Monday, April 29, 2013

The Space Between by Kristie Cook


New Adult Paranormal Romance
Date to be Published: 4/5/2013

Synopsis:
When Life Falls to Pieces, Answers Lie in the Space Between

After a month-long dance tour through Italy, 20-year-old Leni Drago returns to
Georgia to care for her great-uncle, only to find him gone, the home they shared
empty and any evidence he ever existed wiped out. All that’s left is a journal she
can’t open.

Jeric Winters has been searching for a piece of his past for over a year, only to
reach a dead-end in Georgia. When an urgent and magnetic pull draws him out
of his hotel room, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful dancer who’s been
haunting his dreams day and night.

Jeric’s one to stay away from—a bad-boy, hit-it-and-quit-it type—but Leni can’t
escape the fervent feelings between them. As their own existences begin to
crumble around them and shadowy forms that are more monsters than men
attack, they realize there’s more to the connection between them than physical
fascination.

To solve the riddle their lives have become, they must embark on a journey that
requires them to face their pasts and release their true souls. And they must
do it fast—dark ones from another world are closing in, intent on killing them.
Permanently.


An Excerpt

LENI – The overhead lights fell dark for the last time as I opened the dressing room door. The back exit stood open at the end of the hall, allowing in enough light from the streetlamp outside to show my way. I inhaled slowly, cherishing the musty smell of an old theater mixed with the odor of dancers’ sweat and the fragrance of white roses. I silently said my goodbyes as my feet carried me outside.

“Thank you, Uncle Theo,” I whispered as I left the theater for the last time. Only because of him did I even have this opportunity. I couldn’t wait to tell him all about it.

A large, muscular body flew at me, swept me into his arms and twirled me around as though we were still on stage. Laughter bubbled out of my chest.

“You ready to celebrate, cara mia?” Alberto asked as he set me down.

“Celebrate that you’re finally getting rid of me?” I teased.

He clapped his hand over his heart, and his face fell into an exaggerated expression of pain. “Oh, Leni, you do not know how I will miss you and your mane.”

He swatted playfully at the bottom of my curls. He had no idea how I would miss the way he said my name, drawing out both syllables, “laaaay-kneee,” like only an Italian could do.

“But you won’t miss my heels on your toes or my arm in your face?” I said in mock disbelief.

He took my hand and danced me down the cobbled street toward the plaza at the center of town. “You are a stunning dancer, cara mia. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” He spun me under his arm, my duffle bag banging me in the butt the whole time. “Of course, you have become much better since becoming my partner. But everyone does.”

He winked at me before dropping me into a dip. My bag slid off my shoulder and a hand darted beneath me to catch it. Alberto swung me up and around so that I came face-to-face with the most unbelievably stunning vision I’d seen my whole time in Italy. Which was saying a lot. His eyes—blue, I thought, though the light from the corner post wasn’t enough to be sure—enraptured me. He held my bag out with a small smile that hinted at dimples.

“Grazie,” I said breathlessly as I wrapped my hand around the strap of my bag. He gave me a nod almost deep enough to be a bow, his shaggy blond hair falling in his face. Then, without a word, he turned and walked away. My mouth fell open. “How rude.”

“Must be American,” Alberto said. I punched him in the arm.

“Who goes out of their way to catch a falling object and then can’t even say ‘you’re welcome’?” I asked absent-mindedly as I stared after the retreating body that rivaled Alberto’s. No, scratch that. It totally beat out Alberto’s even on his best day.

“What an ass,” Alberto muttered.

“Rude, yes, but I don’t know if I’d go that far.”

“No, I mean what an ass that man has.” He let out a low whistle.

I laughed and admired the view as well. “I can agree with that.”

“He’s going to Alonzo’s. Lucky us.”

~ ~ ~

JERIC – I flipped to the picture I’d drawn a couple of weeks ago during my search in Italy. I’d woken from a dream, one I’d been having for years, and as I had previously, I’d felt the need to sketch the girl who had me waking with a painful boner. Now that I’d met her in real life, I couldn’t deny the girl in my sketches was Leni—curly hair, exotic green eyes, full lips and breasts, her skin … as if the absolute best features of both African and European blood had been blended together and given to her. The Leni I’d just met would probably never wear the leather bra, miniskirt, and knee-high boots I’d drawn her in, but damn if she wouldn’t look hot in them. The vision came to me clearly. Too clearly. I had to place the book over my lap to hide the full-blown wood pressing against my jeans.

