Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Post #166

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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*Yawn* Sorry. I stayed up waaaay to late last night. All is good, just chatting with friends.

So. What's been up... Hmm. I always struggle to remember what I've done as it all runs together. I'm working on a scrapbook for my kiddo for graduation. I also got some blog visiting in this week. I know only a few days, which is a small amount for me but at least it's days to say hi and see what you all are sharing. I enjoy visiting. :) Other than that, I'm living life.

I do have two books in the reading stack. I started a second one this week because when I'm on the elliptical or treadmill it's easier to read from my ebook than from a print book. Do any of you find this as well? So I don't get far in this book, even though the story grabbed me from the go. I'm hoping to put full time read to it after this week (with hopes of finishing the print book).
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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... Lifting and elliptical on Tuesday, cut grass for over an hour on Wednesday, and walked for half hour at lunch and got to the gym to do weights and elliptical on Thursday.

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What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells
Slipspace: Harbinger by P.C. Haring
Content Editing Work

Current Audiobook:
I'll start a new one Monday at work.

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Stonebriar Casefiles: Bad Alchemy by Laura Nicole Spencer (You can listen for free too!)


Finished Last Week: 
Nothing yet.

Audiobooks from Audible:
Magic Undying by Linsey Hall
Ghosts of Empire by Terry Mixon



Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing yet.


DNFed:

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Last Week on the Blog:


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



Posts:
Mythical Monday - A Mantichor in Valdur

Spellbound in a Flash:
Nothing new last week. I have pictures to touch up and share, but time has not been sharing lately.

Challenged Writers:
March Update on writer-ly items, with a picture of book working on.


Around the Internet...


Reviews:
The Perils of Prague by Doc Coleman

"Doc Coleman has set a high bar in this book and I look forward to seeing what he does in the next city as we carry on with Crackle and Bang."

Command Decisions by Terry Mixon

"Oh Terry has done an amazing job of creating a system with the Empire I find believable. And the history to go with it! I love the chain of command we see in the space fleet. We get to see that a bit more here. I get the feel we are constantly moving forward with the characters, never going backward - except for that darn new Captain getting in our way, even then things move forward. There is always something to explore and learn about here. And Kelsey is written in a way that she wants to hear all opposing thoughts, which opens up the story even more. Wonderfully written!"



Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:
STILL TIME TO ENTER: (ends today!)
Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza - 5 winners. You pick 1 of 2 audiobooks offered.

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This Week to Come on the Blog:


I have two reviews finished and scheduled.

Mythical Monday posts are now on hiatus until next year.


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Received Last Weeks:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:




Audio Books Requested for Review:




Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:
Shadowbound by Bec McMaster
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
When a powerful relic goes missing from a secret society that dabbles in the occult, Miss Ianthe Martin is charged with finding it at all costs. She needs help, but all clues point to someone on the inside being the thief. The only sorcerer she knows that can't possibly be involved, is the very man she saw locked in Bedlam a year ago... 

The mad, bad, dangerous Earl of Rathbourne. 

When the seductive Miss Martin appears in his Bedlam cell, Rathbourne fears he's finally lost his mind. The devilish sorceress played a hand in his incarceration, and now she comes asking for help? Perhaps she should begin by begging for mercy... 

But Ianthe's offer of freedom is one he can't refuse, although he has a clause of his own to add. She may bind him with her power–the only way to still the demons haunting him–but for every day spent under her command, the nights will be his... to wreak delicious revenge on her willing flesh.

Audio:




Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Mistress of Masks by C. Greenwood
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
An ancient evil has awakened in Earth Realm. The dead are rising, the oracles haven fallen silent, and foul creatures are devastating the baselands. When the dark sorcerer, Rathnakar, escapes his tomb, the First Mother chooses three champions to become the saviors of their time. 

The hopeful adherent, Eydis, wants nothing more than to lead a life of solitary devotion within the sheltered walls of a seclusionary. But when her pilgrimage to a sacred grove ends in a vision of the end of the world, she realizes the Mother requires a more dangerous service from her. Seeking the catalysts prophecy says can overcome chaos, she aligns herself with a notorious traitor, Orrick of Kroad, and Geveral, a dryad mage who has yet to tame his powers. Together, can the three unlikely heroes thwart Rathnakar and the wave of darkness threatening to devour their world?

Magic of Thieves by C. Greenwood
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
In a province where magic is forbidden and its possessors are murdered by the cruel Praetor, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival. Concealment. In the shadow of Dimmingwood, she finds temporary protection with a band of forest brigands led by the infamous outlaw Rideon the Red Hand.

