Fang Freakin Tastic Featured Author
Kathryn Le Veque K.H. Mezek E.J Bennett Lynn Crain Mary Abshire Patricia Loofbourrow Sandra Renee Appet
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Issue 4 | Novem
Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Secrets of the Mind • Review of Secrets of the Mind
Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpts from The Red Lion & Queen of Lost Stars • Review of Queen of Lost Stars
Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Book of Angels • Reviews of Key of Mystery and Book of Angels
Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Letterbox Love Stories • Review of Sealed with a Kiss
Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Claiming the Evil Dead• Reviews of Claiming the Evil Dead & Catching an Evil Tail
Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from Fire and Midnight • Review of Fire and Midnight
Interview • Stay Connected • Excerpt from The Jacq of Spades • Reviews of The Jacq of Spades & The Queen of Diamonds
Excerpt from Revenge • Review of Revenge page
4 Editor’s Desk 5 Links You Can Use 66 Best Seller Lists 73 New Releases 76 Uncaged Reviews 84 Fang-Freakin-Tastic Reviews 88 Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews 92 Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Welcome to Issue 4, November 2016 -Uncaged Book Reviews! This month, dig in to our featured authors: Kathryn Le Veque, K.H. Mezek, E.J. Bennet, Lynn Crain, Mary Abshire, Patricia Loofbourrow and Sandra Renee Appet! I can’t thank them all enough, for sharing their talents with us. Fang-Freakin-Tastic is also spotlighting an author with a feature on M. Stratton!
There are also reviews from Uncaged, Fang-Freakin-Tastic, Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews and Amy’s Bookshelf! Be sure to check out MyraNour.net and her blog, as she dives into the horror genre. You can find their banners on the Blog Roll Call. Be sure to check out their blogs for many more reviews! This month, in the U.S., we give thanks for all that we have been blessed with in our lives. No matter what your belief system is, we are thankful for all that matters to each of us. So for all the people in the U.S., I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. On a personal note, I am a huge supporter of pet adoption. Four out of five of my dogs are rescues, and last month we adopted a new horse, that was destined for the kill pens. She’s an amazing mare, that has already won our hearts. So if you are looking for a new pet, please consider adoption to save a life. There is not much that is more fulfilling than giving a good home to a wonderful new furry family member. As Uncaged grows in popularity, in such a short amount of time, I am truthfully humbled by the response from readers, authors, publishers and promoters. Uncaged’s October issue has over 25,000 views at the time of this editorial. That’s truly amazing, for only three issues published. So we are going to continue to grow, develop and you may see new features for the magazine as we do. 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. Pretty simple, right? The response has been humbling. Please see the “Advertising in Uncaged” tab on the blog for more information on how you can advertise in the magazine.
Reviews: Authors & Readers: Please see “Reviews/Features Info” tab on the blog for more information. Blogs: If you’d like to partner with Uncaged with your own review section, please email me. All inquiries: UncagedBooks@gmail.com or email@example.com So thank you and enjoy the November issue of Uncaged Book Reviews!
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Kathryn Le Veque
Interview What to get excited for Stay Connected Sign up for Kathrynâ€™s newsletter Excerpts from The Red Lion & Queen of Lost Stars Review
| FEATURE AUTHOR |
Kathryn Le Veque
KATHRYN LE VEQUE is a USA TODAY Bestselling author, an Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, awardwinning, multipublished author in Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES and on USA TODAY’s HEA blog. In March 2015, Kathryn was the featured cover story for the March issue of InD’Tale Magazine, the premier Indie author magazine. She is also quintuple nominee (a record!) for the prestigious RONE awards for 2016.
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Kathryn’s Medieval Romance novels have been called ‘detailed’, ‘highly romantic’, and ‘character-rich’. She crafts great adventures of love, battles, passion, and romance in the High Middle Ages. More than that, she writes for both women AND men - an unusual crossover for a romance author - and Kathryn has many male readers who enjoy her stories because of the male perspective, the action, and the adventure. On October 29, 2015, Amazon launched Kathryn’s Kindle Worlds Fan Fiction site WORLD OF DE WOLFE PACK. Please visit Kindle Worlds for Kathryn Le Veque’s World of de Wolfe Pack and find many action-packed adventures written by some of the top authors in their genre using Kathryn’s characters from the de Wolfe Pack series. As Kindle World’s FIRST Historical Romance fan fiction world, Kathryn Le Veque’s World of de Wolfe Pack will contain all of the
| KATHRYN LE VEQUE | great story-telling you have come to expect. Kathryn loves to hear from her readers. Please find Kathryn on Facebook at Kathryn Le Veque, Author, or join her on Twitter @kathrynleveque, and don’t forget to visit her website at www.kathrynleveque.com.
kathrynbouseleveque.com I was absolutely thrilled when Ms. Le Veque agreed to be a Featured Author. You can get so wrapped up in her works, that time just disappears while you’re reading. First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview! Thank you so much for having me! It’s such a pleasure to be here! 1) What was your first book? When did you realize you wanted to be an author? That actually goes back a long way in the course of my life. I wanted to be a writer very early on – I wrote my first ‘book’ at 13, a teenage Sci-Fi tome, parts of which I still have written in longhand. It was really silly, but it was a pretty big book, and that’s when I discovered my passion for writing. So, technically, “Journey to the Stars” was my first book (that teenage/spacy hormonal
drama), but of my professional career, “The Wolfe” was my first book. 2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most? Ray Bradbury has always been my favorite author, which is odd considering I write Romance, but the man had an imagination that defied logic – “The Martian Chronicles” is my favorite book, ever, mostly because of the way Bradbury paints a literary picture of how he envisioned the colonization of Mars. I have read that book hundreds of times and I can still see the towers of glass, or the physical descriptions of the Martians, right in my head the way he describes them. I have always wanted to write with such literary clarity. These days, I don’t read much Sci-Fi, but I do love Clive Cussler as an author. I have read every one of his books. Historically speaking, my favorite authors are Virginia Henley and Alison Weir. 3) The book I read, Queen of Lost Stars, was a historical set in medieval times, and the premise of the book is very unconventional and very daring. How did this book come about? I’m not exactly sure how I came up with that premise, but it was a very long time ago. Queen of Lost Stars went through a variety of changes from its original outline – originally, it was entitled “Echoes of Thunder”, but as the book progressed, I could see what a tragic figure Madelayne was. That poor woman had been through a lot. Kaspian wasn’t even the focus anymore; it was on Madelayne and in rebuilding her life, as she was literally the woman who had lost everything, hence the title change. And you’re right – the premise was a little daring – and it could also be considered erotica or Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | even fetish to a certain extent, so I knew I had to treat it very carefully to ensure that those parts of the novel weren’t overly graphic or glorified. In the book, Madelayne simply does what she has to do, without any sexual connotation to it, at least in the beginning. 4) Where is your favorite place to write? A lot of authors love to listen to music, and even have a playlist for their book. Do you like to listen to music while writing, or do you prefer quiet? Honestly, I never even had my own office until about three years ago. Before that, I wrote on my bed with my laptop, or in my living room with my laptop -that kind of thing. But now, I’ve quickly become a creature of habit. I write in my beautiful, wood-paneled office listening to piano music or meditation music (no words, as that can be distracting), and I burn candles heavily. Usually lavender or something else that would be kind of woodsy and even Medieval. I like to set the mood. I’ve gotten so dependent on that setting that it’s become difficult for me to concentrate outside of it. 5) When it comes to historical books, I am always interested in the research behind them. Do you do a lot of research with your books? The world building and character development is second to none, and I know you’ve written so many great characters, how do you keep it fresh and exciting? Those are very good questions. Yes, I do a lot of research with my books before I start. I have a big library of reference material and I also do a lot of research on the internet. I must have my research finished before I start a novel because I want to make sure I understand what I’m writing about. As for character development, my biggest goal 10 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
when I construct a character arc is making sure, above all else, there is a human element in my characters. Something relatable. In other words, I make sure to describe them physically so you can see them in your mind’s eye. I make sure they have some kind of personality quirk, because real people do. My heroines run the gamut from super-strong to super-weak, because real women do that, too. But even the weak women have a redeeming quality; that’s a must. I’ve had readers remark that perhaps they think a heroine is a ‘doormat’ or otherwise weak in a story, but you know what my answer is? That’s because she was born that way. In my mind, she was always intended to be that way, but in the end, she always shows her courage. Think on it this way – if I wrote the same character all of the time, let’s say a very strong woman with courage, after a while, that same character arc time after time would become very boring. So, how do I keep it fresh and exciting? By creating as many diverse characters as I can with human weakness as well as human strengths. 6) What is coming up in the near future for readers? Great things next year! I’ve got a series planned called The Unholy Trinity: The Executioner Knights coming up as well as the continuing series of the Lions of the Highlands. I’m very much an English Medieval writer, so venturing into the Highlands for me has been a big deal. So many other fabulous writers out there do Highlander so well, but I’m thrilled to dip my toes into that pond. 7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? First off, I love my readers. I’m so honored that they read my books. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – without them, there is no me.
| KATHRYN LE VEQUE | Without readers, there is no author, so the readers, in a sense, make us who we are. I would like to thank each and every one of them for reading my books. Fans can sign up for my blog at www. kathrynleveque.com, and follow me on Facebook at @kathrynleveque and also on Twitter @kathrynleveque. Thank you so much for having me today!!
Enjoy an excerpt from The Red Lion The Red Lion Kathryn Le Veque Historical/Medieval 1288 A.D. - Sir Jamison Munro is a Highland warrior known as The Red Lion. Big and burly, with a crown of wavy red hair, as the son of the chief of Clan Munro, Jamison’s path in life was more unconventional than those of his clansmen. His father is a progressive thinker, knowing that in order to survive his clan must become allied with the English. When Jamison is involved in an offense against a neighboring clan, George Munro has no choice but to send his greatest son south into England to protect him. Jamison finds himself serving the House of de Lohr, old allies of his father. When the call goes out to defend a de Lohr garrison against a Welsh attack, Jamison rides to the siege and finds himself caught up in a nasty battle. With the gatehouse breached, he charges in to defend the occupants only to be attacked by one occupant
in particular. What he first believes to be a small and slender knight, he soon finds out differently. He is met with ferocity by a skilled lady warrior. Lady Havilland de Llion is the daughter of the lord of Four Crosses Castle. Part-Welsh, her family is nonetheless loyal to the English and to de Lohr. When she sees the big Scotsman, she assumes he is siding with the Welsh and goes after him with a vengeance. Even upon discovering his loyalties, she doesn’t believe him and their fight goes on long after the battle itself is finished. But soon enough, the contention between them turns to something else. Politics, battles, loyalties, and roaring passions play out in a story of high emotion and high adventure. To the big Scots knight known as The Red Lion, nearly everything in his life has come at a price, but in the battle for Havilland’s affections, there is no price too high that he will not pay. Excerpt Introduce the Hero Excerpt Jamison felt a good deal of disgust as he gazed down at the MacKenzie stronghold from his position on the crag. He could see the house and the farm for the most part, including the sod-walled barn his brother had disappeared into. The biggest and most intelligent of the four Munro brothers, Jamison was the second son but always found himself in a position of command and control within the family. His father depended on him and his brothers adored him. He was feared and respected by his peers as well as men from other clans, and he was careful with his reputation. A man’s cha racter is all he really has, his father once told him, and Jamison stuck to that belief, which is why he didn’t like playing the lookout when Robert engaged in his mischief. Jamison didn’t like being Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | put in that position but if he didn’t look out for his brother, the man would surely get himself into trouble, or worse. Had it not been for Jamison on numerous occasions, Robert would have been dead. Damn Robbie! And then, he saw it…. Lured from his thoughts of his devilish brother, Jamison caught sight of movement in the distant complex. He suddenly saw a small, female body being tossed from one of the narrow barn windows – or, at least, that was what it looked like. The woman slipped right through and fell heavily to the earth below. Puzzled, not to mention concerned, Jamison spurred his horse forward, down the rocky green slope, the one that faced the ocean and the glorious morning sunrise. Introduce the Heroine Excerpt The portcullises began to grind open, chains groaning under the substantial weight. Jamison was in the process of calling his men back to the walls when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. By the time he turned around, he caught the glint of a blade and something moving very quickly down near the ground. It took him a moment to realize the woman had slid underneath the lifting portcullises and was very close to him with a sword in her hand. He barely had a chance to jump back as she took a very swift strike at his head. Jamison couldn’t believe it. She’d actually come quite close to his face with the swing of that blade and he instantly unsheathed his broadsword, a weapon that was far bigger than hers. But she was fast, this one, and she was angry, which made her both determined and slightly reckless. As the de Lohr troops watched with some amusement and, truthfully, some horror, the woman charged Jamison with her small but wellmade sword. When he lifted his weapon to fend 12 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
off her attack, she fell to her knees, sliding in the mud with her momentum, and brought her sword up underneath him. Only Jamison’s lightning-fast reflexes prevented her from making contact with his ankles. It was actually an impressive tactic; she had been aiming for his Achilles’ heel. When Jamison realized that she was genuinely trying to hurt him, he took the offensive. He had little choice unless he was prepared to willingly submit to her aggression. The woman was just regaining her feet as he came down upon her, hard, in a broadsword stroke that would have been difficult for a strong man to handle much less a woman. She lifted her sword, preventing he blow from cutting through her midsection, but the power behind the strike was much more forceful than anything she had ever experienced. The blow sent her onto her back and she had to roll out of the way, quick as a flash, to prevent him from seriously injuring her when he brought down a second strike. Unfortunately for the woman, Jamison didn’t give her time to recover. If she was going to try to hurt him, then he was going to disable her before she had the chance. So he went after her in full battle mode, preventing her from gaining her footing, watching her as she rolled and crawled through the mud, now struggling to avoid his blade. But avoid she did, at least for a few minutes as he clearly tried to kill her, but that grace period soon ended. At one point, the woman’s hair became untangled from her mail and as she tried to get away from Jamison, her braid dragged in the mud. Jamison seized on the opportunity and stepped on her hair, bringing her to an instant halt as she screamed in pain. Reaching down a massive hand, he grabbed her by the hair on her scalp, yanking her head back as he brought the sword down, aiming it right for her neck. He stopped short of cutting her head off, however, as the blade rested on her pale, dirty skin. The fight was over as swiftly as it had begun.
| KATHRYN LE VEQUE | Jamison stared down into her face, seeing that her eyes were a deep shade of green, with long dark lashes all around. Her beauty was without compare but he refused to think such thoughts of this woman who had tried to hurt him. He glared at her, his jaw flexing furiously. “Now,” he growled, “ye attacked me and failed. Tell me why I shouldna end yer life right now.” The woman was breathing heavily but, to her credit, there was no fear in her eyes. She gazed back at him with defiance. “I cannot give you a reason,” she said, her voice hoarse because he had her head pulled back so far and there was a strain on her neck. “Do as you must.” Jamison didn’t want to kill her; he really didn’t. He was just trying to scare her because she had been bold and reckless. But he was coming to think that she couldn’t be scared. He could see it in her expression, in everything about her. She was brave, this one. A seedling of respect grew. “Do ye want tae die, then?” he asked. Something in her eyes flickered, a whisper of fear, perhaps. “Of course not,” she said. “But I lost the fight. It is your right to do to me as you will.” His red eyebrows drew together; he couldn’t help it. “How would ye know about the rules of engagement?” he asked. “Moreover, why do ye dress as a warrior? Does yer husband allow such things?” She swallowed, hard. “I am not married.” “Then yer father allows this?” She didn’t respond right away, trying to lower her gaze but unable to for the way he was holding her. “My father has no say in what I do,” she said. “This is my home. I defend it as necessary, any way I deem necessary.” Jamison was feeling some exasperation. “I told ye I am with de Lohr,” he said. “I am here tae help ye. Do ye not understand that, lass?” Something in her eyes flared as she looked at him. “Do not call me a lass!” “I would call ye by yer name but I dunna know
it.” “And I’ll not tell you.” He cocked his head. “Ye have an unruly mouth in the face of a man holding a sword tae yer neck,” he said. “Are ye truly so foolish? For certain, that is all I have seen from ye since the beginning.” She sighed, the frown returning to her features. “If you are going to kill me, then get on with it.” Jamison stared at her a moment longer. Then, he swiftly removed his sword and dropped it to the earth. Before the woman could utter a word of protest, he went down on one knee and, still holding on to her hair, put her straight across his thigh. Letting go of her hair, he held her down with that arm across her back as the other arm extended and, without hesitation, proceeded to spank her. His big hand against her backside resounded off of the stone walls. The woman began to howl. “Beast!” she screamed, fighting and twisting. “How dare you take a hand to me! You will be punished for this – ouch!” Jamison whaled on her buttocks, through the mail coat and through the breeches she was wearing. It probably hurt his hand more than it hurt her backside, but that wasn’t the point. She was terribly mannered and it was clear no one had ever disciplined her. He was, therefore, pleased to be the first. It gave him a fiendish satisfaction to do so. He whacked her a few more times before pushing her off his knee, straight into the mud.
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR |
Enjoy an excerpt from Queen of Lost Stars Queen of Lost Stars Kathryn Le Veque Historical/Medieval 1320 A.D. - Madelayne Gray l’Ebreux is the queen of all that is lost. Her child, her husband... everything. Or, so she thinks. The same battle that killed her husband resulted in the serious injury of her husband’s commander, Sir Kaspian St. Hever. As Kaspian lays badly wounded, Madelayne is asked to tend the man in a most unconventional and intimate way. Instead of using her milk to nurse her child, who was born dead, she nurses a man who is forbidden solid foods because of a belly wound. And so, a unusual and sometimes erotic relationship develops between Madelayne and her patient. Kaspian is tended by a woman who offers him her breasts as way of sustaining his life. At first, he looks at the situation as a necessity but he soon comes to crave it. He struggles to keep his feelings from the widowed woman but it becomes increasingly difficult. For a man who has known little compassion or kindness in his life, Madelayne comes to represent everything he has been missing. She soon becomes to represent everything he wants, and he wants her. Join Madelayne and Kaspian on their journey through life, loss, lust, and passion in this adventure - packed and unconventional Medieval Romance. Can Madelayne finally change her stars with Kaspian’s help?