I needed a distraction. I needed to get her out of my head. I bought several little airline bottles of rum and dumped them in my Coke, but they weren’t enough to blur the image of Leni’s face in my mind. When the smoking hot flight attendant ran her finger over my arm then dropped a napkin with a message on my tray (“Meet me upstairs?”), I couldn’t resist. I snuck up the spiral staircase to the empty upper level and found her in the bathroom wearing nothing but heels and thigh-high stockings, tendrils of bottle-bleached hair barely hiding her fake tits. Flight attendants like this had made me a lifetime member of the mile-high club—they wanted nothing more than something to make the transatlantic flight more interesting. My perfect kind of girl.

Unfortunately, my eyes only saw Leni’s body under my hands.

Author bio:

Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, a New Adult paranormal romance/contemporary fantasy, with the first four books, Promise, Purpose, Devotion and Power available now and the next book coming in June 2013. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 160,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category.

The Space Between, which releases April 2013, kicks off her second New Adult paranormal series, The Book of Phoenix.

Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at:

Author's Website & Blog: http://www.KristieCook.com

Soul Savers Series Website: http://www.SoulSaversSeries.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristieCook

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/kristiecookauth


Review:

5 / 5

Well ... Kristie Cook has done it again!  I couldn't put the book down, it grabs you on page one and you won't stop until your on the last page (wishing for more).  The characters are so well written, they almost come off the pages to join you as you go.  Amazing read, can't wait for more.

~R

Friday, April 26, 2013

Security by Mandy Baggot


Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Date Published- April 4, 2013

Synopsis:

Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.

Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?

Excerpt:

“I’ve employed someone,” Alison stated, pouring herself a glass of water.
“What! Someone from MI5?”
“Not exactly. Someone they recommended.” Alison’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Someone who’s done work for them before…unofficially you might say.”
The whispering in public was very annoying. Almost as annoying as when Alison got out a pad and pen and wrote notes instead of speaking. Autumn always wondered if her mother had to burn the notes after their conversations, or, at the very least, eat them. She hoped the latter. The thought of her mother chewing up Basildon Bond’s finest gave her a secret thrill.
“Are you completely insane?” Autumn exclaimed.
“I’m being practical.”
“You’re being over-the-top. I do not need a bodyguard or whatever this unofficial MI5 psycho is supposed to be.”
“I would disagree.” A deep, male voice interjected into their conversation.
Autumn’s purse fell off her knee and onto the floor as she turned to look at the voice’s owner. He smiled at her and picked her purse up, replacing it on her lap. He was tall, with short, glossy, black hair, and he had so much stubble on his face, it was on the verge of being called a beard. Autumn couldn’t help but wonder how he had managed to get so close to their table without their noticing.
“Do you mind? This is a private conversation,” Autumn said, glaring up at him.
He was good-looking, but his clothes were a style disaster. He was wearing an off-the-peg charcoal suit, a white shirt open at the neck, and on his feet were very cheap shoes. He wasn’t the hotel’s usual clientele. He looked like he might be more at home selling mobile phones.
“Can I join you?” he asked, pulling up a chair and sitting down.
“No, you most certainly may not. Georgio! We need security over here.” Alison screeched like an irritated parrot.
“I am security. Nathan Regan.” He offered his hand to Autumn.

Author Bio
Mandy Baggot is a self-confessed Twitter addict who likes to sing on You Tube. She regularly guests on book blogs and is a featured author on the innovative website loveahappyending.com. She is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

Website: 
Twitter Handle: @mandybaggot
Facebook: 
Publisher Author Page

BUY LINK

Review

5 / 5

A great read with characters you will fall in love with. Security is one of those stories that you won't be able to put down, it has everything you could want in a read from suspense and comedy to romance and tears.  I'm looking forward to reading more from Mandy Baggot.

~Rahna

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae

MEDIA KIT HaloOftheDamnedFINALCover2ndpic (1).jpg

A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship... Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan's work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell's Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother's fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother's secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.



EXCERPT:
Kim finished the mini-project and then hung the painting above Maria’s headboard. She took a mental note to get the painting appraised and insured later on during the week. Both Kim and Joanna were eager to find out about their mother’s relics left behind at the Lake Geneva home. As promised, Kim looked up an old friend from high school, Doctor Sandra Jackson, who currently held a post at Loyola University. She hoped that her friend, Sandra, or one of her colleagues could identify the script and point Kim in the right direction in finding out its translation. If she was really lucky, they would be able to answer all of her questions about the unfamiliar items.

Kim quickly found Sandra online listed under the College of Arts and Sciences. She called her at work, and Sandra was available to talk. They quickly caught up with each other’s lives until Sandra got down to business.

“Kim, I’m so glad you called. Is this a purely social call or is there anything I can help you with?” Sandra asked, sensing that Kim was withholding something from her.

“Well, yes. I’m embarrassed to call after all these years of failing to keep in touch. And now when I could use your help, here I am. I’m a lousy friend. Please forgive me,” Kim begged.

