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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spotlight & #Giveaway: Winter Wolf by R.J. Blain

Winter Wolf Winter Wolf (Witch & Wolf Book 2) by R.J. Blain

The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Excerpt 

Almost everyone in the store had a phone. Dormant devices, from reading lights to mobile chargers, littered the tables. One woman, browsing books nearby, had four battery-powered devices in her purse. One was a phone, and like mine, it hungered. Its need was strong; its battery waned to the point of failure.

If I wanted, I could charge it for her.

No one would notice if I did. Maybe the woman would wonder how her phone hadn’t died before she got home. It only had a few minutes left. It’d take me all of ten seconds to fix it for her. If I did, I wouldn’t be so aware of it. But to do so, I’d have to touch her—or her phone. Some things I could manipulate without having a direct conduit, but cell phone batteries were tricky, greedy things.

I cringed a little, setting the thriller book down. I picked up the next nearest title. I flipped it over, not reading the text on the back. Did I dare? Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the woman browsing through the books. All it would take was a few seconds. I could charge it without her noticing.

That was one thing I was actually good at.

 I put the novel I held down and wandered to the same table, careful not to look at her. Book by book, I investigated the titles, circling to where she stood.

“You’re Nicole Thomas, aren’t you? The actress. You’re her.” My quarry appraised me with a pleased expression.

People normally recognized the mainliners, people with beautiful faces and voices to match, people who didn’t avoid crowds.

 In short, people other than me.

I met her gaze, abandoning my perusal of novels. “I am,” I replied, wincing a little at the sandpaper-rough quality of my voice. At least I hadn’t been reduced to a whisper—yet. My fatal flaw was my rough, grating voice. Chronic laryngitis did that to a person. It ruined careers, as it had mine, though I hadn’t quite given up on being an actress. I’d already lost the ability to sing.

I wasn’t going to let a stupid disease take everything away from me.

The woman smiled, not seeming to mind talking to someone who sounded more like a zombie than a human. “You’re taller than I expected. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

She thrust out her hand.

We shook.

I left her phone alone.

“They keep putting me next to giants,” I quipped. It was true. When I did manage to get on the silver screen, I worked alongside actors easily a foot-and-a-half taller than me. “It’s a pleasure to meet you too.” I matched her smile. She didn’t tell me her name, and I didn’t ask for it.

It took all of my will not to fiddle with her phone. All it would take was a murmured word and a thought, and it’d be done. It would have been easy to charge the battery when our hands had been clasped together, but I hadn’t dared.

If, sometime later, she noticed her phone had magically been charged—literally—she might remember me. She knew my name.

And in true cowardice, I couldn’t bring myself to help her. If she connected the strange behavior of her phone with me, she might tell someone. If she did, I’d be as good as dead—or worse. I had dabbled in the occult, and the occult had dabbled back, and there were those who didn’t like when that happened.

The last thing I needed was them finding me.

Author RJ BlainAuthor R.J. Blain

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning. When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish. In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.  

Favorite Books & Series

In no particular order: Anne McCaffrey's Pern Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series Jim Butcher's Codex Alera & The Dresden Files Brandon Sanderson's Elantris Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

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Blast Giveaway $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/16/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

UNICORN KEEP by Angelia Almos is #FREE on #Amazon today!

UNICORN KEEP by Angelia Almos is #FREE on #Amazon today! Grab your copy now!

"What a magical story, I honestly can't think of any other word to describe this book. I enjoyed the budding romance between Jiline and Herrick, but I think it was the magic that occurred between the Unicorns and Jiline that had me turning the pages. " - A Tasty Read


Jiline of Ainsley is dismayed when her best friend is selected by the mages to become a unicorn keeper at the Keep, an isolated mountain fortress. Especially since Madelen is in love and engaged to the richest boy in the village. Jiline on the other hand has no prospects of marriage or a trade in their small village. So, she comes up with a plan to take Madelen’s place at the Keep and hopefully flunk out of unicorn keeper training before the mages can discover the deception. Unfortunately, the unicorns have their own plans for her.

Mage Herrick, son of the Keep Mage, returns home to the Keep as the trainee keepers arrive. A chance encounter with Jiline, who he believes is Madelen, on the trail sparks a magical connection between the two. Knowing he can’t feel a magical draw to someone who has no magic, he tries to prove Madelen (Jiline) has magic within her. His attention brings unforeseen complications for both of them.

http://www.amazon.com/Unicorn-Keep-Angelia-Almos-ebook/dp/B007YIWQAS

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spotlight & #Giveaway: Women Under Fire by Jacki Delecki





Women Under Fire
Grayce Walters Mystery # 2
By: Jacki Delecki


Blurb

Life has heated up for animal acupuncturist Grayce Walters: thrust into the public eye and hounded by the media after solving an arson case with a critical clue from a French Poodle. When Ewan Davis, the sexy arson investigator Grayce has been steaming things up with, starts talking commitment, she definitely feels the burn.

Then a desperate mother begs Grayce to help find her missing daughter—an Afghanistan war veteran suffering from PTSD, and Grayce reluctantly takes on the case, following a disturbing clue provided by the missing young woman’s cat. Calling once again on the aid of her cross-dressing best friend and her shrewd assistant, Grayce uncovers a terrorist plot with chilling international implications.

 Grayce races to rescue the young veteran before the escalating danger explodes. But if she manages to escape the threat, will she find the courage to commit to the fiery passion that awaits her wrapped in Davis’s arms?


Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23293429-women-under-fire?from_search=true

Buy Links: Amazon

Author Info
Descended from a long line of storytellers, Jacki spins adventures filled with mystery, healing and romance.
Jacki’s love affair with the arts began at a young age and inspired her to train as a jazz singer and dancer. She has performed many acting roles with Seattle Opera Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet. 
Jacki has set her Grayce Walters Mystery Series in Seattle, her long-time home. The city’s unique and colorful locations are a backdrop for her romantic mystery. 

Although writing now fills much of her day, she continues to volunteer for Seattle’s Ballet and Opera Companies and leads children’s tours of Pike Street Market. Her volunteer work with Seattle’s homeless shelters influenced one of her main characters in An Inner Fire and Women Under Fire. 

Jacki’s two Golden Labs, Gus and Talley, were her constant companions. Their years of devotion and intuition inspired her to write dogs as main characters alongside her strong heroines.

A geek at heart, Jacki loves superhero movies—a hero’s battle against insurmountable odds. But her heroines don’t have to wear a unitard to fight injustice and battle for the underdog.
Look for more heart-pounding adventure, intrigue, and romance in Jacki’s Code Breaker Series. A Code of Love is the first book in the series. A Christmas Code—A Regency Novella, now available at all retail sites, is second in the series. And A Code of the Heart will be released on Valentine’s Day 2015.

To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about contests and giveaways join her newsletter found on her website: www.jackidelecki.com