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Excerpt: Madelayne heard the footsteps enter behind her but she didn’t move. She was certain it was a servant, perhaps even someone with her dead son in their arms. Perhaps they’d come to show her, as she’d requested. Sick to her stomach, she didn’t want to turn around and look. Now she was suddenly afraid to look, panic welling in her chest. Perhaps if she didn’t look at the baby, he really couldn’t be dead. She could pretend that someone had stolen him away and she would always hold out hope that, someday, he would come back. But those were foolish thoughts. Deep down, she knew she was being ridiculous. Taking a deep breath, she forced her bravery and turned around, surprised to see that Mavia had entered the chamber. Right behind Mavia came Thomas, dirty and exhausted from days of fighting. As soon as Madelayne saw Thomas, fear welled in her heart and she struggled to sit up. She felt a good deal of angst at the knight’s appearance. “Mavia, nay!” Madelayne hissed weakly. “You did not tell Thomas, did you? I do not want him to tell Cairn. I must do it!” Mavia went to her, quickly, trying to soothe her. “Do not trouble yourself, darling,” she said, taking one of Madelayne’s hands and squeezing it. The other hand was on her shoulder, trying to keep the woman on the bed. “I swear to you that Thomas will not… darling, he has come to speak with you. Please be calm. You should not trouble yourself so.” Mavia was being insistent and soothing, but to Madelayne, she came across as demanding. She was practically pushing her back onto the bed. Madelayne frowned, trying to push the woman away because she seemed too eager to put her hands on her. “Did Mavia tell you?” Madelayne asked the weary-looking knight. “My son was born this morning. He is dead. I will tell Cairn myself so you must not tell him. Please, Thomas. Do not tell
| KATHRYN LE VEQUE | him!” She was pleading with him. Thomas sighed heavily, mentally preparing what he had to say. Lady Madelayne was pale, her lovely eyes dark-circled, and she had a rather wild-eyed look about her at the moment. He simply couldn’t get past that panicked expression, terrified with the thought that Thomas was going to tell Cairn of his dead son before she could. He held out a hand to her, silently begging for calm. “I will not,” he said, his voice dull and hoarse. “Lady, surely, I cannot. I wish to God that I could. I wish to God that you could, but you cannot. Lady l’Ebreux, God has taken Cairn to heaven to be with him. He fell in the battle at Beeston and he is gone. It is my wholly unhappy duty to tell you this news, especially in light of what happened this morning, but I have no choice. I pray that you can forgive me for the news I bear and understand that your husband died a glorious death.” Madelayne blinked as if she didn’t quite understand what she was being told. She had not slept in almost two days, long days of laboring to bring forth her dead son, so her mind was muddled. She stared at Thomas as Mavia kept trying to squeeze her hand. She yanked her hand away from the woman, unwilling to be comforted. Her gaze upon Thomas was intense. “That cannot be,” she said with an odd calm. “He assured me that he would be home in a few days. He assured me that it was a light skirmish. Surely he is coming home; you must be mistaken, Thomas.” Thomas shook his head sadly. “Alas, I am not,” he replied. “Cairn was set upon by rebels and they took his life. I have brought him home to be buried, now with his son that did not survive. I am so very sorry for your losses, Madelayne. Cairn was a good man.” Madelayne stared at the man as she came to realize what he was telling her. The news suddenly hit her like a hammer, colliding with her fragile
mind, and her eyes widened and the breath left her. She couldn’t breathe at all, now clutching at her throat. “Nay,” she gasped. “It cannot be true!” “It is.” “It is not! He promised to return to me!” Thomas sighed heavily, hanging his head. “I have brought him home for you to see him,” he said, rather coldly. “He is being taken to the vault. I will take you there when you are strong enough to bear it.” Madelayne was looking at him but she wasn’t really seeing him; she was looking through him, perhaps seeing all of those dreams she’d had with a happy husband and family, now gone forever. Swept away by the winds of fate, up into the heavens where memories and souls were kept. Cairn was now one of those lost stars, too, those dead souls that nearly everyone she had ever loved had become.
Uncaged Review Queen of Lost Stars Don’t let the blurb throw you off this one, this is a great book. It’s a bit unconventional, but it’s a solid story, with characters you love, and a villain you hate. This is medieval times, and the English are trying to fend off the Welsh – and there are a series of castles and strongholds that they are defending from Welsh attacks. Kaspian –in command of Lavister Crag Castle along the Welch Marches, his knights and warriors are aiding one stronghold, Beeston Castle from a Welsh attack. Cairn, Kaspian’s loyal knight and second in command, is killed, and Kaspian himself mortally wounded. When they are brought back to Lavister, Kaspian is growing weaker as he can’t get nourishment. Madelayne, Cairn’s widow, gave birth to a still-born son, and Dolwyd – the psychic and doctor for the castle, suggests that Madelayne Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | give Kaspian the gift of her breast milk to keep him alive. As this story progresses, the man that will stop at nothing to take command away from Kaspian, is Nicholas de Dalyn, who does nothing to stop the death of Cairn, and acts as a hero. This story has great action, there is violence, loss, heartbreak, loyalty and a heartwarming storyline and will keep you engaged throughout the book. You will not want to put this down for long, if you like historicals or have never read one, and even if you are on the fence with medieval times, this book may change your mind. This book will go down as one of my favorite reads this year, and being someone who reads 15-20 books a month, thatâ€™s saying a lot.
Uncaged Ratings: Adult
Historical Romance/Medieval Some Violence Sex Scenes
Kathryn Le Veque has over 60 novels available for her readers. Get your Medieval on! Amazon Author Page
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Interview What Karenâ€™s been up to Stay Connected Never miss an update Excerpt from Book of Angels Reviews
| FEATURE AUTHOR |
K.H. Mezek Karen Hunt aka KH Mezek is, more than anything else, an adventurer. For the past two years she has been traveling the world, from the minarets of Istanbul, to the Sahara Desert, to the jungles of Costa Rica, writing her YA Urban Fantasy series, NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES. Karen is the co-founder of InsideOUT Writers, a creative writing program for incarcerated youth, and the founder of the MY WORLD PROJECT, connecting youth in remote areas through art and writing. She is a 2nd degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a first degree brown belt in Eskrima, and a boxing and kick-boxing trainer. Her love of travel and adventure started as a child when her family escaped out of Egypt right before the 6 Day War, lived in a 17th century castle in Switzerland and smuggled Bibles into communist countries, along 18 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
with many other exploits. Itâ€™s hard to say where her adventures will lead her next, but her bag is packed, her passport is up to date and she is ready to go.
Stay Connected khmezek.net
| K.H. MEZEK | I was very intrigued by The Night Angels Chronicles when I was asked to review the books. It seemed to me that it would be a perfect fit for a Feature, and Karen was gracious enough to say yes.
My artwork from The Lost Princess, published with Thomas Nelson
First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview! 1) What was your first book? When did you realize you wanted to be an author? If you mean the first book that I read as a child that made a big impression on me, that would be The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I couldn’t have read it in a more perfect setting. My family was traveling and we were actually in a thatched house in the English countryside. It was rainy and cold, and I wandered into the library, pulled that book off the shelf and started to read. It was the first time I knew what it meant to open a book and find myself lost in another world. It was pure magic. I knew I wanted to be a writer and an artist from the first moment as a small child that I could pick up a pencil. It was a compulsion and I would spend hours on the floor of my room writing and drawing. I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to write and draw. It took a few years to find my calling. I started out writing and illustrating children’s books. I have nineteen children’s books published, both in Europe and in the United States. As my kids grew older, I started writing books for older children. You could say my books kind of grew as my children grew. My artwork from “Orgle the Terrible”
My artwork from The Rumpoles and The Barleys, my bestselling children’s books, published with Harvest House Publishers. 2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most? I love fantasy, science fiction and mysteries/ thrillers. Some of my favorite authors are Anne Rice, Tad Williams, Barbara Nadel, Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston, Stephen King, Elizabeth George, and I will always bow down to Agatha Christie. I could go on and on, actually, because I have so many favorite authors. Right now I’m reading Red Rising by Pierce Brow and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. 3) I have to admit, that the Night Angels chroniIssue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | cles, the very original concept is very different, having this group be descendants of vampires, but have made a deal with an angel, and I was pleasantly surprised. What inspired this series, and are any of the characters inspired by someone in real life? I’m so glad you like the concept! I spent a lot of time thinking it through. 1. The first thing that sparked my imagination was the 1934 Los Angeles Times article about Warren G. Schufelt’s search for the Lizard City beneath Los Angeles. The fact that he actually convinced the LA City Council to fund his search gave a solid foundation of fact to my series. Anyone can google it, just like Sera and her friends did, and see that what Schufelt did is verified, so that creates this very cool foundation of authenticity, much like The Da Vinci Code! 2. As a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, first degree brown belt in Eskrima (stick and knife fighting) and full contact boxer and kickboxer, my training definitely inspired me. As a woman who loves to fight, I can write a fight scene that rings true. 3. The characters are inspired by a bunch of different people. Sera is inspired by my own idea 20 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
of the kind of heroine I would have liked to read about as a teenager. Peter is inspired in part by a martial artist I know. Salem is inspired by various friends of my kids. Sera’s friend Inez is, in part, inspired by a friend of mine—they even have the same name. Sera’s mom is inspired by all the parents that I see who would rather medicate themselves than face the reality of the world in which they live. 4. The environment that my kids grew up in inspired me. I am a single mom and raised three kids on the “mean” streets of Los Angeles suburbia. In fact, Oak Haven is a total spoof of Calabasas, made infamous by the Kardashians. The San Fernando Valley is very real and considered the most diverse suburb in America. I’ve had my share of crazy experiences, like fighting off a Neo Nazi gang that attacked my home. I’ve had prison-style homemade javelins propelled into my front door. I’ve taken a young man, a Juggalo, to the hospital who was in danger of dying from seven stab wounds. I started a creative writing program for incarcerated youth called InsideOUT Writers and I was inspired by the injustices that I saw with inner city kids, the stories they told me of their lives, and just the terrible challenges that all young people face on a daily basis when they walk out the door. 5. I really hate the drug culture and the way we are controlled by corporations. 6. As for the larger concept, I like my vampires to be evil. I don’t go for these watered-down modern vampires. So, I wanted to create a complex history of these creatures; a sort biblical accounting of how they came into being. Then, with the vampires who evolved into denizens, they become a symbol of the unanswerable questions we all have about good and evil, redemption and free choice. They must continually overcome their origins. The pact that the denizens make
| K.H. MEZEK | with the Archangel Michael is one that is necessary for the balance of good and evil in the universe. At the core of the story is the question of what would happen if an individual or a group was able to attain the power and knowledge of God? This is a question that fascinates me. The ultimate challenge that Sera faces—what will she do when she at last confronts that door and the chamber within, with the tablet holding the Secrets to the Origins of Life. I know what happens at the end of Door of Destiny, the last book in the series, but no one else does! 4)Where is your favorite place to write? A lot of authors love to listen to music, and even have a playlist for their book. Do you like to listen to music while writing, or do you prefer quiet? I can write pretty much anywhere. I learned this as a mother. I learned to block out crying babies and arguing teenagers. If I hadn’t, I would never have gotten anywhere. Now that my kids are grown up, I can be more particular. I love a window with a view and a candle. I travel a lot and I bring my favorite candles with me. No music. For the past year I’ve been traveling the world and so I’ve had the good fortune to write in some incredibly inspiring places. I’ve had views of the Sahara Desert in Morocco, volcanos in Costa Rica, colonial churches in Bolivia, the Bosporus in Istanbul, mystical lakes in Switzerland, Slovenia and Ireland, and the ocean on Martha’s Vineyard, to name a few.
5) Book of Angels was the second in this series, how many books do you have planned for this series? There are six books in the series. Key of Mystery, Book of Angels, Cave of Secrets, Land of Talismans, Throne of Desire, and Door of Destiny. Cave of Secrets will be out soon and I’m deep into writing Land of Talismans. 6) What is coming up in the near future for readers? Cave of Secrets finds Oak Haven becoming an ever more dangerous and violent place to be. Sera and the Night Angels are compelled to do something that Sera would have never thought possible: join forces with her nemesis, Fabian Gore. This is the only way they can stop the Queen, who is in danger of escaping from the Life Box and awakening the vampires. But who is funneling power to the Queen and who is committing all the gruesome murders—this mystery isn’t solved until the climactic ending. Sera discovers an important secret about Gore’s creepy rehab center, Celebration Life, and comes closer to solving the mystery of what happened to her dad. And of course, the romance between Sera and Peter, with Jimmy always there in the wings, heats up, while the relationship between Sera and her brother Salem continues to be a source of conflict. We will see Sera finding the Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | Lizard City at last, but not until she has tried to escape her responsibilities with the rebel denizen Dante, ultimately finding the strength to fulfill her destiny…or does she? Definitely, things are heating up! 7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? Hey, fans, thanks for joining Sera on her journey. Through all the ups and downs, twists and turns, the ride gets scarier but it’s always fun. Let me know how you like it!
Enjoy an excerpt from Book of Angels Book of Angels K.H. Mezek Young Adult Fantasy All Sera ever wanted was to solve the mystery of her dad’s death and find out whether or not the Night Angel, Peter, really loved her. Now, there are bigger issues at stake. After being saved from death by the Night Angels, Sera returns to Oak Haven to find her brother, Salem, has been saved by her nemesis, the sinister Los Angeles mayor-to-be, Fabian Gore. Sera and her brother meet again in their hometown of Oak Haven as powerful denizens. And as enemies. Someone is channeling power to the Queen, imprisoned in St. Catherine’s Monastery. If she escapes, the Ancient Ones will rise up from their sarcophagi beneath churches through22 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
out the world and wreak vengeance on denizens and humans alike. To thwart the Queen, Sera has no choice but to form an uneasy alliance with Gore. Meanwhile, Sera’s power and her connection to the Key of Mystery is growing. Only she can open the Book of Angels. But whoever does that will become something that Sera never wants to be: the Seventh Angel. How can Sera solve her own problems when everyone else wants her to solve their problems as well? Excerpt This is from Book of Angels. Sera and the Night Angels suspect someone is feeding power to the Queen, so they go to investigate. The next thing I knew I had leapt into the air with Peter and Blanca, my mind on St. Catherine’s Monastery. I found myself hurtling through the Passage, horribly aware of every atom in my body and the indomitable forces of the universe that were trying to pull me apart. As if it were a part of my very being, I held myself together, “remembered myself”, and traveled through the Passage. Within seconds, I was floating down from the sky, surrounded by the immense, desolate beauty of what looked like a moonscape. Except that the moon shone brighter and bigger than I had ever seen. Behind me, sand stretched, wave upon wave of it, with not a hint of grass or trees, while in front rose a sheer cliff, taller than a skyscraper. The monastery seemed to grow out of the rock, so closely was it pressed against the cliff. “All looks peaceful,” observed Peter. “Maybe too peaceful,” said Blanca. Together, we jumped over the fortress walls, landing in the empty courtyard. We entered the sixth century basilica. We walked from the vestibule into the ornate nave and down the aisle, toward the
| K.H. MEZEK | sanctuary. I gazed in awe at the ancient artifacts and the icons shining with gold. Hundreds of lamps hung from the high ceiling like glittering galaxies, bathing the vast room in an eerie light. Out of the shadows the figure of the Abbot appeared, wearing a long gray robe and a cylindrical, flat-topped hat. His long black hair was tied in a knot at the nape of his head, a frizzy beard spreading out from his face like tangled wire. His large, hooked nose resembled a bird’s beak and his dark eyes burned uncannily from deep sockets. He greeted us with a humble bow and wordlessly led us through a dark and narrow arched doorway into a small, circular, windowless chamber, padding silently on bare feet. The chamber was empty except for one plain wooden table. On the table sat the black lacquered Life Box, looking just as insignificant as the Object Holder had when I had first seen it and fought over it with Salem. This box, though, was about twice the size of the one that had held the key. And, whereas the Object Holder had a gold lock and tiny gold key to open it, the Life Box had no lock and no visible way to open it. On either side of the table stood two impressive Bedouin warriors. Each had one hand resting on a curved scimitar and the other holding the hilt of a knife tucked into a belt. Their faces were lined and weather-beaten and expressionless, as if carved from the rocks of the mountain. The desert surrounding the monastery was home to many Bedouin. They were devout Muslims with a long history of guarding the monastery. They had made a vow to guard the Life Box with their lives. The Abbot motioned for the Bedouin to stand at ease. Bowing low to us, the guards said in unison, “Assalamu alaikum.” It meant, “peace be upon you.” Along with Peter and Blanca, I responded. “Alaikum assalamu.” This meant, “upon you be peace.”
Like everything else in my crazy life these days, I had no idea how I knew to say that, but I did. The Abbot didn’t speak, just gestured for us to gather around the box. “He has taken a vow of silence and hasn’t spoken in thirty years,” said Peter. My attention was drawn to the box. I realized it vibrated and hummed in an almost undetectable manner. Only when I remained completely still and stared fixedly did I notice it. “This it does without stopping and just today, it gained in force,” said one of the Bedouin. Sure enough, as we watched, the box jumped slightly, shuddered, and jumped again before falling back into its continual vibration. It hummed a little louder now. As I watched in fascination, I slowly became aware that the key around my neck was growing heavier and beginning to burn. The box vibrated more violently and hummed louder. As it did, it rose into the air and hovered about two feet above the table. The vibrating and humming grew so loud I thought the box might split apart. The key was searing my skin and I yelled in pain. I tried to tear it off, but it was stuck to my chest and my hand burned when I touched it. I felt the Queen’s presence, reaching out to me. It was pure evil and I felt attracted to it. I wanted to bow down and worship the Queen, give her the key. I became brutally aware of her perfections and my own failings. I loved the Queen! I despised and hated myself! Horrible thoughts rose in my mind, the impulse to do horrible things. Blood was pouring from my eyes. Tears or something worse, I didn’t know. “Take me away!” I cried out to the others. “She’s grabbing at me. Take me away. Please!” The Bedouin had drawn their swords and whipped out their daggers, but there was nothing they could do except stand there, at the ready. Blanca and Peter had drawn their swords, too.
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| FEATURE AUTHOR | They’d placed themselves as a shield between me and the box. The Abbot ran in front of us all and pushed Blanca and Peter back. He turned to face the box, bracing himself as if against a great wind, and raised his hands to heaven in prayer. Peter and Blanca were then able to pull me out of the chamber. I don’t think I could have moved before the Abbot faced the box. As soon as we were back in the nave, I collapsed onto the ground, gasping great gulps of air, thankful to find the heat of the key subsiding. With a great cry, I tried to take it off, but it was stuck. Completely stuck now. To my skin. “Fuck this key! Why am I cursed with it?” My entire body was bathed in red sweat. I looked down at myself in horror. What had I become? What nightmare had I entered? I pushed back my hair and swallowed, my throat dry and constricted. I had to get control of myself. I breathed in and out deeply. “She’s getting stronger all the time. She’ll get out. Maybe soon. And I was ready to help her!” I shuddered. “But you didn’t,” said Peter. “At least now we are sure she is still inside,” said Blanca. “She won’t stay there.” I could see my fate, as I had already seen it in my Turning, and it was clearer than ever. One day I would face the Queen. And I would fail! How could I not, when she was so easily able to deceive and confuse me? One of the Bedouin exited the chamber. “The Abbot wants you to know he is now sure someone is channeling power to the Queen, but he cannot see who.” “It’s just not possible,” said Blanca. The Bedouin bowed respectfully. “I only tell you what the Abbot believes.” “Thank you,” said Peter. The Bedouin continued. “The Abbot further
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believes that you must discover who is doing this. You must stop them or she will escape.” He bowed again and returned to the nave. “He’s right,” I said, as we walked out of the sanctuary and into the vestibule. “She and her sons will kill me and take the key.” “Coward.” Banca kicked the church door open with her foot. “We might as well be protecting a pile of trash! If it weren’t for the key around your neck, I’d kill you myself!” For the first time, Blanca’s words didn’t bother me. “You can call me what you want, I don’t care. But you better listen because she will escape and we won’t be able to stop her. We need to figure out what to do instead of arguing all the time.” “Well said,” said Peter. “Let’s get back to the castle and tell the others.” We were outside of the basilica now and we stood for a moment, surveying the courtyard, the full moon casting eerie shadows across the ground. I looked more carefully and saw that some of the shadows moved like living things. “What’s that?” I asked. Peter and Blanca looked up to the sky and I did the same. A gathering storms of wispy black tendrils snaked across the sky, mirroring the moving shadows on the ground. “What the hell…” I said. “Wind demons,” said Blanca. I looked at Peter inquiringly. “Seventy-two demons were captured by King Solomon and then released by mistake. Up there you see maybe twenty of them.” The Abbot and the two Bedouin had joined us in the courtyard. “We have never seen them here before,” said one of the Bedouin. “And so many,” said Peter. He sighed. “I hate wind demons.” The Abbot was motioning us to follow him. We hurried across the courtyard, which was now filled with a howling wind, the shadows of the
| K.H. MEZEK | wind demons slithering back and forth across the stones like snakes. A group of monks appeared, running in the opposite direction, heading for the church. “They will pray,” yelled one of the Bedouin above the din. This was not making me any happier. I had just escaped the clutches of the Queen and now I had to contend with wind demons? Was there no end to the problems I had to face in one day? The Abbot led us to the Fatimid mosque that stood across from the church. Standing on its own, opposite the gigantic bell tower, was the minaret and we entered and climbed swiftly up the stairs. It was from this highest point that the muezzin sang across the desert, calling the followers of Islam to prayer, five times a day. We climbed out onto the little platform that ran around the top of the minaret, and from here, I felt the full force of the gale. The shadows screamed and I could see cavernous, greedy mouths appear and disappear as they whipped around the tower, creating a whirlpool of darkness. Only when I looked straight up could I see clear sky and stars. But that opening was growing narrower by the minute. All around was completely empty of light, as if the very sky itself had been sucked into a giant black hole of whirling mouths and tails, into which we, too, would be sucked if we tried to fly upward. Peter and Blanca unsheathed their swords and I did the same. Peter pointed with his sword. “We must fly straight up. They don’t dare come too close to the minaret.” The Abbot nodded, making motions that we should hurry. “Put your sword away,” Peter said. I began to object, then obeyed. This didn’t seem like the time to argue. He gripped my arm. “Listen carefully! Jump onto my back. Once we’ve achieved the Passage, we’ll be safe. Until then, you must hold your
breath—don’t breathe, understand? If you do, the shadows will enter and steal your soul.” I nodded, terrified. I jumped onto his back and held on tightly. The Abbot raised his arms, while the Bedouin brandished their swords at the swirling darkness. It seemed to abate a bit, and Peter and Blanca seized that moment to leap into the air. I breathed in deeply and held onto my breath. All was chaos in the tunnel through the shadows, the terrible wind trying to push us back down, a screaming noise like a thousand pigs being gutted. Flying straight upward, the two Night Angels fought the demons with their swords, slicing into the tendrils that tried to encircle them. I was sure we had almost made it when I felt an icy tendril touch my leg. I almost opened my mouth to scream. As it was, I let go of Peter with one arm and tried to reach down to bat at the tendril. I felt myself slipping halfway down his back and scrambled to pull myself back up again. I was falling! The snaky thing had my ankle now. I tried to kick with my foot to shake it off, while struggling to get a better hold on Peter. I was growing weaker. I had to take a breath. My chest was exploding. And then, the Passage was achieved and we were through. I pushed away from Peter with relief, feeling the now familiar force of my molecules trying to split apart and me holding them together, as we rocketed through space and time, landing within seconds in the little garden of the castle.
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| FEATURE AUTHOR |
to the end, with some great action and leads you straight into the second book.
Key of Mystery (Book 1) This is a very original YA story, and it starts you off with a bang. Sera, who lives in the posh side of town and hangs with more entitled teens – always have made fun of the kids from a seedier side of town, a trailer park. When Sera’s father dies on the job, she finds a mysterious key, that she is compelled to keep. With his death, her family is forced to move to the trailer park, and Sera’s days with the rich kids is over. But she finds truer friends than she ever could have imagined. When a small group of foreign students show up at the school, Sera finds herself thrust into a world that she never knew existed, but was destined to become part of. The story started a tad slow for me, but it was very descriptive. Sometimes that works against a story. Even though I wanted all the information shared in this book, it had a hand in the slowing down of the storyline, but that’s the author’s dilemma, deciding how much information to give at one time. But it starts kicking in by the half way point and picks up speed. Don’t get me wrong, this is well written and it’s a well thought out storyline. I was not all that impressed with Sera in this book, at least not right away. She acts like a typical teenager, with the typical teenager symptoms of thinking mostly of herself and having pouting fits when things don’t go as she thinks they should. When she meets up with the denizens, who are actually vampires that have made a pact with an angel, and do not drink human or animal blood, and are known here as Night Angels, then the story starts to gain some speed. And it carries on
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Book of Angels (Book 2) This book carries on right after the events of book one, The Key of Mystery. Sera is saved from death by the Night Angels, and has now become one of them. The ever-present key is still the mystery that needs solving, and Sera is special, as the Night Angels have told her that she is the only one that can keep the key, as it chose her. Both a burden and a blessing – and Sera feels it will help her find out what really happened with her father. This book is a much faster pace, her friends, Jimmy, Scooter and Inez are even more loyal than ever, and her role with the Night Angels continues to develop. Her love for one Night Angel, Peter, and his love for her, can never be – which is distressing for both the reader and Sera. In this book, I cared much more for Sera, as she started to show more depth, and as she comes into her own powers, she’s still bratty at times, but considering what’s been dumped in her lap in a short amount of time, you can forgive those moments. But her caring attitude toward street kids really begins to unfold, and the story gets more intricate. This story does satisfactorily end its mission and sets up for the next book nicely, but doesn’t leave you on a cliffhanger. I highly recommend that the reader starts with the first book, as it could be a bit confusing if jumping right into this one.
| K.H. MEZEK | Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Some Violence
Key of Mystery K.H. Mezek Young Adult Fantasy “Be careful who you love, it just might kill you.” When Sera’s father is killed in a horrific accident, all he leaves behind is a mysterious key. Sera places the key on a chain around her neck and vows to avenge her father. Strange characters arrive in town including the otherworldly Night Angels, who claim to be sent for her protection. Sera falls hard for one of them—exotic, arrogant Peter. But what if his promise of love is only a ruse to gain access to the key? As Sera’s connection to the key grows, so do her supernatural powers. Guided by clues left by her father, Sera searches for the hidden chamber beneath the city, hoping to save what lies within before the sinister mayor and his deadly followers drown humanity in a bloodbath.
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Photo Manipulation by Cyrene
Interview Whatâ€™s up next Stay Connected Never miss an update Excerpt from Secrets of the Mind Review
| FEATURE AUTHOR |
E. J Bennett is the author of the YA/Fantasy novel, “Secrets of the Mind” and also the children’s book author of “My Little Brother”, which features her own children. E.J Bennett is a stay at home mom of two young children, a girl age 5 and a boy age 2. Due to her little boy been born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, E. J Bennett found that she has no time for a full time job. She wanted to do more with her life than be a stay at home parent. She wrote her first children’s book “My little brother” to help other children, as well as families who are expecting or have a baby born with a cleft lip. Although cleft lip and palate defects are one of the most common birth defects she felt there was not much information out there, especially for young children like her daughter, who did not fully understand why her baby brother had a poorly mouth. E.J Bennett lives in an old mining village in South Yorkshire, England, and loves to spend time at the holiday resort Skegness. She does most of her writing while her children are in bed, when the house is peaceful and quiet.
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secretsofthemind.weebly.com I’ve always had a soft spot for Young Adult books and it’s always great to learn about the authors behind the books. First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview! 1) What was your first book? When did you realize you wanted to be an author? My first book was My Little Brother. My daughter was learning about rhyming words when she was in reception. We sat down together and wrote a rhyming story about her little brother who was born with a cleft lip and palate. I have always loved to write. I have always written stories down. When my daughter and I wrote the short rhyming story I thought the rhyme would keep children interested but also give them an understanding of children born different to
| E.J BENNETT | them. I looked online and saw that I could self publish. I put a book together using amazon’s children book creator and published. To my surprise my daughter’s school ordered quite a few copies and everyone was telling me how much they loved it. That gave me the inspiration to try and publish my stories and see how they go. 2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most? I can’t say I have a favorite author. I find new authors I love all the time. The genre I like to read the most is Fantasy/Paranormal but I do venture into different genres depending on my mood. 3) What kind of research did you do for Secrets of the Mind, in regards to setting or mythology? I read many different books and watched many T.V shows and films in the same genre. I then looked up the different types of paranormal creatures and legends and put a twist on some. I wanted my characters to be a little different than all the books out there in the same genre. 4) Where is your favorite place to write? A lot of authors love to listen to music, and even have a playlist for their book. Do you like to listen to music while writing, or do you prefer quiet? My favorite place to write is at my desk. I am one who is easily distracted so I like the peace and quiet when I write. Music would be too much of a distraction for me. 5) Why did you choose Scotland as the setting for Secrets of the Mind to take place in? I see Scotland as a mystical place and the land of the Fae. There are many stories and legends set
in Scotland that are based on paranormal and fantasy elements. The beautiful countryside was a bonus. 6) What is coming up in the near future for readers? I will be publishing Find Me on the 28th of October which is a short ghost story with a twist. With no one to believe her, Mia finds herself thrust from college and into her deceased Grandmother’s decrepit home. Returning to the place she swore she’d never return, her haunting childhood comes back with a vengeance. Forced to stay in the deadly house, will she uncover the house’s haunting past before it’s too late? What bone chilling secrets does the house hide? I really enjoyed writing Find Me and I have had some really good feedback. I am also thinking of adapting Find Me into a Novella. On the first of December I also have a Christmas romance short story collection coming out. I enjoyed writing in a different genre and I am looking forward to hear what others think of the collection. 7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? I would like to thank all my fans for taking the time to read my book and the ones who have left a review and joined my launch team ready for the release of book 2, Secrets of the soul in early 2017. The encouragement from friends and my readers have helped me to gain more confidence and to think about publishing more books. If it was not for the wonderful reviews my stories would continue to stay on my computer and not find their way into the hands of readers.
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Enjoy an excerpt from Secrets of the Mind Secrets of the Mind E.J Bennett Young Adult/Paranormal Kayla Wilson, a seventeen year old, has no memory of her childhood, or who she really is – a witch. Found alone and lost in the middle of the woods at the young age of eight, the Wilson’s take her in, treating her as their own. Prophetic nightmares plague Kayla every night as she sleeps. One day, shopping with her best friend, her nightmares become reality, sending her life out of control. She is thrust into a new life, where her nightmares become more real with each day that passes. She learns there is more to the world than she ever thought possible. Stories and legends all have some truth to them, and unfortunately for Kayla she is a part of this new world whether she wants to be or not. She must adapt and fight for her life as a threat awaits her around every corner. Can Kayla handle her new life and survive the evil of the world? Can she uncover the secrets of her past? Excerpt I bolt upright, my hands wrapping around my throat. I feel as if I am choking. Deep hacking coughs rake my body. I can smell smoke and charred wood. It smells like a raging bonfire has been lit in my room. My eyes dart around frantically. Everything seems in order. I take deep breaths. My over-active mind begins to calm down. 32 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
The evidence of the latest nightmare fades away leaving my nerves a tangled mess. Just another dream, I reassure myself. They feel so lifelike, so real, that each dream is unsettling. I have been having nightmares for as long as I can remember. They used to just come every now and then. But now my mind won’t let me rest. Now they come every night and leave their evidence behind. Dark circles seem to be a constant feature of them. A tell-tale sign that sleep is non-existent. Every night I fear what lies in wait for me. I fight sleep as much as I can; only sleeping when my eyes are so heavy they are like lead weights forcing my eyes closed. Then terror takes hold. Each night I am surrounded by monsters. Each time a mysterious woman is there protecting me. The woman is constantly changing. Her hair and eyes change color with every new dream. The fierce and determined look on her face always remains the same though. She is always ready to fight and to protect me. I call her my guardian angel, my light within the nightmares. The sound of music blares into my mind. The sound forces me out of the nightmare and back to reality. Grabbing my phone, I answer the call groggily. My voice is hoarse and my throat is parched, as if I have not had a drink for days. “You’re late,” Misty blurts out from the other end of the line. Drat, I had completely forgotten. We are supposed to go shopping today for a party next weekend. A party that does not sound appealing to me; a group of teenagers getting drunk and then sticking their tongues down each other’s throats is not my idea of fun. According to Misty though it is the party of the year. However, she uses that line for every party and event. As she begs and pleads with me to go. Using her big bright blue eyes like puppy dog eyes until I relent. Misty is my best friend. She moved to Acampo
| E.J BENNETT | California two years ago. Why anyone would want to move here is unknown to me. We have a measly population of seven hundred and seventysix and have no water in the area, not even a duck pond. She broke down my walls and tossed my invisible shield away. “Don’t get your panties in a twist, Misty” I snap down the phone. “I have other business to attend to besides yours.” I sigh as I unfairly take my frustration out on her. “Oh yeah, and what exactly is that then? Getting your beauty sleep?” I can just imagine her doing her famous eye roll while placing her hand on her hip like a bratty child. Misty knows me well. She never takes anything to heart. “Okay, give me half an hour and I’ll be there.” “I have a family engagement this afternoon so half an hour tops.” She laughs as the line goes dead. Rummaging through my wardrobe I settle for a pair of dark blue skinny jeans and a teal tank top. I quickly run a brush through my tangled rat’s nest of hair until my light blond hair falls into spiral ringlets that reach the small of my back. Grabbing my black bag, I throw it over my shoulder and bolt downstairs, taking the steps two at a time. “Good morning, honey,” Clara sings, fixing her clear hazel eyes on me. The sweet smell of toasted waffles causes my stomach to growl like an animal eagerly awaiting its meal. I take the offered plate of hot waffles and begin hungrily devouring them. “Did you have another nightmare, sweetheart?” She studies me closely, probably taking in the dark circles under my eyes that are a dead giveaway. Worry flashes through her eyes making her pupils dilate for a second. Clara constantly worries about my nightmares and at times, demands I see a doctor or a shrink. All they do is prescribe me sleeping pills which trap me in my nightmares even more. I hate those
pills with a passion. All they do is cover my brain with a thick fog and make my body refuse to respond to my pleas. I will myself to wake up to get away from the demons that surround me. The drugs are stronger than the terror that unfolds around me, so I lay there still and motionless.
Uncaged Review Kayla was adopted as a child by Clara and David. As her birth mother died in a horrible car accident, she can’t remember any of her childhood even though she does keep having weird nightmares. Dreaming of a women who she is convinced is her guardian angel. One day after an attempted robbery gone wrong she is badly hurt. So out of the blue an older women turns up claiming to be her grandmother and forces Kayla to go to Scotland with her. Where this will be her new home, Kayla’s grandmother is quite anxious to tell Kayla all about Kayla’s past and who she really is. A witch and her best friend turns out to be sent by her grandmother to keep an eye on her and protect her from harm. Kayla is also forced to go to a new school where not everyone likes her. One day out shopping Kayla and one of her guardians who’s meant to keep her safe get kidnapped and taken to the land of the lost souls, the dark ones world. The dark ones are vampires who suck you’re life force and energy until northing remains. After all Kayla has been through she decides to give her grandmother a chance and figure out how to protect herself and control her powers. I liked the storyline very much. The supernatural ball she attends was very fun to read about a sort of modern Cinderella. It moved at a fast pace. But ended briefly for me also at the end of the story we are treated to some sneak peaks of what’s in store for the rest of the series. In all I would give this 3 stars a good try for book one and can’t wait Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | to see how the writer progresses with the rest of this series. Reviewed by Jennifer
Uncaged Ratings: Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Mild Violence
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featureauthor Lynn Crain
Interview Whatâ€™s coming next Stay Connected Never miss an update Excerpts from Letterbox Love Stories & more! Review
| FEATURE AUTHOR |
Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way to that goal by doing a variety of things like nursing, geologist, technical writer and computer manager. Even though she is no longer in the medical field, Lynn has studied natural medicine and remedies for years. She is currently getting her Ph.D. in natural medicine with an emphasis on historical medicine and is still utterly fascinated with all things medical. During her free time she weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales as well as erotic stories for various publishers. She lives in the very hot southwest with her husband, son, one dog, three cats and a snake named Sandune. She is a past board member of the Romance Writers of America, past VP of EPIC and current EPPIEs Chairman for EPIC.
More Links: Through Heart Shaped Glasses Blog The Log Line Blog The Bookâ€™s Blurb Blog My Sexy Saturday Blog
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Paranormal Romantics Blog
| LYNN CRAIN | Lynn Crain has always been one of my favorite people to work with. As the founder and owner of My Sexy Saturday, I had the pleasure to work with her at BTS. It’s my absolute pleasure to feature her talents as a writer here. First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview! 1) What was your first book? When did you realize you wanted to be an author? I read that the travels you’ve done, really enrich your storytelling. Is there a specific place that inspired your first book? Heavens, no, this was not my first book but my 20th. I’ve been published since 2005 and I’ve enjoyed every moment.
it has kickass action with a woman in the Captain’s chair. It was awesome! Another author I love would be Elle Casey who has a sci-fi series called Drifter’s Alliance. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to like it and I read the three first books in a week. Yes, it was that good. Hayley Stone is a new author and definitely on my radar with Machinations. It’s a great story about robots trying to rule the world and cloning. Her second book just came out and I can’t wait to dive into it. These are very Dystopian Romance books in my mind.
I realized at age 12. I was in love with Gone With The Wind and decided I could put a better spin on it since they didn’t live happily ever after.
The Corwin Central Agent Files by C.E. Kilgore are awesome and I can’t say enough about them. There are nine books and I devoured every one of them. They are science fiction romance and hot, hot, hot! It was one of my OMG moments of the year.
Actually, traveling didn’t have anything to do with my first book. It took place in my home state of Nevada right there in Sin City. But yes, my travels do help me a lot with my stories. The story you’re highlighting actually starts in a secret base in southern Nevada and ends up in 1874 Vienna. It’s a time travel and I really love writing those.
Nina Croft is another amazing author. She’s with Entangled and I just love her Blood Hunter series. It’s all about the paranormal in space. All the books are wonderful and I can’t wait to read the next one when it comes out. There is nothing I’ve read from her that I didn’t like and she does a lot of different genres.
2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most?
The last author I can’t seem to get enough of right now is Lindsay Buroker. I’ve been reading her Fallen Empire series and it’s really good. It has everything in it: cyborgs, a war between good and evil, tons of characters you’ll love and even a little romance.
I’m a sponge when it comes to reading and normally read 1-5 books a week depending upon their length. And for some reason, I’m really into science fiction and fantasy right now. So, I say that my favorite authors are Glynn Stewart who wrote the Starship Mage’s Series. It’s a wonderful book with a really unlikely hero. He has a new series called the Duchy of Terra and
3) In the Letterbox Love Stories, they all begin/ or involve a letter. Such a great concept. Who came up with the idea for the anthology? I believe that honor would have to go to the Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | whole group. I joined last so I wasn’t a part of that wonderful idea. Gemma Juliana is the one I remember bringing it up but I know that everyone who’s in that anthology had a say. 4) Where is your favorite place to write? A lot of authors love to listen to music, and even have a playlist for their book. Do you like to listen to music while writing, or do you prefer quiet? This is going to sound weird but I love to do all that. It totally depends upon the story for me. I love sitting at my desk and gazing out the front window as I write. I also love sitting on the deck in my back as I am among the trees and wildlife. I love listening to music while I write but the music must be appropriate to the story. Think Lord of the Rings soundtrack when I’m writing fantasy or Star Wars when I’m doing some sci-fi. Then there is the young adult stuff I listen to when I’m writing The JR Chronicles. Sometimes when I need total concentration, I’ll write into the wee hours of the morning so I can have total silence. 5) Your story in the anthology, Sealed with a Kiss, involved time travel, which was a lot of fun, actually. And time travel seems to be picking up steam, with the new TV show Timeless out, and the increasing popularity. In this short, you were able to bring the characters to life and keep it all almost believable. Where did you get the inspiration for this story? Wow…I’ll have to go find that TV show…it sounds interesting. Yes, time travel seems to be making a come back but I’m not surprised at all. The inspiration was easy for this story. I had actually started it before I left Vienna. I loved looking out the window of my 5th story flat as it looked into the gardens of Belvedere castle. It was wonderful and I realized that I hadn’t done enough stories based there in Vienna. While I didn’t think I would miss it, I find I really do. 38 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
The time travel itself was a little more difficult so I being a scientist I had to read up on all the latest research and theories. I then tried to apply those to an area I knew well and that was the Nevada Test Site and Area 51. I more or less combined the two for the secret time travel base outside of Las Vegas. I’ve lived in that area since I was eleven and could draw upon a lot. As far as the actual story, it came to me in drips and drabs. One day I’d write about the house and the clothes and the balls. The next I’d go back to the more serious side of the history from that time. It was a very unstable place unless you were the aristocracy. Austria was an extremely fascinating country during that time period. 6) What is coming up in the near future for readers? Another story will be coming out in November and it will be all about Christmas in Vienna in 1874. In Leo and Tandi’s time, it’s been a full year but in Vienna only 6 months have passed. Leo and Tandi are going to be the founding couple of the Time Travel Bureau series but every book will have a new couple to love. This story will be entitled Her Magical Vienna Christmas. I am also going to release a couple of freebies from my The JR Chronicles. It will be the first of Serenity Donovan’s 2009 diary and a short story from that year. To get an insight to what that series is all about, just check out its Facebook page and its website. I will also have a few books, I hope, coming from my traditional epublisher eXtasy Books. Keep your fingers crossed as there may be a NYC publication in there somewhere as well. 7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
| LYNN CRAIN | Thank you…thank you for reading my books, dropping by my blog and giving me so much positive feedback…you all make my job easier. Don’t hesitate to ask me questions or just drop me a line, I get back to personal emails right away.
Enjoy an excerpt from Letterbox Love Stories Letterbox Love Stories Anthology Lynn Crain - and more Contemporary Romance Blurb for Sealed with a Kiss by Lynn Crain In 2084, time travelling detective, Tandi Reynolds, tipped off by a letter, needs to stop an assassin before he kills a newly elected leader. When she finds him in 1874, Vienna, it’s clear a cold blooded killer is only one of her problems. Time is fleeting, so falling in love with her contact, the charismatic Count Leopold Radetzky von Radetz, is a bad idea, but keeping her feelings in check is not easy when she relies on him for her every need. Excerpt She couldn’t believe she was here, nor when here was. True time travel had always been theoretically possible, but…she stretched her neck, trying not to think about it…she had a job to do, then hopefully return to her well-ordered life. Hell, who was she kidding? Once she got back, her life would be anything but well-ordered as she’d be unique, being someone who had successfully time-travelled. Unfortunately, that would all be kept within the confines of the Time
Travel Bureau as the world could never know how they were kept safe from the Desmond Draeggers of the world. They’d even made her sign a non-disclosure document before MI6 would let her step inside their damn time travel device. Let’s face it, the only reason she was sent back here was that the letter had come to her and it was a direct threat on the man who would lead the European Union. She tried to get her bearings as she looked around her. It took a moment before she could see the lush grounds attached to a Viennese Palace. The gentle noise from the running water calmed her nerves as she moved, a little unsteadily, toward it. She soon found herself at the edge of a magnificent fountain, complete with cherubs and horses and…what were those things? She leaned over, cupped her hands and pulled the cool water over her face. It did little to dissipate the nausea she felt welling up. She now realized she should not have eaten the huge pastrami sandwich the night before she left and heaved the contents of her stomach into the fountain. The sharp intake of breath behind her, made her turn and sink to the ground with a slight moan. The handsome man with dark hair and blue eyes was talking to her but Tandi couldn’t understand a word he said even though she knew it was German. Any other time and she’d be drooling over how attractive the man was. Through her sickness haze, she reached up and pushed the small button behind her ear. To most, it would look like a mole but to her it would be a lifesaver as it would prompt her understanding of a language she wasn’t proficient in. And the tone of the man couldn’t be more clear. “Tell me you didn’t just puke in my fountain?” He gave a disgusted click of his tongue and frowned at her before moving to her side. His hand went to her head. “You’re clammy. Guess time travel is rough going, huh?” He questioned, switching to English. Hauling her to her feet, he then swept her up in his arms when her knees Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | buckled. “I guess you’re the great Tandi Reynolds, the woman sent to save the world.”
Uncaged Review Sealed with a Kiss from the Letterbox Love Stories Anthology This was the first time travel story I’ve read in quite a while, and even though it’s part of an anthology and was a short story, it was detailed enough to get a grasp on the characters and the time period, and that in itself is not an easy accomplishment. The time we start out at, is the future, in 2084. Tandi, a detective – is sent a letter, that was sent to her from the past and tips her off to an assassination. When she takes the letter in, she finds that time travel is possible, and must head back to the time and era to meet with the Lord who sent the letter and stop the assassination attempt. She meets someone from the past that she never believed possible. Since this is a short story, I won’t go into more details, as it will give too much away. This is well written, engaging, and an original storyline that had me completely invested and engaged. Perfect amount of suspense and very substantial for the length of the story.
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Don’t miss these titles: More Than Robotics Lynn Crain SciFi There were only three things in life that Captain Bekka Taylor wanted in life: 1) Command of a Warrior Class Star Marauder, 2) To grow old gracefully and 3) A lover who understood her fiery nature. She was accomplishing two out of her three objectives very nicely when an internal IUA conflict begins to encompass the whole world as she knows it. Then Lieutenant Javed Malik comes aboard, clearly younger than she, with dreamy eyes and a secret meant only for her. But letting him in means getting rid of years of frustration and anguish and maybe her career. Can she survive another war or the smoldering looks from her junior officer sent to protect her 24/7? Night of the Blue Moon Lynn Crain Paranormal Romance All his life he felt he hadn’t belonged but it wasn’t until Clarity Langford appeared did he know the truth of it. Once that truth was revealed there was no going back for Connor Angus, only forward. He discovers he is the long thought dead son of pack Elite leader, Charles Langford. And with that knowledge comes a family full of sisters, mystery and longing for things he’s not sure he has any right to obtain and one of those things is Cordelia Sinclair.
The Taking of an Apprentice Lynn Crain Fantasy Romance Oma Weir is a hermit by her own making. After her husband died, she was determined to need no one and nothing. However, fate has set a different path for the woman, and when Cayden Quirie shows up at her door, she knows the path she has dreamt is before her. Unfortunately, that path will lead to death and destruction, something every magic wielder tries to avoid.
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Interview Whatâ€™s coming up Stay Connected Never miss an update Excerpt from Claiming the Evil Dead Reviews
| FEATURE AUTHOR |
I am a romantic at heart and a lifetime lover of the paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction. Indianapolis is my hometown. When I’m not working or binge watching television, I enjoy creating fantastical stories with vampires, demons, werewolves, angels, and/or other supernatural creatures. I like to add mystery and suspense along with romance to my books too. I live a quiet life and aspire to become a full time writer after I am able to retire. I also hope to meet that vampire, werewolf, or angel who will sweep me off my feet. Hey, a girl can dream. And this one does.
Stay Connected mary-abshire.com
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With the Soul Catcher series, I found a new series and author that I can be excited about. It’s a pleasure to have Mary here as a featured author. First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview! 1) What was your first book? When did you realize you wanted to be an author? I wasn’t much of a reader when I was young. In high school, a friend told me about Anne Rice. I remember reading Interview with the Vampire and falling in love. I became an avid reader from that point forward. There have been a couple times in my life I considered being an author, but I really didn’t pursue it. I had a family to take care of, bills to pay, etc. Back in 2007 or 08, the publishing industry was changing. Agents weren’t needed. One could write a book and send it directly to a publishing company. My daughter was older, so I had more free time on my hands. That’s when I decided the time had come to pursue becoming an author. This is still a part time gig for me. Writing doesn’t pay the bills, but I enjoy writing. As long as people like my stories and I enjoy writing them, I’ll continue to create new stories. 2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most? My favorite genres continue to be paranormal
| MARY ABSHIRE | romance and urban fantasy. I read them the most. I enjoy stories with a lot of action and suspense. Add in some mystery too and I’m hooked. Some of my favorites include Kelley Armstrong, Darynda Jones, Jeanine Frost, Kerrelyn Sparks, Lyndsay Sands, and Kerri Arthur to name a few. 3) I’ve read the first two books in the Soul Catcher series and I loved both of them, and the originality. I know right now, there are 6 books in the series, are you planning more for this series? No. I’m not planning anymore in the series. The last book ends on a very happy note. The reader can imagine what happens. 4) Where is your favorite place to write? A lot of authors love to listen to music, and even have a playlist for their book. Do you like to listen to music while writing, or do you prefer quiet? I have an office in my small 3 bedroom house. It’s nothing fancy or special. I do all my writing in my office. I do not listen to music. I prefer the quiet. Although, I don’t mind noise. My daughter may watch television or have a podcast playing and it doesn’t bother me. 5) In the Soul Catcher series, I really enjoy the characters. I love Drake, I have a love/hate relationship with Jeremy and I really enjoy Jessie and her human friends. What inspired this series? Do you ever turn real life people into characters in a book? I’d read a lot of PNR and UF books back in 2006-7 and I liked the idea of a strong female protagonist who was special. I wanted mine to be conflicted. I don’t know why I thought that at the time, but I did. Several times when I was writing I wanted her to go with Jeremy, but then decided
no, Drake is her lover. He’s the good guy. Must root for him. And I wanted a vampire series. But because I was on the fence, so was Jessie. I think the reader notices Jessie is sometimes torn or tempted to try other fish in the sea. And really, how many unmarried women today can honestly say they aren’t tempted? A friend of mine, co-worker, was a paranormal investigator. I never got the chance to go with her, but she told me stories of her investigations. So it gave me an idea to have my character be a paranormal investigator so she could find evil spirits and send them to hell. So yes, I use real life people as characters from time to time. But I change up details about them. 6) What is coming up in the near future for readers? I’ve been working on a new series this year. It’s called Heaven Sent. It’s a contemporary romance with a paranormal element. The first three books are under contract. I’m working on the sixth book now. I hope to have the last one, Seventh Heaven, completed by the end of the year. I will be heavily promoting the series in 2017. I think the first book, First Kill, might get a release date in November or December. More information and drafts of blurbs can be found on my website. After I finish the series, I have a variety of ideas for books. I’m not sure what I’ll write next, but I have plenty of ideas. 7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? I truly appreciate all reviews on the various websites and any word of mouth advertising. I’m a small fish in a big sea, so anytime a reader can pass on a recommendation for my books to a friend, co-worker, or neighbor, then please do.
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | I’m very grateful if you do! As for where to follow me, my links are below. Please sign up for my newsletter. I promise not to flood your inbox.
Enjoy an excerpt from Claiming the Evil Dead Claiming the Evil Dead Mary Abshire Paranormal Romance An evil vampire preying upon children is on the loose in Chicago. Destroying him isn’t enough. Halfdemon Jessie Garrett wants to send his soul where it belongs…in Hell. Jessie lives a normal life—office worker by day and paranormal investigator on the side. She keeps her true nature and unique gift hidden. When a vampire approaches her with knowledge of her ability, her world starts to change. Drake, a member of Vampires for the Ethical Treatment of Other Vampires, propositions her for a job. Although Jessie doesn’t trust him, she can’t turn down the opportunity to serve the ultimate justice to an evil vampire. Trying to capture the devout killer comes with a few complications. But as she partners with Drake she learns not all bloodsuckers are bad and discovers the cold-blooded vamp is a temptation too difficult to resist.
normal investigator…” He paused and directed his attention from the road to me. I stared back at him and waited for him to say the word. “Demon,” he finished. “That’s not on my birth certificate.” His lips twitched. “You’re a mystery to me.” “Let’s keep it that way.” I shifted one leg over the other. From my peripheral vision, I saw him watching me. I wore a knee-length black skirt with small, blue floral designs and three-inch black sandals. I’d selected the skirt thinking I would stay cooler. Now that I realized I had exposed my bare legs to his eyes, I wished I’d worn jeans. “I have met a few demons in my existence, and I have to admit that none compare to you.” I silently chuckled. What a sweet compliment. Maybe he had a warm personality hidden within that cold body of his. Maybe. “Tell me, Jessie Garrett, where have you been hiding all these years?” “You followed me and seem to know a lot about me. Why don’t you tell me?” I crossed my arms. “How about a deal?” “Another one?” “Consider it an exchange. You tell me about yourself, and I’ll tell you whatever you want to know about me.”
His proposal appealed to me. Since I was stuck in a car with him for the next three hours, and I had limited knowledge of vampires, why not cash in on a golden opportunity to learn more about him?
“Jessie Garrett,” he said, capturing my attention. “Twenty-four, single, computer technician, para-
“Okay,” I said with a shrug. “But I get to ask the first question.”
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| MARY ABSHIRE | He grinned. “Always a concession with you.” I flashed a smile at him. He should have known that bargaining with a demon was never easy.
Uncaged Reviews Claiming the Evil Dead (Book 1) This is a fantastic start to a new series. Jessie is a half-demon, with the unique ability to send evil souls to Hell. Her human friends, are clueless to this part of her anatomy, and they form a special paranormal investigation team on a part time basis. She takes care of one soul in one of their jobs – and is noticed by someone. When she gets a message that a certain vampire wants to meet her, and with a job that will keep her bank account on the plus side for a very long time, she agrees to meet with him. Drake, the vampire has a job he needs help with, hunting down a rogue vampire that has been kidnapping and killing children in Chicago. But Jessie will need to leave Indiana, and stay in Chicago with Drake for a week. Wanting to save the children, she agrees to take the job. There is a ton of action, and the fight against the evil is high stakes and Jessie will need to rethink her feelings on other supernaturals, and Drake proves he is nothing like the vampire lore she has always believed. She will need to learn to trust Drake, if they are going to make it out alive.
it’s storyline, and has a satisfying ending, making you want to read the next book.
Claiming an Evil Tail (Book 2) The second book of the series starts out with Drake gone to Europe, and Jessie having very little contact from him. The demon, Jeremy, who wants Jessie for himself, comes to her for help, and after a way to get out of the deals she made with him in the first book, she finally agrees. He wants her to travel to Arizona with him, to meet an alpha werewolf, Alan, who’s been challenged by another werewolf – who has been murdering women. Alan wants Jessie to send his soul to Hell to make an example of him. Reluctantly, she agrees, with the deal of getting out of a series of dates with Jeremy she made in the past. When Drake finds out, upset is not really the best word to use. But they make the trip, we get to meet the werewolves, and there are some great characters in Alan and Ryan, and some not so great with Matthew and Gabe. When one of Jessie’s premonitions comes true, Drake shows back up in the nick of time. Lots of action, some great interaction, more characters are introduced that you like, nice world building. I missed having Drake involved for the first half of the book, but he does show up, and the romance is still full throttle. I love Drake. I have a love/hate relationship with Jeremy, probably just like Jessie. This is another very entertaining read, and paranormal lovers will really enjoy this author. Both books are rated the same.
