Monday, November 11, 2013

Seal Of Awakening
Seven Seals Series ~ Book Three

Traci Douglass

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: SpinTale Publishing

Date of Publication: October 28th, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9897829-0-6

Number of pages: 261
Word Count: 70,000

Cover Artist: Kim Killion

Today, I had the pleasure of reviewing Miss Douglass' third book in the Seven Seals Series, "Seal of Awakening". I have read and reviewed the first two and was very happy with the series, and Miss Douglass' did not disappoint.


One of my favorite aspects of Miss Douglass' writing is her characterization. In each of the three Seven Seals novels, that characterization has been standout to the point that the characters feel real. In the third book, it features socially awkward geneticist Quinn Strickland, who is approaching thirty and Scion’s alpha-geek Wyck that is given the task to protect the apocalyptic Seal encrypted within Quinn’s DNA. The conflict is tense and the romance is smoking.

World building:

I love the world building that features the Scion. I found the world building very unique in the first book and I have been following along since.  The heritage that is created is wonderfully scripted and makes the world seem "real".


I am a sucker for this series and will be waiting for the next book. Miss Douglass has a nice writing voice that is both engaging and interesting. Her dialogue is snappy and her descriptions vivid. I enjoy reading her writing. As mentioned above, the characters are amazing and are worth the read. The conflict is well-developed and there is no lull in the book. Just when you think that it can't get any more tense, it is pumped up.

I would give this book four stars on a five star rating and would recommend checking it out. If you haven't read the first two, I'd recommend starting there and working through the series.

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A reversible DNA scarf
A beaker coffee mug
A Kiss The Cook apron 
And a signed copy of Seal Of Awakening

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Book Description:

Socially awkward geneticist Quinn Strickland has willingly forgone the pleasures in life to reach her career objectives. Alone and approaching thirty, she uses her independence to mitigate any risk of a broken heart. Her strategy works until the day a handsome stranger bursts into her lab and her orderly plans shoot straight to Hades. He claims to be her personal divine protector, a powerful, ancient warrior sent to defend a prophetic time bomb existing within her own genetic code.

The Scion’s alpha-geek Wyck is offered the opportunity of his immortal lifetime as head of his own covert operation. He arrives at a Colorado lab expecting starched white coats and sterile surroundings—not a redheaded spitfire in charge of both his project and his libido. His skills have carried him from the battlefields of ancient England to the pits of Hell and he has no plans to be felled by one woman, regardless of her shag-worthy charms. Divine duty requires him to protect the apocalyptic Seal encrypted within Quinn’s DNA, but his heart has other ideas. When his personal feelings interfere with his age-old vendetta, he’s forced to decide between desire and retribution.

Book Trailer:

Short Excerpt:

For the band of adopted heavenly brothers known collectively as the Scion, covert ops generally fell into two categories, crashing bore or glorious adventure. And after more than nine hundred years of divine missions, Wyck could tell the difference before the first volley fired.

He double-checked to make sure his ID badge was prominently displayed.  Divinity had finally given him a second chance as mission leader and he intended to make sure this operation fell squarely into the epically awesome range despite his less than glamorous surroundings. This time, he vowed, there’d be no messy diversions to waylay his goals, no damsel in questionable distress to shred his heart to smithereens. Nope. This time he was fully prepared and would see his mission through to a successful end.

Wyck trudged up the sidewalk toward the imposing glass and steel Eugenicorp Labs building, craning his neck to see the top of the six-story structure. He was so engrossed in his perusal he nearly squashed a bedraggled squirrel limping across the pavement in front of him. Wyck glanced down and spotted a half-cracked acorn near the toe of his boot. Poor bugger must’ve dropped it in his hasty retreat.

His first inclination was to reach down and retrieve it, maybe place the nut near the roots of the giant tree where the squirrel now hid.  But now wasn’t the time to get sidetracked. As his commander, Xander, had already warned him, such kindness had only added to his past failures.

He kicked the nut, watching as it hurtled through the open grassy area surrounding the complex, then strode through the automatic doors and into the cavernous lobby. Empty. Sterile. Utilitarian, covered in gleaming metal and glass. The décor - neutral grays and bland beiges - screamed restraint. 
Okay, he amended. Maybe epic and awesome were pushing the envelope for this mission. Best to start with solidly successful. He blinked several times in the early morning sunshine and spotted the pinched, schoolmarm expression of a receptionist across the expanse.

In his experience, mulish females appeared to be the rule in academia. Just one more reason he steered clear of the smart ones and stuck to his technology. Emotional evisceration was another, but he refused to dwell on that now. Gadgets and science had always been his safe refuge. They trustworthy.

