| BTS Book Reviews | November 2013 |
CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL
Featuring: Lori Foster Gina Gordon
SCI FI & FANTASY Featuring:
Donna McDonald John Steiner
PARANORMAL & SUSPENSE
also writing as Gabrielle Bisset 4 | www.BTSeMag.com
YOUNG & NEW ADULT Featuring: J.A. Redmerski Bernard Lee DeLeo
SHORT STORIES & SERIALS
The Lowdown with Laurie 9 New Indie Author Help
As a blogger/reader/writer, I have come to really appreciate the work indie authors do in the publication industry. Some bloggers will accept indie authors but a lot don’t...
By David W. Huffstetler
Chic Trends in Romance 35 Take Notice - New Adult is Here to Stay
You don’t need to be a New Adult to enjoy this genre. It’s been a couple, um, few, okay, many years since I was in the 18–26 age range. But I still feel a connection with the protagonists in these...
The Heat Diva 41 Sizzling It Up Indie Style
Many people are on the fence when it comes to indie publishing. I can’t help but ask them why. The indie explosion is quite fascinating and has opened so many doors for so many incredibly talented people...
The Scrying Eye 69 Rebels & Independents
Come in, come in, wonderful readers! The couch is prepared, the snacks are laid out on the table, and the lights are set just right, giving the reading room the perfect ambiance. Tonight we will uncover the...
85 “It’s time to get ugly. I might be on a cane, but that doesn’t mean I’m helpless. If that girl can’t help herself, maybe we should do something about it.” “Are you two serious? I think you’ve had too much wine. We’re talking about Chelsea’s granddaughter, not ours. Let her go to the government.” “Yes, she’s my granddaughter, and I tried the government. They say she has to make the complaint, and she won’t. He put her in the hospital once before, but she lied about it.” She let out a heavy sigh. “I’m an old woman, and so are you, Ellie, What do you think we can do?” She rested both hands on her cane, looked at each of her friends, and smiled. “I say we kill him.”
A Recap of the 2013 Indie Romance Convention 16 Jacqueline Rhoades
Catching the indie Spirit: 20 Indie Authors Creating Their Own Opportunities to Network with Readers Seraphina Donavan
55 I sat down and got comfortable in the plush leather of my seat. The first class cabin was roomy and especially spacious since Jack and I were the only two sitting up there. The red-eye flight was probably too early for most to wake up for. And at a five forty-five departure, I was barely awake as it was. Since I’d woken up at four o’clock...
Blog Beat 96 Upcoming Blog Hop 98 November 2013 | 5
From the Desk of
Myra Nour BTS CEO
October has been a busy and exciting month for BTS. Simon, Nikki, Mike, and myself attended the Indie Romance Convention in Lebanon, TN. Look for the coverage of the event inside this issue. We met lots of authors, came away with good information from the workshops, and spread the news about what BTS offers authors in promotions. The Indie authors were a great group of folks and I was impressed with their promo knowledge and skills. They taught me something. My workshop presentation “Promotions Village Style” was received with interest and lots of interaction. I would like to thank the panelists Nikki McCarver, Ava Von & Seraphina Donavan for their assistance with the workshop. Nikki is not only one of our designers for the emag, but my Virtual Tour Executive, and good friend. It was fun to hang out with her. Ava was there with her husband, Pete, who was a cutie pie and I hear that many authors wanted to “borrow him”.:) They were an adorable couple. I’ve chatted many times with Seraphina online so it was great to finally meet her. She kept the dinner table in stitches the last night with her true stories. I’d like to thank Laurie Garrison of Bitten by Paranormal Romance for creating and hosting this event. She is already getting lots of interest for next year’s convention. You should check it out, even if you are not an Indie author. If you have thought about pulling some of your books like I have lately, it’s a good place to find out how you should proceed. Here is the link to 2014: http://indieromancecon.com
Book Reviews Book & Trailer Showcase
Executive Coordinator Myra Nour Executive Designer Dawn Seewer Promotions Director Babs Hightower Scheduler Christina Wilhelm Designer/ Review Team Assistant Nikki McCarver Designer Mike Milliken Editor Sheri Kraft Associate Editor Kellyann Zuzulo Review Coordinator Annette Stone Promotions Coordinator/ Review Team Assistant Grinelda Markowitz Author Liaison Leslie Ferdinand
REVIEWERS: Annette Stone, Nikki McCarver, Grinelda Markowitz, Angelique Elgelbrecht, Drue DePompei-Hoffman, Francine Alli, Leslie Ferdinand, Lynda K. Frazier, Marie Haney, Kimberly Klemm, Niina C, Rachel Flash, Rhonda Dennis, Stephanie Phillips, Susan Frances, Michele Biring-Pani, Sally Manson, Krissy Malott, Shelly Schulz, Desiree Reilly, Nila Bi, Shan McKinney, Shelly Hammond, Beckey White, Iris Montalvo Pross, Patricia Costa Melo, Gypsie Holley, Anita Rivers, Cassandra Graham, Tim Davis, Gayle Pace, Abbie Foxton, Nicky Peacock, Michelle Willms, Dianne Solberg, Julie L Canfield, Michele Page, Tobyann Aparisi, Adesh Rampat, Jacqueline Driggers, Danielle S., Susan Arden, Taunya Wells, Crystal Guidroz COLUMNISTS: Sandra Bunino, Christy English, Laurie Garrison, Kelly Hudson, Nikki McCarver, Nicole Morgan WEBSITE: BTSeMag.com EMAIL: info@BTSeMag.com Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/BtsBookReviews No material in this magazine can be used or copied without BTS or the author’s permission. © Copyright 2013. BTSeMag, BTS Book Reviews, All Rights Reserved. By submitting material to BTS Book Reviews or its affiliates, authors certify they own the rights to all published information.
November 2013 | 7
The Lowdown with Laurie Laurie Garrison
New Indie Author Help As a blogger/reader/writer, I have come to really appreciate the work indie authors do in the publication industry. Some bloggers will accept indie authors but a lot don’t. They reject these authors basically because of editing issues. It’s sad because your basic readers don’t really care about editing as long as they get to read an awesome story. Take, for instance, Fifty Shades of Gray. Oh my goodness! That book really needed an editor, but did the readers care? Heck no, they loved it. My advice is, as an author, you do need to find an editor before publishing your book. You cannot be a true editor, especially in romance where there are some major dos and don’ts. Again, look at Fifty Shades of Gray and get an editor.
writing publishing DIY Author editing promotion
| Lowdown with Laurie |
Indie authors are very new to the industry, and yes, a lot of them think they can just upload a book and sell it, but there is so much more than that to do before publishing your book. If writers truly want to make it in the publishing industry, they have to dig for basic information on how to before publishing. Beta readers and editors should be on top of your list before publishing. Beta readers are a free service for authors, so please don’t pay for beta readers. Beta readers are not editors; they are people who use a critical eye and tell you if you’re missing story information or if your character is wearing red pants in one paragraph and blue in the other. Beta readers basically look at character and story flow and tell you their findings. After your book passes beta readers, then it goes off to the editors. Editors and line editors check grammar, misspellings, incorrect punctuation, inconsistencies in usage, poorly structured sentences, wrong scientific terms, headings and subheadings, and much more. Once they are done with your story, you’ll get their suggestions, and you either accept or decline their suggestions. Editors are your right-hand man before you publish because they get your book ready to be published. Special note for romance writers: romance is a totally different critter than regular fiction. So if you’re writing romance, make sure you get a romance editor who can help you with the sexual terms better than a regular fiction editor. Editors can cost anywhere from $10.00 to $15.00 an hour or some will charge by word count. Covers are also very, very important, especially if it’s a romance book. A cover will either make you or break you. You can find all kinds of covers from various designers, but what I find annoying nowadays is every author using the same covers or cover models. Take, for instance, some cover models are getting used over and over and
over again. After a while, the covers seem generic looking and, therefore, very unappealing. So be careful that you don’t get sucked into the same old, same old. Formatting for different e-readers and indie publishing sites is something you can learn to do or you can pay someone to do this for you. I will suggest you get your book uploaded to as many sites as possible because that means more sales.
Last would be marketing and promoting; there are various ways you can do this, but it takes time, and that is time you have to spend in order for you to sell your book. I’ve had several indie authors tell me marketing and promoting take over 50 percent of their time, so again this is some serious work and time. As I stated, to dig into the world of indie authors, I found they have so much on their plate to do each day. It’s amazing they get any writing done. I so much hope that the Indie Romance Convention I’m creating will help these authors cut down on their marketing time, grow into their craft, and learn they are not alone in the industry. As I am writing this column, our first convention is only weeks away. I am praying the attendees will get in there and give me all of the feedback I need for 2014 to burst open at the seams for these authors and readers.
Hello, my name is Laurie. I’m a mom who found the love for reading again late in life. I opened a book review blog a few years back and have been nonstop since. My review blog has led me to do different things in the writing world, such as the opening of the Indie Romance Convention and this column. I live in Tennessee with my hubby, daughter, and lots of fur babies. bittenbyparanormalromance.com
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K.M. Scott also writing as Gabrielle Bisset
Which of the genres you write in are easiest to create? I write in contemporary romance as K.M. Scott and paranormal romance as Gabrielle Bisset, but I think strangely enough that paranormal romance is easiest to create because I’m writing about things that don’t exist. The world I create in my PNR series, Sons of Navarus, is entirely mine, so I get to construct the rules and parameters. Contemporary romance requires my keeping with what actually exists, so that’s tough sometimes because the real world can be quite the opposite of what a story requires. Who do you most admire and why? I most admire my father. He was an incredibly intelligent man, but he also knew the importance of hard work. I think that’s very admirable in anyone. Which vampire team are you? Nosferatu, Lestat, or Edward? I’d have to be a Team Lestat girl. He’s got style and class, and I love the history surrounding his story. Plus, I’m a huge Anne Rice fan. Describe a day in your writing life. I work full time, so I only get to write at night after my day job is over. After dinner and everything else that comes with life, I usually sit down at about 8pm and write until around midnight. On weekends, I try to spend as much of my day writing.
Tell us a little about your current release. My current release, Crash Into Me, is a contemporary romance about a woman named Nina, who is making her way in the New York art world, and Tristan, a hotel mogul with secrets. He wants to possess her and she wants to be all he needs, but everything comes with a price. When his secrets come to light, will love be enough?
| Cover Feature |
“Can I ask a question and have you answer with more than one word or one sentence that really says nothing?” He stopped the car at a stop sign and turned to face me with a devastatingly sexy grin on his face. “Yes.” I couldn’t help roll my eyes. He was either the most insufferable person I’d ever met or one of the funniest. I couldn’t decide which. “Where are we going and can you promise me you’re not going to do anything awful to me?” “That’s two questions, Nina.” The car began to roll again, and I let out a heavy sigh, hoping his dry humor was an indication that I wasn’t going to be killed anytime soon. “Okay, can I ask you two questions and get straight answers?”
Tristan Stone was powerful, commanding, sex incarnate. I had no choice but surrender to everything he was. His power. His decadence. His passion. He was all I never knew I needed. He wanted to possess me, and I wanted to be his everything. All I had to do was accept what he offered. But everything has a price. The world he gave me fulfilled my wildest dreams, but would that be enough when the past crashed into the present?
“Of course. You can ask whatever you want and I’ll answer.” “I’d like straight answers.” His mouth hitched up at the corners into a sly smile. “As straight as you want.” “Where are we going?” “To see a house I’m planning to buy.”
“Really?” He turned his head to look at me. “Do you want that to count as your second question?” And after being scared shitless and almost killed, then confused and finally frustrated by his vague answers, I had to laugh. “No.”
Holy shit! In my mind, I counted the number of zeroes on a check for twelve million dollars. Then I imagined what I could buy for twelve million dollars. And even all that probably wouldn’t fill the house I was looking at.
“Then what’s your second question?”
His breath drifted over my neck, and I leaned back slightly, wanting so much for him to kiss me or touch me with his hand. He did neither, though, even as he remained there so close.
“Are you going to do something awful to me out here in the middle of nowhere?”
In my ear, he whispered in a voice that hit me somewhere deep inside, “See? Nothing bad.”
Without a word, he stopped the car and put it into park. Then he leaned over, nearly touching my cheek with his lips, and pointed out my window. “That’s the house, and I have no plans to do anything you wouldn’t like or even love. What do you think of it?” He was so close and smelled so delicious that I couldn’t think clearly. I turned my head slightly and his lips brushed my skin, sending a jolt of electricity straight to between my legs. Pressing my thighs together, I turned toward the window and pretended to look up at the house on the hill. “It’s nice.” “It’s twelve million dollars.”
A history teacher by day, K.M. Scott/Gabrielle Bisset is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a definite sexy twist. Whether it’s contemporary or paranormal romance, her stories always include a touch of mystery. When she’s not at her day job or writing, she can be found reading, watching TV and movies, or cooking a new dish for family and friends. GabrielleBisset.com
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Keynote speaker Victoria Danann
A Recap of the 2013
Indie Romance Convention
By Jacqueline Rhoades—Attending Author
Not knowing what to expect, I signed my name and paid my fees for the first (and soon to be annual) Indie Romance Convention in Lebanon, Tennessee, about a half hour outside of the more famous Nashville. Folks in Lebanon might say they’re not famous at all, but they will be. For Indie Romance writers like me on the weekend of October 4–6, Lebanon was the place to be, and I can only see this convention getting bigger and better with each year. The Indie Romance Convention is the brainchild of Laurie Garrison, CEO of the blog Bitten by Paranormal Romance and author of the BTS Book Reviews column “Lowdown with Laurie.” When I met Laurie, the first thing I thought was this lady could be my next door neighbor. She’s the woman in front of you at the grocery store. It’s a great disguise because, in truth, this lady is a dynamo of energy with a wee bit of miracle worker thrown in. She’s the architect and driving force behind the Indie Romance Convention, and she did a marvelous job. With around fifty authors and a couple of hundred readers to please, the list of educational sessions offered something for every romance writer or reader from YA, sweet, paranormal, contemporary, all the way to erotica. Sex was the hot topic of conversation this year—Hey! It’s Romance!—and this year’s events began late Friday
afternoon with a rousing or arousing presentation at a BDSM workshop sponsored by Kallypso Masters. It was an event attended by both those who enjoy the subgenre and those who were plainly curious. A good time was had by all. It wasn’t all BDSM however. Donna McDonald did an excellent job of presenting sexy romances for the over forty character, and a wide ranging panel of writers talked and fielded questions about the sexual content of their respective subgenres, while another writer, LJ Deleon, helped define those subgenres for those who wanted to know. It wasn’t all about sex, though. There was plenty of serious business too attend to, also. BTS’s own Myra Nour along with Nikki McCarver gave us valuable insight on hosting Virtual Tours followed by a very helpful session on promotions with Myra, Nikki, Seraphina Donavan, and A.R. Von. Other marketing programs were moderated by Victoria Danann and included such Indie celebrities as Red Phoenix, Christie M. Fairchild, Leigh Savage, Kallypso, and Victoria Vane. Caris Roane spoke from experience when she talked about Indie vs New York press and shared with us her
| Indie Romance Convention | expertise on world building. While readers and potential authors were welcome to attend most of the sessions, there were specialized sessions for them, too. One that I was particularly happy to see was on writing reviews and their importance to the Indie author. Was the Indie Romance Convention all work and no play? Heck no! Friday night’s Pizza Meet and Greet was a casual gathering that gave us all a chance to meet our favorite authors—yeah, I’m a fan girl, too!—make new friends, and listen to this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies, Victoria Danann. What a lovely lady! Eve Langlais held a barrel of laughs Cupcake Roundtable and was joined by Angela Brown, Heather Allen, and Amy Kessler for writer/reader team play of Win, Lose, or Draw, and yes, Angela, we now know why you don’t draw your own covers!
IRC Sign at Registration Table
Saturday night found our (very loud) group at a local Mexican restaurant where we shared a delicious dinner and more laughter and fun. Smaller groups gathered at lunchtime and in the afterhours to laugh and share and get to know one another on a more personal level and make new friends from around the country. On a personal level, one of the most rewarding things about the weekend was being able to put real people and faces to those who were previously names on a page and to see how much we all had in common regardless of where we were from or what types of books we wrote or read. I had the chance to meet authors I’ve read for a long time and authors I’ll be reading in the future and the readers! They were so interesting and diverse. I got to meet bloggers whose sites I visit regularly including Vanessa, The Jeep Diva, and it was an eye-opener to see the book review world from their perspective. I had a great time with them all. I learned as much from those individual conversations as I did in the sessions and also learned that I have a long way to go. It was a wonderful experience that I’ll cherish. It would take pages and pages to tell you the whole story of the first Indie Romance Convention, and I know I’ve missed mentioning so many of the fine folks who attended: writers, readers, bloggers, and artists. My slight was by no means
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Ava, Vicki and Nikki
Simon intentional, and I offer my heartfelt apologies to those I’ve neglected. You were all wonderful.
BTS eMag Bags a Hit
Sahara & Scott
So, why did Laurie Garrison and her loyal crew take the time and trouble to organize this terrific event? Laurie loves this Indie revolution and the writers, readers, and bloggers who are making it happen. She wants us to take pride in what we do. Like many of us, she’s tired of Indie authors being looked down upon by publishers, mainstream press, and the conventions who ignore us. She wants to see us get the credit we deserve. She wants to offer us an exciting and entertaining venue in which to grow and learn and to meet other authors who are walking the same road and the readers and bloggers who support them on their journey. As far as this writer is concerned, the Indie Romance Convention is off to a great start and I can’t wait until next year. It’s already in the planning stages and promises to be even bigger and better. So mark your calendars now. Come share and visit and learn next September 11–14, 2014 at the Indie Romance Convention (IRC) in Lebanon, Tennessee. Hope to see you there! Jacqueline Rhoades is the Indie author of two Paranormal Romance series, The Wolvers and The Guardians of the Race, and one contemporary romance, Preston’s Mill. She lives in small, rural, southern Ohio with one lovable husband, one spoiled dog, and one disinterested cat. She believes coffee is a food group and always has a pot brewing. Jackie loves hearing from her readers and is always willing to chat. She can be reached through her website, www.jacquelinerhoades.com
November 2013 | 19
CATCHING THE INDIE SPIRIT: Indie Authors Creating Their Own Opportunities to Network With Readers By Seraphina Donavan, Author of the DuChamps’ Dynasty Series Two thousand thirteen was my year for attending conferences. What I noticed at the seven I attended is that Indie author book signings generate a lot of interest and energy. IRC 2013 was one of my favorite reader-author events this year, and the signing was awesome. The smaller “Catch the Indie Spirit” signing afterward with Indie authors from my local KY writing group was equally awesome. It was a pleasure to hear them read their work too. I have several book signings/readings under my published belt, but I found myself a bit intimidated to read alongside them—LOL. Why? All the KY authors at the signing were Amazon bestsellers. We were even monitoring one author climbing the charts during the signing. Three years have passed since my first book was published, and I’m still pinching myself to make sure my published author life is really happening. I’m going to have to brush up on my speaking skills if I do more of these. ~ Donna McDonald, Author of the Never Too Late and Art of Love Series The Kentucky Independent Writers (KIW), spearheaded by Donna McDonald, recently arranged an independent book signing in Brentwood, Tennessee. With the assistance of Charlotte Oliver, personal assistant to Kallypso Masters, and Kally’s lovely sister (who for the sake of anonymity will be known as Mary #4), the event was small but still a glowing success. The authors present (Allison Jewell, Donna McDonald, Hallee Bridgeman, Kallypso Masters, Laramie Briscoe, Seraphina Donavan, and Teresa Reasor) run the gamut in terms of their Indie publishing careers. KIW features a mix of veteran authors, new authors, and even aspiring authors. What they all have in common is that they have all embraced the Indie publishing model without a backward glance. “Catch the Indie Spirit” was an event that allowed readers to meet their favorite authors and discover
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new ones that they might have never discovered otherwise. It isn’t every day that Kallypso Masters, an author who writes steamy Erotic Romance with strong BDSM themes, and Hallee Bridgeman, an author of Inspirational Romance have cross-genre readers. Below is an excerpt from a review that Hallee received from a reader who discovered her work at this event: This was my first Christian novel, and I’m going to admit I was a little nervous when I first started. I am not particularly religious, but I heard Hallee read an excerpt at a book signing and was immediately hooked on the story so I thought I would give it a chance. I expected to skim through the “religious” parts and just enjoy the romantic suspense parts. After reading I discovered I was completely wrong. J.M. Madden had the following to say about the event, “I love the book signings Kally sets up. The readers that come to them are always true, diehard readers, and I love their enthusiasm. I’ve read before, unlike some of the girls, but the readers that showed up at the Brentwood signing were so enthusiastic. I loved it!” The responses from the first-time authors weren’t quite as effusive. Allison Jewell compared reading your work in front of others to being naked. She had this to say about having the support of fellow authors, “I had planned to bow out of the author reading. One by one, I watched the other authors take the podium and realized that I couldn’t back out.” Laramie Briscoe said it best and sums up what every new author feels, “It was horrible—I write because I want to be behind the book!” Even for established authors who are no stranger to being in front of a room full of people, this can be a daunting experience. “I taught school forever and never got as nervous as I do reading my books aloud,” Teresa Reasor stated. I suppose this begs the question of why authors do these things if they are petrifying, terrifying, gut-wrenching exercises in terror that have you reaching for either chocolate or wine. The answer to that can be found in this quote from Kallypso Masters:
largest one, I chose to read a scene from Masters at Arms about two of the Marines in my series dealing with PTSD and survivor guilt. After I read it and left the podium, I was on my way to the back of the room to ask another author to come up and read when a Marine in the room motioned me over. He had tears in his eyes and gave me a big bear hug and thanked me for addressing survivor guilt in my book. His wife, one of the authors signing, said he downloaded my book while I was reading. He then showed me a screen on his mobile device from an 1990s newspaper article telling about the loss of one of his Marine buddies. Later, he posted on his Facebook wall that he still wonders if he could have saved his buddy if he hadn’t gone back to get a tool out of his toolbox. That story moved me to tears, too! As authors, whether Indie or traditionally published, the goal is to reach people. Authors want to make them angry, to make them laugh and cry, and to transport them to some other place. Sometimes it’s a mystical, fictional land and sometimes it’s to a dark place in their own memories. Wherever readers travel, they aren’t going alone. Seraphina Donavan is a hopeless romantic with a wicked and oh-sodirty mind! Those things, combined with her love of writing, prompted her to take the leap and transform those fantasies into written words on a page. As a curvy girl herself, Seraphina has made it a point to celebrate those women with delicious curves with her work through writing and the hot men who love them. She currently has eleven published books and is working on many more. Living in Central Kentucky, Seraphina spends her time rescuing stray animals, working for a non-profit agency, and dreaming of becoming a best-selling author. She lives in a home that has more character than working parts and enjoys spending time with her fur babies. Feel free to contact her with any questions or thoughts on your mind. She loves connecting with her readers and hearing from anyone! www.seraphinadonavan.blogspot.com
While this wasn’t my first public reading or even the November 2013 | 21
CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL
the HAPPILY ever AFTER
REVIEWS and more
BTS REVIEW RATINGS: 5 Stars awesome book, read it now! 4 Stars a must read 3 Stars really good read 2 Stars this was OK 1 Star hard to finish, flawed
GETTING ROWDY by Lori Foster
Charismatic bar owner Rowdy Yates isn’t the kind of man women say no to. So when he approaches waitress Avery Mullins, he fully expects to get her number. However, the elusive beauty has her reasons for keeping her distance—including a past that might come back to haunt them both. Avery spends her nights working for tips… and trying to forget the secret Rowdy is determined to unearth. But when history threatens to repeat itself, Avery grows to rely on Rowdy’s protective presence. As the sparks between them ignite, she will be forced to choose between the security she’s finally found… and the passion she’s always wanted.
A Featured Sneak Peek Inhaling in a bid to regain control, Avery said more calmly, “What you do in your own time is your own business.” “That was my own time – time I wanted to spend with you, but you weren’t interested.” Dropping the uniform shirts, Avery propped her hands on her hips. “That’s your excuse?” He eased closer. “Sorry honey, but I don’t need an excuse.” Oh so gently, he smoothed back a curl that had escaped her ponytail. “I’m a grown man, it’s my bar, and I wasn’t expecting anyone to show up so early, especially not you.” “Perfect!” She snatched up the shirts again, anxious to be on her way. “I guess that’s settled then.” Rowdy caught her arm. “Hold up.” She started to jerk free, until he said, “Come on, Avery, give me a chance to explain.” It wasn’t the smartest move, because every second with him chipped away at her resistance, but she paused anyway. “All right, let’s hear it.” This ought to be good. But then again, maybe not. To give himself a moment to think, Rowdy took the garments from Avery and tossed them back on the breakroom table. With her looking so mulish – and so damned cute - he would prefer backing her up to the wall and following his instincts instead of talking. But he could just imagine how she’d react to that. Rubbing a hand over the back of his neck, he tried to figure out what to say, and how to say it. Overflowing with belligerence, Avery crossed her arms. “Any day now.”
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“Give me a second, will you?” He propped a hip on the tabletop and scrutinized her. “You might not know this, but I’ve never explained myself to a woman before. That is, a woman other than my sister. But even with Pepper, it was generalizations. Never anything detailed about when, where, or who I had sex with.” Avery bristled. “You don’t have to explain to me either.” “I think I do, but it’s complicated by the fact that you work for me.” When he said no more, she lifted her chin. “How so?” Rowdy had never had a problem with plain speaking. He saw no reason to start complicating things now. “I have a major jones for you, Avery. You know that.” Her jaw loosened. “Oh my God. You are so –” “But as your employer,” he interrupted, “I could cross a line here if I’m not careful.” She choked. “Seriously, Rowdy? This is you being careful?”
Lori Foster first published with Harlequin in January 1996. Her second book launched Temptation Blaze and her 25th book launched Temptation Heat. Since those early days, Lori has routinely had 6 to 10 releases a year. She’s a Waldenbooks, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author with over 50 titles published through a variety of houses.
& HISTORICAL | book reviews |
The Art of Letting Go Anna Bloom Contemporary Romance Heat Rating: 3
One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it? When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action. Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enroll at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up. As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep. With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go? REVIEW: The Art of Letting Go is a brilliant romantic comedy that’s filled to the brim with charm and wit. Set in England, Lilah is an immature girl that wants to change her life and mature gracefully, unlike her mother. Once enrolled at University, Lilah throws caution to the wind and her lack of maturity leads her to Ben, an incredibly handsome, charming guy. Ben and Lilah develop a friendship after that night that eventually leads both of them down a path of self-discovery, growth and in the end, a beautiful love. The story is heartwarming and the words poetic. The characters are flawed and real, deepening the connection between the reader and the story. It’s a perfect example of when it comes to matters
of the heart - no obstacle will stand in the way of true love. | Reviewer: Marie Haney |
Grace Burrowes Historical Romance Heat Rating: 5
She’s caught between a rake and certain ruin… Felicity Worthington’s only hope of avoiding poverty—or worse—is to accept her distant cousin’s dubious bequest… a thriving, high-class brothel. Felicity has 90 days to convince her cousin’s solicitors that Gareth Alexander has taught her the art of pleasing a man, though she’s more interested in the gentleman she glimpses beneath Gareth’s debauched airs, than in the rake he’s become. In the business of love…How much should he teach her? Gareth Alexander, Marquis of Heathgate, has little incentive to help a spinster learn to manage a brothel—except that the alternatives for the prim, pretty Miss Worthington are even worse. His resistance to teaching Felicity how to be a madam leaves Gareth wondering if the honor he’d thought long dead still survives, and if that honor allows him to yield to the lady’s ruinous scheme… and to their shared desires. REVIEW: I have found that many times when an author approaches historical novels that the story or the characters start to become very cliché. But Grace Burrowes has done a great job in keeping both her world and her characters honest.
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| CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL book reviews |
Gareth is book 7 of her Lonely Lords Series but it can be read individually without having to read the previous books to understand it, although I will be adding the others to my TBR pile because I enjoyed reading Gareth’s book so much.
women. However, when a dangerous gunman tracks his wife to Lauren’s shelter, the protector becomes the target. Her life suddenly in the balance, nothing will stop Wes from doing everything in his power to rescue her.
I gave the heat rating 5 stars because the heat goes beyond just the love scenes, the heat sizzles even when there aren’t love scenes. Grace has a talent for wording her love scenes so well that I could not give her 5 stars for it. Gareth was such a beautiful read that I look forward to reading more in the very near future!
REVIEW: If you like, reunited long-lost high school crushes and family and long lost friends getting back together, you’ll enjoy Friends and Lovers by Tara Mills. Lauren McKay runs into an old friend she’d had a crush on years ago, and they reminisced a bit about the fact that her sister and nephew was murdered by an abusive husband, who was coming up for parole, which is kind of why she runs a shelter, and that kind of starts the ball rolling on them getting back in touch with one another. It has a little bit of everything, including chilling suspense when one of the abusive husbands tracks down his wife at the Gloria Fields Crisis Shelter that’s run by Lauren. When that happens, her former crush Wes Dunlop, who’s in the police department, gets wind of the dire situation and manages to help contain it.
| Reviewer: Krissy Malott |
Wes and Lauren make a great reunited couple. Wes’s sister
Felicity and Gareth are put in each other’s path due to a request that’s made in a will that puts the both of them in a position where they both begin to question their feelings for each other. Gareth has to teach Felicity to run a brothel and Felicity begins to make Gareth question his own hardened heart.
Friends and Lovers Tara Mills Contemporary Romance Heat Rating: 5
Can the man of Lauren’s dreams save her from the man in her nightmares? Wes Dunlop was a hot commodity in high school and the ruin of good reputations, so it was easy to criticize the guy when his sister did it too. Then Lauren McKay actually met her best friend’s brother, and she was intrigued. When he came to her rescue, she was doomed. Afraid to admit her change of heart, Lauren hid her secret from both of them. Fifteen years later Wes is back. Now a dedicated cop, he’s determined to win Lauren—the girl he can’t forget and the only one his sister demanded he leave alone. But he finds that Lauren’s life is a lot more complicated than he imagined. Personal tragedy made Lauren a fierce defender of battered
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| CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL book reviews |
Sherry, who was Lauren’s best friend back in high school and her husband Ken were a hoot and the grandparents were to, when they made their appearance. They were a close family and they were all eager to reconnect with Lauren, since it had been a long time since, they’d all seen one another. Lauren’s co-worker Jackie was also treat. It was a quick read and an enjoyable one. You’ll definitely enjoy it.
Because This Is Forever Lena Hart Contemporary Romance Heat Rating: 3
| Reviewer: Cassandra Graham | Mia’s dreams of “happily ever after” are crushed when Nate reveals he doesn’t want children. So she makes a decision that forces them apart. Five years later, Mia needs Nate’s help to save her home for the son he never knew he had. Determined to change that, Nate proposes a compromise that turns into a chance at becoming a family. Only, Nate must convince Mia that his love for her will last now and forever. REVIEW: Mia needs some help from Nate, but it’s been years
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| CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL book reviews | since she’s seen him and there’s just one little problem that he doesn’t know about. He doesn’t know about it, because they had broken up and she never told him. She lets him know, that she needed to speak to him, and he agrees to see her when she gets to town. He accidently discovers her secret, when he speaks to her child (Mikey) who’d picked up her cell phone, when Nate called to talk to her at the motel. He was shocked, but he got over it, a little bit at a time, once he actually met his son, who was an adorable 4 year old, who, was quite the little chatter box. It was a really good story and a fast paced read. At first you were kind of mad at Nate, but you kind of understood where he was coming from, once you got a closer look at his interesting family dynamics. And you knew, she really should have told him, but you understood why she didn’t. Mikey (their son) was too cute and the fact that he even managed to get a warm welcome and a smile from Granddaddy Dearest himself, once he met him, was really too cute. First book I’ve read by this author, but, pretty sure it won’t be the last. Check it out, you’ll enjoy it. | Reviewer: Cassandra Graham |
Woman of Substance Annette Bower Contemporary Romance Heat Rating: 2
“You will never understand what it means to be fat.” With those words, grad student Robbie Smith begins the Fat-Like-Me project. In order to support her thesis, she puts on a fat suit to measure people’s reactions to the new her. When Robbie meets Jake while she’s in disguise, she deceives him for all the right reasons. But how long can she maintain the deception before Jake discovers that she is not who he believes her to be? REVIEW: It was a really nice love story that had a little unintentional deceit at the beginning, (but in a good deceitful way). When Robbie first meets Jake she’s in disguise, because she’s writing a thesis and wants to know how overweight women are basically treated in society. In reality, she’s not overweight, she’s pretty and she’s caring. At first Jake thinks she’s out to use his poor, frail old grandfather and take him for everything, but eventually, he comes to see that that’s not a possibility. Robbie knows she can’t get involved with Jake when she finds out he works at her university as a Professor. Well, eventually Jake comes around and asks her to look out for his grandfather and he’d even pay her. She’d have done it for nothing. Eventually, she and Jake form a strong bond and he comes to terms with his own demons and learns eventually who Robbie really is and he still likes her, for her, (even, if he was a bit upset at the deceit). If you get a chance to read it, you’ll definitely enjoy it and the characters of Robbie and Jake actually seemed to fit together and belong. The grandfather was enjoyable and a treat and it was sad when he passed away. Even Robbie’s parents were funny and charming and so were the ladies that helped her with her thesis. It was definitely a good read with lots of engaging characters. You won’t be disappointed. | Reviewer: Cassandra Graham |
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A TASTE OF TROUBLE by Gina Gordon
Liv Crawford is pursuing her dream of opening her own bakery. Jake Miller has cast aside his playboy lifestyle to pursue his passion for photography. So, when the opportunity to turn his hobby into a career presents itself, he jumps at the chance and quickly becomes Liv’s number one distraction..
A Featured First Kiss Peek “I don’t need someone to talk to.” “Oh, no?” He remembered. She didn’t need someone to talk to. She wanted someone to have sex with. “What do you need?” he asked. How the emphasis of one two-letter word could turn a PG-13 moment into something bound for the NC-17 shelves didn’t make sense. But she understood his motive. She heard it loud and clear. Stop it! You’re traveling down a road you can’t go down. Turn this around. Liv swiped her bottom lip, her perfect tongue gliding slowly along the plump flesh. All of a sudden taking the high road was not on his mind at all. She closed the distance between them before he took his next breath. The next thing he knew, her soft lips were pressed against his, heaven against his own. She pushed into him, her arm wrapping around his neck, pulling him closer. This was exactly what he wanted. Exactly how he had imagined their first kiss in slow, graphic detail. Jake grabbed her hip and nudged her closer, and in the next second, rubber gloves were ripped from their hands and she was straddling him. Her hot center pressed against the part of him that ached for her the most. She whimpered when he clasped his hands around her and rocked her body, pushing her against him in a slow,
smooth rhythm. Their lips tangled, hard and rough. Liv controlled the pressure, her soft hands gripping his jaw. They were like fire against his cold skin. Despite the temperature of the fridge, their bodies had forgotten the cold. Her palms slid down to his groin and Jake moaned, loving the feel of her hands on him. But out of nowhere, his mission flashed before his eyes. Jake tensed and pulled away. “Fast...” he panted, moving her hands away from his lap. “Too fast.” Liv struggled with his hands, but the grip he had on her wrists was too strong. “I need this distraction.” There was a pleading tone to her voice. Her eyes met his, and all that vulnerability she had tried so hard to hide came pouring out. “Even if for only a minute. Even if for only a night.”
Gina, a self-proclaimed happily-ever-after junkie and cupcake connoisseuse, loves spinning contemporary tales of knee-bending first kisses, unconditional love, and hot sex. When not chained to her computer, you can find Gina sipping Starbucks, making cupcakes, or indulging in celebrity gossip. She lives in Milton, Ontario with her husband and dog.
GinaGordon.net November 2013 | 31
| CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL book reviews | The Other Side (The Island Girls #1)
Zee Monodee Contemporary Romance Heat Rating: 3
Divorce paints a scarlet letter on her chest when she returns to the culture-driven island of Mauritius. Once there, Lara has no escape--not from the gossip, the contempt, the harassing matchmaking... and certainly not from the man she hoped never to meet again, the boy sheâ€™d loved and lostâ€”white Mauritian native, Eric Marivaux... REVIEW: Slow and steady wins the race here. Characters
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and plot were slowly built in a seemingly tangential style that made it difficult to put down after about Chapter 2 or 3. Throughout it all the author subtly and rather superbly tackled racism, bulimia, smoking, the stigma of divorce as well as the intricacies of family expectations all woven in a love story. Mauritius came alive almost as an intriguing character itself, with island life of working on Saturdays, the Evil Eye and traffic. With kurta suits and saris, non-stop gossip, and class wars, there was a distinct Indian flavor which was felt rather than told. This book captured the feel of a Bollywood story, though there was no breaking out into song, it did feel singsongy, and ended in Hindi film fashion. As a silly soap opera fan myself, I rather enjoyed the overly dramatic scenes of inner monologue and lazily drank up all of it. For likeminded adult readers of romance and fans of Indian culture, I recommend this one. | Reviewer: Michele Biring-Pani |
| CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL book reviews | Undercover Temptation
ex-Vegas showgirl who runs the new pole-dancing workout studio. Reported to be a hometown gal with a checkered past, she is considered the prime suspect to front a drug ring, but he begins to wonder once someone threatens the beautiful woman’s life and business. Reese struggles to keep things professional. When things become personal, Reese must risk everything, including Cat’s trust, to protect her from the past.
Cat Madsen left her hometown ten years ago, escaping to Vegas with hopes of becoming a famous showgirl, but those dreams evaporate when she finds out that the owner of the club she poledances at also dabbles in drug trafficking. Now, using her ailing father as an excuse to return home to the town that rejected her, Cat is back with a renewed determination to prove her worth. But her tarnished reputation may prevent her from building a future among small-town attitudes.
REVIEW: Somewhat along the mainstream tease romance line, Undercover Temptations brings romance much closer to home as it shows each person’s struggle to prove to their community that he (or she) is not the same person he was when he was still young. Social stigma definitely sticks in small towns for a long time and trying to change it is next to impossible, but Catherine has courage and is set on a mission to do exactly just that. Resse went undercover in order to uncover a drug cartel in Catherine’s hometown where he was inexplicably drawn to the sexy and talented Cat. Reality-based, wholesome, and amusing, this sweet romance book has a happily ever after ending, and highlights the importance of family.
Amanda McIntyre Contemporary Romance Heat Rating: 2
When an undercover assignment lands Detective Reese Jamieson in the tiny town of Sweetwater, he is skeptical it’s a hotspot for anything. Then he gets his first glimpse of the
| Reviewer: Francine Alli |
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Chic Trends in Romance Sandra Bunino
Take Notice—New Adult Is Here to Stay You don’t need to be a New Adult to enjoy this genre. It’s been a couple, um, few, okay, many years since I was in the 18–26 age range. But I still feel a connection with the protagonists in these stories. Who can forget that angsty (I love that non-word), emotional time in our lives? BTS Indie month is a great time to feature New Adult titles because many of the New Adult pioneers started out as indies. Why? No one knew what to do with them! They were too steamy for Young Adult, but they weren’t quite adult either. So what exactly is New Adult? USA Today describes it as: “Mix the high-octane emotions of youth with the freedom of leaving home and you’ve brewed up a potent new book category called ‘New Adult.’” This new fairly new genre has taken off, with new titles releasing daily. Story lines are full of angst and intensity, surrounding first love experiences. Stories are rich with sex and emotion while the characters are finding their way and exploring their sexuality. Here are a few of my top picks:
| Chic Trends in Romance | The Blackstone Affair has taken off since the release of the first book, Naked. And for good reason, it’s a sexy well-written series. Ms. Miller blogs humbly about her experience, and she’s still surprised about the reaction she’s received from her series. Bravo, Ms. Miller. I love your humility.
Naked by Raine Miller (The Blackstone Affair, #1, Indie Book—available now) Brynne Bennett is living the good life. An American art student at the University of London and part-time photographic model, she’s putting her life back on track with school and lots of hard work. When ultra successful London businessman, Ethan Blackstone, buys her nude portrait, he isn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer. He wants Brynne in his bed and makes plans to keep her there no matter what. His dominant nature captivates and ensnares despite the demons she carries inside her. But there are secrets in this relationship. Huge ones. Can Ethan free Brynne from the past that has marked her? Will Brynne let him or will the specters tormenting her resurface to destroy them both...
We can’t talk about New Adult without throwing in a tattooed bad boy or two. Meet Pax Tate in...
If You Stay by Courtney Cole (Beautifully Broken #1, Grand Central Publishing—available now) Twenty-four-year-old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a tough attitude to match. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with an intense guilt that he doesn’t understand. What he does know is that he and his dad were left alone, and they have never been close. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the black void in his soul. He pretends that the emptiness isn’t there and this has always worked... until he meets Mila.
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Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air that Pax has never known in his life. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her-but he quickly realizes that he’d better figure it out because he needs her to breathe. When the memories of his mother’s death resurface to haunt Pax, Mila is there to save him from his overwhelming guilt. Mila restores his broken heart, even as she evokes his powerful, sexual desires. Now for Pax to keep Mila, he needs to work on his issues-and stop being an asshole. But is that enough to make her stay? Another popular theme in New Adult is the intern/boss matchup. This one was originally written by Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings as fan fiction and garnered over two million views. It was revised and published under the combined pen name Christina Lauren.
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren (Simon & Schuster— available now)
So pick up a New Adult today! I promise you’ll be hooked!
Sandra Bunino began a love of romance stories while penning a creative writing assignment in high school. The story ended with the heroine receiving a long-stemmed red rose in her locker on Valentine’s Day. Since then, all of her stories feature the hero presenting the heroine with roses. Sandra is constantly searching for different ways to achieve a heart-pumping, stomach-flipping, breathcatching reaction from her readers..
Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard. Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative— completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office. As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other. November 2013 | 37
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REVIEWS and more
BTS REVIEW RATINGS: 5 Stars awesome book, read it now! 4 Stars a must read 3 Stars really good read 2 Stars this was OK 1 Star hard to finish, flawed
The Heat Diva Nikki McCarver
Sizzling It Up Indie Style Many people are on the fence when it comes to indie publishing. I can’t help but ask them why. The indie explosion is quite fascinating and has opened so many doors for so many incredibly talented people to share their work. I say don’t knock until you try it... and the Diva has quite a few naughty nibbles for you to sink your teeth in. The great thing about indie publishing is that the rules don’t apply. You end up having a literal smorgasbord of raw sex scenes that will make your toes and other areas...curl...
| The Heat Diva |
Heat Level Hot, Hot, Hot Indie Paranormals Dead Sexy by Paige Tyler (Indie Book— available now) My vote is that this lovely lady should go from Paige Tyler to Paige Turner . . . such is the way of her books. This unique and incredibly hot partial-zombie wonder is a masterpiece of love, suspense, and panty-drenching sex scenes. If paranormals are not your forte, but contemporary BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism) scenes are? Please take a look at some of her other books. They will absolutely make your nights more memorable. Blackwood: Lily by R.L. Kirk (Blackwood Wolves, #1, Irish Wolf Publishing—available now) Lily has it all in this book except the will to accept she is a werewolf. Nothing like hating who you are to keep a book popping, and boy, even though Wallace isn’t the main hero, I really want one of those. This book has a centrally dark theme for a paranormal but also has some smoking hot sex scenes. The Wager by D.X. Luc (Touch of the Gods, Sinful Restraints Publishing—available now) How about a little Greek Heat? Heph has a tragic story to tell that may have you tearing up, but when he meets Vanessa all bets are off. When these two characters get together, sparks fly, and the best thing is that all that sexiness is mixed in with a Happily Ever After.
Contemporary Scenes Been Loving You Too Long by Seraphina Donavan (DuChamps Dynasty, #1, Curvy Seductions Press—available now) I love, love, love, stories of good girls gone bad, and this little series kickoff is amazing. Ophelia has it bad for the boss’s son but knows they could never be together because their worlds are so far apart. Odds never stop someone from dreaming though, and a few delicate twists land Ophelia her dream man. Even though the sex is off the chain . . . Can Ophelia triumph in the end? Ningaloo Nights by Tracey Cooper-Posey (Indie Book—available now)
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This little gem of a short story is a must read for erotic lovers! It has a sizzling hot story that will leave you seeking comfort probably about halfway through. If you make it through this book without a fan, I will call you out on your bluff. Sherry travels halfway around the world looking for answers as to what happened to her sister. Her tour guide isn’t what she expects but is all she has ever longed for. Can she turn this wild bushman into more than a few wild nights? Nobody’s Angel by Kallypso Masters (Rescue Me, #2, Indie Book¬—available now) Not only is this story about three tortured men and how they start their own BDSM club, but it is also filled with smoking hot raw BDSM material. I picked Nobody’s Angel because I have a soft spot for Marc, but you really need to start at the beginning of the series. Kallypso doesn’t do rehash, so the story line will feel incomplete if you start with book two or three. It is a great story about true brothers in arms and where their sexual journeys take them. The great thing about these is that even after the end of each man’s book, his story continues on throughout the series. It’s heartwarming to see your favorite characters pop up again. ........................................... Well my naughty newbies, that’s a wrap! Be sure to try some of indie’s most wanted that I have listed here. You won’t regret it. Until next time . . . Stay Naughty.
I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and erotica has brought my favorite pasttime to a whole new level. After the birth of my daughter, I started learning about blogging and all the wonderful ways to share my passion for reading and dived right in. I created my own blog to share my love of paranormal, historical, dark, and erotic books. I have had the opportunity to work with many great authors and look forward to working with many more. Come Closer and look me up at: http://closeencountersofthenightkind.blogspot.com
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EROTIC | book reviews |
A Knight of Passion
Eight years ago, life was good for Tate Reilly. Living in Atlanta and attending college, her dream of becoming a doctor was within reach, and she was in love with Ryan Hart. Then one night while Tate slept, Ryan disappeared. No note, no phone call, nothing left of a love she thought would last forever.
As whore for the Duchess of Arundel, Lady Riana Ellis keeps her sister safe from the duke’s lascivious desires. Now the duchess demands that Riana murder the man already sent to her bed.
Jenny Lyn Contemporary Erotic Heat Rating: 3
Ryan never wanted to leave Tate behind the way he did. The best way to spare Tate the disruption of her bright future with his problems was to make a clean break. So he did the hardest thing he’d ever done—he walked away. Now Ryan is back in Atlanta, and he has every intention of winning Tate back, no matter what it takes. The heat between them is undeniable, and it’s not long before it melts her resistance and she starts to lose the grip on her heart again. But time doesn’t always heal all wounds. Sometimes you have to shed more blood to become whole again. REVIEW: This was a great quick read that I really enjoyed. I was shocked to say the least by one section and if I say what section that would count as a spoiler… The book had alternating POVs which made this an interesting well rounded story. Even though this is a standalone read it did give readers a chance to glance into the lives of Kevin and Elle (they were characters in another book by this author called Bite.) which to me was a nice added touch.
Tarah Scott Historical Erotic Heat Rating: 5
Sir Bryant Cullen determines to have the duchess’ whore. Her land is a prize, but it’s her secrets he wants. Once he knows what she knows, he will control the powerful houses of Arundel. And she will be his. REVIEW: Certainly had that! And in droves. When Lady Rihanna first meets Sir Bryant it’s a case of mistaken identity. She was forced into trying to kill a man in order to protect her younger sister. The man was supposed to show up. Her Benefactress the Duchess of Arundel was to watch and the devilish deed was to be done. Luckily for the intended target, it wasn’t carried out and Bryant had an interesting time even if there was unwanted company hidden away and watching everything unfold. Eventually Rihanna manages to get her sister spirited to safety and then she has to thwart a new attempt against her new husband Sir Bryant. It was good and the characters were enjoyable the supporting characters were good and the evil ones, well; they were just plain evil and deserved everything they got. If you like a quick medieval romp that has lots of steamy moments, give A Knight of Passion a try. | Reviewer: Cassandra Graham |
| Reviewer: Beckey White |
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| EROTIC book reviews |
Loved by a Roughneck Shyla Colt Contemporary Erotic Heat Rating: 3
After losing his wife, Ty takes to the road, working oil rigs and avoiding close connections. After six months in the tiny Texas town, Maci reminds him what it feels like to want more from a woman. Convinced she’s his second chance at love, he’ll show her what it means to be loved by a roughneck. Maci Lou Long has witnessed firsthand the damage a man can cause a weak-willed woman. As the daughter of the town drunk, her soul is far older than her twenty-one years. Determined to keep her heart safe, the only thing she seeks from a man is satisfaction. Then a drifter blows in from the north, and slips under her defenses. Caught up in a tide of emotions she can’t stop, Maci can only accept Ty’s offer and wait for the fallout.
REVIEW: Something about Maci triggers something in Ty that he had thought he had lost…It takes Ty six months to work up the courage to finally ask Maci out during his two week break from being on the rig. “Give me two weeks. I know what I’m feeling isn’t one-sided…” But will she?
Loup Garou for You Katalina Leon Paranormal Erotic Heat Rating: 5
“…How about we play a game of twenty questions?” “What do I win?” “If you’re a good boy … those two weeks you wanted.” But what happens next? This is an enjoyable quick story to read with interesting dialogue between the main characters. The book has both POV of Ty and Maci which to me gives a well-rounded story… | Reviewer: Beckey White |
On the eve of Aubert’s twentyseventh birthday he receives some disturbing news. He’s changing into a feral creature and must find a wife before midnight or face banishment in chains to the desolate French Pyrenees or worse a beheading. That’s a lot of pressure to get married. Lucky for him a mysterious young woman with a secret appears in his home, temping Aubert to unleash the inner lycan and take her as a mate. November 2013 | 47
| EROTIC book reviews | Back for More REVIEW: Loup Garous for You really teases your inner bitchtress because right from the beginning the reader is thrown into a whirlwind of very intense sexual preparation for the coming rituals. Aubert starts the change quite frantically then in comes Corrine who isn’t as innocent as she appears to be. This is a very graphic read, so if you can’t handle intense and very detailed mix sexual scenes and BDSM it may not be for you but the darker and deeper the sex goes so does the reader. Katalina Leon does an outstanding job reaching into the darker desires of the paranormal romance genre. | Reviewer: Krissy Malott |
Avril Ashton Erotic Romance Heat Rating: 5
Indy Steele is many things, but a fan of commitment isn’t one of them. Sure she’s been with only one man in damn near forever, but no way is there anything other than lust between them. To prove it, she kicks Reno out of her bed and her life, and watches as he relocates to another state. A lonely year has gone by and Reno is back, determined to take more than she’s willing to give. Reno Sandovar hasn’t stopped loving Indy, not for a second. He’s waited a long time to get back to her and now he wants what he should have had all along—her love. Her excuses about their age difference are just that. He’s hell-bent on showing her that no matter what, he’ll always be coming back for more. REVIEW: Sticking by her belief that commitment is not for her, Indy throws Reno out. But when the sexy and dominant Reno comes back to reclaim Indy, he turns up the heat and shows her just how badly he wants to make her his. The characters in this book aren’t very well written in my opinion. Indy comes off as arrogant and bitchy, and Reno a brute. The story itself could have been so much more, if the author’s main focus wasn’t on the taboo and kinky sides of BDSM. Don’t get me wrong, the sex is hot, but for me, the story lacked development and depth. That said, however, if you’re looking for a steamy book, this might be a read for you. | Reviewer: Marie Haney |
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| EROTIC book reviews | A Night at the Cavern
Jorges finds Miranda’s self-deprecating humor refreshing and falls for her girl-next-door charm as he coaxes her inner sex goddess out to play. Who knew that within the wallflower lurked a sizzling siren? Before the sun rises, Jorges realizes one night of passion will never be enough. Now he must convince Miranda she is exactly what he needs.
Book four in the Heroes of Saturn series.
REVIEW: This was an odd but interesting read. It sort of reminded me of 50 Shades of Grey and I am not quite sure if that is a good thing or not. For the readers who love 50 Shades this is a brilliant read, for those like me who wasn’t much for 50 Shades then you may not love it as much. As hard as the author tried to bring depth to the few pages, I found that it lacked something from the male perspective. However, the female perspective seemed to be almost spot on. I thought there was something lacking in the character, yet I can’t seem to put my finger on what it is. I think it had a bit too much cramped into just 90 pages. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was shorter and less busy or if it was longer and the ideas explored.
Anna Alexander Erotic Romance Heat Rating: 5
The motto at the city’s most hedonistic nightclub, The Cavern, is all about receiving what you need, and at the moment Miranda needed to sober up and get the hell out of there. Her lame attempt at adventure was about to go down as the stupidest idea ever when the club’s über-hunky designer whisks her onto the dance floor and offers to make her sexiest fantasies come true. Maybe it was the overpriced drinks talking, but if she was going to fail, it might as well be in a blaze of glory. Leather cuffs, bondage and forbidden pleasure? She’s all in.
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| Reviewer: Nila Bi |
Avaliable now at Amazon
THE MOON-KISSED CHI by Grinelda Markowitz
From the quirkiness of her daughter to the equine escapades of Bezhyanya (her sworn bedmate) and Grayt (her serving woman), Arrinay, ruler of Kalaydan, is faced with many concerns throughout her day which she handles with grace, poise and dignity. Will she be able to meet the challenges to come?
A Featured First Kiss Peek
“Yes, but not now. We must be on our way.” “Okay. Kiss me before we go? I want to know, just for a moment, what our time together will be like.” His feral yellow eyes became bigger and darker as he moved his face closer to hers. His breath smelled sweet and spicy all in one. He kissed her full on the mouth. Not holding back, he pulled her tightly to him and covered her lips with the warmth of his own. His tongue sought entry and was met enthusiastically by hers. Their embrace went no further than the kiss, but each knew an awakening had occurred for which there must be a satisfying answer. He released her. Her bosom heaved and her breathing was heavy.
my sleeping dreams have a subject for their unfolding,” he said as he held her further away.” “There’s more where that came from, right?” She asked, disappointment showing in the set of her mouth. “Much more.”
Grinelda Markowitz writes erotic fiction across multiple genres. She resides in a galaxy far, far away with a trusty pen, a never-ending supply of paper, and a fertile imagination. She’s also gifted with more than her fair share of moxie and chutzpah by which she grabs the bull by the horns.
“I like your scent. It arouses me.” “I like yours too and it does me as well. Now
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Standard QUARTER page ad, template designed with one book/link - $15.00
I sat down and got comfortable in the plush leather of my seat. The first class cabin was roomy and especially spacious since Jack and I were the only two sitting up there. The redeye flight was probably too early for most to wake up for. And at a five forty-five departure, I was barely awake as it was. Since I’d woken up at four o’clock, I’d already had two large cups of coffee and needed lots more where they came from. The past two nights I’d barely gotten more than a few hours of sleep as I tried to make sense of the chaos which my seemingly storybook romance had become. “Comfortable? Can I get you a pillow?” Jack asked. “Oh, I’m fine. Just tired.” “It should be a quiet flight. The flight attendants said we are the only two passengers booked in first class. Maybe you should recline back and rest your eyes after we take off. It’s a four-hour flight to the island.” I offered a small smile at Jack. He really was very sweet, and despite the overflowing wagon of baggage that came with him, he was, for all intents and purposes, perfect. “Maybe I’ll do that.” “Good. That way you’ll be good and rested once we land in Aruba. The flight should be
| Sex and the Single Woman | quiet. Why don’t you just close those gorgeous eyes of yours, and I’ll wake you up when we get there.” Jack really was incredibly sweet. There wasn’t a woman in New York City who wouldn’t be glad to be traveling to a tropical paradise with him by her side. I ought to know. That’s exactly how I used to feel. Until recently anyway, that was when my world and seemingly perfect relationship started to turn upside down. I was still trying to figure out what had gone wrong. The problem was the more I thought about it all, the more I found it hard to hide my feelings. Jack could read me like a book. His intuitive nature was never wrong when it came to me. It was because of that very skill that I knew I couldn’t share my doubt or worries with him. Especially not with him being the primary thing that I was most worried about. As soon as he thought I was even the slightest bit worried, he would just swoop in with some rational explanation to make everything all right again. And that was the very last thing I needed. I wanted, and truly needed, to figure things out on my own. In the past few months, I had fallen head over heels in love with Jack. For me, he was my white knight, the prince charming that all little girls grow up fantasizing about. Now, I wasn’t sure if he was exactly as I thought or if he was someone else, a mere illusion of what I thought that I saw.
“Sweetie, if he seems too good to be true. He probably is.” my love.” I closed my eyes and allowed my head to roll toward the window once the plane started to move away from the gangway. I kept my breaths calm and shallow as I opened my eyes to look out the window. I didn’t want to alert Jack that I was anything but asleep. I needed this time to ponder and organize my thoughts. Jack had no idea that up until last night I still wasn’t sure if I was even going to join him on this romantic getaway. And if my girlfriends knew all that I’d been dealing with, they would surely have stopped me from going to the airport.
“Sweetie? Are you sure you’re all right? I can’t help but feel like you’re... I don’t know... hiding something from me, maybe? Are you still worried about that nightmare you had the other day? Because I promise you, I would never let anyone hurt you.”
So many conflicting emotions were flooding my mind as I tried to rationalize every crazy thing that had happened in the past week and a half. I knew I had to deal with it all at some point, but every time I tried, Jack was right there to make everything all better again. Just like he always did.
“No, I’m fine. Seriously, Jack. I’m just not awake yet. Maybe I will take that nap once we take off. You’re probably right, and I won’t want to miss a thing once we get there.” I attempted to offer a reassuring smile in hopes he wouldn’t see through my true thoughts.
The memory of him doing exactly that, over and over again, reminded me of the epiphany I’d had just two nights before. I’d lain awake in bed, staring up at my ceiling fan. The blades went round and around so fast that after a while they almost appeared to be moving backwards. It was that optical illusion that I saw so many times on car tires. When something appeared one way, but in actuality was a completely different thing
“That’s my girl.” Jack leaned in and kissed my forehead. “You get some sleep and dream sweet,
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entirely. It was then that my eyes opened wide, I’d sat up in bed and realized that nothing was what it seemed. Ever since Mary had shown up on my front steps, I had been trying to figure out and solve the complicated puzzle that had become my life. No matter how many times I tried, I still managed to end up drawing a blank. Even with Jack explaining things away, the pieces still didn’t fit. Oh sure, his reasoning behind everything sounded good, but when I put everything together, I couldn’t help but feel like I was trying to stuff a square block into a triangle hole. And now I finally knew why. Jack wasn’t who he seemed. He’d come out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. I’d even fallen in love with him. I couldn’t deny that, my heart wouldn’t allow it. Still, something Kim said to me a few weeks earlier kept playing over in my head and suddenly made sense. As I felt the wheels pick up off the ground and lift our metal bird into the air, I could hear her voice just as she was sitting beside me, saying . . . “Sweetie, if he seems too good to be true. He probably is.” Nicole Morgan is a multi-published author of erotic romance novels, which more often than not have a suspensefull backstory. Erotic romance mixed with a good old-fashioned whodunit. While she’s written everything from contemporary to paranormal, her leading men will more than likey be wearing a uniform of some kind. From military to police, she has a love for writing about those who protect and serve. -nicolemorgan1.webs.com
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SCI FI & FANTASY
OUT of this WORLD
REVIEWS and more
BTS REVIEW RATINGS: 5 Stars awesome book, read it now! 4 Stars a must read 3 Stars really good read 2 Stars this was OK 1 Star hard to finish, flawed
THE DEMON OF SYNAR by Donna McDonald
Being captain of a Peace Alliance rescue ship is the life reluctant demon master, Liam Synar, always dreamed of living. Coveting Malachi’s power, his brother hunts him to capture the powerful being his life mate unknowingly hosts. Liam put Malachi inside Ania two years ago when she almost died. Now the truth is about to come out.
A Featured Sneak Peek Two years ago…. “I was nervous the first time I bound myself to a female as well,” Dorian said, watching his best friend and current captain pace the room. “What makes you think I’m nervous?” Synar asked. Dorian laughed when Liam paused his restless pacing and gave him a strange look. “What still shocks me is that Ania Looren passed up dignitaries, presidents, other ambassadors, and more warriors than I can count to tumble into your bed like a love stricken Earthling. I’m in awe of you turning out to be the one male in her entire life that she couldn’t refuse.” “If you think I’m going to be indiscreet and brag about my bonding time with Ania, you are mistaken my friend.” Synar grinned at Dorian’s guilty, and disappointed, look. “Being a Siren, my vows of abstinence are hard to endure every day. You have known me long enough to realize that this is a profound truth, Liam. But today the most celibate planet in the Alliance is tuned into your mating vibrations, as am I. As your best friend, the least you can do is let me live vicariously through you once in a while,” Dorian teased. “I know you were Ania’s first breach. She told me.” “Yes I was, but I’m still not telling you any details. The first time is a private matter and a special sharing. You’ve been alone too long, Dorian. Find a willing female and start living again,” Synar ordered.
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“I want peace, not another mate. It hasn’t even been a century since I lost the last one. I know not all creatures live as long as Sirens, but a century doesn’t feel all that long when you are grieving.” Dorian narrowed his eyes as his friend picked up his walking speed again. “Liam, you’re going to wear out your footwear if you keep that up.” “I don’t know what’s wrong with me—just can’t seem to stand still. I’m truly not nervous taking Ania as a formal mate, just impatient to get the public ceremony over. My intuition is sending out massive warning signals, but I can’t tell if they are real or just a reaction to the events of this day.” Synar frowned at Dorian who wasn’t even trying to hide his amusement. “Glad one of us can laugh about it. I don’t want to be an embarrassment to Ania in front of her family, so I haven’t said anything about my concerns.”
Get it for free at Amazon! Though an Amazon bestselling author, Donna McDonald’s idea of real success is to be on an airplane and see a fellow passenger reading one her books. She hopes to be a prolific, multi-published author for the rest of her life and write stories readers will love to read. A little travel and adventure would be nice, too.
SCI FI & FANTASY | book reviews |
Dysus Dreamer (The Halfling Chronicles, Book #2) J.A. Garland Urban Fantasy Heat Rating: 1
Demon warrior, Slade Aesus, is determined to destroy the werewolves controlling his cousin. But a beautiful elf, consumed by her own vengeance, finds the wolves first. Botching her assassination attempt, Annwyn has the most powerful Packs in the world biting at her heels. Both fiercely independent, can the two join forces long enough to fulfill their missions and stay alive? REVIEW: The story asks the reader to have an otherworldly mindset as a vampire, a demon and an elf come together to combat a pack of werewolves known as the Dirty Dozen. The urban fantasy is constructed as an intriguing labyrinth thatâ€™s action packed and intensely adventurous. Narrated mainly from the point of view of NOA agent Slade Aesus, a demon who is tracking the Dirty Dozen, the story shows many parallels to the iconic American fantasy Superman as Sladeâ€™s behavior resembles a contemporary Clark Kent/Superman. Lois Lane can be seen in the elf whom he helps, Annwyn and Tykol, the home planet of the demons, is relatable to Krypton. A complex labyrinth entangles the lives of vampires, demons, elves, werewolves, and other paranormal types often losing the main focus through the vast maze. Perceptively, Garland injects humor into the dialogue which takes the edge off of highly perilous situations. | Reviewer: Susan Frances |
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BARER OF THE GHOST NATION by John Steiner
Wanniukaga is the last of his people. It was the end of the world for the healer and spiritual leader. He is four hundred years old, and he is not alone. Afflicted by vampirism from those who slaughtered his nation, Wanniukaga is further burdened with the spirits of his people inside his mind.
A Featured Interview
What good journey have you found? On my homepage is a phrase I came up with, “Good journeys start with a wandering mind. Where will yours take you?” My most fun journeys were to other planets. I think that’s because I enjoy long road trips along lonely highways. The journey itself is more than the destination. What is the best internal treasure you’ve found during your explorations? External? Expanded self-awareness and mindfulness are what I treasure most inwardly. Externally, I’ve gained insights into a broad range of subjects, because I see more of what connects them. Also, I’ve come to view life as a comedy with laughs around every corner, even if they feel like sucker punches at the time. As with drunken style boxing of Kung Fu applied to life, you have to learn that your least balanced moments are the source of your strength.
Martian Chronicles. A family travel on a sand ship over Mars, because the father promised to show his kids the Martians. But this is long after the last indigenous Martian has died out. Meanwhile, humanity has destroyed the Earth and the only people left are live in the colonies of a terraformed Mars. He takes them to a lake and has them study their reflections, “There are the Martians.” It’s a Twilight Zone plot twist that conceals how perspectives can shift on circumstances. Tell us a little about your life outside of writing. I tutor students at Salt Lake Community College in a number of courses. Outside of work, I feel llike Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly for having taken that many of life’s shots to the ribs, and on occasion another to the jaw before I’ve caught my breath.
Who is your favorite mythological character and why? Werewolves, first and foremost. There are two sides, though I view them in reverse. The wolf, as we see in behavioral biology, is in fact the more civil of the two. True, wolves exhibit passion, which at times seems aggressive, but they are masters of their emotions. Aggression comes out and shuts off as if by a switch. Yet, it’s the human who splits atoms and obsessed so much over the moon as to actually go there and walk upon it. What is a favorite quote from your most recent book?
John Steiner earned his Associate of Biology at Salt Lake Community College, where he is currently working as a tutor in math and chemistry. He exercises an avid interest in history, science, philosophy, mythology, martial arts as well as military tactics and technology.
Though not recent, Ray Bradbury had an excellent line in The
walkingotherworlds.com November 2013 | 63
Christine Murphy The Sphinx Warriors & The Wild Clan A New Hot Futuristic Romance Novel by Christine Murphy Coming in December 2013
Introducing Christine Murphy, romance author and creator of the Sphinx Warriors Series, the Wild Clan Sagas, and the Midnight Rider’s Series. She is a member of the Romance Writer’s of America (RWA) and the Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA). She has six more books in the Sphinx Warriors series coming out next year as well as The Source in December 2013. About The Author: “Traveling throughout the United States and locations throughout the world, I finally found the perfect place to call home. Looking out my back lanai, there is a small pond where the wild-life will gather and the flowers bloom in exotic pinks and purples. This is my place of peace and freedom that I have searched for and where my husband and crazy African Gray Parrot, Raider, hang out with me. It’s the place where my creativity runs wild as I spin tales of adventure and passion. I have been writing in my head since I was a teenager and I finally realized I needed to capture these unique characters, civilizations, conflict, passion, and love in writing. To capture the strong, spirited, and powerfully attracted characters and all of their adventures and share it with others who are searching for that very thing to make their lives more exciting. If I accomplish nothing else in life, I hope to share the romantically magical worlds and the lovers that I see with all of the passionate readers out there. “ Website: http://christinemurphybooks.com Blog: http://christinemurphybooks.com/blog
“A powerful story of forbidden love in a world where emotion no longer drives society but cold hard technology. Crystal, a rare Source seeks more than her protected existence. Nathan, a Companion, will do anything to free her. Together they will defy the rules of BioGen and reclaim the freedom to love.”
