Thursday, February 28, 2013

In Like a Lion by Karin Shah




Research scientist Dr. Anjali Mehta lost her beloved family in an earthquake. Only her work cuts through the paralyzing grief, but when she finds her new research subject, reputed mass murderer Jake Finn, maddeningly uncooperative and inexplicably sexy she's tempted to run away. How can she burn to touch a man behind bars—a killer?

What she doesn't know is that Jake is a chimera, a shapeshifter who can change into a lion or a dragon with all the strengths of both even in human form, who believes his ability to shape shift is nothing but a terrifying hallucination and his overpowering attraction to his new doctor proof positive he’s finally gone over the edge.

And the employer she trusts has an agenda all his own. If she can't believe the impossible, neither she nor Jake may make it out alive.

AMAZON

SOUL MATE PUBLISHING

About the author:


I'm the author of STARJACKED, BLOOD AND KISSES, and IN LIKE A LION. I live in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio and worship Jeni's Ice Cream, JK Rowling, Jayne Ann Krentz, the tv show Supernatural, and the movies, Hunt For Red October and The Princess Bride(though not necessarily in that order.)

I am a fanatical reader of Romance, particularly Sci-Fi Romance, Fantasy Romance and Paranormal Romance. I always write the book I want to read, so I tend to jump sub-genre a bit. My husband and I are the parents of two kids (a girl and a boy) and slaves to two dogs ( a basenji and a vizsla)

I was born in Rochester, NY, attended SUNY Oswego and got my Master's in Information and Library Science at the University of Buffalo. I was a School Librarian in Webster, NY for five years before starting my writing career. (I still miss my students.)




REVIEW:

5/5

This story grabbed me on page one and kept me turning the pages until the last one.  The characters will find their way into your heart and keep you running right along with them through all the action.  I found I was holding my breath a few times waiting to see how they got themselves out of one bad situation after the other.  A definite must read!  I look forward to the second book in the Chimera Chronicles.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bad JuJu by Dina Rae


A Haitian bokor mentors two teens in the dark arts. Their spells backfire.

Lucien Nazaire flees his Haitian homeland and meanders around the United States for decades. He settles in a Wisconsin trailer park filled with elderly tenants. He meets Jake and hires him for odd household jobs. As their relationship progresses, Lucien invites the boy into the world of Voodoo.

Jake LaRue lives in foster care with his abusive uncle. The Voodoo lessons give him a sense of power within an otherwise helpless situation. Despite his loner status, he instantly connects with Henry, his only friend in high school.

Henry Novak has Asperger’s Syndrome. He fixates on historical events, most recently the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Like Jake, he becomes passionate about the dark side of Voodoo. They learn how to cast spells on those they hate and lust, leading up to dire consequences.
Months after the Haitian earthquake, Henry convinces his family to volunteer for the island's reconstruction. Their mission turns into a nightmare when he mysteriously walks off of the campsite.

Bad Juju is a balance of horror, romance, and literary fiction intended for adults and mature teens. The plot uses research involving the Voodoo religion.

Excerpt:

He began his weekly chores with Esther Muddraker. She was the only neighbor who had him shop for her groceries. He let himself in her double-wide trailer, started a load of laundry, and joined her for breakfast. The woman could not drive and could barely walk because of her crippling arthritis. The grocery store was only a twenty minute hike, and she needed a few bags to last her through the week.

“Well, you’re here earlier than usual. It’s only seven. You usually sleep in. What’s wrong?” Esther asked. Jake turned away as his eyes filled with tears. “You know I’m about one step away from calling the police on that S.O.B. You and that poor little girl don’t deserve this.”

“What do you do? He’ll get what’s coming to him. Trust me.”

“Ain’t that the truth. God has His own kind of justice,” Esther added.

God, Bondeye, Papa Legba, Damballah…It didn’t matter anymore. All Jake knew was a higher force would help him with retribution.

“Jake, here. This is my list and here’s some money for the groceries. You keep whatever is left.”

Jake looked at the hundred dollar bill. “Mrs. Muddraker, this is twice of what you normally give me. I can’t take this. I know you’re not rich.”

“Shut up and take the money. I have more things on my list this time.”

Jake gladly accepted, but thought the extra cash was given out of pity.

“Oh, and by the way, not being nosy, but you should be glad you didn’t see what went on last night. That guy living with you…”

“T.J. He’s Leah’s brother. Didn’t see him on the couch when I left this morning. Sometimes he spends the night with Mona, his ex-girlfriend, who he’s trying to get back together with,” Jake answered.

