Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gretchen S. B.

Guest post and Excerpt by Gretchen S. B.

An Inside Peek at Sin

For this guest blog I would like to talk a little about my current favorite character from the Night World Series. Lady of the Dead is the first book of this series. In the Night World when Were animals of different species mate and have offspring those offspring will be able to change into any of the animals their parents could. Those offspring are known as Shapeshifters. Having multiple animals to change into makes most Shapeshifters a bit unstable, because of this many countries will hunt them down and kill them. This was common practice until about 15 years ago when a Were father of two Shapeshifters started an agency that employed and policed the world's Shapeshifters. This worked so well that now most of the Night World no longer hunts down Shapeshifters. In fact, the Agency's Bounty Hunters are now contracted out to handle all problematic Night Worlders, not just Shapeshifters.

Sin is a Shapeshifter who can change into a Hawk, a wolf, a panther, and a leopard. Having this many animal types makes Sin quite a bit unstable. Being a Shapeshifter also gives her a unique perspective on any given situation that most of the time others do not see or even agree with. Despite this she has made a good career for herself as a Bounty Hunter for the Shapeshifter Agency.

Sin tends to make people uncomfortable because she has a bit of an impulse control issue. If it feels like a good idea at the time then she is certainly going to do it. Or say it in some cases. Sin also seems to know things others don't but no one knows if it is because she has abilities they are not aware of or if she is just that nosy about getting information she wants.

Sin is a great character to writing because she isn't concerned with politics or hurting people's feelings. She just wants to get the job at hand done in what she sees as the most efficient way possible. This means if there is something going on in a scene that Sin finds unnecessary she is going to make sure everyone knows it.

“The Night World stole me from reality. No, a better way to put it is that the Night World weaned me from the normalcy of what most people would consider the real world,” Gwen began by way of explanation.

“That’s an interesting and very selective memory of events you have there,” Viking said, raising a blond eyebrow at her. “In fact, that is not how I remember it at all.”

Gwen glared. “Storebror, are you going to let me tell my story or are you going to be a nuisance?”

Viking smiled but before he could say anything he was interrupted by Raider, his second-in-command.

“Viking, the boy asked her about her past, let her tell it her own way so we can get on with the game. You know how the new guards become so enamored with our Lady of the Dead. Let the boy get it out of his system.” He laid his cards on the table, folded his arms and nodded at Gwen to continue.

Gwen rolled her eyes. She hated that title and Raider knew it. She had tried desperately over the years to convince the Warriors sent to guard her to call her by her name instead of the title, that really creeped her out. Gwen did not just talk to the dead, but to the entire Spirit World. She wanted to meet who ever had come up with that title and kick him in the balls.

Sighing, Gwen turned to Kegan, one of the new men sent to guard her. The fact that he still used his birth name told Gwen that he was less than two centuries old. When Warriors became older, they tended to make up their own names, like Viking and Raider.

“Anyway, I was seven and once again helped out of the house by my Fairy friends…”

Kegan waved a hand. “Fairy friends? There’s no such thing as Fairies.”

Gwen glared at him until he looked away. Yeah, he was definitely young. Older Warriors would not give in that easily. Gwen looked at Raider.

“What is it with you men and interrupting?”

Raider grinned at her. She had known him since she was seventeen, ten years now. Gwen had harbored a minor crush on him when they first met, but had found out what he was in his first life and the feelings had faded. A first life is what Warriors called their first century; everything after that is considered their second life. Raider’s first life consisted of raiding tombs in the 1700s. The young Gwen had been crushed that the gorgeous man before her was not only far too old for her, but a professional thief as well.

Raider kept his light brown hair a little shaggy and his sharp jaw clean-shaven. His broad nose showed signs of a bad break. The break must have occurred very young because at thirty a Warrior’s body became too strong for scarring like that.

When Raider did not respond to her, Gwen continued. “A small child is not going to understand that a being from the Spirit World is not a Fairy. My Fairy friends and I went to play down by Green River; they knew the paths to take to get all the way down to the bank. I was playing in the water when some of the Fairies picked me up and started dunking me.” Gwen did not like the next part. She still had nightmares. “At first it was fun, but then I was under too long and I needed air. The Fairies would not let me up to breathe. They were trying to drown me.”

She knew her voice was emotionless. Though it had been the first traumatic experience in her life, it was not the last. The attacks only grew worse as she aged. When Viking’s hand slid onto her left arm, Gwen knew he was thinking of those later attacks as well. His one little gesture calmed her down. She was safe now. Viking always made feel her safe, even when the odds were against them.

Shaking her head to clear it, Gwen continued her story. “Suddenly I was up in the air and huddling against this huge chest. He was yelling at the Fairies, speaking in a language I didn’t know. Nevertheless, I knew he was there to help me. I could feel that he was a good guy. He made the Fairies leave and has protected me ever since.”

When Gwen finished eating, she closed her eyes, and leaned back in her chair. She felt every person at that table go on guard. Gwen almost laughed; they were so protective of her, even when it wasn’t something they could protect against. Taking deep breaths, Gwen lowered her head and slowly rolled out her power into the Spirit World around her. She was trying a technique Oracle showed her, exiting her physical body to reach farther away. Since it was a new skill, Gwen struggled with it. It had taken four tries this morning to finally get it right. This time she headed north. She didn’t know the area too well so Gwen concentrated on the directions she took. The last thing she needed was to get lost outside her own body, where she couldn’t defend herself.

After several minutes, Gwen passed over a school playground in a residential area. A huge shadow creature hunkered down on all fours watched a group of teenagers who stood on the opposite side of the fence. Gwen could feel the malice vibrating from the creature. He was strong but bound to the schoolyard. He seemed to be weaker in the waning sunlight that still illuminated his surroundings.

Gwen landed on the far end of the fence, away from the teens but careful to keep the fence between her and the creature. Once she began hovering near the fence, the thing slowly turned its head to look at her. Gwen gasped and fear flooded her system.