There is enough suspense to keep you turning the pages, a gorgeous vampire, and a nice serving of romance. Characters are easy to like, and there are some hot sex scenes. This book easily tied up Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR |
Don’t miss these titles: Catching an Evil Tail Mary Abshire Paranormal Romance An evil vampire preying upon children is on the loose in Chicago. Destroying him isn’t enough. Half-demon Jessie Garrett wants to send his soul where it belongs…in Hell. Jessie lives a normal life—office worker by day and paranormal investigator on the side. She keeps her true nature and unique gift hidden. When a vampire approaches her with knowledge of her ability, her world starts to change. Drake, a member of Vampires for the Ethical Treatment of Other Vampires, propositions her for a job. Although Jessie doesn’t trust him, she can’t turn down the opportunity to serve the ultimate justice to an evil vampire. Trying to capture the devout killer comes with a few complications. But as she partners with Drake she learns not all bloodsuckers are bad and discovers the cold-blooded vamp is a temptation too difficult to resist. Fighting Evil Mary Abshire Paranormal Romance Half-demon Jessie Garrett’s battles seem endless. While Jeremy, the demon out to win her heart, teaches her how to fight, Jessie’s relationship with her vampire lover, Drake, reaches a breaking point. Adding to her struggles, she must defend her life against a group of vampires who consider her a threat to their existence.
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Held captive on a remote island with both Drake and Jeremy protecting her, she is tested in ways she’s never imagined. Jessie fights back; only her actions do more harm than good. The group offers her a choice, but no matter what she decides, her life will change forever. Love Conquers All Evil Mary Abshire Paranormal Romance Hiding from the VETOV, Jessie and Drake move to a small town in Alaska—home to humans, demons, and werewolves. They soon discover a serial killer is on the loose and it’s a demon stealing good souls. Jessie longs to end the fiend’s rampage so she can send his soul to Hell. But finding the murderer won’t be easy, especially after she bumps into a werewolf who had kidnapped and tried to kill her. Jessie reaches out to Alan, the Alpha she’d helped in Arizona. Alan and Drake work together to eliminate the threat against Jessie, but removing the werewolf may come with a steep price. Over a roller coaster ride of events, Jessie battles for survival and her soul. Through all her struggles, she maintains a feverish love for Drake. On Christmas Eve, he presents Jessie with a surprise. Eternity never looked better for the half-demon soul catcher. Freedom from the Evil Dead Mary Abshire Paranormal Romance Drake and Jessie have spent a few years hiding from the group of vampires who believe she is a threat to their existence. When Drake learns the organization may
| MARY ABSHIRE | be willing to negotiate, he decides to take a chance and meet with them. For over three years, Jessie waits for her vampire lover to return. She fears the worst and seeks to locate him from the only man who can help her. The Evil Next Door Mary Abshire Paranormal Romance Jessie is enjoying life as she settles into her new home with Jeremy in New Mexico. She’s ready to fulfill her agreement with the demon, but the doctor delays her plans. While she continues to recover from her ordeal with the VETOV, she learns women on the Indian reservation next door are being abused, raped, and sometimes murdered. Jessie starts her own investigation and with the help of a Chief, she’s able to trace years of mistreatment to three men. But Jeremy doesn’t want her risking her life. Seeking to protect her, he pleads with her to let him handle the issue. Tension between the two escalates as she takes matters into her own hands. When he proves his devotion to her in ways she never imagined, she discovers her true feelings for the demon. Together, will they be able to end the violence toward women on the reservation?
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Interview Whatâ€™s coming soon Stay Connected Never miss an update Excerpt from The Jacq of Spades Reviews
| FEATURE AUTHOR |
Patricia Loofbourrow was born in southern California in 1962, and currently lives in Oklahoma. Learning to read at the age of three, she grew up on Heinlein, Bradbury, and Asimov, and found at an early age that she loved science. Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry from Cal Poly Pomona then an MD from Rush University, Dr. Loofbourrow practiced family medicine for ten years before becoming a stay at home mom in 2000. After leaving medicine, Patricia Loofbourrow ran one of the first “ask a doctor” patient education websites from 2000-2004. Patty wrote her first novel during the 2005 National Novel Writing Month, going on to write
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nine novels, four novellas, and well over 100 short stories, mostly speculative fiction. Her debut novel, The Jacq of Spades, was self-published in 2015. She has been a long-time member of the Forward Motion Forums, and was the founder of Fifty Word Fiction on DeviantArt. She has also worked as a freelance non-fiction writer and editor since 2000, and currently runs an informational website on edible landscaping.
Stay Connected jacqofspades.com
| PATRICIA LOOFBOURROW | The intricacy of the stories that Patricia writes is intriguing and the stories hold your interest throughout. Thank you Patricia, for being a Featured Author this month, the pleasure is mine. 1) What was your first book? When did you realize you wanted to be an author? I wrote my first novel during the 2005 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I didn’t try to publish until much later, and I did query some agents without any luck. It wasn’t until a friend of mine, horror author Dennis McDonald, told me in 2013 that he was making good money self-publishing that I thought this was something I could really do.
authors love to listen to music, and even have a playlist for their book. Do you like to listen to music while writing, or do you prefer quiet? I do the majority of my writing at my desktop computer. I don’t choose to listen to music while writing (I tend to tune out the background noise) but if one of my kids has something on that’s what is on. 5) Since the play on words, for the last names of the Families, and there are two books in the series now, Jacq of Spades and Queen of Diamonds, is there going to be four altogether in the series, or will it continue past that? This is a 13 part serial novel.
2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most?
6) What is coming up in the near future for readers?
My favorite authors include George RR Martin, Frank Herbert, Tananarive Due, and Jim Butcher. I love science fiction, especially military SF, as well as political thrillers.
I’m preparing the outline for book 3 now! I’ll be writing the first draft during the 2016 NaNo. I’m also writing a stage play: a prequel, set 100 years before The Jacq of Spades.
3) In Jacq of Spades, you’ve set up a very intricate world, very descriptive and characters that are well developed, even if the reader only sees them sparingly. How much time did you take outlining this world before you actually began the novels?
7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
I did the outline for the entire series during the 2013 NaNo. Then I spent the rest of 2014 figuring out the world. I took an online course in film noir during the summer of 2015 to help me develop the themes in The Jacq of Spades, which was published in November 2015.
To my fans: You’re awesome!
Enjoy an excerpt from Jacq of Spades
4) Where is your favorite place to write? A lot of
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | The Jacq of Spades Patricia Loofbourrow Steampunk Noir
crime family heir, is secretly a private investigator. While in disguise, she’s been called to a shop in the slums ...
Kidnapping. Murder. Betrayal.
~~~ “This is a recent picture?” Mrs. Bryce nodded. “Yes, mum, taken before Yuletide. Maybe three weeks ago? Right after we moved here.” “And you’re sure he didn’t run off?” Mrs. Bryce’s brown eyes filled with tears. “No, mum, I swear. David was a good boy, in the midst of his chore-work. ‘Off to sweep the stair,’ he said, ‘I’ll be right back.’ He never came in.” Thunder pealed. Harsh light illuminated the barren room. I called myself an investigator, but I investigated minor matters: a missing dog, renters who moved without paying. So this case violated rules I laid for myself. I avoided police affairs … “I can’t pay you …” Mrs. Bryce said. … and I didn’t do a case without payment in advance. Not even this one. “… but I’ll do whatever you like, anything, if you’ll help me.” I never liked Eleanora. She never liked me. When she realized who I was …. “Please, mum, I know how it looks. The police said he run off, but I know he was taken and they all ignore me.” This woman lived most of her life a dozen blocks from this very point, well on the other side of that spiked wrought-iron fence encircling the Pot. Why would she expect the police to help an out-of-town widow with no Family connections and no bribe money? Had she really forgotten? My borrowed corset pinched at the hips; it chafed with every move. I wanted to change into my own clothes, get away from this room full of bad memories and guilt. I regarded the portrait, feeling melancholy:
Would you put your life at risk for a child you barely know? In a far future US, the once-beautiful domed neo-Victorian city of Bridges is now split between four crime families in an uneasy cease-fire. Social disparity increasing and its steam-driven infrastructure failing, a new faction is on the rise: the Red Dogs. 22 year old Jacqueline Spadros was kidnapped from her mother’s brothel and sold to the Spadros syndicate ten years ago. The murder of her best friend Air as he tried to save her from them haunts her nightmares. Now unwillingly married to one of the city’s biggest drug lords, she finds moments of freedom in a small-time private eye business, which she hides in fear of her sadistic father-in-law. Air’s little brother disappears off his back porch and the Red Dogs are framed for it. With the help of a mysterious gentleman investigator hired by the Red Dogs to learn the truth, Jacqui pushes her abilities to their limits in hope of rescuing the child before the kidnapper disposes of him. Dark, gritty, multi-layered Victorian-inspired detective neo-noir that keeps the reader guessing to the very end. Excerpt Mrs. Jacqueline Spadros, wife to the Spadros 58 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
| PATRICIA LOOFBOURROW | David looked just like him. “Show me where you last saw the boy.” The Bryce’s back stair appeared much like any two blocks from the Pot: rickety wooden steps with rusty metal banisters leading down to a ratinfested alley. Clouds loomed dark across the sky. The only real light came from an oil lamp far down the alley to our right. We took refuge from the downpour under the eaves, out of the wind. A dark figure moved in the shadows twenty yards to our left. Something about him frightened me. I hoped the rain would hide our words and send him away. “When your boy disappeared, did you find anything amiss?” “Nothing at all. Everything was as it should be, except I found his little broom on the ground,” her voice broke, “and him gone.” I surveyed the alley. It appeared normal … except … I crossed towards a red spot on the far wall, near waist level. “Was this here before he went missing?” “No, mum, at least, I don’t think so.” I leaned over to examine the spot, Tenni’s corset stabbing at my midsection. A solid red silhouette of a dog, ink-stamped onto the wall. The tower clock chimed three. The man began walking towards us.
Uncaged Reviews The Jacq of Spades This book is marketed as a futuristic postapocalyptic, steampunk but for me personally, it reads more like an older Victorian-Gothic time. It doesn’t really give me a real sense of steampunk, only in small doses, like a domed city and inventors. Nor does it really give me a sense of
a futuristic world, as after whatever catastrophe hit the planet – which I never learned, the people seemed to go backwards in their ways of life. I couldn’t actually believe that part of it so much, as what was learned in our day and age, would not have been lost, and here, it seems like people lost their knowledge of things like diabetes calling it the sugar disease. Once you get past that issue, the storyline is very good. Very suspenseful, and the author truly digs out a well thought out world that is intricate and consistent. In this domed city of Bridges, the city is divided into four sections, each controlled by a crime family. Each of these quadrants have the family’s rich estates, and slum areas that are protected by the family they serve. In the middle, is the Pot, which is full of crime, brothels and the poorest of the poor. Jacquie – the voice of this story - is taken from the Pot as a young girl, set up to marry Tony, the son of the crime boss in one of the areas, and that’s where this story is set, after she is already 22 yrs. old and married to Tony. Jacqueline fancies herself a private investigator of sorts, and when a small boy is kidnapped, she goes to great lengths to find out what happened and to get the boy back to his mother. This is a dangerous mission, and could cost her the reputation of her Family and her life. This is where the very intricate story shines. The work that she does, and the secrecy in what she does, from disguises and working with people she doesn’t even know if she can trust, turns this into a very good mystery. It does tend to get a bit confusing, as there are a lot of characters to keep track of, but the author helps out by giving you a rundown in the back of the book, a sort of who’s who. It’s easy to read, with a good storyline and very nicely descriptive places. The ending didn’t really give a perfect answer to the mystery of Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | the story, only a partial. You’ll have to wait to find out more in the next book, but it’s definitely worth the read for those who love a good mystery.
Both stories are rated the same:
The Queen of Diamonds Another very intricate and compelling story in the Red Dog Conspiracy series, a lot of mysteries are revealed and even more brought to the surface. This time out, Jacquie sets out to get her Ma out of the Spadros Pot, and to safety as a stowaway on a departing zeppelin. But there is someone plotting against them, who have forged books and notes, and buying materials that Jacquie must learn what they are for. Like the first book, the storytelling shines – we get deeper into the past, and more information on the Family’s that make up Bridges. There is a magnificently thought out mystery, and this book has its own base storyline that does wrap up for this one, but the main mystery arc of this series still remains. In many ways, I’m still not feeling that this is part of the future, but still more of the Victorian era. And the Catastrophe (as it’s called in the book) that led to this domed city, has never been explained, nor has it been explained of what it’s like outside the dome. And another part that was a bit unclear to me, if the city is domed, how can a zeppelin fly off? And there is mention of other cities, such as importing from Chicago at one point. So even though the writing is superb and the storyline is mesmerizing in its own right, the story will remain incomplete in my mind without that added information. With that said, I would definitely recommend it for someone looking for a good suspenseful story – but be prepared to wait for the full mystery to be revealed slowly over the process of the series.
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The Queen of Diamonds Patricia Loofbourrow Steampunk Noir A job gone wrong. A blackmailed friend. A city in turmoil. An obsession leading down a sinister path. NO ONE IS AS THEY SEEM ... The Queen of Diamonds brings you the second actionpacked chapter of the Red
Dog Conspiracy. While the villain Frank Pagliacci is defeated, all is not well in Bridges. Tensions rise between the Families, who accuse each other of spying, while Red Dog attacks escalate. Aristocratic jewel merchant Anastasia Dame Louis, styling herself “The Queen of Diamonds,” hires private eye Jacqueline Spadros to collect from her debtors so she can leave the city. But Jacqui can’t leave David Bryce’s kidnapping and the murders of her teenage informants unpunished. Convinced the madman “Black Jack” Diamond was behind the crimes, she pursues ways to prove it. The scoundrel and his crew, however, seem to be one step ahead: the terrifying man in white is seen lurking outside David’s home, forged letters appear across the city, and merchants in the Spadros quadrant report threats from a man who fits his description. Jack’s sister Gardena Diamond then asks Jacqui for help: someone is attempting to blackmail her. It is then that Jacqui learns Rachel Diamond’s curious secret - and the truth behind her terrible condition. When witnesses who can identify the kidnappers begin dying and evidence emerges that Jacqui’s mother is next on the list, Jacqui is forced to make a dreadful choice. Someone will surely die. Will it be Jacqui, or her mother?
Sandra Renee Appet
Interview Whatâ€™s coming up Stay Connected Never miss an update Excerpt from Fire and Midnight Review
| FEATURE AUTHOR | I had the pleasure of working with Sandra at BTS Book Reviews where she wrote a column each issue, with fresh insights into romance. It’s a pleasure to have her here at Uncaged as a Featured Author. First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview! Thanks for having me! Sandra is an author of romance who stays up too late dreaming up sexy heroes. When she’s not writing, shoe shopping or saving wayward turtles, Sandra can be found with a cup of coffee browsing the shelves of an indie bookstore. As a social media junkie, Sandra loves to chat with readers and formed the Bookalicious Babes Facebook group where members share their love of books.
Stay Connected sandrareneeappet.com
1) What was your first book? When did you realize you wanted to be an author? My first book was Marooned in Miami under the pen name Sandra Bunino. It’s since been expanded and re-titled Marooned with the Millionaire. I’ve been writing fiction most of my life and decided to finally take the plunge and submit my work to a publisher in 2010. I’m so happy I did! The publishing industry is such a cool circle of people. 2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most? I have so many favorite authors..and genres! I’m drawn to contemporary romance because it’s what I write. However I love a great suspense too. I also like to change it up with paranormal and historical once in a while. Some of my favorite authors are Brenda Novak, Mary Kubica, Caroline Kepnes (you must read You!), Liane Moriarty, Stephanie Evanovich, Jodi Picoult, and Roni Loren. I know I left some out. There are so many great authors out there. 3) I’ve grown a bit away from contemporary stories in the past several years, but your book, Fire and Midnight hooked me right from the beginning. I stayed up until 3am finishing this
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| SANDRA RENEE APPET | one, because I “had” to see what happened. The main setting of this book is San Antonio and you’ve described it so well. Was a visit to San Antonio an inspiration? Yay! Mission accomplished. THE BEST thing you can tell an author is you stayed up way too late to finish their book. Thank you! I visited San Antonio when I started writing Fire and Midnight and it became almost a third character in the book. It’s such a magical city filled with so much pride and history. The hero, Ryan, came to life as I strolled the paths and bridges of the River Walk. 4) Where is your favorite place to write? A lot of authors love to listen to music, and even have a playlist for their book. Do you like to listen to music while writing, or do you prefer quiet? I love music and listen to certain playlists when I’m brainstorming. Ed Sheeran’s music inspired me while plotting Fire and Midnight. But while writing I prefer it quiet. My favorite spot is at my desk at home. 5) Fire and Midnight, when it began, reminded me of the movie, The Wedding Date, a very fun premise of hiring an “escort” for a weekend. Although it quickly moved on from that aspect, it is a great hook. What else is in the future for readers? Thank you! Fun fact: “The Cowboys” is based on a real life escort service! I’m currently working on Charlotte and Jacques story. Readers catch a few glimpses of Char in Fire and Midnight. She’s a ton of fun to write. I’m also writing another book based on a tattoo shop in New York City. I can see this one turning into a series.
6) Were there any cut scenes from this book? How many unfinished books do you have going at any given time? There were a few scenes cut from this book, including a pretty heavy scene that was the catalyst of Jane’s breakup with her first husband. We decided to cut it during edits because it was very emotional for the beginning of the book, especially since it’s a romance. I have way too many unfinished projects on my laptop…at least four. I better get writing! 7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you? If you also like your romance on the spicy side. I write higher heat level novellas as Sandra Bunino. If you’re on Facebook please join my book group, Sandra Bunino’s Bookalicious Babes. We chat about books, food, and everything in between. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram.
