Thursday, July 28, 2016

If You've Ever Thought About Self-Publishing - Now's Your Chance to Take Part in Some #FREE Training

Good morning! My name is Saph and I've been a book reviewer/blogger for over 5 years. Over the course of these years I have had the opportunity to "meet" some wonderful people; bloggers and authors alike. Among those people is E. Van Lowe. He's a writer who has recently launched a new online training course titled Five Steps To Self-Publishing.


Here is a quote from E. Van Lowe about Self-Publishing:

"There are lots of writers out there, published and unpublished, who have also thought about self-publishing, but for whatever reason haven't made the leap. This course is for them. The purpose of this course is to free writers from the restraints they've put on themselves. I know these people because I am one of them. If I had known the secrets of self-publishing, I would have taken the plunge a lot sooner." ~ E. Van Lowe, author, 2016

You see that?  This course is for YOU!  

And the best part?  This Five Step training course is FREE!

Click this link ~ http://evanlowe.com/five-steps-to-self-publishing-3/ ~ and you'll be on your way to learning all about self-publishing your own novel!

You're probably asking yourself "Who is E Van Lowe?" and "Why should I sign up for this training?"

E Van Lowe is a man who has worn many different hats over the years.  

About E Van Lowe:

Ehrich Van Lowe began his television writing career with a bang, writing for the successful television series “Charles in Charge” and “227, and immediately segueing to staff positions with “He’s the Mayor,” “Knight Rider,” and “The Robert Guillaume Show.” While in the midst of an accomplished career in television, Ehrich also made a successful leap into the feature film world, writing the short film “Cadillac Dreams,” the first ever ‘hood’ movie, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination.

Ehrich’s ability to create family programming soon caught the eye of Walt Disney Studios, and the Academy Award nominee ushered his Sweet Lorraine Productions into an exclusive agreement to create and develop long and short form television programming for the studio.  In 1998 Ehrich decided to leave the Disney fold to join the realm of the independents. In 2000 Ehrich returned to Disney as an independent producer, developing the Disney Channel’s first hit comedy series “Even Stevens.” In 2001 Ehrich and the series were nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Children’s Series. The series has gone on to garner numerous Emmy nominations.

As a novelist, Ehrich has written two classic 80s horror novels under the Pseudonym, Sal Conte: “Child’s Play” and “The Power.” As E. Van Lowe, he has launched a new career writing novels for teens, employing a unique style of combining horror with humor. His first teen novel, “Never Slow Dance With A Zombie” was published by TOR/Teen, September 2009. The hit novel was chosen as a selection of the Scholastic Book Club. It has also garnered an ALA Award and Cybils Award nomination.

E’s YA paranormal novel, “Boyfriend From Hell,”(White Whisker Books) entered the Best Seller list in January of 2012, and in March entered the top 10, ranking as high as #7 in Children’s and YA Ebook Bestsellers. The sequel, “Earth Angel,” also topped the list, ranking as high as #8.

Ehrich holds an MFA in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. In 1997 he became a proud member of the faculty where he taught various forms of writing for eleven years.

Ehrich has been nominated for numerous prestigious awards including: The DGA Diversity Award, The Academy Award, The Emmy Award, The NAACP Image Award, and the American Library Association Award.

**This is just a snapshot of E Van Lowe's accomplishments - accomplishments that have helped him launch his next career goal - to help YOU publish your own book!

This course is only available for a limited time, so sign up for your #FREE online Five Steps To Self-Publishing training course today!


Her Black Wings The Dark Amulet Series, Book One A.J. Norris ~ Paranormal Romance @AJNorris_Author

Amalya Rivers longs to die and end her lonely existence—but it doesn’t work out that way…



Book Details:

Her Black Wings
The Dark Amulet Series, Book One
A.J. Norris

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC

Date of Publication: July 12, 2016

Word Count: 76,000



About the Book:

A former runaway turned criminal, Amalya is murdered and thrust into a treacherous world full of red-skinned, horned beasts under the control of the Demon Ruler, Abaddon, instead of enjoying peace and serenity like she hoped. But saving a young child from a certain brutal death in the last moments of her life has earned her a chance at salvation.

Elliott the Redeemer wants no part in saving another soul…

After one too many failures at redeeming lost souls, the nail-biting, self-pitying Elliot has had enough of his work and would prefer to live out his eternity on Earth drowning in bourbon. It doesn’t matter that Amalya has grown black feathered wings signifying the good that still dwells within her. He can’t risk failure again.

Amalya must save someone from her past in order to escape Abaddon’s rule…

She has to prevent the now grown child she saved from committing murder or risk returning to Netherworld with Abaddon for good. She can’t do it alone, though. Amalya needs the help of the angel sent to guide her, but their emerging love might not be enough to convince Elliot she’s worth the risk.

Amalya loves her black wings. She knows she’s meant to be an angel—and she will stop at nothing to prove it…

Amazon Link: 

http://amzn.to/2a5qeKZ

About the Author:

A.J. Norris is a romantic suspense and paranormal romance novelist. She began writing as a way to dim down the voices inside her head. She enjoys being able to get inside someone else's head, even a fictional one, and see what they see. Watching how her characters deal with difficult situations or squirm with the uncomfortable ones make the hard work of writing all worth it. She is a movie buff, especially book adaptations, loves watching her son play baseball and communing with other writers. She lives with her family who are extremely tolerant (at least most of the time) of all her late nights behind the computer.

Social Media Links:



Tour Giveaway:

(2) $25.00 Amazon gift cards
(2) copies of Her Black Wings by A.J. Norris
(1) Tote with swag and autographed book
(1) 7” Kindle Fire

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Promo Blitz & #Giveaway ~ Breaking Promises (B-boy Book 1) by Briones Lim @sbrioneslim



Book Details:

New Adult / Sports Fiction / Romance
Date Published: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing



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About the Book:

After a devastating accident, Aurora Crane's collegiate gymnastics career comes to an abrupt end…

Fighting to piece her life back together, Aurora packs up and transfers to California State to start anew. When she arrives, her focus is on schoolwork and choosing a new career. But to her surprise, destiny has other plans…

Sucked into the world of competitive breakdancing, Aurora comes toe-to-toe with the hottest B-Boy of them all…

An arrogant hothead, Mitch Adachi—or B-Boy Kickwit as he is more commonly known—has life all figured out. He breakdances all day, practicing for upcoming competitions that are sure to challenge his skills—which means he has no time for distractions.

When the new girl steps into the scene, he sees an opportunity he can’t pass up…
Besides finding Aurora devastatingly attractive, he can’t help but notice her skills. He quickly develops high hopes for the ex-gymnast, seeing her as the perfect potential crewmember for the impending high stakes Battle of the Crews competition. All she needs is some fine-tuning.

When the two commit to a business relationship, a different kind of passion kicks into high gear. There’s no denying they groove well together, but there’s a chance mixing high-stakes competition with a fierce romance might lead to…

Breaking Promises.

Watch the Trailer:



Read an Excerpt:

“Are you stalking me now? I’m seriously not in the mood,” she hissed as soon as I reached her table. She looked up at me through hooded eyes and, as if to make a point, took her fork and stabbed a cherry tomato with it until its juices bled all over her plastic plate. 
My bottom lip twitched with amusement. “Not stalking actually, just a coincidence I saw you here.” 
“So staring at me earlier wasn’t enough? You have to bother me now too?” 
Yikes! This girl seemed like a grade A level bitch. Usually, I would have shot her some deuces and left her alone, but for some reason I found the whole encounter humorous. 
“I saw you earlier during our cypher. You looked like you smelled a skunk or something,” I commented nonchalantly. 
Blood rushed up her face, causing her cheeks to turn a soft shade of pink. Something about the sight caused my dick to twitch as if it were trying to wave hello to her. God, had it really been two months since I last got laid? 
The girl sighed and rolled her eyes before dropping her gaze back down at her gross looking salad. “You know what? I don’t have the time or the patience to deal with this. Not today.” 
“What do you mean?” With a smirk on my lips, I sat down on the empty chair across from her. Her eyes immediately lifted, blazing furiously. 
“Did I invite you to sit down?” 
“We’re having a conversation. A bit rude for me to stay standing up only to talk down at you, eh?” 
“You—” She shut her eyes and took a few deep breaths, rolling her neck to the side. A horrible sounding POP soon followed, leaving me to wonder how her head was still attached to the rest of her body. After a few silent moments, which really seemed as if she were plotting my death, she spoke again. “I had a rough day. My roommate is batshit crazy and I don’t even want to go to this school to begin with. Please leave me alone so I can sulk in peace.” 
I reached out and grabbed the smashed tomato from her plate, popping it into my mouth. “Funny, I don’t want to be here either. Guess we have that in common.” 
“Are you always this annoying?” she snapped. 
“Are you always this hospitable?” I shot back with a wink. 
Placing her elbows on the table, she rested her head in her hands, rubbing at her temples. “What do you want, dude? Like I said, I’m not in the mood for this, so either speak your piece or leave. Better yet, why don’t you just leave?” 
“Why did you look like you hated what you saw?” 
She raised her head in surprise, taking her time to eye me from head to toe. I smirked knowingly as her eyes traveled from my biceps to my defined pecs. 
She stammered. “I-I have no idea what you’re even talking about.” 
Yup, she was definitely checking me out.

