Friday, February 28, 2014

Fragile Creatures by Kristina Circelli on Sale for $.99 for a Limited Time

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fragile creaturesSeventeen-year-old Evangeline Frost had a great life, until the car accident that killed her father and turned her mother into a bitter alcoholic. Unable to bear the guilt, Evangeline attempts to take her own life, saved only by the memory of her beloved father.

Left with no other options, Evangeline is enrolled in a program for troubled teens at Kindred Hides Wildlife Preserve. There she meets Caster, a keeper as annoying as he is caring; Jett and Lettie, who treat her more like a daughter than troubled teen; and Ruke, a prized giraffe in mourning for his lost mate.

Immersed in the preserve with her new friends, Evangeline finally begins to heal. But the haunting memories of the accident and her mother’s unforgiving words threaten to destroy her progress. Only her new friends and their unconditional support, along with her own special connection with Ruke, can save her.

Evangeline must learn that there is redemption for her father’s death, and that the bonds between human, animal, and life are not as fragile as she once thought.

Buy on Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | Paperback

About the Author:

Night owl, Dorito lover, and quiet eccentric, Kristina Circelli is the author of several fiction novels, including The Helping Hands series, The Whisper Legacy, The Never, and The Sour Orange Derby.

Her latest series, The Whisper Legacy, features Beyond the Western Sun. This book is what all fantasy adventures must strive to be: a complex, intricate examination of human emotion set within the context of worlds known only in our imagination. Melding fantasy and legend in an epic quest, this series signals the arrival of Kristina Circelli as a master storyteller and an important voice in Native American literature.

A descendent of the Cherokee nation and niece of a Cherokee elder, Circelli holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from the University of North Florida, where she teaches creative writing. She also heads Red Road Editing, a full-service editing company for independent authors and commercial clients.

She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, Seth, and cats, Lord Finnegin the Fierce and Mr. Malachi the Mighty.

Follow Kristina on Facebook | Twitter | Website

Leland Dragon Book Blast: Giveaway for a $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash


Redheart coverRedheart

Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.

As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.

A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon Series.

Praise for Redheart

Redheart is a captivating and enthralling book.”- Evie Bookish

“Gamber has written a hypnotic tale that lulls you into a dreamy state of ethereal bliss, as you enter into the world of the Leland Dragons!” – Jorie Loves a Story

“I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a great fantasy novel.” – Jess Resides Here

“The story itself is very beautifully told, and Gamber does a phenomenal job creating personable characters and down to earth themes, all dealing with different aspects, such as social, psychological, feministic, archetypal, and philosophical issues.” – A Book Vacation

Excerpt from Redheart
Kallon soared. He thrust his crimson wings to chase the clouds, tethered to the earth by only his massive shadow. He flew faster, but his shadow could not be outrun. He felt it below him, dragging across the dusty field like an anchor, pulling him downward. With a defiant twist of his wings, he veered straight up into the cobalt sky.

The sky was where dragons were meant to thrive, and it was the place they returned to when they died. At least, according to his father. Kallon had believed it once. He had believed the stories of dragon valor in a world where humans and dragons worked together toward a common future. But that was long ago. Kallon didn’t believe in anything anymore.

It became harder to breathe, and Kallon’s eyes burned and watered. His wings resisted moving. He’d gone as high as he could go. He paused.

As far as he could see, the sky was the same unlimited blue. There was no rail, no net. There seemed nothing to keep him from going forward, yet there he was forced to stop, as every dragon before him stopped. With a groan of regret, Kallon hung his head and descended.

He followed his shadow across a field of withered meadow grass. The field gave way to sand, and the sand to stones, then bulging fists of granite welcomed him home to the foothills of the Leland Mountains.

Then he heard something. Instead of disappearing into his cave, he swooped above a high cliff and circled back. He dropped down to his feet, curled in his wings, and stood still as the mountains to listen.

A scream. From somewhere beyond the next peak came a human scream. He snorted. Too bad it wasn’t something more interesting. His ears had long since grown deaf to the cries of humans.

Then the scream came again. It was the sound of terror; the kind he used to hear from children as his shadow passed over the ground near them. He shuddered, and found himself turning toward the sound. He hadn’t wanted to go home yet, anyway. He supposed it wouldn’t hurt just to look.

He flew low over the meadow until he caught the human scent. No, not one human—several. He landed quietly and loped toward a grove of ancient firs, some of which were taller than his head. Careful not to rustle any branches, he poked his face through the trees. There he saw the humans and discovered the source of the scream.

Three men stood around a female, who crouched in the center of them. There was a leader, it seemed, who cackled an evil laugh and was goading the two younger men toward her. His voice was louder than the others, and his stringy hair was the color of dung.

