Saturday, October 10, 2015

Book Review: "Lamp Black, Wolf Grey," by Paula Brackston

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey: A Novel
by Paula Brackston
About the book:
Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to lift the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable.

She and her husband, Dan, have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she hopes that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art and give her the baby they have longed for. But this high valley is also home to others, such as Rhys -- the charismatic loner who pursues Laura with fervor -- and Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin.

My thoughts:
If you're a fan of Brackston's "witch books," as I am, you'll find this book to be very similar in tone and story to that series except that the magic this time comes from the legendary Merlin. Brackston is an expert in creating a sense of place, taking the reader through the misty mountains of Wales where legends have been passed down through the ages. One can feel the secrets floating in the air and embedded in the hills. History mingles with the present day as the lives of those long ago continue to influence the current residents of the area. Perhaps Laura's artistic mind made her more susceptible to the moods and hauntings around her. The story was absorbing and kept my interest. My heart was in my throat during the tragic moments, and at times I wanted to beat some sense into Laura for the mistakes she made. But the conclusion was satisfying even though some questions remained unanswered. Brackston continues to weave her own magic with her books, and I look forward to reading more of her writing.

About the author:
Paula Brackston has a master's degree in creative writing from Lancaster University in the UK. She lives in Wales with her family. Visit her online at

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Spotlight: "Drachen," by Brendan le Grange ~ A Marine, Treasure-Hunting Thriller!

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Drachen: A Marine Treasure-Hunting Thriller

Brett Rivera has spent three years searching for the Drachen, a sunken ship. The day she finds it is the day her life changes: there is no sign of its legendary treasure and now a cold-blooded killer is hunting her...A shipwreck. A lost treasure. A hell of a race from one to the other.

Buy on Amazon

About the author:

Brendan le Grange was born and educated in South Africa, though he now lives between Manila and Hong Kong with his beautiful wife and daughter.

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As a business consultant, he has travelled to forty countries and lived in three. And it is reading binges to break up these transits -- with the likes of Clive Cussler and Jack du Brul -- that inspired the writer to emerge, bringing to life the cities, characters, and history he encountered.

Le Grange's debut action thriller, Drachen, is a wild chase through North Europe along the Baltic coast. Based on a reimagined history of the medieval Hanseatic League, a young marine archaeologist discovers evidence of a treasure so valuable, it will test every allegiance.

Follow the author on Twitter and Goodreads. You can also connect on Literary Addicts.

M9B Friday Reveal: Cover Reveal - "Return of the Jed" (DEAD JED 3) by Scott Craven with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are revealing the cover for
Return of the Jed (DEAD JED 3) by Scott Craven
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Dead Jed 3.Ebook

With seventh grade behind him, Jed jumps at the opportunity to spend the summer in Mexico with his dad. But there's just one catch: Luke and Tread get to tag along. 
In Mexico, fitting in might be easier than Jed imagined, with holidays such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Here, a rising 8th-grade zombie boy and his zombie dog won't draw that much attention. 
But then Tread unwittingly sets off Mexico’s Chupacabra Defense Network, and Jed accidentally collides with a bus. So much for blending in. The unusual pair catches the eye of a professional wrestler, who challenges Jed to a fight! 
Their antics manage to capture the attention of a doctor whose knowledge of the undead causes Jed to question his very existence. Is this the answer Jed's been hoping for since his parents sat him down for the "you're a zombie" talk? Jed may have finally found a way to be normal, but at what cost? 
Dead Jed: Return of the Jed is book 3 in Scott Craven's humorous and heartwarming series about surviving middle school, fitting in, and embracing one's differences -- even if you are a zombie.
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Return of the Jed (Dead Jed 3) by Scott Craven
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books



A proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, I have one son and am a features writer for The Arizona Republic.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: "Somewhere in Between," by Samatha Harris

Somewhere in Between by Samatha Harris
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: November 10, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Alexandra McCabe is disconnected from the world, grieving the loss of her parents…

Content with studying and keeping to herself, Alex has no interest in the campus playboy, Drew Collins, trying to get close to her. But even dousing him with beer doesn’t deter the easy-going charmer, and against her better judgment, the pair fall into a reluctant friendship.

Drew is bored with college life, and Alex’s romantic rejection intrigues him…

Their friendship is good for both of them, but Drew is used to getting what he wants, and he’s tired of shallow sorority girls. He’s much more interested in the feisty redhead, but despite his growing feeling, Alex keeps him firmly in the friend zone.

Old heartaches and new tragedies deepen a complicated relationship…

Whatever life throws their way, Alex and Drew remain best friends with their own traditions. Drew is Alex’s family, her rock, and Alex keeps Drew grounded, always challenging him to better himself.

When years of buried feelings rush to the surface, they threaten to change everything…

Drew promised his mother he’d tell Alex how he feels, when the time is right -- but how will he know when that is? Alex is terrified to reveal those "three little words," certain Drew doesn’t feel the same, and she’ll lose the only family she has.

