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ISSUE 12 | JULY 2017

Featured Authors Kathleen Rowland Beth Carter James McCormick Tony-Paul de Vissage Linda Nightingale C.L. Schneider FangFreakinTastic Featured Author Elle Klass

Uncaged’s 1st Year Anniversary! Vote in the Raven Awards

Short Story Catch Up Reviews


First round voting for semi-finals July 1-23

Top 5 from each category go to the finals Voting for finals begin August 1, 2017!

To be eligible for the semi-finals, a book had to be reviewed by Uncaged between July 2016 - June 2017 and received a 4-Star review or better! Vote for your favorite now at: UncagedBooks.com/raven-awards-voting/ Winning authors will receive a custom web badge like the one above, and a certificate emailed to them to print if they wish. Good luck to all entries!


contents

featureauthors

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C.L.Schneider

Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Nite Fire: Flash Point • Review • Author Giveaway

Linda Nightingale

Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Morgan D’Arcy, Vampyre Rhapsody • Review • Author Giveaway

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Issue 12 | July 2017

Kathleen Rowland Stay Connected • Excerpt from Unholy Alliance • Review

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James McCormick Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Dragon: The Prisoner of Valathia

Tony-Paul de Vissage Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Shadow Lord

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BethCarter

Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Sleeping with Elvis Vote for your favorite book with the Raven Awards HERE.

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shortstory 43

Danger: Road Ahead Closed, Pt 1

FangFreakinTastic

featureauthor

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ElleKlass

Stay Connected • Excerpt of Zombie Girl, Premonition

JB. Woods

comprehensivereviews

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In-depth reviews of The Marshal of Tallov series by Cailin Briste from Barbara

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In-depth review of Gemini Rising by Erin Williams from Kaitlin

catchup

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Zoe Forward

sneakpeeks 10 22 28 58 64

Robert Erickson

Siegfried Finser Joseph Gorski Bill Greenwood John Adrian Tomlin

With a new release in July and an excerpt from The Way You Bite.

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Collette Cameron We Catch Up with Collette as she releases The Wallflower’s Wicked Wager

6 Editor’s Desk 7 Bargain Bin 48 Best Seller Lists 75 New Releases 76 Uncaged Reviews 92 Fang-Freakin-Tastic Reviews 96 Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews 100 Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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from the

editor’s desk

Welcome to Issue 12, July 2017 - Uncaged Book Reviews! This month, dig in to our featured authors: C.L. Schneider, Linda Nightingale, Tony-Paul de Vissage, Beth Carter, Kathleen Rowland and James McCormick! I can’t thank them all enough, for sharing their talents with us.

Fang-Freakin-Tastic also brings Uncaged a feature author with Elle Klass and an excerpt from Zombie Girl, Premonition. We also have a short story for you this month from JB. Woods. This short story will be delivered differently, with a chapter each month, so jump into chapter one of Danger: Road Closed Ahead. Uncaged is celebrating it’s first year anniversary (can you believe it’s been a year already??) with the first annual Raven Awards! Be sure to go to http://uncagedbooks.com/raven-awards-voting/ and vote for your favorites! This is a public vote semi-finals that will run from July 1-23 and the top 5 in each category will move on to the finals! All books reviewed in Uncaged from July 2016 - June 2017 and received at least a review of 4 Stars or better are eligible for the semi-finals! For the first year, the categories are mainly basic with plans to expand those categories as we grow at Uncaged. Uncaged will Catch Up with Zoe Forward and Collette Cameron both past Featured Authors, both with new releases and what’s been happening since we last spoke. We also have two Comprehensive Reviews for you, one from Barbara for the Marshal of Tallov series by Cailin Briste, and one by Kaitlin for Gemini Rising by Erin Williams. Authors can now submit a Short Story, and in return, I’ll give space for either a full page ad, or a 1-page Sneak Peek of a book for an approved story. You can read more about that here. Because of the amount of work on our small farm, from May-September, there will only be 6 Featured Author slots per month during this time. Get your requests in early. The Featured Authors that are promoted in Uncaged, is a FREE service to authors. The only requirements being that Uncaged has read at least one of the author’s books, and that I ask that the authors share the magazine with their networks. Read about that HERE. Uncaged is supported through advertising. Please see the Advertising in Uncaged tab on the site for more information on how you can advertise in the magazine and support the Uncaged mission to promote authors.

All inquiries: UncagedBooks@gmail.com or cyrene.olson@gmail.com So thank you and enjoy the July issue of Uncaged Book Reviews!

UncagedBooks.com


Bargain Bin

Bargains, Free Reads & Giveaways

Blog Roll Call Contributors, Advertising Swaps

Great way to discover new authors and enter to win free books, both print and eBooks. https://www. goodreads.com/giveaway

Free Book Sifter

This site will sniff out all the free eBooks being offered on Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Amazon. Choose the site you’re looking for in the drop down list. This site helps narrow down the search. http://www.freebooksifter.com/

Follow Uncaged on Facebook

Paranormal lover’s rejoice. Uncaged review contributors.

FreeBooksy.com Pick your genre and let FreeBooksy find the deals, even freebies! Free-Ebooks.net Choose your passion from fiction, non-fiction, academic and even audio books. Free to join, free ebooks to download. BookBub.com Let BookBub send you daily deals right to your email, customized to your perferences. instafreebie.com Every Friday, InstaFreebie will email you with weekend freebies from all genres. bookbrag.com Emailing deals right to your inbox. redfeatherromance.com Romance deals delivered to your email.

A blog for horror fans. Uncaged review contributors.

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Help for authors and businesses.

If you’d like your banner here, please email me at UncagedBooks@gmail.com Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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showcase

Robert Erickson

The Wizor Fair The Wizor Fair

Robert Erickson Young Adult/Fantasy Twins Lenny and Cassy must overcome a power struggle between two powerful sorcerers and a wicked fairy before they can return home. Skeldon, an apprentice sorcerer searching for magic wizors to help him compete at The Wizor Fair, transports himself from a parallel world to modern day Seattle where he enlists twins Lenny and Cassy to help him, but he accidentally transforms Cassy into a fairy called a whelf. The twins return with him to the medieval Kingdom of Duscany, but the magic of the Whelf Fen inescapably draws Cassy into the Long Night to compete for the whelf queenship against the evil Night Shadow. Lenny and Skeldon must unravel the mysterious relationship of the shadow wolves stalking the sorcerers of the kingdom, the power struggle between two powerful sorcerers and the whelf battle being waged during the Long Night, which ultimately will decide the fate of the Kingdom of Duscany and perhaps the world.

bookventure.com

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US Review of Books “With all of her will, she fought against the crushing blackness of her prison until it retreated and the heaviness lifted.” For twins Lenny and Cassy, the first week of summer vacation after graduating from the eighth grade has not exactly been overflowing with excitement. But after settling in with popcorn and sodas to watch a monster movie on TV, they receive the shock of their lives when a young man suddenly materializes on the floor of Lenny’s bedroom. The intruder, a Wizor named Skeldon, has journeyed across worlds and from the Kingdom of Duscany in search of magic to use in the upcoming Wizor Fair, an event which could lead him from being the mistreated apprentice of an abusive master to become Wizor to Scapita, the King’s sorcerer. However, what he and the twins will soon experience together will far exceed both his ambitions and their wildest dreams. Erickson’s enchanting fantasy catapults the reader into a magical world of pixie-like whelfs, conniving sorcerers, and a mysterious race of beings who spend the day in one world and the night in another. It is also a land fraught with danger. Shadow wolves have begun to appear and attack the unwary, an unscrupulous magic user seeks to take revenge on his enemies and change his political fortunes, and an evil power is rising from the fen that threatens to plunge the world into darkness. Against such perils, what can an untrained Wizor, a pair of uprooted twins, and a motley crew of young people hope to achieve? The answer, of course, is plenty. In typical fantasy fashion, the author’s story uses extreme adversity to bring out hidden talents and personal strengths in characters who would under normal circumstances never be considered anything but ordinary. J.R.R. Tolkien did something similar in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, using a group of young and


untested hobbits to help save Middle Earth from the hordes of Sauron. Like Tolkien’s hobbits, Erickson’s teens rise to the occasion when needed, even at the risk of their lives. His protagonists share traits of other genre celebrities, as well. For example, Skeldon is like Harry Potter in his humble beginnings and eventual ascent into greatness among his peers in wizardry. Cassy, meanwhile, resembles in some ways Canadian writer Charles de Lint’s Sara Kendell from Moonheart, the novel that launched his career. Like Sara, Cassy truly comes into her own in an alternate world, and her epic battle with Night Shadow has echoes of the one Sara faces with Mal’ek’a. Obviously, powerful characters like these speak to most of us on some level, even though we know we can never achieve such abilities in real life. Perhaps that is why Lenny comes across as so appealing. He has a modest talent with the flute, but unlike his sister or Skeldon, he does not have any magical skills. But what Lenny does have is a strong moral compass, a heart filled with compassion, and the desire to bless the lives of almost everyone he encounters. Understandably, others are drawn to him because of these traits, and out of all of Erickson’s characters, he is arguably the most sympathetic. Clearly designed to target young adults, the author’s book is well-paced and enjoyable from start to finish. The speed with which the various couples come together in the plot is a little unbelievable, but, then again, Romeo and Juliet weren’t that slow to hit it off either. Overall, the biggest “fault” in Erickson’s tale is that we become so close to his characters that we don’t want their story to end, a problem his fantasy shares with other popular works of fiction and one that is really not that bad to have.

About the Author The author grew up in western Montana, a third generation descendent of Swedish immigrants. He is a Navy veteran of the Vietnam Conflict and a retired US Coast Guard enlisted man. He is also the author of the Fluke Family fantasy books.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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feature authors

urban fantasy dark fantasy

C.L.

Schneider

Linda

Nightingale

paranormal

Tony-Paul de Vissage


feature author C. L. Schneider is a New York-based author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape in high school, on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. Schneider’s epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, tells the story of Ian Troy, a man born with an addiction to magic. Flash Point is the first book in her new urban fantasy series, Nite Fire, featuring shapeshifters, dragons, and parallel worlds. Learn more about C.L. Schneider and her work at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+, where she is often found chatting about books, zombies, coffee, and the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.

Stay Connected

And sign-up for the newsletter at:

clscheiderauthor.com

14 | UncagedBooks.com

Get The Crown of Stones Trilogy Fire on sale from July 1-15 for onl Please welcome C.L. Scheider to Uncaged! Uncaged: Going on my list of “favorite Urban Fantasy Books” this year, I loved Nite Fire, and the excerpt for book two is on your site, and it looks like we are going back to Drimera. Will we see the police characters from Nite Fire appear in the sequel? Can you give us a general synopsis of the second book, or is it still secret? Thank you! Yes, most of the characters that survived Flash Point will be back in book #2. I don’t have a formal synopsis as yet, but I can tell you that the title for book #2 is Chain Reaction. It takes place about a month after book #1, and strange things are happening in Sentinel City. Some of its citizens are changing, physically and mentally, developing abilities, becoming violent. Are they even human anymore—were they ever? As the bodies pile up, monsters roam the city, and the case spins out of control. Dahlia struggles to discover who or what is to blame, but every move only seems to put more people in jeopardy. And the truth, Drimera has hid from the world since the beginning of time, might not be hidden much longer.


y and Nite ly .99 each! Uncaged: Do you read your reviews on your books? Do they influence your story at all? I do read reviews. They can be very inspiring. There’s nothing better than finding out you’ve given someone an epic book hangover! On the other side of the coin, are the unfavorable reviews. They’re not exactly fun to read, but if you put yourself out there, you have to expect them. As I learned very early on, not everyone reads the same book the same way. That’s one reason I don’t let reviews influence my stories. Writing for a trend or altering a plot or character because of a bad review compromises your vision. Instead, trust in your characters and tell the story as it’s meant to be told. There’s only one instance where I would let reviews impact my work. If there were multiple negative reviews that all focused on the same issue. Then, there might be something worth looking into. Uncaged: What’s coming up next for readers? Any release dates that you can tell us about? I’m nearly done with the draft for Flash Point: Chain Reaction. Now that it’s summer, with my kids home, I’ll have less time for revisions. But I hope to have it

to my editor by September. If all goes well, Chain Reaction will be released by Christmas 2017. I also have a short story kicking around. It centers on Ian Troy, the main character from my Crown of Stones Trilogy. I set it aside to finish the draft on Nite Fire #2, but I’m hoping to finally be able to finish Ian’s story this summer. Uncaged: Do you have a street team, or review team to get your books started when they first release? I don’t currently have a street team, but I’ve been thinking about setting one up. I have some wonderful, loyal readers out there. Some of which were early reviewers for the release of Flash Point. Uncaged: What are your favorite genres to read right now? Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you like to read books that are part of series? Since publishing my first book (The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price) in 2013, I’ve been reading indie authors exclusively. My most-read genres are fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, thrillers, and scifi. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| FEATURE AUTHOR | Tom Reinhart has become one of my favorite indie authors, as well as Dylan J. Morgan.

into your hearts and minds, and I can’t think of a greater gift.

I do enjoy reading a series. Years ago, I plowed through the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher and the Nightside books by Simon Green. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time as I used to, so it takes me a while now to get through a series.

To those who haven’t read my books… I write immersive, adult epic and urban fantasy. My stories are character-driven, action-packed, and dark with a touch of humor. My goal is to incite emotion, to make my readers feel and to take them on a roller coaster of a journey. I tell each story and each character arc the way they need to be told, whether that takes 200 pages or 500, and I rarely pull any punches. So if you decide to take a chance on my work, thank you. And buckle up!

Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? I admit it, I’m a Netflix junkie. I enjoy walking (we have some great trails by our home) and baking. I’m also married with two sons, ages 10 and 15, so my family keeps me pretty busy. Uncaged: You’ve attended some conventions and signings, how is it to interact and meet the readers in person? Are you attending any in the near future? I love in-person events! It’s a wonderful experience to be able to spend time with potential readers and chat with repeat customers. There’s so much energy and excitement. With all those positive vibes, it’s impossible to not have a good time. I attended comic cons in March, May, and June of this year, but I’m sad to say that I don’t have any more events lined up in the coming months. Each year, I try to go somewhere new and do more events than the year before. But this summer, the dates just weren’t lining up with our vacation schedule. I’m hoping to squeeze in one or two in the fall and I’m already scoping out some new events for 2018. Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? To my readers, I’d like to say… I’m grateful for each and every one of you! I can’t thank you enough for choosing my stories. It means the world to me that, out of all the countless books out there, you decided to read mine. You took my characters 16 | UncagedBooks.com

I love to chat with readers, writers, and everything in between, so come find me! I spend most of my time on Twitter, so check there first.

Enjoy an excerpt from Nite Fire: Flash Point Nite Fire: Flash Point C.L. Schneider Urban Fantasy Slated for execution, shapeshifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all. But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed. Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world


begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home. Excerpt Fire dripped like rain from my scaled fingers. Gliding past my jean-covered thighs, then boots, the flaming beads breached the puddle beside me with a hiss. A last stubborn burst of light flared bright, illuminating the red pool for a breath before it sputtered out. The pattern repeated: drip, flare, hiss, sputter, drip, flare, hiss, sputter, as I stood in the abandoned train depot; counting the circles of blood that overran the pockmarks on the fractured concrete floor. Each bloody puddle corresponded to a body hanging upside down from the rafters above my head. Thick ropes bound their ankles. Their flaccid arms dangled toward me, as if reaching down in hopeless supplication. But their death throe pleas were illusion. The six had died long before they were dragged in, stripped of their clothing and skin, and hung like a side of beef in a slaughterhouse. If they’d died here, I would have felt an imprint of their trauma on the room. Instead, all I sensed was their ripe stench drifting with the breeze as it blew in through the rotted holes in the ceiling. “Looks like a full hunt,” I said, glancing up with a frown as moisture landed on my head. The color got lost in the red of my hair as the blood slid down into the curls. “And you’re fresh. Dammit…” I muttered, stepping to the left to avoid another drop escaping the corpse above me. I waited then, to see if it would be enough, if one little bead would trigger a flood inside me; ambushing me with the images and emotions of the victim’s last moments. Not now, I thought. The last thing I needed was an unsolicited, untimely death-glimpse. Experiencing the terror of being skinned alive would definitely lower my guard. Trying to stave it off, I busied my mind. I studied the dilapidated building, the architecture, and the faded peeling murals that graced the wide walls. I thought back to when it had all looked fresh and new. Opening day, the ticket counters had been bustling, handing out adventure and opportunity with every ticket. So many

| C.L. SCHNEIDER | lives had passed through the front door. All that came through now were the rats. And the monsters. Sensing no extraneous rush of emotions, I went back to rooting out my prey. “Guess that means you’re ready to pack up and head home.” I raised my voice higher. “Except you can’t yet, can you? You’re stuck for now. You’re ineffective. Vulnerable.” Just the way I like it. Moving farther into the vacant building, swarms of buzzing flies scattered at my intrusion. My low-heeled boots clicked softly on the wooden planks covering a broken section of floor. My steps were leisurely. It was a nice change, not having to run. The creature was in no shape for such dexterous moves. It wouldn’t be for hours. Hiding was another matter. Sentinel City’s original depot had been vacated long ago in favor of a bright, shiny new building on the other end of the train yard. Here, amid the debris of a forgotten time, were cracks and crevices, and lots of shadows. “You can’t leave this world until you digest,” I said, keeping my voice loud. “Until your pathetically slow stomach consumes all that delicious human skin you’ve been gorging on.” Getting no response, I pushed the crimson scales out over more of my body. They ran like water beneath my black halter, affording extra protection to my upper half. As they reached my face, I shifted my eyes. Sockets enlarged. Pupils widened and elongated. Their reddish hazel-brown color deepened to warm amber, and my vision amplified. Sweeping the room, I peered into nooks and crannies, studying the fallen beams, broken signs, piles of busted chairs and rows of dusty benches; fallen light fixtures and detached stair railings barely hanging on by a thread. “You should’ve added some brains to your diet,” Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| FEATURE AUTHOR | I said, scanning for movement as I walked. “Maybe they would have made you smarter. Because I’ve already warned you once—this isn’t a buffet,” I said with force. “There are no free refills here. No all you can eat. The human world is off limits to the del-yun. It’s off limits to everyone.” His voice came out of the dark. “You have no right,” he blustered, scratchy and dry like sandpaper on a chalkboard. “No authority to enforce the elders’ rules. You no longer hold position in the dragon ranks, pretty shifter. The Guild tossed you out so very, very long ago.” “Ninety-seven years, two months, and three days. But who’s counting?” Bristling, I tossed back my hair. “And they didn’t fire me. I quit.” “You ran…like those cowardly small ones with the perfect skin…so soft and supple.” Understanding him, I frowned. “Children?” “Yes, you fled like a child.” His laugh was stilted and wobbly. “And now you’re a maid.” “I prefer the term ‘contract cleaner’. Scrubbing away those stubborn off-world assholes is my specialty.” I lifted a hand. Fire dribbled down the side. “How about I give you a free demo?” Belligerent, he spat, “You can’t blame me. This world is so beautifully curious, so dangerous. It’s why all the other worlds are drawn here. It’s why we watch. Why we learn to speak their sounds.” “Why you eat them?” “No. We eat them because they’re tasty. And their skin comes in so many varieties. It’s not our fault they can’t live without it. It’s a…structural flaw.” “You’re not a del-yun,” I scoffed, keeping him talking. “You’re a pig. A fat, greedy, gluttonous pig who doesn’t know when to quit.” “Oh, pretty shifter,” he cooed. “So noble. So brave. So…insulting. I’ve never tasted the skin of a lyrriken before. I imagine it would be tough.” “I hear it tastes like chicken. Not that you’ll have a chance to know.” 18 | UncagedBooks.com

“You assume I can’t kill you,” he chuckled, low and gravely. I followed the sound as his threats continued. “You think I won’t feast on your scales and sell your parts? Everyone wants the dragon pieces, the power they gather. Everyone wants a taste.” “I’m only part dragon, del-yun. Your buyers might notice the difference.” “Half…full…you all have worth. And,” the delight in his voice was unmistakable, “smaller bones make such a wonderful snap. You’ll see. I’ll show you soon. Nothing compares to the exquisite sound of peeling flesh from a shattered bone.” “I’ll take your word for it.” Movement streaked behind the rusted bars of the ticket counter. Gotcha.

Uncaged Review A well written, original urban fantasy that is a welcome addition to the genre and a fantastic start to a series. Bad-ass action scenes, great dialog and terrific character and world building. A new super heroine is protecting the streets of Sentinel, and it’s a great ride. The 400+ pages just zipped by and I was engrossed the whole way through. Half human, half dragon Dahlia Nite is slated for execution in her own world and escapes into the human realm. Now she hunts the ones that are killing humans. When she comes in as a consultant for the police for some strange murders, she’ll need every trick in her arsenal to survive and keep her secrets safe. The author surprised me in a few places in this, which is hard to do as I read heavily in this genre. Looking forward to the next installment.


| C.L. SCHNEIDER |

Get The Crown of Stones Trilogy and Nite Fire on sale from July 1-15 for only .99 each!