Its head was twice the size of hers and round. Its jaw protruded slightly and when it smiled evilly at her, she could see every single one of his teeth were razor sharp. His eyes were narrow and the irises black. The body was bulky and almost disproportioned. Gwen knew if this thing stood on its hind legs it would be somewhere around eleven feet tall. She couldn’t stop the fear coursing through her.

It moved much faster than Gwen expected it to, crossing the yard in under ten seconds. He moved like a gorilla, putting weight on his knuckles and swinging his back legs forward. He didn’t stop until his face was up against the fence. He straightened slightly so his face and Gwen’s were only feet apart. His breathing was ragged with excitement. Gwen knew her fear rolled off her and this creature could feel it, but she stood her ground. She could feel the spells put on him and the playground. He couldn’t get to her as long as she was on this side of the fence. But he was still damn scary.

“What brings the Lady of the Dead to my corner of the world?” His voice was inhumanly low and high at the same time.

Gwen’s fear spiked, he knew who she was.

That voice laughed at her.

It was one of the scariest things Gwen ever heard, and she automatically shuddered. “I’m looking for information about some men.”

It gave her an unblinking stare. “You are not yet strong enough to force answers from me. I can smell your fear and weakness.” It sat down on its haunches. “I also smell your determination, and that interests me. I may or may not answer your questions.”

Gwen wasn’t quite sure how to take that. This thing was clearly evil, but it might help her. She knew she needed to tread lightly because without a doubt he had an ulterior motive.

“There are three rogue Warriors that may be in the area. They may be trying to start a war.”

The thing’s pointed ears twitched and he interrupted her. “What kind of war?”

Gwen fought to keep her voice steady. She knew the effort was pointless since he knew she was terrified, but she needed to try for her own sake. “We believe an all out one in this kingdom.”

Its breathing slowed and he closed his mouth, staring at her for several beats. “No, they will fail.”

The answer was so abrupt Gwen actually blinked. “What?”

It smiled at her again and Gwen’s fear rose. “The Warriors you speak of, I know of them. Though they are not stupid enough to try recruiting me, they may have recruited Basilix, an enemy of mine. He is too strong for them to handle. Eventually he will eat them, or use them. It is hard to tell with Basilix. These Warriors you seek have been making alliances will all manner of Night Worlders. Now run along back to your body, little girl.”

One giant clawed paw contorted through the chain link fence and slashed across Gwen’s stomach. She screamed as pain shot through her and the shock from it broke her concentration, sending her shooting through the Spirit World back to her body.

The crash back in was jarring and made her feel like she had been hit by a bus. Her stomach burned so bad she screamed. She was only dimly aware of a hand over her mouth. The pain was stealing her consciousness. She barely heard Sivia’s muffled voice from far away.

“Lucia, quick, mask her and clean the blood. We need to get her out of here.”

Pain consumed her and the world appeared to go a dull red. Gwen swore she could hear that creature’s voice laughing. Then there was silence.

Lady of the Dead 
Night World Series
Book 1
Gretchen S. B.

Genre: Paranormal Romance

ISBN: 9781311214874

Cover Artist: Gretchen S. B.

Book Description:

A Lady of the Dead only comes along once in a century. Gwen knows this makes her valuable but she hates the constant supervision of her Warrior guards. Her increasing power has gifted her some independence until rumors of war spook her guards enough to report to the King.

Cesar has been King of North America through several wars and rebellions. When one of his generals informs him these new rumors involve the Lady of the Dead he flies to Seattle himself it investigate, posing as his second-in-command. The instant attraction he feels to Gwen becomes increasingly hard to ignore.

Will Cesar be able to protect Gwen while battling his lust? Will Gwen stay with her warrior guards or will Cesar’s dominating nature push her to switch sides? Hidden alliances begin to surface in Lady of the Dead.

About the Author:

Gretchen happily lives in Seattle, Washington where she spends her time creating new characters and situations to put them in. She also enjoys cheering on her local sports teams, even though it sometimes seems they are allergic to winning.

She has loved reading and telling stories as far back as she, or anyone else, can remember. Currently, she loves to read the same genres she writes. She also loves exploring her home state. At the end of her adventures she unwinds by curling up on the couch, knitting while catching up TV shows.

WEB: www.Gretchensb.com

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/GretchenSB

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gretchen-S-B/540293959350712

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Becca C. Smith

Guest Post and Excerpt by Becca C. Smith

Another typo?! Really?!

A lot of indie authors probably find themselves uttering this exasperated phrase as they scour through their proof that they’ve read a hundred times already and found yet another typo. But I’m telling you: yes, typos suck, but at some point you have to let it go.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate typos. I hate catching them in my own work, especially when it’s been on the shelves for a few weeks. I hate it even more when other people find them because my initial reaction is to be embarrassed and quickly fix it before anyone else notices it too.

But seriously: not the end of the world. I just finished reading the new Heroes of Olympus novel House of Hades and I found five typos. Five. And that’s published by Disney Hyperion! I’m currently reading the new Bloodlines Novel: The Fiery Heart published by Penguin Group and I’ve already found three typos. One of which was mixing up to and too. These are the big guys and they still manage to miss things.

Believe me, I’ve tried everything in my power to avoid typos at all costs. I had five professional editors go through my novel and even after all that I still found errors. It just comes with the territory. When you’re dealing with over 70,000 words something is bound to get missed.

The bottom line is: don’t beat yourself up about it. If you find a typo you have two choices: let it go, or fix it. If your book is connecting with the reader, they won’t care. I still loved House of Hades and I’m dying to get back to The Fiery Heart. A good story is a good story. So stop stressing about the details and appreciate the big picture. You’re a novelist that has actually produced a novel! Enjoy it!

Excerpt End of Chapter 3

Very carefully, Jack opened the door that led to the President’s office.

What awaited them was terrifying.

President Jareth Wilton stood behind his desk. He was wearing a vest that held five grey bars of C-4 wired into a bomb. Wilton was a tall man, well over six feet with stark black hair and a long face. He was a young President, only fifty years old, but he looked like he’d aged twenty years since the last time Kala had seen him at a press conference, with dark rings under his eyes and worry lines on his forehead.

But his smile was what made the scene surreal and horrific. His thin lips were grinning as if he’d just climbed Mt. Everest.

President Wilton stared directly at Jack as the door swung open the rest of the way. “I figured it out! I figured out how to break it! No one will ever have to do what I’ve had to do again! Do you realize what this means?”

Kala knew then and there that the man was cracked. Figured what out? Break what? He was rambling like a mad man.

But the more frightening moment came when Jack responded back to Wilton. “Killing yourself is impossible. People have tried that in the past.”

Not only was President Wilton talking crazy, but apparently Jack knew his language and was responding accordingly.

Kala noticed that Wilton’s eyes lit up when Jack spoke. “You’re the one they sent to replace me.”

Jack nodded.

What? Kala was seriously confused.

Kala spoke up, “What’s going on Jack?”

Replace him for what?

Jack didn’t acknowledge Kala or the rest of the team, which was shifting uncomfortably behind him.

Wilton shook his head, serious. “You can’t do it. You have to let me detonate this bomb. We have to crash the plane! It’s the only way to stop it!”

“You can’t stop it!” Jack yelled back.

“I can and I will!” Wilton talked into an earpiece. “NOW!”

The plane nose-dived.

Everyone jolted forward and stumbled from the force of it.

Jack barked orders, “Lali get up to the Flight Deck and by any means necessary take over this plane!”

Lali paused for a second, she looked more confused than Kala felt, but after a moment to gain her bearings as the plane was falling fast, she managed to high-tail it out of the room and up to the Flight Deck.

Kala was sure they’d hit ground at any moment.

Jack aimed his gun at the President’s head.

Wilton was frantic. He ducked behind his large oak desk that was bolted to the ground.

“You can’t kill me! You’ll ruin everything!” Wilton yelled.

Jack turned to Kala and Derek. “No one shoots him but me!”

Kala kind of nodded, but she was in shock at the fact that they were about to flatten a part of the capital with Air Force One. She really didn’t care what Jack was saying. She couldn’t let President Wilton set off that bomb and kill thousands.

Jack shot at the desk, trying to hit the president, but he didn’t come close.

Only Kala could make a shot like that and not get them all killed from shooting a hole through the plane.

Kala and Derek made eye contact. Kala could tell Derek was thinking the same thing. He whispered so only Kala could hear, “Do it.”

Kala’s nod was barely perceptible.

Jack saw her and his eyes went wide. “Kala STOP!”

Kala shrugged. “I can’t let him do this, Jack. I’m sorry.”

Only the top of Wilton’s head was showing.

It was enough.

Kala took her shot.

The Atlas Series
Book 1
Becca C. Smith

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Red Frog Publishing
Date of Publication: 11/14/13

ISBN: 978-0985027667 (Ebook)
ISBN: 978-1493648375 (Print)

Cover Artist: Stephan Fleet

Amazon Kindle

Book Description:

Kala Hicks is part of a covert elite military team that answers directly to the President of the United States. But during an emergency mission aboard Air Force One, Kala is shocked to discover that the real threat is none other than the President himself. Defying her commanding officer, Jack Norbin, Kala takes the shot, and her life changes forever.

The moment the President is killed, a supernatural force speaks to Kala, telling her that she has to commit one act of atrocity every four days… or the world will end. Thrown into a reality she never could have imagined, Kala faces off with creatures of legend; from demons determined to make her fail and plunge the Earth into chaos, to angels who don’t trust her to do the job and are willing to kill her to claim it for themselves.

Pitted against the forces of good and evil, Kala must choose whether to save the world by doing the unthinkable, or sit back and let it burn. And four days later, she’ll have to do it again.

About the Author:

Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children’s novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale’s Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted.

Becca currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.

Website: http://www.beccacsmith.com

Blog: http://therisersaga.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Riser-Saga/140711422626243

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Minnie Lahongrais

Guest Post by Minnie Lahongrais

March 21, 2002, Tommy Ortiz is accused of murdering the love of his life, Adina Cruz. As an NYPD Detective and best friend of the accused, it is Mason Jones’ job to figure out what happened.

When he arrived home that evening, Mason found his wife, Claudia sound asleep. Silently, he stripped off his clothing and slid into bed beside her. She sighed contently as he drew her into his arms and held her close. He inhaled deeply and took in the comforting essence of the lavender oil she poured into her bath as part of her nightly ritual. Then, he exhaled softly as he closed his eyes in recognition of how lost he knew he would be if anything ever happened to her.

Flashes of the scene of the crime – of Adina’s naked and battered body assaulted his senses. His eyes flew open. He stared into the darkness and contemplated getting out of bed. When Claudia stirred he thought better of it and held her even tighter for a short while before gently rolling her over on to her side. He turned his back to her and curled into a fetal position. He pushed up against her so that his back was touching hers. Soon he was sleeping; twitching and dreaming.

* * *

The wind howled menacingly. Confused, Mason found himself in an unfamiliar space. His blurred vision slowly cleared and he focused on an old fashioned, wooden desk positioned smack in the middle of the room. Atop the desk he could see what appeared to be a prescription pad, along with a notebook and a set of pens. He noticed the nameplate, but couldn’t make out the lettering, so he inched closer to read it.

Roger Cohen, M.D. The name meant nothing to him.

There were two doors on opposite sides of the room. A small coffee table holding just a box of tissues was set between a couch and a high backed wooden chair. The walls were covered with diplomas and certificates. The shutters on the windows were loose; its slabs shaking in time with the thunder that clapped intermittently.

Suddenly the door opened. Two men walked in; one of whom he recognized as Rhys, owner of Rhys’ Pieces. The other man was wearing a white lab coat. He had to be Dr. Cohen.

“Rhys?” questioned Mason in confusion.

Rhys didn’t respond. The doctor spoke first.

“Det. Jones,” the doctor offered his hand in greeting. Mason ignored it.

“Well, understandable. Have a seat. We have lots to discuss.”

The doctor took his position to the left of the chair opposite the sofa. Rhys followed him and stood to the right of the chair.