But as Ilan matures, learns the skills of survival, and struggles to master the inherent magic of her dying race, danger is always close behind. When old enemies reappear and new friendships lead to betrayal, will her discovery of an enchanted bow prove to be Ilan’s final salvation or her ultimate downfall?

Spell Disaster by Leighann Dobbs & Traci Douglass
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
When elderly witch Enid Pettywood unwittingly summons a demon to Silver Hollow, it’s up to Issy Quinn and her cousins to send it back before the committee finds out. Summoning a demon is a serious offense and no one wants to see Enid suffer the punishment the committee is sure to hand down. 

But a simple plan of vanquishing the pesky demon before anyone notices goes awry when the demon makes the leap from wreaking havoc with the town’s electrical circuits to possessing a human. Even worse, it uses that human to commit murder. When another murder attempt is made, it quickly becomes clear that the demon is looking for a permanent human host… and the Quinn witches have only three days to stop it. 

With the town Sheriff investigating the murder, Issy has to avoid casting suspicion on herself while trying to track down the demon and dodge Dex Nolan, the government agent sent to town to study paranormals. Too bad Issy can’t seem to forget the stolen kiss she and Dex shared because she has no intention of getting involved with a human. 

When the demon’s evil intentions hit too close to home, Issy is forced to make a sacrifice that may haunt her for the rest of her days. Will she be able to stop the demon before it kills again? 

Beauty Conquers the Beast by Jenny Schwartz
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lady Nora and Prince Alexander were never friends, and she can’t think of anyone more deserving of the curse that made him the Beast of the Sighaway Forest. But when six princesses from neighboring kingdoms fail to break the curse, it’s more than just the big and brutish Alexander who is suffering. 

For her country, and out of an overdeveloped sense of duty, Nora will enter the beast’s castle. She’ll fight mysterious magic and confront the secrets of her heart, but the elusive beast remains untamable. 

The shocking solution to breaking the curse will change Nora’s life forever. 

Julia Blake Cozy Mystery Collection
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Synopsis:
A collection of 7 cozy mysteries with cleaning lady/amateur sleuth, Julia Blake. 

A Secret Killer
In this story, Julia visits one of her clients, a genealogist called Hugo Barnes. Hugo has uncovered a family secret during the course of his work. He tells Julia that the client won’t be happy about the secret he’s discovered.
Julia finds Hugo’s dead body the next day. She makes her own investigations into Hugo’s death and soon discovers that his assistant, Dinah, and his brother, Gilbert have strong motives for killing him.

Death Takes A Trip
When one of Julia’s elderly clients, Douglas Pedley, is found dead at the bottom of his stairs, it is soon obvious that he was murdered.
Julia first suspects the building contractors who have been hounding Douglas to sell his land and property. It’s not long before another suspect appears.
Julia is determined to find out who murdered the old man.

A Fair Murder
In this story, Julia helps out at the school fair for a local school. The new head teacher, Deborah Paignton has made herself unpopular by implementing changes to the school and continually upsetting members of staff.
Julia discovers the murdered body of Deborah Paignton after the fair has finished. She knows immediately there is more than one person who would have liked to see the end of Deborah.

Death Shows Up
Julia provides moral support for her friend, Louisa, as they go to a slimming club meeting. They are shocked to discover that the slimming club venue has been taken over by the local amateur dramatics group. 
The am-dram group are performing a play written by the enigmatic Brandon Briggs. Julia soon suspects that Louisa and Brandon have a secret past. At the next meeting, Julia finds Brandon’s murdered body hidden in a costume room.

Murder Makes A Claim
Julia agrees to cover some cleaning work for a friend. The cleaning work takes her and her colleague, Cain, to the offices of Inkwell’s Insurance in Leeds.
It isn’t long before Julia and Cain discover the dead body of Karl Rayburn, the manager at Inkwell’s Insurance. They find out that everyone has a secret when it comes to their relationship with Karl. Julia is reluctant to get herself involved. But she soon realises she has no option but to make her own enquiries to find out who the killer is.

Knitting And Murder
Julia’s colleague, Cain, asks for her help in a love matter. He’s met a young woman called Kayla at his knitting class. He likes Kayla and wants to know if she feels the same way. He can’t tell how Kayla feels about him and asks Julia to come along to the knitting class to meet her. 
Everything goes well until a member of the knitting class is found murdered the next morning. It’s not long before Julia discovers Kayla is a murder suspect. She can’t tell Cain this. She has no option but to make discreet investigations into the murder case.