Swag Giveaway Enter to win this Swag Pack! Go to C.L. Scneider’s Facebook page and comment you saw her feature here in Uncaged to be entered! Good luck! Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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showcase

Siegfried Finser

Collision

Collision

Siegfried Finser Suspense The battle between the unscrupulous intellect and the caring heart has never been so poignantly portrayed as in COLLISION. The president of PTP Corporation uses every trick to secure the acquisition of AIC Corporation. He is so smart and so ruthless his subordinates hardly know how to interpret his commands and often fall short. The stockholders love him, but in the final episode, he might actually be failing while achieving the greatest success. The lovely, kindhearted Lucinda Brahms loses her job but gains what is most precious to her. Do the young couple in the story find each other in spite of the dangerous intrigues and unexpected secrets exposed? How will they escape the evil overshadowing them and survive to fight again on their own terms? The collisions in this story are on several levels. The action moves from the boardroom, to the university campus, and on to secret hideouts. Light and dark, warm and cold intersect as the key figures collide in the struggle for power.

U.S. Review of Books “By the time you finally make it to a place where you can do some good,... you’ve lost the desire and the capacity to change the world that feeds you.” 22 | UncagedBooks.com

A mega corporation (Premium Technical ProductsPTP) recently acquires a small but highly profitable and well-respected company (Croton Green-CG) whose main product line is grass seed. PTP CEO Armand Dillon has his own spin on how CG will be run under his direction, leaving the CG staff not only displeased but also extremely uncomfortable. What becomes of CG’s product line and its staff is simple: Armand’s world of corporate greed swallows them up. CG is only the beginning of PTP’s acquisition since, naturally, Armand wants more. Top on his list of companies is Alliance for International Communications (AIC). But just how to acquire this company requires a plan—and not just any old scheme, but one that is pure evil. It is 1971—Vietnam. Young people—particularly college students—are protesting and begin questioning the efficacy of the US government and big business. An unlikely connection takes place between Vietnam veteran Stewart (Stu) Brand and Robert McLane, the son of a father entrenched in the corporate domain at AIC. Although coming from different backgrounds and viewpoints, these Fairmount University students quickly develop a friendship. Unfortunately, Stu and Robert have no idea that they will become entwined in Armand’s sinister attempts to overtake AIC. What Armand doesn’t know is that there is more in store when his scheme heads in an unanticipated direction. Finser shines a light on corporate greed in his latest read. Keeping to a small but tight cast, Finser combines stereotypical and untypical characters into a series of unanticipated circumstances. Finser places his distinct characters at times placed within stilted dialogue scenes. The idealistic interchanges between Robert and a girl he immediately falls in love with, Jolene Senter, makes for a perfect example. Regardless of the awkward moments, Finser manages to incorporate enough situational changes to provide continual plot movement.


bookventure.com About the Author A key feature Finser uses to keep his story flowing is alternating character scenes. A delicate balancing act between the good and evil, Finser captures both sides of the coin in the corporate realm. Obviously, the chief antagonist is Armand. There are others who fit in the adversary category, but not quite in the same way. Without providing any spoilers, a special notice goes to Lucinda Brahms (AIC CEO) and Charlie McLane (Robert’s dad) who initially embrace the slippery slope of deceit that comes with corporate greed but then has a change of heart. One aspect of Finser’s story that may be a draw for readers is his 1971 historical setting. While much of the storyline focuses on the character and their interactions with one another, Finser weaves the nuances prevalent of that era, such as the mindset of many college students (i.e., free speech, engaging discussions about truth and fallacies). Readers with a political interest may find the international corruption aspect of the story both appealing and fascinating. While Finser doesn’t add anything new or enlightening to corporate-based narratives, readers surely will grasp the plot’s light overtones to the political tenor taking place today.

Siegfried is the founder of RSF Social Finance, a nonprofit financial services organization that has pioneered associative economics by connecting financial transactions with the highest intentions of the human spirit. He currently serves on the board and advises selected clients. He has written children’s books, plays, and books about money and destiny. His current novel features the struggle of humanity between head and heart domination. He blames the majority of our social problems worldwide on the focus of our present educational institutions on the exclusive development of the intellect. Siegfried has been a Waldorf schoolteacher, a corporate executive, and a consultant. He has a BA from Rutgers University and an MA from New York University. His published works include Money Can Heal, Footprints of an Angel, and A Guide to Full Enrollment. As a young man, he traveled the country in freight trains and reefers, picked fruit, and sold bibles. All these grassroots experiences have enriched his fifty short stories! He is appreciative of the wonderful support of his wife, Ruth; three grown children, Torin, Mark, and Angela; and seven grandchildren. They exceed his fondest wishes for them.

Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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CatchUp with

Zoe Forward

Zoe Forward was a Feature Author in the September 2016 issue of Uncaged Book Reviews. We catch up with her this month to see what she’s been up to since we last chatted. Uncaged: You were a Featured Author in the September 2016 issue of Uncaged Book Reviews. How was your experience being in the magazine? Thank you Uncaged Book Reviews for featuring me last year! I was so thrilled to be in the magazine and have Playing the Witch’s Game find new readers. For that, how could my experience be anything other than amazeballs? Uncaged: Your newest release is The Way You Bite, will release on July 3. As I am writing this, I’m in the process of reading it. What can you tell us about what you’ve been up to since your feature? I had a few months of intense editing on The Way You Bite. Let’s just say the story got about 75% rewritten from where it started. Love where it ended up, but it’s not easy to tear apart the whole story and have some major re-doing with tight deadlines. I’ve written several other books since last year and entered editing on others, such as the follow-up to the book you guys featured last year, Playing the Witch’s Game, which features Pleiades witches. And...there’s my other job (I still a small animal veterinarian by day). As well, I have two little kids, a baby who’s still not sleeping through the night and an an older one who’s enrolled in far too many afterschool activities. Right now it feels like baseball rules our world. So, yeah, life has been crazy busy.

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Uncaged: You have a couple books up for voting in the first annual Raven Awards. What does it mean to authors to win awards for their books or even just be nominated? Wow and yippie! It’s such an honor to be considered for an award and then voted upon by readers. It assures me there’s someone out there who “gets” my stuff and enjoys my mash-up of action-adventure, paranormal, humor and hot romance. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Uncaged: Are you planning a release party for your newest work? There will be a Facebook takeover of the Entangled Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EntangledPublishing/) on 7/11/2017 in the afternoon. Several of us authors with new books coming out in the first two weeks will have giveaways and fun for all to participate. There’s also a blog tour, which will have a sweet giveaway. You can pop by my Facebook for more info on that. Thank you Uncaged Book Reviews for having me drop by again! Award winning author, Zoe Forward is a hopeless romantic who can’t decide between paranormal and contemporary romance. So, she writes both. Her novels have won numerous awards including the Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence, Golden Quill, Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Booksellers Best Award. When she’s not typing at her laptop, she’s tying on a karate belt for her son or cleaning up the newest pet mess from the menagerie that occupies her house. She’s a small animal veterinarian caring for a wide range of furry creatures, although there has been the occasional hermit crab. She’s madly in love with her globe trotting conservation ecologist husband who plans to save all the big


cats on the planet, and she’s happiest when he returns to their home base.

Enjoy an excerpt from The Way You Bite The Way You Bite Zoe Forward Paranormal Romance RELEASES JULY 3 When King Werewolf shows up in veterinarian Vee Scarpa’s ER, she’s livid. Her father, North American head honcho vampire, has threatened a chilling or else if she “ accidentally” helped a wolf again, especially since they’re at war. But she’s tempted by the sexy wolf. And his deadly blood calls to her in a way that should set off warning bells...

| ZOE FORWARD | Hoarsely, he said, “There’s you wanting this, and me wanting you back. Whatever’s going on here doesn’t happen every day. It’s real. It’s stealing my mind. And, it’s a hell of a mess.”

See the Uncaged Review for this book in the Review section.

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A promise to his brother in arms obliges Lexan Dimitrov to rescue the aristocrat vampire before her family discovers her secret—a secret Vee herself isn’t even aware of. What he didn’t expect was to find her sexy-as-hell. He’s not into vamps, yet the inescapable heat building between them is a delicious temptation guaranteed to end in total disaster. Excerpt She pointed at him. “I figured out your game. Fool me into taking a bite. Then I die. I’m not stupid. If you want me dead, just do it. I’m sure I’ve got a weapon around here somewhere you can use. I’d prefer you killed me that way, not with blood death.” “There’s no game going on here. If I wanted you to die, I wouldn’t have helped with the knife wound.” He strode to her. She backed up until the wall cushioned her back. He slapped a hand on the wall on either side of her head, caging her in. He leaned into her, dominating but not cruel. Excitement streaked through her. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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showcase Joseph Gorski

Government 2.0 Government 2.0

Joseph Gorski SciFi/Graphic Novel The book Government 2.0 reveals that we are not on the cusp of new alternative self-government, medical breakthroughs, and even new forms of money. Despite what we hear from the media and elected officials, we are entering a new golden age of peace and cooperation with people next door or around the world. The divisions pushed on us by the mainstream media, government, and elites do not have to be accepted. We have more power than we know and we can change the world one person at a time. We need to open our minds to that possibility.

US Review of Books “The people have to demand that the government follow the rules and add value to society just like the rest of us.” In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell expounded on moments when behaviors, trends, or special ideas crossed a threshold and began to spread exponentially. In Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson provided a parable reminding us all that change is inevitable. In his book, Joseph 28 | UncagedBooks.com

Gorski posits that we are basically at a tipping point that can and should bring about change to something as notoriously rigid and inflexible as the United States Government. Mr. Gorski’s book is a clarion call to the battlements. He believes that it is time for people to not simply tinker around the edges of government, but to literally shake it by its very foundation and restore what our Constitution actually had in mind, rather than continuing what our mode of government has become. What has it become? In Mr. Gorski’s opinion, it has become a self-perpetuating clique made up of politicians and the highly placed banking elite who are interested only in maintaining power. Why are bankers included? The oft-used phrase “follow the money” seems applicable. Gorski suggests that a holy trinity of establishment pols, senior-level financial executives, and the Federal Reserve Bank are using monetary policy to prolong their rule. In his judgment and his own words, “The Fed is putting the entire economy at stake by running unsustainable deficits and continually adding burdens and unreasonable regulations that limit economic growth.” He bemoans the decision to go off the gold standard and warns that an economic reckoning of immense proportion is on its way. Just as the technology bubble, the housing bubble, and the stock and banking bubble burst, so will the debt bubble if things aren’t turned around quickly. It’s not all gloom and doom, however. The author proposes that we’re at the very point in time when radical change can come about. For those who think government and huge financial institutions are indeed too big to fail or jail, he reminds us that slavery had gone on for a very long time before it ended and that women’s rights lagged for centuries before that wrong was righted. Here are some of the ways he recommends moving toward Government 2.0: seek a desirable currency other than the dollar; pass an amendment to the Constitution limiting the power and scope of the Federal Government; de-


criminalize drugs; privatize Social Security; enact massive tax cuts and more. Gorski provides copious detail on all of the aforementioned recommendations that space here does not allow. Written in conversational English that keeps financial and economic jargon to a minimum, the author’s concepts and ideas are easy to follow. He uses extensive examples of events and situations throughout America’s history to support his arguments and proposed solutions. You may or may not agree with where he believes the government should be going in the future, but you’ll have no problem understanding why he thinks what he thinks. Gorski’s book is a decidedly different way of envisioning how this country might be run twenty years from now. Readers looking for innovative approaches to address entrenched ways of doing things will likely find this a stimulating read.

bookventure.com About the Author Joseph Gorski, the author of Government 2.0, has followed a less than typical path over his last 35 years of life in the USA. It started with a deep spiritual journey in 1982 which continues to this day. It leads to rejecting the established religions and political parties of the world without rejecting their core teachings of love, tolerance, and respect of our fellow human. This took him away from a normal career path, living in a city at times and in the country at times. Joseph came to believe that there is a central power in the universe that some people call God, source energy, or by many other names. Joseph graduated with a business administration BA degree from Rutgers-Newark College of Arts and Science in 1983. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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feature author Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years. Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt. She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, member of the Houston Miata Club, and enjoys events with that car club. Among her favorite things are her snazzy black convertible and her parlor grand piano. She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

Stay Connected

Follow Lind print copy of Uncaged welcomes Linda Nightingale! Uncaged: What was the inspiration for Morgan D’Arcy? Will we be seeing more of him in the future? Morgan is a powerful character. He walked on stage and proceeded to tell me his story(ies). He is an English lord, a classical pianist…and a vampire whose mortal life ended in 1650. He has a history ranging from a Cavalier in the English Civil War to World War II as an RAF fighter pilot, flying night raids over Nazi Germany to today’s concert halls. His books are about love…and obsession. The first is Sinners’ Opera, the second Sinners’ Obsession and the anthology, Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody. I’m working on the Golden Cavalier, his adventures up to and in the ECW. Uncaged: Do you read your reviews on your books? Do they influence your story at all? I read every word of any review on my book. Simply put, sometimes this makes me sad; at others deliriously happy. In one review, I was accused of rushing the ending. In my next book, I was very conscious of this and tried not to rush the ending.

lindanightingale.com

Uncaged: What’s coming up next for readers? Any release dates that you can tell us about? I have two new releases coming up in the fall. In OctNov, a psychological dark fantasy, The Gemini Factor, will be released by Class Act Books. Factor is about a

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Giveaway!! da on Twitter and comment - be entered to win: U.S. Only - Authographed Sinners Obsession or 1st Edition of controversial dark fantasy, Gemini Rising & Swag. Intl. - ebook from author back list very controversial subject, and reader discretion is advised. Still, since the book has already been published one time, all of the reviews were 4-5 stars and all said I handled a touchy subject well. The second is from The Wild Rose Press and is titled Gylded Wings, a dark fantasy about the most famous fallen angel. The story is told by Lucifer in first person. The book is in no way demonic but rather has an uplifting ending (I don’t think I rushed it) and follows him on a journey of self discovery that brings him to the brink of failure before he surrenders pride. Uncaged: Do you have a street team, or review team to get your books started when they first release? I don’t have a street team but would love one if anyone is willing to help me out with that!

Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? I love driving and am a member of the Houston Miata Club. I enjoy my new dog, Courage— walking him, petting him and just generally spending time with him. He’s a Coton de Tulear, and his white coat is as soft as cotton. I love to travel and to dress up and host formal dinner parties for my friends. Uncaged: Have you ever attended a book signing and/or convention to meet readers? Yes, quite a few. I really enjoy connecting with and making friends with my readers. They are one of the main reasons I write. Have you attended or tried out an Online Book Launch party? Not yet. Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?

Uncaged: What are your favorite genres to read right now?

Hey, remember that street team?! Yes! I’d love to say how much I appreciate each and every fan. Remember I write for you. Let me hear from you.

I enjoy the genres I write, but I am currently reading A King’s Story, an autobiography by the Duke of Windsor. Who are some of your favorite authors? There are far too many to name. Do you like to read books that are part of series? Yes, I enjoy series. I read for a friend who writes most times in series.

Giveaway!! Follow Linda on Twitter and be entered to win: U.S. Only - Authographed print copy of Sinners Obsession or 1st Edition of controversial dark fantasy, Gemini Rising & Swag. Intl. - ebook from author back list Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| FEATURE AUTHOR |

Enjoy an excerpt from Morgan D’Arcy, A Vampyre Rahpsody Morgan D’Arcy, A Vampyre Rhapsody Linda Nightingale Paranormal

The greatest enemy of a vampire is boredom. Four centuries of existence have taught Lord Morgan Gabriel D’Arcy to fear nothing and no one. Humans and their weapons have little chance against his preternatural speed and arcane powers. Vampires are viral mutations of human DNA. Still, the Vampyre code requires secrecy, and he has learned to hide his nature from the world. The lure of mortality, of a life in the sun, puts Morgan again and again at the mercy of calculating human women though they fail to consider his charm and determination into the equation. However, even grooming a future bride from infancy proves to be fraught with heartbreak. And second chances are not always what they seem unless... you are Morgan. Immortality and beauty, aren’t they grand? Excerpt From ‘Intermezzo’ A fingertip traced my jaw. “You guys play a bit fast and loose for me. Fix those baby blues on me, Morgan, and make me forget everything. Including you.” I didn’t want to make Ellen forget. Finally, I’d found someone who believed that I was a different species, accepted the fact, and still cared for me. Sadness crept down my rigid spine on a chill. “I know you can.” Tears in her eyes, she touched my mouth. “It’s what I want.” 32 | UncagedBooks.com

“I received an email today from Charleston.” Lucien sounded weary, as sad as I felt and Ellen looked. “You can return to South Carolina. If that’s what you want.” My heart leapt into my throat. Going back to Charleston, winning Isabeau was what I’d dreamed every night for six months. “Can we expect you at the wedding?” Ellen roused to frown up at me. “What wedding?” With the back of my hand, I caressed her cheek. “Mine.” She made a pitiful grimace, but mischief sparkled in her eyes. “I thought my son would be born a bastard. Now, he’ll be an aristocratic bastard like his dad.” Over her shoulder, I met Lucien’s gaze. The Chief Councilor arched a brow and simply stared at me for several heartbeats. A question burned in the depths of his black eyes. He awaited a decision I wasn’t prepared to give—even to myself. My old friend indicated Ellen with a nod of his head. She’s not pregnant. As if I didn’t know. He strode to the rail, staring at Margo’s corpse. The red heat sizzling along my skin sparkled in his aura. A brilliant halo engulfed the body. The remains of Margo St. Johns glowed, wavered like heat rising from hot tarmac and vanished in an explosion of crimson light. I freed Ellen from my embrace. “I must help Lucien dispose of the bodies before the police arrive and ask questions difficult to answer.” She shook her head, a fingertip caressing my lower lip. “You need to stay with me…until you make me forget.” I bent to whisper a kiss to her lips. “Ellen, never doubt that I love you.” A tear drizzled down her cheek. “Make me forget. It’s better that way. As I said, it’s what I want. And


| LINDA NIGHTINGALE | what you obviously need.” Closing her eyes, she waited. “I can manage,” Lucien called. A night bird sang a lonely song. I rested my hand on Ellen’s forehead, easing her into a deep sleep. As she collapsed, I caught her to me. Pain welled in my heart. Twice in six months, I’d been forced to give up a woman I loved. Dum Spiro Spero. While I breathe, I hope, and hope had offered me another chance to win Isabeau. Dreams misted my eyes as I carried Ellen to the car. She slept on the journey home. I strode up the stairs and into her bedroom with my lovely accomplice and lover. Gently, I lay her on the bed. She breathed slowly and deeply, remaining motionless as I invaded her thoughts and erased every memory of me, the existence of vampires and the catastrophe at the docks. Mission accomplished, I stood staring at her. Ellen had forgotten our intermezzo. I never would.

Uncaged Review Four separate adventures in the long life of Morgan D’Arcy. These four short stories within this book read beautifully – I was enthralled with Morgan. A sensual and well written tale of a vampire, beautiful and sophisticated as much as he is brutal and deadly. From wanting to be mortal again, just to be able to love and walk in the sun – Morgan’s urges and strong desires and even in these stories, you get a good feel for the characters and the world that is built. From the vampire wishing for his mortality and taking crazy chances in Devil’s Waltz, to the enchanting Sunrise, Sunset – this collection has me wanting to know more about Morgan, a vampire that is both one to love…and one to fear, the way vampires should be.

Isabeau, where are you tonight? Do you ever think of me? With a mental flick of the wrist, I locked Ellen’s front door. Some of the bounce returned to my step as I descended the stairs. I refused to allow it to end this way. On the sidewalk, I halted, heedless of the mist collecting on my hair and clothes. The me I’d lost returned on a rush. I smiled, for the first time in what seemed forever, actually looking forward to tomorrow night. At sunset on a Sunday, I’d drive to Royal Oak and enjoy a few peaceful days in the country. Soon, I’d return to Charleston. Isabeau must relent and love me again. She was my destiny. And I hers.

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comprehensivereview CailinBriste

Marshal of Tallav Series Shane, Marshal of Tallov Cailin Briste SciFi/Suspense/Erotica Shane Tiernan, the Beast of Tallavan aristocratic society, needs relief from the matriarchal rules that are destroying his life. His hope lies in a female submissive, newly graduated from a top sex school. From her resume, she seems perfect. But profile and real life collide when he arrives to collect her. He’s stunned when he spots her vaulting over a bar and snatching up an ice chipper to defend herself against the giant who is chasing her. Her combination of warrior spirit and long-limbed curves fires his Dom imagination and the desire to bind her in his rope and have her under his complete control.

Maon, Marshal of Tallov Cailin Briste SciFi/Suspense/Erotica Maon Keefe has always been told he’s doomed to fail as a husband. He decides never to marry, instead focusing on living life as a player and becoming a capable marshal of Tallav. When he is shot and the most-wanted criminal he’s escorting escapes, he fears that his career, his one success in life, is doomed. Assigned to ferret out the cause of miss34 | UncagedBooks.com

ing shipments for a VIP aristocrat, he meets Selina Shirley, CEO of the House of Shirley. He finds himself inexplicably attracted to her despite her frumpy appearance. When he meets a hooded and masked scorching-hot Domme, Lasair, at his friend’s BDSM club, he’s torn between the two women. Both fire his imagination and call to his submissive nature. Either might be the woman to change him into successful husband material.

Uncaged Comprehensive Review by Barbara When I received these two books, I was expecting something totally different than what I got. Yes, they do involve BDSM scenes which are graphic but that is only a small portion of the books. First, each book is a stand-alone, but you will want to read both, trust me on that one. I was glad I started with Maon: Marshal of Tallov, as it really is the first book in the series. But let’s get some background on Tallov. This is a futuristic/sci-fi series. The men come from the planet Tallov where the women control everything. The only outlet for the men is to become a marshal until they marry. Their function in their society is to father at least one girl to carry on the dynasty. They are normally the caregivers for the children. The men are expected to stay at home and take care of their wife and the estate but have no real power on Tallov. The men don’t own anything on Tallov and must marry a Tallov woman to avoid being banned from the planet, disinherited, and losing their job as marshals. The Tallov marshals are highly respected but there is the normal politics in the system they must deal with to move into better positions. With that said, Maon and Shane each have these sexual kinks which they indulge in while on a planet called Beta Tau, at a pleasure house called the Whip Hand, which their friend Randolph owns. They are given preferential treatment when they go there to play games


with the women who fulfill their sexual fantasies. Maon takes bets with Randolph, who is sadistic and comes up with scenes which Maon must win to get the prize, usually a girl to play with afterward. This sets up a great story with a plot line which keeps you wondering what will happen next as he falls in love with Selina Shirley, the fashion designer who dresses in the most unbecoming clothes possible. Her mother Audrina owns the business but Selina is the one running it and doing the designs since her father died and her mother didn’t get over his death and return to work. When Maon discovers Selina has a hidden personality as Lasair at the Whip Hand, he must have her. The problem is: on Tallov, the women chose their mate and do the asking. He must convince her to take him as her husband. In a nutshell, the book is about Maon’s pursuit of Selina, but it’s how he gets her which is the fun. They become involved in an investigation into a smuggling ring using her factory and he saves her life in the process of saving her business, but that doesn’t get him the girl. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens other than it has a happy ending. This book was exciting to read with great characters on planets which were believable. The investigation/mystery made it a page turner. Shane: Marshal of Tallov is just as well written. He is best friends with Maon and Randolph. Again, there are major scenes at the Whip Hand which set up other scenes in the book. The woman he contracts with to work as an aide and sexual submissive is Adrianna/ Dria. She is this totally interesting girl whose special talents are revealed in small drips and drabs throughout the book. This book was a page turner also, as the various scenes pulled you along a plot line which had multiple twists and turns. When the Benefactor essentially forces Adrianna to join him, he isn’t expecting the woman who… oops, not giving a spoiler here. You need to read to book to find out what she does.

The happily ever after endings didn’t disappoint me. I recommend starting with Maon and then reading Shane. Considering I don’t normally read erotica due to the flimsy plots and sex scenes which have no real purpose other than to titillate the reader, these books are totally different. They have a great plot and the scenes are woven into the plot showing who the men and women are. They may be titillating but are part of the characters. Cailin Briste, the author, transports you to a different world with different values while you get wrapped up in the cases the marshals are working and their love lives. I give these books five stars for great writing, good editing and stories you want to read again to make sure you didn’t miss some subtle clue along the way to solving the case each marshal is involved in during their pursuit of their women.

Cailin has been writing fiction for six years and non-fiction for two decades. Her non-fiction work has been published in magazines and in a nonfiction anthology. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter, and the RWA Passionate Ink Chapter. Cailin loves science fiction and romance, so combing the two came naturally. She is currently writing the third book in her Sons of Tallav sci-fi erotic romance series. Shane: Marshal of Tallav and Maon: Marshal of Tallav were released in 2016 by Loose Id. She’s also working on a novella for an SFR Shooting Stars anthology tentatively title Educated by the Master.

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feature author A writer of French Huguenot extraction, Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memory is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter, on television, and being scared sleepless--and that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires. This was further inspired when the author was kidnapped by a band of transplanted Romanian vampires sightseeing in the South. That story is recounted in his semi-autobiographical novel The Clan Andriescu, and concluded with them offering to pay the youngster’s way through college if he would become an author and write about vampires in a positive manner. He agreed, was returned to his parents (who were also grateful for the tuition offer since it let them off the hook) and continued to keep in touch with his supernatural mentors. Though the author didn’t begin writing horror—or any other genre—until after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from a well-known Southern University (and a second in Graphic Art), that one particular interest—and the promise made to his mentors—survived a liberal arts’ education and the scorn of friends and family. Marriage, parenthood, divorce, and a variety of occupations ranging from stage work to doctor’s assistant for several years took precedent over writing, as did moving from one United States coast to another. 36 | UncagedBooks.com

Eventually that first story—a short story about the hapless vampire Clan Andriescu—was published and later expanded into a novel. A voracious reader whose personal library has been shipped more than 3,000 miles, Tony-Paul has read hundreds of vampire tales and viewed more than as many movies.

Stay Connected

Uncaged welcomes Tony-Paul de Vissage Uncaged: You’ve written a lot about vampires, and you were challenged to write a different genre, and Absinthe was the result, is that correct? How did it come about? I was kicking back after completing my 8th novel and somehow the subject got around to how some writers change genres after many years of writing one kind… like Stephen King and his mysteries. My friend felt I should do the same. It went something like this… “You really ought to branch out a little, you know,” she said. “Write about something other than vampires once in a while.” “Oh?” I asked. “Like what? I’m open to suggestion, as long as it’s still in the realm of the supernatural.”


“That covers a lot of territory.” She looked thoughtful. “How about a horror novel?”

Uncaged: Do you read your reviews on your books? Do they influence your story at all?

“I write about vampires,” I reminded her. “I’d think that qualifies as enough horror right there.”

I guess I’m a glutton for punishment because— Oui!—I read every review. Sometimes, I cringe, occasionally, I laugh, but I read them all. I have a friend who reviews my novels and he always says something to needle me. We have some very vigorous debates about what he thinks I meant and what I actually meant. That’s something I’d do with no other reviewer…talk back…except to thank them for the review, that is.

“Okay…historical then?” She wasn’t to be sidetracked. “A historical horror novel.” “You mean like Frankenstein or something? I don’t know.” I envisioned a thick-paged tome. “That’d probably involve a lot of research.” I was beginning to regret letting the conversation go this far. I was happy writing vampire stories, so why change? Who brought up the subject, anyway? “You need to have more variety,” she persisted. “Spice of Life and all that.” “I don’t think switching genres was what whoever said that meant,” I protested. “Anyway, some of my novels are set in other time periods,” I added as I saw her recharging. “If I do something different, it should be really different, in a genre I’ve never tried.” “That covers a lot of territory.” She thought a moment. “All right then…how about m/m? Have you ever done one of those? Write a historical m/m horror novel…” She took the rolling of my eyes heavenward as a sign of defeat. “I’ll bet you can’t.” “Is that so?” “I dare you.” She really knew how to push my buttons. What could I do? I had to accept.

Uncaged: What’s coming up next for readers? Any release dates that you can tell us about? I just got back from vacation and…fortunately or unfortunately, as the case may be…while I was gone, an idea came to me…a third Absinthe novel, the final one, since these things seem to come in threes. Uncaged: Do you have a street team, or review team to get your books started when they first release? Non, I wish I did, but, for some reason, I can’t get anyone enthused enough about my novels to want to assist me. Uncaged: What are your favorite genres to read right now? Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you like to read books that are part of series? I like reading JD Robb. I like the banter between Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| FEATURE AUTHOR | her and her partner. I also like Bill Schweigert’s novels. He focuses on American and Native American mythology, which has been rather disregarded by authors. Guess they don’t realize what an untapped supply of material there is. Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? It seems I’m never not writing. Even on this socalled vacation, plots kept popping into my head. (See Question #3). I stayed in a place the owner swears is haunted and one night while I was trying to get to sleep, the entire plot for Absinthe Eternal came to me. A little supernatural assistance, perhaps? But…to your question…When I’m not writing, I’m reading…or going to action flicks. Love Marvel Comics movies…all those explosions! Uncaged: Have you ever attended a book signing and/or convention to meet readers? Have you attended or tried out an Online Book Launch party? I managed a couple of book signings before I moved from California. Unfortunately, whenever I decided to have another, something pops up, such as my car needing a new transmission, to take precedence as far as cash is concerned. Currently, I’m condemned to rely on social media to get out the “word.” Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? Bon Jour…Starving author here… My books get good reviews. Give me a try…If you like vampires, you’ll like my creations.

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Enjoy an excerpt from Shadow Lord Shadow Lord Tony-Paul de Vissage Dark Fantasy While Humans multiply into Earth’s dominant life-form, the Tree of Man sprouts another prolific branch—the aventurieri, winged, nocturnal hunters with a dietary need for blood. As legends evolve about them, Mankind’s half-brothers live their twilight lives in the Carpathians’ shadowed heights, where they develop their own civilization, laws, and religion--and a prophecy of a savior paradoxically betraying his people . When one of their kind murders another, his son’s demand for revenge expels him into the outside world of 18th century Europe. Marek Strigoi’s existence, as well as that of his species, will be forever changed as he seeks his father’s killer. When both the hunter and the hunted are vampires, not even Hell can stand in the way. Excerpt Marek Strigoi finds the woman he loves: When Marek appeared, the girl was already dressed, braiding her hair before the cheval glass. “You’re leaving?” He tried to hide his disappointment as he pushed the door shut. “I must, my lord.” Her eyes met his in the mirror. “I’m certain Madame Lubos has already missed me.” “How do you expect to find your way?” The path through the forest and down the mountainside was treacherous enough in daylight. At night, it’d be deadly to one without wings and no night vision worth mentioning. “I thought perhaps that old servant—I mean, your


| TONY-PAUL DE VISSAGE | steward—would give me directions.” She avoided looking at him, becoming concerned with lacing the front of her dress. “Do you want to go?” Marek came closer, his bare feet making no sound on the thick carpet. When she looked up to find him standing directly behind her, she appeared startled. “Not really.” The gaze she turned on him was unhappy. “I’ll probably get a beating for coming here.” She tried to look unconcerned. “Oh, well, it won’t be the first time.” “What’s your name?” He touched her shoulders. Unconsciously, she leaned against him. “Lily. Lily-Magda.” “Don’t go, Lily-Magda.” He whispered into her ear, one arm going around her waist. Pushing her hand out of the way, he worked the laces apart. “Stay here. With me.” “Madame’ll never let me stay, my lord, not even to be a servant to a ghidaj.” He had the dress open to her waist, could see white breasts gleaming, pushed his hand inside, and began to search downward for those warm folds. “She won’t have a choice if the ghidaj demands it.” His fingers found what they were hunting, began to massage the little button gently. She gasped and bit her lip and leaned more heavily against him. “But I don’t want you as a servant.” He pulled his hand away, feeling again that wonderful, warm female liquid lingering upon it. “I wish you to be my woman.” She spun around, staring at him. Recklessly, startling himself with the words, he went on. “I believe I love you, girl. Stay with me, my crimson lily.” To his surprise she burst into tears. “Oh, Master, since the moment I saw you standing in the gallery… I didn’t know who you were and when I found out… How could the ghidaj want someone like me? But you did and now…” She put her hands to her face and began to sob louder. “Does that mean yes?” Marek pulled her hands away. She gave him a watery smile and nodded. Throwing his arms around her, he lifted her off the floor, as he swung her in a tight circle. He kissed her again. When he set her down, she was laughing.

Pulling the dress from her shoulders, he let it drop to the floor. His robe followed. Naked, he swept her into his arms. Holding her body against his chest, he ran to the window, climbing upon the window seat. “What are you doing?” she whispered. With one hand, he pushed the shutters open and stepped onto the sill. There was a soft rustle as his wings unfurled. Marek flung himself from the window, Lily clutched in his arms. Her squeal was bitten off as she realized they weren’t falling to their deaths, but instead rose above the trees. He circled the courtyard, then climbed higher, the sweep of his wings pushing the air past them in loud gusts. “Look, Lily.” He gestured, and she glanced at the scene far below them…the castel and the forest around it, and further on, the rough slopes of the mountains and the far-off peaks. On the parapet of the castel they could see soldati walking the walls. One looked up, pointing, calling to another, and they raised their hands saluting their ghidaj. Marek swooped lower, spinning in the air, acknowledging their homage as Lily laughed with delight. “Oh, Master, it’s so beautiful!” “This is all Strigoi land, Lily. It’s mine, and it’ll be yours, too, if you’ll stay with me.” Circling above the tallest pine, he rose higher until they touched the first wisp of cloud hovering above the mountain peak, the shadows of the cliffs covering and hiding them. How I’ve missed this. For over a dozen years he’d kept himself earthbound. Now, with this wonderful female in his arms, he was liberated by the vast and concealing dark. “It’ll be summer soon,” he said. “When the nights are warmer, we’ll fly over the river and see our reflections in the water. It’s so clear you can see to the bottom when the moon’s full. The travertine in the currents reflects it like a mirror. Would you like that? Will you stay?” “Oh, yes!” Her arms tightened around his neck. Before them loomed the highest tower of the castle, its stones silvered in the moonlight. His wings Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| FEATURE AUTHOR | bore them to the tower’s spire where the Strigoi banner, a sword cleaving the sun, waved in the night air. Around the emblem in blood-red script was embroidered the clan motto, In Fidelitas, Est Potentia…In Loyalty, There is Power. As he circled the tower, he kissed her with a quickening hunger, eagerly, desperately, even as he tried to be restrained, trailing small bites across her throat. His wings caused the banner to flap wildly as if in a sudden storm, the words seeming to blink at them… Fidelitas… Potentia. Turning her head, Lily brushed her lips across his mouth. Body against hers, he hesitated. He kissed her one last time, trailing fingers down her back, breathing softly against pale flesh. “Time to go back.” As he aimed himself for the window, Lily pressed her face against his chest. He landed on the sill and stepped into the room, setting her down as he collapsed his wings. For a moment longer she clung to him, then took her arms from around his neck and exhaled a long, trembling sigh. Uncaged reviewed The Night Man Cometh in October, 2016 and it received a 5 Star review. This is an author that you shouldn’t pass by.

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comprehensivereview ErinWilliams

Gemini Rising Gemini Rising Erin Williams Contemporary Romance

The Bullfrog Bar in the sleepy town of Willow seemed like the ideal place for 21 year old Kit to start a life free from the abuse she’d known until now. After befriending the locals and catching the attention of the handsome twin men who own the bar, she dares to hope that a new beginning is really possible. Gemini Rising is the story of love, in all its forms, and of those who embrace it and share it.

Uncaged Review by Kaitlin

Gemini Rising by Erin Williams is about a woman named Kit who is attempting to escape her old life and, in doing so, lands a job at a bar run by twin brothers Tommy and TJ.

In general, Erin Williams does a fantastic job fleshing out and writing characters. They all read like real people, with realistic reactions, and even though the reader might grow frustrated with a character’s behavior, I found that it was never out of place. Similarly, I thought that the romance was believable and I liked that it was drawn out and developed over time. I found the overall pacing of the book to be consistent without too much filler. Even if there wasn’t a lot of action in a scene, there was usually some important thought process, revelation or observation to be made. Otherwise, the character was doing something or learning something. My only complaint is that the ending-- as in the last two pages or so-- seemed rushed. While the rest of the book is very thorough in exploring Kit’s internal dialogue, the ending seems much more abrupt. I would have liked it better if it had been drawn out for a couple more pages, or even a few paragraphs. Despite that, Gemini Rising was a very good read. I think it accomplishes what it sets out to do, and serves as an excellent example for writers who want to portray a character with PTSD. I highly recommend it to anybody who might be interested, but it might not be for the faint of heart.

I can’t appreciate enough how well the protagonist is portrayed. There are many stories out there that use a history of abuse to prop up their characters, but a lot of them fail to do so respectfully or accurately. Many authors seem to forget altogether this important trait that they’ve given their character. Others get stuck writing the character as a victim, as a damsel in distress constantly in need of a big, strong man to rescue them and find their trauma endearing. Erin Williams does neither of these things; while Kit was a victim, she’s in the process of learning that she’s also a survivor. In the end, Kit is the one who solves her problems. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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Short story Danger - Road closed Ahead, PT 1 by JB. Woods


| SHORT STORY |

This short story will be brought to you differently than in the past. Each month you will receive a chapter, so come back each month to read the full story.

Danger - Road closed Ahead JB. Woods jbwoods-books.com George Barrington Hunter story and he takes a diversion with a difference 1

H

unter! You’re getting married.’ George Barrington Hunter, often described as a fascinating man by the opposite sex sat bolt upright in his chair and said with vigour, ‘Like hell I am. I’m not ready.’ Assistant Director of SIS Major Brian Warren pushed back from his desk and looked at Hunter sympathetically. ‘You won’t be married in the proper sense, Hunter, but I believe when you see your pretend wife you might wish you were.’ ‘Go on, hit me with it.’ ‘We’re going to send you with your ‘wife’,’ Warren made inverted comma signs with his forefingers, ‘to East Germany. You will leave London accompanied by our Agent, Anna. She speaks several languages and will pose as a German. You will travel via the Hook of Holland and West Germany by car and then onto Berlin. When you get to Berlin you will cross over into the Eastern Bloc as tourists and have lunch where you are going to change wives. Your new one will be the wife of a defecting Russian KGB General. Part of the deal we made with him was to rescue her.’ ‘And how do I do that exactly?’ 44 | UncagedBooks.com

‘It’s all arranged right down to the car. You will be armed but they will be secreted around the car. Have you any preference in hand guns?’ ‘Yes. Heckler & Koch VP70’s. The double magazine is right for this trip.’ ‘Okay. At the swap when you go for lunch Anna will go to the toilet and your new wife will join you in her place. Nothing to it. We’ve done it before. After the changeover you will return via Checkpoint Charlie.’ ‘If you don’t mind me asking. What type of car is it?’ ‘Nothing ostentatious. It’s a Ford Cortina with a souped up 2.3 litre engine.’ ‘It’ll do. When do I leave?’ Warren returned to his desk and pulled out a package from the top drawer plus a hard-back book and slid them over the desk. ‘Here are extra false Passports, visas and maps in case you have to resort to a Plan ‘B.’ Anna has hers. We have used your real name and you’re a gardener on a busman’s holiday so any chance you get to visit a garden centre or look at wildlife, do it. Take pictures but use only the Kodak cartridges. The Ilford’s contain spare ammunition. For now you will move into one of our safe houses in Essex. Make as if you live there and next Saturday you go on your travels. You’re booked on the Harwich—Hook of Holland overnight ferry.’ ‘I’ve done the Berlin corridor a few times, Brian, but how does Anna get home?’ ‘A need to know basis, Hunter, but she’s done it before.’ ‘Err… What’s she like this, Anna?’ ‘Your car’s downstairs. Here’s the keys. She’s waiting for you at the house. Good luck.’ — Hunter weaved through the capital’s traffic before taking the car for a blast around the M25 motorway. Satisfied he turned off and drove to the safe house on the edge of Grays in Essex full of trepidation about his future ‘wife.’


| JB. WOODS | He pulled onto the short drive of a 1930’s three-bedroomed semi with an agreeable amount of off-road parking. It was ideally situated on a busy suburban road which would make it difficult for observers to stop without being noticed. With a quick glance up and down he went to ring the front doorbell but before he could do so the door opened and he was greeted by a vivacious woman of medium height with long blonde hair tied back in a pony tail. That she liked close fitting brightly coloured clothes pleased Hunter and with a cheerful smile she played the lonely housewife with zest. She flung her arms around his neck and kissed him long and hard in full view of anyone who cared to watch. As the first tingle of sexual tension passed between them, and gasping for air when she released him, he stammered. ‘I…I… I take it you’re, Anna?’ Loud enough for everyone to hear she replied. ‘Why yes, darling, I have the kettle on,’ and then quietly, ‘they told me you should have been here two hours ago.’ She turned and he admired the symmetry of her figure as he followed her into the hall and closed the door behind him. ‘Err… I’m sorry I’m late. I took our car for a spin.’ ‘That’s okay.’ She pushed out a hand. ‘But now you’re here let me introduce myself. I’m Anna Kasynski now Mrs Hunter. For a short while anyway. I apologise for the greeting but I was told to act out the wife bit for all to see.’ ‘If you don’t mind me asking, how long have you been here?’ ‘Take your coat off, come into the lounge and have a coffee or would you prefer a beer?’ ‘Beer would be fine.’ Five minutes later settled in an armchair he put the question to her again. ‘How long have you lived here, Anna?’ ‘A little over a month and I was told to advertise that my husband was working away doing research for a new gardening business.’

‘Aah… That explains the greeting.’ ‘Yes, I’m sorry about that.’ ‘Don’t be. I’ll be looking forward to it in future.’ Anna smiled and blushed. ‘It was nice for me too.’ He took a long swallow from his glass. ‘Anna, we’re going out tonight. Have you found any good places around here.’ ‘The neighbours told me if we go across the A13 to a village called Stifford there’s a Pub cum Restaurant called the Dog and Partridge.’ ‘That’ll do, and as you and me are technically on honeymoon, I’m having another beer.’ — They dined well that evening and retired to the lounge to finish their bottle of wine and acted the reunited couple with gusto. Hunter thought he could take to this undercover liaison work. ‘An attractive woman and a nice expense budget, what else can a man want?’ he said to himself while Anna took time out to powder her nose. Ever the perfect gentleman, he drove home in full knowledge that it could be the early end of a new career if he was stopped. At home he cracked open another can of beer, stretched out on the settee, and then broached the question of their relationship. ‘Anna! How far do we take this marriage business. I mean, what are the sleeping arrangements?’ She looked coyly at him and smiled. ‘I’m in the front bedroom in the marriage bed you’re at the back. However, when we travel we will be in twinbedded rooms.’ He feigned disappointment. ‘I was afraid of that. I’m ready for bed, good night.’ She kissed him on the cheek and again he felt the tingle at her touch. ‘Good night, Hunter, and thank you for the lovely evening.’ ‘My pleasure,’ he said. He scooped up the guidebook and went upstairs quietly whistling to himself. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| SHORT STORY | She followed him and he could hear her moving around in the bathroom. He didn’t read for long and he lay dozing for awhile with the vision of her long hair and the smell of her perfume. The very thought of her stirred him and he went to sleep with a smile on his face. — They took every chance to be the faithful husband and wife for the benefit of the neighbours and spread the rumour that they had just moved down there and were looking to set up a Garden Nursery. To contact his business partner Gary to check on the day to day running of his Garden business in Cheshire he used the call-box on the corner by the Library. Routine stuff was done from the house. His relationship with Anna grew stronger and on the third day of their venture as man and wife things changed. She was on a step-ladder cleaning the inside of the windows in the lounge and he went to help her down. He held her hand but as she smiled a ‘thank you’ she missed a step. Hunter grabbed for her, fumbled, and clasped her around the waist. Her touch pinioned him like a bolt of lightning and he held her close as she slid provocatively down the front of him. When her toes reached the ground their lips were almost touching. He felt her hips push into him and like two opposing magnets they were drawn together in a passionate kiss. She looked into his eyes and said, ‘Hunter, put me down. We shouldn’t be doing this.’ He lowered her to the floor but didn’t let go, instead he leaned forward and kissed her again. She squirmed, and bonded by lust they walked unsteadily to the sofa and were lost in the oblivion of passion. — Relaxing over a cup of tea, flushed by the their energetic interlude she leaned against him and whispered, ‘George Hunter, you’d better come into the marriage bed tonight.’ He squeezed her hand. ‘Do you think so?’ ‘Yes, but this complicates things. How do I leave you with another woman?’ ‘And I’m going to worry like shit about you getting 46 | UncagedBooks.com

back. It shouldn’t be like this.’ ‘It’s okay. They have a system which I’ve used before. My passport has crossed that border so many times they think I work there. I know it’s early days, Hunter, but make sure you get back.’ ‘I’m new to this job, Anna, but I’m sure we’re not supposed to do this.’ ‘This is the first time for me. None of my previous escorts had this effect.’ ‘I’m relieved to hear that. I thought maybe it was part of the act.’ She reacted sharply. ‘Hunter! I’m not one of your Eastern European passport diggers. If you think that you’d better sleep on your own.’ She slammed the door behind her and left George bewildered. ‘What did I say,’ he muttered at the same time shaking his head. — The following morning the atmosphere was frosty and he thought carefully about every word. On his way for a newspaper he stopped at the local flower shop and by lunchtime had resurrected their relationship. While fostering their rapport with the neighbours they took every opportunity to spread the word about their forthcoming business trip and after tea on the Saturday they set off for Harwich.

Watch for Chapter 2 next month


Best Seller Lists Week ending June 25, 2017

New York Times Best Selling Fiction Hard Cover

IndieReaders.com Best Selling Hard Cover

CAMINO ISLAND By John Grisham INTO THE WATER by Paula Hawkins COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts DRAGON TEETH by Michael Crichton LOVE STORY by Karen Kingsbury NO MIDDLE NAME by Lee Child THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS by Arundhati Roy 8. NIGHTHAWK by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown 9. THE FIX by David Baldacci 10. INDECENT EXPOSURE by Stuart Wood

1. Issued To The Bride: One Sniper by Cora Seton 2. Beauty: Learning To Live by Jordan Marie 3. Hook, Line And Blinker by Jana DeLeon 4. Dark Desires by Various 5. Hot Cop by Laurelin Paige + Sierra Simone 6. The Wonder Cats Mysteries 3-Book Box Set by Harper Lin 7. His Lordship’s True Lady by Grace Burrowes 8. Letters To Die For by Richard Houston 9. The Coxwell Series Boxed Set by Deborah Cooke as Claire Cross 10. Split Second by Douglas E. Richards

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Amazon Best Selling Fiction Kindle eBooks 1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 2. Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan 3. In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen 4. Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner 5. Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale 6. A Criminal Defense by William L. Myers Jr. 7. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling 8. The Night Bird by Brian Freeman 9. Beach Lawyer by Avery Duff 10. Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil

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Barnes & Noble Best Selling Fiction 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue Camino Island by John Grisham Murder Games by James Patterson The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 6. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 7. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins 8. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 9. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda 10. Use of Force by Brad Thor


feature authors suspense

Beth

Carter

contemporary

Kathleen Rowland

scifi

James

McCormick


feature author Award-winning novelist Beth Carter pens novels and children’s picture books. Her latest release is SLEEPING WITH ELVIS, a contemporary romance, with elements of suspense and humor. Her debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, won the 2015 RONE award for best “Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit Novel,” as well as “Best Debut Author” by BTS Books. Her novelette, SANTA BABY, appears in the 2015 Christmas anthology, SIZZLE IN THE SNOW, alongside eight romance authors’ stories. Carter’s four picture books include: SOUR POWER, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?, SANTA’S SECRET, and THE MISSING KEY. Additionally, the author’s short stories and poems are published in four anthologies and four six-word memoir collections alongside famous authors and celebrities. A former bank vice president, Carter worked in marketing for 20 years in healthcare and banking. The author happily divides her time between her home state of Missouri and her adopted state of sunny Florida.

Stay Connected

bethcarter.com 50 | UncagedBooks.com

Uncaged welcomes Beth Carter! Uncaged: I read on your site, that there will be a follow-up to the wonderful, Thursdays at Coconuts. Do you have an estimated release date? Thank you!!! My readers have waited patiently for the sequel, and once I got started, I’ve decided this will be a four-book series! Yippee. I’m not a plotter whatsoever (being a pantser makes it tough when writing a series!) but I at least managed to come up with bullet points for three more books in the series. I love my girls, Alex, Suzy, and Hope! Several readers have told me Alex is me and I’m Alex. Lol. And… that’s about right. Book 2 will likely be entitled COWBOYS AT COCONUTS and will be released later this fall (fingers crossed.) I’m still doing massive rewrites and edits and plan to get it to my editor by July 1. All four of the books in the series will have “Coconuts” in the title so they’ll be easy for readers to identify. Uncaged: Do you read your reviews on your books? Do they influence your story at all? I always read my reviews. The really good ones are all I need to spur me on for days. Readers’ comments provide much-needed motivation during my solitary writing life. When I get an occasional sucky review (thankfully, it’s rare), I used to get paralyzed and sad. Now, I realize it’s part of the business. Not everyone will like the same book, and even mega-authors get crummy reviews. I’m grateful I’ve had many reviews


for both of my novels (over 200 on one!) and really appreciate readers who take the time to write one. I consider all of their comments but they don’t influence the storyline. Uncaged: Besides contemporary romance, you also write children’s picture books. How did that get started? That’s a sad story. I was in the middle of editing a tragic scene and we had a horrific family tragedy. Unspeakable. The stuff you see on Dateline. I couldn’t bear to edit my own sad words and ensuing grief, even though I knew I wrote it and it was a work of fiction. Rather than go to therapy, I found joy in writing children’s books. I loved books as a kid (still do, of course) and enjoyed reading to my daughter and now our grandkids. Visiting elementary schools and reading to kids wraps a smile around my head. Their enthusiasm is unbelievable. Kidlit gave me what I needed during that difficult period and continues to enrich me. I’ll always write children’s picture books in addition to novels. I’ve written four picture books to date. My newest release is SOUR POWER and my most popular is WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? Uncaged: Do you have a street team, or review team to get your books started when they first release? I sorely need a street team and will form one this summer! I’ve thought about forming one for over a year and have several fun ideas for members. Readers can

join my unofficial street team via my website at www.bethcarter.com You’ll see a special tab for this group and may contact me via email from my site. I’ll get my street team going once I finish my edits! I do have a few trusted beta readers who read my novels before they go to my editor. I’m with Soul Mate Publishing so my novels go through several professional edits. Uncaged: What are your favorite genres to read right now? Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you like to read books that are part of series? Even though I don’t write thrillers, that’s my favorite genre to read. I love them and have learned more about pacing from thriller authors than during any college writing class. I especially enjoy novels by Harlan Coben and James Patterson. For romance, I love Catherine Bybee’s books, and for chick lit and humor, you can’t beat Sophie Kinsella and Jen Lancaster. I also enjoy books on the craft of writing, memoirs, and motivational books. I always infuse humor, suspense, and romance in my novels, and I think it’s because I read multiple genres. I’m definitely a genre straddler. Many readers tell me they can’t put my books down. I wrote a note to James Patterson and thanked him for that! Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| FEATURE AUTHOR | writing? I love to plant flowers, work out, read, shop, travel, and decorate. I adore the Food Network and watching Chopped or Cooks vs. Cons. Those shows always get me in the mood to cook. Also, my husband and I both love boating. We spend part of the year in Florida and boat to several islands, which always inspire my work. That’s why SLEEPING WITH ELVIS is set on fictional Key Lime Island. I wrote it while in Florida. Boating is great for my research, and I’ve finally become a decent First Mate! Uncaged: Have you been to any book signings or conventions? Have you done an online release party or plan to in the near future? I’ve had a ton of book signings, probably 30-35, since I was first published in 2010. You never know if anyone will stop by your table which is nerve wracking. I’ve sold only two books at some signings and 47 books at another! When a line formed and snaked outside, I called my husband in a happy panic to bring more books. As far as conferences, I attend at least three every year. This year, I’ll be at RWA for the first time in Orlando, Penned Con in St. Louis, and either InD’Scribe in Burbank or Ozarks Indie Fest in Missouri. I also attend write-ins in Missouri and Florida whenever I can. It’s great to bond with other authors. Online release parties are loads of fun. I’ve had three or four and have attended several others. I love connecting with readers and giving away books and swag! Someday, I’m going to have an in-person launch party, too. Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? Fans are the BEST! Their encouragement and support mean the world to me. Writing is a solitary endeavor and I’m a sociable person, so I crave feedback from readers. I’ve received fan letters from kids and emails from adults. One little girl, Grace, called me “The Princess of Writing.” It doesn’t get any better than that! Readers and authors can connect with me here. I’d love to hear from you! 52 | UncagedBooks.com

Enjoy an excerpt from Sleeping with Elvis Sleeping with Elvis Beth Carter Contemporary Romance Pepper Langley, an unemployed preschool teacher with a fear of boating and flying, hopes a vacation to remote Key Lime Island will bolster her confidence and salvage her relationship with her rogue boyfriend. From tiny Nowhere, Arkansas, Pepper scrimped all year to afford the lavish trip. Just once, she wants to see how the other half lives but a deadly, tropical storm changes everything. Gorgeous Elvis impersonator Ty Townsend flees to Key Lime Island between acts in Vegas and Branson. During this hiatus, he reevaluates his profession after twice forgetting the King’s lyrics. He craves the charming isle’s solitude—far away from social media haters—where he shares beach life with a cursing parrot. The last thing on his mind is a woman, especially one who isn’t supposed to be there. Will their secrets tear them apart or will they find happiness on the sand and stage? Excerpt Pepper knew she should head back. She didn’t want to miss the boat and her non-stop stomach growling reminded her she was starving. But facing Derek was the last thing she wanted to do. She didn’t have any idea what time it was since her phone croaked and her watch was AWOL. Kids played nearby. Several jumped over the foamy waves at the water’s edge while a mother ran after a tearful toddler. A man’s smooth voice cut through the sounds. “Hi.”


| BETH CARTER | Pepper jumped and turned around. The dark-haired stranger from the key lime pieeating contest peered into her eyes. “I noticed you watching the contest earlier. You looked sad or bewildered. Are you okay?” “Um. Yeah. I think so.” Her voice cracked. “No, actually, I’m not.” She stared into the man’s haunting blue eyes. His intense, chiseled gaze melted her more than the hot sun. She looked down at the sand and absentmindedly drew a line. “It’s a long, boring story.”

trustworthy, but how many pie-eating criminals are out there? Must be hundreds.” He laughed and extended his hand. “I’m Ty.” “Pepper.”

Sleeping with Elvis was reviewed in November, 2016 by Uncaged. Be sure to check out the Uncaged Review for Thursdays at Coconuts in the review section this month.

The striking man smiled. “I love long, boring stories. Care for some company?” “Only if you’ll point me in the direction of food and a stiff drink.” He laughed. “There’s nothing much on this end of the island, but if you’re starving, my condo is right over there.” He nodded with his head and smiled a crooked smile. “I make a mean peanut butter and banana sandwich.” Pepper’s eyebrows shot up. “Thanks anyway, but I don’t think that’s a good idea.” “Right. Of course. I’m a stranger. I get it.” Pepper studied him. He was a dead ringer for someone, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Actually, she had never seen anyone this gorgeous—except in the movies. Maybe not even then. “Don’t get me wrong. You seem nice, but don’t they all?” “You mean the Ted Bundy and Charles Manson types? I promise I don’t bite, hatchet, or kidnap, but I understand where you’re coming from.” Pepper laughed. “Good to know. I mean you look Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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CatchUp with

Collette Cameron

Collette Cameron was a Feature Author in December 2016 and this month she’s back with her newest release, The Wallflower’s Wicked Wager. See the Uncaged review in the review section. Uncaged: You were a Featured Author in the December 2016 issue of Uncaged Book Reviews. How was your experience being in the magazine? In a word? Amazing! The write up was so professional, and I love how my Highland Heather Romancing a Scot’s books were all featured along with sparkly reviews! Uncaged: Your newest release is The Wallflower’s Wicked Wager, and every time I read one of your books, I feel like it’s the best I’ve read from you, you up the game every single time for me, and it was true with this one also. What’s coming up next for you? I’m so happy to hear you say that, because my goal is to become a better writer with each book! I’ve just finished Seductive Surrender, the 6th book in my Highland Heather Romancing a Scot series, and I’m set to launch two new series, Heart of a Scot (think sexy, rakish guys in kilts) and Seductive Scoundrels (rakehells with titles). Uncaged: You write and release through Soul Mate Publishing, and through Blue Rose Romance Publishing, is Blue Rose your own company? How do you decide which series goes to which company? I started my publishing journey with Soul Mate 54 | UncagedBooks.com

Publishing and my Castle Brides Series. Soul Mate is also the publisher for the spin-off series, Highland Heather Romancing a Scot series. I decided to start self-publishing books between Soul Mate releases under Blue Rose Romance, my company. I’ve finished my last contracted book with Soul Mate and will continue to self-publish while I explore some other opportunities that have opened up to me. Uncaged: I know you’ve attended a lot of fun events, any coming up in 2017 that you can tell us about? I have two more event in 2017 I’m really excited about! In September, I’ll be attending the Historical Romance Retreat in Spokane, Washington as a featured author. I’ve had 3 new historical gowns created for this extraordinary event. It’s an absolute blast! Then in October, I’m headed to Burbank, CA for the InD’scribe Con. This will be my second year attending. I had so much fun last year meeting other authors that I had to attend again this year. Bestselling, award-winning author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them. Mother to three, Collette admits to a quirky sense of humor, enjoys inspiring quotes, and anything cobalt blue. A self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic, she lives in Oregon with her miniature dachshunds.

collettecameron.com


Enjoy an excerpt from The Wallflower’s Wicked Wager The Wallflower’s Wicked Wager Collette Cameron Historical Romance/Regency He loved her beyond anything and everything—precisely why he couldn’t ever marry her. A wounded hero. Love—sentimental drivel for insipid, weak, feckless fools. Since an explosion ravaged Captain Morgan Le Draco’s face and cost him his commission in the Royal Dragoons, he’s fortified himself behind an impenetrable rampart of cynicism and distrust. Now destitute and shunned by the very society that once lauded his heroics, he’s put aside all thoughts of marrying and having a family. Until he risks his life to save a drowning woman. At once, Morgan knows Shona’s the balm for his tortured soul, but as a wealthy, titled noblewoman, she’s too far above his humble station and can never be his. An intrepid wallflower. Love—a treasured gift reserved for those beautiful of form and face. Scorned and ridiculed most of her adult life, Shona, Lady Atterberry believes she’s utterly undesirable and is reconciled to spinsterhood. She hides her spirited temperament beneath a veneer of gauche shyness, until a strapping, scarred stranger saves her life, and she can’t deny her immediate, powerful, and sensual attraction to him. Despite how ill-suited they are and innuendos that Captain Le Draco is a fortune-hunter, she cannot escape her growing fascination. Two damaged souls searching for love. Others are determined to keep them apart, and Shona is goaded into placing a wicked wager. One that sets her upon a ruinous path and alienates the

| COLLETTE CAMERON | only man who might have ever loved her. Is true love enough to put their pasts behind them, to learn to trust, and heal their wounded hearts? Caution: This book contains one devilish, seemingly irredeemable rogue, an on-the-shelf wallflower who dabbles in wicked wagers, an unexpected and most enticing swim in a lake, a villainess you’ll want to shove into said lake, and a cast of captivating secondary characters with their own tantalizing romantic tales. For a heartwarming, inspiring story about the power of love, purchase your copy today of THE WALLFLOWER’S WICKED WAGER, the fifth installment in Collette Cameron’s romantic historical Regencies A Waltz with a Rogue Novella series. Excerpt In that instant, through some sort of preternatural instinct, Morgan knew she’d suffered too. Here she was, her pulse raging at the base of her delicate throat, in very real danger of drowning, and instead of turning away in disgust or revulsion, she’d shown him compassion. Where the hell would she go, man? It’s not like she has any choice at present. “Don’t be alarmed, but in order to help you ashore, I must put my arm around your middle.” Teeth chattering, a bluish tint around the edges of her lips, she gave a shaky nod. From behind, Morgan encircled her torso, and she stifled a gasp. The plump pillows of her bosoms lay heavily on his forearm. He couldn’t help but admire their fullness. Another time, he might have more completely appreciated the tantalizing display. “Lay your head against my shoulder,” he gently ordered. Crimping her mouth into a prim line, she nodded again then dutifully rested her soggy head on his shoulder. Her quaking vibrated his chest. Fear as much as cold, he’d be bound. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| CATCH UP | For reasons he couldn’t begin to gauge, reassuring her was vital. He spoke softly into her ear. “It’s all right. I have you now. I promise, you’ll be in your chamber enjoying a hot bath within the half hour.” A shuddery sigh escaped through her parted lips, and she relaxed against him. Probably oughtn’t to have mentioned a bath, for now he couldn’t tear his focus from her breasts and stop envisaging bathwater, liberally dosed with scented oil, lapping the rounded mounds. Teasing the rosy tips into hard nubs. He drew in a long breath, as much from physical exertion as to enjoy her heady scent. She smelled sweet and delicate. Orange blossoms, but also something musky and a mite earthier. “Should I kick? I think I can if I pull my gown up.” Her voice was low and languid around the edges, as if she struggled to speak. Did he detect the faintest trace of a Scottish brogue? “If you’re able to, yes. That would help.” Enormously. This was no skinny miss, all sharp angles and bony contours. Her shapely form deserved further consideration and admiration. But on dry land, when such pleasant contemplation didn’t put them at risk of ending up on the lake bottom. And with his waterlogged boots, getting them to shore was proving a considerable task. “I’ve certainly given the guests something to prattle about,” she quipped, raising her gaze, warm and sweet as dark honey, to study him above her forehead. In a bungling, unpolished sort of way, her attempt at levity was heartwarming. “Indeed.” He winked, and her pansy eyes rounded, delicate color flaring across her cheekbones.

See the Uncaged review in the review section. 56 | UncagedBooks.com


showcase

Bill Greenwood Montrose County Montrose County

Bill Greenwood War/Military/Suspense For Sabrina Murdoch, volunteering for national guard duty was a point of civic duty. However, her tour in Iraq left her tattered but still standing. Unfortunately, events she couldn’t control when she returned home left her battered and adrift. Leaving her small town Massachusetts roots in the rear view mirror, she eventually takes on the duties of a deputy sheriff in the splendid isolation of western Colorado. There in the high country, surrounded by mesas and sage brush, Sabrina finds home, friendship, and the spark of a new love as she wrestles with the demons of a tragic morning back in Iraq. As a Presidential visit to the region draws close, a series of small events conspire to undermine some of Sabrina’s hard-won confidence and erode her spirit. At the same time, a NATO sniper team thousands of miles away in Iraq has stumbled upon the makings of a terrorist plot right in Murdoch’s back yard. A firefight leaves them stranded, with no way of communicating details of their find to their chain of command. For them, it becomes a mile-by-mile struggle to return to their base and send out the warning. As Mike Buffalo and Brad Hall battle their way across the hills of Iraq, a war that left indelible scars on the mind and in the heart of Sabrina Murdoch is on a collision course with her new life and her new home. She left the war behind 58 | UncagedBooks.com

years ago, but now it has followed her to Montrose County, Colorado.

Excerpt Colorado. Winter She hears the wind rustling the winter-bared branches of the trees along the north side of the house. Before she sits up she looks over at the clock on the night stand. A trio of disembodied red digits floating in the darkness flickers and then changes from 2:27 to 2:28. She swings her feet out from under the warmth of the blankets. The cold floor is somehow comforting but she wraps herself in her housecoat as she pads out into the living room. Her heart is still racing as she stands silently in the darkness of the small living room that faces the street. It always takes a few minutes for her pulse and her breathing to get back to normal after the dream. That dream. She doesn’t know why, but she always stands away from the square of light that the streetlight at the corner draws on the north side of the room by the TV. No one will walk or drive past the little house on the little street of the little town at this time of night and see her standing there. The darkness just always seems a little safer; more comforting. A gust of wind rattles the tree branches and a swirl of fresh snow dances along the street. It’s only a light dusting she notes, not the dump that had been expected. The high country to the east will be getting buried, though. Her heart finally settles, but only after she’s plunked her butt on the cold toilet seat to empty her not very


full bladder. She pauses in front of the bathroom mirror and regards her own dark reflection, and the small photo of a handsome, smiling man with closecropped dark hair. You have to get your shit together Sabrina, the reflection in the mirror scolds silently. “I know.” she says, aloud, in reply. She’s reluctant to return to bed, however. It’s not the dream she’s afraid of now. Well, not that dream. That dream won’t come back. Not tonight anyways. She has no doubt that it will return some other night and it will always be the same. There will be gunfire, and blood, and death. There will be that sound; the sound she cannot erase from her memory, the signature sound of a high velocity bullet driving the life from a human body. It’s a sound that gets in your head and stays there forever. But it’s not the worst sound from that dream. The worst sound is the sound of her mother’s voice counting each death, and the mounting concern conveyed in that voice as the number climbs. She’s never told her mother how many people she killed, but in the dream, her mother counts them off, the despair in her voice growing with each one. She rarely makes it all the way through the fight before she jolts awake. There is always a point where the heartbreak in her mother’s voice overwhelms her and shatters her sleep. Every single time. But she’s not quite as afraid of this nightmare as she has been in the past, even though she knows that it will drive her from her slumber in the darkest hours of the night with her pulse racing in fear when it comes. She accepts it as a part of her now, no different than her curled mass of auburn hair and her green eyes and her freckles. She doesn’t like it, though. She just accepts it. Unfortunately, there’s another sound that has been creeping into her sleep. This sound just makes itself known in the background of her dreams. It’s not a nice sound, and no imagery accompanies it. It’s just that, every once in a while, she can hear the ragged

and raspy breathing of a mortally injured mule deer as it lies dying at the side of a dark and empty highway. The sound intrudes just far enough into her dreams to embed itself in her consciousness, and it has become unsettling. She last looks at the clock some time past 3:15. The sound of the doe does not come, however. Not this night, anyway.

About the Author Bill Greenwood is an equipment salesman who lives in Alberta with his wife Jane. Early in life, he wrote a number of award winning short stories. For a decade, he wrote a popular weekly column for the local daily newspaper before deciding to focus his writing skills on novels. His favorite authors run the gamut from Stephen Ambrose to Stehen King to Frederick Forsythe to Lee Child. His first novel, “Afghanistan”, is also available on Amazon. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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feature author Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, highstakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Writing a romantic suspense Irish American series for Tirgearr Publishing, Deadly Alliance is followed by Unholy Alliance. Keep an icy drink handy while reading these hot stories. Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California. Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write.

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Uncaged welcomes Kathleen Rowland! Uncaged: In the Donahue Cousins series, I read book two, Unholy Alliance – and it did well as a standalone. How many books are you planning for this series? Two more books are planned for the series. Bittersweet Alliance Is my work-in-progress, and will be followed by Reckless Alliance. Uncaged: Do you read your reviews on your books? Do they influence your story at all? Yes, I do read reviews. Many authors don’t, but I’m interested in what reviewers have to say. I always thank them for the time they took to read and review my book. Sometimes a criticism is actually a compliment, such as, “I wish this book were longer,” but books in the series has a word count of 40,000 to 50,000 words. Uncaged: What is coming up next for readers?

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Bittersweet Alliance takes place in Hawaii. A serial killer adds an acquaintance of Jolene Kualoha to the list of victims. The FBI calls in vigilante detective, Donahue, to consult. (Jolene flew a helicopter for the FBI and dated Danker Donahue in Unholy Alliance.)


Six years have passed since she survived their break-up and scars run deep. Jolene returned to her hometown on Kona in an attempt to begin to put her life back together and care for her sick mother. But home doesn’t provide the comfort she expected.

My mother told me that one of my first words was outdoors. I swim laps outdoors, of course, walk the dogs, garden, and cook. My favorite type of cooking is barbequing, and a specialty is lemon-veggie foil packs.

Uncaged: Do you have a street team, or review team to get your books started when they first release?

Uncaged: Have you been to any book signings or conventions? Have you done an online release party or plan to in the near future?

No, I don’t have a street team. I email reviewers to ask if they’re interested. I get reviewed on Goodreads for a new release. Uncaged: What are your favorite genres to read right now? Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you like to read books that are part of series? I enjoy reading romantic suspense and do enjoy books that are part of a series. I read every book in Barbara Parker’s Suspicion series, Kristen Ashley’s Chaos series, and Susan Sey’s humorous Blake Brothers novels. Other than romantic suspense, I gravitate toward mystery. Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I attend Romance Writers of America conventions and some smaller writers’ conventions. Now and then I read and sign books at The Ripped Bodice in Los Angeles, smaller book stores in Southern California, and at my community center in Irvine, California. My release parties consist of online book tours. Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? First, thank you for reading my books. My twitter handle is RowlandKathleen, and if anyone follows me, I follow them back. I put out a quarterly newsletter with insights behind my writing and special deals on books. My most recent topic was bringing villains alive, giving them motivations for the evil they do. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| FEATURE AUTHOR |

Enjoy an excerpt from Unholy Alliance Unholy Alliance Kathleen Rowland Romantic Suspense

A decade ago, Tori Rourke, and her cousin, Vivienne, ran from the Irish mob after witnessing a brutal murder. Tori was framed by the mob, and while she served time in prison, she worried that the killer, Seamus McGinn, had kidnapped her missing cousin. Attorney Grady D. Fletcher, defender of the wrongly condemned, appeals Tori’s case and wins her release. Now, going by Victoria Morningstar, she runs a food truck from a seedy waterfront neighborhood, hoping to find her cousin’s kidnapper. When Grady agrees to defend a new client, Samuel Peterson, who’s been accused of beating to death the wife of a noted professor, the evidence mounts. The professor is missing, as well as his laptop that contains data dangerous to national security. And Seamus McGinn is back, and rumors of a massive annihilation is about to begin. As they race to assist the FBI, the bonds between Grady and Tori are about to be tested. It becomes clear Grady and Tori are falling fast for each other, but what to do about it is a different story. He’s a divorced dad who wants more time with his kid. She brings danger to his front door. Grady has questions of his own; Is Vivienne at the center of the mob’s operation? How much will it cost Tori before she learns the truth? All 62 | UncagedBooks.com

Grady knows is the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you. Excerpt “Don’t let the anxiety of freedom consume you.” Attorney Grady Donahue Fletcher clenched his teeth and rehearsed what he’d say to his client, Victoria Morningstar. He’d won her appeal and drove to pick her up at Gladstone Penitentiary. “At least you won’t be placed in solitary.” That was worse. Six months earlier Grady had phoned a reporter at the Los Angeles Globe. “Drew Barker. Grady Fletcher here.” “Ah, the lawyer. Calling about a tip?” “I am. Here’s something you can investigate. Tori Morningstar, did she murder Irene Brennan?” “I wrote that story many years back,” the journalist had said. “I assume you have new discoveries.” “Fraud, illegal testimony. Do you want the story first?” A second passed. “Otherwise, I’ll call the Orange County Guardian.” “Okay, okay. We want it.” Three days later Grady had a hand in writing the first article in Drew Barker’s column. “The public labeled Tori Morningstar as an undesirable. Not black and poor, but disfavored, accused, incarcerated, and wrongly condemned. Her cellphone has been recovered. Her call to 911 identified her voice and substantiated screams of the victim in the background. Could she have beaten someone while speaking to dispatch at the same time?” The reporter had written the second article. “People who get their ideas about criminal lawyers from TV probably would be disappointed in Grady Fletcher. He lacks flash but stands up straight, his posture neither ramrod nor slouched. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t


| KATHLEEN ROWLAND | wear thousand dollar suits. His voice is soft and low, one of his assets. He speaks truth with a voice inviting confidences.” As nice as that was, Grady’s stomach cramped over pressure and strain from Drew Barker’s final article with the headline, Tori Morningstar, Released Today. Picked up by the online service, Newser, KTLA, and CBS Los Angeles, they planned to broadcast his arrival to escort his client from Gladstone. Tori’s decade-long prison sentence ended today but with a sobering fear over tomorrow. When was a July morning this hot? Grady balanced her release papers on his lap as he rolled up one sleeve then the other while gripping the damp steering wheel. Sweat blossomed on his throbbing forehead, wrapped like a python’s grip. He adjusted the dial for the AC and embraced the challenge of helping another client get back on track. Embrace and conquer. Or at least sound like it.

Uncaged Review A shorter read that really packs a lot into the pages. This suspense is a multi-faceted with more going on than a straight crime story. The book never slowed down, and I enjoyed the twists the author took us on. I prefer a bit more of a descriptive book, at times the book felt a bit choppy with time gaps and made me think I missed something. There were a couple things going on that I thought weren’t all that believable, and the romance was steamy and seemed to be a bit too fast, but the main characters were easy to like and even though there were quite a few characters to keep track of, it wasn’t all that confusing. I really liked the author adding in the menu of Tori’s food truck in the back of the book, even though I can’t imagine why anyone would turn a whole menu into deep-fried. Don’t knock it until you try it?

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showcase John Adrian Tomlin

The Imaginarium The Imaginarium John Adrian Tomlin SciFi

It’s 2030 and video games have hit that barrier where graphics and innovation is at its peak. At E3, Sony reveals their next gen gaming console, the Imaginarium Machine. Instead of playing on a TV, you play in your mind. In doing this, you break all boundaries in regards to your senses. You can now feel the wind, smell the flowers, taste the bread... the possibilities are endless. With a Magnificent piece of hardware given to the world, what could possibly go wrong?

US Review of Books “Mages throw fireballs at hay-stuffed men, summon creatures out of nowhere, make ice out of thin air, heal wounds by making their hands glow, and create miniwind storms.” By the year 2030, the hosts of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, believe they have seen almost everything the industry has to offer. After all, with Xbox World having practically perfected virtual reality, what new frontiers in gaming could possibly be left? But when the head of Sony Computer Entertainment International demonstrates a new device that goes beyond sight and sound by allowing gamers to actually feel, taste, and smell the objects in the game they are 64 | UncagedBooks.com

playing, jaws begin to drop all around. Understandably, the demand for such an innovative gaming system is overwhelming, and by the time the release date for the Imaginarium arrives a year later, avid gamers like Ben and his kid brother Jake are more than willing to stand in line for hours to get one. The Imaginarium quickly proves its promise is not all hype. Millions of people don their helmets, close their eyes, and enter worlds that their senses scream are real. Once inside the many amazing realms of fantasy, it can be hard to leave, but the makers of the system have even included occasional reminders to open your eyes, take a break, and stretch your legs for a bit. For Ben and Jake, there is even another, unexpected benefit. Their father, Mike, has been in a coma since his accident, but his sons discover that with an Imaginarium helmet on his head he is able to interact with them in a virtual world. Such a marvelous device seems too good to be true. Unfortunately, it is. Using every hardcore gamer’s dream as a lure, the author reels in his readers with wish fulfillment for several chapters before suddenly switching gears when the true purpose of the Imaginarium is revealed. Using a scheming megalomaniac worthy of inclusion in an Ian Fleming tale, Tomlin quickly shifts his book from a calm, what-if narrative into a suspense-filled thriller. A newly-conscious Mike, who before the accident had been a cop, is now thrust into the role of the book’s protagonist. Along with a tough, female FBI agent named Becks, he soon is racing against a looming deadline to free the millions of gamers who are now trapped in a mental prison. Then, just when it appears that the good guys have somehow managed to pull off a victory and the villain’s victims are freed from his clutches, Tomlin twists the plot again to reveal an even more sinister scenario.


bookventure.com Tomlin’s fast-paced story makes for a light and quick read. His shadowy antagonist, later unveiled as a minor character introduced earlier in the book, is delightfully loathsome and vaguely reminiscent of some of the nastier figures in the DC Comics universe such as Dr. Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow). In addition, Mike and Becks make a good team, and while there is no hint of a romance brewing between them at the moment, the possibility definitely seems to be there for the future as the author in his epilogue gives himself plenty of material from which to build a sequel. Filled with danger, intriguing technology and an occasional plot shift just to keep things interesting, Tomlin’s tale should appeal especially to those in the gaming community.

About the Author I was born with merosin deficient muscular dystrophy which makes me wheelchair bound and weak for life. I was first introduced to video games when I was five and I was immediately hooked. I love its ability to be fun, to tell a story, and to be able to express ideas that no other art form can. I decided to devote my college years to learning about video games, so I got my B.S. in Game Art and Design. After I graduated, I still couldn’t get my dream job, so I decided to write books.

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feature author I’m a college lecturer from England and a fan of all types of speculative fiction, most notably science fiction, horror & sword and sorcery fantasy. Where possible I try to blend these elements together in my own writing. H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs were my first writing inspirations and more recently Frank Herbert and Clive Barker whose works I never grow tired of re-reading. I live in the rainy city of Manchester with my wife and two young daughters, the elder of which is something of a budding writer herself.

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Class Act Books Author Page

Uncaged welcomes James McCormick! Uncaged: The shorter read, Sunfall was an actionpacked SciFi with a few horror elements. Something that intrigues me about SciFi writers, is where do you come up with the futuristic elements for the stories and keep them believable? I can’t really claim to write a great deal of grounded, “hard” science fiction, most of my work to date has been quite action oriented, pulp flavored SciFi. One thing I can say however is that when you’re writing any type of speculative fiction, it’s very important to have limits and parameters to your story. The reader must have a sense of scale and of what is and what isn’t possible in the fictional world or universe they are reading about, otherwise the story loses any sense of internal coherence or credibility. Genetic manipulation and terra-forming are the two main elements in “Sunfall,” and although they are both taken to the extreme, I was very careful to make sure they were presented in such a way as to make them believable within the boundaries of the story. Uncaged: Do you read your reviews on your books? Do they influence your story at all? Yes I do, like most authors I guess. They don’t really

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influence me too much however because I can only write stories that entertain and interest me personally. I have been influenced though by feedback from editors when I’ve submitted my work to them. The most helpful ever (although he rejected it at the time) was from a science fiction writer Ben Jeapes when he ran a publishing company called Big Engine. His comments helped me re-work and improve my first published SciFi novel, Dragon. Since then I’ve written three more Dragon books. Uncaged: What’s coming up next for readers? Any release dates that you can tell us about? Class Act Books have just published the final book in my Dragon series, The Prisoner of Valathia. I intended it to the be the last one, but one of the editors has convinced me I need to write one more book to address some unanswered questions concerning the main character’s back story. Uncaged: Do you have a street team, or review team to get your books started when they first release? No, I don’t but that would be nice. Uncaged: What are your favorite genres to read right

now? Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you like to read books that are part of series? I like almost all genres, and am continually working my way through an endless list of classics (I’m reading Gogol’s Dead Souls at the moment) but I tend to prefer speculative fiction most, that is SciFi, horror and fantasy. I like to mix these genres in my own writing. I also love thrillers and detective novels. I do like to read books that are part of series, like Stephen King’s Dark Tower. I’m working my way through the Jack Reacher series at the moment. I can’t get enough of them. As for authors, there are too many to mention but my biggest influences (as an author) are Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Isaac Asimov, Clive Barker and Raymond Chandler. Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? I love hiking and I’m happiest when out amongst nature. I like to take my binoculars, book on birds and a flask of tea and spend the day in the countryside. Another big interest of mine is narrow boating on the canal. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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| FEATURE AUTHOR | Uncaged: You live in the U.K, are there a lot of book signings or meet-ups for authors to meet their readers in person? There are quite a few groups I belong to, but I don’t really know much about book signings and such. I’m sorry. Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? First off I’d like to say thank you for reading my books. Nearly all my work (whether SciFi, horror or fantasy) is escapist and action packed, so if you’re looking for those elements in your reading then I promise not to disappoint.

Enjoy an excerpt from Dragon: The Prisoner of Valathia

Dragon, The Prisoner of Valathia James Austin McCormick SciFi

After their escape from Tamerlane’s hi-tech prison, and the defeat of Darius Drake’s apocalyptic plans for the humanoid homeworlds, Titanya joins Sillow in becoming an agent of the Alliance. Now partners, the brash, beautiful pirate queen, and the cowardly, chain smoking elf, take on their first official mission together, investigate the hijack of a prototype military stealth craft and its connection to the mysterious owner of a small mining operation. Yet what begins as a simple undercover mission soon becomes something far more sinister as 68 | UncagedBooks.com

they find themselves caught up in one man’s obsession with ancient forces powerful enough to destroy them all. Excerpt He drifted inside the void for what might have been an eternity. Then the voices drew him back. “Is he awake?” a deep voice asked. “I’m not sure,” came a reply. The speaker was also male. “His neural readings, they’re bizarre. I simply can’t decipher them.” “Do we know what happened out there?” There was a pause. “The artefact they were investigating. It hit them with a quantum pulse, infecting their ship with some type of virus. Whether the virus or the crew activated the self-destruct, though, is unclear.” The deep voice grunted. “Yet only one man seems to have tried to save himself, most odd. The escape pod was large enough for all of them.” “I don’t think it matters. These injuries, they’re too severe.” Female tones drifted across the darkness. “Doctors, look at the bio-readings.” “Impossible,” the deep voice exclaimed. “There must be a mistake. No one can heal that rapidly.” The female answered. “It’s not only that, look at the cell regeneration, it’s almost as if…” The voices blurred into indistinct murmurs. The door slammed and all was once again silence.


| JAMES MCCORMICK | He began drifting out of consciousness but a groan drew him back. It was some moments before he realized it was he who’d made the sound. He opened his eyes. Medical lights sent a spike of agony across his skull. Nausea washed over him. He took a deep breath, seeking to conquer the sensation as he tried to recall what happened. He found he could remember very little. All he knew was that whatever infected the ship’s systems now infected him. He felt its presence, a powerful consciousness existing side by side with him. It was changing every cell of his body. He noticed the water cooler close to his bed. “Nurse,” he called, licking cracked, dry lips. His voice was broken, frail. He tried a second, then a third time before he gave up. He lifted an arm. It was then he saw the silver worm-like threads spreading through his flesh. Surprisingly, they didn’t worry him. They were part of him now. He stretched his fingers toward the cooler. The water tap opened. Bubbles formed in the tank as the liquid ran down, filling the plastic cup beneath. He opened his hand, willing the drink to come to him. Slowly, very slowly, the cup began to move.

Read the Uncaged review of Sunfall in the review section

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fang-FREAKIN-tastic reviews

feature author

welcomes

Elle Klass


| FANG-FREAKIN-TASTIC FEATURE AUTHOR |

Enjoy an excerpt from Zombie Girl, Premonition Zombie Girl, Premonition Elle Klass Young Adult/Dystopian The first book in a trilogy.

Elle Klass is the author of mystery, suspense, and contemporary fiction. Her works include As Snow Falls, Eye of the Storm Eilida’s Tragedy, and the Baby Girl series. Her work Eye of the Storm Eilida’s Tragedy is a Reader’s Favorite Fiction-Paranormal Finalist in the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Awards. Baby Girl Box Set received Official Honors in Young Adult through New Apple Indie Ebook Awards. She is a night-owl where her imagination feeds off shadows, and creaks in the attic

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Maddie’s parents flip when they find out she’s failing science. That’s her worst problem until she wakes up and finds they’re zombies. Now she must escape them and her house. With nowhere else to go, and the keys to her parents’ sailboat, she makes her getaway. Finding Bryce was a fortunate circumstance and the two take on zombies and set sail for parts unknown. This story was originally published as a short story in the Once Upon a Zombietale Anthology. A few changes have been made and chapters added. Excerpt Monday, I returned to school and aced my test. I sighed with relief as my grade needed the boost. I hadn’t taken the compass off and was still perplexed and confused as to how I had it. If it was a simple dream, then I wouldn’t have Bryce’s compass. “Hi Maddie,” said Sarah, as she leaned against the lockers. Her coffee-colored, life-filled eyes smiled at me. The last time I’d seen her face, she was a zombie. Chills traced my spine when I thought of it. She’d chosen to go natural today and wore her hair in tight curls. Sometimes I was jealous that she was born with ringlets, but she had to go through far more work to keep up her hair than I did. “Hey Sarah.” She twisted her mouth. “Chad talked to me at lunch. I almost dropped to the floor. Can you believe it?” She’d had a crush on Chad since the fifth grade. He was tall, with a nice chest due to working out, vibrant brown eyes, and kept his hair cut short above


| ELLE KLASS | his ears and parted to the side. He was clean cut and always had been. His dad was a hard core Navy lifer and no doubt Chad would follow in his footsteps. “You’ve known him since we were ten.” “It was different then. We were snotty-faced kids. Now he’s the biggest hunk in school,” she sighed. “He was never snotty -- that was you,” I jested. She jabbed a caramel-colored fist at my shoulder. “Whatever. Weirdo. What’s with you lately, anyways?” I hadn’t yet told her about my crazy dream. Instead I stayed locked in my room all weekend, expecting the world to turn into zombies and preparing for when it did, but I needed to tell her. I had to save her. The traffic in the hallway made this a bad place to spill my guts with walking dead people talk. Rumors at school spread like spilled water leaking downhill and into every tiny crevice where they became perverted into something else. Later that afternoon, in my bedroom, I turned off the lights, closed the curtains, shut the door, and lit a candle. It was important to set the mood. Then I sprawled across the floor in my bedroom with Sarah. Our legs angled in Vs with our feet touching. Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman played quietly from the playlist on Sarah’s phone. I would have chosen a spookier song, but Ariana Grande was her favorite. She sat wide-eyed as I recited the details. “The cat was in your house? How?” All the weirdness of the dream and she was worried about the cat. I shrugged. It figured --she wanted to be a vet. “My parents assumed it came inside when my dad took our inside recycling out. What’s even weirder than the cat or the dream, is this.” I pulled the chain off my neck and handed it to her. “This is Bryce’s compass.” “Get out of here. No way!” she gasped as she stared at me in awe. “How?” That question had plagued me since I woke up and saw it there. Solid objects don’t leave dreams and Freddy Kruger wasn’t a part of it. “This wasn’t a dream. It’s going to happen,” I said, urgency shaking my voice. She grasped the chain and puffed out her cheeks as she did when she was deep in thought. “I don’t want

to be a zombie.” “Neither do I or my parents, but I don’t know when it’s going to happen or how to stop it. I don’t even know what caused people to become zombies.” The weight and responsibility of saving everyone was heavy on my shoulders. The next thought plummeted into my head and I nearly shouted it. “It was a premonition. A warning of what’s going to happen.”

Don’t miss book two in the series, Infection Zombie Girl 2, Infection Elle Klass Young Adult/Dystopian When Maddie and Bryce touch, she knows her zombie dream wasn’t simply a dream but a premonition. It’s up to her and Bryce to save the world from the doomsday sickness that will kill everyone – in a manner of speaking. They soon learn the zombies aren’t the only horrors that await them in the new fight-or-die world. They battle by each other’s side as the infection spreads globally.

See the Fang-Freakin-Tastic reviews for both books of this series in the Review section.

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New Releases July Release Dates - A Selection

July 4

July 18

Wired by Julie Garwood Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally Ashes by Suzanne Wright Insurrection by Sherrilyn Kenyon His Turn by J.A. Huss

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland The Color Project by Sierra Abrams The Late Show by Michael Connelly The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell Trust by Kylie Scott The Ends of the World by Maggie Hall Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

July 11 Because You Love to Hate Me by Various Final Girls by Riley Sager The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons The Red by Tiffany Reisz My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu Loved by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast House of Spies by Daniel Silva

July 25 Lucky in Love by Kasie West The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan Wildfire by Ilona Andrews The Intuitives by Erin Michelle Sky Vanguard by Ann Aguirre When I Need You by Lorelei James The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase

Publishers and authors: If you would like a new release in these lists, please email me at UncagedBooks@gmail.com

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Uncaged Reviews Playing with Fire

R. J. Blain Urban Fantasy/Humor Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution. What do you get when you mix gorgons, an incubus, and the Calamity Queen? Trouble, and lots of it. Working as the only human barista at a coffee shop catering to the magical is a tough gig on a good day. Bailey Gardener has few options. She can either keep spiking drinks with pixie dust to keep the locals happy, or spend the rest of her life cleaning up the world’s nastiest magical substances. Unfortunately for her, Faery Fortunes is located in the heart of Manhattan Island, not far from where Police Chief Samuel Quinn works. If she’d been smart, she never would have agreed to help the man find his wife. Bailey found her, all right—in the absolutely worst way possible.

Uncaged Review: This is a really fun book. I enjoyed the humor, and the characters – it did get a little messy keeping up with everything and Quinn’s “family tree,” but it was a seriously different type of urban fantasy than I’ve ever read before. Sometimes the wise cracking heroine of the story, was “too much,” and it could have been dialed back a bit. But the book kept a good pace and even though some of it was absolutely ridiculous, this strange, whacked out world works. The romance is fun, but a bit too fast paced, there wasn’t a whole lot to it. Bailey is working as a barista, in a coffee shop that sells pixie dust, and is immune to most supernatural, and there are a lot of them in this book. Quinn, is the police Chief, and they seem to always rub each other the wrong way, or so you think. Bailey is often called in by the CDC to clean up after supernatural problems. When gorgon dust is being spread, Bailey is the only one that can deal with, but at 76 | UncagedBooks.com

what cost? Fun, interesting characters even though the amount of supernaturals in this book will have you keeping a spreadsheet to keep them straight, but with a fast pace, and some witty dialog, it’s a fun read. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Adult

Language, sexual situations, violence

Hellbound Kathy Dinisi Young Adult/Horror How far would you go to save your family? Sam and Mathew finally get a chance to go on a train ride to the Grand Canyon alone leaving their two kids back in California, When a zombie apocalypse breaks out. The couple must try to fight their way back to California to see if their kids are still alive, In this harrowing story of love and survival in a world that is crumbling by death and destruction. Follow Sam and Matthew through their struggle to reunite with their children. Uncaged Review: What started as a simple shift at work for Sam, turns out to be a nightmare in the making. A stranger comes into the ER acting weird and sick. Sam assists him but really just wants to get home so she can drop her kids off at Gramps and start her trip. With her husband. Then they see people start attacking each other and it’s everyone for themselves. I really liked this book i think a zombie outbreak is something people fear. It could happen this is a gruesome dark read. Reviewed by Jennifer


Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult Violence, horror

Kiss of a Vampire Martha Woods Paranormal Romance A run away psychic crosses paths with a loveless century-old vampire and an ancient witch prophecy that seeks to destroy them both. Tessa was a runaway as a teenager--her parents put her in an institution when she told them she could read minds. At sixteen, unable to take it anymore, she runs away from home. Now twenty-five, she has lived out of her car and trailer for years, moving from state to state and making her living as a psychic, but when a century old vampire enters her tent and asks for his future to be told, Tessa’s nomadic world is turned upside down.

Uncaged Review: An alright start to a new series – a little rushed, but it held my interest. Tessa is a mind-reader, who travels from place to place with faeries, setting up her booth and scraping by. At the end of one faire, a man sits in her booth, right when she’s ready to pack up. Before she knows it, she’s kidnapped, but treated with kindness. Kristian, is a two hundred year old vampire, but although he can be deadly, Tessa isn’t afraid of him. When she “escapes,” and heads back to her car and trailer, she finds that someone has burned her trailer and all her belongings, and Kristian is there again to protect her. When she meets his sister and finds out that there are witches out to destroy the vampires, Tessa must choose between staying safe within Kristian’s protection, or trying to live and outrun the witch’s herself, who now seem to be after her and her mind-reading abilities. This book is quickly paced, with strong characters. At times it was a bit jumpy, and would jump in the story which would give me pause to try and get caught up

to what was happening, which did interrupt the flow a bit. There were also a few editing issues, that weren’t bad, but were noticeable. Overall I liked the story, even though it ended on a mild cliffhanger. I will continue on with the series and see where it takes me. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Adult

language, violence and sexual activity

Embracing the Knight Jenn Langston Historical Romance/Regency Miss Claire Ashford knows exactly what she wants out of life — to marry for love. When she finds herself alone in the woods with none other than notorious rake Ian Michael Caldwell, Viscount Knightly, her chances of a proper match are ruined. He is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of her reputation, but she is determined not to marry anyone out of obligation.

Uncaged Review: Miss Claire Ashford and the notorious rake. The Viscount Knightly. Find themselves robbed by highwaymen on a country outing and are forced to make their way back to London on foot. Terrified that this has done something to destroy her good reputation, as she was alone with a gentlemen she finds herself quickly wanting to marry. Despite her father being on his deathbed, she believes this will make her happy. I really enjoyed this book and loved the sheer escape into Claire and The Viscount relationship. I read the sneak peak of book 2 and am already hooked. Reviewed by Jennifer

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Uncaged Reviews Uncaged Ratings: Adult Sex, some language

The Withering Palace Alexia Purdy Young Adult/Fantasy Untold darkness rules the Unseelie realm of the Land of Faerie. Hidden in this vast area, Aveta, the future queen of the Unseelie Army, perfects her gifts over lifetimes. Learning that magic isn’t the only way to manipulate the world around her, this naive girl grows into a woman of strength and cunning, ultimately becoming one of the most feared leaders in Faerie. Uncaged Review: A short jaunt into an Unseelie story, almost like a fairy tale. The young Unseelie Princess Aveta, is the rightful Queen to the Unseelie, the throne stolen from her grandmother by her blackhearted mother, Elisandra. Elisandra tortures Aveta, but Aveta escapes through the castle labyrinth to a secret land inside faerie, where she meets her love, Cranston, and learns to avoid and grow her powers as the rightful heir when it will be her time to challenge her mother for the thrown. Even though this is a shorter book, it crams a lot of information without boring the reader. It also gives you a great jumpstart into the Dark Faerie Tale series, and more in-depth about Queen Aveta, without leaving you on a cliffhanger. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult Mild violence

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Thursdays at Coconuts Beth Carter Contemporary Romance Friends since high school, the thirtysomething women meet every Thursday at Coconuts for their own form of friendapy. Uncaged Review: A tale of three friends, and how they’ve stuck with each other over the years, all with their own issues and their friends to lean on in good times and bad. This book actually takes you through three different story lines that all intersect because of the connection between the friends. Once I hit the half way point, I couldn’t put this down. It was funny, intriguing, and I couldn’t wait to find out how this would all wrap up. The author even managed to surprise me a couple times – which can be quite hard to do. This is a solid read and a good choice to take to the beach this summer. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Adult

Sexual situations, mild language

Baby Love Emmanuelle de Maupassant Romantic Comedy Heavily pregnant Delphine’s rat-fink husband has packed his bags and abandoned her for the charms of their sexy neighbour, leaving Delphine struggling to cope. Delphine’s sisters insist that the best remedy for a broken heart is a healthy dose of pampering: cue a spa break, where there’s more in store for Delphine than a hot stone massage and a spell in the Jacuzzi.


Uncaged Review: Delphine’s husband runs off to the women next door leaving, Delphine alone and pregnant. She’s treated to a spa holiday with her two sisters to cheer her up. This book was a lovely read as we got to go through Delphine’s pregnancy with her. It’s a short but sweet read. Reviewed by Jennifer

Toss in a man-made hybrid monster, and all hell breaks loose. Fast fun read. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: New Adult OK Mild violence

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Sex, mild language

Sunfall James McCormick SciFi As democracy is swept away by a powerful Corporate League, a small section of society holds onto the libertarian dream, establishing an independent colony on Mars. Yet their time is running out. A solar storm called “Sunfall” is about to strike, powerful enough to wipe out every last one of them. Their only hope is Sana, a young, idealistic scientist and creator of a terra-forming device capable of giving Mars its own protective shield. With just days until the storm hits, she teams up with a two bit smuggler named Zak, who, for the right price, agrees to get her to Mars Uncaged Review: This is a quick read novella, and the action is fast and furious. Even with the shortness of the book, the characters are well flushed out. The world encompasses both Earth and a colony on Mars, with a greedy Corporation hoping to capitalize on an upcoming Sun event, that will wipe out the colonists on Mars. Only Sana, with the help of a poor smuggler, Zac – can save the people. I couldn’t help but picture a young Han Solo in Zac – a very resourceful pilot who makes it through situations by the seat of his pants.

Child of the Night Guild Andy Peloquin Dark Fantasy “They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.” Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts. What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men? Uncaged Review: I began this book, and the first time I looked up I was already 25% the way through, I got sucked into the story so quickly, that it astonished me. The Night Guild controls all the crime, and they “buy” children and train them as thieves and pickpockets to keep the money flowing. This book follows the story of Viola/Seven – from when she is sold to the Guild by her alcoholic and abusive father at the age of eight. Being the only girl in the group and the smallest one, she is determined to make it, against all odds. Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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Uncaged Reviews This is a dark book, and a completely different type of book that I’ve read before. Mr. Peloquin will take you on a mental roller coaster of a journey and you will become completely engrossed and invested in Seven and her journey. Don’t expect erotica, or your happily-ever-after scenario, but do expect the creative flare of a master of words with this author. By the end, you may need a couple days off to get your thoughts back together after reading this book. Reviewed by Cyrene

army. Calling themselves The Quytel, don’t expect to find out everything as this is only book one. But it holds its own well and is full of action and danger. You will come to care for Brianna and Cole as you find out more of their pasts. I think you are in for a thrill of a read with this book. Reviewed by Jennifer

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Sex, mild language

The Wallflower’s Wicked Wager Uncaged Ratings: Adult Violence

Circle of Dreams Jane S. Morrisey Fantasy Romance Leader of an elite psychic team, Cole Courtland is a shapeshifting wolf with a deep connection to the power of the Earth. His investigation of a string of mysterious murders throws him into the dangerous world of the Quytel and leads him straight to Brianna Doherty’s door. Uncaged Review: Cole and his team of special abilities are investigating a string of strange murders. Cole decides to go out alone to uncover some more clues, when he finds himself drawn to a young women called Brianna. A beauty who is also a little unique in her own personal way. Risking his life to protect her they both go on the run together as there’s some people after Brianna. Animal control takes over Cole and he finds himself falling for Brianna. This book has a lot of secrets you will become aware of as you find out more about a Cole and Brianna and a special 80 | UncagedBooks.com

Collette Cameron Historical Romance/Regency

Warning: This book contains one devilish, seemingly irredeemable rogue, an on-the-shelf wallflower who dabbles in wicked wagers, an unexpected and most enticing swim in a lake, a villainess you’ll want to shove into said lake, and a cast of captivating secondary characters with their own tantalizing romantic tales. Uncaged Review: Every time I review a book by Ms. Cameron, I always say it’s the best one yet from her. And it’s no different for this latest one. I read this is one sitting, I could not put it down. I had to find out how it all worked out. This time around, we have two wonderfully flawed, but honorable characters that come together over a week-long party of the ton. I was bouncing in my seat to see some characters from previous books sashay in to the fray, I’m one to never let go of characters I love, and one of my favorite things about this author, is she never lets me down. A shy, low self-esteem woman comes into her own, and a scarred warrior gets his own self-worth back, and I fell in love with Shona and Morgan, and their story has charmed me. Reviewed by Cyrene


Uncaged Ratings: Adult Mild sex scenes

The Way You Bite

Zoe Forward Paranormal Romance RELEASES JULY 3

When King Werewolf shows up in veterinarian Vee Scarpa’s ER, she’s livid. Her father, North American head honcho vampire, has threatened a chilling or else if she “ accidentally” helped a wolf again, especially since they’re at war. But she’s tempted by the sexy wolf. And his deadly blood calls to her in a way that should set off warning bells... A promise to his brother in arms obliges Lexan Dimitrov to rescue the aristocrat vampire before her family discovers her secret—a secret Vee herself isn’t even aware of. What he didn’t expect was to find her sexy-as-hell. He’s not into vamps, yet the inescapable heat building between them is a delicious temptation guaranteed to end in total disaster. Uncaged Review: I’ve been a fan of Ms. Forward’s writing style for quite some time, and did a little bounce in my seat when she asked me to read an ARC of her latest book. In a new paranormal world, the author gives us both the werewolves and the vampires, but both are born, not turned. So they are separate species altogether. This edition follows vampire Vee, and the werewolf King, Lexan – when Lexan appears at her veterinarian practice with gunshot wounds. In this world, werewolves and vampires are enemies with a fragile truce, but the immediate attraction between Vee and Lexan is surprising.

There are several secrets and twists that pop-up throughout the book, and the author keeps you on your toes. She draws the romance out, with a strong female lead and an alpha were, the sparks tend to fly, and it’s worth every space it takes on the page. Plenty of action, and by the time I was 30% into the book, I read until the end, and well into the night. But Zoe Forward made it worth the book hangover in the morning. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Adult

Sex, language, some violence

Beside the Music BJ Knapp Contemporary

What happens to a marriage when an 80s metal band moves in? Winner of the 2016 Human Relations Indie Book Award, Beside the Music answers the question: can you be one man’s wife and another man’s muse? Brenda and Tim are dealing with enough chaos in their marriage: a run for public office, threat of getting fired at work, and a snooty meddling mother in law. Things get even more complicated when 80s metal sensation Hydra moves into their home to record their comeback album--and soon they also have screaming fans on the front lawn to contend with. Will Brenda and Tim’s marriage survive?

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Uncaged Reviews Uncaged Review: This is a really fun, easy read with a truly relatable story. Relatable in the sense that it felt as if I was reading the true testimony (of a couple throughout their marriage). From beginning to end I couldn’t stop thinking about all those 80’s bands like Poison, White Snake, Motley Crue -and so on- and whether they’d be anything like the band in the book or not. And also, it really pleases me that this book has got a pretty strong, definitive ending. Would recommend -to as many 80’s obsessed girls as me as I can find. Rock on! Reviewed by Milady

book that stood out to me, so I would say this was an average read. But there will be some fans of steamy historical reads out there which will love this. Reviewed by Jennifer

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Steamy sex scenes

Humanity’s Protectors David R. Bernstein Young Adult/Dystopian

Uncaged Ratings: Adult language

Unraveling the Earl

Lynne Barron Historical Romance/Regency The Earl of Hastings’ reputation as London’s greatest gift to the ladies has taken on a life of its own and he is only too happy to live up to in one Mayfair bedchamber after another. Until he encounters a lady more interested in poking around his country estate than sampling his lauded charms. Georgiana Buchanan is a woman with murky morals, warped notions of right and wrong, a talent for dancing around the truth, and a penchant for attending weddings and funerals without invitation.

Uncaged Review: Gerogiana Buchanan the fiery red haired women from Scotland, sets her sights on the Earl of Hastings. Believing his family has the key to her mother’s whereabouts, Gerogiana sets out to seduce the famous rake the Earl of Hastings. This is a steamy period read. Very sexual at times. I enjoyed the storyline when there was one in place. There wasn’t much of the 82 | UncagedBooks.com

Where will you stand at humanity’s end? The corporate abuse of youth with the special ability to manipulate reality is at its apex. A revolution to regain society has emerged and sixteen-yearold Leeyah is thrust in the middle of the war against the corporate controlled police. Will a growing ability put her life at risk?

Uncaged Review: This novella is the beginning to the Influence series and it starts with a bang and never slows down. In future American, corporations are using people with Push abilities as Influencers, to be able to influence the population into positive ideas for their products, even if the products are not. Grabbing 16 yr old Leeyah from her family to work as an Influencer, until she gets an assignment that she morally can’t do. When an Influencer goes awry, it’s the end game, although Leeyah doesn’t have any idea of the implications of turning down an assignment. Enter a group called Humanity’s Protectors to save her from the corporation and the corporate police that are now gunning for her. A lot of violence in a short amount of time, and you get a taste of what some of the different abilities are of some of the people in this world. Leeyah is very young, and very whiny, but to have all this tossed


at her being so young, then I have to give her a bit of a break, although I think the author made her sound younger than her 16 years. This is a fast paced futuristic story and a good origin story. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult Violence

Beside Still Waters

Ryan Jo Summers Contemporary Romance Top Journalist and corporate climber McKayla Buchanan is sent to a remote California mountain camp for inner-city, at-risk teens. Accustomed to political and high-society assignments, she is suddenly a fish out of water. At Camp In As Much, she meets eight hostile and distrustful teens, assorted volunteers, rescued horses—and Clay.