Meet the Author:


Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.

Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeƱos, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @sbrioneslim
Pinterest: @sbrioneslim

Grab Your Copy from Amazon:


Enter the Giveaway:

1 ebook copy each of Books 1-3 of the Caught Inside Series



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Book Blast ~ A Gentleman and a Rogue (The Windsor Diaries, Book 2) by Stephanie Burkhart


A Gentleman and a Rogue 
The Windsor Diaries
Book 2


About the Book:

Lady Keira Russell is destined to bring compressed natural gas to Britain. Her inner courage and mental toughness rarely falter – except when Prince Edmund Windsor is involved. 

Edmund of Wales is from the future. His last jaunt through history muffed up the time line. Now, he's here to set it straight and win Keira's heart. 

For Keira, if it isn't one obstacle, it's another. Queen Victoria has sponsored a competition to find a cleaner fuel source than coal. Keira's father is trying to build a windmill and the Ridgecrofts are working with gasoline. Then there's Edmund, whose sensual kisses and heated stares distract her down to her bones. 

Keira has a choice: trust Edmund's notorious mischief-making or put her faith in Queen Victoria to make the right decision, but if Keira makes the wrong choice, the future of Great Britain will be changed forever.

Read an Excerpt:

Alice dug into her reticule and removed a small slender cylinder. She pressed a button and a beam of light shot out. 

"Amazing! How did you do that?" asked Keira. 

"It runs on a battery that generates electricity." Alice walked over to the desk and examined the locks. She fussed in her reticule some more, pulled out some picks and went to work. 

Edmund stood next to Keira and placed his hand in the small of her back. "She's brilliant, don't you think?" 

"A girl after your own heart, I see." 

"Alice may have popped my dirigible, but I respect her all that much more for doing it." 

"You are incorrigible." 

"Come, let's talk." He guided her away from the desk and next to the window. The drapes 

were pulled back, allowing the dim, natural light from the stars and moon to filter into the room. Keira's heart pounded in her chest. Determined to stay strong in Edmund's tempting presence, she crossed her arms. 

"Did you tell me everything back in my study?" she whispered. 

He looked her over seductively, talking softly. "I told you I would the next time I saw you, and I have." 

"Oh." 

He placed his hand on her shoulder, trailing his finger up the soft skin of her neck, cupping her cheek. His eyes never left hers. "I want to see you again. Soon." 

"It isn't wise." 

"I know. I don't care." His voice grew low and husky. 

Keira hesitated. Her body thrummed with warmth from his touch. Uncomfortable heat 

pooled in her core. She tried to fight, to set her resolve and step away from him, but she couldn't. His gaze riveted on her face and moved over her body slowly. "I didn't forget you. I couldn't. You're never far from my thoughts." 

Logic. She needed logic. "You're from the future. I'm your past." 

He shrugged. "I don't see it that way." 

Her knees weakened. "How do you see it?"

Meet the Author:


Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She's also an assistant den leader for her son's Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing. 

Online Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

YouTube

Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Publisher

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Amazon

Giveaway Information & Entry Form:

Stephanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Welcome to the tour for Danielle Annett's Blood and Magic Series #Review ~ Cursed by Fire, Book 1


Welcome to the tour for Danielle Annett's Blood and Magic Series.  Today you will read my review of Cursed by Fire, Book 1 in the series.  My review for Kissed by Fire, Book 2, will come later today or early tomorrow morning.



About Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic 1) by Danielle Annett

Release Date: January 28, 2015

It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.

Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.

When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.

My Review of Cursed by Fire:

Aria is a Psyker - a human with psychokinetic abilities.  These abilities include mind reading, teleportation, elemental power, and so much more.  Each Psyker has their own ability.  Aria's ability involved, you guessed it, fire.  She can fully engulf her body in flames without losing a hair.  The target of her fire - not so much.  When random bodies begin showing up, drained of their blood, it's up to Aria to figure out who and why, especially when the latest victim is a young boy who also happens to be a shifter.  This discovery then pairs Aria with a member of the local wolf pack, James, who also is Aria's friend.

