Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Iced Chiffon (A Consignment Shop Mystery, Book 1) by Duffy Brown


Synopsis Via Back Cover:

There's always something to gossip about in Savannah, Georgia, and Reagan Summerside always seems to be in the middle of it.  She's busy enough running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, with her vivacious auntie, KiKi, but now the gossip - and the sales - are about to pic up, after a gruesome discovery...

Reagan's messy divorce has left her with nothing but a run-down Victorian and a bunch of designer clothes.  Strapped for cash, Reagan makes use of the two things she has left, turning the first floor of her home into a consignment stop and filling it with the remnants of her rich-wife wardrobe.

Thanks to his cunning lawyer, Walker Boone, her ex got everything else, including the Lexus - not to mention a young blonde cupcake.  When Reagan finds the blonde dead in the Lexus, she's determined to beat Boone to finding the murderer.  As it turns out, the gossip fiends flooding Reagan's shop can give her a lot more that just their unwanted clothes - they have information more precious than a vintage Louis Vuitton...

Book Details:

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (October 2, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425251608
ISBN-13: 978-0425251607
Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1 inches
Amazon Purchase Link:
Iced Chiffon (A Consignment Shop Mystery)

Paperback Review Copy Courtesy Of:  The author, Duffy Brown, in exchange for an honest review.

Saph's Review:

Reagan Summerfield is at the tail-end of a nasty divorce from her husband, Hollis.  The pre-nup that she signed before their marriage (against the advice of her mother, auntie KiKi, and others) left her broke with nothing but her old fixer-upper Victorian home and a closet full of designer clothes.  The "Cupcake" (real name - Janelle) that Hollis left Reagan for is tooling around in the Lexus; the Lexus that Reagan put the down payment on.  So, when Reagan needs to move a fountain from her backyard to the yard of the socialite who bought if from her, she goes to Hollis' real estate office to borrow the car.  When she pops the trunk in her backyard, the contents of the Lexus are shocking....someone killed Cupcake and stuffed her dead body in there.

Hollis is incriminated in the murder, arrested, and hauled to jail.  Because he hadn't signed off on Cherry House, Reagan's Victorian, Hollis tells her that he's going to have to sell it on her so he can pay his lawyer, Walker Boone, effectively taking everything with him in the divorce.  Only Reagan is having none of that.  Her idea to save Cherry House is to find the killer before Boone does, therefore, saving Hollis money which will prevent him from having to sell the house out from under her.  What she finds out about the people she knows is shocking and allows Reagan to see a side of  her friends/neighbors/acquaintances that she hasn't seen before.  No one appreciates the intrusions that Reagan is making and someone is getting really nervous about her sleuthing.  Will she get the job done before the killer comes after her, too?

Iced Chiffon is a wonderful first book in a new Cozy Mystery series by Duffy Brown.  The heroine, Reagan, is snarky, funny, and very enjoyable.  Her love/hate relationship with Walker Boone is written so well.  There are definitely dynamics at work between them and hope that is explored more in subsequent novels in the series.  Her aunt KiKi, a southern socialite that teaches dancing classes in her home, is Reagan's partner-in-crime-solving.  She is a martini-aholic and is just as humorous as Reagan.  Walker Boone sounds like a typical lawyer but he develops well as the book moves forward.  He uses Reagan but he definitely has some redeeming qualities and shows up at some of the best times to help/save/annoy Reagan.

The character building was well done.  In order to Reagan to figure out what's been going on in the town and why someone was desperate enough for murder, she must invade the lives of everyone that had anything to do with Cupcake.  We get glimpses of a lot of other peoples' lives as Reagan hunts for clues.  NCIS/CSI, however, would have a fit.  She's very much an amateur and is very lucky that she didn't incriminate herself (no gloves and touches everything she can, everywhere) or get caught and hauled to jail as an accessory.  I wasn't entirely sure who the culprit could be until about halfway through the book, then I was torn between two characters.  Ultimately, the person I thought is was, was indeed the person that did it.  But - I was not in any way disappointed with the outcome or with the fact that I guess who it was.  I wasn't completely sure until I read the scene near the end of the book before the actual killer was revealed.

I'm a big ban of cozy mysteries - they are one of my favorite genres, in fact - and this book fits in nicely.  No sex, no language issues, no gory details, very little violence.

I can't wait for Book 2:  Killer in Crinolines, coming out in May 2013.

Saph's Rating:



Press Release: "Midnight Fire" series by Kaitlyn Davis (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)

Contact: Roxanne Rhoads, Publicist 
Bewitching Book Tours 


Ignite; Simmer; Blaze; Scorch

New York City, NY

Kaitlyn Davis embarks on a month long Bewitching Book Tour for her 4 Book “Midnight Fire” series, starting April 5, 2013.

Book One:
Ignite - "With one last look, one final search of the lines of his face for some sign, Kira turned and ran away from the sound of the man she loved laughing in the face of her death."

Book Two:
Simmer - "Slowly, like a whisper almost blown away in the wind, two words streaked across her mind: 'Kiss me.'"

Book Three:
Blaze - “Kira gulped, unable to stop the growing sense that everything in her world was about to change.”

Book Four:
Scorch – April 5, 2013 Release Day!

Ignite

Midnight Fire Series Book One
Kaitlyn Davis 

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance  

ISBN: 9781465852366 
ASIN: B005U8GQT6 

When Kira Dawson moves to South Carolina, she meets Luke, a blond goofball who quickly becomes her best friend, and Tristan, a mysterious bad boy who sends shivers down her spine. Kira knows they're keeping secrets, but when she discovers Tristan's lust for blood and her own dormant mystical powers, Kira is forced to fight for her life and make the heartbreaking decision between the familiar comfort of friendship and the fiery passion of love. 