“Well, I’m not one to gossip.” Jake smiled at Mrs. Muddraker. She loved drama and was known for being in everyone’s business. “Okay, maybe I’m a little too observant. But I don’t think that woman, Mona, wants him back. I think it was her that pulled up to the trailer around seven last night and dumped out a few Hefty bags of his stuff in front of your uncle’s and then honked her horn. I couldn’t hear, but I saw what looked like an argument right through that window. Then she peeled out of here. He stayed outside in the cold with your uncle and his stuff, making calls, drinking, smoking…and then he loaded the bags into that clunker he drives and left. I think your uncle went with him. Are they back?”

“Don’t know about Pete, but T.J.’s gone. And you never know, Mrs. Muddraker. You could have it all wrong. He might have gone to his old house and his girlfriend welcomed him home with open arms. They had a romantic evening, renewing their relationship. She realized what a catch he was and how he almost got away. Let’s see, no job, no potential, no brains, no money…”

THE AUTHOR:
Dina Rae is a new author here to stay. As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her three novels, Halo of the Damned, The Last Degree, and Bad Juju weave research and suspense throughout the plots. Her short story, Be Paranoid Be Prepared, is a prequel of sorts to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character. In the spring of 2013 her latest novel, Halo of the Nephilim, will be released. Dina also freelances for various entertainment blogs.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories. She has been interviewed numerous times in e-zines, websites, blogs, newspapers, and radio programs. When she is not writing she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs.


LINKS:

http://dinarae.co/

http://www.dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com/

@haloofthedamned

https://www.facebook.com/DinaRaeBooks


Bad Juju: http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Juju-ebook/dp/B0097L9FHW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356881577&sr=8-2&keywords=bad+juju


The Last Degree: http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Degree-ebook/dp/B008GWI754/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356881604&sr=1-1&keywords=the+last+degree

Halo of the Damned: http://www.amazon.com/Halo-of-the-Damned-ebook/dp/B0075XQYDM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356881627&sr=1-1&keywords=halo+of+the+damned

The Last Degree: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkbg6Yy8UKU

Halo of the Damned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p89LXZNxOs







Dina Rae is going to be awarding one random commentor this prize






Be sure to follow the tour and comment often for more chances to win!






http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/01/excerpt-tour-bad-juju-by-dina-rae.html














Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Laura's Light by Donna Gallagher



Donna will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour and comment as often as you like to be entered in the draw. 

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/12/virtual-super-book-blast-lauras-light.html

(WARNING: At the bottom of this post there is a second more explicit excerpt - read as far as you like or stop after the author links.)


Forty-two- year- old single mother Laura Harris devoted more than half her life to raising her son. She remembered the concept of having sex but it had been aeons since she’s actually been a participant - especially with a real flesh-and-blood partner. But it’s time to reclaim her life. Her son is a man now. And the rising star of the Jets rugby league team. Their future is brighter than ever and, for the first time, financially secure. But Laura is starting to think agreeing to have dinner with Trevor Hughes could be biting off more than she can chew. Not that she can’t see herself taking a nice big chunk from the absolutely gorgeous thirty-four-year-old sports commentator’s rump, he’s one prime piece of masculinity! She just isn’t sure how or when the whole sex thing will become an issue. She can’t even get past the what-to-wear step. Let alone the when-to-take-it-off stage…

Trevor Hughes usually avoids the woman with substance - he has enough of his own demons to deal without trying to care for anyone else. But there’s something about the upbeat, sexy, one-woman-dynamo Laura Harris. The woman is pure sunshine and happiness. And that’s surprising when you look at what life has handed her. Nothing seemed to dampen Laura’s spirits and she quickly becomes someone Trevor needs in his life…Until misunderstandings come between them. Can Trevor put things right?

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



Excerpt:


“I didn’t mean to fall asleep. I’m sorry… I should have left hours ago. This isn’t what is supposed to happen these days, I suspect.” Laura caught sight of the light shining from the corner of the closed drapes. 

“The sun is up! I have no idea what time it is. What on earth is Mitchell going to think?” Laura started to struggle in an attempt to free herself from Trevor’s hold, tried to remove herself from his arms, his bed. Then, realising she was naked, she froze. How the hell was she going to make a gracious exit when she would have to hunt, completely naked in front of him, for her clothing? Any chance of her maturing body’s flaws remaining hidden in the room’s darkness was now fading as the sun rose. Not to mention the walk of shame she was facing, going home in the probably now rumpled clothing that she’d left home in last night. Laura groaned.

“Oh, this is so embarrassing. I’m not really up on the etiquette this sort of thing involves. You know, the morning after the night before. What the hell was I thinking?” Laura buried her face into the pillow, thinking that hiding from the world might magically make all her uncertainty and embarrassment go away.

She heard Trevor chuckling next to her, and anger was the first emotion to take hold.

