Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Haedyn's Choice by Jennifer L Oliver



Date Published: 5/15/13

There's always a choice.

Haedyn is the last Unnamed and the demon Azazel's personal assassin - his most prized servant. It's not
a title she wants, but it keeps her alive and that's all that matters. But when she is tricked into protecting
Lex, the same human her master is hunting, she learns of Azazel's terrifying plan to create an army of
evil souls - and that Lex isn't the only one slated for sacrifice.

Can Haedyn accept the truth of her past and face the demon who molded her in his image, or will she
risk the losing the souls of those she loves?


EXCERPT:   Chapter One


The concrete cell reeked with a mixture of rotten trash, burning flesh, and the sweet tanginess of blood. Haedyn twitched her nose. No matter how often she had to deal with it, she'd never get used to that smell. It was horrible.
            Dirt crunched and rolled under the soles of her boots as she circled the silver chair in the middle of the room. Its occupant was furious, snapping and snarling at her. Not that she blamed him. Being captured by a demon's minion wouldn't rate high on her list of fun, either.
            The prisoner struggled against his restraints. “Bitch. My Alpha’s gonna kill you. Just wait," he growled, pupils wide with the animosity of a trapped animal. "He’ll come here and rip through that white skin of yours like it's a sheet of paper, then hang your head on the wall like a trophy.”
            She rolled her eyes and ignored his aggression. Werewolves had the worst tempers, especially when they were wounded or trapped. This one was both. Plus, he’d been drugged and was unable to change to his more powerful wolf form. Yeah, he was beyond pissed.
            She sighed and continued circling. He'd wear himself out eventually. The anger and vile comments were all part of the process. Then the next phase would begin, full of tears and begging. That's when she'd break him; make him tell her where to find the human. But for now, she'd play the game until he was ready.
“Where's the human?”
"I ain't telling you shit." He spat on the floor at her feet.
"Tell me where the human is and I'll set you free."
The werewolf narrowed his yellow eyes. "You won't set me free. You think I don't know who you are? You're that demon Azazel's little bitch. You don't set no one free. You kill 'em."
            Haedyn clenched her jaw. The werewolf was right; he wasn't going to leave here alive. She needed that information and there was only one way he was going to tell her. Poor sap. He just forced her hand.
            She circled the chair again. This was the part of the job she hated. Inflicting pain. Killing. Every time she heard them scream, made them bleed, she swore a piece of her insides turned to dust.
It was the price she paid for serving a demon. But she didn't have a choice. Either she did what was expected of her or she faced punishment from her master.
Demons didn’t give second chances, and Azazel was no different. Disobeying his orders meant death. And even if she was stupid enough to go up against him, she had no one to turn to for help.
She was the last Unnamed. A mistake created by the demons and angels, which is why they killed off the rest of her kind. Humans mistakenly called her “albino” and kept their distance once they saw her deep red eyes. The supernatural world thought she was an abomination. If they weren't scared shitless of her, then they wanted to kill her.
She didn't fit in and she was all alone. Which is why she made the decision fourteen years ago to do whatever she had to in order to survive. Serving Azazel was the only choice she had.
Besides, what else would she do? She was evil, part demon. And like Azazel said the night he found her at the orphanage, she had a gift for death. One which he had honed. Now, she was his best interrogator, his best assassin. 
            Haedyn looked again at the werewolf. He shifted and squirmed, pulling at his shackles. Drops of blood beaded along his forehead. She smelled the panic and the fear mixed in with his sweat. Then she met his eyes. For a brief moment, a part of her screamed to let him go. She quickly pushed the impulse away.