“Kim, it’s okay. I haven’t called either. Please, I’d love the chance to help. What can I do?”

Kim remained as vague and elusive as possible, briefly describing some of the carvings found in the basement wall. She told Sandra she copied down the markings and wanted to know what they meant. She also described the old scroll, without commenting about the who’s, where’s, and when’s. She omitted telling Sandra about her mother. Lydia’s death would have tipped Sandra off as to where the items came from.

“Kim, this all sounds very mysterious. Please bring what you have and come around lunchtime. We’re all here in our cubicles. If I can’t help you, I’m confident one of my colleagues can. See you tomorrow.”

Later that evening, Kim informed Joanna about the meeting with the Loyola staff. “These heirlooms will bring us fame and fortune. They are our ‘holy grail’! I feel like Indiana Jones!” Joanna exclaimed.

“Don’t get too blissful. They might not be able to help,” Kim cautioned.

Overhearing the conversation, Maria became upset. “But Mom, who is gonna pick me up from school?”

“Holly’s mom is. You’re going to stay there until I get back, probably around dinner time,” Kim assured.

“Mommy, those people are strangers! You just can’t be showing them Grandma’s things! It’s not right! It’s not what she would have wanted! Lonnie doesn’t trust your friend!” Maria’s petulance was escalating. In desperation, she threw her aunt into the argument. “Auntie Jo, don’t let her do this! Especially Grandma’s scroll! It’s too dangerous!”

Although Joanna was uneasy about her niece’s behavior, she was not going to let a six year-old manipulate Kim’s and her plans. “Sweetie, your mother and I are curious to what that stuff is. She is taking these things to a very smart bunch of people who may be able to help us. No one is going to wreck it or steal it,” she placated.

“I already know what it is! Grandma was an angel, or a nephilim! Why don’t you believe me?” Maria screamed as she raced up to her room.



AUTHOR INFORMATION:
Dina Rae is a new author here to stay.  As a 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.

MEDIA KIT author photo.jpgDina 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. 

@haloofthedamned
Eternalpress.biz



Dina is awarding one randomly drawn commenter a new peacock necklace.Follow and comment often for more chances to win:http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/02/review-tour-halo-of-damned-by-dina-rae.html

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Review:

5 / 5

A well written puzzle.  The author did a fabulous job of blending many dynamic characters together to create an intense read.  I wasn't sure where it was going a few times and was pleasantly (in a gory, heart stopping kind of way) surprised when I found out.  A dark paranormal must read!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall


Dark Epic Fantasy
Date Published: 9/9/2011

Demon-possessed siege commander, Dahoud, atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity
and protecting women from war's violence - but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Principled weather magician, Merida, brings rain to a parched desert land. When her magical dance rouses
more than storms, she needs to overcome her scruples to escape from danger.

Thrust together, Dahoud and Merida must fight for freedom and survival. But how can they trust each
other, when hatred and betrayal burn in their hearts?

'Storm Dancer' is a dark epic fantasy. British spellings. 


Caution: this book contains some violence and
disturbing situations.
Not recommended for under-16s.


STORM DANCER - EXCERPT - First Scene 


Even in the shade of the graffiti-carved olive tree, the air sang with heat. Dahoud listened to the hum of voices in the tavern garden, the murmured gossip about royals and rebels. If patrons noticed him, they would only see a young clerk sitting among the lord-satrap's followers, a harmless bureaucrat. Dahoud planned to stay harmless. 

The tavern bustled with women - whiteseers hanging about in the hope of earning a copper, traders celebrating deals, bellydancers clinking finger cymbals - women who neither backed away from him nor screamed. 

The youngest of the entertainers wound her way between the benches towards their table, the tassels on her slender hips bouncing, the rows of copper rings on her sash tinkling with every snaky twist. Since she seemed nervous, as if it was her first show, he sent her an encouraging smile. Ignoring him, she shimmied to Lord Govan. 

The djinn slithered inside Dahoud, stirring a stream of fury, whipping his blood into a hot storm. Would she dare to disregard the Black Besieger? What lesson would he teach to punish her insolence? 

Dahoud stared past her sweat-glistening torso, the urge to subdue her washing over him in a boiling wave. For three years, he had battled against the djinn's temptations. To indulge in fantasies would batter his defences and breach his resistance. He focused on the flavours on his tongue, the tart citron juice and the sage-spiced mutton, on the tender texture of the meat. 

Govan clasped the dancer's wrist and drew her close. “Come, honey-flower, let's see your blossoms.” 

She tried to pull herself from his grip. Panic painted her face. Against a lesser man's groping, she might defend herself with slaps and screams, but this was the lord-satrap. She was too young to know how to slip out of such a situation, and none of her older colleagues on the far side of the garden noticed her plight. The other clerks at the table laughed. 