Murder At The Spa
In this story, Julia goes on a spa break with her mum. They look forward to relaxing and being pampered. Julia is particularly excited to experience the new chocolate therapy sessions, and her therapist, Erin, assures her it will be a wonderful experience.
It is not a wonderful experience as Julia soon discovers a body in the chocolate floatation tank. She is happy to leave the investigation to the police, but her new friend has other ideas.

Stranded with the Cyborg by Cara Bristol
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
The daughter of the Terran president, Penelope Aaron resented the restrictions imposed upon her, but that was no reason to take it out on the man assigned to protect her. She regrets how she got Agent Brock Mann booted from the security force. But now that she’s an interplanetary ambassador about to embark on her first diplomatic mission, she still doesn’t want him tagging along. Especially since he seems to be stronger, faster, more muscled, and sexier than she remembers. And pretending to be her husband? This mission couldn’t get more impossible!

Ten years ago Penelope Isabella Aaron had been a pain in Brock Mann’s you-know-what. Much has changed in a decade: “PIA” as he code-named her, has grown up and is about to attend her first Alliance of Planets summit conference, and Brock was transformed into a cyborg after a near-fatal attack. Now a secret agent with Cyber Operations, a covert paramilitary organization, Brock gets called in, not when the going gets tough, but when the going gets impossible. So when he’s unexpectedly assigned to escort Penelope to the summit meeting, he balks at babysitting a prissy ambassador. But after a terrorist bombing, a crash landing on a hostile planet, and a growing attraction to his protectee, Operation: PIA may become his most impossible assignment yet.

Rogue, Prisoner, Princess by Morgan Rice
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
17 year old Ceres, a beautiful, poor girl from the Empire city of Delos, finds herself forced, by royal decree, to fight in the Stade, the brutal arena where warriors from all corners of the world come to kill each other. Pitted against ferocious opponents, her chances of survival are slim. Her only chance lies in drawing on her innermost powers, and making the transition, once and for all, from slave to warrior. 

18 year old Prince Thanos wakes on the isle of Haylon to discover he has been stabbed in the back by his own people, left for dead on the blood-soaked beach. Captured by the rebels, he must crawl his way back to life, find who tried to assassinate him, and seek his revenge. 

Ceres and Thanos, a world apart, have not lost their love for each other; yet the Empire court teems with lies, betrayal and duplicity, and as jealous royals weave intricate lies, they each, in a tragic misunderstanding, are led to believe the other is dead. The choices they make will determine each other’s fate. 

Will Ceres survive the Stade and become the warrior she was meant to be? Will Thanos heal and discover the secret being withheld from him? Will the two of them, forced apart, find each other again? 

ROGUE, PRISONER, PRINCESS tells an epic tale of tragic love, vengeance, betrayal, ambition, and destiny. Filled with unforgettable characters and heart-pounding action, it transports us into a world we will never forget, and makes us fall in love with fantasy all over again. 

Silver Linings by Tee Morris & Pip Ballantine
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Wellington Books and Eliza D. Braun arrive in Cairo, Egypt, sent from Ministry headquarters on an archival audit. What Wellington hopes will be a stay in the cradle of civilization and a break from the bitter winter of England instead looks to be a brief visit on account of Eliza’s poor attitude and the disdain of the area field director, Marcus Donahue. 
The plans for an uneventful collection of case documents and artefacts are soon shattered by a massacre that that can only be described by the visiting archivists as peculiar. 
Tales from the Archives are short stories set in the world of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. They explore events mentioned in the novels, characters seen and unseen and may include novel teasers of things to come.


Free Audio Books/Stories:


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Reviews to Come:

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
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Gilded Cage by Sherry D. Ficklin
Fire Water by Jaye Wells
Agent G: Infiltrator by C.T. Phipps
Magic Undying by Linsey Hall
Ghosts of Empire by Terry Mixon

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Audio Book Review: Command Decisions

Command Decisions

By:  Terry Mixon

Publish Date:  March 16, 2015, Audiobook Release June 29, 2016

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 37 mins
Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  3rd in The Empire of Bones series; 1st Book ~ Empire of Bones, 2nd Book ~ Veil of Shadows

Impression:  We move on to learn of the Rebel Empire and AI!

Synopsis:
Between a rock and a hard place!

After winning a hard-fought victory, Commander Jared Mertz and Princess Kelsey discover another insidious foe blocking their way home. A remnant of the Old Empire still exists and seems allied with the savage, AI-dominated Pale Ones.

With the existence of the Terran Empire at stake, another enemy, this one from Jared’s past, threatens everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. Jared and Kelsey must fight for survival while the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

First Sentence:
"Behold. Imperial City, the capital of the Terran Empire."

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

Captain Jared Mertz and Princess Kelsey have been living in Pentagaran space since the fight with the Pale Ones that crippled their ship. They've been working to get Courageous up to speed along with helping Pentagar build their fleet of ships to fight the Rebels when they return to Erorsi. Surprisingly, six ships from the Empire come through the weak flip point that has stranded Jared and his crew here. And the captain is one who's not a fan of Jared's and difficult to work with. Jared and Kelsey have their work cut out for them on all sides of the line as battles come faster then they hoped.


Veronica has returned for the next Empire of Bones novel, yea! She voices each person as their own. The characters have their own voice tone and personality. By doing this Veronica makes listening entertaining and easy to differentiate the large cast of characters. Thank you! The audio is clear and easy to listen to.


I love the character interactions here! The ones we love are here and interacting better than we ever hoped. Relationships of all kind are growing stronger. I absolutely love Jared and Kelsey. Then their's Elise and Talbot and all others that surround them. All are amazing people and lived through so much already. Kelsey gets to demonstrate her power as second in line to the throne (of the Empire) and it's awesome! Add to it the strength she holds from the implants. Dang that woman is a force to reckon with.

Kelsey. Wow. She's such a strong female character. She's everything wrapped into one little package. She's small, but she is mighty! She has the power to verbally put people into place and quick thinking to get around things. But with her implants, she's also a physically strong woman. Everyone tries to protect her with being the princess, but she can protect herself just the same. Jared faced the frustrating prejudice he has always faced in the Empire as the Kings illegitimate son. I feel he does this with the honor he feels he should, and accepts it. However another doesn't see it that way and feels Jared is worth more credit (tons more!) than he's given. There is a direction taken in the story for this very reason, and it's well deserved.

Then we have new members added. Oh, the new captain we see... Captain Breckenridge. Grrr. I hate him when we meet him. And continue to not care for him as the story goes. Though, he is written to be that way.  He's a stubborn old man that won't listen but thinks he knows all. Grrr. He adds a new challenge to the story. I found I was not looking forward to seeing him in scenes because he was just trouble, but I love Kelsey as she stands up to him.

The ships from home that are now stuck in space with them adds a new difficulty in Kelsey and Jared's lives. They are already working to prepare for fights that are coming. And there are more to worry about getting home or what they are going to do next.

The AI and computer connections are starting to unfold for Kelsey and Jared. Wow. The things that we learn here. I'm stunned. And the potential of what's yet to come by learning this... Oh this is so good. Then there's what we learn of the Rebel Empire forces that were to come in contact with the AI on Erorsi (which was found)... The connections are becoming open to us with Kelsey, Jared, and Elise and so many more.

Oh Terry has done an amazing job of creating a system with the Empire I find believable. And the history to go with it! I love the chain of command we see in the space fleet. We get to see that a bit more here. I get the feel we are constantly moving forward with the characters, never going backward - except for that darn new Captain getting in our way, even then things move forward. There is always something to explore and learn about here. And Kelsey is written in a way that she wants to hear all opposing thoughts, which opens up the story even more. Wonderfully written!

Oh man! I know there's more to this history of the Rebel Empire and AI's. And I want to know it! What was the intent of the ship Invincible that they found? There are connections to the planet. Dang! I want more! This book ends with the big battle in space, but leaves me wanting more with the curiosity of what will happen on the planet they found. Thank heavens I have the next audio book!



**If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cover Reveal: Shadow of the Rose



Oh these books. Wow. If you haven't read them yet, do take time to check them out. K.L. Bone is such a talented writer. She will suck you into the lives of the characters and not let you go.


Shadow of the Rose
The Black Rose Guard #4
By:  K.L. Bone
Due Out: Summer 2017
Description:
If you stay with the Lorcan Guard, you will honor your original vow, it is true. But you shall remain forever a shadow of the rose…
For as long as she could remember, Sarah had wanted to be a knight. One fated evening, a man with dark eyes appeared at her mother’s modest inn, and told her a story of love, loss, loyalty, honor, and a life of which Sarah had only dreamed.
Devastated when the man is condemned to the dungeons by her own father, Sarah was told she would never see him again. She safeguarded his story, and secrets, resigned to them forever being the treasures of her imagination. More than twenty years later, he reappears, offering Sarah an opportunity beyond her wildest dreams.
A half-mortal, illegitimate child of a lesser court, Sarah’s struggle only begins with leaving all she has known. Her hope for a better future, amid the prejudice of those who look down upon her tainted blood, is maintained by a blossoming love, and being personally trained by the court’s captains.
An unexpected turn of events gives Sarah an opportunity to change her fate—a position of leadership in the Black Rose Guard. But to accept will mean abandoning both the man she has come to love, and her vow to Captain Edward.
Loyalty and desire clash in one woman’s quest to find her place in the immortal guard.


I love Sarah. She's different in where she comes from and who her mother and father are. She's not royal and not 100% immortal blood. She's a wonderful character to see from the outside in with what she's lived through and how she feels about things that have happened.

Want to start at book 1 with Mara and Edward? you can pick all three of the previous books. Might as well get caught up while you wait for this one to come out. It'll be out in a few short months.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Review: The Perils of Prague

The Perils of Prague

By:  Doc Coleman

Publish Date:  April 25, 2017

Format:  ebook

Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk

Series:  1st in The Adventures of Crackle and Bang series

First Impression:  Classy adventure with danger.

Synopsis:
It is the reign of Her Eternal Majesty, Empress Victoria the first. Steam power is still ascendant and the digital age never arrived. While the people feel safe in their homes under Victoria’s Peace, ambitious men and woman plot to gain power without incurring the wrath of the Eternal Queen and her lightning powered armies. Onto this stage comes Professor Harmonious Crackle and his colleague Miss Titania Bang. Exiled for a crime he did not commit, Professor Crackle tries to prove his loyalty to the crown by seeking out those who threaten the empire.

A night at the Opera of Prague leads a young English Lord to a chance meeting with an eccentric professor and his lovely young companion. But before the evening’s entertainment is over, a hidden assassin strikes at a visiting member of the royal court, destroying the opera house and putting our trio on the track of a mad scientist bent on toppling the Imperial Court from power. Can they find him and stop him before he makes another attempt? Or will they have front row seats for the first salvo in a war for control of the empire? In either case, can they survive the Perils of Prague?

First Sentence:
"Faster! Faster, man! Macht schnell! Rychleji!" I screamed at the driver as we careened around a corner, the carriage momentarily tipping up on two wheels as we narrowly avoided colliding with a wagon going the other way.

Purchase At:
Amazon

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I read this book for my own enjoyment and in exchange for an honest review.

Our dashing lord is visiting with his uncle in Prague at his parents direction before traveling on to his next relative in another country now that he's graduated. However, things blow up. Well, the Opera House blows up after he meets a strange man and gorgeous woman in his Uncle's booth. And things get more complicated after that.


We have a few main characters. There is our main character and POV we live through, the Lord. See, I can't tell you his name as it's not one that people expect to hear. And... many are offended by it. It was a way for his great-great grandfather to shake up the social politeness of society and a string of profanity. Then we have Professor Crackle who seems a bit absentminded from time to time. However, there is something very special about him. We get hints and my curiosity is kept guessing about him. We do learn, in the end, what is so special about the professor. You'll like it. Lastly we have the lovely Miss Bang. She is a colleague of Professor Crackle's and handy in her own right and mind. This is a pair that are brilliant together and the Lord gets to see and participate with them in this adventure.

Can I tell you I love these names? I love that they are different and seem to fit the characters personalities. They roll off my tongue easily too.

Doc Coleman takes us on adventures on land, above land, and below ground. All cool in their own rights. I can't imagine where the characters could go in future books, in other cities, with all they lived through in this one! Wow, I didn't think we'd go through all that! lol.

There are many cool elements brought together here. I love when steampunk is used in the book and not just a surrounding in the setting. Steampunk is used here and something I enjoy. The adventures and actions that happen are well done in moments we need them, keeping the story higher paced. The moments where we learn details is done in a way that kept me interested as I didn't know what was going to be shared. It was all arranged to keep me interested and turning pages.

There are many additional attracting elements here as well. The crew of people we see, very neat! Another member of Crackle's crew, which we don't see as often here, is a very special woman. You have to meet her. The idea of immoral is very interesting. The Queen is the one and only. But is she really? This is interesting as it's explained and could become a bigger problem for others when you learn what you do.

Doc Coleman has set a high bar in this book and I look forward to seeing what he does in the next city as we carry on with Crackle and Bang.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cover Reveal: Hauntings


I'm SOOOOO excited to share this cover reveal with you! Not only do I think it's a cool cover, but I loooove these authors and look forward to the two stories I'll find inside!

