GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep

Friday, March 24, 2017

Release Day: The Mortal Falls (Undercover Elementals Book 1) by Anna Durand + giveaway

From Award-Winning, Bestselling Author
Anna Durand

A spunky girl. A sexy sylph.
The fate of two worlds rests in their hands.
THE MORTAL FALLS
by Anna Durand
Series: Undercover Elementals, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Jacobsville Books
Publication Date: March 24, 2017

A pragmatic human thrown into a world of magic...
Lindsey Porter fled from her traumatic past, determined to lay low, but now someone has framed her for murder. The quest for answers leads her into a parallel realm where magic reigns, and with a hostile sheriff and a shapeshifting assassin on her trail, she must place her life in the hands of a seductive, supernatural man who tempts her like no one else.

An immortal sylph enslaved by magic...

Nevan is trapped by a desperate bargain struck a century earlier, yet the beautiful, spirited Lindsey has enticed him to abandon his magically enforced duty. As forbidden passion flares between them, they'll risk everything to uncover the truth and find what they both need the most—redemption.

When two worlds collide...

The fates of the elemental and mortal realms depend on the star-crossed lovers. As dark secrets from their pasts threaten to shatter the fragile trust between Lindsey and Nevan, a shocking revelation holds the power to deliver salvation or destruction.

Purchase Links
Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Google

Teaser

About the Author:
Anna Durand is an award-winning, bestselling author of sizzling romances, including the Hot Scots series. She loves writing about spunky heroines and hunky heroes, in settings as diverse as modern Chicago and the fairy realm. Making use of her master's in library science, she owns a cataloging services company that caters to indie authors and publishers. In her free time, you'll find her binge-listening to audiobooks, playing with puppies, or crafting jewelry.
Official website: https://annadurand.com/
Connect with Anna Durand on social media:

In partnership with

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review: Silence Fallen (A Mercy Thompson Novel #10) by Patricia Briggs -spoiler-free

Silence Fallen (A Mercy Thompson Novel) Kindle Edition
by Patricia Briggs
March 7, 2017
379 pages
Ace
In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack—and her mate—is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone...

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes—only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe... 

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

Silence Fallen is another solid book from Briggs. I adore the world Briggs has created to play in. Each book brings something new. This time Mercy and some of the pack head to Europe...not for a vacation! We get details about the werewolves and vampires of those regions and how they are connected to Bran and the vampire, Marsilia. No fae action in this one, but plenty of ghosts. Mercy is forced to explore her powers involving ghosts. I also loved seeing more of the goblin Larry and his dry humor. He is a great ally for Adam's pack.

Silence Fallen was written a bit differently than past Mercy books. The POV switches between Mercy and Adam. I enjoyed getting the extra information as Mercy and Adam fight to get back to each other and taking down the bad guys on the way. 

Fun quotes:
Mercy: "Running from vampires, again. Still. Go me!"

Mercy: "I'm a mechanic, I fix thing that are broken. I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote. I have powerful friends. But when it comes right down to it, my real power is chaos."

Larry the goblin: "Witches are bitches and they'll burn your britches sure a kittens have itches if you give'em half a chance." 

4 "motherhumper" Sheep

About the Author:
website-FB-twitter
Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy.

Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series, which are set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson novels. What began as the novella “Alpha and Omega” in an anthology called On the Prowl (2007), was then expanded into a full new series.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What my main character would look like in a manga/anime -Brian S. Leon (Chaos Unbound book tour) + giveaway

This is a character sketch of Diomedes done by Evan Park, a professional Manga/Anime artist who works on video games, graphic novels and animated features. Once you read either of the books in the Metis Files series you’ll see there is a huge difference between my descriptions and what is depicted here. That’s partly because Anime/Manga has certain types of features and characteristics that are important, so the simple outfit and look that Diomedes actually has in my books, is just way too simplistic for the art form Evan uses. I gave him license to play around a bit because I wanted to see what he could accomplish. I have to say I was impressed.
I’ve included some of his prep sketches as well. It was a learning process for me and just as involved as my writing about Diomedes. While he started with a lot of what I describe in the book, you can see he ends up deviating quite a bit. If you pay close attention, you’ll see the attention to detail that Evan gives—down to the Calydonian Boar on his shoulder patch that would have been the symbol on his father, Tydeus’, shield. Unfortunately, I’ve had a few people look at the image as if it were a photograph and tell me what’s wrong with it. It's anime. Things are exaggerated and stylized. It's supposed to be that way.