He proceeded across the pristine white-tile floor and when the receptionist steadfastly ignored him, Wyck coughed and summoned his most charming smile. “Hi, I’m Orson Parrot, the new bloke.”
The woman glanced up from her computer screen and ran a disdainful eye over him, her glare burning a hole through his extended hand.  Her scowl increased as she snatched a clipboard from the desk’s immaculate surface and skimmed a bony digit down the list.  She tapped her finger twice beside one line and stared back at him, her demeanor cold enough to freeze hydrogen, then pointed toward a pair of glass doors across the lobby. “Through there.”

He leaned forward to thank her only to be confronted by a strip of red fabric. Dangling from the receptionist’s hand, it swung in crazy, lopsided circles to tap him squarely on the chest. “You’ll need this,” she said, her tone a perfect match for the Queen’s after a distasteful tabloid scandal.
Wyck caught the twirling lanyard, with its attached security keycard, and placed it around his neck.  He couldn’t resist giving the woman a wink and a grin on his way out, and was delighted when she stiffened like rawhide. A fellow had to have some fun.

He headed toward the double doors across the atrium, his mind ticking with details. This rare shot at redemption, plus the added potential for delivering a digital smackdown to his longtime enemies, the Nephilim, had him jumping at the chance to infiltrate the Eugenicorp’s computer system. Getting back in the field again would prove more enjoyable than his usual long hours of tedious research for his brother’s quests. Not to mention turning down an assignment from Divinity wasn’t really an option. She’d given the Scion many blessings, but freewill over their assignments wasn’t one of them.
If his hunches were correct, his new logic bomb would blow the fucking cork right off the half-breeds’ schemes for a new world order. By utilizing their legitimate business arm in the human realm, Tolbert International, the Nephilim had been quietly amassing huge quantities of money for centuries, branching out into everything from pharmaceuticals to produce. The Internet had been buzzing for months with rumors of an eminent Tolbert takeover of a genetics research facility and Divinity had sent him to Eugenicorp to make sure those takeover plans didn’t include the Seal currently hosted by one head scientist or the top-secret project she commandeered.
He used his new keycard to enter a glass-lined walkway and caught sight of his reflection. Christ Almighty. He’d done a wicked job of turning his normal hipster persona into Orson Parrott—Super Brain Extraordinaire.

Attired in a scholarly turtleneck and khakis, he couldn’t have been further from his normal choice of t-shirt and jeans. Between his helmet hair and the tatty, empty briefcase he carried, there was little sign of the tousled charmer who’d enticed a cute barista to bed during his last reconnaissance mission here a few months earlier.

Goodbye quick tumbles. Hello brainy celibate.

Wyck passed from the atrium into another adjoining lobby and glanced at the office number scribbled across his palm in blue ballpoint ink. 5324. He pushed the button for the next arriving elevator, whistling while he waited.

Sure, he’d performed a teensy bit of cyber-fraud by uploading his own credentials and employee demographics into the Eugenicorp HR files and he’d picked out a nice cushy office with a window, close to his target and close to the vending machines. Perfect.

Speaking of his target, the buttoned-down woman wasn’t one he looked forward to meeting. From everything he’d read about the third Seal’s unwitting host, she was smarter than sin and as enticing as a good bout of bubonic plague. No thank you.

A determined clack of heels echoed against the tile behind him and he swiveled toward the noise, just in time to see a flash of bright red hair barge through the gathering crowd and into the elevator. People stepped back, some headed for the stairs, as if the woman now occupying the compartment might spontaneously combust at any moment.

About the Author:
Traci is the author of paranormal romance/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.

She is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her stories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of the first book in the Seven Seals Series, Seal of Destiny, won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.

Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series, a new contemporary novella series due out in early 2014, and a new futuristic suspense series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.

Website and blog:

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Amazon Author Page:

Urban Fantasy Perspectives: Interview with Kimberly Frost

We're pleased to welcome Kimberly Frost to the blog today, and I had a blast interviewing her about Would-Be Witch, the first novel in her Southern Witch series. Follow the links to find out where to get your own copy of the book and more titles in the series

Salon: Welcome Kimberly!

KF: Thank you! It’s really great to be here. :)

What do you like best about writing (and reading) urban fantasy and who are some of your favorite authors in the genre?

When writing urban fantasy, I love the possibilities that magic and supernatural phenomena provide. Doing the research on the history of witchcraft, vampires, ghosts, etc. was really cool and definitely fueled my imagination. When it comes to reading urban fantasy, my introduction to the subgenre was through the works of Holly Black and Laurell K. Hamilton. I loved Black’s Tithe so much. And all the early books in Hamilton’s Anita Blake series were fantastic. From there, I went on to read a lot of fabulous authors. I’m a fan of so many!

What inspired you to write about witches, and what makes your particular witches unique?