Simmer

Midnight Fire Series Book Two 
Kaitlyn Davis 

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

ISBN: 9781476284392  
ASIN: B007R82KLK 

Kira may have survived the eclipse, but her troubles are far from over. She's headed to Sonnyville with one goal in mind: to learn more about her parents. But with Luke and Tristan competing for her heart and Diana gunning for her head, time is running out on the search for her mother. And the closer Kira gets to answers, the more terrified she becomes. The conduits fear her, the vampires fear her, and Kira is starting to wonder if maybe they're right... 

Blaze

Midnight Fire Series Book Three
Kaitlyn Davis 

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance  

ISBN: 9781301583027  
ASIN: B009H0U7FC 

With Aldrich’s note burning a hole in her pocket, Kira is off to England to finally reunite with her birth mother. But what begins as a dream quickly turns to a nightmare and Kira is left questioning everything she has ever known. Can she be the conduit Luke wants her to be? Can she be the rebel Tristan needs her to be? Or is she something else? Something no one, not even Aldrich, ever saw coming… 

Scorch

Midnight Fire Series Book Four
Kaitlyn Davis 

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance 

Release Date: April 5, 2013 



About the Author:

Kaitlyn Davis graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Writing Seminars. She's been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to finally share her work with the world. She currently lives in New York City and dreams of having a cockapoo puppy of her own. 






To receive a review copy, arrange an interview, guest blog, or event with the author please contact Roxanne Rhoads RoxanneRhoads@bewitchingbooktours.com

Saturday, March 30, 2013

VBP ~ Book Spotlight / Giveaway: The Witch Hunter (Book One in the Witch Hunter Saga) by Nicole R. Taylor (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)

 

I was born into the world covered in blood, and that's exactly the way I left it.

Ever since, I have been damned to walk the boundary between life and death alone. Unwillingly turned and left to my nightmare, I have seen men commit countless horrors and committed many of my own.

My origins shall remain unknown, my true self hidden. I have been called by many names, but in this life I am known as the Witch Hunter. I have been asleep these past 150 years, until I was awoken by a haunting call.

Zachary Degaud was twenty three when he died. The problem was, he didn't stay that way.

Present day, he's just another vampire with another unremarkable story. That is, until he manages to provoke a two thousand year old witch named Katrin, who wants to make him pay in the most horrible way imagined.

Along with his brother Sam, newly made vampire Liz and their only witch ally, Gabby, his only chance for survival is to summon the ancient and unpredictable vampire known as the Witch Hunter.

Zac is just looking for a way out of his psychopathic witch problems, but instead will find himself falling head first into a blood feud that has stretched thousands of years.

Aya has been asleep for the past 150 years, until she was awoken by a haunting call. The witch she has been hunting for thousands of years, Katrin, has resurfaced and marked a young, annoyingly arrogant vampire by the name of Zachary Degaud. Unless she does something, he will die a slow and painful death. He has given her an opportunity to end the witch, but does she want to help him or leave him to his fate?

Zac will get under her skin like no one else has and she just might find herself making the ultimate sacrifice before he is gone forever.

They will both have to choose sides and look deep within themselves before the end. But, what Zac learns about himself, will surprise him most of all.


The Witch Hunter
Book One in the Witch Hunter Saga
Nicole R. Taylor

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal

ISBN: 978-1482061697
Number of pages: 300
Word Count:  72,000

Purchase Links:


Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/292130?ref=Sapphyria

Excerpt:

Gabby had found her grimore, her families’ book of spells and incantations, amongst some of her Grams' things in the attic. It was only then she began to better understand her affinity with magic.
She began visiting the cemetery near the old Degaud Manor, conducting her 'experiments' as she called them, trying different spells and rituals that were written in the grimore. Silly things, like lighting candles, making things levitate and communing with the earth. The last was her favourite; every witch had an earth sense of varying strengths. She didn't quite understand what it meant, but when she concentrated, she could feel living things around her. Plants, trees, insects. 
That was why she was surprised at first when she met the brothers. She was sitting cross-legged in the old cemetery early last winter, feeling the shift of the seasons in the plants about her, when she began to feel uneasy. She understood later that it was her latent power warning her that she was being watched. She was startled when upon opening her eyes, she saw a man standing in front of her.
It was as if he was a statue, until he grinned lopsidedly at her. "Well, well, well. What do we have here?"
Gabby panicked a little. She hadn't sensed the man at all and she could always feel people when she had her earth sense focused. That would mean that the man was... dead? That couldn't be right. She scrambled to her feet and took a few steps back.
"Leave her alone, Zac." Another man had appeared beside the first out of thin air.
The first man, Zac, rolled his eyes, "I wasn't going to eat her, brother, if that's what you're thinking. She's a witch and I don't want her to cast any witchy juju spell on me."
"You're both dead," she stammered.
"As a door nail," Zac grinned.
"Forgive my brother," the other man said, stepping forward. "I think you know what we are. We can't hide from you, but we mean you no harm."
"Vampires," Gabby said, finally realizing. The only undead creature that she was aware existed.
"Ten points to Glinda," clapped Zac.
"Ignore him," said the man. "I'm Sam, the moron is my brother Zac."
It took her a while to trust the vampire brothers, being their mortal enemy and all. She quickly came to realize that they were different, despite all their faults. Zac was always an asshole and Sam was always kind hearted, but they never hurt or compelled anyone. They'd ingrained themselves into the town as normal young men. Sam had even got a job as a gardener with help from her childhood friend, Alex. 
So, when Gabby walked into Max's, the bar they frequented after work, she smiled when she saw them sitting in a booth along the far wall. "Happy birthday you musty old man," she elbowed Zac as she sat down.
"Please, don't remind me," his eyes rolled in exasperation.
"Can I get you a drink?"
"Go for it Tabitha." They watched her retreating form. "I've been looking for you all afternoon," Zac hissed, once Gabby was out of earshot.
"I was out with Liz," Sam fidgeted.
Zac didn't notice the gesture, he was too busy eyeballing Alistair, who had just walked in. "Uh oh," he gritted his teeth.
Sam frowned. He knew all too well from his tone that Zac had gotten himself in trouble again. "What did you do, Zac?"
"I didn't start it, just so you know."
"Start what?" Sam groaned, like they needed more trouble.
"Big bad, super creepy vampire over yonder is out to get us," he gestured towards Alistair, who was now over at the bar. "He's looking for some black haired, blue eyed woman who's pissed him off and he seems to think we know something about it."
"Obviously, we don't," said Sam, trying to keep his voice even.
"I told him as much, but I don't think it matters anymore," he grimaced.
Sam sighed, "You couldn't help but talk back, could you?"
Zac raised his hands in defence, "Hey, he came in talking like he was out of Lord of the Rings, even you couldn't pass on the opportunity." Looking over to Alistair, he noticed Gabby standing next to him. They were talking, and he was buying her a drink! Bloody hell, did she know he was a vampire? What kind of witch was she?
Sam snorted his disagreement, and before he could speak Zac interrupted, "Yeah, yeah. Don't say it, bro. I get it. We can't afford to be exposed as blood sucking parasites. Believe me. I get it."
His brother sighed, "We have another issue to deal with." Zac raised his eyebrows expectantly. Like they needed more issues with a vampire bent on making their life hell.  "Liz and I had a run in with the werewolves," Sam said, not looking at his brother.
"Oh, so you want to have a go at me when you've been out pissing off the puppy dogs?" Zac scowled. "Did you piss in their territory?"
Sam nodded, reluctantly agreeing with his brother, "Seems like they want to claim the land bordering the manor."
"Sounds like they already have," Zac sneered.
"They warned us off, but given any opportunity they will attack us anyway," he said through gritted teeth. "They're getting bolder."
Zac felt the anger rising within him. The dogs had threatened his brother and Liz. She was his brother’s girl, but he had fallen for her just as hard. The only thing that had stopped the wolves from attacking was the fact that the moon wasn't even half full yet. He was thinking about the many ways to kill the werewolf pack, when Gabby sat back down at the table.
"I see Sam told you about the pack," she said, when she noticed the scowl etched on his face.
"Wait until you hear who Zac pissed off today," Sam changed the subject.
"Your boyfriend over at the bar," Zac inclined his head towards Alistair.
"He's a..." Gabby stammered, suddenly feeling foolish.
"Yeah," Zac rolled his eyes. "What kind of witch are you that your witchy compass doesn't work?"
"It's serious Gabby. He could expose us all, or kill us. So stay away from him, okay?" Sam warned.
Gabby fidgeted nervously and pushed away her glass, as if she was suddenly wary of drinking it. 
Zac snorted, "What, do you think he put a vampire roofie in there?"
"Shut up," she hissed.


GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author 

Nicole R. Taylor is an Australian born paranormal, fantasy and contemporary fiction author. She is a graduate of the University of Ballarat Professional Writing and Editing programme and is a former music memorabilia sales person and grocery merchandiser. 

She currently lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia with a two year old rescue cat named, Burger. She enjoys reading, writing (of course!), traveling and a little too much chocolate. One day she hopes to sky dive, but has to work up the courage first. 

The first in her new paranormal fantasy series, The Witch Hunter Saga is currently available in e-edition and print. 

Learn more about her writing at: www.nicolertaylorwrites.com 


Friday, March 29, 2013

VBT~ Spotlight: The Coven: Fire and Ice (The Coven, Book 1) by Verdell Walker (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)


The Coven: Fire and Ice 

The Coven, Book 1 

Verdell Walker 

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

ISBN: Print – 1481981080
Ebook - 9781301450695

Number of pages: 454
Word Count: 114,679
Cover Artist: Gabriela Miyares

Print - https://www.createspace.com/4132062
Apple iBookstore Sony Kobo 

About the Book:

After her clique's bullying causes a classmate's suicide, Kat Grey trades the vicious world of the California "in crowd" for the chance to become a better person in Massachusetts. But when she steps in to protect a classmate from being bullied, Kat sparks a war with Hannah, Milton Academy's resident Queen Bee.

Kat's courage and compassion attract the attention of Blaze Ward, Hannah's ex-boyfriend. As they fall in love, Kat discovers that Blaze is more than the boy next door. He's a warlock. He is also the leader of an in-crowd like no other - the Brotherhood, five young warlocks charged with defending witches and humanity from a demonic adversary named Seth.

Kat challenges Blaze to become a better man and leader while he helps her find redemption as she makes it her mission to stop bullying at Milton. But when Hannah teams up with Seth to destroy her, Kat becomes a hostage in the age-old war between the Brotherhood and their greatest enemy. Saving Kat will require more than Blaze's strength and skill; it will mean breaking one of his kind's most sacred laws. Blaze will have to make a choice: his honor or Kat's life.

Excerpt from "The Coven: Fire and Ice"

The body had left a spider web of cracks in Kat’s windshield. Still wrapped in her seatbelt, Kat clutched the sides of her seat, stricken with shock and fear. A rational voice in the back of her head screamed at her to move, someone was injured, maybe even dead. Trembling, she forced herself to get out of the car. On wobbly legs she rounded the front of the Prius and scanned the area for the body. Spotting a large, still lump lying in the grass, Kat sprinted over to the person’s side. Kneeling, Kat placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. She couldn’t detect any signs of blood; there was also no blood on her windshield. Whoever he was, he smelled awful. Maybe it was a homeless person.

