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Friday, May 26, 2017

FlockTalk: Trials of a Camping Book Reviewer

Recently my husband and I bought a travel trailer to act as a residence near our adult children (with our grandchildren) who normally live about 4 hours away from us. Now they are only 30 and 40 minutes away. We spent a couple years contemplating moving entirely but WOW what an undertaking to dispose of a house you have lived in for 30 plus years! So we decided to be campers!

Now, mind you, we we loved having 5 acres, horses, a multitude of animals, barns, bonfires, etc. but never, never did we take our kids camping with limited comforts. So we still think it's just fine to go from a 4000 sq. ft. home to a 340 sq. ft. travel trailer! After all, I am hooked on "Tiny Houses" on the FYI channel.

We found a campground that allowed us to leave our camper all year. "GREAT," we said. It even has free Wi-Fi and water. The price was fantastic. I'm thinking to myself..."Holy cow, I will be able to read so much more with all the time I save not having my house to keep up with." Silly me!

I find myself in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cows, cornfields, woods and a small lake. Pretty, for sure. But I also find that no one wants to put in reliable internet or phone service. Timed out applications, "no service" available notifications and even the Millersburg General Store has a big sign saying if we want to pay with debit or credit cards to have a seat because it may take a while to get through! Are there really still places like that around?! How am I to survive in the wild?!

Try cooking most of your meals on the grill and showering in a 1'X4" tub with only a 6 gallon hot water tank. ONE!, yes I said only 1', TV that might pick up a couple channels on the digital antenna built into our trailer. A closet the size of a wardrobe and a bed that you have to walk around sideways. Hmmm...maybe I didn't think this through, entirely.

The biggest problem is getting email and phone service. I even went so far as to get a "hot spot" for my phone but it's "not so hot" when there still isn't cell phone service readily available. Hmmm...that would be a waste of 40 dollars/month! SOOO, I read in between batting flies and mosquitoes. I type up reviews and trek a few miles to upload. Even that is sometimes slow, depending on how many people are huddled around the tables trying to do the same thing I am. I have met many people that way!

Now, I know I sound like a spoiled brat but when did we become so dependent on current technology that we forgot how to survive without it constantly at our fingertips? We are all spoiled and sometimes need to be reminded that there is a whole world of wonder, even outside our books. I wake to the sounds of birds chirping, the quiet of the sun rising over the lake and the wildlife scouring our area for food. I could get more reading done but have decided I enjoy sitting outside or lying in the hammock watching the world go by one day at a time.

I am slowly realizing that life passes way too quickly and we need to condition ourselves to enjoy the small things. The phrase "stop and smell the roses" has new meaning for me. I never thought I would get to this age and wish I would have been able to see what was always right in front of my eyes. I use books to escape (and always will) but I also now "escape" into some quiet bits of nature that seem to have helped replenish my soul. I highly recommend it!

JeanieG

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book Review: Demon Kin (Soul Tracker Book 2) T.G. Ayer

Demon Kin (Soul Tracker Book 2)
T.G. Ayer
January 17, 2017
308 pages
When a business tycoon hires Mel Morgan to find his missing daughter, the SoulTracker is thrown headlong into twists and turns of unexpected deaths and unusual killers. But to find the girl in time to save her, she has to first understand the killer. Demonic or human killers? Mel can't decide which will be worse.

Things get a little complicated when she has to help find both a Panther Alpha's mother, and a reluctant Djinn Queen. Add to the mix an evil spirit plus her mentor Samuel sending her terrifying messages in the Ether. Save him, or else.

It's just all in a days work for a SoulTracker.


Soul Tracker Mel Morgan can find almost anyone almost anywhere. Something of an anomaly in the paranormal world, Mel can use the DNA material of a lost person to track their ‘threads’ and pinpoint their location, be it on the earthly plane or some other dimension. Mel’s gifts of astral projection and ‘jumping’ allow her to rescue people from peril and return them to safety. Tracking has become a career for Mel and her roommate assistants and she’s the best in the biz. Much to the puzzlement of Detective Fulbright, Mel typically succeeds where local law enforcement has failed. So when local police fail to produce meaningful leads on a local teen, Mel is hired by the teen’s tycoon father to find answers.

