Friday, March 30, 2012

Bewitching Book Tours - Review, Guest Post, Excerpt, & Kindle Giveaway: M.M. Shelley's "Dead Relatives" (The Chronicles of Orlando, Novella #2)


File Size: 229 KB
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B006R24O2K
Review Copy Courtesy Of: Bewitching Book Tours
(In exchange for an honest review)
www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com

Synopsis:

Dead Relatives 
Book 2 

After discovering what was hidden in Mexico and having to sneak back across the border Orlando returns to Los Angeles, but is unable to return to his home.

Instead of hunting Zombies he is now hunted.

Betrayed by those he thought he could trust, Orlando must keep the truth of what he knows to himself.

That is until dead relatives return with dire warnings.



Hi Everyone! I’m M.M. Shelley and today I’d like to share my novellas: 


The Zombie Story & Dead Relatives 

They are about Magick and Zombies, a little different take on the Zombie genre and follows the adventures of Orlando as he arrives in a new city.

Ruben Juarez has always been careful; he’s had no choice not to be. Orphaned at a young age it has been just him and Elodie, his younger sister, they avoided the foster system by staying anonymous. It hasn’t been easy and it has made him feel disconnected.

To make money he became involved with underground fighting and he has become quite good at it. He can detect someone’s weak spot just by watching how they carry themselves. Ruben has never boasted about the number of wins he has on his belt or about anything else for that matter. Boxing has always been a way for him to burn off steam, a way to forget about everything and just live in the moment.

He didn’t begin hunting zombies until he learned that he could make money at it. He was approached by a man named Maxwell who made him a generous offer if he would agree to train Orlando Drake.

It was an odd offer, but the money was good so he didn’t question it. Maybe he should have questioned it and just maybe he should have walked away. If he had not felt a deep responsibility to look out for his sister he just might have walked away.

His dream would be to just ride on his motorcycle from town to town, nowhere in particular--just far away from everyone who knows him. Ruben has never been one to run away from his responsibility but if it wasn’t for Elodie he just might decide to up and leave.

Thanks again for hosting this stop on my tour! You can find me over at my blog; mmshelley.blogspot.com or on twitter @MM_Shelley I would also like to let everyone in the Los Angeles area know that on March 31st Mysterious Galaxy bookstore will be hosting an event for the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, myself and 9 other writers will be there!


Dead Relatives Excerpt

            Michael stepped out of a car that he had ‘borrowed’ and waved Orlando down. Michael had to raise his voice in order to be heard over the engine. “What happened to Ruben?” he asked.
            Orlando turned the engine off and gave a quick answer, “He was hurt.” He then went on to change the subject back to the reason he had driven so far. “What info do you have about the fifth? 
            They had decided to number the six men that they were looking for. They felt it was easier to keep track of them that way. Jeffries had been number six and he was safely tucked away at the camp.
            The camp was compiled of hunters and others who had no place else to go. Orlando had only been calling it home for about a week. He’d been gone from home for a week and he hadn’t even contacted his family, he knew that they wouldn’t be safe if he did. He had heard that someone had placed a bounty on his head. That someone had been asking questions about him and had even shown up at his high school and had come by the camp.
            Michael walked over to a garage and pulling the lever he opened it, inside was dark. Orlando rolled his motorcycle inside and Michael released the lever allowing it to close them inside.
            A light turned on, Orlando could see that it was a work space, tables had been set up and computer equipment was actively running some sort of data. The windows to the garage had been blacked out.
            “I’ve been monitoring them for a few days.” Michael said as he waved Orlando over to a computer screen. “Every two hours a code name pops up. Lexicon.”
            “Lexicon? Is that the name of the fifth?”
            “I couldn’t say for sure. It could be the name of a project or something else.”
            “What else does it say?”
            “They are preparing for some kind of delivery. I don’t know much more then that.”
            “Let’s go.” Orlando said. “Let’s get it done.”
            “You don’t want to wait for Ruben?” Michael asked as he seemed unsure about proceeding without him.
            Orlando took a step toward him. “Ruben is not an unclassified Wizard. He’s not even a Mercurial.”
            “Yeah, but your magick hasn’t been the most reliable.”
            Orlando didn’t like hearing that. “This coming from a novice?”
            Michael backed down at his words. “I was just saying.”
            The classification of magick was simple; there were three levels of magick: Wizard, Mercurial and Novice. A Wizard was someone who’s magick was most strong and constant. It was rare to be a classified Wizard and many doubted the existence of them.
            A Mercurial had magick, yet the magick was never reliable, it was never steady and it could be destructive. The steady use of magick over time could make the person go mad from the effects.
            A person with the least possible amount of magick was called a Novice. Novices had no control over magick when it was used. Most Novices went years without being able to use magick or sometimes they never used it at all.  
            The effects of Magick had been widely studied with tests and experiments to somehow control how a person used magick, to make magick more effective for a Novice and to control the desire for more magick in a Mercurial. None of these experiments had been effective and had ended in disaster.
            The classification of magick was put into effect to control and curb one’s use of it. Everyone would begin the process of classification, which took years, at the age of thirteen or fourteen. They would be subjected to an endurance test and an I.Q. test to determine their classification. The classification, once given, would determine the course of one’s future. With the economy in a recession and well on its way into a depression, the classification process was more important than ever.  
            Orlando was an unclassified Wizard; his parents had taken great pains to avoid the classification process for him. Orlando’s mother was a pharmaceutical technician and had knowledge of the research that was done on anyone who was classified as a Wizard.  
            Orlando and Michael agreed to a plan and decided that they would arrive separately. As Orlando turned his cell phone to silent he noted that Elodie had called him and that she had left a message. He would call her later when he had good news. 

