Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wicked Hot Reads: Ten Paranormal Romances $.99 Boxed Set & Giveaway


Welcome to the Blog Tour for:

Wicked Hot Reads: Ten Paranormal Romances

Authors:

Shoshanna Evers, Cathryn Fox, Sarah Mäkelä, A.C. James, Jan Springer, 
Milly Taiden, Lisa Hughey, Jessie Donovan, Titania Ladley, and Mina Carter


Boxed Set Details:

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Kissa Press LLC

Date of Publication: October 7, 2014



Pre-Order Links:






WICKED HOT READS: Ten Paranormal Romances Description:

Indulge in ten sexy paranormal romance novels, written by New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance authors. With shifters, vampires, demons, and otherworldly creatures all looking for their own forever-loves... This box set bundle will get you in the mood for a sensual Halloween!

The books in Wicked Hot Reads: 10 Paranormal Romances would cost over $30 to buy individually. Save $29 by getting the bundle for just 99c for a limited time!

Novels Included in Boxed Set:

Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) by NYT & USA Today bestseller Shoshanna Evers: The Beast can’t let his little Beauty go free, not while there’s still hope that she might be the one to end his decade-long curse…

Knocking on Demon's Door by NYT & USA Today bestseller Cathryn Fox: When Michelle discovers what's really going on at the resort, will her trust in a demon turn her in to one of the missing, or will he save her from the real monsters?

The Wolf Who Played With Fire by NYT & USA Today bestseller Sarah Mäkelä: Mia’s mistakes have forever changed the lives of those close to her, but when her soldier boyfriend, Ethan, goes missing on duty, she harness every magic power she possesses to get him safely back…

Fallen Ever After by NYT & USA Today bestseller A.C. James: Arie wanted Holly from the very first moment he met her, but the long-standing feud between the faeries that run the Chicago Crew puts Holly and other fledgling vampires in danger. Can they stop a vampire-fae war that’s been brewing for nearly a century?

Bared to Him by NYT & USA Today bestseller Jan Springer: Human by day, and a tentacle shapeshifter by night, sexy Gray Wagner, is the last male that Miranda Bolton dreams of falling in love with, until she begins to fantasize about all the naughty things he can do to her…

A Mate's Bite by USA Today bestseller Milly Taiden: After an explosive night of passion, Karla is sure she’s a one-night stand for the man she’s wanted for years, but Nate has marked Karla. Only true love and a wolf's promise can hold together a relationship created with a bite and a hope for tomorrow.

Archangel Rafe by Lisa Hughey: Angelina’s only respite from her overwhelming life is in her dreams with a stunningly hot angel, but when an unexpected threat puts both the Angelic Realm and Earth in jeopardy, Angelina will need to accept her destiny before it’s too late...

Blaze of Secrets by Jessie Donovan: Rescued from a prison for magic users, Kiarra is now a wanted criminal and must rely on a mysterious Brit to help her evade capture. Before long, her handsome rescuer becomes much more than just her trainer…

Mark of the Serapath by Titania Ladley: After a catastrophe unleashes Josie’s Serapathian witch magic, she suspects her sexy, mysterious lover is a Kynthian vampire ordered to kill all Serapaths. Despite the risks, passion explodes between them, threatening the future of the entire world.

Dragon’s Honor by Mina Carter: Bodyguard duty. Undercover. As human. Simple. Until shadow-dragon Baron realizes the woman they’re protecting is his mate. Add in a crazy warlock…and Baron might have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

About the Authors:

Shoshanna Evers 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories. She is best known for The Enslaved Trilogy, The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby, Overheated, Make Me, and How to Write Hot Sex. Evers is also the cofounder of SelfPubBookCovers.com, the largest selection of premade book covers in the world. 

Reviewers have called Shoshanna’s writing “sensuous, delightful, and sizzling” with stories where “the plot is fresh and the pacing excellent, the emotions…real and poignant.” Shoshanna used to work as a syndicated advice columnist and a registered nurse, but now she’s a full-time romance writer and a home-schooling mom. She lives with her family and three big dogs in Northern Idaho, and loves to connect with readers! 

To learn more, visit ShoshannaEvers.com

Shoshanna wants to stay in touch! 

