Monday, September 30, 2013

Review of Sign of the Throne by Melissa Eskue Ousley


Solas Beir
There is only one Solas Beir in each generation of the people of Cai Terenmare, the magical parallel realm in Sign of the Throne. The Solas Beir is the high king, the one who serves the Light, as a representative of a power greater than himself. Solas Beir is a formal title, but the term lightbearer is sometimes used in more casual settings. Lightbearer is sometimes used to refer to a future ruler, one who has not yet ascended to the throne, who does not yet possess the power of the Solas Beir. It has, at times, been used as an insult, referring to a king who is weak.
The people of the Light are powerful shape-shifters, nearly immortal, and wage battle in forms representative of their true nature, their souls. Once they reach maturity, they never grow old. However, they can die—they can drown, or can be consumed by fire, poisoned by silver, or torn apart by those who serve the Dark. Still, as long as they can return to the sacred pool of healing at Caislucis, the Solas Beir’s castle, they can heal from almost any wound. The Solas Beir also has the power to heal his people, but this ability comes at a price. In healing sickness or an injury, he takes the wound into his own body.

The Solas Beir’s power comes from the Light, but though his power is great, he cannot use it for his own gain. His role is to keep the balance of power, and to be a servant to his people. The Solas Beir is unbound by natural laws. In addition to healing others, he can move and manipulate objects by sheer force of will and he can fly. Like others from Cai Terenmare, he has the power to shape-shift. In representing the Light, he has the power to destroy those who walk in Darkness merely by speaking a word. He is required to protect his people at all costs, even if it means sacrificing himself.

Before being murdered, David Corbin’s father, Ardal, was Solas Beir. If David can discover his true identity as the lost heir and find his way back to Cai Terenmare, he will be the next one. And maybe, if his efforts to bring peace to the kingdom are successful, his son or daughter will be next to inherit the gift and rule. If that is, an evil lord named Tynan Tierney does not claim the throne first. 




Abby is an ordinary girl haunted by dreams of an ivory castle, blood-thirsty monsters, and a striking stranger. Working as a babysitter for a family of mythology lovers in wealthy Newcastle Beach, California, she struggles to define herself among the elite class while trying to make sense of her strange visions. Upon meeting David, the doppelgänger of the mysterious young man in her dreams, Abby’s life is changed forever.

Encountering the queen of Cai Terenmare, a magical kingdom in a parallel world, Abby learns of an evil lord hell-bent on usurping the throne, the murder of Cai Terenmare’s king, the Solas Beir, and the kidnapping of the Solas Beir’s infant son.

As the kingdom struggles to endure, the queen shows Abby the full extent of her destiny. She must convince her mysterious crush, David, that he is the lost heir. While braving attacks from the dark lord’s sadistic minions, David must realize his true identity and return to Cai Terenmare to claim his throne before time runs out, lest the evil that was temporarily locked away be unleashed, threatening to destroy both the kingdom and all of humanity.
About the Author:

Melissa Eskue Ousley is the author of The Solas Beir Trilogy. “Sign of theThrone,” the first book of this young adult fantasy series, will be released onSeptember 14. She is currently working on the second and third novels in thetrilogy, “The Rabbit and the Raven” and “The Sower Comes.”

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found swimming, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping roadkill off a molten desert highway to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona.


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REVIEW:

5 / 5
This book is going to pull you into the story on page one and not let you go until you've read the last word.  It's a complex story blending two worlds together with characters you become quite attached to throughout.  I completely enjoyed it.  Well done!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review of The Clan Andriescu by Tony-Paul de Vissage



Vampires can have as many problems with love as anyone else.

Take the members of the Clan Andriescu, for instance, three of the most lovelorn vampires in existence. There’s Marius, elder brother and leader of the clan. Driven from his home because he stole one female too many from his Prince, he can’t understand why the one woman he really loves doesn’t want to renew their affair. What does it matter that fifty years have passed since their last meeting? Isn’t love eternal?

Then, there’s younger brother Valerius, living la vida American and loving it. When ordered to get serious and find a bride, he does what any spoiled brat will do. He runs away…and right into the arms of a most beguiling young lady…who’s human and mortal and forbidden. What’s a vampire to do?

As for Cousin Timon… Married to the author of the most famous vampire series since Interview with the Vampire can be fun, until she writes a novel proving vampires exist. Now, Tim and Laura have a big problem, for the leader of New Orleans’ vampires has to do something about that tell-all book.

Join the Clan Andriescu as they find love, lose it, find it again, and struggle to keep it.

CLASS ACT BOOKS

AMAZON

About the Author:
Tony-Paul de Vissage is a Southerner of French Huguenot extraction, whose first movie memory is of being allowed to sit up late and watch the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter, on television. He was scared sleepless--and has been paying his parents back ever since by writing vampire novels.

