Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kinked Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

A Novel of the Elder Races #6
Thea Harrison
Adult Paranormal Romance
304 pages
Available November 5th
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…

As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.

To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.

Kinked brings us perhaps the most magnificent couple since Dragos and Pia set our bodies aflame in Dragon Bound, the antagonism and downright hatred simmering between Aryal and Quentin practically characters unto themselves; living, breathing pieces of the story that shape, grow and change as our two protagonists are forced to endure each other’s company. The two of them ignite from the very first page, their anger and their physical inability to not attack one another creating in us deeply fascinated voyeurs, glued to the pages as we wait for the moment when all that energy is redirected and given a more pleasurable outlet. Aryal and Quentin are all claws and teeth–sharp edges meeting sharp edges when they clash–shattering the peace and stability of the team of sentinels while drawing each other’s blood in the process, and even when their gross dislike of one another begins to morph into something else, there’s still a roughness to them both that ensures they're a standout couple in a series brimming with memorable characters.

Aryal, as a harpy, is a woman who takes pleasure in a fight, her wicked words matching her even more wicked claws to cut many a person off at the ankles before they even know they’ve engaged her. She has us wrapped around her talons from page one though, her almost irrational distaste for Quentin providing us with endless amusement, and our admiration for her as a fighter as well as one of Dragos’s Sentinels only grows as the story progresses. While the epic battle between her and Quentin could have been dragged out till the very end just to keep us riding a razor’s edge of tension, Ms. Harrison takes a far more interesting route when the reason for Aryal’s grudge is resolved fairly quickly and easily, but where that might sound disappointing given the build-up, it’s in fact a huge relief and gives us the opportunity to experience a romance so very different from the ones that have come before it.

Quentin, like Aryal, is extraordinarily dominant, his desire for control a clawing beast beneath his skin, and as a result his relationship with Aryal takes a tantalizing turn when his need to dominate runs face-first into her matching need and promptly combusts. In the beginning they set the pages ablaze, but Ms. Harrison paces this story extremely well, giving us plenty of heat before settling things down and allowing the emotional component of their relationship to catch up with the physical one. Seeing these two individuals whom–with undisguised glee–have plotted numerous times the not-so unfortunate demise of the other slowly find in that same person an outlet for all the strength and darkness that rides them both is endlessly entertaining and immensely satisfying.

Overall, Kinked is one of the strongest installments of the Novels of the Elder Races, the pleasure Aryal and Quentin find in one another accompanied by a sting of pain to give things an added bite, something that suits them so spectacularly well we can’t wait to go back to the beginning and immediately start again.

Rating: 4.5/5

Find Thea:

• • • • • • • • • • 


As part of the promotional tour for Kinked, Thea Harrison answered a few questions about the Novels of the Elder Races and Kinked in particular for readers, and I wanted to share a couple my favorite questions and answers from that interview with you!

You've been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you and why?  (All creatures, including mythological, apply.)

Awesome question!  I think I have two answers for that one. If it was a gift, then I think it would have to be something winged and strong. I think there’s something to be said for being as fearless as a harpy, although I’m quite sure I wouldn’t win any popularity contests!

If the ability was a curse and meant to be nasty, the witch would probably turn me into my phobia—a spider! That would be the meanest, nastiest thing anybody could ever do to me!

What is next for the Elder Race series?

I’m now contracted for books 7-9, so I’m writing Graydon’s story which will be released around August of 2014. The main characters have also been decided for books 8 and 9, and I’m eager to get to those stories!

I also wrote a self-published project, a novella entitled Dragos Takes A Holiday, which releases November 25th. I loved spending time with Dragos and Pia, and their little son Peanut gets his POV debut.

*I just died of happiness at the mention of Graydon. He's been my very favorite from the beginning (sorry Dragos, but I still love you!) and it's possible I might not be able to actually read his book when it comes out because the drool will have too thoroughly warped the pages. O.o

• • • • • • • • • • 


Thanks to the amazingly generous people at Penguin, I have one copy of Kinked to giveaway on the blog today. Even though this is book six, Quentin and Aryal's romance stands alone, so anyone who hasn't tried this series yet could easily start here! Giveaway is open to US addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Of Metal and Wishes

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine and is a fun way to see what books other bloggers just can't wait to get their hands on!

Sarah Fine
Paranormal Young Adult
Releases August 5th, 2014 from Margaret K. McElderry Books

From Goodreads:

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.

My main interest in this book? The fact that it's written by Sarah Fine. I only recently discovered Sanctum and Fractured, but I fell head over heels in love with those books and the way Ms. Fine tells a story. I think she has an extraordinary gift for characterization, and I simply cannot wait to meet Wen and Melik (and this Ghost). She also knows how to write gorgeously painful romances and we all know how I feel about those. WIN. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Foreplay

The Ivy Chronicles #1
Sophie Jordan
Contemporary New Adult
320 pages
William Morrow
Available November 5th
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

Given the familiarity of the synopsis, we crack the spine of Foreplay with no illusions we’re going to get a completely original or mind-blowing story, though we can’t help but hope the execution of it – along with the characters themselves – set this novel apart and mark it as memorable. Thankfully, Ms. Jordan does give us a very entertaining romance between Reece and Pepper that goes beyond what the blurb suggests, creating a few more much-appreciated layers for our resident good girl and her bartending bad boy. Things between them unfold in predictable ways and follow a set pattern in terms of the romantic arc, but honestly, should Ms. Jordan have tossed us a curveball and given us the completely unexpected at the end, readers like myself who crave the happily ever after would have been monstrously disappointed. Instead we get to live vicariously through Reece and Pepper, warm and fuzzy and content when we leave them to move on to the next book.

Pepper is a young woman who at first glance we’ve seen before: quiet, studious and virginal, looking for a little sexual experience before she tries to move forward with the basket in which she’s placed all her romantic eggs: Hunter. One of the problems with this setup (at least for me personally) is the portrayal of virginity as something embarrassing and unwanted that needs to be quickly disposed of so the young woman, now blissfully free of virginity's shackles, can finally be appealing to the one person for whom she pines. Luckily, Ms. Jordan gives us something refreshing in Pepper as she’s not simply looking to do away with her virginity–in fact she’s downright terrified of things going that far with Reece–she just wants an experience or two in dealing with the opposite sex in the hopes those experiences will reduce some of the nerves when she stands before Hunter and reveals her feelings. Her closest friends are also not the type to encourage her to do anything she’s not ready for, instead they’re supportive at every turn and want her to be comfortable with herself more than anything else.

While Pepper is often cute and makes many a humbling attempt to remedy her wrongs when she takes a misstep with Reece, she can be supremely frustrating at times as well, wandering around with an epically large starfish named Denial suctioned to her face. She can’t see anything but Hunter around the tentacles Denial has stretched across her eyes, clinging so desperately to the idea of him that everything good in Reece goes not unnoticed, but even worse, ignored in favor of the dream she’s had since she was little. We’re told repeatedly why Pepper is so hung up on what Hunter represents, and though it’s understandable, we aren’t given a thorough enough examination of her past to make us actually share in her desperation for the perfect life/home/love. We only have one brief flashback well after the halfway point in the book that provides a terrifying glimpse into what life was like with her mother, but it’s too brief and almost too late for us to fully embrace it and understand why she runs away from Reece again and again.

Reece is just about as deliciously swoon-worthy as they come though, a fact that makes Pepper’s death grip on the Hunter fantasy all the more bothersome. He’s got his own not-insignificant baggage, but he faces it head-on and blinder-free unlike Pepper, never letting it get in the way of what he deserves for himself. That being said however, the chemistry between Reece and Pepper sizzles throughout, allowing for a very steamy read that’s also beautifully balanced by a tentative friendship full of firsts for both parties. The only flaw keeping this from a higher rating is Pepper’s unrelenting stubbornness, but Ms. Jordan has written an engaging romance to kick this series off and I am thoroughly looking forward to the next book.

Rating: 3.5/5

Find Sophie:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Archangel's Legion

Guild Hunter #6
Nalini Singh
Adult Paranormal Romance
384 pages
Available October 29th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…

Archangel's Legion returns us to the smoldering relationship between archangel Raphael and Guild Hunter Elena; this sixth installment perhaps a bit quieter than those that came before it, but the slower nature of it is more gift than curse as it allows us to reestablish our valued connection to this pair after two books apart. Books four and five of the series switched the romantic focus from Raphael and Elena to two of Raphael's elite Seven and the women who captured their hearts, so the slow but steady progression of the disease that threatens the immortality of this world's vampires in this latest book gives us time to really explore the nuances of an already-established romantic relationship, their various problems and insecurities a treat to witness for the emotional proximity to them it grants us– grounding them in reality when so much of their world is breathtaking fantasy.

Elena has always been a gorgeous combination of badass fighter and haunted daughter, the weight of her mother and sister's death combining with the disapproval and borderline hatred of her father to lay her bare before our eyes even as she refuses to so much as flinch in the presence of a physical threat, and she's at the very peak of vulnerability in Archangel's Legion. Her love for Raphael, while unwavering and indisputable, terrifies her more than it has in previous books; an ingrained fear of abandonment rearing its ugly head as the Cascade brings about significant changes in Raphael. It's the realization that her very presence could play a part in his downfall that nearly unravels her, a brutal history threatening to repeat itself just when she's truly started to live again thanks to a frighteningly powerful archangel.

Raphael, who has previously been rather remote and at times cold given his impressive age and things he must to do to hold his position within the Cadre and within New York, continues to shed some of his otherworldliness in this installment, repeatedly demonstrating a dry wit and surprising sense of humor as he teases Elena out of her melancholy. Together the two of them are an unforgettable romantic pair, pushing each other to their limits but always providing safe harbor when the other needs it most, all the while constantly challenging each other yet standing united against any and all threats. They fight, they dance, they tease, and they prove to all of us perhaps doubtful readers that an established relationship can be every bit as hot as one still in the many stages of courtship.

Though the journey in this one is categorized by soft footfalls rather powerful, stomping strides, Ms. Singh ends book six with a rather epic showdown high above New York City, our lead pair and their beloved assortment of loyal friends causing us to tense every muscle in our bodies as they fight what appears to be a losing battle, but even in the darkest moments of those concluding pages our love for them provides much-needed warmth. Peace for Raphael, Elena and Raphael's Seven is clearly but a distant hope by the time we reach the last page, yet our faith in all of them is at its all time highest and we can only smile in gleeful anticipation as to what the next book will bring.

Rating: 4/5

Find Nalini:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cathy Reviews: Delia's Shadow + Undead and Unsure

I'm thrilled today to welcome my mother in law Cathy back to the blog to share her thoughts on a couple books she was kind enough to read and review for me!

Delia Martin #1
Jaime Lee Moyer
Paranormal/Historical fiction
336 pages
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.

Delia's Shadow is an engaging and charming historical paranormal romantic mystery. That might sound like quite a task to cover all those genres, but Ms. Moyer does not disappoint. This story is set in San Francisco several years after the 1906 earthquake. Delia has always been able to see ghosts but she feels compelled by her "shadow" to return to San Francisco. At the same time, Gabe, a police detective, is hunting a serial killer targeting the San Francisco area. These two stories eventually cross paths because Delia realizes her ghost was an earlier victim of this killer, and the killer then starts to toy with them as they become his targets.

Ms. Moyer is very descriptive in her writing and paints a vivid picture. You are literally dropped into the pages of the story, and can easily feel what it was like to be in that era. She makes you connect with her characters and you truly care about what is happening to them. I am a big mystery buff and Ms. Moyer gives you just enough information to get you a little frustrated, which in turn forces you to keep turning the pages to find out what happens. There is a very nice balance between the mystery and the paranormal; it doesn't feel forced even though we are talking about communicating with ghosts! And remember I did mention the word romance in the opening sentence.

There was a line in the book that I thought not only captured the ghosts but also the living characters as well:

They all had secrets or obligations from the life left undone, wrongs they needed set right before they could rest.

This book is well worth taking a little journey to the past. I hope I get to meet Delia and Gabe in a future book.

Rating: 4/5

Find Jaime Lee


Undead #12
MaryJanice Davidson
Adult paranormal romance
320 pages
Berkley Hardcover
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
It’s no surprise to Betsy that her trip to Hell with her sister Laura landed them in hot water. Betsy isn’t exactly sorry she killed the Devil but it’s put Laura in a damnable position: assuming the role of Satan (she may not have the training but she looks great in red)—and in charge of billions of souls as she moves up in the world. Or is that down?

But Betsy herself is in an odd new position as well—that of being a responsible monarch suddenly in charge of all things more earth-bound: like her vampire husband Sinclair who has gone from relieved to ecstatic to downright reckless now that he can tolerate sunlight. And if Sinclair isn’t enough to contend with, Betsy’s best friend Jessica is in her sixth (and hopefully last) trimester. Considering she’s been pregnant for eighteen months, she’s become a veritable encyclopedia of what not to expect when you’re expecting. Oh, the horror…

And speaking of growing pains, Betsy and Sinclair’s adopted little BabyJon is finally starting to walk. And if the increasingly unpredictable toddler is anything like his extended family, precisely where he’s headed is anyone’s guess.

I was so happy when Jenny gave me Undead and Unsure. This was a series that I loved but had lost track of (particularly given this is book 12) amongst all the stacks of books in my house. Betsy is now dealing with not only being Queen of the Undead, but since she killed Satan, she might be Queen of Hell! There are several side stories as well: her best friend Jess is mysteriously pregnant, her sister is mad at her for killing Satan and everyone in the house seems to be lacking focus.

 I was very glad to find the same sense of humor in this book as I had remembered in the past ones. Also I love how Ms. Davidson writes in first and second person, so you get the feeling that Betsy is actually talking to you about what is happening in her mixed up life.

I realized quickly that I was behind on a few details having missed several books between the last on I had read and this one. Ms. Davidson did a good job catching us up but I felt like I missed the nuances that might have occurred in the previous book. I just had the feeling that this book was an intermediate book; that something big happened in the previous book and this story was simply a set up for the next installment. I did enjoy the story enough to want to go back and catch up though, then I will be ready when the next one is published.

Rating: 3.5/5

Find MaryJanice:

These books were sent to me by the publisher at BEA  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my (or in this case, Cathy's) honest opinion.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Daylighters Blog Tour: Saying Goodbye to Morganville

I'm absolutely giddy today to be a part of the promotional tour for Daylighters, the final book in the fantastic Morganville Vampires series. Rachel Caine and the team at Penguin have put together a really fun tour to celebrate the book's upcoming release on November 5th (woo hoo!), so I'm going to let them explain the awesome that is in store for you:

Master storyteller Rachel Caine has her hands full with her bestselling Morganville Vampires novels coming to an end, and a brand new book (a retelling of Romeo and Juliet titled Prince of Shadows) on the way. But with speculation about Daylighters (Nov. 5, 2013), the series finale, at an all time high, she just couldn’t resist dropping some hints. She’ll be stopping by to answer your questions in the comments below, but she can neither confirm nor deny what’s true and what’s not!


A main character goes through a drastic transformation, but is it human to vampire, human to werewolf, or even vampire to human?

From Daylighters:

Something was happening to him. His eyes…

He was changing.
No. She’s forgotten in the crush of events, forgotten what the effect could be if he came face-to-face with a vampire…

...or someone who smelled like one.

He closed his eyes and when they opened, they gleamed acid yellow, with pupils that shrank into vertical slits. 

• • • • • • • • • • 


While Morganville, Texas, is often a troubled town, Claire Danvers and her friends are looking forward to coming home. But the Morganville they return to isn’t the one they know; it’s become a different place—a deadly one…

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.

It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.

Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end.

• • • • • • • • • • 

A beloved series coming to a close is always a bit painful, but fear not, more from Rachel Caine is soon to be ours!

(out February 4th!)

Fair Verona is a town thick with secrets.
Benvolio Montague hunts the darkness as the elusive Prince of Shadows, stealing from his arrogant peers. Rosaline Capulet dreams of freedom from the prison of her family and the convent that looms ever closer. Mercutio Ordelaffi hides a forbidden, dangerous love. The collision of their secrets will lead to obsession, tragedy, curses and revenge. Only the Prince of Shadows can unravel the tangle of their fates before it is too late.

Read an excerpt from Prince of Shadows HERE

• • • • • • • • • • 


Rachel Caine is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Weather Warden series, the Outcast Season series, the Revivalist series, and the Morganville Vampires series. She was born at White Sands Missile Range, which people who know her say explains a lot. She has been an accountant, a professional musician, and an insurance investigator, and, until recently, carried on a secret identity in the corporate world. She and her husband, fantasy artist R. Cat Conrad, live in Texas, which so far as she knows does not actually contain any vampires.

• • • • • • • • • • 


Be sure and check out the remaining stops on the tour for more Daylighters rumors, and don't forget to leave a comment for Rachel!

Oct. 31: Page Turners

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Half Bad

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine and is a fun way to see what books other bloggers just can't wait to get their hands on!

Half Life Trilogy #1
Sally Green
Paranormal Young Adult
Releases from Penguin on March 25th, 2014

From Goodreads:
In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Confession: I've read shockingly few books about witches. I almost always pick another paranormal entity over them, and I have absolutely no reason for it, it just seems to work out that way. This, for many reasons, sounds like a book I cannot miss though:

1. That cover. It's simple yet bold and interesting, and I kind of have the urge to go around claiming I designed it to anyone who will listen, as though laying claim to it would somehow make it true. But of course I won't, because that would be wrong. WRONG! Instead, I'll just stare at it:)

2. Male protagonist. A beaten, tortured male protagonist. Yes, please. (It's important to note that in my head, Nathan is actually age 30, that way it's not so creepy that I'm yes please-ing him)

3. Romance. What? I can't help if I crave it, okay? Don't judge me ;-) It sounds like this romance will play a minor role in the overall story, but I kind of like that about it.

4. England. Hopefully there will be accents. That is all.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

All Hallows Eve Indies Tour + Giveaway: Kristin R. Campbell

Today I'm super excited to be a part of the All Hallows Eve Indies Blog Tour, a tour pairing indie authors and bloggers together to bring you all sorts of fun (or scary!) interviews, guest posts, giveaways and more. I have the pleasure of welcoming paranormal young adult author Kristin R. Campbell to the blog to introduce us to Lexi, the protagonist of her Lunangelique series. She's also going to share an excerpt from the first book, and be sure to check out the bottom of the post for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

As a way to get to know Lexi for those who haven't had a chance to read the books, I asked Kristin to please list for us the top 5 books sitting on Lexi's bookshelf:


Top of her list would have to be Pride and Prejudice. Lexi is a romantic, but she also has pride and lots of prejudices like Elizabeth Bennet.

Second would be, and I know this is unusual for a teenage girl, but The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. The book itself defines human weaknesses, something Lexi would want to rise above.

Third book on her list, a Renaissance Art compilations with full illustrations and history. Lexi loves art and paints herself. This would be a book that was frayed from use. A book she would have held on to since she was a child.

Katherine by Anya Seton would be the next book on her list. Readers will see why in the second book. The story is a historical fiction of the life of Katherine Swynford and the Duke of Lancaster set in 14th century England.

Fifth book, would be a more recently added book to her shelf; The Complete World of Greek Mythology. Self-explanatory.

 • • • • • • • • • • 


For Alexis and Alex life has been great. They have loving parents, great friends and live a life every teenager dreams. However, they are adopted and Alexis struggles with wanting to know who their real parents are and not wanting to hurt her adopted parents. Then, a stunning guy moves across the street from them. One who has a secret past and seems to know things about Alexis. One who does mysterious things and leads her to other mysterious persons. One who pushes her to discover her extraordinary birth family and the truth between mythology and religion.


He laughs at me like I have said the funniest joke in the world. I keep my face neutral, not wanting to show any emotions while he finally collects himself. “You are amusing. Aren’t you afraid? Why do you not fear me? Do you know what I have done to Kakabel? What I intend to do to you?”

I shrug my shoulders, wanting to appear as calm as possible. “I won’t be scared if I tell myself there is nothing to fear. You cannot hurt me because I will tell myself not to feel pain. I don’t know what you did to my art professor so I won’t know what you will do to me.” I play him with words because I know he won’t understand.

“Where are your wings?” he demands, angry now because I’m not giving anything away.

“What this?” I nod my chin to the necklace around my neck. He comes forward and yanks it off my neck. “Hey, I like that,” I whine like a spoiled child.

“Malachi,” he calls towards the other room. In a few seconds, Malachi is by his side. He takes Cole’s wings that Cerviel hands him and studies it before laughing. “I thought you would like that.” Malachi throws it on the floor and stomps on it. “Go back to Samson,” Cerviel orders him. Malachi is gone in the blink of an eye, leaving me alone with Cerviel again.

“That’s my necklace.” I pout. “There’s no reason to treat it that way.”

“It will hurt your lover,” he informs me with a malicious smile. “If you will not cooperate, then we will torture him.”

“How?” I challenge him.

“His wings,” he indicates to the necklace lying on the floor, “contains a link to him. They’re still connected even though they’re not attached. If you hurt one, then you hurt the other.”

“You’re insane.” I act like his notions are ridiculous.

“Want to test it out?” he picks it up and places his hands on either end like he’s about to twist it or break it in two.

“No!” I scream, terrified that what he says is true.

Games up. I lost this match. Sugar snaps!

“What are you?” he asks again patiently. He takes a chair and places it in front of me. Then, he sits down, folding his legs and hands as they rest on his leg. He’s acting like this is a normal conversation over tea with a friend.

“Can I have some water, please?” I’m trying to buy some time to get away.

“After you answer my questions,” he answers.

“Are you going to let me go after I do?”

“It depends on if I like your answers.” He smiles sweetly at me. “What are you?”

“A girl who is starting to get pissed off that you keep asking me that, like I’m a freaking alien or something!” I scream it at him. I close my eyes and take a deep breath to calm down when I feel a slap across my face. My eyes dart open and I glare at him angrily. I taste blood on the side of my mouth. He stares at the wound and I see a light bulb go off in his eyes. He grins wickedly at me and then produces a switch blade from his pocket.

“Let’s see how much of a pissed off girl you really can be,” he mocks me and then plunges the knife into my hand, impaling it into the arm of the chair I was gripping. My eyes bulge open in shock and horror and I want to scream, but I tell my nerves not to feel anything and my hand goes dead of feeling. I’m so glad right now that I’m a freak.

He watches my expression change with amusement and then looks lethal again when I don’t scream out. I drum the fingers of my other hand on the arm of the chair. Acting like I’m bored with this act.

“Where are your wings?” Cerviel demands of me.

“I don’t have any wings you freakin’ lunatic. I’m just a girl.” I start laughing because my hand not responding to being impaled is a pretty sure sign that I am not human. I feel psychotic in the moment. I think shock is setting in and I cannot control it. I just continue to laugh at him.

His face breaks out in uncontrolled angry grimace and then he pulls the knife out of my hand and plunges it into my chest. I feel it tear through the arteries of my heart. I’m so shocked he did it that I stop breathing, which ends my laughter.

“Go and find her brother,” I hear him bark at someone before I black out again.

• • • • • • • • • • 


I am currently an editor/publisher/trying to be a writer. My husband and I have two children, we both are prior military (how we met), and we've been married now for ten years after only knowing each other for 2.5 months! Against all odds!

I come from a military/divorced family and have lived in almost all corners and coasts of the United States; most of the time, all over Virginia. I went to fourteen schools growing up and four different colleges before finally graduating with a Bachelor in Criminal Justice. However, I have no interest in working in the field; I just like to study law.

I have travelled all over the beautiful blue-green waters of the Mediterranean. I've been to Crete, Sicily, and Spain, seen the beautiful Northern lights over Greenland and day tripped to Canada and Mexico. Sounds exciting but it was work. Literally.

Currently, I am working on the Lunangelique trilogy but take a break from it now and then to work on another mature, historical-fiction with religious undertones/fiction novel that will be titled Cain. I have so many more ideas for other books and I hope I will be able see them come to life one day.

I want to try and test my limits on writing, switching from first-person to third, researching for hours on end to get details right, and writing some novels just for fun, like Lunangelique has been. I love seeing the characters come to life. They literally tell me, "I don't want to be like that." And change the outcome of the story. It's fascinating. I didn't think writing would be like that. I have no control. The characters are the writers.

• • • • • • • • • • 


Grand Prize is a Kindle 7" HD Fire and 100 books (mostly ebooks!). 2nd Place Prize is for a FUC (Furry United Coalition) t-shirt from Eve Langlais and 19 ebooks! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below by clicking below, and don't forget to follow along with the tour, the full list of participating blogs can be found HERE.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Series Review: Sanctum + Fractured

The Guards of the Shadowlands 1&2
Sarah Fine
Paranormal Young Adult
Amazon Children's Publishing
Fractured releases October 29th
Source: Bought/BEA

THE STORY - FRACTURED (from Goodreads)
In the week since Lela returned to Rhode Island as Captain of the Guard with Malachi as her second in command, local news has been dominated by chilling sightings of human-like creatures running on all fours. Lela knows there’s only one explanation: the Mazikin have arrived in the land of the living.

Needing to maintain the appearance of a normal life for her foster mother, her probation officer, and her classmates, Lela returns to Warwick High along with Malachi. At night they secretly hunt for the Mazikin nest. To assist, two new Guards from very different parts of the Shadowlands are assigned to Lela’s unit, including the bad boy Jim, who repeatedly challenges Lela's authority. Lela struggles to keep all her Guards on the right side of the law, but their mistakes come at a terrible cost.

As one painful revelation follows another and the Mazikin start targeting those closest to her, Lela finds herself more vulnerable than she’s ever been, wanting a future more than she ever has. With an enemy determined to separate soul from body, one question remains: how much is she willing to sacrifice to protect those she loves?

The Guards of the Shadowlands is a stunningly dark and beautifully challenging series, testing our mental and emotional endurance as Lela and Malachi are tested again and again, but luckily for us Ms. Fine seems to have a direct link to our hearts, knowing just where the line dividing what is bearable from what is overwhelming lies to guide us on a terribly stunning journey along its edge without ever letting us tip over. She provides us with a pair of protagonists in possession of infinite strength despite the cracks that spiderweb their emotional armor, giving them a gorgeous vulnerability to contrast their impressive physical prowess and add yet more colors to an already striking and vibrant couple.

Lela is an exceedingly memorable young woman, her utter devotion to those select few who have shown her compassion and kindness connecting us to her instantly, while the brutal truth of her past launches her to the top of the list of people we admire. She's a fighter through and through, her determination to ensure the safety and happiness of others when she so rarely feels safe herself causing goosebumps to run unchecked across our skin, so moved are we by her actions. Her relationship with Malachi is a perfect sort of torture, her poor sense of self worth–compliments of her gut-wrenching past– creating such fragile moments between them, their emotionally delicate interactions an intricate dance of pain, hope, friendship and budding love.

Malachi is as richly nuanced as Lela, his bad boy status not simply a young adult fiction label but rather an extraordinarily apt description; death and violence a cloak he appears to wear with confidence and surety. Underneath the blood though is a pair of hands that itch with a desire to hold and protect Lela; hands that bring as much comfort when she comes barreling into his world as they instill fear into those terrorizing the Shadowlands and the human realm. He is as uneasy in romantic situations as Lela is, the tension between them a pulsing beat we can practically feel reverberate through the pages, and we can do nothing other than cherish every quiet moment between them as it's clear to us their road will never be one easily walked.

Fractured, book two, does adopt the typical middle book ploy in which the primary romance dissolves, but instead of irritating us Ms. Fine makes sure we're devastated instead, the new distance between them like a clawed Mazikin hand sending a raging infection of wrongness through our bloodstream. Additionally, where Sanctum wraps up nicely Fractured leaves us far more off-kilter, but our faith in Lela and what's she's capable of is a spark in the blackness; one we lunge toward in the concluding chapters and cling to like a safety net as we begin the painfully long wait for book three.

Sanctum: 4/5
Fractured: 4.5/5

Find Sarah:

I had the opportunity to interview Sarah a few weeks ago, if you didn't get a chance to check that interview out, you can do so HERE.