“This might seem funny to you, but I’m not some young bunny that hops from bed to bed. This is my first one-night stand and I’m a mother, for goodness’ sake. What will I tell my son? ‘Yes, Mitchell, it’s okay for me to stay out all night without letting you know, but heaven help you if you do the same to me—I’m the only one allowed to worry in this family.’ Not to mention the fact I’ve never stayed away from home before. No, I’m sure Mitchell is feeling just fine that his accusations proved correct, that we did end up in bed together. My God, what must he think of me?” And if the embarrassment of admitting her lack of a sex life hadn’t been enough to completely humiliate her, then bursting into tears left her in no doubt.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sydney-born Donna Gallagher decided at an early age that life needed be tackled head on.
Leaving home at 15 she supported herself through her teen years.
In her twenties she married a professional sportsman, her love of sport -- especially rugby league -- probably overriding her good sense.

The seven-year marriage was an adventure. There were the emotional ups and downs of having a husband with a public profile in a sometimes glamorous but always high-pressure field. There were always interesting characters to meet and observe and even the opportunity to live for a time in the UK.

Eventually Donna returned home a single woman, but she never lost her passion for watching sport, as well as the people in and around it.

Now happily re-married and with three sons Donna loves coffee mornings with her female friends, sorting through problems from the personal to the international. But she's on even footing with the keenest man when it comes to watching and talking rugby league.

Donna considers herself something of a black sheep in a family of high achievers. Her brother has a doctorate in mathematics and her sister is a well-known sports journalist.

An avid reader, especially of romance, Donna finally found she couldn't stop the characters residing in her imagination from spilling onto paper. Naturally rugby league is the backdrop to her League of Love Series, published through UK publisher Total-E-Bound, spicy tales of hunky heroes and spunky heroines overcoming adversity to eventually find true love.









Excerpt - Explicit

“Decisions, decisions,” he moaned.

“Mmm… Did you say something?” Laura hummed in his ear.

“Just deciding what I want to do to you first—whether to get naked with you, or just eat your pussy first. I can’t make up my mind. It all seems so good.”
           
“Get naked, Trevor. Let me feel the warmth of your skin against mine.”
           
“Are you cold, honey? I didn’t even think…”
           
“No, not cold—burning, melting for you. Definitely not cold, but I still want to feel your skin against mine. Flesh to flesh, no barrier between us.”

Trevor decided that Laura was right—no barriers between them sounded good—but he had to move her so he could achieve that goal. As he gently lifted her smaller frame from his lap, ready to place her next to him on the couch Laura began to struggle. Worried that he was hurting her, Trevor let her go, let her move herself, only to discover that she had a plan of her own. Laura slid between his thighs kneeling on the carpet. The grin she gave him sent lightning bolts of pleasure through his system. Trevor remembered that look—that wicked, wonderful look. And so did his cock.
 
“Here, let me help you undress. I promise I’ll be extra careful!” Laura giggled as she teased Trevor, purposely brushing her hand over the hardness in the front of his pants, then cupping him gently. “Hmmm, you feel kinda worked up again. Isn’t that how you described it last time? When you cautioned me on the zipper thing.”

“Oh, hon, I’m past worked up—I’m about to explode.” Trevor gritted out.

“Maybe I can do something to help, then,” Laura purred.

She leant forward so as to reach the opening of his pants. With one hand, she carefully lowered the zipper completely—it had already been at half mast from when he had unbuttoned earlier to give himself more room, but now he was completely open. Laura grasped the waistband of Trevor’s pants.

 “Lift.”  

As he did, she pulled them down past his hips, repeating the motion with his boxers. Once freed, Trevor’s shaft stood tall, rigid. As if it were beckoning her, she could not refuse its call. She ran her tongue around the circumference of his erect penis, the mushroom-like head, the joining of his skin. She laved and licked, explored every bulbous vein, every satiny bit of skin that covered his impressive form. Laura loved the taste of him, the slightly salty, musky maleness. She lapped at the pre-cum that formed at the eye before swallowing his erection down into her throat, loving the moans and grunts Trevor was making.

When he took hold of the sides of her head and drew her away, she didn’t fight him. It was time he buried that hard cock—that part of him that differentiated his maleness from her femininity—inside her dripping wet and throbbing pussy, where it belonged. “I need you, Laura, need to bury myself in you, want to come inside you.”

“I need that too, Trevor.”

Laura lay back on the carpet and spread her legs for him in an invitation for him to take her. She watched as he extracted a condom from the wallet he took from his now discarded pants’ pocket. He rolled the latex on and her mouth watered. Her folds wept with cream as the moment drew close—the moment she’d thought she would never feel again, that fullness she had craved for weeks and had been unable to attain at her own hands.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Publisher Showcase - Noble Romance Publishing

Today's publisher showcase is all about:





Lydia awakes, bound and blind, to the whispered urgings of a man who has his hands on her. His words confuse her at first, but she soon understands they are both in the middle of a performance that will determine whether she remains in captivity or dies. The crowd must be entertained, and her cellmate makes sure it is.

