Year Faves Part I: [Audio Books that Rocked my World]

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This has been a VERY hard task to accomplish.

Just so you know, I have listened to a total of 84 audiobooks between 11/30/13 and 11/30/14. You might think that’s a sh*tload of money (and yes, it might be), but I discovered late 2013 this crazy yet extraordinary gift from Amazon called Whyspersync for Voice (which if you haven’t tried I REALLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO). It saves you an even bigger sh*tload of money if you compare it to an Audible membership, and based on the possible fact that you’ve had those books sitting in your ever growing TBR pile since the beginning of the electronic age, this is actually an INVESTMENT rather than an expense.

At least that’s how I see it (totally my opinion) since it already knocked out those 84 books I had waiting to be read hopefully before the next solar eclipse.

So because audiobooks literally saved my life to the point where that’s all I’ve played in my car on my way to work since my first purchase, I decided to share with you my TOP 5, or in better terms the 5 audiobooks I mostly enjoyed this year and the ones I think deserve to win a freakin’ Grammy Award or something similar.

I have to point out that this list doesn’t reflect ONLY my love for the book. Of course, the story needed to be great, but that didn’t determine my love for the audio. The audiobook narrator did all the trick. In the Audiobook world, THE VOICE you put in the story is what will make it a KICK ASS STORY. And trust me, I’ve listened to several of my all time FAVORITE books being narrated by people who don’t make the cut, which has DISAPPOINTED me to the extreme, but hey, my love for the book won’t die because of it, they simply did not make this list.

Points I took in consideration to choose these:

  • I listened to this audiobook between December 1, 2013 – November 30, 2014.
  • I didn’t get to listen to a sample (surprise factor blew me away)
  • I have listened to this TWICE cause it’s THAT good.
  • I loved the audio regardless of whatever I thought about the book
  • The narrator is OFF THE CHARTS great. Mind blowing GREAT.

And without further ado, I give you my BEST audio experiences of 2014:

 

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5# Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley [Narrated by Susannah Jones]

Oh, GOD BLESS the extraordinary talented Susannah Jones for taking this task to THE MAX and making ALL 8 ROCK CHICKS THE MASTERPIECES THEY ARE in audio. See, I am a devoted Kristen Ashley fan, I know for a fact that anything I pick from her I will like and the entire Rock Chick journey was PHENOMENAL to say the least, now mix that with the absolutely hilarious and catchy voice of Susannah Jones and you have a time bomb ready to explode once people figure out the whole audio trick. Listening to a story you love, narrated with such professionalism and humor is a treat only few will enjoy though everybody SHOULD. I particularly loved them all, but above all, Rock Chick Revolution was THE BEST. All the voices she makes are fantastic, but there is something in Ally’s character that turns it up a notch. I think her best ones are Tex, Lee and Mr. Kumar.

Kudos to both of you ladies: KA, for being the FREAKIN’ QUEEN OF EVERYTHING, and Susannah, for bringing the gang to life with such easiness it will make you think you are witnessing everything from first row at the theater.

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#4 Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde [Narrated by Tatiana Sokolov]

This book had it ALL, hands down. And Tatiana Sokolov, contributed to turn it into a wild ride.

Literally.

Joanna Wylde delighted us with Preacher’s story, and Tatiana Sokolov (with a small collabo from no other than Sean Crisden narrating Preacher’s POV) knocked it out of the ballpark AGAIN. Reaper’s Stand is one of the best books I’ve heard her narrate (and I’ve heard quite a few) and since I hold Tatiana close to my heart (she’s the first narrator I ever listened to since I got myself an audible account) I just knew she would makes us enjoy another kick ass story. The author / narrator combo in this audio book made it reach another level of awesomeness to the point that I listened to it TWICE IN ONE WEEK. Tatiana has this way with characters and male voices that seriously sound so realistic you could hardly tell she’s the one behind them, and not every narrator has that gift. Trust me. To say it was a catchy and fun, and wild and explosive and IMPRESSIVE, is just not enough. It was AMAZING.

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#3 The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune [Narrated by Sean Crisden]

Lord Almighty, where do I start?

TJ Klune is with no doubt one of the most gifted storytellers to have ever lived.

Seriously.

See, there is something so special in the way he writes, and how he involves the reader with such ease, you just KNOW there is a magnificent and beautiful story waiting to be read. And when you mix the added bonus of a SUPERB narration from an equality gifted narrator like Sean Crisden, you are officially entering the big leagues.

If you ever read Bear, Otter & The Kid you know what the story is about. So much so, that if you loved it like me, you cried (a river, for real). Well, Tyson and the gang were brought to life (again) in the extraordinary voice of Sean Crisden who nailed it with every single character interpretation. There is no mistake on anybody’s voice, which makes the audio experience a really fun and happy one. If I have anything to say about this, is that it was TOO SHORT! 15 Hours were not enough of this man’s marvelous voice.

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#2 Chronicles of Nick: Infinity [Narrated by Holter Graham]

Mr. HBO himself has a legion of fans worldwide. I’m pretty sure the opinion of a random blogger is one of the things he can care less about; but OH-EM-GEE if there is one person I simply WORSHIP when it comes to voice off’s is Holter Graham. From the minute I heard the first sentence of the book, I knew who he was. I knew it would be a MIND BLOWING experience and sure enough, I finished all 5 books in a month. CRAZY! Think about it: approximately 50 + hours of Holter Graham giving a voice to Southern / Cajun Cherise Gautier, mighty Acheron, the winey Heifer Goddess and the rest of the Dark Hunters!

PARANORMAL PARADISE IN NEW ORLEANS!

To me, Holter Graham is one of the greatest narrators on the planet, and to have the HONOR and privilege of narrating a book by none else than mastermind genius Sherrilyn Kenyon….I kid you not, if it was me, I couldn’t sleep.

Infinity is possibly the best one of all 5 narrated by Graham. The voice he gives to Nick Gautier will only make you love him all over again (yes, before he turned all crazy and allied with Artemis)…

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#1 Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford [Narrated by Greg Tremblay]

My audio book experience would have never been the same this year if not for the TALENTED AND BLESSED VOICE OF THIS MAN. Actually, it would have never been the same without the GENIUS STORY of Cole McGinnis and Kim Jae Min. Rhys Ford brought a little bit of light to my life with this series and when I discovered the EXTREMELY WELL NARRATED AUDIOBOOKS, it was like opening a door to a totally new world.

Of all the many, many, audio books I have listened to this year; this is the best one. Hands down.

Greg Tremblay has a GLORIOUS gift. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the smoothness of his voice and the way how he juggles accents with such a natural way. The easiness he finds in switching characters leaves you speechless. His voice alone is a gift from heaven I wish I had (I seriously sound like a hyena laughing…) so yes, to say his narration talent is brilliant is just not enough.

IT’S EPIC.

 

Blood & Rain by Shira Anthony [Guest Post + Giveaway]

Cover

Book Name: Blood and Rain (Blood #1)

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23261044-blood-and-rain

Author Name: Shira Anthony

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

  Paranormal

 

Male-Male

 

Adrien Gilbert has spent several lifetimes searching for the love he lost. Born in the 1800s into a clan of fabled vampire hunters, Adrien once wanted nothing more than to tend his family’s vineyard in southern France or read a good book. But Adrien’s peaceful existence ends abruptly when his older brother, François, is murdered. Bound by his hunter’s oath, Adrien sets out on a path that will forever change his life when he agrees to execute his brother’s killer, the vampire Charles Duvalier.