Discipline. She had to maintain discipline. Compassion was a weakness. How many times had Azazel pounded that into her during their sessions? Fourteen years of intense training and still she had to remind herself.
            She closed her eyes, burying the whispers of empathy deep inside. A stillness settled within her. Then she re-emerged as the cold-hearted, unemotional assassin Azazel had molded her into.
This is what she was trained to be. This is what she was trained to do. Save them. Deliver them. It's what kept her alive, and that’s all that mattered.
            She walked behind the prisoner. He bucked harder against his chains and handcuffs. She leaned in close to his ear and whispered, “The silver chair and all those silver chains, they're burning you. I can smell your skin roasting. And just as it heals, the silver sears it off again. Must be painful.”
Haedyn paused, watching his shoulders and chest heave. Sweat dripped down his neck and back, mixing with the blood on the floor. He panted. It wouldn’t be long now.
“I can see it, you know, the wolf within you," she continued. "Your beast wants to heal and protect you. It's raging to be released. It rolls under your skin like ripples on a pond and just before it breaks the surface, it crawls away like a scared, little puppy. You know the drug I gave you is still swirling in your system, keeping you from turning. Yet you keep trying to shift. Why do you torture your beast so?"
            The prisoner’s growl grew louder and he yanked again at his restraints.
            "Tell me where to find the human. Tell me, and I’ll end your suffering.”
            The werewolf stopped and leaned back in the chair. He took a ragged breath, “I’m dead whether I tell you or not. ”
            Haedyn straightened and looked down at the back of her prisoner’s head. So fierce and honorable. His pack leader, the Alpha Wolf, would be proud.
She ran her gloved hands through his short, brown hair. Then grabbed a handful and yanked his head back. Through her darkened glasses, she could see the anger and disgust in his eyes. He hated her, but soon she would be his savior. Like she was to all those who came before him. She delivered them, away from evil, just like they were meant to be.
She flipped a silver dagger out from its sheath around her waist and let the yellow glow from the dingy, fluorescent lights glare upon the blade. She pressed the tip along her prisoner’s right cheek, puncturing the skin just enough to draw blood, and slowly drew it down the length of his face.
It wasn’t the actual cut that caused pain, not for a werewolf. They have a relatively high tolerance. It was the slicing with silver that caused the burn of agony.
Haedyn moved the blade down his body splitting the skin in different areas as she went. With each mark she made, the victim flinched and clenched his jaw. Then she stabbed the dagger straight through the bones in his wrist, pinning his arm to the chair and bringing a loud growl from his throat. She plunged more daggers into him, one in his other wrist and one in each foot. The silver seared the skin where it punctured and began eating away at his bones like acid. Ignoring the werewolf’s tormented howls, she took a silver rod and slammed it through his kneecap. His screams reverberated off the walls of the small chamber.
She stood before him and stared. His veins darkened with the poison of silver seeping through his body. He cried and begged for death. It was almost over.
“Tell me,” she said.
He sobbed and hung his head.
“Tell me,” she demanded. “I’ll take them out and put them all back in again, unless you tell me.”
“No! No, please.”
“Tell me. And I’ll end your suffering.”
            The werewolf took in a deep breath and slowly let it out. “Medford. The last place we tracked him to was Medford, Mass. It's... It's right outside Boston.”
Haedyn looked at the surveillance camera in the upper corner of the cell and nodded. Her job was almost done. Save them. Deliver them.
The prisoner raised his head and look at her. “Kill me," he said. "Please."
It was time, he was ready. She had broken him and now she’d free him.
A tear dripped slowly from the corner of his yellow eyes. Her own eyes burned. She pulled out her .44 magnum, and shot him in the head.