“My Lord,” Dahoud said. “She doesn't want your attentions.” 

“She’s only a bellydancer.” Contempt oiled Govan's voice. Still, he released the girl’s hand, slapped her on the rump, and watched her scurry towards the safety of the musicians. “These performers are advertised as genuine Darrians. I have a mind to have them arrested for fraud. I suspect ...” He ran the tip of his finger along his eating bowl. “They're mere Samilis.” 

Dahoud, himself a Samili, refused to react to the jab. Govan was not only satrap of the province, but Dahoud's employer, as well as the father of the lovely Esha. 

“Samilis are everywhere these days.” Peering down his nose, Govan swirled the wine in his beaker. “Not that I have anything against Samilis. Given the right kind of education, their race can develop remarkable intelligence, practically equal to that of Quislakis. They can make valuable contributions to society.” He stroked the purple fringe of his armband, insignia of his rank. “Provided they respect their betters.” 

The other clerks at the table bobbed their chins in eager agreement. 

Dahoud the Black Besieger would not have tolerated taunts from this pompous peacock, but Dahoud the council clerk had to bow. Submission was the price for guarding his secret. 

At the entry arch, a short man in the yellow tunic and turban of a royal rider was consulting with the tavern keeper. 

“Is that messenger looking for you, my Lord?” Dahoud asked. 

Govan shifted into his official pose and summoned the man with a flick of his sandalwood fan. The courier walked on bowed legs as if he still had a mount between his thighs. Conversations halted, glances followed him, and whiteseers peered, anticipating business. 

Lord Govan put on his official smile to receive the leather-wrapped parcel. 

“Forgive me, my Lord,” the herald said. “The message I carry is for Dahoud, the clerk.” 

Govan’s hand pulled back and his smile vanished. 

Dahoud's stomach went cold: The Queen or her Consort would not write to an ordinary clerk. After three years of respite, his anonymity was breached. He stripped off the camel-skin wrap and broke the scroll's seal. The ends of the purple ribbon dropped into the mutton sauce. 

“The High Lord Kirral, Consort to the Great Luminous Queen, greets Dahoud, council clerk in the satrapy of Idjlara: Present yourself at the palace without delay. The Queendom needs the Black Besieger. K.” 

The expansive curves of the signature “K” claimed more space on the parchment than the message. 

In his bowl, the uneaten mutton was going cold, whitish grease separating from the sauce. A large fly drifted belly-up in the liquid, its legs clawing for a hold in the air. The memories of siege warfare wrapped around Dahoud, those sour-sweet odours of fear and faeces, of disease and burning flesh. 

At twenty-five, he had a conscience heavier than a brick-carrier’s tray and more curses on his head than a camel had fleas. He had left the legion to cut himself off temptation, to deprive the djinn of fodder. After a siege, rape was legal, a soldier's right, practically expected of him, part of the job. By returning to war, he would forfeit his victories over his craving. The djinn would again be his master. 

Yet he ached to wear the general's cloak again, to silence sneering bureaucrats, to make women take notice. He lusted for that power the way a heavy drinker, deprived of his solace, ached for a sip of wine. The yearning to wield a sword ached in his arms, his chest throbbed with the urge to command, and his loins flamed with the dark desire. He felt the panting breaths of women and their hot resisting bodies, smelled the scent of female fright and sweating fury. 

“Why is the Consort writing to you?” Govan leant forward to grab the document. “You’re out of your depth with royal matters. I'll read and explain.” 

“Why should I want your counsel?” Dahoud tucked the rolled parchment into his belt. 

“Don’t get pert, Samili!” Govan barked. “Give me that letter.” 

“The Consort summons.” Dahoud rose. “Good afternoon, my Lord. Don't expect me back soon.” 

He strode to the exit, his mind reeling like a spindle. Could he deny that he was the Black Besieger? Refuse a royal order? Lead an army without stimulating the djinn? 

On a low stone wall near the entrance gate, a row of whiteseers perched like hungry birds. Whiteseers had glimpses of futures others could not even imagine. One of them slid off the wall and sauntered in his direction. A coating of pale clay covered her sharp-boned triangular face and her long hair, and painted black and blue rings adorned her clay-whitened arms. 

“Your hands,” she demanded. 

“I need to know what will happen if -” 

“Give your copper to a soothsayer,” she snapped. “We white ones only give advice. We can see the future; we can see several futures for everyone, but we won’t tell you all we see.” 

“Advice is all I want.” 

“That’s what they all say. Yet everyone asks for more. I give one piece of advice, the best I can give to help a client. They always demand that I tell them what I see. Well, I won’t.” Nevertheless, she grabbed the copper ring from Dahoud’s fingers and threaded it on her neck-thong. Her tunic smelled of old sweat and mouldy wool. 

She grasped his hands to pinch their flesh, her long nails tickling. Her white paint contrasted with Dahoud’s bronze tan. When she felt the pulse and lifted his hand to her face to listen and sniff, he could have sworn he saw her blanch under the white clay as her closed eyes stared into his past. She sagged forward and stayed in a silent slouch. 

At last she straightened, her eyes wide, her mouth open, but no words burst forth. So she had seen what he had done, and worse, what he might do once more. 

“I assure you, I'll never again...” 

“I can’t read if you chatter.” She frowned at his hands. “My advice: Get stronger arms.” 

He flexed his biceps, startled. “My arms are strong! I do trickriding, I wrestle, I lift weights.” Every night, Dahoud exercised until his muscles screamed, to block out his cravings and punish his body for its desires. 

The seer’s mouth curled with contempt, making more clay crumble. “You’re not listening. I didn't say strong. I said stronger.” She pinched his biceps. “Much stronger.” 

“What difference can arm muscles make?” 

“I told you to give your copper to a soothsayer.” She ambled off, leaving a cloud of unwashed stink and crumbles of clay. 

Dahoud hurried to the stable to ready his horse. He had to persuade the Consort not to send the Black Besieger back to war. 


About the Author

Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Historical Tales Vol 1, Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories),Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).

She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more.

https://sites.google.com/site/raynehallsdarkfantasyfiction/storm-dancer-dark-epic-fantasy

Review:

4 / 5

This was not a light read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters were well written and you became engrossed in what was going to happen next. A complicated puzzle put together just right.


Rahna

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Witch Without Magic by Larisa Walk

Cover A Witch Without Magic.JPG

BLURB:

When her neighbors accuse Belladonna of Satanism and making them age years to days, she must find who is behind it or face a modern day witch hunt. Her mysterious enemy knows where to strike to cause the most damage: Belladonna's only friend is losing his life-force; the garden that feeds her is dying; and her house ghost goes poltergeist. To save her neighbors and friends and prove her innocence, she must travel to the Otherworld where butterflies have razor wings and where her worst fears will come to life.

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



Excerpt One:

The mob on the other side of the wrought iron fence wore no tri-cornered hats or starched bonnets.  They didn’t brandish pitchforks or flaming torches.  Hell, they didn’t even bring a preacher to drive the Devil out.  Still, they had come to flush out a witch and the witch was me.

They were thirty all together, gathered outside my gate under the two California live oaks that shade the sidewalk in midday.  I had to squint into the still hot mid-October sun to study their unfamiliar faces.  The mob included several dwarves.  The youngest dwarf must have been in her forties, a tiny woman that for some reason wore a yellow, red and blue Snow White dress with an appliqu├ęd picture of Snow White on the chest.  She didn’t look like a typical dwarf: no classically high forehead and her arms and legs were proportionate.  She was holding a fluffy purple teddy bear by a front paw and sucking her thumb.

In the sun my forehead sweated under the straw hat.  A mocking bird’s harsh chirrup burst from the oak on the right, piercing as a car horn.  I flinched.

I don’t much like or trust people in large groups - doing time in Greenville State Prison for Women had taught me that.  In prison the exercise yard is the most dangerous place to be: too many inmates in one area, too many chances to be stabbed with a shiv made from a sharpened toothbrush handle or from melted and hardened Styrofoam cups.
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Author Pic.jpg
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Larisa Walk, a native Russian, lives in California with her husband and two formerly homeless cats. She writes paranormal fiction that is more often than not populated by characters from the Russian fairy world. Her short fiction appeared in several anthologies and magazines. She has published a historic fantasy novel, A Handful of Earth, and a modern paranormal novel, A Witch Without Magic. See her quirky blog posts here: http://www.larisawalk.com



Monday, April 15, 2013

Innovera Yakov The Journey of a Thousand Eyes by Kia Garriques


YA Fantasy
Date Published: 2/14/13


Innovera Yakov is a beautiful world of crystals that turns under five moons and two brilliant suns that never set. Flitters take care of domestic chores while Starbirds and Starflies soar through the never-ending sunlight of this crystalline world. The Circle of Knowing decides their fate; the forbidden forests of the Dimmer Zone swallow trespassers. And at the very edges of Innovera Yakov there is the terrifying watery darkness of Verheer.

