Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Post #82

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

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Yes, I missed last weeks posting. But I also didn't get anything posted for the week it was for either. *sigh* I'm a slacker. I know. I was trying to get caught up on a few other things around the house and get to all of kiddo's track meets. It was a full week. Then on Saturday we spent the day outside cutting grass and trying to get things cleaned up for summer. It was one of the most relaxing day's I've had in ages.

This weekend, I almost missed the post again. I sat down Saturday night, tired after being at kiddo's track meet all day, and worked this post up. Right now, I'm likely out at kiddo's combine.

It's been a go-go kind of few weeks here. I'm ready to relax. *sigh*

Today is a big special day. My little kiddo turns 16. A big day! We aren't celebrating this weekend with all the sports stuff going on, but I have planned a small surprise dinner for next weekend. :) 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... Erm... Life is moving faster than me. *sigh*

We have two weeks to discuss here. For two weeks ago, I didn't get any exercising in. But I did get to push mow the grass on Saturday for a while. So that works for one day.

For the latest week: Well...it was snowing Saturday so I couldn't cut the grass. ;) But I wasn't home either. As for exercising during the week... Where does the time go!?! I've come to the understanding that I'm not going to get fit or lose weight until kiddo leaves for college.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
I'm working on some 'work' books
And
House of Grey 6 by Collin Earl


Current Podcast Book Listen:
7th Son: 7 Days anthology by J.C. Hutchins
The Horde by Patrick Scaffido


Finished Last Week: 
House of Grey 5 by Collin Earl

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
nothing

~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)

Click the link to learn more about the books and their series:


Posts:


Around the Internet...


Reviews:



Podcast Review:

Tales from the Archives:


&



Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:



~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:

Erm...I have 2 reviews scheduled for this week and a post on a special project by a talented author/artist.
~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:


Review & Review Consideration:
House of Grey 6 by Collin Earl
Goodreads Synopsis:
Fantasy, friendship, and fate await you in Collin Earl’s The House of Grey, based on the popular audio fiction by the same name. 

14-year-old Monson Grey faces the same challenges that any freshman high school kid would: difficult classes, weird teachers, food fights…girls. Except, Monson Grey is not Monson Grey. At least, when he looks at himself in the mirror, the scarred face staring back is not someone he recognizes. 

Now he finds himself attending an extraordinary school, the recipient of an incredible scholarship, among ridiculously rich classmates, all with no memory of how he got there or what to expect.

All he has from his former life are the flashes of haunting images that plague his dreams and the echoing voices that he hears, but cannot see. 

Luckily, Monson finds fast friendship in two of his classmates, Casey and Artorius. Little does Monson know, they too carry their own skeletons. Yet, as bizarre events start to unfold around them, Monson wonders what secrets lay buried in his mind or if he will ever be able to share his true fears with his newfound friends.

Join our three heroes as they roam the halls of the most prestigious high school in the country, finding love, mystery, and answers to their algebra homework- all while peeling away the layers of Monson’s shadowy past. 

Author’s Note: The House of Grey was originally a serialized audio fiction. The Volume system begins the written adaptation of that story. Individual volumes do not contain the complete story. The Volumes contain 50,000 to 70,000 word chucks and are divided into ARCS. (ARC ONE, the Coren University Arc, consists of Volumes 1 through 6 and corresponds to the original podcast fiction) Each ARC will be available for a reduced price in an omnibus format. Original material for the continuation of the story starts in Volume 7

Dirty Magick: New Orleans edited by Charlie Brown
Goodreads Synopsis:
"Dirty Magick: New Orleans" continues the urban fantasy anthology series exploring the crossroads between magic and crime. Set in "The City That Care Forgot," this book covers back alleys of the French Quarter, the hidden corridors of Storyville, the weird voodoo in the backyards of Treme and whatever those old Victorians are hiding. Featuring such established authors as Rhonda Eudaly, Terry Mixon and Scott Roche, as well as the continuing editorial hand of Charlie Brown, this book sweeps away the swampy myths for some hardboiled partying.

Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:



Won:




Free Ebooks:

(On my Kindle App)
The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids by Michael McClung
Goodreads Synopsis:
Prequel to 'The Thief Who Spat In Luck's Good Eye:

"They butchered Corbin right out in the street. That’s how it really started. He was a rogue and a thief, of course. But then, so am I. So when he got himself hacked up in front of his house off Silk Street, I decided somebody had to be made to pay. They thought that they could just sweep him away like rubbish. They were wrong."

Amra Thetys is a thief with morals: She won't steal from anybody poorer than she is. Fortunately, anybody that poor generally doesn't have much worth stealing! But when a fellow thief and good friend is killed in a deal gone wrong, Amra turns her back on burglary and goes after something far more precious: Revenge.
 

Siren by Jennifer Melzer
Goodreads Synopsis:
Siren Talbot's life is plagued with storms. Her mother's insanity was the first, though not the last. Called to the ocean, not even the shores of Edisto Island can calm the tempest inside her. 

Though she's settled into a life with Patrick, his promises of a happily ever after can't still the foul weather of her past or the brewing squall on the horizon. She's haunted by the disappearance of her first love, Carver, and the lack of answers. 

A single clue unlocks mysteries she can't explain. A murder cements the impossible as possible. The more magic she uncovers, the darker her suspicions become and the more the hurricane inside her starts to rage. 

Patrick isn't the Prince Charming he claims to be. 

And he knows exactly what happened to Carver.

Burning Alexander by Michael J. Sullivan
Goodreads Synopsis:
Irwin Gilbert is a hoarder, a bookworm, and after a cosmic event leaves the earth void of all electricity, the owner of what might be the world's largest remaining cache of novels. Irwin has a dilemma, however, the world has turned cold and he has no idea how long it will last. When faced with freezing to death, can he dare to burn "his friends" and how will he choose which will be used to keep him alive. 

This short story originally appeared in "The End: Visions of Apocalypse" edited by N.E. White. I wrote it the weekend I learned of Ray Bradbury's death and is a homage to this master of science fiction.

Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan
Goodreads Synopsis:
Can love mend a heart full of hate?

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. 

While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly's life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.

Darkness Falls by Erin Kellison
Goodreads Synopsis:
Agent Malcolm Rook is hunting for people with the rarest of talents—the ability to master dreams. He finds the undeniably gifted Jordan Lane, but she’s wary of mysterious Rook and resists his pursuit as long as she can. Yet the dreamwaters they enter are too exhilarating to resist, and attraction soon ignites electric passions. Delving too deep stirs a nightmare, one they must defeat, or be forever lost to darkness.

Fans of paranormal romance and bad boys, get ready for a dark, sexy plunge into fantasy and desire. The Reveler Series is set in a contemporary world in which people can indulge in Rêve, or shared dreaming—a pop culture phenomenon sweeping the world. Imagine being able to fall asleep at night, only to wake in a dream world, one in which you are lucid and in control—where you can be anything you want to be and do anything you like. But you must be careful…dreaming can be as dangerous as it is seductive.

* First published in the anthology, Dark and Deadly.

Beautiful Demons box set by Sara Cannon
Goodreads Synopsis:
This is a collection of the first three books in the bestselling Peachville High Demons series, a fast-paced Young Adult series filled with magic, mystery, and a touch of romance. (Approx. 150,000 words total.)

Books Included:

1. Beautiful Demons
2. Inner Demons
3. Bitter Demons


Beautiful Demons
In Peachville, even the cheerleaders have a dark side...

Harper Madison isn't like other girls. She has extraordinary powers, but her inability to control them has gotten her kicked from so many foster homes she's lost count. Shadowford Home for Girls is her last chance, and she hopes Peachville High will be the fresh start she needs.

But when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, Harper discovers this small town has a big secret.