I chose witches because I liked the versatility that magic provides. The witches and wizards can cast different kinds of spells depending on what the situation calls for. I like variety! In terms of what makes my witches unique, I think it’s the spin I’ve put on how magic works. Some spells are inherently dangerous to cast. Some properties of the physical world are hard to overcome. It’s created interesting complications, sometimes humorous, sometimes sobering, for the characters when they edge into dangerous places.

Tell us a little bit about Tammy Jo Trask and her family’s magical history.

Tammy Jo Trask is a twenty-three-year-old woman from a small town in Texas. She comes from a long line of witches, but initially the family magic seems to have skipped over her. (There’s a reason her powers have been dormant; when awakened, her magic is powerful but dysfunctional.) The witches in her family use Earth magic, so there’s a back garden full of ever-blooming plants and a pantry full of potions made from them. Generations back, her family was from the British Isles. They moved to New York and then migrated to Texas. The reason Tammy Jo was born in a small town is also part of the back story; Duvall has special magical properties and is atop Unseelie fae territory.

Tammy Jo has to seek help from the wizard Bryn Lyons, but she’s always been told to stay away from his family. Can you give us a clue about why that is and what possible repercussions will arise from the two of them working together?

Nope, no clues. I’ve got to save the good stuff for the book ;)

Fair enough, LOL

How do the folks in Duvall Texas respond to magical things, and what are the advantages or challenges in choosing a small town as your setting rather than a big city?

The residents of Duvall didn’t know that witchcraft and other supernatural phenomena existed, but some have caught on. There are those who will embrace the fact, and others who will try to rid the town of anyone with superhuman powers.

I chose a small town for the setting of the Southern Witch series because I love the dynamic I imagine exists in small towns where people have a long history together and know each other’s business. I wanted the story to be filled with quirky characters and felt a small town would have them.

I got such a kick out of seeing Tammy Jo team up with an ocelot named Mercutio; such a fun twist! Are you just an ocelot lover, or did you consider other animal sidekicks?

I’m a huge fan of ocelots and of big and little cats in general. Maybe it’s because I’m a Leo? ;) Anyway, I thought Tammy Jo could use a feline sidekick since she’s a witch, but it would’ve been hard to hide a tiger in a small town. Ocelots grow to be about twice the size of a domestic cat, they are nocturnal, and fight to the death. Really perfect, I think.

What are your favorite kinds of paranormal beings or tropes in urban fantasy?

I really love them all, but vamps, werewolves, witches, and fae are my favorites.

Can you explain your writing process a little? Are you a plotter or pantser?

By nature, I’m a pantser, but flying by the seat of my pants while writing would occasionally get me into trouble when I was a fledgling writer, so I’ve learned to do some plotting up front. I tend to come up with an overall plan for the story and some of the major twists and then I fly by the seat of my pants. That tends to work well for me.

What are you working on now, and can we expect more adventures with Tammy Jo?
I’m finishing up MAGICAL MISFIRE, a Southern Witch novella that comes out in April and SLIGHTLY SPELLBOUND, the 4th Southern Witch novel, which will come out in May. So, yes, definitely more Tammy Jo adventures to come!

Thanks so much for stopping by to answer our questions :)

KF: My pleasure!

Would-Be Witch
Southern Witch Book 1
Kimberly Frost

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Berkley (Penguin)

Date of Publication: Re-release September 3, 2013

ISBN-10: 0425267555
ISBN-13: 978-0425267554

Back Cover Blurb:

In the small town of Duvall, Texas, the only thing that causes more trouble than gossip is magic.

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets in the way of the supernatural are a few untimely visits from the long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket—an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul—is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few bad experiences with her magic, Tammy turns to the only one who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers, but the locket isn’t the only thing passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning…to stay away from anyone named Lyons

About the Southern Witch Series:

In this “coming of age in the world of magic” story, urban fantasy meets humorous mystery in small-town Texas. Plucky pastry chef Tammy Jo Trask comes into her spell-casting powers unexpectedly, and malfunctioning magic makes her a reluctant heroine. As her adventures continue, she learns the secrets of her supernatural heritage and embraces her butt-kicking destiny. Gorgeous love interests and an ocelot sidekick add to the charm of this bestselling book series.

About the Author:

Kimberly Frost is the national bestselling author of the humorous Southern Witch series, which currently includes Would-Be Witch, Barely Bewitched, and Halfway Hexed. After her first release, Kimberly won the 2010 PEARL Award for best new paranormal author.  Her second series featured darker paranormal romantic suspense stories.

These "Etherlin" books launched in November 2011 with the novella, “First Light".  It appeared in the multi-author Christmas anthology, Tied With a Bow, reaching the extended New York Times Bestseller List.  The subsequent Etherlin novels included All That Bleeds, a featured Barnes & Noble “Must Read Romance”, and All That Falls, a Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence finalist.

Learn more about Kimberly and her books at:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review of Realm Walker ~ Three & Half Stars!