I quite like this series and its cast of characters. The storytelling is colourful and imaginative. I like how Ayer uses a few conventions of horror in this particular installment. There were a couple moments I found myself actually shuddering. I enjoy the more thrilling aspects of the story and the fast-paced action. Ayer also tosses in a little romance, though the relationship between Mel and Saleem, a djinn turned police detective, has yet to be fully realized.

My major criticism of this book is a plot that can be best described as frantic. There are no fewer than three storylines unfolding in this book in addition to the Mel’s current case. In defence of Ayer, this book is a spinoff to a larger series that I have not read. As such, I was confused by the shifter kidnapping subplot. Additionally, Saleem’s family troubles continue to slowly develop in the background. Add to this Mel’s own failing health, and abject instance to soldier on at all costs, the mysterious disappearances of her sister Ari and mentor Samuel, and the pace is almost too much. I really liked the main storyline. It’s creative, eerie, and horrific. It definitely had enough substance to carry the book without some of the extras. Simplification would have improved this book.


Review: Blood Magic (DarkWorld: Soul Tracker #1) 

Three sheep





Bianca Greenwood


About the Author:
Tee is the author of over 25 Contemporary Fantasy, Thriller & Paranormal novels

Tee's Valkyrie Series is a Norse Mythology based Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy

Her Hand of Kali Series is a diverse YA Contemporary Fantasy using Indian Mythology as a setting

Tee's DarkWorld contains two current series:
* The SkinWalker Series, a NA Shifter & Magic Urban Fantasy with a black panther, reluctant alpha tracker who will keep you on your toes.
* The SoulTracker Series, a NA Contemporary Fantasy with a teleporting, astral-projecting kick-ass main character.
Upcoming in the world are:
* The MetalSinger (Tara), * The DeathTalker (Nerina) & * The Stolen Queen of Dracys

Tee also has an Angels & Demons Urban Fantasy series, the Chronicles of the Irin, and if you like strong female leads with wings, and a dreadlocked albino demon side-kick, Evie's story is for you.

Tee also writes Romantic Suspense and Psychological Horror as Toni Vallan. Click on Thrillers on Tee's website to find out more.

And because Tee hardly ever sleeps and loves making stuff up, look out for more books, coming soon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Book Review: Arctic Dawn (The Norse Chronicles #2) by Karissa Laurel

Arctic Dawn (The Norse Chronicles #2)
by Karissa Laurel
July 5th 2016
Paperback, 276 pages
Alone and exhausted after her month-long sojourn as a shooting star, Solina Mundy flees to southern California to lie low, recuperate, and plot a survival strategy. The one person she trusts to watch her back is her best friend, Skyla Ramirez. But Skyla has been missing for weeks.

The arrival of a dangerous stranger and the discovery of a legendary weapon of mass destruction forces Solina out of hiding and back into the fight for her life. Solina knows she won’t last long on her own. She must find out what happened to Skyla and unite her contentious allies if she hopes to track down this devastating weapon before her enemies use it to burn the world to ash.

Solina runs to southern California to hide out and heal while searching for her missing friend, Skyla. Solina needs to plot a plan to survive and needs backup or she won’t survive. As Solina tries to track down a devastating weapon that will destroy the world she must figure out who she can trust and who has their own interests at heart.

This was a great continuation of the series. The story line didn’t duplicate and did a good job of taking us forward. There were big surprises that kept the story fresh and moving. If you haven’t read the first book in the series, it is worth the time to invest in The Norse Chronicles with Midnight Burning. I look forward to what comes next.

Double Sheep Review: Midnight Burning: (The Norse Chronicles – Book 1)
Bianca's Review: Arctic Dawn (The Norse Chronicles #2)


Five sheep





Denise B


About the Author:

Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between. Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin. When it snows, you'll find her on the slopes.

Find out more about Karissa and keep up to date with new releases, including the sequel to Midnight Burning, coming in 2016.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review: Keeper of Crows (The Keeper of Crows Duology Book 1) by Casey L. Bond

Keeper of Crows (The Keeper of Crows Duology Book 1)
by Casey L. Bond
293 pages
March 19, 2017
Carmen Kennedy is a spoiled brat from Beverly Hills with a chip on her shoulder and a cocaine addiction to match. Using drugs to suppress reality, her life is more than she can stomach most days. All she wants is to disappear, and on one fateful night, her wish is granted.

There is a world that exists just beyond the fabric of our own. When Carmen is dragged there against her will, her hopelessness seems to disappear, replaced by a determination to survive. The Keeper of Crows is charged with guarding Carmen, but is safety a possibility in a world so desolate? Can love blossom when danger lies in wait? Together, they fight like hell, seeming to lose more ground than they gain with each battle against the dark enemy threatening to tear them apart. Can love keep her safe? Can it give her the strength she needs?

When the lines between life and death, reality and dream become blurred, who will save the souls trapped in the spaces between Heaven and Hell? Who will save Carmen's only love, The Keeper of Crows?


Keeper of Crows is a new paranormal romance duology from the author of The Frenzy Series. The book does contain adult material such as profanity, illicit drug use and sexual situations.

Carmen Kennedy is a sour, vacuous young woman flirting with death and danger. The daughter of a successful businessman turned politician, Carmen is a typical ‘sad little rich girl.’ She feels unwanted and unloved and, as such, becomes most unlovable. When Carmen’s reckless behaviour lands her in intensive care, she is sucked into purgatory and forced to fight for her very tenuous existence in the ‘real’ world and beyond. At her side is the dark and powerful Keeper of Crows, a majestic and terrifying warrior placed in purgatory to maintain order.

Bond’s fantastic purgatory is wildly imaginative. Her creativity is seemingly boundless and her imagery highly evocative. I loved the image this passage conjured: “The demon gave a slight bow to Keeper and slowly sank into the earth, inch by inch, until he was gone and all that remained was a pile of bubbling tar on the ground.”

At its heart, Keeper of Crows is a transformation story. Initially Carmen is insufferable, almost comically so: “I hated dogs. And kids. And old people. And men.” I found the start of this book a little difficult to read because Carmen, as a walking stereotype, has few redeeming qualities. But once she fully realizes her capacity for love and strength, she becomes a truly fearsome force. While a transformation story isn’t at all unique, Bond does an excellent job leading to the formidable crescendo of Carmen’s becoming.

I was also taken with Bond’s not so subtle political leanings peppered throughout the narrative. Carmen’s nefarious father is characterized by “his fake smile, caked-on orange make-up, and his jubilant face as it waved to hungry crowds, starving for his lies.” Sound like anyone you know?

The conclusion of this book, however, is less than satisfactory. It takes on the qualities of a confused psychological thriller with a few inconsistencies. I expected something more from an author with such imagination. Without revealing too much, the archetype Bond uses to wrap up the narrative is rather unsatisfying. I look forward to book two in this duology, nonetheless. Perhaps what I’m interpreting as inconsistencies and confusion will be clarified when the story continues.

Bond initially caught my attention as an attending author for this year’s Once Upon a Book convention being held in Frankenmuth Michigan. As an attending blogger, I plan to check out several authors prior to the August 2017 event. Keeper of Crows stood out for its stellar cover design. I like pretty things and the artwork for this book definitely sets in apart. And for the most part, this book is as cool inside as it is on the outside.

Four Sheep





Bianca Greenwood


About the Author:
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Instagram-amazon
Award-winning author Casey Bond resides in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. Casey loves to read almost as much as she enjoys writing romance.

Her young adult books include: the Amazon best selling Frenzy series (Frenzy, Frantic, Frequency, Friction, Fraud and novella Forever Frenzy), the award-winning Harvest Saga (Reap/ Best World Building award in 2014 from IABB, Best Dystopian Series from 2015 Pour Over Parchment awards), Resist & Reclaim, Catalyst, Prisoner of Prophecy (CHBB Publishing), Liquid and Winter Shadows. 

Her new adult books include: Insta-Hate, Mayday, The Sin Series, winner of the 2015 Utopia Award for Best Serial Series, The Temptation Serial Series, Devil Creek, Shady Bay, Crazy Love and co-author of Dark Bishop. 

Anthology works include: Seven, Fractured Glass (YA Sci-Fi), Prep For Doom, and Light in the Darkness. 

Children's book: Chasing Wishes (Juliet and Casey Bond)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Excerpt Spotlight:Saving His Wolf (Mated Anthology) by Kerry Adrienne

Saving His Wolf (Mated Anthology)
by Kerry Adrienne
May 22, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Shifter Wars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 30,000
Format: Digital
ISBN: 9781488024399
Olivia, born blind and without the ability to shift, yearns to seek her own fate away from her watchful and devoted wolf pack. Vulnerable and stuck in human form, she's alone and at risk in the forest's brutal winter when she's rescued by a park ranger and taken to his cabin in Deep Creek. By the warmth of a crackling fire, she's comforted by his presence. But it's his rugged scent that stirs something in her she's never felt before.

Bear shifter Powell sensed the instant he held her that Olivia was his mate. He also knew she had the untapped powers to discover her true shifting nature—if only he could convince her to trust in him, and to believe in herself. Now the one thing that stands to threaten their healing mating hunger is Olivia's distrusting and vigilant pack. A pack prepared to do anything to get her back.

But there is no danger as strong, no desire so liberating as what Powell is bringing out in her—because Olivia can finally see where her destiny lies.

Carina Press-Amazon-Google Play-Kobo-iTunes-B&N

Read an excerpt from SAVING HIS WOLF:
The snow had picked up, and it bit into her face as it fell faster and the wind whipped it against her. She imagined the flakes as little spears swirling in puffs of air then attacking her bare skin. She had to move before she froze. Willing her legs to move, she lifted them one by one, her injured ankle sending aftershocks of pain up her leg to her thigh.

She sat up, feeling the ground around her body with her hands. Her wet gloves stuck to her palms, and she mashed her fingertips against the ground, trying to figure out where the ground ended and a cliff began.

One wrong move and she could fall to her death. She pulled her hood around her face, the faux fur trim tickling her cheek. The flush of adrenaline was wearing off and the shakes set in.

Do or die moment.

She slid to the right, dragging her bum ankle, which had numbed to a hard block of flesh. Feeling the solid ground again, she inched a bit more. A few more times, and sweat had formed on her back, though she still shook from the chill of wet clothes and falling snow. She tugged her scarf tighter, trying to keep her neck protected from the elements.

Hope I’m going in the right direction. If she could get to the embankment she had tumbled down, she could figure out how to climb it. Moving incrementally, she continued to slide toward what she hoped was the hill. The wind whistled as it swept around the cliffs and through the trees.

The wolves had gone silent.

Her wet pants, soaked through from sitting in the snow, began to stiffen. Warmth filled her legs and she closed her eyes.

The darkness was blacker than usual. She yawned.

She breathed deeply, scenting the pine amongst the snow. Always a peaceful scent, and one that reminded her of her mother. If she were alive, she’d never have allowed Alfred to lay claim on Olivia. She’d have fought him herself if she had to.

So tired.

The shivers and shakes were continuous but she ignored them. The embankment had to be close.

There!

She touched the incline. Steep at the bottom, it would take a lot of energy to haul herself up. And she was exhausted.

It’s not so cold any more.

Was that a wolf howl? Or a bird call? She leaned against the bank and listened to the muted sounds in the snowy forest. The air had warmed. When had it gotten so warm? She could take a little nap before trying to climb the embankment.

Yes, a short nap. A few minutes.

The crunch of heavy footsteps sounded, and Olivia struggled to stay awake, her heart picking up speed at the thought of Alfred.

“You there. What are you doing out here in this blizzard? And all alone at that?”

The voice, a man’s, was commanding and firm.

And not Alfred’s.

“My ankle,” she whispered.

“What?” More footsteps. “You’re injured.”

His voice melted over her like warm honey, and she waited to hear him speak again. She could listen to him forever…she took a long deep breath and the world silenced.

“Oh no you don’t.”

The voice jerked her back into wakefulness. No longer cold, she couldn’t remember why she’d even worried.

“I need to rest for a few minutes.” She curled on her side. “I’m so sleepy.”

Other Books in the Shifter Wars By Kerry Adrienne:

Waking the Bear (Shifter Wars)
August 1, 2016
212 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Sexy shifter passion is awakened when two unlikely lovers are challenged by secrets, danger and an unstoppable need to claim one's mate…

For human Amy Francis, the secluded cabin in Deep Creek is the haven she needs to map out a fresh new start. She never expected her heart to be reawakened by a distraction like Griff Martin, commanding yet gentle, too ferociously sensual to ignore. It's clear that patrolling the forest is more than a job to Griff—it's a means of survival. But what Amy doesn't realize is she's reawakened the beast within him.

Griff's dormant hunger is stirred by this intoxicating woman…and threatened by the secret she must never learn. Duty-bound to defend his bear clan against an avenging pride of lion shifters, Griff's entire world is upended when he meets Amy. His animal need to claim his mate has taken hold, but that very desire could seal her fate as an unwitting pawn in battle.

Now, as a shifter war looms, Griff must decide between letting Amy go or following his most carnal instincts. To have her would change his life…but risk everything he knows and was born to protect.


Pursuing the Bear (Shifter Wars)
November 1, 2016
336 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Bear shifters exist.

Professor Bria Lane has known this since she was a child. Now she’s returned to he forests of Deep Creek to prove it to the worlds. She has no idea how close she is to that proof in ruggedly sexy park ranger Derek Poole. Intimately close. But uncovering Derek’s wild side comes with a shattering price.

Like a magnet meeting metal, Derek is drawn to Bria. His destiny. His mate. So beautiful and so vulnerable. So dangerous, too: an encroachment of lions, vengeful and vicious, is closing in and they’re ready for war. Now is not the time to be distracted like a lovesick cub.

If Bria reveals the truth of the Deep Creek shifters to the world, she’ll bring out the worst of both sides. But Derek can’t hide his secrets from the love of his life forever. He knows they’re playing with fire – and that when passion runs this hot, this reckless, someone’s bound to get burned.

*Previously published, newly revised and expanded by author

Check out the Mated Anthology!
Authors: Kerry Adrienne, Sionna Fox & Shari Mikels
May 22, 2017

Publisher: Carina Press
ISBN: 9781488078552

One anthology. Three wolf shifter romances. Don't miss this collection of stories from USA TODAY bestselling author Kerry Adrienne, Sionna Fox and Shari Mikels  

A woman born blind and without the ability to shift yearns to seek her own fate away from her watchful, devoted wolf pack. Vulnerable and stuck in human form, she's alone and at risk when she's rescued by the bear shifter who is her destiny. 

An accident forces a man to change the best friend he's loved for years…or leave her for dead. There's no reason to hide his true self anymore—but can she ever forgive him? 

And a pack alpha finds that rescuing his fated mate from a violent confrontation with two wolf shifters is easy. Helping her move from fear to acceptance of the animals—and him—is a challenge. 

This anthology includes: 
Saving His Wolf by Kerry Adrienne 
Wolf Summer by Sionna Fox 
Drawn to the Wolves by Shari Mikels 

Stories also available for purchase separately.  

This book is approximately 86,000 words

About the Author:
Blog -Amazon
USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne is repped by Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kerry writes in many sub-genres of romance including paranormal, science fiction, erotic, m/m, time travel, and many more. She loves history, science, music, and art and is the mom to three daughters, many cats, and various other small animals. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere.

In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player.