Wednesday, July 31, 2013

REVIEW: Cataclysmic Shift by Tara Lain

Summary:

Super cat, Aloysius, may be the most powerful witch's familiar in the world, but when he takes a blast at the hand of an evil witch he loses it all -- power, memory, and his feline form -- to become the ethereal human beauty, Alain Bellarose. When Alain wakes up naked on the floor surrounded by dogs and cats, his eyes first set upon Luke Elliott, the handsome and mysterious veterinarian. Suddenly, the prospect of being human doesn't seem so bad. Luke has a lot to hide and he likes animals way more than people, but he can't resist the flamboyant boy who washes his face with the side of his hand and tries to lick his own privates! The loss of Aloysius depletes Witch Master Killian Barth's power and that of his “secret weapon” Sammy and leaves their coven sitting ducks for two very nasty women. When Alain discovers that he's really a powerful cat, he's faced with the ultimate choice: to protect his community, or surrender his power and stay with the man he loves.

Title:  Cataclysmic Shift
Series:  The Aloysius Tales
Book #: 3
Author:  Tara Lain
Approximate Book Length:  221 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

There are certain things you can expect from a Tara Lain book: sizzling heat, a ride through the range of emotions, and a smile in the end. This story is no exception!

There are two plot lines, one having to do with Luke and the other to do with Alain. They mesh really well so we get a good sense of both characters and they build to some really great moments, both happy and sad. I was on pins and needles through many parts filled with excitement, hope, dread, heartache…and I was just completely enthralled. I think this one is longer than the previous two books, but it’s so worth it and I still read it in one day.

I loved that we get not only cameos from the characters in books 1 and 2, but they were actually quite involved in the story, including getting to see their abilities at work. While I know the ending changes things quite a bit for Aloysius and Killian, but it’s still so endearing and heartwarming. I can’t wait for more!

Bottom Line:

Cataclysmic Shift was such a wonderful read. I laughed, I cried, and it tugged on my heart strings hardcore. Ultimately it’s a story that was so sweet, very exciting, and unquestionable compelling. I loved it! If you’re looking for a happy ending (in more ways than one), pick up this awesome book!

Rating:



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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NEW RELEASE: Matchpoint by Elise Sax


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this release blitz. Here's a little bit about Matchpoint by Elise Sax. Happy reading!

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Lovably troublesome Gladie Burger runs into sizzling danger and a fiery love triangle in the second installment of Elise Sax’s hilarious and sexy Matchmaker romance series.

“Elise Sax will make you laugh. Her larger-than-life characters jump off the page and make crazy seem like a fun place to hang out.”—New York Times bestselling author Christie Craig

Since joining the family matchmaking business run by her eccentric Grandma Zelda, Gladie is always looking for love. But when an unbearable toothache knocks her out of commission and into the dentist’s chair, she prays only for relief. No such luck. Emerging from an anesthetic haze, Gladie awakes to find that not only is her tooth still throbbing, but her dentist is dead—and the lead suspect in the murder, office receptionist Belinda, just so happens to be Gladie’s first real client. Now it’s up to Gladie to find Belinda a man and keep her from being locked up behind bars.

As if that weren’t enough distraction, two gorgeous men are vying for Gladie’s attention: Spencer, the playboy chief of police, and Holden, Gladie’s secretive, gorgeously muscled neighbor. Still, Gladie’s not complaining about having a helping hand or two when the case leads her to a dangerously bizarre cult. She may have met her match—and if she’s not careful, it could be her last.


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~EXCERPT~

Matchpoint by Elise Sax (Excerpt) by Romance At Random



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About the Author
Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before trying her hand at writing fiction. She lives in Southern California with her two sons. An Affair to Dismember, the first in the Matchmaker mystery series, is her first novel.

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An Affair to Dismember ~ Book 1

Certain to appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, and Katie MacAlister, Elise Sax’s hilarious series debut introduces matchmaker-in-training Gladie Burger, who stumbles into a dangerous quagmire of murder and red-hot romance.

Three months has been Gladie Burger’s limit when it comes to staying in one place. That’s why Gladie is more than a little skeptical when her eccentric Grandma Zelda recruits her to the family’s matchmaking business in the quaint small town of Cannes, California. What’s more, Gladie is also highly unqualified, having a terrible track record with romance. Still, Zelda is convinced that her granddaughter has “the gift.” But when the going gets tough, Gladie wonders if this gift has a return policy.

When Zelda’s neighbor drops dead in his kitchen, Gladie is swept into his bizarre family’s drama. Despite warnings from the (distractingly gorgeous) chief of police to steer clear of his investigation, Gladie is out to prove that her neighbor’s death was murder. It’s not too long before she’s in way over her head—with the hunky police chief, a dysfunctional family full of possible killers, and yet another mysterious and handsome man, whose attentions she’s unable to ignore. Gladie is clearly being pursued—either by true love or by a murderer. Who will catch her first?


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NEW RELEASE: A Time of Dying by Hailey Edwards


HAPPY RELEASE DAY!


They just might survive…if they don’t kill each other first.

Once the future Segestriidae maven, Kaidi lived a privileged life. Now she spends her nights haunting cities ravaged by the plague. Spade in hand, she stalks rows of freshly dug graves for corpses…and then she takes their heads.

Her new life is caked in blood and spattered with gore, but it’s hers. At least until—to her fury—she’s caught napping.

A plague survivor by the skin of his teeth, Murdoch risks his neck to solve the mysteries left in its wake. Bodies have gone missing. Guards have left their posts and never returned home.

When he rouses a female dozing among the dead, he’s unprepared for the violence of her response. Or his. Beneath the grime, she’s lovely. Too bad the blood under her fingernails belongs to his clansmen.

He has no choice but to follow this alluring creature deeper into her world of winged beasts and flesh-eating monsters. She holds the knowledge he craves, but the price is high—and they may both pay for it with their lives.

Warnings: This book contains one heroine in desperate need of a bath and one hero willing to wash away her sins. Expect threats, swears and general cursing. Love is a slippery slope, and these two are sliding.


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~EXCERPT~

Chapter One

Freckled skin gave beneath my spade as I angled its honed point at the hollow of some poor female’s throat. Milky eyes bored into mine when I braced my foot on the spade’s tread, shifting my weight, bearing down until the blade sliced through her slender neck, tearing flesh and crunching bone. Her lips parted on a gasp, or perhaps I imagined that flicker of awareness before I snuffed her final remnants. Gods knew I hoped it was only guilt picking at scabs on my weary conscious.

The death of even one innocent would break me, if any scrap of the old Kaidi remained.

Tossing the spade aside, I wiped sweat from my brow and bent to check her pockets, finding them as empty as my own. No coin meant going another day without food. Not that I had much of an appetite after this, but I couldn’t live on stale water for much longer. Soon I would need a hot meal and a safe place to rest, if one still existed.

Gaze skimming the grassy field littered with the corpses of plague victims, I had my doubts.

Exhaustion bore me to my knees. I was too tired to wince when one knee cracked on a loose stone. My chin hit my chest, and my eyes shut. The pulse of pain, of hunger, of regret, lulled me.

One minute lapsed, then two. Any moment I would rise. Any time now…

The press of cold metal against my throat shocked me awake.

“I’ll have your name, female.” The booming masculine voice made my head throb.

“I hope not.” I ignored the blade and rubbed my eyes clear. “It would sound silly on a male.”

More pressure made breathing without cutting my neck difficult. “Tell me your name.”

I rolled around a few choices before saying, “Imani.”

His grunt called me on my lie. Interesting. Usually they couldn’t tell.

He nudged me with his boot. “What’s your purpose here?”

I shrugged. “The same as my purpose elsewhere, I imagine.”

Grasping my upper arm, he hauled me onto my feet and spun me to face him. I stifled a gasp when I met the pitch-black eyes informing me that I had run afoul of a Mimetidae warrior. I had tracked the plague to Cathis, the Mimetidae’s clan home, but had I been in my right mind, a state I barely recalled these days, I would have avoided their borders and continued on to the next city.

Contrary to my actions these past few months, I did not have a death wish.

Thinly leashed anger radiated through his tightened fingers. “You play a dangerous game.”

“You have no idea,” I murmured, while measuring the distance from here to the forest.

His gaze trailed after mine. “You won’t make it.”

“So you say.” I struggled until he released me, then I hit the ground like a sack of stones.

“If you can’t stand, then you can’t run.” He sheathed his weapon, turning to appraise my long night’s work by the dawn’s soft glow. “Care to explain this?” He gestured toward the headless corpse. “Or those?”

I forced myself to count victims—sixteen females and one male for good measure.

My laugh was rusty. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

His brow creased. “Try me.”

I fisted a palm’s worth of loose dirt. “Well, it’s like this…”

When he folded his arms over his chest, away from that lovely sword of his, and inclined his head, waiting, I exhaled hard and prayed the gods gave my feet wings. His frown cut deeper, lips parting on his next demand, when I gathered my nerve and flung the contents of my hand at him.

“What in the gods’ names—” He staggered back, blinking in surprise.

Shoving to my feet, I bolted past him, snagged my spade and ran for the safety of the trees. His bellow of rage made my heart race and chest tighten. Those were not the sounds of a happy male. No, they were the sounds of a male preparing to rend a female in two, if he could catch her.

Scenery blurred as I ran harder, faster, until my foot rung a hole and I tumbled onto all fours. I was halfway to standing when the male burst into the small clearing, head lifted, nostrils flared.

“Move,” he warned, “and we’ll see if your head comes off as easy as theirs did.”

Turning my head slowly, I noticed his arms were out, but his sword remained tethered at his hip as if he didn’t want to harm me. Pity. Once I might have appreciated his misguided chivalry. Now I saw it for the weakness it was. I was female, but I was not soft. Not my heart, and not my arms. They were lean and muscled from digging up graves, as firm and cold as the ground where I had buried my mother, my sisters and cousins, all the members of my family but one, my uncle.

I did this for them, as practice for the day we met again and I added their names to my tally.

Can’t kill what’s already dead, I reminded myself.

While my thoughts churned over each other, the male took a step, and I tightened my grip on the spade. Before he got near enough to lay his hands on me, I twisted on my side and swung my weapon. The flat side cracked against his jaw, popping his neck as his head twisted. In a daze, he faced me, eyes whirling. Staggering back, he smeared the blood welling from his smashed cheek.

Scrambling out of his reach, I clawed my way upright, and a heartbeat later I was running. I barely dared to hope I might escape him unscathed when an impact knocked me against a tree. Ears ringing, I clamped my head between my hands and focused on not vomiting as the world lurched beneath me. A second hit from behind sent me tumbling onto the ground and burst my lip.

I wheezed when my attacker collapsed across my back, crushing the air from my lungs.

“I can’t…breathe.” My sight tunneled, turning hazy around the edges.

His low growl rumbled against my spine. “That makes two of us.”

Strong hands grasped my shoulders and flipped me onto my back. Before I brought my knee up to greet his tender parts, the male straddled my legs and sat on my shins, pinning me in place. His fingers dug into my collarbones, and the twist of his lips told me that if he had another set of hands, my wrists would be shackled too. Luckily for me, he didn’t, and I knew what I had to do.

I brought the spade up, but seconds from contact, he noticed. Wrenching the handle from my grasp, he flung it so far I lost sight of it. He lowered his head until his blood dripped on my chin. His breath was hot and hissed between his teeth. His expression sent fear shivering up my spine.

I swallowed hard. “Please—”

His palm sealed the plea in my mouth. “Save your lies for those who might believe them.”

Trapped beneath a snarling male who stood a head taller than me, three times wider than me, I had no choice but to obey. He was battered, his judgment clouded, and I knew I would outlast him.

“Those eyes—that hair—” His gaze narrowed on my left ear. “You’re Segestriidae.”

A name I could falsify. The golden hair and lavender eyes common to my clansmen, those I had no way to alter. Failing those telling signs, there was the clear quartz crystal suspended from my earlobe by a golden strand of Araneidae silk. The expense of that silk confirmed my identity. If their nigh-unbreakable silk made the Araneidae the wealthiest clan in the Araneae Nation, then the craftsmanship of mine made us almost equals in worth. Our skill with crystals was unrivaled.

To possess the appearance of the Segestriidae and indicators of my status was foolhardy.

Vanity kept me clinging to one while desperation made me reliant on the other. At least I had the good sense to travel with the matching necklace concealed. Bad enough to be a lone female on the road. That earned me unwanted attention. But if my fellow rogues had coveted the earring, they would have gutted me for the pendant.

Behind my captor’s eyes, I imagined his mind at work puzzling out my identity. My clothes were heavy and meant for travel, dyed soot black because I hunted my prey after the sun had set.

Briefly, I wished for his midnight hair and eyes. How well he must complement the night.

After a moment’s hesitation, he wiped the blood from my mouth with a cloth pulled from his pocket. When he finished, he inhaled my scent, and dread tightened my stomach. The Mimetidae were trackers, the lot of them. What I had given him was a means of locating me should I escape.

While tucking away his prize, his gaze never left mine. “Why are you on Mimetidae land?”

I mumbled against his hand, and he removed it. “Let me go.”

His eyes crossed. “I asked you a question.”

“Why bother answering when we both know I won’t tell you the truth?”

“I suspected as much, but as you’re female, I thought to give you the benefit of the doubt.”

“Well,” I countered, “as you’re male, I thought honesty and small words were prudent.”

A tic started beneath his right eye. “You’re insulting me.”

The seriousness of his expression made me laugh. “You’re a quick one, you are. Did you enjoy the chase?” I winked at him. “Set me on my feet and we can have another go.”

“I prefer you just as you are…” he shifted his hips, “…flat on your back.”

His words dried the spit from my mouth. All the ways this encounter could end poorly—for me—spun wild through my head. Though the guard’s heavy thighs pinned mine together, he was not aroused. That realization somewhat eased my mind. Now if he would only stay uninterested.

When he slid his hands down my body, then up my waist and over my breasts, I launched my fist at his bloodied jaw, but he swatted aside my arm.

“Calm yourself.” He went still, his face earnest. “I would never harm a female in that way. I must search you for more weapons. Understand?”

I nodded as if I believed that was all he was after.

“What’s this?” His patting had located my necklace. When he fished it from my shirt, his eyes widened. “I’ve never seen such a large crystal. The setting…” he turned it over in his hand, “…it’s solid gold.” He wasn’t asking. He didn’t have to. What would be the point of using such a remarkable stone but denying it an equally elegant setting? He breathed, “This must be worth a small fortune.”

His tone implied I must have stolen it. In fact, it had been a gift from my betrothed, a bauble as beautiful as it was lethal.

Qualities Hishima had once ascribed to me.

“It was a gift from my uncle.” I wasn’t stretching the truth too far. The earring had truly been a gift from Ghubari, a match to the impressive novelty my betrothed had given me. “Please let me keep it. Better yet, let me go.”

“If I did, where would you go?” He glanced up, then back at me. “What would you do? Find another field of bodies to desecrate? Loot more poor souls bound for the Above?” His expression mirrored his repulsed tone as he shoved the pendant back into my shirt. “Have you not a decent bone in your body that you violate the dead?”

“You don’t know me.” My morals had been abandoned for the sake of survival.

“I know enough.” He pushed to his feet and took me with him. “Come on. Let’s go. You can keep the necklace until my paladin says otherwise.”

My palms turned sweaty. “Where are you taking me?”

“Has it slipped your recollection that you’ve mutilated our dead? That offense is punishable by five years imprisonment, and assaulting one of the city’s guards has earned you another five.”

“They were dead.” At least they were as far as he knew. “What does it matter to them?”

“They have family that will come to pay their respects and find their loved ones hacked into pieces and the silver tokens placed upon their eyes pocketed by the female who did the cutting.”

Shame prickled my skin, but I held my head high while he dragged me toward the city. Near the bodies stood a second male, whose short blond hair was so filthy it almost matched his mud-brown eyes. His frame was heavy with muscle, his shoulders as wide as the ursus northlanders rode.

He paused in his deliberation and jerked his chin my way. “Did that little thing do all this?”

My captor rubbed his discolored jawline. “All that and more.”

The blond smirked. “You taking her to Vaughn?”

“No.” His grip on me tightened. “The paladin has weightier matters on his mind.”

Paladin Vaughn? No, that couldn’t be right. The maven here was his mother, Isolde. She had ruled the Mimetidae since the death of her husband, since before I was born. Unless the plague…

“That’s the truth of it.” The blond male scrubbed a meaty hand over his head.

“Finish up, then check the perimeter.” He tugged me closer. “Her kind rarely travels alone.”

He was right about that. Most future paladins, especially Hishima, refused to let their future wives leave their clan home unguarded. What would this male say if I presented my necklace as a token from my once-beloved as proof of what my kind was? How would he react once he realized that I was the future maven of the Segestriidae? His scowl made me believe that neither the scrap of parchment bearing Father’s crest nor Hishima’s letters tucked into my pocket would sway his determination to see me punished, so I studied my captor and our surroundings as the males wagged their tongues.

“Get on with you, then.” The blond knelt and resumed whatever task we had interrupted.

A hard tug on my arm sent me stumbling. “Are you trying to yank my arm from its socket?”

The brute loosened his grip a fraction. “Stop dragging your feet.”

Out of spite, I was tempted to dig in my heels and make him haul me every step into Cathis. But I wanted freedom more, so I hurried along while slipping a hand into my shirt to grasp the pendant. With a firm jerk, I broke the silken chain’s metal clasp then shoved my hand into my pocket. My fingernail slid along the topmost edge, where the stone met its metal setting. A push of my thumb broke the seal and left me holding the crystal sheath while the petite dagger it had concealed dropped into my pocket. Careful of the blade’s razor edges, I grasped the short hilt in my palm.

“What will you do with me?” Sad to say, I had some idea. “Will it involve seasoning salts?”

He glanced back, his eye twitching again. “We do not partake of the flesh of our prisoners.”

Hit a tender spot, had I? Perhaps I ought to jab harder to prod a reaction from him.

“Ah. Well, that’s a comfort. I had heard Mimetidae consumed the flesh of their enemies. I’m relieved you said even my kind is exempt from your kind’s indelicate predilections for eating—”

He whirled around so fast, I yelped in surprise. Grasping my shirt, he reeled me hard against him. “What else have you heard? That we find the screams of helpless females intoxicating? Or a favorite of mine—how we peel the skin from our victims, dry the meat in strips to savor it later?”

I blanched when our chests bumped and his head lowered. I had what I wanted—his reaction was whip-sharp and furious. Riling him proved he was as far removed from Segestriidae males I had known as the moon was from the sun. He was no gentle craftsman. He was fierce, a warrior.

My knees quaked, but I stood my ground. “I don’t believe everything I hear.”

“In this case…” his eyes glittered, eager for truth to burn my ears, “…perhaps you should.”

By the time a scornful retort had readied itself, he had given me his back. I let my gaze slide over him while I deliberated, the broad expanse of his muscled shoulders coaxing my eyes lower.

No time to be squeamish. While he was distracted, I had to strike. I had to break free of him.

Tightening my fist around the dagger’s hilt, I slipped it from my pocket. Its tip wavered as if it were a divining rod, angling toward his weak spots. I had never sunk a blade in a living person.

But since he had no intention of granting me freedom, I would seize it for myself.

Death awaited me in Cathis. If not in the teeth of his clansmen, then at the hands of mine.

Steeling my nerves, I brought my arm across my body. My wrist rested on my shoulder for a moment before I used all my strength to bury the blade deep in the tender meat above his left hip.

My captor howled, and I struggled to break his grip on one arm while twisting the knife with the other. When pain brought him to his knee, I shoved him, retrieving my dagger and toppling him to the dirt on his back.

Guilt and relief made me lightheaded as I pocketed the blade and sprinted for the forest. The fallen male’s furious shouts would set his friend on my trail for certain. I had to hurry. I had to—

Bones popped in my shoulder when a wall of muscle slammed me against a tree. Thick arms banded about my waist and cut off my air. Gasping, I squirmed and kicked, but the blond giant held tight. He lifted me, tucking me under his arm as if I were a bedroll. With my arms pinned, I threw my leg to trip him. He caught that too and swung me high on his hip as he would a child.

Blood heated my cheeks when he smirked at me. “Nice try, but I’m one tree you won’t fell.” To prove his point, he trapped both my ankles at his hip with one hand while the other supported me by crushing me so tight against his side his lungs might have been supplying the air for mine.

“Shouldn’t you see to your friend?” I twisted my head, the only part of me I could move, but I saw no sign of the male I had stabbed. The field was littered with bodies, but none of them his.

“Murdoch?” The behemoth grinned. “He’s not my friend.” He chuckled at something behind me, and I dreaded what lurked past my shoulder. “Female, I don’t think he’s your friend, either.”

“I’ll take her from here, Lleu,” a familiar voice grated near my ear.

“You sure?” The giant squeezed until I gasped. “Shouldn’t you get sewn up first?”

“I’m sure.” Murdoch wrenched my arms behind my back. “Do you have your hawser?”

A tense pause stretched between them. “Always.”

Murdoch held out his hand. “May I use it to secure the prisoner?”

“Use this instead.” The blond tossed him a length of black thread that made Murdoch frown.

He ran the thick, knobby silk rope through his fingers. “You’re a male of many talents.”

His friend waggled his eyebrows at me. “So the females tell me.”

After binding my wrists, Murdoch smoothed his thumb over the stump of my missing ring finger. I cringed when he touched it. The first two joints were missing, and his caress of what remained felt too intimate somehow. I was grateful he showed me the small mercy of not asking about it, but resumed his task. He pried my legs from Lleu’s grip and crossed my ankles to hobble me before he knotted the rope. Lleu was all that held me upright while Murdoch searched me. This time his efforts produced the bloody dagger and its crystal sheath, which he kept.

Assured I was unarmed, he slung me over his shoulder. My face hit a wet spot on his lower back, and I recoiled from the blood turning his worn shirt brown. The wound splashed crimson over his tan skin, and the stain kept growing.

He must be in terrible pain. I wasn’t being wholly facetious when I offered, “I can walk.”

“Very fast,” he said, “and in the opposite direction of where I want you to go.”

Huffing hair from my eyes, I glared at his arse, figuring it was the same as arguing to his face. “Release me.” When he grunted, I promised, “I’m more trouble than I’m worth, Murdoch.”

His shoulders tensed at my use of his name, but he continued on without comment.

“You will regret this.” We both would if Hishima got word. “Put me down, please.”

“There.” He winced when he set me on my feet. “You’re down.” He reached into his pocket and produced the cloth he’d wiped my face with earlier. “Open your mouth.” He waited. “Now.”

My eyes rounded. “You can’t be—”

He crammed the cloth into my mouth too fast for me to even bite him. After hefting me over his shoulder again, this effort costing him a muttered oath, Murdoch lumbered on toward Cathis.

Chortling sounds made me lift my head. Lleu sauntered past me, a grin splitting his face. He tipped his head when our eyes met. I narrowed mine, which appeared to amuse him all the more.

Let him smile.

If Hishima found me at long last, his retribution would be no laughing matter.

About the Author
Born in the Deep South, Hailey is a lifelong resident of Alabama. Her husband works for the local sheriff’s department and her daughter is counting down the days until she’s old enough to audition for American Idol. Their dachshund, Poochie, helps Hailey write by snoozing on his dog bed in her office.

Her desire to explore without leaving the comforts of home fueled her love of reading and writing. Whenever the itch for adventure strikes, Hailey can be found with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen or squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Bidding Wars by Lacey Wolfe


Thanks to Book Trailer Showcase for hosting this blog tour. I have Lacey Wolfe, author of Bidding Wars here today talking about her love of reading. Welcome!

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Thank you for having me on your blog today.

On top of writing my own stories, I spend a lot of time with my nose to my kindle. Reading a lot is not only a great escape and stress reliever, but it also helps me improve my writing. When I read stories and see the way other authors might have crafted a scene, or even a dialogue tag they used, it sticks with me. Sometimes I learn a different way to say things, such as she wrapped her hands around his neck as she kissed him to: she laced her fingers together around his neck as she kissed him. I might not have thought of that wording myself.

I wouldn’t call it stealing someone else’s words, but learning. And as a writer, it’s important to always be learning and finding ways to make our stories even better for readers. My hope is for readers to get lost in my books the way I love to get lost in a book.

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. It’s one of my favorite past times. I cuddle up with a blanket, a mug of hot tea or coffee, and forget the world all around me. I’m a huge romance reader and I simply love reading about two characters falling in love. The struggles they have until their happily ever after. And yes, I want a happily ever after. I can do a happily for now, but I always hope it lands into a forever type of deal for the hero and heroine.

How about you?

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About the Author
Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own. From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.

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Bidding Wars

A sheriff plus a nurse plus a house equals trouble…

Nurse Molly Harper has had a tough year. But when she decides to regain control of her life, buying her dream house becomes her first priority. Finding the perfect house and falling in love with it—that’s the easy part. The hard part is getting rid of the obnoxious man who thinks he’s going to be the new owner. Even if he is gorgeous. And the sheriff…

Sheriff Luke Logan needs to buy a house. Getting out of the renting game will help in the custody battle for his son, so when the perfect place pops up right on his street, he can’t believe his luck. But there’s already an offer on the table, and the woman won’t back down. Too bad she doesn’t know that he always goes after what he wants, and he has no intention of letting her have “his” house. Even if she does make him feel that he might need more than just a house to make a home…


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Sunday, July 28, 2013

REVIEW: Vertigo by Gwenan Haines

Summary:

When attorney Blake Cartwright abandons a successful career to turn a dilapidated lighthouse into an inn, everybody thinks she's gone a little bit crazy. After witnessing a body fall from the tower, Blake wonders if they might be right. According to local legend, the spirit of a former keeper's wife lures women to their deaths in the icy water below. Has Blake witnessed a suicide, seen a ghost--or is she just seeing things? Declan Hunter, the mysterious man she hires to help with renovations, doesn't help matters. The man with the Navy SEAL physique claims to be nothing more than a local handyman, but Blake's instincts warn her not to trust him. As the mystery deepens, she finds herself drawn into a dangerous labyrinth of secrets, lies, and murder. But the most serious danger of all may be falling for a man determined to leave her.

Title:  Vertigo
Series:  N/A
Book #: N/A
Author:  Gwenan Haines
Approximate Book Length:  272 Pages

Thoughts:

I’m not usually one to much enjoy ghost stories, but I have to give this one props. It was exciting, intriguing, and enjoyable. It’s very well written with an intricately woven plot and has characters that are strong willed and likeable. It keeps you engaged from beginning to end by keeping you guessing with twists and turns. My only complaint is that it might have been a little cliché, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

Bottom Line:

Vertigo is a suspenseful mystery full of action and romance. You won’t be able to put it down until you’ve reached the climactic ending. Don’t miss this one!

Rating:



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Saturday, July 27, 2013

MY FIRST PREGNANCY - 1st Trimester

FIRST TRIMESTER

When someone hears “1st trimester of pregnancy”, there are two things that are immediately thought of by pretty much anyone: fatigue and nausea. Those are the two things that TV and movies always portray and that I think everyone associates with the term. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg!

Yes when I found out I was pregnant, I instantly realized why I was so tired over our trip, I was sleeping in more, and I took naps. I also noticed a couple things that I could no longer eat, most specifically chocolate. I had a cup of hot chocolate, took a sip, and it tasted strangely nasty and I couldn’t take another drop. Certain veggies started making me gag the moment they hit my tongue such as carrots and green beans. And yes, these only got worse as the weeks passed.

I’ve known women who were so sick their first trimester that they threw up every single day. I wasn’t like that; in fact I threw up only about 5 to 7 times in 12 weeks. However, I gagged and dry heaved a ton. Hormones are affecting everything, including the digestive system, so if you have too large a meal or too heavy a meal, you’re more likely to toss it back up as I found out one night after having meatloaf. It was delicious, but didn’t go over well in the long run as I threw up the first time. Mostly I was just nauseated 24/7 from about week 7 through 14 – to the point of it waking me up at night and hating the thought of food (any food, except pizza oddly enough).

Other than the famous two symptoms, let’s talk about the rest of them. There are many that I thought would be later in the pregnancy, but nooooo. They start nice and early as your hormone levels rise. I experienced crazy emotions, ridiculous gas, frequent urination, sore and tender breasts, sore and tender abdomen, mild vaginal discharge, and nosebleeds.

Some of those you expect. The tenderness in the boobies, and the abdomen makes sense given the uterus is already beginning to stretch for the first time. Just because it’s made to do that doesn’t mean it’s not a new sensation and causes a little discomfort. Between the two, I couldn’t stand to wear anything but yoga pants and sports bras, and even then only when I had to.

The emotions were the main symptom I thought would come later, but they start pretty much as soon as you’re pregnant. I remember being a little quicker to get annoyed than usual even before finding out and I had my first truly hormonal breakdown about 6 weeks in. Greg and I were going out to meet our married friends from out of town, who were also expecting though about 20 weeks ahead of us. I’d been really nauseated so I had my crackers and Gingerale in the car on our way. Now Greg’s been my diet nazi so that I wouldn’t gain too much weight in the pregnancy and just cave to every little craving of junk food. So he says “I’m going to have to check the calorie information on your crackers”. I burst into tears before I can even fully take in the sentence, crying “you can’t wake my crackers away; they’re all that keeps me from getting sick all the time!” He’s not quite sure how to handle this and is trying not to laugh. He settles on just calmly and slowly (like he was dealing with a jumper or something) telling me he wasn’t going to take them away, just compensate elsewhere. I just end up laughing at myself because in my head I knew it was ridiculous and shouldn’t be crying. Here’s a warning, you literally can’t stop the tears. They just happen. Learn to roll with it, or just be like me and get all defensive and tell your hubby (and roommate in my case) to shut up when they start teasing you about it.

The others aren’t as major, but are still very noticeable and I swear no one ever talks about them. The frequent urination is a given, but they don’t say just how frequent. It’s kind of funny during the day, but when you wake up 4 times a night just to pee, it becomes frustrating. The gas is just embarrassing. Thankfully mine never particularly smelled, but it came often and rarely came quietly. The discharge is nothing, just white and mucusy, and annoying. I had to start wearing panty liners or I felt kind gross all the time. I believe my nosebleeds started as early as the first trimester, but they weren’t bad – just bloody snot really. Those got worse for me later…

Obviously not every pregnant woman gets all of those, in fact some get none of those. I will warn you that if you are one of those lucky women, you might have friends who aren’t or weren’t that lucky and want to hit you a little bit. Just sayin’.

So let’s move on to how I spent my first trimester outside of the actual symptoms. One of the first things we did was research. Yeah we know about the birds and the bees, but now that we were knee deep in the reality of it, it was time to learn about the details of pregnancy. Greg went on Reddit and asked about good books, and the unanimous opinion was to steer clear of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. Good book? Sure. However it will apparently frighten a new expectant mother with all its “what could go wrong” information. The one recommendation we did decide to go with was the “Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy”. It covers everything from trying to get pregnant to a monthly (broken into 4 weeks segments – so 10 months) breakdown of what’s going on when with both mom’s body and baby’s to birth to pregnancy loss (which we’ve thankfully not had to read). It also covers many symptoms and what you might expect and when and how you might cope with them. It hasn’t scared me once while still being real with what’s up. A really helpful thing it has, that even my OB was impressed with, is a chart of when to seek attention if you’ve got something going on such as pain or bleeding. The consensus is that unless it’s severe, just mention it on your next visit because it’s probably fine (though seriously check that out and follow it, not me!).

That’s the thing. Even some bleeding can be normal and cramping too. No matter how advanced the medical field has become, pregnancy is still very much one of those uber natural things that a lot of it is still guesswork. They can run tests and do ultrasounds to check, but ultimately most often the answer is “that’s normal” or “that can be normal”. There are things they’re sure about such as being a LOT more susceptible to food borne illness and therefore you shouldn’t eat certain things unless cooked to hell or even at all, but there are others that are so variable from person to person that it’s impossible to make a hard and fast rule out of it. Bottom line is try not to worry but always be open with your care provider.

Speaking of care provider, that’s another thing you get used to – seeing one regularly. You’re first visit around 7 or 8 weeks is the comprehensive one. They give you a folder full of stuff you might want or need, including a safe meds list and more info on the practice (such as all the docs there etc.). They give you a full exam just to check you out and feel around to make sure everything’s doing its job (uterus expanding and all). They also give you your official due date. I’ve known a lot of people get one date only to have it change later because they’re smaller or bigger than expected so the doc moves the date. I am lucky and haven’t had any change. From family practice doc visit to every OB visit after, I’ve always been told that I’m measuring perfectly for my due date – yay!

So after the exam and all, they’ll schedule you for your first sono. Greg and I both teared up at seeing our tiny little alien looking baby just as the backbone was forming. It made it real and showed us that we officially had a little life that now depended on us (though at this stage mostly me, but Greg has to help take care of me and therefore us :P). After that you go back every 4 weeks.

The OB I go to is a collaborative practice of both doctors and midwives. When d-day (I call it that frequently – you know, delivery day) comes, it’ll be a midwife delivering unless there are complications at which time they’ll page the doc on call. It works for me since I plan to go natural and they’re totally on board with that. I’ve seen a midwife all but twice in all my visits and I’ve met many of those that are in the practice and liked them all, so I’m in good shape for whenever TC here decides to enter the world in terms of likelihood that I’ll know who’s going to be delivering her and being comfortable with them. From what I’ve heard there are many practices that operate that way (maybe most or all these days, I don’t know). It put me off at first, because I’d wanted to establish a relationship with whoever would deliver the baby, but this has actually worked out really well, so fear not!

One thing the doc, and most books and people, will tell you is that the risk of miscarriage is highest in the first trimester. This makes it kind of an exciting but outright scary time. You read into every little thing thinking it could mean the end of your joy. I had one little bout of bright read bleeding with a little cramping. I freaked and cried a little, but tried to stay calm and REST (rest is the easy solution to pretty much anything that seems to maybe go wrong). The docs usually say it’s probably fine, but they’ll want to know more about whatever it is so they can be sure, maybe even going so far as to give you another sono just to take a look. I called my doc and they said “unless it’s heavy bleeding that lasts a while with severe cramping, it’s fine”. At one point I do believe they gave me another sono just to be safe, but everything was peachy.

Because of this, it’s customary not to tell people about the pregnancy until you’re 12 to 14 weeks pregnant (in other words enter the second trimester). No one really wants to give good news, only to have to give bad news right behind it. Some say that if you’ve been trying for a long time or gone through treatments etc., you might want to tell people to boost your own morale. We followed the keep it quiet philosophy. We told 2 couples, the out of town couple from my cracker breakdown story, and my best friend and her husband…mostly because the same day I got confirmation from my doctor, she knew. Must have been that close relationship radar, because there was no other way for her to have known, she just did. Other than them, we told no one.

This in itself can be nerve racking and awkward. Over Christmas I was antsy as hell. I kept thinking “they’re gonna knoooow!!!” Plus over the three months of nausea, trying to hide that wasn’t always easy. My mother-in-law guessed it a couple weeks shy of when we’d be telling people anyway because she clued in to the constant companion that was my Gingerale. While it can be kind of weird and all, it can also be kind of fun having this big secret. My brother-in-law made jokes about how I wasn’t planning on having kids anytime soon simply because I handed off my niece to him when the opportunity arose (he didn’t realize it was because I had to pee and I was starting to tear up and yeah…). Finally getting to tell people was both fun and anticlimactic. More on that next time!


REVIEW: Covert Craving by Jennifer James

Summary:

She just stripped in front of an NYPD detective... The glow-in-the-dark water at Camp Sunny Woods left Chloe Saunders with the ability to disappear from sight. Thirteen years later, she uses her "gift" to take out criminals when she can. If she's got to be part of a freak show, she's going to do some good while in the buff. And he's enjoying studying every luscious curve... Color blind detective Jacob Greiff smokes to weaken the overwhelming messages his nose sends him. One summer camp trip was enough for him. His priority right now is busting the vigilante leaving burglars tied up with panty hose and women's scarves. He thinks he's hallucinating when he sees a petite, bare foot brunette in an enormous trench coat at his crime scenes because for the first time in years, he's seeing someone in full color. He's not sure he's buying it, but Chloe sure looks great when she's "invisible." Despite his own supernatural abilities and the raging lust between them, Greiff wonders if Chloe isn't some kind of nut who gets off on public nudity. She insists she can disappear from view when naked, that he's the only one who can see her when she's in the buff. Their shared past comes to a treacherous intersection when a man shows up at Chloe's apartment and informs them at gun point it's time to report for duty--or else.

Title:  Covert Craving
Series:  Project Genesis
Book #: 1
Author:  Jennifer James
Approximate Book Length:  126 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

Jennifer James finds an awesome balance between excitement and smexy fun with this story. Forget the case that Greiff is on, the real focus is his abilities and where they come from. Chloe’s focus is her future, or having one to be more precise. Their chemistry is sizzling, but it’s the tip of the iceberg in their story.

The love scenes are scorching, but also funny which makes it feel more authentic I think. The ending is sweet and leaves you wanting more. What’s in between is full of action, devious and ambiguous characters, and a mystery that keeps you glued to the page. I can’t wait for the next installment for too many reasons to mention!

Bottom Line:

Full of witty banter and such fun, unforgettable characters, Covert Craving is an awesome read that crosses the genre lines of UF, PNR, and even contemporary. Make sure to grab a copy!

Rating:



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Friday, July 26, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I have Philippa (Pip) Ballantine, author of Harbinger here today talking about power. Welcome!

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I'd Like the Power...

In the world of the Books of the Order there are a number of powers that the Deacons have. Through years of training they can control fire, walk through walls, see into other worlds and a number of other awesome...but terrifying powers. Then there are other wild talents, that are a little less reliable; Deacon Merrick Chambers can manipulate the emotions of people, and Garil can look into the future.

I really wouldn't want to have any of those powers, since the cost of them is years of training, and being linked to another human being could be a tricky thing. Sorcha and Merrick learn about the dangers of that Link.

The power I would love to have is the one that Raed is so tormented by; that of a shapeshifter. Though in the world of Arkaym it is bought by being possessed by a geistlord, I still think it would be a wonderful thing to experience. In the final book, Harbinger, Raed has come to an arrangement with the Rossin, the fearsome and huge cat that has his own agenda so that Raed has some measure of control. How much will be seen though...

While that geistlord is a powerful creature, I don't think I'd want in my head. However, if I had the wild talent of shapeshifting I'd be happy. I've always loved cats both big and small, and I would chose to take that form—preferably a tiger. It'd be neat to prowl through the forest and experience the world through the eyes of a great cat. Seeing in the night, smelling the animals and plants, hearing all the noises of the jungle, would be an amazing experience far beyond that of a human.

I think that is why people often dream of being a shifter; the escape from the ordinary, and the joy of returning to the wild.

I know that there is part of Raed, even though he is horrified by the Rossin, that is thrilled by the power of the beast. It's an attraction many humans feel towards the wild, and dream of feeling its strength—even for a moment.

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About the Author
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have won both a Parsec Award and a Sir Julius Vogel award.

Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger coming in July 2013.

She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. Phoenix Rising won the Airship Award for best written steampunk, and was the number eight best Science Fiction book of 2011 according to Goodreads.com. The Janus Affair was the seventh most popular science fiction book of 2012 on Goodreads.com. The series continues with Dawn’s Early Light in December 2013.

In addition she is also the author of the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox released in June 2012, and the second Kindred and Wings scheduled for August 2013.

When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of five cats in Manassas, Virginia.

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Harbinger

The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity, even when they cannot protect themselves…

After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him.

Though she is haunted by the terrible truth of her past, Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing…


Thursday, July 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Next Move by Sabrina Garie

Thanks to the Smexy Fab4 for hosting this blog tour. I have Sabrina Garie, author of Next Move here today talking about fun food. Welcome!

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Fun With Food and Drink

Food and drink mix well with romance and sex. Not only are they tools for seduction, they’re also important elements of home and hearth, mood enhancers and indicative of hidden character elements.

In Next Move, I used both to help me navigate the love story. Here, try a sample of caviar and strawberries as a seduction tool.

She took her hand back, dipped a finger in the caviar and licked it off. Her tongue glided across the edge, lapping at the gelatinous black eggs. Putting it in her mouth, she sucked the remaining juices.

Jared’s gaze never strayed from her lips as he leaned toward her and placed one hand on her leg. “Is that my answer?”

Finished, she picked up a strawberry and traced it along his lower lip. “Play with me.”

He swirled his tongue around the end of the berry then nibbled the tip, his fingers teasing the inside of her thigh. “Maybe we should have dessert upstairs.”


This is one of my favorite scenes which uses the scents and textures of food and drink to help set the mood that Jocelyn is very busy resisting.

“Stop pushing me away. You want this every damn bit as much as I do.”

“That was a fluke, a momentary weakness. I don’t do relationships.” Her face, smooth and hard as marble, denied any emotions.

Oh she’s good, but not good enough. “That ice-queen act may scare off the men around here but I know the hellion underneath. And I like her, claws and all.” One hand lifted her face toward him. The red wine on her breath mingled with her rose-lime scent as he licked her lower lip.


Preparing and eating food is central to being human. It is a great way for a couple to just be with each other. When characters relax, personalities emerge in different ways. Here’s a taste.

The oven timer beeped and they sat down to eat. “This is excellent,” Jocelyn said. “What did you do differently, Kylie?”

“Nothing. It was Jared. He added some stuff. And it’s really good.”

“You can cook too?”

Jared gave her a big, toothy smile. “I’m a catch, what can I say?”


The best way I can think to end this post is to share a favorite recipe. Here’s mine for mulled wine (I use a lot of wine in the book). It may be too hot right now, but store the recipe away for a cold, snowy night with a roaring fire. That scene is made for mulled wine.

Ingredients
1 bottle red wine (cheap is fine)
1 wine bottle full of water
1 orange
16 cloves
3 Cinnamon sticks
½ cup of sugar
Cardamom (2 pops)
Optional: orange zest, orange slices, all spice

Instructions
Put the 16 cloves into the orange. Put the cloved orange, the cinnamon sticks, sugar, cardamom, the wine and then fill the empty wine bottle with water and add the water into a pot. Heat on low for about 20 minutes. Do not let boil. Enjoy. For variations, add the optional ingredient or any of your own ideas.

Thanks for dropping by. Do you have a favorite scene in a book or a movie that uses food in a way that really affected you? How did it do so?

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Find the Author


Next Move

Chamber of Commerce CEO and single mother Jocelyn Wade plays to win—in the boardroom, at local politics and for her daughter. With an overloaded life and a heart scarred shut, she doesn’t do relationships. Ever. Until Jared Wyatt, the hot out-of-town fling she can’t seem to forget swaggers into her life with a different agenda—making Jocelyn his own.

Surviving a shattered marriage, Jared swore off women until a night of unparalleled passion with Jocelyn reawakens needs he thought long gone. When a new job as high school athletic director lands him in Jocelyn’s town, where sports and business rule, he must stay one move ahead of her in the game to win her body and heart.

After rancorous local politics upend their game board, they both must learn to trust again or lose a second chance at love.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Wolf Fever by Milly Taiden


Thanks to the Smexy Fab4 for hosting this blog tour. Check out my review of Wolf Fever from Milly Taiden and then come back and learn what her family thinks of her writing! Welcome Milly :-)

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What My Family Thinks

A lot of people ask me what my family says of my writing. I mean, come on, I write paranormal stuff. And on top of that I write Erotic Romance. Can I just say my family rocks and thinks it is SO COOL! My mom was like I understand the erotic romance part, but what do you mean paranormal ‘ay dios mio!’ (meaning oh my god) you writing stuff with the devil! O.o LOL. Yeah she didn’t like that part so much. I’m supposed to not do that, but then she got over it when I explained it’s fantasy and it’s fun and cool and makes me super Milly. She already thinks I’m crazy so that just sealed it for her. My sister loves it and has been one of my biggest supporters, as have been my cousins and other close family. I know a lot of you wonder what my husband thinks. He tells people “My wife writes sex, how cool is that?” Yeah so let’s just say he’s one very happy man. Apparently me writing erotica make him cool among his crowd of friends. Then there are my friends, who love the idea of knowing an author (takes me a while at times to say ‘what author?’) and they love it more that I write erotic. Who knew that would make me so popular in their eyes. I love writing it and they are happy that I’m happy.

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About the Author
Want to know about me? Milly Taiden (aka April Angel) was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. She grew up between New York, Florida and Massachusetts. Currently, she resides in New York City with her husband, bossy young son and their little dog Speedy.

She’s addicted to shopping for shoes, chocolate (but who isn’t?) and Dunkin Donuts coffee.

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Wolf Fever

When Raine Bowe volunteers for a sleep study for the extra cash, she didn't expect to wake in a lab or to be victimized by a mad scientist. She escapes with one objective--to find someone strong enough to wage war with the evil growing inside her.

Ryder Storm is a man with a reputation--the bad boy of his own universe. He doesn't take prisoners, won't give into a sweet smile, and doesn't cut his pack an inch of slack. He knows the desperate woman in his bar is his the moment he lays eyes on her. He'll give her anything she wants, except the one thing she's begging for. Death.

Raine enlists Ryder’s help to unravel the mystery surrounding the hours she lost in the lab and to help tame the beast inside her. In their search for answers, the road will lead them to a twisted experiment involving shifters, humans, and the creation of the ultimate Alpha. He's ready for the adventure and she's ready for her answers. Neither are ready for the lust that calls down from the mating moon. But a wolf knows its mate, and an alpha will not stop until he or she gets what they want.


***Up for grabs at this tour stop is a $5 Amazon GC to one random commenter!***


***There's also a tour wide giveaway of LOTS of goodies including a Kindle Paperwhite. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

REVIEW: Wolf Fever by Milly Taiden

Summary:

Changes she can't understand… When Raine Bowe volunteers for a sleep study for the extra cash, she didn't expect to wake in a lab or to be victimized by a mad scientist. She escapes with one objective--to find someone strong enough to wage war with the evil growing inside her. A job he won't accept… Ryder Storm is a man with a reputation--the bad boy of his own universe. He doesn't take prisoners, won't give into a sweet smile, and doesn't cut his pack an inch of slack. He knows the desperate woman in his bar is his the moment he lays eyes on her. He'll give her anything she wants, except the one thing she's begging for. Death. Passion neither can fight… Raine enlists Ryder’s help to unravel the mystery surrounding the hours she lost in the lab and to help tame the beast inside her. In their search for answers, the road will lead them to a twisted experiment involving shifters, humans, and the creation of the ultimate Alpha. He's ready for the adventure and she's ready for her answers. Neither are ready for the lust that calls down from the mating moon. But a wolf knows its mate, and an alpha will not stop until he or she gets what they want.

Title:  Wolf Fever
Series:  Alpha Project
Book #: 1
Author:  Milly Taiden
Approximate Book Length:  237 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

I’ve recently realized that while I love Milly’s Taiden’s work, it’s her shifter stories in particular that enjoy the most, and part of that realization comes from reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, reading it one sitting.

I connected with Raine right away and definitely formed my opinions of Mr. Mad-Scientist-Psycho guy as cruel and deserving of a slow painful death by spider bite. I loved the alphaness of both Ryder and Raine and the fun dynamic it created between them. They are sexy as hell, yet endearing too. They have one of those insta-attraction things going on, but it makes sense and is totally believable.

I think the only things I really have to complain about is that Raine had a few stubborn moments that didn’t make sense to me. Why oh why would you not accept the company of your mate as protection when you know darn well that someone’s out to get you. Of course something could happen! Ahem…moving on. The passage of time wasn’t always easy to follow, but that’s really a minor issue that doesn’t derail you from enthrallment with the story.

Ultimately it was a sizzling story with a sweet ending, nice short, but action packed climax, and I am very much looking forward to more!

Bottom Line:

Exciting and mysterious, Wolf Fever will pull you in and not let go. With characters that will find a place in your heart, and quite possibly your fantasies, it’s an awesome read that I recommend any PNR fan to grab a copy!

Rating:



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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Cataclysmic Shift by Tara Lain


Please help me welcome the awesome Tara Lain today on the her release day and blog tour for Cataclysmic Shift, book 3 of The Aloysius Tales! Welcome Tara and happy reading folks :D

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Hi everyone. I’m so delighted to be here at Buffy’s on the first day of my CATACLYSMIC SHIFT Release Par-tay and Tour! Thank you for inviting me. I’m excited about this book partly because it’s about a cat. Well, a cat who shifts into a human -- but doesn’t remember he’s a cat. And then falls in love with another human who has no idea a cat could ever turn into a human. Yes, it’s complicated!

I love cats. I was raised with them. As an Army brat, I moved all the time, but everywhere we went we either brought or acquired a cat. I remember in one community in New Jersey, we had just come from Japan and we didn’t have a cat. We went to a used furniture store to buy some bookcases (we never had enough) and they had a semi-wild, all-black cat. We brought him home too. He ran under the couch and hid, but my mother lured him out with a dish of chili con carne. Of course, his culinary preferences determined his name. We called him Escamillo, the bullfighter from the opera, Carmen.

Today I don’t have a cat. My honey is allergic to them though we had cats for years and he suffered. After the last kitty died, we decided to not make him suffer anymore. But then, two and a half years ago, we acquired our first dog as a couple. She is a Papillon and is very cat-like. She washes her face like a cat, plays with toys like a cat, is totally finicky about food, and believes she own the world -- just like a cat. I dedicated Cataclysmic Shift to her, my soul-dog (and also to my soul-mate honey.)


My cat in Cataclysmic Shift is a pretty sexy beast -- both in feline and human form. I hope you enjoy him! Below is an excerpt for you and below that you’ll find a Rafflecopter. Be sure to enter to win some fun prizes.

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About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 20. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

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ARe


Cataclysmic Shift

Super cat, Aloysius, may be the most powerful witch’s familiar in the world, but when he takes a blast at the hand of an evil witch he loses it all -- power, memory, and his feline form -- to become the ethereal human beauty, Alain Bellarose. When Alain wakes up naked on the floor surrounded by dogs and cats, his eyes first set upon Luke Elliott, the handsome and mysterious veterinarian. Suddenly, the prospect of being human doesn’t seem so bad. Luke has a lot to hide and he likes animals way more than people, but he can’t resist the flamboyant boy who washes his face with the side of his hand and tries to lick his own privates! The loss of Aloysius depletes the power of the Witch Master, Killian Barth, and that of his “secret weapon” Sammy and leaves their coven sitting ducks for two very nasty females. When Alain discovers that he’s really a powerful cat, he’s faced with the ultimate choice. To protect his community, or stay with the man he loves.



~EXCERPT~

Luke’s body felt like one big-assed groan.

Sounds. Voices. Alain? Where was Alain?

Killian’s voice. “Gods, I can only imagine how he feels. I know that my heart would crack in two if I ever lost you.”

“But what can we do?” That sounded like Blaine.

A weight on his chest. He wanted to breathe. He sucked in air.

Something raspy and wet ran over his cheek. Shit. His eyes flew open, and he stared into blue so deep it was like the bottom of the Caribbean Sea. “Oh!” A cat.

No, the cat.

He coughed, tried to sit up, felt like the friggin’ room was spinning, fell back down, and coughed again. “Mrawr!” The cat leaped from his chest up onto the back of the couch, where it stared down at him, the blue eyes slightly crossed. “Merwaorwr.”

“Shitfire.”

Blaine pulled up a chair beside Luke’s bed of pain on the couch. “You remember Aloysius?”

Luke just frowned.

“How you feeling?”

“Like crap. I feel like somebody hit me in the head.”

“They kind of did. Aloysius took most of the hit intended for you, but Killian says you still got the fallout.”

He closed his eyes. He didn’t want to know. Maybe he could go to sleep, and when he woke, this would all be a nightmare.

“Look, I know exactly how you feel.” Blaine’s voice sounded like he was smiling. What the fuck was there to smile about? “It would be great not to have to deal with any of this. When I found out, I wished Killian could have wiped my memories so I wouldn’t have to know that all this shit exists. I was like, ‘Vampires can get rid of memories. What are you good for?’ But it is what it is.”

Luke opened his eyes and stared straight at Blaine. The muscles in his jaw twitched. “And what is it?”

Killian stepped up behind Blaine. “I’m a witch, Luke. As are some of the others here. You walked into the middle of a battle with some other witches.”

“Yeah, right.” Maybe he could close his eyes and this shit would all go away.

“Sorry, those are the facts. Do you have a better way to explain what you saw with your own eyes?”

“Hallucination?” That would be a convenient out.

A tall, thin redheaded kid walked over. “Ryder can probably wipe his memories, Killian. Since he wants to not know, it wouldn’t be as hard as fighting the desire to remember.”

Killian looked up with a crease between those perfect fucking eyebrows. “We’d probably have to eliminate all his thoughts about Alain. Those are too emotionally locked. It’s too hard.”

His whole nervous system jolted. “Alain?” He glanced toward the cat. No way. No.

“Alain is one of us.”

Luke shook his head, but no words came out.

Blaine put a hand on Luke’s arm. Shit no. He shook it off. Blaine’s mouth twisted to the side. “Do you remember when we came to your clinic with Aloysius?”

He didn’t want to hear it.

“He’d been hit with a huge bolt of power while protecting me and Killian from the same witches that were here today. He fell to the floor unconscious. We’d never seen such a thing before. When Killian couldn’t bring him back to consciousness, I suggested you. Apparently, he woke up and had turned into a man in your clinic. Alain. We think Alain was a human in the fifteenth or sixteenth century. Somehow, a witch decided to give a gift and turned him into a witch’s familiar. That familiar is Aloysius.”

A scream built in his throat. He clamped his lips to hold it back. Deep breath. “You are trying to tell me that Alain is…” He took another breath. “Alain is your fucking cat?”

Killian’s voice was cool. “You had to have seen him change. The same force that turned him human reverted him back to a familiar.”

“Merwaoowr.”

Blaine smiled. “At least he’s the most powerful witch’s familiar in the world.”

Luke’s whole body shook. It started in his groin and worked up to his belly, out to his limbs, and finally into his heart. The man he’d had sex with—the man he’d been on his way to loving—was a cat. A spurt of laughter escaped through his lips. He put his fingers on them to hold it back. No way. How perfect. He couldn’t stand humans, so he fell in love with a cat.

The laugh escaped, and his head fell back. He laughed until he had to hold his stomach because it hurt.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Autumn Fire by Cameron D James


Thanks to Reading Addiction Blog Tours for hosting this blog tour. Let's give a warm welcome to Cameron D James, author of Autumn Fire!

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10 Things Readers Would Be Surprised to Know About Me

There’s always some mystique behind the label of “Author.” Just who, exactly, is that guy? Is he normal? Weird? Sexy? Dorky?

Well, here are ten things you might be surprised to know about me:

10. I do not have internet or cable at home. My partner and I have to camp out at Starbucks when we need to do internet work, and we occasionally buy a TV season on DVD if it sounds good. This will soon change, though, as the phone company is coming to install internet next week! Still no plans for TV.

9. I LOVE world travel. I’ve been to Canada, USA, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, and the West Bank. Those were not all in one trip, of course. I hope to return to world travel in the years to come, but for now, student debt claims my paycheque!

8. I am way older than I look. I still get asked if I’m in high school and ID’d for R-rated movies. I’m 30. But I’m really not complaining!

7. I read voraciously, though you might expect that of a writer. I’m currently at about 40 books for this year – though I slowed down considerably when I changed day jobs, otherwise I’d probably be up around 45 now. I read 63 last year, and I think I’ll surpass that this year.

6. I loved the John Carter of Mars movie, even though it was a phenomenal flop! I’m currently reading through the series of books it’s based on, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Almost done!

5. I have this weird phobia of balloons. I’m not “afraid” of them, I just don’t like them near my face. (My friend’s sister had one blow up in her face and she had a piece of it stuck on her eye – I think that’s what got me frightened.)

4. I’m a HUGE Trekkie. Not only have I seen all the episodes of all the series (including the animated series) and all the movies, but I also read the books. I’ve read at least a few hundred of them by now. And I have a few stuffed bears dressed in Trek costumes that I got from Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas before it closed down.

3. My Star Trek obsession goes further. I have costumes. Yes, plural. I have a command red and a medical/sciences blue uniforms from the Deep Space Nine / Voyager era. I also have a talking combadge, medical tricorder, and phaser. No, I don’t wear them in public.

2. I own a pair of the purple camo briefs that Dustin sports near the end of my book, Autumn Fire. They are super comfy.

1. I’m really not as dirty as my writing makes me seem. There was actually a scene in Autumn Fire deemed too dirty to print and had to be taken out. But me? I’m wholesome!

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About the Author
When Cameron D James isn’t writing gay erotic romance, he can be found studying for his Masters, working in his dull office job, or reading five books at once. But, really, you’re most likely to find him writing. He loves crafting hot, sexy, sweaty, throbbing scenes, interwoven with lust and deep emotions for an orgasmic whole. He writes out of a love of characters, wherever those characters may lead.

Find the author:
Website
Blog
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Autumn Fire

Dustin likes the closet. It’s warm, comfy, and dark. Who needs to be out when you can get all the anonymous sex you want via the internet? And, besides, coming out is messy and gets you nowhere—certainly not a relationship. Real gay love is fiction.

When Dustin meets CollegeJock22 for a quick blow-and-go in the university library men’s room, everything he thought he knew crumbles. He can’t get that man out of his head and will do almost anything to have him. The only problem? CollegeJock22 is even more in the closet than Dustin. He’s in so deep he can’t even see the crack of light under the door.