoyle Guild. To do so, he must confront the most feared gargoyle in all of Europe. The one who tried to kill him as a child: his own mother. . .



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo



Darkness Avenged (Guardians of Eternity #10)

Release Date:

THE SEARCH FOR A TRAITOR As the demon world celebrates the defeat of the Dark Lord, the vampire Santiago’s mood remains bleak. He still yearns for the sensual, raven-haired Nefri, who has inexplicably disappeared. But brooding for Nefri is a luxury that Santiago does not have. His traitorous sire, Gaius, is unleashing a violent scourge upon the mortal world, and Santiago must stop him before it’s too late...
LEADS TO A DANGEROUS SEDUCTION To her dismay, the all-powerful Oracles have sent Nefri on her own mission to find Gaius, and failure is not an option. Nefri’s search leads her to the vampire’s abandoned lair—and straight into Santiago’s path. It’s clear Santiago intends to seduce her, but then an ancient, banished evil reappears, threatening to thrust the world into a madness it cannot survive...



Available at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo



ABOUT ALEXANDRA:





Alexandra Ivy is the New York Times bestselling author of the Guardians of Eternity series, the Immortal Rogues series and the Sentinels.

Alexandra graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons.

Connect with Alexandra:





TOUR GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Alexandra is giving away the following prizes on her tour:

GRAND PRIZE: 1 - $50.00 Gift card to Amazon

RUNNERS-UP: 2 - winner will receive a $10.00 Gift card to Amazon or B&N (winners choice)

OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL READERS AS WELL. (International winner will get Amazon gift card)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Alexandra Ivy's DARKNESS AVENGED Blog Tour Schedule
May 27 - June 9

5/27- The Jeep Diva (interview & review)

5/27- Under the Covers (guest post)

5/28- Books-n-Kisses (interview)

5/28- Musings From An Addicted Reader (series spotlight)

5/29- Cocktails and Books (interview)

5/30- Books, Books & More Books (series spotlight and review)

5/30- Mad Hatter Reads (guest post)

5/30- Vampires, Werewolves & Fairies Oh My! (series spotlight)

5/30- Scenes From A Chaotic Mind (series spotlight)

5/31- Book Lovin Mamas (guest post)

5/31- Bookin' It Reviews (series spotlight)

6/01- Book Lovers Hideaway (guest post)

6/01- Page Flipperz (series spotlight)

6/02- Wicked Readings by Tawania (series spotlight)

6/02- Froggarita's Bookcase (interview & series spotlight)


6/03- The Reading Cafe (guest post, series spotlight & review)

6/03- Redheaded Bookworm (series spotlight)

6/04- Paranormal Haven (guest post)

6/04- Darker Passions (series spotlight)

6/05- Romance Junkies (interview)

6/05- A Total Book Nerd (interview)

6/06- Jocelyn Dex Blog (mini interview & book spotlight)

6/06- All The Fun Starts After Dark (series spotlight & review)

6/06- Urban Girl Reader (series spotlight)

6/07- I Smell Sheep (guest post)

6/08- Book Monster Reviews (guest post)

6/08- Literal Addiction (guest post)

6/08- United by Books (interview)

6/09- GraveTells (guest post)

6/09- Riverina Romantics (series spotlight)
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