Uncaged Review: A journalist for a newspaper spends a few weeks at a local camp for foster kids and injured horses. This is a lovely story even though it has some sensitive issues containing neglected kids and injured horses. It is beautifully written and is very much a romance story. This book and storyline really opened my eyes. I think this is an easy read which is quite easy to get caught up with. Reviewed by Jennifer

Esther, An Easter Bride

Hildie McQueen Historical Romance/Victorian Unrealistic expectations can lead two people down a trail to despair. After the untimely death of her husband, Esther Wilmington must choose between pauper’s life as a poor widow in Philadelphia or a marriage of convenience to her late husband’s son. However, she is presented with a third option she couldn’t have imagined: moving west as a mail order bride. Elias Jones likes the idea of a wife but quickly discovers how complicated it is to share his home, his bed, and his life with someone. Perhaps he was hasty in marrying. But he soon realizes he cannot imagine a life without his new bride

Uncaged Review: Another great installment in this series of mail-order brides. This one is a bit different than the others, with Esther who is a widow, and her husband didn’t leave her enough to live on, so she answers an ad to go west and marry a rancher. The author gives you a great sense of the characters and the backdrop within a novella length, and you can easily picture it in your mind as you read along. I really enjoy this series, and it’s an easy afternoon read. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Mild sexual situations

Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult/Adult No major warnings

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Uncaged Reviews Dawn of the Infected Eileen Cruz Coleman Horror

Never Surrender. Not Now. Not Ever. For twenty-three-year-old start-up tech company CEO Selena Martinez, it was just another uneventful early morning bus commute from her cottage in rural Southern Maryland to her office in Washington, D.C. But when her bus is suddenly attacked by a horde of crazed savages, Selena becomes immersed in a world of terror and confusion, where she must learn to survive on her own using smarts and skills she never dreamed she possessed....

Uncaged Review: A whole different take on a post-apocalyptic world, and this one has the zombies, but the war is about the witches and vampires wanting to snuff out the humans, with only the half angel, half vampire hybrids trying to protect the powerful half fae, half humans that are the key to winning. I think this was a good prequel to a new series, and I’d be one to enjoy reading. Selena is one of these fae hybrids, and has no idea who she is, but the hybrid who is assigned to protect her is Daniel, who saves her after her commuter bus is attacked one morning. With witch’s, infected and vampires all part of what is called The New Order and trying to kill off the fae hybrids and humans, Daniel gets Selena to a safe place. What they really need, is the pure angels to come out of hiding and help them to win the war. There is a lot of information in a short amount of time, and this is a very fast paced novella. I hope the author continues this series, I enjoyed the originality in a sea of zombie novels. Reviewed by Cyrene

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Uncaged Ratings: Adult Violence

Revenants, Season 1, Episode 1 Williams & Harlow SciFi/Dystopian

When the zombies arrived twenty-five years ago, the world didn’t end. People adapted and learned to live with them. There are two varieties of zombies. Gerries wander around slowly and aimlessly. Renals are always at an eleven. The only thing that they want is to eat and they always sprint towards that goal. But now a new variety has surfaced: Revenants. These are zombies that retain their memories and personalities from when they were living....

Uncaged Review: Another zombie book with a twist this time the zombies are called Gerries. People learn to live with them unless there is a fast zombie, called a renal then they are dangerous and will always catch their meat. We also meet Elliot, a Revenant who is a zombie that doesn’t kill humans. We also meet a few other strange characters. This book is set up nicely for a sequel and it was a funny read, with some witty comments. I really can’t wait to get back to Elliot and the gang. Reviewed by Jennifer

Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult Mild nudity, mild language


Bottled Lightning Philip Harris SciFi

One moment can change your life. For husband and wife team, Alex and Lisa, the trip across the volcanoes of Mars is a chance to escape the monotony of life at Gale Crater. But now they’ve found something, or someone, and everything is about to change.

Uncaged Review: This is really a short story, so I’m not going to get into the nuts and bolts, as it would give too much away, but a couple of scientists come upon a tunnel when exploring Mars, and find some dust that seems to spark, so they bottle some of it up in a specimen jar and take it back to the lab. A very interesting story that left more questions than it answered. I don’t think there is any continuation into a full-fledged series, at least I don’t know of one. When it comes to short stories that are standalones, I’d rather see it tie up its own storyline, and I felt like this one didn’t. I think I was left more in a bit of a fog, wondering if the book cut off before it was supposed to. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Review: This is a fun jump into the paranormal genre, with interesting and likeable characters. Chia’s grandparents are found dead, she’s been elected town manager and a shifter has been shot, all in the space of a day or two – in Charming, Alaska. With two bounty hunters in the area, Chia needs to figure out who’s the good guy vs. the bad guy. This is a fun, action-packed ride, and while some of the shifter world is out to a select group of the population, not everyone knows and the ones that do are still trying to make sense of it. To keep it under wraps, Chia sets out to find the one that shot the shifter, and she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for. One of my favorite interactions is between Chia and D’Raynged – a proper and stuffy vampire, and with her husky shifter best friend, Cecil. As for the love interest, I’m still on the fence with Hung, and even though Chia is a smart, resourceful woman, she’s not a typical bad-ass hunter. But her high school doe eyes at Hung does grate on your nerves at times. Although this book wraps up one part of the storyline, there are still questions left over, and I’m looking forward to reading more. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Uncaged Ratings: New Adult

Nudity, sexual innuendo

No major warnings

Storm Shift

Calinda B. Paranormal/Horror RELEASES JULY 11 Your power--it’s in the blood. Those were the words her grandfather said to her from wherever the dead reside. Now it’s up to her to find out what that really means.... Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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Uncaged Reviews Born of Faerie WB McKay Urban Fantasy

Sophie Morrigan knows she needs to set the tone for her new life. Being drowned by a dragon certainly sets a tone. A newly minted agent for the Faerie Affairs Bureau, Sophie is excited to retrieve her first magical object. Unfortunately, her boss ruins it by assigning her a partner she doesn’t need. When her first day sends her limping home with water in her lungs, she has to consider that she might be in over her head. Can Sophie quash her loner tendencies and learn to work with an annoying selkie partner? Or will she wind up another piece of junk in a dragon’s hoard?

Uncaged Review: A good start to an urban fantasy series, this short book packs a wallop and is a great introduction into the Stolen Magic series and about Sophie’s first case as a full-fledged agent of the Faerie Affairs Bureau, who retrieves dangerous magical objects. In her first case, she has to go up against a water dragon to retrieve a magical chalice, and it’s not going to be easy. I enjoyed the start of this one, as the fae in this book are also something more. Some are shifters of different types, and with different powers, so it’s interesting to see where it leads. This book is an exclusive book you can get free by signing up for the author’s newsletter and it’s definitely worth a look. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: New Adult Violence

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14 Needles, An Unsettling Collection Aaron Deck Horror Shorts

Based on fourteen tattoos, this collection of short horror stories will take you on a speculative journey inspired by each piece of art. Imaginative, strange and sometimes funny, the stories in this collection will take you to a military encampment in Afghanistan, through a trinket shop in California, into the secret, gruesome war being waged in the back alleys of civilization. Each tale strikes a different tone, from the horrific to the thrilling.

Uncaged Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. Being a genre which I love everything about. I eat live and breathe horror. I felt myself not wanting to start this book straight away in case I was disappointed. As there’s only a handful of new horror writers out there which can actually fit this role. I was pleased that Aaron Deck is one of these writers. This book should be on an up and coming horrors best books to read list. Every page just screams good storytelling at this point in the review I normally say which story’s where my favorite. This time I can’t do this as I loved them all. The author even tells us how he came up with the idea to write this book which in its own way is very cool. I can only hope good things for this fresh horror writer and that Uncaged Books gets chance to read more of his work. In the meantime time prepare to be entertained in all things horror. Reviewed by Jennifer

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Violence, sex, language


On Thin Ice

Hidden in the Vines

Aven Ellis Sports Romance

Gemma Brocato Contemporary Romance Growing up in the supersized shadow of a famous mother led Jules Capelli to retreat far from the glamorous lifestyle. She owns and runs Team Vino, a teambuilding operation based in a working vineyard. In the midst of a seminar, her high-profile, high-maintenance mother insists Jules shelter her among the vines after recent plastic surgery. Keeping the woman hidden will require a monumental effort, especially with two reporters from an entertainment magazine in the attendance....

Uncaged Review: Two entertainment reporters, who have come to blows in their office, is sent off by the boss to get some team training at Team Vino, a vineyard in northern California as a condition to keep their employment. Jules, who owns the vineyard, is the daughter of a famous actress, who imposes on her daughter by asking to stay at a cabin on the property while she recovers from plastic surgery – to keep it under wraps. Unfortunately, that cabin is viewable, at a distance, from several areas at the vineyard. Keeping her mother hidden from the reporters at the team building week, will not be easy – specially when Jules finds herself falling for one of the reporters. This is a solid read, and I actually laughed during the Sauvignon Stomp – reminding me of an episode of I Love Lucy. Hilarity ensues and it was a highlight in the book. The only downside for me, was the ending. It ended very abruptly and rushed – and I would like to have seen that brought out a bit more. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Adult

Holly Johansson knows some things in her life are certain after college graduation: 1.) It’s a long road to becoming a full-time author. 2.) She’ll need to work to pay her bills. 3.) And Dallas Demons superstar Matt Rhinelander will never return her feelings....

Uncaged Review: Matt plays for the same hockey team as Holly’s brother Nate. But Holly has always had a crush on Matt and one day while Holly and her brother are invited to a big party. Holly has a panic attack and unfortunately for Holly Matt is there to witness it. This is a sport’s romance book featuring hockey players but also deals with real issues like panic attacks. As well as others and also features a cute animal charity. I hadn’t read the other book’s in this series. But you can easily pick up the story straight away. I think we all have a little of Holly or Matt in us enjoy. Reviewed by Jennifer

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Sex

On Thin Ice

Aven Ellis Sports Romance Holly Johansson knows some things in her life are certain after college graduation: 1.) It’s a long road to becoming a full-time author. 2.) She’ll need to work to pay her bills. 3.) And Dallas Demons superstar Matt Rhinelander will never return her feelings....

Sex

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Uncaged Reviews Hope’s Prelude

Suspended

While dealing with visions of her death, Dr. Sandra Wilson races against the clock to develop a genetic vaccine that will, in the future, save the life of the one who will lead the final battle between angels and

A circus that is spellbinding, mesmerizing and deadly.

L.G. O’Connor Fantasy

demons.

Enter the world of the Angelorum and meet the Nephilim Rogue who has been dogging Simon, and get a view into the genetics project that started it all as destinies entwine to deliver us one step closer to battle. There are no coincidences...

Uncaged Review: Angels, demons and science – all mixed together. This book was actually written after two others in the series, but it looks like it is better read first, as it gives some key information about some characters and the fight between good and evil. Make sure you are awake, and not a bit sleepy when you read, or you may miss an important detail, there is not a lot of fat in this book. The book chapters jump between Sandra, a Nephilim and scientist on the Angel side trying to find a way to save Cara, a woman who has no idea she’s a Nephilim and can turn the tide in the battle, and the Nephilim Samuel, who was captured and raised on the Demon side, and not knowing who he truly was until he was older. Suspense, mystery and the age-old struggle between ultimate good and ultimate evil. What could be better? Reviewed by Cyrene

Sarah Noffke SciFi/Time Travel

When a stranger joins the cast of Vagabond Circus--a circus that is run by Dream Travelers and features real magic--mysterious events start happening. The once orderly grounds of the circus become riddled with hidden threats. And the ringmaster realizes not only are his circus and its magic at risk, but also his very life....

Uncaged Review: Not being much of a fan of the circus I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I can honestly say I was blown away and I so very much wanted to be a part of the vagabond circus. To be in the crowd experiencing the magic of the show. Watching the ringmaster introduce the star’s Zuma and Finley. And witness their talents for myself. The story features around the members of the vagabond circus and what happens when a new kid wants to join the show. This was a great read it ends on a cliffhanger but at an exciting bit. I need to get book two to see what becomes of the Vagabond Circus. Reviewed by Jennifer

Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult No major warnings

Hegis’ Grasp Dean Clark Horror

Uncaged Ratings: New Adult No major warnings

READ THE HORROR TALE UPON WHICH AN UPCOMING HORROR GAME WILL BE BASED!!! 1896...Henry Wood, a journalist

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who had heard rumors of a village, that supposedly has undergone a curse, gets curious enough to check out the place for his latest anticipated newspaper story. Bringing his intern, Jacob, and bodyguard, Gen. Miller, with him on his trip to Hegis in order to uncover the truth… and soon finds this to be a mistake and that he has put his companions and himself in grave danger! ...

Uncaged Review: Set in 1896 Henry Wood who is a journalist and two other men. Investigate into a village that holds some sort of curse surrounding it. Which has driven the townspeople mad. It’s up too Henry and his team to put a stop to this and see what really happened to the town. The story ends okay and it’s very gruesome. I can see why this novel is being made into a video game. As the story is quite interesting. Worth a read. Reviewed by Jennifer

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Graphic violence

Lure of the Dragon Anna Lowe Fantasy Romance

Nothing is forbidden to this elite corps of shifter bodyguards and private investigators...except falling in love. Good dragons? Bad dragons? Twentyfour hours ago, private chef Tessa Byrne didn’t know about the terrifying world of shifters. Now she knows too much, like the fact that a ruthless dragon lord is determined to claim her -- forever. Tessa flees to Maui, where sunny skies, swaying palms, and a handsome stranger conspire to play tricks with her heart. Can she truly trust Kai Llewellyn and his band of battlehardened shapeshifters to save her from a gruesome fate? ...

Uncaged Review: This has to be my favorite dragon shifter book in a long time. Action, humor and likeable characters build this world of shifters. In this outing we meet Tessa, a private chef, who is kidnapped by a man when she goes on an interview for a job with a real estate tycoon, Morgan Damien. But he’s not all human, he’s a dangerous shifter….and when Tessa escapes, her friend gives her the contact she needs to help protect herself in Hawaii. Tessa is thrown into a world she never knew existed – and may be more a part of it than she knows. This is the first book in this series, and I’ll guarantee I’m reading the next one. The author gives insight on not only the shifters in human form, but what it feels like to be a shifter – and the inner dialog between the human part of them, and the animal form. A lot of fun comes with the banter of the shifters that Tessa goes to for help. These shifters used to be part of an elite group of military, and when Tessa shows up, not all are as keen on helping her as Kai, a dragon shifter that may hold the key to Tessa’s heart. Plenty of action, a beautiful location, suspense and fun with the shifter banter and a strong heroine makes this a strong read – and places it high on my shelf of favorites. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Violence, sex, language

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Uncaged Reviews Infamous

Lori Sizemore Contemporary Comedy Justine Montgomery, daughter of a divorced beauty queen and TV magnate, is a tabloid disaster after her infamous sex tape. She’s so desperate to help save her family’s home she turns to her deal-making dad. Can she prove to him she’s cut out for a career in television or will she lose it all?....

iUncaged Review: I just finished reading Infamous by Loring Sizemore and I loved it. Justine is a woman who should have it all but doesn’t. Sawyer is a guy that’s good at his job but has a few secrets. Instead of being a spoiled rich girl, Justine has had to fight for everything she wanted, especially since her wealthy father tries to control everything she does. When she and sawyer have to work together after a deal she makes with her dad, sparks and complications abound. Luckily, and probably after a lot of therapy, Justine pretty much knows all her dad’s tricks. I really enjoyed Infamous. It was a fresh, enjoyable read with the perfect amount of conflict, resolution, and romance. Lor had me rooting for Justine and Sawyer the whole way through. Anyone who loves a lighthearted romance will love Infamous. It has enough real emotion and depth to keep you turning the pages, and gives enough laughs to keep you going through the conflicts. Reviewed by Mercedes

Camping on Other Planets Clark Nielsen SciFi/Aliens/YA

What was supposed to be a fun weekend camping trip turns into a dangerous hike across another planet when three teenage boys are abducted from Earth. Their only hope of ever returning home is to escape from the laboratory that captured them and make their way across the alien deserts, oceans, and mountains. But while their journey is full of monsters all eager to attack the boys, it is their friendship and religious beliefs that are ultimately pushed to their limits

Uncaged Review: A camping trip where some friends are having a little fun. Turns out to be more than they bargained for. As a bright light beams from the sky over the camping ground it swallows them up, taking them to an alien laboratory where them and some other unlucky creatures are being held prisoners. Joining forces, they try to escape. I loved the friendship between these boys no matter how bad things got. Or how much they fought they were still there for each other. Really enjoyed the storytelling it was full of humor but also had its serious points as well. It doesn’t hold back on the action. A perfect read for young adults who are looking to get in to reading, I would recommended this as I’m sure it will hold their attention. Reviewed by Jennifer

Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult No major warnings

Uncaged Ratings: Adult Mild violence, sex

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The Selection

Eclipse of the Beginning

Humans colonized the planet Kepler 186f after Earth’s near total global collapse. Soon after, supply missions ended leaving the colonists to themselves, renaming the planet Anastasia and building a new society far different than Earth’s.

What haunts you more... love... or duty...?

Jason J. Nugent SciFi/Dystopian

As population imbalance threatened stability in the settlements, a horrific and brutal institution known as The Selection was created....

Uncaged Review: Every year on a male’s 18th birthday on the planet of Anastasia, The Selection begins a battle that only the strongest males can survive as a way to over rid the high population. Of the male species if the strongest males succeed, they will have a wife pick them. I got caught up on Eron’s story and the troubles he had along the way to the safe point at victory point. I rooted for Eron and hoped he survived. This was a brilliant read and put me mind of another brilliant read, a Japanese favorite called Battle Royal. Only The Selection has not just other people to cope with it has scary beasts. I finished this in one sitting as I wanted to know what happened straight away. If there is ever a book 2 coming out I can’t wait. Another book I highly recommended for young adult readers. Reviewed by Jennifer

J.L. Hendricks YA/SciFi/Fantasy

Bound by a secret oath to protect the only hope of fulfillment in an ancient prophecy, Lancer Xaren finds no comfort in knowing his own involvement in the sacred writings. When a new commander arrives in LA, Lancer is forced to play the game of the High Council to protect the secret, but will taking lead of the squad assigned to track a roving group of rippers force him to fail in the one task that is most important?...

Uncaged Review: A good start to a new series – with a lot of potential going into the series. Guardians – from another world, Lancer and Ash are chosen to protect B’Lana, a human that is targeted by the rippers. B’lana has no idea that she’s targeted or that she may have powers of her own. This is a clean young adult urban fantasy, but it does have some violence. This will give you a look at how B’lana came to know the guardians and this world, and sets up nicely for the series. Reviewed by Cyrene

Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult No major warnings

Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult Violence

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Fang-Freakin-Tastic Reviews Zombie Girl, Premonition Elle Klass YA/Dystopian Maddie’s parents flip when they find out she’s failing science. That’s her worst problem until she wakes up and finds they’re zombies. Now she must escape them and her house. With nowhere else to go, and the keys to her parents’ sailboat, she makes her getaway. Finding Bryce was a fortunate circumstance and the two take on zombies and set sail for parts unknown.

Zombie Girl, Infection Elle Klass YA/Dystopian When Maddie and Bryce touch, she knows her zombie dream wasn’t simply a dream but a premonition. It’s up to her and Bryce to save the world from the doomsday sickness that will kill everyone – in a manner

of speaking. They soon learn the zombies aren’t the only horrors that await them in the new fight-or-die world. They battle by each other’s side as the infection spreads globally.

Fang-Freakin-Tastic Review: The Zombie Girl series isn’t your typical zombie series. It presents ideas that I haven’t seen in other series whether the main characters are teens or adults. This has a combination of both but starts out with just teens. The Zombie Girl series is off to a great start after the first book, Premonition. Infection follows right along and keeps the story going, transitioning one book into the next without hesitation.

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Luckily, both books are now available so you won’t have to wait to read them in a row. As you read the Zombie Girl books, it’s a good idea to keep in the back of your mind that Maddie is still only 15 years old. She has limited life experience, so she may not do or know some of the same things adults normally would. One of the things I really like about the Zombie Girl series is how unique it is from other zombie books I’ve read. The zombies themselves and how the infection is spread are slightly different from the norm. It is easy to relate to most of these characters. The scenery/ travel is a bit more than I expected, but not in a bad way. I recommend the Zombie Girl series to anyone who likes a unique zombie story that has teens as main characters. It’s great for high school, college, or those of us who enjoy reading zombie stories of any age group. There is a decent amount of violence due to the zombies, but nothing any more graphic than one would expect from a zombie story.

The Lightning Progeny Emily Cyr Fantasy/Witchcraft Delaney Hagen’s life has spiraled into complete pandemonium. After killing the monster who turned her, she thought she’d finally escaped … only to find herself trapped with new enemies. Worse, these enemies are among the Coven – one of whom she thought she could trust....


Fang-Freakin-Tastic Review: When one starts reading a trilogy, you go into it knowing there will only be 3 books. That’s what a trilogy is. The thing is, knowing it’s a trilogy still doesn’t make it hurt less when it’s over. As a reader, I’ve become attached to these characters. I’m happy to know how things end for them right now, but I still want to know their lives. I’m not a stalker, I swear. The Lightning Progeny is the third and final book in The Lightning Witch Trilogy. Each book as been a roller coaster of emotions, and Progeny is no different. I’ll admit, I may have had a little something in my eye causing a tear-like substance to leak from my eye near the end. Our usual cast of characters is still around, but I did enjoy the amount of time Troy spent in the spotlight (as I’m sure he also would). Cyr’s sense of humor shows through the entire series, not just one or two books, which I can appreciate. Everything is so serious and life or death all the time, it’s nice to have a little funny here and there. Overall, I loved this book. I loved the other books in the series as well, but knowing that I would find out how everything ends, no matter how much I didn’t want it to, has a sort of satisfying quality to it. Everything is wrapped up in a shredded and singed little bow. If nothing else, now I can recommend this series to someone new and they won’t have to suffer in between books.

Bite Somebody Sara Dobie Bauer Paranormal “Do you want to be perfect?” That’s what Danny asked Celia the night he turned her into a vampire. Three months have passed since, and immortality didn’t transform her into the glamorous, sexy vamp she was expecting, but left her awkward, lonely, and working at a Florida gas station. On top of that, she’s a giant screw-up of an immortal, because the only blood she consumes is from illegally obtained hospital blood bags. ... Fang-Freakin-Tastic Review: Bite Somebody isn’t your typical paranormal vampire romance. It’s funny as hell and left me cracking up. It’s the type of book that you would think could be a gooey romancey type of read, and in some ways I suppose it is, but not in the syrupy way. I’m not a fan of romance. At all. I’d rather read about fighting and killing and maiming etc. The romance in Bite Somebody is actually quite entertaining and relatable. The characters all have their own little quirks that gives them a feel of being real. The lead female isn’t some drop dead gorgeous bad ass who has everything figured out. Celia is just an average girl who met a hot guy at a club one night and fell for his lines. Now she’s stuck working in a gas station trying to “live” paycheck to paycheck just like the rest of us. She is essentially described as being quite run of the mill and awkward. It was incredibly easy to relate to Celia’s character. Her awkwardness is part of her

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Fang-Freakin-Tastic Reviews charm. Between the hunk next door, Ian, her pain in the ass only friend Imogene, and the nosy neighbor, I loved all of the characters in this book. Except Danny, Celia’s maker who dipped on her before showing her how to be a vampire. He’s a dick. Bite Somebody really is something worth checking out if you are looking for something a little different, but funny. It moves quickly from the beginning, but not so quickly things are missed. It kept me laughing from the beginning until the very end.

Enter the Witch Robbie Cox SciFi/Paranormal She told Ericka not to touch the book! She warned her about dabbling with witchcraft. Magic was powerful. You never knew what you might unleash. Yet, Ericka didn’t listen and now she had brought the storm right to Jasmine’s door....

Fang-Freakin-Tastic Review: Enter the Witch is a fast paced novella that grabbed me from the very beginning and didn’t let go until the story was over. My only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough, but I’m hoping Robbie puts out a dozen or so other books for the Witches of Savannah series. Enter the Witch tells the story of Jasmine, who was a side character in Come Halloween. I haven’t yet read Come Halloween and I was able

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to follow the story just fine, so I do plan to go back and read that one. Amber is also from Come Halloween. A ghost named Cletus who seems to be afraid of just about everything is following Jasmine. I am really hoping to find out more about Cletus in the future. Jasmine’s friend Ericka made the mistake of messing with spells and when she disappears in a storm in the middle of Jasmine’s living room, Jasmine does whatever she can to find her friend. I recommend Enter the Witch to anyone looking for a short and entertaining read. It’s witchy, paranormal, and a lot of fun. I look forward to going back and reading Come Halloween as well as the future books in the series.

Within These Walls Ania Ahlborn Horror With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed-up true-crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback, one more shot at the bestselling success he once enjoyed. His chance comes when he’s promised exclusive access to death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the notorious cult leader and mass murderer who’s ready to break his silence after thirty years, and who contacted Lucas personally from his maximum-security cell. With nothing left to lose, Lucas leaves New York to live and work from the scene of the crime: a split-level farmhouse on a gray-sanded beach in Washington State whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb’s diviners—runaways who were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. There, Lucas sets out to capture the real story of the departed faithful. Except that he’s not alone. For Jeffrey


Halcomb promised his devout eternal life…and within these walls, they’re far from dead.

Fang-Freakin-Tastic Review: I have somewhat mixed feelings about Within These Walls. Some things I thought were great and some I didn’t particularly care for. Overall, it’s a decent book and I can imagine others still enjoying the things I didn’t. The first quarter or so of Within These Walls was exceptionally slow for me. I initially had a hard time getting into the story. I was interested in what was going to happen, but it felt like it took forever to get anywhere and I was bored during most of that portion of the book. It did pick up the pace around chapter 13 or so.

it isn’t as surprising as it could be. I would like to have seen a more exciting ending. The ending was ultimately what I expected to happen, though there is a bit of it that I didn’t expect and really thought was a good idea. I guess you could say that while I didn’t love the ending in bits and pieces, as a whole I did enjoy it. Within These Walls has been sitting on my shelf for quite an embarrassing amount of time now. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get to, but I’m glad I was finally able to read it. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent sized read that has some twists and enjoys cultish books.

One thing I liked about Within These Walls was that I felt like I could relate to Lucas in a way that’s different from many other characters I’ve read. I think it’s mainly due to us having some of the same interests from that era of our youth. I got a little nostalgic reading about his boots, and his having played Vampire: the Masquerade. He made his daughter watch the movie “Heathers” just as I did to my own daughter. Within These Walls has a very Manson Family-esq feel to it. In some ways, it was your stereotypical cult with a charismatic male leader and younger followers, and the author does actually refer to the Manson family at one point, so I’m sure she is aware of the similarities lol. It’s not a blatant copy or retelling of the Manson murders, so I don’t mean to imply that, but you can definitely see the resemblance if you know anything about Charles Manson and his followers. Their ultimate purpose was quite different though. There are times throughout Within These Walls where the story is a bit predictable. Not completely, but if you read a lot of horror or true crime types of books,

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Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews

Monster Nation David Wellington Horror In the heart of America, in the world’s most secure prison, something horrible is growing in the dark. A wave of cannibalism and fear is sweeping across the heartland, spreading carnage and infection in its wake. Captain Bannerman Clark of the National Guard has been tasked with an impossible mission: discover what is happening — and then stop it before it annihilates Los Angeles. In California, he discovers a woman trapped in a hospital overrun with violent madmen. She may hold the secret to the Epidemic but she has lost everything — even her name. David Wellington’s first novel, Monster Island, explored a world overcome by horror and the few people strong enough to survive. Now he takes us back in time to where it all began — to the day the dead began to rise. Myra’s Review: Los Angeles gets struck with a new deadly disease and far too quickly a zombie outbreak is sweeping outward. Captain Clark is assigned the duty of trying to figure out what is going on and if it can be stopped. A young woman is bitten by one of the infected and runs into an oxygen bar because she can hardly breathe. When she awakens, she is not 96 | UncagedBooks.com

only alive, but undead, and unbelievably still able to reason. She can’t remember her name and little of her past, which causes her much anguish. She is nicknamed Nilla by a character in the story. The female victim is contacted mentally by a mysterious man, Mael, who speaks to her. Nilla doesn’t know whether to trust him or not. He says she is the key to the future, which involves wiping out all humanity. Soon after, she meets a psychic who tells Nilla she is the key to stopping the epidemic. Nilla struggles with her last dregs of humanity as she sometimes kills and eats humans due to her raging hunger, and at other times runs from the overwhelming pain of that need. This story was different, infused with a mystical element of Mael, who talks with the young woman telepathically. Also, she can become invisible, another magical component. Even if you are a hardline zombie fan, this book was an interesting read.


The Seer’s Lover Kat de Falla Paranormal For years, Calise Rowe has been able to sense unusual energy from people, making her believe she is different. Pulled into an ancient war raging for centuries between demon hunters and seers, she’s about to find out she’s right. Her search for the truth leads her to Lucas Rojas, a seer of angels and demons who walk the earth shrouded from normal human eyes. He’s hidden his gift for years and refuses to endanger Calise by sharing it with her. In the sultry Costa Rican Jungles, their worlds collide. As their passion and desire ignite, so does the ancient war between demons and seers. Will their combined efforts be enough to save themselves and the entire human world, or will their new found love be their downfall?

doing some really abhorrent deeds -what one would expect from hell’s spawn. But the scenes where angel babies were tortured by demons was disturbing. The book dragged in the beginning for me, but kicked into high gear once Calise became a Seer. If you love stories about angels and demons, I recommend you give this book a try.

Myra’s Review: Calise has always had a 6th sense about people; like feeling bad vibes emitting from certain ones. She wants to find out more about her special ability, but doesn’t know how. While on vacation in Mal Pais she gets more than she expected when she falls in love with handsome Lucas, who seems full of secrets. After they make love and she returns home, her skills are either over-the-top or she has lost her mind. From simply sensing evil in people, she sees actual demon-like creatures. Unbeknownst to Calise, Lucas is a Seer, one who not only sees demons, but fights and kills them. Now she has joined his ranks. Will she be able to handle this new “seeing” power? There are several angels as secondary characters as well as demons. Several of these mixed couples (an angel paired with a demon) are in love and it was interesting to see the twists and turns of their relationships. The main premise of this story is good versus evil. Angels and demons fight for the influence each has on humanity. The other-worldly beings are described beautifully and horrifyingly. The demons are depicted Issue 12 | July 2017 |

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Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews Dead of Night Jonathan Mayberry Thriller/Horror A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang…but a bite. Myra’s Review: Yowzer! This was a thrilling ride filled with angst and deeply chilling horror. Maberry’s descriptive style is on fire as he takes the readers inside the horrific disease that turns humans into zombies. The parasites leave people stripped of humanity; hungering beasts intent on filling the raging hunger that consumes them and set on spreading the parasitic infection. The worst part is the infected still have conscious thought. Trapped inside the monsters, they watch in horror as they attack and rend people. Where did this ghastly infestation come from? Dr. Volker, a mad scientist, created it. His plan was to torment and punish serial killers. His family had been slaughtered by such a human monster. Because the killer had never been caught, he chooses a truly horrific serial killer as a “representative”, to exact his vengeance on. Homer Gibbons, the killer, will be infected with the parasites so that as he lays in the grave after the state dispatches him, he will be awake; aware and feel the tiny creature’s as they consume his body gradually. The mad scientist did not count on fate interfering, that Homer’s body would be claimed by a relative for burial. Gibbons wakes up in the mortuary, alive/undead and twisted with a ravening hunger. After he attacks the poor mortician, things escalate in an out-of-control spiral of undead spreading outward exponentially. Fights erupt 98 | UncagedBooks.com

between police, civilians, first responders, National Guard and more as others are dragged into the fray. Dez is a policewoman; a truly bad-ass character. She’s not lovable, with a temper that takes very little to trigger, and can fight like a demon. Only Billy Trout, a reporter, loves her with a deep, abiding feeling that won’t go away no matter how horribly she treats him. Billy plays an important role in getting the message out about the infection. The government tries to cover up, but Trout stops that with his soul searing reports on the internet. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the town of Stebbins will not survive. Whether the townspeople seeking refuge in the school will, is very questionable. Dez is in the thick of the fight and gives readers some hope. Delving deeper, it becomes clear too that the government’s efforts are not adding up to a win. You know that the disease needs to be stopped and cleansed, but Maberry brings us into many victims fight to survive, so that government sanctioned killings (uninfected as well as infected) feel heartless. I’m already a Maberry fan, but I really enjoyed the ride this book gave me as a lover of zombie lore. It was terrifying on a level I hadn’t encountered yet in the many, many undead books devoured. It was the abhorrent reality of what the infected felt and their experience of having their bodies overtaken for gruesome acts that follow. The author takes you inside several of the victims so we see and feel what the person is going through. A must read for horror & zombie fans.


Necrophobia Jack Hamlyn Horror/Post Apocalyptic An ordinary summer’s day. The grass is green, the flowers are blooming. All is right with the world. Then the dead start rising. From cemetery and mortuary, funeral home and morgue, they flood into the streets until every town and city is infested with walking corpses, blank-eyed eating machines that exist to take down the living. The world is a graveyard. And when you have a family to protect, it’s more than survival. It’s war. Myra’s Review: This zombie story deviated from most I’ve read, because the zombie apocalypse starts out differently. There are no victims overwhelming the hospitals with a deadly virus. Instead, the newly buried and those long dead, whether in a grave, mortuary or morgue; rise up. Harkens back to Night of the Living Dead. The story is written in first person and terrifying when the main character, Steve, gets introduced to the new world order in a gut-wrenching way. First, he runs to the aid of a neighbor who screams. Finding the man with his throat covered in blood and in agony was bad enough. But hearing a noise, Steve turns and sees another neighbor, Bill coming toward him. Only Bill had died and been buried the week before. Steve gathers together his family and a few neighbors still alive, and heads to the only safe place he knows. Tucker is an old friend and a top-notch prepper. Luckily for the refugees, Tucker allows them into his compound. The survivalist’s place is surrounded by fencing, farmland, and he had built a strong, stone tower as his base of operations. The group fights off zombies, but overall they are doing well, until jets take out the compound with

air power. Steve and Tucker thought it might be militia, but later discover it was the military, who targeted the compound because they thought it was a militia/marauder headquarters. The fight scenes throughout the book were described well, as were the undead. Escaping, the group set up home in an abandoned airfield. Things are going pretty well, but boredom sets in; cabin fever without the cabin. Steve realizes the survivors need a purpose, something to strive toward besides day-to-day living. This quickly evolves into a mission to rescue women left abandoned and abused by the militia. The rescue erupted into a lot of fighting, and it was made cooler by the Strykers (armored fighting vehicles) the survivors attained from the police garage. I loved the ending, where Steve thinks “The dead had taken the world from us and now we are going to take it back.” This makes me want to get my hands on the sequel even quicker. I strongly recommend this book to zombie fans.

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Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews Notes of a Naive Traveler Jennifer S. Alderson Non-fiction/Travel I was twenty-six years old, had a well-paid job, fantastic apartment and large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living. Part cultural and travel guide, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a first-hand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family.... Amy’s Review: A magnificent journey I am definitely not a traveler, not that I don’t want to be, just that I am unable to be. I absolutely loved this book, and joining in on the journey with the author. Details and troubles of the travel, as well as the adventure and photographs were awe-inspiring. It’s almost like a diary of her journey and it is inspiring, and sometimes, fearfully amazing. Her writing about the thief on the bus, and how it was resolved, was just something of a dramatic experience. I look forward to reading about more travels of Alderson, and anything that she writes.

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Shadow Wings Anna Holloway Paranormal Romance Myra Dean thought she escaped the tragedy that pushed her to the new town. However, when her boss’ son rides in on his Harley, she finds herself wondering who he truly was. Was he the man of her dreams or was it his motorcycle brother, the golden eyed detective who melts her heart? Cross and Blaze come from two different backgrounds but their duty is to protect Myra. She was born with the blood of two different species running through her veins making her a target for the demon, Malach. With the taste of her blood, he can do what no other demon could do, return to heaven. Will Cross and Blaze figure out how to control their jealousy over Myra so they can protect her or will she have to save them instead? Amy’s Review: A new level of romance There’s something about Myra that makes her different from everyone else, and she needs to be protected. It’s an interesting take on a romantic triangle, while trying to survive. I liked this story and it’s well written, and I was quite fond of the villain. I think he added a great deal of chemistry to the story, even if it were evil. Quite enjoyable. I love a good villain.


The Shadows of Shuffleboard Manor Joe Basara Paranormal Sue Pecos, a resident of Shuffleboard Manor retirement home, is ready to be reunited with her husband Bill who has been gone seventeen years. Her deceased former roommate, Sylvia Waif, appears and offers to be as Beatrice was to Dante, her guide through a shadowy purgatory named Flora Land. Sylvia recruits residents of Shuffleboard to serve as characters Sue encounters through ring after ring of this mysterious land that mirrors Florida. She is being made worthy to spend eternity in paradise though all she really wants is to be with Bill again. Amy’s Review: A new take on the Divine Comedy Sue thinks that her late husband is waiting for her in purgatory. He’s been gone 17 years. I like the connection between the current story and it’s relation to Dante’s Divine Comedy. It’s one of those stories that you can almost relate to, as there is the essence of eternal love, and the earthly feelings and that of the spirits that linger. I haven’t read the other books by Basara in the Cypress Lake series, but after reading this I may just add them to my TBR list. Sue has a grand and interesting relationship with Sylvia, her late friend who guides her. It’s a wondrous and interesting journey.

Talon Amanda Greenslade New Adult Fantasy With a newly awakened icetiger for his companion, Talon is finally learning the magic of the Kriite people, including telepathy and shape-changing. After his home town Jaria is attacked by Zeikas he embarks on a mission to seek help. Before Talon even understands the power within him, there are demon summoners after him. He is horrified to learn that the Zeika leader plans to use Talon’s body and mind to further his ambition for power. Bal Harar is on a god-given mission to enslave or kill all Kriites. Talon represents both the greatest threat and the greatest opportunity to the Zeikas—his actions and faith will make all the difference between the two. Amy’s Review: A definite wow! I hope this is just the beginning for this series, as this is book 1 of the Astor Chronicles. It’s not just a YA book, but one that even adults will enjoy, if they like swords and sorcery. It’s fun and exciting, and magical. It’s a good read and very entertaining. I enjoyed how this book captivated this reader and I was quick and yet slow to turn the page, enjoying every word. Will read more of the series.

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Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews A Storytelling of Ravens R.H. Dixon Horror/Occult British actress Callie Crossley is kidnapped and dumped outside a cabin at the edge of Whispering Woods. All she has is a scrawled message: DEAD TO ME; and two unexpected housemates: a former sitcom star (who looks like hell) and a girl in a wheelchair (who is full of hell). When film producer Torbin Thurston, a man Callie knows personally, turns up at the cabin, Callie has no idea who she can trust anymore. She seems to be the only one who can hear strange whispering and it’s not long till she realises that there’s something dangerous lurking outside in the woods.... Amy’s Review: Intriguing! An intense horror story that brings the reader right in the middle of the Whispering Woods. Callie struggles to survive, and doesn’t know who to trust. I enjoyed the story and it was well written. The story surprised this reader, and you could feel the intensity of the unknown, and what may be lurking on the next page. A great read, and I enjoyed it. One of those stories that will stick with you, especially if you’re in the woods.

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Pitch Black Elise Noble Thriller/Romantic Even a Diamond can be shattered... After the owner of a security company is murdered, his sharp-edged wife goes on the run. Forced to abandon everything she holds dear - her home, her friends, her job in special ops - she builds a new life for herself in England. As Ashlyn Hale, she meets Luke, a handsome local who makes her realise just how lonely she is. Yet, even in the sleepy village of Lower Foxford, the dark side of life dogs Diamond’s trail when the unthinkable strikes. Forced out of hiding, she races against time to save those she cares about. But is it too little, too late? Amy’s Review: Amazing. First of all, this book is a definite winner. I find that since it’s the first in a series, I should (will) add the other books to my TBR list, which is always growing as it is. I don’t always want to read an entire series, but when the first book is this good, there is hope that the rest will be as good or even better. I haven’t read Noble’s work before, but I will definitely read more of her work. She writes so well, and I love that her characters have such depth. Ash is a kick-ass and quirky woman, who is on her own. It’s just the beginning for her story and this book has a surprising and revelational conclusion. Well done!


The Case of the Invisible Souls R. Weir Mystery With Christmas a few weeks away and happy these last few months had been quiet, Jarvis Mann decides to take on an interesting case. A homeless veteran knocks on his door with a story of how several of his homeless companions have been bribed and taxied away never to return. Taking pause to the man’s story at first, Jarvis digs deeper learning of plans to clear out the homeless. When the man is attacked, and seriously injured, Jarvis goes undercover, learning more about life on the streets than he ever knew, becoming one of the Invisible Souls in search of an answer. Amy’s Review: Mann returns A new kind of case for Jarvis Mann. I really love this detective and his stories, and this one, though it’s one of the shorter ones, really made an impact. The title for the story is perfect, and Mann is taking on a probono case, to solve deaths of the homeless. Weir really sets the tone for Mann and brings a thrill into the action and suspense of the story. As always, this story does not disappoint, and makes me look forward to any new case that Jarvis Mann is on.

Shards of Murder Cheryl Hollon Cozy Mystery When a glass-making competition turns deadly, glass shop owner Savannah Webb must search for a window into a criminal’s mind… As the new proprietor of Webb’s Glass Shop, Savannah has been appointed to fill her late father’s shoes as a judge for the Spinnaker Arts Festival, held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. With her innovative glass works, the clear winner is Megan Loyola, a student of Savannah’s former mentor. ... Amy’s Review: Great Read. This is book two of this series, and I didn’t read book one, but I definitely will as soon as I find the time (and I will find the time). The book can be read as a stand alone, but there are a few things that make me wish I read the first book, first. Anyway, this is a great story, and very well written. I like the backstory and the baseline is a glass shop and glass making, and how it runs into solving a crime, a murder at that. I liked Savannah, and find her a very likeable and smart character. I want to read more of Hollon’s work, and will start at book one and then work my way through to the others that follow this one.

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