Mason didn’t move a muscle.

“Who are you? What am I doing here and what are YOU doing here, Rhys?”

“This is Dr. Cohen,” Rhys offered. “He brought us safely into this world.”

Mason frowned and backed away from the two men standing in front of him. Sinister grins snaked on the two men’s faces. Rhys stepped forward and sat at the far end of the couch. He extended his arm in mute invitation toward Mason to do the same. Mason slowly moved forward and gingerly sat at the far side on the couch’s edge.

“Us? Who’s ‘us’?” asked Mason as he looked from the face of one man to another. Doctor Cohen spoke first.

“Did you know, Mason, that the Marquis de Sade believed that if a crime, even murder, took place during one's desire for pleasure then it could not be punished by law? He also believed that sex is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

Rhys moved forward on the couch to its edge before speaking so that he could be eye to eye with Mason.

“Adina. He’s talking about Adina and I. We are cut from the same cloth, Mason. In life, we both had demons we couldn’t control. But, we both tried in different ways to do just that. I killed in my search for pleasure. She tried to wrestle control from her demons through the men she sexually manipulated and dominated even though Tommy showered her with unconditional love. How necessary was it was for her to do that? It was necessary because she sought pleasure.

“However, Adina angered me when she betrayed Tommy with all those men. It angered me that he forgave her. But most of all, it angered me that he loved her the way he did and I didn’t have someone who loved me the same way.”

Mason listened, his mouth agape. The doctor spoke again.

“Adina and Rhys did not come into this world the way normal people do, Mason. Were it not for Rhys’ physicality, they would not have been separated and they might not have turned out the way they did.

“For what is the reason they are more alike than different? Nature? Nurture? Neither? Both? Who knows? They lived parallel lives that diverged then converged in mayhem – with you in the midst of it. Now it is up to you to put the pieces together and lay the matter to rest.”

Doctor Cohen paused to allow Mason to digest what was being said before speaking again.

“As I aged, it became difficult for me to live with what I had done. I am truly sorry. It was an act I committed in my search for the all-consuming pleasure I continuously derived as the superior being I knew I was over my patients.”

Mason put his face in his hands and thought of the pain Tommy must be in. He sobbed softly. Rhys rose to his feet and stood beside the doctor.

“Adina thought she had everything under control. I loved no other woman but my mother as I loved Adina. Until we – Adina, the doctor here and myself – are gone from your world, you won’t know the truth and Tommy will have to pay the price. He will be collateral damage.”

* * *

DIVERGENT LIVES is a fictional tale, yet it titillates the imagination far more than truth.

What a ride...

You have got to read this one!...

Many thrills and unanticipated twists...

Book Description

Psych Thriller Adds Deviant Twists to Sociopath Theme

RJ and Adina enter the world as fraternal twins, one raised by old-world, controlling immigrants in El Barrio, the other sold into a religious home filled with lies and scorn. Both are sociopaths.

Turns out, RJ’s got a secret that enrages him with the flip of a switch. Adina uses her sexual power to dominate every man in her life. They are on a mysterious trajectory to cross paths in New York City, where the end of their lives culminates in an apex of horror and carnage.

Worldwide purchase links:

About the author:

Native New Yorker, Minnie Lahongrais unwittingly kick-started her second career when she began writing an urban fantasy tale intended to help her cope with the death of her father. November of that year, she set that story aside to immerse herself in the annual madness of NaNoWriMo, meeting the challenge head on. Her first novel, “Sinner’s Ride” was published Spring of 2011. That summer, she found herself obsessed with the story idea for “Divergent Lives.”

Next on her agenda is the urban fantasy she began at the outset of her journey. She now plans to write that story as a trilogy.

Ms. Lahongrais currently lives in New York City. She finds time to write every day and spends her free time with her family.

Contact Minnie:

Website: www.minnielahongrais.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Lahongrais

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Saul Tanpepper

Gameland: Deep into the Game
by Saul Tanpepper
139 Pages
Published by Brimstone Press April 29, 2013
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Apocalyptic, YA
ISBN: 978-1479177554
Currently FREE on Amazon

Everyone loves Survivalist, a live-action, virtual reality show based on Arc Entertainment's The Game, where cybernetically controlled zombies do battle in a video arcade in the middle of a Long Island wasteland. It's to die for.

If you're rich enough, you can buy your way in. If you're desperate enough, you can volunteer to become one of the Undead Players. Jessie Daniels and her gang of computer hackers plan to break their way in. Welcome to GAMELAND. Access Restricted.

The apocalypse is old news. Zombies roam the restricted areas and Gameland, a Long Island arena owned by Arc Entertainment is the sport of choice for the wealthy. Zombies are used not only to compete in the games, but janitorial tasks. A group of teens decide to break into Gameland. Things go bad, so very bad.

Gameland is told first person by Jessie, a teenage girl. She and her moody boyfriend, along with her best friend Ash, and Micah and Reggie aren't looking forward to their senior year of high school. Their last hoorah is to sneak into the infected zone to have some fun before the monotony of school begins.

Tanpepper's got something here. I like the unique plot he's created; reminds me of Mad Max's Thunderdome. The story is told in episodes, a total of eight. I've read only the first episode but I'm definitely looking forward to reading further. The book kept me intrigued all the way through, but at the halfway point it got even better and turned into something I just couldn't put down. It was an exhilarating and nail-biting adventure. I considered giving this a four star rating, but as the story progressed, it earned my five stars. The setting was new and futuristic, the concept was imaginative, and the characters were well fleshed out.

The prologue sucked me right in. Tanpepper jumps forward to reveal a hint of the ending and there was no way I could stop reading without finding out the journey that got our little group to that point.  Being that the book is episodic, I wasn't rewarded with the full scope of the story. The episode ended in such a way that I can't let it end there...so I downloaded the second episode...ALSO FREE on Amazon! Get your copy of Episode 2, Failsafe here.

Deep into the Game is well written. I had no issues with a male author narrating from a teen girls perspective, not an easy task I'm sure. The read is fast-paced and full of action. These are the most ambitious group of teens I've ever come across! As a die hard fan of zombie fiction, it was invigorating to find something so unique inside my genre. Here's to hoping I find a new review request for the entire season! (hint hint, lol)

About the Author:

Saul spent his formative years in a leaky century-old house overlooking the Erie Canal in Upstate New York. His bedroom was a refurbished attic, which he shared with all manner of creatures, not all, he is convinced, flesh and blood.

After bouncing around the US and Europe for several years, he settled down to pursue a career in the sciences, opting to study the mysteries of human molecular genetics. But even positions as an experimental biologist, teacher, manager and biotech entrepreneur couldn't keep him from his true passion as a storyteller.

He now writes speculative fiction full time from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although his house is now attic-less and waterproof, he continues to be haunted by a variety of creatures, including a wife, kids, four dogs, three cats, six chickens, a wayward rooster, and one very grumpy possum. They are all flesh and blood. 

Except, maybe, for the possum, which he's convinced is the reincarnated spirit of Jack Torrance.

Stalk this author here:

About the Reviewer:

Shay Festa a.k.a The Bookie Monster reviews horror and paranormal books, with an emphasis (but not limited to) zombie fiction. She is currently working hard on completing her debut zombie fiction novel, Time of Death.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Emma Kaye

Excerpt and Guest Post by Emma Kaye

Random Facts from Time for Love

Thanks for having me here today, Cloey.

Fun facts seem to be all over the place nowadays. I was recently asked to make a list of ten about myself (Yikes! I’m boring) and the question seems to keep popping up on Facebook the past few weeks. Since there’s no way I can find another ten things to say about myself, I thought I’d share my lists for Alexandra Turner and Nicholas Somerville—the heroine and hero from Time for Love. So here are five fun facts each about Alex and Nicholas.

Alexandra Turner
  1. Her favorite movie is Disney’s Tangled, but she’ll never admit it. 
  2. She curses the dresses she’s forced to wear when she’s back in time, but she secretly loves the way they make her feel. Once she stopped tripping on the hem, of course. 
  3. She named her cat Maximus after Russell Crowe in Gladiator.
  4. She loves playing card games, but hates to gamble. 
  5. She’s always wanted to learn how to play the piano.
Nicholas Somerville, Marquess of Oakleigh
  1. He recently read a new book called Frankenstein. He found it too fantastical for his tastes, but his crew enjoyed it tremendously. 
  2. He also loves the dresses Alex wears, but silently curses them. He prefers the tight fit of her breeches. 
  3. He received a large part of his education from a former tutor who served with him in the Royal Navy. He is unaware that his mother paid for the tutor’s services by selling off the precious collection of figurines given to her by her late husband. 
  4. He was a natural at chess as a child and frequently earned his father’s praise by beating his elder brother, Lucius. This was, perhaps, a contributing factor to their estrangement. 
  5. He has no desire to hear Alex sing ever again (her musical education was sadly deficient), but is eager for another demonstration of the dancing styles of the future. 
Any fun facts you’d like share? Feel free to comment and I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful holiday season

Her gaze drifted to his mouth as he spoke, fascinated by the way the scar pulled slightly at the corner. She felt a strong urge to kiss that corner, to run her tongue along the seam and dip between his lips, along his teeth.

He turned away, and she blinked herself back to reality. She couldn’t believe the thoughts that kept popping into her head when she looked at him.

And she was going to be stuck on a ship with him for almost a month.

Dressed like a boy.


He set off, and she rushed after him, thankful he couldn’t see the blush heating her cheeks. It was going to be a long month.

She caught up, practically jogging to keep pace with his long strides.

He looked her briefly up and down in an assessing manner that strained Alex’s nerves. “You don’t look like much of a sailor, and you’re too young to have any skill as a carpenter.”

She was surprised he hadn’t already uncovered her disguise. Her instincts warned her he wouldn’t be easy to fool, and she would be smart to keep her distance, even if distance was the last thing she wanted right now. Of course, it wouldn’t be a problem if he decided she wasn’t qualified to work on his ship.

“You’re wondering what possessed him to hire me. Perhaps he took pity on me, or maybe I’m better qualified than I look,” she replied haughtily, and immediately wished she could take the last part back. Now he might think she had some sailing skill.

He snorted, and she got the feeling amusement had replaced his annoyance, though his expression hadn’t changed.

“My guess would be pity. He sometimes has more heart than sense.” He sighed. “Despite some of his more—emotional—decisions, he’s a good first mate and has served me well. We’ll have to see how you fare.” He gave her a slightly puzzled look. “There’s something about you though. I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

Alex breathed a sigh of relief when they arrived at the tavern where she’d met the Adonis the night before. This time of the morning everything was quiet, and they had to wait a few moments before anyone came to see what they wanted.

A sour-faced woman entered the room, muttering about the hour and cursing under her breath. But after a quick glance at Nicholas’s face, she quieted and listened to his request. She told them which room the first mate was in then quickly disappeared through the door by which she had entered.

“Follow me.” Nicholas climbed the stairs and knocked loudly on the appropriate door. He didn’t wait for an answer before pushing it open.

The Adonis slept soundly in the middle of the large bed that dominated the room. A blanket draped around his hips didn’t disguise the fact he was naked.

Alex had a difficult time deciding where to look. On his left, the pretty waitress from the night before was hastily pulling the covers up to her chin, while another woman on his right merely reached over to try to waken her bed partner, as though the appearance of two people at the door was hardly cause to cover up.

“I can see why he didn’t show,” Alex muttered under her breath. She hadn’t meant to be heard, but apparently Nicholas had good hearing and laughed.

“Quite understandable,” he said, still chuckling.

Meanwhile, the first mate opened his eyes and looked up at the captain. “Bloody hell. Am I late?”

Time for Love
Emma Kaye

Genre: Time travel romance

Publisher:The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: December 2013

ISBN 978-1-62830-072-7
ISBN 978-1-62830-073-4

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Amazon Wild Rose Publishing

Book Description:

Alexandra Turner will do anything to save her twin sister. Even when she’s transported back in time to Regency England. Rescuing her sister and finding her way back to her own time will take all her concentration. Falling in love is not an option.