We meet Ayana, the healer and lonely outcast with her scarred face; Vinton, her protector (or is he her imaginary friend?); Gamma and Blu Tara, the beautiful, fiery twins who can kill with one look. These twins are important characters in the book. They could hardly be more different from each other. Krave, beloved by Gamma, hated by Blu Tara, ‘tall and upright as a polished spear with a beautiful crop of golden hair that cascaded down his back in waves’; his ‘brother’ Skylar, pure trouble with ‘muscles on his arms and legs that stood out in lumps’; Ryder with his crystal spear, forever seeking Ayana’s approval although she, refusing to believe she's worth it, can only wonder, ‘What does he see in me?’ And Ice, mysterious, dangerous, murderous with eyes like bright furnaces who feeds on Innoverans. These young Innoverans are often haunted by a forgotten past recalled only in strange dreams. They form friendships, make enemies and face constant physical and emotional challenges that test them to their limits. They have amazing powers; they can fly, they can communicate through 'thought-words', their minds can travel to other worlds. They harbour secrets.

But life is not easy on Innovera Yakov and the young Beings must live in constant fear of Blu Tara; ‘What I want, I have. What I can’t have, I destroy.’ They find that the great powers they are gifted with are nothing compared to the dangers they face. They must shelter from Solar-storms. To fall in love is dangerous. Lovers long to combine to become stronger, better Beings but it can go terribly wrong and when that happens they perish. Their survival is further threatened by Ice, who consumes Innoverans and holds both Blu Tara and Ayana in his control.

Everyone seeks a partner with whom they can ‘merge.’ This desire to ease the passage through life by joining forces with a true companion, is one of the main themes of the story. Love for Blu Tara, is a terrible thing. She tells her sister, ‘It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love... You will steal another person’s life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will kill or die for it. And you’ll hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you.'

They are told that they must embark on 'The Journey', this journey will be more terrifying than any of them could imagine and a strong leader must be elected from their midst. They are shocked to discover who that leader is, none more so than the chosen one herself. Many of them will perish as they make their way through the watery darkness of Verheer while battling the army of underworld warriors bent on destroying and consuming them.

Finally, diminished in strength and numbers, they reach their journey’s end only to learn the final brutal truth.


Audio Link to listen to the first chapter of the book.

https://soundcloud.com/kia-garriques/innovera-yakov-the-journey-of

Read the first chapter of the book here

http://www.wattpad.com/story/2326911-innovera-yakov-and-the-journey-of-a-thousand-eyes


EXCERPT


Blu Tara stared her sister in the face. ‘Let me tell you what you don't know about love, Gamma. It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love. You will steal another person's life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will abandon the world you have been cradled in, betray everything and everyone you care for. You’ll give up your name for it.’

Blu Tara's voice went soft and dreamy. ‘You will gladly close your eyes and embrace the world of darkness. You will kill or die for it. And you will hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you. So don’t talk to me about love.’

Gamma shook her head. ‘You're not making sense,’ Blu Tara. ‘You talk as if... I’m the one who should be upset about all this.’

Blu Tara lifted her hand dismissively. She pointed a hot finger at Gamma. ‘Anyway don’t forget what we are.’

'And what are we?’ Gamma glared at her..

'Different. Strange. Something to be frightened of. Two Beings that can fuse and burn everything to ashes. That's the way they all see us down there. That's what the Stardog wants from you - the powers you possess.

‘I hate them all. With their suspicious, shiny faces and their empty games. I hate that Voice which drones on and on at us in the Learning Dome as soon as we've finished resting.

Innoverans! All those perfect, pretty Beings; they remember nothing — it’s the curse of this shallow, shining world. Tell me, Gamma - what do you remember of the world we come from before your Odors Apeno dumped us here?’

Gamma swung around to face her sister fully. ‘Blu Tara! What's got into you? Where’s all that coming from? I've never heard you speak like that before. This is about Krave and I- not you!’

Krave and you - don't make me laugh. And, oh! Here’s a big difference — between you and I this time, Twin Sister. It’s the answer to your question that you brought me up here to ask.’ Blu Tara mimicked Gamma's soft and musical voice, Why do you want to kill Krave?

Here's the answer, Gamma. I will do whatever I have to do to save myself. I'm the half of you that's not like you. I don't have a weeping heart. Now I'm out of here. I need my Rest.


Author Bio:

Kia Garriques studied writing and English literature at University and has been a published short story writer since 2009. Her first story “The Invisible Alien Watcher” was published by Micro Horror in 2009 and reprinted by Pill Hill Press in 2011. Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes – is her first novel in the ‘Worlds’ series and will be out on amazon mid February. visit www.kiagarriques.com/books to read the first chapter
Twitter - https://twitter.com/innoverayakov

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5623131-kia-garriques

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/kiagarriquesfanpage
Tumblr - http://kiagarriquesauthor.tumblr.com/
Wattpad - http://www.wattpad.com/user/kiagarriques
Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/kgarriques/
Website: http://www.kiagarriques.com/

Buy Links

http://amzn.to/13bdcVX - Amazon

Review:

4.5 / 5

A wonderful story into a fantasy world.  I enjoyed how the plot developed as well as the many surprises throughout the book. The characters were complex and kept you turning the pages. This would make a great read for adults as well as young adults.