A voracious reader who has lived on both US coasts and whose personal library has been shipped more than 3,000 miles, Tony-Paul has read hundreds of vampire tales and viewed as many movies. His Internet address is A Splash of Scarlet, http://www.tony-paul.com/


REVIEW:

4.5 / 5

A refreshing concept, I enjoyed this book immensely.  The author writes very charismatic characters that will charm you into their world.  I look forward to reading further stories in this series.  Well done!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fairy in the Flesh by Katalina Leon


Fairy in the Flesh 
ISBN 9781419945557
Book Length Short Novel
Publisher Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc

Imprint: Romantica®
Line: Voyager
Themes: Paranormal Elements

DESCRIPTION
Maya Rousseau’s fantasy vacation in Avignon, France, heats up when an eccentric enchantress tricks her into drinking mojo-laced absinthe. An unexpected encounter with the green fairy causes Maya’s reality to have a serious meltdown. She travels back in time and wakes up naked in the bed of her favorite bad-boy Bohemian artist, the tall, dark and mysterious André Bosco. There’s nothing wrong with that—except it’s 1903.

For André, it’s love at first sight. He begs Maya to become his cherished model, muse and lover. The chemistry and shared passion between them is overwhelming. André’s a generous-hearted dream-man, but there’s a catch. Every hour they spend together bonds them tighter and time is running out. The same powers that flung Maya back to 1903 are preparing to snatch her back.

With a hundred and ten years separating these soul-bound lovers, it’s uncertain whether they can find a happy ending without the help of a little magic and La Fée Verte.

Inside Scoop: Story contains super-hot sex with an unattainable man, enchanted hallucinatory beverages, mischievous time-twisters, green fairies and a touch of voyeurism.

Chapter One
Avignon, France
Maya rubbed her tired eyes with the heel of her hand and blinked. It didn’t help. The glare of a dry July day and endless hours looking at art had left her in a dazed state of overload. The rods and cones of her retinas were kaput. Her feet ached too. She’d packed more than she could comfortably handle into her single allotted vacation day in Avignon and was now suffering from a bad case of too much of a good thing.
Tired or not, she felt alive. This was what her soul had been starved for. Since morning she’d wandered Avignon’s street exhibits, tented galleries and somber museums filled with masterpieces, gazing in awe. She’d enjoyed an outdoor concert on the bank of the Rhône and photographed the sunbaked Romanesque ruins of a medieval bridge, where she had stopped just long enough to eat a light lunch. She loved photography and Avignon was the perfect place to indulge a hobby she wanted to take further. When she got home she intended to look back and feel as inspired to revive her art career as she felt at that moment.
The daytrip to Avignon would have been perfect excerpt for one important omission. She’d failed to locate the art studio of her favorite modernist painter, the mysterious André Bosco. It was a shame, because Bosco was the real reason she’d been attracted to Avignon in the first place. She’d been a fan of the obscure painter for years and had hoped to see the place where he had launched his brief but brilliant career, which had inexplicably ended in 1903.
What she’d expected would be a simple task had turned into a bust. To her disappointment she’d seen no plaques displayed anywhere mentioning Bosco, and no one seemed to know much about him. Even the guidebook had been vague, mentioning a single abandoned building as a possible site of Bosco’s studio. A daylong search had proven fruitless and ended in frustration. Within the next hour she’d have to leave Avignon without touching base with one of the great inspirations in her life. Considering Bosco was a local artist of merit, it surprised her that he was so little celebrated in Avignon.
Maya turned the corner and headed into one of the older parts of town. The buildings were quaint. A few were in need of repair. The shadows stretched longer and the narrow streets bustled with foot traffic. The evening festivities had already started and she realized it was time to leave.
A few yards in front of her, a team of young male dancers burst onto the crowded sidewalk and claimed a small circle of smooth pavement as their stage. A heartbeat later they were dancing a wild routine that had them spinning and kicking in unison like the blades of a blender.
Maya dodged past the acrobatic dancers but got trapped in the crowd that had gathered to watch. She recoiled at the last second from one dancer’s lethal backflips and high kicks, which were executed an arm’s length from her nose. She pushed past the dancers but the crowd closed in and she got sandwiched between the exuberant performance and a gritty sandstone wall.
This sort of thing had been happening all day. The official festival d’Avignon had something interesting planned for every hour of the day but all over the city spontaneous off-festival performances took place anywhere a crowd gathered.
The dancing was fun but she was thirsty, tired and just wanted to sit.
“Excusez-moi.” Maya crept along the wall, managing to push through the throng of observers. She reached the doorway of an interesting looking bistro, tugged the door open and darted inside.
Once inside she entered a soothing candle-lit Victorian-era building and found herself in a charming Bohemian-themed bistro with cranberry-red velvet cushions on the seats and colorful curtains of glass beads dangling from the windows. Glowing hand-blown glass lanterns sat upon polished tabletops. A framed Gauguin print of an ebony-eyed Tahitian beauty holding a bowl of pink flowers hung near the bar. The pungent scent of amber incense and cherry pipe tobacco perfumed the air.
It was like stepping back in time to another era. Maya’s senses were instantly transported back to the heady days of the modernist art movement at the beginning of the twentieth century. She savored the feeling because it was her favorite fantasy time period, and one she would have loved to experience firsthand.
It surprised her that for such a busy festival day the bistro was empty of patrons. The only other occupant of the bistro, and presumably the proprietress, was a woman who appeared to be in her fifties who was dressed in the theatrical garb of a flowing- sleeved poet’s shirt, a black satin corset and flouncy red skirt and tall boots. She stood beside the bar looking like some sort of piratical gypsy queen.
“Bonsoir.” The lady spoke French but addressed Maya with a familiar accent.
Maya smiled at the lady. “Puis-je commander un café glacé, s'il vous plaît?”
“Of course you can have an iced coffee.” The woman’s keen gaze locked on Maya. A thick layer of black kohl ringed the lady’s eyes and lent her an unsettling appearance. “I speak English and I’m going to guess that you grew up not far from my hometown of New Orleans.”
“I’m from Thibodaux!” Maya laughed. “There’s no hiding the accent, is there?”
The lady reached for a coffee press and packed it with fresh grounds. “Seeing as how you’re a Louisiana girl I’ll add a touch of chicory to your coffee.”
“Thank you.” Maya sat at the bar, fully realizing just how much her feet hurt from walking all day on cobblestones.
“My name’s Miss Ruby.” The lady brushed her long black hair away from her face and appeared to be studying Maya with intense interest. “What’s yours?”
 “Maya Rousseau.”
Miss Ruby poured hot water over the coffee grounds and pushed down on the press. “Rousseau is a wonderful name for an art lover.”
“You sound certain I’m an art lover.”
“Why else would you be in Avignon in July? I know what drew you.” Miss Ruby toyed with one of her dangling chandelier earrings while she waited for the coffee to strengthen. “I realize my current costume makes me look ridiculous as I say this, but I really do possess the gift of second sight and prophecy. You see, I’m a world-class enchantress with the highest security clearance.”
A nervous laugh burst past Maya’s lips. “I didn’t realize enchantresses had to earn security clearances.”
“They certainly do!” Miss Ruby’s eyes flashed. “You wouldn’t believe the stringent tests we must pass. A world-class enchantress must prove beyond a shadow of doubt that she is trustworthy, ethical and has the highest good of others in mind before she’ll be granted the powers I have.”
Maya wondered if Miss Ruby was another bit of festival street theater or an ex-pat who’d forgotten to take her medication. “What special powers do you possess?”
“I’m like a fairy godmother, but my work tends to be grittier than what a fairy godmother might attempt. The moment I meet someone I know exactly what their soul needs. I understand the inner workings of time and space and use them to advantage. I don’t actually break the laws of nature but I know how to bend them. In fact my specialty is time-twisting. I’m like a witch but I call myself a ‘Beneficent’ because I always serve the highest good. The gift is hereditary. My mama was a New Orleans Voodoo queen. I could have stayed in New Orleans too, but I chose to travel the world as a high-level enchantress and an ambassador of magic.”
“I see.” Maya recoiled. It was just more of her bad luck in Avignon. First she’d failed to locate Bosco’s studio and now a crazy lady dressed like a carnival psychic had trapped her in a weird conversation.
Miss Ruby poured the steaming coffee over a tumbler filled with ice and slid the glass toward Maya. “Enjoy.”
Maya sipped the chilled, chicory-laced coffee with relish. “I feel revived.” She drank fast, not wanting to linger in the deserted bistro. She decided it best to gulp the iced coffee, pay and run for her life before the conversation got stranger.
Miss Ruby picked up a chamois and busied herself polishing the brass rail that ran the length of the elegant mahogany bar.
Maya’s gaze wandered toward the far wall and fixated on a framed pencil sketch of a handsome man with a proud, compelling face. The sketch was framed beneath glass and the paper had yellowed at the corners and crumbled with age. She studied the man’s face and guessed he was in his mid-thirties. He had a thick head of wavy dark hair and a rugged face with square, noble features, chevron brows and luminous eyes that glanced sideways from the portrait and seemed to follow the viewer around the room.
Maya found herself unable to look away. The man had a magnetic quality she seldom saw in contemporary faces. It was a look that could only belong to someone who possessed the self-confidence and perhaps a touch of arrogance not to care what the world thought. The generous arch of the man’s lips was so sensuous her thoughts wandered toward what it must have felt like to be kissed by him.
“You like Bosco, don’t you?” Miss Ruby leaned close. “He has a interesting face, doesn’t he? He can appear both compassionate and feral in turn. I’ve heard many differing opinions about the portrait over the years.”
Maya started. “Is that a portrait of André Bosco, the Fauvist painter?” she gasped. “I’m a great admirer of Bosco! I had no idea a portrait existed.” Her heart fluttered. “Did he really look like that?”
“You know of Bosco?” Miss Ruby looked elated. “So few do. History has all but overlooked him, which is a shame because those familiar with his small body of work have hailed him as one of the most innovative painters of his time. Some say Bosco inspired his more famous peers and set the example for the Fauvist moment by showing the world how to paint like a wild beast. Of course, a few of his nastiest critics called him a ‘paint waster’, but it’s clear Bosco had vision.”
Miss Ruby waved her hands through the air in an expansive gesture. “A few art historians have credited Bosco with being the original wild beast, in part because of his physical intensity and unruly head of hair, but also because he had a habit of tossing his paintbrushes aside and smearing the brightest colors across the canvas with his fingertips, with passion. It was said by those who watched him work that he ravished his canvases like a ferocious lover.” She giggled.
“He sounds exciting.” Maya drew a sharp breath. “Years ago, I saw an original Bosco in a traveling museum show of modernist work. Bosco’s painting was the most expressive piece of art in the entire show. I kept wandering back to look at it again and again. The painting was of a white stallion but the colors were vivid—every hue of the rainbow was hidden in the lines and shadows. Before I left the museum I bought a postcard of the painting and carried it around in a battered sketchbook for years. Bosco was my greatest inspiration. I heard a rumor he had a studio somewhere in Avignon?”
“He did.” Miss Ruby pointed upward. “His studio is a corner room on the third floor. The landlord of the building has preserved it.”
“Bosco’s studio is here?” Maya tensed. “Can I see it?”
“No.” Miss Ruby shook her head. “I don’t have permission to open the room, but the landlord will return on Sunday. You can ask him then.”
“I won’t be here on Sunday.” A note of desolation crept into her voice. “This is my last full day in France. I have to start making my way back to Paris tomorrow for my flight home. I’ll miss my only chance to see Bosco’s studio.” Maya leaned across the bar, feeling absolutely desperate to get a look at Bosco actual living space. “Please reconsider—I promise not to touch a thing.”
“I’m sorry.” Miss Ruby nodded toward the top of the bar, where an ornate brass skeleton key dangled from a green satin ribbon. “The landlord is the only one allowed to use that key to open the studio…”