With the death of his brother, Nicholas Somerville became the ninth Marquess of Oakleigh and must return to England to take his place in society. Part of his responsibility will be to find a wife. It never occurs to him he might actually discover a woman he could love--until he meets Alex on his voyage home.

Can Alex and Nicholas find a way to bridge the gap of time and circumstance? Can they overcome their fears to realize that true love transcends time? Or will a dark secret from Alex's past rear up to separate them forever?

About the Author:

Emma Kaye is married to her high school sweetheart and has two beautiful kids that she spends an insane amount of time driving around central New Jersey. Before ballet classes and soccer entered her life, she decided to try writing one of those romances she loved to read and discovered a new passion. She has been writing ever since. Add in a playful puppy and an extremely patient cat and she's living her own happily ever after while making her characters work hard to reach theirs

Website: www.emma-kaye.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/emmakayewrites

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/emmakayewrites

GoodReads: www.Goodreads.com/emma-kaye

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Victoria Danann

Six books for .99 cents!

This is amaaaaaaazing! 

You can buy the entire series to date - this week only - for .99 cents! Not only that, but you will also be eligible to enter the drawing for a $100 gift card of your choice - I am not kidding - an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card! And all you have to do is purchase the saga. It's a win/win because you're getting a great series for less than the cost of a book... awesome!

Here's how to enter to win...

First purchase the books at your favorite bookseller:

Next come back to this page and scroll down to the bottom of this post and log into the contest box to enter the contest
This is the story of Elora Laiken's strange and wonderful journey. It is also the story of those whose lives she touches along the way.
Click these links to read my review an excerpt  and read Confessions of an Author's Assistant written by Victoria's assistants.

The Order of The Black Swan series is loved by fans of paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and urban fantasy


Gathering Storm 
The Order of the Black Swan, Book 5
Victoria Danann

Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy romance

Book Description:

THE NEWSLETTER: Z Team, a.k.a Zed Company, is transferred to Jefferson Unit, which is being temporarily retired as an active hunter facility and converted to a research / training institution. Sol takes his first vacation – ever – leaving Glen in charge with Storm supervising. Rosie is proving to be an extraordinary little girl and Deliverance is in BIG trouble with her mother.

THE SURPRISES: Storm is really not himself. Former members of B Team must reunite to preserve his image and reputation. No one could have prepared for the surprises Rosie delivers.

THE ADVENTURE: The Ralengclan send a second wave assassination team to Jefferson Unit at the worst possible time, when it’s been left defended by only Z Team, Glen, the Lady Laiken, Sir Fennimore, and the trainees.

Appropriate material for 17+

Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf 

The Order of the Black Swan, Book 4
Victoria Danann 

Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy romance

Book Description:

This is the fourth installment in the Black Swan serial saga. Reading in order is essential.


The story continues to touch on the lives of former B Team members and their families while new characters and situations are introduced.

17+ Steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM

The Summoner's Tale

The Order of the Black Swan, Book 3
Victoria Danann

Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy romance

Book Description:

A secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales come together where emotions intersect. Two souls, joined by a mystical bond, separated by distance, must simultaneously struggle through pain and darkness in an ultimate confrontation with character and an ultimate struggle for life proving that true love waits patiently through lifetimes and finds courage to survive. Even in the strangest places. Even when you're least expecting it. Even when you're far, far from home.

Erotic quotient: Some steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.


The Witch’s Dream 
The Order of the Black Swan, Book 2
Victoria Danann

Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy romance

Book Description:

Amazon BEST SELLER Fantasy Romance. 


From New York to Ireland to Edinburgh to Siena to the Texas Hill Country to Napa Valley, a secret society, a witch, a demon, a psychic, a berserker, an ex-vampire, modern day knights, heroes, werewolves, elves and fae come together where emotions intersect. The story maps a trail from rages to hunts to epiphanies, but, in the end, proves that true love can find you in the strangest places, when you're least expecting it, even when you're far, far from home.

Erotic quotient: A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

My Familiar Stranger
The Order of the Black Swan, Book 1
Victoria Danann

Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy romance

Book Description: 

Thirteen times on Amazon Best Seller List in Fantasy Romance. 

A secret society, modern day knights, and vampires come together for a once in a lifetime adventure and a once in a lifetime opportunity proving that true love can find you in the strangest places, even far, far from home.

Minutes ahead of inevitable assassination, Elora Laiken is forcibly transported to an alternate dimension similar, but not identical, to her own.

Of course a girl could suffer worse problems than having gorgeous suitors. Perhaps more importantly, in the midst of an epidemic of vampire related abductions, can she stay alive long enough to choose between an honor debt, true love, or the breathlessness of single-minded passion?

My Familiar Stranger is a full length, stand alone, Paranormal Romance novel that also sets up the foundation for the Black Swan series. It is loved by fans of paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and urban fantasy.

Erotic quotient: A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

Do I really need to give you more? Go to amazon.com or Barnes and Noble and pickup the series and fall in love with Elora Laiken and the many people she meets along her journey.

About the Author

If you're looking for something new and different in PNR, you've come to the right place.

I write unapologetic romances with uniquely fresh perspectives on paranormal creatures, characters, and themes. Add a dash of scifi and a flourish of fantasy to enough humor to make you laugh out loud and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. My heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, or past life therapists. My heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners - usually - whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

My first book, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by the Reviewers' Choice Awards. Each of my books has remained on the Amazon best seller list in category every day since release. All three also earned the Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK award.

My work has been compared to J R Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Lara Adrian. For example:

"I do see shades of Lara Adrian's Breed books and shades of J R Wards Black Dagger books, but this story is unique enough that it stands out all on its own and can stand up along side those other books and I think given time will elbow them out of the way with the rich story telling and deep emotional core that makes you want to know more." - Kerry, Musings of a Bookworm
The Order of the Black Swan is a series that is also a serial saga. Each book is an episodic installment in an ongoing story. Join me for the adventure.

WEBSITE: http://www.VictoriaDanann.com

BLOG: http://VictoriaDanann.me

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/vdanann

TWITTER: @vdanann

First buy the series (only .99 cents this week) then enter the contest. Buy a set for your friends and come back here to enter the contest each time you make a purchase (one entry per purchase).  Buy 10 sets to give as gifts for your friends, family, or book club - you can't loose with this one.

Don't forget to buy the series for .99 cents at your favorite bookseller today then come back here to enter the giveaway:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Rebekah Turner

Guest Post and Excerpt by Rebekah Turner

Life in the Chaos Bound Universe

Beyond our world and through the candy-striped tollbooths of the bear-men lies The Weald: a hidden pre-industrial realm that acts as a refuge for the mystical races. In the bustling city of Harken, Lora Blackgoat earns her coin as a mercenary and recreational smuggler. Lately, she's been laying low after an unfortunate incident left her a laughing stock with her co-workers and a target for assassins. Behead just one client and suddenly everyone's a comedian.

When I was creating the fantasy realm to base Chaos Born and Chaos Bound in, the main characters came to me first, while the world crystallised around them in the re-writes. My heroine, Lora Blackgoat, is a cranky anti-heroine who uses her sharp sense of humour to slice through the bleak times. She has two love interests; a fallen demon with a hidden agenda and a bloodthirsty nephilim warrior, and all three sit at the core of the story.

The city of Harken is influenced by our world, but has a ruling government who clings to the old traditions. Deep inside Harken lies the Applecross quarter, with its shadowed streets home to those ignored by polite society — the satyr, elves, goblins and otherkin; creatures with mixed blood of the mystical races. Witches and warlocks also tread the streets of Applecross and live in fear of the Order of Guides, a bloodthirsty militant order dedicated to eradicating heretics from the city.

The city of Harken would be an exciting place to visit, and I'd never turn down having a brew with Lora after a hard days graft, but I think I'd probably leave when the fists start flying.

Check out my inspiration images on the Applecross Pinterest board! 

Chapter 1

No one had liked Rae Dowler. His nickname had been Captain Chunky, and that was from his friends. He'd been a greedy bastard in life and now, in death, was a weight on my conscience. This was the second co-worker to die on a job with me. The first one I’d had to behead after he'd become infected at an exorcism with a demonic entity, along with the client. Thankfully, my sword had been nowhere near Rae Dowler when he'd dropped dead of an old-fashioned heart attack. Still, people liked to talk.

Spring had bloomed in the bustling city of Harken, and instead of the usual rain, or tepid fog, the narrow, crooked streets had been flooded with gentle, golden sunshine. For a city used to constant downpours and overcast skies, the unexpected weather was viewed with some suspicion and considered most unseemly.

A warm afternoon wind was blowing though the cemetery, ruffling black skirts and sending hats sailing. I watched as the coffin was lowered into the ground, only half listening as a priest of The Higher Path faith droned on about eternal life.

Dowler had been in the Runner industry for over forty years. He was the only other Runner at Blackgoat Watch that didn't mind being sent on jobs past The Weald's guarded entryways: out into the modern world, with its buzzing technology, flashing neon lights and all things deep fried. Transporting anything from the Outlands back into the hidden Weald was illegal, but somehow Dowler always managed to return with a tray of Winkie Bill's Crème Donuts. A tray he never shared, mind you. Just sat in the kitchen of Blackgoat and scoffed the lot before he had to go home to his wife. In light of his less than stellar diet, I guess the heart attack that killed him wasn't a complete surprise.

Gideon, my benefactor and owner of Blackgoat Watch, stood to my left, reeking of stale whisky and boredom. Cloete, another runner at Blackgoat, was on my right. A five-foot dynamo, Cloete was otherkin: her bloodline a mixture of succubus and goddess-knew-what other interbred, mystic race. Today she was wearing leather pants and a suede coat, her petite horns hidden under a bowler hat. Her inky-black tail wrapped around one leg, the end tapping impatiently against her thigh. Tails were tricky things, always giving away the mind of their owners. Tails never seemed to lie and I was thankful I didn’t have one.

The priest said 'amen' and people dutifully took their cue and began shuffling away. Dowler's widow, a heavy-set woman with coarse hair and fleshy jowls, tossed wilted roses into the open grave, her expression a mixture of sadness and regret, with a pinch of what looked like suspicion.

‘Thank Kianna's sacred tits that's over.’ Cloete yawned, tail unravelling from her leg. ‘Who's up for a brew at Growlers?’

‘That was the most boring funeral I've ever attended.’ Gideon copied Cloete's yawn, covering his mouth with a hairy hand. He was decked out in a long frock coat with a red carnation tucked in the lapels and a natty yellow necktie. Gideon was a full-blooded satyr, and though he made every effort to look human, today he'd forgotten a hat, and his tangle of steel-wool grey hair revealed the tops of his horns he'd had amputated years ago in an effort to fit in. He'd also forgotten the contacts that changed his slit pupils to round, and his fancy-made shoes didn't match. All this, and his hangdog expression, suggested he was struggling with a hangover.

‘It wasn't that boring.’ I tried to sound indignant on Dowler's behalf, but came off sounding guilty. I was busy praying the wife didn't notice me.

‘Before I forget, Lora,’ Gideon paused to yawn again, ‘I need you to come in to Blackgoat tomorrow to talk about a new job.’

‘You've already got me babysitting the theatre bimbo,’ I reminded him. It was a simple bodyguard gig. No real threats...low stress...limited chance of beheadings.

‘Please.’ Gideon looked pained. ‘Nicola Grogan is an actress, and a fine one at that.’ He sniffed and flicked a finger at his carnation. ‘And I must say, that doesn't sound like gratitude from where I'm standing.’

My lips tightened, but I had enough smarts to pause before I spoke, giving my brain a chance to kick in. After being passed over for jobs because other Runners refused to work with me, I was in no position to turn my nose up at any opportunities. I'd only attended one other successful exorcism job since the beheading incident. That client had been high profile: the daughter of the Lord Mayor Corelli. Unfortunately, the Mayor was a staunch advocate of the Church of Higher Path, who frowned upon things such as spells and magic, seeing them as blasphemy. Blackgoat Watch had been hired by Mayor Corelli's wife, who'd sworn Gideon to secrecy, all of which meant I couldn't put the job on my brag sheet of clients I hadn't killed. As things stood now, Gideon had been forced to strong-arm Rae Dowler to work with me on a stakeout of a suspected cheating husband. The fact that the job hadn't ended well for Dowler was now going to make me a social pariah. Again.

‘Sorry,’ I muttered. ‘I'm grateful. I'm grateful.’

Gideon grunted and made a beeline for the rickshaw he'd hired to chauffeur him to and from the cemetery. Despite his dishevelled look this morning, Gideon liked to think most people couldn't pick he was a satyr, and that he was a master of disguise. No one had the heart to tell him he wasn't.

I rubbed my right lame leg and leant heavily on my goat-headed duelling cane, jealous of the rickshaw. After downing two espressos and three pastries from a local bakery, I'd walked to the cemetery as an act of contrition. Orella Warbreeder, my adoptive mother, had been lecturing me on how walking would do my joints wonders. But after standing in one place for so long, my hip had seized. I had half a mind to beg a lift with Gideon when a wink of light caught my eye, coming from the line of pine trees hedging one side of the cemetery. The light blinked again. I was no super spy, but had enough smarts to know when someone wanted my attention.


‘Eh?’ I realised Cloete had asked me a question.

‘Drink?’ She mimed throwing back a tankard of beer.

‘I think I'll just stay here a bit,’ I said. ‘Catch up with you later?’

Her eyebrows lifted. ‘Self-pity is an ugly emotion, Lora.’

‘Fuck off. I've just got things to do.’

Cloete pursed her lips. ‘You won't be bringing your boyfriend, will you?’

‘Boyfriend?’ My eyebrows arched. ‘Who would that be?’

‘Are you serious?’ Cloete snorted. ‘You think people aren't gossiping about you making goo-goo eyes at that fire and brimstone Regulator?’

I flushed. ‘His name is Roman, and we're just friends.’

One side of Cloete's mouth jerked up. ‘How very teen drama.’

‘Shut up.’

She began to stalk off, then paused, glancing back at me. ‘Just make sure you come to Growlers tonight, yeah? I want to talk to you about something important.’

‘Fine, fine.’ I gave her a surly look. ‘I'll make sure my teen drama doesn't follow me.’

Cloete chuckled as she left, striding towards the city with a smattering of other burly-looking Blackgoat Runners. I'd heard she'd flat-out refused the protection detail for Nicola Grogan. I wish I could have done the same. Spoilt actresses were bad for my health. There was another flash from the woods and I got the impression someone wanted me to hurry up.

The hairs on my neck prickled and I turned to see Dowler's wife. Her lips peeled back and she hissed at me, sounding like a kettle on the boil. I opened my mouth a couple of times before managing to mutter condolences about her loss.

‘This was your fault.’ Her eyes were slits of fury, face dry of tears. ‘My husband's blood is on your hands.’

‘I don't think that's fair,’ I protested weakly.

But the widow was already leaving, an elderly man escorting her away. She let herself be led, back stiff with anger. I watched her go, feeling miserable. How was Dowler's death my fault? A small voice told me I was a jinx, so that kind of made it my fault. I balked as the widow pulled away from her escort and stabbed a finger at me, spit flying from thinned lips. ‘You're the angel of death, Lora Blackgoat. You bring nothing but misery into people's lives.’

Her escort tightened his grip, threw me a scowl, and hurried her from the cemetery. I was the only one by Dowler's graveside now. Even the grave attendants had retreated for a break, leaning against headstones and smoking tobacco pipes.

I unbuttoned my coat and adjusted my work-belt with its heavy pockets, loaded with knick-knacks most useful in a fight. This included pouches of salt, the one medium guaranteed to act as a conduit to the ley-lines that ran under the earth and fuelled all magic. It wasn't hard to cast; took a few years of training to get the concentration right, then chuck a bit of salt, shout a few words of power in the language of your choice, and hey presto, you could set your own hair on fire. My belt was well stocked with salt, including one pouch of my own special mixture: powdered consecrated silver, salt, and half a teaspoon of gunpowder. I called it my Sucker Punch Special: guaranteed to rock your socks when you needed it. Feeling prepared, I braced my cane against my bad leg and strode towards the line of pine trees.

Chaos Bound 
Chronicles of the Applecross
Book 2
Rebekah Turner

Genre: Urban fantasy

Publisher: Escape Publishing
Date of Publication: 1 December 2013

ISBN: 9780857991072

Book Description:

The long-awaited sequel to Chaos Born takes us back into the Applecross, where Lora faces increasing threats to her survival and her chance at love.

Lora Blackgoat — mercenary and smuggler — has only just recovered from the last threat on her life and hasn’t even begun to sort out the mess of having both a nephilim warrior and a reborn hellspawn as potential lovers. Work should be a refuge, but a job finding missing persons puts her in the crosshairs of a violent gang and a merchant with a taste for blood sport.

Reluctantly, Lora turns to the two men in her life for help. Roman — the nephilim — professes to be her soul mate and turns to her when he feels the darkness of nephilim madness descending. But though Lora is drawn to Roman, it is Seth, ex-lover and reborn hellspawn, who Lora must ultimately ask to protect those she loves. Can she trust Seth to save Roman and her adoptive family, or will this be a fatal mistake?

About the Author:

Rebekah lives in sunny Queensland and has worked in the past as a graphic designer. She now does freelance work when her kids are looking the other way. An avid writer since she could scrawl in her dad’s expensive encyclopedias, she has progressed from horsey stories to tales of dark fantasy with lashings of romance and a sprinkling of horror.

Her vices include eating overpriced ice cream, over analyzing 80s action and horror movies and buying stationery she just doesn’t need.

Website: www.rebekahturner.net

Twitter: @RbkahTurner

GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/6580834.Rebekah_Turner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebekahturnerauthor