Thursday, July 31, 2014

"TOTEM, Book:1 SCARS" by C. Michael Lorion (4 Stars)

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Totem Series, Book #1
by C. Michael Lorion

Genre: Mystery/Horror/Mythology/Paranormal

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**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.**

TOTEM: SCARS is a clever weaving of Native American mythos and 1970's New England living. We are introduced to Kimi, a girl displaced in time and hunting down her vengeful brother Achak, both searching for a mysterious source of power known as the Totem.

In Old Wachusett, Mass., it is 1978 and Josh has agreed to give his ex-girlfriend a ride to her mother's grave, thanks to her unreliable father. The man uses his parish as an excuse to keep his daughter away from that grave and the secret he wants to keep his child from discovering, while Josh's parents are growing further apart - from each other and him.

This book follows a large cast of characters living their individual lives as their families decline, lost loved ones are mourned, infidelity lurks, and evil is insidiously creeping. Lorion does a magnificent job of making each character their own person with their own voice, no two sounding a like, and he tells his tale with clear and intelligent web-spinning. It is a wonder in the beginning how these two worlds can come together, and though there isn't a lot of action, there is a lot of character building, mystery, questions not yet answered, with a splash and dash of murder and  a whole lot of dirty laundry needing airing.

If you're leery of all the books out there containing formatting and editing errors, fear not in this case. I can't recall a single flub. And if you appreciate a well-told yarn of good vs. evil, than I think that this is the book for you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW w/ C. Michael Lorion, Writer of the TOTEM Series!!!

Please welcome C. Michael Lorion! He is the author of the brand new TOTEM series and has agreed to be interviewed by yours truly! So without further ado...

Q.  So SCARS, the first book in your debut TOTEM series, is considered to be a novel of Horror. Is Horror your favorite genre?
A.  You know, this whole genre thing confuses me sometimes. There are elements of horror in Scars, and in the whole Totem series, but I don't know if I would consider it straight-up horror. To answer your questions, yes, horror is probably my favorite genre--think Stephen King, Peter Straub, Christopher Golden, Robert McCammon, and some of Dean Koontz's stuff.

Q.  How did the idea of this trilogy come to you?
A.  Oh, man. Do you have an hour? Short answer (which may not be too short) is this: one day I was walking with one of my sons who at the time was around 5 or 6 years old. We live on busy street in a small town, and as a car came around the corner I wondered (don't ask me where this thought came from) what would happen if the car veered toward us and, by some terrible circumstance, I couldn't get both me and my son out of the way and my son died as a result. What would I as a parent go through for the rest of my life with that on my conscience? That got me thinking about how a parent who--either directly or indirectly--was responsible for his son's death would handle it. I started writing the story, scraped it after about nine months because it was boring, brought in a supernatural element to it along with Native American mythology, and three years later here is Totem (Book 1: Scars).

Q. What do you think inspired you to be a writer?
A.  I've loved reading my entire life. I grew up on King and Straub and Koontz and Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy and others. I tried my hand at a number of short stories while in junior high and high school. I've had, for decades, the desire to write a novel. I guess all of this together inspired me somehow. I think reading a novel that scared me and also gave me hope made me think, "Hey, I think I could write something like this." Then the right idea came along, and here we are.

Q.  There is a lot of talk right now about the changing face of self-publishing. How do you feel about it?
A.  The only thing I can say about it is that I'm learning so much as I go. I knew next to nothing about self-publishing when I started writing the Totem series. In fact, I was planning on submitting it to traditional publishers. But then the whole self-publishing thing started taking off, I started reading up on it and researching it, and, although sales of my book have not been where I'd like them to be, I have to say I am enjoying the ride. Self-publishing has opened the door for those of us who want to write for a living, and for that I'm grateful. I'm not making a living on my writing--yet--but I'm working hard on getting there, and so I'm all for the self-publishing movement. I'll add this--a lot has been said and written about the quality of self-publishing, and a lot of what's been said and written is legitimate, but I think as it goes on that the quality writing will continue to rise to the top and squeeze out the lesser quality writing. Readers will keep reading the good stuff.

Q. Who would you say your favorite authors are right now? Do you have a favorite book or series?
A.  Stephen King (mostly his older stuff, some of his newer), Christopher Golden (anyone reading this interview, if you're not reading this guy, what are you WAITING for??), Robert McCammon (Boy's Life, Stinger, The Five, need I say more?), Brandon Sanderson (The Mistoborn series is simply one of the best fantasy epics EVER), Patrick Rothfuss. Favorite books--Watchers by Dean Koontz, It by Stephen King, Boy's Life by Robert McCammon, Strangewood by Christopher Golden, and Shadowland by Peter Straub.

Q.  What are some of your hobbies? Favorite things to do when you're not writing?
A.  Reading, reading, reading. Playing with my kids. I used to draw a lot when I has in junior high, would like to get back into that hobby as I think it would be relaxing. Someday...

Q.  As a father of 7 children, I have to ask. When do you find the time to write?? =D
A.  I work a part-time job delivering the early morning paper, which means I wake up between 1:30 and 2:00 in the morning and I'm done my route by 6 in the morning. I spend time with the family until 9 a.m., then I write from 9 until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, then spend the rest of the day with the family. My wife homeschools our children (6 live with us, the oldest who is 23 is on his own with his wife and children). So, it's not as difficult as it sounds. I have a little side room off our dining room, I put my headphones on and crank up the music (Rush, Kansas, Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, and any other rock groups from the 70s and 80s), and that's how I write. For the most part, the kids let me write and then let me know when it's time for a break. So far, it works for us.

Q.  Can you tell us a little bit about Book 2 in the TOTEM series? What can we expect from the second installment?
A.  The second book is titled Totem (Book 2: Ashes). It will pick up later in the same year, 1978, on the fourth of July. There will be some backstory told so that questions from the first book (believe me, I know I left a lot of questions hanging at the end, and I'm sorry about that...for the most part) will be answered, but also there will be more questions raised that will be answered in the third installment. The second book won't focus on as many characters as the first one did, so that will be a change of pace for a lot of readers. I'm looking forward to working with a smaller cast of characters and developing them more. The secret of the Totem (what it is and what power it holds) will start to be revealed, though not completely. That won't happen until book three.

Q. Can you tell us what other projects you have in the pipeline?
A.  After Totem (Book 2: Ashes) there will be Totem (Book 3: Spirits). After the Totem series, I may start writing a YA thriller/supernatural/dark fantasy series. It's percolating inside my head right now, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with it. I also have two short stories in my drawer I need to clean up and get out in print somehow, along with numerous ideas for more short stories/novellas.

Q.  I know you're a busy man (especially as a dad to 7 kidlets!), so I'll close this interview with one last question. Vampires, werewolves, or witches? Aliens, robots, or zombies? Lethal viruses or nanos gone wild? 
A.  Vampires (read The Keep by F. Paul Wilson or They Thirst by Robert McCammon to see how vampires used to be written about, aliens (Alien the movie), lethal viruses (Stephen King's The Stand).

Great interview, Rebecca. These questions were fun to answer. I know book bloggers are pressed for time to read and review all the books that are sent to them, so thanks a bunch for taking the time to write these interview questions and to post it on your blog. I wish you all the success, and I'll keep spreading the word about the work you're doing on behalf of readers everywhere and us authors striving to please our readers. Thanks!

--Thank you, so much for sharing with us! And to my readers, check back here tomorrow for my review of TOTEM, Book: 1. You won't want to miss it!

Check out the Totem Series on GOODREADS | Buy Book 1 at AMAZON

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Darkness Watching" by Emma Adams - COVER REVEAL!

Darkness Watching
by Emma Adams

Genre: new-adult, urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Re-Release : September 1st, 2014

Cover Artist: Amy Chitulescu


Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits - and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere - little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…

About The Author:
Emma Adams spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults.
She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).
Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in January 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, featuring disappearing uncles, invisibility potions and chimeras.
Emma also writes dark and creepy supernatural novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and was published in October 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Find Emma Adams Online:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Curse of Prometheus: A Tale of Medea" by Morgan St. Knight (5 Stars)

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Curse of Prometheus:
A Tale of Medea
by Morgan St. Knight

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/ Mythology

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I received a copy of this book, along with a media kit, from Bewitching Book Tours. I couldn't wait to get into this book and I wasn't to be let down!

As the title suggests, our protagonist is Medea. That's right, the same Medea of Greek tragedy. The Goddess is traipsing around the Earth slaying the daughters of Lamia, but now she has a new task and it looks like it involves the Curse of Prometheus, an ancient blood-letting spell of murder and power. But that's ok, because she has two kick butt friends to help her. Do the names Orphne and Heracles ring a bell?

CURSE of PROMETHEUS has action and mystery, nymphs and curly haired Gods. It is not to be missed for lovers of Urban fantasy and mythology!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Curse of Prometheus" by Morgan St. Knight - AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT! Excerpts & Giveaway!!

Curse of Prometheus: 
A Tale of Medea
by Morgan St. Knight

Genre: Paranormal/urban fantasy

ISBN-13: 978-0991396092

Number of pages: 276
Word count: 107,000

The ancient world's most notorious sorceress has just become the modern world's only hope for survival.

Book Description:

How do you fight a god of light who has been seduced by darkness? That’s the challenge Medea Keres must meet. Posing as a wealthy young heiress in modern day Atlanta, no one knows she is the original Medea, the sorceress from ancient Greek legends.

As priestess of the witch goddess Hecate, Medea is charged with hunting demons that would otherwise overrun the world. Now she must face a far greater adversary. One of the twelve shining Olympian gods has turned rogue, violating the edict against human sacrifice. As the body count quickly rises, Medea knows her enemy is getting stronger.

With the help of the underworld nymph Orphne and the hero-god Heracles, she must find a way to unmask the evil so that the other Olympians will take action.

But as she probes deeper into a blood-soaked labyrinth of suspense and intrigue, Medea finds a net of deceit and treachery that will require all of her cunning to escape.

Available at Amazon

Excerpt 1

He reached out a tentative hand to touch one of the wings. “God,” he whispered. “God, God, God, I’m sorry. What have you done to me?”
Get off it!” I snapped. “Don’t even pretend that this is a surprise. Who or what are you? And don’t bother telling me you’re some kind of angel. No angel has moves like the ones you just made with me!”
I don’t want to interrupt, but we have something else to deal with,” Heracles said, putting a hand on my arm. “I’m sure this can wait. He won’t be going anywhere.” He gently tugged me towards the steps.
Stay with him,” I told Orphne, hoping she knew the harshness in my tone wasn’t directed at her. “Don’t take your eyes off of him.”
She half-smiled at that. “That’ll be an easy promise to keep.”
Heracles bounded up the basement steps but I took them one at a time, a little reluctantly at that. I’d had enough aggravation for the night. I didn’t need something else on my plate.
You’ll want to put something on, unless the neighbors are very liberal.” He was heading for the front door.
Not by a long shot,” I muttered. I pulled my London Fog out of the closet and belted it around me. We stepped outside into a steady fall of rain. There were still muted flashes and thunder rolls overhead, but nothing like there’d been a short time ago.
I threw my hands up. “This is what you wanted to show me? I know they don’t have anything but wonderful weather on Olympus, but surely you haven’t forgotten what rain is.”
He walked towards the street. “It’s not quite the way I remember it. Come along. You’ll see what I mean.”
I quashed the sound of annoyance rising in my throat and trotted to catch up with him. The rain seemed to be easing.
He strode across the street. “Over here. You’ll get the picture.”
The invective I’d chosen stopped at the tip of my tongue as I stepped out into the street.
And out of the rain.
I’d known rain to stop abruptly before, but this was different. Mostly, because I could still hear the rain behind me.
I think I knew what I was going to see before I completed my slow turn. Something at the back of my mind said not to look, but I had to. Heracles was standing there with his arms folded.
Any ideas?” Damn him anyway, if he wasn’t smirking when he said it.
I didn’t find anything at all funny about the fact that the storm was centered over my house—and only my house. The clouds, with their soft flashes of lightning and gentle peals of low thunder, were directly overhead. The sky over the rest of the street was clear, faint stars sparkling overhead.
Shit,” I said with real passion. “Shit, shit, SHIT!” Stamping my bare foot repeatedly on the asphalt to punctuate the curses hurt like hell, but I didn’t care at that point.
Shall I hazard a guess that this has something to do with what you were up to with our winged friend?”
The anger and shock were fading, but they weren’t gone. I began pacing.
I don’t know. I don’t know what happened with him. But the storm came up just as we were...” I let the rest hang, but he’d gotten the message.
Remember Pompeii,” he said with a teasing note in his voice.
Accident! It was just… an… accident!”
An accident that conveniently happened as you were getting…acquainted… with a very unusual young man down on a nearby beach. An unusual young man who, it turned out—”
Was the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman,” I finished weakly as I sat down on the curb. Not a soul was stirring, not even a light as far down the street as I could see.
I leaned back a bit and jumped as I got splashed by the rain that was still falling resolutely on my yard. It felt better to lean forward and put my head in my hands anyway.
I don’t need this. I don’t need something else. Tonight of all nights, I don’t need this.”
Heracles crossed the street and sat down next to me. “Cheer up. It could be worse. It could have been another Vesuvius. Or maybe some other horrendous disaster. At least we weren’t buried like Pompeii.”
It’s disaster enough, isn’t it?” Still, I shivered a bit at what could have happened. We were nowhere near a volcano, but the New Madrid fault was close enough to Atlanta that it might have decided to give way during my little escapade. Just because the Earth moved for me, didn’t mean it had to move for millions of other people. I decided to count my blessings.
Mixed bloods, Medea. Mixed bloods can call up very unusual phenomena when they mate. Perhaps it’s best we never were more than friends. Even when I was mortal, I was still half-god.”
The rain was tapering off behind us. If there was any luck to be had, I hoped it would be enough to ensure that no one had bothered looking out their window to see a storm drenching only my house that night.
I suppose we’d best figure out who and what our friend is, and whether he’s any threat.” Heracles rose, holding out a hand without prompting this time. I took it and let him pull me up.
Just what I needed. Another mystery.”
He trudged back through the grass. “Maybe this one will be easier to solve.” He sounded nonchalant enough about it. I tried to let the mood infect me, but it kept its distance. I felt like one of the storm clouds hovering over my house had just floated down and taken up permanent residence over my head.

Excerpt 2

I spoke the charm that unsealed the sanctuary door. It swung open, and simultaneously candles in sconces around the walls flared to life.
But they weren’t the only things that were glowing.
Next to the altar that held a statue of Hecate, a censer and vessels for libations, there was a small side-table. The single object on it was radiating an eerie light. It was a Sybil’s mirror, my direct link to Hades. It was a convenient way to send in my reports.
It was convenient most of the time, anyway. Just not at that particular moment. It should not have been glowing before I spoke the incantation to activate it.
The smart thing to do would have been to run right out of that room, lock the door from the outside and chant an invocation to call up some of the entities I was on friendly terms with. But smart is never high on my list when I’m tired and hungry.
So I went closer to the mirror. Mistake number one. The surface rippled like water, and I knew that images would soon break through.
At first, all I could see was something ill-defined, like an object bobbing just below the surface of a cloudy pool of water. The image became more defined. I dimly saw a bejeweled hand caressing what appeared to be a crumpled mound of crimson velvet. The image sharpened even more: it was not velvet.
It was flesh. A gaping, bloody hole in a human torso. The hand was stroking it slightly, dabbling ringed fingers into the gash as someone might lazily trail their hand in a cool pond on a warm spring day. I could tell it was a man’s body, but the image wasn’t wide enough for me to see his face, or the woman who was stroking the wound.
Everything had a cloudy sheen to it and her jewelry had an off color, making the gems unidentifiable. They were an odd, bluish-green.
A soft voice filled the room, as if it was coming from every corner.
Drink, drink…” it cajoled. A woman’s voice, light and soothing with the hint of myriad promises.
The image receded a bit, enough for me to see more of the torso as well as the body’s arms. I could see it was a man, but no more.
The vista slowly sank back into dimness. Another was surfacing. A mouth, surrounded by a lush beard. It was like black sable, sleek and oiled, arranged artfully into intricate curls and ringlets. A classic Greek style. The mouth and beard were all I could see, no other features to give me a clue about who it was.
The mouth was full and sensual, or at least it normally would be. I could tell that much even though it was twisted and pulled into a grimace. Pain? Ecstasy? A little of both, it seemed. It was not the expression which disturbed me the most.
The lush lips were streaked with blood. I could see, as the mouth opened in a silent groan, traces of blood on the teeth.
The image sharpened further, coming closer as if it was trying to come out of the mirror into my reality. My eyes widened as I realized it was no trick of light. The mouth was emerging from the mirror. Only a slight protrusion at first, then more, more…
The rim of the Sybil’s mirror was changing, becoming the same color as the blood on the lips pushing through the mirror’s surface.
As I backed away my ears started buzzing and I felt the floor wavering beneath me. I heard a sound that quickly grew louder, a throaty whisper that turned from a hoarse cry of need into distinct words.
Join us. Join us. Join us… Medea…”
Hearing my name sent a shock through me, enough to make me want to bolt. But I couldn’t.
The hideous mouth opened wider and scarlet clouds spilled from it like steam from a seething cauldron. They swept across the floor, flowing over my feet and up my calves. My legs were rooted to the spot even though my mind wanted nothing more than to run in terror—out of the room, out of the house, out of the city if I could run that much.
The room reeked of copper and ordure. Noxious fumes poured up my torso and over my chest and face, choking me.
Without warning or intent I fell backwards. It took me a moment to realize that I hadn’t stumbled. I had been pulled.
I could see the arms reaching from under my own, curving up over my chest towards my shoulders. They ended in hands that were as white as alabaster. White, except for the black nails that curved like talons from the fingers. Talons that were coming dangerously close to my throat.
I barely noticed that the vile clouds were being sucked back into the mirror, as if some gigantic monster on the other side had drawn in a large breath. The light started to fade from the mirror.
I was spun around. As the mirror’s glow dimmed I saw a face pale as moonlight, a mouth crimson as a ripe pomegranate, and eyes the color of amethysts just inches from my face.
The most pronounced feature was the hair. It seemed to be made of cobwebs and mist, floating in a silvery-grey cloud. Some of it was moving. Alive. As I looked at it, things looked back at me. Vipers.
The intruder’s mouth opened, revealing long curving fangs.
Medea…” The voice came from a distance, echoing as if I was in a deep cavern. The last thing I saw was the mouth opening wider, the fangs coming closer. Then the darkness took me.
Welcome to my world.

About the Author:

Morgan St. Knight live in Atlanta, and is a lifelong student of mythology, the occult, and comparative religion. With more than 25 years of experience as a journalist, Morgan enjoys the occasional foray into fantasyland to escape the grim realities of life. He is currently working on the sequel to "Curse of Prometheus" and is developing a second paranormal series which also takes place in the South.

Twitter: @morganstknight

Kindle Giveaway
To win, you just have to follow Morgan on Twitter @MorganStKnight and send a tweet that says "Entering giveaway for CoP". Only one tweet is necessary, but you must send that one tweet to know you're interested in entering the giveaway.
Additionally, Morgan will be giving away 2 copies of "Curse of Prometheus" each week of the tour. Everyone who enters for the Kindle giveaway on a given week is automatically entered for that week's book giveaway.
And yes, if you win a copy of the book, you are still in the running for the Kindle giveaway!

"Date Shark" by DelSheree Gladden (4 Stars)

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Date Shark
Date Shark series #1
by DelSheree Gladden

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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I was thrilled to receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, even though I don't read a lot of romance without some kind of paranormal bent to it. Even so, I found the book to be a lot of fun!

Eli Walsh is a professional. He's a psychiatrist and he runs a dating service on the side, which he calls date sharking. As a date shark, he takes out women clients and evaluates them after the date in hopes that he will be able to tell them where they are going wrong in the world of dating. He likes his job and he's good at it. But when he meets with Leila Sparrow, he can't find a single thing wrong with her. Except that she just might be the one for him.

DATE SHARK is fun, sweet, and romantic with believable characters. For once, I didn't find myself ticked off with the female protagonist!! I felt for her and rooted for her all the way!

Want more? GOODREADS | Amazon | Author's Website!

"Feral" by Anne Berkeley (5 Stars)

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Feral series, #1
by Anne Berkeley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review and I am soooo delighted that I have found another series that I can be passionate about!

We begin with Thaleia Llorente, a high school student preparing for a big Halloween party. She's going with her boyfriend and her bestie, so what can go wrong? Apparently, everything. Walking in on said boyfriend and said bestie at said party, Thaleia flees and her boyfriend gives chase. But it's not her boyfriend who attacks her, unless her boyfriend is a werewolf.

Bitten and humiliated, Thaleia is saved by a pack of handsome strangers. Did I say pack?

I'm not saying anymore, except for this - go get your own copy and be amazed. You will laugh, snarl, and maybe even cry. Oh, and you just might howl at the next full moon.

Want more? GOODREADS | AMAZON | Author's WEBSITE!

"Where Fault Lies: A Survivor's Story of Game, Shame & Blame" by Carrie May Lucas (5 Stars)

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Where Fault Lies:
A Survivor's Story of Game, Shame & Blame
by Carrie May Lucas

Genre: Non-fiction|Autobiography

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I don't normally read autobiographies but the author contacted me and asked if I would make an exception, so I did. I knew going in that it wasn't going to be an easy read, and that it quite possibly would trigger memories in me that I've tried hard to put behind me, but that was ok. The author had put a painful period of her life in writing and asked me to review it, so I was darn well going to do it.

Right from the beginning, I became uncertain about what I was going to read. The reason being, the author's very honest approach. This memoir is written like a fiction novel, a story you might pick up in the fiction section of your local bookstore, and for me, that made it better. But it also made it difficult to see what was going to happen, because the author didn't go into the story with hateful sidebars and little sarcastic snippets. She expressed how she felt at the time of each event, writing the antagonist as seen through rose colored glasses so that you wondered if the bad thing you were expecting was really going to happen. I was impressed. And appalled.

The "man" that Carrie May Lucas falls for made me personally sick, right from the introduction. I had no trouble seeing this person for who he was, and unfortunately, I felt a great deal of anger and sadness while reading because I could see the train wreck up ahead but she could not, and I had no way to warn her. This man's behavior was one big red flag to me, and when the horror of it was finally realized by the author, I felt intense fury at the lack of support she received.

It's hard to review this book, because just about anything that I say will 'give it all away'. I remind myself that the rules for no-spoilers are probably different for non fiction, but I'll still keep it brief.

WHERE FAULT LIES is a book filled with triggers. It is about one woman's mental anguish and physical abuse at the hands of a narcissistic predator. Written with skill and heart, brutal honestly and great courage, Carrie May Lucas has reached out and shared her experience so that others might be spared.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"A Vampire's Promise" by Carla Susan Smith (4 Stars)

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A Vampire's Promise
Vampire's Promise #1
by Carla Susan Smith

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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**I was given the opportunity to download this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**

Her name is Rowan Harper and she's not had a great track record with men. She's not unattractive, but in comparison to her "hot trailer trash BFF", she's downright invisible. That is, until a sexy Viking-looking god-of-a-specimen of man sends her a drink... that she declines.

And so begins the cat and mouse game between Rowan and Gabriel, the tall blonde who names his sports cars and pursues Rowan with confidence and arrogance. He seems to know something she doesn't and a nagging voice in her head insists she knows him. But does she?

A VAMPIRE'S PROMISE is a great paranormal romance, though a couple of things personally annoyed me. All the same, I'm looking forward to reading book 2!

The author's WEBSITE!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Claimed by the Alphas" by Viola Rivard (3 Stars)

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Claimed by the Alphas
Claimed #1
by Viola Rivard

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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I downloaded this book for free on amazon not too long ago after it was recommended to me by a friend. The hook for me was the somewhat different approach to werewolves in a genre saturated with them.

In CLAIMED by the ALPHAS, the first part of a serial collection, Mila Foster is introduced as the woman who volunteered herself in place of the winner in an unusual lottery. As a means of appeasing the local werewolf pack, and in exchange for receiving their protection from other packs, a few towns have hosted a lottery for the womenfolk. The "winner" is given to the Lazarus pack as a mate to produce pups to keep their kind going. It turns out that werewolf females are infertile, and Mila is in for a surprise when she finds out that this werewolf pack has not one, but two alpha males.

It's a quick, interesting read that I'd like to continue with book 2.

See it at GOODREADS | Get it for FREE at AMAZON or Buy the Bundled Serial!

"Shallow Basin" by Suzanne Cowles (4 Stars)

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Shallow Basin
Book #1 in a Trilogy
by Suzanne Cowles

Genre: Horror

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**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.**

Beau Boudreaux is a high school senior living in the small town of Stray Oaks. He's dating the hottest girl in school, his father is a Pro Fisherman celebrity, and he's been accepted to college. It's just not the college he wants to attend, she's not the girlfriend he sees himself with for the rest of his life, and his father is only that in front of the cameras.

With graduation looming ever closer, Beau has some honesty to pass around if he wants to live his life the way he dreams of. But in Stray Oaks where everyone has secrets, there is a local legend that just might not be fiction at all, but a blood thirsty beast with an agenda of its own.

SHALLOW BASIN was listed as a YA Horror, but it didn't quite strike me as such. There is some mature content that may or may not work for a YA novel, but even so, it was a fun summer read book that kept me reading and guessing, and wondering what could possibly be in store for Book 2?

Get more at GOODREADS | Buy it at AMAZON or BARNES&NOBLE | Author's WEBSITE!

"Hidden Monster" by Amanda Strong: COVER REVEAL and ARC GIVEAWAY!!

We are excited to share the official COVER REVEAL AND ARC GIVEAWAY for Hidden Monster by Amanda Strong. Hidden Monster is scheduled to release by Clean Teen Publishing on November 4, 2014. This young adult sic-fi thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to determine who the bad guy is. You will be suspecting everyone all the way until the stunning conclusion at the end. HIDDEN MONSTER is book one in The Dragon Fae Series. 

HIDDEN MONSTER by Amanda Strong

The breathing halted as the ski mask cocked to one side. His voice slurred, “What do I want?” I bit my lip to keep from gasping. He’d never responded before. “It’s obvious isn’t it? I want you to fall in love with me.”

For seventeen-year-old Samantha Campbell, running back woods trails usually means freedom from her less-than-perfect life. That is, until the day a morning run turns into a living nightmare. When Samantha wakes up to find herself bound to a dirty, pinstriped mattress, she realizes she’s anything but free. With a masked abductor repeatedly injecting her arm with an unknown substance while holding her captive, Samantha tries in vain to find out what he wants, but he refuses to speak. Until the day he breaks his silence and his twisted words are worse than what she’d imagined. He promises her one day she will fall in love with him but the best part will be that she won't know who he is... until it's too late. 

Finding herself freed from captivity, with her captor still at large, Samantha is on guard against everything and everyone around her. Unfortunately, walling up her heart proves difficult when eighteen-year-old Blake Knightley moves in next door. When Samantha starts experiencing strange changes within her, she realizes her captor may have left her more damaged than she originally thought. Now she must turn to Blake for help in order to unearth the truth behind the monster who started this all... or risk experiencing worse things than just falling in love.

1 Digital Advance Release Copy of Hidden Monster 
(Be the first to read the book before it releases in November!)
1 Digital Copy of The Awakener by Amanda Strong
SWAG: Bookmarks and Bracelet

Are you excited about Hidden Monster? Well you don't have to wait until November to read one of Amanda Strong's amazing books! Check out The Awakener today! 

Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Clean Teen Publishing

A simple touch will change their lives forever. 

Seeing Micah for the first time in years, fifteen year old Eden wants nothing more than to run and hide, but instead in a moment of sheer embarrassment, she throws her arms around his neck; unaware she just changed her childhood friend forever.

With eyes’ opened to the realm of angels and demons, Micah discovers he has become the Seer, called to save the world from an impending fire.  Shy and awkward, Eden stumbles through high school clueless her guardian angel shadows her every move, keeping her safe while she unknowingly “awakens” others to their spiritual gifts. Micah will need those Eden touched to complete his mission which began long ago in the ancient City of Enoch and its secret underground temple. 

With angels and demons fighting around them, both Eden and Micah must find their own personal courage and faith in order to know what to do for the battle that awaits them, one they must triumph or risk losing everyone they love.

More About Amanda Strong:

Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. Because of The Awakener's success as a non-published book, she was asked to talk on 1400 KSTAR about her story. 

In September 2013 Amanda Strong signed with Clean Teen Publishing for publication of The Awakener, which is scheduled to release in late October of this year. The Awakener is the first book in an all-new young adult paranormal romance series called: The Watchers of Men.  

When Amanda isn't writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream. 

Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing?
Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"The Depths" by Nick Thacker (4 Stars)

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The Depths
by Nick Thacker

Genre: Sci-fi Thriller

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**I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to download this book for free from Story Cartel in exchange for my honest review.**

Jen Adams is a working mom, a scientist with decidedly little time for her son, that is until he is kidnapped on the same evening that she finds her boss dead in the parking lot of her workplace. The kidnappers want something from her, but can she and her soon-to-be ex-husband find out what it is before their son is gone forever?

This book takes a 5 mile dive beneath the Atlantic ocean to a presumed abandoned research station. Only it's not.

A great sci-fi with thrills and mystery, chills and drills - after you read this book, you're going to run to your preferred search engine to do a little botany research. I know I did. =D

Want more? Check it out at GOODREADS | Amazon | Story Cartel

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Cursed by Fire" by Danielle Annett: COVER REVEAL, EXCERPT, & GIVEAWAY!

Title: Cursed by Fire
Series: Blood and Magic #1
Author: Danielle Annett
Designer: Mae I Design
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: January 2015

Book Description:
It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.

Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.

When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.

Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.
Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.

You can learn more about Danielle on her website at or follow on on facebook at and on twitter @Danielle_Annett

“Mike you and I both know that that isn’t going to happen so why don’t you just tell me what fur ball they’re going to saddle me with.” I said as I collected my stack of papers and organized them into a semi-neat pile.
Mike noisily cleared his voice, “Uh hey Ari…”
“God I hope that whoever it is that he isn’t a complete moron. If I’m going to be stuck with a pack partner, the least they can do is send me someone competent.” Mike noisily cleared his throat again.
“What?” I asked, looking up from my desk.
I was greeted by a tall man standing just inside the office, casually leaning against the doorframe. He had tousled brown hair and steely grey colored eyes. High cheekbones and a strong jaw formed his masculine face and a hint of stubble dusted his jaw line, not enough to appear unkempt but just enough to give a roguish impression. Dressed in black jeans, a black T, and a black leather jacket, he oozed tall, dark and handsome with deadly intent.
“That would be this fur ball right here.” He said, an arrogant grin lifting the corner of his mouth. I let my head fall to the surface of my desk, then for good measure I gently knocked my forehead on its smooth surface, one, two, three times. Dammit I couldn’t believe I had just called him a freaking fur ball! I could feel my cheeks warm in embarrassment and did my best to hide it.
“You all done with the show?” He asked as I lifted my head from the desk. I glared at him for good measure and then allowed my head to connect with the desk’s surface once more before sitting up. rubbing the slight sting away “Yea, I’m done.” I told him. Well, at least this wouldn’t be as bad as I had thought. James was the only shifter that I actually personally knew and was one of the few individuals I considered a friend. I met James about six months ago at a shifter bar downtown, though at the time I didn’t actually know that it was a shifter bar.
A group of coyotes had decided I was easy prey and were giving me a pretty hard time. James had intervened before things got out of hand which basically meant that he stopped me from wiping the floor with their coyote asses and burning the entire building to ash.  It was probably a good thing that he had stepped in but I remember being furious with him at the time, I had really wanted to give those bastards a piece of my mind and show them that I wasn’t just some naive little girl. That was back when I was still cocky over my abilities. Things had changed since then and the thought was sobering. Now being a pyrokinetic was something I had to hide and honestly, that just plain sucked.
“So, you’re my partner?”
James nodded, his face going serious, “Yea I’m you’re partner, ready to do something reckless?”
I smiled at that, James knew me all to well.
Grabbing my messenger bag I followed James out of the office, aware of Mike’s unapproving gaze on my every step.