After months chasing the elusive Charles, Adrien reluctantly makes a bargain with Nicolas Lambert, an ancient vampire. Adrien will escort Nicolas to Paris for his marriage to a rival clanswoman, and Nicolas will help Adrien find Charles. Nicolas’s quiet strength and gentle heart soon convince Adrien that Nicolas is nothing like the vampires he has sworn to destroy. As the wedding date draws nearer, a force intent on destroying the fragile peace between the vampire clans threatens to tear apart both the vampire realm and the world of the hunters. To secure both past and future for those he loves, Adrien must find a way to stop the looming war between hunters and vampires. But first he’ll have to let Nicolas go.

 Guest Post

Thanks, Sophie, for inviting me to blog about my new Blood Series and my brand new release, Blood and Rain!

Sophie asked me to speak about the challenges and rewards of creating my own supernatural universe, something I love to talk about. After you’re done reading, be sure to enter the Blood and Rain Blog Tour giveaway for an amazing unisex pendant by artist Martin Brodour and a Dreamspinner Press gift certificate! The contest ends at midnight on New Year’s! Details are below.

Creating any universe in a story, regardless of genre, always presents both challenges and rewards. When you think about it, you’ll realize even contemporary stories require some world creation, or what writers call “world building” so that readers can understand why the characters do what they do. Because in the end, it’s really all about characters!

I’ve written fantasy before. In my Mermen of Ea Series, I really did create a brand-new, Earth-like universe where shifter mermen exist. But writing the Blood Series, and in particular Blood and Rain (Blood #1), I faced some particular challenges that seem to be part and parcel of writing vampires.

Why is it challenging and rewarding to create a vampire universe? Two reasons, in particular. First, readers are familiar with vampires and vampire lore. Second, readers are familiar with vampires and vampire lore. No, I didn’t make a mistake in writing that last bit! The challenges are the same as the benefits. Let me explain….

Readers know vampires. Or at least, they know them from the books they’ve read in the past. Which means they may expect vampire books to have certain elements. There are so many vampire myths in existing vampire lore: blood as food, immortality, sensitivity to light, undead/living creatures, sexuality, power. I could go on, but you get what I’m saying.

When someone says “vampires,” chances are you think of one or more of these things. Those familiar themes make readers like vampires (or hate them, I suppose). And to some extent, readers want familiar themes because they’re comfortable. But the flip side of this is that if you write a new vampire story with all of the familiar elements, your readers may get bored. Readers are looking for more than just the old vampires they’ve been reading.

It’s all about the balance. Truly. Each author needs to work to strike the balance of familiar and new/original in their vampire stories. And that’s where both the challenge and reward to me as a writer come in.

In Blood and Rain, you’ll learn that vampires are essentially immortal because they live extraordinarily long lives. On the other hand, my vampires are not “undead.” They are very much living, breathing creatures. And they don’t have any issues with sunlight. Yes, they crave human blood and they struggle with control of their urge for blood. My vampires can mate and have children. Vampires can be born or created. Born vampires, or “ancient” vampires, are the most powerful and are a sort of vampire royalty. Some of the ancient vampires intermarried with humans, and created quasi-humans who become vampire hunters. The hunters are long-lived, but not immortal. Hunters can become immortal, however, with the help of an ancient vampire. Hunters can also become vampires in the same way a normal human would.

Building upon old vampire lore and creating my own new lore makes for such a fun universe to play in! I love mixing old and new, and the interplay between the hunters and the hunter makes this series so much for me to write. There are old dilemmas, such as whether to drink human blood or abstain. There are new dilemmas to be discovered in the interplay between the hunters and the vampires.

I hope you’ll enjoy the universe in Blood and Rain! I sure enjoyed writing it. -Shira

 

 

Excerpt

Adrien licked the skin of Cole’s neck, feeling the blood pulse there, hearing it call to him. Cole tilted his head in anticipation, opening himself to Adrien Adrien buried his teeth in Cole’s skin. Blood flooded his mouth and danced on his tongue, sweet and salty. Too long. His body was far more vampire-like in its craving for blood than when he’d first been given the gift of an ancient vampire’s soul. He wondered if it was the same for other immortals.

Adrien tried to ignore the images that flashed through his mind—the sound of silvery laughter, a mother’s loving caress. Cole’s memories. Adrien despised this forced intimacy, but he’d come to see it as the price of blood. Something to be tolerated.

It hadn’t always been that way. When he’d shared Nicolas’s blood, Adrien had experienced great joy. He’d seen himself through Nicolas’s eyes and felt the depth of Nicolas’s love. Each drop of that precious liquid had opened new doors. Each taste offered insight into Nicolas’s heart and soul. A beloved memory. A mystery—the mystery of Nicolas—unfolding with every swallow.

Adrien drank his fill, then claimed Cole’s mouth. This kind of contact he could stomach. He didn’t need sex to survive, but he enjoyed the release. Cole unbuttoned Adrien’s black silk shirt and his cock swelled against Adrien’s thigh. Adrien moaned as Cole skated his fingertips over his chest.

“I have never known a hunter to crave blood,” Cole whispered in his ear. “I thought only we experienced the bloodlust.”

“You were wrong,” Adrien said as he pulled Cole’s shirt over his head and mouthed a pretty pink nipple. Sex was always better after he fed, and Adrien’s cock was already hard at the thought of fucking such a lovely ass. He drew Cole’s body against his, walked backward into the living room, and pulled Cole with him onto the rug. Soon they were naked and he was no longer a hunter or an immortal, he was simply a man, seeking release, seeking pleasure.

For at least an hour after, Adrien lay on the floor and allowed the night air to caress his bare skin. He closed his eyes and dozed.

“Adrien.”

The voice awakened him. Nicolas’s voice again. Why sleep if it only served to reawaken the pain he sought to suppress?

He stood and pulled on his jeans. He walked onto the balcony in his bare feet, then climbed to the roof of the penthouse.

Pathetic.

Having reached the edge, he spread his arms. He leaned forward and fell unimpeded, riding the wind like a sigh. The glass of the building sailed by him, the breeze buffeting his face. He hit the water and sank into the cold blackness. He wished he could die.

Back Banner Blood Rain

 

Author Bio

Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 35’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

 

Links

Shira can be found on

 

 

Purchase Links

 

 

 

 

 GIVEAWAY

 

 Handmade “Blood and Rain” unisex pendant from artist Martin Brodour. & $10 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

WillPride

Missed Spelled by Sarah Belle [Guest Post]

 

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Blurb

Magic Realism mixes with romantic comedy in this new novel from Sarah Belle about the dangers of internet shopping – and using magic to solve real world problems.  

Lou’s life is perfect. She loves her job, her renovated house, and most of all, her gorgeous fiancé, Aidan. But when her old flame and Aidan’s school yard nemesis turn out to be the same person, Hunter Wincott, Lou’s life is blown apart. She must divulge her secret past, or have Hunter give it away. Either way, she runs the real risk of losing Aidan.

In desperation, she turns to Google. A quick search turns up Majique, the Internet Witch, and a spell that will delete herself from Hunter’s memory. But something goes wrong in the casting process, and Lou deletes much more than just a memory. She deletes herself from her life completely.

Luckily, there’s a one-week window for Lou to get back to the life she loved. One week to win back Aidan, before he walks down the aisle with the wrong woman and ruins their shared dream of happiness. It would be easy, if only Aidan had any idea who Lou actually is.

 

Guest Post

 

‘Miss Spelled’ is set in my old hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and seeing as Sophie is keen to come down under one day, I thought it would be a bit of fun to share an excerpt from ‘Miss Spelled’ where the lead characters, Lou and Aidan are standing in the Eureka Sky Deck, a glass cube suspended on the side of the Eureka Tower, 88 storeys above ground. It is the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere and the view is breathtaking.

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The lights go out and I can’t see a thing. It’s pitch black. But despite the temporary blindness, there’s the sense that there is a great, cavernous void between my feet and solid ground, the thought of which makes my shoulders tighten and rise up towards my earlobes.