Enjoy an excerpt from Fire and Midnight Fire and Midnight Sandra Renee Appet Contemporary Romance With a glass of wine in hand, Jane Keegan’s finger is poised to delete the account her pushy BFF created for her on “The Cowboys” escort service website. Sure, she’s lonely, but not desperate. Then an image of sky-blue eyes and warm, tanned muscles jumps off the screen. And she
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FEATURE AUTHOR | finds herself hitting the “Book Now” button. After all, why not? She’s a free, divorced woman on business in San Antonio. There’s nothing to lose…except her nerve. Especially when Mr. Tall Dark And Incredibly Sexy meets her at a River Walk bar—and his only-for-you smile turns her insides into a quivering mass of second thoughts. Ryan Zeigler is enduring one last escort assignment as a favor before hanging up his Cowboys hat to run his own restaurant. Yet there’s something about the pretty New Yorker’s vulnerable grin and I’ve-got-baggage eyes that halts his usual dating M.O. in its tracks. When Ryan sweetens the deal—no strings, no payment expected—Jane the good girl takes the bold step of letting her vixen out to play. But when it’s time to go home, her heart is at a crossroads. Is Ryan the real deal? Or is she letting yet another man take her heart for a ride? Excerpt Ryan eased her body against his car. Warmth from the metal of the door seeped through her thin skirt, doing nothing to cool down her heated skin. “You’re sexy, intelligent, and a hell of a lot of fun, and it’s taking every ounce of self-control for me to not kiss you, right here and now,” he said, his voice low and silky. The air slipped from Jane’s lungs. She searched his face, wondering if he meant the words as a joke. She tried to look away, but his body was so close to hers that he dominated her field of vision, from the white shirt stretched over his broad shoulder, with a smattering of dark hair peeking from his unbuttoned collar, to his stubbled jaw and his full lips. God, those lips. 64 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
She needed him to kiss her more than she needed to draw a fresh breath of air into her lungs. But what if she wasn’t good at it? She hadn’t kissed any man other than Nick in … how long? Almost twenty years? “Querida.” He hooked his thumb under her chin, challenging her to meet his gaze. “I love when you say that,” she whispered. “Querida,” he repeated slower and trailed his fingers up her cheek and threaded them through her hair to the nape of her neck, pulling her closer. She froze. “What’s wrong?” he asked, capturing her stare. “It’s just…” Truth seemed to be her only option. “This is embarrassing to admit, but I haven’t kissed anyone else in a very long time.” “It’s just like riding a bicycle.” “That’s easy for you to say.” “And it’ll be easy for you to do, especially with those lips.” The palm of his free hand cupped her face, and he traced her bottom lip with his thumb. “Like I said, I’ve wanted to kiss you all night. Actually, all day and all night.” Everything became dark as Ryan leaned in closer. His intoxicating scent overpowered Jane’s senses as his lips brushed hers, feather-soft, as if he was testing her. She opened her mouth just a little as a slow heat blanketed her body. “Just like a bicycle,” he repeated and reclaimed her lips. As if they knew exactly where to go, her hands snaked around his back, locking her body into his embrace. She whimpered into his mouth as his tongue began a leisurely exploration of her mouth. Holy crap. Not only had it been a long time since she kissed someone else, it had been a very long time, maybe never, since someone had kissed her like that. After a minute, Ryan pulled away but kept his hand on her chin. “Well, was it?” he murmured. Jane’s eyes were still closed as she savored the
| SANDRA RENEE APPET | kiss. “Was it what?” she asked, wishing time would stop so that they could remain leaning against his car on this quiet street forever. “Was it just like riding a bike?” She smiled. “I’m not sure. I think you’d better try it again so I can take off the training wheels.”
Uncaged Review When you get a book, that has descriptions so well, that you feel like you are right there with the characters instead of reading the book, you have a solid, engaging read, and this describes this book very well. After a bad break-up and divorce from her husband, Jane is not ready for any type of relationship, happy on her own in her own home. But when her BFF decides she needs to let loose and have some fun, she makes an account for Jane on an escort service called “The Cowboys” so she can have a bit of fun on her business trip to San Antonio. Jane almost deletes the account, until she sees one of the men, whose blue eyes captivate her. Figuring she has nothing to lose, she decides to go ahead with the first meeting with him afterall. There is not much to dislike about this book. The descriptions of San Antonio takes you right to the River Walk. The romance between Jane and Ryan sets a nice pace, and there is a couple moments I want to smack some sense into Jane, but she does manage to come to her senses without my interference. I got so hooked on this story, that I ended up staying up half the night to finish it, and that means I was completely engaged. If you like romance, this book won’t disappoint.
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Best Seller Lists Week ending October 23, 2016
New York Times Best Selling Fiction Hard Cover
IndieReaders.com Best Selling Hard Cover
Escape Clause by John Sanford Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 5. Vince Flynn: Order to Kill by Kyle Mills 6. The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost 7. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett 8. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware 9. Home by Harlan Coben 10. Today will be Different by Maria Semple
1. In My Own Words - My Real Reality by Toya Wright 2. The Fix Up by Kendall Ryan 3. Going Down Fast by Carly Phillips 4. Beard Science by Penny Reid 5. The Player by Claire Contreras 6. Mr. Mysterious by JA Huss 7. Pucked Under by Helena Hunting 8. The Billionaire’s Adventurous Mistress by Elizabeth Lennox 9. Charge by E.L. Todd 10. And She Was Gone by Christopher Greyson
Amazon Best Selling Fiction Kindle eBooks
Barnes & Noble Best Selling Fiction
1. The Whistler by John Grisham 2. Evelyn After by Victoria Helen Stone 3. And Then She Was Gone by Christopher Greyson 4. Secret Star by Nora Roberts 5. When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker 6. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 7. Before You Leap by Keith Houghton 8. Forgotten Secrets by Robin Perini 9. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling 10. Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
1. The Whistler by John Grisham 2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling 3. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 4. Escape Clause by John Sanford 5. Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks 6. Vince Flynn: Order to Kill by Kyle Mills 7. The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 8. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware 9. Home by Harlan Coben 10. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
1. 2. 3. 4.
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featureauthor M. Stratton
Stay Connected With all the updates Excerpts from: Revenge Review
| FANG-FREAKIN-TASTIC FEATURE AUTHOR |
Please welcome Fang-Freakin-Tastic Feature Author M. Stratton!
M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her Storm Series and Bender. She lives with her husband and son in Arizona, which is a big difference from where she grew up north of Chicago, Illinois. As an only child she learned to tell herself stories to make the long winters go by quicker while dreaming of summer vacations. Now as an adult she still makes up stories to pass the time, but now she writes them down to share with other people. Stratton is a self-proclaimed dork who loves to make people laugh. Her inner rock star is always on stage performing to a sold out crowd, but she quiet and shy on the outside. She spends her days plotting new ways to surprise her readers.
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Enjoy an excerpt from Revenge Revenge M. Stratton Thriller/Suspense Ten years plotting. Ten years of waiting. Ten years of patience and planning. Finally, he would have his revenge. But--there is another side. A dark side. Revenge can cloud your judgement. Revenge can take over your life. Revenge can take away the one thing you really want. After the murder of his partner, Mick, and watching his Stormy yanked from his grasp, all Nutter could think about was making Bender hurt. He wanted to show him more than the pain he lived with each and every second of the day, he wanted
| M. STRATTON | Bender to be nothing but pain. Without Mick by his side, Nutter expected to feel alone, without purpose--but something wonderful happened, instead. He found his focus. He found his Kitten, the one woman who could match his intelligence and his appetite for killing. Together, they could rule the world. All they had to do was fulfill Nutter’s plan for revenge. This is one killer of a story... Excerpt Five years after the end of Bender “Lawrence Goodwin, you are free to go,” Judge Janice Baker said. The sound of the gavel hitting the desk echoed through the silent room before the spectators erupted in disgust. He schooled his features to make sure they showed the approved level of being thankful and appreciation, never showing the true malice running through his veins. Never showing the disdain he had for the people in the room. Drowning out the sounds of protest. Five years, one at an institution across the country before being transferred back here, close to home. Then four long years at Elwood: the staterun mental hospital close to Stormy and Bender. Hours of ‘rehabilitation’ to make him remorseful for everything he’d done. Days of toying with the staff. Months of orchestrating his release. Years of plotting his revenge. Part of him was surprised at how easy it actually was. They obviously weren’t too bright. Nutter, as he preferred to be called, was a genius to begin with. He was a master manipulator and knew how to work the system. All they did was give him more knowledge to use in the future. This was truly like child’s play to him. A mere bump in the road to his ultimate goal. Stormy.
The first part of his plan was successfully completed. He was free, well, partially free. He was still technically on probation and would be monitored twenty-four hours a day, but this wasn’t a surprise. He’d already started working that angle as soon as he was arrested. It wasn’t going to take him long to be able to enjoy all the hobbies he had been missing for so long. The thought of being able to create his artwork again pleased him so much, he had to control the shiver that wanted to run rampant down his spine, but he couldn’t stop his cock from twitching. Carefully, he concentrated on his heartbeat and breathing, slowing them both down. At this point, he couldn’t afford a setback. He kept his mind focused on his plan, on what would be coming next. Going over it again and again in his head. Leaving absolutely nothing to chance. There was no way he was going to miss out on any opportunity to have his princess back in his clutches and having the distinct pleasure of taking her away from Bender. Forever. When he first started creating his plan, he knew it was going to take him years before his revenge was ever going to happen, but in the scheme of things; getting payback was better than nothing. Better than wasting away at Elwood with a bunch of crazy people. He wasn’t crazy, he was superior to everyone. A true artist, who needed to create in order to breathe. For now, he was going home. Home to a house he had purchased before this whole unfortunate business had happened. It was one of the few assets the system knew about, and the only one they had allowed him to keep. Nutter didn’t show any impatience, as he was roughly shuffled around, and papers took longer to sign than they should have. It could take all week for all he cared, he was getting out. Revenge would be his.
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
| FANG-FREAKIN-TASTIC FEATURE AUTHOR |
Fang Freakin Tastic Review What a manipulative, sneaky bastard. Nutter truly lives up to his name once again. I can’t get over just how sick and twisted he is and how M. Stratton continues to create new and disgusting ways to show just how revolting he is. I would suggest psychological help, but obviously, Nutter has already taken that route. Continuing the story started in Bender, Stratton shows the reader just what our favorite nut bag (pun intended) has been up to, and what he is planning next when it comes to Stormy, whom he sees as “the one who got away.” Literally. Nutter has been locked up in a mental hospital for the last few years and we pick up right where he is being released. One thing that drives me crazy about a sequel or series is when there has been a bit of time passing between each books release. I’m always worried that I will forget important parts of the story and not know what’s going on, resulting in my having to go back and re-read the previous book. Stratton does a great job of reminding the reader of what happened in the first book while not getting off track. Revenge is very fast paced and while some things aren’t a huge surprise, there are plenty of things that are. The relationship between Nutter and his psychiatrist, Morgan. Morgan drives me a little bit crazy, which is ironic considering her occupation. For some reason, it drives me mad when someone calls someone his or her “lover.” I have no idea why, but she uses this phrase instead of a name and it makes me want to throat punch her. Their relationship vaguely reminds me of that of the Joker and Harley Quinn of the Batman Series.
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Overall, this is a thrilling and exciting read. Stratton’s books never disappoint. Her books are all sick and disgusting in a good way. Each character is described in a way that makes them seem real, no matter how disturbing they are. I would recommend this book and series to anyone who likes a good psychological thriller and has a strong stomach.
Don’t miss book one... Bender M. Stratton Thriller/Suspense Since high school everyone thought Jake Bender would end up behind bars; after all, he comes from a long line of bad boys. He spent years away from the place he called home. When he finally comes back, everyone thinks he’s just a punk kid all grown up who’s now running a dive bar called The Night Club. What they don’t know is he heads up a special task force, which cleans up neighborhoods and makes them safe again. Stormy Ryan has always felt more comfortable with her books than with people. She loves to spend her days within the pages of her books. When her second-hand bookstore is robbed for the third time in as many months, her employees quit leaving her to run the shop on her own. With the pressure of having to deal with her shop and people, not to mention the declining neighborhood, she is at the end of her rope. When closing up her shop late one night, she is held up and the neighborhood bad boy saves her, putting both of them at the forefront of a psychotic’s obsession.
New Releases November Release Dates - A Selection
November 15 cont.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh Chaos by Patricia Cornwell Hang Tough by Lorelei James Venom and Vanilla by Shannon Mayer Before You Leap by Keith Houghton The Beast by J.R. Ward The Award: A Novel by Danielle Steel Shadowed Souls by Jim Butcher End of Watch: A Novel by Stephen King
No Man’s Land by David Baldacci Dark Crime by Christine Feehan The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark 15th Affair by James Patterson Odessa Sea by Clive Cussler Shadow Born by D.K. Holmberg The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn The Duke of Deception by Darcy Burke
Moonglow by Michael Chabon Scythe by Neal Shusterman The Operator by Kim Harrison Out of Bounds by Lauren Blakely It’s In The Duke’s Kiss by Julie Johnstone The Whistler by John Grisham
Heartless by Marissa Meyer Swear by Amanda Hocking Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys Night School by Lee Child Leopard’s Fury by Christine Feehan Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare A Shade of Vampire 35: A Race of Trials by Bella Forrest
November 15 Swing Time by Zadie Smith The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
November 29 The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg Closer To You by Barbara Freethy
Publishers and authors: If you would like a new release in these lists, please email me at UncagedBooks@gmail.com
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Uncaged Reviews Night and Chaos
Naomi Clark Paranormal Romance
that don’t tie up the storyline that it’s started. Reviewed by Cyrene
Ryan’s past isn’t just haunting her. It’s trying to kill her. Ryan McCarthy fled Kimberlyn Island, her father, and her lover six years ago, desperate to build a life away from the weird science and supernatural experiments of her childhood. But everything she hoped to escape comes back with a vengeance when she’s kidnapped and tortured by a possessed madman out for revenge on the man responsible for his possession: Ryan’s father. Now, reunited with the lover she abandoned, Ryan is forced back into a world of danger and darkness she no longer understands, pursued by enemies with powers she can’t fathom. But Ryan’s not entirely powerless herself. She’ll have to use every trick she knows—as well as the mystic gift she hates—to stay ahead of those enemies. And that will be easier said than done.
Uncaged Review: This was a good start to a new
series, and there was plenty of action, and suspense. This story brings you Ryan, who for the last 6 years, has been trying to build a new life for herself, after escaping from an organization run by her father, that has been experimenting on people and transplanting demon souls (devas and asuras) into human hosts for a symbiotic relationship. It’s rare when it actually succeeds. When Ryan is kidnapped and tortured by a man whose experiment went horribly wrong, she escapes and ends up in the middle of the danger she left behind. It took awhile to really grasp this one, as the book is told from Ryan’s point of view, so whatever she doesn’t know, then the audience really doesn’t either. But it was not a long read, and it was well paced and I liked the characters introduced in this book. The one major hang-up I have with the book, is it ends on a cliffhanger without tying up the storyline introduced. I normally don’t mind a segway into the next book in a series, but I’m really not a fan of books
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Uncaged Ratings: Adult Paranormal Romance Some violence Mild Sex Scene
Sleeping with Elvis Beth Carter Contemporary Romance Pepper Langley, an unemployed preschool teacher with a fear of flying and boating, hopes a vacation to remote Key Lime Island will bolster her confidence and salvage her relationship with her rogue boyfriend. From tiny Nowhere, Arkansas, she scrimped all year to afford the lavish trip, but a deadly storm changes everything. Gorgeous Elvis impersonator Ty Townsend flees to Key Lime Island between gigs. During this hiatus, he reevaluates his profession after twice forgetting the King’s lyrics. He craves the 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?
Uncaged Review: So Pepper is meant to be going
on holiday with her boyfriend Derek. Who is a jerk in every way possible. There both going to Key Lime Island But the only way to get there is a boat ride and then a plane ride. Two things Pepper is scared of forced to go nevertheless. It isn’t smooth sailing and some unexpected tragedies hit. But on the plus side there is some fun holiday times to enjoy. A swearing
Parrot and let’s throw in an Elvis singer to mix things up.
waiting. Getting closer to the truth only means getting closer to danger.
This book has some sad moments but a lot of funny and heartwarming moments. Plus it’s a perfect read for on holiday or just a beach read. I really enjoyed this book and wouldn’t mind visiting the Key Lime Island myself. Reviewed by Jennifer
Autumn Winters is the first book in a dark, thrilling urban fantasy series journeying into the place where our world converges with that of ghosts, vampires, magical creatures and other trans-dimensional intruders—a world humans were never meant to detect.
Uncaged Ratings: Adult
Contemporary Romance Some violence Sex Scenes (not considered erotic) Mild swearing
Autumn Winters J.S. Malcom Paranormal Suspense Autumn Winters has a secret that could get her killed. She just doesn’t know she’s keeping it. Autumn Winters doesn’t realize that she’s come into her powers as a protector of the veil. All she knows is that her world suddenly looks onto another, one full of ghosts and other supernatural beings that can’t possibly exist. But another window has opened within her, bringing memories of when her sister, Cassie, also displayed magical abilities. That was just before Cassie went missing. She hasn’t been seen since. Autumn believes there must be a connection between what’s happening to her now and what happened years ago. Determined to finally rescue her sister, Autumn sets out with the mysterious, and psychic, private investigator Ian to track down who committed her sister’s abduction, as she struggles to accept her own legacy as a veil witch and master her newfound magic. What she doesn’t realize is that, when the powers of a realm watcher awaken, there are those who’ll be
Uncaged Review: This one started out slow for me, and it took a while to really grab my interest. I give props to the original storyline and the editing was perfect. But I’m not sure I got the full gist of it. The majority of the book is told in our main character’s point of view, or first person. But there are a couple chapters that go off that narrative and go into the third person, I’m sure it’s to help the reader understand more. I’m not sure if writing the book fully in one way or another would clarify it more, I just think a lot of information was left out, and I never fully grasped the whole supernatural part of it, and our main characters real role. Since this is book one in a series, I’m sure things will click into place better as the story evolves. Now with all that said, the storyline is a nice original take in the urban fantasy landscape. Autumn is a protector of the realms, and is only beginning to come into her powers. As beings from a different dimension start showing up on her radar, she’s not sure what’s happening, or if she’s going crazy. This is where it gets a bit confusing, on exactly what her job is as a protector. The beings from the other dimension, can take over a body and essentially kick the consciousness of the person out, like a parasite. She teams up with a psychic investigator, Ian, over the disappearance of people, that have left no clue as to where they’ve gone. This book does wrap up one storyline, but it leaves on a cliffhanger of sorts. So although I do plan on reading the next one in the series, that will be the book that will decide the fate of this series for me. Reviewed by Cyrene
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Uncaged Reviews Uncaged Ratings: New Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Some Violence Mild Language
Margaret Madigan New Adult/Fantasy Romance Holly Spencer is a 22-year-old IT major who’s ready to graduate and find her place in the world. What she really wants is a good job and a condo with a view. But when she’s rescued twice in one day by a mysterious man who claims to be a fae warrior, she’s plunged into a world she grew up believing existed only in fairy tales, and is forced to run for her life from warring factions who all want her dead. Shadow’s on a routine mission when he runs headlong into Holly—the soul mate he’d given up on ever finding. Even when she refuses to believe they’re meant for each other, he fights to protect her from the very thing that brought them together, even when it means making a dangerous deal with Fate to save her life. They must confront their pasts together, and fight for their future against a demon determined to win.
Uncaged Review: This book is very original take on the genre of the faeries. In most books, Faes are human sized, but in this one, they can shift into a human form or the faerie form which is small and pixie like. It’s also a very fast paced storyline that tosses you headfirst into the action right away. Our main character Holly, goes to visit her dying grandmother in the hospital, never having met her. When her “aide” comes in the room, she has what she thinks is a seizure, and the woman dying in the bed isn’t all she is supposed to be. Holly soon finds out, she had her “First Sight,” a reaction when two soulmates that
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are Fated to be together meet. She also finds out she is half fairy/half human and her life is in grave danger. Shadow, the man/fairy she is fated and also the “aide” to the dying grandmother, knows he needs to protect her. When the father she never met, comes after her to kill her, Shadow escapes with her into their realm. I’m not going to give more away, but this book is fast paced with a lot of action, humor, and originality. There are very few boring areas, I think the author does a great job giving enough information, but not overdoing it. I see the storyline continuing easily, but this book wrapped up its own storyline satisfactorily. Reviewed by Cyrene
Uncaged Ratings: New Adult Fantasy Romance Mild Violence
Victoria at Sea
M. Kate Quinn Contemporary Romance ‘Why?’ has no place in what the heart knows for sure. On the eve of their wedding, Victoria Gliden and fiancé, Owen Walker, call it quits. He accuses her of not being able to get over her deadbeat father’s vanishing act when she was a child and she and her cold feet run and don’t look back. Victoria, an interior designer, has an important meeting on Cancun that could garner her a promotion and the plan had been to incorporate her presentation with the honeymoon cruise that’s
journeying to the island. Since she’s sure Owen is on his way to Portland to escape the aftermath of their ruined wedding, Victoria takes the honeymoon cruise anyway. Only Owen has the same idea and they’re stuck with each other for six days, five nights. When Tony Gliden, Victoria’s father, dies in a freak accident, he is sent back to Earth disguised as a crotchety old man with the mission to convince his daughter to believe in love. So, he, too boards the ship. At sea, destiny takes a detour when Victoria befriends the quirky old man with kind eyes and together they join forces with a quartet of unabashed women in their fifties who drink pink martinis and flirt with the waitstaff but are wiser than they look. While trying to dodge Owen, Victoria’s new acquaintances help her face old wounds and confront new fears. By journey’s end, will two broken hearts get their answer? Uncaged Review: Such a charming story. Victoria breaks up with her fiancé, Owen, and takes the cruise ship trip they had planned for their honeymoon, to get away and since she has a meeting in Cancun with potential clients for the company she works for in New York, it will be the answer, or so she thinks. Owen also decides to take the same trip, before he leaves to move to Portland, Oregon to take over his father’s business. But neither of them counted on Gil…. The fun of this story is Tony, who is the lost and estranged father of Victoria. After he is killed, he wakes up in a place, that to decide his everlasting fate, he must prove himself. So the powers that be, send him to the ship, disguised as Gil, a
charming, older gentleman and his duty is to help his daughter. Within six days. A lot of fun ensues. I have to admit, I wanted to slap Victoria many times and throw Shawna overboard, but the characters are memorable, fun and I would consider it a fun rainy day read. Reviewed by Cyrene
Uncaged Ratings: Adult Contemporary Romance Sex Scenes
Descended from Dragons Tricia Owens Fantasy/Mythology
To save Sin City, she must battle Hell. Too bad the odds are against her. Beneath the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas lies another city. A secret city in plain sight, full of warlocks and demons, shapeshifters and golems. A city that feeds off the chance magick that is generated by gamblers and which is ruled by mysterious beings called the Oddsmakers. It is in this strange underbelly of the occult that Anne Moody runs a cursed pawn shop for the desperate, the curious, and the magickally inclined. The job can be tricky, but it keeps her under the radar. None of her customers have any inkling that she is a dragon sorceress with a power that’s been feared throughout history. One day, a visitor to her shop pawns a stone statue that is more than it appears. The statue is a gargoyle named Vale, who is shrouded in mystery and secrets. When she learns that Vale is possessed, and that the person Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Uncaged Reviews responsible for cursing him plans to take over Las Vegas with a horde of demons from Hell, Anne realizes it is up to her to defy the Oddsmakers and save the city, and possibly the world.
to get her out of his head, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to do anything about it. Except now he needs her.
Uncaged Review: Anne Moody runs a pawn shop
Because Gavin Rowan’s curse has been lifted, and Prim is the only one who can re-curse him. Otherwise, Brandon’s whole damn species will be annihilated.
This book spans about 48 hrs, and it’s fast, actionpacked with a lot of humor and characters who are very endearing. With the paranormal world shifting hard toward magic lately, this urban fantasy is a good addition to that world. The romance was a tad rushed, and I’m not sure what the draw to Vale (the gargoyle shifter) was, as it really didn’t push that forward. There was some loop holes that could use cleaning up, like what Anne’s powers really are besides being of dragon descent. She’s supposedly a sorcerer, but I saw very little of that in this book. Even with these grievances, I’ll look forward to see what happens in the next book Review by Cyrene
Uncaged Review: This is a second book in a series, and I had not read the first one, so I was cautious going into it, hoping I wouldn’t be too lost, but the author does a great job and I never felt like I missed much at all by starting at book two. This is a classic tale of Light vs. Dark, and Fates are assigned to Chala, the only beings that can give birth to more Light Ones, who protect humanity from the Rakshasa – the Dark Ones. Without the Light Ones keeping them in check, the Rakshasa would end all human life. The problem lies in that in the story, there is only one Chala left, Sydney, who is mated to a cursed Rakshasa. With no one left to bring more Light Ones to the world, they must do all they can to protect the one Chala. Prim, is a Fate that has protected and released (to their respective mates) Chalas for centuries, and is hiding a secret that could affect the Light Ones world in a huge way.
in the seedier side of Las Vegas, the magickal seedier side that is. When a customer drops off and pawns a gargoyle statue, nothing will be the same. For the gargoyle is a shifter, but he’s been possessed by a demon. If Anne can’t free the demon, the demon will destroy the man inside.
Uncaged Ratings: New Adult Fantasy
Prim and Proper Fate Tami Lund Paranormal Romance
Brandon Haines hates Fates. As far as he’s concerned, they serve no good purpose. Even Prim. She’s sex and candy walking, and he may not be able
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This is a very original take in the fantasy world, and it was a very enjoyable read. Some things were predictable for me, but could be because I’m a heavy reader of fantasy. Good storyline, it does wrap up its storyline and leaves on a satisfactory ending, but it also sets up the next in the series quite well. Reviewed by Cyrene
Uncaged Ratings: Adult Paranormal Romance Some violence Sex Scenes
Vampire’s Kiss Ella Summers Fantasy/Paranormal Once you sip the Nectar of the gods, there’s no going back. Leda Pierce is working as a paranormal bounty hunter on the Frontier, the dividing line between human civilization and the plains of monsters. Life is simple and the pay modest, but at least she has her family. That is, until a vampire hunt goes wrong and her brother goes missing, captured by the dark angels of hell. With no magical powers of her own and no way to find him, Leda’s only option is to go to New York and join the Legion of Angels, an elite unit of supernatural soldiers with powers gifted to them by the gods themselves. If she can survive long enough to make it up the ranks, she will gain the magic she needs to find her brother. But Leda soon finds herself on the wrong side of a conspiracy that will shake up the supernatural world—and at the mercy of a fiercely powerful and tempting angel. Uncaged Review: This just made me mad. The book ended too soon! This world is a postapocalyptic type world, after a battle between angels and demons. Demons are now outside the towns, behind a wall known as the Wastelands, and the angels have legions of soldiers trained to keep the peace. Leda, and her family are bounty
hunters, bringing in the law-breaking individuals for the bounty. But having very little to no magical abilities, they focus on humans. But when one bounty goes south and it’s a vampire instead of a human, her brother Zane, who is telepathic is taken prisoner afterward by Dark Angels. Dark Angels are fallen angels, working with demons. Leda knows that the only way she can get the powers that will give her the ability to find her brother Zane, enrolls in the Legion of Angels. Here, the angel Nero, has taken a keen interest in her. She is trained until she is bloody and broken, healed, and trained again. But what they find out after a mission that turns into a trap, is that there is a lot more trouble going on that even the Legion didn’t know. This book is all action, all with a kick-ass heroine with a sassy attitude and endears the reader to her pretty quickly. There wasn’t much romance in this book, but it is setting up and I am truly looking forward to this series continuing.
Uncaged Ratings: Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Some violence
Myra Nour Horror/Short Story
Waking from unconsciousness after being mugged, Joe staggers out of the alley toward the street. He finds chaos as he enters a zombie outbreak in progress. Scenes of gruesome
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Uncaged Reviews horror make him want to run away, but Joe must quickly decide how he wants to handle a zombie apocalypse. Uncaged Review: This is a great scene, that’s the best way to describe this short story, and what a ride! Joe wakes up in a garbage heap in an alleyway, having no idea how he got there, or even what his name is, except for a name tag on his shirt. As he finally gets up and starts to move toward the street, he hears sirens and screams. Thinking it’s an accident, Joe moves towards the street. What he sees, is people running and total chaos on the street, and several people lurching his way. As they get closer, Joe begins to believe he’s stumbled into seeing a film with zombies. But as Joe continues to watch, he realizes that it’s not a film. Joe is weak, and hurt and tries to follow the people that were running away. This is a short story, and it’s described in such beautiful, gory detail, that you may lose your appetite (and I may have said that because I was very close to eating a meal when I read this story). Myra Nour is a master at endings that you don’t always expect, and this story is no different. This is a terrific short that could easily be a scene from a longer novel. Reviewed by Cyrene FREE READ
Uncaged Ratings: Adult Horror
Violence and Gore
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Murder on Blake Hill Janis Lane Cozy Mystery
Detective Kevin Fowler is baffled by the wall of silence that greets him from the relatives of two septuagenarians whose bodies are discovered in a country cemetery called Blake Hill. Even more upsetting is the unusual rash of vandalism reported nightly by the citizens in his peaceful community. Have the teenagers declared an uprising? Night patrols reveal a totally unexpected and shocking situation. When a poignant secret is revealed, Beverly Hampton weeps over the sadness of a long-ago tragedy, but soon wedding bells are heard for the hometown princess and the popular detective. At the local diner the alluring fragrance of fresh-baked, cinnamon sticky buns continue to reign over the grateful citizens of Hubbard, New York.entertained a story most bizarre. Of a woman bent on teaching her cheating husband a lesson. The prisoner wondered....”Am I next?”
Uncaged Review: This is a detective Kevin Fowler Mystery #3. Detective Fowler gets a phone call in the middle of the night. To say there’s been a double murder up by the cemetery. Two old men so of course his wife to be Beverly who works for the newspaper joins him. To get a head start on the investigation this all takes place in a little place called Hubbard, in the states. Kevin thinks this will be a open and shut case but it turns out to be that the two victims hated each other and there family’s hated each other too. So it’s a family feud for the last two century’s and still going strong and despite Kevin and Beverly planning a wedding there’s a bear running about the town going through the bins. I really wanted to like this book more and I felt that the plot was good. It just didn’t have enough action in it for me. The case was over to soon
and the bear who was thrown into the book didn’t make sense to me. On the plus side I now know what to do if I meet a bear in real life. There’s people who will eat this book up and love it no pun intended it is an easy read just not for me.
Uncaged Ratings: Adult Cozy Mystery
Sex references/Abuse talk
A Shade of Vampire
Bella Forrest Paranormal Romance/YA On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood. She is kidnapped to The Shade, an enchanted island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine. An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains. Sofia’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is selected out of hundreds of girls to take up residence in the tree-top harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal prince. Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.
Uncaged Review: This is a very strong series and sitting at 35 books strong already. I, of course, had to see what all the fuss is about with over 8K reviews on Amazon. I’ve read the first three books in the series (thank goodness for KindleUnlimited) and the series is young adult oriented (so far) and the storyline is original - but it does have it’s issues. Sofia is kidnapped on her 17th birthday and taken to an island that is shielded from the world by the magic of a witch, and it’s always night for the vampires. The humans that live on the island are either in a harem with a vampire, or they are living in the caves, and can be taken at anytime for food for the vampires. Some people were even born at the island. In the meantime, Derek Novak, the royal prince vampire has awoken from a long sleep and he takes Sofia into his harem. And from here a romance between Sofia and Derek brews slowly. But there is a lot of danger, as another coven wants to find and defeat this coven. What’s wrong? When Derek wakes up from his long sleep, he’s very violent and has a hard time with control. He even backhands his sister, which I don’t think sends a good message at all since he isn’t punished at all for it. He even almost kills one of the other girls at his tree-top haven, and it’s brushed off by everyone but Sofia. I am going to give strong caution to young adults on this one, at least to older teens because of some of the violence and abuse. It’s not rife throughout the book, but it’s enough to take notice. Reviewed by Cyrene
Will she succeed? Or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Fang-Freakin-Tastic Reviews To Scream Within a Dream
subconscious. And when eyes flash open, after vivid photos of blood and oblivion, screams will not only ring out into the shadows of the mind, but also out into the darkness of reality.
In dreams, we are free to believe in MONSTERS and MIRACLES.
Fang-tastic Review: It’s not often that I come across a book of short stories and enjoy every single story. To Scream Within a Dream is definitely full of stories I enjoyed. Some of the stories, I’ve seen before and some are totally new to me.
Eli Constant Horror/Short Stories
This short story collection, however, is fraught with monstrosities and painfully lean on the miraculous. For Eli Constant, all forms of life contain the capacity to become good or evil. “Castle in the Dark” is a keen portrayal of this—where an innocent child dies and merges into the afterlife, becoming a spirit focused on inflicting pain. Then there are also those things that were never alive, or… should not be alive. Like a ringing phone that is not as innocent as it seems and pressing ‘answer’ might be the end of everything. Or a town of resurrected people that are not content to wait and be exterminated, especially when their exterminators are also their creators. The line between the present and the past, between the living and the not-so-living, is often unclear. That’s how it is in life. That’s how it is in art. In the longest story of this collection—“A History of Youth”—parent and child seek to understand one another. One wants the freedom to choose. The other wants to prevent mistakes from repeating. But it’s too late. It always seems to be too late. With a Foreword by USA Today Bestseller, Claire C. Riley (Author of the Odium Series), To Scream Within a Dream—call it nightmares or call it memories resurfaced—is a human psyche trying to understand the world. It is a response to the unimaginable. A desperate cry against the world’s horrors. A plea to satisfy the strange questions rattling about in the
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The very first story, “Memories of Her are Dead”, I have read several times. It’s actually the first story I ever read by Constant. This story has really stuck with me. I keep reading it because for some reason, every time I do, I convince myself that it is going to end differently. It’s a very emotional story that just trips my mind out every time. “The Devil’s Cell” is a pretty cool story. It’s a unique story for sure. Constant continues her streak of being able to gross me out in “My Body”. “Chick’n Soup for the Soul” was a vastly different story than I’ve ever read. It didn’t go how I thought it would at all. “A Precious Payment” is quite a sad story, and “Drowning in the Hazel” is the one story that made me go “Oh sh*t!” “A History of Youth” is a story that will really get to you as a parent if you have kids. It’s one of those stories that most of us can related to from when we were younger, but makes us hope our kids don’t do the same sorts of things we did. As the mother of a teenage daughter, this story made some of my fears come to life. “The Mask Bleeds Obsidian” is another story that is drastically realistic and really touches your heart in a way that
makes it tighten up in a good but uncomfortable way. This is a good thing by the way. I don’t normally include things about individual stories when I write a review of a book like this, but each story in this book is incredibly unique from the other stories that I don’t think I could do it justice by writing a generic review. In my opinion, each story is the perfect length to give the reader enough info to know the story without having filler scenes. Several stories left me wanting to know what happens next, which I think is one of the signs of great storytelling. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for stories that will get to you, but don’t want stories that are long. I had a very hard time putting this book down between stories and I hope you will too.
The Bride Wore Brains Emily Wesley Stringer Horror/Comedy
Claire’s perfect wedding takes a horrific turn when her guests start turning into zombies. It’s up to her best friend, Kat and a motley crew of wisecracking misfits to save the day.
Fang-Freakin-Tastic Review: The Bride Wore Brains was a very pleasant surprise. The blurb itself sounded good, but I expect to enjoy it quite as much as I did. It’s a very short read, but the action
starts right away and doesn’t stop. I have read very few zombie books that include wedding situations. I like them because many women stress so much over their weddings, waiting for their “perfect day” and when the slightest thing goes awry, they lose their damn minds. Imagine having those unrealistic expectations and then imagine having them utterly destroyed by a bunch of disgusting zombies. I have to say, after my own wedding, I’m not entirely sure I would have been too upset if zombies had eaten my own mother. In fact, I think I would have preferred or even encouraged it after the way she and my grandmother behaved. From within the first few pages of this book, the action doesn’t stop. There are a few moments where I have to question the mental capabilities of some of the characters, but Claire, the bride, really shows her strength in an unexpected way. I’m pretty sure that this is what it would be like had zombies invaded my wedding, with my friends doing their thing. This makes it very easy for me to relate to as a reader. I enjoyed the creativity and author’s ability to paint the images of a beautiful wedding gone horribly, horribly wrong. Each character brings something else to the table in either a badass or entertaining way. The characters were unpredictable but fun and I enjoyed their senses of humor. Overall, this was a great read. My only complaint would be that it isn’t long enough, and that is only because I’m greedy like that. If you are looking for a funny and quick zombie fix, check out The Bride Wore Brains, it’s totally worth it. I can’t wait to see what else this new author has coming for us!
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Onyx Webb Book Two Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz Horror
If you enjoyed Book One, you will love Onyx Webb: Book Two! The story gets darker, creepier, and crazier. Onyx Webb is a complex multigenre mash-up that combines elements of supernatural suspense, crime, horror, romance, and more. The Onyx Webb series follows the unusual life of Onyx Webb along with a central group of characters in various locations and times. The billionaire Mulvaney family, piano prodigy Juniper Cole and her brother Quinn, paranormal show hosts Cryer and Fudge, and a few others make up the core of the series. Written like a book version of your favorite tv series (think: supernatural soap opera like American Horror Story) each character’s story moves forward with most every episode. It may appear that the characters are entirely unrelated and yet episode by episode, the connections will become clearer. Like being an inch away from a spider web, with each book, the web will move further and further away revealing the full story of every character and most importantly, the stunning conclusion for Onyx Webb herself.
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Fang-tastic Review: This series has me entirely wrapped up in it! It’s one of those series where you are following along and all the lines are almost intersecting but not quite enough so you feel like the answers are just out of reach. Normally, I would be annoyed with this, but in this case, I absolutely love it. The authors really have woven a web of story. Just when I think I’m about to figure out what is really going on, it’s snatched away. Over the course of the series, I have really become attached to the characters and their world. Onyx has my heart in knots for her. I just want to shake her and tell her NO! This series continues to be unpredictable in the best possible ways. The story has my full attention from the beginning to the end and I’m almost salivating to get the next book. It’s exciting, intriguing, and is just one of those books you don’t want to put down. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good ghost story where you are kept on your toes and the authors don’t give all the secrets away right in the beginning.