Realm Walker
~ Realm Walker Series
Book One
Kathleen Collins

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication:  October 28, 2013

ISBN: 9781426896545

Word Count: 76,000

Today, I am reviewing Book One of the Realm Walker Series, "Realm Walker" by Kathleen Collins. It has been a little while since I last picked up an Urban Fantasy, but I am happy that I picked up this one. While I think that this one could have been hotter, overall I enjoyed the read.

Miss Collins really hit the jackpot when she created the heroine Juliana Norris as she is the typical UF heroine - strong, snarky and non-emotional. I really her personality and her tone, without her being annoyingly snarky like some UF heroines are. The hero, vampire Thomas Kendrick is interesting, but I wasn't as drawn to him as I am many other UF heroes. I actually was more drawn to his "number two" in command, Michael, who I found extremely fascinating to the point that part of me kind of wished that maybe Thomas hadn't come back for Juliana...I'm hoping that Michael will get his happily ever after in a future story.

One of the things that really pulled me in besides the characterization of the heroine was the worldbuilding. I loved the use of the different paranormal characters and the world that they live in. I also love the uniqueness of the paranormal ability of the heroine. There are the shifters, vampires and trolls to name a few of the species that are within the world, but they feel fresh. I loved her mentor "Nathaniel" the wolf and his protectiveness of the heroine. I also enjoyed the enemies, like the banter with the troll.

I also absolutely fell in love with Miss Collins' writing and voice. She has such a gift with stringing along descriptive sentences and a great flow. I flew through the chapters without even realizing it because of the amazing flow of wordings. The tone is perfect for UF and just a really easy read.

I breezed through the book in about two nights, but I wasn't as satisfied with the ending. I won't give away any of the details, but it just felt stilted to me. Now that may because at the end of the paranormal romance novels that I normally read, there is always that happily ever after and no abruptness, but the ending just didn't feel satisfying. I will however pick up the second book when it comes, especially if it's about Michael! :)

This is a great read and the skill and voice is something that writers can study. The sentences are beautiful written and as I mentioned, Miss Collins is very gifted as an author. The writing takes you away to a different place. I would give Realm Walker three and a half stars. I would have given four if the ending hadn't felt so rushed. I enjoyed everything else.

There is an amazing giveaway for a great package, so make sure you check out the rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Check the awesome picture ~ isn't the owl cool???

 Book Description:

An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…

As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That's only the first of her secrets.

Most people don't know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don't know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don't know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her…

Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can't reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.

About the Author:

Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.
The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.
She is currently hard at work on her next book.  


Here is the AWESOME GIVEAWAY ~ check it OUT!!!

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Entangled's "Wish Upon A Star" ~ Four and a Half Stars

Wish Upon a Star

Michelle McLean

Book Description:

Ceri McKinley never stopped wishing that her ex-fiancé Jason Crickett would come back into her life. But when he finally does, he comes with a request that puts them both—and all of humanity—into jeopardy.

Jason only wants two things: to bury his brother properly and to convince Ceri to trust him again after he jilted her. But when Ceri agrees to help him get his brother back, they end up fighting for their lives as a zombie uprising threatens them all.

My review:

This romance book had me hooked at "zombie uprising" and it didn't disappoint. It had a perfect balance of romance with the zombies. Now I am definitely not a girl that loves zombies or that could read a "zombie romance" novel, but the zombie elements were a perfect addition to make this Paranormal Romance a really awesome read. Don't forget to check out the giveaway at the end of this post for the Rafflecopter.


The concept of this book as I mentioned above hooked right away. I love zombies and I love Paranormal Romance. To be truthful, I wanted to read this book because I have read other zombie romance books that just kind of wigged me out. I wanted to see if anyone could really write a good romance with zombies and sure enough, Miss McLean did. It was a short read, but a very enjoyable read. Even with the short read, I didn't feel that I was missing out or that the story was rushed. The story unfolded with a perfect timing - not too fast and not too slow. I found myself fighting with my eyes to stay open for a little longer to get through another chapter.


I really enjoyed the characters, especially the heroine, Ceri McKinley. Although she is still pining away for ex-fiance Jason Cricket, she isn't whiny or annoying, which some heroines can be when jilted at the alter. Her motives were real and I could sympathize with her immediately. I also enjoyed the love that she had for her daughter. Despite the still broken heart, Ceri is a strong chick that is independent and very likable.

And then there is the hero...and despite Jason breaking off his engagement three days before the wedding, you can't help but like him when you learn his motives. The guy has a good heart and is one of those good guys, although he's not a wimp. He's such a nice guy that he's appealing.

The villain, Ceri's ex-husband is an awesomely wicked written villain. You love to hate him.

World building:

I loved the zombie background and the concept. I thought that the world building was unique especially in the Paranormal genre where vampires, shifters and witches still rule the shelves. The zombie concept was very clever and very cool.