“Go on,” he said, and shoved his friend toward her. The woman shrieked and lunged, stabbing a knife at the air. The man jumped away, but the leader darted behind the woman and grabbed her wrist, then wedged the inside of his elbow against her throat.

“Give me that little toy,” he snarled.

The woman struggled. The leader yanked away the knife and pushed her to the ground. He slapped her face. Kallon could see her shoulders heave as she whispered in a hoarse voice, “Please. Don’t do this.”

Kallon was still considering what he ought to do, when there was a sudden shout.

“Dragon!” cried one of the men.

“Bloody ‘ell!” yelped another.

The leader just stood gaping, his bottom lip flopping up and down like a beached carp.

“Run!” The man near the female jumped to his feet, and hollered again.


The leader finally moved. He flung up the knife, and it tumbled through the air to bump Kallon harmlessly on the nose. Kallon growled, anyway. The leader stumbled back. Kallon sucked in a deep breath and bellowed like thunder. The man wailed, and bolted after the others.

The men collided with trees and smacked into each other in their panic. Kallon stopped bellowing to smile. Cowards. Then he swung his face to the woman. He found her gaze locked on him, and his smile dissolved, taken aback by the look in her eyes.

He had grown accustomed to screams, shouts of fear, and the look of terror in the eyes of humans. But this woman reacted to him with none of these. Her face seemed to register… relief. Then her eyes closed and she fell backward onto the ground.

Kallon inched forward through the trees. He bumped her shoulder with his snout. She didn’t respond.

“You dead?” he asked. He nudged her again.

She was breathing. Blood trickled from her nose and mouth. She smelled more pleasant than he thought a human could smell, like the musky forest path drenched in sunshine. He sniffed her again.

He knew he should leave her right where she laid. She was no business of his, and he didn’t know the first thing about tending to her anyway. But she’d looked at him differently than most humans, and it stirred something within him he couldn’t explain. He lifted a claw to his cheek and rubbed, unsure of what to do.

Then he mumbled, “Going to regret this.”

He grasped her with his forelegs and soared off toward home.


Peace was fleeting. Vorham Riddess, Venur of Esra Province, covets the crystal ore buried deep in Leland's mountains. His latest device to obtain it: land by marriage to a Leland maiden. But that's not all.

Among Dragonkind, old threats haunt Mount Gore, and shadows loom in the thoughts of the Red who restored life to land and love. A dragon hunter, scarred from countless battles, discovers he can yet suffer more wounds.

In the midst of it all, Sela Redheart is lost, driven from her home with only her old uncle to watch over her. As the dragon-born child of Kallon, the leader of Leland's Dragon Council, she is trapped in human form with no understanding of how she transformed, or how to turn back.

Wanderers seek a home, schemes begin to unfurl, and all is at risk as magic and murder, marriage and mystery strangle the heart of Esra. A struggle for power far older and deeper than anyone realizes will leave no human or dragon unaffected.

In a world where magic is born of feeling, where the love between a girl and a dragon was once transformative, what power dwells in the heart of young Sela?

Reclamation coverReclamation

The exciting conclusion of the Leland Dragon Series!

Leland Province remains in danger. The sinister Fordon Blackclaw has returned from the shadows to strike at the heart of neighboring Esra, killing its Venur and making clear his intentions to retake what was once his: Mount Gore, seat of the Leland Dragon Council.

All around, the land grows weaker and weaker. Leland, once thought saved by Kallon Redheart, is without purpose, and within its borders, Murk Forest, a place of mystery and danger, has driven its inhabitants to seek aid. Esra is in flames, and the Rage Desert grows. Dragon and human alike struggle to find their way, and the wizard Orman can sense that there may be more at stake than the affairs of dragons.

Hope remains, yet it is not without obstacles. In Esra, Sela, the daughter of Kallon and Riza, found the well, a source of life, and made herself whole again. But her homecoming is not what she had imagined.

Old wounds buried deep must reopen if life is to continue. Dragons, humans, wizards, and shape shifters are all at risk as the peace between dragon and human has finally been broken.

War is here.

The stakes?

Perhaps the whole world.

JackieAuthor Jackie Gamber

As an award-winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud. She is the author of the fantasy novels, Redheart and Sela, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion.

Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction for her story The Freak Museum, a post-apocalyptic tale that looks closely at perceptions and outward appearances and how they affect the way we see ourselves. Jackie Gamber was co-founder and Executive Editor of Meadowhawk Press, a speculative fiction publisher based in Memphis. One of their novels, Terminal Mind by David Walton, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 2009. Jackie also edited the award-winning benefit anthology, Touched by Wonder. She has been a guest lecturer at Memphis Options High Schools, and is a speaker at writers’ conferences from Michigan to Florida. Jackie is also the visionary behind the MidSouthCon Writers’ Conference, helping writers connect since 2008.

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Book Blast Giveaway
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Ends 3/24/14

Pretty Dark Nothing Series, Book 2: Cover Reveal and Title Contest

Month9Books Presents a Cover Reveal and Title Contest for
Book 2 in Heather L. Reid's Pretty Dark Nothing Series.

Help Month9Books choose a title for the next book in the Pretty Dark Nothing series!
Book 2, a follow-up to Pretty Dark Nothing, will be released this fall, and we need your help picking a title. Below are two covers, each with a proposed title for Book 2 on it. We can't call it "Book 2" forever, so please take a look and comment HERE to vote on which you like best.

The winning title will be revealed at BEA 2014, and if you commented to vote and will attend BEA, Month9Books will give you a signed copy of the galley (limited to the first 20 commenters attending). Voting opens today and ends on Friday, March 14, 2014. Thanks to artist Christel Michiels for the amazing cover!

So, which do you like best?
(Note from Susan: Read carefully. It took me a while to realize that the first word in the title is different! The artwork is the same on both covers.)

Title choice 1:
Perfect Dark Sacrifice

Title choice 2:
Pretty Dark Sacrifice

Series: Pretty Dark Nothing
Author: Heather L. Reid
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication Date: September 2014
It’s been five weeks, two days, and eight hours since the demons forced Quinn to throw herself into the raging river, since Aaron sacrificed himself to save her, since he disappeared without a trace. No body, no sign of him at all. Everyone wants her to move on, but Quinn can’t. She’s convinced Aaron’s trying to contact her, but Azrael, her angel Sentinel, insists these visions are nothing more than the demons preying on her guilt, bent on distracting her from her true destiny as the reincarnation of Eve. 
With Aaron’s fate forever entwined with Quinn’s true Sentinel, Kaemon, they both find themselves prisoner of the underworld. For Aaron, death in the river would have been easier than ending up in Lilith’s dungeons.
Heather L. Reid has always had a sense of wanderlust and a belief in the paranormal. She eats mayonnaise on her fries, loves video games, and getting lost in a good story. This native Texan now lives with her Scottish hubby in South Ayrshire, Scotland, where she spends her weekends wandering the moors in search of the ghost of William Wallace and exploring haunted castles. Her debut young-adult, paranormal novel, PRETTY DARK NOTHING, was released on April 23, 2013 by Month9Books.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Prejudice Meets Pride Cover Reveal: Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Prejudice Meets Pride
Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off in the form of a dream job offer. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to turn down the job and make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help or of her handsome new neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Fun, heartwarming, and romantic, Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson
USA Today bestselling author Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open Internationally
Ends 3/31/14

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Undeniable Book Tour: Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and Mardi Gras Prize Pack


At last ... the sizzling spin-off from The King Series

UNDENIABLE: The Serendipity Duet, Book One

For Rafe Brooks, running from a broken heart means losing himself in alcohol and women. Lots of women, none of whom will remember him, since he has the ability to manipulate their minds and make them forget.

Numbing the pain works until he meets an irresistible redhead with secrets of her own. She offers him the opportunity to join forces with an organization that will use his powers for good rather than his own amusement.

Jocelyn rocks his world with her unapologetic passion and makes him believe for the first time he just might survive heartbreak.

When a mission takes the two of them undercover to infiltrate a commune with suspicious activity, they discover it's just the tip of a plot to cause world-wide anarchy. Hiding their extraordinary powers and real identities is crucial to staying alive.

For Rafe and Jocelyn, when life is uncertain, love is undeniable.

Buy on:
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About the Author
Tawdra Thompson Kandle lives in central Florida with her husband, children, cats and dog. She loves homeschooling, cooking, traveling and reading, not necessarily in that order. And yes, she has purple hair.

You can follow Tawdra here…

Join the party here!

Follow the tour:


One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a Mardi Gras prize pack (pictured above)! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

Savage Secrets Book Tour: An Excerpt

Savage Secrets Banner

Susan Heim on Writing is pleased to be a stop on the book tour for Savage Secrets, by Cristin Harber! We kicked off this tour two days ago, but I have a brand-new excerpt for you, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy (warning: it’s “hot”)!

About the book:
Caterina Cruz has no home. No loyalties. No objection to exacting torturous revenge. Her life’s mission is to destroy the terrorist who murdered her family. Then she steps into an elaborate game of charades alongside a Titan Group operative posing as an arms dealer -- and her newlywed husband. The sexy distraction may be more than she can handle.

