July Edition of the Bewitching Book Tours Magazine
July Edition of the Bewitching Book Tours M
Welcome to the first edition of the Bewitching Book Tours Reader Magazine. In an effort to provide new promotional outlets for authors and new ways for readers to connect with authors and discover new books, I decided to launch a monthly magazine geared for readers and fans of paranormal, urban fantasy and related book genres. Our monthly magazine will provide articles by Bewitching authors, book reviews by Bewitching hosts, and will feature exclusive interviews, excerpts and book extras. I'm also playing with the idea of offering a monthly contest for readers of the magazine. Perhaps hiding something within the magazine and someone who finds the correct item (or items) will be awarded a fun prize. I am open to comments, suggestions, and ideas for upcoming issues. If you are a Bewitching author that would like to be featured, are a host who has a great review you'd like to submit or are a reader with suggestions and ideas of what you would like to see from a reader magazine please email me at RoxanneRhoads@bewitchingbooktours.com Before you turn the page, I would like to thank Lisa McGeen, Bewitching assistant extraordinaire, who did all the work of putting together and formatting this magazine and Tishia, AKA ParaGraphic who designed the beautiful cover. I would also love to thank all the authors who contributed articles and purchased advertising and made our very first issue a success. I hope you enjoy our first magazine. ~Roxanne In my book, Keeper Of My Heart, my heroine, Katie McCullough, has a special bond with an elderly man whom she "adopted" at age ten as her `stand-in' grandfather. One of the things I love about Katie is her devotion to this wonderful man. As a child growing up in New Orleans, I knew a kind elderly lady named, Mrs. Bulleman. I called her Mrs. B. She lived across the street from us and for the most part was house bound. My mother, an avid gardener, had a cutting garden in the front of our little house on Wilton Drive, and once a week during the summer she'd cut a bouquet of flowers for her. I had the privilege of bringing the flowers over to her house. As a little girl, this was a highlight for me because I was allowed to cross the street `all by myself'. I felt very grown up and knew I was doing something grand when I handed over the lush bouquet to this lovely lady. I can still see the joy on her face as she took the flowers from me. Most of the time she'd invite me in for a cold lemon aid and a piece of chocolate. I remember sitting in her semi dark parlor leaning over the coffee table hoping I'd pick a piece with a nut inside. One Christmas when I was about nine or ten, I was in Sears shopping for presents with my mother. Armed with fifty cents I went through the store looking for something I could buy for my only living grandmother and for Mrs. B. I had adopted her as my `in town' grandmother so no way could I leave her out. A sales lady suggested I buy each of them a butter knife. They were only twenty cents each. So I did. As the years went by and I grew older, it was my mother who took Mrs. B. her `weekly' bouquet. But once, in my teen years, just as I was about to go out with friends, my mother grabbed me. "Run these over to Mrs. Bulleman. She hasn't seen you all summer." I crossed the street with flowers in hand and was met with the same joyful reception I remembered as a child. Mrs. B. kindly offered me something cool to drink. I looked back at my friends, motioned for them to wait, and stepped inside her parlor. Several years after Mrs. B died I was home planning my wedding when her daughter showed up at our back door. She smiled and handed me the little butter knife I'd given her mother all those years ago. A sweet flood of memories filled me as I recalled the day I bought her that knife. Her daughter shared with me how much my gift had meant to her mother and knew she would've wanted me to have it back. Today, that simple, inexpensive knife sits by my butter dish. We use it every day. For me it's a precious reminder of Mrs. B's gracious acceptance of a small child's gift and of how a life is touched by thoughtful actions and the simplest things. Growing up, did you have an elderly neighbor that influenced you in a meaningful way? Or maybe, there's someone right now in your life that holds a special place as a surrogate grandparent either to you or to your children? Is there a special object or gift that reminds you of this person? I would love to hear your stories. Darcy J Finding Time By Ami Blackwelder How many of us have lives that are so busy we rarely have time for ourselves? I mean the cook breakfast for your hubby-run to the car-drive the kids to school-work for money-clean the house-cook the dinner for the family, kinds of girls or guys out there. Seriously, I'm talking about the Superwoman and Superman in this world. Well, how do we find the time to do it all? I'd be the first to confess I was not the best at time management when I first graduated university. No one tells you that the "real" world is not waiting for you and me. That it is a dog-eat-dog world and the first one to the finishing line might not give you a break. So, if you don't become good at time management, cultivating those skills when you are younger, it will only becomes harder in time. Write down what your day looks like on paper. Look it over with a cup of tea, or your favorite beverage. Put the time you start each activity and how long it takes you to do it. Is there a better way to do all of it? A faster way? If you feel overwhelmed, maybe there are certain tasks to do on a certain day and others to do on another? Break up the tasks. Doing everything is not possible, so do what you can and the rest later. Make a `to do list'. This often helps me. I know I won't forget what I need done and the weight of it somehow is released, because I no longer have to keep it in my head. I like to write days or times next to each `to do item' and then tackle them one at a time. Writing down what you have to do and thinking over how to accomplish the tasks will not only make you feel better, you will be able to get a lot more done. Why? Because you are spending more time accomplishing and less time worrying. Before you know it, it will be done and you will have had no time to worry about getting it all done. Well, I hope that helps! But if you still need a distraction at night before you go to bed (or at work;) please check out my books http://amiblackwelder.blogspot.com THE HALLOWED ONES By Laura Bickle If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in? In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror... Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie's safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing. Unsure why they haven't yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a de-cree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the bounda-ry of their land, she can't leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder's rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community--but what else is she bringing in with him? THE HALLOWED ONES Laura Bickle Reading level: Ages 12 and up Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia (September 25, 2012) ISBN-10: 0547859260 ISBN-13: 978-0547859262 Laura Bickle is represented by Becca Stumpf at Prospect Agency: firstname.lastname@example.org Advance Praise for THE HALLOWED ONES "This is a book to make you fear the shadows--a horrifying and gruesome tale of faith, and things that blink red eyes in the night. I began reading in the daylight, and read on into the late hours, leaning close, biting my lip. I could not look away; I was obsessed. Katie is an unbreakable soul." --Lauren DeStefano, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Chemical Garden Trilogy Publicity Contact: Karen Walsh, 617-351-3647 Karen.Walsh@hmhpub.com www.hmhbooks.com About the Author Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She has written several contemporary fantasy novels for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostlyreformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit What's there about wild beastly Lycan? Kay Dee Royal Hello everyone ~ I'm Kay Dee Royal, a paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary erotica romance author. My favorite genre to read or write is paranormal. I'm compelled to ask everyone a question ~ What is it about wild beastly Lycan that draws you in? Allow me to share why I like Lycan; my favorite author/books to read on Lycan; and are Lycan better than vampires? That last part sort of made me laugh ~ it's like asking to choose between Edward and Jacob. *smile* If you're a Stephenie Meyer fan, you know exactly who those two are. First let's start with my favorite authors whose storystars are werewolves. I've read and still read lots of books to do with wolfshifters, so have a number of authors in my line up, but two seem to stand out for me. For erotica romance, it's Kate Douglas and her Wolf Tales series. Kate has built an exceptional world of Chanku, she labels as an exotic race of shapeshifters...and believe me when I say � they are. This world is so innovative it has lasted through twelve books and Kate's still going strong. To learn more about Kate and her work: http:// www.katedouglas.com/ My other favorite is paranormal YA author, Maggie