Fractured was given to me by the publisher at BEA  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Never Fade

The Darkest Minds #2
Alexandra Bracken
Young Adult/Dystopian
512 pages
Disney Hyperion
Available Now
Source: Finished copy for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

Never Fade is a sequel we enter into with far less dread than we might expect given the emotional conclusion to The Darkest Minds, our nerves eased a bit with the knowledge that Ruby’s most debilitating fear already came to pass and therefore can’t taunt us with its inevitability in this book. That’s not to say that Never Fade is an easy read by any means, Ms. Bracken proving again and again just how brutal and twisted this world can be, but there’s a certain warmth in our chest that comes from knowing Ruby has hit bottom (or close to it) previously, and now we get to watch as she transforms from a little girl scared of anything and everything to a young woman who fights through that fear in search of a better life for those she cares about.

Ruby has come a long way from the somewhat timid girl with a gift for being her own harshest critic–always first to refer to herself as a monster in her own mind, and first to agree with those who say it out loud–but though she still has a paralyzing fear of her abilities as an Orange, they don’t render her practically useless in a life or death situation as they have before. More than anything this second installment focuses on Ruby’s struggle to come to terms with who she is and what she can do, oh-so slowly beginning to see that the motivation and intent behind the gifts of an Orange defines what makes a monster more so than the abilities themselves. It’s a rocky road for her throughout, and she gets knocked down and beaten far more than she wins, but she always gets up and continues forward regardless of the obstacles in her path.

Though this sequel rises above middle book syndrome in a multitude of ways, sparing us familiar plot devices such as the separation of the main couple to make room for a new romantic interest, it does fail to provide any concrete information to help answer all the questions carried over from book one. Given its impressive length, we can’t help but hope somewhere in its hundreds of pages lie clues as to the why’s and how’s of the disease that killed nearly an entire generation of children (and US children only) and left the survivors with preternatural abilities. Unfortunately for us, no answers are to be had, instead we spend all of our time bouncing from one bad situation for Ruby and company to the next. While the many scuffles, narrow escapes, and all-out fights show us how she’s growing little by little into someone we’re one hundred percent rooting for, it feels as though this story could have been streamlined in some parts to keep our attention razor sharp the whole way through.

Just when we start to find our attention wandering though, wondering if and when all our unanswered questions will be addressed, the side characters grab hold of our faces and wrench our gazes back to them, delighting us with well-timed humor and an abundance of attitude. Ruby is a strong heroine– one who seems as though she will only continue to get stronger–but Chubs, Vida and Jude steal the show in Never Fade, their sass, charm, and exuberance bringing a welcome smile to our faces. Based on the concluding events of this story, it appears as though the focus of the next book will shift to exactly where we want it, and I will most certainly be picking it up in a desperately greedy search for all my much-needed answers.

Rating: 3.5-4/5
(I'm splitting the rating because I would give the characters a solid 4 or higher, but I wanted a few more answers with regard to the plot, which ended up somewhere around a 3.5)

Find Alexandra:

 • • • • • • • • • • 


Thanks to the wonderful people at Disney Book Group, I have a very cool giveaway to share with you all today. One lucky winner will receive a custom Never Fade t-shirt as well as a copy of the book. Woo hoo! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway: Kat Bastion + Forged in Dreams and Magick

Today I'm pleased to hand the blog over to author Kat Bastion who's popping in to talk a little bit about the writing of her newest adult paranormal romance novel, Forged in Dreams and Magick. She's also generously offering up a paperback copy of the book to one lucky winner, so be sure and check out the bottom of the post for all the giveaway details. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Kat!

Electrifying a Scene: Tension in Forged in Dreams and Magick 

When I imagined the scenes in my paranormal romance novel, Forged in Dreams and Magick, they burst into my mind and flowed onto the page, full of energy and passion, chemistry sizzling.

How does an author bring the exciting adventure to life for the reader?

By creating tension.

Which would you rather be a passenger in?

A McLaren rocketing down the Autobahn, pushing Mach 1, careening to avoid a projectile hurtling toward the windshield while you white-knuckle grip the edge of the dashboard?

Or an aged Volvo sedan whose check engine light laughs aloud as the accelerator defies its purpose, your ride coasting to an unremarkable stop?

You got out of the Volvo, banished the bland experience, and hitched a ride in the sexy, dangerous McLaren, didn’t you?

Tension manifests both internally and externally in a compelling story. The internal conflict powers our ability to get to know the characters, enabling us to feel their roller-coaster emotions. External hazards lay the obstacle course that our hero and heroine must journey through to make it to the other side.

Their adventure along the way is the amazing story.

How does an author craft such an elusive, but critical, component?

The outer layer of any gripping novel is the exhilarating plot, along with the character’s corresponding goals, motivation, and conflict within its framework.

When we peel away a layer of our powerful onion, each chapter should have a goal at the beginning, challenges our characters face getting there, and either a positive or negative resolution.

The deeper layers break the chapters down to their scene, the paragraphs within, and the sentence structure holding everything together.

And then there are the words…

Well-chosen words have immense power. Why use sentences to explain what a character feels, if a few delectable words plunge you there in one heart-wrenching gasp?

One can even create tension in a title. Take this blog post.

The title originally began as “Tension in a Scene,” which was my topic. Okay. While a good start, it felt like our Volvo. I escalated to “Charging the Scene” and graduated the experience to maybe a Ferrari or a Porsche. I wanted a thrill-ride title to capture your interest, though, and transformed it into “Electrifying the Scene,” and here we are.

Writing style also plays a critical factor in creating a page-turning adventure. During the editing process, I rearrange, restructure, break apart and reshape sentences until I feel the conflict coming through.

The best way I’ve found to incorporate tension into every dimension and facet of a story is to dig deep into the emotion of the characters. What’s at stake? How important is their goal, and what are they willing to risk to get it? When is the best time to throw the worst event imaginable at them? Will they discover who they are when severely tested? Where will the journey lead them and how will they grow?

One final word of advice: Be sure to give your readers plenty of smooth-coasting moments along the journey in between the harrowing twists and turns to give them a chance to breathe.

Now that you’ve had a peek into how I weave tension into a story from the height of the plot down to the power of a single word, I encourage you to experience the journey yourselves by reading Forged in Dreams and Magick.

I hope you have an electrifying adventure!

• • • • • • • • • • •


Kat Bastion is an award-winning paranormal romance writer, poetic warrior, and eternal optimist who loves getting lost in the beauty of nature.

On a never-ending, wondrous path of self-discovery, Kat throws her characters into incredible situations with the hope that readers join her in learning more about the meaning of life and love.

Her first published work, Utterly Loved, was shared with the world to benefit others. All proceeds from Utterly Loved, and a portion of the proceeds of all her other books, support charities who help those lost in this world.

Kat lives with her husband amid the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

• • • • • • • • • • 


Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present-day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate . . .

Found in the arms of her second soul mate . . .

Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia . . .

Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history . . . of everything.

Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning . . . or her permission. Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her. Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.

She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men—a laird in the thirteenth-century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland. Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately . . . into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.

• • • • • • • • • • 


Kat is offering up a signed paperback copy of Forged in Dreams and Magick today, to enter just fill out the Rafflecopter below! Giveaway is international. 

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Damsel Distressed: Cover Contest Entries

Hey Everyone!

Some of you may remember a little while back I posted about a new cover design contest held by the team at Spencer Hill Press for Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke, one of their 2014 releases. I've entered several design contests in the past, and while there have been some truly amazing prizes that made the fangirl in me do an absurd happy dance through my living room, this contest is a little different. The winner of this contest actually wins the design commission, meaning their design will be the final cover of the book. *Jenny falls down dead*

I've been a graphic designer for going on ten years, but up until now majority of my work has been in the wedding stationery industry. While I've loved working with brides, this past year I've been craving a new challenge, and so I've begun to dip my toes into the world of book cover design. I have high hopes for this new business venture moving forward (though mixed in with all my excitement is no shortage of nerves), which is why this contest is such a fantastic opportunity for me to get a foot in the door.

I submitted four designs overall, and was lucky enough to have two of my entries make it to the top ten. Now that a top ten has been chosen, a public poll is open so people can vote for their favorites, with the winner automatically making it through to the final three. Below are my two submissions, nicknamed "Moody Masks" and "Black Bird" by the Damsel Distressed team. There are some truly amazing entries submitted by a variety of designers and illustrators, and you can vote for your favorites by following the link below. You can only vote for one at a time, but you can vote as often as you'd like, so technically you could vote for all ten if you wanted. If mine are among your favorites, I'd so appreciate your vote, but I'm in outstanding company so I encourage any of you who are interested to check them all out!


Damsel Distressed is going to be a unique book in terms of format, with doodles and journal entries belonging to heroine Imogen scattered throughout the book. As a result, I wanted the cover to have a doodle or hand-drawn quality to it, hence the different flourishes and florals top and bottom.

Like so many people, Imogen has her day to day struggles which include pills and cutting, so I wanted to make sure there was an obvious contrast to the cover to highlight all the different elements that make up Imogen's life. The top half features warm, happy colors with things like earbuds, candy, and movie tickets appearing alongside the doodles to represent Imogen in her better moments, while the bottom half focuses on cooler colors and incorporates sharper objects like razor blades and safety pins, as well as tears and pills, to indicate her darker moments.

Imogen is also very involved in the theater, so I thought the very recognizable theater masks would be a perfect fit both literally and figuratively.


With this second design, I wanted the overall look to be similar in its emphasis on doodles and handwritten fonts, but I went with a far bolder color scheme to kick the drama up a few notches and make sure it would pop online or on a shelf.

In addition to the doodles and journal entries, this book also has a huge focus on music, which was the main inspiration for the bird and its beautiful yet jumbled song made up of the highs and lows of Imogen's life.

 • • • • • • • • • •

Voting will run through October 31st, after which time the final three will be announced. I'm really proud of how my two entries turned out, and am so honored to be in the top ten. If you get a chance to vote, that would be amazing, but if not, I'd just love to hear what you think about the designs in the comments!