Anyway, I’d love to know what you think—especially once you’ve read one of my books. And don’t worry, I’m not about to change my description to fit the cartoon version, but if there’s ever an anime graphic novel about my series, you’ll know what he looks like!

Chaos Unbound (The Metis Files Book Two)
by Brian S. Leon
2/28/17
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-940215-83-9
ASIN: B06VSX4BKP
Number of pages: 356
Word Count: 122000
Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics
Tagline: On the Run. On the Hunt.
The hunter becomes the hunted.

Framed for the murder of a high ranking member of the Unseelie Court of Fae, Steve Dore–also known as Diomedes, Guardian and protector of mankind–goes on the run. He’s determined to uncover the real culprit and clear his name.

But the assassination may be the beginning of a more sinister plot that involves not just the Fae and Humankind, but all the races of the world. And what if the real assassin is a boogeyman even the Fae don't believe is real?



Excerpt:
Chapter 1
San Diego, September 2011
Selkies. Thirty-five miles offshore in the Pacific Ocean, and I’m dodging freakin’ selkies in my fishing boat. It’s like they’re seagulls, and I’m dropping French fries at the beach. Man do they screw up the fishing. Worse, when they appear, bad things tend to follow. And it’s just my luck. Of all fae to show up randomly, it had to be these shapeshifters—the kind that could transform into seals and even into sea lions, which scare the crap out of the fish. Every pile of floating kelp we’d fished around so far had one of these fairies under it. Every kelp except the paddy right in front of the boat.

“Captain Dore, look! Another seal,” the woman said, reaching for her camera.

And that selkie made it a perfect five for five.

I couldn’t help but hang my head. My clients—a simple Midwestern family of Mom, Dad, and Teenage Son—considered it endearing to see a seal poke its head up from inside the kelp, but I could see their true bulbous heads, seaweed-like hair, and pudgy gray-green humanoid forms. Their giant, shiny-black eyes fixed on me as if they knew exactly who I was.

The creepy shapeshifters were part of the Unseelie Court—fairies that are decidedly unfriendly to humans—and the fact that we kept encountering them was starting to unnerve me. Encountering one in the Pacific was rare. In fact, I couldn’t recall one off Southern California since an entire tribe of them showed up around Catalina Island in the 1980s. That appearance had led to a spate of unidentified submerged object and alien sightings, not to mention a few mysterious plane crashes around the island and a heap of sunken boats.

“Hey what’s that big fin?” the father asked, pointing at the rapidly approaching triangular object sticking out of the water and heading straight at the paddy from the opposite side.

“Shark,” I said with a sudden smile. “Damn big one, too. Great white, from the looks of it. Rare for us down here in San Diego.”

“Oh, swim, seal! Swim!” the mom said as all hell broke loose around the paddy.

“Wow, really,” the kid said. “It’s like a real National Geographic moment.” He whipped out his phone to video the event.

I was the only one on the boat rooting for the shark. If they’d known what that shark was really chasing, they probably would have thought it was more like a National Enquirer moment.

Knowing the selkie-shark conflict would ruin the fishing within a mile of that paddy, I pushed farther out, always on the lookout for signs of life other than selkies. As long as we could avoid them, we found lots of small football-sized yellowfin tuna while we trolled, and I’d even managed to convince the anglers to release the little guys, in hopes of finding bigger ones. The small fish kept me blissfully busy until we made it back to the dock at around four in the afternoon—so busy, in fact, that I forgot about how screwy the presence of selkies was until I realized my buddy Ned was storming down the dock toward my boat as I pulled in.

As usual, Ned was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt with colors usually reserved for Las Vegas neon. The fact that he resembled a derelict version of Santa Claus usually drew people’s attention. It was either that or the fact that he always smelled like beer-soaked seaweed washed up on a beach. It could be worse given that Ned was in fact the Titan God of the Sea, Nereus, in self-imposed exile.

As I secured the boat to the dock, my cellphone, stashed inside my captain’s bag within the console, chirped the unique ring my buddy Geek had helped me assign to Sarah Wright. I felt guilty for avoiding her over the past two weeks. Despite scrambling to reach the annoying device before the call went to voice mail, I wasn’t quick enough. I tossed the phone on the console, thoroughly disgusted with my wishy-washy-ness regarding our relationship—or whatever we had. I was pretty sure we both wanted to take things to the next level, but I was conflicted about what that would mean for both of us since my situation wasn’t exactly normal.

I’ll call her back as soon as I can. I sighed, watching my three clients stumble off the boat, trying to adjust to sea legs on land after a full day on the water. They chatted excitedly about sharks and sea lions as they went. Ned stood down the dock, waiting, staring intently at me with his hands on his hips and one flip-flop-clad foot tapping away. The trio barely managed to get past him before he charged the boat.

“Diomedes, dude, glad to see you made it back okay.” Ned’s shoulders dropped a bit as he exhaled heavily. “Now get yer ass off the damn boat and back onto land.” He dipped his head slightly and glared over his sunglasses at me, his brow deeply furrowed.

I stopped taking rods out of the rod racks under the gunwales and stared back at him. Something had him on edge, and that was saying something. Normally, he made people on Prozac appear edgy. In over a thousand years, I’d never seen him like this before.

“Now, dude. Now!” he said, raising his voice and gesticulating wildly.

The myriad of seagulls and pelicans gathered around the boat awaiting leftover bait and fish carcasses took off in a sudden deafening and chaotic commotion.

“Whoa. Relax, Ned. What’s got your panties in a bunch?” I said, getting back to my after-charter chores. “Sheesh. Besides, I think the dad left a few beers if you want them.”

Normally, Ned’s first question to me would have involved the possible presence of abandoned beer. Instead, he fixed me with a withering stare. His hands were back on his hips, and his foot again tapped on the dock. When we’d first met a few thousand years before, he’d naturally emanated an aura of power. Though he’d since willingly given up most of his other-dimensional essence, the preternatural blue glow was now visible.

“Dude, which part of ‘now’ ain’t you understandin’?” He spoke through a clenched jaw and pointed at the dock forcefully, like a parent demanding a child’s immediate presence. Over his sunglasses, his eyes darted everywhere, keeping watch around us.

“Okay, okay,” I said, eyeing my fish-slimed gear and all the sardine scales and scuff marks marring the deck. “Who’s gonna clean all this up? You know if I let it sit, it’ll be even harder to clean later.”

“I’ll take care of it,” Ned replied. “Just get yer ass off the water. Right. Now.”

“Fine.” I kicked at my rods like a petulant child. “Let me get my damn gear bag, and I’ll leave.”

I grabbed my captain’s bag and stormed down the dock in a huff, glaring at Ned. I didn’t even bother to take off my grungy gray rubber fishing bibs. He avoided making eye contact as I passed him, which only pissed me off more. Instead, his eyes continued to dart around the marina. Whatever.

I got to my truck, threw my gear bag in the bed, then stripped off the rubber bibs. While hopping around on one leg like an idiot, trying to get the bibs off over my deck boots, I worked myself up from a huff to a tizzy. Who the hell did he think he was ordering me around like that? Athena? Throwing my bibs into the bed with the rest, I glanced over my shoulder, toward the dock.

