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.

Rafflecopter Giveaway:
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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

* Giveaway is for US residents only

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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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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:

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