Should Alex and Drew open their hearts and risk being crushed? Should they be satisfied with a deep, lifelong friendship? Or does the only chance for happiness lie…

Somewhere in Between?


Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north, which most people agree was a little backward. She has been an artist all of her life, a tattoo artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.

Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and jazz and blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From romance, to thrillers, to historical fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer, she tells the stories that she would want to read.

Author links:


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Thursday, October 8, 2015

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: "My Sister's Reaper" and "My Tethered Soul" by Dorothy Dreyer with Giveaway #T4T


Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you:
The Reaper's Rite series by Dorothy Dreyer!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

My Sister's Reaper

Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it. 
When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore -- Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human, and to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara’s soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper, or let Mara die … this time for good.
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I felt that the author did a great job with her character developement. She was very vivid in her details and I felt like they were people I would meet on the street.” – Michelle, Goodreads Reviewer

My Sister’s Reaper was a great paranormal, YA novel. Dreyer did an awesome job at creating Zadie’s linage and having it make complete sense.”Tyler, Jolley Chronicles

“Okay, reapers, zombies, and death? Yeah, I was definitely reading this one.” – Kelly Hashway, Author

My Tethered Soul

Months have passed since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, during which time she's been under her mentor's magical protection. But now that she's turning 17, that protection is about to run out. When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she's manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper's grasp, or surrender to the Reaper's Rite, which can only lead to death.
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“The series is magnificent and should be on the best sellers list!!”Holly, Author

“Dorothy Dreyer continues the fast-paced, heart-pounding journey she started in My Sister's Reaper, delivering a YA paranormal romance filled with believable characters battling unbelievable odds.”Katie, Author

“Ms. Dreyer has upped the ante in terms of characterization, suspense, some down-right spooky scenes, and a playful sense of humor, particularly in the dialogue between her teen protagonists.” Stuart, Author


Dorothy Dreyer

Dorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. Born in Angeles City, Philippines, to a Filipino mother and American father, Dorothy grew up a military brat, living in Massachusetts, South Dakota, Guam, New Jersey, and New York. She now lives in Frankfurt, Germany, with her husband, two teens, and two Siberian huskies. Dorothy not only writes books with some element of magic in them, but has a fondness for reading those kinds of books as well. She also enjoys movies, chocolate, take-out, and spending time with family and friends. She’s known to make a pretty sweet cupcake when she has the time. She also tends to sing sometimes, so keep her away from your Karaoke bars.

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Disclaimer: Susan Heim on Writing is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Witch Hunt Book Blitz: Giveaway for a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box or $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Title: Witch Hunt
Series:  The Witch Game Novels, Book Two
Author:  Kasi Blake
Published:  October 6, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance

A magical game of hide-and-seek begins.
Find the missing player and win.
The game resets.
They all forget and start the game again.

Seventeen-year-old Starr Hughes hasn’t believed in magic since the day her mother died. As an aspiring reporter, the only thing she cares about is cold, hard facts. So when she hears the popular kids at school (the It-Squad) are about to start a secret game, she wants every detail, especially since she has a major crush on gorgeous Dylan Winchester. Hiding under the headmaster’s desk, planting bugs, and breaking into a classmate’s home are all on her to-do list. With her boy-crazy best friend Lily at her side, Starr discovers that witches are not only real, but they also need her help. Someone is using the game to steal their memories, their powers, and perhaps even their lives.

Get Book One, Crushed FREE on Amazon!

Excerpt from Witch Hunt:

Lily rolled him onto his back while Starr gaped at Dylan in fascination. How had she known he was in trouble? Were they connected, destined to be together?

“I think he’s dead,” Lily said.

Starr shook her head vehemently. “He is not dead.”

“He isn’t breathing.”

With trembling hands covered in sand, Starr grasped his face. It was hard to remain calm. Those CPR classes she’d taken seemed eons from this moment. Her mind shut down. Reflex took over. She opened his mouth and placed her own on top. Two breaths. She watched his chest move up and down. It seemed to be working. Now what?

Before she could do anything else, he choked and sputtered. Water gushed out of his mouth like lava from a volcano. He turned on his side and vomited some water onto the sand. Starr rubbed his back and told him it would be okay. He just needed to take it easy for a few minutes.

Groaning, Dylan returned to his back. He looked up at her through slits, only half-focused, obviously out of it. A slow grin spread across his face, and he reached up with one hand, brushing the ends of her wet hair.


Starr froze.

His eyes drifted closed. She bent over him, wondering if this was it, the moment they would get together. He might wake up and tell her he wanted to be with her. He might open his eyes, pull her down, and kiss her like in that old movie her father insisted on watching every year, the one where the couple rolled around on the beach, locking lips as waves washed over them. Her own lips still tingled, a side-effect of touching his mouth with her own.