Inner Demons
Becoming a Demons cheerleader was the last thing Harper Madison expected when she moved to the small town of Peachville. She's willing to do whatever it takes, though, to get the answers she needs about her mother and about her own strange powers.

Now that she's an official member of the squad, her training can begin. Only, this is no normal group of cheerleaders. The training opens up a new world for Harper. It's a world of beauty and magic beyond her wildest dreams, but also a world of pressure and impossible expectations.

A world where every secret hides an even darker secret.

Bitter Demons
So far, life in Peachville has been tough for Harper Madison. She's survived attacks on her life, learned how to control her magic and met the most gorgeous boy with an unbelievable secret. After her latest stunt at Brighton Hospital, life has gotten even more complicated. The Order of Shadows is determined to tighten their control on her life.

When a future Prima from a nearby demon gate comes to town, she and Harper decide to use glamours to switch places at a party. All Harper wants is to have a little fun.

But the night will end in blood.

And Harper will find out the attack was meant for her...

(On my Nook)



Free Audio Books/Stories:


~~~~~~~~~~
Reviews to Come:

The Secret World Chronicle: World Well Lost by Mercees Lackey,Steve Libby, Cody Martin, & Dennis Lee
Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Master of Myth by Starla Huchton
Danube Waves by Katharina Bordet
Rhune by Michael J. Sullivan
Heartstealer by K.T. Bryski
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Tales From the Archives: Clockwork Portal When Timelines Go Awry
Tales From the Archives: Foothold
Tales From the Archives: 2014 Christmas Special 
Space Casey: Season 2 by Christiana Ellis
House of Grey 4 by Collin Earl
7th Son: Deceit by J.C. Hutchins
Fury by Krista D. Ball
7th Son: Destruction by J.C. Hutchins
House of Grey 5 by Collin Earl

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tales from the Archives Vol 3 #8

Tales from the Archives, Vol. 3: #8

By:  Jarred Axelrod

Written & Narrated by:  Tee Morris & Jarred Axelrod

Format:  Podcast, 10:45 minutes

Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk

Series:  8th in Tales of the Archives Vol. 3 podcasts, part of A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

Recommendation:  Nice way to meet new characters and authors in this steampunk-ish world particularly if you enjoyed the book; A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Phoenix Rising.  The archives are full of stories to be told.

Synopsis:
What the turtle saw.

When Wellington is made supervisor of the Ministry’s R&D department, he has to deal with Professor Axelrod, and all his dangerous and doolally experiments. He just never knew it would involve…turtles…

My Thoughts and Summary:
When Director Sound thinks it's a good idea to send Wellington to supervise R&D... which is watching over the genius Axelrod.

lol. Okay, I had to restart the podcast as I got caught up in listening and smiling at the interactions here, so I could write something other than how fun this quick listen was. But it was such fun. ;D

Wellington finds himself trapsing through slush and muck to meet Axelrod out in a field. (Wellington's new shoes... oh my.) Wellington is excited to learn of an electroteloportation device, as it's how he gets his favorite hot tea in his empty cup. But what Axelrod has brought him out to see... the new surveillance squad of... turtles. LOL!

Oh my! For the fun of all things crazy thinking by Axelrod, this is a hoot. And what Wellington learns about the turtles.. LOL!




Would you like to listen to these? For a taste of the characters or in addition to the book... Visit The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

You can find these for your Reading pleasure in any eFormat you would like at Smashwords.

You can find the Archives: Amazon Kindle ~ Tales from the Archives Scroll through the list for them all, and the ones you still need.

There are short stories always added to the listing. So keep checking back!



I listened to this short story for my own enjoyment.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tales from the Archives Vol 3 #7

Tales from the Archives, Vol. 3: #7

By:  Bill Blume

Written & Narrated by:  Sheri Blume & Bill Blume

Format:  Podcast, 40:43 minutes

Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk

Series:  7th in Tales of the Archives Vol. 3 podcasts, part of A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

Recommendation:  Nice way to meet new characters and authors in this steampunk-ish world particularly if you enjoyed the book; A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Phoenix Rising.  The archives are full of stories to be told.

Synopsis:
Bitter Pill

Miss Sharpe is not used to working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. She is used to being a killer for hire, the Jade Dagger, an artisan of death. Yet when called on to find an immortal in the city of her birth, she finds herself unprepared for what she discovers, as she is plunged into her own terrifying past and future.

My Thoughts and Summary:
April 1895 Hong Kong

Miss Sharpe is called upon by the Ministry to help in the city of her childhood to help Agent Fredrick with a case centered around immortality.