~Rissa 

The Order of the Black Swan by Victoria Danann




The Order of the Black Swan
By Victoria Danann

Paranormal Romance / Fantasy
Date to be Published: 2/14/2013

Synopsis:

Synopsis:  Discover a world of adult fantasy where modern day knights of a secret society 
interact with an alien, a witch, a demon, a psychic, a berserker, a most unusual vampire, 
werewolves, elves, and fae. Fairytales intersect adventure, romance, and emotion proving 
that true love can find you in the strangest places, even when you're least expecting it, 
even when you're far, far from home.
This is a compilation of the first three installments of the Black Swan serial saga

Victoria Danann

BUY LINKS

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Glimpse of Her Soul by Stuart Jaffe




When 16-year-old Gillian Boone discovers that a secret message has been etched into her soul,

her world of normal teenage life is destroyed. Now, bizarre monstrosities try to kill her so they

can read this message as her soul departs, hoping its information will guide them back to the

world they came from.


Though she has the aid of her father and some new friends, there is only one who has the real

power to help. A rogue monster named Jackhammer Jack. But he might want her secret, too,

even as he helps her evade the clutches of those pursuing her.


With threats surrounding her, Gillian will have to lead her allies in a struggle for survival - a

struggle all the more treacherous when her allies are just as dangerous as her enemies.


Filled with action, excitement, magic, a touch of romance, and mystery, A Glimpse of Her Soul is

a pulse-pounding ride you're sure to enjoy.


Excerpt:


Gillian Boone watched the funeral from the safety of an ancient oak tree. As somber black forms surrounded the grave, drizzle dampened the headstones. She wanted to get in close, to check the body before they lowered it forever, to know whether or not what she had seen was real or just a dream, but she knew she wasn't welcome. Julia Gomez, the most popular girl in school, had died, and no friends of hers would dare let the likes of Gillian attend the funeral.

But the dream haunted her. It had happened a week ago. She woke — she thought she had woken — but was not in her bed. Or her room. Or her house. Confused, she tried to rise, but her body wouldn't respond. Then without her command, she somehow walked into a bathroom — every motion felt wrong, off-balance, out of proportion with where her body should be. In the mirror, she saw the face of Julia Gomez. That's when Gillian knew she was dreaming. And that's when she heard the breathing creature — a sickening sound like air shoved through a tube of mucus.

About the Author
:

Stuart Jaffe is the author of The Max Porter Paranormal-Mysteries, The Malja Chronicles, The
Bluesman series, and much more. His short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and
anthologies. He is the co-host of The Eclectic Review - a weekly podcast about science, art, and
well, everything. For those who keep count, the latest animal listing is as follows: one dog, four
cats, one albino corn snake, one Brazilian black tarantula, three aquatic turtles, one lop-eared
rabbit, twenty chickens, and a horse. Thankfully, the chickens and the horse do not live inside

the house.
website - www.stuartjaffe.com
blog - www.stuartjaffe.com/blog
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stuart-Jaffe/198658916814671
Twitter - @StuartJaffe
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/309800.Stuart_Jaffe

BUY LINKS


Amazon (US)
Kindle - http://bit.ly/glimpseaz
Print - http://bit.ly/GlimpsePrintAz

Amazon (UK)
Kindle - http://bit.ly/glimpseuk
Print - http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Glimpse-Her-Soul-1/dp/1482381893/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

Nook - http://bit.ly/glimpsenook


Kobo - http://bit.ly/GlimpseKobo


Review:

4 / 5 

If your looking for an non-stop action packed read, then this is your book. while reading it, I wasn't sure which genre it fit in, a bit of dark paranormal, suspense, fantasy ... a mix of many things and you know what, it works. The characters will keep you intrigued because you can't predict what is going to happen next. Over all, great read!


~Luna

Friday, April 12, 2013

Return by Charity Santiago

MEDIA KIT cover.jpg



For the last three years, eighteen-year-old Ashlyn Li has been running from her destiny. A free-spirited ninja, Ashlyn would rather loot an abandoned city or challenge a fiend to battle than assume leadership of Toryn, her father's kingdom. However, when a series of attacks reunites Ashlyn with the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago, she discovers that her kingdom is at war and her father has presumed her dead.

Suddenly Ashlyn is faced with not only fulfilling her birthright, but also making sense of her feelings towards two very different men- Drake Lockhart, the enigmatic vampire who captured her heart three years ago, and Vargo, the charismatic assassin who was once Ashlyn's sworn enemy.