Saph's Review:

"Dead Relatives" is the 2nd installment of the Orlando Chronicles.  You may read my review of novella #1, "The Zombie Story" HERE!

Book 2 picks up where Book 1 left off.  Orlando and the gang are in Mexico, working on a plan to come back across the border into the United States.  Zombies are still on the loose and the gang must try to locate the "fifth" and investigate someone or something called the "Lexicon."  

This installment brings with it a lot of action and perilous conditions.  Orlando now has the ability to see and hear ghosts, which becomes advantageous on several occasions.  Dead Relatives has stepped up the series a notch in adventure, badness, and action.  The zombies are much stronger (think a bull as a zombie and you'll hit the nail on the head), Orlando realizes that the evil guys are actually more evil than they first though, revelations about what really happened in Warehouse One come to light, and discoveries about Orlando's parents shed light on their sudden move to L.A.

This is another fine example of a novella that takes it's time (even though it's a short book) and develops all of the characters and scenes. The author does all of this without leaving me feeling like there was too much information, not enough development or explanation of scenes, or important plot lines skipped.

The dialogue isn't quite as uncomfortable as I thought the first novella was and I enjoyed reading "Dead Relatives" without that distraction.

Young Adults and those in love with zombies will definitely want to put "The Zombie Story" and "Dead Relatives" on their To Be Read list!

Rating:


Buy Links:

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/118416?ref=Sapphyria

Amazon:

About the Author:


M.M. Shelley is a storyteller, word smith and dreamer. MISHAP AND MAYHEM, a captivating story of faerie's and magic, is her debut novel. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in everyday life. M.M. Shelley is a native of southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration.

Visit M.M. Shelley at her blog: www.mmshelley.blogspot.com


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
Please fill out the rafflecopter form below to be entered in M.M. Shelley's contest for a change to win a Kindle Touch.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bewitching Book Tours - Review, Guest Post, Excerpt, & Kindle Giveaway: M.M. Shelley's "The Zombie Story" (The Chronicles of Orlando, Novella #1)

 
File Size: 253 KB
Print Length: 78 pages
Language: English
ASIN: B0050DEHYM
Review Copy Courtesy Of: Bewitching Book Tours
(In exchange for an honest review)
www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com

Synopsis:

The Zombie Story 
By M.M. Shelley 

The Zombie Story is the first novella in a young adult series.

Unfolding on the streets of Los Angeles is a new breed of monster...

Orlando, fresh from the mid west, arrives at his new high school on his Harley Davidson.

All he wants is to make it through the day, and begin his training as a Zombie Hunter. 
 
But someone has different plans for him.



Hi Everyone! I’m M.M. Shelley and I’d like to share my novellas:

The Zombie Story & Dead Relatives

Its about Magick and Zombies, it’s a little different take on the Zombie genre and follows the adventures of Orlando as he arrives in a new city.


Orlando Drake is an enigma. He relocated to Los Angeles with his parents and grandfather only to discover that the city was over-run with zombies. Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, he becomes a hunter-in-training under the guidance of his grandfather’s good friend, Maxwell.
Orlando is not a natural and has much to learn, but that is not all, he also is very gifted in the magical arts; something that his parents have worked hard to conceal. Without a teacher this has left him vulnerable. He finds escape on his Harley Davidson and as he explores the new city he discovers that in L.A. there are worse things than monsters. 

Orlando has a lot of questions about his powers, but he’s told to ignore his natural gifts by those training him to fight zombies. He’s told that he needs to focus and anything else is just a distraction. Yet his powers are not to be denied and emerge at the most inopportune times; like in the middle of a battle which nearly gets his training partner killed.

There’s nothing like the desire to blend in with everyone else. It would certainly make things easier for him, but he has found himself making more enemies than friends. His own parents had more than one reason for relocating him to Los Angeles. He has no idea that they are connected to the troubles that are happening around him. Everything is being done to keep him safe from those who want to exploit him for his powers.

Thanks for hosting this stop on my tour!

You can find me over at my blog; mmshelley.blogspot.com or on twitter @MM_Shelley I would also like to let everyone in the Los Angeles area know that on March 31st Mysterious Galaxy bookstore will be hosting an event for the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, myself and 9 other writers will be there!