Sea gulls continued to cry in the distance. Grains of sand were everywhere, on her skin, inside her clothes, in places she didn’t want to even think about. Ignoring the discomfort, she leaned close and whispered, “What did you call me?”

Eyes popping open wide, he bolted upright, almost slamming his head into hers. The sleepy grin died a quick death. He jumped to his feet, hands up like he was preparing to fight them off, and shouted, “Get away from me! Stay back. I mean it.”

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About the Author:
If you ask Kasi Blake how old she was when she started writing, she will probably say twelve. That’s when she wrote her first short story. But it started long before then. Her first characters were invisible friends she played with as a child. In the third grade she wrote a one-page story about a mummy for an assignment, and the teacher read it to the class. Even though she was embarrassed, the other kids laughed in all the right places, and she realized she could affect other people through her writing. She loves to get lost in emotional stories, crying and laughing with the characters, so she thinks it’s the most amazing thing in the world to be able to do this for other people.
Kasi is a hardcore Supernatural fanatic and practically has the shows memorized line for line. If you want to see her freak out, tell her you’ve never watched an episode. Then be prepared to listen to a long list of reasons why you should. In her spare time, when she’s not reading or writing, she does nail art, engages in day-long shopping trips with friends, and takes care of her many animals. Originally from California, she resides in the Midwest on a farm with cows, chickens, ducks, a dog, and two cats.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:

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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • If US, the winner will receive a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing
  • If International, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

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Disclaimer: Susan Heim on Writing is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment.

The Hunter Awakens Book Tour: Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and eBooks

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Title:  The Hunter Awakens
Series:  The Morus Chronicles, Book 1
Author:   J.R. Roper
Published:  July 6, 2014
Publisher:  Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Genre:  Middle Grade Action/Fantasy


2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner

Winner Best Children’s Novel 2014: Preditors & Editors Readers Poll

Literary Classics Seal of Approval: Highly recommended for home and school libraries.

When thirteen-year-old Ethan Morus is forced to stay on his grandparents’ old farm, he expects to find weathered barns, rusty tools, and a creaky house in need of fresh paint. What he doesn’t expect is to hear a legend placing his family at the center of an ancient treasure hunt. Or find burial chambers protected by poltergeists, or a secret lair guarded by an ancient beast. And least of all, Ethan doesn’t suspect that powerful sorcerers are watching his every move.

They’ve found Ethan and believe he is from a line of treasure hunters who possess a rare instinct to locate powerful artifacts. Whether he has the instinct or not, Ethan is faced with a choice -- search the Morus property and find what they want or lose yet another family member.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads

Be sure to grab your copy of The Hunter Awakens
for the special tour price of only 99 cents!

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Excerpt from The Hunter Awakens by J.R. Roper

Mel closed her eyes and drew in long breaths as he passed. A hint of the sorcerer was all she smelled. He was alone.

She waited for him to near the summit, and when he was close she dropped to the ground and approached from well within the forest. When she reached the top, it was clear he’d already begun his conjuring.

The sorcerer stood in the middle of the hilltop, held his staff in front of him and spoke softly in the old tongue. He lifted the staff and slammed it into the ground. The earth groaned.

He looked to the sky. “Reveal.”

Mel followed his gaze. A faint shadow swooped through the clouds and she retreated behind a thick tree. It was the thunderbird—the harbinger of conjured storms.

From his messenger bag, a red orb rose into the air and wisps of wood fastened it to the top of his staff.

Mel glanced above and readied her throwers. She’d put out the thunderbird’s eye if it attacked.
The sorcerer gripped his staff with both hands and pointed the end toward the setting sun, the direction of Roseville. He lowered it slowly and spun, drawing a wide circle where grass shriveled. The smell of scorched earth forced Mel to hold her breath. She hated the smell of anything burnt and the old rock beneath the grass smelled like the burning of ancient bones.

Within moments, clouds rolled overhead. The orb’s red light pierced the early dark. The sorcerer grasped for the sky with his left hand and spoke an incantation that the wind swept away.

The last sliver of sunlight winked out, as if a shawl had been drawn over the sky. A fog chased up the hill like a tidal wave and clouded Mel’s view. The fog moved upward and the sky rippled with a surge of power. All heavenly lights darkened and Mel aimed a thrower in the direction of the sorcerer.

If he knew she was here and came looking for her, it’d be his last act on Earth. She feared no one. She was Hellish Mel.

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About the Author:
J.R. Roper is the author of The Morus Chronicles, a fantasy series for middle grade readers. The first two books, The Hunter Awakens and The Spirit of Steel, are now available along with a collection of short stories titled Mel & the Black Rider. Roper’s work has appeared in ChildGood Magazine, Families First Monthly, and in anthologies by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, Horrified Press, and Thirteen O’Clock Press.

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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • $25 Amazon gift card
  • 5 Kindle copies of The Hunter Awakens
Giveaway is international. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclaimer: Susan Heim on Writing is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment.