Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sucking in San Francisco by Jessica McBrayer Excerpt

Sucking In San Francisco (San Francisco Vampire Series) by Jessica McBrayer
$3.99

Working at a Suicide Prevention Center in San Francisco, Lily Goodwill thinks she’s heard it all—then she gets a call from a man about to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Something about the caller, maybe his yummy British accent or Lily’s ability to understand his crushing ennui, makes her break all the rules and rush to meet him. After all, she is a vampire and if she can’t talk him down she can glamour him.

But things don’t go according to plan. Her caller glows with blue fire and turns out to be a vampire-hating Djinn. Suddenly, for the first time in centuries he’s found something intriguing. Is Lily really a vampire with a conscience and an obsessive-compulsive disorder, involving Handi-wipes and Lysol, or is she just another bloodsucker?

Add in another vampire, with a history of female lovers stretching over three centuries, who swears he’s reformed and declares his undying love for Lily. Stir in a mean pair of witches and a vicious warlock, who are staking vampires around the city and you have a recipe for riotous adventure of supernatural proportions.

Lily Goodwill is a quick thinking, smart-talking vampire who’s still figuring out how she feels about dining al fresco in the City by the Bay.

Excerpt:

1. LILITH


    “Suicide Prevention, this is Lilith, how can I help you?”
    “Hi. Is this where I call to get drugs for anxiety?” a slightly blurred voice asks.
    “No ma’am. This is the number you call if you’re having thoughts about harming yourself.”
    I try to keep my voice professional as I stare at my featureless grey carpeted cubicle and Formica desk.
    “Oh. Oh, I am. I really need the meds, you know, like Xanax? It’s free, right?”
    “No ma’am. We can’t help you with that. I can offer you free counseling. Would you like to talk to one of our counselors tomorrow?”
    “No, I just want the freaking drugs.”
    Click.
    Well, so much for caller number one. I hate when we get callers like that. I can’t do anything for them. I know they have problems, just not ones I can help with. We have to keep a complete account of every phone call. I’d rather stick bamboo shoots under my fingernails than do the paper work. As I fill out my log I see my supervisor stalking me… great.
    “Lilith, oh Lily…”
    “Yes, Meredith?” I say, head down, rolling my eyes.
    “Did you fill out your insurance forms yet? You know that if you don’t you can’t get your medical.”
    “Ummm, I don’t need medical.” I really don’t need medical.
    “Lily, what is this on your desk?” Her voice rises. “You know we can’t have anything personal on our desks. You’re going to have to remove all this stuff.” She sniffs. Her short, chubby self, quivering with outrage.
    “It’s only cleaning supplies, Meredith, some handi-wipes and Lysol. I don’t see how this is personal.”
    “If you get cleaning supplies then Dan gets pictures of his kids. Remove them.”
I see Dan covertly slide his pictures off his desk out the corner of my eye. At least someone escapes the wrath of Meredith.
    She walks away.
    Just love her. With all my unbeating heart. I put my supplies in my bag for easy access. It will give me something to tweet about. She doesn’t follow me on Twitter so I can rant. If I didn’t love and feel so strongly about what I do, I’d use those cleaning supplies on her.
    The grey painted walls, a school locker grey, not a warm grey or a lovely taupe, do nothing for the beautiful Victorian building where I work. Almost like they try to make it as depressing as possible.
Being among the cubicles, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on my calls, even with my superior hearing, with all the other calls going on around me. But this is where I come three nights a week to do something that makes me feel good about myself.
    The lines are busy tonight. I finish my notes and my line blinks again.
    “Suicide Prevention, this is Lilith, how may I help you?”
    “Hello dear, it’s Mrs. Gunderson. How are you tonight?”
    “Hello, Mrs. Gunderson, I’m fine. How are you feeling? How is Sprinkles?”
    “Mr. Sprinkles and I are feeling rather blue. My son was supposed to come and visit today and he canceled at the last minute. He said he had something come up at work. I haven’t seen him in months. It’s always something with him. You’d think he’d want to see his mother.”
    “I’m sorry Mrs. Gunderson. That must have been very disappointing. How is Mr. Sprinkles taking it?” Mr. Sprinkles is code for Mrs. Gunderson. She describes his symptoms and I translate them into hers. She’s a long time caller, lonely and often needing to talk. I want to have a serious conversation with her delinquent son.
    “Well, Mr. Sprinkles isn’t eating and he is having a hard time sleeping. I’m worried about him.”
    “I am too, Mrs. Gunderson. Can you and Mr. Sprinkles come in and talk to one of our doctors?”
    “Oh, I don’t know about that…”
    “I think it would help Mr. Sprinkles sleep better and maybe start eating again. I’m so worried about him.”
    “You’re such a sweet girl. I’ll talk to them just for you.”
    I let my shoulders relax. Mrs. Gunderson has been calling for months now and she’s been slowly getting more and more depressed. It took a couple of calls to figure out that her cat, Mr. Sprinkles, was really a way for her to talk about herself. I quickly make an appointment for her, before she changes her mind. I make a note to the therapist that she’ll bring her cat and the reason why, along with a brief history of her calls.
    When I’m done, my light is blinking again. No rest for the wicked as they say.
    “Suicide Prevention, this is Lilith, how may I help you?”
    “Lilith, I’ve been trying to kill myself but nothing seems to work.” A lovely voice and his English accent makes me flash to all things British and my fan girl comes out. Although I’m supposed to be helping him, I get a tingle through my nerve endings as I listen to him talk. Wait a second, what did he say?
    “Excuse me?”
    “I’ve tried jumping in front of a BART train, jumping off a building, and electrocution.”
    “You what!?” Wait a second, I gotta be hearing him wrong.
    “Are you having trouble hearing me? I’m on the bridge. My reception is usually good but…”
    “No, no I hear you fine.” I’m just not understanding you.
    “Good, as I was saying…”
    “Wait!” I try to catch up with the conversation. “Why are you trying to kill yourself?”
    “I’m tired, Lilith. I’m just tired.” His voice is heavy with weariness.
    “Maybe you just need to rest? Some peace, not an ending.”
    “I’m weary of the predictability of this life. There’s nothing to hold me here. When you’ve seen as much as I have… it’s painful to see things repeated over and over again.”
    I wonder if he’s a vet? Some of our vets talk this way. I shift in my chair and lean into the desk. “Do you have anyone to share with?” I say. There’s a dull ache in my stomach. I know what he means, but I also know I would not be helping him to admit this.
    Night after night, no one to share my life with. I have friends but no life mate, only an eternity of endless, black nights with no fire. An occasional spark. Vampires don’t call help lines. I do have friends, though, and they carry me through.
    “No, there’s no one. No one at all,” he says.
    “Well, you can start with me, you have me. What’s your name?”
    “You can call me Aidan.”
    “Aidan, what’s got you so tired of life? Are you a veteran? Is it your job?”
    “I’m not a veteran of your wars and I’m between jobs right now and not actively seeking employment,” he says, dryly.
    I sense an opening. I tug my hair, a nervous habit, and go for it.
    “I’ve felt like you. The days running together, so I got a job. What type of work have you done?”
    “Slavery in its basest form.”
    “I hate my boss too, but it couldn’t have been that bad.”
    “Oh, I assure you, dear Lilith, it was shackles and chains all the way.”
    So much for my window of insight.
    “What about friends? Have you never had a friend who’s made a difference in your life?”
    “I’m a loner, Lilith. I like to observe humans, not befriend them.”
    I can empathize. Vampires tend to stick to their own kind. It’s not nice to play with your food.
    “Would you consider observing one of our counselors? It might be amusing.”
    He chuckles.
    “Lilith, I am in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge with the intent of jumping off. I thought I would call and get your opinion on whether this is a successful method of dying or not. I admit I have found our conversation enjoyable.”
    “But… but we’re suicide prevention! We don’t give advice on how to commit suicide!”
    “So far you have managed to delay me quite satisfactorily.” He sounds upbeat, yet something about his cool detachment convinces me he’s serious.
    His determination sends a shiver across my body. Did I mention he has an English accent?  Stop it Lily, what’s wrong with you? Maybe it’s because I can relate so well with him. Focus! I’m getting ready to beg which breaks all our rules.
    “What can I do to change your mind? What can I say, Aidan?”
    “Hmmm… Would you be willing to meet me on the bridge in half an hour to talk? No police officers – I’ll know – and I’ll be gone if you do,” he warns. “Just you, and I make no promises.”  
    I’m quiet for a moment. I run my hands through my hair as I think. There’s something about this guy. Am I a super mojo-wielding vampire or what? I know a few tricks. I’m not worried about my personal safety, but he’s definitely a mental case. Who keeps trying to kill themselves over and over again and then calls a hotline for advice on how to do it right? I don’t know. I may live to regret this. Well, live is relative. I use my hand sanitizer as I think it over quickly.
    I blow out a gust of air, which isn’t easy for someone who doesn’t need to breathe.
    “I’ll meet you in the middle of the bridge in half an hour. Wait for me in case my bus is late.”
    He barks a sharp laugh and hangs up.