“Close your eyes,” Aiden says. “It will help your eyes to adjust quicker.”

I do as he says and can feel the sway of the building in the wind, underneath my feet. My thigh muscles tighten in readiness to turn and run. As the fear starts to consume me again, Aiden stands behind me and wraps his arms around my shaking body. With his guidance, we walk the three metres to the far wall of the cube, where my fingers automatically clutch the railing in front of me. Eyes still closed, my grip is such that my knuckles feel like they are about to pop out of the skin.

Aiden puts his hands over mine and intertwines our fingers. Even though it means I have less of a grip on the railing, their warmth and strength is welcome, and my heart rate slows a fraction.

My body shudders slightly as he steps closer, his hips now pressing firmly against the small of my back, his thighs resting against the back of my legs. There is no gap between our bodies. He has become my blanket, my warmth.

“Now, open your eyes,” Aiden whispers. His warm breath wafts past my ear and I can feel the pressure of his chest against my back. The fine wool of his suit feels cool and soft against my bare skin, but does little to conceal the contours of Aiden’s lean, muscled chest beneath it.

Not wanting to lose this moment of oneness, my eyes slowly open to be greeted by a magical land of lights that stretch out forever around me, on all sides. The usually mundane street, traffic and building lights take on the appearance of an enchanted wonderland, and the cloudless sky twinkles with a million stars as though heaven is reaching down towards us. If it weren’t for the pane of glass between the us and the sky, I may be able to reach out and brush a star with my fingertips.

               A feeling of peace washes over me like a cleansing waterfall, as I allow myself to be lost in the beauty and magic of everything around me. Floating amongst the stars is beautiful with the feel of Aiden’s body against mine, his heart beating at my back, his breath against my skin. If this moment never ended, if it lasted for eternity, it wouldn’t be long enough.

“Oh Aiden! It’s so…so…incredibly beautiful. Look at it. Who would think that a smelly old city could be transformed into this…magical kingdom.”

“Over there,” he points to the left, our fingers still intertwined, “is your house, and a bit further over is your parent’s house.” My eyes followed his fingers. “ Down there is my office, and just over there is your school.”

As beautiful as the view is, I can only see Aiden’s long fingers wrapped around my own. My hands moisten in his as my heart rate speeds up, but not out of fear this time.

His voice is low, barely above a whisper. I tilt my head to the side slightly so that his breath touches skin of my neck. It tickles in a very pleasurable way and even though our fingers are still intertwined, mine are tingling with the need to touch him, to feel the warmth of his body underneath them.

A small groan escapes me as a delicious shiver works its way up my spine.

“And down there is my apartment where I intend to take you after this, so I can feel every part of your naked body pressed against mine,” he says as his lips touch my exposed neck and shoulders.

I inhale deeply, taking in the mixture of Aiden’s woody aftershave and his own scent. It’s intoxicating and leaves me feeling light headed. He smells delicious, and my desire to have him now is too overpowering to deny any longer. I spin around to face him.

“Why wait until we get home?” I say, and then reach up to take his lips with mine. It’s as though I could devour him on the spot, not caring whether or not people can see us.

He lifts me up onto the railing as my hands work quickly to release him from his trousers and wrap my thighs around his hips. The heat between us has risen to the point that the cube has now fogged up, leaving only the promise of the lit wonderland on the outside as a dull reminder that other humans exist.

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 Author Bio

Sarah Belle started her professional life in the hospitality industry, working in some of the roughest hotels in Melbourne in the late Eighties, surrounded by drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, and undercover police. Tiring of the inherent dangers of her working environment, Sarah completed a business degree and went on to work in the recruitment industry where she met and married the man of her dreams. They have four young sons and live on the beautiful Queensland coast, where Sarah’s days are spent being a frazzled mum, writer, Bikram Yoga devotee, a Naughty Ninja and the only woman in a house of five males.

 

 

Links

 

miss spelled button

No Grits No Glory by Elaine Calloway [Guest Post]

 

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Chick Lit

Brianna fled down South to Savannah to escape the voices of the dead. Just when she thought she’d left all paranormal things behind, she discovers her house is haunted—by a family of Southern ghosts. These persistent beings not only hide her white shoes after Labor Day, but they wreak havoc on her life to convince her to help them bring their killer to justice.

Steven put Savannah in his rearview mirror years ago to follow his passion for music. When his band splits up and he can’t reach his little sister for weeks, he races home—only to learn his whole family died in a mysterious house fire. The house Brianna now lives in.

Together, Brianna and Steven learn who murdered Steven’s family and become caught in a web of intrigue that will threaten their careers, their homes–but especially their lives.

 

 

Guest Post

Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits is a favorite in Savannah and along the coast to Hilton Head. This decadent meal, which No Grits No Glory‘s Brianna and Steven enjoy, reflects the local culture.

 

Lowcountry Shrimp & Grits

 

INGREDIENTS

2-3 cups grits (real, do not use instant)

1 cup heavy cream

2-3 cups milk

1 pound bacon

1 stick butter

1 pound deveined shrimp

 

INSTRUCTIONS

– Soak the grits in milk for several hours.

– Cook the bacon on the stovetop (fry) and set bacon aside on plate BUT do not wash out pan – keep the bacon grease in the pan as a base.

– Cook the shrimp in the bacon grease, add salt/pepper seasonings as desired.

– Use that as the base to cook and/or reheat the shrimp.

– Once shrimp is cooked, take out of pan & set aside.

– Cook the grits in butter & heavy cream until desired consistency.

– Add bacon, seasoning, shrimp on top & serve.

 

 

Author Bio

Elaine Calloway is the Amazon.com bestselling author of paranormal and fantasy novels with elements of romance and desire. Her “tales of the living, the dead and the eerie in between” include the Elemental Clans Series, the Southern Ghosts Series and several shortnew_elaine_bio stories. A New Orleans native, Elaine grew up with a love of all things supernatural and enjoys visiting the “Crescent City.” She currently lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. www.elainecalloway.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links

Guarding Poppy by Christine Wenrick [BookBlitz]

 

 

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Guarding Poppy

by Christine Wenrick

 

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Blurb

 

ONE NIGHT . . . ONE VIOLENT, SUPERNATURAL BATTLE . . .

AND FIVE STORIES OF THE MEN WHOSE LIVES WILL BE CHANGED BY IT.

Alec Lambert was born to lead. He’s a ruling Elder of The Brethren, possessing steely confidence, natural smarts, and decisive problem solving abilities . . . and he’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Everything in his life has gone exactly according to plan—until the night of Brahm Hill. Alec loses his best friend at the hands of the uncle he trusted like a father, along with his previously unshakable faith to lead those with whom he’s charged. Despite this, he continues to press ahead, and for his next assignment he’s asked to protect a very beautiful but very clumsy Dhampir who’s being hunted by a powerful warlock. Suddenly, he finds his whole Brethren world is turned upside down . . . and he finds himself harboring a desire for her he can’t explain.

Poppy Honeywell knows she’s far from perfect. Bad things tend to happen when she’s around. She’s more than a little clumsy, with a phobia or two mixed in. Not to mention that her name is certainly unusual. But she doesn’t have time to worry about all that because she’s on the run and not about to back down from the arrogant Elder who’s just been assigned as her protector, claiming he has all the answers to her problems. The real problem, though, is . . . she’s irresistibly drawn to this man who faces constant danger and takes charge so naturally. But Poppy also sees that taking charge of others helps Alec mask his own very deep pain.

WILL ALEC FIND HIS WAY OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND SURRENDER TO HIS FEELINGS FOR POPPY BEFORE THE WARLOCK CHASING HER CATCHES UP TO THEM BOTH?