Author Bio
Jennifer L. Oliver was born and raised in North Carolina and now lives on Florida's gulf coast with her husband, two cats, a Royal Bahamian Potcake dog, and multiple fish. She is the author of dark urban fantasy and paranormal thrillers. When she's not writing, you can find her giggling with her granddaughter and enjoying time with her family and friends. For more about Jennifer, visit her website at www.jenniferloliver.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLOliverAuthor

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Jenn_L_Oliver

PINTEREST: http://pinterest.com/jennlewisoliver/

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6561912.Jennifer_L_Oliver

WEBSITE: http://jenniferloliver.com


LINKS TO BUY 




Goodreads: 

The Giveaway for this tour is for eBook Copies of Untamed which is the PRELUDE to The Haedyn Chronicals.




5 / 5

I have read so many 4 + star books lately, I keep waiting for that one to break the amazing string of fantastic authors ... Haedyn's Choice was not the book to do that.  In fact it was just the opposite, the tight story with so real (I felt like I was there) characters have set the bar just a bit higher for books that I'll review after this.  Jennifer did a wonderful job taking me into Haedyn's world and I look forward to reading more of these breath taking characters.  

~Rahna

Monday, May 27, 2013

Caged Heat by Milly Taiden


Caged Heat
Milly Taiden
Black Meadows Pack – Book 2

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Publisher: Etopia Press

Book Description:

After five years travelling through third world countries to teach impoverished children, Samira Suarez has returned home to Black Meadows. What Sam didn’t expect was to be instantly overwhelmed by the desire to be with the one man she’s wanted since she was a teen, Riel Karven.

Riel has been patiently waiting for Sam’s return. For five long years he’s backed off and watched her come and go. This is it. His mate is back, and he’s taking a stand.

Sam’s need for Ry grows to unimaginable proportions. It’s almost as if she were in heat. But she’s a human…isn’t she?

There’s more at stake than Sam and Ry’s future relationship when she inherits her grandmother’s estate. One of her many relatives wants her out of the way.
It’s going to take all of Ry’s determination and help from his friends to keep her alive.  And it’s going to take delving into her past to find out why a human is going into mating heat.


Sharp Change
Milly Taiden
Black Meadows Pack – Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Etopia Press
Word Count:  39,232

Thoughts of Chase, the Alpha of the Black Meadows pack, made her heart torpedo in her chest and rockets go off in her stomach. The better-than-a-sundae delicious-looking man with golden brown skin, enough muscles he could share them with his friends and still have left over, turned her to a puddle of goo.

The man had so much sex appeal her girl parts were ready to lift a white flag in surrender just by looking at him, even thinking of him made her tongue wag. Looking at him was like viewing a shot of your favorite dessert and knowing you couldn’t get your hands on it.




About the Author: 
Milly Taiden was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. She grew up between New York, Florida and Massachusetts. Currently, she resides in New York City with her husband, bossy young son and their little dog Speedy.

She began writing when she learned to put words together and her first book consisted of two homeless dogs living in a park for her second grade English class. She didn’t win a prize, but she acquired a love for writing that never went away.

When she’s not working full-time, texting with her best friend Heidi in England, chastising her son for pulling the dog’s ears, shopping with her sister Jewel or watching scary movies with her husband, she can be found writing on her laptop. She’s addicted to shoe shopping, chocolate and Dunkin Donuts coffee. 
A major reader when she can get her hands on a good book, she loves reading all Mina Carter, Cynthia Eden, Cynthia Sax among others


Twitter: @millytaiden

Facebook: Milly Taiden

REVIEW:

4.5 / 5

A spicy shifter story and a great read. The characters are well written and so likeable you don't want it to end.  I enjoyed the this second installment to the Black Meadow Pack as much as the first one and will be watching for more from Milly.  Well done!

~R 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

From Hel With Love by Blue Remy



Paranormal Romance
Date Published-  5/2/13


Hel hath no fury like her Raven scorned…
Fallen Valkyrie Legionnaire, Raven Aquilus, has always known she was an outcast to her kind. Stuck 
in New Orleans as the Protectress of the Nine Gates of Yggdrasil, she lives as close to the edge as her 
family will allow. One fateful night would change it all – Someone ritualistically slaughtered a guardian in 
one of her Gates, leaving Raven lying in a pool of blood. Ordered to find the killer before she dies along 
with her precious guardians, Raven is placed in a race against time, being forced to enlist in the help 

of a Human FBI paranormal agent. Together they must stop the serial murders before an ancient war 
reignites – and Raven loses everything, including a new found love, all to a jealous half-breed …
Welcome the XIII Hour™ series. Betrayal, Lust, Love, Murder, Jealousy and Revenge. The faery-tales that 
your mother never told you about just came true.


Author Bio
Native of Santa Maria, CA, Blue Remy is the author of The XIII Hour™Series, and the raw, gritty series Twisted In Love. When she’s not writing, Blue lives to ghost hunt whenever she can, which tends to help her imagination and outrageous character ideas. She was first introduced to the paranormal world through her Grandmother and her haunting bedtime stories. Blue then found the Grimm’s Faery Tales, and fell in love with spinning wild stories about the evil characters that everyone hated, giving them their own past and history to be told. Blue is a total fan girl when it comes to anything Wonder Woman. She collects Living Dead Dolls, rubber duckies, Sugar Skulls, stuffed animals and tarot cards which she is an adept reader of. Blue currently resides in the paranormal hub of the South with her husband, who feeds her gourmet coffee and cupcake addiction. Blue Remy is a member of The Paranormal Romance Guild.
Website- http://xiiihour.com
Twitter- www.twitter.com/blue_remy
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/theblueremy?fref=ts

BUY LINK 

REVIEW:

5 / 5

Straight away let me just say that Ms Remy needs to be writing the second installment to this right now, if it's not already finished.  Just when I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief that they made it, she leaves you in a very intense "to be continued" ending.  I didn't see it coming and tried to turn the page to keep reading ... but that was it.  Brilliantly written story where the author has taken something that has been done time and time again and given it a whole new flare with many twists.  I'm a definite fan.

~Rahna

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kissing Fire by A.M. Hargrove



Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 4/15/2013

Preston Mitchell has many secrets. As an undercover DEA agent, he’s lived a
life of danger and obscurity. A relationship was never a consideration...until the lovely
Avery Middleton stumbles into his life.


To the outsider, Avery has it all...wealth, family, connections and a great job. But on the

inside, she’s miserable. With a selfish mother driving her to the brink of insanity, a kooky
neighbor that has zany plans for her to become a sumo wrestler, and a social life that’s
in the toilet, Avery decides her only salvation is to get the hell out of town and start
a new life. So she moves across the country and right into the path of hot and sexy,
Preston.


Unfortunately, Avery ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and is now

running for her life. Preston is determined to protect her but she suddenly finds herself
irresistibly captivated by him. There’s only one problem. Preston’s covert missions have
created a load of mental baggage resulting in an impenetrable wall around him that no
one can break through. But Avery rocks Preston’s world because she is nothing like
anyone he’s ever met and something extraordinary begins to develop between them.
Can their love survive in this world, where danger, intrigue and deception lurk on every
corner?







Author Bio
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life.  So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase.  Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had ├╝ber quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head.  Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window.   She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.
 Boss:  Hello
 A.M.:  Boss, is that you?
 Boss:  Why yes, A. M., who else would be answering my phone?
 A.M.:  Er... right.  Well, I'm calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.
 Boss:  Why ever would I want to do that?
 A.M.:  Because I quit!
 A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.
 A.M.:  Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?
 Hubs:  Sure... Having some car trouble?
 A.M.:  Not at all.  I don't have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.
 Hubs:  WHAT?!
 A.M.:  It's time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.
 So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks.  Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love.  Survival and Resurrection are her first and second full length novels in the series and Beginnings is the prequel novella.  Her third installment, Determinant, will be released on June 30, 2012.  (It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the idea!)
  

Website
Twitter        
Facebook    
blog               

LINKS TO BUY

Here is the Giveaway for the A.M. Hargrove Kissing Fire Tour! 


Ebooks of Kissing Fire, Shattered Edge and Edge of Disaster

$50 Amazon Gift Card


Review:

5 / 5

I loved the way this was written so you are able to get inside Preston's head.  Ms. Hargrove did a fabulous job making you feel every tormenting thought of her lead male character.  I enjoyed the many ups and downs in Kissing Fire and look forward to reading more from this author.

~Rahna

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sentinels of New Orleans by Suzanne Johnson



Royal Street
Sentinels of New Orleans Book One
Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Tor Books

ISBN: 978-0765327796
ASIN: B006OM459U

Number of pages: 337
Word Count: approx. 94,000

Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen

Book Description:

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco's job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans' fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters. While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerald St. Simon has gone missing, the wizards' Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ's new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and the killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter roux.

River Road
Sentinels of New Orleans, Book 2
Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Tor Books

ISBN:978-0765327802
ASIN: B00842H5VI
Number of pages: 336
Word Count: approx. 92,000


Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen


Book Description:
River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans Series #2)
Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator.

Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.

It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.

About the Author: 


Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance from Auburn, Alabama, after a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities. She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis' birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.









Review:
Royal Street (Book 1)

5 / 5
I felt like I was there.  Not just in the chaos that Hurricane Katrina created, but in the life of Drusilla Jaco.  The characters literally come alive.  A wonderfully written entertaining story. (I'm so glad I had the second book to read right afterward!)

River Road (Book 2)

5/5
I love that Suzanne is able to make me laugh with the witty banter of the characters yet have me holding my breath to see what happens next.  This is a series that could (should) continue for several more installments.  A brilliant mix of paranormal / urban fantasy characters.  My only regret is there isn't a third book out yet to read.  

~Rahna

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rebel Heartsong by Morgan K Wyatt



Townsend Sewell, as heir to the biggest planation in Beaufort County, is also the biggest marital prize. Life is good, at least it was before the war. After the Civil War devalued Confederate money, and stripped their plantation, Townsend became a not so great catch. The only person who stands by him is Yvette, a mulatto companion to his sisters. She jokes that she stayed only to watch over him, which she does, quite well. He can't remember a time the beautiful servant hasn't taken care of him, almost like a wife. He's lucky to have Yvette, but someday some man will steal her away. The thought enrages him. He's unwilling to live without her by his side. Does she feel the same way? If she does, how will they survive when the law declares their love taboo?

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



Excerpt One:

The kitchen was silent without clatter of dishes, no gossiping, and no scratching from the potboy trying to rid the pot of the last bit of burned grits.  Almost afraid to look, Yvette put her fork down and looked to the swinging door that Townsend filled up so well. Imogene began to wave the staff out of the kitchen.

Townsend ducked his head. “Sorry to bother you, I just wanted a word with Yvette if you don’t mind.” He nodded to Imogene, and then added, “Ma’am.”

“Go ahead. She’s all yars.” Imogene hooted as she left the kitchen as if she found something amusing.

Yvette shook her head. “She’s always finding something funny.”

Townsend pulled out a chair and sat across from her at the worktable. It was so narrow that their knees touched. Did he feel a small tingle zip up his leg too or was it just her? His lips pulled down in a grimace, which probably meant he did, and also that he didn’t like it. It could be that he slammed his knee up against hers, and it just hurt, too. He opened his mouth as if he was ready to say something, then, closed it, pulling his lips into a firm line.

“Townsend, please don’t worry about hurting my feelings. Go ahead and say whatever you have to say. It will make it easier on both of us. That way you can head back home.” Yvette offered the words as a way to help him out. The last thing she wanted was for him to leave. On the other hand, did she want to keep twisting in the breeze? Sometimes she felt like one of those characters in the forbidden novels Emily devoured. The woman was always in love with an inappropriate man, and it never ended well. That, in itself, should be a lesson for her. Taking her fork, she mushed up the rest of the biscuit since her appetite had fled.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Morgan K Wyatt, raised on a steady diet of superheroes, believed she could fly at a very young age. After using trees, barn lofts, sliding boards, and even a second story window as launch pads, she found her flying skills were limited to fast and downward. By the age of nine, her dreams to be a superhero needed some modifications, which caused her to turn to writing and horseback riding as alternatives to flying.

 At the age of twenty, she had another chance at superhero greatness as being one of the few female soldiers trained for combat. The fact that women will be able to serve in combat soon indicates that all the witnesses to the grenade incident have retired. The grenade incident didn’t prevent her two sons or daughter-in-law from enlisting in the service. Having different last names probably helped.

Morgan recently retired from teaching special needs students to write fulltime, instead of in the wee hours of the night. With the help of her helpful husband and loyal hound, she creates characters who often grab plot lines and run with them. As for flying, she prefers the airlines now.



Buy Links








Morgan will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and grand prize of the winner's choice of ivory, peach, or white, cultured freshwater pearl necklace to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.




Review:

4 /5
Rebel Heartsong was a touching and emotional read.  The period the story is from was a very trying time for so many and it was wonderfully written by Morgan, giving you the feel for the time.  
You will be rooting for the characters throughout the story and feel like you're right there with them. I am looking forward to reading more from this author. 

~Rahna