The Zombie Story Excerpt

They rode by Union Station headed south towards North Broadway. Ruben came to a quick stop without signaling his intent. He had pulled up to a bakery.
“Why are we stopping here? You hungry are something?” Orlando asked as he parked alongside him.
Removing his helmet Ruben responded, “Or something. This place can get pretty crazy. You’ll see.”
The place was busy, filled with tourists who made their way up and down the streets of Chinatown.
Ruben and Orlando began to walk away from their motorcycles, Ruben paused and without looking back, he raised his right arm and pushed a button on a keychain. The noise of two beeps sounded securing his ride.
“Seriously?” Orlando asked as they continued forward.
Ruben ignored the question, instead he pointed out a small shop that sold herbs and teas. “This place is known for its underground fighting. I think it would be a good place to test you.”
“Underground fighting? In that place?” He asked uncertain about whether or not Ruben was being straight with him.
“Yeah, come on I’ll show you,” an eager smile on his face.
Ruben entered the shop first; the door bell chimed alerting his presence. Orlando was hesitant to follow. Through the huge windows Orlando noticed that no one was at the front counter.  Again the door chimed as Orlando strode in, not quiet sure what was really going on.
Ruben headed into the backroom, “Looks like they’re all downstairs already.” He came to a stop in a small hallway, which oddly held no doorways. Kneeling down Ruben removed a piece of board that was covering a narrow opening. Looking intently at Orlando he asked, “How’s your magick? Are you a classified novice or mercurial?”
Orlando didn’t know the answer to that, for he hadn’t been tested yet so he said, “Guess we’ll find out.”
“Fair enough,” Ruben was about to lead the way down when he was stopped by Orlando’s question.
“Who am I going to be fighting?”
“Not who, it’s what. People like to see zombies fight each other and bet on them.”
“Oh,” Orlando thought that was the craziest thing he had ever heard.
“Yeah, it’s totally awesome.” The sound of excitement in his voice was clear. “It’s how I met Maxwell; he showed up one day and asked me if I wanted to hunt these things down. Said I’d be good at it, because, you know, I kicked their asses in the ring.”
“Wait a minute; you went one on one with zombies?” That took Orlando by surprise.
With a grin on his face he said, “All the time, it was easy money.” Becoming serious he added, “Just don’t embarrass me man, these guys here, they know me.” With that said he led the way down the stairs and into a tunnel.
They could hear the noise from the fighting at the end of the tunnel. The sounds of bone hitting bone, the grunting and the shouts of the gamers placing bets on the fights, greeted them as they made the way down the tunnel.
“Yo!” Ruben shouted. “How’s it going?”  He asked the man at the entrance to a cavern. It looked like a basement. There were crates stacked up along one side of the wall. Several tunnels had been cut into the basement leading who knew where. There was no traditional looking ring in the basement. Just an area that was empty and it looked like there was dried blood on the ground. 
“You in today?” the man asked. “We got some good ones.”
“Yeah? That’s awesome!” Ruben called Orlando over, “This here is my friend Orlando. My money’s on him.”
“For real?” the man asked uncertain. He looked Orlando over, not sure there was a fighter in him.
“Dude, you’re asking me? You do remember all the wins I have under my belt?” He took a few steps forward to assert his statement.
The man began to laugh uncomfortably, “Let’s put him in.”
Ruben turned back to Orlando a huge grin on his face as he asked, “You didn’t eat this morning did you?” 


Saph's Review:

This novella is  based on earth; an earth were everyone has the potential to possess magick.  At some point, each person is tested to see their level and we start this novella knowing that Orlando has yet to undergo said testing.

When Orlando is forced to move from Oklahoma to Los Angeles with his family, he has no problem exuding his irritation.  Then, not 24 hours after moving into their new house, Orlando sees a man get shot out in the middle of the road in front of his house.  No one sees it, no one hears it, and there is no body or proof that the event occurred and his mom automatically accuses him of making trouble since she knows he didn't want to move there in the first place.  

Then, at the hands of his grandfather, Orlando is shoved into the world of zombie hunting.  He is introduced to his grandfather's old friend, Maxwell, a zombie hunter.  Orlando is introduced to another hunter, Ruben, who commences with the training of Orlando.  Orlando later learns of treachery in Los Angeles at the hands of one of his newly found friends.  Can Orlando end the zombie invasion, protect his family, and find the traitor in time?

The concept of this novel is creative and different.  The story line mostly flowed well and was easy to follow.  Unlike my complaints with most novellas, this book didn't seem rushed.  There wasn't a ton of information crammed into less than 100 pages of dialogue.  There were twists and turns and questions about who the good and bad guys really were which kept the pages turning.  I did have a problem with some of the dialogue being choppy, uneven, and sometimes even forced sounding.  Some of the conversations just didn't carry on smoothly and seemed uncomfortable.  I recommend this to young adults who probably wouldn't have a problem with the dialogue.

I will continue to read the series and will post my review of Book #2, Dead Relatives, tomorrow.

Rating:


Buy Links:

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/59046?ref=Sapphyria

Amazon: 


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
Please fill out the rafflecopter form below to be entered in M.M. Shelley's contest for a change to win a Kindle Touch.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Carrie Ann Ryan's "An Alpha’s Path" (Book 1 of the Redwood Pack Series)

File Size: 168 KB
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B006GHBSA2Review Copy Courtesy Of:  Carrie Ann Ryan, Author (in exchange for an honest review)

Synopsis From The Author's Website:

Melanie is a twenty-five year old chemist who has spent all of her adult life slaving at school. With her PhD in hand, she’s to start her dream job, but before she does, her friend persuades her to relax and try to live again. A blind date set up through her friends seems like the perfect solution. Melanie can take one night away from the lab and let her inner vixen out on a fixed blind date - a chance to get crazy with a perfect stranger. The gorgeous hunk she’s to meet exceeds her wildest dreams – but he is more than what he appears and Melanie’s analytical mind goes into overdrive.