 

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Excerpt

 

“Why. Am. I. On. A. Plane?” Poppy emphasized each word as her hands gripped at the luxurious sofa arm beside her. But the modern jet seemed determined to bounce all of them out of their seats as the cabin continued to jostle about angrily. They were definitely in the middle of some mean turbulence, which was to be expected of anyone fool enough to be flying in a small plane in winter conditions.

“Because it’s the most efficient way to get someone across an ocean,” Alec answered. “We still have about an hour or so before we land. So you’re going to have to let me know if you’re going to panic on me.”

Her gaze narrowed on him angrily as she pushed her next breath through her nostrils. “Can I just hit you instead and we’ll call it even?!”

His brow lifted as if he found that comment interesting.

Poppy leapt to her feet inside the small cabin and she noticed Alec braced his hands against his chair arm as if to steady himself. Surely he didn’t think she was really going to hit him? “You’re not going to trip again, are you?” he asked her.

Poppy glared at him and then down at herself. She was looking for any reasonable explanation to defend the innate clumsiness he’d gotten to experience firsthand within the first minute of meeting her in Joseph’s study. “These are very challenging heels!”

Yep. That was the best she could come up with.

The Elder smiled. No, it was definitely more of a smirk. “I’m sure they are,” he replied. “Now, will you please sit down before you get bounced off your feet? The turbulence may get worse before it gets better.”

Worse?” Poppy squeaked. She might very well end up back in his lap if this turbulence got any worse. She didn’t like to think of herself as a coward, but when it came to flying she definitely was, even more so than her irrational fear of spiders. They just had too many legs. “Look—you need to understand. I don’t fly! Ever . . .! You need to find a way to land this plane, right now!”

“I can’t do that. As I explained, we’re over a lake.”

“Well get un-over the lake!”

The Elder didn’t say anything in response, just seemed to contemplate that. He removed the reading glasses that were a dead giveaway that he was human, though, he looked fit enough to give even one of his Dhampir guards a run for their money. He’d certainly felt fit enough when she had crash-landed into his chest in Joseph’s study . . . which had been utterly embarrassing. One moment, she’d been fully prepared to burst in and make her case to Joseph about why she needed to stay at The Hallow, and the next, the tip of her shoe had caught on the carpet and she was flying forward straight into a complete stranger.

“In an effort to have us all on the ground safely as soon as possible, I do not recommend suddenly veering off course to get ‘un-over’ a lake. We will be starting our descent shortly.”

“Oh God, descent . . .,” she mumbled to herself as she rubbed her hands over her face. “This is not good. This is not good.”

“It will be all—”

“Where are we landing . . . Elder Lambert?” she added awkwardly, realizing they had not actually exchanged first names.

He returned his glasses to the bridge of his nose and went back to looking at his tablet. “You may call me Alec. I much prefer it to Elder Lambert. We’ll be landing in Alberta at The Oracle, The Brethren site I’m in charge of. After discussing it, Joseph and I felt this would be the best place for you to stay.”

“Well, isn’t that nice,” she answered him flippantly. “You discussed it. By any chance—in any of this heavy dialogue—did anyone consider asking me if I wanted to go to Canada?”

Alec just sighed in that ‘you’re going to cause me a lot of trouble, aren’t you’ sort of way.

 

 

Author Bio

Christine is a graduate of Washington State University where she received a BA in Interior Design. And true to form of using mostly her ‘right brain’, she splits her time between her commercial design career and her imaginary world of writing. She lives in the scenic Pacific Northwest where she enjoys hiking, camping and photographing many of the wonderful places that served asMEDIA KIT Author Photo inspiration for her writing. Her biggest reward in life is any given day when one of her books connects with a reader because she herself is such a lover of reading. Some of her favorite authors include Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Kimberly Derting.

 

 

 

 

 

Links

 

 
Giveaway!

One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a runner up will receive autographed copies of Someone Else’s Skye and Guarding Poppy (US only).
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Blood Games (Chicagoland Vampires # 10) by Chloe Neill [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Urban Fantasy

 

 

Blurb

While Merit didn’t choose to become a vampire or Sentinel of Cadogan House, she vowed to fight for her House and its Master, and she’s managed to forge strong alliances with powerful supernaturals across Chicago. But even though Merit has had wild adventures, this may be her deadliest yet….

A killer is stalking Chicago, preying on humans and leaving his victims with magical souvenirs. The CPD hasn’t been able to track the assailant, and as the body count rises, the city is running out of options. Vampires and humans aren’t on great terms, but murder makes for strange bedfellows. Can Merit find the killer before she becomes a target?

Links

Purchase Blood GamesAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Tantor

 

Author Bio

Chloe Neill is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires and Dark Elite series.

She was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest–just close enough to Cadogan House and St. Sophia’s to keep an eye on things. When not transcribing Merit’s and Lily’s adventures, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys–her favorite landscape photographer/husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout. (Both she and the photographer understand the dogs are in charge.)

Chloe is represented by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. Chloe is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and the Romance Writers of America. 

 

GIVEAWAY

 Want to win this SUPER MINI SWAG PACK? Easy: leave a comment below and let us know which is your FAVORITE Chicagoland Vampire story! (or if you haven’t read the series, it’s fine, just let us know how soon will you start reading it!) Winner will be picked on August 8!

 

giveaway

 

 

The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Blood Games Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs July 28  through August 8 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?

  • An engraved Cadogan House medal necklace

  • A Kindle Paperwhite

  • A complete set of Chicagoland Vampires Audiobook CDs (graciously provided by Tantor Audio)

  • A limited edition Cadogan House keychain

  • Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks, pens, and lanyard

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The Boy (The Sanctum Trilogy #2) by Madhuri Blaylock [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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MEDIA KIT The_boy_final

The Boy (The Sanctum Trilogy, #2)

by Madhuri Blaylock

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Blurb

 

“Every now and again an excellent novel will come forth dealing with fantasy and magic that will just grab and hold my attention from beginning to end. That is exactly what THE GIRL did.” — OOSA Online Book Club

In THE GIRL, Madhuri Blaylock introduced readers to the world of The Sanctum, one corrupted by greed and savagery and hellbent on achieving a single goal: destroying the prophesied hybrid. When one of its most celebrated warriors questioned his allegiances, age-old secrets were unveiled and violence erupted. The journey becomes more perilous and intense as the trilogy surges forward with

THE BOY

Can you cross the plains of death, collect every piece of your soul and make it back to the land of the living?

And if you complete the journey, will your loved ones welcome your return?

The Ramyan have been answering such questions since the creation of The Sanctum. A mysterious sect of Magicals, haunting the blank spaces of time and memory, they serve no one but themselves and their higher purpose. They exist on a plane removed from earthly matters, shifting easily between the living and the dead, moving in time to the beat of their own drummer.

At least they did. Dev and Wyatt change all of that when the prophesied hybrid lands on the steps of Rinshun Palace, seeking help for the wounded Class A Warrior. That decision alters lives and sets old agendas back on course. But at what cost to Dev and Wyatt? And does that really even matter?

 

“The characters in Madhuri Blaylock’s novel…are well written and unique, and the story is just fantastic…I just loved every page of the story!” – Readers’ Favorite

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Excerpt

 

The first sense awakened was smell; the first familiar scent was jasmine. It was not overpowering, as it tended to be at times, but rather just a hint in the air, enough to arouse a memory.

Shopping in the market and the vendor giving her a string of flowers for her hair. She wanted to weave them into her braid but there was no time. They were simply wrapped around her neck, a sweet-smelling chain, but not half as pretty as they would have looked in her hair.

The green grass.

Her sight returned next and she thrilled at the vision before her, the tall grass of her home, so lush and brilliant. So soft to her touch which followed and soon she could feel her body returning to itself, feel the ground below her and hear the life around her.