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Excerpt
Ambushed by Aunt Aideen, Grayce Walters was trapped. The bonds of social pressure gripped tighter around her wrists and ankles, holding her captive in the kitchen chair. She couldn’t escape tonight’s séance.
Dressed in a flowing cobalt-blue caftan, Aunt Aideen ceremoniously placed a scarred, black box on the table and then carefully opened a chest lined in red velvet and raised a glimmering crystal ball into the air. “This Keek-Stane has been passed down through generations of Scottish witches.”
The enormous kitchen suddenly went airless. Grayce gulped for a breath. Mitzi, who had been sleeping under the table, protectively covered Grayce’s feet with her paws.
Grayce knew nothing about tarot cards or witches. Why hadn’t Davis warned her that his aunt considered herself a witch? Grayce had recognized Aunt Aideen as a gifted intuitive, but not a witch, whatever that meant.
Aunt Aideen placed the ball in the center of the table spread with tarot cards. “The Keek-Stane guides me in the reading of the cards.”
A call to a suspicious fire had interrupted the cozy dinner with her boyfriend, his aunt and dog. If Davis had stayed, she’d be eating dessert instead of having a metaphysical experience.
Aunt Aideen’s enormous moonstone ring flickered in the candlelight as her hand hovered over the cards. “We must look to the future.”
Grayce couldn’t see the card. She felt light-headed from the burning sweet flag incense or from the ominous energy swirling from the crystal ball.
As she turned over the first tarot card, the large woman’s usual booming voice grew quiet with a mysterious Gaelic lilt. “The Knight of Swords.” 
Prickly sensations lifted the fine hair on Grayce’s neck. Mitzi came from under the table and sat next to Grayce’s chair.
Aunt Aideen opened her massive hand to allow Grayce to see the card—a medieval knight in armor on a powerful white horse rode toward a battle in the distance. The horse’s harness was decorated with butterflies and birds. The sky behind him was filled with storm clouds and the trees, tossed wildly by the wind. The knight resembled St. Michael the Archangel.
“The Knight of Swords is hard to resist,” Aunt Aideen intoned.
Davis obviously fit the Knight of Swords. His commanding presence, physical strength, and his commitment to fight crimes made him the perfect archetypal hero.
Heat moved across Grayce’s cheeks in embarrassment. “Davis was hard to resist.” Grayce knew first hand. As a witness to arson, she had been interviewed by the sexy fire investigator and had fallen in love with the irresistible man.
“My nephew, Ewan Davis, is in no way a Knight of Swords. Davis is an Emperor, a man of the logical world, like his Scottish forebears. The Knight of Swords is a messenger, a call for adventure. He does not see, nor does he care about risks or dangers and instead moves forward with his strong determination and strength to succeed, no matter what.
Grayce wasn’t going to discuss Davis’ ability as an adventurous lover with the aunt who had raised him after his mother’s death.
“The knight will call to you from your dreams.” Aunt Aideen’s solemn voice and the shimmering moonstone known for clairvoyance were doing strange things to Grayce’s perceptions. The images in the room faded in and out. The heightened energy from the ball moved in undulating waves.
“His call will challenge you to leave your present way of being.” Aunt Aideen’s eyes were in the shadows, but Grayce felt her focused stare. “The Knight of Swords can also be seen as a warning.”
With the soft burr of Aunt Aideen’s Scottish inflection, the wavering candlelight and the nutty scent of sweet flag, Grayce was floating into deep relaxation.
Aunt Aideen’s voice lost its soothing rhythm. “And it doesn't take a seer to predict that Davis will have trouble with the knight’s appearance in your life. Davis needs to be your protector.”
Grayce came immediately out of her meditative state. Davis tried very hard to control his fear of unforeseen disasters by guarding all those he loved. 
“Does the knight have to be human? Maybe I’ll have a new patient?” Grayce asked.
Aunt Aideen kept her eyes closed. Her muted voice was firm. “I see a tall, dark man in a uniform. He holds a gun.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Spotlight & #Giveaway: In The Dark by Jen Colly



In the Dark
The Cities Below # 1
By: Jen Colly
Releasing November 3, 2014
Lyrical Press / Kensington  


Blurb
Demons have returned, a vengeful enemy waiting to strike. Soren and Faith must find a way to survive the evil and darkness. Faith's spur of the moment vacation, meant to free her and boost her spirits, has left her lost on the streets of Paris. And apparently, Paris is populated with something more than just humans. Vampires, suave, seductive and oh so sexy, and one such warrior vampire has set his sights on her.

When Soren hears Faith’s terrified screams, he rushes in and saves her life without considering the consequences. Two problems: one, she’s a human and clearly aware of his vampire qualities, and two, the men who attacked her were not men at all, but demons. Their target, his beloved underground city of Balinese. He can never let Faith go home again, but can she learn to love his people...love him?
  
Excerpt:

Dark tonight. The steady rain mottled the persistent light from the streetlamps. Darkness was a good thing. He wasn’t comfortable here. This wasn’t home, and a part of him hated Paris. For all the city’s beauty and sophistication, it was a very dangerous place.

Stepping over a deep puddle, Soren moved as quickly as he could, keeping to the shadows as he scanned the quiet street, straining to hear any movement beyond the rain.

Though he usually didn’t watch his back or worry about what waited around the next corner, here in this city, it made the difference between getting what he needed to survive and the eradication of his people. If humans were to discover him, their fear would take over, and every last one of his kind would be hunted down and butchered. It had happened before.

Men’s voices broke through the peaceful silence of night, and he ignored them, just as he did the rain dripping from his hair and off the tip of his nose. They were too far away to cause him any trouble. He was here for another, more urgent purpose. He’d ignored the signs, and now his body required sustenance.

Then a woman’s whimpering plea fell into the mix of voices.

He changed his path, searching for her, and found her in a dead end alleyway. Two men pinned the helpless and frightened woman to the brick wall. He pulled the men from her, threw them hard against the building. Their heads hit on the bricks with a sickening thud, and the men fell to the ground, limp, lifeless.

The woman had been pitched back against the far building, taking a bump to her head. He spun around to see how she had fared. She still stood.

Hunger hit him hard.

He strode toward her, chest heaving from excitement, anticipation. The woman before him was water to a man dying of thirst.

She was so refreshingly ordinary, from her wet and clinging black hair, to her flushed cheeks. Even the cut of her shirt, low enough to show a mere hint of her bosom and all her lovely neck, was simple.

She leaned against the building for support as she tested the back of her head for any serious injury. “Thank you. I don’t know what I would have done.”

Her trembling voice set him in motion, but her tentative smile sealed her fate. He moved a step closer, then another, crowding her.

She stumbled as she tried to step back, looking for an escape. The wall of the building was already pressing against her back. Still he advanced.

Standing inches from her, he grazed her cheek with his fingers then plunged them into her hair and swept the sopping mess back. She gasped softly, a nervous intake of breath.

“Please, don’t.” Her voice quavered.

“Say it again,” he demanded roughly, though his touch was gentle.

“Please,” she whispered, squeezing her eyes shut, and he dropped his head and nuzzled her neck. Her voice enthralled him so, had drawn him closer.

She whimpered, the vibrations touching his lips, and he tightened his grasp on her, trying to somehow remain focused. He needed to go slowly, but it had been too long. The sensation of her lush form against him was too right, the soft scent of her flesh too potent.

Control fled, and he bit her. Her body jerked once, then went rigid against him. Happily drowning in the sweet and tempting scent that had driven him over the edge, he barely noticed. Rose? Lavender? He didn’t know flowers, and didn’t care to learn them, but he would never again breathe that scent without thinking of her.

Nourishing, sweet and hot, her lifeblood sent blissful shivers coursing through his body. Feeding was always a delicious experience, though he’d never experienced anything like this.

The rain continued to fall on them, the cool drops sliding down her neck to the very spot where they were joined. Soren drank in the water, the taste of her skin infused in every raindrop. So intoxicating, so sensual. He couldn’t help but wrap his other arm around her waist and bring her closer. He was no longer holding her still, but simply holding her.

His heartbeat raced. The simple act of feeding was enough to send him out of his mind with satisfaction, but the soul wrenching pleasure of her clutching his shoulders had him gasping for breath.

The world faded away. No rain or alley, no feeding existed. He only wanted to bask in the way her fingers moved, tightening then releasing, like she needed him. Wanted him. But too soon her fingers slipped from his shirt, fell slowly down his arms, and hung at her sides.

She went limp in his arms. Something was wrong. Sealing the bite on her neck with a kiss of thanks, he pulled back. She’d passed out.

That wasn’t supposed to happen. Losing consciousness occurred after a person had been either wounded or frightened. Any injury she had wasn’t serious. If he’d frightened her, that posed a far more complicated problem. Adrenaline sharpened the mind.

She shouldn’t be here. The hour was too late, the streets deserted. Shops had closed hours ago. Her purse lay on the ground, discarded, unwanted. The two men hadn’t meant to rob her.

He needed to get her out of here, and shifted her higher against him. If she woke to find two dead bodies, she would likely become hysterical, and he wasn’t in the mood to deal with that human emotion. Maybe the beauty’s purse contained useful information. He scanned the ground for it.
Something moved in the shadows. One of the attackers, his fingers curling.

Tightening his grasp on the unconscious woman, he stepped closer to the man, and with eyes used to the night, caught movement behind the man’s eyelids.

He was awake.

Soren pulled his gun and sent the man back into blackness with a single shot.

He had to find out who or what these men were. Nothing should have come back that fast after tangling with him. Nothing ever had. He didn’t like this, not at all, and cursing under his breath, pulled his phone from his pocket and dialed an all too familiar number. Only Gustav could sort out this mess and provide answers.


Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23290569-in-the-dark?from_search=true

Buy Links   Amazon | Barnes | iBooks | Kobo
Author Info
Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.
Author Links:  Website |Facebook |Twitter | Goodreads

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Movie Monday Recap

Watched again for my Halloween movie. Doesn't matter that I've read the book and already seen it 5 times, I still bawl at the ending every single time. Stephen Sommers is a cinematic genius. Dean Koontz created the wonderful Odd and Stormy. And Anton Yelchin and Addison Timlin brought Odd and Stormy to life. Do yourself a favor and rent or buy this movie (currently streaming on Netflix). This move DESERVED a theatrical release.
One word to describe this movie - INTENSE. Does not paint a pretty picture for the survivors of an apocalypse. Pretty violent for those of you who are squeamish, but a powerful movie. Goes to show that even the heroes can be villains or were villains. Trying to figure out what to say so as not to reveal too much of the conclusion.
Cute. Reminded me of a Phantom of the Opera.
Daughter was in a High School Musical mood so we had to watch all 3.

Blast & #Giveaway: Beauty & the Biker by Beth Ciotta


Enter to Win
A Kelly Rae Roberts Inspirational Cuff Bracelet



A new contemporary series—Impossible Dream—celebrating hope, love, and the magic of the human spirit!

Five long-time girlfriends—known as The Inseparables—find themselves in their thirties and battling disillusion. Tangled up in real-life troubles and stifled aspirations, they’re ready to ditch their deepest desires .. until they stumble upon the peculiar matchmaking company, “Impossible Dream,” where they each find the rare opportunity to make seemingly impossible dreams come true.

A series of modern-day fairytales beginning with . . . Beauty & the Biker





PRINCE CHARMING IS OUT THERE. SOMEWHERE.

Miracles happen every day. Even in Nowhere, Nebraska. That’s Bella Mooney’s philosophy and she’s sticking to it! A children’s librarian who writes fairy tales on the side, Bella has earned the reputation of fanciful Pollyanna. No surprise that she applied for her “ideal man” via ImpossibleDream.com, an Internet company designed to make dreams come true. However, even whimsical Bella has real-life issues, forcing her to take drastic actions in order to spin her dad’s life (and in turn her own) for the better. As fate draws her into the troubling world of her new neighbor—a cynical biker with a scarred soul and checkered past—Bella finds herself falling for the most unlikely man, twisting her perceptions of true love and testing her faith in dreams.

FATE LANDED HIM IN NOWHERE. 

Expect nothing. Anticipate the worst. As a detective with the Chicago Police Department, Joe Savage witnessed heinous crimes and acts of cruelty on a daily basis, obliterating his faith in humanity. When a personal vendetta cost him his job and a quirky inheritance offered escape, Joe packed it in and steered his Harley toward a small town bordering Tornado Alley and the Twilight Zone. Where better to lose himself than Nowhere? Resigned to a dark and lonely existence, Joe’s life is suddenly shoved into the sunshine when his eccentric neighbor offers him a chance he can't refuse, especially after her kiss of hope rekindles his dead heart. Inspired and challenged by Bella’s infectious optimism, Joe dares to make the impossible come true. 
 
 

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Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed "fun and sexy" by Publisher's Weekly, Beth specializes in writing Romantic Comedy with a Twist of Suspense and is published in contemporary, historical, steampunk, and paranormal romantic fiction.

Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A veteran professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at www.bethciotta.com

Find Her Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads