Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: The Spellcaster's Grimoire by Mark All (Presented by Pump Up Your Book)


Bestselling witchcraft author Trish Sinclair has a shameful secret: she’s a lousy spellcaster, and the spells in her books belong to others. So when a dying warlock entrusts her with an ancient and powerful grimoire, she runs for her life from his murderer, psychotic witch Kate Cavanaugh. Kate pursues Trish relentlessly to obtain the grimoire, which holds spells to command the fearsome power of a magic crystal hidden in town—and Kate is determined to have that power. When the town coven refuses to help Trish protect the grimoire, she is forced to turn to cynical warlock Aidan McCarthy, who has a secret agenda of his own, and Rain Devereaux, a novice witch whose spellcasting abilities are even worse than Trish’s. As Kate unleashes the elemental might of tornados and ice storms on the trio, they desperately struggle to defeat her. But Kate is too powerful, and she manages to steal the grimoire and unearth the crystal. Trish knows Kate will use the stone’s power to exact her deadly revenge on Aidan and the town coven unless Trish can manifest her latent magical abilities to save them.

Book Trailer:
 
Purchase Links:


Barnes & Noble: BARNES & NOBLE

Chapter One

Summer thunder shook the house as Trish Sinclair finished the incantation, punctuating it with a startled exclamation that extinguished the black candle on the coffee table.

Eerie timing, but surely coincidental. After yet another day of writer’s block, Trish had invoked a simple inspirationspell, but those didn’t generally bring down the wrath of nature.

Sighing, she closed her mother’s book of shadows, marking her place with the advance check for the third volume of The Spellcaster’s Grimoire, her bestselling series on recreational witchcraft. At the rate she was going, there would be no third installment.

Trish had used all the harmless, sparkly spells from her mother’s grimoire for the first volume. Benton Moorcroft, leader of the local coven, had supplied enough for the second. But all that remained were incantations more dangerous or complicated than she felt comfortable giving to the public.

Thunder crashed again, the flash of lightning brilliantly outlining the closed window blinds. Not the result she’d hoped for from the inspiration spell. Clearly the universe would provide her no epiphany tonight, nothing more exciting than a storm.

She ambled into the kitchen, opened the pantry, and scowled at the cans and boxes.

Carbs would be good consolation. Instant hash browns, instant mashed potatoes—ah, mac and cheese. She grabbed the box, ripped it open, and started water boiling for the noodles.

This writing business was getting to be too much like work. She’d have to bug Benton again for new material. As old as he was, and with so much experience, he’d probably forgotten enough trivial spells to fill an encyclopedia. He’d just have to dredge up a few more for her. Otherwise, she would be revealed to the world, or at least her agent and editor, as the two-trick pony she probably was.

On the other hand, Benton might not be so helpful now. He was a bit peeved with her for spicing up Volume Two with the creepy legend from her mother’s book of shadows.

The windows rattled with the rumble of thunder once more, closer now, as Trish blew her bangs from her eyes, tossed her hair over her shoulder, and drained the noodles.

She contemplated the entire stick of margarine the directions called for, shrugged, and dropped it into the pot. She added the orange powder from the foil packet, stirred, and abracadabra, behold comfort food.

Maynard, Georgia had been built two hundred years ago around an excavated, boulder-sized crystal that channeled the hidden energy of the universe and served as the source of the town’s magic. Soon after the community’s founding, the coven leader appropriated the group’s ancient book of spells and used it to harness the stone’s flow of power all for himself. The coven historian, the Keeper of the Grimoire, used a summoning spell to gather the other witches and warlocks—who burned their leader alive. Trish didn’t see what the problem with publishing it was. The story sounded apocryphal, yet added to the truthiness of The Spellcaster’s Grimoire. And got copies into the Regional Books sections of the local bookstores.

She did feel guilty she hadn’t told Benton she was going to include the legend of the grimoire and the crystal. She had put clues together from things Benton had said and inferred that the grimoire had not been incinerated in the warlock’s funeral pyre, but still existed. Not only that, she was pretty sure Benton was the Keeper of the Grimoire. She’d told herself he’d be flattered by her broad hints that even today the coven leader protected the grimoire.

Still, the fact that she hadn’t told him about it before turning the manuscript in was a pretty good indicator she’d unconsciously known she shouldn’t publish it. But if the legend wasn’t true, why had he gotten so upset? Even if it was true, why had he gotten so upset

Whatever, she was starving. Emotionally, anyway.

As she spooned a giant orange noodle-glob onto her plate, something heavy slammed hard into the sliding glass doors to the back yard.

“Holy freakin’ crap!”

She jumped and dropped the dish to the floor. The plate shattered, sending shards of stoneware and clumps of mac and cheese in all directions, but her gaze was on the door.

A body slumped against the glass, a haggard face plastered to it in a smear of blood.

Her pulse and breath racing, Trish started again in recognition of the crumpled form.

“Benton?”

Stepping around her ruined dinner, she ran to the door and opened it carefully with one hand, catching his weight with the other as he collapsed into the kitchen.

“Benton! What—” She gasped as he fell against her, and she saw the intricately fashioned hilt of a dagger protruding from his back.

“Ohmygod, ohmygod . . .” Trish felt dissociated from reality, from her own body. A moment ago she’d been making comfort food, now the world had shifted on its axis, and she had a bloody medical emergency on her hands. Panic raced through her. She didn’t even know CPR.

Dizzy with an adrenaline rush, she lowered Benton to the floor, kneeling and cradling his upper body in her arms, barely aware of the tears stinging her eyes.

She had to get her shit together. Now. Get that knife out. As she stared at it, a dull shimmer emanated from it. Magic. She cautiously touched the hilt, then wrapped her fingers around it and pulled.

Benton screamed, and she cried out herself, releasing her hold on the dagger, leaving it in him.

Now what, now what? Her pulse pounded in her temples like a tympani, scattering her confused thoughts. She couldn’t handle this herself, she had to get help. “Hang on, I’m calling 911!”

Benton turned his face up to her. “No . . . Trish . . .”

“Shhh!” She rose and started for the phone, but he grasped the hem of her jeans.

“They . . . they can’t help me,” Benton wheezed, his eyelids half-lowered, his head dipping. “Listen. You’ve got to protect the book.”

She kneeled beside him again. “I’ve got to call for an ambulance!”

“Trish!” Benton grabbed her blouse and pulled her face close to his.

“I’ve brought terrible trouble to you, girl.” He coughed, and blood bubbled on his lips. “I’m going to give you a two-part spell in case she finds you. Then you get out of here, get Aidan, and get the book. If she gets her hands on it . . .”

He was delirious. Shaking with frustration, Trish tried to pry his fingers loose from her blouse. “I’ve got to call 911! I’m getting help, or you’re going to die.”

He shook his head. “I’m already dead, you can’t save me. But here’s what you can do. What you must do.”

Trish blinked tears from her eyes, her emotions chaotic and her breathing so fast she was lightheaded. She had to get him to cooperate. “Okay, say what you’ve got to, then

I’m calling.”

“Hush, listen! You exposed our secrets, silly girl, and you’re going to make it right!”

His words cut her to the core—silly girl—she knew the truth when she heard it.

Benton’s head sagged again. “Sorry . . . Blade of Truth . . . The witch . . . she wants the grimoire.” Bright blood further stained his teeth as he spoke. “You revealed . . . that the book still exists. You’ve got to protect it, keep it from her.”

“So it is true?”

Taking a deep breath, Benton continued. “Go to Aidan McCarthy . . .”

“The town drunk?” She said, confused. McCarthy lived in a double-wide on a large wooded lot at the edge of town. He was rumored to have a Masters degree in philosophy, but he did pickup manual labor for a subsistence living. When he wasn’t working, he was at a bar or getting stoned in his trailer. He had a reputation among the local witches as a loner, a renegade, allegedly more powerful than anyone else in Maynard. Ironically, they feared he was going to have eight too many beers some night and start mouthing off about magic and witches, but McCarthy was the only magical resident of the town who’d flatly refused to talk to Trish, let alone contribute a spell to her collections.

“Tell him . . .” Benton’s breath rattled as he paused. “Tell him you’re the guardian now. He’s got to help you. Aidan was once my pupil. He can get you past my spells.”

“Okay, okay,” she said. Whatever it took to get him to let go of her. “I’ll call him.

Right now I’m calling the EMTs.”

Benton shook his head, spraying droplets of blood on the linoleum. “Wait.” He blinked, his eyes losing focus for a moment, then fastening on her again. “I’ve got to give you the spell to get away from her. She’s not far behind me.”

He was losing it. “The witch? The person who did this to you?”

He shushed her. “Listen and remember. Escape spell. You can handle it, you’re good at illusions. Well, passable.” He clutched her hair, drew her face close to his, and said a nullification spell that would prevent the spell he recited next from taking effect. Then he murmured a simple incantation in her ear and repeated it. “Have you got that?”

She nodded, tried to move away, but he yanked her hair again and said, “The second part, to animate the constructs . . .”

After he’d done another nullifier and given her the rest of the spell, his fingers loosened, and she pulled them from her hair. “Okay. But now I’m calling 911.”

“No time. You have to leave.”

Trish got to her feet, shaking, wobbly on her heels.

Thunder exploded just outside, the sound of angry gods.

At the front of the house, a deafening banging began, the door and windows rattling in their frames as if battered by a hurricane force wind.

Benton looked up from the floor, eyes fluttering. “She’s here.”


Sapphyria's Review:

Hoping to somehow make her life meaningful, and to maybe make her now-deceased mother proud, Trish Sinclair publishes a "cookbook" of spells, turning her into a best-selling author.  Unfortunately, the book is full of other people's spells and unintentionally reveals the existence of a very powerful grimoire; a grimoire thought to be lost.  After her mentor, Benton, is murdered by a local witch, Kate Cavanaugh, seeking the book, Trish realizes that publishing the grimoire may not have been a good idea ~~ The local coven of witches agrees and leaves it up to Trish to protect the book even though her magical skills are practically non-existent.  The lack of help throws her into the life of  Aidan McCarthy, a warlock that rebuked all things magical.

Together, Trish and Aiden, along with a Goth sidekick named Rain, must protect the book.  When they inadvertently allow Kate Cavanaugh, the bad witch of Georgia, to obtain the grimoire, all three must pool their resources; Trish must focus on improving her abilities, Rain aides in remembering the necessary spells to bring everything together, and Aidan must pull warlock skills back out of his hat.  Allowing Kate to obtain the book and fulfill her agenda will mean the destruction of the local coven, injury and death of large numbers of local residents, and Kate wielding more power than any one person should ever be allowed. 

I wasn't sure about the book at first.  The writing at the beginning of the novel didn't seem to be fluid or smooth.  Some dialogue transitions seemed rushed or uncomfortable.  However, I didn't give up (it takes a lot for me not to finish a book). I'm glad I stuck it out.  The writing style leveled out and the story flowed much better. 

Trish is a very unlikely heroine.  She's a plagiarist - which is a writer's worst nightmare.  She's a liar - she writes the book as though she can perform all of the spells held within.  She has absolutely no self-esteem and is full of self-doubt but as the story progresses and she comes face-to-face with Kate, she's forced to pull on what little magic ability she has.  Doing this strengthens her powers until she completely breaks out of her shell not only as a person, but as a witch as well. 

Aiden is a non-practicing warlock with issues concerning his past and the general nature of most people.  He learns that not all people afforded great magical abilities will inherently use them for evil purposes.  He also realizes that practicing magic, within boundaries, is okay.  He becomes the protector of Trish and Rain, all while trying to figure out how to fit in his little plan regarding the grimoire (you'll have to read the book to figure out what I mean). The budding romance between Trish and Aiden is a bit quick in my opinion, but I guess if you're not sure you'll be alive the next day then kiss 'em while you can. 

Kate is a witch that can control the weather ~ and use that ability to her advantage she does.  She is a very evil person at the start of it all; however, as we move through the pages we learn a little more about her past.  She is certainly a product of her environment, which in her case isn't really a good thing.  Her reasoning behind obtaining the grimoire, locating the magical crystal, and unleashing the crystal's power will probably surprise you ~ I know it surprised me. 

Rain is the Gothic sidekick that the coven gives to Trish as a helper to protect the grimoire.  She isn't that great at magic but her ability to read spells and remember them forever is astounding.  This talent does come in handy at times.  She has a sort-of hero worship thing going on with Trish, having read Trish's published works and memorizing each and every spell that the book contained.  She, along with Aiden, stand beside Trish as they stare down the enemy and try to protect the grimoire, the coven, the town, and possibly, the entire world.

All-in-all this turned out to be a very entertaining novel.  There is action around just about every corner.  Once I got beyond the writing issues I had with it at the beginning of the book, I actually found that I was drawn to it and didn't want to put it down.  The plot is strong and pretty consistent and the characters are likeable ~ even the evil ones.

**Please note:  This book contains adult language, which may be offensive to some readers. 

***Review Copy Courtesy Of:  Mark All, author, in exchange for an honest review.

Saph's Rating:


About the Author:

Mark AllMark All is the author of paranormal thrillers The Spellcaster’s Grimoire and Mystic Witch, published by ImaJinn Books in trade paperback and eBook formats. He has won two international writing awards and contributed to Computer Legends, Lies & Lore.

Mystic Witch received a 5 Star review from the Paranormal Romance Guild, and 3½ stars (out of 4½ possible stars) from RT Book Reviews.

Mark is a full-time author after a career as an instructional systems designer at a Fortune 16 company. Prior to his work in computer-based training, he held jobs ranging from gravedigger to FM radio announcer to professional rock guitarist.

Mark presents writing workshops and taught his “Planning Your Novel” course at the Spruill Center for the Arts.

He earned a Masters degree in computer-based education and a Bachelor of Music cum laude.

You can visit Mark All’s website at www.MarkAllAuthor.com.

Connect with Mark!

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


Link to Schedule:
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/04/05/pump-up-your-book-presents-the-spellcasters-grimoire-virtual-book-publicity-tour/

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spotlight / Review: Sparks (Anya Kalinczyk, Book #2) by Laura Bickle (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)

This review is a reprint from

SPARKS
 
Anya Kalinczyk #2
Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN 978-1439167687
September 2010
Review Copy Courtesy Of:  The author, Laura Bickle, via Bewitching Book Tours 
(In exchange for a completely honest review)

Book Summary:

WITHOUT A TRACE...

Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department—while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits haunting a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell—but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.

After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains—or, more precisely, a lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims—and she is sure this was no naturally occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more—she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city.

Saph's Review:
I have previously reviewed Book #1 "Embers" on Sapphyria's Book Reviews.

Info from my review of "Embers" that is also appropriate for my review of "Sparks" includes:

1). I really enjoyed Laura Bickle's gritty urban fantasy novel based in Detroit, Michigan. I'm slightly biased since I'm from Michigan and have been to Detroit many times...thankfully, I didn't have to deal with a psychotic psychic ghost snatcher.

2). Anya is a Lantern, a special form of medium that has the ability to devour spirits. They are drawn to her elemental light and then she goes through the painful process of eating them, so-to-speak. She is also an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, as well as a sort-of member of the Detroit Area Ghost Researchers (DAGR).

Beginning a few months after the end of Book 1, Embers, we find that Anya is still reeling from the events that occurred previously in Book 1.  She is still part of DAGR, albeit reluctantly.  Anya has also decided to attempt a relationship of sorts with Brian.

Anya is soon called to the home of Jasper Bernard (Bernie) to find what appears to be spontaneous human combustion or a condition known as the "wick effect" (which is explained around page 10).  Anya knows the truth as soon as she enters Bernie's home and smells all of the magick in the air.  Not sure what she's dealing with, she goes along with the normal processing of the scene of the fire hoping that something other than sinister magic is the explanation.  She soon discovers that a TV psychic who preys upon those less fortunate isn't at all what she seems.  She's an evil woman that is scooping of the city's wandering spirits faster than Anya can blink her eyes and holding them in vessels where she can completely control them, forcing the ghosts to do her evil bidding.  When Hope has her sites set on the Pandora's Jar, a vessel that can hold thousands of spirits, Anya knows her time to stop the evil psychic is limited.

In the meantime, Anya's salamander familiar, Sparky, lays a clutch of eggs (51 to be exact), causing Anya to refocus on the protection of not only the entire city and the ghosts within but 51 newt filled eggs.  Sparky really steals the show in both books.  He's invisible to almost everyone but causes so much trouble with his affinity to anything electrical.  When he lays his eggs in Book 2, his whole demeanor changes (he becomes maternal--when you read the passages in the book that describe this, you'll understand how the words "he" and "maternal" can be used to describe Sparky) and he becomes the perfect protector, trusting only Anya to care for the babies; she carries them in what has been affectionately dubbed the "newt transporter." 

Anya's character is a little more open in this book, allowing us to see a little softer side, especially in regards to the blossoming romance with Brian.  Although there are some issues that Anya has to consider, she doesn't dwell on them incessantly.  She works her way through them, for the most part, while handling the other crises that arise within the pages.  This gives the novel a very real feeling.  No one's life if 100% smooth.  We all have to deal with the day-to-day stuff right along with the problems, upsets, joys, and pains that sneak their way in.

I really enjoyed Sparks; as much, if not more, that Embers.  Laura Bickle has a writing style that appeals to me.  There wasn't any part in the book that had me stumped, shaking my head, or wondering when it was going to pick back up.  The plot is unique and I found it to be pretty consistent with not only the events that take place in this book, but with what was in Book 1, as well.

Noteworthy Quotes:

Anya: "She had to admit, though, that it was hard to believe in a better future for Detroit. If she lay in bed, sleepless in the early hours of the morning, she swore she could almost hear the brittle city rusting" (L. Bickle, 2010, pg. 38).

Brian: "It’s a sociological fact: People get stupid in groups” (L. Bickle, 2010, pg. 38).

Rating:

4 1/2 Blue Flame Hearts

About the Author:

Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. 

She has written several contemporary fantasy novels for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.

Buy Links:

Amazon Paperback:


Amazon Kindle:


Please Note:
Review originally placed on Sapphyria's Steamy Book Reviews for language use only. 
Romantic scene is mildly sensual and is not graphic.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spotlight / Review: Embers (Anya Kalinczyk, Book #1) by Laura Bickle (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)

This review is a reprint from

EMBERS 
Anya Kalinczyk #1 

Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN: 978-1439167656
April 2010
Review Copy Courtesy Of: The author, Laura Bickle, via Bewitching Book Tours
www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com

Synopsis:

Unemployment, despair, anger--visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit's unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.

Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya--who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern--suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil's Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya--with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team --can stop it.

Anya's accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she's risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she's ever faced. 


Saph's Review:

I really enjoyed Laura Bickle's gritty urban fantasy novel based in Detroit, Michigan. I'm slightly biased since I'm from Michigan and have been to Detroit many times...thankfully I didn't have to deal with paranormal arsonists hellbent on raising an evil entity set on destroying the not only the city but the world.
Anya is a Lantern, a special form of medium that has the ability to devour spirits.  They are drawn to her elemental light and then she goes through the painful process of eating them so-to-speak.  She is also an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department as well as a sort-of member of the Detroit Area Ghost Researchers (DAGR).

After investigating a few suspected arson sights, Anya realizes that she is battling a serial pyromaniac when she continues with find his calling card--a curved, serpentine shape, smoothly etched into the center of concrete floors.  It is then she realizes that there is something much more menacing going on than just an arsonist out getting his jollies.
 
I really like Anya's character.  She flawed...not a perfect heroine by any stretch of the imagination.  Her elemental familiar, Sparky, is a salamander that lives in a necklace around her neck when he's not sitting in her lap, causing electrical meltdowns, or just plain being cute.  He's only visible to Anya, spirits/ghosts, and other Lanterns.  He's the only thing that keeps Anya grounded as far I could tell in Book 1.

When Anya finally catches up to the arsonist, she discovers that he, too, is a Lantern.  A lantern named Drake,  a very popular architect from the area that was assaulted and left for dead several years ago.   He is the one trying to raise the ancient Sirrush.

Anya's romantic companions, Drake and Brian, left me baffled.  Drake is the serial arsonist attempting to annihilate the world by raising a really bad entity so having the two of them get close didn't really appeal to me.  Brian didn't get enough face time and we were unable to really see he and Anya interact.  Brian and Anya just "were."

I have to point out a particular passage in the book:  A member of DAGR, Katie, Anya's witchy friend has 2 cats names Vern, after Vernors, and Fay, after Faygo, very popular Michigan-based pop companies.

Rating:


Paperback:


Amazon Kindle:




About the Author:

Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. 

She has written several contemporary fantasy novels for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.



****Book 2 review will be re-posted tomorrow, May 30, 2013****

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

VBT ~ Review: The Spellcaster's Grimoire by Mark All (Presented by Pump Up Your Book Tours)



The Spellcaster's Grimoire
Bestselling witchcraft author Trish Sinclair has a shameful secret: she’s a lousy spellcaster, and the spells in her books belong to others. So when a dying warlock entrusts her with an ancient and powerful grimoire, she runs for her life from his murderer, psychotic witch Kate Cavanaugh. Kate pursues Trish relentlessly to obtain the grimoire, which holds spells to command the fearsome power of a magic crystal hidden in town—and Kate is determined to have that power. When the town coven refuses to help Trish protect the grimoire, she is forced to turn to cynical warlock Aidan McCarthy, who has a secret agenda of his own, and Rain Devereaux, a novice witch whose spellcasting abilities are even worse than Trish’s. As Kate unleashes the elemental might of tornados and ice storms on the trio, they desperately struggle to defeat her. But Kate is too powerful, and she manages to steal the grimoire and unearth the crystal. Trish knows Kate will use the stone’s power to exact her deadly revenge on Aidan and the town coven unless Trish can manifest her latent magical abilities to save them.

Book Trailer:
 
Purchase Links:


Barnes & Noble: BARNES & NOBLE

Chapter One

Summer thunder shook the house as Trish Sinclair finished the incantation, punctuating it with a startled exclamation that extinguished the black candle on the coffee table.

Eerie timing, but surely coincidental. After yet another day of writer’s block, Trish had invoked a simple inspirationspell, but those didn’t generally bring down the wrath of nature.

Sighing, she closed her mother’s book of shadows, marking her place with the advance check for the third volume of The Spellcaster’s Grimoire, her bestselling series on recreational witchcraft. At the rate she was going, there would be no third installment.

Trish had used all the harmless, sparkly spells from her mother’s grimoire for the first volume. Benton Moorcroft, leader of the local coven, had supplied enough for the second. But all that remained were incantations more dangerous or complicated than she felt comfortable giving to the public.

Thunder crashed again, the flash of lightning brilliantly outlining the closed window blinds. Not the result she’d hoped for from the inspiration spell. Clearly the universe would provide her no epiphany tonight, nothing more exciting than a storm.

She ambled into the kitchen, opened the pantry, and scowled at the cans and boxes.

Carbs would be good consolation. Instant hash browns, instant mashed potatoes—ah, mac and cheese. She grabbed the box, ripped it open, and started water boiling for the noodles.

This writing business was getting to be too much like work. She’d have to bug Benton again for new material. As old as he was, and with so much experience, he’d probably forgotten enough trivial spells to fill an encyclopedia. He’d just have to dredge up a few more for her. Otherwise, she would be revealed to the world, or at least her agent and editor, as the two-trick pony she probably was.

On the other hand, Benton might not be so helpful now. He was a bit peeved with her for spicing up Volume Two with the creepy legend from her mother’s book of shadows.

The windows rattled with the rumble of thunder once more, closer now, as Trish blew her bangs from her eyes, tossed her hair over her shoulder, and drained the noodles.

She contemplated the entire stick of margarine the directions called for, shrugged, and dropped it into the pot. She added the orange powder from the foil packet, stirred, and abracadabra, behold comfort food.

Maynard, Georgia had been built two hundred years ago around an excavated, boulder-sized crystal that channeled the hidden energy of the universe and served as the source of the town’s magic. Soon after the community’s founding, the coven leader appropriated the group’s ancient book of spells and used it to harness the stone’s flow of power all for himself. The coven historian, the Keeper of the Grimoire, used a summoning spell to gather the other witches and warlocks—who burned their leader alive. Trish didn’t see what the problem with publishing it was. The story sounded apocryphal, yet added to the truthiness of The Spellcaster’s Grimoire. And got copies into the Regional Books sections of the local bookstores.

She did feel guilty she hadn’t told Benton she was going to include the legend of the grimoire and the crystal. She had put clues together from things Benton had said and inferred that the grimoire had not been incinerated in the warlock’s funeral pyre, but still existed. Not only that, she was pretty sure Benton was the Keeper of the Grimoire. She’d told herself he’d be flattered by her broad hints that even today the coven leader protected the grimoire.

Still, the fact that she hadn’t told him about it before turning the manuscript in was a pretty good indicator she’d unconsciously known she shouldn’t publish it. But if the legend wasn’t true, why had he gotten so upset? Even if it was true, why had he gotten so upset

Whatever, she was starving. Emotionally, anyway.

As she spooned a giant orange noodle-glob onto her plate, something heavy slammed hard into the sliding glass doors to the back yard.

“Holy freakin’ crap!”

She jumped and dropped the dish to the floor. The plate shattered, sending shards of stoneware and clumps of mac and cheese in all directions, but her gaze was on the door.

A body slumped against the glass, a haggard face plastered to it in a smear of blood.

Her pulse and breath racing, Trish started again in recognition of the crumpled form.

“Benton?”

Stepping around her ruined dinner, she ran to the door and opened it carefully with one hand, catching his weight with the other as he collapsed into the kitchen.

“Benton! What—” She gasped as he fell against her, and she saw the intricately fashioned hilt of a dagger protruding from his back.

“Ohmygod, ohmygod . . .” Trish felt dissociated from reality, from her own body. A moment ago she’d been making comfort food, now the world had shifted on its axis, and she had a bloody medical emergency on her hands. Panic raced through her. She didn’t even know CPR.

Dizzy with an adrenaline rush, she lowered Benton to the floor, kneeling and cradling his upper body in her arms, barely aware of the tears stinging her eyes.

She had to get her shit together. Now. Get that knife out. As she stared at it, a dull shimmer emanated from it. Magic. She cautiously touched the hilt, then wrapped her fingers around it and pulled.

Benton screamed, and she cried out herself, releasing her hold on the dagger, leaving it in him.

Now what, now what? Her pulse pounded in her temples like a tympani, scattering her confused thoughts. She couldn’t handle this herself, she had to get help. “Hang on, I’m calling 911!”

Benton turned his face up to her. “No . . . Trish . . .”

“Shhh!” She rose and started for the phone, but he grasped the hem of her jeans.

“They . . . they can’t help me,” Benton wheezed, his eyelids half-lowered, his head dipping. “Listen. You’ve got to protect the book.”

She kneeled beside him again. “I’ve got to call for an ambulance!”

“Trish!” Benton grabbed her blouse and pulled her face close to his.

“I’ve brought terrible trouble to you, girl.” He coughed, and blood bubbled on his lips. “I’m going to give you a two-part spell in case she finds you. Then you get out of here, get Aidan, and get the book. If she gets her hands on it . . .”

He was delirious. Shaking with frustration, Trish tried to pry his fingers loose from her blouse. “I’ve got to call 911! I’m getting help, or you’re going to die.”

He shook his head. “I’m already dead, you can’t save me. But here’s what you can do. What you must do.”

Trish blinked tears from her eyes, her emotions chaotic and her breathing so fast she was lightheaded. She had to get him to cooperate. “Okay, say what you’ve got to, then

I’m calling.”

“Hush, listen! You exposed our secrets, silly girl, and you’re going to make it right!”

His words cut her to the core—silly girl—she knew the truth when she heard it.

Benton’s head sagged again. “Sorry . . . Blade of Truth . . . The witch . . . she wants the grimoire.” Bright blood further stained his teeth as he spoke. “You revealed . . . that the book still exists. You’ve got to protect it, keep it from her.”

“So it is true?”

Taking a deep breath, Benton continued. “Go to Aidan McCarthy . . .”

“The town drunk?” She said, confused. McCarthy lived in a double-wide on a large wooded lot at the edge of town. He was rumored to have a Masters degree in philosophy, but he did pickup manual labor for a subsistence living. When he wasn’t working, he was at a bar or getting stoned in his trailer. He had a reputation among the local witches as a loner, a renegade, allegedly more powerful than anyone else in Maynard. Ironically, they feared he was going to have eight too many beers some night and start mouthing off about magic and witches, but McCarthy was the only magical resident of the town who’d flatly refused to talk to Trish, let alone contribute a spell to her collections.

“Tell him . . .” Benton’s breath rattled as he paused. “Tell him you’re the guardian now. He’s got to help you. Aidan was once my pupil. He can get you past my spells.”

“Okay, okay,” she said. Whatever it took to get him to let go of her. “I’ll call him.

Right now I’m calling the EMTs.”

Benton shook his head, spraying droplets of blood on the linoleum. “Wait.” He blinked, his eyes losing focus for a moment, then fastening on her again. “I’ve got to give you the spell to get away from her. She’s not far behind me.”

He was losing it. “The witch? The person who did this to you?”

He shushed her. “Listen and remember. Escape spell. You can handle it, you’re good at illusions. Well, passable.” He clutched her hair, drew her face close to his, and said a nullification spell that would prevent the spell he recited next from taking effect. Then he murmured a simple incantation in her ear and repeated it. “Have you got that?”

She nodded, tried to move away, but he yanked her hair again and said, “The second part, to animate the constructs . . .”

After he’d done another nullifier and given her the rest of the spell, his fingers loosened, and she pulled them from her hair. “Okay. But now I’m calling 911.”

“No time. You have to leave.”

Trish got to her feet, shaking, wobbly on her heels.

Thunder exploded just outside, the sound of angry gods.

At the front of the house, a deafening banging began, the door and windows rattling in their frames as if battered by a hurricane force wind.

Benton looked up from the floor, eyes fluttering. “She’s here.”


Sapphyria's Review Is Coming Soon!!!!


About the Author:

Mark AllABOUT MARK ALL

Mark All is the author of paranormal thrillers The Spellcaster’s Grimoire and Mystic Witch, published by ImaJinn Books in trade paperback and eBook formats. He has won two international writing awards and contributed to Computer Legends, Lies & Lore.

Mystic Witch received a 5 Star review from the Paranormal Romance Guild, and 3½ stars (out of 4½ possible stars) from RT Book Reviews.

Mark is a full-time author after a career as an instructional systems designer at a Fortune 16 company. Prior to his work in computer-based training, he held jobs ranging from gravedigger to FM radio announcer to professional rock guitarist.

Mark presents writing workshops and taught his “Planning Your Novel” course at the Spruill Center for the Arts.

He earned a Masters degree in computer-based education and a Bachelor of Music cum laude.

You can visit Mark All’s website at www.MarkAllAuthor.com.

Connect with Mark!

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


Link to Schedule:
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/04/05/pump-up-your-book-presents-the-spellcasters-grimoire-virtual-book-publicity-tour/

Monday, May 27, 2013

ARC Review: Blood and Sand (Elemental World series, Book 2) by Elizabeth Hunter


Synopsis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Dead women are showing up in the desert east of San Diego, and no one understands why. When the story comes to the attention of reporter Natalie Ellis, she can’t help but make comparisons to tragic deaths she’d investigated years ago. Are these women the victims of a serial killer, or something even more insidious?

Bodies may be piling up in his sire’s territory, but water vampire and feared enforcer Baojia is stuck entertaining the rich and clueless at a club in San Diego. He’s taken his exile with all the grace he could muster, but his patience is starting to thin.

Sparks fly when mortal and immortal are thrown together, and Natalie comes face to face with a reality that was lurking in the corners of her life. Pursuing the truth could cost Baojia everything, including the mortal woman who has earned his grudging respect.

Blood and Sand is the second novel in the expanded Elemental World series.

Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 647 KB
Print Length: 285 pages
Publisher: E. Hunter (May 28, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B00C6AQRPE

Amazon Pre-Order Link:  Blood and Sand (Elemental World)

ARC Review Copy Courtesy of:  Elizabeth Hunter, author and amazing weaver of tales.

Saph's Review:

Blood and Sand is the second installment of the Elemental World series and it returns us to the Elemental Mysteries World that Elizabeth Hunter created for us with A Hidden Fire, This Same Earth, The Force of Wind, and A Fall of Water, and Book One of the spin-off series, Building From Ashes.

This is Baojia's story and features a little bit of Bea, Gio, Carwyn, and Ben from the Elemental Mysteries series.

Baojia (pronounced bow - the like the bow of a ship, and "jeeha" ~ Hunter, E., 2013), a water vampire, has been exiled in San Diego, away from his home, due to unfortunate circumstances surrounding his protection of B in a previous installment of the Elemental Mysteries books.  Instead of being head of security and main enforcer over his clan, he is now head of security over his sire's club....a job he finds extremely boring a waste of his talents.

Then a tenacious reporter, named Natalie, comes to the club to question Baojia about a string of murders that have encroached on the Californian / Mexican border. She is insistent on meeting with Baojia about them and about someone named Ivan.  After Baojia discovers how she found him and who she's ultimately looking for, he now has to figure out what's happening in his sire's territory and whether or not anyone in the clan is aware or involved.  He was not, however, figuring on falling hard for the reporter.  

Impulsive, hard-headed, and stubborn describes Natalie but she's also passionate and willing to risk everything, including her safety, to expose crime and injustices.  She is hellbent on discovering the link between the recent murders and a string of murders from a previous investigation.  She may not be ready to learn about the links there may be between the two.

The mysterious deaths of women in Baojia's sire's territory is very disconcerting. When Baojia brings it to the attention of Don Ernesto Alvarez, Baojia and the problem are dismissed as unimportant.  Here is where Baojia's allegiances change and he seeks assistance from the the one fire vampire he never wanted to have to ask for help.  Ultimately, multiple clans become involved as Baojia and Natalie discover that part of the link involves the Elixir, the toxic drug from previous novels.

Blood and Sand is a very powerful novel.  Everything about it ~ writing style, characters, plot, theme ~ pulls you in and secures you for the long haul.  I read this novel in just a couple of days (around my work schedule and other things).  The dialogue between Baojia and Natalie is intense on not only the level of attraction but with everything concerning the murders and her abrupt introduction to the things that go bump in the night.  Everything about their relationship ~ from the very start ~ is believable.  They are 100% perfect for one another in every aspect; her humanity aside.  

This novel is full of action as Baojia, Natalie, and all of the vampires enlisted to help them, embark on a quest to find out who's murdering women and leaving them out in the open in Don Ernesto's territory.

Be prepared to read another excellent novel by Elizabeth Hunter.

Saph's Review:


Friday, May 24, 2013

New Release & Giveaway: Born in Sin (Dacian Legends, Book #2) by Camelia Miron Skiba


Loathing the thought of his beloved Oriana in the arms of another man, fearless Zyraxes delivers death upon the Roman enemy. With only the rugged land as his bed and the sky as his blanket, trouble finds him often.

Summoned to aid Oriana’s father in the war against two powerful enemies—one of them Oriana's savage husband—Zyraxes proves himself worthy of more than just noble titles and coin. But he wants none of it. What he wants is her.

When Zyraxes discovers a broken and nearly dead Oriana, though forbidden, he disregards her father's orders to leave her to her death, and instead chooses to protect and conceal her. Will saving her be enough to win her heart? Will his part royal lineage make him worthy of her love?

EXCERPT: 

“Such a fool!” Oriana’s eyes brand me with their intense glare. “Galtys’ women don’t awake everyone with their moans. Galtys’ indiscretion doesn’t offend me, but your actions do.” With both hands Oriana covers her mouth, blinking fast and shaking her head. “I … apologies, I do not know what got into me … a proper lady does not speak about such matters. Apologies.”

“Oriana, I …” A foreign heat burns my face. “I … the women outside this chamber do not come in for good reason … people think of me as a … if my behavior were different than what they all know me for they’d suspect I hide something. I cannot draw attention to myself without risking your discovery. My duty is to keep you safe even if I must do things you disapprove of.”

I hold her gaze when she looks at me as if reading my mind. Long ago I gave her my heart but she was too blind to see my love. Too blind or not interested. Granted I never spoke of my feelings, but my actions prove them. It never occurred to me that my behavior causes her grief.

Oriana sighs. “I am nothing but a burden to you … I have no right to tell you what you can or cannot do. Your life is in danger because of me and yet I demand … I behave so childish.” She smiles briefly then looks down at the cloth in her lap. “I do not know how to show my gratitude for everything you have done—”

“By the gods, Oriana, stop it!” I get up and walk away, turning my back to her. “I do not want your gratitude.”

She comes behind me, her Oriana scent—dewy earth, freshly cut grass and gladiolus enthralling me. In a small voice she says, “There is nothing else I have to give. I have no possessions, no gold to repay you.”

I turn and seize her arms, anger and desperation blinding me. “Who speaks of gold or ransom, woman? Have I asked for any of those? Have I?”

She opens her mouth to say something, pain twisting her face. When it finally dawns on me how rough I am, it’s too late. Galtys pushes me away whilst Oriana leans onto Thera, barely walking to the bed.

I reach for her. “Oriana!”



ABOUT BOOK 1, BORN IN VENGEANCE:


Originally published as a short story titled I WAS HERE--BEFORE YOU CAME, this stand-alone version includes an expanded storyline and excerpts from BORN IN SIN (Dacian Legends, #2), all that you would expect from a full novel.

Legend has it … centuries after Spartacus another hero is born—Ilias, the bastard son of King Decebalus. Thirsty for revenge and eager to unshackle the Roman oppression, Ilias’ obsession to fulfill his oath has no bounds, even if that means kidnapping Nerva, the beloved daughter of Emperor Traianus. What he doesn’t know is his own heart threatens to betray his conscience.
What will prevail: his mind or his heart?



Amazon Purchase Link:



GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


CAMELIA MIRON SKIBA 

~ OFFICIAL BIO ~ 

Who I was yesterday … I’m no longer today, nor will I be tomorrow. Each day I grow a little. I stumble, get up, and learn something. I wish and dream and want and look to the future. 

Who I am is not important, but what I leave behind is. 

Copyright © 2013 CAMELIA MIRON SKIBA 

WEBSITE: LOVE. WTHOUT YOU http://authorcameliamironskiba.com/



TWITTER: @CamiSkiba 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: Camelia Miron Skiba 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Release Event Blast / Cover Reveal: Reclaim My Heart by Donna Fasano



About the Book:


Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined. 

Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both—if the truth doesn't rip them apart.

Title: Reclaim My Heart

Author: Donna Fasano

Format: Paperback and eBook

Publisher: Hard Knocks Books

ISBN: 978-1939000200

Genre: Contemporary Romance
 
Available At:

Amazon (Kindle) 

Amazon (Paperback)


Barnes & Noble 
Apple 
Kobo

Excerpt of Reclaim My Heart 
From Chapter Two 

"Please, Lucas."

He couldn't dismiss the tone of those two small words, nor could he ignore the magnitude of emotion clouding her expression. He had no choice but to relent.

"Sit down," he murmured. He closed the door of his office and then returned to perch himself on the corner of his desk. He steeled himself before asking, "What's on your mind?"

She seemed to shrink a little as a thousand thoughts ran though her head. Seconds passed, and still she didn't speak.

Lucas witnessed the phenomenon almost on a daily basis. The people who wound up in his office often felt as if they were carrying the world on their shoulders. He knew her anxiety would eventually discharge, and from the looks of it, he wouldn't have to wait long.

Finally, she pressed her hand to her chest. "I can't breathe."

"Relax. Do you want some water?"

She shook her head, a lock of her long, platinum hair falling over her forearm. "No. I need to get this out. I promised you I'd hurry."

He couldn't keep his brows from arching a fraction. She hadn't kept her promises in the past. Why would he expect her to now?

Tyne ran her tongue along her full bottom lip, hesitated another moment, then blurted, "I need a lawyer."

Lucas closed his eyes and stifled a sigh. He could have guessed as much, of course. He'd worked hard to get himself into the privileged position of being able to pick and choose his clients. The last person he wanted to represent was Tyne Whitlock.

"A good lawyer, Lucas."

Common sense told him Tyne wasn't attempting to flatter him. She was speaking purely out of desperation.

"Look, Tyne—" Something made him stop. He sighed, and then he stood, taking his time rounding his desk and sitting down. The leather-upholstered arms of the chair were cool and smooth under his fingertips.

"I know some of the best attorneys in the city." He plucked a pen from the cup on his desktop. "And many of them owe me a favor or two." He reached into his inside jacket pocket, pulled out one of the business cards he always kept handy, and turned it over, poised to write. "Let me give you some names and numbers—"

"I don't want just any attorney." Her chin lifted. "I want you. Why else would I have come here?"

His gaze lowered to the small white card in his hand. With much deliberation, he set down the pen and the card, and then he looked her directly in the eyes.

Every muscle in her body appeared board-stiff.

"Listen to me—" he kept his tone calm "—when people find themselves in trouble with the law, or victimized, or wrongfully sued, or unjustly accused, they tend to get lost in a strange, I don't know, franticness. A recklessness that they almost always regret. Believe me when I tell you that no situation is hopeless, and circumstances are rarely as desperate as they might be perceived. Whatever trouble you're in, don't let panic and fear haze your thinking."

"You don't understand."

"I think I do," he rushed to assure her. "I see it every day. Honest, hardworking people finding themselves in dire straits. And this unfamiliar territory throws them. They grasp at help from the first source that comes to mind."

"But—"

"Just like that old adage warning that only a fool acts as his own lawyer, it's also foolish to choose an attorney in haste. You and I have a past, Tyne, and even though all of that took place years and years ago, the fact remains that we have a history. I don't believe I would be the best person to represent you in a court of law. You need someone who'll be totally unbiased. Let me give you some names. I'll make some calls for you myself—"

"Stop!" She lifted her hands and scooted to the edge of the seat. "You don't understand. And I can't make you understand if you won't shut up for a minute."

His eyebrows arched and the frustration in her statement had him leaning back a bit.

She frowned. "I'm sorry. Really, I am. I had to stew all day yesterday." She fisted her hands in her lap. "I didn't expect to reach anyone on a Sunday, but do you know that your firm doesn't offer an emergency number on the answering machine?" She exhaled with force. "I'm a nervous wreck just being here. Seeing you. But all that aside, I shouldn't have snapped at you. Please accept my apology."

He didn't react, didn't move. He just waited for her to continue.

"The thing is… what you need to know…"

Once again, she grew terribly cautious, and Lucas found that extremely curious. What the hell was it she found so hard to tell him? What kind of trouble was she in?

She blanched, but then her spine straightened. "I'm not the one who needs a lawyer. I want to hire you, yes. But I'm not the one needing representation. It's my son who's in trouble." A nerve at the corner of her eye ticked, but her gaze never veered from his as she added, "Our son, Lucas."

GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Q&A: 


What attracted you to writing in the first place?

I came to writing from my love of reading. While growing up, I lost myself in books in order to escape an unhappy childhood.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

Romance. I wrote for Harlequin for 20 years, writing sweet romance (as Donna Clayton) and women's fiction/contemporary romance (under my own name). I have self-published some of my back-list Harlequin books. The Merry-Go-Round was never published by a traditional publisher, so I guess that would be my first indie-published book. Reclaim My Heart is the second of my front-list indie-published titles.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

I think authors who face a lot of pain and anguish seem to write stories with great depth, with honesty and compassion. It could be that dealing with trauma brings out the best (or worst) in people. I believe that losing my mother at such a young age had a huge impact on me not just as a writer but as a human being. I became, I don't know, more maternal towards my family, my friends, heck, towards everyone I meet... more giving of myself. I'm not sure. But I know that the loss could have made me bitter and angry. I'm just so grateful that the exact opposite seems to describe me.

Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?

My mind is always on the alert. I take ideas from everything I see, hear, read, experience. I have been known to take a snippet of conversation overheard in an elevator and turn it into a book (Return of the Runaway Bride), or from a location (His Wife for a While), or from a person I met (Taking Love in Stride). So be careful! If you interact with me, you might end up in one of my novels.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?

I have visited so many beautiful places. The South of France, the rolling mountains of Italy, the Mediterranean Sea, the cobbled streets of Brussels, the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, beautiful Morro Bay, California, and I spend lots of time in Ocean City, Maryland. I obviously can't pick a favorite. Besides, there are so many places waiting to be seen!

What was your favorite part of this book to write? Which part was the hardest?

I really enjoyed writing the love scenes. In my sweet romances, all the 'spice' takes place behind closed doors. So this was very fun. And which part was hardest? The "kitchen love scene" (naughty pun intended!).

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

I wanted to be a teacher. My aunt attended college and earned her teaching degree. I always idolized her.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

Teacher. I love kids, and I often include them in my stories. I always say that children are very honest and outspoken. Kids inject a great deal of fun into a book.

If you could live inside the world of a book, which book would you choose?

Pride and Prejudice. Love that Mr. Darcy!

Give your fans three fun facts that they may not already know about you.

I love to cook! (I often post recipes on my blog.)

My reading tastes are crazy-eclectic. I read anything and everything.

I'm a little on the chubby side.

Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?

Depends. If we're talking ice cream, then vanilla… and I love mine topped with sliced banana and warm caramel sauce. If we're talking cake, then chocolate, and don't forget the fudge frosting. If we're talking milkshakes, then strawberry. Wow, now I'm hungry.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

I put my heart and soul into this Reclaim My Heart, and I think it shows… in the characters and in the story.

So what’s next for you as an author? Any last words?

I'm thinking of writing a book that revolves around three friends in different stages of marriage, but I'm not sure yet. I've worked very hard on Reclaim My Heart and I'm going to take a few days off. Then I'll get back to work!

I want to thank you for hosting me, and I want to thank your followers for taking the time to read about Reclaim My Heart.


About the Author: 


Donna Fasano is a three time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, and a Golden Heart finalist. Her books have sold over 3.6 million copies worldwide and have been published in nearly two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #17. 

What others are saying about Donna's books:

"...complex, funny, and realistic..." ~Wilmington News Journal

"Excellent!" ~Bookreview.com

"Could not help myself from reading excerpts to my husband and friends. This book is well written, the characters are real, everyday folks. It is very easy to identify with them. Donna Fasano is a talented author." ~Elizabeth M. Caldwell on Amazon

"...a fast paced riotous look at family life today. Donna Fasano is right on target!" ~Donna Zapf, SingleTitles.com

Follow Donna Fasano at Website § Facebook § @DonnaFaz § GoodReads § Pinterest

Author Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/DonnaFasanoAuthor

Author Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/DonnaFaz

Author Website/blog: http://DonnaFasano.blogspot.com

Goodreads author/book page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1111480.Donna_Fasano

Link to Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com/DonnaFaz

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spotlight~Book Trailer~Giveaway: Superstition Mountain Trilogy by Stacey Thompson (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)

Superstition Mountain Trilogy
Genre: Parnormal Romance Western
By Stacey Thompson  


Superstition Mountain
Superstition Mountain Trilogy Part One 

The Order has been around for as long as Demons have roamed the earth, but when the first Demon starts a war, there are only a few left to finish it. 

Ami's different and one of the best Monster Slayers there is, but she's not ready to face the dark with the one person who knows her best, Wesley the one who trained her. She might just fall in love with him. 


Blood and Dust 
Superstition Mountain Trilogy Part Two 

Protecting the world against evil isn't easy when you are cursed with evil yourself. Ami is between the dark and the light. Will she be able to save herself and those she loves? Or will Price take her to the dark? 










Truth in Lies 
Superstition Mountain Trilogy Part Three

Wesley thought the search was over, but finding Ami was just the start of his problems. When a shady Witch joins them, trouble is all they get. Can Wesley bring Ami back from the darkness that's trying to take over her, or is she their new enemy? 
Book Trailer for Trilogy







Book Trailer for Trilogy:




Book Descriptions


The story leans on the Apache creation story, taking the idea of a Monster Slayer and bringing it to a western setting. The main character, Ami, is one of the best in the small village she lives in. The Shaman takes a special interest in her and she doesn't know why at first. She also gives her a stone that ties into the Apache legend. A love develops between the man who trained her, Wesley and herself.

We are also introduced to Maggie, a former Monster Slayer who helps with finding Price and tries to help them kill Price. She has her own issues with the past that are actually addressed shortly in the novella. She's the main character in the short story which tells us a lot more about why she is the way she is. This story, Bloody Christmas is available to read on my blog.

Price is the first Vampire Demon to be in the world. He was the original Monster the first Monster Slayer thought they killed. Where gold bullets from the sacred mines of Superstition Mountain will kill most Demons, they won't kill him. The only thing that can is the line of the original Monster Slayer, Ami. Instead of killing Ami, he takes an unusual interest in her.

In the second novella, Ami decides to leave because she doesn't want to burden Wesley with what she is. Of corse Wesley tracks her down because he loves her and doesn't realize she isn't totally human anymore. He tracks her to a town where there has been a killing of a Vampire by what looks like another Vampire. He starts to put things together, but still wants to believe she isn't something he needs to kill.

While Wesley is tracking Ami, Maggie is on her own mission to help. She meets up with an old friend from her Monster Slayer days to help kill the evil that is Price. Her subplot plays out with reuniting with her old love, Cody, but he has complications as well. Wesley doesn't like Cody and there is back and forth a few times with these characters.

In the third novella, Wesley has to deal with the fact Ami is a Vampire and learn if he can live with it or if he must do what he's trained to do.

Cody learns to deal with the part of him that is different and Maggie accepts him for it. They live a life that brings happiness to themselves as well as rebuilding the Order that was destroyed by Price.

In the last chapter, we learn what evil can really do to people and who can carry that burden. It's an ending that leaves you wondering. ;)


Excerpt
Superstition Mnt Part One

Set Up: Ami finally sees what it is that makes her different. Wesley also confronts demons of his own.

Ami 

Ami opened her eyes to a clearing in the middle of the woods. She watched a woman franticly looking for a place to hide the bundle she had in her arms. Ami took a couple of steps closer to see what it was she was carrying until she could see it was a baby.

The woman finally seemed to find a place she could put the child. She threw some branches back in a bush and revealed a small open space. She carefully slid the baby in it and placed a green stone in his blankets. Ami watched the stone glow a faint green and then fade back to it's original color.

Ami watched the woman as she tried to run, but something was coming. She looked into the woods and finally saw what it was that was hunting this woman and her baby.

Price.

She felt her breath catch and waited. Price caught sight of the woman and smiled as he ran for her. She tried to get away, but wasn't fast enough. Price grabbed her arm and flung her into a nearby tree. The woman fell and tried to crawl away, but she didn't get far. Price picked her up and slammed her against the tree, holding her there by her throat.

“Where's the child?” He held her there as he spoke, but she didn't answer. “I'll find the Monster Slayer bloodline and snuff it out with or without your help.” He smiled and bit her neck. She screamed, but it wasn't long before the life was drained from her.

Ami looked back to the bush, but the vision was fading in front of her. In only a minute, there was nothing but darkness.


Wesley

Wesley tried to push the Vampire away from him, but she was clearly a lot stronger and only laughed at his attempt to get away.

“Is that your choice?” She pulled him to her and kissed his lips hard before finishing her thought. “That's too bad. I liked you.” She held the knife to his throat and pressed slightly. She was going to drag this out and make his death long and painful.

Wesley took a breath and hoped for a quick end when the door suddenly flew open. The Vampire turned and held the knife at her side. Wesley couldn't see who it was, but guessed Maggie had finally showed up to save his ass.

He saw the gleam of a gold blade as it came down at the Vampire's neck. She dodged it and swiped with her blade. Wesley finally could see who it was that was fighting off the bitch.

Jason, his father.

Wesley didn't waste any time in retrieving his gun from the table on the other side of the room and shot at the Vampire as Jason tried to take her head. The blade was large and easy to see coming, but she didn't expect the bullet that hit her in the chest. Jenna fell to the ground with her mouth open in a silent scream. The men watched her body burn from the inside out until there was nothing left but dust.

“Are you alright?” Jason turned his head to see Wesley as he spoke. Wesley was uneasy that Jason had followed him, but maybe he felt a little loyalty to his own son and that was enough for him.

“I'm fine,” Wesley answered, trying to stay upright. His head was hurt and he was clearly bleeding, but it wasn't anything he couldn't handle or had in the past. “Why are you even here?” He said it before he thought about it.

“I thought you'd need some help,” Jason said plainly. Wesley raised his eyebrows in response, but didn't say anything more. “We need to get Maggie and get out of here.” Wesley felt the same way so he nodded and grabbed his hat from the floor. He was glad he wasn't alone in this and had people that were willing to kill this Demon Vampire and get the one thing he would never live his life without. He'd die before he'd leave her to this thing even if he had no idea how to kill Price.

Ami

Ami could feel the wind on her skin before she even opened her eyes. When she did finally open her eyes, the first thing that caught her eye was the dark sky above her and then the house. She knew where she was this time. She was at the home she grew up in, but she wasn't sure why. The house looked the same as it had when she was younger. The wood was weather stripped and the door was flimsy, but kept the elements out. The windows still had the glass in them and a faint light shown from one of the closer ones.

She took the few steps it took to get to the door and opened it slowly. Ami saw a familiar scene from the last night he mother was alive.

A man wearing a dark hat was standing in the middle of the room. Another man was holding her mother against the wall by her throat. The same as the woman in the vision Ami saw.

Ami wanted to run up and pull the man off of her mother, but she couldn't move. Everything she remembered as a child was being challenged and the past was becoming clear.

“Where's the child?” The man in the dark hat said, not taking his glowing green eyes from her mother. That's when it clicked for Ami. This wasn't just another Demon. This was Price. That's when he caught sight of a younger and more vulnerable Ami. “That's the one we're looking for.” He took a step towards the girl, but she ran.

Ami was screaming in her own head for the younger self to run faster and never look back, but she knew how it ended and now she knew everything she ever thought about herself was true. She wasn't just a girl chosen to fight as a Monster Slayer. She was a born Monster Slayer. Her blood was connected to the first one and the line that Price wanted to kill so many years ago. The thought made her want to run as the vision started to fade and she closed her eyes. Ami didn't want to wake up to a new nightmare that no one had ever told her about.

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About the Author

Stacey has been writing since she can remember. She primarily writes Edgy Paranormal and Paranormal Romance, but has dabbled in the Horror and Young Adult Genres.

She is a mother of Three and lives in the beautiful state of Wyoming. You can find her at her blog and Facebook page.

www.staceythompsonauthor.info

www.blog.staceythompsonauthor.info

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stacey-Thompson/133494070000357

@staceytg