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CLMurphyBooks Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChristineMurphyBooks
AVAILABLE NOW Synopsis for Sphinx Resurrected: Complex 46 located in the Yuma Desert in Arizona is the site of secret genetics research for the one woman who can sustain the Sphinx Warriors in their fight against the Wraith. Stormy, found to be a genetic match, is abducted by a team of Warriors, led by the blue eyed Sphinx leader, Michael, who starts her Transformation and must Join with her to save her life. Stormy must deal with her new surroundings, life, and expectations as a Power Keeper and Sphinx. Michael’s guidance and care give her more confidence than she has ever had and his passion leaves her hungering for more. Michael must lead his Warriors, battle the Wraith, and protect Stormy from the dark presence existing in the Complex. He keeps the secret of their Joining from her and struggles with his desire and need for her. Michael and Stormy’s undeniable attraction to each other will bring them closer together as nothing else can. Their need for each other is incredibly strong and will make them more powerful together than apart. They will need to join as Sphinx Warriors and Power Mates to beat the odds and defend against the threat of the Wraith.
| SCI FI & FANTASY book reviews | The Plan
Imogene Nix Sci-Fi Romance Heat Rating: 2
What happens when a former orphan, now illegal parts runner Kadie Frost falls for the new head of the Department of Authority? Jonah Fielding has been brought in to clean up the department on Centauri, but in the course of his work, he also captures Kadie, the sprite who got away. But what happens when work and pleasure collide? REVIEW: Science fiction, romance and lust combine to a fast
pace cocktail in The Plan, and even though I can’t profess to being a fan I do acknowledge that Ms. Nix wrote a world that was an interesting with the decrepit part of the society, the gadgets and the space lingo. The story had a gritty female heroine, normally I find this interesting and like a tough independent girl, but Kadie had rude manners and tendency to break her character to fall apart only in front of the hero for near no reason at all. It felt wrong and didn’t flow with the story... It felt like she was purposefully written weak around him just so he could be strong and heroic - and as a feminist I can’t stand that. The sex was bit forced too, it wasn’t a natural continuum of the story, but an out of the norm romp without necessary build up (or so I felt), hence leaving the act cool-ish - even though well written. In conclusion The Plan had its short comings, but on a positive note the space lingo was well used and proper, and the world Ms. Nix wrote was an interesting one. | Reviewer: Niina Cord |
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PARANORMAL & SUSPENSE
BEYOND the EXPECTED
REVIEWS and more
The Scrying Eye Kelly Hudson
Rebels & Independents Come in, come in, wonderful readers! The couch is prepared, the snacks are laid out on the table, and the lights are set just right, giving the reading room the perfect ambiance. Tonight we will uncover the Scrying Eye and behold what sights it has to show us again in this most wonderful month! As we peer into its swirling depths, a feeling of tension emanates, filling the room and entering our hearts. The spirit of rebellion and independence permeates our choices today, wonderful readers. The Eye opens and uncovers authors that do things their own way, outside of the established norms. Do you dare to gaze into their souls, to read their stories, to heed what the Scrying Eye reveals?
Fantasy/Science Fiction Homeworld by Eric S. Brown and Tony Faville (Severed Pressâ€”available now) is the story of Drake, a born warrior who tires of his role as a killer and yearns for something else. An encounter with a pair of rookie Earth Republic soldiers turns his life around and sets him on an arduous path towards redemption. Will he be able to change the way things are, to stop the endless wars that careen from galaxy to galaxy, or will
| The Scrying Eye | he lose this one chance at salvation? Fast-paced action and dialogue greet the reader, and any fan of Military Science Fiction will love this story. Indulge! Zack Jackson and The Cytherean Academy (Volume 2) by Hans Cummings (CreateSpace—available now) is the tale of Zack Jackson, a man who braved many dangers to become the first human Galaxy Ranger. Now he is at the Cytherean Academy, where all of his desires should be coming true. Instead, there is more trouble and more secrets, all centered around the Academy’s seven domes. Can Zack become all he’s dreamed of being, or will outside troubles derail his quest? Cummings writes with authority and, most importantly of all, a sense of fun. Join him and Zack as they explore what it means to find yourself at the threshold of a dream that is about to come true.
Kwik Krimes edited by Otto Penzler (Thomas & Mercer—available now) is a series of short stories by a multitude of independent writers of crime fiction. All the stories are short (under a thousand words) and feature works by known and unknown authors alike. True fun, true suspense, true mystery awaits as you turn each page, more and more eager to reach the end of each tale. A perfect companion for short waits.
At the Behest of the Dead by Timothy W. Long (CreateSpace—available now), a mixture of horror and urban fantasy, follows the story of Phineas Cavanaugh, a necromancer, who has been hired to track down a serial killer. He joins forces with the gorgeous Detective Andrews, and together they face down the threat of a deadly creature that should not exist. And it just gets more perilous and weird from there . . . Long’s style invests you in his characters and their plight, giving you plenty to laugh about and cringe at. You most certainly cannot go wrong with this if you are at all a fan of good writing.
My Criminal World by Henry Sutton (Harvill Secker— available now) is a relatively hard to find book but one well worth the effort. David Slavitt is a mild-mannered author of crime novels who lives in fear of his agent dropping him and his wife leaving him. As he tends to the house, the child he has with his wife, and his newest novel, tensions ratchet high as his beloved begins to act strange and his agent insists on more violence in his stories. And behind the scenes, something else is going on, something sinister . . . Will David find his way out of this trouble, or will this trouble consume him, once and for all? A witty work full of revelations about the life of a writer, this is a tale full of insecurities and pressures. You are in for a delightful time!
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The Speed of Death by Alan Spencer (Crucifix Crusher Press—available now) is the newest novel by the master of independent horror. The Extended Life Express is a train that travels faster than death, allowing its passengers a limited time after their death to experience a tiny bit of life before passing on. Kirby Sherwood is one of its occupants, and he indulges as best he can in the pleasures the Express offers until things literally go off the rails. The train has gone past normal speeds and is cutting through dimensions, headed straight towards death itself. Now Kirby must face strange entities
beyond this world and reckon with forces he must overcome in order to escape this evil presence. As always, Spencer sticks readers right into a fantastic situation and gets them involved on a personal level. Read if you dare! And with that, dear readers, the time has come to put the Eye away until next month. Indulge your rebel spirit, leave behind the known for the exciting unknown, and support independent authors and all their hard work. Now go! Go forth and get lost in fantastic worlds and amazing characters, only to return here again next month when the Scrying Eye opens once again.
Kelly M Hudson is the author of two horror novels and dozens of short stories, including a piece in the recent D.O.A. II collection by Blood Bound Books. You can find links to all of his works by visiting www.kellymhudson.com if you dare!
Until the next SCRYING EYE...
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& SUSPENSE | book reviews |
Cheryl Yeko Romantic Suspense Heat Rating: 4
Mountain Hero: Along a deserted stretch of highway, Jason rescues a beautiful woman who’s being accosted by two men. But can he keep her safe when they’re left stranded during a harsh winter storm? Love Blossoms:
Broken Engagement: Finding her fiancé cheating with her best friend was bad enough, but when Michelle heads up the Rocky Mountains for a little R & R, it goes from bad to worse when her car breaks down during a major snowstorm.
Sometimes, one finds their Soul Mate in the most unexpected places. REVIEW: When her car gets stranded, Michelle (unwisely), starts looking for help in a snowstorm, and gets accosted by two vicious-looking thugs for her trouble. She gets rescued by
November 2013 | 73
| PARANORMAL & SUSPENSE book reviews |
an off-duty hunky looking firefighter named Jason. The thugs, in the meantime, not happy at all with her timely rescue, manage to steal his truck, shoot out her tires, and steal her documents that were in her car, leaving them stranded in the worse snowfall of the season. Jason, manages to find them shelter and helps keep her safe and saved her life when she became extremely wet and cold and nearly had hypothermia. Help eventually comes the next day in the form of her brother and they, (Michelle and Jason) become quite close and they couldn’t be happier, tho her brother did have his doubts at the beginning. They even managed to get the bad guys, when they made the fatal mistake of going back to finish what it was they had started at her place. Mountain Hero is definitely, a winner and a fast paced read. It had suspense, a little chill, some heat and some very smooth humor. You rooted for the good guys to make it. They, were definitely, meant to be as a couple and they were great. If you
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get a chance to read it, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll just be sorry it ended too soon. | Reviewer: Cassandra Graham |
| PARANORMAL & SUSPENSE book reviews | Footprints of a Dancer (Detective Elliot Series #3) Bob Avey Mystery Suspense Heat Rating: 2
Eight years ago, Laura Bradford mysteriously disappeared off campus, causing quite a disturbance in the lives of Kenny Elliot and Gerald Reynolds, a journalism student with a fascination with Mesoamerican artifacts. When Gerald calls unexpectedly to tell Elliot he’s recently seen Laura then sets up a meeting only to be a noshow, Elliot tracks him down to get some answers. Instead he finds his old friend murdered in ritualistic fashion. Elliot takes a leave of absence from his job as a Tulsa police detective and launches an unofficial investigation, which leads him into a fuzzy realm of existence where malignant forces
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blur the lines between what is real and what is imagined, and where making the wrong choices is eternally expensive. REVIEW: College student Laura Bradford vanished off campus, 8 years ago and her disappearance, affected the lives of Kenny Elliot and Gerald Reynolds who was a journalism student at the time of her disappearance. After not being in contact for years, Gerald phones him and lets him know that the missing Laura has been spotted. Next thing, Kenny knows is his former friend has been brutally murdered in a ritualistic fashion. This starts him off, on a journey to find out, who would do such a thing and if there, ever was a connection with the Laura Bradford case in the first place. It was a suspenseful and enjoyable read. It held your attention from beginning to end and you get drawn into the story and you root for the good guy and you want to know how it’s going to end. If you like suspense with a hint of the supernatural and you get a chance to read anything by Bob Avery, you won’t be disappointed. | Reviewer: Cassandra Graham |
| PARANORMAL & SUSPENSE book reviews |
Fairy in the Flesh Katalina Leon Paranormal Romance Heat Rating: 3
Maya Rousseau’s fantasy vacation in Avignon France heats up when an eccentric enchantress tricks her into drinking mojo-laced absinthe. An unexpected encounter with the green fairy causes Maya’s reality to have a serious melt down. She travels back in time and wakes up naked in the bed of her favorite bad boy Bohemian artist, the tall, dark and mysterious André Bosco. There’s nothing wrong with that except it’s 1903.
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REVIEW: Sexy, steamy, and surprisingly sweet, Fairy in the Flesh takes the mix of time travel and fandom to an interesting, mystical level. Light and with a reader-friendly tone, its fast pace and twisting plot captures the readers’ attention to the very end. Katalina Leon brings to life sassy characters with era-appropriate language and adorable peculiarities. Fantasy readers will love the unique storyline and art lovers will question themselves if there really is an artist named Andre Bosco (I even googled his name. I thought he was a real historically-based artist), such is the talent of Ms. Leon. | Reviewer: Francine Alli |
| PARANORMAL & SUSPENSE book reviews |
Cate Masters Paranormal Romance Heat Rating: 3
....a cold and lonely existence.... Bruno diCesare lives in the shadows. Alone and hidden from the world, his only joy comes but once a year---at Carnevale. For ten days, he can blend in with the colorful, masked masses without revealing his true nature. But this time, he is faced with fiery temptation.
REVIEW: It’s probably just me and the fact that I’m a freak and geek fan but I really enjoyed reading this book for more than just its genre. Cate has done a really great job drawing the reader into her Carnevale world - which is very well described to the point of being real if you got sucked into the pages. An additional note of interest was that her characters weren’t just interesting creatures of the paranormal world because they were just that way, they were made into what they were and changed by their environment. I loved the new take on Bruno’s character as well as Melinda but I really wanted to have more of them and their back story and I would have been a lot happier to have a better ending but I am crossing my fingers in hopes that the author expands on the world or makes it into a series because it is very easily possible. I really enjoyed reading Cursed and I’m anticipating more in the very near future. | Reviewer: Krissy Malott |
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| PARANORMAL & SUSPENSE book reviews |
Thayer King Paranormal Romance Heat Rating: 3
Science fiction writer and witch Keith Savage has found his mate. When he finally gets up the nerve to ask her out, she tells him that she doesn’t date. Persistence pays off and he gets her to agree to dinner. But she will only continue to date him if he agrees to her rules. No sex. And no attempting to seduce her to have sex. Imani Tolliver isn’t stupid. She knows Keith Savage is a catch. He’s famous, he’s handsome, and he’s rich. But she has her rules for a reason. She hates sex and will be happy if she never has to suffer through it again. But when a female friend of Keith’s makes it clear she wants to be more than a friend, Imani becomes worried that she’ll lose Keith to a woman who’s willing to give him everything. REVIEW: Imani is a librarian who works at the local that Keith frequents often. Imani has no desires when it comes to dating especially when Keith asks her to join him for dinner. “You’re barking up the wrong tree. You seem like a nice guy. But I don’t date…” But Keith recognized that Imani was his “soul-mate”. After multiple attempts, Imani finally caves goes out with Keith for dinner and arrangement of “no-sex” was made. Keith accepted and began to “woo” her… but will it work? Will Imani get over her glitch about sex? And will Keith finally reveal that he is a witch? T his book was slow to progress and majority of it I felt some sections were too drawn out. I had a hard time holding my attention reading this book for any length of time. There were a few spots that were good in the last third of the book but to me the book was just an okay read to me. | Reviewer: Beckey White |
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BTSeMAG the GOODIES youâ€™ll FIND
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By David W. Huffstetler
“Who did that?” Samantha laid her cards face down on the table and ran her gaze, left to right, over the other three women. “Well, I’m waiting.” But, the only sound was the faint ticking of the clock on the mantle. “I am the lone member of this group that has actually turned eighty, and you don’t see me losing control of my bodily functions, now do you? Consuelo, I know you eat beans with every meal. Is it you?”
“I’d love a glass.”
“You always accuse me. You think Mexicans fart all the time, but you don’t know us. You never will, not if you live to be a hundred.”
“Yes, Ellie, we know, but we’re playing at my home today, and my house rules say old women can drink anytime that want, even when they’re as white as you. Now, do you want some Chablis or not?”
“Don’t be so sensitive. Besides, Samantha isn’t that far from a hundred.” “Very funny, Eleanor. You are only two years younger than I, and I have yet to hear you deny being the one who released that foul gas into my dining room.” “Don’t point the finger at me. Why don’t you ask Miss I-can-eatanything-I-want-and-never-gain-a-pound?” Chelsea smiled and said, “I have but one thing to say to that.” She spread her cards on the table. “Gin.” “Well, that tears it. You fart at my table and then lay down a hand like that. I’m going for a glass of wine. Would anyone else like some?”
“Count me in too.” Eleanor crossed her legs and straightened the crease in her pants, while wagging her head. “I suppose you know it’s only ten o’clock in the morning.”
“Of course.” Samantha moved slowly, placing flutes on lace doilies and pouring each of her guests just less than half a glass of wine. She groaned as she took her seat. “Lord have mercy, I’ve got to get out more. I’m getting as stiff as a rusty gate.” She sipped her wine and turned to the woman in the yellow dress. “Now, Chelsea, what’s the latest news on your granddaughter?” “It isn’t good, I’m afraid. She came by to check on me last night, and the left side of her face was thick with makeup. And, I asked her, ‘Is that man of yours hitting you again?’ Of course, she denied it like always, but I know a battered girl when I see one.” “When I was a girl in Mexico, men beat their wives all the time. November 2013 | 85
| The Ladies of Hargrove Court | It was a way of life, and you could do nothing about it.”
her go to the government.”
Eleanor wedged a cigarette into the corner of her mouth. “We’re not in Mexico.” “Don’t even think about lighting that. You know I don’t allow smoking in my house.”
“Yes, she’s my granddaughter, and I tried the government. They say she has to make the complaint, and she won’t. He put her in the hospital once before, but she lied about it.” She let out a heavy sigh. “I’m an old woman, and so are you, Ellie, What do you think we can do?”
“All right, all right, you don’t have to be such a prude. So, what’s she going to do about that guy?”
She rested both hands on her cane, looked at each of her friends, and smiled. “I say we kill him.”
“What can she do? She is my daughter’s daughter, and it breaks my heart, but she’s afraid. He threatened to kill her, if she ever tells the police or tries to leave him. Believe me, he would do it.” Eleanor leaned on her cane as she rose, walked to the fireplace, and turned back around. “This is unacceptable, and I must tell you, Chelsea, that abuse is part of the problem when girls choose to live with men before marrying them.” “Don’t you judge my girl. She’s as good as any of your grandchildren.” “I’m not saying she isn’t. Relationships demand time, and this idea of people just shacking up doesn’t take any of that into account. That’s all I’m saying. The question becomes what we are to do about it.” Samantha raised the bottle. “You sit back down and have some wine. That’s what you do. Tiffany, is that her name, Chelsea?”
**** Morning passed to afternoon, and the wine bottle lay empty in the trash. The creak of her rocker’s wooden frame coaxed Samantha’s eyes nearly closed, but a sudden breeze brought her upright. She gazed from the stoop of her patio home over the cul-de-sac, surrounded by small homes like hers. And there was Eleanor, kneeling and digging in her flower bed. “That’s better,” she whispered. “Pull those weeds and raise a few roses while you can, and don’t talk nonsense. Yes, and you’re going to need more than a cane, if you keep crawling around like that.” She wasn’t sure why she stood and walked into the street, but the sight of her friend seemed to draw her. This is crazy. I don’t have anything to talk about. I’ll probably get run over before I reach her house. And, still, she walked, stepped over the curb and onto the grass. “What’re you doing out of your house, Sam?”
“Yes, they gave her my middle name.”
“How did you know it was me?”
“Tiffany is twenty-five years old. Her daddy might be dead, God rest his soul, but she has a mother, and, yes, I know she’s in rehab. But, this is no business of ours.”
Eleanor shaded her eyes as she looked up. “I saw your reflection in my garden ball.”
Eleanor wobbled back to her chair and tapped her finger on the polished table. “Your ancestors would be ashamed to hear you say that.” “Wait a minute. Don’t compare domestic violence to slavery.” “Why not? It’s one person exercising power over another in a cruel and violent way. How is that different?” “When you say that, it makes the African part of my blood boil. Don’t get me started down that road, or it could get ugly.” “It’s time to get ugly. I might be on a cane, but that doesn’t mean I’m helpless. If that girl can’t help herself, maybe we should do something about it.” “Are you two serious? I think you’ve had too much wine. We’re talking about Chelsea’s granddaughter, not ours. Let
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“And why do you have a garden ball, old woman?” “It lets me know when somebody tries to sneak up on me.” “That’s my question. Why would you have a garden ball, when you’re too old to do anything about somebody sneaking up on you?” “So, I’ll know who to haunt after I’m dead.” She offered her hand. “Here, help me up, and we’ll sit for a while. Yes, that’s it. Whoa, don’t fall on me.” They lowered themselves onto a green metal glider and each took a deep breath. “Okay, let me ask you again. What brings you out of your house?” “You make it sound like I never get out. I enjoy the sunshine as much as you, even if we do live in a retirement village.” “Assisted living, my dear, assisted living.” “Call it what you want, but when’s the last time any of your
family came to visit you?” Eleanor took Samantha’s frail hand in hers. “What’s troubling you, dear? And, don’t tell me it’s nothing. I can see it on your face.” “What you said this morning, were you serious?” “Do you mean about killing that man?”
“Look, I’m the one who started this, but I’m not inclined to knock off some guy I’ve never seen before. We’re not the mafia, you know.” “Then, what shall we do?” She lit another cigarette and blew smoke skyward. “Neither of us is allowed to drive anymore, so I guess we’ll have to take the bus. Can you be ready by dusk?”
“Yes, were you serious about that?” “Oh, it was just the wine. You know how I go on when I’m drinking. I was—how shall I say it?—I was speaking in a metaphor, as if to say one option, theoretically, would be to kill him.” She took a cigarette from her purse. “Do you mind if I smoke?” “No. Give me one, will you?” The two women sat quietly smoking and gliding. Then Samantha said, “How would one, theoretically, go about killing a man?” “Not that I’ve given any thought to the matter, but I still have my late husband’s pistol.” “That Luger from World War II?” “Yes, he got it from his uncle years ago. It isn’t registered anywhere, so it would be almost impossible to trace.” “What about ballistics?” “Hollow-point bullets. They expand on impact. It’s difficult to read scratch marks on something that’s mashed nearly flat.” “Can you even buy ammunitions for an old gun like that?” Eleanor crushed her cigarette on the glider arm. “Well, if we’re really talking about killing that guy, we could use nine millimeter rounds and see what happens. I’m not positive, but I believe, when you buy bullets, they ask if you plan to use them to commit a crime. I’d rather not lie. Of course, the other option would be to get him drunk and put an axe in his head.” She craned her neck to look into Samantha’s face. “We’re not talking in metaphors anymore, are we?” “The way I see it, Chelsea is too close to the situation to be of any help, and Consuelo couldn’t keep from talking about it. Yes, if it’s to be done, it must be the two of us.” “Sam, you’re talking murder. What if we get caught?” She gestured toward the row of houses surrounding them. “How long do you think we can live here before someone drops us in a rest home? A year? Six months? That girl has her life ahead of her if we don’t let that mean bastard take it from her.”
**** A cool evening gave way to morning as the sun pushed the last vestiges of night beyond the billowing smokestacks of the power plant in the distance. The prints of bedroom slippers in the wet grass traced each step Samantha took to Eleanor’s front door. She rang the bell three times before the door opened, and she heard a hurried, “Oh, it’s you. Come in, quickly.” “I don’t do anything quickly anymore.” She tightened the belt on her robe and stepped inside. “Okay, I’m here. You could at least offer me some coffee after calling me over here at this ungodly hour.” “It’s after eight o’clock, for goodness sake, and the coffee is right there. Help yourself.” “No, thanks, I don’t much care for coffee anymore, but you could tell me why I’m here.” “I need you to help me with this gun.” “Did you find the Luger?” “Yes, and I found a box of bullets too, but I can’t cock the darn thing. I just don’t have the strength to pull the bolt back far enough. I’ve tried it a dozen times, nearly caught my finger twice.” “I’m having second thoughts about this, Ellie. It’s an awful thing to kill a man. I don’t know.” Eleanor took the pistol from its mahogany case and placed it on the counter. “Yes, killing is an awful thing, but the things we heard outside their house last night were awful too. Did you hear him screaming at her, cursing like I don’t know what?” “I heard.” “You heard him slapping her around just like I did. I thought he was going to beat her to death. If I’d had a phone, I would’ve called the police right then.” “You should really get one of those cell phones, in case you fall or something.” November 2013 | 87
| The Ladies of Hargrove Court | “That’s rich for you to say. I don’t see you with one.” “If I called, nobody would come.” Her eyes welled, and she brushed a tear aside. “All right, let’s get to it. What do you want from me?”
things as the crosstown bus carried her and Samantha through late-morning traffic to a construction site on the edge of town. She thanked the driver for a safe trip, carefully negotiated the exit, and stepped onto a gravel drive. “Do you suppose that’s him in the truck?”
“Well, I loaded a few bullets into the magazine, or do they call it a clip? No matter, it won’t work unless it’s cocked.” She picked the gun up and pressed it against the edge of the counter. “You hold it steady, and I’ll push down.” Samantha held the barrel as Eleanor pushed down on the grip, but it slipped. “Ow, that hurt. I bet that’ll bruise.”
“Chelsea said he always eats his lunch alone in his truck, and it’s green, just like she described it.” Samantha took a tissue from her purse. “I’ve got the stuff right here. I just need some time to use it.”
“It could give you a blood clot, you know. Maybe we need to rethink this.”
“I have no idea. I just crushed as many sleeping pills as I had left in the bottle. We’ll get it into a sandwich or a drink, and then we’ll see what happens. I’m not a pharmacist, you know.”
“No, I won’t give up that easy. Let’s try once more.” Again they took their places, and Eleanor shoved, but this time it loaded. “Oh, look, we did it.” “Great. Are we ready to do murder now?” “Don’t be silly. We have to test it first.” “And exactly how do you plan to do that in this neighborhood?” “Come with me, and I’ll show you.” They walked from the kitchen into the bedroom, and Eleanor opened a closet door. “I put that trashcan in there and packed it with old towels. I’ll hold the gun in the middle and fire one shot. No one will hear a thing.” She pointed the barrel into the can and pulled the trigger. The sound of the blast echoed off the sheetrock walls, sending them both reeling onto the bed. “Lord in heaven, Ellie, that thing sounds like a cannon. You shoot him with that, and we’ll have every cop in town after us.” “I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that.” She held out the gun, smoke seeping from the crack in its side. “It busted.” Samantha rose to her feet and brushed herself off. “I think I’ve had my fill of guns. If we’re going to kill someone, we need a better plan than this.” “Do you have an axe?” “Oh, my, there you go again. Why don’t you take some time to clean yourself up, put on a decent dress, and come over in a couple of hours? I make some tea.” **** The wisp of hair dangling over her glasses was more white than gray, but Eleanor ignored it. Her mind was set on other
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“Are you sure it’s the right dosage?”
“Okay, let’s do this before we back out. You swing left, and I’ll go down there.” Eleanor looped her purse over her shoulder, and with cane in hand, she started her slow trek over mud and rocks. She reached a spot twenty feet past the truck, stopped, and feigned a stumble, but he didn’t move. Well, you jackass. She sank to her knees, rolled onto her hip, and cried out, “Oh, my leg. Somebody help me.” A large man in work clothes and boots slid out of the truck. He plodded his way toward her. “Hey, did you fall or something?” “Yes, I tripped on a rock, I think. Will you help me?” “What’re you doing out here? This ain’t no old folks’ home.” Eleanor set her jaw. “I am quite aware of that, young man. Now, will you help me up or not?” “You don’t look too hurt to me. Ah, yeah, I reckon I can’t leave you down there.” He took her arm and pulled her to her feet. “There, are you all right? You didn’t bust nothing, did you?” “I’m not sure. I think I need a moment. Could I hold onto you? My balance doesn’t feel just right yet.” He wrapped his arm around her and escorted her to a chain link fence. “There you go. Hang onto that for a while. I’ve got to finish my lunch and get back to work. Maybe you can wave down a car and get a ride home.” “But, young man . . .” He turned and walked away. She planted her cane in the soft dirt, clamored back to the bus stop, and waited only a moment before Samantha arrived. “Did you do it?”
“Poured it into his can of beer. I’ll wager he won’t fail to drink that.” “Drinking on the job, how distasteful. How long do you suppose before the medication takes affect?” “I don’t expect it to be long, even on a big man like that. Let’s sit on the bench, have a sip from that flask in your purse, and see whether he gets out of that truck again.” **** Twenty-five minutes of waiting and shifting about on the hard bench convinced Samantha and Eleanor that their sedative had worked. They hurried, in their own slow way, to each truck door and climbed inside. “Help me, Sam. He’s heavy.” “I’m trying. Just shove him and let him fall in the floorboard. Yes, that’s it, one more time.” He tumbled off the seat with a thud. “Now, what do we do? Should we kill him right here?” “And how do you propose we do that? Strangle him?”
“Of course, I did. Now, go slow or you’ll hurt him.” The truck rolled forward, the rope drew taut, and his body slid smoothly to the ground on his side. “Well, I’ll be darned. It worked.” Eleanor took a baseball bat from behind the seat and rounded the truck. “Just like a woman beater to carry a bat around.” She handed it to Samantha. “What do you want me to do with this?” “Bash his head in.” “You want me to kill him with his own bat?” “Absolutely. It’s poetic justice. You just pop him right there between the eyes, split his forehead, and I think that should do it.” Samantha handed it back to her. “Well, if it’s so easy, you do it.” “We’ll both do it. I’ll hit him, and then you hit him. That way neither of us will rat the other out, if the cops come snooping around.”
