Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Sins of my Youth by Mary Anne Edwards





Secrets, lies, and revenge. What a deadly combination!

When the owner of a local strip club is found with his throat slit, Detective Charlie McClung has only one obvious suspect: his wife’s best friend, Joan. Even though Charlie finds her clutching a bloody knife while standing over the body, he has been around long enough to know that crime scenes aren’t always as they first appear. But as other suspects become victims themselves, Charlie must delve deeper into Joan’s dark and seedy past to prove her innocence.




Review:
Each one of the books in The Charlie McClung Mysteries can be read as a standalone, but the storyline is better appreciated if read in order.
Reading these books is like joining a group of old friends and helping them unravel the mystery.
The characters are well developed and colourful, and the descriptions and detail draw you in to the story.
Along with the new murders this book also continues the mystery of the paper hearts.



Other Books in the Series:


Brilliant Disguise


A Good Girl


Criminal Kind


Mary Anne Edwards is the author of The Charlie McClung Mysteries, Brilliant Disguise, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of My Youth. These are traditional murder mysteries with a touch of romance. There are six more books planned for this series. But her imagination tends to run wild, so you never know when it may end.

Mary Anne was born in Mercedes, Texas. She now lives in Georgia with her husband of 35+ years and her Tuxedo cat, Gertrude. She and her husband dream of retiring in ... Well, they haven’t decided yet.

For years, she only dabbled in writing, but with the encouragement of her husband, she left the accounting world to write full-time.

Mary Anne is an advocate for the developmentally challenged and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, Inc.

She is an active member of Sisters in Crime – Atlanta Chapter. Mary Anne can thankfully say that she is a breast cancer survivor. When Mary Anne is not writing, she loves to read, and watch all kinds of mysteries.



Monday, 30 May 2016

The Girl With Red Hair by Michael J. Sanford


Title:
The Girl With Red Hair
Author: Michael J. Sanford
Genre: Fantasy


She was just a lost girl when they found her.

The circumstances are odd, that much is true. But she's just a child. She needs protecting. She needs guardians.
Before long, strange magic manifests from the small girl, equally awe inspiring as it is terrifying.

Does she control the fire and light?
Or do they control her?

Shadows are rising from Alfuria, the very world beneath their feet. Sometimes they call, wishing for an unending embrace.
Dragons have risen as well, from myth and legend, stalking land and sky. The roar of such beasts shakes even the most resolute warrior.

Shadows, gods, dragons, and the girl with red hair. What is real and what is merely illusion?

Adelaide is undoubtedly important.
That may be the only certainty.



Excerpt #1 from Prologue:

She wanted more than anything to save the world. More than any other before it. The best parts of it existed because she had dreamed them up, and she couldn’t bear the thought of watching it all crumble. Or watching her die. But the desire hadn’t been without consequence, and now action would need to be taken to prevent that inevitable fate. A fate that always found a way of growing, festering, and fulfilling its own prophecy. There were innumerable ways to that end, but only one away from it. Or so she hoped.

She had made the first move. The bark of her arms and the leaves that sprouted from her scalp were proof enough of that. Not that she minded. It made her look like… She shook her head, dispelling the image that had brought her to that moment. To every moment. It was reckless and blind, though it had seemed so right at the moment. She still didn’t fully understand how she had gotten to that place. And she couldn’t stop shaking.

She had to take two steps for every one of his. No matter how quickly she moved, the tall elven man stayed a full stride ahead of her. She was breathing heavily and her heart thundered against her ribs, but it wasn’t a result of the pace.

“Are you sure this is necessary?” she asked.

He turned his head, golden hair floating about it in a haze of brilliance. “Yes,” he said. “You began this. Would you rather die with the world? And the rest at your side?”

She shook her head. No, she didn’t want to die, though it wasn’t that threat that drove her. She didn’t care so much whether she died, as long as she lived. Her perfection. Otherwise, what was the point?

“The world deserves a chance,” she said as they rounded a corner and took to the winding set of stone steps. “But there must be some other way.” That sick feeling of regret crept into her stomach and sat menacing. It was a feeling she didn’t think she’d ever get used to. It made things real. Made them matter.




Win a Paperback Copy of The Girl with Red Hair





Excerpt #2 from Chapter Four:

Upon reforming, Maira collapsed onto the obsidian floor and heaved, spewing the entire contents of her stomach onto the black glass. Dying wasn’t the trouble; she had gotten used to that. It was the momentary lucidity that the transition brought. For just a few breaths she was cognizant of all that had been and all that was. She looked at the torn flesh, hair, and bile, and heaved again, this time expelling only air. She coughed violently. She had to be sure to be rid of all of the foulness.

Wiping her mouth, she stood, found the silk-covered bed, and fell atop it, letting her arms fly freely over her head. She lay still for a long time, just staring at the many imperfections of the ceiling above, waiting for her mind to stitch itself back together. Slowly, the repulsion and sick desperation faded, but Maira still felt empty. Somewhere, deep in the recesses of her mind, she knew why, but to bring it to the forefront, or to verbalize it… well, that was forbidden.

A stale breeze blew in from the open balcony, gently moving strands of black hair across her face. She didn’t bother brushing them back. There was no one to see her here. He knew not to call on her when she first returned; her mind was still fractured, the pieces slowly sliding back into place. Each time, the process took longer than before, and she wondered if this was the time she’d be trapped in between, knowing what she had been and what she was now. The body was such a simple thing to tear down and build up, but the mind… It was far more fragile.

She allowed herself to close her eyes, daring to drift into the dark corners of her shifting memories. It was dangerous to be certain, but the temptation was often too great. In a few more moments she would forget the journey anyway. She needed to see… to feel the life she had so long ago left behind. I’ll return again, she said to herself. When all of this is done, I will return. And for what was done, I will watch the world wither and die. She smiled at the thought, even more so than from the memory of a life left behind. He had promised her, promised that if she followed, that she would be there for the end. It was all she wanted now. It was all she could want. She opened her eyes and sat up, turning to look toward the balcony and the ever-present night beyond. The air was stale and rich with death, but perhaps it would do her some good, serving as a reminder of what she was.


The Author:

Michael has always been a prisoner to his imagination. His childhood was spent running through the forest, pretending to be a gallant warrior saving the countryside from certain destruction. Or he was a ferocious beast terrorizing the very same countryside. There is always a story spinning through his mind. As an adult, writing has become the only way to keep his head from exploding.

He lives in upstate New York with his loving wife and two cats. If he's not writing, he's likely reading, weightlifting, or forcing his players into difficult situations from behind his Dungeon Master's screen. He is a storyteller first and a writer second.








Excerpt #3 from Chapter Thirteen:

“And my eyes?” Adelaide asked. There were plenty of polished mirrors about, and she often caught herself staring at her own reflection for long parts of the day. Wishing she were different. Wishing she were normal.

“That’s not so strange, dear. I once knew a dwarf with one blue eye and the other bright red. He used to say that he used one for love and the other hate. Said it kept him in balance.”

Adelaide frowned at that, unsure if it made her feel better or worse. “Well, I love you,” she said at last. “And I hate Gwyn and Stephen and Veira and—”

Miss Hasting forced a laugh to stop her from continuing. “Hate is a strong and dangerous emotion, Addy. Difficult to control and nearly impossible to master.”

She decided it didn’t make her feel any better. “And love?”

Miss Hastings smiled and shifted closer to her on the large canopied bed. She wrapped an arm around Adelaide’s shoulder and pulled her tight. Even in the dead of winter, Miss Hastings was warm. Always warm. And safe.

“Love, my dear, can be even more dangerous, and is more wild than anything known to the world.”

Addy giggled and burrowed into Miss Hastings’s chest. She pressed her human ear against the elf until she could hear the slow, rhythmic beat of her heart. “You’re silly,” she said.

“That may be. Could be something I caught from you. But in this I am the most serious.”

Adelaide twisted until her opposite ear was at her chest and she could look up at Miss Hastings without leaving her warm embrace. “Then we should never love anyone.”

Miss Hastings put a hand to Adelaide’s face, lightly tracing her jaw line. Her eyes were bright gold and shone brilliantly in the dim lantern light. “The opposite, my dear. Love is the most dangerous because it can take hold of a person and make them do things no other emotion can. It can be blinding and terrifying. It consumes entire lives and brings desperation just as often as it brings hope. Many cities have come to ruin because of love. And many more have been built.”

“I don’t ever want to love, then,” Adelaide said sternly. “Sounds scary.”

“Oh, but you do. You see, Addy, love is most certainly all of those things I said. And more. I wouldn’t ever lie to you. But there is no more beautiful and wholly wonderful thing than love. To freely give of such a gift, and to receive it from another when you did nothing to earn it…” Miss Hastings paused, a faraway look in her eyes.

Adelaide understood little of the words that Miss Hastings said, as was oft the case, but she knew their meaning. No, that wasn’t right. She felt their meaning. She burrowed even deeper into her caretaker’s body, feeling entirely secure.

“I love you, Miss Hastings,” she said.

“I love you too, Addy, my dear. Always.”



Friday, 27 May 2016

Mirror Image by Michele Pariza Wacek



Title: Mirror Image
Author: Michele Pariza Wacek
Published: May 27th, 2016
Publisher: Love-Based Publishing
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense


Which would be worse: knowing that your dead sister has come back to life and is now a serial killer, or that someone else is the killer… and that person is you?

Six months after Linda’s sister Elizabeth killed herself, Linda has finally gotten her life back to some semblance of normalcy. Until a killer appears who is stalking men … a killer who resembles Elizabeth … a killer who seems somehow familiar to Linda.

And to make matters worse, Detective Steve Anderson, her old high school crush, is assigned to the case. He’s asking Linda all sorts of questions – questions she couldn’t possibly have an answer to.
There’s no reason for him to be investigating Linda. She couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this.

Could she?




Excerpt #1:


Someone else is dead.
      Linda paused, her hand reaching for The Riverview Times. The words echoed strangely in her head, bouncing around like some demented ping-pong ball.
      Someone else is dead.
      Where had that come from? What did it mean?
      She stretched her hand forward again to take the paper, but found herself unable to make actual contact with it. Instead, her hand hung there, motionless. Uneasiness crept through her body, as thick as black ink oozing across a table.
      All right, now she was being ridiculous. Where on earth was any of this coming from? She shook her head and snatched up the newspaper.
      Tucking it under her arm, she hurried to her car, refusing to think about why she had such a curious reluctance to touch it.
      She deliberately turned the radio off in her car, not wanting to hear any news. Instead, she drummed her fingers on the steering wheel and watched the clouds scuttle across the dull gray sky. Another beautiful November day in Wisconsin. For the millionth time, she wondered if it would kill the sun, to show its face a little more.
      Turning into the parking lot of Bay Mutual Insurance, she thought again of how much she hated her job. And again, she reminded herself that she didn’t have a whole lot of options to choose from.
      Linda parked and entered the building, passing the company’s mission statement in the lobby. Bay Mutual offered auto, home, business, health and life insurance to its customers. And squat to its employees, Linda added to herself, as she did every day.
      She hung up her coat and headed to the cramped break room for coffee. Carla was already there, pouring herself a cup.
      “So, how was your date last night?” Linda greeted her, taking a mug out of the drying rack.
      Carla rolled her dark blue eyes, filling Linda’s mug with steaming, black liquid. “Don’t even ask.”
      “That good?”
      “It started there. Then, it went downhill.” Carla put down the coffee pot, fluffed her short, curly brown hair and opened up the refrigerator for cream. “My mistake was thinking it couldn’t get any worse. Then, I heard the radio this morning. Another dead single man. It’s already nearly impossible to get a decent date in this town. Now, some crazy person is killing the few eligible men out there!”
      Someone else is dead. It hit her like a slap in the face, and Linda put her coffee down without drinking it, instinctively knowing she could never force the liquid past the thick sludge that now filled her throat.





The Author:

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.

As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.

Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (she’s published two psychological thrillers/mystery/suspense novels “The Stolen Twin” and “Mirror Image” so far) plus, she is also the author of the “Love-Based Copy” books, which are a part of the “Love-Based Business” series and cover both business and personal development.

She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her border collie Nick and southern squirrel hunter Cassie and is hard at work on her next novel.




Excerpt #2:



When Elizabeth was born, her mother knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the hospital had made a mistake.
      It had been a difficult pregnancy. Marie spent most of it in bed, nauseated, uncomfortable, exhausted. She barely kept anything down, subsisting mostly on tea and saltine crackers. When the time came to deliver, the doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section, so she wasn’t able to actually watch the birth.
      She couldn’t explain it, but the first time the nurses presented her with Elizabeth, she refused to even hold the baby. “There must be some mistake,” she insisted.
      “There’s no mistake,” the nurses said, their approach firm and no-nonsense.
      Blond and pale, Elizabeth looked nothing like the other dark haired members of the family. But it was more than that. Elizabeth felt wrong. Marie sensed it every single time she looked at Elizabeth, touched Elizabeth, smelled Elizabeth. The baby was alien to her. Elizabeth was not her baby.
      But she could do nothing about it. Her husband hadn’t seen the birth. He had refused to attend any of his children’s births. The nurses kept assuring her that no one had made, could possibly have made, a mistake. So Marie had little choice but to bring her home.
      Elizabeth was different, always — strange. Marie hated to use that word about any of her children, especially her youngest, but she could find no other word to describe her. Elizabeth was strange. Period.
      From birth, the baby kept quiet. Rarely fussed. Hardly cried. She started talking at six months, much earlier than the rest of her children, and started forming full sentences at just over a year old.
      She spent most of her time alone or, once she learned how, reading. In fact, Elizabeth remained such a quiet child, Marie could easily forget about her. It made her nervous. Elizabeth was too quiet.
      Even her scent was all wrong. Babies smelled warm and sweet, of milk and talcum powder. Elizabeth’s scent reminded her of meat just beginning to spoil: thick and rotten.
      But there was something else wrong with Elizabeth, something more serious than her near silence, her behavior, her scent. Even more serious than that alien feeling, which Marie had tried to dismiss as simple post-partum depression, although it never did go away entirely.
      When Marie was really being honest with herself, which didn’t happen often, she could admit what really disturbed her most about her daughter.
      Her eyes. Elizabeth had silver eyes.
      Not always. Most of the time they looked gray. But sometimes, they changed to silver. Occasionally, Marie even thought she could see them glowing, like a cat’s. Especially at night.       There Elizabeth would be, lying on her back, perfectly quiet in her crib, her eyes strangely open, shining faintly in the darkness. Marie would tell herself that Elizabeth’s eyes merely reflected the nightlight in a bizarre fashion. After all, none of her other children’s eyes ever glowed. But it still didn’t make her any easier to face, late at night, as silver eyes stared at her from the darkness. They seemed so old, so ancient. Eyes that had seen thousands of years and hundreds of lifetimes. Those eyes peered out from her newborn’s face, watching her every move, strangely calculating, full of adult understanding and knowledge. She felt afraid, if she were being honest … all alone in the room with those peculiar silver eyes watching, watching, always watching.
      Nonsense, she reassured herself. Surely, she could not be afraid of her own infant daughter! What would her husband say? Plenty probably, and most of it with his fists.
      Still, she found herself checking on Elizabeth less and less. She argued with herself: Elizabeth didn’t fuss much anyway. Marie didn’t need to check on her so often — not like she did with her other, noisy, “normal” babies.
      Her other children. Such a joy they were, her four boys and other girl — Peter, Mark, Mike, Chad and Linda. All healthy, regular children, with coarse dark hair, brown eyes and a little bit of baby fat on their bones. They looked the way children should look, the way her children should look, like their parents. But more importantly, they acted the way children should act — loud, boisterous, rough, needy. Marie loved them for it, loved how she couldn’t get a moment’s peace when they played together. Even when their play turned to fighting, she still preferred it to Elizabeth’s silent, eerie presence.
      But Marie loved Elizabeth, too. Loved her fiercely, with the same passion she felt for her other children. Marie knew she did. She told herself she did, time and time again. The fact that she felt relief when Elizabeth wasn’t around meant nothing. She just needed time away from her children, after all. Almost all mothers welcomed the time they had away from their constant, children-related responsibilities. It didn’t mean she loved them any less. It didn’t mean anything at all.



Thursday, 26 May 2016

From Gods by Mary Ting


***2013 InD'Tale RONE Award Finalist for YA****

Title: From Gods
Author: Mary Ting
Genre: YA Mythology
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR


Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day?
Don’t blame Mother Nature.

Skylar Rome can’t wait to spend her last summer before college with her cousin, Kayla. Everything changes when they meet the Grand brothers. Skylar is sure she should stay away from Mason Grand, but their attraction is undeniable. Then Skylar’s life erupts into turmoil. She steps into a world where descendants of ancient gods have super powers, evil beings chase her, and questions arise about her own identity. She is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her.

Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?








Excerpt:

“Mason, MASON, MASON!” Skylar panicked.
“I know. Skylar, hold on tight. I’m going to brake.”
“But there are cars behind us.”
“We have no choice. Don’t worry. I got this.” Mason pushed down on the brake forcefully. The car hydroplaned to the right. “Hold on.”
Skylar gripped the first thing her hand found. The water from the road jetted up into the air like in a water show, but the car kept gliding sideways, until finally it spun in a full circle and stopped. With no time to waste, Mason turned it to the right and accelerated, hoping to dodge what was coming toward them.
Out of nowhere, a long piece of ice, taking the form of a spear, darted through the trucks’ tires and punctured some of them. More ice spears came soaring out of the rain, but this time ten or more sphere-like ice balls followed, denting the sides of the trucks. One went through a windshield. With flat tires, the trucks now glided as if skating on ice, maneuvering from side to side.
“Did you do that?” Skylar asked excitedly.
“No. Must be Poseidon’s kids. Where the hell are they?” Mason spread his right arm out in front of Skylar as if to protect her. “Bend down, Sky.”
One of the trucks hit another and veered off, hitting yet another one. The crash caused the trucks to flip and tumble, heading straight for Mason’s car. With a look of shock, Skylar held her breath. There was no time to move, think, or get out of the car, so she closed her eyes and prepared for the crash.
Seconds before impact, Mason’s car flew up into the air and over the trucks. Somehow, as if by magic, the water created a liquid bridge, guiding the car safely over, and then it thumped hard onto the ground on the other side. Without looking back, Mason sped away as the sound of screeching brakes and metal hitting metal blasted behind them.
“What just happened?” Skylar yelped. “Did you do that?” Everything had happened so fast. Adrenaline had rushed through her body so rapidly, she’d had no time for fear. Once it was over, she was amazed and stunned speechless.
“No, I didn’t. Poseidon’s kids. It’s the only explanation. They can manipulate water. I had it handled. There was no need for them to show off. Lots of civilians are hurt.” Mason sounded irritated, perhaps because he wasn’t the hero this time around or perhaps he truly did care for those people he didn’t know.
Amazed by their abilities, wherever they were, Skylar was grateful for their showing off. Though Mason claimed he’d had the situation handled, Skylar thought otherwise, but kept her opinion to herself.
Fire and heavy smoke spiraled into the sky behind them. The trucks had mostly slammed against each other, except for one. Guilt consumed her, thinking about the innocent people who’d happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. She couldn’t dwell on her remorse. She saw the same white truck, now joined by a black truck, tailing them. “It’s the white truck again, but there’s another one behind it.”
“I see them,” Mason said with a sly tone, looking in the rearview mirror. “Let’s see if they can follow.”




Other books in the Descendant Prophecies series!
Books 2 & 3 free with #KindleUnlimited for a limited time.

     From Deities
     From Origins
 Pre-Order From Titans Today!




Author Bio: 

Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.






Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Secret by Karen J. Mossman


A secret is a secret for good reason.


 The Secret

**Free**

 25th-26th-27th May


Kerry O’Brien has a secret so terrible it burns inside her. All she wants is to be part of a normal family, but with a stepfather like Bill, that is impossible.

Set in the 1970s when secrets like this were only ever whispered about, Kerry somehow keeps her humour by pretending everything is fine. Then she meets biker Tommy, and he has his own secret; one that impacts on her.

Kerry’s secret becomes harder to keep and the tell-tell signs harder to hide. Can she keep it together? Can Tommy and Kerry get it together?

Then the worst happens and Kerry’s secret is a secret no more.




Excerpt:

     'This is where I work,” he said, as we entered a joiner’s workshop. I could see half built furniture with lots of wood shavings on the floor and various types of cutting equipment. We walked over to one half built piece of furniture.
     “This is mine,” he said. “I’m working on it at the moment.” It was a wardrobe and it hadn’t got any doors.
     “How on earth do you make these?” I asked running my finger through a pattern in the wood.
     “With this, it’s called a router.” He held up some kind of tool. “Just look inside here,” he said, indicating inside of the wardrobe.
     I peered just behind where the door would be, and saw he’d scraped TS 74 in the wood. “Oh yeah.”
     “We all like to mark them somewhere. So should you ever buy a wardrobe, take a look inside, it might be one of mine.”
     I grinned. “You’ll be famous.”
     He laughed. “Come on, we’ll go into the tea room.”
     We went up some stairs and into a big kitchen. There was a table in the centre and on it were mugs and some still contained tea that had gone cold and congealed. I pulled a face.
     “I know,” he said as if reading my mind. “We’re a mucky lot.” He began clearing it piling it into a dirty looking sink.
     Kitchen cupboards snaked around the sides of the room, both on the wall and beneath the counter. Some of the doors didn’t appear to fit properly and some didn’t even have doors. There was a fridge, but there was also a bottle of milk standing on the top, it’s contents half empty and I just had the feeling I wouldn’t want to drink it. In fact, everything looked grubby.
     “I would offer you a brew...”
     I laughed, “Not a chance, some of those cups look like they’ve never been washed.”
     “Come over here,” he said, standing by the table.
     “Why?” I asked a little dubiously.
     “I want you to lie on it.”
     I frowned, “Why?”
     He looked at me with mischievous eyes and my pulse quickened. “I want to draw you.”
     Draw me? I didn’t expect that. Was I disappointed? Did I think he was going to make mad passionate love to me right there on that table top?
     I managed to giggle and stood on the chair, then onto the table and lay down, feeling a bit silly. I let him manoeuvre me into position and felt even sillier.
     “Relax, Kerry.”
     “Do you know how hard this table is?”
     He pulled out a chair and sat down a little way from me. Producing a sketchpad from somewhere, he began to draw.
     “Well, this is nice,” I said, feeling the back of my head on the edge of the table as I peered at the ceiling and my hair hung down towards the floor.
     “You’ve no idea,” he said, glancing up at me and then down to the sketchpad as his pencil moving quickly.
     “Hmm, I wonder what’s for tea tonight. Wood chips? Or wardrobe sausage?” I pondered.
     “Keep still.”
     “I am still; in fact I’m so still you can hardly tell I’m breathing.”
     “Your mouth is moving.”
     “Can you draw an open mouth?” I puckered it.
     “Not in the way you mean, shut up a minute.”
     I mentally counted to 60 and then said, “My back is aching.”
     “Okay,” he said, standing up and snapping the pad closed. “Finished.”
     “Can I see it?”
     “No, you can’t, I need to finish it first.”
     “I thought you just said you’d finished.”
     “Hmm,” I loved the rumble sound his voice made. “These are just the bare bones,” he said with a grin. “I’ve to fill it in yet.”
     “God!” I huffed, feigning annoyance. “I’ve been called many things, but bare bones!”
     He swatted my bum with his hand. “You’ll see it, eventually.”
     We were laughing as we made our way back outside to his bike. Is this too soon to fall in love? Because I was falling right over!'





What the readers are saying:

The story is gripping and interesting, the romance warm and simmering. I absolutely loved the ending, which gives the story an almost fairy tale-like feeling. All in all, it was a very enjoyable two hour read, and I whole heartedly recommend it to fans of the genre.
S Anderson

I really enjoyed this book and I was automatically drawn into the characters world, from the very first page. Tommy treats Kerry like a queen and it's so refreshing to read a story where the man respects and truly loves the girl.
Jenna Hodge

The way this author wrote about one family's life in 1970 Manchester was authentic and enjoyable. I enjoyed being lost in nostalgia for a short time and wallowing in the memories of that era's music and singers. The well-developed characters seemed realistic and the places were vividly described
Amazon Customer


The Author:

Karen J Mossman lives in Anglesey in Wales with her husband. She had written 5 books, three themed short story collections, The Missing, Behind The Music, Heroes and two novels, Joanna's Journey, a novel set in the 1980s and The Secret.






Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Storm by Skye Knizley



Title: STORM
Series: Storm Chronicles Book 6
Author: Skye Knizley
Published: April 21st, 2016
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Genre: Horror, Urban Fantasy
Content Warning: Contains violence and horror elements
Recommended Age: 17+


On a rainy night in 1971 the cruise ship Crescent Star vanished in the North Atlantic without a trace. No crew, no lifeboats and no wreckage was ever found, in spite of a three-week search.

Two days ago, she crashed through and sank a pleasure yacht off the coast of New York, leaving five people dead. The ship has answered no hails and no one appears to be aboard. Agent Raven Storm and a forensic team lead by Aspen Kincaid have been tasked to investigate and bring the ship in, if possible.

What happened to 720 crew and passengers and where has the ship been for 44 years?

Clue by macabre clue, Raven uncovers the truth of the Crescent Star and faces a villain from beyond the grave.

But how can she stop something she can’t see, can’t touch, and that won’t hesitate to use the ones she loves against her?

Excerpt:

      Raven Storm sat up in bed, a scream fighting behind her lips. It had happened again; her father in the shadows, the boom of her pistol, and his body dropping. She’d had the nightmare every night since coming home. Her psyche eval was so bad she’d been dropped from field duty and was investigating UFO sightings in Montana. Not her best job ever.
      She slid out of bed and padded toward the stairs. Around her was the loft bedroom she shared with her fiancĂ©, Aspen. The walls were painted a soft lavender that was almost grey and matched the carpet. Their king-size bed was covered with a blue flowered bedspread and the nightstands were antiques sent by Valentina from Chicago.
      Raven ran a hand over the Maltese Falcon poster in the stairwell and turned out of habit to the kitchen, where two scoops of coffee and some hot water soon produced a brew that would be guaranteed to keep her up the rest of the night. She was just sitting down to savor a cup when Aspen’s cell started chirping from its charging plate on the counter.
      Who the hell is calling her at this hour? Raven wondered.
      She picked it up and slid her finger over the screen. “Storm.”
      There was a pause and then, “Agent Storm? Is Aspen Kincaid there?”
      “She’s sleeping, like normal people, who is this?”
      “This is Kane, I’m with Agent in Charge King’s office. Please get her, it's important,” Kane said.
      “Who is it?”
      Raven looked up to see Aspen leaning over the upstairs railing, her purple hair trailing around her face.
      “King’s office,” Raven replied.
      Aspen wiped sleep from her eyes. “They have a case for you?”
      Raven shrugged. “It’s for you, probably a crime scene.”
      Aspen hurried down the steps and took the phone.
      “This is Aspen.”
      She listened for a moment, and turned to Raven, eyes wide. She pressed the speaker button and held the phone out. “Mr. Kane, can you say that again?”
      “We have a code thirteen emergency. The cruise ship Crescent Star is carrying an unknown preternatural threat and heading toward New York City. I need you to lead a team onboard and stop it before it reaches the one mile marker. You’ll be briefed enroute.”
      “Kane, this is Storm. Aspen isn’t a field agent, who gave the order?” Raven asked.
      “King, Agent Storm.”
      Aspen shook her head. “He knows I’m not an agent, Kane. I’m a lab-rat, I only go with Raven on certain cases, he can’t—”
      “You have basic field training and he handpicked you, Kincaid. You’re on a chopper in twenty minutes, a car is on the way.”
      “I want to talk to King,” Raven said.
      “He didn’t ask for you, Storm,” Kane said.
      “I don’t give a shit, Mr. Kane,” Raven said. “Code thirteen is the catastrophe code, you’re not sending Aspen—”
      “This conversation is over, Agent Storm. Agent Kincaid, be ready,” Kane said.
      The line went dead. Raven stared at the phone, then looked at Aspen.



Tour wide giveaway:
One GRAND PRIZE winner will receive a swag pack of bookmarks and mini posters AND an autographed copy of the book.

Giveaway is US only. Ends May 30th at 11:59 PM EDT.



The Author:

Skye Knizley is the #1 bestselling author of the Storm Chronicles series, an urban fantasy tale that mixes mystery, magic and horror and the Shadowlands series of modern espionage thrillers. All of her books feature strong female leads who can hold their own with the men and then some, witticisms and of course Skye’s trademark snark.

Skye, who holds degrees in forensic science and psychology, lives in the middle of nowhere in a tiny little town of about 700 people. The small town life appeals to her and she finds it conducive to writing. When she isn’t setting quill to parchment (okay she actually uses a laptop, but quills are cool) Skye can be found practising Muay Thai, camping, motorcycling and hiking with her psychotic Siberian husky, Piper. Once a year she participates in an uncontrolled “float trip.” Whether she wants to or not. It’s a camping thing.

Skye is also a proud gamer girl and an avid fan of role-playing games. She currently participates in a weekly Shadowrun game held at a local gaming store (stop in and say ‘hi!’) and is the writer and game-master of a private Fantasy Flight game held once a month.







Monday, 23 May 2016

A Legend is Born by T.L. Phillips



From orphan at fourteen to immortal royalty at nineteen, 
how the heck did that happen?


Title: A Legend is Born
Author: T.L. Phillips
Genre: Paranormal Romance


Nineteen-year-old Lissa witnessed the brutal murder of her parents by blood-thirsty vampires at the tender age of fourteen. She would have suffered the same unpleasant fate had tall, dark, and mysterious stranger Max not intervened. Every night since Lissa, along with an elite group of fighters, trains and patrols the mostly abandoned streets around the city of Buffalo, NY. They quietly thwart the dastardly plans of rogue vampires and cursed shifters in an attempt to protect mankind.

Having been told that all shifters are evil, Lissa is taken by surprise when she learns that there are good ones in the world - the Guardians. And she's bonded with one of them, an ultra-rare occurrence amongst Guardians in recent years and unheard of between a Guardian and a mortal. When a typically fatal injury threatens to end her, her bond-mate throws caution to the wind and uses his own blood to save her. The consequences could be disastrous when Lissa wakes up to find she is no longer human, and not only a shifter herself but the shifter queen.




Excerpt:

My arm fell to my side as I knelt beside the cowering vampire, keeping the stake ready to strike. “Spill it, bloodsucker.”

He whimpered at the derogatory name, and I stifled a satisfied laugh. “There's going to be trouble in the city. I've heard whispers in the night that there is a plan to take over the city.”

I grabbed him by the collar and sprung to my feet, dragging him up with me. “When?”

Relief flooded his face. “I don't know.”

I pressed the tip of the stake against his chest just above his heart to encourage him. “Don't make me ask you again. When?”

His breath caught in his throat. “I swear, that's all I know! Please don't kill me!”

“You broke our deal, Pedro. Surely even when you were a newborn you were smart enough to know that giving me such vague information couldn't save you after this. Perhaps I should take you to the alliance and let them deal with you.”

Another visible shudder rolled through him, fear radiating from his body like fumes from a sewage plant. My mention of the alliance had the desired effect on him. They didn't care what your reason was, they executed first and asked questions later. If it ever came up again.

I'd been so wrapped up with Pedro, I'd forgotten Morgan was even there until his voice rumbled his displeasure. “We should just stake him and be done. We don't need him.”

His eyes went wide and a fresh stream of bloody tears poured from his eyes. “But, she was willing!”

My eyebrows raised. “She didn't sound too willing to me.”

He closed his eyes and waited for the hot, searing surge of pain that I've been told comes with being staked in the heart. When I didn't strike right away, he took it as a signal to explain. “I met her in the park. We talked for hours, we seemed to have a lot in common. She mentioned she was getting hungry and offered to treat me to dinner.”

Suspicion pricked the back of my mind as the words poured out of his mouth. “Did you tell her what you are?”

A smile lifted the corners of his mouth. “Yes!”

I shot a glance at the lifeless body in the corner. “And she still offered to feed you?”

His smile broadened. “Yes!”

He followed my gaze to the woman. “I think she was into it. You know there's a large group of fangers in this city.”

I cringed at the term used for humans that enjoy being bitten. I was bitten the night my parents died and still didn't see the fascination in it. “And how do you explain the scream?”

His eyes searched the darkened alley before settling back on his feet. “I guess she wasn't as ready as she thought she was.”


The Author:

T.L. Phillips is a 30-something stay-at-home caretaker that loves to curl up with her cat and a great book. As a writer, she strives to tell compelling stories that readers will enjoy curling up with. When she’s not occupied with the myriad of tasks above, she’s an avid gamer with a love for all things crafty from crocheting to wood-burning and all things in between.




Sunday, 22 May 2016

Slither by Valarie Savage Kinney


Much more than a horror story...

A fascinating story that kept me on the edge of my seat and was impossible to put down.
The well thought out and unique plot twisted it's way through this well-written book.

The main characters were well-fleshed out, each had their own flaws and abusive pasts to deal with, but worked wonderfully together to help and heal each other.

The villains were dark and menacing characters and easy to hate.






Synopsis:

We're often told tales of the underworlds to feed the darkest corners of our nightmares. We tuck them away with the sunlight and laugh away the fear our minds created. But the daylight offers no relief for Zari. She's hidden her waking nightmare as nothing more than a damaged past. The venom of her secrets consumes her, as well as those she cares for most. Emmett, the love of her life and the only one with a past dark enough to respect her space, becomes a pawn in the war against the demonic force which is her bloodright. Can Zari overpower those out to get her to feed on the innocent? Can she save Emmett from the evil of Slither?



The Author:

Valarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs. Author of Heckled, Slither, and Just Hold On, as well as the short stories Copper and Ailith in the KAPOW! anthologies from 7DS Books. Editor and narrator for Dragons of Faith.

Mercy Row Retribution by Harry Hallman



Title: Mercy Row Retribution
Author: Harry Hallman
Genre: Historical Crime Fiction


While serving as a pilot during the Vietnam War, Gerry Amota, the grandson of Jacob Byrne, the head of a powerful North Philadelphia Irish crime family, seizes an opportunity to create a lucrative marijuana smuggling operation. It's 1967 and under the secrecy of a classified military operation and with the assistance of a French Marseille Mob, who owns plantations in Cambodia, he is able to send tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana a month to Philadelphia. His grandfather's criminal enterprise distributes the drug to a population who has developed and insatiable appetite for the marijuana.

A rival French from Paris gang tries to force Amato to buy their product and this triggers war between the Byrne family and the Paris mob. From the steamy jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia, to the streets of Saigon, Paris and Philadelphia the ruthless actions of the Paris mob threatens to destroy the Byrne family. Gerry Amato orchestrates merciless campaign of retribution against his foes in order to save himself and his family.

In part two of Mercy Row Retribution, the third book in the Byrne family saga, it is April 1975 and South Vietnam is about to fall to the North Vietnamese communist. Gerry Amato fears that the communists will take revenge on the population and especially children, many of whom are Amerasian, at an orphanage he supported and volunteered at during his time as a Pilot. He orchestrates a rescue mission to retrieve the children and bring them to the United States. This takes him and his team into harm's way in Thailand, across Cambodia and into worn torn Vietnam and back. The fate of 75 children and 30 adults rest squarely on Gerry's shoulders.


Bonus Section

Mercy Row Retribution includes a bonus section of short true stories of the author and his friends' experiences growing up in North Philly in the 1940s and 50s. This is a true reflection of what life was like for kids from working class families growing up on the streets Philadelphia.


Print, eBook and Audio. 



Excerpt 1:


Chapter 7

The walls of Saint Hugh of Cluny Catholic Church echoed the final words of the Song of Farewell. "…that you may enter into paradise."

Father George Byrne wiped the tears from his eyes and stepped to the pulpit. He cleared his throat and started to talk, "I will read a favorite prayer of the decea…" Father George's voice cracked. He coughed and continued, "deceased." George closed his eyes, bent his head and then opened his eyes and looked at the gathering and began the prayer."May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the palm of His hand."

George bent his head again, and the parishioners followed his lead. After a minute he said, "That concludes the mass, but if you will please keep your seats my father Jacob Byrne would like to say a few words."

Jacob rose from his seat in the first pew. He kissed Molly, then bent down and kissed Jimmy, Sally, Charlie, Janet, Jake, and Maria on the cheek. Mercy stood up and he embraced her tightly. She put her head on his shoulder and sobbed. "PaPa make the hurt go away. Oh, PaPa."

Jacob kissed Mercy's head and said nothing. There was nothing he could say. He couldn't make the hurt go away. Not this time. He sat Mercy back down in the pew and slowly walked to the pulpit forgetting to genuflect before the alter. He turned, wiped his eyes and began, "Many years ago God brought to me the most wonderful person one could hope to have in their life. An amazing person with a soul so energetic and bright that their glow is still with me and will be forever, even though she has gone to God's bosom," Jacob paused and looked at Mercy and the others and began again.


The Author:

Hallman was born in 1944 and raised in the Kensington
section of North Philadelphia. Hallman's father was Harry
Hallman, Sr., a champion pool player who also owned a
poolroom called Circle Billiards, located at Allegheny Avenue and Lee Street in Philadelphia. The younger Hallman spent many hours after school at his father's poolroom and watching his father play in other poolrooms in Philadelphia and New Jersey. The people he met, some belonging to the real K&A Gang, influenced his writing of the Mercy Row series.

After a year of being an apprentice plumber he served four years in the U.S. Air Force, including two tours in South Vietnam as a photographer. His first tour was at Ton Son Nhat Airbase where he processed film shot by U2 Aircraft over North Vietnam and China. He returned to the same place for his second tour, but processed film shot by U.S. fighter recon aircraft. He is married to Duoc Hallman, whom he met in Vietnam, and has two children, Bill and Nancy, and one grandchild, Ava.
Hallman is a serial entrepreneur who has created several marketing services and digital media companies and
continues to work as a marketing consultant.

Email Hallman at harry@mercyrow.com. 
Keep informed at www.mercyrow.com or on Facebook.



Excerpt 2:


Both Mickey and Gerry simultaneously thrust their stilettos into the soft area at the base of the skulls and into the brains of the guards sitting in front of them. At the same time, Sean lifted his .45 and fired. At that exact time Mickey's arm hit Sean's back making the shot miss. The guard sitting in the right pew ducked behind the pew and pulled his pistol. The two guards Mickey and Gerry had stabbed were dead and falling forward as Sean fell back towards Mickey seeking some cover. The guard on the right fired and hit the wood on the back of the pew.

Gerry, Mickey and Sean fell to the floor just as Beaumont fired four shots from his automatic. The bullets punctured the wood above their heads and sending small splinters onto them. Sean fired three shots at the guard and the guard returned two shoots. Sean held steady while Gerry and Mickey crawled on their bellies towards the left side of the church. After shooting, Beaumont ran to the left side of the church and passed by the tenth row just as Gerry looked up. Gerry squeezed his trigger, but missed Beaumont. Beaumont continued to run towards the front entrance.

Beaumont's guard saw him and fired several shots at Gerry and Mickey to keep them from going after Beaumont. It was a fatal mistake. Sean seeing the guard break cover shot twice, hitting the man in the chest and throat. Sean yelled," Go."

Gerry and Mickey stood up and ran to the end of the pew and then after Beaumont. Sean followed them. Beaumont was close to the back of the church plowing through some people trying to get out. Other people were screaming and running out the entrance. Jacob and Jake pushed their way through the crowd and into the church. Beaumont saw them and ran into the entrance to the north tower.

By the time Jacob could see what was happening, Gerry, Mickey and Sean were at the entranceway to the north tower. Gerry motioned to Jake to take the south tower stairs. According to the drawings Gerry had seen, there were only two ways out from the towers. You took either the north or south tower stairs. When Jake and Jacob took off for the south tower Gerry started up the north tower stairway. Sean and Mickey followed

It was a very narrow spiral staircase made from stone. From what he remembered there were several hundred stairs to get to the top. He was sure at Beaumont's age he would be slow to get to the top and when he did he would need a rest. Gerry was wrong. As Gerry started to turn the last spiral to the top of the landing, two shots hit the stone just a couple of feet in front of him. He jumped back bumping into Mickey and almost knocking him down the steps.

Jacob and Jake were making their way up the south tower stairs, which was the exact same design as the north tower stairs. The only difference was that the south tower stairs were general used for tourists to exit. Most had gotten out before Jake and Jacob started up but a few stragglers were still making their way down. This delayed Jake and Jacob, as the stairs were so narrow you had to go sideways to let two people get by each other. A heavyset woman almost knocked Jacob down the stairs as she passed by. Jake grabbed his father's jacket and steadied him.

When they finally reached the top, they started to cross the walkway leading to the north tower. Beaumont was in the walkway close to the north tower. He fired at Jake and Jacob and missed. Gerry, Mickey and Sean were on the other side walking towards Beaumont. Beaumont spun around and fired at Gerry. His gun clicked and he was out of ammunition.

Jacob yelled, "Give it up, Beaumont."








Saturday, 21 May 2016

Falling for You series by Danielle Lee Zwissler


Author Danielle Lee Zwissler brings you her new complete series of New Adult Romance!


A Series That you will FALL IN LOVE with
The Boy Next Door- Book I
The Boy I Love- Book II
The Man I'll Marry- Book III
The Wedding: A Falling for You short

The Falling for You series will make you laugh out loud!
Get ready to swoon!



The Boy Next Door

When Keri Richards comes home from college to mourn her father's death, Payton, her fun-loving, next door neighbor is there, as usual, ready to share his tree fort. It isn't until she is back in school again that she realizes that there may be more to their friendship. Who knows...it may even be love!

Love

Friendship

Fun





"This is a beautiful story of young love. Danielle perfectly captured Keri's innocent approach to life, love, and loss that is certain to stir up nostalgic feelings about it's reader's own " boy next door". I am looking forward to the next installment."
Roni Kimberland




The Boy I Love

Just as Keri finally decides to take the "big step", her mom calls for her, and everything is put off, and then she has to fly back to Ohio until Christmas break!
If only they could get a few minutes alone!

Payton is busy with work, and Keri gets a job, and can't come home as much as she wants... What will happen when the fairytale is over?

Falling for him was easy, keeping him was a whole other problem.




"The second part of the trilogy starts exactly where the first volume ends and gives us more details about Keri and Payton's uneasy, but passionate relationship. They need to deal with new challenges, big changes in their lives, and find a way compromise between their feelings and the uneasy conditions under which their love is shyly blossoming.
Once again Danielle Lee Zwissler takes her readers to the wonderful world of love, drama, and passion, in the way only she can do it.
I cannot wait to see how the whole story wraps up in the upocoming third book."
Robyn


The Man I'll Marry

When Keri finally makes it home after a devastating discovery, she sees the much-loved tree fort in shambles. After talking with her mom, Alexis and Todd, Keri decides she's going to need all the help she can get in figuring out a way to win back Payton's love... But how will she do all that and go to school, graduate, and stay sane? And what will Payton's family have to say about her change of heart?

Keri soon finds out that the promise of love can help you accomplish anything...







"I loved the emotional ups and downs in this book. The love and passion that they shared you could feel throughout each of your books. A job well accomplished Danielle. If you want a good book series to read I would advise hitting the buy button on this one and the other two!"
tascha deets


The Wedding














"Enjoyed this short read. Reminded me of the nervous jitters I had on my wedding day!"
Linda Winey


The Author

Danielle Lee Zwissler is from a small town in Ohio, and enjoys reading about cowboys, writing about cowboys and looking at them. (Do you see a theme here?) She loves Harry Potter, Sam Smith's music, and Caramel Macchiato creamer in her coffee. She has two wonderful children, a sexy husband, two guinea pigs—Pudding Cup and Flower, a turtle named Lilly and a minivan filled with books and kid stuff. She loves to hear from people that actually read her books, and she will be forever grateful if you mention her books to anyone...

If you'd like a signed copy of any of her books, please email her at: danielleleezwissler@shewritesromance.com
She can also be found signing books around the US at several different comic cons. All author visits will be posted on her homepage.




Interview


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In 2004 when I started writing IRIS with my husband.


How long does it take you to write a book?
It all depends really. Some of my novellas only took a day—18 hours for The Boy Next Door, and it’s one of my more popular books. 6 hours for “The Cowboy’s Bride” … 6 months for IRIS (Fantasy Novel) and 3 days for “Her Last Chance” …


What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
My schedule is nuts when I’m writing. I get into the zone, and don’t do much else. I usually brew a pot of coffee and sit down in my chair for hours on end. I just recently bought a treadmill that my husband built a desk for, and now I walk and type with my laptop, and sit and type on my desktop. The best of both worlds.


What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t think I do anything too interesting. I like to listen to music while writing, but that’s normal for anyone.


How do your books get published?
Both Traditionally and Self…


Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Anywhere and everywhere. A lot of my ideas come from listening to music and looking through the pictures in magazines.


When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Hmmm… 25.


What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Hang out with my kids, watch baseball, and read.


What does your family think of your writing?
My husband and kids are awesome about it. I don’t think anyone else in my family really cares all that much. I’ve had maybe three other (family members) read a book of mine.


What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I guess the most surprising thing that I’ve learned is how therapeutic it can be to get your feelings out on paper. As you may have guessed, I have been more than one of my characters.


How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
57 books now. Not all of them are published, though. My favorite is The Long Ride Home.


Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Read. That’s about it. If you want to write, you need to read. All the rules are there, all the great ideas are out there ready to be plucked and placed, all you need to know how to do is form sentences and take time out of your day to write them down.


Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yeah I’d say a few times a week in email, and several times a day on my Facebook page. My Facebook page has been a miracle to me. Some of my fans will ask when the next book is out, others will tell me how much they’ve liked something, and a few have sent me snail mail.


Do you like to create books for adults?
Yes, I absolutely love my job.


What do you think makes a good story?
Love everlasting, believable characters, and reality.


As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
As a child, I wanted to be a lawyer, as a teen I wanted to be a band director, and now I’m a writer. I have a degree in Music Education and am still working toward my Masters in English. I’m nearly done.





Danielle Lee Zwissler is Proudly Promoted by:


The Owl Branch Book Promotions.
www.theowlbranch2015.net
theowlbranch2015@gmail.com