James is very valuable to the pack.  As the Hunter, he polices the rogue shifters in order to protect themselves and the human population.  He wasn't expecting to find out that a young victim of a vampire's draining was the son of a disassociated pack member.  As more bodies show up, it appears that someone is setting the stage for an all out war between the shifters and the vampires.  James and Aria must figure out who's behind the attacks before all hell breaks loose.

I enjoyed reading Cursed by Fire.  It was fast paced and easy to follow.  Aria isn't the perfect heroine - in fact, she's extremely flawed.  She's had a very tumultuous life thus far and from the looks of things, it's not going to get much better for her.  She's inconsistent in her feelings - hard ass one minute and emotional the next, but aren't we all like that at some points in our lives?!  She is reckless and impetuous, acting before she thinks about the potential consequences.  Aria is also unable to ask for help because she has the "I can do anything" attitude.  While you might think I'm complaining about Aria, I'm not.  I'm describing her the way I read her character.  Her chemistry with James is off the charts but I'm not sure anything between them will be fully realized.  I love how they act together; snarky and full of innuendos, yet caring and dependent on one another for support.

The world created by Danielle Annett is typical for urban fantasy novels.  Nothing original but entertaining, all the same.  The characters include shifters of various animal clans, vampires, super-humans, and a harpy.  There are action sequences that deliver and keep the reader engaged.  All-in-all I found Cursed by Fire to be a great start to her Blood and Magic series.

I am halfway through book 2 and hope to be able to post that review later this evening or tomorrow morning.  

Review copy provided by the author, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:


Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic #1) - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20564142-cursed-by-fire



About Kissed by Fire (Blood & Magic 2) by Danielle Annett

Release Date: September 13, 2015

As Friend of the Pack, Aria Naveed should be untouchable, protected by the most influential group in the Pacific Northwest. But someone is unleashing rogue vampires to hunt her down, and she is determined to find out why.

When Aria gains command of Sanborn Place and takes on a case involving a mysterious paranormal, her life is put in more peril than ever as she finds herself bound to an influential power player. She doesn’t want to be anyone’s puppet, but must tread carefully as she traverses the streets of Spokane, WA, or risk being overwhelmed by the forces moving against her.

As the only known pyrokinetic in the area, Aria is in high demand, but not for her services. It seems that to those in power, she’s worth more dead than alive, and if a mysterious enemy has their way, she won’t live long enough to find out why.

Kissed by Fire (Blood & Magic #2) - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25236851-kissed-by-fire


My Rating:



Purchase Links:

Cursed by Fire: BAM | Indies | Amazon | B&N | TBD

Kissed by Fire: BAM | Indies | Amazon | B&N | TBD

Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-blood-magic-series-by-danielle-annett/

Meet the Author:

Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.

Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway Information:

Contest ends August 12, 2016

One (1) winner will receive a print copy of books 1 and 2, and a $10 Amazon GC (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Promo Blitz ~ After The Fire (One Pass Away, Book 3) by Mary J. Williams #99cents

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: June 22, 2016

Each book in the series is a stand alone novel.

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On Sale for just $0.99 through the end of July!

About the Book:

A STAND-ALONE NOVEL

In his lifetime, Gaige Benson has dreamed of only two things. Playing football and Violet Reed.

WELCOME TO THE NFL

The Seattle Knights have the hottest players in the game. On and off the field.

Second Chances. First Love.

Gaige Benson is the NFL's golden boy. He's done it all. Won every award. Except that elusive Super Bowl ring. This year he is hanging up his cleats and he plans on going out a winner.

Even a golden boy has secrets. Will Gaige's past be the one thing that derails his future?

Violet Reed almost lost it all. Her sight, her dreams of becoming a doctor, and the only man she ever loved. A miracle saved the first two. Sixteen years later she is getting her second chance at love.

Secrets kept them apart. Will the truth separate them forever?

Get your copy of the stand-alone sports romance readers are calling an emotional, page-turning thrill-ride.

Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/2ahfsnU

Each book in the series is a stand alone novel. Other books in this series are:

After the Rain


Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/2axo4ry

After All These Years



Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/2ajEsvh

Read an Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

SHE HAD ONCE asked him if he believed in a higher power.
God? Buddha? Fairies dancing around a blazing fire late at night? Something. Anything bigger than us.
Gaige Benson hadn't known what to say. Not then. But as he stood in the empty open-air stadium—the stars lighting the evening sky—he knew the answer.
Football was his religion. The field he played on and the building surrounding it, his cathedral. If a higher power had a hand in it, then his answer was yes.
He believed.
Walking to the center of the field, Gaige took it all in. He found football at the age of thirteen. A boy who saw his future mapped out. Working in a factory. Drinking away his salary. Divorce. Doling out child support without maintaining a relationship with his children. A weekend father, who half the time didn't bother to show up.
The first time Gaige picked up a football, he felt a connection. The first time he threw it, it wobbled with the grace of a drunk leaving his favorite watering hole on a Saturday night. But it didn't matter. He threw the ball again. And again. Until he taught himself to make it spin in a perfect spiral.
At the time, Gaige didn't know his talent could be useful. Where he came from, Brooklyn kids didn't dream of bigger or better. Most of them didn't dream at all. Gaige was no different.
One day he was passing a playground when a football landed at his feet. The boys on the field yelled for him to toss it back. Without thinking, Gaige sent it sailing, a perfect strike. Then kept walking. He was wary of the man who ran after him. Strangers were the enemy—according to his father. They either wanted money or accused you of something you hadn't done.
Gaige took everything his father said with a big grain of salt. Don Benson didn't have a dime to his name. Why would anyone expect to get money from him? And if a man accused his father of something, chances were he was guilty.
But Gaige was a cautious boy. He fought when necessary and ran when he had no choice. The man trying to get his attention was big. His dark complexion didn't worry Gaige. In his experience, a man was either good or bad. The color of his skin had nothing to do with it.
It turned out that this man wasn't simply good. He was the best thing that ever happened to Gaige.
Terrance Aldridge coached the local Pop Warner football team. A boy with an arm like Gaige's shouldn't let his talent go to waste. Gaige listened. Play football? On a field? With other boys? Was such a thing possible? He didn't know if it were a scam—nor did he care. If there were the slightest chance, he would take it.
The only obstacle was getting a parent's permission. Terrance gave him the papers to be signed, telling Gaige to have his folks call him if they had any questions. Gaige didn't laugh aloud, but he wanted to. His mother never asked questions. Unless they were directed at his father. Wynona Benson hadn't made a move in fifteen years unless she received permission first.
His father was another matter. His word was law. Don Benson could do no wrong. If he drank too much and staggered home two days late, it was his right. If he backhanded his wife—just because—whose business was it? He earned the money. He made the rules. End of discussion.
Gaige hadn't asked his father because he knew what the answer would be. No! Not because he thought there was anything wrong with football. He watched it every Sunday—after laying down a bet that he never won. No, he wouldn't let Gaige play because he was a mean bastard who wanted everyone to be as miserable as he was.
Gaige got around it easily enough. He forged his father's signature. It wasn't the first time and it wouldn't be the last. There was no reason to think anyone would find out. His parents didn't care how he spent his days as long as the police didn't come knocking on the door.
He could steal. Lie. Cheat. Hell, his father wouldn't bat an eye at murder. Do what you want as long as you don't get caught. The mantra at the Benson house. 
Gaige had no intention of his father finding out. He tried out for the team and made it. The money for equipment was another matter. Gaige didn't steal. Or cheat. Lying was a necessary evil. He would have done almost anything to play but it looked like his first and only dream would die before it had a chance.
Luckily, Terrance was able to dip into a discretionary fund to help boys like Gaige. It rankled to take charity. Especially when the other boys on the team had families to pay their way.
"Don't let it stop you, Gaige," Terrance told him. "Remember. And one day, when you have the means, pay it forward, son."
Twenty-five years later, Gaige hadn't forgotten that kindness and generosity. When he saw someone in need, he did something about it. Over the years, the Gaige Benson Foundation paid out millions of dollars to charities and individuals. He had filled the board with people he trusted and could count on to distribute the funds judiciously and without prejudice. The first man he had recruited was the man to whom Gaige owed everything—Terrance Aldridge. Friend. Father figure. Teacher.
"Hey, Gaige." Logan Price called out from high in the stands. "You coming? The guys are waiting to go to dinner."
"Five minutes."
Closing his eyes, Gaige breathed in the air. February in Texas. Tomorrow he would play in his first—and last Super Bowl. Win or lose, he was hanging up his cleats. He was thirty-eight years old. He had more money than he would ever need. He had won every award from Rookie of the Year to league MVP—four times.
This season he put everything on the line to get here—including the possibility that he had lost the only woman he had ever loved.
Gaige Benson was known for his razor-sharp focus. Any distractions off the field were left there as soon as the first whistle blew. It wouldn't be any different tomorrow. Nothing would get in the way.
His gaze drifted to the section where she would be sitting. If she showed up. Gaige planned on going out a winner. But what about the day after? Or the day after that? His future stretched out in front of him. He had plans in place. There were hundreds of options for him to consider.
Do you believe in a higher power?
Her voice and that question had haunted Gaige for almost sixteen years. If there were a God, he prayed the woman he loved would find it in her heart to forgive him. He had a lot of years left. He didn't want to spend them alone.
In his lifetime, Gaige Benson had dreamt of only two things. Playing football. And loving Violet Reed.