Forced submission is not the only horror Lydia endures. She has no memories of life before her imprisonment, and Joe, her cellmate, is her only comfort as the powerful creatures that hold them captive torture and debase her. Together, she and Joe cling to the will to survive long enough to break free and seek revenge. Their desire to sustain one another triumphs over their wardens' efforts to destroy them. There is no pain, no suffering, that can tear them apart.

Beyond their cell, their love is tested. Can they hold strong in the face of the challenge of the new powers they have gained along with their freedom?



 
Lila Crofton flees the town of Steeple when she learns of her boyfriend, Trevor Matheson's, betrayal. Trevor's one-night stand proves to be too much for the young lovers. Lila won't stick around and watch the only man she's ever loved move on with another. She heads to the city and starts over.

Six years later, recently divorced Sheriff Trevor Matheson is picking up the pieces of his life. When his high school sweetheart, Lila, returns to Steeple to bury her father, Trevor sees it as a sign. He's getting over a failed marriage and she's grieving the loss of her dad. They need one another. The timing couldn't be more perfect.

Can the two overcome the ghosts of their past and rekindle a love lost? Is there a second chance in their future, or is their stolen love gone forever?







In the year 2220, only about 15% of Earth's population have survived and thrived after the Nuclear Disaster of 2020.

With the collapse of modern society, the population has regressed into eight clans.

Amongst these clans, an unusual girl grows from child to adult.

Raised on the run and in hiding, Shilo wants to be free of the expectations of women. But in a ruined world where anyone could be an enemy, only the radiation-twisted mutants are clearly identifiable. A fertile female is a precious treasure, and any lapse in caution can mean a loss of the freedom she longs for.

Training as hard as a soldier would, in order to free herself from social constraints, she finds herself faced with an offer from a new clan--an offer that provides her with what she desires. But her recently found independence brings discovery, and discovery brings two very different men from her past—and each of them is determined to claim her.

One is obsessed with owning her, the other desires her as the only person who can make him love again.



Network news anchor Daniel Halstrom is at the top of his field, but being at the bottom of the social ladder--being a slave--makes that hard to enjoy. Especially when NewWorld Media, the company who's owned him since childhood, decides to lease him on evenings and weekends to boost their flagging profits.

Daniel's not stupid; he knows there's only one reason a man would pay so much for what little free time he has, and it's got nothing to do with his knowledge of current events. But he's never been made to serve like that before, and he fears he won't survive the experience with his sanity intact.

He finds himself in the home of Carl Whitman, a talk show host whose words fail him time and again when it comes to ordering Daniel to bed. Daniel knows what Carl wants, but it seems as if Carl isn't willing to take it, and Daniel's not willing to give it freely. His recalcitrance costs him dearly, but with patience and some hard-won understanding, love just might flourish where once there'd been only fear and pain. Can Carl become the anchor in Daniel's turbulent life, or will he end up the weight that sinks his slave for good?



For one wicked night . . . .

Benedict Abernathy, an untitled and wealthy gentleman visiting London, is heartily sick of his celibate existence. Determined to leave his shattered heart behind and move on with his life, he accepts an invitation for a night of debauchery in the arms of London’s infamous courtesan, Lottie Townsend.

. . . . she will indulge his every desire.

Lady Charlotte Goodchild has fallen far from privilege and longs for one night of pleasure with the man she loves. But Benedict must be spared the truth of her ruin at all costs. Posing as Lottie Townsend, a notoriously discriminating courtesan and old friend, she disguises her identity and invites Benedict to share the night of passion that fate denied them.



Spencer Patterson writes "news" reports on paranormal phenomena for The Weekly Harbinger, a national tabloid magazine. He's had a lifelong love affair with all things supernatural, and having failed at serious news reporting, he eventually merged his hobby with his journalism degree and embarked on a tabloid career.
On assignment in the sleepy Massachusetts town of Fall River, home of the infamous Lizzie Borden axe murders, Spencer meets and falls for sexy Virgil Slade, lifelong resident and owner of a nearby bed-and-breakfast. Things are not as they seem. Virgil, with his hot body, sexy dreadlocks and unusual tattoos, harbors a tremendous secret that turns Spencer's world upside down.




Neol Pallaton walks alone through the bowels of society as a bounty hunter, until he shifts into a cougar to save Assistant D.A. Sara Hughes from certain death. A relentless killer keeps them moving by day through the Oregon forest—and by night under the full moon, passion rules their hearts.















Nakita Branson made a deal with a demon to rescue her best friend. But when things don't go the demon's way, he dumps her off on a derelict spacestation with no money and no way of getting home.

A year later, Nakita is still searching for her friend, but finds trouble instead. And the only thing worse than the possibility of getting killed by a fanatical jerk? A familiar green-eyed demon turning up just in time to save her.

Alastor is back with news that the contract they agreed to is still intact, and until he can find a way to break it, he is compelled to protect her.

The last thing Nakita wants to do is go anywhere with the demon who has a history of screwing her over. Not only that, but when he looks at her with that emerald gaze, intense enough to burn, she feels something she shouldn't for the gorgeous demon.

With the demon monarchy in chaos and enemies all over the universe, they are forced to rely on each other while unraveling the mystery of two sacred relics, and the contract that still binds them.

But, by the time Alastor and Nakita find a way to sever their deal, the idea of being apart may no longer be what either of them wants.




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review of Eternity by Kim Carmichael


Therin Athan faces a choice…eternal salvation or eternal damnation.

After centuries of pining away for a love never realized, Therin's last assignment as a Cupid depends on helping the lonely, shy Lucy Carlton.  The mission's success or failure will determine where he is transferred.  He can study the heavens or be condemned to hell.

Lucy Carlton spent her life searching the stars for answers, but finds them in the form of a gorgeous man who comes in her dreams.  Therin shows her the joys of physical pleasure and encourages her to try to find love.  She wakes with a new found confidence, but soon her timid nature takes over and she retreats back to the comfort of her home…alone.

With only a week to decide his fate, Therin breaks every rule.  What starts as a job to save himself, becomes a love that can never be…except maybe in eternity.

Excerpt:

"What makes her so special?" He snatched the crystal away and peered inside.

He sat back, clearing his mind to allow the vision to take over. A woman lay on an unimpressive bed in an equally bland bedroom.

She appeared to be sleeping, but squirmed restlessly. In the few moments he observed, she twisted and writhed as if trying to find a comfortable position.  He couldn’t make out much of her. A think blanket covered her body and she turned her face into her pillow much as he had done earlier.

He was ready to throw the crystal into oblivion, but she thrashed about once more, this time turning over and the covering fell off.

Instead of tossing the crystal, he held it closer.

The naked human's body rivaled any of the immortals, even those of the goddesses. Luscious but lithe, she was a bounty one could spend hours exploring. Her long brown hair tumbled down, almost hitting the floor, and her face dainty, sweet, could have been on a sculpture.

"I see no problem here." Any human or immortal would be pleased to have what was presented to him. His breath hitched as his body stirred. It had been far too long since he indulged.

"Those on earth don't have the same reaction to her you do. She's an outcast and needs you." Horatio moved closer.

"Go on." He didn't take his focus off the image.

"She needs love, but it eludes her. Wants desire, but can't attain it." Horatio's voice became low, scholarly. "She craves satisfaction, but is left wanting."

Therin glanced at him. "What do you mean?"

"You need no explanation. Your mission is clear." Horatio stood. "You have a week to help her. If you are as good as you claim, it's all you will need. Upon your success you will be given your new assignment." 

"Wait." He looked up. After eons of demanding to be set free from his position, the gods were smiling upon him.

He peered into the crystal once more. The woman's disturbed sleep continued, misery radiating from her.

"Either way, this is your last job. Your passion is gone and you have broken the rules too many times. It's your choice where you go." Horatio stopped. "She is dreaming now, the timing is perfect."

He clutched the crystal in his fist. Eternal damnation or eternal salvation. As was their way, he would go to her while she slept. She would think he was part of her dreams…or in his case, nightmares. "Horatio."

The old man took a breath. "Don't fall in love, remember what you truly are."

"I'm a Facilitator." He tilted his head.

Horatio shook his head. "A new title doesn’t change what you are."

Therin stood. "I'm a Cupid."

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kim Carmichael began writing eight years ago when her need for graphic sex scenes and love of happy endings inspired her to create her own.  She has a weakness for bad boys and techno geeks, and married her own computer whiz after he proved he could keep her all her gadgets running.  When not writing, she can usually be found slathered in sunscreen trolling Los Angeles and helping top doctors build their practices.





@kimcarmichael4


Review:

5 / 5

This story gave Cupid a whole new meaning.  A hot one at that!  It definitely had the sizzle factor but also had a touching love story as well.  From the first page it had my attention and even though at the time I was just going to grab a quick look and go back to it later when I actually had the time, I ended sitting there reading it until I was finished.  
A wonderful unique take on an old character that everyone thinks they knew all about.





Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Seven Year Itch by S D Skye


Let's Get BOOKED! asked author J.D. Skye what the hardest part of writing the Seven Year Itch was...

The Hardest Part of Writing The Seven Year Itch

I think the hardest part of writing this story was actually finding the courage to push the limit of my writing ability and to allow myself to grow. I started my writing career with romantic comedy novels. They were safe in that I could rely on my humor and didn’t have to worry about revealing any part of my background with the government, and most of us counterintelligence folk are paranoid to some degree. You always view yourself as a target, and when hostile intelligence services don’t know who you are, they don’t target you. So, keeping your profession background under wraps was key to maintaining some semblance of sanity.

In addition, I focused on relatable relationship issues which was easy because God cursed me with my romantic life and gave me ample sources of material. No matter your race, creed, economic background, you can laugh about relationship issues. Most of my romantic comedies are written in first person, so I didn’t have to worry about multiple points of view. And I’m decidedly a pantser, so I could just write the story as it came to me without going too far off the reservation. This was a breeze for me. I learned to swim in the shallow end of the pool and inched my way to the deep water.

In tackling this series, I yanked myself from the shallow end of the pool and jumped headfirst eyes closed into the deepest ocean. For starters, writing this series (with any credibility) meant putting my background out there for the whole world to see. Eek! Then I was writing a subject about a world few people know about, that wasn’t naturally relatable. I mean, what’s the last book you read about FBI counterintelligence? And when’s the last time you read a novel by a former FBI employee who worked in counterintelligence? Yeah, doesn’t really happen. I think I’m about it…unless someone out there’s writing under pseudonyms and concealing their background.

In most popular series on the market, the FBI solves murders. My novel goes totally against the fictional conventions and delves into the spy world. I’m absolutely amazed at how many people write books about the CIA operating in the United States who mention the FBI as a side bar. The FBI is the big dog in the United States in the real world.

Then to compound matters even more, I chose to make the lead character in this world African American. We’re used to seeing black detectives, but FBI agents in the intelligence world? Yeah, not so much. Not only did I make her African American, but she’s a woman. Alex Cross represents popular black male characters in law enforcement as a detective. But serial killers are a bit different from Russian counterintelligence. Even though the Cold War is over, spies are more active than ever—but would anyone really care? The most comparable character I could come up with in Russian intelligence is Salt—but she’s a movie character and she was CIA. So, J.J. McCall would be very unique—which could be a good thing…or a bad thing.  

All this and I haven’t even touched on the fact that I’d never written a mystery or suspense novel. Well, I did incorporate a bit of a mystery/suspense element in my romantic comedies in order to up the page-turning factor. But I’d never made that the core of a novel. I’d never developed complex plots that I would need to string out for the entire length of a novel. My rom-com plots were pretty simple.

I’d never worked with so many different characters before, and then to give each character an unique, authentic voice. And the mix of characters is a United Nations nightmare--African-American, Russian, Jersey Italian, and Caucasian characters.

Could I possibly have made this task any more daunting for myself? I don’t think so, which would explain why it took me 27,000 drafts (only a slight exaggeration) to get it right. But I did finally get it right. I received validation of this by the fact that my publisher actually rejected the first draft but made an offer on the final version. I reluctantly turned down the offer because I wanted more freedom in releasing future books in the series. But they wanted her. That says a lot about the months of work I put into it.   

It’s a little scary to go out on a ledge like this, with a novel that has a very mixed cast of characters in a world most people aren’t familiar with. But when all was said and done, J.J. and her cast of characters refused to be silenced. They kept yapping in my head until I released them. And the story line I developed for all five books was just too juicy and good not to tell. If one person reads it and enjoys it, well, that’s good enough for me. But hopefully there will be two or three…or two or three hundred thousand. J

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is overcoming your fears and finding the courage to tell the story that’s in your heart. As writer’s we can be our worst critics and our worst enemies. But going against the grain is liberating and I believe by the end of the series, the readers who give it a chance won’t be disappointed. I’ve worked super hard to deliver some page-turning plots, engaging and often funny characters, pulse-pounding endings, and mysteries they won’t solve until the end.    

Not bad, eh? 



The Seven Year Itch
 (A J.J. McCall Novel – the FBI Series)
by S. D. Skye

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

BLURB:

Her Family Was Vexed With a Generational Curse. Now for Lie Detecting FBI Spy Catcher J.J. McCall, the Truth is in The Seven Year Itch.

FBI Special Agent J.J. McCall is a born lie detector who recruits foreign spies to catch American traitors. She and co-case agent Tony Donato have lost two of their most critical Russian sources in the past two years, and they may lose another in just a few short days if they don’t catch him, The ICE PHANTOM, a rumored insider spy more insidious and elusive than Ames and Hanssen combined. They suspect he might be burrowed deep inside FBI counterintelligence—and his body count is going up.

Drawn into an unsanctioned mole hunt, they have a week to catch him, save a key source’s life—and their own. While J.J.’s lie detecting ability helps them narrow down the list of suspects, the lie she tells to herself may help the ICE PHANTOM defect to Moscow and get away with the murder of the man she loves.

Skye's debut FBI Series, filled with mystery, espionage, romance, and suspense, will keep you burning through the pages until J.J. catches the very last spy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Excerpt:

Monday Morning in Moscow…         

Mikhail Polyakov was murdered in a Solntsevskaya-owned cottage located in Lobnya, a small village just outside Moscow. It was a Russian organized crime death chamber. A hulking Mafioso known only as Maskov hovered over his mangled corpse. The ax in his massive hand dripped with the blood of a traitor. He would not live to betray his country another day. In the safe house basement, he lay on the concrete floor. A pool of crimson surrounded him, and his flesh had been gashed and hacked beyond visual recognition; death’s stench thickened the air. In order to serve its only noble purpose, his right hand, which bore a crescent-shaped birthmark, was left untouched.

A sliver of light shone through an undersized window revealing the wicked grin that parted the executioner’s cigarette blackened lips. Colonel Anatoliy Golikov. A Russian intelligence officer, he was a member of a cadre of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service—SVR officers—from the First Department. His professional mission had been recruiting people who sold U.S. secrets, but his personal mission was to kill anyone who betrayed the Motherland.

His skinny eyes, slight frame, and borderline gaunt face colored him weak, but his iron-fisted will and suffocating persona made him a man few crossed. Even fewer had lived to brag about it if they had. The son of a former hardline KGB General who executed Russians spying for the West, he’d filled his father’s sadistic shoes well. Left nothing in his wake except a trail of dead American sins against Russia.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Bio and any links you want to include (Website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, as well as buy links for your book, etc) in an attached .doc or .rtf file

S.D. Skye is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported several key cases during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and two of the Bureau's own--FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hanssen. She has spent 20 years supporting counterintelligence, intelligence, and military missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

An award-winning author of romantic comedies in her other life, Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer's Association, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She's addicted to writing and chocolate--not necessarily in that order--and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on the next installment of the series.




Buy Links

Ebook


Paperback





Friday, February 15, 2013

Wind's Aria review



Aria falls into the hands of the dreaded angel who seems to have stolen more than her voice . . .


~~~~~

Excerpt:

“Who are you?”

He pushed further back into the shadows as she strode closer. “Someone you need not know.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

When he didn’t answer, she sighed.

“What a strange, terrible day,” she mumbled. “Well, at least tell me your name . . .”

He stood, speechless, knowing he shouldn’t be there at all—conversing with a Meleyan—especially not their musical deliverer that he was set to doom the day after tomorrow.

A peculiar grumbling interrupted her insistence, to his relief.

“Sorry.” She patted her stomach. He could see, even in the blackened night, how her face turned a deeper shade of red than her hair. “I’ve forgotten to eat. I guess I’m hungrier than I realized.”

He plucked an apple from the tree he’d nearly become a part of and held it out to her. The girl approached tentatively. She reached for the fruit but recoiled when her fingers brushed his.

“Is touching me so horrible?” he asked.

Her jaw dropped open and her delicate brow furrowed. She inclined her head. “It . . . hurt.”

“How?” he asked, for her fingers felt good to him, soothing. Warm. He wanted to try again.

“I don’t know how to explain . . .”

“Hum.” Unsatisfied with the answer, he tossed the apple to her and watched as she crunched her teeth into it.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:



A veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, Tessa Stockton also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and she headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today she writes romance and intrigue novels in a variety of genres. In addition to her fantasy romance, WIND’S ARIA, she’s the author of suspense/thriller, THE UNSPEAKABLE, political intrigue/romance, THE UNFORGIVABLE, and a literary short story, LOVE AND LULL, with more in the works.

www.TessaStockton.com

https://twitter.com/TessaStockton

https://www.facebook.com/tessastockton

Purchase links:

Publisher's Bookstore: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/winds-aria/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Winds-Aria-ebook/dp/B00B1FEC2A/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358431989&sr=1-4&keywords=tessa+stockton

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/winds-aria-tessa-stockton/1114146612?ean=2940016000206


Review

4.5 /5

At the start of the story I was quite intrigued to see how the author was going to present it.  Tessa wove the two character's parts together so well you didn't so much as pause during the events that took place.  It was heartwarming, even in the moments I found myself holding my breath waiting to see what would happen next.  I will be watching for more books by this author.




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First Bitten by Samantha Towle


A love story with bite …...

Walking home after a night out drowning her sorrows with her best friend, Carrie, Alexandra Jones stupidly takes a phone call from her cheating ex-boyfriend, Eddie, and in her anger hurls her phone into the forest before her.

But when Alex goes to retrieve her phone from the undergrowth, she and Carrie come face-to-face with a monster they never even knew existed, a Vârcolac (a nightmarish vampire-werewolf hybrid) and he's in search of fresh blood. The next thing Alex knows, she is staring at the impossibly handsome but mysterious Nathan who has helped bring her back to life, but not to the life she left.

To her horror, she discovers she has now become a blood-drinking Vârcolac herself and she is the only female of her kind, with the potential for breeding a whole new army of Vârcolacs if they can only track her down and press her into service.

And while Alex gets to know Nathan and his shape-shifting family as they offer her the protection she so desperately needs, unbeknown to all of them, the Vârcolacs are getting closer …


Author Bio:

I started writing seriously in 2008 while on maternity leave with my son. I completed my first novel in five months and haven't stopped writing since. I'm the author of The Mighty Storm, The Bringer & the Alexandra Jones series.

I can't write a single word without listening to music. I listen to Kings of Leon, Adele, One Republic, The Doors, Muse, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey to name a few.

I was born in Hull. I graduated from Salford University in 2002 with a BSc (Hons) in Business and Marketing. I now live in East Yorkshire with my husband Craig, son Riley and daughter Isabella.

Review:

5/5

I sat down to 'start' reading this and I don't think I moved until I was finished.  As a first book in a series, it hooked me, I can't wait to read the next one.  The characters are brilliantly written, you're right there with them through the entire story, feeling everything they do.  A few shocking moments were slipped right in before you even began to suspect them.  Bravo!  






Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Frost by Taryn Kincaid




Dagney Night, a sought-after succubus, is no stranger to blazing hot sex. But as Valentine’s Day approaches, she longs for something more. When oddly erotic paintings arrive for display at her art gallery, arousing everyone who views them, she wonders about the mysterious artist who created the works.
Maxwell Raines, a fire-sex demon, lives a life of solitude and seclusion behind the walls of his compound at Sleepy Hollow, channeling his lustful impulses into his art—until his muse deserts him and his temperature rises past the danger point. He needs sex. Now.
When Madame Evangeline arranges a torrid Valentine’s 1Night Stand for them, will the flames of their encounter be too hot to handle?

EXCERPT:  

Dagney followed her sister’s glance, and her heart flipped like a gymnast unable to nail a vault. Darkness swathed the gallery with the exception of the lights above or below each of the paintings. The large man emerging from the shadows held her rapt. Waves of pure, unadulterated lust smacked her with such force she didn’t even see Lily and Campbell leave. The blast of raw desire crumpled her to the floor. Her gaze remained riveted on the tall hunk of ferocious male stalking toward her, radiating undiluted carnality. He set something carefully on the floor and grasped her by the elbows, his touch surprisingly gentle when he lifted her to her feet.

“I’m Maxwell Raines.”

Yeah. No kidding. Who else could a guy so hot, so studly, possibly be?

She told herself not to swoon. Ordered herself not to swoon. But, Goddess, that rumbling voice. More potent than a train barreling over the tracks. And he smelled so good. Sinfully masculine. A bit of musk, a bite of pine, an essence of dark, smoky nights. Sexy scents. Reminiscent of tangled satin sheets that had been given a good work-out.

Her legs turned to rubber, and she doubted they’d support her on their own. She’d be mortified if he’d have to scrape her puddled body up again. But he hadn’t yet relaxed his grip. Could she bullshit her way through the meeting without collapsing? “You’re late,” she said.

“I’m never late.”

“Well, the party’s over, Mr. Raines.” She waved a hand around the empty room.

“Depends on your perspective.”

“You’re big on perspective, are you?”

“I’m a painter.” A brief shrug accompanied his blunt words. “Obvious connection.”

“Right. But as you can see, everyone’s left.”

“You haven’t.” He gazed down at her, a black brow flaring. “And you’re what I’m here for.”


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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Taryn Kincaid lives in beautiful Bora Bora. Or wishes she did. When she's not parasailing up and down the Hudson River, taking care of her aging pet walrus, or volunteering at the local animal shelter [oh, HELL, no], she loves to arrange her voodoo doll-pin collection and practice chanting. Taryn is dedicated to eradicating the Kardashians and Honey Boo-Book from the face of the earth, along with The Bieb and sparkly vampires. At this moment, she is busy adjusting the tin foil to throw the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) off her trail. She hangs around a lot on Facebook and Twitter with her trillions of fans and pops in at Goodreads from time to time. You can catch her on her website, http://tarynkincaid.com, and her blog, http://dreamvoyagers.blogspot.com where she lives for comments!





Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Taryn-Kincaid/e/B0051R2YEW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1




Review:

5/5

A match made in ... well, not heaven but the equivalent for demons.  I adored the personalities of these characters!  The humor and sarcasm were done just right.  It gave me a whole new way to think about Vanlentines Day.   Wonderfully done, only wished it went on to be a much longer story.