Attacked with a psychedelic drug weeks before, Rocco Savage is plagued with hallucinations that threaten his new rank as Titan’s second-in-command. No one knows, and he wants to keep it that way. Throwing him further off his game, he now has a wife with her own secrets he can’t crack and an agenda he can’t control.

Their mission -- an elaborate deception of heated glances and passionate kisses -- spins out of control. With Rocco's mind already compromised, can he keep his secret and his distance? And with Caterina's tragic past controlling her every move, can she keep the con up long enough to secure her revenge? Or will both go down in flames?

An excerpt from Savage Secrets:

“I pushed you into this. I was manipulative.” She banged a key. The harsh noise punctuated her word. “It’s the job. My training. I do things almost without thinking. Push people even when I shouldn’t. You could be home, watching your awful TV.” She nudged his shoulder then dropped her chin.

“Don’t knock it ʼtil you try it.”

Her half smile and sad head shake were a punch to his gut. “You could be anywhere but here.”

Her voice was like velvet, flooding his senses and causing a rush of tingles to erupt on his chest. He swallowed and didn’t know what to say or where to bring the conversation. Anywhere but here. They were on the edge of a talk, and he’d never been one for that. He could say he’d been drugged, and the aftershocks were messy. But that would earn him pity. Or he could mention how badly he wanted to kiss her lips, taste her skin…

Cat’s slender fingers drifted over the piano keys. She’d given him just enough rope to jump in deep. Or strangle himself. Either or, but jumping anywhere with her sounded fun.

“I want to be here.” There. That was talking. A big explosion of honesty.

She nodded, her fingers played with more strength on the piano. “This is a good gig. El Mateperros is a big catch. Guess I can’t blame you for wanting to stick around.”

What? The job hadn’t entered his mind. “I don’t give a shit about El Mateperros.”

She angled her face toward him, and the browns in her eyes intensified. “But…”

“I want to be here.” His heart expanded in his chest. The beat, beat, beat thudding against his ribcage. He could barely swallow. Barely speak. All this honesty was going to kill him. “With you.”

“Me?” she whispered, her fingers stopping on the keys.

“I’m here for the wrong reasons.” With the tips of two fingers, he touched her wrist and skimmed up her silky forearm. Shivers bit his shoulders. Something about touching the smoothness of her skin made her even more irresistible. If he hadn’t f---ed their partnership up enough earlier, he was about to do it again.

“You.” Rocco touched her chin, her jaw line. His fingers brushed into her thick hair, then back. Both of his hands cupped her face. “I’m here because I couldn’t walk away. From you.”

A sharp, little breath pursed her lips, and her eyes flashed like daggers. “You’re crazy.”

“About you.”

The surprise and defense washed away. Her head tilted, cheek resting against his palm, a fraction of a move that weighed heavily. It was a go, the thumbs-up he didn’t think there was a chance of getting. Ever. Especially after today. From under thick eyelashes, she stared up, so close and not moving. He lowered his lips to hers, and she softened. This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be. He’d walked in expecting a boot in the ass and now … His hands slid down her cheeks, her neck, across her shoulders.

Caterina sighed, and her eyes closed. Touching her, causing those little erotic, enticing sounds and reactions, he’d have her on the bar beneath him before he thought better of it.


His lips slanted over hers. The contact was fire. Flames roared through his blood. Red wine flavored her kiss, rich and exotic. She tasted like heaven. Her mouth parted, inviting him. Their tongues met. He wrapped her into his arms. Holding her to him wasn’t nearly enough. The clothes had to go. He’d die to see the naked swell of her breast push against his chest. Just the thought made him throb.

“About time you kissed me.” Caterina twisted on the bench, straddling her legs around him and grinding against his lap.


Barnes and Noble

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Literary Addicts Weekly Meme: When Do You Stop Reading?

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for the Literary Addicts Weekly Meme! The question of the week:

Do you stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

Ideally, I prefer to stop reading at the end of a chapter. If the chapters are long, but are divided into sections (usually with a blank line or asterisks), then I will stop at one of those breaks and not force myself to get to the end of the chapter. I rarely stop mid-chapter unless I am called away or interrupted, and it’s not possible to keep reading. What about you?

CLICK HERE for links to the other blogs participating in this meme to find out their choices!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

RELEASE DAY SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg


THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Bantam – Random House
On sale: February 25, 2014

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling authors of The Heist, return in this action-packed, exciting adventure featuring master con artist Nicolas Fox and die-hard FBI agent Kate O’Hare. And this time around, things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line.

Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals.

Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills of their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad.

A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

Connect with Janet

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Google +Fancorps


Lee Goldberg is a screenwriter, TV producer, and the author of several books, including King City, The Walk, and the bestselling Monk series of mysteries. He has earned two Edgar Award nominations and was the 2012 recipient of the Poirot Award from Malice Domestic.

Connect with Lee

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Google +

Monday, February 24, 2014

Welcome to the Savage Secrets Book Tour!

Savage Secrets Banner

Caterina Cruz has no home. No loyalties. No objection to exacting torturous revenge. Her life’s mission is to destroy the terrorist who murdered her family. Then she steps into an elaborate game of charades alongside a Titan Group operative posing as an arms dealer -- and her newlywed husband. The sexy distraction may be more than she can handle.

Attacked with a psychedelic drug weeks before, Rocco Savage is plagued with hallucinations that threaten his new rank as Titan’s second-in-command. No one knows, and he wants to keep it that way. Throwing him further off his game, he now has a wife with her own secrets he can’t crack and an agenda he can’t control.

Their mission -- an elaborate deception of heated glances and passionate kisses -- spins out of control. With Rocco's mind already compromised, can he keep his secret and his distance? And with Caterina's tragic past controlling her every move, can she keep the con up long enough to secure her revenge? Or will both go down in flames?


Excerpt: Terrorist drop off

Rocco dropped his delivery and the sack of flesh and bones thudded on the concrete floor.

“Signed. Sealed. Delivered.” He dusted his hands together. “He’s your problem now. Adios.”

“Adios?” The words danced in the air. Soft to the hardness of the calloused room. Sexy and exotic. Accented. And gorgeous. “Fine. Adios if that’s what you want.”

He turned on the heel of his boot, lasering in on a shadowy corner sheathed by a partition. A woman? A silhouetted figure stood with a hand on a cocked hip, behind a screen. Long legs and a pony tail stood outlined in a magnificent shadow. Holy hell. Nothing about that belonged in this room.

This place was violence and atrocity. She was a gauzy reflection of soft edges and a smooth voice. Hell. He hadn’t even seen her, touched her. Yet. But that fact didn’t stop his gut tightening and his eyes from popping. Nah, must have been all the adrenaline from snatching the terrorist not ten minutes before. But damn if he wasn’t wishing for coulda, woulda, shoulda met this girl someplace else.

He swallowed against the boulder in this throat. “What I want has nothing to do with mission objective.”

The metallic clang of tools hitting the cement floor clattered from behind the partition. She let loose a swell of what were probably curses, in Spanish, then her sing-song called to him, still hidden behind the screen. “Ah, the American who plays by the rules. How interesting.”

Her cursing made him chuckle, and made him … interested. This whole place did. What the hell was she saying anyway? It was a rollercoaster of pissed off words, complete with rolled Rs that nearly swayed over his senses. He wanted her to keep talking. Another step closer and damn if he didn’t want to see her face, knowing it would do far more justice to the rockin’ silhouette painted behind the partition. “Says the Brit who speaks like a Spaniard.” And swear like a— “I’m not British.”

What else could he learn about her in the next, oh, minute and a half he was expected to be here? Maybe she would keep talking. He’d jump through all kinds of hoops if that woman let loose her accent again. Please, keep talking. “And I don’t play by the rules. But you—”

She laughed and the sound slid over his body, winding down his spine. He took in a deep breath, embracing the sensation. The laugh was better than her words, and he wanted to make it happen again.

“Today.” She was back to work. “It looks like you do.”

“I came bearing a gift.” He looked to the man lying on the floor. “My mission objective is complete and your invite comes just a little too late.” That and he’d left a team of men sitting outside. If he didn’t walk out soon, they’d make an appearance, guns pointed and on a search-and-destroy mission. Rocco not coming out was most definitely not on their itinerary.

“I see.”

No, you don’t. You can’t see anything, and I’m dying to see you. It was just a voice. But hell. She was too … something. Rare. Offbeat. Familiar? She worked behind the screen and walked toward the edge of the partition. Such a tease. Like she knew he was ready to knock the thing over to get a good look at what housed that voice, her laugh, and those never ending legs.

“Fine. Go.” She shooed him away with a grand sweep of her arm. “Team Titan off to the next job.”

The sound of the Ts rolling off her tongue made his chest crash into itself. Ribs crumbling. Lungs deflating. A reaction based solely on intuition. “You know more about me than I know about you. Come on out of your hiding place.”