Kade, a slightly older werewolf (at over one hundred years), needs a night way from the Pack. Too many responsibilities and one near miss with a potential mate made Kade hide in his work, the only peace he can find. His brother convinces him to meet the sexy woman for a one night of fun. What could it hurt? But when he finds this woman could be his mate, can he convince her to leave her orderly, sane world and be with him and his wolf-half, for life?

Saph's Review:

An Alpha's Path is a short novella that lets us look into the lives of werewolves in the Redwood Pack and is a good introduction to Carrie Ann Ryan's book series.

Melanie, a human, is set up on a blind date by her best friend.  Kade, a werewolf, is set up on a blind date by his brother.  What a coincidence that the blind dates for one another are, indeed, each other!  The purpose of the date, as far as Melanie is concerned, is, to put it bluntly, to get laid.  Kade gets set up on his blind date to help take his mind off of his past relationship.  Melanie is unaware of the supernatural world that surrounds her everyday but is soon thrust into the middle of it a whole lot faster than I would be comfortable with.  She, too seems to be uncomfortable with it, but good dialogue and smooth reactions apparently aren't Melanie's thing.  Plus the conversation quality between Melaine and Kade is practically zero, then all of a sudden it's "let's go up to our room."  To help Melanie relax, Kade suggests she take a bath....Really?!--in the middle of a blind date? When sex is all this is supposed to be about?  I realize that when a wolf finds its mate, it knows, but I think the relationship between Kade and Melanie was way to quick. A one nighter I can understand, but he reveals his heritage to her the next day.  Woah buddy....put the fur and claws away....no one wants to see that this soon.  Melanie had every right to be wary and hesitant.  And this is what frustrates me about novellas!  But, I love them all the same.  

An Alpha's Path is a decently constructed book.  The plot is kind of all over the place but when you try to cram back history, present history, a love story, and a set up for a series into a novella, that tends to happen.  I had a hard time liking Melanie at first but once you dissect the story and realize Melanie's loneliness and inexperience, her discomfort at a relationship and love so soon after meeting is understandable.  She's propelled into a world that had always been one of myths and legends and instead of being given time to adjust, she's tossed into the middle of a confrontation between 2 alpha males vying to be her mate.  Even though she knew she preferred one male over the other, the choice given to her to end the confrontation wasn't a choice she was ready to make.    Melanie's perceptions of love and dating are vastly different from the traditions of an alpha finding his mate.  So, while the way his pack deals with things is by fighting to the death, Melanie's human ways are not like that.  Kade's heritage and the pain he's endured also shines a light on his excitement and rushed acceptance of find his mate.

A Favorite Quote:
"Lance's face fell and he stood back.  He looked like a kicked puppy.  Mel snorted.  Sometimes she cracked herself up." (C.A. Ryan)

Please Note:  This book contains "adult scenes."

I also have Books 2 & 3 in the series and will review them here on the blog soon.

Rating:




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CBLS Virtual Book Tour - Giveaway & Excerpt: Suzie Grant's "Valkyrie's Vengeance" (Maidens of the Shield, Book 1)


Title:  Valkyrie's Vengeance (Maidens of the Shield, Book 1)
Author 
Suzie Grant
Publisher: 
Night Shift Publishing
Length: 
70,000 words
Sub-Genres: 
Action/Adventure, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Link To Tour Schedule: http://cblspromotions.blogspot.com/2012/03/blog-barrage-valkyries-vengeance.html

BLURB:

Stranded on foreign soil. Rescued and raised by the enemy. Tyra Svensdottir declares war on her own people after witnessing the death of the very woman who’d saved her life. Kidnapping the man who wields the sword of the underworld — Hel’s Hammer — Tyra forces him to repair her shipwrecked vessel. Her quest to kill the swordsman’s king takes them across frigid waters on a myriad of adventures and a voyage of sensual discovery.

Rorik Thorlicksson uncovers treachery within his clan but in order to return home to warn of the impending attack, he must yield to the woman holding him captive. Along their voyage he unravels the mystery behind his captor. He discovers she is the woman promised to him in wedlock at birth though her disappearance years ago released him from his betrothal. Dissuading the little heathen from her purpose and into his bed becomes a more appealing prospect with every passing day.

Blood vengeance brings them together even as desire binds their hearts. Amongst the secrets and obscurities of their destinies, they find a love that spans a lifetime as well as an end to A Valkyrie’s Vengeance.


EXCERPT:

Off the coast of England - 901 AD
Thwack, thwack, thwack. Arrows embedded into the beached ship with every step Tyra Svensdottir took, missing her ankles by mere inches.
She dove for cover inside the grounded longship’s hull. Her heart stalled and then nearly pounded its way outside of her chest. She placed a hand there as if she could stop the horrendous hammering, or at least quiet it somewhat. Eyes wide, she spat the mouthful of salt water out and rose to her knees, making sure to stay hidden. The hull tilted on its side like a great fish dragged from the sea. Leaning against the wooden planks, Tyra summoned the courage not to cry. Who shot at her? How had they found her?
For the last three days, she’d wandered the beach alone. She wasn’t even sure where she was. Her gaze roamed her surroundings. Early morning mist swept the beaches in its wispy grasp and limited visibility. But she could hear voices. She couldn’t locate from whence they came.
Tyra slogged through the calf-high water, leaning low, to the front of the ship. Her fingers shook as she reached out to grasp the edge of the jagged planks where the hull had struck stone, causing the vessel to sink. Waves lapped at her ankles and washed the sand out from under her bare toes as she stepped over one of the bloated, dead bodies. Bile rose in her throat and she tamped it down. The rancid scent of rotting flesh permeated the air around the longship’s belly and her empty stomach protested the smell.
Her lips quivered. From fear? Cold? Both. She only wished to go home. Her father had warned her— when the gods grant our desires we may find we no longer wish for them, Tyra. An ache developed in her chest and she could almost hear the deep timbre of his voice. Why hadn’t she listened to him? 
Bodies littered the beach in various positions. Her brother...her cousins...all dead. She’d been the sole survivor. Of the twelve men, only four had washed ashore so far. She covered her mouth, to hold in the scream forming in the back of her throat.
A deep, hearty laugh caused her to stiffen as she waited for further movement. She peered around the edge of the shattered boards and a single arrow thumped into the side of the ship next to her face. She leapt back with a gasp.
The laughter grew louder. They were toying with her now. They must know she was alone. Her legs were weak and wobbly from lack of nourishment and her vision blurred. Voices carried to her and she knew the enemy was closing in.
Tyra could not wait here to be slaughtered like an animal. She must move to a better battlefield. She scanned the area. The beach faded into a dark cluster of trees. If she made it there, she would have a better chance of survival with more places to hide.
But running from here to there...a single arrow would kill her. Tyra choked back her tears.
Taking a deep breath, she burst from the opening and plunged headlong down the stretch of open beach toward the cover of the trees. Her legs pumped furiously and she squealed at the swish of an arrow flying past her.
She gasped for breath and her lungs burned from lack of air. Plink. Plink. Two arrows hit the face of the rocks ahead of her and fell harmlessly to the ground.
Tyra grabbed one as she ran past. A weapon would even the odds somewhat. She might only be twelve-winters-old, but her father had taught her from an early age how to protect herself. He appreciated strength in a woman and had encouraged her to take up arms. A woman’s place was beside the hearth, but a woman also protected the hearth while the men were away.
Steep, craggy rocks settled at the base of an incline. She leapt over a small boulder and burst through the edge of the trees. There was no path here, and she knew not where to go, but she could not falter now.
The sound of the chase followed her as the enemy crashed through the brush behind her. Their harsh breath broke the silence of the forest as the men sucked air into their lungs. Tree limbs slapped against her face and stung her tender skin.
How many were there? Did she dare look? If she fell she would never be able to get away once they caught her. She could not look and risk losing her small advantage.
They laughed and taunted in a foreign tongue, and they were closing in. Lengthening her strides, she dodged a maple tree and leapt over a dead, fallen trunk.
Why had she stowed away on her brother’s ship? Why had she not stayed home where she belonged? Hugh had been headed to Jorvikskyr on a trading expedition, and her father had forbidden her to go. Determined, she had hidden away in an empty trunk. A storm had brewed so suddenly, near falling right atop them, leaving the crew little time to sail safely to land.
And due to her foolish pride she was left running for her life in an unknown land.
The terrain dipped and she slid down an embankment. She sprang forward and raced north. Several seconds later she realized she heard no sound.
Her footsteps slowed. She gasped for breath and leaned a hand against a thick oak, while her other settled against her heart. Dropping to her knees, she hid behind the large trunk, and searched the area. The mist weaved between the carpet of trees, Tyra studied the wall of green for the slightest movement. Nature’s breath seemed to be silenced as she waited for some sound. 
Where had they gone? Had they given up the search?
The mist thickened amongst the vegetation and descended into a moist cloud just above her head. Everything beyond her reach faded into a grey haze. 
A limb snapped. She shrank back, the bark of the tree scrapping against the soft flesh of her forehead. Hot, silent tears coursed down her cheeks. She’d wished for adventure. And now she wished for home.
Silence hung in the air like the weighty fog. It was there and she felt it. But it was the danger within she feared, not the fog itself.
She swallowed. Her parched tongue scratched against the roof of her mouth. Three days since she’d had any nourishment. Three days since she’d had shelter. And three days since she’d seen another human being. Alive at least.
To have endured the storm stowed away in a trunk and survived the crash—only to die on land at the hands of strangers seemed one of Loki’s cruel jests.
By Odin, she refused to be his entertainment and she refused to die here in a land not her own, amongst a people not her own. 


BOOK TRAILER:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Suzie still believes in happily-ever-after and after growing up reading classic adventure literature like Treasure Isle, Robinson Crusoe, and The Swiss Family Robinson tales, as well as epic novels like Gone with the wind, Suzie would dream up adventures of her own.With her love of history she brings the action of thrillers to historical romance with steamy, love scenes and a pace that will leave you breathless!
She lives happily ever after with her new beau, three boys and one little Shih tzu named Peppy Le’Pew in NC. One day she plans to retire and sail along the east coast an adventurer to the end.



Buy Links:

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/141650?ref=Sapphyria

Amazon:




GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
For the chance to win a .pdf copy of Valkyrie's Vengeance by Suzie Grant please fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 26, 2012

CBLS Virtual Book Tour - Giveaway & Excerpt: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff's "Accidentally In Love With...A God?" (Accidentally Yours Series, Book #1)


Title: Accidentally in Love With…a God? (Accidentally Yours Series, Book 1)
Author: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Publisher: Self/Indie
Length: 88,000 Words
Sub-Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal

BLURB:
Twenty-two-year-old Emma Keane has a secret friend. He’s powerful, mysterious, and devastatingly handsome. In her dreams, anyway.
In real life, he’s an enigma. Maybe just a teensie jealous. Definitely overbearing. He’s also a voice only she can hear.
So who or what is he? He won’t say. But if she wants to be free, to be normal, Emma will have to trek to the jungles once ruled by the Mayans and find the forgotten ruin holding the answers.
However, the ruthless deity she’s about to unknowingly unleash on the modern world might not be so easily extracted from her life. Bottom line, he’s got enemies, and now, so does she.

EXCERPT #1:

Chapter 1 - Present Day
Wasn’t dating supposed to be fun? Because this was anything but. At any moment, a man I’d never met—approximately six-foot-three, brown hair, and soul-piercing blue eyes, according to his online profile—would walk through the door of the Conga Lounge, give his name to the hostess, and scream hysterically at the sight of me. Okay. He wouldn’t scream. Aloud, anyway. Not that I was heinous, but anyone who looked closely enough might notice I was…different.
I eyeballed the door, contemplating making a mad dash before he arrived.
No, you can do this, I thought while staring at the condensation channeling down my glass of water, my leg bouncing under the table. Why had my date picked a corny theme-bar that looked like Gilligan’s Island threw up? What sort of man goes novelty on the first date? Bad sign. Bad sign.
At least the other patrons—seated around the faux-torch lit room, leisurely sipping Bahama Mama’s and Mai Tai’s—were oblivious to my impending meltdown.
I felt the gentle whoosh of summer evening air as the door swung open and the noise from the traffic-packed New York street poured in. A tall man with sun-kissed skin, broad shoulders, and tousled brown hair floated in—yes, floated—as if he’d ridden in on a cloud straight from Hot-Man Land. He wore a black polished-cotton shirt, which hugged his well-constructed chest, and low slung jeans that molded to his lean physique. He wasn’t just good looking, he was Milan runway edible. 
“Oh, sweet Virgin of Guadalupe, please be Jake,” I muttered under my breath.
Like a cliché from a movie, our eyes met from across the room, and his face lit up with a dimple-framed smile. My heart nearly stopped. “Thank you, Virgin,” I said, releasing my breath.
He strutted across the restaurant, a magnet for every female in the room.
“Emma?” he said in a deep slow-churned voice then smiled and held out his hand. I stood up in a daze, mentally pinching myself. 
“You are Emma, right? Curly, shoulder-length, red hair, five-three. Several crazed female stalkers for best friends?”  
Oh, no. What had my roommates done? Since the whole online-blind-date thing was their idea, they assured me they’d carefully “screened” the guy. But I thought they were just joking about breaking into his apartment and rummaging through his underwear drawer. And dammit, they hadn’t even bothered to dish. Tighty whities or boxers?
I looked down at his outstretched hand. Oh, shoot. Shake hands. “Sorry, it’s just—I wasn’t expecting someone so…” I swallowed and placed my palm in his. It was warm and inviting, just like his eyes. “Um…so tall.”
“And I wasn’t expecting a woman so…” He paused to look me over like a dog eyeing a giant juicy steak.  “…adorable.”
“Adorable?” said the deep male voice inside my head. “What kind of moron compliments a woman with the word ‘adorable’? Does he think you’re a goddamned puppy?”
Couldn’t I have one, just one lousy day without the voice? My blood began to boil instantly, but I resisted the urge to snap back with something lame like, “Well, maybe Jake senses I want to lick him from head to toe. Maybe even have a go at his leg.” But then I thought better of myself. Because tonight, I was on a mission, and nothing would stop me from climbing my own mental Mt. Everest: convince myself that I, Emma Keane, could feel attraction for a real live man with ten fingers, ten toes, arms and legs, and the other necessary dangly bits needed to make a relationship normal. All I needed was the right man.
The catch?
The other person I needed to prove this to wasn’t exactly a person. Okay—truth be told, he was a mysterious voice only I could hear. Yes. A luscious, deep velvety voice so seductive that it could turn me into a quivering mindless puddle of need with one little sigh. Sound crazy? That wasn’t the half of it. But it was why I had to do this. If I wanted a shot at normal, I had to take this first step.