Books in the San Francisco Vampires Series

Hell Hounds Are for Suckers (San Francisco Vampires Book 2)
Sucking Bites (San Francisco Vampires Book 3)


The End of the World Playlist by Dan O'Brien Book Tour


Welcome to the seventh day of the The End of the World Playlist blog tour. It will run until August 1st and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this dystopian world:

The world as we knew it had ended. Deep in the mountains of the west coast, six men survived. In the town of River’s Bend, these six friends continued on with their lives as zombies inherited the Earth. As they navigated the world that had been left behind, the soundtrack of life played on.



A few questions for the author:


Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? 

I am generally more concerned about doing things right, though it really depends on the circumstances. If I set out to do something, then I am always trying to make the best possible product that I can. 


You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do? 

Ask them to stop it immediately. Gossiping always has a way of coming back around and getting you. I would hope that someone who knows me would do the same for me.


If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Learn as much as you can throughout your life, it will most certainly come in handy. 


Would you break the law to save a loved one? 

Yes, whatever I needed to do. The people I love make life worth living.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Track 7
Knocking on Heaven’s Door


Music played in the store, softly, like a haunting hymn. Kenny walked slowly through the aisles, touching various items as he passed. He reached down and picked up a candle, smelling it. A soccer ball screamed past, slamming into the shelves that had held candles. 

“What the fuck, Short Stack?”

Will shrugged his shoulders and retrieved the ball, negotiating the aisles with relative ease as he ran deeper into the store. 

“Fucking idiot,” murmured the lumbering giant. Walking into another aisle, Kenny touched a huge pillow, pushing his hand into it to test its softness. “Fuckhead, grab a cart.”

The sound of Will kicking the soccer ball echoed again. He sent it spiraling into something that resulted in glass breaking, followed by the quick footsteps of him running. Kenny continued to look at the pillows, walking down the aisle inspecting them. Will returned, riding the cart and laughing hysterically when it crashed into the tall shelves, rocking the items there. 

“Are you in middle school or something? Grow the fuck up.”

“Coming from the guy who wanted Hello Kitty sheets, I’m not sure that means shit.”

“Hello Kitty is cool as shit.”

“You want some pink curtains to go with that, maybe some tampons?”

Kenny lunged forward, but Will slunk away easily. “Make yourself useful and grab cleaning supplies. You have about a shit-ton of zombie parts to clean out of my room.”

“The fuck if I do.”

Kenny pushed the smaller man and Will overdramatized, shrieking and covering his mouth as he bounded away. Will ran through the store, jumping off of things, touching damn near everything within touching distance. He, however, stopped in front of the paint counter upon seeing Bob the Paint Counter Zombie. 

“Greetings and salutations, Bob.”

Bob groaned. 

It was with much more vigor than any of the other zombies. Struggling against the bolts in its hands, black and red muck oozed all over the counter. “Looks like you are making quite the mess there.”

Bob tried to lunge forward, twisting its arms. 

An elbow cracked.