“Almost done with my prep work.” More of that accent that had him turned-on and unable to walk out of the room. A pause dangled in the air. A zap of electricity and bright white sparks sprayed from behind the divider. Shock therapy was in store for the man still groaning on the floor, and for a brief second, Rocco almost pitied the terrorist. Almost.

“Perfect,” she whispered. More sparks. More zaps.

Without his control, his eyes slammed shut. Only for a half second. Long enough that a shiver ran down his shoulders. But he had this. No flashbacks or star-sightings would happen right now. Those zaps were real as the body behind that screen. There was no way in hell this was a hallucination. She stepped out. An image of beauty in a desolate, craptastic interrogation site. One long leg, then the next teased him to the point of distraction. He followed the length of her boot, drinking in the skin tight black pants over the sway of her hips. A black shirt covered her torso and stretched over what he knew were the definition of perfect breasts. Finally, Rocco let his focus caress the curve of her lips, the deepness and darkness of her intense stare. More than model gorgeous. More than manufactured beauty. She was sweet and sultry. A vision. Standing there, with electrical cables and a torture table at the ready, she couldn’t have been more out of place. Yet, this was her room. She owned it and that kind of confidence was unshakeable.

He cleared his throat. “Do you need a hand?”

“Does it look like I do?” She looked over her shoulder, smiling a half grin. Knowing the connotation behind his question. Challenging him to say it out loud. She stopped. Turned around and stared, eyes narrowed and lips pursed. Then she smiled again, nodding. “Do you believe in coincidence?”

Coincidence? More like luck, walking into a room manned by a woman as deadly and dangerous as she was beautiful and breathtaking? He heard noises from the outer room. Seems he’d overstayed his prescribed amount of time before back up was ready to check in. “Well, I’ll leave you to it.”

“See you around. Handsome.”

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Book Review: "The Midnight Witch," by Paula Brackston

About The Midnight Witch
Lady Lilith Randor does not fear the dark. She embraces and draws strength from it for it is when the veil between the living and the dead becomes slightly thinner. But Lilith is not just any witch; she is heir to the Lazarus Coven -- a coven skilled in the art of necromancy, sworn to protect the Great Secret and the Elixir of Life from the hands of those who might use it for evil by raising the dead. Upon her father’s death, Lilith inherits the role as Head Witch. She faces a daunting future, for the coven is threatened by a powerful group of sorcerers who wish to steal the Elixir from her.

As a society beauty, engaged to another titled witch, and with a grieving mother and an unstable brother to look after, Lilith struggles to maintain her two very different existences. When she meets and falls in love with the talented artist Bram Cardale, she can no longer keep her life as a witch hidden, and she must choose between her loyalty to the coven, her duty to her family, and her love for Bram, or risk destroying everything she holds dear.

My Thoughts About This Book
Like anyone who has had to keep a huge secret her entire life, Lilith is a bit standoffish, not daring to get too close to anyone who might uncover her secret. Nevertheless, this doesn’t prevent her from falling in love with Bram, a talented but starving artist, who sees their class differences and Lilith’s fiancé as the only obstacles to their love at first. When he finds that she is also a witch, their love seems impossible. And, indeed, Lilith ends their relationship for several years when she realizes the futility of their situation. But true love can’t be stopped, and Lilith and Bram invite danger into their lives once again when they rekindle their relationship. This book is filled with atmosphere, particularly when the dark magic that always lurks in the shadows begins to intrude on Lilith’s life. It threatens her family, her fellow witches, and her love, and could upset the whole balance of life even as World War I creeps closer and erupts. I was already a fan of Paula Brackston before picking up this book, having loved both The Witch’s Daughter and The Winter Witch. And, if possible, I think that Brackston’s writing has gotten even better with this book. The Midnight Witch is highly recommended for fans of paranormal and/or historical fiction. It will haunt you long after you close the book.

2014 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my fair and honest review. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Release Day! "Turning Home" (A Small Town Novel), by Stephanie Nelson

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Turning Home (A Small Town Novel) by Stephanie Nelson

When Brooke Kingsley finally captures the interest of her four-year crush—Dylan Crawford—her world turns upside down. Feeling alive for the first time, Brooke decides to spend her last three days of summer with Dylan and discovers there’s more to him than the rumors being whispered all over town. The problem is, Brooke’s father doesn’t want his daughter anywhere near the blue-collar bad boy. As Brooke leaves for college, she’ll realize that some boys aren’t easy to forget.

Dylan Crawford has hated the Roseville Snobs his entire life, but one particular Snob has captured his eye—Brooke Kingsley. He knows he should stay away from her, but willpower has never been his strong suit. Soon Brooke is all he can think about. When she leaves for school, Dylan tries to move on with other girls, but the memory of Brooke taunts him. There’s an undeniable pull to the very girl he’s been warned to stay away from.

When tragedy strikes the Kingsley household, secrets are uncovered. Brooke and Dylan must decide if what they feel for each other is strong enough to conquer their families’ dark past.

This is a NA (new adult) book and intended for readers 18+

Purchase on Amazon

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Where Courage Calls," by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan: My Review, Plus Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

Susan Heim on Writing is pleased to be a stop on the book tour for Where Courage Calls, by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan! This book is receiving rave reviews and is the companion story to Hallmark Channel’s TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

About the book:
Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected...

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father’s wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she’d feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don’t even speak English. There isn’t even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth’s heart is torn between two young men -- both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she’s had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

Purchase a copy and read an excerpt:

About the Authors:
Celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of numerous awards. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.

Laurel Oke Logan is the daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, and is the author of Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie, as well as the novel Dana’s Valley, which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law, and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

My review:
Janette Oke is one of my favorite authors, so I was really excited to have the opportunity to review Where Courage Calls, a Christian historical fiction novel -- my favorite genre -- with a little romance thrown in. I loved to see Beth’s growth as a person. With her privileged background, she could have easily grown up to become a spoiled, entitled woman, but she decides that a little hardship will be good for her by teaching in the mining town. Of course, it turns out to be a LOT more hardship than she’d anticipated! No indoor toilets, a schoolroom in the tavern, poverty and even danger all await Beth in Coal Valley. And yet she decides that God has sent her there for a reason -- to improve the lives of the children and their families. When her sister Julie arrives, their differences become all too apparent, but Beth knows that she has changed for the better and resists her sister’s advice to return home and find a rich man to marry. I loved every word of Where Courage Calls and can’t wait to read more novels by Janette Oke.

P.S. If you haven't had a chance to check out When Calls the Heart, the TV show on the Hallmark Channel, you should definitely watch. I've been enjoying it immensely!

Janette and Laurel are celebrating the release of Where Courage Calls with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.

One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Literary Addicts Weekly Meme: Print Books vs. eBooks

It’s Wednesday! And that means it’s time for the Literary Addicts Weekly Meme! The theme of this week:

Do you prefer eBooks or print books and why?

Even though I have several eReaders, I still prefer print books. When I have a physical book on my nightstand, it’s a visual reminder that I need to read it! When it’s on my eReader, I forget it’s there, and the books just pile up. I also feel like I’m getting more value when I purchase or win a print book. I know that it costs the publisher a lot less to produce an eBook, so I don’t feel like I’ve really received anything of value when I just receive a book file. With a print book, I feel like I’ve received an item that’s worth something. And when I’m done with a print book, I can either use it for a giveaway on my blog or donate it to my local used bookstore, which raises money for our city’s libraries. You can’t donate an eBook! I will continue to read eBooks sometimes, but I hope that print books never go away!

What about you? Do you prefer print books or eBooks? Feel free to leave a comment below. And CLICK HERE for links to the other blogs participating in this meme to find out their choices!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chat with Janette Oke and Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

Janette Oke's newest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan), is receiving rave reviews. It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel's TV series, When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.

One winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

And stay tuned for my review of Where Courage Calls on February 20th! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blu-Ray Giveaway: "How I Live Now," Adapted from the Award-Winning YA Novel by Meg Rosoff

FilmBook, a movie website, is sponsoring this giveaway of the Blu-ray, How I Live Now. This film is an adaptation of the award-winning young-adult novel of the same title by Meg Rosoff.

About the movie:
Set in the near-future UK, Saoirse Ronan plays Daisy, an American teenager sent to stay with relatives in the English countryside. Initially withdrawn and alienated, she begins to warm up to her charming surroundings and strikes up a romance with the handsome Edmund (George MacKay). But on the fringes of their idyllic summer days are tense news reports of an escalating conflict in Europe. As the UK falls into a violent, chaotic military state, Daisy finds herself hiding and fighting to survive.

Enter to win a Blu-ray copy of How I Live Now in the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on March 7, 2014 at 11:59 pm.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Indie BookFest 2014 ~ Meet the Authors ~ Fun Prizes!

For the next week, Promotional Book Tours is hosting an Indie BookFest! They're featuring some great independent authors for you to meet, plus sharing some great giveaways! To read all about them and enter the contests, hop around to the links below!

Blackout Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Amazon Gift Cards and eBooks!

Blackout (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 2)
Release Date: March 19, 2014
Centrinian Publishing Ltd

Summary from Goodreads:
What was shall no longer be. What was not shall now become.

Despite having the protection of the talisman and the Legion, a reforming force of warrior angels and elementals, guarding his every move, things are not looking good for Charlie Blake. Tasked with the responsibility of saving mankind, finding the four diamonds to restore the talisman is all he can think of. But when his prophetic visions start to invade his reality, and he suddenly can’t distinguish the dream world from the real world, the pending extinction of mankind becomes the least of his problems. Everyone assumes Charlie’s dormant powers are activating, until he starts showing symptoms of a deadly disease.

With his nemesis, Gaddis, threatening the lives of his loved ones, he faces a race against time to locate Raphael’s Stone, the air diamond, before an imminent pandemic destroys civilization. As he ventures into dangerous lands once again, he unearths shocking revelations about his past life that forces him to question his allegiance. With no one to turn to for answers, he can’t help but wonder if his purpose is truly to save mankind.

Excerpt from Blackout:

Charlie’s eyes shifted back and forth between Derkein and the knife. Derkein had a look in his eyes he didn’t recognise. This wasn’t the man he had moved in with. He wasn’t the man who was soon to become his adoptive father. This was an impostor.

‘My father always said everything happened for a reason,’ Derkein said, ‘but he never met you. What good is immortality if I’m stuck in one place?’ He stopped and dropped his arm by his side, the knife slipping out of his grasp and landing with a clunking noise on the marble floor.

Charlie stopped, leaving a few inches between him and Derkein, who was standing with a guarded stance. Charlie couldn’t help but wonder who was more afraid of whom.

‘You’ve left me to rot in this god forsaken world for the rest of my life, so forgive me if I seem a tad ungrateful,’ Derkein went on in a flat tone. His blank expression left no room for interpretation. ‘If I have to rot in hell, I don’t see why I should have to suffer alone.’

Charlie didn’t see it coming. Derkein lunged at him, grabbed him by the arms, and thrust him backwards. Charlie waited for the collision of his back with the conservatory door, but the impact didn’t occur. Instead, he found himself falling and landing hard on his back in darkness. The only source of light came from the kitchen ahead of him where Derkein was standing.

‘Why do you look so surprised?’ Derkein asked. ‘What did you expect was going to happen when you resurrected me, or did I not deserve the common courtesy of a conscious thought? I’m not like you. I’m not like them. Tell me, Charlie. What am I, exactly?’

Charlie rose up into a sitting position. He didn’t have the answers Derkein was seeking. ‘I’m sorry.’ The words barely escaped his mouth.

‘Yeah. Me too.’ In the blink of an eye, Derkein and the kitchen vanished, leaving Charlie in complete darkness. He sat in the empty silence, waiting. It wasn’t until he heard his rapid breathing that he realised panic had overcome him. Charlie scampered to his feet and charged ahead of him, ramming into the hard, rough texture of a brick wall.

‘Derkein!’ he yelled, pounding the wall with his fists. ‘Derkein, please –’


Charlie felt a crawling sensation move down his spine as a shrill voice echoed around him. With his palms braced against the wall, he remained still as the voice slowly faded. He held his breath as silence invaded the space once again. When the voice didn’t return, he made a move to the right, running his hand over the wall as he searched for the door.

Within seconds, he felt a tingle of cold air on the back of his neck that made him jump, and he released his breath. He spun around, shifting his head left and right, but his eyes couldn’t penetrate the darkness that surrounded him.

He reached up towards his neck and froze. The rhythm of his heart accelerated as he moved his hand over his chest in search of the familiar touch of the two silver rings he had become so accustomed to over the past five years, but the chain wasn’t around his neck. Although he couldn’t see anything, he suddenly felt as though the darkness was closing in on him, compressing his lungs as if attempting to stifle him.

A spotlight appeared a few feet in front of him, and his heart stopped. He gulped down the lump forming in his throat as he stared at the figure submerged in the light, dangling about two feet off the ground.

About the author, Alecia Stone

Alecia Stone is a full-time writer who spends most of her days with her head in a book. She loves anything and everything paranormal -- the stranger, the better. Her fascination with all things supernatural sparked her obsession with books, particularly young adult fantasy fiction, which she has never grown out of. She graduated with a BA in Film & TV and worked in television for a short period of time before branching out into storytelling.

When she's not writing, she enjoys watching movies and travelling. Blackout is the sequel to the Amazon bestselling YA fantasy novel, Talisman of El. She currently lives in the UK with her family.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organised by:

Blackout Cover Reveal Giveaway

Ends March 31st.

International. Open to anyone who can receive gifted ebooks from and gift cards from either or Alternatively, gift card winners may opt for PayPal cash ($10) or a book of choice from The Book Depository ($10).