Meet the Author:

Mary J. Williams is an author from Washington State who went to school in a small town on the Columbia River. She loves writing, reading, and football.  She always wanted to write a novel and she always knew it would be a romance novel. But it wasn’t until her favorite football team lost the Super Bowl on the last play with an interception, that this dream began to come to fruition. She was so depressed that she tuned out all the media. Without television, internet, or newspapers, she had nothing else to do, so she sat down and started writing. Her first romance series, Harper Falls contains four books. Mary has released two new series in 2016, Hollywood Legends and One Pass Away (which combines her love of football with her love of romance).

Social Media Links:


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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book #Review: Spider's Trap (Elemental Assassin, Book #13) by Jennifer Estep

Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.


About the Book:

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…

Goodreads Link:


Reviews of Previous Books in the Series:

Spider's Bite, Book 1:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/review-spiders-bite-elemental-assassin.html

Web of Lies, Book 2:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/review-web-of-lies-elemental-assassin.html

Venom, Book 3:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/review-venom-elemental-assassin-book-3.html

Tangled Threads, Book 4:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/review-tangled-threads-elemental.html

Spider's Revenge, Book 5:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/review-spiders-revenge-elemental.html

By A Thread, Book 6:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2015/08/review-by-thread-elemental-assassin_16.html

Widow's Web, Book 7:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2015/08/review-widows-web-elemental-assassin.html

Deadly Sting, Book 8:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2015/08/review-deadly-sting-elemental-assassin.html

Heart of Venom, Book 9:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/review-heart-of-venom-elemental.html

The Spider, Book 10:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/book-review-spider-elemental-assassin.html

Poison Promise, Book 11:
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2016/03/book-review-poison-promise-elemental.html


My Review:

The 13th book in the Elemental Assassin series begins where book 12 ends - with Gin as the newly appointed Queen of the Underworld. This title isn't something that she wants but one that she earned by default. Her ascension to the "throne" doesn't come without problems, of course. Now, instead of just running The Pork Pit and taking care of her family, Gin has to be the mediator among griping bosses. She also has to keep a sharp eye as other underworld bosses are trying to remove her as the by any means possible. Spider's Trap brings forth a blast from the past, who comes marching into town and, unlike many other installments, it's possible that Gin may not actually be the target - at first. But you know Gin, piss her off and she gets right in your face daring you to target her.

Each book in the series features an enemy wanting to take out the Spider. Sometimes Gin has some sort of tie to the would-be assassin - whether she killed a friend, relative, or made someone cry, other times not. She has to watch her back and the back's of her friends and family. Although her friends and family can pretty much fend for themselves, the protector is also who and what Gin will be to them. Her anti-hero persona keeps her alive but her warm side keeps her a bit more human.

There is just something about this series that keeps me coming back. There is a lot of action and suspense in Spider's Trap. My heart was pounding and I was on the edge of my seat through a good portion of the book. I found myself totally engrossed in the novel and read it pretty quickly. Her relationship to the Pike family dredges up lots of history that would bring a weaker woman to her knees. Not Gin, though - she rises above the pain and does exactly what needs to be done.

Spider's Trap is another fantastic installment of the Elemental Assassin series. The entire series has pulled me in and kept me engaged from the very beginning. These are the types of books that have me longing for the next one. They are written with vivid descriptions and genuine feelings, allowing the reader to become totally immersed in this world.

My review copy was courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley, at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:




Read the First 5 Chapters from Amanda Bouchet's New Release ~ A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #1) #Giveaway @SourcebooksCasa


Book Information:

Title: A Promise of Fire

Series: Kingmaker Chronicles, #1

Author: Amanda Bouchet

Pubdate: August 2nd, 2016

ISBN: 9781492621898

KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER…

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT



About the Book:

Catalia "Cat" Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods—and her homicidal mother—have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm—until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin's fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

Meet the Author:

Award-winning author Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She moved to Paris, France, in 2001. Her first novel, A Promise of Fire, won several Romance Writers of America chapter contests, including the Orange Rose Contest and the paranormal category of the prestigious Golden Pen.

Order Links:

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Chapters

Indiebound

Sourcebooks Casablanca is thrilled to announce that we are releasing our very first fantasy romance! Coming August 2016 from debut author Amanda Bouchet is the un-put-downable A Promise of Fire, the first in the Kingmaker Chronicles series.

To celebrate, we’re giving you the first FIVE chapters to read FOR FREE!

Download the first five chapters here.

To get you started, we’ve included the first few pages below.

Chapter 1:

I pluck at my crimson tunic, tenting the lightweight linen away from my sticky skin. The southern Sintan climate isn’t my worst nightmare, but it sometimes ranks pretty high, right along with the stifling layers of cosmetics masking my face, my leather pants, and my knee-high boots.

Heat and leather and heels don’t mix, but at least looking like a brigand means blending into the circus. Here, discreet only gets you noticed.

Craning my neck for a breath of fresh air, I navigate my way through the beehive of tables already set up for the circus fair. The performers on the center stage are the main attraction. The rest of us surround them, carving out places for ourselves amid the crowd. Tonight, hemmed in on all sides in an amphitheater lit by hundreds of torches and filled to capacity, I feel like a Cyclops is sitting on my chest—suffocated.

Damp curls cling to my neck. I peel them off and tuck them back into my braid, scanning the crowd as I walk. I recognize some of the regulars. Others I don’t know. My eyes trip over a man and get stuck. He’s looking at me, and it’s hard not to look back. He’s striking in a dark, magnetic way, his size, weapons, and bearing all telling me he’s a tribal warlord. His build is strong and masculine, his gait perfectly balanced and fluid. He walks with predatory confidence, unhurried, and yet there’s no mistaking his potential for swift, explosive violence. It’s not latent or hidden, just leashed.

Watchful, alert, he’s aware of everything in his vicinity. Especially me.

Our gazes collide, and something in me freezes. His eyes remind me of Poseidon’s wrath—stormy, gray, intense—the kind of eyes that draw you in, hold you there, and might not let you go.

Adrenaline surges through me, ratcheting up my pulse. My heart thumping, I blink and take in the rest of him. Intelligent brow. Strong jaw. Wide mouth. Hawkish nose. Black hair brushes a corded neck atop broad shoulders that have no doubt been swinging a sword since before he could walk. Body toned to perfection, skin darkened by a lifetime in the sun, he’s battle-chiseled and hard, the type of man who can cleave an enemy in two with little effort and even less consequence to his conscience.

He keeps staring at me, and a shiver prickles my spine. Is this man my enemy?

There’s no reason to think so, but I didn’t stay alive this long without the help of a healthy dose of paranoia.

Wary, I sit at my table, keeping an eye on him as he weaves a bold path through an array of potions, trinkets, and charms. He’s flanked by four similar men. Their coloring varies, but they all have the same sure look about them, although they pale in comparison to the warlord in both authority and allure. The man with the gray eyes is a born leader, and only an idiot would mistake him for anything else.

He stares for so long that I start to wonder if he can somehow bore through my layers of face paint and unmask me, but I’ve never seen him before, and he can’t possibly know the person underneath. I’m from the north of Fisa, where magic is might. He’s from the south of Sinta, where muscle and cunning decide who lives or dies. Our paths would never have crossed in the past, and warlords don’t usually frequent the circus.

I look away, hoping he’ll do the same. There are plenty of reasons a man stares at a woman. An exotic face and generous figure attract as much attention as a good mystery, if not more, and the warlord’s intense scrutiny feels more appreciative than alarming.

Ignoring the flush now creeping into my cheeks, I smooth the wrinkles from the coarse wool blanket covering my table and arrange my paraphernalia like usual. My glittering, gold-lettered sign advertises Cat the Magnificent—Soothsayer Extraordinaire, even though flashes of the future only come here and there, usually in dreams. Luckily, it only takes a few questions for truths to reveal themselves like flowers opening for the sun. I read people’s body language and glean who they are, what they want, and maybe even what they’re capable of. It’s about knowledge and illusion. I get a copper for it, which is more than a fair deal for me. I won’t peddle futures. I have an idea of my own, and that’s more than enough.

My leg starts a nervous bounce. Prophecies can be interpreted loosely, right?

The audience gasps, and I turn to see what’s happening on the stage. Vasili is throwing knives at his wife. She’s strapped to the flat side of a vertical, rotating wheel, and he’s blindfolded. He’s never hit her, but my heart still comes to a complete standstill every time they perform. Tonight is no exception, and I hold my breath, both riveted and terrified, until he runs out of knives.

The crowd is too caught up in the circus to take advantage of the fair, so I get up again and head to the performers’ gate to watch the end of the show and put some distance between the warlord and me. He’s still looking when he shouldn’t be.

The air coming through the gate is fresher, bringing with it the sound of Cerberus’s chuffing breaths and the scent of sweaty dog. He’s Hades’s pet, so I doubt the heat bothers him. I toss him a wave, and two of his three upper lips curl in a snarl of acknowledgment. One of these days, I’ll get all three, although in eight years I never have. I think his middle head just doesn’t like me.

Finished with his performance, Vasili unstraps his wife while Aetos launches himself onto the stage with a triple flip and lands in a fighter’s crouch that shakes the platform. The solid wood creaks under his colossal weight, and the rapt crowd murmurs in awe. Aetos straightens, pounds his chest, tears the horse pelt off his giant back, and catches fire. His roar shakes the amphitheater. No one can roar like Aetos. I’ve seen him perform hundreds of times, and I still get chills.

Seven and a half feet tall, muscle-bound, and tattooed blue from head to toe with Tarvan tribal swirls, he moves his hands in an impossibly fast dance, weaving fire until he’s encased in a sphere of living flame. He bursts through the crackling barrier with another roar. The explosion blasts the hair away from my face and dries out the inside of my nose. I’m forty feet away but feel like I’m in the furnaces of the Underworld. Fanning myself is useless. I’ll never get used to the southern heat, and with Aetos performing, it’s even worse.

The Sintan Hoi Polloi can barely contain themselves. It’s like doing tricks for children—everything enchants. For them, the circus is a whirlwind of power and impossible magical delights. Everywhere from the hard-packed dirt floor surrounding the fair tables and stage to the high, far reaches of the circular stone seating, people jump up and down, hooting and stomping their feet.

My feet tap along with the crowd’s, my eyes following Aetos around the stage. What a relief to be back in Sinta, even with all the dust and heat. I do whatever I can to stay on the west side of Thalyria. Our recent sojourn in the middle realm of Tarva made my lungs tight and my fingers itch for a knife. I’d probably start jumping at shadows if the circus ever went all the way east to Fisa. Just the thought of my home realm makes my sweat turn cold.

Sinta. Tarva. Fisa. West to east. Here to… Nothing I’m going to think about.

The audience whoops in approval of Aetos’s fiery moves. Hoi Polloi in the amphitheater are ecstatic—and not only with the show. They’ve been celebrating ever since a warlord from the tribal south hacked his way north to Castle Sinta to put his own sister on the throne. You’d think Dionysus had dumped a three-month supply of wine over the entire realm. Temples are overflowing with Sintans offering prayers of gratitude, their holy men overcome with gifts to help clothe and feed the poor. Statues of Athena, who is apparently well loved by the conquering warlord, have been spontaneously erected in towns and villages from here to the Ice Plains in Sinta’s north. Happiness and generosity abound, and I don’t even want to think about how many sheep have been slaughtered for celebratory feasts.

For the first time ever, the magicless majority is in charge, and Hoi Polloi are literally dancing in the streets—but only when they’re not throwing themselves in abject loyalty at the feet of the new royal family. Or so I’ve heard. I haven’t actually seen the new royals, but news spreads fast when there’s something to say. After the warlord and his southern army secured the Sintan throne last spring, his family took weeks just to move north. Not because they’re slow, but because of the sheer number of adoring people in their way.

It’s no secret the northern-born Magoi royals here in Sinta were despots, just like everywhere else in Thalyria. Hoi Polloi know they’re better off with one of their own in charge.

But royals without magic? My cynical snort is lost in the boisterousness of the crowd. It’ll never last.

Click here to learn more about A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet.

Giveaway Details & Entry Form:

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