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EDITORIAL REVIEW (AMAZON.COM):
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff is hysterical. This is the first in her Accidentally Yours series. Can't wait for more.
You will love Emma and the arrogant god she can't see. She does not dare let people find out she has a relationship with someone she only knows through dialogue in her thoughts. Her friends and family will think she is bonkers.
But when he calls her into the heart of the Mayan jungle to free him from some ancient ruins, with a promise to finally leave her alone after that, she finds that he is not only real, (and gorgeous) but about to further turn her world upside down.
Her desire to have a normal life, without some voice bothering her, may be a futile desire. Because desire is the word. This ruthless warrior-god is the most amazing male she has ever seen or imagined.
Emma is in big trouble. She realizes that her god is as dangerous as the other crazy gods, including my total favorite, wild and crazy Cimil. You are going to love Cimil and laugh out loud at her antics. Is she going to help Emma with the evil that has been unleashed into the world, the terrifying Uchben, or is she only going to make things worse?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Before taking up a permanent residence in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mimi spent time living near NYC (became a shopaholic), in Mexico City (developed a taste for very spicy food), and Arizona (now hates jumping chollas, but pines for sherbet sunsets). Her love of pre-Hispanic culture, big cities, and romance inspires her to write when she’s not busy with kids, work, and life…or getting sucked into a juicy novel.

She hopes that someday, leather pants for men will make a big comeback and that her writing might make you laugh when you need it most.

Email: mimi@mimijean.net

Tour Link: http://cblspromotions.blogspot.com/2012/02/vbt-accidentally-in-love-witha-god.html

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle:
ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE WITH...A GOD? (a Paranormal Romance) (Accidentally Yours)

B and N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/accidentally-in-love-witha-god-a-paranormal-romance-mimi-jean-pamfiloff/1108350327
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/123362?ref=Sapphyria

************************************
ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED TO…A VAMPIRE?
Book #2, The Accidentally Your Series
COMING MARCH 15, 2012

BLURB:

“If you love her, set her free.  If she comes back, she’s yours.  If she doesn’t…Christ!  Stubborn woman!  Hunt her down, and bring her the hell back; she’s still yours according to vampire law.”
- Niccolo DiConti, General of the Vampire Queen’s Army.

The Determined Vampire: Niccolo DiConti has faithfully served as leader of Her Majesty’s army for over a millennium, but he’d rather sunbathe in the Sahara than spend another grueling day under his demented queen’s command.  However, no one has ever left her side and lived to tell.  So when a powerful goddess prophesizes he will meet his salvation—a human woman he must turn into a vampire with her consent—he eagerly rises to the challenge.  After all, how hard could it be to seduce a human female into taking the immortal plunge?  Harder than he thinks.  Because his mate won’t be born for another three centuries, and when he wakes up in the goddess’ tomb, not only is his life a mess, but his destined female isn’t about to settle for a coldhearted vampire.  Can he win her over before it’s too late?  Not if his enemies have anything to do with it.

An Unwilling Bride: On the night Helena Strauss meets the fierce, devastatingly handsome vampire who saves her life in the jungles of Mexico, she knows her world will be forever changed.  Because an attraction this mind blowing only comes along once in a lifetime—or existence.  And when he claims she is his one true mate, destined to be his for all eternity, it’s a fairytale come true.  So what if her knight in shining armor is a vampire?  Nobody’s perfect. But discovering the powerful, overbearing immortal doesn’t “do love”?  Deal breaker.  Helena will flee and set out to accomplish the impossible…sever the otherworldly bond between them. And it turns out, Helena is just the leverage Niccolo’s enemies need to break the mighty warrior and wipe out his people.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

CBLS Virtual Book Tour - Giveaway: Nia Shay's "Dark Angel's Ward" (Angel Warden Series, Book #1)

Title:  Dark Angel's Ward (Angel Warden Series, Book 1)

Author:  Nia Shay

Publisher:  Self (Moonwild Press)

Length:  80,000 words

Sub-Genres:  Contemporary, M/F, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

BLURB:

Two years ago, Jandra Maxwell walked away from the secret Fairlight Society and started a new life in a quiet Texas town. When her former Ward, the dark angel Zeph, seeks her out and begs for her help, Jandra faces an impossible choice. She knows he can only offer her heartache, but she can’t turn her back on the only man she’s ever loved.
Zeph teeters on the brink of madness, pummeled by emotions his angelic blood once rendered him incapable of feeling. Driven to protect Jandra from a threat he can only glimpse in nightmares, he refuses to leave her side. As they explore the mystery of his recurring dreams, they discover the Fairlight Society has been keeping a terrible secret – one they’ll kill to protect.
Fighting for her life isn’t so easy when Jandra’s also fighting her heart. Her inexorable attraction to Zeph may save them...or may damn them both.

EXCERPT:

“Sound and fury,” I murmured aloud.
“Pardon?”
I didn’t repeat it; he probably wouldn’t have understood even if I had. Ever since I’d read that phrase in Macbeth I’d always associated it with this feeling. It was one thing to be selectively psychic – at least the only thoughts I usually heard were Zeph’s. But when he and I were truly joined, not just in body or in mind but in the very essence of our beings, I got a taste of what it was really like to be half angel. And I hated it. I couldn’t fathom how to cope with hearing the thoughts and prayers of half the damn city. Except maybe by dissociating large portions of my personality, like he had. Zeph’s mind could be a scary place.
“Jandra? Are you sure you’re all right?”
I dragged my attention back to the matter at hand. “I told you, yes.”
That seemed to satisfy him. At least he didn’t argue with me anymore. His fingertips brushed the side of my face. “Thank you.”
“Whatever.” I raised bleary eyes just in time to see his mouth descending on mine.
Our lips met before I could stop him, and once I felt his warmth I couldn’t quite bring myself to complain. I ended up moaning into his mouth instead of pulling away. Encouraged, he brushed his tongue across my lower lip, his hands stroking upward over my belly.
My body remembered this – his embrace, his touch. As I arched my back in unbidden reaction, he cupped my breasts, his long fingers splayed and caressing. I gasped, feeling his surge of fierce enjoyment as the pleasure he wrought in my body echoed through his own.
Which was just the reminder I needed. I wrenched away from him, hissing, “You are not allowed to touch me that way!”
“I can’t help it.” Zeph’s eyes were violet fire. “When you feel me and I feel you … how am I to resist?”
“Here’s a suggestion: how about going away and leaving me alone for the rest of my life? Wasn’t that the plan?”
He sighed, his gaze going distant. “I released you because you begged it of me, Jandra. Not because I desired it. Your pain was crushing us, and you couldn’t seem to heal while you were with me. But now you have healed. You are whole again, and strong.”
“So you’ve come to break me all over again?” I accused.
“I’ve no intention of hurting you.” He reached for me, but I evaded him. Instead, he pinned me with his gaze as he spoke his greatest lie. “I love you, Jandra.”
“No you don’t!” I shrieked, balling up a fist and darting forward to punch him in the chest. “You do not love anyone or anything. You are not capable of it!”
“Perhaps that’s true,” he said calmly, enfolding my fist in one large hand. “Or perhaps your love has changed me.”
The tears came as hot and fast as the resonance of his soul had, and they burned just as deeply. “I never loved you.”
He said nothing, merely released me and retreated to the doorway while I wept. As my sobs faded into racking gasps, he cast me a long look and muttered, “Yet I am the one reviled as a thief of souls.”

 GIVEAWAY INFORMATION
To enter to win an eCopy of "Dark Angel's Ward" Angel Warden Series Book #1, please fill out the Rafflecopter. 


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BUY LINKS:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nia Shay is a reclusive weirdo who lives in a tiny concrete box in the middle of the Arizona desert. (No, seriously.)  In between dealing with mild OCD and an epic caffeine addiction, she finds time to mold the voices in her head into cohesive sarcastic remarks, and sometimes even a story or two. She has been penning such tales, almost all of them with a decidedly paranormal flavor, since the second grade. Now that paranormal fiction is the "in thing," Nia has decided to overcome her extreme distaste for trends and jump on the ol' bandwagon. Join her on her harrowing journey through the twisted corridors of her own mind—that is…if you dare.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review: Cassandra Clare's "City Of Bones" (The Mortal Instruments #1)

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; First Edition, Later Printing edition (March 27, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416914285 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1416914280 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1416955070 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1416955078 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0013TXA5Y (Kindle)
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
Review Copy Courtesy Of: My Local Library

Synopsis From Inside Dust Jacket:

When 15-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder--much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons.  Then the body disappears into thin air.  It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing--not even a smear of blood--to show that a boy has died.  Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons.  It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like and angel and acts a lot like a jerk.  Within twenter-four hours Clary is attacked by a demon.  But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother?  And how did Clary suddenely get the Sight?  The Shadowhunters would like to know....

Saph's Review:

"City of Bones" has a very unique plot that kept me interested.  Shadowhunters are the protectors of the human world from demon invasions.  They are generally not seen by the mundane which is why Clary's being able to see them has Jace, Isabelle, and Alec surprised.  Being able to see demon hunters is actually the least of Clary's worries.  She soon finds herself embroiled in a world that she never knew existed after her mother is kidnapped.  Then Clary fends for her life against a demon sent to the apartment she and her mother shared.  She discovers that her mother and Luke, her mother's friend, are more than meets the eye and have secrets that should have long since been revealed.  Now Clary must trust the Shadowhunters to try and locate her mother along with an object that a supposedly dead, cast out Shadowhunter known as Valentine seeks to find and use for less than honorable means.

At the beginning I found Clary to be very immature.  I know that she is only fifteen but I expected a little more maturity.  She is a strong heroine that matures quickly through the pages of the novel, however. Simon, Clary's best friend, gets pulled into the mix and is soon able to distinguish the Shadowhunters from the human population.  He stands by Clary's side even when things get dangerous or uncomfortable.  Jace has definite personality issues but those stem from a long life of less than desirable upbringing.  Alec is a strong fighter, always watching Jace and Isabelle's back, but he doesn't get enough attention.  I hope we see more of him and his developing sexuality in the forthcoming books.  Isabelle is, well, a beautiful Shadowhunter who has her fair share of feminine wiles that she can use against the enemy.   She, too, has issues but they stem from no longer being the main girl of the group.  And Hodge, oh Hodge.  I had a feeling you would do what you did and I hope you felt it was worth the consequences.

City of Bones is full of non-stop action that twists and turns throughout.  You won't believe the turn-of-events that are encountered around every corner.  People aren't who or what they seem which keeps the book fresh and exciting.  The book, overall, flows nicely and the plot is solid.  The characters are very entertaining and the sarcasm runs thick.  I'm taking the book back to the library today and Book #2 better be there and ready for me to take home!

Rating:



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