It drooled menacingly. 

“You really should be careful with your anger there, chief, could be bad for your heart.”

Bob lunged again, breaking another elbow. 

Its arms hung loose.

“You see, now you’ve really done it. Two broken arms can’t be good for meeting the ladies. Interferes with the night life, ya know?”

Bob merely drooled and gargled at this point. 

“I think perhaps my wisdom is lost on you there, Bob-o. I think I will be going about my business. You keep on keeping on, man.”

Will walked past Bob, who continued to struggle manically despite its broken arms. The youngest of the survivors grabbed a golf club from the counter and swung it about in wide arcs. Looking into the distance, he covered his hand over his eyes like he was out on the green. Reaching out with the golf club, he ran it over the counters, knocking various plastic-wrapped items off of the shelf. A tube of tennis balls fell to the ground, spreading out in a collage of green, yellow, and orange.

“Tiger Woods is set up for an eagle. He eyes the hole carefully, feeling the ground, testing his window of opportunity here on the 18th green.”

He drew the golf club up and then swung it with a grunt, launching a yellow tennis ball across the store. “He has done it. Again the green jacket will revert to the immortal Woods, further proving his dominance over a sport populated by overweight white men.”

Will raised his arms, making jeers and cheers as he danced about like Rocky Balboa. 

*

Allen carried two duffel bags full of various goodies and camping equipment. The butt of his assault rifle was pressed against his shoulder; his head moved back and forth as he swept the store. With a kick, he opened the back door into the store room. Swiveling his head left and then right, he moved into the storage unit. 

A groan echoed in the darkness. 

His eyes steeled as his grip on the weapon intensified. Stalking forward with precise, powerful movements, he squared himself as he stepped into the open space of the storage room. A zombie sprinted forward on all fours, running with its body nearly sideways. 

Blam. 

The shell discharged, and the round caught the scrambling zombie in the head. Angling to the side, Allen approached it carefully, barrel steady as he stood over it. There was nothing left except a mutilated corpse and bits of skull and brain matter. 

“Fucking deadheads.”

Turning, he moved into another portion of the storage room. Shuffling and scraping announced another denizen in the deeper shadows. A zombie screamed as two emerged running along stacks of goods like roaches along the walls of a dirty home. 

Allen followed them calmly with the rifle. 

Blam.

The first one fell, its body tumbling. The other one pivoted, moving from side to side on all fours. The barrel of the gun circled slowly, following the zombie’s approach.

Blam. 

The round tore through half of the zombie’s face, putting it down. Allen turned back into the darkness.




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.





Would you like to win a copy of The End of the World Playlist?

All you have to do is comment on a post during the tour. Two randomly drawn commenters will be awarded either a physical or digital copy of The End of the World Playlist.

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy by Leslie Langtry Review

Title: 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy
Series: Greatest Hits Romantic Mysteries Book 1
Author: Leslie Langtry
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 340
Price:  $0.99
Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

YOU CAN'T PICK YOUR FAMILY...
Death by Chocolate is her favorite dessert. And those knitting needles aren't just for craft projects. To most people, Gin Bombay is an ordinary single mom. Then again, they don't know she's from a family of top secret assassins. Somewhere between leading a Girl Scout troop for her kindergartner--would nooses count for a knot badge?--and keeping their puppy from destroying the furniture, Gin now has to take out a new target.

BUT YOU CAN PICK THEM OFF
Except this target has an incredibly hot Australian bodyguard who knows just how to make her weak in the knees. But with a traitor threatening to expose everything, Gin doesn't have much time indulge her hormones. She's got to find the leak and clear her assignment...or she'll end up next on the Bombay family hit list.

Review: 

As an avid reader, I've seen a number of books that have cute titles, but writing that doesn't live up to that title. When I came across 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy from Leslie Langtry, I was immediately captured by the title and the description made the book even more appealing. I'm happy to say that Leslie's writing lives up to the title. Not only is the book funny and unique, but it's impossible to put down. The character Ginny Bombay is one that women can't help but love. A single mother who's also tied into the family business - a business of murder. What's worse is that her little girl will soon begin training to become an assassin as well. Throw in an extremely hot Aussie and a big pinch of humor and you've got a book that every woman's book club should add to their reading list.

Vampires, Warlocks, And Exes - Oh My! by Laura Lee

Vampires, Warlocks, And Exes ~ Oh My! A Paranormal Romance (The Karli Lane Series) by Laura Lee
$2.99

Becoming immortal sucks.

Karli Lane is a hot mess. Her hormones are out of control, her heart can’t decide between two men, and most of her magic is still a mystery. To top it all off, a beautiful stranger with ties to the past shows up in Vegas, raising questions and wreaking havoc.

With her immortality fast approaching, new dangers lurk on the horizon. Secrets are revealed, making her question everything she thought she knew. Will she be able to get her act together in time? Or will she fall victim to those who wish to see her demise?

The Surrogate's Secret by Mimi Barbour Excerpt

The Surrogate's Secret by Mimi Barbour
$0.99 or FREE for Prime Members

Surrogate mother, Sheri O’Connor, loves her adorable twins. Since the donor parents were killed before their birth, she’s gladly taken on the responsibility to raise them herself. When their Chilean Uncle, Miguel Rivera, arrives with no warning, expecting to take them back to his country, she unravels and coldly informs him that isn’t going to happen. After all, they were her eggs used in the In Vitro process. Consequently, her claim supersedes anyone else’s. Never in a million years does she dream that the South American heartstopper wants her babies so much that he will force her to marry him by threatening to withhold the money she needs for an operation for her tiny son.

Miguel knows women aren’t to be trusted. Didn’t his devious fiancé give him up for dead and marry someone else while he spent months being held hostage in the jungles of Columbia? If his mother hadn’t brought a team to save him and end up getting shot during the rescue, he wouldn’t be alive. Therefore, if the only thing that can help his Mamacita from succumbing to her wounds is to adopt his dead brother’s surrogate children, then he will do anything to see that happen. Even marry the ditzy blonde whose saving grace, beside her gorgeous body and beautiful face, is her absolute devotion to her babies.

