Spotlight: Lucky Blow, by Amanda Washington 2

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Description:

Thanks to the deities in her family tree, Romi has been enslaved to a life of larceny since birth. Well, except for that one night, four years ago, when the goddess of love and debauchery sprang her from her prison, slipped her some sort of magical roofie, and introduced her to an irresistible blacksmith for a little tryst resulting in a child. So when two powerful gods show up and offer her a way out of her thieving lifestyle for good, she jumps at the opportunity. All she has to do is blow on a magical sword and imbue it with luck.

Then she can finally find that guy she’s been dreaming about and introduce him to their son. If only she knew the blacksmith’s name…

But when the same gods use the sword to rip Zeus’s essence from his body, Romi’s son is kidnapped and held for ransom. Now Romi, her mysterious fling, and her teenage griffin babysitter have to steal back Zeus’s essence from a cast of powerful gods, or they’ll lose the child forever.

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Excerpt:

MY DAY STARTED upside down. No joke, I was harnessed, suspended midair, with my feet up and head down, looking over a room full of priceless artifacts when the antique grandfather clock beside the door struck midnight. Dings and dongs thundered, reminding me I was running out of time. As much as I’d like to pretend my days didn’t normally begin in an upside-down race against the clock, I’m not a liar, just a thief. But hey, a girl’s gotta make a living somehow, and this was what I was created to do—there’s a contract and everything—but that’s a story for a time when my life isn’t literally hanging from the ceiling.

As I released another inch of rope and lowered myself further, the black cocktail dress I’d hastily tucked into the knife sheaths around my thighs tumbled free, covering my upper body in chiffon and revealing my panties to the vacant room. I sighed. This was exactly why I hated dresses. But since I couldn’t magically make my normal work pants and T-shirt appear, I ignored my wardrobe malfunction and focused on my objective.

My target rested two feet, five inches below my head, locked away in an engraved metal display box chained to a pedestal, which was bolted to the wooden floor and surrounded by trip wires. Red lasers sliced the air between me and the box, rotating randomly. Randomly…that’s what the alarm company’s brochure says.

I smirked. Human security…so quaint.

Everything has a pattern if you’re patient enough to find it, and I was so patient, my new harness dug craters into my shoulders while I memorized the cycle. Random, my ass. As my opening approached, I bent at the waist and let out a foot more rope. The lasers shifted. I spit a small key out of my mouth and sprang back down, sliding it into the lock. I technically didn’t need the key, but picking the lock could potentially take longer than I had between laser cycles.

Besides, the owner of this building was a sleazeball who’d been too busy “accidentally” bumping into his party guests to notice my hand sliding into his pocket. A little piece of me felt like I was doing a solid for women everywhere by ripping the jerk off.

Getting back to the task at hand, I turned the key and popped open the box. Magic flooded the room like a pulsating glow of sunlight and power. Music sprang forth—some sort of ancient battle song—forcing a vision into my mind. I suddenly found myself in a bed chamber, watching an enormous brute swing a singing sword back and forth as he advanced on the figure asleep in the bed. Shaking myself free of the vision, I ignored the deafening tune and fought to stay focused on my orders. Get in, get the weapon, get out.

The bedchamber dissipated and I was once again in some rich guy’s trophy room, hanging upside down and staring at a metal box. Within the box, a magical sword almost as long as my legs and hooked at the end like a sickle, kept right on singing, declaring its greatness to the world.

The lasers were coming back around. I should have grabbed the sword, but the familiarity of it gave me pause. I pulled back from the lasers and struggled to process what I was seeing. I’d stolen some pretty high-value goods before, but this sword…I knew this sword. I’d seen pictures of it in books and read the lore about it. I was almost certain I knew what I was looking at, but I couldn’t accept it.

The Harpē?

It seemed to glow brighter in response.

It can’t be.

Nobody seems to know where the Harpē came from, but its lore began when Gaia, the goddess of earth, and Uranus, god of the sky, birthed a handful of hideous children, known as the cyclops and giants. Uranus sent the uglies to live in a hell-like prison for deities, pissing off Momma Gaia so much she gave the weapon to their son, Cronus, and asked him to whack off his father’s junk.

And I couldn’t think of a single reason why a weapon powerful enough to take down the god of the sky would be locked away in the trophy room of a human.

Was he human?

I’d done my homework. Public records had the owner of this place listed as Aaron Blake, some corporate CEO spawned from old money and raised to power on the backs of blue-collar workers. The guy was textbook for a hit. I had no reason to believe he was anything more than some greedy player.

Stupid, Romi.

If Aaron Blake wasn’t human, what was he? A god or a demigod in disguise? Everyone called the disguises glamours. They were more like a trick of the eye…easy to create. I’d used the same type of magic to disguise the daggers strapped to my thighs, assuring nobody would see so much as the outline of them through my dress. Yet I hadn’t even looked for a glamour surrounding Mr. Blake.

I wasn’t prepared to go up against a god, but the more I stared at the sword, the more certain I was of its identity, which meant touching it would bring someone’s ire down upon me.

Damn. What does Shade want with the Harpē?

Shade was terrifying enough without a magical sword at his beck and call. He already wielded me like a weapon, and the idea of arming him with the Harpē made my stomach churn.

No. I won’t take it! I won’t give him this.

Determined to follow through with my decision, I pressed the button on my harness and let the rope retract. Pain blossomed inside my chest, and the further I got from the sword—and the task Shade had ordered me to complete—the more I hurt. My insides seemed to fold inward, squeezing the air from my lungs. I knew from experience it wouldn’t let up. The pain would drive me crazy until I gave in and did my sire’s bidding.  

Stars danced before my eyes, I smelled copper, and felt blood welling up in my nasal cavity, especially unpleasant due to my upside-down position. Swearing, I pressed the button again, halting my retreat. I’d only managed to get about five feet away. I dangled midair, cursing both my sire and the mother who’d abandoned me with him. Once again accepting the fact I had no choice, I lowered myself back down to hover above the sword and wait out the next cycle of lasers.

Giving in to Shade’s commands despite my personal convictions always left a sour taste in my mouth, but I couldn’t disobey. Not with my kid counting on me to make it home.

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About the Author:

Amanda Washington is a lover of wacky animals, enthralling books, dark chocolate, and red wine. She’s always up for a good adventure (real or fictional), and when she’s not building imaginary worlds, she’s dipping her toes into reality in southwest Washington with her husband and their boys.

http://www.amandawashington.net/home.html

https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Washington/e/B004ROXL42/

https://twitter.com/AmandaWash

https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWashington.Author/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4079096.Amanda_Washington   

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Review: Coven Enforcers Series (Books 1, 2 and 3), by Ann Gimpel Reply

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Blood and Magic (Coven Enforcers Book One)

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4 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on:

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Review:

Author Ann Gimple has another terrific series on her hands! In the Coven Enforcers series, we are introduced in Book 1, to Luke and Abigail, two very strong heroes who have to battle Heaven and Hell in order to survive. The storyline is very fast, never once slowing down. I fell for Luke, hard, because he’s just an amazingly written character full of life and happiness. Abigail is a delight to read, and I instantly identified with her. This is the first novel in the enchanting Coven Enforcers series. I would suggest reading them in order to get the full story. This book is definitely going on my favorites shelf!

Reviewed by Deviant Diamond

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

Magic didn’t just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others, but Luke embraces danger, upping the ante to give it one better. An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders.

Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents’ home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado. A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke’s magic, but has no idea what he’s doing on her stagecoach. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke’s raw sexual energy, Abigail can’t wait for the trip to end.

Unpleasant truths surface about the child. While Abigail’s struggling with those, wraiths, wolves, and dark mages launch an attack. Luke’s so attracted to Abigail, she’s almost all he can think about, but he’s leery too. The child is just plain evil. Is Abigail in league with her? It might explain the odd attack that took out their driver and one of their horses. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup.

Will they help him save the woman he’s falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?

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Excerpt:

…Cursing her long skirts and cumbersome petticoats, Abigail used magic to skip the coach steps. Power blazed from her hands before she could see what she was aiming at. She was afraid if she took even a few seconds to hunt for a target, something would get her. Being dead wasn’t desirable, but it was better than the other things wraiths could do to her. Those turned her blood to ice chips.

With her booted feet planted firmly on the ground, Abigail finally got a good look at the wraiths. She drew magic from deep in the earth and sent it chasing after them when they jumped sideways to evade her magic. Insubstantial as tall, thin puffs of smoke, they had glowing charcoal eyes. Long, blood red claws graced what passed for hands. Binding their victims with fiery strands was a favorite trick—just before they sucked your soul right out of you, leaving a handy vessel for one of their masters to occupy. Wraiths used to feed only on the living, making them into new wraiths. They’d been bad enough then, but now they functioned as hired thugs for practitioners of the Black Arts. It lent them the ability to operate in broad daylight. Abigail wondered which group of sorcerers this crew worked for. The Alchemical Council? Black Magick?

Good God but there were a lot of them. Why? Surely they weren’t interested in the contents of the coach, which only carried mail and Carolyn’s substantial luggage. Ducking and spinning to escape being entwined in a blazing net, she thought about the girl’s steamer trunks. Abigail only helped pack two of them. The third had been locked and ready to go. Could that possibly be what the wraiths were after?

She shut off her thoughts so she could focus. The ragged sound of her own panting thrummed loud in her ears as she chucked one killing blow after another. Bolts of blue-white light flared from both hands. No point in running anything less than wide open. For each wraith she obliterated, three more showed up to take its place. Her chest ached from breathing sooty air and wraith stench.

Heat seared her back. Damnation! Her skirts were on fire. Abigail funneled magic behind her to quell the flames, but it didn’t work. Smoke stung her nostrils. Fire had already eaten a long gouge in one of her hands. If she dropped to the ground to deal with her burning clothes, the wraiths would pounce. Terror licked at her along with the flames.

In spite of her brave thoughts earlier, she didn’t want to die. Not here. And not like this. She cursed her corset. It was hard to get a decent breath. If she’d known she was going to have to fight—

“Keep after ’em,” Luke growled from behind her. “I have your dress under control.” She felt him drape something heavy around her shoulders—a lap robe he must’ve snatched from inside the coach—and press it close against her with his body. Gratitude wrapped warm tentacles around her. Having him right next to her made her already pounding heart do flip-flops, but she forced herself to focus on something other than all those rock-hard muscles jammed against her back.

“Are they all on this side of the coach?” she wheezed, still struggling to breathe. Between the smoke, her stays, and Luke’s body so near, it was a losing battle.

“Pretty much. Guess they want you more than me. Actually, they’ve been trying to get to the trunks up top.”

A discordant warning note sounded in the back of her mind. What the hell was in the girl’s luggage that would draw wraiths? Her back wasn’t hot anymore, so she assumed the fire was out.

That fire, maybe. The one inside me is just getting going…

She squirmed from more than the smoke and struggled not to turn around and press the front of herself against Luke. They had bigger problems than his undeniable charisma. Luke didn’t seem to be in a hurry to move away, though. He remained front to back with her, and she absorbed power flowing from him. Damn, but he was strong. What she wouldn’t give for that kind of magic.

It would help if I could breathe…

With difficulty, Abigail forced her mind away from Luke’s charms. “The driver?” She hadn’t been round to the front of the wagon to check.

“Dead.”

“Ever driven one of these things?”

“Concentrate on killing, woman. If we can’t get shut of the wraiths, ’twon’t matter a diddly damn.”

Blood and Sorcery (Coven Enforcers Book Two)

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5 out of 5 Stars

Review:

Blood and Sorcery is the second book in the magical Coven Enforcers series by Ann Gimpel. This novel picks up right where the first book, Blood and Magic, left off. In this installment, we again meet up with Josh and Breana, Josh is another Coven Enforcer, like Luke, while Breana is a very important member of the Coven. The storyline is again, extremely fast moving and engaging. I felt an immediate connection to Breana, who ends up locked in a situation she has no hope of controlling. When events quickly spiral out of control, Josh and the rest of the Enforcers must pull out all the stops to save the Coven, and Breana with it. As with the first book, this is an instant add to my favorites shelf!

Reviewed by Deviant Diamond

Description:

Joshua committed his life to fighting Black Magick. Not sure who he hates worse, dark sorcerers or the clerics who tortured and mutilated his family, he lives on the road with his horse and his magic, working as a Coven enforcer. Breana Giraud is the only woman he’s ever loved, and until very recently she was married to someone else.

Breana’s husband, Don, sold his soul to the devil, embracing dark practices. Along the way, he corrupted their daughter. While Breana could’ve turned him in to Coven justice without a second thought, she couldn’t bring herself to implicate her child. Still reeling from her daughter’s death at the hands of evil, and grateful her husband met the vicious end he deserved, she feels broken, damaged. The last thing on her mind is falling in love.

Joshua tries to hold back, give Breana room to mourn her losses, but if he has his way, she’ll become his wife. With Don dead, and the path to his heart’s true love finally clear, he’ll do anything he can to make her his. Even if it means fighting his way past the dark mages’ leader, who wants her for his own.

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Excerpt:

Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

Breana Giraud bolted upright in her bed, the darkness around her shattering into fire-tinged motes of black. Heart thudding hard against her chest, throat constricted with fear, she reached for power, intent on shrouding herself in a protective spell. Goddamn her husband. He was at it again. It was like him to wait until she was sleeping—and she had to sleep sometime.

Once upon a time, she’d cared about Don—a witch with power to match her own. But he’d been seduced by the dark and become deeply entrenched in Black Magick. Shielding herself against him drained her, but she didn’t have any choice. Sucking air around the narrow place that used to be her throat, she sent magic spiraling outward. She didn’t sense him near, but the enchantment that just dragged her from a sound sleep had Don’s name—and sliminess—stamped all over it.

Her eyes snapped open. Don was dead.

Dead.

What the hell was happening to her?

He couldn’t harm her anymore, so why was his stench all over the room? It wasn’t even the bedroom they’d shared. She’d moved to the far end of the hall to escape the horrible memories that swamped her every time she thought about him.

Guess that didn’t work very well.

She pressed her tongue hard against her teeth and reached for her magic again. Surely she could summon a mage light. Simplest of spells, it required almost nothing in the way of power. Finally, after she was shaking and sweating with effort, a wavery blue light formed, casting the bedroom in eerie shadows. Breana urged her light to burn hotter, brighter. Her teeth were chattering, and she felt as if she’d never be warm again. Icy sweat dripped down her sides.

She tugged the heavy, wool blanket around her shuddering form, but it didn’t help so she dragged air hard into lungs that had nearly forgotten how to cooperate. And then did it again. And again, until she was able to clamp her jaws in a harsh, desperate line.

Her light flickered and brightened, and the ball of fear making it hard to breathe eased the slightest bit. Falling back asleep was laughable, so she dug her way out from under the covers and pulled a robe woven from soft, cream-colored wool over her linen nightdress. Sheepskin slippers came next.

At least the godawful chill that had permeated the air was dissipating, and the reek of evil along with it. Brimstone held a sulfur taint that burned the back of her throat and made her skin prickle with a million points of discomfort.

She blinked back tears as she made her way downstairs, her mage light bouncing over one shoulder. The dark had taken both her husband and her daughter, and robbed her of what had once been a warm and comfortable marriage. She hated Black Magick with a passion. Hated what it had almost done to her as she walked a tightrope between her husband’s demands and her responsibility to the Coven.

“Yeah, and I did a shitty job all the way round,” she muttered as she poured a cup of tepid coffee into a mug. It was bitter as all get out from sitting on the back of the woodstove since early the previous morning, but she gulped it down anyway, wanting the quick stimulation.

Too keyed up to sit, she wandered to a window and looked to the east. Dawn wasn’t far off, but the horizon was still dark. Days were growing longer, but it was still winter, and it might not get light until seven. She’d sent a meticulous letter to Coven headquarters in New York. Within it, she detailed her sins in not turning her husband and daughter over to Coven justice—once she fully understood their allegiance had shifted to dark power.

That letter had certainly arrived by now.

What would they do to her?

A snort of derision curled her mouth into a bitter smile. She knew what she’d do to someone in her position. Banish them from the Coven for starters. After that, it would be anyone’s guess, but the Coven wouldn’t be out of line demanding her life as punishment for shielding her family from what they deserved.

Not much she could do. About any of it. No. She needed to keep going, day by day, and let the wheel spin as it would. She’d find out soon enough. Certainly by this coming summer when most—if not all—of the Coven had relocated to Utah Territory. At least she’d given Luke and Abigail a good start by marrying them. Memories of that day—and their joy—kept her going through the hardest spots.

She plodded back to the stove and poured the last of the coffee into her cup before she opened the woodstove door and sent a jot of magic to stir the embers. Once they crackled merrily, she added chunks of wood and refilled the kettle on the back of the stove with water from the pump next to the sink. The chores were automatic, and they settled her nerves enough to dissect what had driven her awake.

Coven enforcers, a group of hard-bodied, sharp-eyed men, who kept witches on the straight and narrow, had seen to it that both Don and her daughter, Carolyn, met their end in mage fire, purging their souls of darkness. And they’d killed Alistair MacDuff, head of the Alchemical Council. She and Abigail had seen to the death of Alistair’s henchman before he, too, was dumped in the purification of mage fire.

“Guess we didn’t get them all,” she muttered as she ground coffee beans with a mortar and pestle.

“If them refers to who I think it does,” Joshua drawled from the kitchen doorway, “of course they’re not all dead. That fresh coffee I smell?”

Breana curved her mouth into a soft smile. “You know damn good and well it is. I drank the dregs from yesterday morning. Hang on till the water boils, and I’ll brew a fresh pot.”

“Don’t rush. I got time.” Joshua moved closer to the stove, extending his hands toward its warmth. Tight-fitting, buff-colored leathers, similar to what most Coven enforcers wore, hugged him like a second skin. Flame red hair hung loose to the middle of his back.

Breana turned to face him squarely and crossed her arms beneath her breasts. “Looks as if you got up in a hurry. Your hair’s not braided.”

Blood and Illusion (Coven Enforcers Book Three)

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5 out of 5 Stars

Review:

Blood and Illusion is the third and final novel in the Coven Enforcers series by Ann Gimpel. In this third novel, we meet up with Sam, one of the most powerful Coven Enforcers, and a whole mess of witches who are not part of the Coven, but are still being threatened and killed. The leader of this ragtag group of witches seems to be Isla. I openly admit it, Isla is my favorite of all of the characters in these novels. She’s smart and sassy, yet still soft and gentle. Sam is a real warrior who must use every single trick he knows (and then some) in order to save these wild witches. The storyline picks up right where Blood and Sorcery, the second book, leaves off. I felt it was a perfect conclusion to the story, and wrapped it up quite nicely. As with the other 2 novels, this one is added to my favorites shelf. I look forward to reading more from Author Ann Gimpel.

Reviewed by Deviant Diamond

Description:

Not all witches join the Coven. Fiercely independent, Isla heads up her own small band in the San Francisco area. She’s never needed help before, but dark sorcerers drive her and her group into hiding, trapping them.

Sam’s worked for the Coven as one of their enforcers forever. He’s been there so long, the Coven is the only mistress he knows. It’s a lonely life on the road thwarting wickedness and Black Magick with his guns, his magic, and his horse, but it’s been enough to satisfy him. Until now.

A group of witches is in deep trouble. They’re not part of the Coven, but Sam is sworn to protect all witches and he rides to their assistance with several of his brothers. Nothing prepares him for the outspoken spitfire who ends up riding double with him. She’s forthright, opinionated, and downright hostile, but he’s drawn to her self-sufficiency—and her undeniable beauty. Soon, Isla is all he can think about.

Dark forces are on the move. Protecting the woman he’s falling in love with is at the very top of Sam’s list. If they manage to survive, he’ll tame her. Claim her. Make her his.

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Excerpt:

…Isla huddled with six other witches in a basement beneath one of the warehouses lining San Francisco’s docks. Her hair hung in filthy strands. Grime caked beneath her nails, and she stank, but at least she was alive. Russian sorcerers—or at least sorcerers who spoke Russian—had killed four of her sisters before she’d dragged the rest of their small band to a defensible position and swathed them in layers and layers of magic.

It had been a short-term solution, but they hadn’t had any choice. Not really. Only problem was they had no easy way out. If they dismantled their spell, the sorcerers would find them in a trice. If they remained where they were, eventually they’d starve to death. She was far weaker than she’d been a week ago when they’d barricaded themselves into the underground room with its dirt floor and dirt walls. Small cutouts high on two walls coincided with ground level, and provided their only source of light.

In desperation, she’d used her power stone to call Hester Thorne, a witch who’d been instrumental drawing their group into a cohesive unit. Hester promised help, but it had yet to materialize. Breath steamed through Isla’s teeth as she bent forward and stirred the shallow pool she’d created from a broken pot made of crockery and water dripping down the walls. It took a while, but the water had finally grown deep enough to become a scrying instrument.

Weariness dogged her, and her vision blurred. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing them to focus next time she dragged her lids open. Thinking it might help, she pushed herself upright and walked around the six- by ten-foot room.

“What are you doing?” Kat eyed her balefully out of bloodshot blue eyes. “I was asleep.” Dirty blonde hair had been braided to keep it out of the way.

“Aye, and ye’ll be asleep permanently if ye’re not careful,” Isla shot back, the brogue from her native Scotland thicker than usual. It was one of the reasons she and Hester had bonded so tightly. Shared roots from Scotland’s Highlands and islands.

“Isla! Come look at your pool!” Rowan cried. Silver hair fell about her, dragging in the dirt, but her brown eyes were lit with hope.

Isla skidded to her knees and stared at the water’s surface. Nine men strutted down the rock-strewn sand fronting the ocean. Tall, rangy, hard-bodied and clad in leathers, it was obvious they were used to ruling the world. At first she thought they were a new passel of sorcerers, but she forced herself to look closer.

Not trusting her first take, she took a ragged breath. Maybe she wished for salvation from the room that was likely to become their crypt so desperately, she was imagining things, “What does it look like to you?” she asked Rowan.

The other woman turned to face her. “Help. That’s what it looks like. Those men are bleeding power, and it’s the good kind.”

The other women skittered across the floor, jostling one another to get close to the pool so they could see.

“Be careful!” Isla cautioned. “Else ye’ll tip the dish, and we might not live long enough for me to refill it.”

Her heart hammered against her ribs as she took in the men. One of them in particular caught her attention and held it. Long, blond hair spilled across his shoulders, and his eyes were a bright, turquoise blue. Strong bones carved his cheekbones into bas-relief, and his jaw was square, determined. Buff colored leathers covered him, and they were skintight, leaving virtually nothing to her imagination. Broad shoulders led to deeply muscled arms and narrow hips with a high, tight ass. Long legs disappeared into boots that laced to his knees.

Her throat grew dry. Many a year had passed since she’d experienced such an immediate reaction to a man, and it confused her.

Must be because I’m half-staved.

Och aye, and ye know better, the other half of her brain inserted dryly. Whoever he was, he was one gorgeous man.

Understanding slammed into her, and she was ashamed she hadn’t put two and two together immediately. “They must be the aid Hester promised.” She glanced at the other women.

Rowan lurched upright. “If that’s true, then we need to go outside and help them.”

Isla licked her chapped lips. “They’re not looking as if they need any help, but at least that way they won’t have to hunt for us, and mayhap we can leave this accursed place.”

“You’re the one with the strongest magic,” Kat pointed out. “And the only one who can project telepathy beyond the enchantment hiding us. See if they answer.”

Isla exhaled sharply. It was a reasonable suggestion, but not without risk. If she was wrong, and those men were actually allied with the dark, she’d have given away their position. Opened them to a certain death. Or worse, imprisonment at the hands of evil.

“I was in your mind,” Rowan said, her voice surprisingly gentle. “We’re as good as dead now. I say we chance it.”

“I was coming around to the same conclusion.” Isla breathed deeply to center herself and drew out her pink moonstone. Before she could think things to death, and her courage failed utterly, she linked to the stone and sent her magic thrumming outward. No need to make things fancy, so she settled on the shortest phrase imaginable.

“Are ye who Hester sent?”

Depending on the answer, she’d ask for proof and take things from there.

author

About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients, now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 30 books to date, with several more planned for 2016 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and wolf hybrids round out her family.

Find Ann At:

www.anngimpel.com

http://anngimpel.blogspot.com

http://www.amazon.com/author/anngimpel

http://www.facebook.com/anngimpel.author

@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)

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Review: Big Bear, Little Bear, by Julia Talbot Reply

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4 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on;

Review:

I love a bear who raises horse, yes that’s right Ben, a horse trainer. This is a cute story of a supernatural rodeo featuring vampires, werewolves, and other paranormal beings. This short story has humor, sadness, and the readers will cheer for Ozzie, the rodeo’s clown on the mystery on why Ben won’t shifted . I like how Ben is a fighter and not let anyone or anything stands in his way. Ben showed how life can give thunderstorms, but you can away find the sun to shine on you.
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Reviewed by Romantic Renay

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

Little bear comes into his own.

Ben Ursa has been out of the Midnight Rodeo game for a while, recovering from a terrible head injury. When he comes back, he finds a whole new place in the pecking order, his trained horses in high demand.

He also finds rodeo clown and grizzly shifter, Ozzie, who rejected him for being too young before. Now Ozzie thinks he’s just right, even if he is a little black bear. Can Ben really recover and become Ozzie’s mate, or will his family scheme to keep him “little bear”?

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Excerpt:

“Man, the bullfighters all have their panties in a wad. I hope to hell they settle it out.” Ozzie wiped makeup off his forehead, growling a little at Thack’s assistant, January.

“You and me and the boss and the big boss and every other creature here, sir.”

Sir.

God, the wee little brownie was adorable. Such a cutie, with his little square glasses and his tiny soul patch of a beard.

Squishable.

Ozzie wanted to hug January and lick him, maybe. Definitely sniff him. Ozzie reined in his bear tendencies, which could crop up at the least convenient times. His desire wasn’t even sexual. More teddy bear like.

“So, tell me about the next venue,” Ozzie said. Their next stop was at a brand new arena.

“It’s near Santa Fe, sir. A charming arena with adequate facilities and a fabulous local pool of talent. They’re… surprisingly active there.”

“Are they? Good. We need more talent in the timed events.”

“Yes. Yes, I believe Ben Ursa will be rejoining us. Mr. Thackery is very pleased.”

Ben? Ben Ursa?

Poor kid. Ozzie remembered him well, and not only for his name, which was as bad as Osbourne McMahon. Bear Son of the Bear. Ben Ursa was Grizzly Adams meeting Latin.

“They get his brains all unrattled? Last time I saw him, he was in a bad way.”

“That depends on who you ask. January, I need the manifests for the drivers.” Thack nodded to Ozzie as January scrambled.

“Oh. Poor kid. But he’s good to ride?” He had to admit he’d had a thing for Ben, but he’d ignored it, waiting for the kid to be more confident. Hell, he felt like shit over it because the night the kid had gotten hurt, Ben tried to make a move on Ozzie, which he rebuffed.

He wanted Ben to be all grown-up first.

“He’s got a hard head.” Thack shrugged. “Shit, man, you know the kid is terrible at his job. He trains the best horses, though.”

“He does.” Good hazing, roping, and bulldogging horses were worth their weight in gold in their business. Worth enough to give a bad bulldogger a job. “I’ll have to stop by his trailer and say hi.”

It would be good to have another bear on tour again. Someone who understood about naps and salmon. Mmm. Salmon. He did love that stuff. Honey, too.

“He’s in the big black trailer with the bear painted on it.”

“Good deal.” He’d drop by on his way to get some food. Wave. Sniff some.

Thack nodded. “Good show, man.”

“Thank you.” Ozzie loved his job. He got to play on his natural bearish clumsiness and be a smart-ass at the same time.

Thack smiled, and Jesus fuck, that was creepy. All teeth and horns. Demons. Scary like whoa sometimes.

Ozzie waved and headed to see the little bear. Wow. That trailer was nicer than his. Way nicer.

Little Ben had family with money, with land, with amazing horses. Talk about a bear with a silver honey spoon in his mouth.

Ozzie grinned. Of course, the kid had also been hurt so bad a few seasons ago that he had to learn how to walk all over again. That meant the kid had grit. Determination.

He knocked on the trailer door, the little bear’s voice ringing out. “Coming!”

Ozzie tried to peer inside, but the window by the door was too small to get a good view.

The door opened up, bright button eyes shining at him from Ben’s smiling face. “Oz!”

“Hey, buddy.” Oh, look at that. Ben looked so much better than he had last time Ozzie had seen him.

“Come in. Come in. I just got here.” Ben was little for a bear, but a solid, broad shouldered man with a shock of pitch-black hair. He looked healthier, the skinny and pallor wore clean off from when he’d been hurt.

“Thanks. Thack said you were back.”

“I’m trying to be, yeah. It was touch and go.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re better, kiddo.” Man, the inside of the fifth wheel was amazing, a big kitchen and a huge platform bed visible in the back.

“Have a sit.”

The place was like a rolling condo—someone’s momma wanted to assure her cub was comfortable and safe.

He didn’t even have to move dirty clothes off the built-in sofa before he sat. “Nice place.”

“Yeah. Momma Bear. You know.”

“I do.” He’d met Ben’s mom. She was something else.

Ben blushed, head ducking, and Ozzie saw the scar, heavy and thick against his scalp. Damn.

“Hey, my mom still packs my lunch when she comes to visit. Smoked salmon tea sandwiches,” Ozzie said.

“I like smoked salmon. Lots. You want a beer?”

“Honey wheat?”

Ben nodded. “I got a six-pack. You’re off work, hmm?”

“I am.” He settled back, just—Man, it was nice to have another bear around, the scent familiar. Comforting. He forgot, sometimes, how alone he felt. Seeing Ben reminded him how much he’d liked the kid, too.

Little Ben brought him a beer, settling down across from him, all grins. Such a cutie. Really, Ozzie felt a little pervy around Ben. Just a little. Ben was gentle, peaceful, not a bit of growl in him.

Ozzie grinned. He had a lot of grr. A lot of grizzly.

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About the Author:

Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Samhain Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, All Romance eBooks and Changeling Press. She believes in stories that leave a mark, and that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter.

For more information on other books by Julia, please visit her official website:

http://www.juliatalbot.com

http://twitter.com/JuliaTalbot

https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotwriterpage/

Tour Giveaway:

3 winners to receive a Julia Talbot eBook published by All Romance.

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Review: Oklahoma Rain, by Kiernan Kelly Reply

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4 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on:

ARe

Review:

This is the second book in the Midnight Rodeo series. In this story we have werewolves, vampires, demons, trolls, and other supernatural beings that work for the supernatural rodeo. This story deals with bigotry and hatred of a human child along with a gay paranormal romance. Now that is all of the teaser or spoilers that I will give. This is a short enjoyable read. You will want to read the first book, Welcome to the Pack, before you read this one so you know who the characters are and learn more about the story line. I recommend the book.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

Blaze offers Zack a home, but is love enough to keep him?

Psychic Blaze scouts locations for the rodeo company, Darque and Knight. While checking out a possible venue he finds another psychic talent, Zack, who’s hot as the Fourth of July.

Zack is complicated, though, thanks to his sidekick, Mikey, a damaged kid. Blaze invites the pair back to the rodeo, but not everyone is as happy as Blaze to have them there.

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Excerpt:

“Hello?” Blaze rapped on the door. “Come on. I know you’re in there.” He rolled his eyes at the silence that answered him. “Look, we can do this all afternoon, or you can just open the fucking door. I know what you are. I’m not here to hurt you.” Still nothing. “Oh, for… I really don’t want to break the door down. I bruise like an overripe peach.”

After another few moments, he heard the floor creak, and the lock on the door slide free.

The door swung inward, revealing a man who looked only slightly younger than himself, and a boy. The child looked no older than ten years. He was a slight thing, skinny, but his wide, liquid brown eyes glittered with fear and a spark of curiosity.

The man stepped in front of the boy as if to protect the child from Blaze. His green eyes were hard with suspicion, but that didn’t stop Blaze from noting his high cheekbones, and lean, hard body clad in a tight, worn t-shirt and denim, or the inky black hair that fell in a sleek sheet past his shoulders.

Blaze cleared his throat. “Look, I know you’re a supernatural. So am I. We’re on the same side. My name is Blaze.”

“Supernatural? What’s that?” The man’s lips mashed into a thin, tense line.

“Come on. Neither of us is stupid. You can sense it in me. I know you can.”

The man chewed on his lip, staring hard at Blaze for a moment, then seemed to come to a decision. He gave a short nod. “I’m Zack. The boy is Mikey. At least, that’s what I call him. I don’t know his real name. He doesn’t talk.”

Blaze glanced at the boy. Small for his age, almost scrawny. He had brown hair, huge, dark eyes, and milk-pale skin. Blaze spotted the faint markings of faded bruises on the child’s face. “Mind telling me how a supernatural came to be squatting in a farmhouse with a mundane kid?”

Zack reached behind him, as if to prove to himself Mikey was still there, and all right. “It’s not much of a story. I was in Kansas City, working for a supe who owned a pizza place. I made deliveries, helped clean, that sort of thing.”

Blaze nodded. “Go on.”

“I had a delivery in a part of town that was pretty worn down. You know, tenements, some abandoned buildings, drug dealers, hookers on the corner, that sort of thing. I made the delivery in a building that was only one-step up from condemned. When I was walking down the hallway, I heard a kid screaming.”

“Let me guess… you played hero and busted down the door to save him.”

Zack cocked his head and narrowed his eyes. “There was a child screaming bloody murder. You wouldn’t?”

Blaze tried to stare Zack down, but couldn’t. He rolled his eyes and tried to hedge instead. “Only someone stupid or with a death wish would do it.”

Zack’s lips tilted in a smirk. “Which one are you?”

Blaze snorted. “Never mind. So, what happened?”

“The door was unlocked, so I opened it and went inside. There was a male mundane, big guy, six-foot easy, maybe two-twenty, two-thirty, and he’s wailing on this little kid. The kid is crying, and saying ‘no, please stop, please stop.’ What was I supposed to do? Walk away?”

“Most supes would say yes.”

“Yeah, well, not this one. I know what it’s like to be on the wrong end of a fist. I got the kid out.”

Blaze gave Zack the once-over. “You’re lean, and going up against a human weighing in at two-thirty? How did you manage that?”

“I never had to touch him.” For the first time, Zack smiled, and the effect was devastating. His curved lips transformed his face from merely good-looking to truly gorgeous. Twin dimples winked at Blaze, and his green eyes flashed with humor. “I’m telekinetic. I picked that big bastard up and floated him right out of the window. Let him hover in the air until he fucking wet his pants, then put him up on the roof of the building next door. Took the kid and split. That was the last time I heard Mikey speak. I think maybe his throat was injured in the beating.”

“Look, I understand you helping the kid and all, but isn’t that kidnapping?” The last thing Blaze needed was to get involved in a criminal activity which might bring the eyes of the police on the rodeo.

Zack shook his head. “No. When we got away, I gave him a pen and paper, asked him if that was his dad. He said no. Said the guy stole him from the orphanage.”

“He’s an orphan?”

“That’s what he says. Or writes. He doesn’t want to go back there. It’s not a nice place, I think. The other kids are bigger, and mean to him, and the nuns who ran it weren’t much better.”

Blaze sniffed. “Who is this kid? Oliver Twist?”

Zack glared at him. “Nobody is asking for your opinion or your permission.”

“You’re right, you’re right. My apologies. You’re a good man for taking care of him.”

Zack seemed mollified. “Who are you, anyway?”

“Like I said, my name is Blaze. Blaze Morgan. I’m the patch for the Darque and Knight Rodeo. Ever heard of us?” He looked back and forth between Zack and Mikey, noting the blank expressions on both faces. “We’re the only professional rodeo staffed by and performing for supernaturals. We travel the country every year performing in little towns just like this one. Gonna be setting up here in a few hours. Which brings me to my, er… little problem. You see, you’re squatting in what’s going to be the middle of our rodeo.”

“We got no place else to go. And we were here first.” Zack’s expression grew hard again, the muscles in his arms bunching as his hands curled into fists. It was obvious he was gearing up for a fight.

Blaze held his hands out. The last thing he needed was a busted nose from some hayseed Supe squatter. “Whoa. Now, we don’t want any trouble. I understand. Really, I do. But the kid can’t stay here. He’s human. You can, since you’re a supe, but not him.”

“If I stay, he stays, and no matter what you say, neither of us is going anywhere.”

“Come on, Zack. Be reasonable. There’s going to be a whole shitload of supes pulling in here in the next few hours. If they see the kid, they’ll go apeshit.”

“Then tell them to go somewhere else.”

Blaze shook his head. “I can’t. I’m not the one in charge.”

“Then we’ll talk to the person who is.”

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About the Author:

Kiernan’s stories of gay romance envelop diverse themes ranging from paranormal, to fantasy, and science fiction to contemporary romance. She is the author of over eighty titles available in both print and ebook.

Kiernan also writes young adult GLBT romance under the pen name, Dakota Chase.

For more information on other books by Kiernan, visit her website: www.KiernanKelly.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly

Twitter https://twitter.com/KiernanKelly

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/429589.Kiernan_Kelly

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Tour Giveaway:

3 winners to receive an eBook published by All Romance.

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc1445/

Review: Wantin, by Truth Devour Reply

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4 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on:

Amazon http://amzn.to/1Cr7jAv  
Nook Book http://bit.ly/1JibZvz  
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Book Trailer:

Wantin – Youtube Book Promo http://bit.ly/1DLaHx7
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Review:

I think I was on the fence until at least two thirds of the way through this story if I liked it or not.  It wasn’t until close to the end that I discovered that this character Talia is much more than an overnight rich girl with no worries.  She seemed so very standoffish and selfish at times.  Later you can see how she was self preserving herself.  This is a very emotionally deep book.  If you don’t want to read the nitty gritty, deep and dirty side, stay away from this book.  Talia holds nothing back.  She is who she is.  Warning: there is very mature subject matter here.  Physical and emotional.  I believe this will be one of those books you either like or don’t.

Reviewed by Fawnzy

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Description:

Fate is relentless in its pursuit of Talia Jacobs. Presented with unimaginable turns of chance, she is drawn into the depths of tragic losses then catapulted to the extraordinary heights of life’s joy. Take the journey with Talia as she undergoes her sexual, social and physical metamorphosis from a vulnerable girl into a mature young seductress. Nothing in life is ever as it seems. Is she blessed or cursed? Will she ever find the man who will love her like no other, fearlessly caressing the deepest part of her being while intertwining his soul to hers in a dance that holds the unspoken promise of forever?

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About the Author:

Truth Devour is the pen name of an Australian born author who has published works available through various online stores. The pen name Truth Devour was created from the authors life philosophy of devour thy own truth. It stood as a reminder that in a world filled with deception, misleads and lies one should consider ensuring never buying into a false portrayal of themselves. Lie if you must but never to yourself.

Devour thy own truth ~ embrace it ~ live it ~ love it.

Truth Devour has been telling stories, writing them, dreaming about them before she could crawl. She has immersed herself in all elements of life that stimulate the imagination and inspires her creative expression. Writing, reading, music, poetry, photography and painting are just a few of the spaces she tends to dabble within. Its her passion & a joy.

 

Spotlight: The Raveners, by LD Towers 2

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Available for Purchase on:

Here

Description:

On 26 May 1897, Bram Stoker brought us the story of Dracula; an undead creature who terrorised the living by drinking their blood. He based his creature on the legends of Ireland and Eastern Europe, bringing it to life with all the pomp of Victorian literature. What if his concept was correct, but the execution was not? What if there was not one creature, but a band of twenty-four? Crusader knights who committed such a terrible act that the Pope of Rome and the Rabbis of Jerusalem joined together in petitioning God to bring a terrible curse upon them.Sentenced to eternal life as punishment for their crimes, yet hounded by both the clerical and the secular as they struggle to live them. The Jews called them Ga’ashekelah: the Raveners. To the Catholic Church, they are the Accursed Ones. Feasting on the bodies of the living to maintain their power.

What starts as a simple trip on the Eurostar to the buried trenches of World War One in Northern France is going to take Imperial War Museum expert Dr. Alexandra Horne on a journey she could never have conceived. From the bustling streets of Paris to the azure waters of Collioure and the very Vatican itself, Lexa will discover the Raveners and those who have sworn to hunt them down.

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Excerpt:

She found herself going from map to map. This was sometime around the second phase of the battle, before Beaumont-Hamel was finally taken. Thiepval as well. “This must be from the middle of September 1916. Maybe October. It’s obvious from this that he was trying to bring men around to penetrate the Allied lines from the areas they couldn’t budge.” She found herself gnawing on a thumbnail. “Dear God! With a counteroffensive like this, he might have shifted them. It’s a bold plan. Whether or not he could have managed it, with the Germans bleeding to death at Verdun, would have been the question. But damn! This might have changed the battle. Maybe even the war.”

“I wondered about that.” Another voice behind her.

Lexa turned and coloured, realising that in her wonder she had completely ignored the stranger in the room. “Oh! I am Sorry! Dr. Lexa Horne of the Imperial War Museum.” She held her hand out.

“Dr. Jack Bennett. Pleased to meet you.” Bennett was a large, fit man in his mid fifties with close-cropped, iron grey hair and a face lined from years digging in the sun. He had a bit of the George Clooney about him and Lexa was sure that all the archeology undergrads wanted him as a prof. He was a trifle swoon worthy. “Call me Jack. It was great that you could come out here at such short notice. We will be wrapping all this up in the next week or two.”

“The pleasure is entirely all mine,” Lexa told him in all earnestness. “This is simply unbelievable. This is like walking into heaven for me.” Ok. A small lie. Dead men and unexploded ordinance aside, it was heaven.

Bennett gestured back with his head and stepped aside. “I doubt the major there would agree.”

Lexa gasped as she saw the body at the desk. He was perfectly mummified, just as Darby had told her. He was hunched over, as if sleeping, and his golden hair gleamed in the light. His skin was the colour and texture of tanned leather, and his lips under a large moustache had pulled back to show his teeth. His head lay on on crossed arms, sunken eyes closed in eternal repose. The fingers were slightly curled; a large ring on one hand and a wedding ring on another. His light blue uniform hung on what was left of his frame, but was in decent condition through the shoulders. In fact, there were no real decomposition of the fabric. His side arm rested on the chair, the belt having slid down with time. The silver bullion on his uniform had a dull tarnish and the aiguillettes on his shoulder seemed suspended as if by magic. Beside him, his uniform cap was on the desk.

“Oh dear God!” Lexa exclaimed. “You’ve just left him there? How could you do that?”

“The question is how to get him out of the trapdoor without disturbing him. We have another specialist coming in from Germany. He is one of theirs, after all,” Bennett shrugged. “And you know the Germans. They are trying to find the right person. I would move him, but he is perfectly preserved. Outside of this environment, I expect he would not last long. It seems a shame to compromise his remains unnecessarily.”

The body rooted Lexa to the spot. She felt a terrible weight on her chest. “I’ve never seen a dead body before.”

Darby walked over and put a hand on her shoulder. “It’s ok. He can’t hurt you.”

“It also feels a bit indecent to be looking at him.” But she found she couldn’t tear her eyes away.

“We treat all remains with the greatest respect,” Bennett said quietly. “As you know, there is a lot we can learn from him. He is so perfectly preserved. When we have learned from him, we can return him to his family, if they still exist. He can be reburied with honour. He was lost and we found him. There is nothing indecent about that.”

“I just feel so strange with him there. I feel like a thief in his home.”

“The first time you see remains is always the hardest,” Darby told her. “Just remember that he is gone. What made him a person is gone. He is in a better place.”

Lexa nodded and walked closer to the desk. Her mouth was rather dry but now curiosity was getting the better of her. They were right. She was just being a ninny. Yes. This man was dead and he couldn’t hurt her. “Yes. I suppose you are right.”

Bennett quirked up a little smile. “Just don’t touch him.”

It was the moustache. The moustache was so familiar. Even in death, it had that upwards curl which was so familiar. A vain bushiness. When she had seen it in pictures, it always made her smile. “I think I know who this is!” Lexa exclaimed and reached into her bag for her iPad.

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About the Author:

LD Towers travels the world like a rootless vagabond! A military historian, she searches out places of conflict to find a deeper insight to the things she writes about. Presently enjoying the warm weather and azure seas of Central America, she has lived all over Western Europe, including 5.5 years in the incomparable Berlin.

Primarily working in Historical and Military Fiction, LD sometimes sneaks in the odd Dystopian or Modern Thriller piece. In fact, her new book is a complete redo on the vampire concept. Look for The Raveners; coming September 20, 2016.

https://ldtowers.net

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4309377.L_D_Towers

https://www.facebook.com/LDTowerswalks

https://twitter.com/L_D_Towers

http://www.amazon.com/LD-Towers/e/B00ZMFTJTQ

Tour Giveaway:

1 $20 Amazon GC

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc1460/

 

 

 

Spotlight: My Lord Ghost, by Meredith Bond 3

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Available for Purchase on:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cFVk1L

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-lord-ghost-meredith-bond/1124573645?ean=2940153715186

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/my-lord-ghost/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/663761/

Description:

She only wanted to save his soul. He needed to save her life.

Laia Grace wasn’t raised in society and besides, meeting men was so much fun! But when the naive Regency miss introduces herself to the wrong person, her father decides that it’s time she grew up. If only he knew that the house he was sending her to had a ghost in residence.

Marcus is haunting his own home, living in the secret passages and priest holes while he tries to deal with the horrific events that led to his brother’s death. But when an angel shows up and coaxes him into telling her his story, he discovers a reason to live.

Will he be willing to risk both his own life and his heart to save her?

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About the Author:

Meredith Bond’s books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart”, Meredith’s paranormal romances include her Storm series set in during the English Regency, her post-Arthurian fantasy series, The Children of Avalon, and a series of traditional Regencies—without magic—called The Merry Men Quartet.

Want to know more? Come visit Meredith at her website, http://www.meredithbond.com/ or chat with her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meredithbondauthor/) or Twitter (@merrybond). If you’d like to be one of the first to know of Meredith’s new releases and get a free short story every month, join her email list here http://meredithbond.com/blog/newsletter-sign-up/

Links:

Website: http://www.meredithbond.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/merrybond

Google +: https://plus.google.com/+MeredithBond/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/merrybond/

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/meredith-bond/69/a64/647/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/847484.Meredith_Bond

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/merrybond

Giveaway: 

An ebook of A Dandy in Disguise by Meredith Bond (first book in the series) and a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ddfc19f1/

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Cover Reveal/Pre-Order: Cherished, by Christina Bauer Reply

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Available for Pre-Order on:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cherished-Beholder-Book-Christina-Bauer-ebook/dp/B01I5RIGL4/#nav-subnav

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Description:

For Elea, there’s never been a better time to turn away from witch life. The Tsar is in exile. The Vicomte is dead. And Rowan? Falling for him only broke her heart. Instead of casting spells, Elea spends her days running Braddock Farm and enjoying the flirtations of the very handsome and non-magical Philippe. Everything is going perfectly, except for one problem.

Someone’s trying to kill her.

Shujaa is a Changed One, a Creation Caster mage whose mutated form makes him invincible in battle. Now that the Tsar and Vicomte are gone, Shujaa wants to rise and rule. To do so, he must eliminate all those powerful enough to oppose him, and Elea is top on his list. Anyone who offers her aid quickly ends up dead.

In the end, there’s only one person who can keep Elea safe while helping her defeat Shujaa: Rowan. Like it or not, Elea must team up with her old love. With Philippe along for the ride, Elea plans to team with Rowan without losing her heart this time. But that’s when all her plans fall apart…

About the Author:

christina

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien’s text, it’s entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

Author links:

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Review: Beast Of All, by J.C. McKenzie 1

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5 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on:

Review:

Wow, this has been a ride.  I am glad to have gotten my hands on all of the books at once since I didn’t want to stop reading. Not your typical story idea, and not your typical easy answers.  You even end up with the animals talking in your own head by the end of the day.  There’s romance, mystery, and drama. The ending is a blast. There’s big secrets out in the open at last.

Reviewes by Fawnzy

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

“Two months ago my world collapsed and the beast reigned. Seven weeks ago the SRD captured me. Nine days ago, they injected me with something vile. Today, I break free. And tomorrow? I’ll make them pay.”

Badass Shifter Andy McNeilly wakes up from a horrible nightmare, only to discover it wasn’t a dream, and she’s no longer quite so badass. Chemically curbed, Andy has lost touch with her feras and beast when she needs them most. Can she regain control of her supernatural abilities in time to reap retribution from her enemies, or will she fall as fodder in a power play for control of Vancouver’s seedy underworld?

Other Books In The Carus Novel Series:

Shift Happens Book 1

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5 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shift-Happens-Carus-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B014RUQ6E2/ref=la_B00J9S1JI6_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474209935&sr=1-5

Review:

What a gripping story.  Andy is quite the character.  She has background of dealing with Dylan who’s insidious treatment has mentally taken a toll on her.  Even with a hot male in her sights, she doesn’t give in.  She has too much on her plate right now trying to discover why her last job went so terribly wrong.  The story moves quickly and is engrossing.  The shifter style world is a bit different than most stories.  Here there is a physical animal that hangs out with you instead of only being in the characters head.  With the exception of our main character since she is a bit different than most.  I enjoy the sassy responses Andy has both out loud, and in her head.  Gives you a good chuckle.

Description:

Government assassin Andrea McNeilly’s job normally requires keeping her mouth shut and not asking questions. Not anymore. Despite her sass and unique skills as a Shifter, she’s out of luck.

After a botched hit on a Vampire’s human servant, Andy’s on the run. Right in her way is an over-sized Werewolf Alpha with the attitude of a brute and allure of a Norse god. An assassin requires a heart of stone, but the passion provoked by Wick puts a chink in Andy’s emotional armor.

Andy’s desire to trust Wick is blocked by her painful past and Wick’s allegiance to the very Vampire who now owns her future. Can Andy reconcile her yearnings for Wick and discover the truth behind the kill order? Or has destiny already selected her for a horrific fate?

Beast Coast Book 2

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5 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Beast-Coast-Carus-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B00P8I10X0/ref=la_B00J9S1JI6_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474209935&sr=1-2

Review:

Here in part two there is a brief touching on happenings from book one.  Not enough to drag on but just enough to refresh your memory.  Things get a bit deeper and gloomy for a moment.  Andy has a difficult triangle happening between Wick and Tristan.  It doesn’t help that her wolf and cat don’t see the same guy being her mate.  Some of the things Andy deals with are simple to handle and others are super difficult.  Following her as she deals with all of this keeps you reading.  Andy still hasn’t lost her smart aleck personality.  Love it.
Description:

Sometimes the greatest danger comes from within…

When Master Vampire Lucien Delgatto threatens her potential mate Wick’s life, Shape Shifter Andrea “Andy” McNeilly will employ a den of witches, a bedazzled thong, and her ability to shift into multiple animals to meet his demands. She plans to keep Wick safe—even if she’s not speaking to him. Lucien’s unwelcomed control over Wick’s life has thrown Andy into a whirlwind of emotions. Though Wick vows to do whatever it takes to earn Andy’s forgiveness and win back her trust, it may be too late.

This recent conflict awakens something within Andy, an animal she’s never learned to control. For hidden beneath all her forms is a beast whose anger and brutality rivals none. And she’s pissed.

Carpe Demon Book 3
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5 out of 5 Stars
Available for Purchase on:
Review:
Oh Andy.  What a sad ending to this section of the series.  The trouble with caring about others means that decisions become harder and the options become slimmer.  Andy thinks she is alone, yet she has slowly been making allies and friends.  The way this book is written keeps pace with the first two.  The speed of the story is consistent and the story line still keeps you hooked.  I’m off to the next book.
Description:

As an ambassador with the Supernatural Regulatory Division, Andy McNeilly is responsible for acting as the Liaison for the Vancouver Vampire horde. The problem? She detests the Vampire Master, and the SRD can’t discover the beast she keeps locked inside.

After a menacing Demon throws an important Vampire event into chaos, Andy finds herself sniffing out crime scenes to identify and locate the mystery fiend from the nether realm. What she learns chills her bones.

Threatened by the Master Vampire to deal with the Demon, Andy’s complicated personal life doesn’t make things easier. She’s willing to risk her life and pride to keep loved ones safe. But how can she make a choice that will break one heart…and complete another?

Shift Work Book 4
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5 out of 5 Stars
Available for Purchase on:
Review:
“They’re sentence enhancers, not swear words.”  Andy McMeilly  Here in book four Andy tries to move on with her life and choices.  She is investigating some nasty murders, and discovers someone from her past is ready to use her as a play toy again.  I am enjoying the banter of the different animals in her head.  This whole series so far is quite descriptive when it comes to scents for emotions.
Description:

Badass Shifter Andy McNeilly is running on empty. The death of a prominent supernatural being has her reeling. The invention of a new street drug has the police knocking on her door for assistance. And a friend needs her unique skills to help investigate a messy murder.

In the interest of paying the bills, paying it forward, and keeping the Supernatural Regulatory Division off her back, Andy once again slips through the dark streets of Vancouver’s seedy underworld. In the process, she uncovers secrets that threaten to derail her love life and her investigation. Can Andy capture a murderer, solve a mystery, and forgive her lover’s past? Or will the grime of the criminal world swallow her whole?

Also Available Now:
About the Author:
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Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

– First in the 2015 PNR Guild Award for Best Urban Fantasy Novel (Shift Happens)
– Second in the 2015 PNR Guild Award for Best Shifter PNR Romance Novel (Beast Coast)
– Second in the 2015 PNR Guild Award for Best Shifter PNR Romance Series (Carus Series)
– Finalist in the 2015 GDRWA BBA Awards Paranormal Romance Category (Shift Happens)
– Finalist in the 2015 GDRWA BBA Awards for Best First Book Category (Shift Happens)
– Finalist in the 2015 RONE Awards (Shift Happens)
– Shortlisted for the 2015 RONE Awards (Beast Coast)
– 2014 Top 10 Finisher, Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel (Shift Happens)
– 2014 Top 10 Finisher, Best Romance Short Story (The Shucker’s Booktique)
– 2014 Top 10 Finisher, Best All Other Short Story (The Shucker’s Booktique)
– First in the 2013 Emerald City Opener Writing Contest (Shift Happens)
– First in the 2013 Southern Heat Writing Contest (Shift Happens)
– First in the 2010 Family Writes Writing Contest (Shift Happens)
– Second in the 2012 Golden Gateway Writing Contest (Shift Happens)
– Second in the 2012 Dixie Kane Writing Contest (Shift Happens)
– Third in the 2013 Golden Acorn Writing Contest (Shift Happens)
– Third in the 2013 Great Expectations Writing Contest (Shift Happens)
Author Photo by: Kristy Ryan of Blush Wedding Photography

 

Review: Dead Girls Don’t Cry, by Casey Wyatt 1

dead-girls-dont-cry-cover

4 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on:

Amazon     Kobo     iTunes      BN

Review:

Dead Girls Don’t Cry is an amazing story with an extraordinary plot like nothing I have ever seen before. Vampires and space travel is just the beginning of this story that I sat down  with and couldn’t let go of until it was over. I love it and can’t wait to see what else Casey Wyatt has to offer.

Reviewed by Midnight Angel

Out Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description:

Cherry Cordial, vampire stripper extraordinaire, spectacularly messes up her life with a single act of kindness. How could she have known when she rescued gorgeous rogue Ian McDevitt that she would be implicated in the vampire queen’s murder?

Soon, she faces the wrath of the entire vampire community. To escape retribution, she joins a settlement program to colonize Mars. Her choices are grim: hurtle through space to the red planet to face the unknown and possible death, or stay on Earth and face certain annihilation.

To make things even more complicated, a certain gorgeous rogue seems to be shadowing her every move…

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Excerpt:

Suddenly, I wasn’t the biggest, baddest thing on the block.

Revenants.

They always traveled in packs. Enough of them could take me down. Revenants were cousins to vampires, undead beings with too much spirit. Essentially ghosts with physical reality.

I picked up the pace, steering toward the middle of the street and well away from dark corners. If I had a heart rate, it would have been pounding. My blood was rare and prized. One sip and the revenants would keep me alive to serve as a drink dispenser.

I fished through my bag. Where was my cell? Jonathan would come. Provided I could find the damn phone.

Meaty thwacks rang out in the alley as I passed by.

Do not look.

A soft oomph, followed by a clipped English accent, “Try that again, bastards.”

I looked.

Shit.

A lone and gorgeous male vampire had been captured. Three revenants had him pinned against the wall. Two held his arms and one pinned his legs. Three more surrounded him like a pack of knife-wielding hyenas.

The vampire snarled. Long fangs bared, presumably pissed off at his capture. With his sculptured physique, he could handle the situation. Right?

None of the baddies had noticed me yet. I could leave.

Another punch landed, connecting with the vamp’s mouth. The crack echoed in the alley. Liquid splattered, followed by cruel laughter.

The vampire hottie spat, his lip broken. Blood trickled down his jaw, seeping into the stark white collar of his button down shirt. “Think twice before you cut me, mate. I’ll smash all of your fucking heads in.”

“Shut up, meat.”

One added, “I’m so scared,” before swinging his knife and tearing a gash in the vampire’s chest. The pack laughed. A revenant approached the vampire with IV bags.

Crap-a-roni, now I had to get involved. They planned to bleed him out. That’s what revenants did. They took a vampire’s blood and drained him or her dry. The blood was then sold to the highest revenant bidder. They believed our blood could remove the excess spirit from their bodies, returning them to their true vampire form.

Problem is—it’s a myth. There’s no way for a revenant to become a vampire, any more than I could become a zebra if I wanted to. These guys were zealots. Deranged lunatics.

“This is your last warning, blokes,” Mr. Sexy English accent said. I tried not to shiver at the sound of his rich voice. Heady whiffs of his sweet scented blood drifted my way. Like a fine wine, the smell promised a delicious and satisfying taste. Saliva pooled in my mouth. My fangs dug into my bottom lip.

“Well lookee here!”

Damn. I should have run when I had the chance. The pack turned in my direction, their faces eager for more blood. I cringed under the gaze of the hollow-eyed, pale-skinned nightmares who all wanted a piece of me.

The nearest one licked his gray, rubbery lips. “Yum. Dessert.”

I was too stupid to live. Why didn’t I run? My feet were frozen to the spot. I did the lamest, girliest thing possible. I swung my purse. And connected. A solid hit to the nuts.

The revenant shrieked, clutching his junk. “Bitch!”

The male vampire bucked, tossing the revenant off his left arm. Partially free, he ripped the arm off the other revenant before the thing could even react. With balled fists, Mr. Hottie crushed the skull of the captor holding his feet.

“Don’t stand there like a daft pony!” the vampire scolded. He snapped the neck of the nearest revenant, then motioned. “Get out of my way!”

“What? Without my help, you’d still be trapped against a wall!” I ducked and stepped aside, narrowly avoiding the gray-lipped revenant who had thought I was dessert.

“The rubbish bin would be more help than you!” Mr. English silenced two more revenants with brutal, neck-twisting efficiency.

“Oh really?” What a prick.

The revenant recovered from the nut bash and charged me again. His fingertips knocked off my ball cap. I kicked him in the stomach, grabbed the garbage barrel and slammed it over the revenant’s head as he honed in on me. The plastic bin wouldn’t kill the thing, but he couldn’t see either.

“Pathetic,” the vampire said.

Mr. English and I watched as the last revenant bounced against a brick wall before falling over, his legs scissoring.

“Time for this one to bugger off as well.” Mr. English yanked off the barrel and snuffed out the revenant with a bone-shattering blow to its head.

One by one the corpses disintegrated into dusty husks. A breeze blew through the alley and scattered the remains. Gray vaporous clouds floated around before dissipating into the air. To a passerby, the revenants’ final passage would look like dirty car exhaust.

“Well, I’m off then. Have good evening.” He brushed dirt off his tailored trousers. “Sod it, they scuffed my shoes. And this shirt is ruined.”

“Yeah. What a tragedy. You’re lucky. You could have been a revenant Slurpee.”

He sniffed at the suggestion. “I was never in any real danger.”

“You could have fooled me,” I retrieved my ball cap from the grimy sidewalk.

A late afternoon sunbeam penetrated the alley, illuminating the vampire’s blue-green eyes and highlighting the fine bone structure of his face. I tried not to gawk.

I gathered my tangled hair and mashed it under the hat. “Looks to me like they had you pinned against the ropes.” Did I mention he was gorgeous? Like a cover model. An underwear cover model. I cleared my throat. He was a total stranger, and while I bet he looked divine in only underwear, I needed to stop ogling him.

When he stared at me and didn’t reply, I lamely added, “You know? Down for the count.”

“I understood the reference, luv,” he said in his damn fine accent.

A man-shaped shadow shifted from across the street, forming a dark blot in the alley’s entrance. We weren’t alone.

About the Author:

dead-girls-dont-cry-author

Casey Wyatt grew up in a mid-size Connecticut town where nothing exciting ever happened. To stem the boredom, she spent plenty of time reading fantasy and sci-fi novels and imagining her own adventures in her head. Not much has changed since she’s grown up, only now she shares those made up stories with her readers and earns a coin or two.   

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Website: www.caseywyatt.com

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Tour Giveaway:

Winner’s choice of either 1 $50 Amazon gift card OR 1 Kindle Fire Tablet, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black ($49.99 version), ship to US only.

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc1429/