“Hello? Can you hear me?”

The man moved faster than the blink of an eye. One minute he was lying immobile on the ground, the next he had his hand clamped on her mouth and an arm around her throat. A shot of cold fear zoomed down Kat’s spine as she felt herself being hoisted up. She kicked and thrashed in a desperate attempt to get away, but the arm on her throat was like steel. Her cries were muffled by the foul-smelling hand, and the stench of the grave enveloped her. Kat thought she was going to faint until adrenaline and her fighting spirit came to her rescue. She bit down on the stony fingers and used all her weight when she stamped her foot on her attacker’s instep. The taste erupting in her mouth was worse than the smell and made her want to vomit, but she concentrated on wrenching herself free. The thing made no sound but jerked its hand back from her sharp teeth. Kat used the opportunity to let out an ear piercing shriek. Before it could silence her again, she tipped them both forward and sent them sprawling toward the ground in a heap. Kat aimed another kick at its stomach and managed to escape. It reached out and grabbed her foot but only pulled off her sneaker.

Kat shot off into the night, racing back to her car. She paid no attention to the gravel jabbing her shoeless foot as she ran. As she ran she continued to scream, hoping someone, anyone, would hear her. Her thighs burned as they ate up the distance, and she could hear her attacker gaining on her from behind. Fear and a desire to live propelled her onward despite the pain in her foot and throat, and tears ran down her cheeks from the biting wind. Soon the Prius was in sight, but her attacker had almost closed the gap between them. She could feel those disgusting fingers reaching out and trying to grab her. Kat pressed on, even though every muscle in her body screamed to stop.

Suddenly, a thick mist rolled in and enveloped the area, blanketing everything. Because of it, Kat couldn’t see the exposed root sticking up in her path. She tripped over it and pitched forward. As she fell, the attacker’s hand grasped her hair, yanking it violently. Kat thought her neck was going to break. She hoped it would, and that it would kill her before this person, this thing could. She thought of the mother she was just getting to know again, and felt sick. Then something hot streaked past her face, and the ground beneath her shook.

“Kill the mist, Q! I need to see!”

Kat’s heart lifted – was someone coming to help her? She didn’t want to believe, but then she heard another gruff, masculine voice.

“It’s not alone! Hold back till I clear this place!”

The mist receded, like water draining from a bathtub. Kat was on the ground, and through her watery vision she could see two pairs of boots racing toward her. Her attacker’s fist was still wound tightly in her hair and she could hardly breathe for the stench. She tilted her face upward and relief fled when she saw her saviors’ eyes cast an unearthly light in the darkness, the color of the glowing embers of a fire.

“Oh my God,” Kat breathed.

Another shot – of lightning?! – whizzed past her. The tension on her hair slackened. She heard a dull thud behind her as the blast of whatever-it-was nailed her attacker in the chest and sent him flying backwards. Her rescuers ran past her in a blur. One of them was a tall blond boy, the other African American with close-cropped black hair. Her attacker tried to crawl away from them but they surrounded him. The black boy brought his boot down on his ankle, pinning him to the ground. The blond kicked him savagely in the ribs, his body flipping over onto his back. He brought a knee down onto the attacker’s scorched chest and placed his hands on either side of its head. The blond boy’s hands glowed brightly as he twisted the attacker’s neck 180 degrees. A blinding white light filled the night, and the attacker’s body was gone.

If Kat thought she was scared before, she was absolutely terrified now. She pushed herself off the ground and tried to run away, but a sharp pain in her ankle brought her back down. She must have sprained her ankle when she tripped. Kat gritted her teeth against the pain and rose again. She would crawl the last few feet to her Prius if need be, but come hell or high water she was getting out of there.

“Hey, stop!”

Kat didn’t look back as she half ran, half hopped away. She was almost to the Prius. Impossibly, the blond boy was right next to her in an instant, blocking her path.

“Stop,” he commanded in a voice accustomed to being obeyed.

“Go to hell,” Kat spat back as she moved around him. She tried to evade the long, powerful arms that reached out for her, but she was too slow. Or rather he was unbelievably fast. On instinct, Kat fired her elbow into his ribs. The blond let out a grunt and she slipped halfway out of his grasp. He tried to regain his hold, but Kat reared back and scraped her nails across his cheek. This made him angry, but she didn’t care. She was pissed. If he took her, it wouldn’t be without a fight.

“Get away from me!” she screamed. Despite her best efforts, he caught her again. His arms were like stone pinions around her.

“Relax,” he said into her ear in a deep, rich bass. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

“You expect me to believe that! You just broke someone’s neck!”

“You’re welcome, miss. It was a pleasure saving your life.”

Without thinking, Kat spat in his face.

A low whistle sounded behind him. It was the other boy.

“A girl who is immune to Blaze Ward’s charms – I do believe this is a first.”

The one called Blaze lifted his right hand to wipe her spit away, while still keeping her imprisoned in his left arm. She struggled against his hard body uselessly.

“Do me a favor and hold onto her while I call Etienne.”

Oh no, there are more of them, Kat thought as she was passed like a ragdoll between the two of them. The other boy held her just as tightly. Her ankle throbbed. She thought about screaming again, but figured it was impractical as there was no one else around.

Her captor leaned down to her ear and spoke to her in a calm voice. “Don’t be afraid. We won’t hurt you. Just keep still and quiet. And please keep your saliva to yourself.”

Blaze stepped away from them and closed his eyes. He made no sound or movement, but he seemed to be reaching out to something or someone. Moments later, another huge blond appeared with eyes as green as hers. Out of thin air.

“Oh, good Lord,” Kat said aloud.

The new blond turned to look at her. “Crap – a norm. What’s she doing here?”

“Dark One had her,” Blaze replied. “We rescued her.”

“And she thanked Blaze with a nice, big loogie,” Kat’s captor said gleefully.

Mirth twinkled in the new blond’s eyes. “Did she see anything?”

“Too much. Which is why I called you,” Blaze said.

“You need me to wipe her?”

“Please.”

Kat stiffened with terror. Her captor felt the change, and rubbed her arm soothingly. “Calm down – he’s not talking about killing you.”

The new blond moved toward her. “No, baby. I promise this won’t hurt, and you won’t remember any of this.”

“Get away from me,” Kat said in a hard, angry voice. He said nothing, bringing his face closer to hers. Kat could make out the individual hairs of his prickly stubble. His green eyes flashed gold.

Something pricked at Kat’s consciousness. She closed her eyes and shook her head. The pricking continued, and some force deep within her mind resisted. Kat squeezed her eyes and opened them again. The pricking stopped, and she fixed him with a glare.

The blond frowned. “This one’s mind is strong. Most norms would be drooling wrecks by now.”

“Try harder,” the first blond said.

Suddenly, a feeling of tremendous calm washed over Kat. Her muscles relaxed, and the pain in her ankle drifted away. Those golden eyes mesmerized her, held her in their sway. If her captor hadn’t been holding her, she was sure she would have fallen to the ground. Her mind tried to fight back, but this time it was impossible.

“You’re calm,” he whispered. “You’re safe, and warm.”

“Safe and warm,” Kat repeated drowsily, in spite of herself.

“Give her to me,” the first blond said. His voice sounded far away and she nearly collapsed into his arms. He wrapped her arms around his neck. Reaching down, he slipped an arm behind her knees and lifted her off the ground. Cradling her to his chest, he turned to the others.

“Etienne, do something about her car. Q, conjure up another shoe for her, will you?”

If she had been alert, she would have thought their conversation was insane. But now all she could think of was sleep.

The one called Q stepped forward with her white and pink Puma sneaker. Kat wondered idly where he had found it.

“I wonder who she is, and where she lives?” Blaze asked Q.

“Never seen her before. Probe her mind for it,” Q suggested.

“No need,” Etienne shouted. “Got her license here. Katherine Grey, lives at 223 Shady Oak Lane.”

“Pretty sure she’s breaking curfew now,” Q said. “We should get her home before she’s grounded for life.”

A thought occurred to Kat. “Text Mom,” she murmured.

Blaze shushed her. “Etienne, is there a phone over there?”

“Yup. Texting her mom now. Man, there are like 10 messages from Momma Bear on this thing.”

“Q, go back to the others and make sure there are no more Dark Ones roaming around. Etienne, drive her car back to her house. I’m going to run ahead with her.”

Kat looked up at the young man holding her in his arms. His handsome face was angular and sculpted, with high cheekbones and a strong, masculine jaw. He must have felt her looking at him, because he peered down at her. His narrowed eyes were a translucent, shimmering blue. She breathed deeply, inhaling his scent. He smelled of sweat, dark spice, and pine. In spite of herself, she felt completely safe and taken care of. He stared at her for another second, and his eyes were inscrutable. The next thing Kat knew they were moving, the night rushing past them at incredible speed.

Copyright 2013 Verdell Walker. All rights reserved.

About the Author: 

Verdell Walker is the author of THE COVEN series. Born and raised in the South, writing has been her escape from reality for many years. 

Verdell is an avid sports fan and absolutely devoted to the Green Bay Packers. A gifted cook and baker, few things make her happier than making a meal for her family and friends. Except maybe writing about her favorite boys. 

Blog: http://vnwalker.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/verdellwalker12

Twitter: https://twitter.com/verdellwalker

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879152.Verdell_Walker

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Avon Books Spotlight and Giveaway: "A Bride by Moonlight" by ~ New York Times Best Selling Author ~ Liz Carlyle (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)


Royden Napier, Baron Saint-Bryce, is tall, dark, and ruthless—and on the hunt for a dangerous beauty . . . On the eve of her escape to the Continent, bold, beautiful Lisette Colburne accepts a proposal she dare not refuse: masquerade as the future bride of the steely-eyed Royden Napier and help him solve his most dangerous case. Soon Lisette is in even greater danger—of losing her heart to the one man with the power to destroy her . . .

Estranged from his aristocratic family, the enigmatic Napier has forged a reputation as Scotland Yard's most relentless police commissioner. He's vowed to bring Lisette to justice—but with every forbidden kiss and every tantalizing touch, he finds himself becoming less convinced of her guilt . . . and more certain he must have her. But when danger touches Lisette, can he save her? 

http://www.avonromance.com/book/liz-carlyle-a-bride-by-moonlight

Book Details:

A BRIDE BY MOONLIGHT
Liz Carlyle

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Avon

ISBN: 9780062100283
Number of pages: 432

Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle: A Bride by Moonlight (St. James Society)
Paperback: A Bride by Moonlight (St. James Society)

Short Excerpt A BRIDE BY MOONLIGHT          

Napier cocked one hip on his windowsill and crossed his arms, studying her. “Elizabeth,” he said quietly, “why are you not leaving?”

Her satin cords, or whatever they were, having been tossed aside, Elizabeth threw up both hands and looked at him incredulously. “Because we’ve work to do?” she snapped. “Because the sooner we’ve done whatever it is you’ve dragged me off to do, the sooner we’ll be away from here?”

Away from here.

Away from her.

God, he prayed for both—but for far different reasons, he was beginning to think.

Suddenly her eyes widened. She cut a glance at the door, then hastened to it, the green velvet of her carriage dress slithering enticingly over her hips. Then, to his extreme discomfort, she bent over a little and set an ear to a flat spot in the carved wood, providing a delectable view.

It seemed an eternity before she straightened and shook her head. “My imagination,” she muttered. “I’m sorry, what were you saying?”

Napier sighed, and altered his strategy. “Make your point, but be quick about it,” he said. “In what way might you be of help?”

Again, the ingenuous expression. “Why, it’s hard to know,” she said, “when I’ve been told nothing of what brought you home to Burlingame. After all, I am just the hired help—no, the blackmailed help. Nonetheless, I will have time alone with all your maddening female relations—and ladies do gossip. Moreover, they will take no notice whatever of another lady asking a great many questions. Indeed, given our so-called betrothal, they will wonder if I do not.”

“There is some truth to that,” he admitted.

“And then, of course, there’s Fanny.”

“Who, pray, is Fanny?”

“My maid,” she said impatiently. “Servants’ hall tittle-tattle is the purest form of gossip.”

“True, my man Jolley is invaluable in that regard.”

“Furthermore, Fanny and I are apt to be in parts of the house you will not,” she said. “While you’re closeted with your grandfather in some stuffy estate office, the ladies will likely take tea in the drawing room, or sew in the parlor, or read in the library. Are you looking, perhaps, for a weapon? Or purloined goods? Or what?”

He considered it for a moment, and wondered why he should not take her up on it. Elizabeth was a clever piece of work, and the fact that she made his cock throb every time she drew near was merely a testament to his stupidity.

“All right,” he said, setting one hand high on the bedpost. “I need every bit of gossip either you or Fanny come across, so long as you take no risk to get it. And I need paper.”

“Paper?”

“Letter paper,” he amended. “From every room in the house, ideally, though that won’t be possible. Give it to Jolley, or have Fanny do so.”

He could see her brain clocking along like a well-greased gearbox. “Someone has written you anonymously,” she said. “Or written something suspicious to someone, at any rate. And you wish to discover if the letter came from this house.”

“Never mind what I wish,” he snapped. “I just want samples of letter paper. Don’t do anything foolish. If you’re seen going through a bureau or a desk, just say you needed to jot down a thought or write a letter home.”

“Yes, to my dear uncle Lord Rowend, no doubt,” she said dryly, “who will need time to plan my wedding.”

Napier barked with laughter. “Oh, doubtless.”

It was then that he made the grave misjudgment of looking at her—really looking at her. A grin had curved one corner of that lush mouth and those eyes were again glittering green with mischief.

Napier dragged a hand down his face.

“What?” she demanded.

But the gravity of his situation had returned tenfold. “I made a mistake,” he finally said.

“Oh?” She tilted her head as if to better see him. “Of what sort?”

“Of every sort,” he managed. “Bringing you here. The lies. The clothes. That damned wig. I don’t know, really, what I was thinking. All of it was so … unwise.”

Her incredulous expression returned. “Well, this is a fine time to decide,” she grumbled. “I could have been halfway to the Côte d’Azur by now.”

He grunted. “What, I thought you were bound for Scotland, that last, lawless refuge of scoundrels?”

Her gaze swept over him, dark as the velvet of her gown. “Well, I was bound for somewhere far from you, that much is certain.”

“And would to God I’d let you go,” he muttered.

“Why?” she demanded. “You think me a criminal and—yes, you just said it—a scoundrel. Why would you let me go?”

Her head was still set to one side, her eyes drifting over his face, her full lips slightly parted, and that keen intelligence burning fierce and angry in her eyes.

Well, she wasn’t intelligent enough, apparently.

With one hand, Napier reached out and dragged her hard against him.

“This is why,” he said—just before he kissed her.

She scarcely had time to gasp before he’d captured that lush, taunting mouth in a kiss of long-thwarted lust. Her free hand came up to shove him away, too late. Acting on pure instinct, Napier forced her back against the massive oak bedpost.

She gave a soft moan; a sound of surrender, he thought, and on a surge of desire, he pinned her with the weight of his body, his mouth raking hers. Though she kept the hand set stubbornly against his collarbone, Elizabeth did not resist.

Not even when he half hoped she would.

Instead, when he drew his tongue over the delicate seam of her lips, she opened on a soft, welcoming sound and allowed him free rein, her reactions almost artless. Napier seized the advantage, slanting his mouth over hers, thrusting again and again, plundering the depths of her mouth.

Dimly, he wondered at her experience, but the thought washed away on another powerful surge—red-hot desire that shot through his belly and drew his loins taut.

Somehow, they slid away from the bedpost and Napier pressed her back into the softness of the mattress. Dragging himself over her, he deepened the kiss, tangling his tongue sinuously with hers, his unslaked need rushing nearly unchecked.

Her hands flowed over him, tentative and almost shy. Then one warm palm slid down his spine, searing him all the way to the small of his back. Silently he begged her to slide it lower, to draw his body hard against hers in that most wicked and suggestive of ways.

He swam now in sheer, sensual hunger and like a man drowning, felt himself floating toward that dark precipice. Beyond it lay a roaring waterfall of need from which there would be no turning back. Because she was dangerous, and would drag him deep. He’d known that.

He knew it now, but the feminine curves of Elizabeth’s long, lithe body molded too perfectly to his, and the warmth of her breasts and her belly pressing against him urged Napier to madness.

They had tumbled sideways across his bed, the down bedding billowing softly about them, and Elizabeth’s skirts slithered halfway up her leg. Driven by one thing now, Napier thrust again, rhythmically sliding his tongue along hers in blatant invitation. And when she drew up her knee on a soft sound of pleasure, it was as if the heat of her thigh left him shivering.

Napier was so lost, he scarcely realized his hands now cradled her face, or that his mouth had slid over her cheek and along her temple. That he was whispering things: mad words of worship and desire.

One hand went to the swell of her breast, inching the fabric down until the hard, sweet bud of her nipple grazed his palm, sending heat shafting into his groin again.

“Ah, Elizabeth,” he whispered, his tongue tracing the shell of her ear. “Let me—”

“N-No.” Gasping, she at last put her hand to good use, shoving it against his shoulder. “Napier, st-stop. I—we—we don’t want this.”

By God, he wanted it.

But her words were like a dash of cold water. Napier stopped, his nostrils flared wide, his breath already coming hard.

Beneath his weight, Elizabeth looked wanton and needy, her tumble of curls bright against the billowing whiteness of the counterpane. She desired him; in that his instincts did not fail. Her lips were wet and slightly parted now, her eyes somnolent and glassy green. He could feel her body trembling—but not, he thought, from fear.

“Elizabeth, you want this,” he whispered, half hoping she would deny it. “You want me inside you.”

Her eyes flicked to his, her tongue darting out to lick her lips. “Yes,” she rasped. “I won’t lie. But … we can’t.”

He kissed her again, more tenderly now, foolishly unwilling to surrender his half-won prize; the thing for which he’d burned for days on end—if not longer.

But she urged him gently away. “Please don’t,” she whispered, her long lashes fanning shut like lace above her cheeks. “We’ll regret it. You’ll regret it.”

He let his face fall forward to touch hers, and forced his breathing to calm. “Yes,” he said on a harsh laugh. “I would.”

“And I deserve something better,” she said softly, “than a man who will regret me. I am, alas, a hopeless romantic.”

He had nothing to say to that. And when her eyes went soft with tenderness, something in Napier’s throat constricted.

Good God. She was a romantic?

Napier brushed his lips over her perfectly arched eyebrow and rolled away. For a long moment he lay beside her on the soft mattress, staring up at the plaster roundel in the middle of his ceiling and waiting for his rock-hard erection to subside past the point of pain.

Elizabeth deserved better.

But most women were romantics. Why had he believed her something less?

“You are too quiet,” she said, her voice tremulous. “Am I … ”

“Are you what?” His bollocks tight and aching, the words came out more harshly than he’d meant.

“Have I made you angry?” she said. “Was this … part of that price you expected me to pay?”

He cursed beneath his breath.

“Oh, I know you think me some sort of Jezebel.” Her voice was strengthening. “I cannot stop you from thinking that. But understand I would have done anything, Napier, to avenge my father’s death. I would have paid any price. But this price? Merely to save my own skin? Oh, you need to know here and now that I will not pay it.”

“You think that’s what this is?” he demanded. “A price to be paid? Part of that deal with the devil you think you’ve made?”

“Is it?”

“My God, Elizabeth.” The knot in his throat tightened again. “What have I ever done to make you imagine me that sort of man?”

“N-nothing,” she whispered.

“Damn it, do you see what I mean?” he said. “This is what a mistake feels like.”

The plaster roundel blurred before his vision—Phaethon felled by a lightning bolt, somewhat aptly. She said no more, and after a time, he somehow found it in him to collect his wits and help her off the bed. But as she turned her back to restore her clothing to order, he saw they had crushed the satin cords she’d unfurled from her hair.

On a pathetic impulse, he picked them up and coiled them tight about his hand—coiled them so tight his blood ceased to flow—then relented and shoved them ruthlessly into his pocket.

She turned around with a wobbly smile, her bodice restored. “You were right,” she said. “I oughtn’t have barged in. I take full responsibility.”

Napier shrugged, and forced a smile that probably looked like a sneer. “A lady may always refuse a gentleman’s advances,” he said, gripping the bedpost rather too tightly. “My apologies, Elizabeth. There is a train back to London tomorrow at eight. I can see that you are on it.”

For a moment, her expression turned inward. “And go back to what?” she said hollowly. “I have no life in London now. I cannot even go back to my charity work at Lady Leeton’s school.”

She was right, and Napier knew it. Worse, he did not want her to go. “Very well,” he said. “Then you may trust this will not happen again.”

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About the Author:
A lifelong Anglophile, Liz Carlyle cut her teeth reading gothic novels under the bedcovers by flashlight. She is the author of over twenty historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina.
  






Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway: WitchCraft (Witch Blood Series, Book 2) (Presented by iluvtours)


Jess is no ordinary vampire. Protected by the Manchester vampire clan, and initiated by her family’s east coast American coven, she is sought after by every dark witch and warring vampire faction. Jess must fight if she wants to keep hold of her friends, her sanity and finally her existence.

As the dead bodies of human girls begin to stack up, and her recently accepted vampire boyfriend, Daniel, finds himself in prison, Jess goes on a crazy, forbidden trip to London, racing against time to save an old friend and solve the mystery behind Daniel’s incarceration. In battling new enemies and finding new friends, Jess’s confidence finds room to grow, but who will she lose along the way?

Excerpt:

‘Jessie, you know I’m not like Sebastian or Eva. I care about you, and only you. I don’t want you to do this ritual if it’s going to take you away from me,’ he said, his fingers finding my chin and gently turning my face to his. 

‘I’m not going anywhere, and that’s for sure!’ I said. ‘I plan to stay here, with you. You saved me!’ He leaned in and tingles shimmered down my spine like a waterfall, as our lips touched. The tip of his tongue sought mine and I found myself reaching in, pulling him, and raking my hands through his hair, as I pulled his face even closer. 

We lay back on the bed, his hands expertly running up and down the length of my body, increasing the tingles as he covered me in kisses. My fangs appeared with my increased heart rate and everything went a little hazy. I hadn’t fed in so long. I was hungry. 

Our souls were paired, so Daniel needed no request. He knew what I wanted and he yearned for it as much as I did. He rolled onto his back and pulled me on top so I could feel his heart thrumming and a hardness pushing against our jeans. Turning his head to one side, he bared his neck and pulled my head down to it. 

Instinct took over and seconds later I was clamped to his body, rocking myself, grinding against him as his sweet blood poured into my mouth and nourished me. It felt like molten lava pouring down my throat, thick and fiery. All my senses awoke and I suddenly realised how dulled they had become. His scent was exhilarating, driving me on to feed further, bite harder and consume more. I could hear the cleaners chatting in my bedroom across the hall, the television was still on in the front lounge, and the students were stirring in the house next door.

Giveaway:
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About the Author:

Hi I'm Emma. I am happily married with two lovely children. I have always loved reading and writing and published my first novel WitchBlood in Jan 2012 with Witchcraft following in June and WitchLove due in Feb 2013. After acquiring an obsessive love of supernatural teen novels...yes I'm a Twilight fan...I decided to write my own supernatural story based here in Manchester in the UK, near where I live and grew up. It's currently dark, windy, cold and very very wet... and easy to get inspiration.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

VBT~ Spotlight, Giveaway: The Devil's Necktie by John Lansing (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)


A Sizzling thriller for fans of James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell. An exciting tour into the real-life world of cops, crime, and murder. Retired inspector Jack Bertolino had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants. But Mia had the kind of beauty that could make a grown man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. After a passionate night together, Mia is found murdered – and Jack is the lead suspect. Facing threats from the LAPD, the 18th Street Angels, and a Columbian drug cartel, Jack delves deeper into the seedy world of drug dealers and murderers and discovers that the top players knew Mia personally. And now Jack is torn between fearing for his life and seeking revenge for his slain lover…either way, the body count will rise.

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkyDF7KNdJ8

The Devil’s Necktie
John Lansing

Genre: Crime/Thriller

Publisher: Gallery Books, Simon&Schuster/Karen Hunter Publishing

ISBN: 10:1451698348
ASIN: BOO7Z40FOY

Number of pages: 384
Word Count: 89,520

Purchase Links:

Amazon: 

Simon and Schuster 

Barnes and Noble

Excerpt:

Jack Bertolino stood on the balcony of his loft in Marina del Rey,
tending a dry-aged New York steak on his prized possession, a top-ofthe-
line Weber gas grill. He didn’t miss winter, not one little bit. Here
he was manning the barbecue in his new uniform, a black T-shirt and
jeans, while his cousins were chasing heart attacks shoveling snow off
their Staten Island driveways. That image never ceased to put a smile on
his face. That and the salty ocean breeze that floated in over the marina.
Jack nursed a glass of cabernet and watched the long line of bright
white FedEx trucks return home from their final deliveries and park in
neat rows in the lot next to his building. It sure beat the sight of patrol
cars jammed onto the sidewalk in front of a precinct house.

Early evening was Jack’s favorite time of day. The sun was just
starting to paint the clouds a muted orange. From his fourth-floor
vantage point, Jack could see a string of jumbo jets in the distance,
silently making their final approach to LAX. Stacked eight planes deep,
their slim silver bodies glinted in the setting sun.

For the first time in Jack Bertolino’s life, he felt at ease.

His cell phone chirped, snapping him out of his reverie. He tossed
some Japanese eggplant onto the grill, closed the lid, and checked his
cell phone screen for the name of the caller.

“Hello.”

“How’s my Italian stallion?”

“Mia!.!.!. ,” he said instantly, his tone neutral, giving away nothing.

“All the planets are aligned, Jack. It’s time for you to man up and
make an honest woman out of me.”

Jack couldn’t help but smile. Mia’s throaty voice and light Colombian
accent had the power to make a grown man weep. More important, it
could make a bad man give up his secrets.

He hadn’t really been surprised when he received her text. He knew
it was only a matter of time. Payback’s a bitch.

“What can I do for you, Mia?”

“It’s what I can do for you, papi. My lips!.!.!. they’re still magic.”

“I love it when you talk dirty.”

“Only for love or money.”

Although Jack was enjoying the back and forth, he was no longer in
the business. “Why are you calling, Mia?”

Mia dropped her act as well. “We need to talk.”

“It’s not a good time,” Jack said as he opened the lid of the grill and
pressed his fork against the steak, checking for doneness.

“Face-to-face, Jack.”

“I’m not in New York.”

“That’s why I’m in Los Angeles.”

Jack didn’t reply right away. He did a quick analysis of how Mia
could know he was living in L.A., what kind of trouble she might be
in, what kind of blowback he was going to suffer just from having this
conversation. He came to the instantaneous conclusion that however
this new wrinkle in his life played out, it would definitely have an impact
on his newly found state of bliss.

Mia answered some of his unspoken questions. “I’m still connected,
Jack, and you’re still on the radar screen. There are certain people"who
will remain nameless, because I’m not on your payroll anymore"who
are not convinced you’re out of the game.”

“I’m happily retired,” Jack fired back, wondering if his response
sounded forced, wondering why he cared.

“And happily divorced?”

Jack didn’t respond. His private life was none of Mia’s business. He
had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants, a line in the
sand he never crossed.

GIVEAWAY:
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About the Author : 

John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre playing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease.” 

He then landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows. 

During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and he also co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was “Good Cop, Bad Money,” a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. 

The Devil’s Necktie is his first novel. 

A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles. 

http://www.john-lansing.com/

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