Excerpt:
Scandalized, it took Sheri a few moments to grasp his meaning. The lunatic wanted to buy her babies. “What?” She jumped up and loomed over him, her face turning downright mean. “You can stick your claims where the sun doesn’t shine, mister. Those are my babies. Not only was Mary-Anne like a sister to me, she also used my eggs during the In Vitro process. Therefore, I have a much stronger claim than yours.” The word ‘claim’ coated in venom exploded. “Any judge would grant me custody, particularly if you tried to remove American babies from this country without a birth parent’s permission.”
You are their genetic parent?” He choked on the last word.
Yes.” Unmistakable pride rang in her tone.
Please. Sit down.” His voice, steel encased in velvet, ordered, while at the same time soothed. He patted the sofa next to him in vain. “Even so, correct me if I’m wrong. Weren’t you a surrogate mother for my brother? At the beginning, you had to know you’d be giving the babies away to their rightful parents. Yes?”
Yes, but—”
Look. You’re a single woman in acutely reduced circumstances, if the disreputable neighborhood you live in is any indication. Your home is a small apartment..” His chin jutted out as if he’d lost the ability to speak coherently. “Aye yai yai! Is this all you want for Felipe’s offspring? They deserve their birthright. It’s vital for them to be brought up in the land of their Papá.” He stood and moved in close. This was clearly an intimidation technique.
It’s none of your business where I live. I have friends to help me, and when Felipe’s partner buys out his half of their In Vitro clinic, we’ll have enough money to move into a small house. Understand this Miguel Rivera. I will never give up my babies. Never!” As she hissed the last word, her hand slashed in front of his face, coming pretty darn close.
He trapped it between both of his and proceeded to caress her gently. Quivers worked their way up her arms, bypassing her common sense, and exploded in the pit of her stomach.
Desires, dormant for the last few years, suddenly awoke and invaded her body. Pleasurable surges overflowed. The kind she hadn’t experienced since she’d been a teenager making out with the horny love of her life. Without forethought, she glanced up and saw his eyes glued to hers. The heat she saw shocked her and became too hot for her to handle. Instead, she looked down at their locked fingers.
Querida, calm yourself. I had no way of knowing you were the true mother of the babies. When Felipe phoned me at the start of the pregnancy to tell me that you had agreed to surrogate for them, he mentioned nothing about this not being their own child.”
Yanking her hands from his, she crossed her arms to hide her trembling and flopped back onto the sofa. “Felipe never knew. Mary-Anne made me swear to keep it a secret. Your brother was determined to have a baby. Even though he knew my friend’s injuries from an accident in her teens would make her chances slim-to-none that she would ever get pregnant, he persuaded her to undertake all the tests. Mary-Anne agreed to go along, but only if we could use a clinic other than the one he owned.”
He frowned. “Sneaky.”
No. Protective. She knew how much a baby meant to him, and it was her dearest wish to make him happy.” Tears gathered and a sob broke down Sheri’s restraint. “Now see what you’ve gone and done. You’ve made me cry. I hate crying.”
His eyes widened. “Please don’t….”

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge by Stavros Book Tour


Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge
Written by Stavros
Illustrated by Charles Hearn

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Publisher: Crazy Duck Press (CDP)
Date of Publication: August 2011
ISBN: 9780982812198

Number of pages: 266

Cover Artist and Illustrator: Charles Hearn



Book Description:
Death was a dream of sleep where the eternally dying dream the sleep of death.  The undeniable evidence in the stillness of her being, the stark paleness of her complexion, and the lack of blood pooling from her cuts after climbing through the window whispered dark truths in her ears.  Rigor Mortis.  There was nothing familiar to Jamie about her skin.  Time and time again, she found herself asking what had happened, only to arrive at the hard won conclusion that she, Jamie Lund, wasn’t alive anymore.  Somehow in the foolhardy night, she’d been a dumb girl.  She’d gotten herself killed…

From the mind of Stavros, the critically acclaimed author of Blood Junky, comes a new twisted tale of horror and adventure.  An average girl, living in the city is murdered.  Nothing new, right?  It happens every day.  Just another statistic.  That is…until she woke up dead.

Trapped within her own decaying shell, the dead girl struggles to piece together the awful events of her untimely death and hunt down the man responsible.  Armed only with a kiss from an ancient Egyptian God, a pockmarked memory, her ex-boyfriend, and a murder of crows Jamie Lund comes face to face with something more terrifying and real than mere death…she suffers the agony of being undead!


Praise for Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge…

“A Bittersweet punch with a suspenseful plot and somber romance, showing us the vulnerable perspective of death from the other side. Definitely, not to be missed!” -Tara Lindsey Hall; Writer/Editor

“I couldn’t put it down. I loved it. You are a great writer. Can’t wait to read the next one.” -Bethany Tanner-Evanko, a Facebook Post

“Just wanted you to know…I was about to wrap Dead Girl in festive Christmas paper but decided to read the first page...now I'm on page 88 and I'm keeping the book...and I'm not going to bed anytime soon.” -Sabrina Buckman, a Facebook Post on Dec 21, 2011

“WOW! Holy shit…Thank you for this. Thank you for bringing forth a story that more than restores my faith in a type that has gnawed at my entrails for over a decade. It was different, it was refreshing, it was a damn awesome break from the “same old, same old” crap this genre is filled with. It’s so hard to find an original zombie tale any more. And even harder to find someone who can make an old story their own in some personal way. But this? Definitely not the same old crap.”
-C. Dulaney, author of the Roads Less Traveled series

“OMZG! (Oh My Zombie Goodness) I absolutely Loved this book. Dead Girl is not the conventional zombie book, but a great one! It’s a book of mystery and revenge with Egyptian influence felt within the pages. Plus the actual attention to detail of rigor mortis and decomposition of the body is spot on and a great additive to the book. I love this book and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good revenge tale. Plus I couldn't put the book down!”
-Sunshine Rose, Chicago, ILL. April 2013









About the Author- Stavros:

Notorious Poet.  Fool.  Born in Washington DC.  Stavros was a writer and editor for The Independent Underground Magazine.  Raised in Southern Maryland, he fled the Chesapeake Bay to the wilds of the New Mexican desert.  He is a single father of two, whose poetic works have been published in several online and print publications, including Central Avenue, The Sword That Cuts Through Stone, Poets Against The War, Conceptions Southwest, The Mynd, Imagine: Creative Arts Journal, and Bartleby, where he won a specialty award for his poem, Blackbird.


In 1999, he won an Official Selection into the Writer’s on the Edge Festival for his play, The Redline.  In 2001, he created the Poetry Television Project for public cable access in Albuquerque, NM.  All eight volumes of Ptv’s ground-breaking show were broadcast to over 100,000 viewers on a network of regional PAC channels throughout the Southwest and Baltimore.  He helped to launch Unpublished Magazine, sponsored the monthly poetry series, The Word Café, in the Duke city, and produced a political compilation, Poetic Democracy.  In 2007, he released the award-winning documentary film, Committing Poetry in Times of War.


In 2010, he launched the production management company, Organic Ghetto, and released its first imprint, Crazy Duck Press, with his first novel, Blood JunkyBlood Junky received exceptional praise and review, even being called "one of the best vampire novels ever written," by Living Dead Media.  The following year he helped to launch BioGamer Girl, undertook a bigger East coast tour where he began selling his original photographic art, and released two new novels through Crazy Duck Press.  Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge features a stunning full-color cover and twelve black and white illustrations from tattoo artist, Charles Hearn.   Blood Junky’s sequel, Love in Vein, cemented the One Blood series with its continuation of the story, garnering such review as to claim that the book and the series is "comparable with, and at times surpasses, the 'Vampire Chronicles' by Anne Rice."


In 2012, Stavros joined forces with the Vampire Professor, Bertena Varney, M.A.M.Ed, to co-create the nonfiction annual anthology, Vampire News, and officially became a Fangsmith with the creation of Organic Ghetto's second imprint, Kaos Kustom Fangs.  He rounded out the year by writing and editing screenplays for the One Blood Transmedia Project, recording Dead Girl as an audio book, and undertaking his biggest national marketing campaign, The Book & Fang Tour.


In 2013, he and the Vampire Professor released the second volume of Vampire News: The (not so) End Times Edition and is currently working on writing and growing his imprints.   Stavros is also a musician who has scored commercials, film shorts, documentaries, and television programs.


Stavros FB Page:

Author Blog:

Kaos Kustom Fangs:

Dead Girl CDP Page:

Dead Girl FB Page:

CDP eShop:

CDP Twitter:

Stavros Twitter

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cuspian by DC Hall Review

Title: Cuspian
Series: Cuspian Series
Author: DC Hall
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 353
Price: $3.99
Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

Twins, Kendal and Kennedi Myles are the envy of their peers with: a second string spot on the varsity football team, smartass but loyal teammates, miniature pores, and a killer spray tan. They had big plans for sophomore year, until their mother is slaughtered during a botched robbery.

Forced to move with their estranged father, Kendal becomes fixated with finding their mother’s killer, while Kennedi tries to settle into life with their dad. After discovering a trail of unsettling clues, the pair begin to believe their mother’s death was part of a conspiracy. As the teens’ investigation digs deeper into their mom’s enigmatic past, a mysterious agency stumbles upon them, and the twosome learns they are Cuspians—individuals gifted with supernatural abilities. Kendal and Kennedi are soon faced with the challenge of staying concealed from the shadowy organization hell-bent on enslaving powerful Cuspians, while trying to solve a murder.

Family secrets, bloody breadcrumbs, and deadly obsessions guide the twins through tough decisions and awful mistakes. Desperate for their lives to return to normal, the pair found normal is not written in the stars for either one of them.

Review:

A family torn apart by a mother's tragic death.
Twins that set out to find the murderer.
Twins that discover they have supernatural powers.
An agency that wants to exploit those powers.

Cuspian by DC Hall is a page turner that will keep you glued to your seat. From the very beginning, you connect with the characters and are drawn in by the expertly written, fast-paced storyline. It's a must read for anyone that loves fantasy, not just young adults.

Bound to You by Lola James Review

Title: Bound to You
Series: Spellbound Book 3
Author: Lola James
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 90
Price: $2.99
Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

Bound to You, Spellbound Series Book 3

Toni’s life is just one complication after another. First, her past comes back to her, then she has to deal with a psycho, and now it’s the biggest of them all. A choice that could destroy one life and be the bright future to the other.
How is a girl supposed to choose between two men that she loves?

On one hand, she has the Greek god Hades, the love from her past and the other, Ben the hot Vampire nurse that she met just over a week ago. Both have captured her heart in their own individual ways but whose love is the greatest?

Who does she ultimately love the most?

In the end, a decision is made in Bound to you...

**This Book Includes Sexual Content**

Review:

I really enjoyed this addition to the series. It ended the way I wanted it to, but not the way I expected it to. I'll admit I was actually a bit shocked at how things played out, but who doesn't love an unexpected twist? Bound to You left me eager to read the next book in the series and to learn more about the other characters. I can't wait for the next book. If you love paranormal romance, read this series!

Learn More About Duck Dynasty on Your Kindle

I'm a huge fan of Duck Dynasty. Though I'm not a hunter, and never will be, I enjoy the show immensely because they aren't afraid to show their love of God and guns. If you're like me, and can't get enough of the show, check out these three books and learn more about your favorite stars.

The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty by Willie Robertson
$9.78

Faith. Family. Ducks—in that order. This book gives readers an up-close and personal, behind-the-scenes look at the family in the exploding A&E show—Duck Dynasty. This Louisiana bayou family operates Duck Commander, a booming family business that has made them millions. You’ll hear all about the Robertson clan from Willie and what it was like growing up in the Robertson household. You’ll sample some of Willie’s favorite family recipes from Phil, Kay, and even some of his own concoctions; and you’ll get to know the beautiful Robertson women. You’ll hear from Korie about the joys and hardships of raising a family, running a business, and wrangling the Robertson men while staying fashionable and beautiful inside and out. Discover more about the family dynamics between brothers Willie, Jase, Jep, and parents Phil and Kay. You’ll even meet a fourth brother who isn’t in the show.

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson
$9.88

This no-holds-barred autobiography chronicles the remarkable life of Phil Robertson, the original Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty star, from early childhood through the founding of a family business.
LIVING THE DREAM

Duck calls—though the source of his livelihood—are not what makes Phil Robertson the man he is today. When asked what matters in his life, he’s quick to say, “Faith, family, ducks—in that order.”

It isn’t often that a person can live a dream, but Phil Robertson, aka The Duck Commander, has proven that it is possible with vision, hard work, helping hands, and an unshakable faith in the Almighty. Phil’s is the remarkable story of one man who followed the call he received from God and soon after invented a duck call that would begin an incredible journey to the life he had always dreamed of for himself and his family. In the love of his country, his family, and his maker, Phil has finally found the ingredients to the “good life” he always wanted.

If you ever wind up sitting face-to-face with Phil, you’ll see that his enthusiasm and passion for duck hunting and the Lord is no act—it is truly who he is.

If you’ve watched the exceedingly popular A&E program Duck Dynasty, you already know the famed Phil Robertson. As patriarch of the Robertson clan and creator of Duck Commander duck calls, he fearlessly leads his family in a responsible work ethic and an active faith.

But what you don’t know is his life before the show. In the pages of this book, you’ll learn of Phil’s colorful past and his wild road to the “happy, happy, happy” life he leads today. Before the “happy,” Phil’s passion for the outdoors and wild living led him down some shady paths. As a young husband and father, he became the proprietor of a rough bar and lived a life, as he says, of “romping, stomping, and ripping” for a number of years. He even left his wife and young boys for a short period of time.

Through it all, Phil Robertson has lived his life as a “called” man. Called to live off the land, called to leave a starring role in Louisiana Tech football (playing ahead of Terry Bradshaw) for duck hunting, called to wild living, called to create a new kind of duck call—and finally, called to follow God and lead a life of faith.

In this eye-opening and rousing book, you’ll find stories that will shock you, as well as those that will inspire you. You’ll get to know the man behind the legend, and you’ll come away better for it.

Si-cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty's Favorite Uncle by Si Robertson
$9.78

You know him from the hit A&E show Duck Dynasty—now you can enjoy Uncle Si’s tall tales, crazy exploits, and quirky one-liners in one raucous collection!
 “These hands are so fast, I can get your wallet before you know it. In a minute, you’ll be standing there buck naked and won’t know what hit you!” “Look here—if it wasn’t for my tripped knee, I’d be playing in the NBA today.” “Hey, Jack!” Any of these sound familiar? If they do—or even if they don’t—you’re in for a good laugh. The brother of patriarch Phil Robertson, Uncle Si has a limitless supply of stories about his childhood, duck hunting adventures, his days in Vietnam, and everything in between. Now the best of those tales are gathered into this roaring book.

Si shares stories of the more than twenty-five marriage proposals he’s received in the mail (some with photos!), how he came to use a green Tupperware cup for his ever-present sweet tea, and how his cigarette smoke made a deer cough (he’s since quit smoking). And in many of these never-before-heard tales, Si openly talks about his wife and two children—who are never seen and rarely mentioned on the show.

Sure to please die-hard fans and curious newbies alike, Si’s one-liners are presented alongside fun, expressive photographs. In no time, this smattering of zany stories will have you falling over with laughter and retelling them to all your friends.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Eternal Summer: A Collection of Short Stories

Eternal Summer - A Collection of Short Stories

Eternal Summer is a collection of eight paranormal short stories. Participating authors include: Olivia Hardin, C.G. Powell, Mandie Stevens, Liz Schulte, Lola James, Tawdra Kandle, Stephanie Nelson and Melissa Lummis.

Purchase on Amazon / Barnes and Noble

List of stories  

One Bite Paradise by Olivia Hardin - author of the Bend-Bite-Shift trilogy Jill’s wish gave Doc a new chance at life – literally. Almost a decade of years have passed since Jill watched her lover get killed and now that time is like a chasm between them. Can they learn how to make One Bite of Paradise become an eternity?

 Cat Napped by C.G. Powell - author of the Terra Stellar series Tempers fly, when Sarik makes last minute changes to Jael’s and his vacation plans. How far will he go to get back in her good graces?  

Eternally Yours by Mandie Stevens - author of Eva and Thomas series Eva and Thomas are bound by magic and are getting on each others' nerves. Eva is ready for a vacation, but when someone from Thomas' past is in trouble, her holiday comes second to saving a soul from Hell.  

Dark Remnants by Liz Schulte - author of the Guardian trilogy, the Easy Bake Coven series and the Ella Reynolds series. Ella Reynolds and vacations do not mix—but she is willing to give it a try for Gabriel. However, when she stumbles across the ghost of a young woman who needs her help, all thoughts of fun and relaxation vanish from her mind. Can Ella solve this mystery before her vacation ends or will the spirit be trapped in an infinite loop forever?  

Bound by Fate by Lola James - Author of the Spellbound series Ben thought his trip to New York would be just like any other -- find two random people, nurture their love, and leave before his presence is detected. But when he runs into someone from his past, business as usual becomes complicated.The worlds of the Spellbound Series and the Fate Trilogy blend in Bound By Fate.

Stardust on the Sea by Tawdra Kandle - Author of the King series Cathryn Whitmore does not want a vacation, not even in beautiful Cape May. But when she encounters a hot college professor at a bed and breakfast with a ghostly mystery, she just may change her mind.  

Cursed Cove by Stephanie Nelson - Author of the Gwen Sparks and Anna Avery series Gwen and Dorian head to Hawaii, but not for fruity drinks or sunbathing. A string of murders taint what the locals are calling Cursed Cove. Haunted by the infamous Captain Clarke, Gwen and Dorian must figure out how to rid the beach of the demonic ghost before more locals lose their lives.

Daylight Come by Melissa Lummis - Author of the Love and Light series Some fun in the sun was just what Loti needed, but from the moment she and Wolf arrive at the not- so-quaint hotel, they know something's off about the place. Cockroaches, dirty linens and an unkempt room turn out to be the least of their worries. An evil spirit haunts the beach front resort and it has no intentions of letting them check out until it gets what it wants. Can they solve the mystery before daylight comes?

Pixie Dust by Laura Lee Review

Title: Pixie Dust
Series: The Karli Lane Series
Author: Laura Lee
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 238
Price: $2.99
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

*A lonesome fairy with no clue how to wield her powerful magic.

*A ruggedly handsome warlock torn between his past and his present.

*A five hundred year old, sinfully sexy vampire who's obsessed with solving the mystery of a particularly interesting bartender.

Karli Lane is the only fairy left on the planet. Vampires had driven her race to near extinction, causing the others to return to their homeland over twenty years ago. Orphaned at a young age, she was forced to hide her identity in a world full of exposed supernaturals.


Facing her upcoming immortality, her life has become a complicated mess. A new employer and a gruesome murder bring two incredibly complex men into her life, making matters worse. She finds herself riding a non-stop emotional roller coaster while trying to figure out who she is, how to control her powers, and most importantly, how to stay alive.

Review:

This book doesn't start with a sizzle and then turn into a full-blown blaze, it's spicy from the very beginning. Laura Lee creates chemistry between her characters, a lot of chemistry between a lot of different characters. Though mostly the attention is focused on the main character, Karli. Karli may have worries about becoming a mature fairy, but those worries are quickly but on the back burner as she spices things up with a couple hotties. If you love paranormal romance and enjoy erotica, you're going to love Pixie Dust.

The Vicarage Bench Anthology by Mimi Barbour - Prime Freebie!

The Vicarage Bench Anthology (She's Me - He's Her - We're One) by Mimi Barbour
$0.99 or FREE for Prime Members

Imagine having to share your body with an invading time traveler.
Dr. Tobias Andrews, guardian of the magic, assists each trapped spirit—
but not until every story’s happy ending is assured.


In She’s Me, chubby, shy Lucy McGillicuddy who lives in a small English village in 1963 is forced to share herself with 2006 top model Jenna McBride. This experience teaches them both valuable lessons that enable them to finally accept true love.

In He’s Her, schoolteacher Carrie Temple has to make space for Vegas casino owner Rhett Parks, whose spirit invades her heart as well as her mind, and won’t leave. At first she desperately wants him to get out, but soon she can’t bear for them to be apart.

In We’re One, Vegas nightclub star Crystal Davis wants nothing to do with men until she’s seduced by Ashley Parks while they flee from a killer. Ashley traps her spirit inside of him to keep her safe, but she soon convinces him to trust her—it’s his safety they need to worry about.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Shopping Swap by Erin Brady Review

Title: The Shopping Swap
Author: Erin Brady
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Pages: 202
Price: $1.49 or FREE for Prime Members
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

Maggie Andrew has a problem. She needs to convince Richard, her attorney boyfriend of five years, that he’s finally ready for a commitment. How? By planning an unforgettable night starting with a romantic dinner for two and ending in the bedroom. And to help things along, Maggie has spent half of her salary on sexy black lingerie from Crandall’s Department Store that Richard won’t be able to resist. Except, once home, Maggie realizes she has someone else’s shopping bag and instead of her very expensive lingerie, she’s stuck with a housecoat that wouldn’t turn anyone’s head, least of all Richards. When Maggie goes back to the scene of the swap, she runs into Benjamin Saunders, a tall, dark and handsome stranger, who not only has what she wants but may also turn out to have what she needs. Suddenly what Maggie thinks she has with Richard is called into question and she’s not sure of anything.

Review: 

This is just the type of book I look for when wanting a romantic comedy. Erin Brady creates characters that you can't help but love, or hate, and the storyline is well-developed. There are a couple situations that seem like a stretch, but it's still an amazing book. I would recommend it to anyone that needs a pick me up after a bad breakup or someone that just wants to read a good romantic comedy. Can't wait to read Erin's next book!

Fate's Design by Lola James Excerpt

Fate's Design, a Paranormal Romance (Fate Series Book One) by Lola James
$2.99

During a summer trip to Italy, Megan falls in love and is pulled into the world of vampires, witches, and magical powers. As she becomes more deeply entrenched, her nightmares begin to make sense, and she realizes that she’s been part of this new world since birth.

Excerpt:

I should have been studying, but I needed rest more than I needed to understand the Romance era in Europe. I had no clue why I chose such an intense class for my spring course schedule. It was tough enough with all of my business courses, and I decided to add that one for fun.

As the sun set to close out an already long week, I reclined on my bed and put my ear buds in as Katy Perry sang about a teenage dream. It’s ironic that my iPod shuffled to that song since I hate my dreams, but the melody and Katy’s voice relaxed me enough not to think about them.

The door slammed louder than usual and startled me from my rest; then Morgan, my twin sister, started yelling.

“Megan, Megan, you home?” Her annoying high-pitched voice sent my name throughout the house. I exhaled, knowing that my rest was over. I loved Morgan, but sometimes she drove me crazy, and I knew she would occupy the rest of my evening.

 “Here I come,” I grumbled as I sat on the edge of my bed. I stood up, stretched, and started toward the doorway, then stopped. I could feel someone looking at me. I peered over my shoulder at the window and the half-opened blinds, then went to shut them. I sighed with relief as the feeling dissipated. 

The Agateville Camp House And Asylum by Nancy Hare - FREEBIE!

The Agateville Camp House And Asylum by Nancy Hare
FREE - 7/24 - 7/25/2013

In the city, you call them eccentrics. In small towns, they are our friends, neighbors, and maybe even our fellow church members, but we love them just the same.

There is nothing quite like life in a small town. Every small town has its assortment of unforgettable characters that make life . . . interesting. Everyone knows everyone else in a small town, especially the “interesting” folks, and those are the folks who give us topics for fascinating conversation.

Only in a small town will you will hear How you doin'? and Did you hear about them boys trying to hijack a train last week? in the same breath.

In this book you will fall in love with each of these neighbors, from the old guy who used dynamite to grow tomatoes, to a playful cat that grabbed a horse’s tail by mistake (a very big mistake). You might even find yourself wishing you had been there when some “good 'ol boys” tied 100 milk cartons together to raft down the river (with a few cases of beer). In a small town, adventure is just waiting for someone to say, Have you ever done . . . ?

In reading this book you will smile, laugh, and possibly shed a tear. Small town characters do that to you.

Each of these stories is true. You will come to love and appreciate each and every person you meet in these pages.

Click Buy It Now and you will soon be enjoying this "Down Home Humor" in moments.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bound to You by Lola James Excerpt

Bound to You, a Paranormal Romance (Book 3 of the Spellbound Series) by Lola James
$2.99

Toni’s life is just one complication after another. First, her past comes back to her, then she has to deal with a psycho, and now it’s the biggest of them all. A choice that could destroy one life and be the bright future to the other.
How is a girl supposed to choose between two men that she loves?

On one hand, she has the Greek god Hades, the love from her past and the other, Ben the hot Vampire nurse that she met just over a week ago. Both have captured her heart in their own individual ways but whose love is the greatest?

Who does she ultimately love the most?

In the end, a decision is made in Bound to you...

**This Book Includes Sexual Content**

Excerpt:

“How can I make this decision?” I said out loud to myself. “Both men love me and I love them as well, just differently.” I sat up and grabbed my bag. I needed to write this out. I searched the bottomless messenger bag until I located my favorite pen. I found a water bill that was probably past due by now but otherwise came up empty when it came to paper. I had taken it all to Ben’s and that’s the last place I want to go. Plus, the sun was coming up.

“I’ll just borrow some” and I was out the door and across the hall with my hand to the door ready to knock. Thankfully, I stopped myself. It was only 6:00 am and I couldn’t possibly wake my neighbor so early in the morning.

I leaned in close and listened for a heartbeat. As I listened in closer, I heard movement in the house; so my frozen hand touched the wood door with a soft knock.

I waited only seconds before my gray haired neighbor, Evelyn, answered the door, clutching her robe tight with her narrow eyes fixed on me.

Matchpoint: The Matchmaker Series, Book Two by Elise Sax Spotlight




Matchpoint

The Matchmaker Series, Book Two

Elise Sax



Genre: Comedic romantic mystery



Publisher: Ballantine (Random House)

Paperback Pages: 288



ISBN: 978-0-345-53224-4



Book Description:



Lovably troublesome Gladie Burger runs into sizzling danger and a fiery love triangle in the second installment of Elise Sax’s hilarious and sexy Matchmaker romance series.


Elise Sax will make you laugh. Her larger-than-life characters jump off the page and make crazy seem like a fun place to hang out.”—New York Times bestselling author Christie Craig



Since joining the family matchmaking business run by her eccentric Grandma Zelda, Gladie is always looking for love. But when an unbearable toothache knocks her out of commission and into the dentist’s chair, she prays only for relief. No such luck. Emerging from an anesthetic haze, Gladie awakes to find that not only is her tooth still throbbing, but her dentist is dead—and the lead suspect in the murder, office receptionist Belinda, just so happens to be Gladie’s first real client. Now it’s up to Gladie to find Belinda a man and keep her from being locked up behind bars.



As if that weren’t enough distraction, two gorgeous men are vying for Gladie’s attention: Spencer, the playboy chief of police, and Holden, Gladie’s secretive, gorgeously muscled neighbor. Still, Gladie’s not complaining about having a helping hand or two when the case leads her to a dangerously bizarre cult. She may have met her match—and if she’s not careful, it could be her last.





An Affair to Dismember

The Matchmaker Series, Book One

Elise Sax



Genre: Comedic romantic mystery



Publisher: Ballantine (Random House)



ISBN: 978-0345532220



Number of pages: 320

Word Count: About 80,000









Book Description:



Certain to appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, and Katie MacAlister, Elise Sax’s hilarious series debut introduces matchmaker-in-training Gladie Burger, who stumbles into a dangerous quagmire of murder and red-hot romance.



Three months has been Gladie Burger’s limit when it comes to staying in one place. That’s why Gladie is more than a little skeptical when her eccentric Grandma Zelda recruits her to the family’s matchmaking business in the quaint small town of Cannes, California. What’s more, Gladie is also highly unqualified, having a terrible track record with romance. Still, Zelda is convinced that her granddaughter has “the gift.” But when the going gets tough, Gladie wonders if this gift has a return policy.



When Zelda’s neighbor drops dead in his kitchen, Gladie is swept into his bizarre family’s drama. Despite warnings from the (distractingly gorgeous) chief of police to steer clear of his investigation, Gladie is out to prove that her neighbor’s death was murder. It’s not too long before she’s in way over her head—with the hunky police chief, a dysfunctional family full of possible killers, and yet another mysterious and handsome man, whose attentions she’s unable to ignore. Gladie is clearly being pursued—either by true love or by a murderer. Who will catch her first?



Praise for An Affair to Dismember



Elise Sax’s new Matchmaker series is off to a rousing start! . . . Sax gives the comic mystery genre a new spin. . . . A fun read sure to entertain.”—RT Book Reviews



Fans of laugh-out-loud romantic suspense will enjoy this new author as she joins the ranks of Janet Evanovich, Katie MacAllister, and Jennifer Crusie.”—Booklist



Elise Sax will win your heart.”—New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis


In the tradition of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Elise Sax’s new novel is a funny, sexy ride.”—Valerie Frankel, author of Four of a Kind



What a fun book! It will leave readers begging for more.”—Kim Gruenenfelder, author of There’s Cake in My Future



About the Author:

Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before trying her hand at writing fiction. She lives in Southern California with her two sons. An Affair to Dismember, the first in the Matchmaker mystery series, is her first novel.



















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