If you love Paranormal Romance and you want to read something different, then this is your book, especially if you've ever wondered if zombies could be included. The characters are strong and fully dimensional. The plotting is a perfect pace with twists and turns. This is a really easy read and worth the price. Entangled's "Ever After" line is perfect for the reader that is looking for a fast read, but still an enjoyable read. I would give "Wish Upon a Star" four and a half stars and I will definitely be looking at the Ever After line for more novellas to fill my nights.

Do you have a zombie romance novel that you'd recommend? What do you think of zombies in romance?

Thanks for reading!



Jason sank down beside me and pulled me toward him, pressing a kiss against my temple.

“Are you okay?” he asked, brushing soot and a few burned leaves from my face and hair. The smell of burned plastic and singed hair coated everything. But it could have been worse.

I leaned against him for a moment before trying to push to my feet.

Jason stopped me. “Rest for a minute.” He reached into my backpack and pulled out another bottle of water.

I took it gratefully, gulping down half the bottle before handing it to him to finish off. When he was done, he bent down, kissing a drop of water from my lips. His hands cupped my face. “I’m sorry. For everything. All of it. Everything I put you through. These wasted years without you.”

“I’m sorry too.” I pulled away and looked up at him. “If we get through this—”

“When we get through this. Not if.”   

I gave him a small smile and nodded, knowing he knew what I wanted to say without having to voice the words. “When we get through this, maybe we can talk. About things.”

He gave me one more lingering kiss. “I’ll hold you to that.”

“But for now,” I said, brushing a lock of hair from his forehead.

“Rain check?”

“Rain check.”

About the Author:

I grew up in California and have lived everywhere from the deserts of Utah to the tropical beaches of Hawaii to the gorgeous forests of the east coast. The oldest of five children, I am generally an organized mess with slight Obsessive Compulsive tendencies. I have a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, an insatiable love of books, and more weird quirks than you can shake a stick at.

I am the author of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, (Career Press Jan 2011), To Trust a Thief (Entangled Scandalous Jan 2013), a historical romance trilogy Blood Blade Sisters (Entangled Scandalous 2013), and a zombie fairy tale retelling Wish Upon a Star (Entangled Ever After Oct 2013). In addition to my novels and non-fiction work, I write picture books and a bit of poetry. If I'm not editing, reading, or chasing my kids around, I can usually be found in a quiet corner working on my next book.

I currently reside in Pennsylvania with my husband and two young children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.







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Monday, September 30, 2013

Entangled Ever After Tour - Hot Reads & Giveaways!

Check out these fantastic titles from Entangled Publishing's Ever After imprint and enter to win some amazing prizes in their tour-wide giveaway! Which haunting reads are you most looking forward to this fall?

Haunted Chemistry
Lindsey Loucks

ISBN: 9781622662982

Book Description:

When bookish college co-ed Alexis heads to the laundry room in her new apartment, she runs into Ian Reese, the chem lab partner she crushed on all last semester. And the guy who stood her up on their first date. But she’s down for an awkward reunion, and no better place than her creepy laundry room.

Ian has every intention of making amends, but just when Alexis begins to trust him again, a new threat calls more than their future together into question. A ghost from the apartment’s past is hellbent on revenge, and if he wants to get his girl, he’ll have to get the ghost first.

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Jan Doffey

ISBN: 9781622663347

Book Description:

Julia Klein’s life has begun to unravel—her daughter Amy has been suspended from school, Julia is about to lose her job, and her boyfriend Garrett is being transferred thousands of miles away.

Overwhelmed, she and Amy leave for a weekend at a rambling old colonial inn. Julia never suspects that Garrett, desperate to find a way to keep Julia in his life, has decided to surprise her by joining them. Nor does she expect her daughter to befriend a mischievous ghost...or that she herself would be possessed by the malevolent spirit of a long-dead mother.

As a dark secret emerges, Julia, Amy, and Garrett find themselves pitted in a fight for survival against a savage presence that intends to resurrect/repeat/relive a horrible crime committed two centuries ago.  And this time, Amy and Julia will be the victims.

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Northern Light
E.J. Russell

ISBN: 9781622662845

Genre: M/M Romance

Book Description:

Nothing gives art fraud investigator Luke Morganstern a bigger rush than busting forgers, the low-life criminals who dare victimize true artists. But when his latest job sends him to a remote cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, he’s stunned to discover the alleged forger is his former lover, Stefan Cobbe, the most gifted painter Luke has ever known.

Stefan, left homeless and destitute after the death of his wealthy partner, doesn’t exactly deny the forgery -- he claims he doesn’t remember, an excuse Luke can’t accept.

But Luke’s elderly client suggests Stefan may be telling the truth and presents another possibility – a dark presence in the woods, a supernatural fury simmering for decades. Luke must face down his fear of the uncanny – and admit his feelings for Stefan – if either of them is to survive.