The beginning is interesting. Mention of a dagger, painting, and blood as the paint it seems. I really like the poetry of this beginning.

Miss Sharpe is an interesting character. She kills people for a living. People who become... inconvienient. Her thinking and personality fit the character to a T. Her history is rather unique in the way her father raised her. We get to see moments of her past as well. In the beginning she is a straight arrow of thought. In the end she is a bit scattered in her memories and thinking, but there is a reason for it. And you will understand, from the story, what it is.

The venture into the mountain that houses the fruits of immortality is neat. I felt like there was a cross of Alice following the white rabbit and an Indiana Jones moment in the mountain.

Immortality and time cross...

This author has a different feel to his writing, and I like the different approach.




Would you like to listen to these? For a taste of the characters or in addition to the book... Visit The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

You can find these for your Reading pleasure in any eFormat you would like at Smashwords.

You can find the Archives: Amazon Kindle ~ Tales from the Archives Scroll through the list for them all, and the ones you still need.

There are short stories always added to the listing. So keep checking back!



I listened to this short story for my own enjoyment.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Post #81

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wow. It's been a week already? I usually am rather happy when the weekend is here, and don't get me wrong I was this week, but this week seemed to go so fast. Where does it go? Well, again lots of on the go for dog appointments, to check in on my father, kiddo's track meets, my own appointments, and heavens only know what else I had going on this past week. It's something else when I don't even remember what all I had going on.

Saturday, though, was spent at a local convention. The Steel City Con. It's not a big convention, but big enough to spend a few hours there. I didn't buy anything. I looked at a lot of items and pondered over buying a necklace pocket clock. But I had a vision in mind and couldn't quite find that one. So I'll keep looking. I did, however, see the General Lee!
Yes, I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan when I was growing up. They had both men who played Bo and Luke Duke on the show there. No, I didn't get to meet them, but the lines weren't as bad as I'd thought and could have, but I didn't have the money to pay for autographs. And I must say, from across the room, John Schneider still looks damn good. (he was my crush with that blond hair)

Also, Noah Wyle was there! I love watching him in the Librarian movies and the new tv series when he's on. I wish I had known of Falling Skies when it came out as I'd have watched that too. But looks like it's last season is coming on in June and I can't watch the previous seasons anywhere.

But it was a nice con to walk around and ogle over toys, comics, and art.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... Erm... well, life happens? I did some walking at the con, but nothing serious enough to consider exercise. Oh well, here's to next week.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
I'm working on some 'work' books


Current Podcast Book Listen:
7th Son: Destruction by J.C. Hutchins
The Horde by Patrick Scaffido


Finished Last Week: 
nothing

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
7th Son: Deceit by J.C. Hutchins
Fury by Krista D. Ball

~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)

Click the link to learn more about the books and their series:


Posts:
Character Spotlight: Sophia del Morte by Philippa Ballantine


Around the Internet...


Reviews:



Podcast Review:



Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:



~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:

Erm...I have to schedule all that yet. I might one day get back ahead of the game...
~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:


Review & Review Consideration:



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:



Won:




Free Ebooks:

(On my Kindle App)
Of Fire and Ash by Amber Argyle
Goodreads Synopsis:
One promise can change everything.

The fairies must never know of Nelay’s sight, for the attention of such dark and terrible creatures brings more things dark and terrible.

But when Nelay's father is near death, the fairies are the only ones who can save him. All they require is a simple promise that she'll return the favor one day.

Sometimes promises are deadly.

Tag by Shari J. Ryan
Goodreads Synopsis:
What if your family had a big secret . . . a life changing secret. My dad, the bigwig CIA agent, was always on the run, whether he was being chased or doing the chasing. I missed him. Then my mom passed away, and my sister was murdered. I turned my solitude to strength because the alternative was too bleak.

But my luck seemed to turn: I met Tango. And while I want him more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my twenty-two years, danger lurks around every corner and I simply can’t take the chance of it finding me. But his tattoos, his smell, his darkness, and his body— that marine has taken over my every thought. But, what if he too isn’t what I think? A ticking time bomb isn’t going to leave me much time to waver. Even the bravest person can be in need of a miracle.

Before she was gone, my mom warned me to know everyone and trust no one. But what was I supposed to do when I found out I am the one not to be trusted? Turns out, I was always the bait in this conspiracy.

In author Shari J. Ryan’s gripping novel, TAG, the canyons hold secrets, the waterfalls provide safety, and romance has a pesky way of showing up when you are sweaty and dirty and least expect it.

Silver Bullet by SM Reine
Goodreads Synopsis:
USA TODAY Best-Selling Author SM Reine presents a new series for fans of The Dresden Files and The Iron Druid Chronicles...

Former private investigator Cèsar Hawke has one rule: He doesn't deal with dead bodies. That's why he enlisted with the Magical Violations Department in the Office of Preternatural Affairs. He's happy tracking down witches that commit petty crimes, but he leaves the homicides to other agents.

Except that he's been assigned to a new team--a team that handles special investigations--and the job has suddenly changed. Now Cèsar has to deal with dead bodies. He also has to deal with necromancers, murderous cults, and demons that can stop a man's heart with fear.

This isn't the job he signed up for, but it's the job he needs to do.

If he survives the first week.

Hotter than Helltown by SM Reine
Goodreads Synopsis:
A killer is mutilating bodies in Los Angeles. Agent Cèsar Hawke is on the case, but the murderer is ahead of him--way ahead of him.

Wiping the memories of the dead so that the team's necrocognitive can't talk to them? Done. Preventing magical reconstruction of the crime scenes? Oh yeah. And the murders keep getting more brutal while Cèsar struggles to catch up.

The best way to heat up a cold case is to go to Helltown, where Los Angeles's most powerful evil hides out, but even those demons are afraid of the murderer. Their fear adds one more question to the growing pile of unknowns:

What kind of bad guy is too hot for Helltown?

New Moon Summer by SM Reine
Goodreads Synopsis:
Rylie is Alpha: the leader of the werewolves. They're an endangered species living in a sanctuary, and she's guarded them for two peaceful years.

The peace is shattered when somebody sends Rylie a threatening silver bullet. A new member of the pack goes missing. And to make things worse, her inner beast is strangely attracted to her boyfriend's brother, leaving her torn between the love of two men--one of them a werewolf, and the other a former hunter.

Here Be Monsters (anthology)
Goodreads Synopsis:
Eight tales of vampires, werewolves, demons, zombies, and other horrors: 

M.T. Murphy - Blackmail. 
S.M. Reine - Something Wrong. 
India Drummond - The Reaver. 
Anabel Portillo - Lux. 
Jeremy C. Shipp - Figs. 
Samantha Anderson - Deals and Demons. 
Sara Reinke - Periphery People. 
M.T. Murphy - Spider Bag. 

The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton
Goodreads Synopsis:
Once upon a time, my life was certain: it was insignificant, and it was cruel. But I refused to let it define me, no matter how great the cost. 

Once upon a time, I made a wish. The world I knew grew wider than the sky and higher than the stars, and I listened to the voice within me, reaching out for freedom. 

Once upon a time, my wish became my fate, and my destiny the hardest lesson to learn: kindness may be the most difficult path, but it can save entire kingdoms.

(On my Nook)



Free Audio Books/Stories:
7th Son: Destruction by J.C. Hutchins
Goodreads Synopsis:
As day four in the 7th Son adventure begins, John Alpha's quest for anarchy and genocide enters its final stage.

At every turn, the global terrorist has been triumphant. The world is reeling from a nuclear attack. An unprecedented energy crisis is upon us. Alpha himself has exclusive access to the White House, and secret weapons primed to propel his conspiracy into the endgame. The goal: planetary chaos.

Amidst this turmoil, the 7th Son's four surviving Beta Clones -- John, Father Thomas, Kilroy2.0 and Jack -- must defy their creators and hunt Alpha on their terms. Their mission: to stop the greatest assassination plot in history. The secrets John and his brothers discover will press them toward a final battle with their progenitor ... a battle in which the clones are outgunned, outnumbered and out of time.

Alliances will be made. Heroes will die. The end is nigh.

Destruction is the final novel in the J.C. Hutchins' 7th Son thriller trilogy.

7th Son: 7 Days by J.C. Hutchins
Goodreads Synopsis:
7th Son: 7 Days is a free audio prequel anthology to J.C.’s thriller novel, 7th Son: Descent. Set two weeks before Descent’s extraordinary events, the series reveals the lives of seven seemingly unrelated men, and their everyday challenges.

In the world of 7th Son, “everyday” challenges are far from ordinary. Each of these seven stories stars a unique John Michael Smith. Witness criminal profiler Dr. Mike’s quest to hunt an unstoppable serial killer. Watch blue-collar musician John realize a lifelong dream. Ride shotgun with USMC captain Michael on a dangerous black ops mission in the Middle East. Behold the worldwide influence of deranged computer hacker Kilroy2.0 … and more.

7th Son: 7 Days represents the creative reboot of the popular 7th Son thriller series. Designed to tightly integrate with 7th Son: Descent’s print novel storyline, 7 Days is a perfect introduction to the 7th Son universe. Meet the Beta clones … before they knew they were clones.

