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Results 1 - 25 of 616
1. Review: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

ZOMG!  These books!  This series!  I’m going to gush, and I just can’t help myself!  It’s rare when I come across a series that sucks me in with the strength of a Dyson vac on steroids, and Anne Bishop manages to do just that.  I read Written in Red in December, and it was one of the best books I’d read last year.  I didn’t write a review because, gosh, I just didn’t know how to put my thoughts into words.  I still don’t, but I’ll try anyway.

I didn’t rush out to read Written in Red because I don’t remember loving the first two Black Jewels books.  I read them so long ago, though, that maybe my memory is faulty.  Or my reading tastes have changed.  But when I was offered a review copy of Vision in Silver, I thought, what the heck.  Written in Red was on sale for $1.99 at the time, and the library had Murder of Crows, so I cautiously entered the world of Meg Corbyn and the mysterious, dangerous Others.  I’m hooked!

Meg is a cassandra sangue, a blood prophet.  Murder of Crows picks up where Written in Red left off; Meg has settled in with the Others as their human liaison.  She’s basically their mail carrier, and she accepts, sorts, and delivers the parcels the terra indigene , or the Others, order from the humans.  There is an uneasy peace between the humans and the definitely not human Others, but it’s a precarious peace at best.  The humans are tolerated by the powerful Others only as long as they provide something they want, otherwise, the humans are reduced to one thing. If they have nothing to offer, then the humans are prey.  It’s as simple as that to the Others.  Either a human is somewhat useful and they are allowed to live unmolested, or they are special meat.

Meg is special because of the power in her blood, so she is in the not prey category, and that designation is non-negotiable.  The blood prophets are wonderful and terrible creations.  Some evil humans are exploiting them, selling their prophesies to the highest bidder, as well as using their blood to poison the Others.  The cassandra sangue feel euphoria after being cut, which releases their prophesies, but they also come with an expiration date.  Supposedly, their skin can only be cut a thousand times, and then they go mad or die.  They are virtually slaves to greedy, powerful men who use them for their own gain, keeping them carefully segregated and ignorant of the rest of society. 

Murder of Crows notches up the tension between humans and the Others.  Humans First and Last, an organization intent on destroying the Others, is striking out at their enemies, heedless of how the Others will react.  They seem to have forgotten how powerful the Others are, and that humans are allowed to remain in their towns and cities, on land rented from the Other, only because the Others find them useful.  When the Crows are singled out for murder, the Others don’t respond well to the threat to their kind. 

The series is engrossing and hard to put down.  Anne Bishop made the Others seem, well, not human.  I love the world building, and I love learning more about the creatures that populate it.  Simon Wolfgard is the leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and he and Meg have a lot to learn about each other.  Their first interactions are awkward, and growly Simon often leaves Meg frightened and uncomfortable.  Simple misunderstandings threaten to burst into violence with all of the Others, and Meg has to carefully navigate her new surroundings.  She’s at an even greater disadvantage because she was kept sheltered and ignorant in the Controller’s compound.  She manages to make friends among her new employers, and slowly gains their trust, and even wins the protection of one of the most powerful Others in Lakeside.

I love the Elementals, who bring devastating destruction as casually as flicking their fingers.  And the ponies.  OMG! The ponies!  Chubby and grumpy, they reluctantly assist Meg with her delivery duties (she has to bribe them with treats).  But then, when danger strikes, suddenly, they aren’t chubby little ponies anymore.  They are majestic, terrifying beasts of thunder, lightning, and fog.  I freaking love the ponies!

Meg is hard to dislike, too.  She is one of the most selfless heroines I’ve ever been introduced to.  She knows that she can only cut herself some many times, and that cutting herself is inherently dangerous because she can cut too deeply and bleed to death, but when she feels that her new friends are in danger, out comes her blade.  She’s also one of the bravest characters; she endures horrible pain to learn how to escape from the Controller, and she puts herself in harm’s way to protect the Courtyard and everyone in it.  She’s kind and gentle, but has a stubborn streak a mile long.

My favorite part of Murder of Crows is how confused both Simon and Meg are about their relationship.  Being a Wolf, he doesn’t understand that shifting into his human form can cause all kinds of problems between him and Meg.  Being different species, they have a different understanding of what a friend is, and they grapple to work out a definition that works for them, but it’s a slow, awkward process.  Will they ever be more than friends?  I have no idea, but I can’t wait to find out!

If you haven’t read Written in Red or Murder of Crows, you must give them a try!  Like, right now!  They are awesome books that build to a holy crap, I can’t believe this is so good! crescendo.  Then, after the last page, you just want more!

Grade:  ZOMG! A!!

Review copy obtained from my local library

From Amazon:

Return to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s “phenomenal” (Urban Fantasy Investigations) world of the Others—where supernatural entities and humans struggle to co-exist, and one woman has begun to change all the rules…
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader—wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

The post Review: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Guest Post and Giveaway: Wicked Dark Dragon by Lolita Lopez

Lolita Lopez dropped by the virtual offices to share the top items in her deadline survival kit.  She also brought along a giveaway for you to enter to help her celebrate the release of Wicked Dark Dragon!

What are the Top 5 items in your deadline survival kit?

1. Caffeine (Dr. Pepper especially!)

2. Wireless Headphones

3. Chocolate

4. Whiteboard and dry erase markers

5. The Viking! My husband takes care of everything when I’m on a tight deadline. He makes sure our special needs kiddo gets all of her homeschooling assignments done. He takes her to all of her therapy and autism clinic appointments. He also handles all the cooking, shopping, household chores, our Great Danes, etc. Because he is AMAZING. <3

About Lolita Lopez

While browsing bookstore shelves as a teenager, Lo discovered the erotic writings of Anaïs Nin and A.N. Roquelaure. Certain her mother would not approve, Lo smuggled the books home and squirreled them away in the most likely of places:  under her bed. Late at night, she delved into the sensual worlds both writers created.

As a co-ed studying biochemistry and genetics at Texas A&M University, Lo dabbled in creating naughty tales to entertain her friends. Study for a midterm or pen a deliciously dirty story to delight her small band of fans? Not surprisingly, Lo is now on an extended sabbatical from college.
Luckily, Lo stumbled onto the world of erotic romance publishers. She realized there were other readers and writers who loved and craved breathtaking romance with the spiciest of love scenes. She took a chance and submitted her first novella. The rest is history.
Lo lives in Texas with her husband, daughter and big blubbering Great Dane with mommy issues.
You can learn more at:
http://www.lolitalopez.com/books/
Twitter: @lowriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLolitaLopez?fref=ts


About WICKED DARK DRAGON

Adopted at birth, Ivy Morales always suspected she was more than human. Still, she keeps the outlandish thought to herself-even though she can’t ignore her powerful dreams of an ancient blood feud . . . or the darkly erotic turn of those hallucinations. Kidnapped in Mexico for her visions, Ivy has only one chance to escape: find the wickedly sexy man in her dreams.
Welsh dragon shifter Ian Madoc doesn’t understand the strange dream connection he shares with an unknown, beautiful woman. Yet after the seductive images turn into pleas for help, Ian rushes off in the middle of the night, hell-bent on rescuing her. But will she turn out to be the soul mate he’s always longed for . . . or the downfall of his entire clan?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1AOPRbq
B&N: http://bit.ly/1ETvNFM
iTunes: http://apple.co/1wlpg1K
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1BCc7Jd
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1Eveg8W


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The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Wicked Dark Dragon by Lolita Lopez appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Spotlight and Giveaway: Soulbound by Kristen Callihan

I’m thrilled to have Kristen Callihan drop by the virtual offices this morning to answer the following question:

You have been granted the use of a super power for one week. What power would you pick, and why? 

You know, I went through all sorts of possibilities: invisibility, flying, mind reading. But then I got practical. I choose Mary Poppin’s ability to have a room clean itself just by singing. Heh. 

What would you do with it? 

Sing my ass off. Seriously, this would be heaven. No more crazy house mess when I’m on deadline (or any other time, honestly). I’d just write and sing.  And maybe a little bird would perch on my window sill and join me in a sing along. Sweet. 

