Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Bitter Blood (Morganville Vampires, Book #13) by Rachel Caine


Synopsis Via Inside Dust Jacket:

For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to coexist in peace.  But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest of danger they face is the enemy within....

Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints - and vampires with no restrictions can be very, very dangerous.

With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town's human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms.  But college student Claire Danvers isn't about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires.

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide.  Now, with a camera crew running around town, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news...or worse.

Introduction Pg. 1, Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine:

Morganville, Texas, isn't like other towns.  Oh, it's small, dusty, and ordinary, in most way, but the thing is, there are these - well, let's not be shy about it.  Vampires. They own the town.  They run it.  And until recently they were the unquestioned ruling class.
But the vampires' reputation for invulnerability has taken some hits lately.  The troublesome underground human revolt, led by Captain Obvious, never seems to die; even though the Founder of Morganville and her vampire friends defeated their most dire enemies, the water-monster draug, they needed human help to do it.
Now Morganville is rebuilding, and it's a new day....But without the thread of the much-feared draug to hold them back, what's to keep Morganville's vampires from regaining their iron hold on the town?
One thing's for sure: there's going to be trouble.
And where there's trouble, there's Claire Danvers (Caine, R., 2012, pg. 1).

Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 703 KB
Print Length: 415 pages
Publisher: NAL; Reprint edition (November 6, 2012)
Sold by: Penguin Publishing
ASIN: B007ZHC7AW

Purchase Link:


Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; Reprint edition (April 2, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0451414241
ISBN-13: 978-0451414243
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1 inches
Purchase Link:


Saph's Review:

Now that the draug have been eliminated from Morganville, things are about to get ugly.  As if they weren't bad enough, the vampires have reenacted hunting procedures against all human residents of the town.  A new law enforced by Amelie under the subtle influence of her now lover, Oliver.  Yep, you read that right.  Oliver and Amelie ~ sworn enemies ~ are now pretty chummy.

While Oliver and Amelie are plotting ways to retake the town and reduce the lives of humans to nothing but food for the undead, the town is seeking a human for governor since the death of Richard (in a previous book).  One of Claire and Shane's great ideas is to nominate Monica, one of the only people they know that will be governor, and stand up to the vampires on the council.  Only, a new Captain Obvious has other plans.

Myrnin, crazy vampire that he is, knows that no good can come from Amelie and Oliver ruling Morganville they way they are headed and decides to skip town.  He visits Claire first, at the Glass House, and highly suggests that she leave, as well.  Her protection by the Founder is no longer rock solid and appears to be highly questionable at this time.  Myrnin and Claire share a pretty intimate (no sex - don't worry) moment that showed a bit of tenderness toward one another.  Of course, it's not the first time I've felt that Myrnin had the hots for Claire, however, it is one moment that I felt Claire might truly have those types of feelings for him, too.

A paranormal investigative team also shows up in Morganville right when tensions are high and the fight between humans and vampires may ignite at any moment.  The story surrounding this tread of the book is pretty interesting and even involves Miranda and Shane's sister, Lyssa.

While all of these things go on; from vamps hunting, to ghosts walking, and Captain Obvious causing trouble, we finally figure out who is behind the chaos....and I'm not telling who it is.  I know others have revealed it but I'm not going to it.  Ms. Caine does a fantastic job keeping everything straight.  Each story line threads within the novel seamlessly and all intertwine at some point or another.

There are many more things that go on within the pages of Bitter Blood, including bullying of Eve because she's married to a vampire, but to discuss them more would be to give it all away.  Read the book - you won't be disappointed.  Please make sure to read them in order because none of the novels in this series should be read as stand alones.

Review Copy Courtesy Of:  My local library.

Quote:
Myrnin ~
"....I lifted one foot from the brackish water, and the bunny slippers were soaked and drooped pathetically.  Even the fangs seems robbed of any charm.
     "Don't worry," I told it.  "Someone will pay for your suffering.  Heavily.  With Screaming."
I felt I should repeat it for the other slipper, in case there should be any bad feelings between the two.  One should never create tension between one's footwear" (Caine, R., 2012, pgs. 220-221).

As from my Vol.1 review: The entire human population of the town lives in fear of the creatures that stalk them; some of them can even be out during the day. Leaving the town is possible but not advisable as the vampires can do some interesting mind tricks to you to make you forget the town—BUT—if you ever start remembering anything while outside the bounds of Morganville, they will hunt you down and destroy you.

According to the author’s website, these books are suitable for Young Adults ages 13 and up.
Amazon has this listed for 18+ but I completely disagree. 13+ is an acceptable age threshold.

Welcome to Morganville, Texas but make sure you don’t stay out after dark!

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

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

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

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

Book 7: "Fade Out"

Book 8: "Kiss Of Death"

Book 9: "Ghost Town"

Book 10: "Bite Club"

Book 11: "Last Breath"

Book 12: "Black Dawn"

Rating:




Friday, June 28, 2013

Upcoming Release: A VISION OF ANGELS by Timothy Jay Smith (Presented by MindBuck Media)


A VISION OF ANGELS
by Timothy Jay Smith

— Synopsis —

A terrorist threat for Easter Sunday in Jerusalem sets off a chain of events that weave together the lives of an American journalist, Israeli war hero, Palestinian farmer, and Arab-Christian grocer.

Alerted to a suicide bomb plot, Major Jakov Levy orders the border with Gaza Strip closed. Unable to get his produce to market, Amin Mousa dumps truckloads of tomatoes in a refugee camp. David Kessler, an American journalist, sees it reported on television and goes to Gaza for Amin's story.

Hamas militants plot to smuggle a bomb out in David’s car and retrieve it when he returns home, but he’s unexpectedly detoured on the way. Meanwhile, a cell member confesses to the plot, and the race is on to find David and retrieve the bomb before the terrorists can.

Ultimately A Vision of Angels is a story of reconciliation and hope, but not before events as tragic as a modern passion play change the lives of four families forever.

Timothy Jay Smith's upcoming novel, A Vision of Angels, will be released by Own Canyon Press in July 2013.

You may read about this novel, and pre-order it, at:  http://www.owlcanyonpress.com/catalog/a_vision_of_angels.htm

Author Bio:

A Vision of Angels is Timothy Jay Smith second novel. As an unpublished manuscript, it won the Paris Prize for Fiction in 2008. Smith's first novel, Cooper's Promise, was released October 2012 to rave reviews. Kirkus Reviews called it "literary dynamite" and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012.

Bio Pulled from Mr. Smith's Blog:

Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he’s hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that’s seen him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through war zones and Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-days crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.

If life were a sport, Tim’s life would qualify as an extreme one, yet he’s managed most of it by working with people in personal, even intimate, settings. His professional life took him from the White House corridors to America’s harshest neighborhoods, from palace dinners to slum pickings, and these experiences explain the unique breadth and sensibility of his work.

Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he’s won top honors for his screenplays, stageplays and novels in numerous prestigious competitions; among them, contests sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He won the 2008 Paris Prize for Fiction and his first stageplay, which went on to a successful NYC production, won the very prestigious Stanley Drama Award.
http://www.timothyjaysmith.com/

MindBuck Media 

Cover Reveal: Mangled Hearts by Felicia Tatum

*Francesca and Cade*
Can two loves find their way back to each other despite an addiction and a hardened heart? Will their love overcome it all?
Francesca Taymon is young, successful, and broken. A tragic accident years ago haunts her to this day, and she blames only one person--the one that holds her heart. When she finally gets her first case, will she be able to handle seeing him again? Can she do her job and keep her heart intact?
Cade Kelling doesn’t take life seriously. He’s reckless and irresponsible, drinking all his problems away. When his parents bail him out for the last time, will he be able to handle seeing Francesca after all of these years? Will he be able to tell her what really happened that night 5 years ago or will he lose her forever?
And the most important question….
Can these mangled hearts be mended?
Cover by Samantha Bagood at Cover Pub 


Release Date: July 12, 2013


Felicia Tatum was born and raised in Tennessee. She always loved reading, and at the age of twelve began writing. Her passion for creating stories grew and in May 2012, she finally wrote her first novel, The White Aura.

She still lives in Tennessee with her daughter and her kitty. She loves cooking and books. Animals are some of her best friends. She watches a lot of Disney channel and often dreams up new book ideas. She's currently writing the second book in series, as well as a romance novel. Her dream is to write as many books as possible while entertaining as many people as possible.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

VBT ~ Spotlight: Reconaissance: Book 2 of Paradise Reclaimed by Aubrie Dionne (Presented by Shades of Rose Marketing)


Reconaissance: Book 2 of Paradise Reclaimed by Aubrie Dionne

Nova Williams has lost her one shot at Lieutenanthood and at love. Lieutenant Crophaven has promoted her rival, Andromeda, all because her lifemate, Sirius, sacrificed their mission to win back Andromeda’s love.

While sneaking out to prove Andromeda is a fake, Nova finds an alien ship hovering over their colony. Lieutenant Crophaven assigns her to a reconnaissance mission, giving her a second chance to redeem herself. Sirius must fly her and a research team to the vessel to decide if they are a threat. Thrown together with the lifemate that betrayed her, she battles with her own jealousy while her team battles for their lives.

Can she forgive Sirius in order to save her team and warn her colony?

Excerpt:

A drone, as deep and low as the growl of a primordial beast, resonated in my gut and I yanked my hand away. My heart sped like someone had fired a starter gun to a race, and my chest tightened until I couldn’t breathe.

That blaring blasphemy wasn’t from my ship.

The sound tapered off, leaving me in silence. I stared at the bones, wondering if I’d imagined it, or if I should hide here in the ruins in case the sound came back.

What am I doing? I’m a team expedition leader, for crying out loud!

I pulled myself back together. Everyone else was attending the ceremony on the ship. The thick hull, designed to protect us from deep space, blocked all sounds from the outside world. I was the only one who would have heard it. The only one who could investigate. I thought about going back for help, but every second I delayed, the source of the sound could disappear. Besides, I didn’t want the credit taken away from me. Not this time.

I scrambled to the window and climbed over the ledge, throwing myself down so fast my ankles exploded in pain. Cursing, I hobbled up the embankment of the excavation site. The sound boomed around me, vibrating the crystals underneath my feet. I fell to my knees and covered my ears. It reminded me of warping metal, growling monsters, and screeching alarms all at the same time.

The sound came from the jungle. I pulled myself up the incline and peered over the edge. A dry, fiery breeze blew my hair back, and I looked above the rustling canopy.

My heart stammered then beat into a frenzy. A massive ring of a ship, twice as large as the New Dawn, hovered over the jungle. Spires jutted from the top and the bottom, like a two-sided pin cushion. Blinking reddish lights adorned the ends. The hull was a dull gray shield of impenetrable metal with no sight panels or markings of any kind.

The buzzing sound made my eardrums throb. I pressed my nose up against the crystal ledge and peered over as my whole body shook. The lowest spire, thick as a nuclear reactor, lengthened from the belly of the ship until the tip hovered a meter from the jungle canopy. A trap door opened, and a beam of white light seared a hole in the foliage. The smell of burnt vines choked my throat, and I cowered against the side of the ledge.

I have to warn the ship.

Buy Links:

 Amazon:


Barnes & Noble

All Romance eBooks


Book 1: Colonization

Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.

But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius’s ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.

Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to keep her protect her new home. What she didn’t expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.

Can she save the colony and discover her true love?



Buy Links:

Amazon:


Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation--favorite character was Data by far--and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.


Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be "a concert flutist" when she grew up. She majored in flute performance at the University of New Hampshire on a full scholarship, then secured two teaching jobs at a University and a local community music school. While playing in orchestras and teaching, stories popped into her head, and she used them to make the music come alive for her flute students. Her students said they were so good, she had to write them down! Maybe they were right, who knows? Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.


She is represented by Dawn Dowdle and writes sweet and adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary romance.

Author Links: Twitter Site Blog Goodreads
 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Tour ~ Review & GIVEAWAY: Family Magic (Hayle Coven, #1) by Patti Larsen (Presented by Innovative Online Book Tours)


Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being ordinary. That my mom baked cookies instead of brewing spells. That my dad lived with us, not on the demon plane. All I ever wanted was to be like everyone else.

I know what you're thinking. You'd die to live in my world. How cool would it be if magic was real and you could do anything?

You have no idea. Here I am in another new town, but it's the same old thing. Cheerleader bullies? How original. Friendless again? Who's surprised? I suck at fitting in. Especially when I'm in the middle of saving my family from total destruction.

My name is Sydlynn Hayle, and that's my life.

Trade you.

Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 614 KB
Print Length: 466 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B005W5R79A


Amazon Paperback: 466 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 17, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1466451033
ISBN-13: 978-1466451032
Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches

Paperback Buy Link:  Family Magic

Barnes & Noble Buy Link:  Family Magic, Hayle Coven Book #1

Excerpt:

Witch after witch, male and female alike, professed their undying love and loyalty to our family, etcetera, and so on, ad nausem. It took forever. And to think we had to go through this twice a year. According to Mom, with the dying of the summer at Samhain and its rebirth at Beltane, the connection between our plane and Dad’s was closest. It made the bonding easier and more powerful.

Blah, blah, blah.

The only problem? It was the epitome of boring. Besides, I had homework to do. I could hardly explain to my science teacher I didn’t get my chemistry done because I was helping my coven renew its bond with my demon father. Who knew? Maybe Mr. Sinclair would give me a better mark if he thought I packed that kind of firepower.

Finally, and I do mean finally, the ceremony ended with the last of them stepping back from Haralthazar. He turned to my mother. The love in their eyes as they gazed at each other was, if I have to be totally honest, sickening and way over the top.

“My love.” He held her hands to his chest, the top of her head reaching his chin, the flawless, perfect lovers, channeling a bad romance novel.

Meira poked me. I knew I was making faces in disgust. It was just so embarrassing. Normal people didn’t do that kind of thing in public. Meira and I exchanged a knowing smirk and I pretended to gag.

“My life,” Mom said with bated breath.

Another grimace. Meira giggled.

“Our circle is whole. Our power is renewed, and our love.” Even Dad was in on the nonsense.

“Yours always, my love.” Mom stretched up on her tiptoes.

I quickly found something else to look at, horrified by the open attraction my parents had no problem sharing with the rest of us. Didn’t they get public displays of affection were the height of icky? I’m sure if it were me, I’d be grounded.

Meira sniggered and made a little kissing noise. I choked on a laugh and had to struggle not to cough.

Dad winked at us.

***

His amber eyes fixed on me unblinking in his cat way that made me squirm in discomfort.

“Your sister will never lead this family,” Sass told me, so matter-of-fact I was forced to listen. “If you choose to step aside, the coven will leave Hayle control forever.”

“As if. Sass, you are so paranoid.”

“I know them far better than you do,” he said with some bitterness. “Witches do not accept outsiders easily and resist any change to their natural order.”

“So? I don’t care, remember? I want out.”

“Then you are effectively handing over the strength of the most powerful coven in the West to whoever is deemed worthy at the time,” he said. “Do you understand what that means?”

“You’re obviously going to fill me in.”

“You’ll be cutting your mother’s throat,” he said. “And any other Hayle witch remaining alive.”

I made a face at him. “They would never hurt her. You’re so full of crap.”

I started to get up, but his paw hooked my sleeve and pulled me back down.

“Have you ever seen a witch stripped?” His face turned intense, even for a Persian, eyes glowing. “Cleaned out, reduced to nothing?”

“No.”

“I have,” he said, “the last time the magic changed hands. To your family.”

I settled back on the bed, curious. “You were here with the Tremere’s?” Even I knew basic history. But, I always thought Sass was a Hayle addition.

He snorted. “You have no idea.” He pulled his paw back. “None. Of what they can do, what they are capable of. Of the interference a change in power can attract from the High Council. Of the disruption it can cause in our world and to the normals. It’s not a small thing, Syd. Not a trifle, not something to be tossed away simply because you don’t want it. There are far more serious repercussions in this than your parents have been willing to tell you.”

***

I walked into the kitchen to the smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Allow me to explain. My mother, Miriam Hayle, powerful witch and coven leader, could not bake. In fact, as a rule and a whole, we tried to stop her at the first sign of blossoming domesticity. Her brief and often disastrous forays into all things homey were notorious for ending in tragedy, shed blood and a bucket of tears.

Not always hers.

So these perfect lumps of divine smelling sugary sweetness could not possibly have come from the hands of my mother.

I checked around for a telltale paper bag or plastic container explaining the appearance of fresh baked anything in my house. I stood over the cooling rack when Mom came in the kitchen and caught me drooling. She looked adorable in her clean, crisp black apron with ‘Witch in the Kitch’ written across it in florescent green.

We watched each other, silent, uncomfortable. It was pretty clear she was hiding something from me and didn’t know to share. Decision made, she smiled.

“Sydlynn, honey, I’m glad you’re home.” Mom took a step forward into the kitchen, still smiling.

I smiled tentatively back. Maybe this would be easier than I thought.

“Hi, Mom,” I said.

Mom glanced down at the tray of cooling cookies and laughed.

“Surprised?” She said.

I nodded.

She went to the cupboard and took out a plate. A spatula emerged from the drawer below it. She started serving cookies onto the waiting dish.

“I wasn’t sure at first,” she said, “but they seemed to turn out okay in the end.” She held up the plate to me, a hopeful, wistful expression on her face. “Cookie?”

That cookie could have tasted like crap and it wouldn’t have mattered. I loved my mother so much right then I would have eaten it wriggling or still on fire if I had to.

Saph's Review:

Setting:  Wilding Springs, PA

Sydlynn Hayle is the 16 year-old daughter of Miriam Hayle, witch, and coven leader.  All Sydlynn has ever wanted was to forget she has magical powers and just be normal.  This, of course is extremely difficult in a family full of witches, demons, and vampires.

Sydlynn's father is Haralthazar, Demon Lord of the Seventh Plane of Demonicon.  Because he resides on a different plane, Sydlynn is lucky to see him more than a handful of times each year.  Her sister, 8 year-old Meira, takes after their dad's side and proudly sports the reddish coloring and a couple of horns.  She constantly has to keep up an illusion out in public so her peers and neighbors don't go screaming into the night.  And Grandmother - poor grandmother - is mentally unstable since protecting their coven from an evil coven back when Sydlynn was a baby.  Uncle Frank, the vampire, and his vampire companion, Sunny, round out the family nicely.  Oh, and then there is Sassafras.  He's their talking cat that is, in all actuality "a demon teenager; a boy so terrible the demon elders punished him by placing him in the body of a house cat" (Larsen, P., 2011, pg. 49).  Sassafras has been in the Hayle family for 150+ years.

Sydlynn is very much a typical teenager - all magic aside - and struggles with trying to be who she wants to be while dealing with people who expect her to be something else.  She's fiercely independent and has is set in her mind that when she turns 18 she renouncing her heritage and walking away from the coven.  Unfortunately, she has another thing coming.

An old friend, and former member of the Hayle coven, Batsheva and Dominic Moromond, along with their son Quaid, seek out Miriam after their own coven breaks apart.  Sydlynn isn't really sure about the new family and finds it quite disconcerting that she finds Quaid staring or smirking at her quite often.  There is an attraction between the two, however Syd has her eyes set on Brad, a football player she goes to school with.

Unfortunately, Brad has the attention of head cheerleader and Miss Popularity herself.  When Alison finds Brad talking to Syd, all hell breaks loose and she ramps up the already bullying that happens to Syd.  And Syd has had enough.

It would also appear that the Hayle coven is under some sort of devious attack by another coven but Mirian, Syd, and the rest of the coven have a hard time trying to figure out who is behind the attacks.  Will Syd be able to pull herself together and help the Hayle coven before it's torn apart?

Wow!  Patti Larsen is a fantastic writer.  There are so many storylines, yet each is distinct and handled well within the novel.  While Family Magic is a paranormal book, it is also Young Adult and the situations created by the author are very much what you would expect in a household containing a teenager; witch or not.  There is the teenage angst ~ Syd doesn't fit in, she's trying to hard, she's a constant new girl since they move around a lot, she gets bullied.  There is the realization that there are boys in the world that might just like her. There is tension between Syd and her mother ~ her mother expects her to act certain ways and Syd just doesn't want to have anything to do with that.  She wants to be her own person and leave some of the family baggage behind.  Plus add in that her mother is leader of a coven and that adds a whole new layer to the family dynamics.

The world-building in this novel is created slowly, but not so slowly that you get bored and start skimming or skipping paragraphs.  Being that this is the first book in a series currently hailing at 20 books, introducing the key characters and their lifestyles, mannerisms, and characteristics is very important.  Nothing that develops is overwhelming and the book progresses at just the right pace.  All is explained well and this is just an excellent book.

I will be continuing on with the series.

Saph's Rating:


GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Patti Larsen is an award-winning middle grade and young adult author with a passion for the paranormal. But that sounds so freaking formal, doesn't it? I'm a storyteller who hears teenager's voices so loud I have to write them down. I love sports even though they don't love me. I've dabbled in everything from improv theater to film making and writing TV shows, singing in an all girl band to running my own hair salon.

But always, always, writing books calls me home.

I've had my sights set on world literary domination for a while now. Which means getting my books out there, to you, my darling readers. It's the coolest thing ever, this job of mine, being able to tell stories I love, only to see them all shiny and happy in your hands... thank you for reading.

As for the rest of it, I'm short (permanent), slightly round (changeable) and blonde (for ever and ever). I love to talk one on one about the deepest topics and can't seem to stop seeing the big picture. I happily live on Prince Edward Island, Canada, home to Anne of Green Gables and the most beautiful red beaches in the world, with my very patient husband and four massive cats.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY: Her Loving Husband's Return (The Loving Husband Trilogy) by Meredith Allard (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)



Her Loving Husband’s Return
Book Three
The Loving Husband Trilogy
By Meredith Allard

Genre: paranormal/historical

Publisher: Copperfield Press
Date of Publication: 4/19/13

ISBN: 9781301084036
ASIN: B00CFA0RJW
Number of pages: 276
Word Count: 86,500

Book Description:

What would you do to return to the only one you have ever loved?

James Wentworth’s secret is no longer a secret, and now he and his beloved wife, Sarah, have been separated.

While suffering his own internment, James is reminded of his time with Japanese-Americans in the Manzanar Relocation Camp during World War II, and he cannot allow the past to repeat itself. With the help of his friends—Chandresh, Jocelyn, Timothy, even the irreverent Geoffrey—James learns what it means to return, and he is determined to return to his Sarah no matter the challenges—or the consequences.

Will James and Sarah be reunited once and for all despite the madness surrounding them? Will James’s most fervent wish be granted? The changes in store for the Wentworths may be irreversible.

Purchase Links:



Barnes & Noble:  BN


Her Loving Husband’s Curse
Book Two 
The Loving Husband Trilogy
By Meredith Allard

Book Description:

How far will you go to protect the one you love?

Finally, after many long and lonely years, James Wentworth’s life is falling into place. Together with his wife, Sarah, the only woman he has ever loved, he has found the meaning behind her nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and now they are rebuilding the life they began together so long ago.

But the past is never far behind for the Wentworths. While Sarah is haunted by new visions, now about the baby she carried over three hundred years before, James is confronted with painful memories from his time with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Through it all, the persistent reporter Kenneth Hempel reappears, still determined to prove that the undead walk the earth. If Hempel succeeds in his quest, James and Sarah will suffer. Will the curse of the vampire prevent James and Sarah from living their happily ever after?

Purchase Links:


Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/143829?ref=Sapphyria



Her Dear and Loving Husband
Book One of The Loving Husband Trilogy
By Meredith Allard

Published by Copperfield Press

Genre: Vampire Romance

Book Description:

How long would you wait for the one you loved?

James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties anywhere. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth's death, James cannot move on.

Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?

Her Dear & Loving Husband is part historical fiction, part romance, and part paranormal fantasy. With elements of Twilight and The Crucible, Her Dear & Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.

Purchase Links:





About the Author:

Since 2000, Meredith Allard has been the Executive Editor of The Copperfield Review, an award-winning literary journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Northridge, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction seminars at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference.

Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Moondance, Wild Mind, Muse Apprentice Guild, Writers Weekly, CarbLite, and ViewsHound. She is the author of the Amazon Best-Selling Loving Husband Trilogy, as well as the historical novels Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle.

Victory Garden and Woman of Stones have also been Amazon Best-Sellers in the Historical Fiction and Religious Fiction categories.

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The Copperfield Review


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Cover Reveal: Alternate Connection (Countermeasure Series, Book 3) by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey

ALTERNATE CONNECTION is the third novel in the COUNTERMEASURE SERIES.
The next installment of the COUNTERMEASURE SERIES has a tentative release date set for November 5th, 2013. The story continues where TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE left off and pursues a parallel between Trevor and Cassandra Bauer’s quest and a daring attack on US nationals.
BLURB
CIA operative Nathan Nelson has built his life on secrets. Secrets about events that have shaped him into the man he has become. Events that taught him to keep his shields up. He has kept them buried in the past and nobody—not even Cassandra Bauer, the woman he claimed to love—knows of them. Now, those secrets have come barreling down on him at the worst of times.
Foreign Service Specialist Rachael Moore's personal crusade puts her in the crosshairs of very dangerous people. She would risk everything to achieve her goal even if it means exposing her battered heart and deeply concealed dreams to a man who doesn’t know the meaning of love.
Unbeknownst to both, their reconnection may not only bridge the chasm between the two of them, but shed light on a puzzling mystery. Their perilous journey becomes a race for their lives, leading them into a conspiracy rooted deeper than the tangled emotions between them.
Will their collaboration shatter the tenuous link woven in the past or forge a bond they never expected could exist in the future?



EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 5
Nathan shook his head and pulled out the first folder containing the personal file of Gerald Blair, U.S. Envoy to the Middle East. The report was thorough and contained a detailed account of both his professional and personal life. He raised his eyes to Hanson. “Do you want to split’em?”
“Nope. I’m done with them. They are all yours.”
“When—?”
“While I waited for the fax. I’m a fast read, Nelson. Keep that in mind.” Hanson’s lips quirked in a cocky grin as he leaned his seat back and closed his eyes. His disheveled appearance and the hickeys decorating his neck a clear indication he needed some shut-eye. “Let me know when you’re done so we can discuss the details.”
Nathan sank in his own seat, his mind teeming with questions. Questions he didn’t think he would have answers to any time soon. He had a long analysis ahead of him considering he was also looking for pieces of a puzzle unknown to Hanson. Unlike Hanson’s, Nathan’s focus also encompassed the files belonging to the two agents and two drivers who’d been killed in the attack.
With that in mind, he returned his attention to the folder and began studying the first of the people they were supposed to know inside and out before they set off for ground zero. As he read through the pages, he looked for inconsistencies, hidden information, or activities that could have made Blair a target. Anything that could have put them all in the crosshairs of whoever had taken them.
The situation was more complex than the usual hostage kidnapping. While religious extremists were quick to claim responsibility, those who’d abducted the six remaining members of the diplomatic convoy two days earlier hadn’t made any demands through the media. They’d simply dropped off the radar as if they’d never been.
There had to be a reason for that divergence from the usual and that reason could very well be tied to Nathan’s prime directive. The answer could be in any of their past or present and, if he was to be successful, he had to find it.
He beat his way through Gerald Blair’s file and took notes as he moved through. Blair had been in extensive contact with Palestinians and Israelis—unavoidable contact since it was an integral part of his job to mediate peace in the region—and that in itself could have placed a target on his back.
Nathan set Blair’s file aside and moved on to the next in the bundle. As he flipped it open, his whole body stiffened in his seat. A buzzing noise flooded his ears, and his sight dimmed. His field of vision narrowed to the picture on the page and the name listed—Moore, Rachael. Status: Widow. Rae.
His blood iced in his veins. For a moment, he felt detached from reality expecting someone to pop up in the seat in front of him pointing a camera and screaming, “Gotcha!” He fixed his eyes on the file again. Phillip Moore’s wife. Was that why Hanson had made that comment about setting personal involvements aside? Nathan stared at her familiar image for a moment before diving in. Some of the information in it was known to him. Some was brand new. He read the declassified report on Phillip’s death with a heavy heart and the thumping in his chest rose to such a loud racket he thought it would wake Hanson from his beauty sleep.
The more he read about Rachael, the more his frown deepened. Why was she working at the embassy in Israel? How had she come to be assigned as a personal assistant to Blair?
Phillip had been crazy about her, and Nathan understood why as soon as he’d met her. At the time they met, she’d been working on a business associate degree with some difficulty due to the sudden transfer to the US. Neither had mentioned she dabbed in international politics back then. Had she made a career change after Phillip’s death? Guilt punched him in the gut and he held his breath, squeezing his eyes shut to keep self-flagellation at bay.
He’d gone through that cycle many times before. He wasn’t about to slide down that road again. If that was how he could redeem himself, he was going to take it.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
cc_mediumSQUAREWriting had touched Chris Almeida’s and Cecilia Aubrey’s lives in different ways through the years but had never taken flight. It was in 2010, when Chris and Cecilia met and began role-playing online as a hobby, that writing placed itself front and center in their lives.
Chris and Cecilia have since chosen to release all their titles independently. They have several short stories and two novels published under their own label, Éire Publishing, and are vocal supporters of independent publishing done right. They are currently working on the third novel in their series. Through all the chaos and laughter, they still hold true to their roots, bringing their favorite role-play characters and stories to life.

You can find them at:
Facebook:

Websites:
Countermeasure Series - http://countermeasureseries.com 
Twitter:
Chris - http://twitter.com/CAlmeidaAuthor

Cecilia - http://twitter.com/CAubreyAuthor
You can enter the draw for one of 10 Countermeasure Series Swag Packs containing nine bookmarks and a bracelet (I <3 ALPHA GEEKS) and also enter the giveaway for a chance to win a digital ARC signed copy of ALTERNATE CONNECTION once it becomes available.
Thank you for joining us!

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Press Release: Her Loving Husband's Return (The Loving Husband Trilogy, Book 3) by Meredith Allard (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Executive Editor of The Copperfield Review Publishes Her Final Book in the Loving Husband Trilogy.

Meredith Allard, Executive Editor of The Copperfield Review, an award-winning literary journal for readers and writers of historical fiction, is also a degree holding creative writing instructor. She holds a BA and an MA in English from California State University and has been an instructor at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference, having taught creative writing and held seminars on writing historical fiction.

What would you do to return to the only one you have ever loved?

James Wentworth’s secret is no longer a secret, and now he and his beloved wife, Sarah, have been separated.

With the help of his friends—Chandresh, Jocelyn, Timothy, even the irreverent Geoffrey—James learns what it means to return, and he is determined to return to his Sarah no matter the challenges—or the consequences.

Will James and Sarah be reunited once and for all despite the madness surrounding them? Will James’s most fervent wish be granted? The changes in store for the Wentworth's may be irreversible.

Her Loving Husband's Return (The Loving Husband Trilogy, Book Three) was published on April 19, 2013 by Copperfield Press.

Her Loving Husband's Return will be on tour with Bewitching Book Tours from June 24, through July 22, 2013.

Genre: paranormal/historical

Publisher: Copperfield Press

Date of Publication: 4/19/13

ISBN: 9781301084036

ASIN: B00CFA0RJW

Number of pages: 276

Word Count: 86,500


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

Kindle Freebie Blast: Age of the Aura ~ Phase 1: Champions of Power by Samuel Odunsi, Jr.



Age of the Aura, Phase I:

Champions of Power (SYNOPSIS) Genre: Science Fiction (Space Opera) The Blessed Galaxy has no other name. After being gifted with the Auras—five great powerhouses of celestial creation—the title was a suitable fit. For millennia, the governing bodies have ruled their respective reaches of the Galaxy while harnessing the might of the Auras. But now they face the threat of a calamity, from an unlikely source, that could shake the lives of all. Lowen Sars, a devout man of science, decides to take on the burden of saving the Galaxy’s people once he learns of the calamity. But he soon realizes that the role of a hero was a calling not meant for him, even with his sudden promotion. In his process of self-discovery, Lowen begins the fateful saga of not only the Blessed Galaxy, but also the kingdom in possession of the corrupt Aura. 

Read more behind the story! http://ageoftheaura.com/universe/ 

Download Phase I for FREE on Amazon! (June 24th-28th ONLY!) http://amzn.to/M8k1vf 

Enter to Win a Physical Copy of Phase I on GOODREADS!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Champions of Power by Samuel Odunsi Jr.

Champions of Power

by Samuel Odunsi Jr.

Giveaway ends July 24, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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Book Reviews for Phase I


The Indie Book Review
A Book So Fathomless - "3.5 out of 5"
Beth Art From the Heart - "4 out of 5"
Voracious Reader - "3 out of 5"
Sadie S Forsythe - "3 out of 5"
Nik's Picks - "4 out of 5"
Dee's Reads - "3 out of 5"
My Cozie Corner - "5 out of 5"
Confuzzled Books - "4 out of 5"
Cheryl's Book Nook - "4 out of 5"
The Guide to Good Books - "5 out of 5"
Paranormal Sisters - "3.5 out of 5"
Books With Leti Del Mar - "3 out of 5"

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kindle Free Book Blitz & Review: Witch Weigh by Caroline Mickelson (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)


Tessa Von Hellengaard is a real witch. Magical spells aside, she’s snarky and selfish, and the other witches in her silent spell coven are fed up with her. Their plan to reform Tessa involves taking away her magic, saddling her with one hundred extra pounds, and sending her to a weight loss spa. 

For good measure they call in Liam Kennedy, a charming and sexy fairy godfather, to teach her some manners. Desperate to regain her magic and determined to shed the weight, Tessa soon realizes that protecting her heart from Liam will prove to be her greatest challenge.

Witch Weigh 
Caroline Mickelson 

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Comedy 

Publisher: Bon Accord Press 

Date of Publication: April 24, 2012 

ISBN: 0985129646 
ASIN: B007X7CY5W 

Number of pages: 155 
Word Count: 29K Words 

Cover Artist: Derek Murphy

WILL BE FREE FOR YOUR KINDLE ON JUNE 24-28:
(verify price is $0.00 before purchasing.  Saph isn't responsible for incorrect pricing).

Excerpt:

“Hey, lady, anyone ever tell you you’re a real witch?” 

“More times than you can imagine.” Contessa Von Hellengaard, Tessa to her few friends and many enemies alike, eyed the obstinate construction worker who blocked the path of her sleek black Mercedes. 

She wondered how this mere mortal would like being turned into a fluffy skunk. Her fingers itched to work their magic, but she kept them gripped on the steering wheel. She was already in enough trouble with the Upper Hallows Witch Council without casting what they would consider another unnecessary spell. If she was detained any longer she’d be late for her meeting with said council. Tessa knew they were already ticked off enough without her adding another infraction to their precious list. 

She leaned out the window. “Remove your overfed self from my way immediately. I need to use this road and I don’t have time for your ridiculous detour.” 

“Guess you should’ve used your broomstick then because there ain’t no way I’m letting your car get through here.” He crossed his beefy arms over his chest. 

He seemed altogether too amused with his juvenile humor for Tessa’s liking. Broomstick indeed. She revved the motor to let him know she meant business. 

He couldn’t say he hadn’t been warned. 

She pushed up her black lace sleeves and pointed to the orange and white barricade. “Last warning. Remove yourself and that thing from my way.” 

He laughed at her. Laughed. At her. 

She narrowed her eyes. This sorry excuse for a government employee was not going to make her late for her meeting. Removing him from her path, she decided, was a very necessary act indeed. She could make the council members understand. But only if she got there on time. 

With the tip of her red lacquered fingernail she traced a circle in her palm, silently reciting the spell that would get her what she wanted. A small, satisfied smile tugged at her lips as the man in front of her began to levitate. She stroked her index finger sideways to help direct his ascension. His shocked expression and angry torrent of curse words bothered her not at all. He continued to fuss and kick even after he was hooked on to the high crane by the back of his overalls. At over forty feet above the ground she could barely make out his foul words. 

Tessa flicked her finger across her palm with one last quick swipe and waited while the barricade went flying to the side of the road and crashed on a pile of rocks. 

She waved farewell to the construction worker as she slipped her Mercedes into drive. The fool would be wise to quit struggling or he’d soon have a painful wedgie. Silly mortal. He had no reason to panic. Someone would be along to get him down. Eventually.


Saph's Review:

Contessa Von Hellengaard, aka Tessa, is a witch.  She also happens to a witch with a capital B.  She's member of the Upper Hallows Witch Council, who are fed up with her antics and blatant disregard for rules. She's snobby, stuck up, and finds that using magic to get her own way is a lot easier than being nice, giving, patient, or following the rules.  

The Council decides that it must resort to drastic measures in order to get through to Tessa and make her understand that there are boundaries to her magic and that, above else, she must be nice and unselfish.  They decide that Tessa must have her powers removed and have assigned a fairy godfather to help guide her into a life of kindness.  As if stripping her powers wasn't enough, they add a bunch of extra weight to her body and send her (and Liam, her fairy godfather) off to a weight loss camp.  Will Tessa finally wake up and release the goodness that she has inside or is she doomed to be powerless and above all else ~ oblivious to her bad magic ways?

Tessa is a very selfish, spoiled witch.  She believes that because she has magical powers she can do anything she wants without regard for anyone or anything.  She really feels that she's entitled and doesn't care at what cost that comes to others.  Her character was a hoot, actually.  Her mannerisms when she was silenced or forced to wear ballet slippers or be around anything pink was great.  After her arrival at the spa, you could really see progress in her but only after she'd been there for a while.  Her progress, both physically and emotionally, didn't make great headway early on.  After she began good progression, the author did a great job in not making is easy or perfect; Tessa hit a bump in the road, especially in her conversation with her aunt when she came to visit Tessa.  There was still a bit of selfishness that was left inside that needed work.

Liam Kennedy spoke one of the (many) great lines in the book, as far as I'm concerned:

Tessa:  "You're my fairy godmother?"
Liam:  "That I am, with one notable difference." He winked.
(Mickelson, C., 2012, pg. 17)

This was a cute novella that really brings to light just how selfish people can be, magically endowed or not, and how their actions affect others.  There were parts of Witch Weigh that seemed to walk a different trail than other parts (a little scattered or abrupt) but in the end, the points were made.  The budding romance between Tessa and Liam was sweet and sincere and completely enjoyable to read.  There was a bit of drama added concerning a job Tessa wanted in Europe that becomes a stumbling block but it made the novella a bit more robust.  All-in-all this was an enjoyable, quick read.

Review Copy Courtesy Of:  Caroline Mickelson, author, via the book tour company, in exchange for an honest review.

Saph's Rating:



About the Author:

Caroline Mickelson loves her family and loves to write. She also loves a good adventure, among her favorites thus far were attending graduate school in a Scottish castle, riding a camel around the Pyramids in Giza, and taking a best-in-a-lifetime road trip to Graceland. Caroline lives in the American southwest with her husband and their four children, affectionately known as The Miracles.



Twitter: @authorCarolineM

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Author Spotlight: Michigan Author Rebecka Vigus


Retired teacher Rebecka Vigus spends her time writing, reading, crocheting, hiking, and swimming. She lives in an old farmhouse and travels seeking a warm place to call home. 

Crossing the Line is the second book in her Macy McVannel series. She is busy penning book three, Sanctuary. Book four is already on the back burner and will be titled Something Borrowed, Something Blue. 

Ms. Vigus has been writing since she was in her pre-teens. Her first book was poetry, Only a Start. She later expanded it to be Only a Start and Beyond. She also wrote a self-help book for tweens and teens; So You Think You Want to be a Mommy? She followed those with four mystery novels, Secrets; Out of the Flames, Target of Vengeance, and Cold Case: Sleeping Dogs Lie. Ms. Vigus has been listed as a Michigan Author and Illustrator at the state of Michigan website. 

She loves spending time with family and friends. She is the mother of one and grandmother of four. She finds time to crochet preemie layettes for a neo-natal unit. 

Find her at

http://duchessoflilac1.hubpages.com/




You can also e-mail her at ladyrebecka@yahoo.com.

All of her books are available through amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com (Amazon links are below).