Will Ashlyn ascend the pagoda and become Lady of Toryn?


EXCERPT:


"I feel so heavy all the time," Ashlyn said. "It's like I can't breathe sometimes. Like I can't even move."
 "Weight of the world," Skye replied. "It's a burden all leaders have to deal with."
 "I'm not a natural-born leader."
 "Leaders aren't born, Ash. They're made." He shook his head when she spoke again, stopping her mid-sentence with the gesture. "I wasn't a leader. I was just following Jax around, trying to help out where I could. And after he was…gone…I knew I had to step up because there was no one else.”
 He stopped halfway across the bridge to the lab, and leaned against the railing, his expression grave. Ashlyn turned to face him and mimicked his relaxed pose, trying to look nonchalant.
Skye turned his face towards the rising sun, the first rays lighting his handsome features with a strange, tormented beauty. The illumination lasted for only a moment before clouds obscured the sunrise, and they were plunged into grayness again.
 "The burden of saving the sun was bad enough," Skye said slowly, "but then to be pretending to be something I wasn't, constantly worried that people would find out I had no idea what I was doing…I almost snapped a couple of times. Stuck inside my mind and trapped by my own lies and insecurities. Tortured by my own failure."
 Ashlyn stayed silent as it began to rain. Skye pushed away from the railing and started walking, and she followed quietly.



AUTHOR INFORMATION:


Bio:

In February 2011, Charity Santiago's 7-month old son was admitted to the hospital with severe respiratory issues. While Charity stayed at his bedside, she kept them both entertained by downloading several books on her new Kindle and reading them out loud. It was during this time that Charity learned about Kindle's self-publishing program, and realized that she had an opportunity to share her writings with the world.

MEDIA KIT author_pic.jpgCharity is a native of southeastern Arizona, and a writer since childhood. She wrote her first manuscript, Guinea Pig Code!, at age nine. When she’s not writing books, Charity spends her time wrangling children, watching Sylvester Stallone movies and pursuing a degree in Education.

Links:

Blog: http://charitysantiago.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cinephilemama
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/charitysantiago
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4733058.Charity_Santiago

Book can be purchased at:

http://www.amazon.com/Return-Lady-Toryn-trilogy-ebook/dp/B0052BDNWE/


REVIEW:

4.5 / 5


Return was a great read. It held my attention from start to finish. The main character was so well written I felt like I was there with her throughout the story. I can't wait for the second book in the trilogy.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Be, Or Not (Class of '85) by Margo Hoornstra



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To Be Or Not by Margo Hoornstra
Genre: Contemporary/Reunion Series


Barry Carlson had it all, a successful career in professional baseball and the adoration of any woman he wanted. Except one. Forced to retire in his prime, Barry returns to his hometown of Summerville, New York to coach the Minor League Hornets.

Twenty years ago, Barry broke through Amanda Marsh’s trust issues. He melted her ice, won her love, then walked away without a backward glance to survey the wreckage. Now Amanda is the head of public relations for the Hornets and happily single—until Barry slides back into her life.

Still reluctant to trust, Amanda gives Barry another chance. But the announcement of their twenty-fifth high school reunion leads to an asinine bet between Barry and his old buddies, and threatens to ruin their new-found relationship. As scandals of the past and present converge, can Barry and Amanda get beyond their differences to find their second chance at love? 

Excerpt

“I don’t think he was lying about this, because I was there too. Back at Doogan’s when you and your group of old buds came up with that—that—bet.”

As his memory completed a fast rewind of the specific event, the warmth in his heart turned to ice.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about,” he hedged as his mind reeled with ways to talk himself out of the deep, dark pit he was about to fall into.

“Don’t you, Barry?” She gestured with a head toss over one shoulder. “According to him, the wager was your idea.”

He felt the pit begin to close in on top of him. “It’s not as bad as it sounds.”

When her gaze returned to take a vise grip on his, he saw only contempt. “So you admit to setting me up to win a bet with your pals.”

“What? Oh, God. No, Amanda.” Hearing the tears in her voice, a chill ran down his limbs. “It was nothing like that.” At the devastation in her eyes,
his gut twisted into knots and he could swear his heart stop beating. “Aaron Goodwin is an unmitigated ass. A jerk of the highest order. He
doesn’t have one cell in his body that isn’t selfish and self involved. In short, he’s a total and complete ass.”

The look of raw pain on her face was the same one that had haunted him for so many years. “It appears he has some competition in you.”

About Margo Hoornstra

Picture
My personal history in a nutshell is pretty simple. I’m a wife to one; mother to four—seven if you count in-law children which I do—and grandmother to four so far. 


My work experience includes public relations specialist, magazine editor, television producer, and script and speech writer. I’m also a founding member of Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America.