Friday, September 22, 2017

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Running with Wolves by Summer Lane

Running with Wolves
Summer Lane
Publication date: September 22nd 2017
Genres: Adventure, Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Alaska, 1898

“They always come back,” she whispers. “Always.”

He spilled their blood. Now, she’s out for revenge.

Jenna Renee is a woman wronged. When her adoptive parents are brutally murdered by an outlaw named Conroy Parker and his gang of thugs, they take everything from her: her family, her happiness, and her money.

Determined to bring Conroy and his boys to justice, she hires a gruff but dangerous gun-slinging trapper and guide, Jeremiah Black, to help her hunt Conroy down.
But there is more to Alaska than meets the eye.

The cold touch of the arctic winter is dangerous, and the corruption of Conroy Parker and his comrades runs deep. The tundra is unforgiving, and so are the wolves. Nothing is as at seems.

If the wilderness doesn’t kill Jenna, the pack will. Revenge comes with a price, and so does love. There will be no mercy….only the hunt.

A romantic adventure from #1 bestselling author Summer Lane, set amidst the gritty and awe-inspiring setting of Alaska during the last great Gold Rush.

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Interview with Bestselling Author Summer Lane
(Courtesy of Writing Belle Publishing)

This is your first historical fiction. How different was the writing process, as opposed to the past 17 novels you’ve written – which have all been post-apocalyptic?
A historical novel is more strictly attached to the time period in which it takes place. The way people talk, dress, act, and even eat are different than how we do all of those things modernly. I had to do a lot of research, of course. I have been slowly working on this book for roughly 2 years, when the idea originally occurred to me. I have read so many books about Alaska…toward the end of the writing process, I was devouring whole college textbooks and double fact-checking everything I had until I was entirely sure my eyes were going to fall out of my head.
With my apocalyptic books, the research is tactically-oriented, if that makes sense. WithWolves, I had to make sure the slang and vernacular was correct and that the history was right on target. I took a few artistic liberties with the story, as all writers do, but everything is based in fact. Everything.

Where did the idea for Running with Wolves come from?
I have always loved animals. I have always loved dogs. I first was enraptured by the idea of setting a story in Alaska when I was a little girl, after watching the animated film Balto for the first time. The concept for this particular novel sprung up about 2 years ago. It took me a long time to cultivate the plot to a point where I liked it enough to go ahead and write the book. I have always wanted to write a western-style novel, and that’s what Wolves is. A western novel set in the snow, with adventure and romance.

Where does the story actually take place?
I have constructed a fictional tale within the boundaries of the boomtowns and mining camps that existed in 1898. The main character, Jenna Renee, lives outside of a town called Dyea. I used prominent and famous historical hotspots, such as the Chilkoot Pass and Dawson City, in the book, too.

Can we look forward to some romance, in addition to adventure?
Yes! One of the central themes of the novel is the romance story between Jenna Reneeand the rather callous but handsome United States Marshal Jeremiah Black. I love Jeremiah’s character – he’s got a lot of surprises up his sleeve, and I think readers will love him as much as Jenna does.

What are your upcoming projects?
Well, I have a non-fiction novel coming up in the next several months: Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel. I’m also releasing the first installment of the anticipated Resurrection Series in January 2018. Resurrection will continue the adventures, fights, and romances of Commander Cassidy Hart from the hit Collapse Series.

Author Bio:

Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 18 novels, including the smash-hit Collapse Series. She owns Writing Belle Publishing. Lane is also an experienced journalist and creative writing teacher. Writing Belle is her online magazine, where she has interviewed and featured hundreds of writers from around the globe.

Look for her upcoming books, Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel, and Resurrection: Shadows of Omega, the hotly anticipated continuation of Cassidy Hart’s post-apocalyptic adventures.

Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd, Kona.

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Cover Reveal: Sleeping Dragons Series by Ophelia Bell

Sleeping Dragons Series
Ophelia Bell
Publication date: October 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance

Erika’s spent her entire post-graduate career searching for it. The elusive dragon stronghold her archaeologist professors scoffed at as being only a myth. Now she has the perfect team and has led them into the deepest reaches of the Sumatran jungle. At the edge of the discovery of the century, she’s finally about to prove to everyone how wrong they were.

But when the seven intrepid explorers pass through the doors, they’re barely prepared for the conflict of lust versus logic they’re faced with on the inside. Ages-old magic lingers in the stronghold, dictating that they perform a ritual to awaken the long-slumbering beasts within. And beasts that beautiful only awaken to one thing: the unbridled release of their fated mates in the throes of ecstasy.

The Sleeping Dragons Omnibus is a series of six novelettes. It includes all kinds of fun kinks involving shapeshifting mythical beasts who breathe magic smoke and have very long, prehensile tongues.

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Author Bio:

Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren't apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don't mind being with a woman who's in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.

Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles withher own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Book Blurb:

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

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His soft voice clashes with the intensity of his gaze. “You’re adorable when you’re trying to be mad at me. You needn’t work so hard at it, though. We aren’t meant to be adversaries.”

“I, um…” My thoughts disband, leaving nothing for communication purposes. I’m adorable? Adorable has many definitions. I think my dog is adorable, for example. “That…wasn’t what I was going to ask you.”

He inclines his head. “Okay, then. Ask.”

But that “adorable” echoes through me, clinking around like a penny down a well. “What are we meant to be, then?”

His lips curls up at the corners. “That wasn’t your question, either.”


My Review:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Suspense, Teen--

Angie has new neighbors and during the course of her spying/watching them move in, she spots a boy her age. Interested in the prospect of meeting a new potential friend/hot guy, she is delighted to find him at the bus stop. But there is someone with him, a man whose face seems to be changing…but that can’t be true, it must just be Angie’s eyes. But when a flock of large black birds swarm, her new neighbor does not cower but instead appears to welcome them. Angie has no idea what is going on, if she is going crazy, if the new boy is crazy, or if something more is occurring right under her nose.

This was probably one of my most anticipated reads and I have pretty much been counting down the days until I could get my hands on this book since I discover it months ago. I knew I had to read it, but a small uncertain part of me was worried that I had built the book up too much in my mind due to all the hype and I was going to be disappointed. Well, fear not, this book lived up to my lofty expectations and so much more. The story was unlike anything I have encountered before with harbingers and beekeepers (Ha, not the typical “beekeeper” mind you!) and I was thrown off my usual game of predicting what will happen next because this world was so original. It also had so much heart, great characters, and a creepy tone I appreciated. I could never have anticipated the level of suspense and creepiness that was introduced, while creating a whole new mythology to ponder.

Angie was narrating the story and I highly enjoyed her quirky voice, she is up there with my favorite female book characters recently. I related to her thoughts and actions so much I could not help but to love her. She spent the first 12 years of her life living out of a van with her drug addict musician mother, learning more about life and death than any kid should. Yet she was able to maintain her innocence and heart, making her a genuinely good person, and have the ability to express herself through music. Angie had lots of reasons for being damaged, but she persevered. She was nobody's fool either, regardless of liking a boy she refused to be a doormat and kept her integrity and questioned everything. And the awkwardness of most of her encounters was so realistic I felt embarrassed right along with her (social anxiety ran high with this one). Her friends, Dad and Roger (I lurv Roger and his sunny doggy personality- the fact that Reece reported him as happy after his previous life situation was an interesting tidbit) were the best side characters to help Angie be who she needed to be. Which leads me to the enigma of Reece. He gave the appearance of being cool and popular, and gave attitude to Angie when they bickered and defended her when she didn't expect it, yet was shy and uncertain when it came to feelings. I was right there with Angie, desperate to uncover his secrets.

This story is a standalone book which is great because I was not left hanging or waiting for forever for the next book- but on the same hand that means I don't get any more from this mysterious, creepy, magical world. This is my first encounter with Meg's books and I have been super wowed and already forcing it on my bookish friends (and some who aren't, because reading is good for them!) I look forward to whatever else Meg wants to write because I enjoyed her style and the people she brought to life for me to love.

I received this title for return purposes.

Author Bio:

Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart© winner in YA.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

Book Blurb:

Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: Month9Books

Cinderella, Necromancer is Chime meets Anna Dressed in Blood and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He's happy and doesn't quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters. When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father's mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom. Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters' every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother's grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival. But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?

As Ellison's power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

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(Excerpt from Chapter Twenty-Six: The Second Ball)

They left. I did not hesitate.

I set up the parlour as if by rote, though the ease with which I fell into the routine stirred a concern. I buried it.

The spirits did their work, and I would do mine.

I had no doubt of my power, though if anyone had asked, I couldn’t have explained why I continued to tempt my eternal fate. I was as though driven by some force—something unseen—to use the ability, now that I had it.

I don’t excuse what I did. I only wish to explain why I continued to seek retribution despite my misgivings.

What is more, I longed for something deeper. Harsher. More severe, for a part of me believed that no matter what, I still held control over the spirits and what they did. And that same part of me wanted to see Charlotte suffer.

And so it was with this in mind that I turned further pages in The Book, knowing full well what I sought.

“To inflict harm,” I read, “make an image of wax on the day and in the hour of intent, in the name of the one to be harmed. Thus, you should use wax of candles burned at a funeral, and on the likeness, fashion hands in the place of feet, and feet in the place of hands.”

And so I did. With candles from my room that I had saved from Mother’s funeral, I molded a crude figure of my stepsister. With my fingernail, I inscribed Charlotte’s name on the wax doll’s forehead, and on its chest and shoulder, carved the book’s images of circles, planets, and five-sided stars.

Then I called my spirits. With the bridle still, I had no need of the first spirit. To the second, I had only to repeat my request. And to the third, I gave the wax doll, which he consecrated with spit smeared over the doll’s eyes.

“What would you have me do?” Oliroomim spoke with an unsettling eagerness.

From my hair, I drew a pin. With a hollowness in the pit of my belly, I pierced the spine of the doll.


My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Fairytale, Ghosts, Mystery, Royal-Court, Scary, Supernatural, Witches--

When her father announces he found a new mother for Ellison and her younger brother Edward, Ellison is enraged that her father would dare to replace her beloved mother only a year after she passed. But her fate is so much worse- her step mother is subtly unkind, her father leaves for an unknown time on business, her new "sisters" arrive, and her beloved Edward falls ill. Life changes drastically for Ella, now a berated servant in her own home and rumors of terrible things roaming the night abound. Ella finds a secret passage by her room and discovers a book of what appears to be magic and while following a passage, she bring something to her, something not of this world. Trying to make the best of this terrible situation she finds herself in, and in a desperate attempt to protect her ill brother, Ella seeks out the dark magic that exists within the book. This is a dark, scary version of Cinderella you never saw coming.

I heard of this book months ago and I am always down for fairytale retellings and add in necromancy and I knew I was going to read this story, it was inevitable. I was pleasantly surprised that this was like a meshing of my favorite version of Cinderella, the movie Ever After with it's banter between Ella and the prince in disguise and her resourcefulness, mixed with the movie The Craft, with a teen girl playing with dark forces she has no understanding of. It was such a cool yet dark premise that I could not help but to be entranced. I had no idea what would happen and it was such a delightful twisted train wreck I could not look away.

This was so much a love story, and no I am not talking specifically about romantic love, but love in general and the lengths that someone would go to and sacrifice of themselves for love. Pretty much all of Ellison's actions (be them awesome or terrible) were motivated by her need to protect her brother, the person she loved the most. There was also a slow developing romance in the story as well that played a role in Ellison's character development, but it was not the main focus of the story, more like a positive side note that gave her something to look forward to in her depressing, soul sucking existence.

The story is told by the only main character, Ellison, a confused and abandoned girl who has to learn how to survive the terrors she is dropped into. I really wanted her to lash out at the injustices done against her, yet at the same time understanding why she couldn't. I really empathized with her and rooted her on, even while knowing nothing was a certainty in this story. I was confused at first by how the story was delivered, but then I realized that Ellison was narrating the story as seen by her use of reflection of her mistakes and pointing out how wrong her assumptions were. It was almost as if she was telling this to someone, but who I had no idea. I was super intrigued to find out who this story was being told to, and I determined it must be her speaking to the reader...and that's all I can say on the topic, except that I really liked Ms. Boughan's writing style.

The best part of this story was all the creepiness crammed into the pages. The story started slow, with the general Cinderella-esque plot, but then ever so slowly, strange and unnatural things were drawn into the story. At first it was just hints, shadows and ideas and then it was a touch by a seeming person, to full blown scary moments with all the imagery included. By the end of the book, Demon's were reigning down on the characters and living was not a guarantee for anyone.

This story is coming out at the best time of year, with Halloween just around the corner so this is the perfect first taste of the horror of the holiday. I really enjoyed this story and the surprises the author brought forth. I highly recommend this title to anyone who wants a little Cinderella with their horror and I most certainly will read more from this author in the future.

Author Bio:

F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

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Cover Review: Being Alpha by Aileen Erin

Being Alpha
Aileen Erin
(Alpha Girl #7)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

For the first time since Tessa met Dastien, life is quiet. The evil witch, Luciana, is six glorious feet under, St. Ailbe’s is closed due to human trespassers, and people are finally getting used to the fact that supernaturals exist in the world. It seems like the perfect time for a honeymoon.

Tessa and Dastien’s trip to the Caribbean is turning out to be the honeymoon that fantasies are made of—sunset cruises, long walks on the beach, and every romantic cliché you can imagine. She couldn’t be happier. So, when a local man turns up inexplicably dead on the beach, Tessa brushes it off. Not every bad thing that happens in the world is a supernatural mystery to be solved. And when Sebastian—one of the Council of Seven Alphas who rule all the werewolves—appears on the island, she thinks it must be a coincidence. Everyone needs a break now and then. Even council members. Right? Besides, Tessa is beyond determined to not let anything get in the way of her romantic vacation.

But when Dastien goes missing, the honeymoon is most definitely over. Tessa can’t ignore the signs anymore. Something huge is going on. And whoever messed with Tessa’s mate is in for a rude awakening. Because if there’s one thing fighting rogue witches and werewolves has taught her, it’s how to be Alpha.

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Author Bio:

Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

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