House of Allure L. Marshall James SciFi/Dystopian In the future, personal computers are integrated into the bodies of most first-world citizens, sex-bots are the norm, and brothels are as common as restaurants. In this world, Tad Barlow is an introverted virgin in search of a genuine sexual experience, and Symphony Rains is a long-term brothel girl desperate to remain relevant in the profession she believes in. This is not a love story. Here, romance takes a backseat to torn flesh and severed souls, and death is a merciful alternative to certain paths less traveled. Welcome to the House of Allure. Fang-tastic Review: Normally, I can’t stand anything too science-y. I’m not good with technology, and the science of things just bores me half to death. Or it confuses me. One of the two happens almost every time. House of Allure is one of the only science/technology type of books I didn’t completely lose interest in within the first 2 minutes of reading.
selves better in different ways. There are brothels everywhere and people even have and use sex bots. It’s very hard for me to explain anything about this story because I know I won’t get it right. So essentially, it’s well written and unusual. James does a great job of breaking things down to a level that even I can understand and find interesting. The characters are likeable while also being individuals. The most basic of human traits are still found among these futuristic citizens. Greed, jealousy, self-doubt etc are all there. It shows that though things may change drastically in the future, at the core of things, people are still screwing things up just like they always have. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. I would recommend it to anyone who likes easily understood technologically advanced, futuristic stories that have some interesting twists and turns. There’s just enough gore to make my black little heart happy, which is a total bonus in my opinion.
Set in the future, which is also something I normally avoid reading about, there are a lot of things we don’t have now (or do we?). People are their own computers. I don’t know how to explain it, but people can buy upgrades to make them-
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews
The Darkest Days Death and Decay Book 0.5 R.L. Blalock Horror/Post Apocalyptic To protect and serve. The motto that every officer is taught from their first day in the academy. On a humid June day in St. Louis, it is a motto that could get Officer Wyatt Ward killed. Desperate citizens flock to the station as the officers of the Cottleville Police Department struggle to handle the chaos that is enveloping a city already shaken by rioting. But as darkness descends something much worse is rising. The deranged. Brutal, unforgiving, single-minded monsters that were once the citizens Wyatt was sworn to protect. Now, they attack. They bite. They infect. As fear takes hold… As the city begins to eat itself… As the world crumbles… What is a man who is sworn to protect to do as the world dies?
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Myra’s Review: This is a long, (69 pages) short story, an introduction to the author’s novel Death & Decay. Police officer Wyatt hoped for a typical day filled with traffic violations in Cottleville, a small suburb of the St. Louis area. But today was stressful, reports filled with combative, upset residents. A call to his wife Sarah brightened his day, and he always loved to hear what antics his three year old son was up to. After he hung up, calls started getting wilder from the dispatcher; a dead body in the road and a disturbance at the High School. Other calls followed in rapid succession. Before he had time to fully investigate the reported body, the dispatcher called for all officers to return to the station immediately. Crowds of scared people surrounded the building. People in town were acting crazed and violent, driving the residents to seek help from the officials. Things develop very quickly after that; with townspeople attacking those gathered outside the station. A fierce fight ensues with the officers jumping in to protect people. The insane residents are hard to put down, almost impossible, unless a head shot was delivered. Some officers get taken down and those remaining gather all the living they can inside the station. The situation devolves into a fight for life as more and more residents turn into zombies. Wyatt leads the few people left alive, outside in an
attempt to find somewhere safe. The townspeople crash their vehicle as Wyatt serves as bait for the undead. Discouraged and alone, he returns home to his family. Unfortunately, Wyatt’s wife and baby have turned into zombies, and he has to kill them. It was a sad scene. Wyatt has to decide if he will call it quits or go on without his family. I liked this scene. Many zombie stories have kick-ass characters driven to survive without much thought. Or there are weak characters who get killed easily because they lack skills or fortitude. Wyatt has plenty of all these qualities, so his situation is something well thought out. Not all strong characters would choose to go on if everything in their life has been taken from them. Thankfully, Wyatt finds a reason to go on, and I am assuming we will follow his story in the novel, which I look forward to reading. This was the author’s first published work and she did a good job. Often newbie authors do not have adequate character development, but there was in this short story. Officer Wyatt came across as a loving husband, dad, and dedicated policeman.
Ground Zero Nicholas Ryan Horror/Post Apocalyptic Aboard a freighter bound for Baltimore harbor, an Iranian terrorist prepares to unleash an unimaginable horror upon the United States. The ‘Wrath’ is an undead plague - an infection that consumes its victims with maddening rage, and turns them into mindless blood-thirsty killers.
Jack Cutter is just an ordinary guy dealing with a dreadful guilt when the virus tears through his home town. Before it is too late, Cutter will have to find a way to survive, and find a reason to fight. Myra’s Review: Jack is a regular guy, with no special skills, especially survival ones. He gets caught in the beginning of a zombie outbreak in his town. He tries to rescue an injured man but then his actions suggest he is trying to get himself killed. We find out that his wife and daughter died in a car accident the week before and Jack seems to have survivor’s guilt. He doesn’t want to be responsible for any of the people he meets, but gets pushed into it, and he does a pretty good job in spite of his self-doubt. Luckily for everyone, a jerk named Hos, a true prepper, died on the doorstep of the bookstore they were hiding in. He didn’t want to help anyone and left them all, but his bag was full of useful items to help them on the journey to safety. His guns were the best prizes. Jack hooks up with a young woman, Samantha and they head for the bunker Hos bragged about. They encounter other survivors and zombies, but manage to find Hos’s safe house. Only, it was a disaster; a burned out house. Or that is what they think, until they discover by accident the real bunker is well-hidden and camouflaged. It truly is a blessing in disguise, with everything they will need for a long while. This book is worth reading, it was interesting. But I didn’t give it a 5 due to several issues. One, character development was a bit light. Second, every woman had to be accessed for their looks. There was a lot of checking out breasts peeking over shirts, or nipples showing through, or thighs showing. Also, women latching onto Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews the strongest male so they could survive. Now, I agree, that there will be many women that would have to go back to the cave man days and totally depend on men to survive. But as a female reader all these things just annoyed me after a while. AND, Jack just lost his wife, but he didn’t fail to note the beauty of all the women he encountered. Maybe it’s just me, but seems that a man in mourning would not be as appreciative as the hero seemed to be. Even if men really do that, it didn’t make him a sympathetic character for having lost his wife. Keep it to yourself dude, ie don’t share this much with readers!
Flying Mutant Zombie Rats Kat de Falla Horror Summer vacation is almost here! And Pea O’Neil is stoked to try out the new local BMX track which is finally open. He and his gang of friends can ride all summer long! But when Pea tries a back flip, he unwittingly opens a portal to another dimension and hordes of flying mutant zombie rats are unleashed upon the city. With the help of an otherworldly talking cat sent to help prevent the demise of humankind, Pea and his friends must hunt down the hungry mutants and send them back before the portal closes. But when the zombie rats attack a neighbor man, the boys have to enlist the help of a graveyard looney and the city’s stray cats. With time running out, Pea and his gang track the monsters to the city’s 90 | UncagedBooks.blogspot.com
sewer system. But in the city sewer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s eat…or get eaten. Myra’s Review: Pea is a normal preteen, enjoying spending time with his good friends, especially having biking adventures on his BMX. The gang can’t wait to the new track opens that week. Pea slips off the night before the official opening to try the BMX track, but runs into trouble in the form of a strange cat and a creature that looks like a cross between a bat and a rat. A rat with wings. Unfortunately, a portal into another dimension had opened at the track and soon many flying mutant zombie rats are invading his home turf. It’s a race against time to kill the rats and send them back through the portal. Pea enlists his friends in the dangerous mission, plus the cat, Maxillian, who happens to talk. The cat entered through the same portal, chasing after the rats. He wants to help the humans before the undead rats take over and cause a zombie epidemic. Humans can turn into zombies if bitten by a rat, which happens to an elderly neighbor. Maxillian becomes a champion in more ways than one; leading Earth cats in an attack against the rats, and his saliva is the key to healing humans who have been bitten. This was a cute book, perfect for kids and preteens who love zombies. Enough scares for this age, but not terrifying, with a few scenes of attacks on humans. Also a few gross-out incidences this age will love, like the neighbor cutting off his finger to entice his cat to come to him, so he can devour it. Which luckily doesn’t happen. Highly recommended for kids in this age group who love horror.
Photo Manipulation by Cyrene Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews Dead Man Code R. Weir Mystery/Suspense Cases come and cases go, but private detective Jarvis Mann can’t land an easy one these days. The cops are unhappy Jarvis digs into a murder case they closed, uncovering a crooked tech company, hell-bent on stealing their customers’ IDs and US government secrets. Soon Russian mobsters and Chinese government goons arrive to bribe, threaten, beat, and finally kill, in an attempt to stop him and safeguard their criminal enterprise. Can he protect the life of the widow who hired him to find her husband’s killer? Will the founder’s beautiful and sexy ex-wife provide the key he needs to crack the case, as Jarvis slugs and shoots his way to a pulse-pounding conclusion… Amy’s Review: Jarvis Mann Returns! If you’re looking for a great PI book, any of the Jarvis Mann books should fill that void. Weir has done it again, writing an impeccable book for Mann. Mann is a PI that I just love, he’s rugged and sexy, and there is something about him that can’t be explained. He has his faults and heartbreak, and even causes heartbreak, but he does his job. The POV is first person, and I think that brings an interesting outlook over the entire story. Mann is telling the reader what he does, what he sees and how he feels while he’s working the case. Whether he’s singing under his breath or ready to take aim of his weapon, he’s an unforgettable character. The case of the dead software engineer is just another interesting case for him to take on and risk everything for.
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Feast of Mercy Katherine M. Hearst Paranormal/Fantasy An ancient feud. A threat from the Vatican. Two lovers caught in the middle. Nick never wanted to live forever, and he certainly didn’t want to join the Order of the Sinistra Dei. Unfortunately, before he’s able to get used to the idea of immortality, the High Judge from the Vatican arrives in New Orleans to investigate the strange events of Fat Tuesday. If Nick doesn’t play his cards right, his forever could be a whole lot shorter. Marin, a relatively new immortal, is forced to serve as assistant to the High Judge while he investigates the alleged crimes of those she holds most dear. She’ll do what she has to do to protect her clutch. However, her efforts bring her closer to facing the executioner’s blade. As their world spins out of control, Marin and Nick struggle to reconcile past hurts and hold onto their budding relationship. New enemies, new abilities, and new desires threaten to tear them apart. It isn’t long before they realize love can’t heal all. Amy’s Review: Powerful sequel The old adage that sequels never live up to their predecessors is no longer correct, and this sequel to “Feast of the Epiphany” is amazing and powerful. First, I love the way that Hearst writes. It’s her writing style and storytelling that is unique to her, a very big kudos for any writer, and she has what it takes. There is something about Nick in this story that draws me right to him. He may be immortal, he may have wings and could fly, but he was full of regrets and mistakes, and even dreams. There is a great chemistry between the characters, and a depth that makes them realistic and even troubled.
The story brings in the believable, even if almost impossible.
A Question of Time Sandy Bruney Historical Paranormal Caroline and Nathan’s former enemy Rasmussen reappears as a magician calling himself The Great Manzini. As Manzini, he kidnaps King Thomas Jefferson the Fourth during a magic show at the Ford’s Theater and demands an impossible ransom. A time-traveler himself, Nathan understands how the trick was done, but when he confronts the villain. Manzini sends Nathan sixty years into the future. Nathan returns, unable to explain his absence, and is arrested as an accomplice to the kidnapping and possible murder. In vain he tries to explain the kidnapping was a ruse to deflect attention from a greater threat to the nation. Caroline must rescue the missing monarch…but will she find Thomas in time to prove her husband’s innocence and right a hundred-year-old wrong? Amy’s Review: The end of a trilogy This book is the end of a trilogy, but it is best read if you have read the other books before it. I did not, so I think I have a unique perspective of the book. I wasn’t quite sure who Rasmussen was, but it didn’t take too long to realize he was supposed to be dead. Now, he wasn’t. Time traveling and magic, it’s a great combination for a story, and even better, a trilogy. I probably will read the
ones the come before this, but this on its own is a grand ending. The search for Thomas Jefferson IV is an interesting journey, and even more when Nathan needs to find his way back. It’s full of trickery, magic and intrigue.
Class of ‘59 John A Heldt Time Travel When Mary Beth McIntire settles into a vacation house on June 2, 2017, she anticipates a quiet morning with coffee. Then she hears a noise, peers out a window, and spots a man in 1950s attire standing in the backyard. She panics when the trespasser sees her and enters the house though a door to the basement. She questions her sanity when she cannot find him. In the same house on March 21, 1959, Mark Ryan finds a letter. Written by the mansion’s original owner in 1900, the letter describes a basement chamber, mysterious crystals, and a formula for time travel. Driven by curiosity, Mark tests the formula twice. On his second trip to 2017, he encounters a beautiful stranger. He meets the woman in the window. Amy’s Review: Absolutely amazing, or should I say Cool! From the minute Mary Beth saw the gun in her face, I was hooked! I read the book that came before this, and I love the time travel journey of the characters. This book did not disappoint either. I didn’t grow up in the 50’s but am very fascinated by that era. Between 2017 and 1959, the journey was intriguing and interest-
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews ing. This was quite a page-turner. I am a fan of Heldt’s work, and this book is high on my list of enjoyment. Mark Ryan, this would be time traveler was very interesting, and I liked the story, as it brought this reader on an amazing adventure. All of the characters were in depth and had great chemistry. I love a story that is dialogue driven.
Forsaken Elizabeth Popolow Paranormal Fantasy Meeting the devil, being chased by demons (and angels), and stuck learning how to defend herself, Lacie Blackwell’s world has turned upside down and then some after coming in contact with the devilishly handsome Luke, a sweet and wealthy gentleman, who immediately changes her simple life- and heart- the moment their eyes lock in a tiny café. After the tragic accident that stole her parents’ lives seven years prior, she now lives with in an apartment with her best friend, Michael, and aspires to finish online university and become a lawyer or detective. Everything was going great, that is, until a bunch of rogue angels and demons begin to target her, and not only is her life in danger, her sanity is too. Falling in love with the devil was one thing. Finding out you’re not who you thought you were is a completely different twist altogether. Will Lacie be able to survive? And is Luke really the man he claims to be? Amy’s Review: Darkness and the Devil As a continuous reader and fan of Popolow, I am very used to her writing style. She turned Lacie Blackwell into an interesting character, that has a dark side, that is more than just what she dreams
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in her head. Popolow has a way to bring out the details of the characters and the environment, and it almost becomes its own character. I was drawn in to the story right away, and I really like the bond of roommates Michael and Lacie. There is this connection between the two of them that does not have to be written, it is just there. The story is filled with twists that surprised even this reader. The characters are young, at least that’s how they act and how they speak, and maybe seem like they should be older, even hundreds of years older, but that’s up to the writer and the storyteller.
Dead End Gerald Darnell Mystery Is this the end of Carson Reno? Has he finally reached the end of the road - his ‘Dead End’? Is this Carson’s last adventure? While trying to protect a client for Jack Logan, Carson finds himself in the middle of a family feud – a deadly feud with skeletons AND bodies hidden in all the family closets. Murder, blackmail, infidelity, counterfeit money and, of course, the Mafia send Carson in search of a client that doesn’t want to be found. In fact, finding the client could turn out to be the worst solution for Carson Reno and his friends. Amy’s Review: Suspense-filled Carson Reno Story! Who doesn’t love a good PI book? Darnell did not disappoint in this story, as he kept the Carson Reno true to himself. Dead Ends is filled with suspense and thrilling action. The characters have a great connection and chemistry, and Reno doesn’t always believe what he is told. That’s the PI in him. This one is a real page turner, so much
that you end up re-reading pages because you are so anxious to get to the next page, but fear you have missed something important. As part of the series of Reno mysteries, it’s not required to read the others, but this book makes you want to go back and read about Reno’s other cases. I have read “Murder and More” and will probably go back and read others when I have the time. I like the point of view from Reno, reminds me of old detective movies, the ones in black and white, with the narration at every turn. Love this book!
Bird People and other stories Chantelle Atkins Short Stories/Myths Boredom, loneliness, alienation, friendship, revenge, first love, violence, dreams, fractured families and broken communities. A unique collection of dark and edgy short stories and character snapshots, all connected in some way to the novels by Chantelle Atkins. Amy’s Review: Mastering the word! Atkins is an amazing writer and having read a lot of her work, I found this collection of her short stories ingenious. Even though I read her other stories, and the short stories were related to those, I was able to also see the stories as independent and stand alone. Her characters are incredible and her work, wondrous. Bird People was my favorite of all the stories, but all of the work is worth reading. Bird People is something that cannot even be described, but it’s something that this reader read several times, and the quote that brings it justice is “It magnifies things. It sets everything on fire. It inflames and enrages and excites.” It’s her story and how she tells it.
Magnolia Flames Beth Hale Contemporary Romance Churches are burning in Oak Bend, Mississippi, and time is running out to find the arsonist. ATF Special Agent Carter Boone arrives in Oak Bend after following church fires across two states. Determined to find the suspect and make the arrest so he can earn his next promotion, Carter believes he has finally identified the arsonist: the brother of an Oak Bend police officer. But instead of making what he’d hoped would be an easy arrest, he finds himself locking horns with his suspect’s beautiful sister. Amy’s Review: Having never read the other “Magnolia” books by Hale, I really enjoyed this one. I will probably go back and read the others, since I liked this one so much. Hale has a way of bringing Eve and Carter to life. Eve, a fire fighter and Carter, a Special Agent, have great chemistry. Eve stumbles upon an arsonist and becomes his next target. “He positioned himself in the trees and watched the house, eager for the first sign of smoke. His arousal was heightened by the anticipation.” The story was more than just romance, and had great substance. Hale writes well and found herself a new fan. I look forward to reading more of her books.
Issue 4 | November 2016 |
Issue 4 - November 2016 Featured authors: Kathryn Le Veque, K.H. Mezek, EJ Bennett, Lynn Crain, Mary Abshire, Patricia Loofbourrow, Sandra R...
Published on Oct 31, 2016
Issue 4 - November 2016 Featured authors: Kathryn Le Veque, K.H. Mezek, EJ Bennett, Lynn Crain, Mary Abshire, Patricia Loofbourrow, Sandra R...