The water of the channels, lazily rolling along, the birds calling to one another in an endless conversation of nonsense and the branches of trees, swaying in the wind, scratching against each other.

And finally taste.

She wiped her mouth and the back of her hand came away red.

She sat up and spit. Bright red against the brown of the dirt. She didn’t care. The blood was insignificant; the boy was of much more importance.

The fact that Dev could sit up at all was amazing, a testament to her minute learning curve. Only her second time toying with portal travel and she had no broken bones, not even a scratch she realized as she studied her arms and legs. She stood up slowly, her legs feeling a bit shaky, and wobbled around like a newly-birthed colt. She stretched her arms above her head and shook them out, needing to get the blood flowing through her limbs properly. All the while, she scanned the area for his dark hair, his fair skin.

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Author Bio

 

Madhuri is a Jersey City Heights girl via Snellville, Georgia, who writes paranormal fiction and is slightly infatuated with tattoos, four-inch heels, ice cream, Matt Damon, scotch, Doc Martens, Laini Taylor, photo booths and dancing like a fool.MEDIA KIT Author Photo 1

 

She’s currently working on The Sanctum trilogy and hopes one day soon, everyone is walking around with copies of The Girl and The Boy in their pocket or on their Kindle.

 

She wants to get a goat and a burro, but since she lives in the city, will settle for some chickens.

 

To learn more about her, you can follow her blog at madhuriblaylock.wordpress.com, follow her on Twitter at @madhuriblaylock or like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thesanctumtr…

 

She’s totally chatty so drop her a line any time.

 

GIVEAWAY

 

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In Your Eyes by Cardeno C. [Review]

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Blurb

Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. Taking control comes easily to Samuel, but relating to people, including those he’s supposed to lead, is a constant challenge.

When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for putting him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then tries to avoid him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.

When a battle between their fathers results in tragedy, Samuel and Korban are thrown together. With his world crashing down around him, Samuel must save his pack and show them he can lead. But first, Korban needs to save Samuel by inspiring him to feel. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past the rules they’ve been taught to realize they are destined to fit together.

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 Review

Before I go any further, I must give Cardeno C an absolutely HUGE SHOUTOUT all the way from my beautiful and sunny Los Angeles, to wherever in the world you may be, and THANK YOU from the bottom of my tiny and insignificant reader heart for putting a big smile on my face and melting my heart in the only fashion you know: WITH A KICK ASS STORY.

However with that being said, you want to know the ONE THING I DID HATE ABOUT THIS BOOK!???:

IT WAS TOO FREAKING’ SHORT!

I literally DEVOURED this book in one sitting, and of course, had horrible withdrawals afterwards…..*sigh*so I must hold you accountable for my long sleepless night the day I finished this, cause I could not get Samuel and Korban out of my head!

But besides that little fact, everything about this story is nothing but absolute bliss. It’s one of those love stories, where you want to punch the main character in the face and yell at him so he can REACT! Hellooooo! You have the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE IN FRONT OF YOU! Wake up and smell the coffee!; and at the same time you want to crawl into bed with and snuggle with him because he is everything  you want in an alpha and more. I fell sooooooo! in love with Samuel and Korban. This couple was a joy to read about. Seriously. The fact that this love ignited when they were both just cubs (or kids) just enhances the story.

Though in all fairness, nothing happens so easily; and love, for it to be everlasting and epic, really needs to go through several trials.

And that’s exactly what we witness in ‘In Your Eyes’

In the third installment of the wonderful ‘Mates’ series we meet Samuel, heir to the Yafenack pack and Korban, heir to the Miancarem pack. Both have been raised to take over each other’s  packs once they come of age and both meet as boys, Korban being outgoing and spontaneous, Samuel being quiet, reserved and extremely dedicated to study and follow old traditional pack laws. Throughout their childhood and teenage years they see little of each other, but you can tell that sparks fly all over the place when they get together whenever the opportunity arises. It’s plain and simple firework effect, but it’s not until a fatal event that both of them are pushed to decide their fate in the most unthinkable way.

So I must repeat this in case it wasn’t clear enough:

 

I loved Samuel, and I loved Korban.  BOTH!  ——> This is the kind of characters I LOVE to read about in a book!

I love Samuel cause in a certain way, he reminds me of myself. Always thinking on ‘what will happen if’, always scared to try, strict and meticulous, always following the rules, always thinking about code before conduct.  But at the same time I loved Korban, because he represents all that I could ever wish in a man. Somebody with that carefree spirit, somebody willing to risk everything for love; that one person I know that no matter the trial, will always be the first one in the line to bungee jump in case I get cold feet.

This book was a very refreshing, inspiring and motivating M/M Paranormal Romance that will indeed leave a valuable lesson:  true love is hard to find, hard to keep and hard to replace; but when we find it, it is in ourselves to fight for it tooth and nail in order to achieve that irreplaceable feeling that only an everlasting love can bring. Samuel and Korban go through a series of events that help them mature, grow and learn how to love. Of course, Samuel is a bit clueless, and Korban might seem to be quite reckless (though you learn he has powerful reasons for it) or maybe both needed to go through all those trials to finally recognize that wake up call for what it was:  the calling of true and unmistakable love.

Cardeno C has an extraordinary gift with words and you can notice this in the way the story flows so absolutely smoothly, becoming an enjoyable and easy read. In no part did I get bored. In no part did I get confused. After just a few paragraphs, I knew all the key characters would win my heart. After a few chapters, I could not put it down. THAT is what every author seeks to achieve, and in reality, that is what makes a book as good as this one and Cardeno C has once again knocked it out of the ballpark.

  5 Bookie Rating

sophie5star

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The Mating Game by Melissa Snark [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Melissa will be awarding a Nordic Lights Dolphin Triskilian Pendant for Guidance and Inner Peace to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, as well as a signed paperback copy of The Mating Game to two randomly drawn winners (US ONLY) via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Melissa will be awarding a Nordic Lights Dolphin Triskilian Pendant for Guidance and Inner Peace to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, as well as a signed paperback copy of The Mating Game to two randomly drawn winners. (US ONLY)

 

Two males…two friends…a competition for the right to claim The Heart of the Iron Stone Pack.

An alpha female at her core, Theresa Sanchez struggles to protect her young daughter, but rivalries and politics create volatility in the pack. As Theresa comes into heat, lust and need rule her body. Her pack demands only the most virile male have her. How can she choose only one mate when her body craves two—the virile beta and the man she loves?

Zachary Hunter will do anything to take Theresa as his mate, even if it means killing his best friend. However, Robert Blane is just as determined to ascend to Alpha. Both their beasts howl to mark her flesh, but only one can survive to claim her.
But with enemies circling, they must fight…for the pack, for Theresa, and for a future together.

Warning: Book contains wolf shifters, pack politics, gritty fight scenes, offbeat humor, and sizzling sexual adventures between a ménage of partners.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Bright and early Saturday morning, Theresa Sanchez opened her front door to discover Zachary Hunter clad in a bright orange dress on her porch. The loose bodice fell low on his chest, displaying dark blond curls and showcasing his broad shoulders and powerful torso. The neon hemline stopped above the knees, revealing muscular calves, strong ankles, and shapely feet.

It was unusual attire for a dominant male werewolf.

She stepped closer and sniffed, seeking to satisfy the impulses of her she-wolf. The earthy scent of him flooded her nostrils—masculine and potent—inciting the heated ache of arousal between her thighs. She licked her lips, hoping that drool hadn’t dribbled down her chin. The man made her mouth water.

“My eyes are up here, love,” Zach quipped in a crisp British accent. His hand lifted and a long, elegant finger tapped her chin.

“Oh, right. Sorry.” She forced her roaming eyes upward, away from his buff chest, striving to remember that she and Zach didn’t play like that. The man was many things to her: best friend, confidant, and protector. He fixed leaky faucets and kept her ancient car running. But of all the roles he played, he remained “lover” only in her dreams.

Fast Facts About Melissa Snark:

• Melissa Snark is published with The Wild Rose Press & as an Indie author with five unique titles: A CAT’S TALE, THE MATING GAME, LEARNING TO FLY, THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON.

• Her Loki’s Wolves series includes THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON AND BATTLE CRY (to be released in 2014).

• She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children and a glaring of cats.

• She is a professional cat herder and unrepentant satirist who blogs about books and writing on The Snarkology.

Connect with Melissa Snark:

Author Website

http://www.melissasnark.com/

The Snarkology

http://www.melissasnark.blogspot.com/

Email: melissasnark at gmail.com

Facebook Author Page

https://www.facebook.com/melissasnark.author

Twitter

https://twitter.com/MelissaSnark

Goodreads

http://www.goodreads.com/MelissaSnark

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0076EEQIU
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The Savages by Matt Whyman [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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The Savages
They’d love to have you for dinner . . .

Sasha Savage is in love with Jack – a handsome, charming … vegetarian. Which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that Sasha’s family are very much ‘carnivorous’. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha’s father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother’s culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel – as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .

You can purchase The Savages at the following Retailers:
    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Whyman is a bestselling author, also known for his work as an advice columnist for numerous teenage magazines.

He has written two novels for adults, Man or Mouse and Columbia Road, as well as both fiction and non-fiction for teenagers, including Superhuman, XY, Boy Kills Man, XY:100, The Wild, the So Below trilogy, Inside the Cage,Goldstrike and The Savages.

His most recent books, Oink! My Life With Minipigs (also known as Pig in the Middle), and Walking with Sausage Dogs, are both comic memoirs about family life with problem pets, published by Hodder and Stoughton.

Matt has worked as ghost-writer for the recent autobiography of a celebrity dancing dog, and under the pen name of Carnegie-nominated mystery writer, Lazlo Strangolov, author of Feather and Bone and Tooth and Claw.

A graduate from the University of East Anglia’s MA in Creative Writing, Matt is often invited to teach the subject for writers of all ages. Recently, he has hosted workshops across Russia and the Middle East.

In 1995, Matt became the first agony uncle for 19 magazine, and has subsequently written regular advice columns for B, Fox Kids, AOL UK and Bliss. He often appears on television and radio in this role. Over the years he has co-presented a series of ITV’s cult Saturday morning show, Love Bites, and a live weekly phone-in on LBC. He is currently resident agony uncle on BBC Radio 1′s The Surgery

Matt is married with four children, and lives in West Sussex, UK.

Website
  

Guest Post

7 Favorite Books Read This Year

 The Arrival by Shaun Tan – No words can describe this moving book about how it feels to live far from home. No words feature in it, either. Check it out.

  • We Were Liars by E Lockhart – Despite knowing this book springs a surprise, I so didn’t see it coming.
  • Say Her Name by James Dawson – Read this teen horror novel and never again will the shower be a relaxing, enjoyable experience.
  • The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen – A compelling page-turner – gruesome in places but word-perfect.
  • The Sagas of Icelanders – A vast collection of myths, yarns and legends that I’m reading for research purposes, but enjoying hugely.
  • Homicide by David Simon – I love a police procedural, and this is a classic.
  • Midwinterblood – Marcus Sedgwick is a great writer for teens, and this is one of his most inventive.

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Must be 13+ to Enter
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*Neither Book Nerd Tours or Book Suburbia are not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Mail Box*

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Reach For Your Light by Ces Creatively [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Paranormal

Blurb

Paranormal Romance

Date Published: May 29, 2014

Emma Williams is searching for a new direction. Leaving behind a dead end career and harrowing relationship in London, she makes a fresh start in Bournemouth bonding immediately with flat mate Denzil and enjoying coastal life.

 Falling in love with delicious Jeremy White she soon discovers that her new life is not as uncomplicated as she’d hoped. It may look like she has the perfect beach apartment and gorgeous man of her dreams but when visions of a mysterious stranger become reality and manipulating exes are out to cause trouble in paradise, Em just wants to find the truth in a world of deceit.

 The Light Direction will take you on a fast-paced roller coaster of hot sex, mind games and supernatural visions that will leave you hungry for more.

**Contains explicit adult content. Not suitable for under 18 yrs.**

 

Excerpt

Denni

I order a roast dinner to treat myself and chat to the waitress for a while. Following her gaze mid sentence I notice a guy standing at the end of the bar. He obviously knows all the staff as he’s laughing with everyone and even the chef appears from the kitchen to greet him. Jen, the waitress, waves back to him coyly, pouting in response to his cute grin as he winks and blows her a kiss before continuing his conversation with the chef. My eye keeps finding him as I fiddle aimlessly with the salt and pepper shakers on my table. The third time I catch myself checking him out, he’s staring straight back at me.

6ft tall, about my age I think, with almost black hair, short at the sides then swept up into a two inch Mohican that curves like a wave. He’s certainly hard to miss. He’s walking over. I quickly look away and start pretending to read the menu again. He stops just short of my table and starts chatting to Jen. I overhear something about her brother getting a Uni place in London and shudder.

I’m trying not to look up when I hear their conversation end and then he’s suddenly leaning on the chair opposite me. I shift my gaze and Wow I’m immediately dazzled by his seascape eyes.

There’s that heart stopping smile again too. It starts at the corner of his mouth and spreads in a sexy wide curve. “Hi, I’m Denzil… Denni.” His voice is intoxicating though I can’t place his accent and Oh My God those twinkling green blue eyes, I can see why Jen likes him. He tilts his head in the direction of the seafront properties as he asks, “You’re Tony’s friend, you just moved into the basement, right? I live in the top flat.”

I nod, my smile more relaxed as he continues, “If you need anyone to show you a good time or anything, I mean, show you around.” Cue an even cheekier grin. “Well, you know where I am.”

Holding my hand out I introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Emma and erm… thanks for the offer, it’s good to know there’s someone I can come to if I need a hand.”

“Anytime Emma, I’m good with my hands.” He chuckles before breaking eye contact for a moment and nodding acknowledgement to a couple who have just come in, they must know him too.

 

 

Author Bio

 

Ces Creatively is an inspiring mum of three from Poole who loves to spend time at Poole Harbour, Sandbanks Dorset. Juggling being a mum with running graphic design business www.biz-brand-buzz.co.uk, popular website with a book blog www.supportivebusinessmums.co.uk and hand made gifts business www.prettyinspiring.co.uk she miraculouslyblog-image-author-2-ces-creatively-reach-for-your-light also finds time to write www.the-light-direction.co.uk novel series which she has dedicated to her son in heaven. A tireless champion of small businesses and other authors, Ces has won several awards for supportive innovation and dedicates time every week to promoting others online. In a unique twist, her debut paranormal romance novel The Light Direction – Reach For Your Light features real small businesses and talented creatives.

 

 

  Links

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The Wild Hunt by Ron C. Nieto [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Mature YA Paranormal
Date Published: May 29, 2014
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21416356-the-wild-hunt

Blurb

 

Magic still lingers in the mist-covered corners of the world, wherever the Old Ways are remembered. However, as civilization and reason scoff at the Fair Folk, the paths to power have been forgotten by all but a few.

Lily Boyd was meant to become a faerie doctor, a warden of humans and a keeper of balance, until disbelief and pragmatism led her away from the hidden world and into a mundane life. But truth has a way to be Heard and she will be forced to face it if she wants to save her family.

Armed with nothing but her childhood memories and protected by a debt of gratitude she doesn’t understand, Lily must decide who to trust while she navigates a world that is darker and more twisted than she is prepared for.

And should she make the wrong choice, should she mistake friend and foe… the eternal balance between the Faerie Courts may shatter, and then there will be more than Lily’s life on the line.

Guest Post

The Wild Hunt Soundtrack

If you have read anything about me, even the one random quote, you know how important music is in my writing. Without the right soundtrack, I’m quite unable to get the story to flow! For the Wild Hunt, I’ve used a pretty huge list, probably the most varied of all my books so far, but there are some songs that just fit too perfectly, and those are the ones I want to share with you today:

The Lady of Shallot, by Loreena McKennitt
Okay, this song is simply beautiful. But beyond that, it talks about a woman who lives experiencing life through a mirror, never seeing the real thing… and when she does, it kills her. Really, listen to the lyrics: they’re appropriate!


• The Elfin Knight
An old traditional Scottish ballad about an elfin knight who wants a woman, but there are some impossible conditions for them to be each other’s true love.

• Scarborough Fair – Nolwenn Leroy
Another traditional ballad about two lovers who’ve fallen apart. One of them gives some impossible conditions to the other if they want to go back to being lovers… And yes, I realize this is a bit of a theme, and yes it does make sense with the series.

• Arrival to Earth (Transformers OST) – Steve Jablonsky
Tell me it isn’t suitably epic and moving and I’ll eat my own computer. Enough said.

• Nerevar Rising (The Elder Scrolls III OST) – Jeremy Soule
Another incredibly epic song, sad and uplifting at the same time. A great fit for some parts of the novel where the feels are specially strong!

 

Author Bio

Ron C. Nieto is a fantasy and romance author who has been writing in her secluded fortress for the longest time. Recently, she had a talk with her cat and deauthor_piccided that she should share her creations, because it was selfish to hoard them all for herself.

If you would like to know more about her, please visit her website.

 

Giveaway

$20 Gift Card, Signed Paperback, Swag

 

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Messenger by Laury Falter [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

 

Messenger – Week Blitz
By Laury Falter
Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Date Published: May 8, 2014
 

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Maggie does not know she is a Messenger. She has never met her eternal lover. She has never survived a Fallen One. All this changes when a Messenger awakens in the Hall of Records only to die moments later, never to return.
As Maggie sets out to determine why the Messengers are suddenly beginning to die, she crosses paths with the infuriatingly appealing Eran and their story begins.
In this riveting account of Maggie’s first life on earth with Eran, the star-crossed lover’s romance transpires amidst treacherous enemies, their friends’ resistance, and their own opposing wills. With the odds against her, can Maggie survive long enough to admit the feelings she has so carefully denied?
Messenger is the first prequel to the bestselling Guardian Trilogy – the breathtaking romantic saga about a love that has lasted centuries between a Messenger and her Guardian.
EXCERPT
He strode to me and crouched at my hip. His shirt was already off and the nearness of his well-built chest made it a challenge to stop myself from glancing at it. To my astonishment, he seemed not to notice my internal plight, not even the tremble that shook me when he tenderly took my chin and turned it toward him.
“You’re healing nicely,” he observed, concentrating on my forehead.
“Mm-hmm.” It was all I could muster.
This was the closest we had ever been. His lips were no more than a few inches from me and drew my attention.
“I don’t think you’ll even scar.”
When I didn’t answer, I felt a shift in his presence and my eyes darted up to find him staring back with his striking blue-green eyes.
We froze in place.
Only our chests rose and fell, and they did it more rapidly the longer we stared at each other.
As his eyes lowered to my lips, his fingers tightened gently around my chin.
The flare of his nostrils and the intensity of his stare mesmerized me, made me want him closer. And it told me that he was struggling too and was in profound debate over what we were doing. No ward should be this close to their guardian, even if the ward didn’t recognize them as one. It was taboo, unheard of, an abject insult to the role the guardian had been given. Yet, here he was, looking at me, at my lips, tensing at the sight of them.
And he wasn’t alone in the struggle. For the first time, I forgot my urge to throw him off balance, my need to establish my independence. I was the one quickly losing my poise and forgetting who was dominant. The charm I fought so hard to deny, the very one that drew all others to him, took hold of me. And I gave into it out of my own free will.
About the Author: Laury Falter

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Laury Falter is a bestselling author of young adult romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She is also an animal rights activist, a sailor, a one-handed golf putterer, and a Colorado River conqueror.
She has three series out: the Guardian Trilogy, the Residue Series, and the Apocalypse Chronicles.
 








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First three books of the bestselling Guardian Trilogy

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Long Shadows by Cecilia Dominic [BookBlitz]

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Being unique isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

 The Lycanthropy Files, Book 2

 

Blurb

By day, Lonna Marconi’s busy career keeps her mind off the fact she was turned werewolf against her will. By night, a dose of wolfsbane lets her inner wolf out to play while her physical body stays safe at home.

When an overheard phone call at work warns her a trap is about to be sprung, she turns from hunter to hunted in the blink of an eye.

She finds refuge with the Ozarks pack she never claimed as her own. Upon discovering a family secret that explains why she’s unique among her own kind, Lonna finds heat in the arms of Max, who’s the one thing she cannot trust—a wizard.

Another kidnapping attempt sends her navigating the treacherous metaphysical borders of a centuries-old war, pursued by rogue sorcerers, a band of ghostly wolves, and repressed memories that prevent her from reclaiming her heritage. All the while, trusting her back to a wizard who demands the price of her heart…and who may not have the luxury of giving his in return.

Warning: Some sexy scenes, adult language, and alcohol consumption. Also descriptions of Italian food that might offend carbophobes.

 

Excerpt

 

Spoiler alert:  if you haven’t read The Mountain’s Shadow, the content below contains spoilers.

 

The sounds of the night chorused in my ears, and I panicked, sure I’d lost it. Then I smelled a fire and heard human breathing. I snuck closer until flickering light cast strange shadows in the trees and on me.

 

It stopped and made a campfire? This didn’t compute with either the wolf or the human parts of my brain.

 

“It did,” an unfamiliar voice said in my brain.

 

I growled, then, careful to keep any thoughts of my two companions out of my mind, but I was too late.

 

“They’re safe. They’re not after them, only you.”

 

“Your pronouns confuse me, sir. Who are they? Who are you?”

 

“And who are you?” The mental tone held amusement. “Come here in the circle of my fire and change so you’re out of their reach.”

 

“I’ll be naked.”

 

“I have clothes for you.”

 

I slunk closer until I could see the speaker. It was a man who sat close to a fire. The flames gleamed in the blond highlights in his reddish brown hair, and I recognized him from the doctor’s office. Now he wore slightly tinted lenses, and I could barely see his eyes behind their smoky panes.

 

“Doctor Fortuna?”

 

He stood and bowed in my direction. “Maximilian Fortuna at your service. Call me Max.”

 

“Son of a bitch… Sorry.”

 

He laughed, the lines around his sea-blue eyes crinkling. “Not to worry, milady. I’ll forgive your harsh language due to my having surprised you so rudely. Won’t you come have a bite?” He gestured to two rabbits on the ground. “I can roast them if you’d prefer.”

 

“No!” my inner wolf cried as my human side said, “Yes.”

 

“You seem to have some conflict,” he observed, speaking out loud but quietly. His lilting accent came into his physical voice more than his mental one. “You seem to not know who or what you are.”

 

At that point, my nose was twitching from the scent of the blood on the ground. He took one of the rabbits, skinned it with expert motions, and placed it over the fire on a simple spit made of three sticks. The fat sizzled as it hit the coals. He put the other rabbit, skin still on, beside the fire and stepped back. I lunged for it, but I pulled back just before biting it, my jaws snapping at air.

 

“Food, food, FOOD!” my inner wolf wailed, then piteously, “I’m hungry.”

 

“Down,” I commanded her. Wary of weapons, I watched him. He fanned the smoke from the cooking rabbit toward me, and I inhaled, my mouth watering. Everything smelled more intensely when I was in wolf form. A whine escaped my throat.

 

“You are still very much of two minds,” he observed. “Very interesting.” His eyes flashed yellow in the firelight, and I drew back, growling. Then I remembered something important: I was in the form of one of the most powerful predators on the planet, and he was unarmed and human, as far as I could tell. I snarled and stepped closer.

 

“Why are you playing with me? Why did you follow me?”

 

He held his hands in front of him. “I am unarmed. Do no harm to me, and none shall come to you.”

 

“Answer my questions.” I stopped my advance but continued to growl low in my throat.

 

“Stop making all that noise. Do you want us to be discovered?”

 

“Says the guy who built a fire in the middle of the freaking woods.” I forced my throat to stay silent, but I kept my teeth bared. “I’m giving you one more chance to answer my questions, or I’m giving my wolf self full permission to rip your head off.”

 

“There is no danger of discovery from the light in this circle, which was here long before your Crystal Pines subdivision and even before the little village known as Piney Mountain,” he said so quietly I doubt I would have been able to hear him if I’d been human. “I can harness the power of the woods without losing too much of my own, but sound is not my realm, so I am unable to manipulate it.”

 

Indeed, he seemed to gather the firelight around him, and the trees around the circle were invisible even to my wolf’s sharp eyes. I remembered how the lights had popped and sparked with him—or was it him?—near. The rabbit on the spit sent sizzling drippings into the fire again, and I jumped.

 

“Look, I have a robe if you would like to change. I promise I won’t peek.”

 

“Why would I give up my only advantage?”

 

“Trust me, Ms. Marconi, that’s not your only advantage.” He gave me a look that said he was aware of my human form and its assets.

 

“That doesn’t make me feel better. Again answers or throat ripping and evisceration. I’m keeping it simple for you.”

 

“I’ve been assigned to watch you because you’re in danger.” He sat cross-legged so we were eye to eye, a very vulnerable position for him since he wouldn’t be able to get up quickly and run, and I was in easy lunging distance of his assets. “You can trust me because I’m trying to protect you.”

 

I snorted, but my instincts told me he spoke the truth. However, I wasn’t sure how much I could trust myself. “Why should I believe you? We were shot at!”

 

“Yes, I’m aware of that. It’s why I decided to show myself to you. My orders were to follow at a distance and observe.”

 

If I’d been in human form, I would have asked more questions, but as a wolf, I sat back to consider his words. This close to him with the flames flickering over the planes of his face and his glasses, I couldn’t help but notice again he was a good-looking guy. I also smelled the meaty, bloody aroma of the two rabbits, one raw and the other cooking. Part of me wanted to change to human so I could enjoy it and maybe him as well, although my wolf side wouldn’t turn cooked food down.

 

“Focus, Lonna,” I told myself. There were too many distractions for my wolf’s brain to handle, but I was reluctant to change into my human form.

 

Another gunshot split the night’s silence, and Max jumped to his feet with startling agility. The fire extinguished itself, and my eyes adjusted to the darkness and the trees…

 

Max seemed to wrap the darkness around him. I would say it was like a cloak, but it was more like he blended in as a part of the scenery, more camouflage than cover, which was impressive considering his skin—although tanned—was still paler than the background of the rest of the woods. We listened for others, but there was nothing, not even the soft footfalls over wet leaves one would expect of humans.

 

 

 

Author Bio

Cecilia Dominic wrote her first story when she was two years old and has always had a much more interesting life inside her head than outside of it. She became a clinical psychologist because she’s fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn’t stop writing fiction. The first draft of her dissertation, while not fiction, was still criticized by her major professor for being written in too entertaining a style. She made it through graduate school and got her PhD, started her own cecilia shirtpractice, and by day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication. By night, she blogs about wine and writes fiction she hopes will keep her readers turning the pages all night. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under a pen name.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she’s been told, is a good number of each.

 

 

 

 

 

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To read the first chapter, visit:  http://www.ceciliadominic.blogspot.com/2014/02/long-shadows-excerpt.html

 

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Reflection of the Gods by Lisa Llamrei [BookBlitz]

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Title: Reflection of the Gods

Author: Lisa Llamrei

Genre: Urban Fantasy

 

Blurb

Newly divorced Das MacDermott longs for a fresh start. As he packs up and prepares to move out of the city, he spots a young woman being held at gunpoint by three men. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Das does his best to intervene. Once liberated, the victim seems oddly ungrateful, but on an apparent whim decides to join Das in his new life in rural Ontario. Aislinn, as she is called, returns the favour; with her encouragement and support, his start-up photography business takes off, and more importantly, Das is saved from loneliness and self-doubt.

Das, however, is never quite able to fully dismiss the contrary aspects of Aislinn’s nature, and is strictly forbidden from asking about Aislinn’s past. All seems too good to be true, and indeed it is. Aislinn’s unusual talents and odd behaviour, unbeknownst to Das, come from her demigod status. Aislinn is half-Sidhe, daughter of Fionvarra, Ireland’s fairy king, and a human woman. Sidhe wars have so disrupted the mortal world that Aislinn has joined with other immortals in an effort to permanently separate it from Tir N’a Nog, the fairy realm.

Born in ancient Ireland, Aislinn spends millennia as the plaything of the cruel and narcissistic gods. The pain of being neither human nor Sidhe is offset by her relationship to the Fir Bolg, another race of fair folk who take pity on her lonely state; and the refuge she takes in being Das’s lover and protector. As Das comes to accept the possibility that Aislinn belongs to a supernatural world, he discovers that the two worlds are set to collide in a way that may mean the destruction of all humanity.

  Excerpt

 

The hands shook me again. I opened my eyes and looked straight into those of the young girl. She wore a long, white dress, her black hair falling in tousled waves past her shoulders to her hips. She seemed to radiate light. My first thought was that we were both dead and I’d made it to heaven after all. Maybe you get points for stupidity in the service of others.

Seeing her up close, it was clear I had underestimated her age by several years. Though small, she was clearly a young woman—closer to eighteen than fourteen, possibly even older. Her dress was sheer, showing every curve of her body. My immediate visceral reaction was not something I expected to feel in heaven. Then the throbbing in my head returned, equally unexpected. As my senses cleared, I noted the scent of garbage mixed with car exhaust. I heard horns honking in the distance and shouts from the street. So, not dead, then. When I tried to sit up, pain in my head forced me back down.

With uncanny strength, the girl pulled me to a sitting position and looked me square in the eye. She squatted on her heels. Any glow I thought I had seen disappeared. Her face muscles tensed, her mouth drew tight. I couldn’t quite read the emotion, but I didn’t get the impression she was concerned for my well-being.

“You’re alive.” My voice sounded thin. “I heard a shot. I thought …”

“He missed,” she said. “And you ought not to have interfered.”

Ought not … who talks like that? “Those guys were going to kill you.”

She folded her arms across her chest. “I was in no danger. I was fully in control until you happened by. Do your police officers not tell you never to antagonize an armed intruder?” She sighed. “If it had been anyone other than me, you would be dead right now. You really ought to take more care.” She stood and turned to leave.

I stood up as well, stretching my arms and legs to test my muscles. “At least I know enough to be grateful when someone helps me out.”

She turned back to look at me. “Grateful? You expect gratitude for what you have done?” She shook her head and threw her hands up in the air. “In-credible,” she said as she walked away down the alley.

 

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Author Bio

 

Lisa Llamrei was born and raised in the Toronto area. She studied laLisa Llamrei blacknguages at York University. At various times, she has been an actor, professional belly dancer, holistic nutritionist, and entrepreneur. She currently lives north of Toronto with her family. Reflection of the Gods is her first novel.

 

 

 

 

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