Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sucking in San Francisco by Jessica McBrayer Review

Title: Sucking In San Francisco
Series: San Francisco Vampires Series, Book 1
Author: Jessica McBrayer
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 295
Price: $3.99
Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

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.

Review:

I adore urban fantasies and when I saw the description of Sucking in San Francisco by Jessica McBrayer, I knew this was one I couldn't miss. Not only is it a unique storyline with a vampire helping save suicide victims, but it's filled with loveable characters. McBrayer does an amazing job at crafting an entertaining story that any fan of urban fantasy is sure to love. I especially loved the ending and can't wait to read the next book in the series.

The Lost Diadem by Saoirse O'Mara - FREEBIE!

The Lost Diadem - A Rogue's Tale Part 1 by Saoirse O'Mara
FREE (double-check the price in your country)

You never know when you might end up on the other side of the law....

Govin had no clue how much his life would change when he signed up for the City Guard in Davon. A fateful meeting throws him into an adventure he would never have imagined, not even in his wildest dreams, and he is left to fix the mess once known as his life. And if that weren’t enough, there is still a cunning thief to catch….

"Bardon put the quill down and scrutinised his work. The sketch showed a young girl with untidy hair, smart eyes and a cute little nose.
‘A pretty girl,’ he remarked. ‘Too bad she's a thief. She might've grown up to become a beauty, but I doubt she'll live long enough. The streets are rough, and the prison's even rougher.’
Govin felt a pang of guilt."

Meet Govin and Tayla as their friendship begins. Their first meeting doesn't bode well, but when faced with the choice to save themselves or do the right thing, they decide to stand up for each other. Soon, though, things get out of hand and they need help from others. Will they trust the right persons?

Excerpt:

‘Did you call for the guard?’ a male voice hissed.
‘But…but…the diadem was stolen! What else should I have done?’ That voice was female, and it carried a pleading note.
Govin was stunned. He was pretty sure he would be in trouble if those people found out he was eavesdropping, but at the same time, he was too curious to leave. Hesitantly, he crept even closer and tried to get a look at the two through the cracked door.
‘Make sure they leave as soon as possible! We deal with this kind of incident amongst ourselves, without the guard.’
Govin heard steps come towards the door and froze. He looked around for a hiding spot, but it was too late. The door opened and an elderly man came out. When he saw Govin, he stopped dead.
‘Who are you? Get off my property at once, or I will teach you not to sneak around in a nobleman’s house! Petty thief!’
Govin thought it best not to argue. He turned and hurried out of the door, around the corner and into the next alley. His face was flushed with embarrassment. Slowly, it dawned on him that he had just been caught eavesdropping by Misan Dagovan, the younger brother of the High Mage. He had recognised the face from a picture in the guard house which showed the High Mage and his family. No wonder the hall of that mansion was overflowing with wealth. Govin shuddered. Mr. Dagovan the Younger really was as intimidating as the whispered rumours said.
He took a deep breath to steady himself. Just when he wanted to move on, something tugged at his belt pouch. Alarmed, he span around and looked into the frightened face of a little girl. Before he could say anything, she ran off and disappeared around a corner. It took him a few moments to realise what had happened. That girl had tried to pickpocket him! He ran to the end of the alley and looked around, but the girl had vanished. The next street was completely empty. Frustrated, he kicked a pebble out of his way. It flew against the opposite house with a loud bang. Govin clapped his hand against his mouth and ducked out of sight.
The door flew open and a woman peeked out. She could see no one so she screamed at the top of her lungs, ‘You think this is funny? I'll show you funny! Come out, coward, and you can feel my frying pan!’

Extreme Measures by Rachel Carrington Excerpt

Extreme Measures by Rachel Carrington
$1.99

Four years ago Erin’s life changed drastically. Her drug-addicted brother killed her parents, and her marriage disintegrated. Her husband, Matt, an FBI agent, had done his duty when he’d arrested Stuart, but she’d been too caught up in her own grief to allow him to help her move through the shadows of pain.

Now Matt is back, but it isn’t to attempt reconciliation. Her brother has escaped from Attica, and Erin is his next target. Matt will stop Stuart by any means necessary. But Stuart is a desperate man, and desperate men will do anything to get what they want.

Thrown together by treacherous circumstances, Matt and Erin fight a battle to stay alive and possibly figure out how to put the pieces of their destroyed lives back together again.

Excerpt:

Matt threw her a scowl over his shoulder. “This isn’t hiding out, Erin. It’s taking precautionary measures to ensure your safety.”
“Right. Sorry.” She swung her legs around to the foot of the bed and tapped her feet on the floor. “Guess I’m not aware of the difference.” Tension climbed up the back of her neck, crawling under her skin. She needed to get out of that hotel room. “I need to get some air.”
“You’re not leaving this room.”
Matt didn’t care that his words had pissed her off. At that point, they were both on edge. The trouble was, he’d had more experience waiting than she had. Well, that, and he didn’t believe everyone could be changed, deserved a second chance, or any of the other bull Erin did.
“Stuart’s had plenty of time to get here, don’t you think?” Erin changed the subject in that same controlled tone of voice.
“He’s traveling on his own time.” Her breath hissed out, making him look back at her. “What?”
“I hate when you do that.”
“Do what?” Before he asked the question, he knew her response was only going to start a fire they didn’t need at the moment. Or maybe they did. An explosion might be just what they needed to let them both breathe some clean air.
“Try to manage me. You don’t want me to know any more than I absolutely have to, so you speak in obscurities or riddles that don’t make sense.” She gave him a look leveled with scorn. “Since you got here, you’ve been feeding me information in droplets like I’m a piece of china you have to keep wrapped when all I’ve really asked for is the truth.”
His temper starting a slow climb, Matt tried to talk himself out of a confrontation, but hadn’t it been coming? Since the moment he’d walked into that coffee house, all roads had been leading to this moment. The time when they’d stab into the scars and make the wounds bleed again.
He turned to face her, taking in the heightened color on her cheeks. She’d gone into battle mode, too, making him wonder if it was intentional. Did she need the distraction? Or was she ready to remove the grafts that had only partially healed?
“The truth is your brother is a murderer, and they rarely operate on anyone’s timetable but their own.”
“Why did you come here?”
The question unsettled him. Hadn’t they already covered that? “To do my job.”
“There are hundred of guys who could do your job if catching Stuart was all this was about. You came because you wanted to see me or, rather, you wanted me to see you. Did you want the chance to throw my life off balance again?”
“Again?” Matt stalked toward her, the collar of his shirt tight against the veins bulging in his neck. “I wasn’t the one who threw it off balance before, Erin. That was your doing. You wanted the divorce. You wanted to separate yourself from everything that had anything to do with the life you had before your parents’ death. You chose to walk away. Not me.”


Friday, August 30, 2013

Three Great Books That Will Make You a Better Nurse

Guest post by Jane Kramer

If you are a nurse, you know just how tough your job can be every single day. You work hard at helping others and making the sick feel well again. Therefore, you really deserve a lot of recognition, and you also deserve a much-needed break. Reading is a perfect way to pass the time. And when it comes to certain books, whether they are fiction or non-fiction, they are also a great way to venture into another character’s world while still being able to relate to that individual’s trials and successes.

Certain books have been written specifically with nurses in mind. If you want to find out what great books are out there for you to dive into that will make you an even better nurse when you are done with them, continue reading.

Bedlam Among the Bedpans: Humor in Nursing

Written by Amy Y. Young, this is the book that you will want to read if you need a little bit of comedy in your life and you want to make light of situations that are otherwise serious in the workplace. The book is a series of short stories that are easy to get through and very relatable. It does not matter what field of nursing you work in because you will find something funny in the pages of this great book. It will make you a better nurse simply by helping you smile, by allowing you to find humor even when you are stressed, and by giving you the opportunity to unwind when you need it most. Read it along with your fellow nurses so that you can all laugh along to the stories within it.

Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not

This book was written by Florence Nightingale over 150 years ago, yet it is still surprisingly relevant even in the 21st century. Get this book for free online, and download it onto your e-reader to enjoy it even while you are working. It will provide you with great insight and remind you why you chose this noteworthy profession above all the rest.

Your 1st Year as a Nurse

This book was written by Donna Cardillo, RN, and even though its title makes you think it is only for brand new nurses and recent graduates, it is actually perfect for the experienced nurse as well. It contains tips on how to deal with bad days on the job, as well as a variety of real-life stories, and even some suggestions on how you can network both personally and professionally so that you can advance your career and be a happier nurse. It is a perfect go-to book when you are feeling alone in the nursing world and need to know that there are other people out there like you. You can revisit this book throughout your career, as necessary, to get yourself back on track whenever you are feeling like you are losing your way or getting close to being burned out.


Jane Kramer is a writer who wants to help those in the medical field achieve their goals. That’s why she enjoys providing tips that these professionals can use to advance their careers. If you’re seeking an MSN online program, you can find out more to determine how you can make more money doing what you love.

Photo by Produnis

Rest for the Wicked - The Claire Wiche Chronicles Book 1 by Cate Dean

Rest For The Wicked - The Claire Wiche Chronicles Book 1 by Cate Dean
FREE

Book 1 of an action packed new paranormal series.


She's running from her past. And running out of time.

Claire Wiche is an ordinary woman, running her Wicca shop, The Wiche's Broom, in an ordinary California beach town. But Claire wasn't always ordinary, and she isn't quite human. She hides a secret, and a past she thought she had put behind her.

A past that is about to explode into her present.

When it does, and everyone she loves is in danger, Claire must face up to her past - and become what she left behind in order to save them.


Get the first three books of this fast-paced paranormal series in one set! The Claire Wiche boxed set is now available at Amazon.

Annie's Song,  Book 4 of The Claire Wiche Chronicles, is now available!


Other books by Cate Dean:

The Claire Wiche Chronicles - paranormal series
A Gathering of Angels
Carry On Wayward Son

Annie's Song
The Claire Wiche Chronicles Boxed Set - Volumes 1-3

Choices - A Time Travel Novella
Last Chance Jack - A Fantasy Short Story

When Walls Can Talk - A YA Fantasy Novella


Excerpt:


ONE


Claire Wiche guided her unhappy customer through her shop, one arm around the woman’s hunched shoulders.
“You know I don’t do love spells, Mildred.”
“But I know if he could see me, really see me, he’d fall desperately in—”
“Would it be real, if he’s under an enchantment?”
Mildred pouted, not a pretty sight on an eighty-year-old woman. “What happened to the customer is always right?”
Biting her lip on a smile, Claire walked her through the open door.
“Never been my policy. And I have good reasons for that.” She rubbed the old woman’s arm. “You go on home now. I’ll phone you when my new shipment of crystals shows up.”
Leaning against the narrow porch post, Claire watched her toddle down the sidewalk, sunlight bouncing off the thin silver poodle curls. The morning gloom had burned off early, and it looked like the start of another beautiful day.
She crossed her arms, cold despite the sweater she slipped on earlier. It took longer to warm up lately, a fact she did her best to ignore.
“Are you cold again, Claire? It’s got to be at least 80 in the store.”
Unless, of course, a well-meaning friend shoved it in her face.
She turned around, forced a smile. “Is it, Annie? I must have forgotten to turn it down this morning.”
“How could you not notice? The candles are sweating.” Annie Sullivan—the lively, no-holds-barred friend Claire never expected to have in her life—stepped across the small porch that ran along the front of the shop, her almost six foot height topping Claire by a good ten inches. She caught one hand before Claire could shove them in her pockets. “You’re like ice. Again.” She looked down at Claire, concern in her warm brown eyes. “And you’re avoiding. Again.”
With a sigh, Claire squeezed her hand before easing out of it. The warmth in Annie’s fingers made her skin tingle, yearn.
“Time to turn that heat down before the candles become a puddle.”
Annie followed her back inside, hovering while she adjusted the thermostat to a more reasonable temperature. She would need a heavier sweater.
“Come on,” Annie said, hands on her hips. “Give.”
Shaking her head, Claire smiled, a real smile this time. “Would I’m just cold and tired do it for you?”
“Hardly.” Annie stood in front of the counter, looking like a golden Amazon ready for battle. “But it’ll have to until I can get you drunk and pry the truth out of you.”
Laughter burst out of Claire. “I’d like to see that.”
“Yeah, so would I. If you actually touched the stuff.” She gave Claire a wicked smile. “I could always slip you a mickey.”
“You could—if I wasn’t able to smell it from across the room.”
“Slapped down again. Hey—what if we just tried—”
“Not again. Never again.” Claire still felt the residual agony from her one failed attempt at social drinking.
“How do you do that?” Those warm brown eyes narrowed as they studied her. “How do you always know what I’m going to say?”
Claire reached up and patted her cheek. “I’m a witch, sweetheart. It’s what I do.”
“Wait.” She grabbed Claire’s hand, pushed her sleeve up to reveal the bandage that peeked out. “Is that another tattoo? What is it this time?”
Claire flushed. The second reason she put on a sweater this morning.
“A triquetra.”
“More protection? Jeez, Claire, the pentacle on your hip isn’t enough?”
“There is no such thing as too much protection.” She pulled free and walked around the counter. “And the subject is closed.”
“Okay, I can take a hint. I’ll drop in sometime tomorrow, see if you need any help during the festival madness.”
“That will be most appreciated.”
Annie strode to the door, her long legs taking her through the small shop in a few paces. She paused in the doorway. “Hey, Claire—I’m worried, and I poke when I’m worried. I’ll leave it alone for now. But if you don’t get better, I’ll do more than poke.”
“Annie.” She stuck her head back in. “Don’t you even think about taking on Mildred’s love spell.”
Color rushed into her cheeks.
“I wasn’t—”
“I mean it. Last time you nearly had your victim falling in love with her cat.”
“Never gonna let me live that one down, are you?”
Claire smiled. “Not if it keeps you from trying again.”
Annie cursed under her breath and stalked out.
Chuckling, Claire made a mental note to put feelers out. Annie had more than enough power, and just enough knowledge to make her dangerous.
Without warning the pain stabbed her; a blade of ice in her gut.
Bracing her hands on the counter, she fought to breathe, fought to keep herself upright. Shaking so hard her rings clattered against the granite countertop, she gained enough control to lower herself to the chair that she recently added, out of necessity.
“God above—” She pressed both arms against her stomach, prayed for a slow morning. If she believed God would actually listen to her, after all this time, she’d ask the single question that haunted her.
Is this how it feels to be dying?

*

Eric watched, helpless, as the beautiful creature tortured his sister Katelyn.
Not a woman, not anymore—but she may have been human once. She had looked human, and harmless, as she stood on the porch when Eric opened the door to her this morning. But now power coiled around her, dark and ugly. Power she’d hidden under a smile, and the name of a mutual friend who had recommended his clinic. That power held him against the wall with invisible chains, locked his voice in his throat. He tried to scream as she dragged the knife across Katelyn’s bare stomach.
“She will feel that, and not know why.” The creature trailed one hand across the shallow wound, studying the blood that tipped her fingers. “You are so delicate, so easily broken. Why would she choose such a life, when immortality is hers?”
Katelyn no longer tugged at the ropes that tied her down to their heavy farmhouse table. She stared up at the creature bent over her, the bright light of the chandelier washing out her pale skin, and moaned deep in her throat every time those narrow hands touched her. Wearing only her faded jeans, she looked fragile, defenseless.
Fight her, Kate—damn it, you have to fight her until I can free—
“You would do best to save your strength, Eric. I have an important task for you.”
He would kill himself before he agreed to any bloody deed she had for him.
Katelyn recoiled, gasping as the tip of the blade moved up her torso, stopping just below her ribcage. Eric fought against the invisible restraints, his heart pounding so hard he could barely hear the silken voice over it.
“Your life, your soul, will help me crack open a door. Soon I will be able to return home in triumph, with the most coveted prize in my grasp. Sweet Katelyn—I will owe you all that I become.” The creature leaned in and pressed her lips to Katelyn’s cheek. “Thank you. Now I will send her a message she will not soon forget. Close your eyes, my innocent girl, and there will be no more pain.”
Eric’s scream echoed in his head as the creature shoved the knife into Katelyn.
She arched off the table, then collapsed, blood spilling down her skin, pooling on the scarred wood. Eric slumped against the wall. He didn’t care what the devil did to him now. He had just watched her kill the only important part of his life, his only family. Now he wanted her to end him, before the pain kicked in. Before he started to feel again.
She glided over to him, a beautiful, deadly predator.
“Now, my darling Eric.” He tried to jerk away from the hand caressing him. She simply smiled, and the restraints tightened until he fought to breathe. After an endless minute they loosened, just enough for him to take in a ragged breath. “I will not tolerate defiance. Do we have an understanding?”
“I won’t—obey you, bitch.” He sucked in another breath, bracing himself for the final blow. “So just kill me.”
“Ah, Eric. Your bravado is refreshing. Most of your kind simply cower, or grovel. I do abhor the groveling.”
She sounded like someone out of an old novel. He searched for the term—then forgot everything when she kissed him.
Heat scorched him. He gasped against her lips, agony following the trail of fire straight to the center of him.
“There.” She whispered into his mouth, her hand on his chest, the touch like a branding iron.
He moaned, and she took it in, her lips claiming him. When she finally tore away, he felt like part of him had been torn away with her. Struggling to catch his breath, he lowered his head, and saw the amulet in her palm. A stylized goat’s head, the gold edged with black, like it had been—burned. Just looking at it had dread and unnamable terror slithering through him. Then her hand dropped out of sight, and he forgot what he was thinking, and why sweat slicked every inch of him.
The woman smiled at him, and dark lust squeezed his gut. “You will find her, Eric, and bring her to me. Hurt her if you must—and you most likely will need to, in order to subdue her. But I want her alive.”
“Whatever you want. I am yours . . .”
“Natasha. You can call me Natasha. Now watch, darling Eric, and remember.”
He stared into the dark green eyes, watched in wonder as her image shimmered, and another face laid over hers, an opaque mask. Her green eyes became a silvery blue. The mask expanded, and color bled out of her black hair, replaced by a rich brown. It grew, long and waving, until it reached her waist. He followed the progress of the shimmering mask, the part of his mind not trapped by her screaming in horror. Her touch silenced it.
Looking up, he met the soft, silver blue eyes, the sculpted face framed by masses of hair that seemed to engulf her delicate figure.
“Find me, Eric. It is time for me to go home.”
Fingers slid over his face, burning the image of her into his mind. He sank into the waiting darkness, followed by a single word. A name.
Claire.



The Hobbes Family by Dan O'Brien Book Tour


Welcome to the fifth day of the Hobbes Family blog tour. It will run until September 2nd 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 strange world:

The world had ended abruptly and without warning. How will a family navigate a world that seems bent on destroying them? Follow them in this exciting new serial adventure.


A few questions for the author:


If today’s the end of the world, what’d you do?

Sit back and relax. What the hell am I supposed to do?


How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

I fell in love over a period of time. When I met my wife, we were just friends and I didn't even think of her in that way. It took some time and changing my perspective to see what a wonderful, loving person she was.


What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

It all comes very easy now. In the beginning, I was emotionally insensitive. It is something that I worked on.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


It would be several days before Susanna could look Michael in the eyes. Thinking about the frightening look upon her husband’s face proved a startling reminder that humans were not far removed from a more primal ancestor. The television did not fade into static as was so often portrayed in apocalyptic moves, but instead progressively haggard-looking folks repeated what was more gossip than news. The infected––no one wanted to call them what they were––were steadily increasing. 

Hospitals could not contain the overflow.

Stories of people being attacked in the streets and cannibalism were rampant. Civilization broke not from the undead, but when the power and water stopped flowing. Two days after the faucets and showers no longer worked, people began to panic. Panic became hysteria; hysteria gave way to violence in the streets.

Northern California was not particularly large.

The Sacramento Valley could boast a million bodies if the capitol was lumped in with the small cities nestled behind mangroves and almond groves. San Francisco to the west was the first to disappear from the world; Sacramento did not fare much better. Smaller communities just to the north like Yuba City and Marysville were soon overrun with infected folks who were no more human than the world was flat.

Cities like Chico and Redding walked the fine line between being overrun and acting as potential safe havens. The Hobbes family had lived a quiet life a few miles east on highway 32 toward a little piece of Podunk called Chester. There, just before the bluffs and the Sierra Nevadas, their home had been a part of a tiny development.

Fall was still very much in bloom.

Pastel colors dashed trees.

The beauty of a place like Chico was that the man who had founded the town, Bidwell, had gathered trees from all over the country and lined the streets with them. This gave the small city a sense of wonder at any time of year. You might see palm trees and blue oaks growing across the street from one another––one blooming when the other was fading.

Long before the world was broken down into groaners and the Children, television anchors and “experts” blathered about the possible root cause of the infection. Some cited deregulation of packaged goods, genetic modifications to crops, and even the drinking water.

The cause was not what frightened people.

It was the process.

The slow degeneration of person to groaner began with an irregular fever and moved into cluster migraines that often caused blindness. The skin would lose its elasticity and moisture, and soon what had once been human was a snarling scarecrow bent on viciousness and mauling.

Michael loaded a few more items into a large duffel bag as Clara sat cross-legged in front of the television. If Susanna had been quiet and distant, his daughter might as well have been on the moon.

The man delivering the news had once been the weatherman, though the dark beard and bloodshot eyes hid the glamor of a previous time. There was talk that the news studio had fortified itself from the outside world. Iron gates and heavy doors had been knocked on and screamed at to no avail.

The newscaster rasped in an uneven tone: “Residents are being warned against journeying out on to the highways. 99 and 32 are backed up and the Skyway has been blocked off by overturned vehicles.”

Michael paused as he placed a heavy coat and a machete into the brown duffel bag. “Are you packed, baby girl?” he asked.

Clara nodded, but did not take her eyes off the screen.

The grating voice continued: “Martial law has been declared, but this has not stopped residents from fleeing the cities, seeking refuge in the bluffs and the mountains beyond.”






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/.




All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!


Download Hobbes Family for free on Kindle from 8/28 until 9/1!


Would you like to win a Kindle Fire?

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


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Love Stinks! Review

Title: Love Stinks!
Authors: Douglas Rees, Vivi Barnes, Marni Bates, Eldritch Black, Karice Bolton, Rachel Clarke, Cecily Chase, Shanyn Day, Tara Gonzalez, Laurie McLean, Lynda K. Scott, Linda Wisdom, Carol Wolf
Genre: Romance - Young Adult
Pages: 176
Price: $4.99
Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

Love is magical. Love is amazing. But every once in a while love stinks! We’ve all been there. Heartbreak spawning crafty ideas of revenge. The “It’s not you, it’s me,” syndrome. Well, this book celebrates all those love-bumps along the great highway of life. Fourteen YA authors have come together to reveal the truth about the dark side of love that few people talk about. But with a lot of humor and a bit of mystery, you might not mind too much that LOVE STINKS!

LOVE STINKS! is the second anthology from tween/teen publisher Ambush Books. Featuring stories by Vivi Barnes (Olivia Twisted), Marni Bates (Awkward), Eldritch Black (Book of Kindly Deaths), Karice Bolton (the Witch Avenue and Watchers series), Naomi Canale, Cecily Chase (aka Cecily White…Prophecy Girl), Rachel Clarke, Shanyn Day, Tara Gonzalez, Laurie McLean, Doug Rees (Vampire High), Lynda K. Scott (Great Escapes B&B), Linda Wisdom (A Demon Does It Better) and Carol Wolf, (Summoning), LOVE STINKS! will take you on a roller coaster of red hot goodness that will make you laugh, cry and everything in between.

Review:

As with most short story collections that include different authors, I found that I really enjoyed some of the stories found in Love Stinks, but skipped over others. I think my favorite of the entire collection was The Bite by Karice Bolton. I also enjoyed Moonlit Prom by Lynda K. Scott as well as Love Bites by Rachel Clarke and Love Hurts by Linda Wisdom. Each of these stories had a paranormal spin, but there were also stories in the book that were contemporary romance. In other words, there's something for everyone in this book. Whether you're in high school or graduated years ago, you'll enjoy Love Stinks!

Snowy and Purry by Lady Grimoire - FREEBIE for Kids

Snowy and Purry by Lady Grimoire
FREE from August 29th - September 2nd, 2013

Purry is a sorcerer’s apprentice and lives in the magic cat village of Luna. The evil witch, Morbia, is a threat to the village, but the village is protected by a magic moon crystal. Morbia’s goal is to steal the crystal and misuse its magic to take over the world. A powerful protection bubble around the village stops her and at each full moon a ritual is held in the village to maintain protection for another month. The magic tomcat, Purry, is not allowed to participate in the full moon ritual because his mother, the village elder, believes that his magical powers are not yet good enough. She feels that it is just too dangerous to perform magic without complete control. Purry wants to prove to his mother that he is actually able to do magic and secretly practices in a barn. When he unintentionally conjures up a harp seal, he decides to use the crystal to send the seal back to Coldland, the land the seal came from. The protection around the village breaks down, but Purry does not realize that the magic protection has failed. This is just the moment the evil witch Morbia has long waited for …

Set me free by Jennifer Collin - $0.99 Goodie!

Set me free by Jennifer Collin
$0.99

Disastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the cafĂ© next door.

But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.

Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.
As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.

Excerpt:

'You are not walking me home, Craig.  You are not to come anywhere near my home,' Charlotte said adamantly, before storming off once more, her dancing shoes clicking along the pavement
'I can still follow you,' he called, and did.

'I can still call the police,' she threw back over her shoulder.

The threat was ignored, and halfway up the block she stopped to let him catch up.  Damn, he was persistent.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Demon and Her Scot by Eve Langlais

$2.99


What do you get when you mix an ornery Scottish vampire with a mission-oriented lamia? A whole lot of sizzle and snark.

Genre: Paranormal/Demon/ Humorous Romance

An unlikely duo, the golfing match from Hell, and a devil determined to win, even if he has to cheat. Lucifer’s up to his matchmaking mischief again in this fast-paced, humorous jaunt into the bowels of the pit. Think you can handle the heat?

“Fetch me a Scot,” Lucifer commands. Sounds simple, except the skirt-wearing jerk won’t cooperate. But Aella isn’t one to give up. Willing or not, she delivers her target to the Lord of Sin. In retaliation, the much-too-sexy Scot has Aella assigned as his bodyguard for the golfing match from Hell.

One shot ruined Niall’s life. A second shot could help him regain it. Niall sold his soul once to win a lady’s heart only to end up betrayed. Does he dare take a risk and give love a second chance?

The Welcome to Hell series (is best read in order for full enjoyment of Lucifer and his ongoing matchmaking attempts):

  • Book 1 : A Demon And His Witch
  • Book 2 : A Demon And His Psycho
  • Book 2.5 : Date With Death
  • Book 3 : A Demon And Her Scot

    Excerpt:      She sneezed behind him. “Ever hear of a Swiffer?”
         Flinging open a cupboard, he grabbed at the linen stuffed inside, almost threadbare but dry. “Dusting is woman’s work.”
         “Showing your age again, old man.”
         He’d show her old. Whirling, he tossed a dry cloth at her and, as she caught it, undid the fastening to his soaked plaid. With a shrug, he dropped it to the floor.
         She ogled him, probably because he gave her something to ogle. Hands on his hips, erection jutting forth—a mighty one he’d not experienced in centuries—he smirked at her. “Does this look old to you?”
         “Ack! I’m blind. Old man dick alert. Cover it up.” She protested with her mouth, yet her eyes remained locked on his bare body. He swelled to an even mightier size. “Good grief. Just how big does that thing get? Should I duck and cover before it explodes?”
         “Do ye never stop talking? I swear, lass. Ye chatter enough to drive a man insane. If I were your husband, I’d gag you.” A subtle thrust of his hips let her know with what.
         She clamped her lips shut, but interestingly enough, she didn’t turn away. Nor did she blush. Brazen wench. Still naked, he strutted past her, feeling more than seeing her turn to watch as he knelt before the cold fireplace and tossed a few dry logs in. A strike of flint and he coaxed a flame to life.
         While he’d taunted her into silence, he found he missed the dulcet mockery of her voice. He also wondered what she did behind his back. Did she rub the coarse linen over her delicate-skinned body? Did she stand naked in his home? Her pussy still damp? Her mouth still defiant? Wearing only those decadent snakeskin boots?
         If his cock swelled any further, it would probably explode like she jested. Attempting to act casual, he turned around and almost groaned in regret as he noted the threadbare linen covering her, sarong style. The wet lump of her toga hit him in the chest.
         “Hang that by the fire, would you? I didn’t bring a spare, and I refuse to escort you back wearing a rag.” Head held high, her imperious tone and attitude begged an answer.
         “I am not your servant.” He flung her robe into the snapping flames at his back then smirked at her screech of rage as her toga sizzled.
         “What did you do that for?”
         “Because.”
         “What part of I don’t have anything to wear did you not grasp, Scot?”
         “My name, lass, is Niall.”
         “And mine is Aella, not lass. Use it or—”
         “Or what?”
         “I’ll rip your tongue out and feed it to the carrion birds.”
         “I’d like to see ye try.” He dared her. Purposely. She growled, and her eyes narrowed to the merest slits. Her whole body vibrated with irritation.
         He’d never been so fucking turned on.
         With nothing to lose, he decided to see how far he could go. He tread toward her on bare feet, entering her personal space, crowding her. She held her ground, glaring, lips tight. He saw her hands tense at her sides, ready to respond to whatever threat he planned.
         But he had a different kind of assault in mind. One of his hands darted forward and clasped her by the wet ponytail hanging over her shoulder, and he yanked her to his bare chest before slanting his mouth over hers.
         For a moment, she held herself rigid as he let his lips slide over hers. Then, she bit him, hard enough to draw blood. He chuckled softly. “So ye like it rough? Lucky for both of us, so do I.”
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    Deadly Halloween - Short Stories by Sole e Luna Review

    Title: Deadly Halloween - Short Stories
    Author: Sole e Luna
    Genre: Horror
    Pages: 56
    Price: $0.99 or FREE for Prime Members
    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Book Synopsis:

    We apologize for any inconvenience experienced by our valued readers. The original text was in German and subsequently translated from German into English; however, it turns out that the translation had many errors. We have now had a native English speaker edit and improve our document and we are happy to make available this updated version. Many thanks to Jessica Sloan for her editing assistance!

    Egregor

    In every city of Germany, the horror and fear of Halloween has become reality. An ancient curse has risen and only witches can bring an end to the terror.

    The Mambo's Knife

    For his birthday on Halloween, Ralph is given money from his parents. When he finds a knife in a strange shop, he knows that he has found the perfect present. But is it really?

    Eyes

    The haze between the worlds is lifted on Halloween. And so the demon, Gurz, comes into the human world on a mission to kill, but instead finds the love of his life.

    Review:

    I really enjoyed this book. First of all, I never would have guessed that it was translated from another language. Second, the stories were awesome. I really liked Eyes, but each story was entertaining and perfect for Halloween. If you want to curl up with a few good stories that get you in the mood for Halloween, be sure this book is on your list.

    3 Steps for Collecting Comics

    Guest Post by Stephen Hamilton

    I just finished looking through my comics a few hours ago, and started to reflect on all the things I’ve picked up since I have started collecting. A common misconception is that there is not a whole lot that goes into collecting comics and people just leave them stacked in their parents attic. This goes more along the lines of hoarding and is not a good idea for anyone looking to earn back some of the money they have spent on purchasing comic books. There are a few things to keep in mind when collecting comics that I would advise anyone to consider to avoid wasting money.

    1. Timing

    Collecting comic books is kind of like watching the stock market. At times, comics can only be worth what you paid for them, or worse, less; and can skyrocket in price the next day or week. It is important to “catalog” or look through and price your collection every few months just to make sure you know what your collection is worth. Knowing when to buy and sell can help you double or even triple the amount of what you have put into your collection.

    2. Know what “value” is

    At times I find myself buying things that only I like, which is great because that is the whole point of collecting comics; but for someone looking to make a bit of profit in the process, it is important to know what “good” comics look like. The main comic book companies to look out for are Marvel, DC, Image, and Vertigo; and it is important to keep an eye out for the more popular artists and writers for any upcoming things they may be working on.  When collecting new comics, ALWAYS (I cannot stress enough) get the first edition copy of a number 1 in a series because that is usually the one that will go up in price first. It is a very bad feeling when a number 1 goes up to the hundred or thousand dollar range and knowing you could have gotten it for three bucks.

    3. Protection

    As most investments, proper handling and storage of comic books are priority number 1. There are many different bags, boards, boxes, folders, and cases that can be used to safely store comics while they are in your possession. Comics should be sealed and safely stored away in specially sized cardboard boxes away from moisture and humidity to prevent and damage from occurring. Since comics are printed on paper, the plastic bags are used to prevent the paper from fading or discoloring and the boards are to ensure the pages stay unwrinkled and maintain a nice crease. When you get into having comics in the thousand dollar range, companies such as Smith Security can protect your home and make sure your comics are safe from theft. I read an article the other day that the value of Action Comics number 1 featuring Superman first printed in 1938 jumped from $300,000 to $1.5 million! That’s insane! With things like the adaptation of comics becoming movies and television shows, the value of comics increasing is becoming a more frequent thing.

    These are just a few tips I have for anyone considering getting into collecting comics. There is so much in this hobby that goes on behind the scenes that most people do not understand, but can be very fun and exciting once you get really into it. With the advancement of technology, it's nice to sit back every now and then and have things like comic books to remind me of the simple things in life. The hand drawn artwork and creative stories are what drew me to comics in the first place, and by hopefully by collecting them I will have a bit of my childhood to pass along to my children.

    About The Author: Stephen Hamilton is a writer for Smith Monitoring. He is an avid gamer, movie buff, musician, and comic collector

    Monday, August 26, 2013

    Tangled Beauty by K.L. Middleton Review

    Title: Tangled Beauty
    Author: K.L. Middleton
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Pages: 285
    Price: FREE
    Rating: 5 out 5 stars

    Book Synopsis:

    Sinclair Jeffries thought she knew what she was getting into when her zany, gay friend, Jesse Eddington, talked her into portraying his girlfriend during his parent's anniversary party on Huntington Beach. That is, until she met Reed, Jesse's sexy as hell older brother, and ends up getting much more than what she'd bargained for.

    Reed Eddington assumed his future was settled until he met Sinclair, his brother's so-called "girlfriend", but the raw, sexual tension between them is hard to ignore. As he watches their ruse from the sidelines, he finds himself wanting to uncover more than just their amusing little facade.

    This is book ONE of my new series, Tangled. Each book will feature a different couple and their steamy romance. You will also get a chance to revisit previous characters, to see how their relationships have weathered.

    Due to sexual content and heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 18+


    Cover by Dreamscapecovers.com

    Review:

    I absolutely LOVED this book. Not only was it an amazing romance, but it was like reading an episode of Criminal Minds (one of my favorite crime shows). K.L. Middleton is amazingly talented. I started reading this book at 5AM this morning and couldn't put it down! There's great chemistry between the characters, great sex scenes, and suspense that will blow your mind. I highly recommend this book and cannot wait to read more from this author.

    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    Tangled Beauty by K.L. Middleton Excerpt

    Tangled Beauty by K.L. Middleton
    FREE

    Sinclair Jeffries thought she knew what she was getting into when her zany, gay friend, Jesse Eddington, talked her into portraying his girlfriend during his parent's anniversary party on Huntington Beach. That is, until she met Reed, Jesse's sexy as hell older brother, and ends up getting much more than what she'd bargained for.

    Reed Eddington assumed his future was settled until he met Sinclair, his brother's so-called "girlfriend", but the raw, sexual tension between them is hard to ignore. As he watches their ruse from the sidelines, he finds himself wanting to uncover more than just their amusing little facade.

    This is book ONE of my new series, Tangled. Each book will feature a different couple and their steamy romance. You will also get a chance to revisit previous characters, to see how their relationships have weathered.

    Due to sexual content and heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 18+


    Cover by Dreamscapecovers.com

    Excerpt:

    Chapter One

    Sinclair
    “Have you heard the news yet?” asked Tiffany.
    We were in the back of the salon, mixing hair color.
    “What news?” I asked, trying to brush a loose strand of hair away from my eyes without getting any powder in them.
    “Judy sold the shop.”
    I raised my head and stared at her in horror. “What? When?”
    “I guess the deal was finalized last night. She sold it to some guy from L.A.”
    “So, are we getting shut down?”
    “No. Nothing’s changing but the ownership. She sold it to one of her friend’s sons so she could retire.”
    I heaved a sigh of relief. “Jesus, you scared the hell out of me. I don’t know what I’d do if Tangled was shut down.”
    “Me neither. Anyway, I cannot wait to meet the owner,” gushed the pretty nineteen-year-old. “Judy says he’s freaken’ hot and that we’re all going to love him. He’ll be here on Monday.”
    “Huh,” I said, stirring the color. It would be nice having another guy in the shop. I wondered if he knew anything about hair or if he was gay. Many times, it went hand-in-hand.
    “Is that the color your customer wants?” she asked, pointing towards the swatch I was examining. “It’s going to be quite a change for her.”
    I stared at the bright red lock and nodded. “I’ve tried talking her out of it but she keeps insisting.”
    Tiffany picked up her bowl of color and turned to leave. “Well, good luck with that.”
    I snorted. “I’ll need more than luck.”
    My customer, Mrs. Lancaster, was a thick-jowled, heavyset lady in her fifties; a woman who was normally very conservative. Today, she’d brought in a picture of a twenty-something celebrity who had long, vibrant, red hair, and wanted that same color. Unfortunately, on Mrs. Lancaster, it was going to look like a crime scene.
    “Okay,” I said, after returning to my station. “You’re certain that this is the color?” I asked, holding out the brightly colored strands. 
    “Yes, dear,” she said, touching the sample lovingly between her fingers. “I want that exact color. I know it’s going to be just lovely.”
    I forced a smile. “Okay, then. Let’s do this.”
    “Oh, no…oh no, you did not just do that!” hollered Felicia from across the salon.
    I turned around and stared at the little old man sitting in Felicia’s chair, a huge shit-eating grin on his face.
    “Oh, my God,” apologized a well-to-do older woman sitting in a chair beside them. “I am so sorry. Henry! You have to behave yourself!”
    “No, I’m sorry,” said Felicia, setting down the scissors. “I am not cutting this old man’s hair if he’s going put his mouth on me. Hell no.”
    It was then that I noticed the front of Felicia’s hot-pink T-shirt. There was a wet spot on her right boob.
    “Henry, did you hear that? You have to behave yourself!” scolded the woman. She turned to Felicia. “I am so sorry. My brother suffers from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t always know what he’s doing.”
    I watched the delight in the old man’s watery blue eyes and there was no doubt in my mind that he knew exactly what he’d done. Felicia was a very top-heavy woman and her breasts sometimes got in the way. She’d even cut my hair once and I was lucky not to walk away with two black eyes.
    Felicia picked up her scissors. “Okay, but if he touches me again,” she narrowed her eyes. “I’m gonna cut more than his hair.”
      “Oh, my Lord,” whispered my customer. “This is better than daytime television.”
    I grinned. “You can say that again.”
    To me, it was just another day at Tangled. I’d seen everything, heard everything, and it was what kept me coming back to work every morning. I loved my job, loved my coworkers, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
    Fortunately, Henry kept his hands and mouth to himself for the rest of his appointment with Felicia, while I finished coloring and styling Mrs. Lancaster’s hair. When it was finished, I turned her back towards the mirror, and held my breath as we stared at the results.
    “What do you think?” I asked.
    “Oh, my God…it looks fabulous!” she beamed.
    I sighed with relief. It still looked shockingly bright to me, but if she liked it, that was all that mattered.
    “You look like a new woman,” I said, spritzing her hair with hairspray.
    She patted the side of her hair fondly. “Mr. Lancaster’s idea, actually. He has always adored redheads.”
    I stared at my own auburn hair in the mirror’s reflection and wondered if he’d meant something a little more subtle than the ‘Ronald McDonald’ color she’d selected.
    She grabbed my hand and pulled me closer. “Tell me,” she whispered. “Do you do pubes, as well?”
    “Ah, no,” I whispered back. “You’re on your own down there.”
    She bit her lower lip. “Oh, shoot. Maybe I’ll just shave it off.”
    I opened my mouth to reply, but then changed my mind. I certainly did not want to continue that particular conversation.
    After she’d paid and left, I rushed to clean my station. I had the weekend off and was going to be spending it on Huntington Beach. I still had a lot of packing to do before the trip and couldn’t wait to get started. It was the first time I’d had an entire weekend off in months.
    “At least that old geezer gave me a decent tip,” declared Felicia, holding up a stack of bills.
    “I still can’t believe he did that,” giggled Tiffany. “What a crazy old coot!”
    She nodded and shoved the money into her bra. “The worst thing is, I haven’t had that much action for almost two months. And then, to get my titty sucked by a toothless old white man?” she clapped her hands and laughed heartily.  “Lord, have mercy!”
    “Two months?” I snorted. “That’s nothing. It’s been over a year for me.”
    Her eyes widened. “A year? Girl, next time Henry makes an appointment, we’ll make sure you get him.”
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