Eeep!


Hauntings: Two Tales of the Paranormal
Authors: Dina James and Skyla Dawn Cameron
Release Date: June 27, 2017
eBook ISBN: 978-1-927966-25-9
Print ISBN: 978-1-927966-24-2

Summary:

A drafty old house, or the steps of a creature lurking in the dark?

A trick of the light, or is the shadow in the corner of your eye something more?

A natural wind, or was that a whisper in your ear?

Read two tales of haunted houses that are not what they seem from (evil) paranormal authors Dina James and Skyla Dawn Cameron.

In RITUAL, a novella in Dina James' Key to Hell series, Kyle Carillron knows every trick across the realms when it comes to dealing with the supernatural. Once a demon himself, the vampire has seen it all. When a divine assassin, half-angel Sebastian, comes to him with a scrap of paper discovered in a supposedly haunted house where some teenagers are playing Ouija, he can't help but roll his eyes. But the paper has an unfamiliar symbol on it, written in human blood. Very little on the planes mystifies Kyle, but upon investigating the premises, he discovers evidence of a ritual with far with deeper consequences than humans attempting to contact the souls of the departed.

ASHFORD'S GHOST follows part-time adventurer and full-time mom Olivia Talbot in a novella continuation of Skyla Dawn Cameron's Livi Talbot series. Four months ago, Livi successfully killed the afreet who abducted her family and tried to murder her. Then she took over his villa and made it her base of operations/home, as any respectable treasure hunter in need of better digs is wont to do. But this house is haunted, and she’s starting to think the ancient murderer she used the Seal of Solomon to destroy might not be entirely dead after all. Isolated in the house by a violent snowstorm, Livi is trapped with a dark force gathering strength by the hour, threatening not only the safety of her family but possibly her very sanity.


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Totally awesome. I know it. I just love both the worlds these authors have and sooooo looking forward to it!

Do you want it? Here are a few links:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2pYyAzK
Kobo: www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hauntings-23
iBookstore: itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1229512655

Mythical Monday #75 - A Mantichor in Valdur

Art work by: @Burntlaughter on Twitter

It seems there are many books influenced by or based on Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are many different Mythology's and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.



Mind the mantichora

There’s a small menagerie of mythological creatures in both my Valdur books: The Guns of Ivrea and the just-published Witch of Torinia. Although these are epic fantasy, I have tried to create what could be called “retro” epics, and retro in two senses. First, they have a feel of Sixties or Seventies fantasy in the way they are structured and in their characterizations. Second, they try to evoke a fantasy Renaissance world, a world that would have been understood by readers living in the 15th and 16th centuries. As such, I wanted to use several creatures that were known to people in the medieval and late-medieval eras through manuscripts such as bestiaries. Indeed, a few play critical roles in moving my plots along but one creature stands out above the others.

The mantichora was a fabled beast of ancient Persia, similar to the sphynx. A true chimera, it had the body of a lion and the head of a man albeit one equipped with a mouth from ear to ear and triple rows of sharp teeth. In a mythological sense, it was simply a terrifying maneater possessing no special powers nor capable of reason or speech. For providing a monster to terrify the protagonists it certainly fit the bill however I needed to give it purpose so it could play a more useful and integral part in the story. The key to enabling this was that the mantichora was part human. My mantichora has not just the power of speech, it also possesses great wisdom and knowledge despite being a rather amoral, distant, and fickle creature partial to eating people and anything else it can catch. I also gave it an exceedingly long lifespan measured in centuries. I gave it a sense of smell second to none as well as a sixth sense in that it can read the character and past misdeeds of those it encounters.

Indeed, my mantichora isn’t shy about revealing the true likeness of people. In one scene, set in the vastness of a deep forest, it strips bare the cover of one of the main characters, a turning point in the novel. In other scenes, in the best sense of the archetypal fairy tale, it strikes a bargain to spare the life of its victims, with far-reaching consequences. As writers, we can take mythological creatures and make them more than just literary furniture. By endowing them with intelligence, emotions, and motives, we can truly make them part of the story.

The Guns of Ivrea (2016) and The Witch of Torinia (2017) are published by Solaris Books and available through Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Amazon and other retailers.



Book synopsis for Guns of Ivrea:
Acquel Galenus, former thief and now monk of no particular skill, indifferent scribe and even worse chorister, uncovers a terrible secret under the Great Temple at Livorna that could shiver the one faith to its core. A secret that could get him killed. A secret that could enable an older, more sinister form of worship to be reborn...

Pirate princeling Nicolo Danamis, mercenary to the King and captain of the largest fleet in the island kingdom of Valdur, has made one deal too many, and enemies are now closing in to destroy him.
And Citala, fair-haired and grey-skinned, the daughter of the chieftain of the Merfolk who inhabit the waters of Valdur, finds herself implacably drawn to the affairs of men. She puts events in motion that will end her people's years of isolation but that could imperil their very existence...

All their fates will intertwine as they journey through duchies and free cities riven by political intrigue, religious fervour, and ancient hatreds. Alliances are being forged anew and after decades of wary peace, war is on the wind once again...

Synopsis for The Witch of Torinia:
Lady Lucinda della Rovera, the renegade canoness of St Dionei, secret sorceress of the “old gods”, has cleverly split the One Faith into bitter factions and with the help of a pliant Duke of Torinia, launches a war to overthrow the king of Valdur and bring back the old ways. Brother Acquel Galenus, now Magister of the High Temple of Livorna, knows he must stop her, but doubts his own faith and ability. With powerful demons seeking to reenter the world through Lucinda, he must find allies, but how?

Julianus Strykar, now a coronel of the mercenary company of the Black Rose, finds himself thrust into the maelstrom of civil war but false pride leads him into a battle he may not be able to win -- or survive.

Captain Nicolo Danamis may have regained his fleet and command but the return of his long-lost father and lord, Valerian, has complicated his love affair with mer princess Citala. When his former lover -- the queen of Valdur -- demands his help, he and a suspicious Citala find themselves at the centre of palace intrigue as they try to avert an “alliance” with the predatory Silk Empire that will turn Valdur into a puppet kingdom. And then he learns that the crown prince may be his bastard son.
Friendships, loves, and the future of Valdur all hang by a thread….


Author Bio:
Clifford Beal, an international journalist for 20 years, is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and was the editor-in-chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly in London before turning his attention to writing history, historical fiction and epic fantasy. Over the years he has been flung about in military aircraft, fought in full medieval armour, trained in 17th century rapier combat, fired flintlock pistols, messed about in boats, and ridden both horses and motorcycles. When not writing and imbibing endless mugs of tea he is reading and imbibing endless mugs of tea. He lives in Surrey, England, with a fiery redhead of a wife and a Boston Terrier named Buzz. You can follow his blog at cliffordbeal.com and on Twitter @clifford_beal


Purchase the Books:


Book Depository:
The Guns of Ivrea
The Witch of Torinia

Barnes & Nobles:
The Guns of Ivrea
The Witch of Torinia

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Post #165

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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Where did the week go!? I've been trying to get caught up and the days are just flying by. Check up appointment for kiddo and vet appointment for dog and cut grass and... Ugh, the week is gone! I'm sorry I didn't get to respond this week and visit your blogs. Things around here have to break one way or the other soon. It's crazy all that's been going on and how fast time escapes me these days.

Kiddo has decided his college! We went and paid the deposit a few weeks ago. And went to a spring football game yesterday. We'll be back up there in a month or so to learn all we need about loans and what we need to do next along with visit with professors and other students. This is a relief yet so much yet to do to get him done with high school and into college. It's going to be a busy next few months.

The dogs are still struggling. Wow. Let me say, I never knew German Shepard's were prone to have such severe allergies! This is insane the amount of problems, sicknesses, and pills these girls have been taking. I am to the point I can't afford it any more. Insane! We find a way to keep going to keep them in the best care we can though.

Reading wise, I've been slow on reading published novels with trying to get exercise in, personal events, and content editing work. It's going, just really slow. Thank the stars for audio books this year!
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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... It's been one of those weeks with appointments for kiddo and a dog. I did get a walk in at lunch on Monday, cut grass for over an hour on Wednesday, and walked for half hour at lunch on Thursday.

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What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
will pick up a new one later today.
Content Editing Work

Current Audiobook:
Magic Undying by Linsey Hall

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Stonebriar Casefiles: Bad Alchemy by Laura Nicole Spencer (You can listen for free too!)


Finished Last Week: 
Fire Water by Jaye Wells

Audiobooks from Audible:
Agent G: Infiltrator by C.T. Phipps



Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing yet.


DNFed:

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Last Week on the Blog:


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



Guest Posts:



Posts:
Mythical Monday - Tale as Old as Time

Spellbound in a Flash:
Nothing new last week. I have pictures to touch up and share, but time has not been sharing lately.

Challenged Writers:
March Update on writer-ly items, with a picture of book working on.