About SOULBOUND

Once two souls are joined . . .

When Adam’s soul mate rejected him, there was more at stake than his heart. After seven hundred years of searching, his true match would have ended the curse that keeps his spirit in chains. But beautiful, stubborn Eliza May fled-and now Adam is doomed to an eternity of anguish, his only hope for salvation gone… Their hearts will beat together forever

No matter how devilishly irresistible Adam was, Eliza couldn’t stand the thought of relinquishing her freedom forever. So she escaped. But she soon discovers she is being hunted-by someone far more dangerous. The only man who can help is the one man she vowed never to see again. Now Adam’s kindness is an unexpected refuge, and Eliza finds that some vows are made to be broken…

About Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book, Firelight, received RT Book Reviews’ Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

Kristen’s social media

@Kris10Callihan

http://www.KristenCallihan.com

http://facebook.com/KristenCallihan

https://www.goodreads.com/Kristen_Callihan

Buy links

Barnes & Noble — http://bit.ly/1D0xGQ1

Books-A-Million — http://bit.ly/1BlN7Cm

IndieBound —http://bit.ly/1z03aIr

Amazon — http://amzn.to/1Emi3D9

iTunes — http://bit.ly/1Ajkdmi

Kobo — http://bit.ly/1vDwIEU

Excerpt:

Eliza sat back on her heels, while Adam merely stared at her as though he had all the time in the world. “Fine,” she said. “Three weeks. I free you and you help me.” She gave him a warning look. “I’ll need your word that you will help me, that this” she waved her hand between them, “isn’t merely a way to trick me into freeing you.”

“This business was your idea, woman,” he said with affront.

“Nevertheless, I’ll need your word.”

The demon’s nostrils flared with a sharp exhalation. “My word then.” Eliza did not look away from him, and he glared back in obvious exasperation. “What now?”

“I’m merely considering if I ought to trust your word,” she said.

A low growl rumbled in his chest as he bared his teeth. “I keep my word, whether I want to or not. My word is my bond. Honor, Miss May. Unlike you, I have it.” 

“How dare you—” 

“How dare you?” He craned forward, the muscles along his shoulders bunching. “Not so long ago you broke your promise of fealty. To me!” 

“Oh, yes, how quick you are to remind me.” Eliza leaned close, grinding her teeth to keep in a shout. “You enjoy being quick, don’t you?” 

His thick, dark brows furrowed. “What in the bloody blazes are you talking about?” 

“You gave me all of ten seconds to make a choice.” Eliza’s fists ached from clenching them. “And what a choice. I was dead, my body sliced open, my blood on the ground. I would have done anything, anything,” she thumped her fist to her chest, “to get back my life.” 

“So that makes it better?” he snapped back in outrage. “Desperation gives you leave to go back on your word?” 

“No. That is not what I meant.” 

“Then you agree that you bloody well have no honor—” 

“You never explained what was involved. You never said I’d be chained to you, like some animal, for the rest of my days,” Eliza shouted. “I was told I would be a GIM. I was ready to serve you in that manner. You knew full well that’s what I believed. If anything, you swindled me!” 

All at once, he sagged, though he still eyed her with resentment and distaste. Well, she had a healthy helping of those feelings for him too. 

“Tick, tock, Eliza,” she mimicked. “You rushed me because you didn’t want me to think things over.” 

When he broke eye contact, his hard jaw twitched. 

“I’m correct, aren’t I?” Ire and a red rage surged up within her. “And you have the brass to sit on your high horse and talk of honor. Well let me tell you something, demon. There is little honor in forcing a person’s hand. Or using your power to coerce those weaker than you.”

A black scowl twisted the demon’s face as he glared at some distant point. “Fine. May I continue, or have you more complaints to heap upon my head?”

“Please do continue,” Eliza granted.

His golden gaze flicked back to her. “I want to kiss you.”

“No.” The word burst out of her with force. “Absolutely not.”

Unfazed, Adam shrugged. “Unless you have something to offer in exchange for your freedom, Mellan and Mab will, as you say, merely hunt us down, and you’ll be back to where you started.”

“Then I shall find out what he wants.” Eliza straightened her back. She could do that. She must. Like hell was she going to kiss this demon.

Adam simply gave her a slow, wicked half-smile. “Fortunately for you, lass, I already know what he wants. What they both want. More than controlling you. More than torturing me, even.”

“Then why in blazes haven’t you used it to secure your own freedom?” Eliza blurted out.

“I’m only alive because they cannot break me into revealing where this item might be.” The belligerence burning in his eyes was gone in a blink, replaced by a look of pure cunning. “However, I might be persuaded to help you use the knowledge. All I require is— ”

“Fine,” she snapped, irritation getting the best of her. “I’ll kiss you.”

Silence fell, and Adam stared at her with those eyes of his. Devil’s eyes. Eyes that made a woman forget herself. Heat rose up over her breasts and crawled along the back of her neck. Eliza grasped her skirts, her fingers twitching. She would kiss him. Kiss a man who had brought her nothing but irritation. Maybe she’d bite him to boot.

His chest, gleaming with sweat, rose and fell in a soft pattern. A bead of perspiration broke free from the top of his shoulder and ran down along the firm rise of his pectoral muscles, straight toward the dark nub of his nipple. All this time arguing with him, she’d forgotten his state of undress. Not so now. She’d have to press up against those hard muscles, touch his skin. Eliza wrenched her gaze back to his face, and his sinful lips curled in a knowing smile.

“You know,” he said casually, “I believe I shall pass for the moment. I’d rather it be when you aren’t wearing such a sour face. Kills a bloke’s ardor, you realize.”

Eliza blinked. And then his meaning hit her. “Why you…rutting…cheap, trickster…”

He laughed, a flash of even teeth. “Come now, Eliza, fret not.” He stopped then, that obnoxious smile growing and heating with promise. “I’ll take that kiss soon enough. ”

She rose to her feet in a rustle of skirts. “And I’ll be sure to bite that wicked tongue when you do!”

She marched out of the cell, slamming it behind her, as he began to laugh again. Bastard. She might just leave him here to rot after all. His laughing taunt echoed through the dark. “Now that I know tongues are involved, I’ll be sure to collect.”

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The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Soulbound by Kristen Callihan appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. The Mime Order: Review

Well, this one took me completely by surprise. I had enjoyed The Bone Season, but with reservations, considering how long it took me to really understand the incredible world Samantha Shannon has built for us. It took me very little time at all, however, to disappear into the pages of this second installment of the genre bending series. At once futuristic and Victorian, The Mime Order is a fantastical, dystopian, paranormal murder mystery, and I couldn’t get enough of it. This a lush and opulent storyworld, one that unfolds in intricate detail and rewards the reader for their patience. It is perfect for character readers and for anyone who would love a series that offers a “crash course” in the nuances of its world (like me! I am one of those people!). Reading this, and even though it is third person, I felt like I was walking with Paige through... Read more »

The post The Mime Order: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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5. Friday Feature: Elemental Series by Elana Johnson



About ELEMENTAL RUSH: Eighteen-year-old Adam Gillman has trained for twelve years to earn a coveted spot on the Supreme Elemental’s elite sentry squad. His brother, Felix, is the commander, but Adam is still thrilled when his official assignment to serve Alexander Pederson comes.

He moves into nicer quarters and can stop getting up at four a.m. to complete his mandated work out time. He still rises early though, because he needs the solitude of early morning to practice his airmaking Element—something that Adam has kept secret from everyone, even Felix, because he can’t be both an Airmaker and a sentry.

When Alex assigns him to kill a group of rogue Elementals, he balks at completing his mission for the first time. See, his only friend is Isaiah Hawking, and he’s the Earthmover on the accused Council. When faced with the prospect of killing him, Adam finds he can’t do it.

He’s well trained in assassination, but he thought he’d be murdering bad guys—not innocents.

When Alex buries the Elemental Academy—and kills over one thousand Elementals—in a fit of rage, Adam’s loyalty cracks. When he discovers that Alex is really a woman, and his brother’s lover, he defects. He hops from city to city, from Elemental school to Elemental school, always escaping only minutes before Felix can embed a knife in his heart or a tsunami can make a classroom his watery grave.

He tries to fight back, but he’s just one Airmaster with exceptional tracking skills. He does his best to warn those in danger, but as the last Elemental school goes up in flames, he knows he needs to get some real firepower on his side.

ELEMENTAL RUSH is a prequel novella to the full-length futuristic fantasy novel, ELEMENTAL HUNGER.



Buy Links:

About ELEMENTAL HUNGER: The second installment in the Elemental series, a new futuristic fantasy for young adults and new adults from acclaimed author Elana Johnson, ELEMENTAL HUNGER is a full-length novel that continues the story that began in ELEMENTAL RUSH, an Elemental novella.

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.

So she does two logical things to survive.
1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.

With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

Look for the third and final installment, ELEMENTAL RELEASE, the final Elemental novella.


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About ELEMENTAL RELEASE: Two months after returning to the capital city of Tarpulin with a Council of his own, Airmaster Adam Gillman is ready to start repairing the relationships in his life. Up first: his Councilman and the girl he’d like to be more than friends with, Gabriella Kilpatrick.

But first, he has to figure out how to be the Airmaster his Firemaker needs. In order to do that, Adam attends Elemental training and discovers that to truly command the air, he must first be in control of his emotions. And in order to master those, he has to grieve for the loss of Hanai, make amends with his brother, and earn the trust of Gabby.

Amidst all that, Adam must also learn how to grapple with the jet stream, because a dangerous Airmaster is loose in Tarpulin. And Adam will need to find his emotional center in order to work with the atmosphere and defeat the threat.


Buy Links:


About Elana Johnson: Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist

Her self-published novels include two YA contemporary novels-in-verse, Elevated and Something About Love, as well as a YA/NA futuristic fantasy series, which includes Elemental Rush, Elemental Hunger, and Elemental Release.

School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog and WriteOnCon, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.


Social Media Links:
League of Extraordinary Writers: http://leaguewriters.blogspot.com/

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Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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6. The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal!

I know I don't normally post on Tuesdays, but today is a very special day. The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal!

That means that today only it's $1.99. The sequel comes out in June, so if you haven't read The Monster Within yet, get it today!

Here's the blurb to remind you what this book is about:
The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong. She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she's tortured by visions--glimpses into her victims would have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches. But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Also, if you'd like to help me spread the word (and I'd totally love you even more for that) you can share this pre-made tweet/FB post:

The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal today! Get your copy for only $1.99!!! ‪#‎yalit‬ ‪#‎KindleDailyDeal‬ ‪#‎witches‬ http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Within-Kelly-Hashway-ebook/dp/B00KE4RL72

The book has already broken into 3 categories on Amazon, so thank you to everyone who has grabbed a copy at the sale price. Let's see if we can get this ranking even lower! :)

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7. Monday Mishmash 2/9/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  Still working on client edits. My clients are keeping me busy.
  2. Looking For Love Cover Reveal  This Friday is the cover reveal! If you requested an ARC, you'll also receive that on Friday. Want to take part in the reveal and/or sign up for an ARC? Click here.
  3. Reading  With all the editing I'm doing, my reading is taking a hit. Yes, I know I'm technically reading in order to edit, but I have a ton of books staring at me from my shelf wanting to be read.
  4. Castle of Sighs Cover Reveal Countdown  I've seen the cover already and I can tell you it's amazing. I'm helping Jennifer Murgia countdown to reveal day. 
  5. The Darkness Within Trailer Reveal March 6th  Along with Spencer Hill Press, I'll be revealing the trailer for The Darkness Within on March 6th. Want to participate? Sign up on the form here:

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That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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8. Spotlight and Giveaway: Jaguar Pride by Terry Spear

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for Terry Spear’s latest release, Jaguar Pride. Enjoy!

Title: Jaguar Pride

Series: Heart of the Jaguar

Author: Terry Spear

ISBN: 9781402293795

Pubdate: February 3, 2015

An impossible mission…

JAG Special Forces agents Huntley Anderson and Melissa Overton are hot on the trail of poachers when they’re suddenly saddled with two jaguar shifter cubs. They have to locate the parents, pronto—but who’s going to babysit in the meantime?

A lifetime of possibilities…

Huntley is a rough, tough jaguar shifter and an all-business agent, but he’s not going to let two abandoned youngsters come to any harm on his watch. Seeing her super-manly partner try to get the playful cubs under control stirs up some unexpected desires in Melissa, and she begins to feel like Huntley’s not the only one who’s in over his head…

USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal and medieval Highland historical romances. In 2008 Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas.

Excerpt

Once inside the park, Melissa and Huntley trekked for miles, not seeing much of anyone or anything, not with the way the rains were coming down in torrents in the steamy rainforest. They hadn’t found any sign of Jackson. Just a few hikers, hardier than most, who endured the rains and mud to see glimpses of wildlife here and there. When Melissa and Huntley finally set up camp for the night, she felt wet and miserable. And she couldn’t believe how Huntley looked like he could go on for several more hours when she was totally beat.

She should have regretted not sleeping more last night. But making love to him was what she’d needed. Not that she thought anything permanent was likely to come out of the relationship.

Just the same, she’d needed to feel sexy and wanted and loved. Huntley gave that to her and more. So when he’d wanted more, she just couldn’t say no, despite knowing that she needed a good seven hours of sleep to feel normal the next day.

She was thinking of Jackson and how he had slipped away from them the first time. She hoped they’d find him soon. Then gunshots fired off in the distance.

Her heart skipped a couple of beats.

“We don’t have time to take down the tent. Do we go as humans or jaguars?” Huntley quickly asked her.

She loved that about him—how he always included her in the decision making. “If they’re rangers or police, I want to go as humans. Even if they’re poachers, I think we’ll be safer if we look like we are ‘tourists.’ We can always shift when we get there if we need to.”

“Sounds good.”

At least they were armed with tranquilizer guns this time.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Apple

BAM

B&N

Chapters

Indiebound

Kobo

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The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Jaguar Pride by Terry Spear appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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9. Friday Feature: Wishing For You Cover Reveal



Check out the cover of book two in the I Wish series by Elizabeth Langston!


Paperback: 320 pages
Expected publication: October 13, 2015 by Spencer Hill Press
ISBN13:  9781633920279

With high school graduation only months away, Kimberley Rey is eager to discover what her future holds. The next big decision is rapidly approaching--where to apply to college. But this choice is complicated by a memory disability. How will her struggles to remember affect her once she moves away from home?

Help arrives through an unexpected and supernatural gift. Grant is a “genie” with rules. He can give her thirty wishes (one per day for a month) as long as the tasks are humanly possible. Kimberley knows just what to ask for—lessons in how to live on her own.

But her wishes change when she discovers that a good friend has been diagnosed with a devastating illness. As she joins forces with Grant to help her friend, Kimberley learns that the ability to live in the moment—to forget—may be more valuable than she ever knew.

Through Valentine's Day I Wish (book one) is on sale on AmazonB&N, and iBooks.  


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10. Interview and Giveaway: Gwyn Cready, Author of Just in Time for a Highlander

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Good morning, Gwyn!   Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Gwyn Cready] Etsy-shopping, Scrabble-playing, hot-bath-loving kilt tipper.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Just in Time for a Highlander?

[Gwyn Cready] Just in Time for a Highlander, and the whole Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series, is a reversal of the usual time travel Highlander romances with the woman traveling back in time. In JITFAH, young, beautiful and fiercely independent Abby Kerr, the head of Clan Kerr, seeks the help of a fortune teller in order to find a strong arm who can help her maintain order over her men in the borderlands of 1705. But this is clearly a case of “Be careful what you wish for” because she ends up with Duncan MacHarg, a dashing Scot working on Wall Street in the twentieth century who knows little about clans and nothing about fighting battles—until she teaches him.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Gwyn Cready] In my favorite scene, Abby must teach Duncan to fight with a sword. Earlier, he has accidentally caught a glimpse of her bathing, which infuriates her, and to get even she tells him that the best way to teach a student to pay attention in a sword fight is to make him fight naked. Duncan complies and is forced to strip under Abby’s carefully scrutinizing gaze.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Gwyn Cready] All of it, really. The sex scenes, of course, but it was also fun being in the villain’s head in this one. He’s quite amusing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Gwyn Cready] My phone and Pink Lemonade Lip Smackers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Gwyn Cready] I don’t have a desk. I curl up in the corner of comfortable leather couch to write, so a lap desk from IKEA, an ancho chile latte, and Socks, my silky terrier.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Gwyn Cready] A cheese plate made by my husband.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Gwyn Cready] Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Tina Fey.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Gwyn Cready] The power to look good in a pair of jeans. Shop.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Gwyn Cready] I loved, loved, loved Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? If you’ve ever taken care of a loved one in their later years, you’ll love this touching and humorous graphic novel. I’m reading Diana Gabaldon’s Written in My Own Heart’s Blood now, and it is, of course, wonderful.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Gwyn Cready] On Twitter, on Facebook, at cready.com, or at gwyn@cready.com.

Title: Just in Time for a Highlander

Series: Sirens of the Scottish

Author: Gwyn Cready

ISBN: 9781492601937

Pubdate: February 3rd, 2015

From RITA winner Gwyn Cready comes a Scottish borderlands time travel romance perfect for fans of Outlander

For Duncan MacHarg, things just got real…

Battle reenactor and financier Duncan MacHarg thinks he has it made—until he lands in the middle of a real Clan Kerr battle and comes face to face with their beautiful, spirited leader. Out of time and out of place, Duncan must use every skill he can muster to earn his position among the clansmen and in the heart of the devastatingly intriguing woman to whom he must pledge his oath.

Abby needs a hero and she needs him now

When Abigail Ailich Kerr sees a handsome, mysterious stranger materialize in the midst of her clan’s skirmish with the English, she’s stunned to discover he’s the strong arm she’s been praying for. Instead of a tested fighter, the fierce young chieftess has been given a man with no measurable battle skills and a damnably distracting smile. And the only way to get rid of him is to turn him into a Scots warrior herself—one demanding and intimate lesson at a time.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Apple

B&N

BAM

Chapters

Indiebound

Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview and Giveaway: Gwyn Cready, Author of Just in Time for a Highlander appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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11. Monday Mishmash 2/2/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  I'm booked with edits again this month. The end of 2014 must have been very busy for a lot of writers because I'm editing book after book. :)
  2. Scholastic Book Fair  It's still going on thanks to all the snow days last week. I was a little sad because books I was looking forward to weren't there. My daughter's school only goes to fifth grade so some of the MG books weren't at our fair. :(
  3. Making Book Trailers  I'm working on the trailer for The Darkness Within. This one is proving to be tough! Wish me luck, please.
  4. Busy Month  With Looking For Love (Ashelyn Drake NA romance title) releasing March 17th, I'm busy getting everything ready. Look for a cover reveal on February 13th.
  5. Free Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out today. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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12. Friday Feature: Crow's Rest by Angelica Jackson





Avery Flynn arrives for a visit at her Uncle Tam's, eager to rekindle her summertime romance with her crush-next-door, Daniel.

But Daniel’s not the sweet, neurotic guy she remembers--and she wonders if this is her Daniel at all. Or if someone--or something--has taken his place.

Her quest to find the real Daniel--and get him back--plunges Avery into a world of Fae and changelings, where creatures swap bodies like humans change their socks, and magic lives much closer to home than she ever imagined.

Coming out May 12 through Spencer Hill Press.

Check out the trailer!



Find the book on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

In keeping with her scattered Gemini nature, Angelica R. Jackson has far too many interests to list here.
She has an obsession with creating more writing nooks in the home she shares with her husband and two corpulent cats in California's Gold Country. Fortunately, the writing nooks serve for reading and cat cuddling too.
Other pastimes include cooking for food allergies (not necessarily by choice, but she’s come to terms with it), photography, and volunteering at a local no-kill cat sanctuary.

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Photo Galleries  |  Blog  |  Website

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13. Review and Spotlight: Bridges Burned by Chris Cannon

 

My Thoughts:

I loved Going Down in Flames, so I was eager to revisit Bryn and her friends in Bridges Burned.  I was a bit disappointed with it.  There was too much boy angst, and the non-ending diminished my enjoyment.  The action picked up in the second half, but it was all setup for the next book in the series.   The book doesn’t end so much as it tapers off to nothing.  I found this very frustrating.

Bryn is settling in at her new school, and as long as she has Zavien, she’s sure she can put up with the mockery and cold shoulders she’s receiving from some of the other students.  As a crossbred dragon, she’s looked on as something forbidden and aberrant, and with the controlling Directorate calling the shots for all of the dragons, her future doesn’t look too bright.  Even though her grandfather is a powerful Blue dragon, there are many in the dragon society who object to her existence.  Her parents, both promised to others, ran away from their restrictive culture and blended in as humans.  When Bryn turned 16, her heritage came banging on her door, and she was forced to attend the dragons’ academy to learn to control her powers.

One of the things I loved about the last book was Bryn’s forceful personality.  She’s pissed that her peers treat her like dirt, she’s fed up with people trying to kill her, and she can’t stand the rigid social structure that she’s been forced into.  Dragons can only marry dragons of the same clan, and even then, only with the Directorate’s approval.  It galls her that her future rests in their hands, and she’s infuriated that she can’t be with Zavien, the Black dragon she loves.  She didn’t take crap from anyone, and since she’s so powerful, she could defend herself from even the most obnoxious of her detractors.

Cut to Book 2, and I kept wondering what happened to that Bryn.  Now she is consumed with Zavien, letting him dictate their relationship.  Did I mention that he’s been promised to another, and that he’s engaged?  Because for the formalities involved in dragon marriage contracts, he can’t just void his engagement.  All through the first half of the book, I thought he was taking advantage of Bryn, twisting the truth about the future of their relationship and lying to her outright.  He really pissed me off.  I don’t like cheaters, and worse, I don’t like cheating heroes.  I didn’t find Zavien or his behavior heroic, and I wanted to slap Bryn and tell her to get over herself.  He wasn’t worth the grief he was putting her through.  She was like a shell of herself, and it infuriated me.  So deep was my aggravation that I almost set the book aside.

I kept doggedly at it, however, and things improved in the second half, after Bryn is forced to move in with her grandparents.  I think Zavien’s absence from the storyline at this point made it more palatable for me.  Jaxon, who I thought was a spoiled bully in the first book, quickly gained my favor.  He and Bryn are thrown together again and again as an enemy faction attempts to tear the dragon society apart at the seams.  This unknown enemy attacks the school on several occasions as they work to divide the dragon clans and cast suspicion on the Directorate, and these upticks in action kept me reading, especially the attack on Dragon’s Bluff.

After all of that intense, pulse-pounding action, the book just stops.  That was so frustrating!  There’s no question that I’ll continue with Book 3, but I’m hoping that Bryn focuses more on herself and less on Zavien, because, really, who wants a lying, cheating boyfriend, regardless of how good looking he is?  So, while Bridges Burned was a bit of a mixed bag for me, I am invested in the story and would like to see what happens next.

Bridges Burned <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = "O" />
By Chris Cannon
January 27, 2015
 
 
Don’t just fight the system…burn it.
Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…
But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally.
Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.
 
BUY IT ON AMAZON, ITUNES, BARNES AND NOBLE, & KOBO: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/bridges-burned/
 
~*~ABOUT CHRIS CANNON~*~
 
 
Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures. Going Down In Flames is the first book in Chris Cannon’s shape-shifting dragon series.

Excerpt:

On the drive back to school, Bryn reflected on how her life had recently gone to hell. It had all started when flames shot out of her mouth on her sixteenth birthday, proving she wasn’t completely human. Since then she’d been shipped off to a secret school for dragons—the Institute for Excellence—where she was learning how to control her shape-shifting dragon powers. She’d faced discrimination, death threats, and poisoning. She’d been blown up and involved in a battle to the death with a radical Revisionist member—and she’d been there for only a few months.

Though not everything about her new life was bad. She had a sexy boyfriend, Black dragon Zavien Blackthorn, and two good friends, Clint and Ivy. Being a crossbred dragon meant she had both the Red and Blue dragons’ breath weapons, fire and ice, and even though she was the only crossbreed, she could still outfly even the fastest Blue. Of course, that’s why some of the other Clans hated her. She’d upset the natural order of things in this color-coded world, where the Directorate dictated what Red, Black, Green, Orange, and Blue dragon Clan members could do as a profession and whom they could marry. It was absurd. Yet most dragons didn’t question it.

Part of Zavien’s appeal lay in the fact that he headed up the student Revisionist group that petitioned the Directorate to change outdated laws. Bryn glanced at Directorate lawyer Merrick Overton, who was driving the Cadillac SUV hybrid she was riding in. Her classmate and former nemesis Jaxon Westgate rode shotgun. She and Jaxon no longer hated each other. Scratch that: he no longer hated her based on his father’s vendetta against her mother, but that didn’t mean they were friends. Funny how saving someone’s life could turn you from enemies to…what? Not friends. Frenemies, maybe? Who knew? It’s not like she wanted to hang out with him, but there was a weird level of trust between them now that she didn’t know what to do with.

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14. Spotlight and Giveaway: Blood Assassin by Alexandra Ivy

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for Alexandra Ivy’s latest release Blood Assassin. Enjoy!

Blood Assassin
The Sentinels # 2

By: Alexandra Ivy

Releasing December 30th, 2014

Zebra

Blurb

They are the outcasts of humanity. Blessed with power. Cursed by fate. Driven by passion. The Sentinels have returned…

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

At six-foot-three and two-hundred-fifty pounds, Fane is a natural born guardian. A flawless mix of muscled perfection and steely precision, he has devoted years of his life to protecting a beautiful necromancer. But after she found love in the arms of another, Fane has been a warrior adrift. He swears allegiance only to the Sentinels. And no woman will ever rule his heart again…

INTO THE FIRE

Not only a powerful psychic, Serra is that rare telepath who can connect to minds through objects. When the daughter of a high-blood businessman is kidnapped, Serra agrees to help. But when she stumbles onto a conspiracy involving secrets sects and ancient relics, her life is in mortal danger—and Fane is her only hope. Is the warrior willing to risk his body, his soul, and his heart, for Serra? Or will one last betrayal destroy them both?

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/11/blood-assassin-sentinels-2-by-alexandra.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21535284-blood-assassin?from_search=true

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Assassin-The-Sentinels-Alexandra/dp/1420125168/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414443779&sr=8-1&keywords=9781420125160

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-assassin-alexandra-ivy/1119058449?ean=9781420125160

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blood-assassin/id891760368?mt=11

Kobo: http://prod-www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Blood-Assassin/book-bQWm_kzPGE-JOWxQ6-FTVQ/page1.html

Author Info

ALEXANDRA IVY graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Website: http://www.alexandraivy.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexandraivyfanpage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexandraIvy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/40881.Alexandra_Ivy

 

Excerpt:

Serra felt like she’d been shoved back into the fog of confusion that had compelled her to drive from Valhalla to St. Louis. Only this time she wasn’t completely oblivious to her surroundings.

She knew that she was in an upscale hotel a few blocks from Bas’s office building. And that she was riding in a glass elevator up to the top floor. She even had a vague impression of the breaking dawn painting a beautiful pink glow over the nearby river. A sight that she might have appreciated any other morning.

But the only thing that seemed truly real was the feel of Fane’s hand that was planted at her lower back, the heat of his touch a welcome assurance that she wasn’t alone.

The elevator came to a halt and, following Fane to one of the two suites that composed the top floor, she waited for him to use the card key to push the door open.

With an effort she tried to shake off the strange sense of lethargy, glancing around the large sitting room with low, comfy furniture in browns and tans that were arranged to take advantage of the glass wall that offered a stunning view of St. Louis.

Against one wall was a fireplace with a large-screen TV suspended over the mantel and on the other was a wet bar complete with a wine rack. There were doorways leading to two bedrooms and another that offered a glimpse of a bathroom as large as her entire apartment at Valhalla. Serra forced a stiff smile to her lips. “I suppose there could be worse places to spend the last hours of my life—”

Her words were cut off as Fane placed his hand over her mouth, leaning down so he could speak directly into her ear.

“Shh.”

Serra frowned, effectively snapped out of her weird fog as the Sentinel scoured the room, pulling out two hidden transmitters that he crushed beneath his feet before lifting his hand toward the chandelier in the center of the room. There was an electric prickle in the air as he used his powers to disrupt any hidden cameras.

He sent her a searching gaze, as if trying to determine if she was going to do something stupid if he left her alone. Then, giving a nod at her fierce scowl, he jogged into the attached bedrooms to perform a similar sweep. The bathroom was last, and much to Serra’s disgust he found two transmitters and a camera hidden in the overhead light.

She would have accused Bas of being a perv if she wasn’t certain he was more interested in keeping track of his guests than seeing them naked.

Destroying the last of the expensive equipment, Fane returned to the sitting room, and headed directly toward her.

“Happy now?” she asked.

“No, I’m damn well not happy,” he growled, astonishingly wrapping his arms around her waist and yanking her against his chest.

“Fane.” Serra tilted back her head. She couldn’t have been more surprised if he’d sprouted wings and begun flapping around the room. “What the hell?”

He lowered his head, burying his face in her tangle of dark hair. “I need to hold you,” he muttered.

Oh.

Serra briefly allowed herself to savor the strength of his arms as they held her as if he was never, ever going to let her go.

God. It was . . . perfect.

Just as perfect as she’d always fantasized it would be.

His exotic, male scent that teased at her nose. The searing heat of his hands as they pressed against her lower back. The solid thud of his heart beneath her ear.

He was all man. And he made her very glad she was all woman.

The desperate urge to melt against him surged through her. To depend on him to support her, if only for a few minutes.

She released a small sigh. Her hands were already sliding up his chest when she remembered why she felt so damned vulnerable.

Bas, the assassin. Deadly toxin. Kidnapped a little girl.

“No,” she breathed. With a sharp shove, she was out of Fane’s arms, her chin tilted to a defiant angle.

Fane frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“I won’t be your damned damsel in distress.”

His eyes narrowed, as if caught off guard by her defiant words. “Is that what you think?”

“It’s not what I think, it’s what I know,” she corrected, wrapping her arms around her waist as her body trembled with an urgent desire to return to his embrace. “You were perfectly content to walk away when I was a capable, independent woman who could be a true partner.”

Something that might have been regret tightened his stark, mesmerizingly beautiful features.

“You could’ve been my partner, but we both know I could never give you what you need.”

“And what’s that?”

“Time . . . attention.” His dark, piercing gaze lowered to her lips before returning to meet her glare. “A life we could build together.”

She snorted. Fane had been using that wearisome excuse to keep her at a distance for years.

“You’re no longer bound to Callie.”

“No, but I am bound to my job,” he stubbornly countered. “It always comes first.”

Serra understood what he was saying.

Many hunter Sentinels had long-term relationships. Some even married. But guardian Sentinels found it much more difficult. They were mystically bound to the highblood they were protecting with an intimacy that might not be sexual, but was just as intense.

Few partners could bear to see their lovers that closely connected to someone else.

Still, no relationship was perfect. And if she was willing to accept the inevitable strain of being with a guardian, what right did he have to try to convince her that she needed more?

She gave an aggravated shake of her head. What did it matter? That was all in the past.

Fane had made his choice.

Even if her current . . . hmm, her current what? Situation?

Difficulties?

Near-death experience?

Whatever.

The fact she was in danger was stirring his need to play knight in shining armor.

“Your problem is that you have a hero complex.”

His jaw tightened, but he met her gaze squarely. “It’s my nature to protect.”

“Well, I don’t want to be your latest victim that needs to be rescued.”

“Serra—”

“Okay, I’m not stupid,” she interrupted his protest. “I know I need your help. But that’s all I want from you.”

His hand lifted, but he dropped it as Serra instinctively stiffened in rejection. “Serra, my decision to leave Valhalla was because I thought it would be better for both of us.”

She pointed a finger directly into her face. “You know what? You don’t get to decide what’s good for me.”

“Fine.” Moving with a speed that she didn’t have a hope in hell of avoiding, Fane lightly grasped her wrist, his thumb skimming over the pulse thundering beneath its skin. “Tell me how Bas managed to poison you.”

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two Winners will receive a Print Bundle of BORN IN BLOOD & BLOOD ASSASSIN)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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15. Review: Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I had to wait a long time for the library to get a copy of Deep Betrayal, so there has been a huge time gap since I read Lies Beneath.  When I first started reading this, the plot details were a little fuzzy, but things cleared up relatively quickly.  I really enjoy this series, and I was delighted when Deep Betrayal did NOT end on a cliffhanger!  Win for the reader!  I hate cliffhangers, with only love triangles scoring higher on my list of pet peeves.  There’s no hint of that here, either, with Lily and Calder deeply involved with each other for the entire book.  That’s not to say they didn’t have their disagreements, but another guy was never dangled into the reader’s face in an effort to force some tension into the plot.  Double yay!

Deep Betrayal picks up thirty days after the events in Lies Beneath.  Lily has been exiled to live with Jules’ family, and she’s seething because she hasn’t heard from Calder.  She alternately worries about him, then rages about him.  When he finally turns up, he’s  vague about where he’d been, but Lily forgives him.  I wouldn’t have let him off so easily, but since Lily forces him to go back to the lake house, I guess he got what he deserved.  He’s worried that Maris and Pavati will flip out if they discover that she’s still alive.  He also objects when Lily insists that they tell her father the truth about his heritage.  That probably wasn’t the smartest decision, but I think that even Lily could not have expected the revelation to cost her family so much grief.

In addition to her family crumbling in on itself, someone, or something, is attacking people on the water.  When bodies start turning up, Lily is convinced it’s Calder’s sisters feeding.  Calder protests; he knows they would never be so careless with their prey.  Then Lily has the horrible suspicion that her father is causing all of mayhem in the lake, and she’s determined to put a stop to it.

Lily and Calder follow many false leads before unmasking the killer, and even though the mystery isn’t all that difficult to figure out, I loved this book.  I enjoyed Lily’s narrative, and her courage.  She’s not the kind of girl to stand back and let her man take all the risks – oh no!  Lily wanted to save her family and friends, so she was willing to put herself at risk to stop the killer.  In the process, she discovers more about who she is, and what she is.  She even forges an uneasy  alliance with Calder’s sisters.  I really like them; they are treacherous and can’t be trusted.  They are also incredibly dangerous, so Lily has to stay on her toes to avoid their wrath.

When I stop and think about Lily’s relationship with Calder, I cringe.  He’s, what, 40?  She’s 17?  That’s creepy.  I kept telling myself, “He’s not human.  He’s not human.  He’s not human,” but it’s still kind of creepy.  Stop thinking about it!

Overall, this is an exciting book, with plenty of twists and turns that kept me turning the pages.  Great characters, great ending – I can’t wait to read the final book in the series.  Hope the library has it!

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Fans of Amanda Hocking’s novel, Wake, will dive into this paranormal romance featuring mermaids–the killer kind–and won’t come up for air!

It’s been thirty days, two hours, and seventeen minutes since Calder left Lily standing on the shores of Lake Superior. Not that she’s counting. And when Calder does return, it’s not quite the reunion Lily hoped for. Especially after she lets her father in on a huge secret: he, like Calder, is a merman. Obsessed with his new identity, Lily’s dad monopolizes Calder’s time as the two of them spend every day in the water, leaving Lily behind.

Then dead bodies start washing ashore. Calder blames his mermaid sisters, but Lily fears her father has embraced the merman’s natural need to kill. As the body count grows, everyone is pointing fingers. Lily doesn’t know what to believe—only that whoever’s responsible is sure to strike again. . . .

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16. Monday Mishmash 1/19/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Another Campus Crush  So last week I mentioned that fans asked for another Campus Crush story for Mike since he didn't get his HEA. I thought I was going to write a novel for him, but this series insists that it's made up of novellas, and that's what his story has turned into. More details to come.
  2. Friday Feature  I have some Friday Feature spots available this month and next (and beyond, actually) so if you have a new release or upcoming release and would like to be featured email me khashway(at)hotmail(dot)com.
  3. Spotlight and Giveaway  The very sweet and awesome Megan McDade is hosting me on her blog this month and in addition to interviews and guest posts, there's a giveaway (winner's choice of a paperback of Touch of Death or The Monster Within). Check it out here.
  4. Winter Ball  My daughter attended her first school dance last Friday. It was three hours of me sitting on a hard cafeteria stool, but seeing her dance and run around with her friends made it worth it. She's only in second grade, so seeing how outgoing she is really makes me happy. That girl is not afraid to be who she is. :) I'm a proud mom.
  5. Winter Blues  Anyone else have the winter blues? Some of my 2014-year-of-ickiness has carried over and I'm hoping to be finished with it by the end of the month so I can get back to life as usual. And I could really use some sunshine and warmer weather if anyone can make that happen. ;)
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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17. Spotlight and Giveaway: Wolves’ Bane by Angela Addams

 

Angela Addams dropped by the virtual offices this afternoon to answer a question about Caleb, the sexy shifter from her latest release,  Wolves’ Bane.  I love this fun series and was delighted to have Angela visit.

Hi, Angela!  Can you please describe Caleb in five words or less?

Angela: Sure!  Caleb is Sensual, Stubborn, Demanding, Committed, Loyal, HOT :-)  

And there you have it!  Caleb too sexy to describe in a mere five words!  Be sure to enter the giveaway below, and if you haven’t started The Order of the Wolves, check it out!  These are perfect reads for snowy weekends!

Angela’s Bio

Every day is Halloween for author Angela Addams. Enthralled by the paranormal at an early age, Angela spends most of her time thinking up new story ideas that involve supernatural creatures in everyday situations. She believes that the written word is an amazing tool for crafting the most erotic of scenarios.

She is an avid tattoo collector, a total book hoarder and loves anything covered in chocolate…except for bugs.

She lives in Ontario, Canada in an old, creaky house, with her husband and children.

Website: www.angelaaddams.com

Twitter: @angelaaddams

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.Angela.Addams

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4801196.Angela_Addams

Samhain: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5299/wolves-bane

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Bane-Order-Wolf-Book-ebook/dp/B00NOM4J9O

Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/wolves-bane

BN: http://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolves-bane-addams-angela/1120375389?ean=9781619222557

Her destiny is etched in his skin…and carved in her heart.

Order of the Wolf, Book 3

Morgan Stills is a woman without a future. At least, that’s what the carnival psychic tells her. Love is foretold as well, but too bad. She’s already been marked for death.

She no sooner flees the psychic’s tent when she’s confronted by the biggest wolf she’s ever seen. A wolf that talks to her—right before she’s enveloped in a black cloak and dragged away.

Caleb was born for one purpose: follow the burning of his tattoo to find and protect his destined mate, the Huntress. When he rescues her from Lazarus, the king of beasts, what thanks does he get? A swift kick in his tender parts that leaves him writhing in a ball of pain.

Morgan quickly realizes her destiny lies with the Order of the Wolf. The only catch—she must choose between two sworn enemies who vie for her body, heart, and soul. Marked as a Huntress, thrust into an ancient feud between werewolf and Hunter, she must pick up a sword or die. And somehow learn to live without the man she is destined to kill.

Warning: Be prepared for fiery hot, melt-your-panties men, all muscle and sinew, searching for their one true mate. Committed, hot, and horny. What could be better?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Wolves’ Bane by Angela Addams appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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18. Because Waiting Is So Boring

Parallelogram 4

I know I said Parallelogram 4 (Beyond the Parallel) wasn’t coming out until next Tuesday, January 20.

Weekends are for reading. It’s out now. Enjoy!

Kindle
Nook
iTunes
Kobo
Smashwords
Paperback

And the prices for the first 3 installments will still stay nice and low until next week, so if you haven’t read Parallelogram 1, 2, or 3 yet, you can scoop them up at a bargain!

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19. Beware the Wild: Review

    Well, this book was one deliciously creepy treat. It’s the sort of book that wholly transports from the first pages and ensnares the reader into its darkly magical web. At its best, the  gothic aspects of this story reminded me of Strange Sweet Song and its dark fairy tale feel brought to mind Cuckoo Song. Those are two of my favorite books of 2014 and I do not make the comparison lightly! Sterling Saucier (what a tremendous name, btw) is dealing with loss on several fronts. Immediately, her brother has disappeared into the town’s mystical swamp. Years earlier her alcoholic and abusive father left their family. Of course, his departure was not without significant scarring itself for both Sterling and Phineas. And the repercussions of that departure echo throughout the story. I was quite struck, actually, by how this was both a paranormal novel and a contemporary “issue”... Read more »

The post Beware the Wild: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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20. Holiday Buffet of Free Ebooks compliments of Musa Publishing…

Holiday season is upon us, and with it comes some wicked-awesome deals! Anyone who has an ereader or tablet will benefit from this wonderful opportunity to score 40 fabulous reads for the holidays. Musa Publishingis offering 13 Days of Free Ebooks starting December 13th—whoa that’s TODAY folks! Below is a list of ebooks and authors on board with this promotion, but you better act fast, as their ebooks are available for free download for only ONE day. BTW—I’m on the list too, and anyone who gets an ereader or tablet for Christmas will benefit from my free download day! Ho Ho Ho…

December 13th, 2014:
The Rhesus Factor by Sonny Whitelaw
Returnby Lynn Rae
Struckby Clarissa Johal

December 14th, 2014:
Tournament of Chance by S.G. Rogers
Obsessionby JoAnne Keltner

December 15th, 2014:
Bridge to Desire by Alice Cross
Saving Hope by Liese Sherwood-Fabre
The Grimm Legacy by Addie King

December 16th, 2014:
Spire City: Contagion by Daniel Ausema
Stained Glass Summer by Mindy Hardwick
Time Will Tell by Mary Palmer

December 17th, 2014:
Guarding His Heart by Carolyn Spear
An Unstill Life by Kate Larkindale

December 18th, 2014:
Hunter’s Find by June Kramin
Five Golden Suitors by Jen Coffeen
First Frost by Liz DeJesus

December 19th, 2014:
The Reluctant Bridegroom by Arabella Sheraton
Persephoneby Kaitlin Bevis
The Glass Sealing by Andrew Leon Hudson

December 20th, 2014:
The Exile of Elindel by Carol Browne
Michaela’s Gift by Cordelia Dinsmore
Pantheonby Josh Strnad

December 21st, 2014:
Only a Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge
Prentice and Desiree by Brita Adams
The 13th Guest by Rebecca Royce

December 22nd, 2014:
Silhouette of Darkness by George Wilhite
Long Haul by Tom Olbert

December 23rd, 2014:
DEAD series by Lizzie T. Leaf
Looney Dunes by Anne Skalitza
Her Name by Alicia Joseph

December 24th, 2014:
Regarding Eliza by Viki Lyn
The Sun God’s Heir by Elliott Baker
Hard Pressed by Sharon Maria Bidwell

December 25th, 2014:
To Catch A Fish by Mary S. Palmer & David Wilton
She Dreamed of Dragons by Elizabeth Walker
Identity Crisis by Elizabeth Ashtree


I hope you take advantage of this wonderful offer from Musa Publishing. There’s a book for every taste on the list from romance, science fiction, horror, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, speculative fiction, and young adult, so please help yourself to this buffet of ebooks! Wishing you, and your family, a safe and happy holiday season! Cheers and happy reading!

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21. Guest Post and Giveaway: Larissa Ione, Author of Revenant

Please give Larissa Ione a warm welcome this morning!  She’s here to share a Top 5 list, and she also has an awesome giveaway you can enter!

Name the Top 5 items in your deadline survival kit

Oh, this is a great topic! Okay, let’s see…

  1. Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. When I’m on deadline, this is the only time when I drink coffee into the evening.

  2. Aspirin. When I’m on deadline, I don’t get much sleep, which leads to headaches. I gobble aspirin like candy and swallow them down with the coffee!

  3. Frozen microwavable meals. So easy and fast!

  4. Werther’s apple-filled caramel candies. I’m not one for sweets, but I love sucking on these little gems while I’m working. Usually at night when I need a little boost. Yum!

  5. Wine. I’m usually a beer drinker, but for some reason, when I’m on deadline, I go for a glass of wine instead…usually late at night, when I know I’ve only got another hour or so left before I finally go to bed. My last hour of writing is usually pretty pathetic anyway!

Thank you so much for having me! I hope you and all your readers have a wonderful holiday season!

REVENANT by Larissa Ione (December 16, 2014; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market; $8.00)

HELL HATH NO FURY . . .

For five thousand years, Revenant believed he was alone in the world, a fallen angel beyond any redemption. Now he finds he has a twin brother who had all the light and love Revenant was denied. Caught in a tug of war between Heaven and Hell, he must weigh his thirst for revenge against his desire for a mysterious female named Blaspheme-a female whose very origins could deliver him into salvation . . . or destruction.

LIKE AN ANGEL SCORNED

Blaspheme has a deadly secret: she’s the forbidden offspring of an angel and a fallen angel. Hunted by both heavenly and satanic forces, she has survived only by laying low and trusting no one. When Revenant claims he can save them both, how can she possibly believe him? But the powerful angel is persistence incarnate and for Blaspheme, there’s no place she can hide in Heaven or Hell where he won’t find her . . .

Buy Links:

Amazon

B&N

IndieBound

iBooks

GooglePlay

Kobo

BAM

About the author:

A former meteorologist and EMT, Air Force veteran Larissa Ione now gets her daily dose of excitement from vampires, werewolves, demons, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She lives in wintery Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat, and her hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

REVENANT excerpt

Since the moment Revenant bumped into Blaspheme at the hospital a few weeks ago, he’d been obsessed, and now, as her long legs ate up the asphalt as she walked toward him, he imagined them wrapped around his waist as he pounded into her. The closer she came, the harder his body got.

“Blaspheme.” He stepped out from between two black ambulances, blocking her path.

She jumped, a startled gasp escaping full crimson lips made to propel a male to ecstasy. “Revenant.” Her gaze darted to the hospital doors, and he got the impression she was plotting her escape route. How cute that she thought she could get away from him. “What are you doing lurking in the parking lot?”

Lurking? Well, some might call it that, he supposed. “I was on my way to see you.”

She smiled sweetly. “Well, you’ve seen me. Buh-bye.” Pivoting, her blond ponytail bouncing, she headed in the opposite direction.

“Come home with me.”

“Wow.” She turned and crossed her arms over her chest, which only drew his attention to her rack. Niiice. “You get right to the point.”

He shrugged. “Saves time.”

“Were you planning to wine and dine me at least? You know, before the sex.”

“No. Just sex.” Lots and lots of sex.

He could already imagine her husky voice deepening in the throes of passion.

“Oh,” she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “You’re charming, aren’t you?”

Not once in his five thousand years had anyone ever called him charming. But even uttered with sarcasm, it was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him.

“Don’t do that,” he growled.

“Do what?” She stared at him like he was a loon.

“Never mind.” Dying to touch her, he held out his hand. “You’ll love my play room.”

She wheeled away like he was offering her the plague instead of his hand. “Go to hell, asshole. I don’t date fallen angels.”

“Good news, then, because it’s not a date.” And he wasn’t a fallen angel.

“Right. Well, I don’t fuck fallen angels either.” She made a shooing motion with her hand. “Go away.”

She was rejecting him? No one rejected him. No one.

She started to take off again, and he blinked, confused. This wasn’t right. He had his sights set on her, and she was supposed to surrender. This was something new. Something…titillating.

He moved in slowly, matching her step for step as she backed up.

“What are you doing?” She swallowed as she bumped up against a massive support beam.

“I’m going to show you why you need to come home with me.” He planted both palms on the beam on either side of her head and leaned in until his lips brushed the tender skin of her ear. “You won’t regret it.”

“I already told you. I don’t fuck fallen angels.”

“So you said,” he murmured. “Do you kiss them?”

“Ah…no, I—“

He didn’t give her the chance to finish her sentence. Strawberry gloss coated his lips as he kissed her, and he swore he’d never liked fruit as much as he did right now.

Her hands came up to grip his biceps, tugging him closer as she deepened the kiss. “You’re good,” she whispered against his mouth.

“I know,” he whispered back.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Larissa Ione, Author of Revenant appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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22. Don't overlook these books!

I love the seven books my panel selected as the finalists for YA Speculative Fiction. I'm really proud of our shortlist as a representation of the best YA Spec Fic books of 2014. However, there are always the ones that got away, the ones that didn't quite make it. When seven people are deliberating, compromises have to be made, and sometimes, no matter how passionate you are about a book, you can't convince your fellow judges. Here are some of the 2014 Cybils nominees that I loved, but which didn't make the cut as finalists:


Divided We Fall Trilogy: Book 1: Divided We Fall
Trent Reedy

This is a frighteningly believable book about a near-future conflict between a state and the Federal Government, with the National Guard caught in the middle.  Exciting plot, credible and distinctive teen male voice, and well-developed protagonist.



Gwenda Bond

For anyone who has ever wanted to be Circus. Part mystery, part circus story, and a bit of magic, this story of a young wire walker trying to overcome her family's past and prove herself is dripping with atmosphere and loaded with teen appeal.



Love Is the Drug
Alaya Dawn Johnson

Federal agents investigating Washington DC prep school student Emily Bird may be more of a danger to her than the rapidly spreading global pandemic. An exciting thriller that shows the stark contrast between the power elite in Northwest DC and the working class in the Northeast, and the racism that exists in both.



Shadowfell #03: The Caller
Juliet Marillier

The conclusion of a terrific high fantasy series that started with Shadowfell. I've loved all the books in this series, but sadly I've been unsuccessful at convincing my fellow judges to shortlist any of them. With well developed characters, a page-turning plot, and themes of sacrifice and choice, this may be the best book of the trilogy.


The Girl from the Well
Rin Chupeco

A creepy paranormal horror story told from the point of view of a centuries-old ghost. With distinctive voice, an almost poetic writing style, and a strong dose of Japanese culture, The Girl from the Well has a lot of teen appeal. This one came very close to making the shortlist, but we had some concerns about the mentally ill being used in a stereotyped way for horror effect.



A Creature of Moonlight
Rebecca Hahn

As the daughter of a dragon and a princess, Marni is torn between two worlds, the wild and beautiful but dangerous forest, and the equally dangerous life at court. A beautifully lyrical, character-driven fantasy with a theme of choice and being true to yourself.

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23. Spotlight: Unbound by Sara Humphreys

Sara Humphreys has a new novella hitting stores shelves today.  You can order it for only .99! 

 

Blurb of UNBOUND

The forces that bind them can also tear them apart…

Zachary McKenna is a warrior shapeshifter from the Lion Clan, trying to catch a break in the sun and surf of Mexico. Mai Tais and scantily clad beach beauties are just what he needs after his last battle. But the fun doesn’t last long before a beautiful young woman is mugged on his doorstep and Zach is pulled right back into the fray.

Zach has no idea of the danger Annabelle has unwittingly brought to his doorstep, until he discovers that losing her will almost certainly destroy him…

Order your copy for just $0.99!

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/mvrkzyf

BN: http://tinyurl.com/o8y75j6

iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/ph2va98

Google Books: http://tinyurl.com/k2c8nlg

Sara Humphreys-Bio

Sara is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

In 2013 Sara’s novel UNTAMED won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. Sara has been a lover of both the paranormal and romance novels for years. Her sci-fi/fantasy/romance obsession began years ago with the TV Series STAR TREK and an enormous crush on Captain Kirk. That sci-fi obsession soon evolved into the love of all types of fantasy/paranormal; vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and of course shape shifters. Sara is married to her college sweetheart, Will. They live in New York with their 4 boys. For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her website at http://novelromance.net/books/reading-order

Social Media Links

Website: www.sarahumphreys.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahumphreysauthor

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Sara-Humphreys/e/B002DEQFYQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Twitter: @authorsara

Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/authorsara

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2909019.Sara_Humphreys

Instagram: http://instagram.com/fitfabfortyplus

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24. Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

One of my favorite reads of 2014, Burn for Me is an action packed race to save Houston from a psychopathic mage who uses fire to level anything in his path.  Set in an alternate world where a serum gave some people incredible magic powers, Nevada is a private investigator struggling to make ends meet for her family.  When she’s given the mission to bring in Adam Pierce before he kills anyone else, she knows that she’s a sacrificial scapegoat for the powerful families that own her firm and rule Houston.   Nevada can tell if someone is lying to her, and she knows that everything she’s been told so far is a lie.

Mad Rogan is after Adam Pierce for reasons of his own.  He’s another human with unmatched destructive powers and even fewer ethics.  He can kill with the flick of his wrist, arouse with a thought, and reduce a city to rubble.  I loved this guy!  He does what he wants, with little regard for the consequences, because for Mad Rogan, there are no consequences.  Wealthy beyond belief, powerful beyond measure,  Mad Rogan is godlike with his powers.  He is an indifferent, brutally decisive god who doesn’t hesitate to act, and it’s a good thing for Nevada, because without his help, however reluctantly she’s accepted it, she would be toast.  Literally.

Nevada is a very strong heroine who doesn’t realize the extent of her magic.  She knows that she can tell if someone is telling the truth, but she doesn’t know that she can compel another to speak the truth.  Mad Rogan discovers this, rather unpleasantly, when someone tries to kill Nevada’s grandmother.  I thought he deserved it.  He’s a guy you can’t entirely trust, and after their initial introduction (he kidnaps she), I didn’t think he would ever come across as a convincing romantic lead.  He did.  That’s part of the magic of this book.  Nevada’s influence on him changes him.  Mad Rogan has willingly done terrible, terrible things, things he doesn’t regret or even feel the slightest twinge of remorse over, but Nevada tempers his impulses to just let loose with his magic, at least when someone isn’t trying to kill them. 

I loved this book!  I wasn’t going to read it at first because of the cover, which I don’t think represents the book well at all.  I thought it would be a PNR with lots of sexy times – it’s not.  It’s more of an urban fantasy with a strong heroine, a badass hero who finally meets his match, and a whole lot of sexual chemistry.  And a ton of adrenaline-laced action scenes.  I LOVED it!  I want MOAR!!   And I want it NOW!!

Grade: A

Review copy proved by my local library

From Amazon:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand-new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire . . .

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run and wanting to surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

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25. Monday Mishmash: 1/12/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  I've been very busy with edits, which I love. I've gotten to work on some really great manuscripts.
  2. Revisions  I finished up revisions on Out of the Ashes, and I really love this book.
  3. Drafting  Campus Crush fans have demanded politely asked for another book for Mike. ;) I couldn't say no. Mike needs his HEA. So last night I began drafting his book. And yes, I believe it will be a full-length novel instead of a novella, but don't quote me on that just yet.
  4. Balance  This month is all about finding balance as I edit, revise, and draft at the same time. Eek!
  5. Kelly's Coven Giveaways  I have an awesome street team and this month I'm rewarding them in two ways—with the opportunity to beta read Out of the Ashes AND with a giveaway for a signed book (of mine) of their choice. I've gotten several new members this month. Will you be next? You can join us here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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