About the Author
Katalina Leon
I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id Publishing and a couple new publishers to be announced soon. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

Buy Links
Ellora’s Cave:

Loose Id:

Amazon:

All Romance eBooks:

Night Owl Reviews Author Page:

Pinterest:

Facebook:

Twitter: @Katalina_Leon





Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review of The Finer Gentleman by Icy Snow Blackstone

The Test of A True Gentleman…

Tritomitian station owner Sarkin Trant has always known his great-grandfather was the illegitimate son of an Arcanian giarl but he’s stunned when he learns a bizarre turn of events has made him the new Giarl of Craigsmere. With a Gypsy’s warnings to “Beware the Mistress of Disguise,” Sar, his Terran wife Katy, and son Hatch embark on a journey as frightening as it is exhiliarating.

As Sar emerges into Arcanian society, his outspokenness, naivety, and provincial manners slowly but surely charm everyone around him, from the Craigsmere cook to the Margrave himself. At a ball given in his honor, he meets Meva du Thane, a predatory noblewoman determined to snare herself a rich husband. Only a giarl will do, and she sets her sights on Sar…and the fact that he already has a wife doesn’t matter at all…



About the Author:


Icy Snow Blackstone was born in1802, in northern Georgia where her father, the Reverend John Blackstone, was prominent in local politics. Two hundred and five years later, her great-great-great-great-granddaughter began using her name as a pseudonym for her romance novels. The present Icy Snow Blackstone lives far from her Southern roots in Lancaster County, Nebraska, where she continues to write romances generally set in the South. Her seventh novel will be released in April, 2013, by Class Act Books.

Icy Snow shares a website with her alter ego Toni V. Sweeney at http://www.tonivsweeney.com/


REVIEW:

4.5 / 5

I'm so pleased I was given the opportunity to read the another addition to the Three Moon Station series.  Once again the author did not disappoint and brought lovable characters to life with her talented, descriptive writing style. I can't wait to read the third story in this series and see where it takes me.  Well done!  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review of Stealing Fire by Susan Sloate

How do you recognize your soulmate?

In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau Kellogg is a brilliant Broadway lyricist now writing advertising jingles and yearning for one more hit to compensate for his miserable marriage and disappointing life.

Amanda Harary, a young singer out of synch with her contemporaries, works at a small New York hotel, while she dreams of singing on Broadway.

When they meet late at night over the hotel switchboard, what begins will bring them each unexpected success, untold joy, and piercing heartache ... until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever.


STEALING FIRE is, at its heart, a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love. 
STEALING FIRE was a Quarter-Finalist (Top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.  Susan will be awarding a notebook perfect for journaling to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Excerpt  
Oh, God, it was him, the bastard who had upset the switchboard operators and bellowed through the lobby loudly enough to alert all five boroughs. At three o'clock in the morning, asking for room service. Unbelievable.

Amanda leaned back in her chair. Her stomach was tightening inexplicably. "I'm sorry," she said finally, when she could control her voice. "Room Service closes at midnight."

There was a pause. "Oh. What time is it now?"

She looked at her watch. "Ten after three."

 "Then whom am I speaking to?"

 "I'm the night operator.  This is the main switchboard."

 "Well, main switchboard, you must all sound alike down there. I could swear I talked to you earlier tonight."

Well, how about that. "You've got a good ear, 704. I was on duty earlier."

 "Good Lord. How long are the shifts around here?"

 "Eight hours for everybody else. I’m working a double today."

 “Why?"

 "Maybe I just love it here."