Stiefvater. Her story-stars in Shiver are so compelling, as is her style and voice. The first person point of view drew me right in, but Maggie's creativity with her Lycan's abilities and limitations kept me engrossed completely. So real. *smile* You can find out more about Maggie and her work here: http://maggiestiefvater.com/ Now why do I like Lycan...I'm drawn to the wild side of them. Those beastly hunky heroes who are so protective and loyal to their pack, they'd die for them. And in my Lycan world, they pretty much mate for life...that is, when they find their primalmate OR as we know it, soulmate. *smile* A Lycan's mate is also the only thing that can bring a big hunky Alpha to his knees, which always makes me swoon. I love their passion, steadfastness, the complete wonder of their world. AND, their abilities, who wouldn't like to take hundreds of years to age? Or have heightened / enhanced hearing, sight, smell, plus the capability of communicating telepathically with members of their pack. They have tons of strength and can run for hundreds of miles without tiring. Doesn't some part of you want to be Lycan? LOL I can't say Lycan surpasses Vampires as I can't say Vampires are better than Lycan. I love them both...although, I'm partial to Lycan...only because I've written a couple stories with them as story-stars and I've fallen in love with them. *smile* Gotta love that Chance...and his whole pack. Here's the blurb of my newest release ~ Staring Into the Eyes of Chance (1st Book of the LIIA series ~ Lycan International Investigation Agency) Blurb: Olivia endures a thirty-four year passionless marriage, discovering her dead husband's philandering history at his funeral. She devotes her energy and life-long sensitivity with animals to her wildlife refuge and preserve. Chance, a Lycan alpha and leader of the Lycan International Investigation Agency (LIIA) throws himself into his investigations. He chooses to neglect his duty of finding a primalmate after watching his father become an empty shell over the loss of his. A murderous rogue pack draws Chance onto Olivia's wildlife preserve, sending Olivia's animal sensitivities into overdrive. Chance and Olivia discover a sizzling force driving them together. Will they succumb to its enticing tether, or fight to resume their loveless lives apart? Buy Links: Muse It Up Publishing Amazon Staring Into the Eyes of Chance Coffee Time Romance Buy Link All Romance ebooks If you'd like to find out more about Kay Dee Royal and her work: Kay Dee Royal ~ Paranormal & Erotica Romance Musings; Ravencraft's Romance Realm; MuseItHot; Twitter; FB Promote Your Book in the Bewitching Book Tour Magazine Contact RoxanneRhoads@bewitchingbooktours .com Hello, readers. A few months back, I was given the rare opportunity of interviewing Daniella Rolfe, one of the main characters in Dawn� Dominique's award nominated The First series. Addison Eden, the main character of Eden's Hell, has granted me the same pleasure. Let me say here that this is an extremely rare opportunity, as Mr. Eden is even more elusive that Ms. Rolfe. Without further adieu, let me please introduce Addison Eden. Q: Mr.-- A: Addison, please. Q: Addison then. Thank you for granting me this interview. You go by another name, don't you? A: You're quite welcome. And yes, I have another name, but that man perished a long time ago. Q: Can you give me a hint? A: Then I'd have to kill you. Q: *gulps* Well, let's carry on then. Can I ask why you don't like being interviewed? I mean, I can understand Ms. Rolfe, but you're a movie producer and all. A: A silent partner in the movie business, if you will. Q: Then aren't you kinda like a celebrity? A: No. I've live separate and apart from the human race. You mortals bore me. I live in California because of the location. Q: That's right. You own a beautiful beach house. A: Yes, and I've recently acquired several more miles of beach. Q: And you're a vampire? A: You're quite astute. Q: Thanks, I think. How old are you? A: I've been here since the beginning. Q: Since the beginning of what? A: Since the beginning of time. Q: Whoa. Well, can you give me a ballpark figure? A: Since the fig incident. Q: Fig? You lost me. A: You know the story of Adam and Eve? Q: Yes, but wasn't that an apple? A: There were no apple trees back then. The many rewritten versions of the bible managed to get that, amongst other things, wrong. Books are written in an author's perception, correct? Thus, the fig was changed to an apple. Q: Geeze, I learn something new every day. Let's talk about bibles. Do vampires have a religion? A: As with the human race, vampires believe what they want to believe. Free will and all. Q: Really? I didn't know that. A: Something you don't know is that the very first bible ever written was by the two most powerful beings--and I was the reason for it. Q: I thought the bible was God's word. A: You believe what you want to believe, yes? The initiating bible was written by both God and Asmodeus. The human race then ran with it...and changed it as their own. Q: If you say so, but I find it difficult to believe that the devil and God would write a bible together. A: And here you are interviewing a vampire. Q: Touch�. A: The Alluminatae is what some vamps believe to be their bible. You possess free will, don't you? Q: Of course. Q: Accordingly, you believe what you want to believe. The same stands true with the Vampire Creed. Q: Yes, but... A: Can we move this interview along. I have things I must attend to. Q: Alrighty then. Moving right along. I read that you were once married to Satrina Vacher. A: For many long, horrid centuries. Q: What caused your marriage to end? A: She's a bloodsucking whore. Q: No love loss there, I see. A: I'd prefer you if you changed the topic. The past tends to haunt me in more ways than you can understand. Q: Absolutely. I didn't mean to upset you. Sorry about that. A: Apology accepted. Ask me about Eva. Q: Eva? A: She's my mate, and the reason for me staying in this godforsaken world. Q: How did you two meet? A: She was running for her life. gest you read The First series. I've given Dawn� Dominique exclusive rights to write the story exactly how it will play out, and she has given me her word to do just that. She knows what will befall her if she doesn't. Q: Poor girl. But that's pretty clever in getting people to read her novels. A: Not clever, rather a necessity. Q: Well, it's been an absolute pleasure, Addison, and I hope we have this opportunity again. A: If I live to tell about it. Q: How? Why? A: We would have to speak about Satrina again, which I refuse to do. Suffice it to say that Eva came into my world by accident, and she changed my life and that of the entire Vampire Creed. Q: Holy crap! Really? Is she, you know, normal? A: Are you normal? Q: You seem to be angry with me. A: Because you keep bringing up a subject I don't wish to discuss. Q: I apologize again. I just want to know your story. A: I am the First vampire to walk this world. Q: Well, that's why I'm interviewing you. Like Ms. Rolfe... A: There you're wrong. I am different from Ms. Rolfe. Unfortunately, I sequestered myself from both the human and elemental races. I ignored the veils. It was folly, as I should have watched over my children and guided them. Now I must atone for what transpires. As for Ms. Rolfe, I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her, but I shall...soon. Q: That sounds ominous. A: I'm sure you'll figure it out. Q: Can you give me a hint? A: I cannot, for I fear the Nuasiar Nine will be privy to this conversation. Q: Nuasiar Nine? A: A group of zealots who needed something to believe in-- and kill. They emerged shortly after the Crusades ended. Q: You're just steeped in history. A: What do you mean by that? Q: Well, look at the time... A: Yes, it's getting rather late. If you wish to learn more, I sugComing Christmas 2012 Coming Soon THE FIRST Series by Dawn� Dominique www.purplesword.com www.dawnedominique.com www.dusktildawndesigns.com Top 10 Reasons Why We Love Vampires By Kym Grosso As early as I can remember, vampires were my favorite type of supernatural. I guess it all started when I was a kid watching Dr. Shock. For those of you who don't recognize the name, Dr. Shock was the host of a 1970s TV show that played old horror movies. Dr. Shock was actually a magician in real life, but as a kid, he looked scary and the movies he played were even scarier. Every week his show promised favorites like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Many a Saturday afternoon, I watched the monsters in black and white TV and loved being scared. And up until recently, there was no denying who won the "sexiest monster contest"; after all, vampires rule. Let's face it; Frankenstein isn't exactly dream guy material. And the Creature from the Black Lagoon? Unless you like algae- filled lakes on a dark night, he's not the man for most girls. And while werewolves like Alcide from True Blood and Jacob from Twilight could give any vamp a run for his money, the Wolf Man was so not a sexy beast. So for many years in horror history, and what still holds true for many of us today is that Dracula was and is the one monster many women would actually agree to date. If we had to pick a monster dream guy, he is lookin' pretty good. He's aristocratic, well-dressed, lives in a castle and absolutely focused on pleasuring women. Okay, maybe he's more focused on their blood than their emotional needs, but still, he's hot. In modern times, vampires continue to hold their appeal from movies to TV to books. While some people ask "When will the vampire craze end?" I often see the craze as an ongoing wave that ebbs and flows but never goes away. Throughout history, vampires have been studied, portrayed on stage, TV and movies, written about, emulated and imitated. So what makes us so attracted to these sharp dressed and sharp toothed males? Here are my Top 10 Reasons Why We Love Vampires: 10. Low Maintenance. They don't usually require a woman to cook or clean very much. Okay, I know that some women like to prepare meals. And the saying, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach," still applies with vampires. But the average vampire male is usually looking for meals that are a little simpler to prepare and require no cleanup. Also, very little housekeeping is required with your vamp; no need to make the bed if your vampire sleeps in a coffin! 9. Telekinesis. Lighting candles with a flick of the wrist. This is a little known trick a lot of movie vampires have. How convenient is that? Lights on. Lights off. No need for "the clapper" if you have your vampire with you. 8. Look deep into my eyes....Vampires can mesmerize people with a gaze and a few simple words. I could really use Dracula to help me lose weight. "You will not eat those potato chips!" 7. Fly Me to the Moon. Vampires can fly through the air and sometimes even take you for a ride with them. Rush hour traffic, no problem, baby. I'll fly you there. 6. Bring on the Bling. Vampires, both male and female, are usually well off financially. The "wealthy vampire" is not a hard and fast rule but more of guideline. It usually is because they have been accumulating wealth over the centuries. Even Bram Stoker's Dracula lived in a castle, albeit a crumbling one; still, he had a castle and a second home in London. Who wouldn't want to visit a hot vamp in his castle? 5. Fashionistas...As Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work!" Vampires know how to dress well. There aren't too many sloppy vamps in movies, TV or books. And because vampires are often fond of dancing and operas, many times they don a tux and look sexier than James Bond at a casino. Even when on TV, they know how to make casual look cool. Damon from Vampire Diaries always looks mighty fine. Need I say more? "Every Girl's Crazy `Bout A Sharp Dressed Man"~ ZZ Top 4. Super strength, agility and speed. In movies, books and TV, our lovable vampires use these skills to rescue the girl and/or win a battle. But in reality, I could think of many reasons why this is great. Need help rearranging furniture or moving? As long as it's done at night, a vamp is a good bet. 3. Immortality. Ah yes, immortality is the one thing mere mortals will never have. Yet, our vampires are blessed or cursed, depending on how you look at it, with living forever. And the most appealing factor involved is that they never age. Sure they stay out of the sun, but they never wrinkle a bit. I, for one, would love to drink from that fountain of youth. 2. Sex Appeal Combined with Alpha Persona. Most vamps ooze the kind sexuality that makes you want to drop to your knees. And on top of that, they exude confidence that lets you know that if you ever got lucky with them, you would be begging for more. Ever since Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula, women across the world have been swooning over vampires. Yes, I am talking about hot, sexy vamps like Eric Northman and Bill Compton from True Blood. They are the kind of vampires that make you need a cold shower after watching them on TV. "I am sexy and I know it" ~LMFAO 1. The big O! The orgasmic bite is the number one reason why I love vampires. In romance novels, the heroines are often the lucky recipients of multiple Os simply by being bitten once by a vampire. Not only do vampires have an increased sexual appetite and stamina, they are highly skilled in knowing exactly how to please a woman. So while so much research over the years has focused on finding the elusive g-spot, perhaps Kinsey should have as asked a vampire what his secret is...fangs! Who knew? And that, my friends, is my Top 10 List for Why We Love Vampires! I hope you enjoyed my take on it and feel free to add the reasons why you love vampires. http://veronicascott.wordpress.com/ Where Does Inspiration Come From By Chris Karlsen As a writer, the most frequently asked question I get is: "Where does your inspiration come from?" My answer is always: "It depends on the story." Inspiration can hit me like a lightning bolt or it can creep up on me like a ladybug on my arm or it can be an idea that was buried deep within me and has clawed its way to the front of my thoughts. With my first book, "Heroes Live Forever," the inspiration was an idea buried in my psyche for years. I love a good ghost story and always thought what fun it would be to be a ghost. But then, as I really examined the possibility, I realized how sad it might be too. In the case of my two medieval knights, Basil and Guy, they fought and died for king and country during the 14th century, only to see their homes and family destroyed three-hundred years later because of loyalty to a king. They've seen wonderful advances in the world over the centuries but they've also seen everyone they cared about die. I was inspired to explore both the good and bad of their ghostly world because they do still have fun with mortals. While writing "Heroes Live Forever," I found myself liking Guy and enjoyed writing him so much, I was inspired to give him his own book. What to do to him and for him came from my fascination with timetravel and medieval English history. What to do to my characters came to me like the lightning bolt I mentioned. In "Journey in Time," Guy has been given another chance at life. Guy, as Alex Lancaster leads a happy, modern world life as a music producer. He finds himself deeply attracted to Shakira Constantine, a successful London attorney. Because he's her client, it takes a lot of charm for him to get her to agree to spending a weekend in the country with him. The marriage of time-travel and medieval history gave me the opportunity to torture Alex and Shakira with a world of problems, life threatening problems. Sending them back to the year prior to Guy's death in battle, I was able to put Alex in the position of facing his death again, if he can't return to the modern world. His death put Shakira in the position of potentially having to face a very frightening time alone. "Heroes Live Forever," and "Journey in Time," are from my "Knights in Time," series. With a book I've just finished from a different series, "Golden Chariot," inspiration crept up on me and over several months. While walking the ruins of Troy, in Turkey, I thought about the Trojan War. I found myself wondering how it must've felt to a citizen of Troy to look out over the Dardanelle Strait and see the masts of hundreds of enemy ships, invaders by the thousands coming to sack and burn your home. From that thought, I wondered what if Homer got it wrong in the Iliad. What if the Trojans didn't lose the war? Over the next few months thoughts of the Iliad's heroes and villains crept into my head. Another visit to the Troy ruins brought more questions regarding the mythical characters. When it came time to write a story about my curiosity, I gave the heroine my same questions. I have writer friends who've been inspired to write stories around nightmares they've had or human interest articles they read in the paper. Some are inspired to write about events they've experienced and people they know. I'd say imagination is a writer's greatest inspiration. If you can imagine it, you can write about it. Despite what he believed, I never had a relationship where I felt so bound to someone and yet so constrained in behavior. Sitting so close to him on the beach, hidden from view, wanting to hold him, I hesitated. So I'm not sure how what happened, happened next. What kept us apart--the suspicions, the fact that time had elapsed and we felt a bit like strangers meeting again--all of it abruptly dissipated like so much fog when the sun shines through. His strong yet gentle grasp pulled me toward him, and he held me close, wrapping his arms around my shoulders. I felt in the urgency of his grip how much he'd missed me, and remembered again the dream he'd arranged for me, how cautious he'd been only days before. But dreams could not satisfy me now, no matter how real they seemed. We pulled apart, but our eyes met. I leaned in and pressed my lips against his, chaste at first, to taste him, to spur his reaction. But that tentative reaching out soon exploded into the confirmation I'd been waiting for. Our desires cascaded in upon each other. I wanted more of him, and soon lost awareness of the cold surf, which melted against our heat. The roughness of the sea also faded into the distance. The spray of salt water was forgotten. I couldn't catch my breath. I didn't want to think of the future or eternity. Only feel sweet sensations as he kissed me harder and harder. Helpless to resist this lovemaking, I was the sand being thrown about by the waves around me. Soaked with a longing for him. His kisses grew stronger, and I wanted all of them. "Ella," he groaned, sweeping the stray strands of hair out of my eyes. I reached up to touch his face, to trace the outline of his strong jaw. Desire flickered in his eyes, a wildness mirroring my own needs, and I wanted to lose myself in that need, in that desire. I wanted him as I had wanted no other, knew for the first time in my life I had the potential for loving someone who knew me for who I really was. It was intoxicating. "Can you take me now?" I asked. "Here. Show me what I have to do." Indecision flickered across his face. I saw it. A look of a man who walked a tight rope and risked falling to the depths below. "Ella." His voice floundered in his own deep emotion. But I reached over to pull him closer, and he tumbled on top of me. The weight of his body anchored me to the ground. Within seconds, my back was pressed against the sandy floor. His eyes grew hooded as his lips played against my mouth. Teasing. Caressing. Suddenly, the kisses changed. Slow and carefully placed, I felt a heaviness to them that made me ache where I had felt warm and riled up before. Aching to be with him in that way that I knew was forbidden to us. But what did I care. He was kissing me, and I began kissing him back, as if I had been doing this all my life, as if I were some kind of expert, allowing the pooling warmth in my stomach to find release. His hands burrowed under my sweater, nudging, rubbing against my breasts, which swelled to his touch. The feel of his skin against my skin pushed me to a boldness I had not known until now, and I reached my hand below the belt of his pants, dared now to touch where I knew he wanted me to touch. "Simon." I whispered his name into the air, so sure that he was the one. Knowing as we wrestled together on the sand, in this sweetest of lovemaking, that I had a fire in me that he had set. He was the man I had been waiting for. This was the moment-I felt resistance. Simon seemed to be struggling for control. Over me. Over himself. "Enough." His voice, raw and edgy, strained against the sea that roared in the background. Still breathing heavily, he released his hold on me, and pushed himself to a seated position. My heart pounded. "Have I done something wrong? Tell me," I demanded. "No." "Then why are you stopping?" "We cannot be together, not now. I was wrong to even start." "Wrong? But I thought... " I struggled to sit up, to face him, to put my own thoughts in order. When two people wanted to be together, how could there be something wrong? "Don't you want to be with me?" His gaze traveled down my body. I felt his stare, the desire in it. "Yes. I want to be with you." "Then--" I touched his arm. I needed to understand what could possibly be strong enough to hold him back. "What I want has already been decided. You must decide what it is you want..." His voice softened. "... to do with your life." A chill coursed down my spine. And even though my flesh was still warm from his touch, I pulled my sweater down to cover myself, not because I was ashamed, but without his closeness, the early evening breeze now felt cold and damp. I guessed what he was saying, but I didn't want to think about the future. Not here, not now. "I want you to make love to me, Simon." "The Council forbids it," he said. "I don't care about the Council. They have no say in what's between us." He faced me then, and his finger touched my lips. "I could take you, Ella. Now. But it would not be the honorable thing to do." My fists clenched. I didn't understand. "I made a choice when I saved you from your uncle's dangerous game. It was not difficult because I wanted you, Ella. But it was my choice. The moment our spirits fused, everything changed. Until you are sure I am what you want, I cannot take you. Until you are sure this island can be your home, I cannot give into my passions. My world is not like your world. There is no formal ceremony of commitment. There is the fusion and then there is consummation. When that occurs, you will be bound to me forever. There can be no turning back. About the Author Kate Lutter believes she was born to write. She wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn't get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing contemporary paranormal romances, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel, Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost famous cat. Website: www.katelutter.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/katelutternovelist Blog: www.katelutter.blogspot.com Twitter: www.twitter.com/katelutter Review of Merlin Awakening (My Merlin #2) by Pyria Ardis Review by KindleMom: This second installment in the Merlin series was even better than the first. Once again we are taken on a nonstop ride filled with lots of action, adventure, mystery and just enough romance thrown in to keep it really interesting (just in case the action and adventure wasn't enough for you). We get more of the mysterious yet hot Merlin...err Matt and the sexy bad boy Vane. Matt. Vane. I don't think I could choose between them. Ryan definitely doesn't have it easy. Not only does she have two very tempting wonderful guys to choose from but she is the sword bearer and has to deal with all that involves by being it. Oh yeah and did I mention she has to save her friends, her enemies and the whole world too? Yep, it isn't easy being Ryan. And nothing that she did in the first book compares to the risks, sacrifices, trials and journey she takes in this one. Thankfully she doesn't have to do it alone. She has Vane, Matt, Blake, Grey, Gia and the whole gang there every step of the way to help her. Good thing too, because she needs all the help she can get for this adventure. This book was fabulous, it really was. I had a really hard time putting it down and unfortunately I had a full day planned when I started this one so some things were put on hold so I could sneak extra time to read just one more chapter which of course turned into one more until before I knew it I had a pile of things that still needed to be done and a finished book. But what a great time I had! And lets talk about that heartbreaking ending? Gah! I really want more. I can't believe Ardis left us all hanging like that. What a tease!! I can't wait to find out how this series will end. I know I will be right in line waiting to purchase it when it finally hits Amazon. This really has turned into a favorite of mine and I know that I will be checking out what ever Ardis decides to write in the future as well. She has a new fan in me! I give this one a very solid 5 Stars!! Link to review on blog: http://myguiltyobsession.blogspot.com/2012/06/my-merling-awakening-by-priyaardis.html Deadtown Novels Facebook Twitter Blog A Review of Golden Chariot by Chris Karlsen Reviewed by Mayra Calvani http:// thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/book-reviewgolden-chariot-by-chris-karslen/ Talented author Chris Karslen has written an action-packed adventure story set in exotic Turkey that will be relished by fans of underwater archaeology and lost treasures. Our feisty protagonist, Charlotte Dashiell, is about to complete her doctorate in nautical archaeology. She travels to Bodrum, Turkey, to start a new excavation for the Maritime Institute of Archaeology and Research. In fact, she's there to investigate a wreck possibly associated with Troy. This is her dream come true, as she's always wanted to focus her research on shipwrecks located in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean. Her field of interest, the Trojan War, is focused on that area. Her work there could mean the proof she needs for her theory: that the shipwreck contains the lost treasure of the king of Troy. Unexpectedly, though, her boat is broadsided and the craft responsible mysteriously explodes. To make matters worse, the only man who has any answers goes missing and then is found dead. As a result, the local authorities don't believe her story--not only that, but they suspect her of criminal intent. Our hero, Turkish archaeologist Atakan Vadim, is there to protect the relics and the integrity of the shipwreck. He's warm, genial and has a good sense of humor. However, with Charlotte he behaves cold and somber. He doesn't trust her one bit. For him, she means trouble in all the sense of the word. He also thinks her mad and an utter romantic because of her theory. As tension escalates and more deaths happen, Charlotte knows she's in grave danger and should go back home, but there's no way she'll do that. If she does, she'll miss the chance to be part of the exploration. It could mean a break or make opportunity for her theory. This is one of the most entertaining novels I've read in a long time. I loved the whole scenario of the exotic location and the underwater shipwreck, and also the connection to the enigma of the lost treasure of Troy. I've always been an avid fan of underwater archaeology, so this was right up my alley. Charlotte is a smart, sympathetic heroine. I also enjoyed the fact that the hero is Turkish and that the story is rich with local flavor. I lived in Turkey for five years and know the author did an excellent job with the setting, local customs, language and people. The historical facts and everything about the underwater exploration was fascinating. The villain was particularly terrifying in a cold blooded way. I highly recommend this novel to anybody who enjoys a good story full of action and adventure, especially those who love archaeology and/or are interested in Troy. Purchase from Amazon: http:// www.amazon.com/Golden-Chariot-ebook/ dp/B007KNLC02 Purchase from B&N: http:// www.barnesandnoble.com/w/goldenchariot-chris-karlsen/1102118693 In the hotseat today is Darien Oceina from "Legend of the Oceina Dragon" by J.F. Jenkins. Here are some questions about the great mythological beasts in his world. And Darien would know from personal experience since he is a shape shifting dragon. size of 14 pizza. These are the big main scales of course. They vary in size, based on the location and function of the scale. Some are small and flexible. The big ones are for plating and protection. What are your weaknesses? Magically speaking, I'm weak against Earth magic. All of the dragons were created with balance in mind. Water is weak to Earth, Earth weak to Wind, Wind weak to Fire, and Fire weak to Water. Now if you mean me as a person, that's something different all together. Do all dragons have magical abilities? Yes! All the dragon species have an element, and their magic reflects said element. My spells all revolve around the water and life. There's a theory that we can combine our magics together even, but no one has tested this recently. It's kind of a myth. I'm certainly curious. Aside from being awesome, what do dragons do for fun? I would say it depends on the dragon. We're all different in our personalities just like you humans. I prefer to read, watch movies, swim, or explore the city. My brother Tony on the other hand spends most of his free time in the kitchen trying to discover new recipes. Now if you mean dragony things that we do for fun? I love to fly through the clouds. Those really big clouds that look like cotton balls? They feel amazing on the skin, all moist and cool. We have games that we'll play together sometimes while we fly. I also like to swim in the oceans, but it's not something I can do much anymore because of the shipping trades. Do dragons shed their skin like lizards and snakes do? We don't, but my kind also do not stay in our dragon form for long periods of time. I bet if I spent a significant time in my dragon form, I would start to shed it off. When I transform though, my dragon skin refreshes itself. Are baby dragons born knowing how to swim/fly/do whatever else dragons do, or do they have to learn how, like birds? They have to learn how. Some of it is instinct. My kind, being so in tune with the water, we go into the pool with the young ones and let them explore. They learn that they can breathe underwater and how to swim � even in the human form. Flying is harder to learn, especially since we don't become solid in our transformations until about five years old. How big are your scales? About the size of a dinner plate. Keep in mind, I am small in size for my kind though. On average, they're about the By Kate Lutter I blame my husband for my addiction to vampire-like heroes. He was the one who suggested I watch the hot new HBO show True Blood, and, of course, I was hooked almost immediately-- the attraction between Bill, the 176 year-old vampire and Sookie, the small town waitress who could hear people's thoughts. Their relationship seemed destined to happen and yet doomed to failure. And everywhere I turned that year, people--mostly women--were talking about Sookie and Bill and Eric, the other vampire who lusted after Sookie. Every woman I knew seemed to be divided into two camps: the Bill fans or the Eric fans. Suddenly, vampires had become the popular heroes in novels. Was it their super human strength, their old world charm, their bad boy past? For me, it was the fact that when a woman hooks up with a vampire, there's little or no hope of a future, which means instant conflict, but in the case of True Blood, the relationship between Bill and Sookie--that destined to be together part--also spoke to me as a writer. I was schooled in the Michael Hauge screenwriting philosophy. Hauge, a famous Hollywood scriptwriter, preaches that what solidifies a romance between a hero and a heroine is more than just physical attraction; it's the reader's belief that they are made for each other. That belief hinges on the moment when the hero sees the heroine for what she really is and vice versa. In True Blood, when Bill warns Sookie that she can never have a relationship with a human man because her ability to read thoughts constantly gets in the way, and when you see her feel a perfect peace with him, you know he's right. For Sookie, it's her ability to see Bill as a man, separate from his vampire persona, someone who's capable of love. As a writer, I was immediately inspired to come up with a storyline that was as compelling for my novel Wild Point Island. Sure, I could have written about vampires, but I wanted to invent a new kind of life form, one that had some of the same features of a vamp but who wouldn't have the same need to kill their victims and drink their blood. Instead I called my new life form a revenant, which means one who comes back from a long journey or from the dead. I created a 400 year backstory, rooted in an actual event--what historians refer to as The Lost Colony of Roanoke. English colonists settled on the Island of Roanoke, off the coast of North Carolina in 1592. The mother ship sailed to England for supplies but when she returned, the entire colony had disappeared. Most historians believed, until recently when they re-examined a map of Roanoke in the British Museum, that the colonists died of starvation or drought or were massacred by the native population. A few historians speculated that the colonists may have relocated somewhere else. That's the theory I followed. I created a mythical island--Wild Point Island--and decided that the colonists went there, then survived by eating a local plant called Euphorbia Candelabra, a plant which transformed them physiologically into another life form and granted them immortality, but at a price. They were confined to the island and needed to continue eating the plant, the Euphorbia Candelabra, to survive. 400 years later they need to continue to drink the liquid from the plant, but the upscale version of the liquid looks like wine. Revenants can assume human form but for only part of the day and similar to vampires, they do best after the heat of the day-- after 4:00 and at night. When they are human, they are all human and very sexy. Revenants can mate with humans, but the protocol of the island is that all half and halves must be "changed" into revenants. So that makes for some dangerous situations. When revenants are in their "spirit" form, they need to recharge and retreat into the walls of their houses, which have been specially designed to counteract the heat of the sun. Before the innovation, they retreated into the caves on the island. Revenants can also glide in their spirit form and move about rather quickly, like vampires. There is an Island Council that rules the island, and there is also a group of Ancients, who hold up the moral code. The back cover blurb for Wild Point Island reads: "Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants-immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island. Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death. Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council. Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she's ever met. But he's been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom. With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love." I wanted to write a story about two people who fall in love but can't be together. Simon can't leave the island without the Council's permission. If he helps Ella, he'll sabotage his own chances of a life with the woman he loves. Ella has the same problem as Sookie. She lives among humans but she's had to hide her true identity--that she's half revenant--all her life. This secret has made it difficult for her to find love. When she meets Simon, she can finally be herself because he sees her for who she is. Likewise, when others doubt Simon's intentions, Ella sees him as someone who can be trusted. With little or no hope for a future, Ella must accept who she is and reach for the future she desires. Wild Point Island was fun to write, and as Ella explains to Simon at the end of the story, "We were drawn to Wild Point Island, as if called by sirens, entrapped, and realized too late that there was no escaping our fate." Heroes Live Forever--"Great love can transcend anything even death and time." Journey in Time--"The right woman, the right man...trapped in the wrong place and the wrong time." Golden Chariot--"Myth, murder, and money clash in this gripping undersea adventure." IMMORTAL WARS As an avid history fan, I have always been intrigued by war and the underlying causes that would lead one to destroy another all in the name of some goal or ideology. I've learned that war is not limited to the battlefield. There are so many types of wars that at some point in life, everyone will be affected whether it's a battle between nations or an internal struggle with our own personal demons. Captivated with this subject, I decided to combine my fascination with war with my other passion, the supernatural. The result is a paranormal romance series called the Misfits of the Lore. The Misfits of the Lore explores one of the core themes of historic and modern day wars � race and class divisions. As an African American woman, I am particularly interested in how issues of race and class have shaped the world and continue to play a major role in our daily lives. Throughout history and modern times, cultures tend to form classes based on a variety of factors whether racial, ethnic, gender, economic, or religious. The impact of this class structure is profound. The inevitable result is that there will be those at the top of the pyramid of power who are minority in number, but majority in influence. The masses, the true majority, are populated by those who are deemed less; inferior to those perched atop the pyramid. Often, it is this group feeling dominated and oppressed who eventually try to topple their oppressors leading to a bloody war where no one truly wins and no side is innocent of crimes. This is the heart of my Misfits of the Lore. Although a paranormal romance, the underlying plot involves the emergence of an immortal race war where the oppressed lesser immortals (i.e., shifters, hybrids, witches, demons, sages, soothsayers, charmers, fey, etc) have waged war against the pureblood vampires and lycans who for millennia have used their superior strength and resources to subjugate the lesser immortals and at times enslaving them, forcing the conquered to submit to the will of the purebloods. It is that purity of blood that vampires and lycans possess which has been used to heighten their position among the immortal races at the expense of the other impure lesser classes. J.E. Hopkins As often in history, years of abuse and torment result in a thirst for vengeance. The lesser immortals have banned together uniting under a cause of equality and are using their combined gifts to oust the purebloods from their position of superiority. As we learn in the real world, power corrupts. What starts out as a noble movement transforms into something much darker when selfishness and revenge guide judgment. The oppressed become the oppressors. The extreme actions of the lesser immortals in retaliation for past crimes committed have resulted in a deadly battle for supremacy where no one is safe. Immortals turn on their own kind as anyone who does not support the cause becomes the enemy. Neutrality is not an option. No one can insulate themselves from the threat of this war. In the midst of this immortal race war are the smaller wars each of my characters fight within themselves to deal with the pains of the past that have impeded their ability to love, forgive and to feel happiness. They wrestle daily with their internal demons as they try to overcome the past, accept the present and embrace the future. Lover's Betrayal is the first book in the Misfits of the Lore series. It is the story of Olivia, a vampire pureblood, who is mourning the loss of her beloved mate she abandoned in exchange for a vicious union with another vampire who nearly destroyed her. After 175 years of regret, she has chosen to surrender the fight for survival and seek an eternal rest, but before she could flee this world, she is determined to make peace between her two troubled, warring sons and if possible, with the love she regrettably left behind. Olivia fights an internal war of survival as she tries to fend off the temptation to surrender and fight for a second chance at the happiness stolen from her. The second book in the series, We Shall Rise, is the story of Olivia's elder son Kaden Gas- pard, a self-proclaimed selfish ass who has spent his life pushing people away and lashing out against those who stayed behind. Kaden's life has been marred with guilt for past sins that continue to haunt him. In We Shall Rise, Kaden tries to fend off the one person who will not put up with his nonsense, Reysa. The half-breed vampire warrior who risked her life to save his and who is determined to save Kaden from himself. For Kaden, even in the midst of this immortal race war there is no greater battle than the one his mind has waged against his heart. Julian Gaspard fights a very different kind of war in Arctic Prison, the third book of the Misfits of the Lore series. Julian is in a battle against time--time that is quickly ending for this pureblood vampire who has become an unfortunate victim in this immortal race war. For Julian, this is his last chance to heal his wounded heart and make peace with Kaden, the brother he despises and Olivia, the mother he resents. It is also Julian's final opportunity to find love before death finds him. War is a pivotal plot within my Misfits of the Lore series, as it is in life in general. There are so many different types of wars that these characters face. That is true for all of us. We are constantly fighting ourselves, if not others, in an endless battle where we lose sight of what we are fighting for and at times lose ourselves in our own internal struggles. As my characters learn, the only way to break this cycle of destruction is to understand that there are better alternatives to war, such as peace, love, happiness and forgiveness. Rogue Pawn by Jeffe Kennedy Review by Stephanie Brentson Starry Night Book Reviews at: http:// starrynightbookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/07/rogues-pawn-blog-tour.html This is defiantly not a fairy tale, the fae in this book are dark and brutal and I love it! Rogue's Pawn will take you on a dark, sexy, seductive and funny ride though the world of faerie. Jennifer (Gwynn) is just your everyday boring science nerd, but when she finally gets sick of being just arm candy for her fianc�e she leaves. Somehow she ends up in faerie, scared and amazed she discovers everything she wishes for comes true there's only one problem she can't control it. When the animal from her dreams comes out of nowhere and attacks her Jennifer wishes for someone to save her, if only she'd known what that wish would cost her. Jennifer wakes to find herself being held captive by Lord Rouge who's sexy and not at all happy about her being there. Will Jennifer get out of faerie? Or maybe she falls in love with a sexy dark haired fae? I loved this book for a number of reasons it was really funny at times some of the things Jennifer says and does are just hilarious, Rogue is sexy, dark and tricky everything you expect a fae to be. The plot was great though I had a little trouble at the beginning of the book trying to figure everything out but you will understand as you read on. I do recommend my readers who are over the age of 18 to read this as this is an adult book. I really hope there will be a 2nd book because I will defiantly be in line to get it. Visit Ann Gimpel http://www.anngimpel.com/ Twitter Facebook Blog Review of Boyfriend from Hell and Earth Angel by E. Van Lowe By Kate at I Just Want to Sit Here and Read SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read Boyfriend from Hell there will be spoilers ahead. when you are up against demons. I was a little bummed by the romance factor. I loved the relationship between Guy and Megan at the end of BFH and I was sad to see it got a little out of whack in this book. I am crossing my fingers for their relationship to continue in the next book but we shall see! I loved BFH so much I was a bit hesitant about EA. Most series have the dreaded second-book syndrome where there is not much action and more of a set-up for Book 3. But I am pleased to report that this book was just as action-filled as the first. EA continued the few leftovers from BFH and included more characters and a massive cliffhanger! I am very excited for the next installment, Heaven, but too bad I have to wait a whole year! Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone. It is fun, intelligent, hilarious, with a paranormal story that will keep you glued to the pages. Genre: Paranormal YA Book 2 Heaven Can Wait! Just because Megan Barnett recently defeated Satan, has a fantastic new best friend, and has won the love of deliciously handsome, Guy Matson, doesn't mean her troubles are over. Far from it. For Megan doesn't realize it, but in her possession is a powerful weapon, a weapon sought after by both angels and demons and everything in between. They will do ANYTHING to get it. In E. Van Lowe's humorous, romantic and thrilling sequel to Boyfriend From Hell, Megan winds up in a gripping life or death battle to save herself, the boy she loves, and all of mankind from unthinkable evil. Megan Barnett has recently defeated Satan, found a fantastic new best friend, and has won the heart of deliciously handsome, Guy Matson. But that doesn't mean her troubles are over. Far from it. For Megan doesn't realize that she is in possession of a powerful paranormal weapon, a weapon sought after by both angels, demons and everything in between. Review by Kate http://www.sithereandread.com/2011/12/earth-angel-by-evanlowe-guest-post.html EARTH ANGEL, by E.Van Lowe is the sequel to Boyfriend from Hell which I absolutely loved!! Megan is one of those characters that really sticks out in your mind when the book is long finished. She is quirky, intelligent, and has a heart of gold. It really surprised me that this book was written by a man. Lowe really got into the mind of a fifteen year old girl and I was astonished that he accomplished that. These books remind my of the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart in such a good way! I love reading about semi-nerdy girls who are thrown into impossible situations over and over. With EA, Megan was up against demons once again but without much help from anyone this time. In BFH, the relationship between Megan and Suze starts to get a little rocky but in this book it is practically an avalanche of emotions and most of the time they are not good. I felt bad for Megan since in the past she has been BFF's with her mom but being a teenager is hard to avoid and especially Genre: Paranormal YA Book 1 Aww, Hell No! Fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, have a special relationship-- they are friends, close friends, who do almost everything together. "But come on, guys, she's my mother... Can I really tell her that while we're snuggled up on the sofa watching Spider Man Three, I'm secretly undressing James Franco with my eyes? Of course not..." The special bond takes a turn for the worse when Suze decides to start dating again. She hasn't had a man in her life since Megan's father left ten years ago. Enter two mysterious young men, Megan's new classmate, sinfully attractive bad boy, Guy Matson, and the dangerously handsome art dealer, Armando. Before long Megan and Suze both wind up in steamy relationships. But neither of the handsome guys is quite what he seems. In fact, one of them is Satan, with his sights set on a new bride. Megan has precious little time to figure out how to stop him. If she doesn't, either Megan or Suze are quite literally going to HELL. Rogue's Pawn by Jeffe Kennedy Covenant of Thorns Series 978-14268-9406-0 Carina Press July 16, 2012 This is no fairy tale... Haunted by nightmares of a black dog, sick to death of my mindnumbing career and heart-numbing fianc�, I impulsively walked out of my life--and fell into Faerie. Terrified, fascinated, I discover I possess a power I can't control: my wishes come true. After an all-too-real attack by the animal from my dreams, I wake to find myself the captive of the seductive and ruthless fae lord Rogue. In return for my rescue, he demands an extravagant price--my firstborn child, which he intends to sire himself... With no hope of escaping this world, I must learn to harness my magic and build a new life despite the perils--including my own inexplicable and debilitating desire for Rogue. I swear I will never submit to his demands, no matter what erotic torment he subjects me to... Amazon, Barnes and Noble Rogue's Pawn Excerpt "Enough," a male voice said. As if I'd ceased to exist, Tinker Bell blinked her eyes and regained her lovely self, face smoothing, shining once again in sunny elegance. Reboot and resume program. She gracefully stood and glided to the tray, set the bowl precisely in the center, lifted the tray and left the room without hesitation. Booted footsteps crossed the room toward me. Act II, scene ii. Exit Nasty Tinker Bell, Enter God-Only-KnowsWhat-Now. My face was sticky with whatever the brothy stuff had been, my hair wet and fouled. I stank. I hurt. I was chained to a bed in a place so completely unknown I couldn't begin to understand it. I tried to squeeze my legs closer together, but the chains seemed at the limit of their reach. The energy of my brief triumph evaporated, allowing tears to well up again. Oh, please, please, please, do not cry. The threatening sting worsened. I closed my eyes and one tear leaked out. He stopped next to me, surveying me. "You're certainly a mess." His wry voice was rich and smooth. My eyes snapped open to glare at him through the blur. Fifty different smart remarks flew across my tongue, most along the lines that any failures of appearance on my part could be laid on the doorstep of someone besides my- self. But even the buzz of the first word on my vocal chords brought searing agony. Relieved to have a legitimate reason for the tears, I almost welcomed the searing sensation. "No, don't try to talk--no one needs to hear what you have to say, anyway. Not that we can help it, since you think so loudly. And you have a decision to make. We have a quandary." He began pacing, boots echoing against stone. "No one can heal you while you're bound in silver and we can't release you from the silver until you have yourself under control. Which will take a considerably long time--perhaps years of training--if you're even able to accomplish it at all." I thought of the birds crashing in increasing cacophony with a small shudder. "Exactly," he confirmed. "And yes," he said from the window behind my head where he seemed to be gazing out, "I can hear most of your thoughts--another reason to save trying to speak aloud." My stomach congealed in panic. Had he heard my secret thoughts? Don't think of them, bury them deep, deep. Think of other things...like what? Think of home, think of Isabel. Isabel, my cat--Clive hated her. What would happen to her now? How could I not have thought of her until this moment? Abandoned, wondering why I never came home for her... And my mother--she'd be frantic. How long had I been gone? They could be all dead and buried, lost to me forever. The anguish racked me. "Shh." The man sat on the side of my bed now, heavier than Nasty Tinker Bell. He brushed the hair back from my forehead, then placed his long fingers over my brow and, with his thumbs, rhythmically smoothed along my cheekbones, wiping away the tears that now flowed freely. I stifled a sob. I had cried more in the past day than I had in years. The sweeping along my cheekbones soothed me, melting warmth through my skull. The rhythm became part of my breathing. Deep breaths. Smooth, easy. The awful tightness in my chest gave a little sigh and released. "Let's try again, shall we?" The man pulled his hands away. I could hear him brush them against his thighs. Soup, tears and blood. Yuck. My eyes cleared enough for me to see him. Ebony-blue climbed over half his face. The winding pattern of angular spirals and toothy spikes swirled out of his black hair on the left side of his face, placing sharp fingers along his cheekbone, jaw and brow. For a moment, the tattoo-like pattern dominated everything about him. Ferocious and alien. Once I adjusted, I could see past the lines. His face echoed Tinker Bell's golden coloring. He could be her fraternal twin, with those same arched cheekbones. But where she was golden dawn, he was darkest night. Midnightblue eyes, that deep blue just before all light was gone from the sky, when the stars have emerged, but you could see the black shadows of trees against the night. He shared Tinker Bell's rose-petal mouth, but with a curious edge to it. I suppose a man's mouth shouldn't remind one of a flower, and there was nothing feminine about this man. Where she wore the pink sugar roses of debutantes and bridal showers, his lips made me think of the blooms of late summer, the sharp-ruffled dianthus, edges darkening to blood in the heat. His bone structure was broader than hers but still seemed somehow differently proportioned, his arms hanging a bit too long from shoulders not quite balanced to his height. Inky hair pulled back from his face fell in a tail down his back. One strand had escaped to fall over his shoulder and I could see a blue shimmer in its silk sheen. He arched his left eyebrow, blueness in the elegant arch, repeating the deep shades of the fanged lines around it. "Shall we?" he repeated. I stared at him. What was the question? About the Author: Jeffe Kennedy took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. An erotic novella, Petals and Thorns, came out under her pen name of Jennifer Paris in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Since then, an erotic short, Feeding the Vampire, and another erotic novella, Sapphire, have hit the shelves. Her contemporary fantasy novel, Rogue's Pawn, book one in A Covenant of Thorns, will be published in July, 2012. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for an acupuncturist-in-training. Find her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Author.Jeffe.Kennedy) and Twitter (@jeffekennedy) or visit her at her website http:// jeffekennedy.com/. DENIED SHADOWED LOVE, BOOK TWO By Kinley Baker Genre: Fantasy Romance Publisher: Crescent Moon Press When invaders brutally massacred the women and children of the Varner, Caleb witnessed loss and destruction on a scale few can comprehend. As the leader of a race on the brink of extinction, his only hope for survival is gaining acceptance into the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. Struggling with new customs, he meets Tabitha, a woman who challenges his limits. Refused the right to join the king's guard because of her gender, Tabitha must be stronger than the men to prove she deserves to be the first accepted female Warrior in the kingdom. She believes Caleb will help improve her abilities, until she learns her goals conflict with the foundation of his culture. When the realm is attacked, Tabitha and Caleb must come together not only to fight, but to find the strength to win against an evil with the potential to destroy everything they revere most--including each other. Add DENIED as To-Read on GoodReads! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13646204-denied RUINED: Shadowed Love Book One By Kinley Baker Genre: Fantasy Romance Publisher: Crescent Moon Press BLURB: Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court's Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient's. Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he's given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family's hold on the land--and his deceiving advisors aren't afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded. But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive. Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire. Barnes and Noble Kindle Amazon Paperback book trailer on YouTube: http://youtu.be/aG2oSaUZeJM EXCERPT RUINED: "You." Fury burned hot under Jessa's skin as she glared at Vale. "Who do you think you are, demanding I come live in this castle? You can't just order your guards to enter a woman's home and pack up her things." "Well, I did." Vale came around the desk and propped one hip against it, more of a threatening than casual movement. "Someone tried to kill me. It makes sense that I have my Healer close by." She released a pent-up breath. "Why couldn't you have explained that instead of mandating?" Silly. Her imagination had run away with her. The king needed his Healer. But the realization he didn't want her made her angrier. "Because I didn't want to give you the option of saying no." She most definitely would have said no. "If you would have explained your reasoning, I would have complied. Your safety and health come first, even if I-" "Even if you what?" "Loathe you." She bunched her fingers into two fists, seriously tempted to hit him. For all the nonexistent pain it would inflict upon him. "Do you?" His tone deadened with calm. "Because I can't stop thinking about you." "That's normal." She brushed off the claim. "I saved your life." He moved in a blur. A true Shadow Shifter. One second he stood near his desk, the next he had her in his arms, one locked around her waist and one hand tangled in her hair. Their lips almost brushed. "I can't stop thinking about you." His murmur played down her spine, leaving a tingling trail. His scent invaded her. His voice embraced her like bare skin against satin sheets. Her heart beat fast, her pulse jumped. She disliked him, but didn't want him to let her go. "Have you been thinking about me?" His soft tone feathered over her flesh. "Only how much I dislike you." Lust pulsed in her belly. He pulled her head back gently by her hair, so they looked straight into each other's eyes. Their bodies pressed tightly together. "Liar." About the Author: Kinley Baker is the author of the fantasy romance novel, Ruined. She read her first romance at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre. She lives with her husband and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. You can find Kinley at www.kinleybaker.com http://authorkinleybaker.blogspot.com www.twitter.com/kinleybaker www.facebook.com/kinleybaker http://www.goodreads.com/kinleybaker http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kinley-Baker/196649877015210 On a mission to recover the first female guardian born in hundreds of years, Russell Leonard finds himself face-to-face with the mysterious woman he's been dreaming about. While it might seem strange that she recognizes him too, a total stranger, there are other, more troubling things about this young woman that have Russell wondering just who she is and what she means to him. As they embark on a journey that will either free both their souls or end in terrible tragedy, Russell and his Belle must accept each other wholly and completely or risk losing everything they, and everyone around them, hold dear. Awaited is a must-read! Title: Awaited Series: Wasteland #2 Author: Lynn Rush Prominent Characters: Russell, Annabelle Recommended Reader Age: 16+ Sexual Content Level: light and mild *** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! *** Awaited will have you on the edge of your seat right from the start. Where Wasteland took a good number of pages to build to "can't put it down" momentum, Ms. Rush brings her A-game to the very first page. Visceral and intense, the opening chapter of this book will have your heart beating faster and your eyes skipping ahead to see what happens next. Like it's predecessor, Awaited unfolds in first person male point of view. This time, instead of living in David's head, we get nice and cozy with Russell, the story's hero � an unusual viewpoint in this market of female dominated 1st-POV, but a refreshing change. We first met Russell Leonard in Wasteland, as Becca's "brother"and protector. He's just as determined and rock steady in Awaited as he was then, but we also get a look at the soul-deep weariness a warrior of over 400 years old would experience when he lives with constant warfare. For someone so lethal with a sword, Russell is the epitome of gentleness when it comes to his Belle. Annabelle is mute, vulnerable, and damaged, with a core of inner strength and tranquility that shines through when you least expect it. Intriguing and unpredictable, she's not your traditional heroine. The connection between Russell and Belle is like a shining strand of love, iridescent with faith and wrapped in heart-warming purity. The plot moves seamlessly from each near miss to new revelation, keeping you guessing about what's coming next and who the players really are. Awaited has a darker, more hopeless feel than Wasteland, resolving in a sinking feeling that just won't go away. You know bad things are coming and there's nothing you can do but hang on, go along for the ride, and hope for the HEA. I devoured the first half of this book in one sitting, and it is no quick novella read. Despite its dark undertones, the writing in Awaited is quite classy and almost gentle feeling. The characters are generally all respectful and well-mannered despite their brutal occupations... yes, even the baddies! These Guardians are upstanding warriors for the Light, not the crass, foul-mouthed soldiers so commonly found in PNR today. David and Jessica make appearances in this one and it was great to see them again... especially Jessica. I love her spunky, modern, sassy personality, and the way she seems to carry so much on her shoulders yet still be so accepting and calm. I have a sneaking suspicion the next book will be her story, and it's looking to be another dark one. The end of Awaited culminates in an emotional flurry of activity, with intense battles and unexpected sacrifices, and I didn't want it to end! The marquee couple's journey is nicely concluded and Ms. Rush leaves us with a slight cliffhanger concerning a few of the other characters, leading right into the final (likely to be impatiently-awaited!) chapter of this saga. Somethings come across loud and clear, whether spoken or signed... Belle pointed to me, touched her chest at her heart with a flat palm and squeezed my hand. Halli swiped a tear that had escaped from her eye. "She's done that before. When we first met. What's that mean?" "She said, You're Mine." If you enjoyed Awaited and have not read the first book in the series, Wasteland, definitely check that one out ASAP. You'll get all the backstory on Becca and David, and experience their epic (and sometimes grueling!) journey as individuals and as a couple. If you liked Awaited for its clean Young Adult feel, and want to experience more male point of view PNR, check out Julie Dawn's website: www.dawnchartier.com Facebook: www.facebook/dawn.chartier Blog: www.dawnthewriter.blogspot.com Twitter: @dawnchartier Kagawa's Iron Fey series (starting with The Iron King). The first three are told from the viewpoint of Meghan, but the fourth book (The Iron Knight) is Prince Ash's tale, and there aren't too many heroes more conflicted, mercurial, loyal, badass, and determined than this Winter prince (click here to see our GT Reviewer Rachel's love letter to him in February). 'Course, you might be a Puck fan � in The Iron Knight, you'll get to see plenty of him too. *wink* You can read The Iron Knight as a standalone novel (I did, and I don't regret it � this was one of my very few 5-Heart perfect score reviews, and one of our two 2011 Books of the Year) but be aware you're going to get spoilers from the previous three books. Awaited will transport you to a place where evil roams free and those who fight for the Light often walk in darkness. This is a story filled with anticipation, hope, love, tension, and the purity of the human spirit. Lynn Rush's second installment in the Wasteland Trilogy in a must read! The Foxworth Coven Series: The Foxworth Coven Title: Death of Innocence Genre: Paranormal Romance Publisher: Solstice Publishing Length: Novel/93K Warning: Off-scene rape, mild violence Buy-Link E-Book: http://www.solsticepublishing.com/ downloads.aspx?categoryid=121 Buy-Link Print: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Of-InnocenceKayden-McLeod/dp/1466248459/ref=sr_1_20? s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332695363&sr=1-20 Love cannot always banish an eternal nightmare. The Foxworth family has blazed a trail through human and vampire history alike, changing the ways of both races in Canada for all time. The Council has demanded a full report for the long and twisted tale of how the Surrey Coven had come to be the most powerful and feared; an assemblage that anyone would question before coming up against. The Leader of the Surrey Coven, Canya recalls how her family came to be. A story filled with pain and heartache, until she meets Gregory Foxworth: a debonair CEO to the family shipping company. Gregory remembers taking her away from a life that shocks him, hoping to shelter and love her. But little does he know all he has done, was make her a target for a sadistically warped man. One who will have her and his own personal brand of vengeance. Sometimes, a grudge is forever.