Sign up for her newsletter to hear about new releases first, and read excerpts you won't find in the sample pages! ShoshannaEvers.com/newsletter





Cathryn Fox 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and red wine. She has two teenagers who keep her busy with their never ending activities, and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. Cathryn can never find balance in her life, is always trying to find time to go to the gym, can never keep up with emails, Facebook or Twitter and tries to write page-turning books that her readers will love. 

Visit Cathryn at www.cathrynfox.com

Twitter: @writercatfox 





Sarah Mäkelä 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy...even a sweet contemporary romance! 

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too. 

Find Sarah Online:







A.C. James 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author A.C. James writes paranormal romance and erotica, including Eternal Ever After which was featured in the bestselling Spice Box anthology. She pounds out sexy scenes at her keyboard where romance is laced with horror in hot stories of vampires and bad boy werewolves. Her stories feature strong heroines and alpha heroes, with plenty of action, twists, and turns that will keep you turning pages. 

A.C. resides in northeast Pennsylvania where she entertains her husband with her imaginative yarns and quirky sense of humor. She spends her time drinking large vats of coffee while taming two toddlers by day and writing by night. Recovering video game beta tester and tech geek who grew-up going to cons and watching SmackDown. There's probably some cosplay pictures around somewhere of her dressed up as Bloodberry from Saber Marionette J. Just don't tell anyone. 

She loves to hear from readers on her website www.acjames.com. Please subscribe to her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ApQ7z


Jan Springer 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jan Springer writes in scenic cottage country, Ontario Canada. Hobbies include hiking, gardening, canning preserves, painting ceramics and dodging mosquitoes in the spring, summer and fall. Her best friend is an electric snow shovel in winter. She's a member of RWA, Passionate Ink and the Author's Union of Canada. 

She loves hearing from her readers. Visit her site at http://www.janspringer.com


Milly Taiden 


Hi! I'm Milly Taiden (AKA April Angel). I love to write sexy stories. They're usually either paranormal or contemporary with a large dose of heat. My paranormal stories can be anything from wolf-shifters (my favorites) to witches, demons and anything in between. 

I was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. Currently, I live in New York City with my hubby, the bossy kiddo and our little dog "Needy Speedy". Don't ask. 

I am addicted to shoe shopping, chocolate (but who isn't, right?) and Dunkin' Donuts coffee. 

Come on over and visit me! I love to meet new readers! 

Like my books? Want to stay on top of all things Milly? Sign up for my newsletter at http://mad.ly/signups/87477/join

There’s a giveaways to all the emails signed up to get the latest news on my releases. 

Find out more about Milly Taiden here: 




Facebook Friend Page: http://www.facebook.com/milly.taiden



Lisa Hughey 


Lisa Hughey has been writing romance since the fourth grade, which was also about the time she began her love affair with spies. Harriet and Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys later gave way to James Bond and Lara Croft and Jason Bourne. 

Exploring the complex nature of a profession that requires subterfuge and lies fascinates her. She loves combining her two passions into fiction. As evidenced by her Black Cipher Files series. 

Archangel Rafe was her first foray into the paranormal but after spending time in the Angelic Realm, it won't be her last. At their heart, the Seven novels are about the dynamics of family relationships. But the really hot Archangels don't hurt. 

And recently she's been immersed in the Stone Family novellas, four stories about a blended family of brothers and sister who have a lot more in common than they realize. But of course she couldn't just write about family and romance. There are complex plots, bad guys, and suspense too. 

Lisa loves to hear from readers and has various places you can connect with her, although, shh, Twitter is her favorite. 

Follow Lisa on Twitter www.twitter.com/lisahughey

Visit Lisa on the Web www.lisahughey.com

Her Group Blog, the Pens Fatales www.pensfatales.com


Be Lisa's Friend on Goodreads www.goodreads/lisahughey


Jessie Donovan 


Jessie Donovan wrote her first story at age five, and after discovering the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey in junior high, realized that people actually wanted to read stories like those floating around inside her head. From there on out, she was determined to tap into her over-active imagination and write a book someday. 

After living abroad for five years and earning degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets. 

Jessie loves to interact with readers. When not reading a book or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, can often be found on Facebook and Twitter. 

Join Jessie's newsletter here: http://bit.ly/19FmZbt or visit her website for information at: www.jessiedonovan.com


Titania Ladley 


Bestselling author Titania Ladley is a registered nurse and erotic romance author living in Wisconsin, USA. She is published with Ellora's Cave, Samhain Publishing, and Red Sage. Her erotic romance genres and sub-genres include menage M/M/F, menage M/F/M, lesbian, gay, paranormal, historical, contemporary, vampire, and many more including light bondage BDSM. Keep up-to-date on Titania's website or join her newsletter for news, contests, and fun extras. 