“Oh, that would be ghastly, but we have to do something. People will be looking for him soon.” “Well, climb onto the seat, and we’ll take him out of town.”
“That’s fair enough, I suppose. Go ahead, let him have it.”
“You can’t drive, Ellie.”
“Is that as hard as you can hit?”
“The fact that they won’t let me drive doesn’t mean I can’t drive. Shut the door, and let’s go.”
“I did my best.”
“But, where am I to put my feet?” “I don’t care if you put one in his face and the other up his butt. Let’s go. **** A tall oak lent its shade to a green truck, sitting deep in the woods near Perkins’ Creek. An elderly black woman stood beside the passenger’s door with her hands propped on her narrow hips. “He’s too heavy. I bet that guy weighs two hundred pounds.” “I got the rope out of the toolbox for you. Do I have to tie it around him too?” “I am quite capable of looping a rope around a man’s chest. You make it sound like I never did that before.” Samantha tried to hide her smile as she worked the rope under each arm and secured it with a knot. “Did you tie the other end to the tree?”
Eleanor lifted the bat and slapped it into his head.
“Lord almighty, you didn’t even raise a whelp. Give it back to me. I used to play golf. I’ll show you how to kill a man.” She grabbed the bat, lined it up on his head, took a healthy backswing, and drove it home.” He groaned and rolled onto his back. “What, who, did somebody hit me?” “Yes, I struck you with your baseball bat, but it appears I only woke you.” “What are you trying to do, you crazy, old woman?” “Obviously, she was trying to kill you. I tried, but I don’t have the strength to break that hard head of yours.” “Two old hags trying to kill me? I must be on dope or something. Am I tied up?” “Naturally. Samantha tied your hands with a scarf, and I think you’ll find it quite resilient. I wrapped your legs with that silver-looking tape.”
November 2013 | 89
| The Ladies of Hargrove Court | He started to speak, but then his head rolled left, and he passed out. “What are we going to do, Ellie? We can’t even properly kill a man.” “It is perplexing, but I have an idea. Loosen that end of the rope, and we’ll use the truck to pull him closer the tree and lash him to it.” “I’d like to lash him, if I weren’t so old and feeble.” “Focus, Samantha, focus. Do you have any of your sleeping pills left?” “About the same amount we gave him the first time. Do you want to give him another dose?”
able to see my cards.” Samantha pushed her glasses a little higher on the bridge of her nose and said, “Speaking of cards, you seem to be staring a hole in yours, Chelsea. Do you think you might make a play before I drop dead of old age?” “I’m sorry, but I have something on my mind.” Eleanor peered over the top of her cards and asked, “Is it Tiffany again?” “Yes, sort of.” “Now, I asked you a simple question. All you had to do was say it’s Tiffany or it isn’t Tiffany, and you give me ‘sort of.’ What’s bothering you?”
“Yes. Once we have him secured, we’ll slap his face a few times. When he wakes, give it to him in another beer. He’ll lap it up like the dog he is, and that should keep him knocked out through the night. In the meantime, we’ll come up with a better plan, maybe rat poison, and come back tomorrow.”
“She called me early this morning, before daylight. The police have been at her house.”
“But, we can’t drive that truck home. It would stand out like a pimple.”
“He is dead. Some hunters found his body in the woods, tied to a tree with his legs taped together and his hands tied with a yellow scarf.” Chelsea looked at Eleanor and said, “Yellow? That’s your signature color, isn’t it?”
“We’ll leave it in a parking lot and take the bus. I don’t know, Sam. We’ll figure it out.” “Of course, you realize the girls will be coming to your house in the morning to play cards.”
Samantha shifted her feet under the table. “The police? What on earth would they want with her? I bet it’s that boyfriend of hers. Is he is in trouble?”
Eleanor smiled. “I have only one thing to say to that.” She spread her cards on the table. “Gin.”
“We’ll cancel.” “After three years of never missing a card game? Too suspicious.” “Then we’ll do it after they leave. Two doses of sleeping pills would keep an elephant down. There should be enough time after the game.” Another groan rose from the ground. “Okay, Ellie, let’s get this guy tied and doped. We’re in too deep to turn back now.” **** Consuelo snatched a cookie from the tray and crushed it between her dentures. “These are the best chocolate chips I’ve ever had, Eleanor. Did you bake them?” “No, sweetie, I picked them up at the grocery. Would you like some more coffee?” “I think I’ve had enough coffee. If I drink anymore, I won’t be
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David Huffstetler is an author, editor, and public speaker. His books have earned numerous five-star reviews and have been listed as suggested reading by the prestigious Tufts University in Boston. David and his wife, Trudy, live in South Carolina.
YOUNG & NEW ADULT
BEYOND the fairy TALE
REVIEWS and more
THE EDGE OF ALWAYS by J.A. Redmerski
Camryn Bennett can’t wait to begin the rest of her life with her fiance Andrew Parrish—until tragedy blindsides them. Determined to prove their love can survive anything, he decides to take her on a new journey filled with hope and passion…if only he can convince her to come along for the ride.
A Featured Interview
Why do you feel you had to tell this story? The main reason I felt the need to continue Camryn and Andrew’s story was because the readers wanted to know what happened next. In THE EDGE OF NEVER, the character’s journey had only just begun. In THE EDGE OF ALWAYS, I felt that I needed to play out the rest of their lives, for the readers and for myself. What would you like your readers to know about your latest book? About you? In THE EDGE OF ALWAYS, Camryn and Andrew continue their life on the road and finally travel to places they’ve always wanted to see. I live vicariously through them in both books because dropping everything and traveling the world is something I’ve wanted to do for many years. I hope that one day I can. Which of your characters have demanded to be heard over the others? I would have to say that Camryn definitely struggled more in THE EDGE OF ALWAYS and Andrew was there to keep her from falling apart. But they both suffer a tragic event and Camryn’s way of coping with it, I believe, mirrors the way many people choose to cope with tragedies of their own.
It’s a tie between the beach scene, where I introduce new characters, and a scene near the end that I don’t want to reveal because it’s a major spoiler. But the beach scene was really fun to write! In fact, I had so much fun with it that I decided to write a spinoff about the new characters. That book, titled SONG OF THE FIREFLIES will release on February 4, 2014. Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why? Definitely Andrew Parrish! Why? Because he’s my dream guy! :-)
J.A. Redmerski, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Which part of the book was your favorite to write?
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| book reviews | Giving It to the Bad Boy (Tattooed and Pierced, 1) Jenika Snow New Adult Contemporary Heat Rating: 4
It all started when Kiera gave the bad boy her virginity... Kiera knew Reese Trenton wasn’t for her, but she couldn’t stay away. He was rough around the edges, tattooed and pierced, and fiercer than any guy she had ever met. He knew too much about sex, got drunk, and started far too many fights. He was a bad boy, but Kiera still wanted him in the worst kind of way. Reese’s life is lonely, despite always being surrounded by people. He’s only wanted one thing, and that is Kiera Sheppard, the girl he has watched from afar for four years. As they grow closer, Reese wants to give her everything and show her he is worthy of her love. But his sordid past tears their bond and he doesn’t know if he can redeem himself and show her she is the most important thing in his broken life. REVIEW: Giving It to the Bad Boy by Jenika Snow is writ-
ten for a younger mature audience- not too young- as the romance is honest and steamy and the story carries a message about true first love. The first pages are a bit of a difficult start but by the time the reader reaches page five, Snow takes off into a teenage world of problems and romance that any reader can immerse themselves within. The poignancy of youth resonates through all of Snow’s characters: Kiera, Reese, Andrea, Molly and more. Realistic dialogue brings home the different personalities of young people working to find their own identities and someone to cling to in a world they are coming to grips with entering as adults. Fast paced action in the first chapters of Giving It to the Bad Boy sweeps the reader right into the story and gives an immediately clear picture of both of the main characters and romantic interests Kiera and Reese. They journey over the course of the book from a party where they are only aware of one another through events that bring them together in passion and deeper understanding. Snow’s excellent details give the setting a realistic feel and showcase the characters’ personalities. Some of the scenes in Giving It to the Bad Boy would have more of an impact with added dialogue. Although Jenika Snow is a little heavy over her theme of young love at the conclusion of Giving It to the Bad Boy, the circumstances throughout the entire book are excellently created to carry the emotion of her characters as they rocket through a crazy last year of high school. Any reader remembering the angst and turmoil of first love will find Giving It to the Bad Boy an enjoyable read with a satisfying outcome. | Reviewer: Kimberly Klemm |
November 2013 | 93
DEMON AT WAR
by Bernard Lee DeLeo
The Demon Inc crew takes the dimensional war to the Haunts. Demon communicates directly with hilarious results. The darkness within Mike grows after another Haunt wound. Facing Haunt attacks, and sexual awakenings, the kids turn to Demon for rebuke and humor to keep their minds set on survival and victory.
An Insider’s View
My inspiration for the Demon Trilogy was a need to combine action and the paranormal with humor, featuring an otherworldly dog with not only amazing abilities, but a sarcastic side. Mike and his friends handle teen problems throughout – bullying, teen pregnancy, sexual awakening, alcohol and drug use, jealousy, and disapproving parents. Mike refers to himself as Demon’s human sidekick, illustrated in the canine’s growing communication skills, revealed gradually in the series.
born and their lives are never the same again.
The story begins in a present day Halloween setting. Mike Rawlins stops to help some older teens get their car started. Roped into a Halloween antic at a haunted house he had a bad experience at once, Mike only agrees to go if they get salt and holy water as a precaution. The night ends with a ghastly apparition penning the teens into Rawlins’ protective circle. Running out of time and options, the group owes their rescue to a mangy looking cur that dives into the haunted house and easily drives away the poltergeist. Mike names the dog Demon, and insists on walking him back home to keep him. One of the teen girls, Laura, joins him as the others leave them with beer and sandwiches for the happy Demon.
The teens recognize the ‘Haunt’ invasion surpasses any threat the world has faced. They dedicate themselves to enlightening the populace, including battling the creatures under horrific conditions. With the aid of a genius fifteen year old teen, Denny Stossle, they develop weapons and tactics to defend their world.
Demon’s instincts, perceptive behavior, and continuing surprises make him into an indispensible part of the Rawlins’ family. He loves watching Brian on ‘Family Guy’, eats ghosts like Rice Krispies, and is a holy terror when his friends are in danger. Recruited to find a lost girl on Alcatraz, Demon and his teen companions not only rescue the little girl, but film their exploits, making them into an overnight sensation. The idea of Demon Inc is
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Mike Rawlins in the Demon YA Trilogy maintains a strength of character, loyalty, and compassion while battling an inner darkness made worse when he is wounded by the ‘Haunts’ and healed with holy water. With Demon, the paranormal pup, Mike leads a group of teens by example. They reflect many of his traits, especially the courage he shows in the face of danger.
Bernard Lee DeLeo writes adventure fiction. Mr. DeLeo’s eighteen novels, including the YA paranormal trilogy: DEMON, DEMON INC, and DEMON AT WAR are all on sale. Mr. DeLeo served aboard the USS Ranger from 1969 until November of 1972. He earned a BA degree in English from Cal State Hayward.
| YOUNG & NEW ADULT book reviews |
Demon At War Book Three Demon Trilogy Bernard Lee DeLeo Paranormal Young Adult
Demon, Mike, and their Demon Inc crew take the dimensional war to the Haunts. Demon and Mike communicate directly with hilarious results, but the darkness within Mike grows after another Haunt wound and holy water healing. Facing Haunt attacks, sexual awakenings, and teenage drama, the kids turn to their sarcastic paranormal pup Demon for rebuke and humor to keep their minds set on survival and victory. REVIEW: Ever watch Scooby Doo and the Mystery Crew or The Ghostbusters … Well this series sort of reminded me of that but slightly twisted and different … This series geared toward Young Adult/Teen but any age can enjoy it as well. The team will keep you captivated in this third part of the series…. From telepathic dialogue between Mike and Demon that I thought was humorous to say the least then add the adventures the team has and how they helped the police… Overall I did enjoy this series and I am sure there are many that will enjoy it as well. | Reviewer: Beckey White |
November 2013 | 95
great BLOGS you must READ
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If you answered yes to any of these questions, then why not consider becoming a reviewer for RomFan Reviews? We’re looking for a few good people to help us out with our ever-increasing backlog of review requests. We’re looking for people who are interested in reading: - Multi-genre Erotica - Multi-genre Romance - GLBT - Short stories (50,000 words or less) - Small press titles - New authors
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If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please email email@example.com for more details. Writing experience is preferred, but not required. Serious inquiries only please. • Blog Exposure to Media Outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, & Google plus • Free Reads • Opportunities to Review, Interview, & do Giveaways • Seasoned and New Author Interviews • Interaction between you and authors • Review exposure in BTS Book Reviews is chosen as top review on a tour Fill out the form to become a Tour Host today: http://booktrailershowcase.com/virtual-tours/ virtual-tour-hosting/ For more information on what is involved in becoming a tour host please email Nikki at ViajeradelMar@aol.com
BTS Book Reviews Wants You! We are looking for reviewers Do you have a love for reading? Can you read at least 2 books a month? If you answered yes, then why not consider becoming a BTS reviewer? We’re looking for good people to review books in a wide variety of genres. Become a part of a team that is all about sharing their thoughts on the books they read with their readers and let your voice be heard. Soon we will be a part of Barnes & Noble Virtual Newstand. Apply here: http://btsemag.com/bookreviews/review-team/
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Your Guide to Great Reading - Featuring KM Scott, plus columns, book reviews, featured authors, sneak peeks and more!