~~~~~~~~~~
Reviews to Come:

The Secret World Chronicle: World Well Lost by Mercees Lackey,Steve Libby, Cody Martin, & Dennis Lee
Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Master of Myth by Starla Huchton
Danube Waves by Katharina Bordet
Rhune by Michael J. Sullivan
Heartstealer by K.T. Bryski
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Tales From the Archives: Blessings of Baalshemin
Tales From the Archives: Bitter Pill
Tales From the Archives: What the turtle saw.
Tales From the Archives: Clockwork Portal When Timelines Go Awry
Tales From the Archives: Foothold
Tales From the Archives: 2014 Christmas Special 
Space Casey: Season 2 by Christiana Ellis
House of Grey 4 by Collin Earl
7th Son: Deceit by J.C. Hutchins
Fury by Krista D. Ball

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Character Spotlight: Sophia del Morte

I am honored to have a Character Spotlight from the amazing author Philippa Ballantine, celebrating the release of The Diamond Conspiracy. I've shared my thoughts on the book last week, so if you haven't read my review I do hope you stop by to check it out. The character Pip talks about to day is one I have enjoyed reading more and more of this character as the series has grown with each book. So, without further ado, please welcome Pip Ballantine to the blog to share a special (and dangerous) character with you.


Spotlight on Sophia del Morte from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

Sophia is a character, much like Puck in my book Chasing the Bard. Both of them were only meant to be side characters, small parts in the main story. However both of them soon developed into larger, and more vibrant characters.

Yes, they sort of took over.

Rather than be bothered by that, both Tee Morris and I have embraced Sophia. She is a character, that goes anywhere, does anything, and is totally unapologetic about it.