 "I guess you do. But I hope you're well compensated."

Trust a man to think of money first. "That’s not my major concern."

 "Glad to hear it."

Okay, enough's enough.  It's been a long day, made even longer by him. No reason to shoot the breeze with this guy. "Excuse me, I have other callers. Sorry I couldn’t help you."

"Well, better luck with them."

 "Look, if you'd called earlier—"
    
"Absolutely. My fault entirely, for falling asleep after a cross-country flight, a time change and a screw-up in hotel administration. Forget I even mentioned it." The phone clicked in her ear.
    
She sat for some moments before she noticed she was trembling. This was the second time he'd undermined her—and it bothered her.




About the Author

Susan Sloate is the author or co-author of more than 20 published books, including Realizing You (with Ron Doades), for which she created a new genre, the self-help novel, and the 2003 #6 Amazon bestseller, Forward to Camelot (with Kevin Finn), which took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned by a Hollywood company for film production. The much-anticipated reprint, Forward to Camelot (50th Anniversary Edition), will be published by Drake Valley Press in October 2013. She has written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including the children’s biography Ray Charles: Find Another Way!, which was honored in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards. Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz led to her 2009 appearance on the TV series MysteryQuest on The History Channel. Amelia Earhart: Challenging the Skies is a perennial young-adult Amazon bestseller. She has also been a sportswriter and screenwriter, managed two recent political campaigns, and founded an author’s festival in her hometown outside Charleston, SC. Stealing Fire was a Quarter-Finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and combines autobiographical experience with Susan’s lifelong love of the musical theater. She is proud to be related to Broadway legend Fred Ebb, the lyricist for Cabaret, Chicago, All That Jazz and New York, New York.


REVIEW: 4.5 / 5 Stealing Fire is a unique story line, you're going to love. I was pleasantly surprised with this story and didn't expect to like it as much as I did.  The author not only pulled me in, but kept me reading until the end of the book.  I want to say so much more about Ms. Sloate's book, but I can't without spoiling the read for others and we don't do spoiler reviews here.  Just - Read it!
  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review of Timeless by Blaise Kilgallen

Harassed by an employer, Suzanne Thibold picks up a pre-read paperback to de-stress and is whisked to 1870 Dry Wells, Texas, inhabited by rank cowboys and townfolks. She almost adjusts to the conditions when she learns Oscar Needham bought her as a Mail Order Bride.

A bronco-buster hired by the S-bar-Ranch, Cady Dillon comforts Suzanne after she is frightened by a shooting fracas below her hotel room. A burst of adrenaline had them making love. Cady knows she’s too good for him. He deserts her and heads for the Californian gold fields.

Suzanne awakens in her hotel room, but in the year 2009, still in Dry Wells. She is hired by the town’s current banker. Inhabitants she meets seem very familiar. When she gets a flat tire in a mall, Suzanne’s former lover’s great-grandson fixes it for her. They agree to meet at Dry Wells Summer Rodeo. Cady (William) Dillon stands Suzanne up, but then appears at her condo after midnight to explain why. Will she forgive him? What do you think?

About the author:

Blaise is a-dyed-in-the-wool New Jerseyite. Born and raised there, she says she will probably die there. She resides in semi-rural Sussex County, the northwest area of the “Garden State,” on 3-1/2 acres of untamed yard.

Blaise earned a B.S. in Fine Art Education from a N.J. State College, but taught only one year before heading into New York to seek employment in the advertising field. She worked at various positions with different ad agencies during a 10 year period. After being widowed, she earned her Real Estate Broker’s License and listed and sold houses and land in New Jersey for almost a decade.

That was when she began to write romantic fiction. Her novels were soon published and now she is published in both electronic formats and print--by a list of e-publishers. As the market changed and developed, most of her novels came to be classified as “steamy romances” rather than “sweet stories.”
Blaise has had more than a dozen romance novels published during the last decade. She continues to write historical and contemporary novels daily. She is also a prolific professional artist in several venues. Currently she paints and sells watercolors and collages, and creates romance covers for other e-publishers (royalties) and individual authors for a fee.
 Visit her Website at:
 WWW.BLAISEKILGALLEN.COM for excerpts and reviews on her backlist
You can also email her at – blaisekilgallen@earthlink.net 
REVIEW:

4 / 5

With words Timeless will take you back to 1870. The author uses the little details to make you feel like you're actually there.  I enjoyed this story immensely, it was a refreshing change from other time travel plots. Definitely going to read more of Blaise Kilgallen's work.  Well done!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Death in Blood by Tony-Paul de Vissage

…Mankind admitted vampires exist?

…Vampires followed Man into the stars, inhabiting every planet in the galaxy?

…They solved the “Vampire Problem” by putting the Undead in concentrations camps?

What would happen if someone decided to destroy the imprisoned nosferatu?

Would the police investigate?

Should they?

Forced to assist Lieutenant Katherine Dalia in the case, vampire Christopher Landless fights desire and thirst to uncover a motive of long-lingering revenge as both vampire and mortal
discover old crimes never go unpunished.


By Tony-Paul de Vissage


About the Author:

Tony-Paul de Vissage is a Southerner of French Huguenot extraction, whose first movie memory is of being allowed to sit up late and watch the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter, on television. He was scared sleepless--and has been paying his parents back ever since by writing vampire novels.

A voracious reader who has lived on both US coasts and whose personal library has been shipped more than 3,000 miles, Tony-Paul has read hundreds of vampire tales and viewed as many moviesHis Internet address is A Splash of Scarlet,  http://www.tony-paul.com/

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Descent by C.L. Roman


When Captain Fomor leads his unit of six angelic warriors to Earth in an attempt to escape the war in Heaven, not only do they unwittingly set into motion the age of legends, but they must face an inescapable evil that threatens to destroy them, the humans they fall in love with, and the Earth itself.

Creating a new life on antediluvian Earth is no where near as simple as Fomor’s team had hoped it would be. A tragedy occurs early in their sojourn that convinces the seven that they must avoid both humans and fallen angels. But when they unexpectedly meet with the Nephilim, a tribe of unusual humans with unknown origins, the results are unprecedented. However, falling in love with humans is the least of The Unit’s problems.
Mankind is busily descending into a maelstrom of violence and profane religion. The Fallen, angels transformed into demons by their rebellion, have regrouped and are using the tattered remnants of their power to prey upon humankind in horrific ways. Not only is a demon demanding human sacrifice in a nearby village, but the world is careening towards a global disaster that not even The Unit can stop.


Excerpt:

“You must choose now.”
Captain Fomor’s quiet voice echoed against stone walls. He stood facing Second Lieutenants Gant and Phaella in the long, stone hall of the unit’s barracks. Floor to ceiling windows were spaced along the hallway to admit a pale, wavering light. Dormers at the top of each casement were open to admit fresh air and the sweet scent of the gardens outside. Opposite the windows, spaced widely along the wall, were doors that he knew opened onto meeting rooms and domiciles, and, at the far end, a set of double doors that led to the dining hall.
Outside, the faint sounds of battle drew minutely closer through the flickering light. Gant raked strong fingers through his black curls and turned hazel eyes to assess Phaella’s reaction. They were a matched pair, even calling each other “brother” and “sister,” though there was not, could not be, any such blood tie between them. In truth, their relationship was more like that of siblings than co-workers or fellow soldiers. Created at the same time, they might have been cast from the same mold with similar abilities and talents. Even their thought patterns matched more often than not.
Both sported a compact, athletic build and olive skin. Black, curly hair topped attractive, long nosed faces with strong jaw lines and dark, expressive eyes. The resemblance didn’t stop with the physical. The pair possessed a keen intelligence and were as loyal and steadfast as dogs but with a fierceness in battle that bore greater resemblance to the wolves Sabaoth had created than to those companion helpers of human kind. It pained Fomor to require them to make this choice.
“What you ask is not easy Captain Fomor.” Phaella avoided her captain’s eyes by keeping her own on the floor as she toyed with her long, black braid. After a moment she looked at him, “Sabaoth has not even called us yet.”
“Sister,” Gant reached out to put a gentle hand on her arm. “Would it be better to wait until He summons us into battle, and disobey Him?”
Phaella’s breath sucked in, her dark eyes widening as she shook her head.
Gant turned back to his captain. “What of Sena?”
“Lieutenant Sena waits for us below,” Fomor replied. “She, Volot and Jotun have chosen not to fight in this war.” An explosion, perhaps two hundred cubits outside the corridor, rocked the trio and sent smoke drifting into the wide hall. Fomor ignored the interruption, merely brushing a few strands of black hair out of his eyes before continuing. “Adahna went ahead to find a sheltered area where we can settle in for…” he stopped. It was hard to admit, even to himself, that he didn’t know how long they would need to shelter on Earth. “She asked me to remind you that we are all children of the same maker. It is not right for siblings to kill one another.”
Trouble clouded Phaella’s gaze. “Still, to disobey…”
For the first time Fomor’s pale skin reddened slightly and his voice held a cold edge. “We cannot disobey an order that has not been given. This is the point Phaella. To leave before it is given.”
A trumpet sounded outside, followed by another detonation, closer this time, and the air became dense with smoke.
“Decide quickly, or the call will come, and it will be too late.” Fomor spun on his heel, the fastenings on his boots glinting in the dim light, and shifted, disappearing in a flash of green sparks.
Phaella and Gant stared at one another, misery shared, but not lessened. How did one choose between abandoning Sabaoth and fighting, perhaps killing, fellow angels? It was as if a father were asking his children to fight one another; an impossible choice.
In the end Gant reached out his hand, “I cannot leave Sena.”
Phaella’s smile was dim, but determined. She gripped his fingers with her own, “And I will not leave you, brother.” A third blast struck the hall, raining bits of marble and dust down upon the siblings until the dark blue of their tunics looked gray.

“Well then, sister, time to move?” Gant forced a grin and the two stepped together into the fog shrouded corridors of the Shift. Light and sound from the hall they left behind was cut off as suddenly and effectively as a slammed door. Cold pressed against their skin through the fluid dark, while frigid gray fog probed their faces, pressed against lips and eyes, clinging and trailing behind as they moved through what seemed to be an endless, black expanse.

About the Author:
Cheri Roman is a writer, editor, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, in whatever order works best in the moment. Most days you can find her on her blog, The Brass Rag, or working on the next novel in her fantasy series, Rephaim. Cheri lives with her husband and two Chihuahuas in St. Johns, Florida.






Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review of Lord Griffin's Prize by Katalina Leon

Part of the Emerald Isles Fantasies series
Tullamore Castle Ireland is an enchanted place where the unexpected happens. Phantom lovers materialize in haunted beds and a lonely griffin patrols the ramparts waiting to reclaim its mate. And that’s just the beginning.
 
For the adventure of a lifetime Maeve de’Burgo visits Tullamore to study genealogy. Through a magical act and time travel she becomes embroiled in a dangerous medieval romance and the unfinished life of her ancestor. Maeve gets thrown back in time to be captured, ravished and cherished as a war chief’s prize.

Ronan O’Griofa is a griffin-shifter, the most loyal of creatures. He’s been trapped in limbo as the avenging guardian of Tullamore since 1332 AD and longs to be free. When the soul of his wife returns to the castle he’s granted the privilege of becoming a man for one day to be her lover, win her heart and remind Maeve of a bond strong enough to last an eternity.

Excerpt
Maeve placed a gloved hand on the golden door handle of the Tullamore Castle Hotel and pushed. The glass door resisted against the vacuum of a blustery gust. The short but stormy walk from the cab to the curb had left rain sheeting from her umbrella and tall black boots.
She bore down, gave the door a firm shove and watched in awe as it swung open onto a timeless realm entrenched in equal parts modern luxury and dour medieval grit. Above the entrance a time-ravaged, iron-studded medieval shield bearing the image of a griffin held a place of honor between two Victorian-era crystal sconces, punctuating the contrast of a far-reaching past.
Maeve was too tired to care that she was tracking water across the patterned carpet as she ambled into the elegant front lobby dragging a lopsided piece of rolling luggage. For the past twenty-four hours she’d roamed airports, engaged in endless desperate bargaining with airline personnel to exchange tickets, hunted down cabs and texted anyone she could reach to tell them that her international flights and all her arrangements on the ground had been disrupted by turbulent weather.
The challenging journey from the US to Ireland had left her weary to the bone. Everything that could go wrong had. As she approached the front desk there was little wonder in her mind why the word “travel” had its roots in the original travail, which literally meant torture.
An attentive middle-aged woman, with red hair swept away from her stark face, stepped from behind the carved baroque counter to greet her. “You must be Maeve Clark. We received your message. I’m so sorry you’ve had such a difficult time getting here.” The woman reached for Maeve’s luggage. “Let’s get you signed in so you can rest.”
The woman glanced out the front entrance as the cab that had brought Maeve turned and drove away in the pouring rain. “I don’t see anyone else out there. Is Mr. Clark with you?”
“What time is it?” Maeve fought the impulse to rub her eyes with the heels of her hands and grind what little mascara still clung to her lashes onto her cheeks.
The woman smoothed the lapels of her prim navy suit. “It’s 1:11 a.m.”
“Oh god. I’m so disoriented I thought it was earlier. By the way, I’m no longer Maeve Clark. I made the reservations last year before I divorced. Didn’t I update you on the name change?”
The woman’s gaze lingered on the prominent wedding ring on Maeve’s left hand. “No name change was mentioned, but we have a beautiful room waiting and we’re pleased to have you visit with us, Miss...?”
“Maeve dé Burgo.”
The woman looked elated. “You’re a dé Burgo? Of course, now it all makes sense! Oh this is wonderful, and so appropriate. I’m certain you are aware that the ancestral founder of Tullamore Castle was Lord dé Burgo?” The woman clasped Maeve’s hand. “My name is Áine Byrne. I’m the current owner of Tullamore Castle and if I’m not mistaken, you and I are distant relations.”
“You’re the castle owner? I’m so happy to meet you, Miss Byrne.”
“Call me Áine. I’m simply thrilled to have a dé Burgo under our eaves again!”
Maeve was dumbfounded by the woman’s intense enthusiasm for her maiden name. “I’m surprised to see you working the front desk at this hour.”
“I’m a hands-on owner and a notorious insomniac. Night is when interesting things happen at Tullamore. I like seeing everything and everyone who comes through the front entrance. Hospitality is my business and I enjoy being hospitable.”
“Thank you, Áine.” Maeve was barely able to manage a smile in her exhausted state. “From the outside, the castle is so dramatic, very picturesque. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing my room.”
“Of course you are.” Áine took Maeve’s hint and hurried behind the counter to retrieve a massive leather-bound ledger with vellum pages. “Because you are a dé Burgo would you please sign the historic guest ledger?” She handed Maeve an old- fashioned feather quill and a bottle of ink.
Maeve sighed as she accepted the quill and ink. Despite her interest in all things historical, she had no experience writing with a quill and hoped she wouldn’t make a mess of Áine’s lovely old ledger with an inevitable clumsy ink splosh on the creamy page.
Áine seemed to read Maeve’s mind. “It’s not difficult. Simply dip, swipe the quill on the rim of the bottle and write far more slowly than you think you should.”
Maeve dipped the quill and sketched her name across the velum with shaky, scratchy strokes that required several dunks into the ink.
“Lovely.” Áine gazed at Maeve’s signature and set the ledger aside to dry. “By the way, the room you requested is not available. We had a slight accident with some workmen the other day and the room you reserved will require refurbishment.”
Maeve groaned in disappointment. “The cheerful little yellow room overlooking the rose garden isn’t available?”
“No.” Áine glanced at Maeve sideways. “We’re putting you in the O’Griofa suite tonight. It’s our finest room.”
Maeve gasped. She’d visited Castle Tullamore’s website many times and knew the O’Griofa suite was a sprawling set of adjoining rooms stuffed with priceless antiques and no doubt far beyond her budget.
“It’s all right.” Áine raised a preemptive palm into the air. “You will not be charged suite rates. The mistake was on our side and you shall be the one to benefit.”
Maeve exhaled. “Thank you.” A nearly forgotten thought surfaced. “Some months ago I contacted a Professor Burke to meet me here at the castle and help me to gather information about my family’s genealogy. I forgot to email him and tell him my flight was delayed. Has the professor contacted you?”
“Yes, I spoke with Professor Burke at some length and now that I know you’re a dé Burgo your research project makes perfect sense. The dé Burgos have shared a stunning history with Castle Tullamore. Your family has been here since the beginning.”
“I’ve been told I was named for a great ancestor of mine, Lady Maeve dé Burgo. I’m looking forward to learning more about her.”
Áine did not appear to be the least bit surprised by this bit of information. “There’s been a mild setback. I am sorry to say Professor Burke isn’t coming. He called yesterday to cancel your appointment. He must attend to emergency business in France and will not return for a fortnight. He apologized profusely for the sudden change of plans.”
“The professor’s not coming?” The energy drained from her. “I’m so disappointed. That was the core purpose of my trip to Tullamore.”
“Don’t despair.” Áine lifted her chin. “Another professor has volunteered to take his place.”
“Who?”
“Ironically it’s a Professor O’Griofa. He too claims a strong ancestral connection to Tullamore and has enjoyed a long association with the castle. Isn’t that an interesting coincidence?” Áine’s gaze sharpened. “Professor O’Griofa is considered the premier expert on Castle Tullamore, so it goes to show that tiny setbacks and substitutions can often be wonderful boons. I’m sure the change was for the best. Tullamore’s just that kind of place. One must expect the unexpected.” She reached for a brass skeleton key dangling from a hook. “We use an old-fashioned key for the O’Griofa suite. Come with me and I’ll show you to your room.”
Maeve followed Áine down a long corridor lined with gilt-framed oil portraits of the castle’s many occupants. They passed a staircase and approached an antiquated- looking iron-cage elevator.
“We’re going to take the lift.” Áine took hold of the iron filigree door and struggled to wrench it open. “This door can be so stubborn.” She gave the base of the door a brisk kick with the heel of her shoe until it opened. “Ah, there we go. You’re not claustrophobic or easily startled by screeching metallic sounds, are you?”
“No.” Maeve gazed longingly toward the staircase.
“Don’t worry, the lift is in excellent working condition. It’s just odd.”
Maeve lingered at the threshold. “How is it odd?”
“It’s haunted and there are a few other peculiarities.” “Like what? I would think haunted is peculiar enough.”
“Oh there’s much more.” Áine stepped into the lift, pulling the rolling luggage with her, and motioned for Maeve to follow. “Get in and I’ll tell you about its many eccentricities.”
Maeve felt her face blanch as she stepped inside the unsound-looking lift.
Áine slid the rattling door shut and pressed a button. The lift lurched with a grating noise and rose to the thumping whir of unseen gears and pulleys.
Maeve gulped a nervous breath. “I’ve never been in a lift like this.”
“You certainly haven’t!” Áine grinned with pride. “It’s one of a kind. I’ve had guests swear the lift delivered them into another time and place. Can you imagine that? A few bold souls have even claimed to encounter entities haunting the lift that encouraged them to engage in...” She hesitated. “How should I say this? Amorous behavior. Their actions were quite spontaneous and uninhibited, but I strongly suspect they didn’t do anything they didn’t already want to do.”
“Oh my.” Maeve laughed. “And they blamed the lift?”
The lift screeched to a jolting halt. Áine drew the door open. “We’re here.” She motioned for Maeve to exit. “The O’Griofa suite is at the end of the corridor.”
(Just wait until Maeve sees the handsome portrait of Lord O’Griofa. She’s in for trouble…)

About the Author
Katalina Leon

I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id Publishing and a couple new publishers to be announced soon. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

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REVIEW:

4.5 / 5

Ms Leon will have you falling in love with her characters.  I was pleased with the way the story was written, it wasn't rushed but built gradually so when you're nearing the end you're almost holding your breath hoping it turns out the way you'd like.  I really enjoyed this one and think I need to seek out more of this author.