Around the Internet...


Reviews:
Buccaneer by David Wood

"I find I get anxious when listening to these stories. I want to sit and listen to it all on a fast speed so I can get the whole story right now! lol. I don't. I listen at regular speed to savior all that's said and the performance by Jeffrey."

A Human Element by Donna Galanti

"The story felt traditional in the genre it's written."



Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:
STILL TIME TO ENTER:
Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza - 5 winners. You pick 1 of 2 audiobooks offered.

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This Week to Come on the Blog:


I have a Mythical Monday scheduled, and I'll work to get two reviews finished and scheduled.


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Received Last Weeks:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:




Audio Books Requested for Review:




Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:
Fire Water by Jaye Wells
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Rookie cop Kate Prospero only has one more training assignment to pass before she's officially sworn in to Babylon Police Department. But the veteran cop in charge of the river patrol boat is a salty old guy isn't happy about playing tour guide to a rookie and seems even less interested in real police work. But while on patrol, they stumble on to what appears to be a floating dirty magic lab. This highly combustible situation might finally be the key to these two unlikely partners finding common ground.

Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone's emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon's impact is especially strong for Kate who's wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon.

After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets.


Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
After the grisly murder of a dirty magic coven leader, Kate Prospero and The Magical Enforcement Agency team up with the local police to find the killer. But as the infighting between covens turns ugly, an all-out war brews in the slums of Babylon.

When a tenacious reporter sticks her nose in both the investigation and Prospero's past in the covens, old ghosts resurface. The team will have to use all the weapons in their arsenal to stop the coven war and find the killer before the case brings down all their careers - and their lives.

Deadly Spells is the third novel in the Prospero's War series that started with Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon!


Audio:




Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Guardian Angel by Anna Santos
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
"What if the love of your life is your guardian angel?"
Sam is a fallen angel. His job is to protect Kyra until she gets her wings. The problem is, she doesn't know him outside the virtual world. To her, his name is Max and he’s her best friend online on whom she happens to have a huge crush.
When the time comes for Kyra to know the truth, they schedule a face-to-face meeting. But things get dangerous, and Sam needs to save her from invisible monsters.
More than ever, he needs to keep her safe until she turns into a Nephilim. That task turns close to impossible because of her inability to see the creatures. She’s terrified and believes Sam is a crazy kidnapper who is obsessed with her.
Can he protect her long enough for her to turn and embrace her new form?

Vampire's Retribution by Anna Santos
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ewan is any woman's dream lover. He's tall and sexy. He has eyes and lips to die for, not to mention his perfect ripped body. He also happens to be a vampire used to manipulate the opposite sex for his own personal interests and gains. 

Violet once believed that he loved her. She gave him her heart and soul, not to mention her life to spend an eternity with him. But he shattered her dreams when he planned her death to move on with another woman. 

At the present time, Violet is very much alive and she's now a deadly hunter and sorceress. She has waited for a long time to have her revenge and punish her former vampire master. She plans to trick the master of seduction and take that bad boy down. The problem is that she finds out that she's still attracted to him and that he might not be what she remembers. Ewan seems changed. Different. 

It doesn't help when her Sorcerer Master wants her for himself and she falls under the charm of his breathtaking blue eyes and dominant ways. 

Fighting against old feelings and trying to deal with the new ones, Violet finds herself being the object of desire of two powerful males and giving in to lust. 

All is fair in love and war, but can everything be forgiven?

Shadow Born by Jasmine Walt & Rebecca Hamilton
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Chicago Police Detective Brooke Chandler is keeping a secret… and if she’s not careful, it could get her killed. 

Brooke is no stranger to the supernatural. In Chicago, vampires are just as prevalent as drug lords, and infinitely more bloodthirsty. So when her partner and fiancĂ© dies in a mysterious fire while chasing down a lead in Salem, she suspects something dark and otherworldly is at play. 

Blessed with the ability to see into the past by touching inanimate objects, Brooke transfers to the Salem PD, hoping her talent will help her get to the bottom of things. Between dodging assassination attempts and being stonewalled at every turn, the going is tough. Add in a mysterious fae club owner with secrets of his own and a personal grudge against her, and it becomes nearly impossible. 

If Brooke wants to play in the supernatural sandbox, she’s going to have to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. But how many people will have to die for Brooke to discover the truth about her fiance? And is she even ready to know? 


Free Audio Books/Stories:


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Reviews to Come:

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
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
The Perils of Prague by Doc Coleman
Command Decisions by Terry Mixon
Gilded Cage by Sherry D. Ficklin