She also writes under the pseudonym Roxana Blaze. 

Enjoy Titania's (aka Roxana's) books! http://www.TitaniaLadley.com

Subscribe to Titania's newsletter - http://bit.ly/1gLtR7L





Mina Carter 


Mina Carter is a bestselling, multi-genre author, a prolific digital artist, and a photographer. She lives in the UK with her husband, daughter and a bossy cat who prefers to sleep on her desk rather than his bed. 

Connect with Mina online at: 






If you’d like to be notified of new releases AND get free eBooks sign up here: http://eepurl.com/dCFGs. Your email address will never be shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Giveaway Details & Entry Link:

($100 Giftcard & MORE)

Wicked Hot Reads Blog Tour Giveaway

Review: Final Book in The Morganville Vampires Series ~ Daylighters (Book 15) by Rachel Caine

(Photo courtesy of Goodreads.com)

Synopsis via Hardcover Dust Jacket:

While Morganville, Texas, is often a troubled town, Claire Danvers and her friends are looking forward to coming home.  But the Morganville they return to isn't the one they know; it's become a different place---a deadly one....

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away.  They town looks clearner and happier than they've ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated - vampires from humans - they realize that the changes definitely aren't for the better.

It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they've never had: hope of a vampire-free future.  And while it sounds like salvation - even for the vampires themselves - the truth is far more sinister and deadly.

Now Claire, Shane, and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody...before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end.

Book Details:

Series: The Morganville Vampires (Book 15)

Kindle
File Size: 1077 KB
Print Length: 369 pages
Publisher: NAL (November 5, 2013)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
ASIN: B00BDQ3A5C

Paperback
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; Reprint edition (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0451414284
ISBN-13: 978-0451414281

Amazon Purchase Link:  Daylighters: The Morganville Vampires

Sapphyria's Review:

Here are the links to my reviews of the previous books:

Books 1 & 2: "Glass Houses" AND "The Dead Girls’ Dance"

Books 3 & 4: "Midnight Alley" AND "Feast of Fools"

Books 5 & 6: "Lord of Misrule" AND "Carpe Corpus"

Book 7: "Fade Out"

Book 8: "Kiss Of Death"

Book 9: "Ghost Town"

Book 10: "Bite Club"

Book 11: "Last Breath"

Book 12: "Black Dawn"

Book 13: "Bitter Blood"

Book 14: "Fall of Night"

The end of a series is always bittersweet, especially when the series is a long as this one. It's disappointing to see our friends, enemies, and frenemies ride off into the sunset. Unfortunately, the review of Daylighters brings reality to the end of The Morganville Vampires.

The final installment in the Morganville Vampires has the vampires under the complete control of the Daylight Foundation. While Claire, Shane, Eve, and Michale were elsewhere, the Foundation came in and cleaned house. The vampires are now prisoners in Morganville and the humans have completely accepted the new rulers. The promises that the Daylight Foundation leader makes are nothing like the truth and when Michael is separated from Eve and Eve's taking for "psychological testing" Claire realizes just what the Foundation is up to.

Now, it's up to Claire and Shane to rescue Eve so that they can form a plan to remove the Foundation from Morganville - before it's too late.

Book 15 didn't disappoint in the action and drama department. When the true nature of the leader of the Daylight Foundation was revealed I almost panicked. I just kept thinking "This is the last book. Why are we introducing something else so radically new into the final book? Is the novel going to be written well enough to explain what the heck is going on without leaving out chunks of, you know, info we actually need to know?" Be rest assured. Book 15 is tackled with precision and perfect pacing. The storyline is introduced in 14 and explained then wrapped up quite nicely by the end.

As much as I wish the Morganville series continued on forever - much like our favorite vampires - the timing to end the series with this book just seems...right. To me, continuing on would have left the author recycling events from previous books and/or dragging out a small idea to fill 300+ pages.   I'm certainly going to miss the antics of Myrnin, my favorite vampire.  His vampire bunny slippers stole the show sometimes and lightened up some heavy drama moments.  

Review Copy Courtesy Of:  My Local Library

Sapphyria's Rating:


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: Tainted Blood (Hell's Belle, Book 2) by Karen Greco #Free #Prequel #BewitchingBookTours

Welcome to the cover reveal for Book 2 in the Hell's Belle series by Karen Greco ~~

Tainted Blood

Cover Reveal Puzzle ~


Don't want to do the puzzle?  
Scroll down for the cover....

About the Book:

After surviving a vampire assassin (not to mention an awkward affair with a hot FBI agent that ended worse than she could have imagined), witch/vampire hybrid Nina Martinez is reunited with the full Blood Ops team in Providence, Rhode Island. Her Aunt Babe is tutoring her in all things witchcraft, and her vampire partner Frankie is enjoying the benefits of daywalking, courtesy of a demon spell. 

When a segment of the Rhode Island vampire population is marked for death by a tainted blood supply, Nina and her team race to find Patient Zero before the local vampire population is wiped out. But when a demon infestation threatens to take control of the city, Nina must join forces with newly elected mayor—and closet demon— Ami Bertrand before the city falls into ruin. 

Filled with fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action, Nina and her group of supernatural misfits battle a surprising new enemy that threatens their very existence. 

No wonder she still can’t get a date. 

From Amazon.com best-selling author Karen Greco, Tainted Blood is the second book in the critically acclaimed Hell’s Belle urban fantasy series.


Book Details:

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Date of Publication: Oct. 20, 2014

ISBN: ISBN-13:978-1500844448 
ISBN-10:1500844446

Number of pages: 582

Read An Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

"Jesus Christ, Frankie," I muttered as the crowbar hit the worn marble floor with an earsplitting clatter. So much for stealth. We should have just ripped through the doors with explosives.

We were breaking into the Superman Building. At 26 floors, it was the first skyscraper ever built in downtown Providence. It lost its last tenant three years ago, and the gorgeous art deco structure was now a towering reminder of better days, when manufacturing was booming and people had money to burn. Years of attempts to "revitalize" the area had fallen flat. This left plenty of room for the underground supernatural factions to sweep in and take over.

Frankie flashed a fangy grin at me. "What's the fun in surprising them? It's never a good time unless it all goes off the rails."

I shook my head and sighed. Ever since Frankie was charmed by a demon to walk in the sunlight, he thought he was invincible. And, sure, being a vampire helped, but he could be staked just as easy as any other vamp. His arrogance could get us both killed.

We walked swiftly through the lobby of the abandoned high rise, keeping tight to the walls. In our all-black commando outfits, we blended easily into the dark hallway.

I stole a wistful look at the bank of elevators. The electricity was cut to the building. We'd be taking the stairs. "Want to guess what floor they're on?"

"I say top floor," Frankie said with his hand already on the door to the stairwell.

It was going to be a long-ass climb. Up the 26 stories and possibly a few extra flights to get to the tippy top of the building's airship docking station. Seriously. The very top floor of the building was built for docking blimp-like airships, so there was a pretty cool waiting area/corporate suite turned Depression-era speakeasy at the apex. Too bad we were seeing it under these circumstances.

About a week ago, a suspicious news report piqued our interest. A group of crazed individuals were caught rampaging through downtown, tossing cars with superhuman strength, punching through brick walls and causing general weird mayhem. A few witnesses described them with blood around their mouths.

Max, our newest Blood Ops member serving as double agent in the FBI, was on record as calling this a "bath salt related incident." It was simple to blame this behavior on meth-heads on a DIY bender. But we knew better. They were vampires, and they were out of control. Frankie and I were dispatched to take care of them.

We climbed the stairs quickly, Frankie almost a floor ahead of me as we ascended. My calves ached by the 17th floor, and I was dripping with sweat. The vamps would be able to smell me by floor 22 if they were paying attention. Since I am half vampire, I can handle a fair amount of physical exertion. But a swift walk up the stairs of a high-rise carrying an extra 35 pounds of vampire-fighting gear was punishing. Pushing through the cramps in my legs, I silently vowed to increase my workouts. It was hard enough to match Frankie's speed and strength, but now that he thought he was the Man of Steel, it was damn near impossible just to catch up to him.

We hit the top, and I finally had a chance to catch my breath. Frankie smirked at my all-too-human physical stamina.

When my heart stopped racing, I double-fisted a pair of stakes and nodded at Frankie. He kicked the door open and we launched into the penthouse. Moonlight poured through the grime-coated glass ceiling.

We rushed in like hellfire, expecting to find ourselves in the middle of a melee. But the room appeared empty.

"Top floor, Frankie? Really?" I grumbled, re-sheathing my stakes. "How much you want to bet they're on two?"

Frankie raised his arm and shushed me. I shot him a dirty look, but quickly softened it when I heard the hushed groans too.

I motioned to Frankie to move towards the sounds, and we cautiously walked to the back of the room. A shape was huddled in a dark corner with two bodies laid out on the floor in front of it. I pulled a mag light out from one of my cargo pants pockets and trained it on the shadowy forms.

A female vampire inched away from the light. Blood was smeared down her face and neck, and it covered her chest. Two male vampires were on the floor, their fronts washed in red as well. The walls were covered in sticky, black-red blood. The entire room was just dripping. It looked like a blood bank exploded.

The vampires on the floor were truly dead, their pale faces cracked like antique porcelain dolls. Their appendages were just starting to decompose, but their midsections were blown out, like they swallowed a bomb and it exploded. The one still living, for lack of a better word, looked close to meeting true death herself. The emaciated vampire half-sobbed, half-moaned as she rocked back and forth.

Although they matched the descriptions of the vamps-gone-wild group, these couldn't be our marauders. They were simply too sick. They looked like junkies who overdosed. A few times.

"What do we do?" I had never seen anything like this before. I sure as hell hoped Frankie would know how to handle this mess.

Frankie walked a wide semicircle around the vampires, his shoes making sucking noises as he lifted them off the sticky, blood-soaked floor. He was worried, clearly on guard.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"Kate," she croaked out.

"Right, Kate," Frankie's voice was soothing. "How long have your friends been like this?"

"Since yesterday." Her hoarse voice was barely above a whisper. "We slept in the stairwell but they came in here last night and just...." She motioned at the carnage around her and let out a muffled sob.

"So you were able to walk back and forth to the stairwell? Can you do it now?" I asked.

She tried pulling herself up, but wasn't strong enough to handle the weight of her tiny body. So she crawled towards us, plowing over the disintegrating corpses.

"Stop, Kate! Stay right there!" Frankie visibly jumped back, his shoes making a sharp thwack as they lifted off the gummy floor. "Nina, you need to call Max and Dr. O. Max needs to get the electricity back on to this building. She's going to need to go out the elevator, and Dr. O needs to bring her down."

"Why are we taking her out of the building?" I asked. Our mission was to kill them. Two were dead, and the last one was nearly there. Mission almost complete.

"Because they are Beta-Vamps." Frankie glanced at the vamp on the floor. "Right?"

She nodded, tears streaming down her face.

"No way," I protested. "Betas don't rampage like that."

"They do if they are sick," Frankie explained calmly, his eyes still on Kate.

Beta-Vamps were like the hippies of the vampire world. They were vampires that were missing the predator genome sequence. They weren't human killers. They survived on who knows what. Maybe animal blood. Maybe blood stolen from hospitals. In some extreme cases, they ate rust for the iron content. Betas were rare, and, because of their peace-loving nature, extremely vulnerable to attack from all sorts of supernatural factions.

"So why don't we just carry her down?" I said with a shrug, stepping towards Kate, breaking my boots' suction to the floor.

Frankie was in front of me before I could take another step. My stomach rolled as Frankie dropped his guard and a wave of his panic washed over me.

A few months ago, Frankie had to bind me to him to save my life. For the most part, we're dealing with it just fine. But if he's in emo overdrive and forgets to close off our connection, I get hit with whatever he's feeling. It also works the same in the other direction.

"Don't go near her. She's been infected."

"Infected? With what? Beta-Vamps aren't vulnerable to infections."

"With..." Frankie stopped. He looked shattered. "My God, I haven't seen this since 1877."

"What is it?" I pushed.

"Opium poisoning."

"Did you just say opium?"

"Blood-born opium poison. If it gets into our bodies, we die." Frankie was visibly nervous, moving in a jittery semicircle around the woman. "We can't go near her."

"Oh. Shit. Does Dr. O know what to do?" I shrunk back. Opium. Who knew? Apparently Frankie. That explained why vampires were always told not to get their fix from heavy drug users.

"I'm not sure. That's why you need to call him. And he'll need Max since we really shouldn't stay here. Now please. She doesn't have much time."

Right. I pulled out my phone. I'd start with Max. He'd need time to power up the building anyway.

He answered on the sixth ring.

He sounded groggy. "What's up?"

"Sorry to wake you but we're at the Superman Building with two seriously dead vamps and one who is really sick. We need to turn on the power to get her out of here with the elevator. Can you get this building back on the grid?"

"Christ, can't one of you just carry her down the stairs?" His voice was muffled, like he was pressing his face into his pillow.

"Frankie and I can't touch her. She has some sort of infection, something that only vampires can contract. And it kills them."

"Really?" He jolted awake. I heard the bed sheets rustle as he got up.

"I don't know, really. I've never heard of this before. But I know Frankie is freaking out, and said we need to get her out of here. And he only freaks out if there's a damn good reason."

"You know I worked for the FBI all day, right?" he groused. I heard a closet door slam.

"Seriously? Are you going to do this right now?"

"You both were going up there to stake them anyway. So they die of something else. It's the same outcome. Why save her?"

"Because, she's not a predator vampire."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Look, I'll explain later, but we are running out of time. I need to get Dr. O here, and you need to get the electricity on at this place."

"Jesus, you people are complicated. I'll be there in 20." He hung up before I could respond.

Like Frankie, Max had made a deal with resident demon and Providence mayor Ami Bertrand. As a result, Bertrand had turned Max into a Berserker, a supernatural warrior that went extinct with the Vikings. Well, extinct up until Bertrand's curse.

Since Max had been turned into a supernatural entity, but one that was supposed to be extinct, he joined our team as a double agent with the FBI. Our team is Blood Ops, an elite government agency that deals with rogue supernatural factions. Technically, we also don't exist. To humans, anyway. Our existence — hell, the very existence of anything supernatural — was on a "need to know" basis, and even the president of the United States didn't need to know. Only a very select few Department of Defense members knew about Blood Ops. That's plausible deniability for you.

But damn, the Berserker in Max sure made him grumpy.

I hit the speed dial button for Dr. O. Dr. Lachlan O'Malley led our unit of Blood Ops. Though he mostly resembled your favorite 60-something college professor, Dr. O was a Druid priest, which made him pretty damn old. And, like the Druid priests before him, he knew absolutely everything.

"Nina, what's wrong?" Dr. O asked in his thick brogue. I could tell I woke him up.

"Sorry Doc, but we have a problem here. We have Beta-Vamps that ingested opium. Two are dead — like for real, seriously dead. One is barely hanging on."

"Opium? Are you sure?" Dr. O sounded a lot more awake suddenly.

"Frankie says he's sure. Said he hasn't seen this since 18-something or other."

"Frankie would know. Do you have her quarantined?"

"Quarantined? Frankie said not to touch her. He didn't say anything about a quarantine." This was weird.

"You are in the same room with her?"

"Where else would we be?" I asked, impatience getting the best of me.

"If any of their blood gets into your blood stream, or Frankie's, that would be very bad."

"Yeah, Frankie already explained that to me. We aren't touching her.

"Nina, I am afraid it's much more serious than that. Opium poisoning tends to make infected vampires projectile vomit out blood before they die. Then their torso explodes."

That sounded bad. And gross.

"When? When would that happen?" I gripped the phone tightly, eyeballing Kate. She whimpered in the corner near the vampire bodies with her back against the wall.

"It could happen at any time. Lock her in wherever you are, and wait until I get there. Do not wait in the room with her, neither you nor Frankie. Do you understand?" Dr. O's tone was stern.

"Yes, I got it. Okay, we are on the top floor. Max is on his way to power up the building to get her out of here. Just get here fast."

"I am on my way."

The phone went dead. I hightailed it over to Frankie, who was staring helplessly at Kate.

"Frankie, we gotta get out of here." I pulled gently on his arm.

"Please don't leave me." Kate's voice was so weak, I could barely hear her whisper.

Frankie didn't move. He just looked sadly at the sick Beta, his eyes filled with tears.

"Come on, Frankie." I nudged him again. "We can't be in here right now. Dr. O's on his way."

He hesitated. "We can't leave her like this."

"We aren't going to do her any good if we get sick, too," I reasoned.

He ignored me. I changed tactics.

"Stop being a stubborn ass," I raised my voice. He still ignored me.

Kate moaned and fell into a fetal position. She began to convulse. Frankie made a move towards her, but I grabbed him. Standing in front of him, I took him by both shoulders and stared into his eyes.

"We need to get out of here before she barfs blood all over us. Don't make me go witchy on you."

It was an idle threat. Only a few weeks before, I first learned that I am half-witch as well. My witch abilities were dormant for years — hidden by my vampire genetics — until an unfortunate encounter with a spelled knife turned on the hocus-pocus. I was working with my witch mentor, who's also my aunt, on controlling my newfound abilities. Much to Auntie Babe's frustration, I was not taking to it like a fish to water. If I tried to unleash my mojo in here, poor Kate could very well blow up, taking Frankie and me along with her.

Kate's moaning was now punctuated by high-pitched cries of pain. Clearly in agony, she writhed on the floor. Her hands formed into claws, and she scratched at the body of the seriously dead vampire closest to her. His skin tore like dried papier-mâché as she drove her nails into his corpse. As she tore at his flesh, blood bubbled out of her mouth.

"She not going to make it!" I shouted at Frankie, pushing on his lanky six-foot frame. "And neither are we if we don't get out of here!"

I shoved Frankie harder towards the door. He finally snapped out of his stupor and we fled to across the room to the stairwell door. I pushed on it, but it didn't budge. Shaking the handle, I pressed all my weight against it. Nothing. I moved aside and Frankie levered a kick at the door. He succeeded in denting the door, jamming it even harder into the frame.

"Crap, Frankie! There's no time!" I yelled over Kate's ear-piercing shrieks.

Frankie looked wildly around. "Can we break the windows?"

Everything was soaked in blood. Blood we couldn't touch. Crap. I had no choice.

"Hold on!" I closed my eyes tightly and I tried to clear my thoughts, but between Kate's shrieks and Frankie's desperation creeping into my head, not to mention my own stress, my mind was too unfocused to do this right. Oh well. Close enough was going to have to do.

I felt the air shift around me, and I latched onto this small breeze, willing it to grow to hurricane strength. My hair loosed from its ponytail and slapped across my face. The swelling wind pushed me forward. Grabbing Frankie's hand for stability, I cried out the few words of Latin I could come up with that approximated "break the damn glass." The five plate glass windows on the south side of the room shook. I repeated the words louder, putting more force behind them. The wind turned hurricane strength, pushing us across the room, dangerously closer to Kate. Finally, the windows shattered one by one, shards of glass falling 26 stories to the sidewalk.

I opened my eyes. Kate was about to explode. Blood frothed around her lips, her shrieks now muffled as the blood worked its way up her throat.

Hands still clutched, Frankie and I nodded at each other, knowing exactly what we had to do. Together, we ran straight for the windows, and leapt feet first into the star-filled sky.

Frankie's hand slipped out of mine as we both twisted our bodies and made a grasp for the ledge. I caught it, just barely, almost wrenching my shoulder out of its socket on the impact. Frankie similarly stopped short next me. We dangled 26 stories over downtown Providence.

About the Author:



Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry. Originally from Rhode Island (she loves hot wieners from New York System, but can't stand coffee milk), she studied playwriting in college (and won an award or two). 

After not writing plays for a long time, a life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity. 

Her first novel, Hell's Belle, was released in 2013. Tainted Blood is the second book in the best-selling Hell's Belle urban fantasy series. 

Find Karen Online:







Grab a copy of River Vamp 

A Hell’s Belle Prequel, Short Story 

Karen Greco 

About the Story:

Frankie and Nina head to New York City for an early Blood Ops mission. 

Guess what they fish out of the Gowanus Canal? 

Free at Smashwords

Enter the Giveaway:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: What Gifts She Carried (The Grave Winner, Book 2) by Lindsey R. Loucks #DarkWorldBooks #Giveaway


About What Gifts She Carried:

Leigh Baxton just wants to pick up the pieces of her life—if you could call it that—but someone keeps resurrecting the dead. These new zombies have a knack for spilling Leigh’s precious blood, something she was warned about by a certain pair of undead sorceresses.

Desperate to find out why they’re here so Leigh can put the nightmares behind her, she must learn more about the gifts she carries. With Tram’s training sessions and clues from her mom’s past, Leigh begins to piece together what she’s capable of.

Too bad there isn’t a Cliff’s Notes version to saving the world.