Just as I was about to get into my truck, a more pressing question hit me: Why? Ned actually yelled at me. In over two millennia, I had never even witnessed him raise his voice. What’d I do to him?

I instantly felt like I owed him an apology, without even knowing what I’d done. I headed back down to the dock.

As I approached the top of the gangway, Ned was in a heated discussion with something in the water on the other side of the dock from my boat. I couldn’t get a clear view of who or what Ned was talking with, or hear what was being said. The only things evident were the loud and freakish sea lion-like barks and Ned’s wild and very uncharacteristic gesticulations. Instinctively, I searched for something to use as a weapon—a boat hook was leaning against the fence next to the gate down to the dock.

Then a putty-colored round female head covered in thick yellow-green hair popped up just above the dock and peered directly at me. Ned noticed me, as well, and all at once, the creature disappeared below the water’s surface creating a wake that tossed the floating dock and rocked the boats tied up nearby. She was definitely one of the selkies I had encountered earlier offshore.

I stopped dead in my tracks. Ned shook his head and stomped toward me, which couldn’t have been easy in flip-flops. His eyes were ablaze—literally. His awakened aura pulsed from white to blue like a lightning storm.

I shrugged and raised my eyebrows as his gaze fell on me. The temperature began to drop, and the water around the dock changed from a drab green to black and turned rough, as if it were about to boil. The disturbance bounced the moored boats against their bumpers and the dock, and the rigging on the sailboats began to clang. Even the remaining birds evacuated—only noiselessly.

“Boy, who did you piss off this time?” he said at me more than to me in a voice that reverberated through my skull. It wasn’t loud, but it was insistent in its tone.

“I… um… I, ah… what?” I asked, vapor trailing from my mouth in the cool air.

I couldn’t recall having done anything to anybody since chasing down that witch, Medea, a few months back, and as far as I knew, everyone I could have pissed off doing that was dead.

Ned continued up the ramp from the dock toward me, somehow appearing larger than normal. His face, especially his eyes, darkened. “Don’t play games with me. You got selkies chasin’ yer ass all over the Pacific, and they had to travel around the world to get here to do it. Nytrocyon herself is here to find you.” He pointed back down toward my boat. “She says Mab wants you. Says you killed Lord Indronivay.”

“Nytrocyon, ruler of the selkies? Seriously?” My teeth started to chatter, and my jaw muscles clenched in the frigid air. “Wait… she said I killed who? Lord Indronivay, Mab’s warmaster? Are you kidding me? Why the hell would I have killed that uptight belligerent asshole?”

I’d never even met him, but his reputation as a jerk was legendary. Even as a Guardian and protector of humanity, I knew him only through stories that suggested he was a giant at nearly eight feet tall and was about as friendly as a shark with a toothache. All I really knew about him was that he personally ran every major war and military campaign Queen Mab of the Unseelie Court had waged for tens of thousands of years. Hell, the guy might have charged into battle against Queen Titania of the Seelie Court on the back of a triceratops.

“You’re sayin’ Nytrocyon is lying?” Ned’s voice boomed through my head, shaking me back to attention.

I shrugged again. “Now why the hell would I do something like that? Honestly?”

Ned’s shoulders dropped slightly, and his pulsing aura faded. Though his face brightened and his bushy beard and mustache split, revealing his white teeth in a broad smile, the rest of him remained rigid. “Good. I didn’t think you were dumb enough to attack a member of one of the fairy royal courts. That’d be grounds for war. Only problem is then, dude”—he slowly slipped back into his normal relaxed and carefree persona—“you gotta ask yerself one question: why does she think you did?”


About the Author:
Website-FB -Twitter
Goodreads-Newsletter
Brian S. Leon is truly a jack of all trades and a master of none. He writes just to do something with all the useless degrees and skills he’s accumulated over the years. Most of them have no practical application in civilized society, anyway. His interests include mythology and fishing, in pursuit of which he has explored jungles and museums, oceans and seas all over the world.

His credentials include an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and a master’s degree from San Diego State University, plus extensive postgraduate work in evolutionary biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied animals most people aren’t even aware exist and theories no one really cares about anyway.

Over his varied career, Brian’s articles have been published in academic journals and popular magazines that most normal people would never read. They can be found in The American Society of Primatologists, the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Proceedings of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the like.

His more mainstream work came as an editor for Marlin and FlyFishing in Salt Waters magazines, where he published articles about fishing and fishing techniques around the world. He won a Charlie Award in 2004 from the Florida Magazine Association for Best Editorial, and several of his photographs have appeared on a number of magazine covers—almost an achievement of note, if they weren’t all fishing magazines.

Always a picky reader, Mr. Leon enjoys stories by classical masters like Homer and Jules Verne as well as modern writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, David Morrell and Jim Butcher. These books, in combination with an inordinate amount of free time, inspired him to come up with tales of his own.

Brian currently resides in San Diego, California.


Tour giveaway 

Signed set of The Metis Files Books 1&2

$25 Amazon GC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Book Releases in Speculative Fiction for March 21, 2017

Ready to fill that hole in your life...you know the one...where a book goes? Got some good looking candidates this week!
If I missed something let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the list.

Book Review: Chosen: Ghost Academy (YA paranormal adventure, book 1) by K.E. O'Connor

Chosen: Ghost Academy (YA paranormal adventure, book 1)
by K.E. O'Connor
January 6, 2016
176 pages
Four young adults dropped into a dark, windowless, brick room with no door awaken with no knowledge about how they got there. Thinking kidnapping, being drugged and perhaps a practical joke, they are all unknown to each other and needless to say frightened and wary of each other. This is the first book in a series of 4 (so far). 

The storyline is somewhat unique in that it starts with human teenagers who find themselves dealing with their own deaths. Not a YA novel that features already young paranormals, so that in itself might give some pause. I thought it a deliberate take as so many of our young people deal with death of their own peers and their own fear of death. Now, I am not saying that this should be their thought process on what happens after death (it's a little over the top) but it does give them a venue to consider the afterlife and their own purpose while alive.


The story's main four characters have personalities that most teens have encountered. Jock, Diva, Brainiac and Empathetic loner. Each have strengths that are portrayed as important in being considered for their positions in the Academy. They are being trained as "helpful" ghosts and are given time to decide if they want to remain to help on earth or "pass on" through a portal that is an unknown destination. I see the "Team" developing and am sure there are to be more assignments in the sequels!

I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the thought processes and personalities of the main characters. I especially liked the scenarios that each assignment entailed. I feel it gave voice to many of the disastrous lives that people face on a daily basis and gave some thoughts on correcting those situations. There was lite humor, self reflection, danger, mystery, a little romance and some credence to the fact that young people can actually be useful and take control in serious situations. This may have been meant as a light hearted PN YA story but I (as someone who probably reads to much into things) thought it had a serious undertone in the introduction to this series. I foresee a more familiar PN take on future episodes. Either way I think this will be a well received series!

I give this 4.5 "newly recruited" sheep!






Jeanie G.


About the Author:
website-FB-twitter
The writer of over 20 books in the paranormal adventure, urban fantasy, and cozy mystery genres. Her writing has mystery, adventure, excitement, and romance. She loves to make up new worlds and characters, and share stories for others to enjoy. She does this while hiding in her castle with a limitless supply of books, tea, cakes, and her many familiars (animals feature in most of her work.)

K.E. O'Connor loves reading anything that quickens her pulse and makes her fall in love with the characters. Her writing does the same. She has numerous series: The School of Exorcists, Ghost Academy, Heir Hunters, Lorna Shadow Cozy Ghost Mysteries and The Old Sarum Witch Mysteries.


Find out more at www.keoconnor.com (and get loads of free books.)