Ruby Hill
Sarah Ballance

ISBN: 9781622662258

Book Description:

From her earliest memories, Ashley Pearce has been drawn to Ruby Hill Lunatic Asylum, and she's not the only one. Decades after the abandoned hospital ended its institutional reign of torture and neglect, something lurks in the shadows. Since she’s a paranormal investigator, it's Ashley's job to find out what.

Crime scene expert Corbin Malone doesn't believe in ghosts. A born skeptic, he has no interest in entertaining the hype surrounding the mysterious deaths at Ruby Hill, but he won't turn his back while more women die. He agrees to an overnight investigation, never expecting his first encounter would be with the woman he pushed away a year ago. But when he discovers Ashley is a target, he learns his greatest fear isn't living with his own demons, but losing her for good.

Amazon BN Goodreads
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Wish Upon a Star
Michelle McLean

ISBN: 9781622663323

Book Description:

Ceri McKinley never stopped wishing that her ex-fiancé Jason Crickett would come back into her life. But when he finally does, he comes with a request that puts them both—and all of humanity—into jeopardy.

Jason only wants two things: to bury his brother properly and to convince Ceri to trust him again after he jilted her. But when Ceri agrees to help him get his brother back, they end up fighting for their lives as a zombie uprising threatens them all.

Amazon    BN   Goodreads
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One Thousand and One Nights
Ruth Browne

ISBN: 9781622663316

Book Description:

Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy—stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions—at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads—until she realizes she’s falling for him...even though he wants her dead.

When Aleksy allowed Sheri and her sister into his compound, he didn’t know about the zombie bite on her back. It's only a matter of time before she turns into one of the rising dead and threatens their existence, but Aleksy has a secret need for Sheri and her stories. For everyone’s safety, he chains her to his bedroom wall, hoping for just one more day. But how long will the community allow Aleksy to ignore his own rule: always kill the infected. Always.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Unusual paranormal characters in romance ~guest post by Juli D. Revezzo

Today at the Speculative Salon, we're pleased to bring readers an interesting guest article by fantasy author Juli D. Revezzo about strange paranormal creatures that often inhabit spec fiction. Be sure to check out her new PNR release, Passion's Sacred Dance, currently free on Amazon until the end of Saturday.

Unusual paranormal characters in Romance

by Juli D. Revezzo

Modern paranormal romance caters to women who want to dream a little more than the average reader. They crave the weird and just looking at the romance pages in Amazon or at the shelves in a bookstore, you’ll see publishers are catering to that wishlist.

These days the main star of the genre, though, seems to have gelled down to two factions: Vampires and werewolves. As a reader of the genre, and as a lover of mythology, I’ve often wondered why that is. After all, the world’s mythologies offer so many different types of monsters (yes, I said the M word) to choose from.

For instance, in Medieval mythology you’ll find Spring-heeled Jack.

In Scottish mythology you’ll find the pooka and the selkie.

In Greek and Roman mythology you have the shade (which is akin to the ghost), sirens, and the harpies, not to mention gods, dryads, and fauns—the list is endless right in that one mythology. And can’t you just see the *ahem* Erotic antics to be had with a faun?!

(C.S. Lewis missed a great opportunity to write a romance *eg*)

For me I chose focus on the Celts of ancient Ireland and Gaul who battled the Romans in order to preserve their homeland. (Alas, we won’t have time to cover here how that worked out) Warriors, druids, sorcerers, maidens with mystic powers and secrets. Though the mythological records can seem spotty, they carry within them the very seed of romance itself.

(and, wow! Imagine being taken away by an elf king… and a faun? Wait, I think I have a new idea for a book.) 

So, tell me, what unusual character might you want to read (or write) a love story about?


If you’d like to see what I made of my take on the Celtic mythological beings, my new paranormal romance, PASSION’S SACRED DANCE:

Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise--but can she trust him?

Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help--even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.

If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron's budding love might only complicate things.

If you’d like to read more, Passion’s Sacred Dance is free for Kindle from Amazon this week, and coming soon to other venues. I hope you’ll check it out and enjoy the magic!

About Juli D. Revezzo:

Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of Independent Authors Network and Magic Appreciation Tour. Passion’s Sacred Dance is her first romance novel.

You can find out more about Juli at her homepage:

On Twitter: @julidrevezzo

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review of Natalie J. Damschroder's "Heavy Metal"

Heavy Metal
Goddesses Rising ~ Book Two
Natalie J. Damschroder

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing

ISBN:     978-1622668908

Number of pages:    341
Word Count: 98,000

Cover Artist: Liz Pelletier

My review:
I have to say that I was incredibly lucky to do this review as I've found a new favorite author to add to my list and new series for to follow! This novel is a breath of fresh air for Paranormal Romance fans. While the world is similar to our world, Miss Damschroder puts a spin on things with the goddesses that walk among society. The powers that are given to each of the characters are unique and I haven't read anything this fresh in a long time.

The heroine, Riley Kordek, is spunky like a Urban Fantasy heroine, but not as snarky. Her character immediately draws the reader in and instantly has you rooting for her. Her background makes you more sympathetic and makes her even more likable. Then there is the steamy hot hero, Sam Remington, who gets his heart broken years ago, but it doesn't turn him into the sometimes whiny wounded soldier. Each of the cast of characters are very likable and I hope that we will see them again in the future!

As mentioned before, the fresh factor is there as she turns the paranormal world on its ear with her very "real" feeling society. This is a quick and easy read, although it's best not to start the book late at night as it is hard to put down. The writing is spectacular and Miss Damschroder has a real talent with the written word and creating amazing characters.

I loved every page of it - I was drawn in from the first sentence until the last and left feeling very satisfied with the ending. If you are a fan of Paranormal Romance, then this book is definitely for you. And be prepared to add Natalie J. Damschroder's name to your list of must-read authors.

Thanks for reading!


Book Description:

The world is not what Riley Kordek imagined. On the run from those who’ve targeted her, all Riley wants is a chance to figure out her new ability to bend metal’s energy. When a hot guy who knows more than he should helps her escape her attackers, she thinks she might’ve found someone who can lead her to the answers she needs.

Three years ago, Sam Remington walked away from his employer and the woman he loved, and now, all he’s looking to do is fill the gaping hole left behind. Except, when Sam takes Riley to the Society for Goddess Education and Defense, the stakes rise beyond what either of them could have imagined.

After being alone for so long, falling for Sam would be far too easy—and far too painful, once his old flame calls needing his help. Worse, Riley uncovers a plot with disastrous ramifications not only for herself, but for Sam and the people he loves—and potentially every goddess in the country.
About the Author:

Natalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance—Love with a Shot of Adrenaline. She sold her first book in 1999, and 2013 will see the publication of her 14th novel. She grew up in Massachusetts and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.)

When she's not writing, revising, proofreading, or promoting her work, she does freelance editing and works part time as a chiropractic assistant. She and her husband have two daughters she's dubbed "the anti-teenagers," one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.)

You can learn more about her and her books at: 
Everybody Needs a Little Romance -    

Friday, September 20, 2013

The magic of the Harvest Moon

Last evening, the eastern hemisphere saw the rise of the full moon of September, commonly known as the Harvest Moon. This is the moon all know by its folk name, but most people expect it to occur in October.

This Full Harvest Moon allows farmers to work in their fields late into the night, bringing in crops. It is also called the Full Corn Moon by Native Americans who set this date to mark when corn should be harvested. Other names include: Barley Moon; Hazel Moon; Wine Moon; Singing Moon; Sturgeon Moon; Haligmonath (Holy Month); Witumanoth (Wood Month); Moon When Deer Paw the Earth.

Around the world, the coming Autumn Equinox will be celebrated by many cultures. The energy flowing from the Autumn Equinox through Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox is getting deeper, more hidden. Spiritually, the Dark Moon deities, representing the Underworld, death, reincarnation, and deep spiritual mysteries, now hold control.

In the ancient Incan Empire, the Citua celebration was held on the date of the New Moon nearest the equinox. Everyone performed a ritual cleansing, then smeared their faces with a paste of ground maize (corn). After, they feasted and danced for several days. This was a festival in honor of Mama Quilla, the Moon goddess.

Correspondences of the September Moon
Nature Spirits: trooping faeries
Herbs: copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap
Colours: brown, yellow-green, yellow
Flowers: narcissus, lily
Scents: storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamot
Stones: peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine
Trees: hazel, larch, bay
Animals: snake, jackal
Birds: ibis, sparrow
Deities: Demeter, Ceres, Isis, Nephthys, Freyja, Ch'ang-O, Thoth
Power Flow: rest after labor; balance of Light and Dark. Organize. Clean and straighten up physical, mental, emotional and spiritual clutter.
I hope you were able to take a moment to enjoy the simple pleasures and magical beauty of the Harvest Moon.

Art: ahoberer78 and Jayne Barnett
Reference: The Months of the Moon

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spotlight and Giveaway: Demon Chained by Erica Hayes

Demon Chained - The Shadowfae Chronicles
Book Five
By Erica Hayes

A powerful djinni, enslaved to her lamp. An undead thief, bound to a cruel demon's whim. A passion that will outlast death itself... 

A dark, delicious urban fantasy romance from the author of Shadowfae.

Jewel is a djinni of the lamp, an enchanted slave, bound to her owner by dark magical cravings she can't resist. She burns for freedom, and when her lamp is stolen—by Tam, a hot and dirty bad-boy thief—she vows to be rid of her new master at any cost. Even as she plots Tam's demise, the lamp's dark fascination makes her long to claim him as her own.

But the last thing Tam wants is a spellbound djinni who can't say 'no'. Cursed by a demon to suffer living death, he's tormented by undead longing for pain, pleasure, any sensation he can get. To have this exquisite, besotted Jewel at his bidding is pure torture... because Tam refuses to succumb to her magical allure.

Not when he knows she can't truly be attracted to an ever-dying freak. And not when he’s already on a mission from his cruel demon master: capture and deliver one djinni...

Warning: this novel contains a feisty magical heroine, a besotted fairy best friend and the hottest wise-ass dead-guy hero in town.

Genre: paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance
ISBN: 9780992277505
Word Count: 83,000
Cover Artist:

 Kobo   BN   iTunes   Smashwords  

About the Author:    

Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.

She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.

She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she's terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.



Let's take a peek at the first chapter.

Demon Chained

Chapter One 

The worst thing about being dead? Low blood pressure. Getting a hard-on is just about impossible.

But I've sure as hell got one now. Squeezing a smug murdering asshole's throat between my thighs does it for me every time. I jam my pistol harder into his forehead, banging his blond head into the metal floor, and I can't deny that adds a certain something, too.

Spit leaks in my mouth, thick and tasty, and I savor it. He can't move his arms, and his cool sweat soaks into my jeans. Bitch of a chafe there tonight. I remember to breathe, and the warm nightclub air tastes good, gritty with smoke and fear. "Tell me what you did wrong, bug guts."

My friend Gavain giggles. He's still lounging in the corner, shirt off, dark hair in tangles, blood-tinged fae sweat glistening on muscles stretched tight like wire. Gavain thinks all kinds of weird shit is funny. That's why he helped me lure this dog to his death. But I don't want to think about Gavain right now. I'm having too much fun.

The gangster grits broken teeth, his hair plastering in splashes of his own blood. "Don't know what you're on about."

Bzzt! Wrong answer. First rule of dealing with a reanimated psycho bent on revenge: tell him what he wants to hear.

I squeeze tighter, lean closer. My oily breath wets his face. "You killed me, motherfucker. You blew my goddamn brains out in front of my little girl. I'm still picking out bone splinters. Ringing any bells?"

Vertebrae pop as I twist my neck to show him the hole, black and sticky with rot beneath my long hair. I was going for a haircut that day, too, before the ambush. If they'd waited half an hour, kids would be running from me in the street. As it is, I can pass for living, just, so long as no one gets too close.

He chokes, either the smell or the pressure, and struggles, bare skin sticking on the metal floor. But he can't shift me. Not with the added weight of anticipation. I've waited a long time for this.

"Jesus, Tam, Joey pulled the goddamn trigger, you know that, I never knew he was gonna—"

"Do I look like I give a shit?" My finger jerks tighter on the trigger, and my teeth clamp together, gums crunching. Joey DiLuca's already top of my face-down-in-a-garbage-skip list. This asshole was just easier to catch. Fury dizzies me, and now my dick's so hard, it hurts. "Blood on my little girl's dress. Bits of my brains in her hair, you shit-eating little worm."

I'm trying to be cool and bad-ass, but my vision smears, black blood staining my tears.

Dying's nothing like they say. I remember everything, and I didn't see white light, or my grandmother strumming a harp, or any shit like that. Everything just stops, like you've pulled the plug on a movie projector. Hell's nothing like people say, either, except for one thing: it's full of snot-faced bureaucrats. Deals with demons take time, and I slammed back into my body too late. My daughter's corpse, flowering scarlet in her dead mother's arms, her murderers long gone. I hadn't spoken to my ex for eighteen months, and I wasn't allowed to see Katie, but it didn't mean she wasn't my sunshine.

My enemies kidnapped her to get to me, and when they had me, they killed her anyway, just for spite. She died because I was too slow. I can't bring her back. But I'll make this slick pretty-boy gangbanger regret ever laying his sleazy hands on her.

His chest heaves under my ass as he struggles to breathe. "Jesus, don't shoot. Crazy motherfucker, get off me—"

"Shut the fuck up." I drag his head back, and my fingers smear his hair. His wet blue eyes lock with mine. He sees his death, and pisses himself. I breathe again, and the warm salt tweaks my sluggish sense of smell. Jesus. The stink feels so good, a shudder rips through me, my balls tight and burning. Sensation plays hard to get when you're dead. If I come when I shoot him, I'm not responsible.

Mouth or jugular? I tap my pistol against his teeth, but he squirms and squeezes his lips shut. I trace the barrel down to his throat, where his pulse flutters, and shove it in tight. "See you in hell."

And that's when she walks in, and everything turns to shit.

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