The zombies have teamed up with followers of the darkest sorceress who ever lived, and they’ll play a wicked game until she’s freed from her prison inside the earth. When the battle to the death begins, Leigh must rely on friends, crushes, and even her enemies to win the war, but not the grave.

Book Details:  

Kindle File Size: 473 KB
Print Length: 214 pages
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press Inc (August 11, 2014)
ASIN: B00MNU5Z28

Purchase Links:


Barnes & Noble: The Grave Winner

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18584848-what-gifts-she-carried
 

Sapphyria's Review:

Here is the link to my review of The Grave Winner, Book 1:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/review-grave-winner-grave-winner-book-1.html

First thing, and totally unrelated to how I rated What Gifts She Carried, the cover of this book is even more Kick Ass than The Grave Winner's cover - I didn't think that would be possible. Holy Cow! Love, Love, Love!!  Seriously, I'm a cover fanatic and sometimes the covers just blow me away.

Ok, now that I'm done drooling over the excellent artwork, how about I review the contents that are between the covers?!

What Gifts She Carried begins almost where The Grave Winner ends.  The battle between good and alive versus evil and undead is far from over but at least Leigh was able to escape becoming sorceress Three - for now.  Sorceressi One and Two are safely bound beneath Tram's tree roots and Ica, the crazy reporter wanting to be Three, is now one of Leigh's trees.

The horrors aren't contained very long, however, when more zombies are being created and Ica's tree begins to bleed.  No rest for the wicked, indeed!  It's now up to Leigh to explore her "roots" and learn more about the magic she holds. It's time to act fast before One and Two escape their prison or the next generation of One, Two, and Three gain enough strength to break the most powerful sorceress out of The Core and destroy the world as we know it.

A little more of the love triangle manifests itself in Book 2 but not enough to overshadow the main theme.  Callum is jealous of the time Leigh spends with Tram, although, there's never really any emotional displays showed by Tram.  The relationship with Leigh and Tram is slow and sweet and the relationship between Leigh and Callum has been building and gaining strength into more of what I think a true relationship among young adults becomes.

Leigh is a fantastic character. She's spunky, spirited, and devoted to those she loves. She's a rebel which, in my opinion, adds to her strength. There is a love triangle going on with Callum, the brother of her best friend, Jo, and Tram, who we discover is part of a magical group destined to prevent the sorceress from escaping her prison in The Core. Jo is a great sidekick, risking her life to help Leigh as much as she is able. Callum and Tram are both important in their own ways, helping to provide some of the teenage angst.  Tram is also Leigh's trainer in the ways of the Trammeler sorceress.

As if there wasn't enough tragedy in The Grave Winner, What Gifts She Carried brings us more.  We learn more about the Trinity (sorceressi One, Two, and Three), Gretchen's children and how they play into everything, Leigh's mom, and of course, Leigh and her sister, Darby.  As in the first book, the plot is intricate and weaves several things all together.  The terror content isn't as high as in first book but it's there - you can't really have dark magic and zombies without a bit of terror.

The novel is fast paced and completely engaging from the beginning. The Grave Winner series drew me in from the very beginning with it's powerful imagery, well written characters, and fantastic storyline.  The events in the books evoke a wonderful play on the reader's emotions.

Overall, this is an excellent book.  

Content note:  There is some harsh language.

Review Copy Courtesy of the Author, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Sapphyria's Rating:


About the Author:


Lindsey R. Loucks works as a school librarian in rural Kansas. When she’s not discussing books with anyone who will listen, she’s dreaming up her own stories. Eventually her brain gives out, and she’ll play hide and seek with her cat, put herself in a chocolate induced coma, or watch scary movies alone in the dark to reenergize. She’s been with her significant other for almost two decades.

Find Lindsey Online:




GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Spotlight: The Trouble with Flirting by Rachel Morgan


About The Trouble with Flirting:

Labeled a nerd for most of high school, Livi sees her first year of university as a chance to redefine herself. She can finally enter the popular crowd and maybe even land herself a super hot boyfriend. But Livi’s about to discover that the price of popularity may be more than she’s willing to pay, and that what—and who—she wants most has always been right in front of her.

Add it to Goodreads: 

Amazon Purchase Link:
About the Author:


Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn’t for her—after all, they didn’t approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults and those young at heart.

She is the author of the Amazon bestselling Creepy Hollow series and Trouble series.