Sophia is our Italian assassin, who was originally a nice foil for Eliza. In fact both of them could be sisters. Sophia is a dark haired beauty, who travels the world on nefarious business. Her particular skillset of seduction and lethality has gotten her far in the world. Despite all this she does have her own set of morals, and will never kill children.

Yet, even among her family of trained killers, she is very skilled. However, as the series of books have progressed, there have been changes in Sophia. She finds herself working with people with different ethics, and she is also seeing the way the evil people around her operate.

There are big changes around the corner for our assassin, and ones we hope to explore in further books, once we are done with the story of Wellington and Eliza.

Here's just a little sampling of Sophia from the Diamond Conspiracy.

Sophia took her breath, still keeping her blade in reach as the other hand checked the time. She was two minutes early. The weapon should have given her a comfort of some kind, but instinct dismissed any as a false reassurance. That plunged her insides into a hard chill, a sensation she was not familiar with.

Blackfriars Bridge loomed before her out of the fog, its gilding gleaming only slightly. She stood there and took in a long, deep breath, tasting the bitterness of the Thames in her mouth. Her fears, she ascertained as minute waves lapped against the viaduct’s foundation, were unfounded but merely tested her nerves. She was once a woman to be feared, not the one cowering as would a hound beaten to heel. Once far and away from the Maestro, Sophia would discover that woman again. This alliance would serve her in so many ways; and as she had done before, once her commitments were met, Sophia would return home. Perhaps reaching beyond the borders of her beloved Italy had been too ambitious of a notion. Some time in familiar villas would be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Another shadow emerged from the pitch black underneath Blackfriars. His face was concealed by the shadow of his bowler’s brim, but there was just enough touches of silver—a lapel pin, the head of his walking stick, and the cravat just visible between the lapels of his long, black coat—that Sophia recognised straight away as her saviour’s signature fashion. Straightening to her full height, she widened her stride and devoured the distance between them.

“Buonasera, Sigñora,” he spoke, his voice like velvet against such hard, terrible surroundings.

Upon emerging into the dim light from lamps of the streets overhead, Sophia felt the air around her chill ever so slightly. She recalled the last time she felt this way was upon seeing the Maestro in his dishevelled, manic state, his mind warring between the real, the engineered, and the perceived. She still did not care for that memory as she had thought she knew all forms of fear, but the Maestro—as she had come to learn under his service—had far more to teach her of the darker corners of the human psyche.

She received the same feeling from this man. Her instincts were all in the most heightened of states, but he appeared quite normal in every outward respect. He appeared well groomed, a fine carriage, and confident. Boundless confidence in his demeanour, a quality that usually Sophia found appealing in certain respects.

Not on this one.

“Sigñora, it has been too long.”

~~~~~~~~~~
If you have enjoyed reading Sophia del Morte and would like more, you could check out the Christmas Special short story (novella) that Pip and Tee have written for a Christmas with Sophia.
   You can listen at Tales from the Archives
   or You can pick up the novella to read at Amazon: A Christmas to Die For


The Diamond Conspiracy
By: Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
For years, the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has enjoyed the favor of Her Majesty the Queen. But even the oldest loyalties can turn in a moment…

Having narrowly escaped the electrifying machinations of Thomas Edison, Books and Braun are looking forward to a relaxing and possibly romantic voyage home. But when Braun’s emergency signal goes off, all thoughts of recreation vanish. Braun’s street-wise team of child informants, the Ministry Seven, is in grave peril, and Books and Braun must return to England immediately.

But when the intrepid agents finally arrive in London, the situation is even more dire than they imagined. The Ministry has been disavowed, and the Department of Imperial Inconveniences has been called in to decommission its agents in a most deadly fashion. The plan reeks of the Maestro’s dastardly scheming. Only, this time, he has a dangerous new ally—a duplicitous doctor whose pernicious poisons have infected the highest levels of society, reaching even the Queen herself...


Pick up the latest Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel:
The Diamond Conspiracy


If you need the previous two novels: